The griffin (also spelt griffon or gryphon) is a legendary creature said to have originated from Greek mythology, though there is evidence that the beast may have originated from ancient Egyptian or Persian artworks. The griffin, like the chimera, is an amalgamation of different parts of other animals. It has the body, tail and back legs of a lion and the head, wings and talons of an eagle.
According to the folklore of various cultures, griffins were noble and proud creatures. Just as the lion was regarded as the king of beasts and the eagle the king of birds, griffins were viewed in a particularly majestic light. They were said to be guardians of exquisite and priceless treasures and artifacts. In medieval folklore, griffins were mated for life. If either griffin partner died, then the remaining griffin would live the rest of its life alone.