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Blaise writes...

EYE OF THE STORM

(And a Happy Thanksgiving 2004, BTW.)

This was the second time the Eye surprised me--the first being when it was revealed to be more than a mere bauble. Now we find out it really is Odin's eye, and he's looking for it.

I love Odin's "old wanderer" guise. The "star-cloak" is nicely done. His final, "Warrior-King" ensemble is a little less impressive to me, actually, but still nice (and hey--having little exposure to the great Kirby's work, it looked pretty fresh to me).

This is one of those episodes where, after watching it, you realise just how EASY things would have been if everyone had been honest and open from the start. As you pointed out Greg, Odin could have just said, "Hi! Welcome to Norway! I'm Odin, I'll be your resident supernatural being today. Oh, by the way, could I have my eye back please? I really miss having depth perception." He might have actually got his Eye in less time than it takes to watch the first Act. And poor Gunther and Erik wouldn't have lost a wall of their house!

Erik is an interesting fellow, to me. He know's Elisa's hiking story is suspect, but he doesn't want to press her about it, and in fact seems to have a rather cheerful attitude in spite of the deception. He also, to me, never seems to quite trust Goliath. Even after Elisa's first brought him up to speed he says, "From what you've told us, it sounds like we're in good hands with your Goliath." He doesn't sound completely sure about that.

Gunther's reaction to the gargoyles and the world they open up is great--wonder and enthusiasm. Pretty much what you'd expect for a boy his age. I love his eagerness to see Angela and Bronx wake up, along with his happy, "Hi, you must be An-GEL-a" (I love his strange pronunciation there).
I also love Angela's response to that greeting--"Uh...yes, I am." You go to sleep and then wake up on top of a car with a young lad happily saying your (mispronounced) name--yeah, that can be disorienting.

"The Fall of Goliath"--This was very well done. I liked how you guys developed the way in which the Eye "corrupts" Goliath. It takes his caring, protective nature and twists it into a rigid, tyrannical, "It's all for your own good" sort of thing. I have to admit I was at first surprised when it was revealed that he had been creating the storms, but afterwards it made perfect sense.
Actually, it's interesting that, after riding away and yelling "This isn't over," Odin really does cease to take any action against our heroes. He doesn't surface again until Goliath calls him out.

That battle is very well-done, BTW. It's pretty obvious that in terms of raw power, Goliath's got the edge, however Odin is the one who uses more subtlety--such as freeing Goliath's friends.

Goliath has some real "villain" moments in this piece, the most obvious of course being his line to Odin, "How frustrating for you, Old Man. To be so close to Death, and Rejuvination at the same time." Did anyone else hear a "Darth Vader Breath-Track" there?
Others would include the one you pointed out, Greg, where Goliath just says they'll "pack" Angela and Bronx--that always threw me off for some reason--and just the way he says, "A cave...yes, a cave would be ideal."

Before I forget, "Odinized Goliath" had a great design--and I like how it was tied in with Odin's "Warrior-King" design. The starry (sp?) wings were a nice touch, too.

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS:
Goliath: "Believe it or not, we've hit ice."
Elisa: "I believe it." (A fun little exchange.)

I love how Goliath holds Elisa at the beginning. Obviously, it's to try and keep her warm...but there's, to me, a pretty strong undercurrent of attraction there. And I love his line (and the way he says it), "It is my duty to protect you."

Dang! In trying to get the Sturllisen's (sp?) car to stop, our heroes nearly send them over a cliff! Good thing Goliath can pretty much bench their car.

Elisa tries to outrun a man on a horse...well, I guess it beats just standing around, but they both have the same outcome.

I really wish more had been done with Goliath's first sight of the sun. This time, though, I began to wonder if Goliath was more enamoured with the feeling of the sun, or the feeling of the POWER coursing through him.

"Maybe you should take the Eye off now." I love how Goliath pauses ever so slightly before answering that.

I recall someone once saying that they were glad neither Gunther nor Erik became a new hero for Norway. :-)

Angela and Bronx are crusted with ice before they awaken. I rather liked that.

"The Eye! The Eye has gone to your head!" I love the look on Goliath's face after that--the raised brow ridge. It's almost like he's reacting to the (unintentional on Elisa's part) pun.

