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Something I noticed is that a fair amount of famous fantasy fiction depicts dwarves riding griffins (e.g. Warhammer, Warcraft). Ignoring for a moment why dwarves seem to have little difficulty operating outside of their typical subterranean habitat, why domesticate griffins in particular? Is it because, according to real medieval bestiaries, griffin sniff out precious metals like gold and line their nests with it?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Ash, Mindwin, elemtilas, JBH, RonJohn Aug 27 '18 at 18:37

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Counterpoint: Who WOULDN'T ride a freaking griffin if they could? $\endgroup$ – Morris The Cat Aug 27 '18 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ Just as important: #1 How does a griffin fly with a lion's body and tail instead of a bird's body? #2 Even if it can fly, how does it generate enough lift and velocity with an armored -- and very anti-aerodynamic -- dwarf sitting on top? $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Aug 27 '18 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ It's more likely Warcraft is copying Warhammer, the original Warcraft started as a licenced game set in the Warhammer universe until Blizzard lost the licence. $\endgroup$ – Sarriesfan Aug 27 '18 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ ...because horses are too tall $\endgroup$ – nzaman Aug 27 '18 at 15:58
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    $\begingroup$ Because an elf said they couldn't possibly be good enough to do so. So the dwarves set out to prove the elf wrong. $\endgroup$ – CaM Aug 27 '18 at 18:29
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Maybe the griffins build their nests in mountain regions that can't be reached by climbing or even if you'd reach them you could hardly defend against them if you are hanging in a wall at 4000 meters.

So dwarfs could build access tunnels to these nests and slowly domesticate them. The first griffins could have been discovered when the dwarves carved a watch tower out of the rocks. The guards would have fed them and in return the griffins would live near the towers. And one time a brave (and probably a bit stupid) dwarf would have tried to ride one of them.

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  • $\begingroup$ The first dwarf did it due to peer pressure. Did I just say "peer pressure"? I ment to say "BEER pressure". $\endgroup$ – Michael Kutz Aug 27 '18 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKutz can they be charged with DRUNK DRIVING? $\endgroup$ – Mr.J Aug 28 '18 at 0:01
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Large flying animals typically need to drop from high altitudes in order to take off. Some theorize that this is how Quetzalcoatlus got off the ground.

Thus, these griffins would probably live in mountainous areas, just like dwarves. That way, you have a flying animal strong enough to carry a dwarf that lives locally and is less expensive than a mechanical aircraft (If the dwarves are as advanced as that).

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Okay, think for a minute about horses. We domesticated them thousand of years ago because of their ability to travel vast distances many times faster than we can. Griffens, and or peagasi, have the advantage of being able to fly, which is an amazing trait to harness for any species that wishes to travel, trade, or go to war. Unless there's significantly better choices in a very close proximety, there's no reason not to tame griffens.

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  • $\begingroup$ Technically, I think we domesticated horses first because they could carry vastly larger loads than we could. Also, if you want to go faster, you have to have multiple horses. There's a reason the infantry could keep up with the cavalry on marches--horses can't go much farther than humans--just faster over short periods of time (a few hours). $\endgroup$ – 23fc9a62-56de-47fb-97b4-737890 Aug 27 '18 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Hosch250 Fair enough. Most domesticated animals were used as beasts of burden, riding them was a secondary function. $\endgroup$ – Clay Deitas Aug 27 '18 at 17:42

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