Sunday, October 24, 2010

D&D's Gorgon Found!

So that's where they came from!

Like most, I was confused by D&D's reptilian bull gorgon, since the gorgons of Greek myth were three sisters, one of which was Medusa. But, via the quite fun Monster Brains blog comes this Life magazine article from 1951 which includes mention of Libyan gorgon more in keeping with what's presented in D&D.

8 comments:

James Maliszewski said...

D&D's gorgon is a Late Antique/medieval one, derived from early encyclopedias and bestiaries. Including it allowed Gygax to have his cake and eat it too, much like he did with the basilisk and cockatrice.

John Miskimen said...

As I understood it, Gorgon was a catch all term for monster in the Middle Ages; cited from Dante's Inferno and Spenser's Faerie Queen (wherein we even find mentioned Demogorgon!)

Anonymous said...

I wonder why Life magazine doesn't run such groovy Monster Manual articles anymore?

Telecanter said...

Those are some beautiful illustrations. Thanks for posting.

JB said...

Interesting that the manticore in the magazine article has the porcupine tail and can "throw" its spikes...I always wondered why the D&D manticore didn't have a traditional scorpion tail.

Hmm...and there's the "su monster" as well...another creature I've never heard of outside the Monster Manual...

Anonymous said...

What are the chances Gary had this issue and saved it, then adapted some things for the game?

Spawn of Endra said...

Holy hell, that issue is D&D start to finish!

viagra online said...

I never heard about the Libyan gorgon gorgon before.