Goliath's turn around was a bit too quick and pat, but it nevertheless touched on Goliath's love for his daughter. I rather like Elisa's admission "Wish I'd thought of that." Maybe I'm reading too much into that, but it seems to me like it touches on Elisa's feelings for Goliath. Elisa may not be much for being the "Damsel in Distress"(tm), but all the same, I think she sort of likes being "rescued" by Goliath.

BTW, when'd the Eye get its "neck-chain" back?

To me, Odin's putting his Eye in its socket wasn't anti-climactic. It was just right. I mean, that's all he really wanted it for. And his and Goliath's final exchange was very well-done. I like how they admitted that each of them had kind of screwed up.

At any rate, I really enjoyed this episode and was glad to get a chance to see what happened when Goliath wore the Eye of Odin.

BTW, way back when you rambled on TEMPTATION (3 years ago, I think?) you said there were 3 toy tie-ins throughout the series. The first was the motorcycle in TEMPTATION. The second was supposed to be the helicoptor in HER BROTHER'S KEEPER (which wound up becoming a "sky sled"). And the third was supposed to be in this episode. So, what was the toy supposed to be?

Greg responds...

"Oh, by the way, could I have my eye back please? I really miss having depth perception."

LOL

As for the toy connection, they wanted a "STORM-BRINGER GOLIATH" (I think that was the name). They were doing a whole line of elemental gargoyles. Ice-Brooklyn, I think, was one. They wound up doing Hudson as the storm gargoyle, I seem to recall (although it's been a LONG time and I don't have those toys).

Also, as I've mentioned before, the EYE OF ODIN itself was the invention of the Disney Interactive Games people, and they used it in the game they created over there. (In fact they had a better - NORSER- design than we had. I always thought that our design looked a bit too Egyptian.)

Response recorded on September 12, 2006

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Bill Warner writes...

In prior response you've indicated that the Ragnorak of the Norse Gods has already happened through its destruction was far less than it was in the Norse Sagas. So did you get your idea of having Ragnorak happening in the past from Roy Thomas's run of Thor where the Asgardians were revealed to be created by the survivors of the previous Ragnorak.

Greg responds...

No. I never read Roy's run of Thor. (Though Roy and I worked together for a few years at DC Comics on books like All-Star Squadron, Secret Origins, Infinity, Inc. and Young All-Stars.)

I think it's a case of great minds thinking alike, if you assume Roy and I have great minds. Also, it's sort of a natural assumption. Ragnarok was written about in the Eddas. So it must have happened, right?

Response recorded on September 08, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the ramble on "Eye of the Storm", Greg! This is another episode that I'm very fond of, especially because of the Norse mythology elements (which I've long been interested in, ever since reading the d'Aulaires' "Norse Gods and Giants" as a boy). While I had from the start taken a strong interest in the Eye of Odin on account of its name, I had not even suspected, before this episode aired, that this really was the very eye that Odin had given up for a drink from Mimir's well. And the revelation that it was definitely excited me.

I'd suspected that the Sturlissons were named after Snorri for some time; thanks for confirming it for me.

This episode answered one question that I'd had about the Eye for some time. I'd noticed the dark effect that it had had upon Fox and the Archmage, but I also knew that both of them had been "bad guys" before they ever donned it. So I was wondering what impact the Eye would have upon a "good person" who donned it, and whether it would corrupt them or not. This episode definitely answered my question, and made it clear that nobody was safe with the Eye except for Odin himself.

(As I mentioned in an earlier remark here, the Eye in this episode reminds me a bit of the One Ring in "The Lord of the Rings". Odin is attempting to recover his Eye for (more or less) the same reason that Sauron was attempting to recover the Ring; much of his power had passed out of it when he parted with it, and he needed to regain it to recover his old strength. And the impact that the Eye had on Goliath paralleled the element of how anybody who would try to use the Ring to defeat Sauron would become corrupted enough by it to become almost another Sauron. There's even the "eye imagery" in both cases. Of course, a major difference between the two stories is that giving the Eye back to Odin turned out to be the right thing to do - not to mention that Sauron definitely wouldn't have apologized to Frodo afterwards for all the trouble that he'd caused in trying to get the Ring back.)

