yotg discussion (spoilers)

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Tue Apr 3 13:05:18 EDT 2001

>> My worry was more along the lines of, How did Derk get his griffins
>> so right, when he didn't seem to know about natural griffins when he
>> started - and it was a shock to all concerned when Talithan
>> mentioned the existence of the griffins on the other continent?
> We never see Derk's reaction to the announcement that there are
> griffins on the other continent (for one thing, he isn't present when
> Talithan makes it). For all we know, Derk knew about them all along --

True.  But Blade and the griffins were surprised when Talithan said that.  So
the knowldge is not common to Derk's family.  OK, Derk might have done his
research years previously, and locked it all up once he knew he could hatch
griffins.  But this seems rather unlikely.  Did the family never discuss Derk's
sources of ideas?  That seems unlikely too (especially with Elda's knowledge of

> as Blade says, he had to get the idea of griffins somewhere; and it
> would explain a few things if he was deliberately trying to copy the
> real griffins.

Legends of griffins abound!  There were legends of them in Policant's day.  The
arms of the southern empire have a griffin, too.  In fact, I'd think that would
be just as likely for Derk's source :-)

>> Also a subject that painfully few fantasy authors tackle - why the
>> heck to the griffins and the humans speak the same language?  There
>> is little or no contact between the species
> There's no basis for that assertion.

We've been here before!  That was a mistake, as pointed out when we last had
this discussion.  What I meant was minimal contact between the continents.

In Policant's day, the existence of griffins was known only in legend, so there
must have been no contact between the griffin civilisation on the other
continent and the human civilisation on Policant's continent.  I would postulate
contact merely through the humans of the other continent, and not much of that.

I therefore assert that the likelihood of both civilisations at this (YotG) date
speaking the same main language is practically negligible.

> Come to that, all the griffins we meet in YotG had already met Blade
> and co., which meeting presumably involved an opportunity to
> straighten out any language problems that arose.

An opportunity to establish communication, yes.  An opportunity to find a common
language, and learn to speak it tolerably, yes for those who had met _and were
working together_.

But for Jessak and his hoodlums to speak _as a matter of course_ the same
language that Elda has been brought up in, I can see no reason why that should
be the case at all.

>> And why are Derk's griffins so universally attractive to natural
>> griffins?  Is this a coincidence?  Is it a sort of "exotic beauty"
>> thing?
> Now, that *is* a bit odd.

The term "Frankenstein's monsters" has been used, although I can't remember by
whom.  I agree with it anyway.


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