Monstrous Favorites

When working in fantasy, you have a ton of monsters to choose from.  That’s not counting anything you make up.  Still, I wonder if every author has his or her own favorite fantasy monster.  That one monster that has to make an appearance in the world at some point even if it’s in a picture or by name.

I use griffins a lot and have made them a mode of transportation in some areas.  I love their power and grace as well as the overall look.  Something about the griffin is very majestic and I’ve found that I always gravitate toward it.  Guess that’s not a very compelling reason.

So, what is your favorite monster and why?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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55 Responses to Monstrous Favorites

  1. MishaBurnett says:

    I’m a big fan of kraken, which I can trace back to being absolutely blown away by “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” as a kid. I put one in Cannibal Hearts, attacking a riverboat in the Mississippi.

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  2. Kate Sparkes says:

    I adore griffins (though in my world they spell it gryphon). I’ve adored them ever since I first saw a picture of one. I think they’re beautiful, and they combine two of my favourite animals (eagles and big cats), so of COURSE they make an appearance in my work. Not as main characters, but they’re there. They seem like very dangerous creatures to me, but worthy of respect, and I treat them as such.

    I adore dragons, too, and there’s so much you can do with them. I always knew there would be at least one in any fantasy world I created. 🙂

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    • Dragons seem to be a requirement, but I’ve read some that avoided them completely. As for the griffins, I started with them being dangerous and then I made them rather tame. They’re vicious beasts when provoked, but they can be extremely friendly.

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      • MishaBurnett says:

        Both big cats and raptors can be trained, but neither can be truly tamed. I remember when (I think it was) Roy of Siegfried & Roy got mauled by an animal that he had worked with for years, and I’ve heard that falconers have to be very careful to maintain control of their birds.

        I would imagine griffins to be the same way, very powerful and independent beasts that even experienced handlers would treat with respect at all times.

        I’ve considered a piece about a squadron of dragon cavalry in a fantasy army, and I imagine them to be like fliers in the first world war, a breed apart, considered to be madmen even by their own side because they choose to work with such dangerous and unpredictable creatures.

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      • Somewhere along the line, I made the tamed griffins very obedient as long as they aren’t abused. I didn’t give them the wild animal mentality, but an intelligence on par with their riders. Something about an intelligent mount that can react without being ordered appealed to me.

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      • MishaBurnett says:

        I can see that, and since you’re dealing with fantastic creatures you can make them however you like.

        Thanks for this post–it’s got me thinking about that story again.

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      • You’re welcome. It’s interesting how an author can do so much with fantastic creature, but most of them are always turned into primal beasts. Guess that’s something I’d change about the genre.

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  3. the hippogriffs from Harry Potter are great. I love dragons too, when done well.

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  4. ioniamartin says:

    Trolls and ogres. I must have some big dumb meatheads in my fantasy novels. I said novels just to clarify.

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  5. sknicholls says:

    The first monsters that I recall being afraid of were the flying monkeys in The Wizard of OZ. I think it is because they took this cute little creature that I adored, with its almost human aspects, and turned it into something viscous and hideous in my mind. The attributes can make all the difference in the the world….like gremlins…just don’t feed them.

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  6. Werewolves. I love how frightening and mysterious they are!

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  7. I love the cute monsters. Every fantasy should have one cute monster. 🙂 It’s really good when the monster seems scary at first, but turns out to be cute.

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  8. kman756 says:

    I dig monsters in general, but I’m particularly fond of manticores. I love big cats, and their hodge-podge of parts makes them really flexible: they can be grotesque and horrifying, or majestic but dangerous. There’s three or four different breeds of manticore in my setting, I haven’t decided yet. Shout-out to huldras and gumiho, too.

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  9. Pingback: War Story | mishaburnett

  10. C.N. Faust says:

    I’m going to be the lame guy who runs around and yells “Dragon!” That is technically a monster, yeah? Orcs would be a close second.

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  11. excelent, these are one of my favourites too and feature in my own fantasy writing. I think the monster I like most has to be the minotaur, I love all the mythology behind the bull and and the bull-man, there are many talented writers who have used our bovine fiend well (especially Richard A Knakk in the Dragonlance setting) but the Greek myth has always given me a compelling desire to return to the minotaur time and again. I hope you are well, Charles, keep smiling and keep writing, kind regards from Baldy 🙂

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    • You don’t see the minotaur get picked as a favorite that often. Great choice. I’m actually looking at a minotaur as a good guy for one of my books. He’ll be a secondary hero if I can find a good origin. So far, I don’t have any minotaurs in my world, so I need to figure them out.

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      • cool. there is mythology from all over the world that is rich in information about bulls and cows, loads of stuff that can be incorporated in to this bovine beastie’s origins, let me know how you get on! Kind regards, Baldy 🙂

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      • You got it. The book won’t be around for years, so I have plenty of time. Hope everything is going well in your neck of the woods.

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  12. Rachel says:

    I’d have to go with a Phoenix. They’re beautiful birds and I like fire. 😀

    Of course, most of my “fantasy” novels are about mutants and such. I’ve never used mythical creatures before. I think I might have to try it out sometime.

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  13. L. Marie says:

    I have to go with the dragon since I include them in my book, but a griffin is pretty cool. I also like a werewolf now and then, especially with fava beans.

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  14. mswoolsey22 says:

    It’s hard to pick just one monster, but if I had to pick, it would be a dragon (specifically the Lung Dragon or the Eastern… Serpent like body with no wings). I just like how they can come in many different varieties and they are just so ancient and powerful. Lung/Eastern Dragons fly without wings and they are usually considered more friendly than the Western kind.

    Griffins are cool too. They are very majestic and elegant.

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