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Which would be seen as more deadly in comfrontation with a witch or wizard?

Only canonical answers please.

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Normally questions about which is more deadly/would win in a fight/is more dangerous, etc are considered off-topic (due to being opinion-based). In this case there's actually a reference in one of the potter books that shows which is more deadly. – Valorum Jul 27 '14 at 15:27
there is no griffin in Harry Potter I think – user13267 Jul 27 '14 at 15:28
except the griffin head knocker on Dumbledore's door, but that does not show if a griffin is a real creature in the Harry Potter universe – user13267 Jul 27 '14 at 15:28
A Griffin is a real creature @user13267 it is classified as a beast with a ministry classification rating of XXXX meaning it is a threat and will kill humans but obviously buckbeak is a dangerous creature! – liam tomkins Jul 27 '14 at 15:38
@Richard what is it then? Griffin or Hippogriff? – liam tomkins Jul 27 '14 at 15:39
up vote 16 down vote accepted

In the excellent"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" (By JK Rowling), each beast is provided with a Ministry of Magic classification offering an

"at-a-glance guide to the perceived dangerousness of a creature".

The Hippogriff is classified with three XXXs, indicating that a

"Competent wizard should cope"

whereas by comparison, the Griffin is marked with four XXXXs, indicating that it is

"Dangerous / Requires specialist knowledge / Skilled wizard may handle"

In the Harry Potter universe, Griffins appear to be analogous to guard dogs:

Griffins are often employed by wizards to guard treasure. Though griffins are fierce, a handful of skilled wizards have been known to befriend one.

Whereas the Hippogriff is more analogous to a horse which can be tamed and ridden:

It has the head of a giant eagle and the body of a horse. It can be tamed, though this should be attempted only by experts. Eye contact should be maintained when approaching a Hippogriff. Bowing shows good intentions. If the Hippogriff returns the greeting, it is safe to draw closer.

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As a sidenote, your descriptions of the functions of both follow directly from their mythological origins: the Hippogriff was first mentioned in a medieval story by Aristo, in which it was a mount. The griffin first appeared in one of the Greek travel stories as the 'gold-guarding griffins of the Scythians'. – Charles Jul 28 '14 at 1:00
@Charles which is more likely than not deliberate on JKR's part, great info though. – BMWurm Jul 28 '14 at 16:17
@BMWurm: Yes, I think so too. It's not an answer since the question was about her universe and not real-world mythology but I thought it was worth pointing out. – Charles Jul 28 '14 at 18:24

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