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Titus writes...

I found this on the GargsWiki http://gargwiki.net/File:Archmage%27s_time_loop.png

Did you do that? I still don't fully understand it. How did the loop start? Did the future mage pop out of thin air?

Greg responds...

I didn't make that chart, but it looks correct. And it seems pretty clear to me. It's your question that I don't fully understand.

The "future" archmage was enchanted by himself and goes back in time. From the standpoint of the original archmage, it seemed like he emerged from a portal of fire.

Watch the episodes again.

Response recorded on May 15, 2017

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Kira writes...

I read the are Greg's answers etched in stone question in the FAQ and that got me thinking

#1 Are any answers absolutely set in stone
and
#2 Would you consider Retconing or Altering anything from the series (aside from the Goliath Chronicles)

Greg responds...

1. If you mean here at ASK GREG, then no.

2. Anything canon, like the first 65 episodes or the 18 SLG issues, is fixed. Mistakes exist in there, but we try to just incorporate mistakes into the universe. Is Sevarius' name misspelled on his briefcase? Yes. But we assume that mistake happened "In Universe" and that Sevarius got a discount because of the error. Of course, some things that you think you know from watching the episodes may turn out to be not as they seemed. For example, if you thought the Archmage died at the end of "Long Way to Morning" you were wrong. But not because we contradicted what was in the episode, but because when you see "Avalon, Part Two" you are presented with more information that changes what you thought you saw.

Response recorded on January 19, 2016

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L. Johnson writes...

Hello, Greg, I am a fan of Gargoyles and your other work. I have questions about Oberon.

1.)Did Oberon have any affairs while he was married to Titania? You mentioned he has 4 kids. I'm not sure if two were born before his marriage or during it.

2.)Do you think Future Archmage and Jackal-Anubis(or Jackalbus) stand a chance against Oberon? Both of them seem pretty powerful.

3.)How come he isn't bothered that his wife has a daughter by a human? He doesn't seem upset about it.

Greg responds...

1. No spoilers.

2. It's all situational.

3. You're imposing human morality on a non-human entity. He's even LESS human than he appears, btw.

Response recorded on January 11, 2016

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Anonymous writes...

In 2198 are the Wyrd Sisters still watching Demona and Macbeth?

Greg responds...

Do you mean still in cooperation with the Archmage? No.

Response recorded on April 30, 2013

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Anonymous writes...

1. Alot of the times in the comics when conners becomes the lizard, he always changes back because there are still trances of the formula in his system. Did the gene clenser completely remove all the lizard dna from his body, so that this isnt the case?
2.If peter had taken the gene clenser when he still worn the symbiote, would it remove both it and his powers?
3. Why was marco selected for ocks experiment first?

Greg responds...

1. The gene cleanser did remove all the lizard DNA, but unfortunately, the sample was contaminated with N'Kai DNA, so expect to see Conners transform into a Moai shortly. (How's that for obscure?!)

2. No, he'd need to go to a dry cleaner for that.

3. He wasn't. The first person selected was the Archmage. It turned him into a beach, until he used the Phoenix Gate to travel to Endor.

Of course, I would have thought all this was obvious from watching the show. I mean, dude, note the timestamp.

Response recorded on April 01, 2013

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Greg Bishansky writes...

I wrote this up on my blog last Christmas (a bit of a gift to myself there) and thought I'd share it here.

For every hero, or group of heroes, there must be villains. The villains test the hero, the villains make the hero. In the realm of superhero lore, Batman and Spider-Man have been cited as having the greatest rogues' galleries in comics. And I do not disagree. Sadly, other heroes or teams seem to come up lacking. Sure they may have one or two great villains, but the rest seem to be meh. The FF have Dr. Doom and Galactus, sure. The X-Men have Magneto and the Sentinels, Green Lantern has Sinestro, but the rest of their rogues galleries have always seemed, at least to me, to be okay at best. I know some will contest this opinion, but it's my opinion and as far as this blog goes, that's the one you're stuck with. Personally, I always thought the Third Great Rogues' Gallery belonged to "Gargoyles." So, let's honor them.

First of all, here's who didn't make the list and why:

Wolf - Nothing against Wolf, he's fun. He's a big dumb thug, but he's fun. But, as of yet, I haven't found him to be very interesting on his own. And I always thought his teammates were more interesting and fun to watch.

Tony Dracon - I like him a lot more than a lot of other "Gargoyles" fans seem to. He's usually fun, but he didn't quite have enough to make this list.

Oberon - I never thought of him as a villain, and I still don't. Even when he was trying to kidnap Alex. Did I agree with him? Not at all, but I don't think he was in the "legal" wrong either.

Robyn Canmore, Dingo, Matrix, Yama, and Fang - If you don't know why, shame on you.

Second of all, here's who I hope to add to the list some time:

Queen Mab - Come on Disney, let Greg do it!

Morgana le Fay - Ditto.

With that out of the way, let's dive into list.

20. Duval and Peredur fab Ragnal

At present, we've seen too little of these two to know much about them. But what we have seen has been enough to give us an intriguing mystery, especially if you've been following ASK GREG for the past fourteen years. They are the guiding hands of the Illuminati Society, which was created a century after the Fall of Camelot, by Sir Percival to "set things right." Which of these two men is Sir Percival? Well, I have my theories on that. Peredur fab Ragnal is the Welsh name for Percival, and Duval sounds like a modern alias for Percival as well. In fact, for years Greg Weisman told us that Percival was Duval, and then when the comic comes out we get Peredur. Following that, he said nothing changed from his original plan? So, who is Sir Percival, and what's the deal with the other guy? Again, I have my theories.