I still find it a bit ironic that Odin would be ruefully admitting, at the end, that he was out of practice in dealing with mortals; in the original Norse myths, he was the only one of the Aesir who regularly interacted with humans much. All the other gods seemed to have dealings mainly with the other mythical races (dwarves, frost giants, etc.); Odin alone took part in human actions, often turning up in the human-centered sagas in his "old wanderer" disguise (such as thrusting the sword meant for Sigmund and Sigurd in the pillar of the Volsungs' hall, advising Sigurd on the correct means of slaying Fafnir, or engaging in a riddle-game with King Heidrek and winning when he asked a riddle - "What did Odin whisper in the ear of his dead son Balder?" - that only he knew the answer to). I can't help but think that if Odin's getting rusty in dealing with mortals, it's a good thing that Goliath and Co. didn't run into any of the other Norse gods while they were in Norway.

As I've also mentioned before, I was initially a bit disturbed by both Odin and the "Odinized Goliath" wearing horned helmets, since the series had shown earlier, in its character designs for Hakon and his Viking followers, that Vikings didn't actually wear those helmets, so my response was one of "The animators know better than that." I've come to accept this more, however, since both Odin and Goliath are "fantasy beings" rather than human Norsemen, and could be expected to dress more in accordance with popular notions about how Vikings dressed.

I hadn't picked up on the callousness of how Goliath spoke of transporting Bronx and Angela, but I did notice a couple of other acts of Goliath's while wearing the Eye which did, for me, serve as "danger signals". One was the way that he spoke when he was eagerly talking about seeing the sun for the first time; he delivered it in a very "over-the-top" fashion, almost straight out of Sevarius's style. (Though "over-the-top" in a good acting way, of course.) The other came when he, while reassuring Elisa that he was under control, patted her on the head in a very patronizing fashion.

(One thing that I'd really like to know was how conscious Goliath was of his motivations. Was he aware that his goal was to dispose of Odin so as to remove his chief rival claimant to the Eye, or did he believe that he was doing it to protect Elisa and the others, with his true motives buried deep below the surface without his being conscious of them?)

Perhaps the one thing about Odin getting his eye back that I find a bit of a pity is that his having one eye (and, as per the cartoon, in the original Norse myths, this was a feature that he had no matter what form he took on) was a major distinguishing feature of his; Odin having two eyes again feels to me, well, just a bit like Owen's stone hand returning to normal. But it certainly provided a great way to write the Eye of Odin out of the series.

Greg responds...

I don't think the Eye-influenced Goliath was very self-aware at all.

As for Odin regaining his eye, I'll admit to a pang or two visually. But change is inevitable, and I think that the difference is that we KNOW Odin as one-eyed. Giving him back his eye is in fact change. Giving Owen back his hand is not allowing change.

Or at least that's how it feels to me.

Response recorded on September 01, 2006

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Oberon writes...

In "Eye of the Storm," Odin says something to Goliath along the lines of "I did not draw your craft to this land to suffer defeat."
1. Was Odin responsible for Avalon sending the group to Norway?
2. Do the Children have power over where Avalon sends people?

Greg responds...

1. Yes.

2. Not generally, no.

Response recorded on October 12, 2005

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Lawkjaw writes...

In "Eye of the Storm" Odin takes two forms. One as an old traveler blindfolded and another as a massive war God. Was his first form just your creation or was it based of seperate myths/characters?

Greg responds...

Actually, he took three forms. You're forgetting the one-eyed bear.

And the old man with the cloak of stars is from the myths. But he wasn't blindfolded. He just had only one eye.

Response recorded on September 14, 2005

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Chapter XLIX: "Eye of the Storm"

Time to ramble...

Chapter XLIX: "Eye of the Storm"
Story Editor: Cary Bates
Writer: Cary Bates
Director: Bob Kline

FAMOUS LAST WORDS (PART TWO)
Goliath at the end of "Avalon, Part Three" (and in the PREVIOUSLY of this episode): "I am personally going to make sure that the Eye of Odin and the Phoenix Gate are never used again." Of course, he's thinking he won't let anyone else use them. But he neglects to protect them against himself. We've already seen him use the Phoenix Gate -- mostly to positive effect -- in M.I.A. Now, we'll see him don the Eye of Odin...

