Saturday, February 27, 2016

More Mythical Creatures (Laura)

3. Hippogriffs
When I first saw this great topic of mythical creatures from Erin, the first creature from literature that popped into my mind was Buckbeak, the half-eagle and half-horse hero from Harry Potter who first appears in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. That was my favorite of all the Harry Potter books, and I stayed awake into the early a.m. to read about Harry, Hermione, and Buckbeak setting off after Sirius Black. I loved the way Harry and Buckbeak met, and I grew immediately fond of the gentle, loyal soul behind the protective and proud creature who was Buckbeak. One interpretation on the hippogriff is that, as the offspring of enemies, it represents love.

2. Dragons
I have to admit that the reason I consider dragons a favorite is mostly due to the endearing, noble Toothless and his pet-like counterparts in DreamWorks "How to Train Your Dragon." These characters drew such startling emotion and empathy from me, although DreamWorks did a good job of achieving this connection in "Shrek," as well, and of subverting the stereotype that dragons are evil monsters who must be slayed to free the sleeping princess--or distraught village. Many, if not all, of us have been victims of stereotype and may relate in different ways and to different degrees. The best stories and characters uncover and deconstruct these, just as the dragons do in these DreamWorks pictures. As an extra note, I also particularly like the meaning behind Chinese dragons as a symbol of luck to those deserving it.

1. Unicorns
And who doesn't love unicorns? Traditionally symbols of innocence, purity, love, and childhood, they also represent the moon and female energy in their mystery and intuition. Yet as a combination of male and female, unicorns also embody strength in opposites and the balance of the yin and yang. Read more on the beauty, meaning, and inner journey behind the unicorn in this lovely essay. Many of us yearn for days of innocence gone by and for protection of those we love who are still in that youthful state, even for that protection over the world in ways. Perhaps it's one of the reasons we love to read fairy tales and stories of magic and love and innocence. It's one of the same draws of the unicorn for me, like the natural pull of the earth on the moon.

Are any of these mythical creatures favorites of yours for different reasons? What others draw your interest?

Honorable mention for the Loch Ness Monster because its legend it fascinating, and I would love to hear any stories or tidbits you might have to throw out there. Thanks!




  1. Laura, these are great!!! I might even have to revise my list! The 3rd HP is my favorite, too. . .and the soundtrack from the first How to Train Your Dragon is still a favorite here. . . (but the 2nd movie was too sad!) And have you read Madeleine L'Engle's "A Swiftly Tilting Planet?" You would love the unicorn Gaudior.

    1. Thank you, Erin! And thanks for the tip on the book. I've heard of that one but never read it. I really like A Wrinkle in Time, and I'm excited to check this one out with the unicorn. :)

    2. Also, I absolutely love the music from How to Train Your Dragon!

  2. Great post! I love (mostly) all mythical creatures!

  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite Harry Potter book too. :) I always associate hippogriffs with Harry Potter, since I had previously only seen them mentioned in stories, not playing an active part.

    Dragons and unicorns are great too!

    1. I think that might have actually been the first time I had heard of hippogriffs, or the first time I paid attention anyway. Definitely a good character and a great book. :)

  4. Great post, Laura! I liked Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but my favorites from the Harry Potter series were The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix. Dragons would've definitely made my list, too, and it was interesting to find out more about the meaning behind unicorns.

    1. Thank you, Laurie! Goblet of Fire is for sure my second favorite. I was so hooked by then. :)


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