|Body type||Equine / Avian|
|Place of origin||Riphean Mountains|
|Related species||Griffin, Horse|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Created by||Ludovico Ariosto|
The Hippogriff is the hybrid offspring of a male Griffin and a mare. It has an equine body and hindlegs, and the head, wings and forelegs of a Griffin. This creature is said to inhabit the mythical Riphean Hills, and is used as a mount by powerful knights and sorcerers, mostly due to its great speed and ability to fly.
Contrary to some belief, the Hippogriff is not a legendary creature. It first appeared as a creation of Ludovico Ariosto in his epic poem Orlando Furioso. Ariosto was inspired, however, by a line in Virgil's Eclogues.
|“|| To Mopsus is Nysa given: What may we lovers not expect? Griffins now shall mate with mares, and in the ages to come, the timid deer shall come with hounds to drink.||”|
— Virgil, Eclogues
Since horses and griffins are traditionally considered mortal enemies, the Hippogriff is to be regarded as a manifestation of the absurd, something whose very existence should be impossible. In later traditions it has become a symbol of love due to its parentage.
- The Book of Beasts, by Edith Nesbit
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J. K. Rowling
- Orlando Furioso, by Ludovico Ariosto
- The Worm Ouroboros, by Eric Rücker Eddison
- Curiously, some traditions depict male Griffins as wingless, in contrast with the winged females. In spite of this, the Hippogriff does have wings.
- The creature referred to as a Hippogriff in Edith Nesbit's The Book of Beasts is actually a winged white horse, which should be more correctly identified as a Pegasus.