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anyone remember the griffin?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're the mod, you decide. Very Happy

wayfriend wrote:
At another point, he calls griffins "a tactical error". I think the general nature of this tactical error is in weakening the dream/real paradox, at least in his view.


Makes sense to me. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On September 10, 2010, in the thread "Why were the griffin absent in TPTP?", Savor Dam wrote:
In the Gradual Interview, SRD wrote:
denny: Mr. Donaldson,
[heavily pruned with denny's permission]

Why were 'Gryphons' (Griffins ??) introduced to the Land via your pen ? I always thought they felt a little out of place, these beasts from Greece (as it were), taken from a mythology that didn't really mesh well with the Land's rich fabric .. any comments or thoughts on Gryphons (a 'geeky' question I know, but a lot of the good stuff has already been covered hehe)


Actually, I agree with you--retrospectively. By the time I was well into "The Second Chronicles," I had already begun to feel that "griffins" were a, well, let's call them a tactical error. The rationalization, of course, is this: if Covenant is dreaming, than anything he knows can serve as an antecedent or source for something in the Land. But rationalizations don't matter when the results don't *feel* right. And like you, I now find that griffins don't feel right for my story. I look back on them as a failure of imagination.

Sadly, I don't have the option of correcting miscalculations which occurred that long ago. So I'm going to fall back on the tried and true gambit of Blaming Someone Else. <grin> This is all Lester's fault. He was my editor: he should have been perceptive enough to realize that griffins didn't belong in the same company as ur-viles, Cavewights, and the like.

But seriously: I just screwed up.

The interesting question is: why don't Giants suffer from the same flaw? After all, like griffins they arise from the mythologies of our world. The answer, I think, is that I reinvented Giants thoroughly enough to make them fit, whereas I didn't reinvent griffins at all.

(04/05/2007)


The bold emphasis is mine. I don't think having griffins in the Land in any way weakens Covenant's rationale for his Unbelief, as he could have come up with creatures he had heard about from reading mythology to populate his "dream world". Donaldson's remarks in the GI sound like he could agree with this.

So, I think it's down to what wayfriend said about authorial pride being behind SRD not wanting to continue with writing about griffins, not narrative logic. He mentions that he didn't reinvent the griffins for the Land.

Which makes me wonder, what might he have done to make the griffins more his?

Changed the nature of the animal combination they were made of, so that they were part eagle and part water buffalo instead of an eagle/lion combo?

Given them a magical power outside of what has been assigned to them in classic mythology?

Mentioned a legend of the griffins that states before they go into battle they bolstered each other's courage by reciting a rousing rendition of The Tale of Bahgoon the Untearable and Thelma Twoclaws? Your guess is probably as good as mine.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the deep-archives quote, CH!

Naturally, I would be a fan of reimagined griffins in the eagle / bison mold...but on reflection, I would be wary of the potential for buffalo wing references.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, if Covenant is dreaming, griffins that resemble mythological creatures from the "real" world can be explained.

The question is, if the Land is real, how do you explain the coincidence?

It is basically just as bad as Gandalf showing up!

To maintain the paradox, Donaldson can't let it slip in either direction. Which means anything that "proves" it must be a dream works against his goal, too. Griffins who only make sense as dream referents from the real world are therefore a mistake.

So, as I see it: Yes, Donaldson considers it a failure of imagination. But he also considers it a tactical error, and a miscalculation. These are not contradictions -- it is a tactical error caused by a failure of imagination.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

Maybe they were Merv Griffins.

A whole army of flying Merv Griffins.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would definitely put the defenders of the Land in Jeopardy!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

Savor Dam wrote:
That would definitely put the defenders of the Land in Jeopardy!



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:
Thanks for the deep-archives quote, CH!

Naturally, I would be a fan of reimagined griffins in the eagle / bison mold...but on reflection, I would be wary of the potential for buffalo wing references.
Razz


They could only be shot down with the right combination of bleu cheese dressing and hot sauce, obviously.
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