ENVIRONMENTS
Elisa's cold. Cold enough to put her life in danger. Cold enough to force us to add a sweater and parka to her ensemble as the episode progresses. As Angela says, "It's enough to take your breath away." To which Elisa responds: "I can vouch for that."

(I do wonder what sport it was that Gunther was playing in the middle of winter that he did so well at.)

VOICE ACTORS RETURN
J.D. Daniels -- formerly Tom and Young Luach and Young Canmore -- is here playing Gunther Sturlusson. As I write this in 2004, J.D. would have to be in his late teens or early twenties. He was a great child actor -- which is rarer than you might think. I hope he's doing well.

Morgan Sheppard -- formerly Petros Xanatos -- also returns, as Odin. I would later cast Morgan in "Atlantis: Milo's Return" as a crazy guy who THOUGHT he was Odin. I love working with Morgan.

ODIN & THE STURLUSSONS
The name Sturlusson is a direct steal from Snorri Sturlusson (I hope I'm spelling this right), the author of the Eddas -- the more-or-less original source materials that we have as reference to the Norse Myths.

We tried to paint an Odin that would make Snorri proud, one "well-versed in myths and legends". Having him pose as an old man with a cloak of stars. That's out of the myths. Making him a storm god. That's right out of the myths. Giving him the ability to transform into animals (in this case a VERY cool one-eyed polar bear). Right out of the myths. The rainbow bridge at the end. Right out of the myths. Giving him a flying battle steed named Sleipnir is right out of the myths too, if you forgive the fact that Sleipner is supposed to have eight legs, but Bob and Frank balked at our ability to animate that decently. [Note: I do worry whether or not the final GOD-ODIN design was a bit too Marvel/Kirby influenced. Jack Kirby's seminal work is so all-pervasive in American visual vernacular, it's hard to avoid, even when you're consciously attempting to avoid it.]

And of course, there's the Eye itself. Traditionally, Odin traded his eye to the wise Jotun Mimir for wisdom and insight. Obviously, Mimir lost it at some point, perhaps after losing his own head (another story) and the Eye floated around for centuries before David found it and gave it to Fox who lost it to Goliath who had it stolen by the Weird Sisters who gave it the Archmage who lost it to Goliath again. Now Odin's claiming that HE directed Goliath's skiff to Norway. This time it isn't Avalon that's sent them here, but Odin who has waylaid them so that he can FINALLY get his darn eye back in its socket. I do regret that our "Eye-as-a-piece-of-Jewelry" design always looked more Egyptian than Nordic to me. The gang over at Disney Interactive who created the concept of the Eye for their game, had a much more runic/nordic/ravenesque design.

But I am curious -- how many of you were surprised to discover that the Eye of Odin was actually Odin's eye?

Odin also refers to Elisa as a Maiden. I wonder if he felt that she would have made a good Valkyrie?

{My ten-year-old daughter Erin asked: "Why doesn't [Goliath] give it to Odin. It's his eye. Of course, she's seen the episode before and knows what's coming vis-a-vis Goliath's behavior, but it's still interesting to me that she placed the burden for the misunderstanding on Goliath and not on Odin.}

Odin -- as Odin sees it -- is playing by the rules. He tries barter and then fair combat and then takes a hostage, which in ancient times did not have the same cowardly (if not downright terrorist) connotation that it carries today. All of which might have been avoided, if at the beginning he had just -- i don't know -- offered Elisa the cloak with no strings attached and sat down with Goliath to discuss the whole eye thing. Odds are, when he was not being confrontational, Bronx would have slid up to get his chin scratched. Angela would have said something like, "Well, Bronx likes him." And Goliath might have realized that giving the darn thing back to Odin was the safest possible outcome. BUT NO! Odin, as he admits, is not the most patient of gods and a bit rusty when it comes to the whole dealing directly with mortals thing.

AVATAR
So, instead, Odin comes on strong (rules or no rules) and Goliath is pushed into thinking that he has no choice but to use the Eye's power himself. (I think that was adequately motivated.) And thus Goliath and NOT Odin quickly becomes the VILLAIN of our piece. Which was interesting for us. We'd seen Zombie-Goliath in "Temptations". We'd seen Goliath's "evil twin" in "Double Jeopardy" and "Sanctuary". But we'd never seen Goliath himself go bad until now. He becomes more of who he is. A protector -- a tyrant -- a fascist. Someone who cannot brook disobedience. Someone unaccustomed to dealing with gods or being one. (A good line, I thought.)

His new attitude is, I think, embodied by the casualness and callousness of him saying: "We will pack them too." This in regards to moving Bronx and his DAUGHTER, currently frozen in stone.

At first, everything he says is pretty darn rational-sounding. But Elisa and Angela and Erik quickly develop their suspicions. They are just naturally slow to believe that their Goliath -- OUR Goliath -- could be the bad guy. Eye or no eye.

Goliath also succeeds in becoming an Avatar for Odin, much like Jackal and the Emir each became Avatars for Anubis. It's not quite as literal, but his wings take on Odin's starry pattern. His helmet is similar (although on my tape his horns are doing some FUNKY animation things). And everytime Odin uses one of his powers, Goliath acquires and mimics that power.

I'll admit that Goliath's turnaround at the end plays on screen a bit too quick for my tastes now. But ultimately, we were still counting on Goliath's protective nature, his basic decency. His love for his daughter. It's not as strong for me as, say, Renard's turnaround or the Captain's (from "Golem" and "Shadows of the Past" respectively), but I think it basically works.

OTHER NEAT LINES (all approximate)
Erik: "I am rich in sweaters."
Goliath: "Now that Elisa is safe, we can rest in peace." (Okay, this is more of an odd line than a neat one.)
Odin (understated): "This calls for a change in strategy."
Goliath (once they're all on to him): "Is there a problem."
Elisa: "The Eye! The Eye has gone to your head!"
Goliath: "That is all you need to know."
Odin: "I have more than gained in wisdom, what I have lost in strength."
Odin: "You're on my turf with my property."
Odin: "I am not the threat."
Goliath: "So close to Death and Rejuvenation at the same time."
Elisa: "You took a big chance. Wish I'd thought of it."
Odin: "Then we have both gained rare enlightenment. The Eye's standard gift." This last one was important to me. I wanted (from the moment we intro'd the eye into the series back in "The Edge" to play the Eye true to it's Eddaesque roots.

JALAPEÑA
Goliath removes the Eye and speaks that word again. This caught me off guard last night, cuz I had thought Hudson's Pendragon Jalapeña was the last one until "The Journey". But I guess we squeezed one more in.

And Odin finally gets the Eye back. And ... and... NOTHING HAPPENS. He just sticks it back into his eye socket and it becomes... his eye. I LOVED the anti-climax of that. Generally -- not such a big fan of anti-climax, but the irony and the RIGHTNESS of it just thrilled me.

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Anonymous writes...

Why did Avalon send Goliath and Co. to Norway?
How did Odin know that they were there?

Greg responds...

1. To return the eye to Odin.

2. He sensed his eye immediately.

Response recorded on October 01, 2004

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Anonymous writes...

Since Odin survived Ragnarok how about Fenrir?

Greg responds...

Is Fenrir the same as Fenris the Wolf?

Response recorded on February 23, 2004

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Anonymous writes...

1.Are Thor's sons alive? I mean they were said to survive ragnorak.
2.How about Vidar and Vali?
3.What about Odin's wife? Is she alive?

Greg responds...

I'm not going to start rattling off a laundry list of Norse Gods and figures.

I have basic ideas about how Norse mythology fits into the Gargoyles Universe, but I won't pretend I've yet had the opportunity (or need) to go through each and every "character" and figure out where he or she or it is currently hanging.

Response recorded on February 23, 2004

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Anonymous writes...

Did Odin's two brothers Vili and Ve exist in the gargoyle universe? If so are they alive?

Greg responds...

I'm tired, so I'm going to fall back on...

"All things are true."

Response recorded on February 13, 2004


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