But I imagine that should new material ever come our way, one or both of these guys will shoot up on this list.

I also enjoy the idea of Duval being cybernetic, but I think he needs a bit of a re-design. Especially in what he wears.

19. The Banshee/Molly

The Banshee may have only been in one episode (with a cameo appearance in another), but damn did she leave an impression. Everything about this character was executed flawlessly. The character model, the animation, the voice, the effects! I loved how ghoulish she appeared, you could see the background through her.

It also helps that "The Hound of Ulster" is one of the best World Tour episodes. The script is tight, the animation is gorgeous, and a lot of the character actions are subtle and over the top when they need to be. Look at Molly's brief, brief exchange with Rory's father for the subtly, which contrasts the wonderful over the top performance as the Banshee.

18. Duncan

This guy was a jerk. I mean, really. A paranoid tyrant who thought the world was out to get him. Well, not the world so much as his cousin, Macbeth. I suppose I can understand seeing Macbeth as a threat to the throne, but he just seemed to go out of his way to make Macbeth miserable. He reveled in it. When he died, we were all happy to see him bite it.

17. Hakon

Batman has Joe Chill, and Spider-Man has the Burglar. Goliath has this Viking chieftain who massacred his clan. Well, Hakon may not have acted alone, but with the swing of his mace, the series really began. Like his descendant, Wolf, he's pretty one-note. But he plays that note masterfully.

But perhaps the better story isn't even the one where he shattered the clan, but the one where his vengeful spirit attempted to drive Goliath insane. That episode was the perfect send off for Hakon, even more so than falling off a cliff to his death. His angry, vengeful spirit was trapped alone at the bottom of a cavern for all of eternity without anyone or anything to hate. At least that's where I think he should have stayed. Hakon might have ranked higher if he didn't come back one last time in an episode that I thought was one of the show's only misfires. But hey, sixty-five episodes, eighteen comics, and only one misfire. You're still golden.

16. Coldsteel/Iago

Now this guy is fun. I love his design, both as a gargoyle and as a robot. I love his Doc Ock-esque tentacles, and I loved Xander Berkeley in the role. Coldsteel is a manipulative jerk, and it's fun to watch him work. His favorite victim is usually Coldstone, and his goal remains unchanging… possess Coldfire. In a nutshell, he's a creepy stalker.

What's also fun is that he's had three voice actors, and not because Berkeley was unavailable. When he controlled Coldstone's body, he was played by Michael Dorn. When he possessed Brooklyn, he was voiced by Jeff Bennett. And they both did it without talking like their regular characters. Watch "Possession" again and listen to "Brooklyn" speak. It's obvious who is in the driver's seat.

I also enjoyed his appearance in the comics, working for Xanatos to distract our heroes from the theft of the Stone of Destiny. Where will he go from here? I'm not sure. I tend to think he works better when he's teaming up with other villains than acting on his own. Well, he did see potential in the Coyote robot, so maybe that's not over; one could see him working with Thailog too; perhaps even re-team with his rookery sister, Demona… they did get along quite well in "High Noon."

15. Constantine III

What can I say about this guy? He follows a long tradition of Disney tyrants, and is just as fun to watch as any of them. Sometimes I think the tenth and eleventh century villains are even more vicious than the modern day villains, and Contantine sums that up.

When we first meet this guy, he uses Finella, the woman who loves him, to lure King Kenneth (who is in love with her) out just so he can murder him in cold blood and take his crown. Then he casts her aside so he can marry Princess Katharine and better secure his claim to the throne. And he tries to keep in control with barely veiled threats against her charges. Harsh.

But even better than that is his return in the "Gargoyles" comic book where he's hunting down and murdering every gargoyle clan he can find, and trying to find Katharine and her friends. By now, he's been in power for two years and rules with an iron fist… which leads to a civil war. This guy is such a jerk that he even kills the messenger that the army of the Three Brothers sends. You never kill the messenger.

And then there was his rather creepy relationship with his new protégé, Gillecomgain, which led to the two inspiring each other in a very twisted ways. Constantine is inspired by Gillecomgain's scars to wear them as war paint in battle, and in turn, Constantine inspires Gillecomgain to become the Hunter. As if Gillecomgain needed any more inspiration. Which brings me to…

14. Gillecomgain

Let's face it, even as a kid, Gillecomgain had issues. Obviously there was a lot of darkness instilled in him by his father, who himself had some very understandable issues also. What did these issues lead to? One rogue gargoyle was going through their barn, and Gillecomgain pointed a pitchfork into the shadows to scare a thief only to get slashed across the face. What did THAT lead to? Arguably the events of the entire series.

Gillecomgain's life didn't get better. Constantine III took an interest in him which set him on the path of becoming a masked political assassin, not to mention his continued hunt for the demon that scarred him. Like dominos, this led to events that made Macbeth the man he is today, the Canmore clan what they became, and set the tone for centuries of hatred and pain. And all because of one scratch in a barn.

As a character himself, Gillecomgain stacks up well. There is a moment after his arranged marriage to Gruoch, who obviously doesn't love him, where you almost wonder if you should feel bad for a man whose wife obviously despises him. Then he crushes her rose underfoot. What does this mean? Here's a hint, Luach might not have been Macbeth's son. Powerful stuff.

13. Falstaff/John Oldcastle

Okay, this guy is fun. Him and his gang of LARPers gone bad. They appeared only in the final two issues of "Gargoyles: Bad Guys" but they made an impression. I loved the buildup Falstaff received. We see him take a young Harry Monmouth (who would grow up to become Dingo) under his wing. Train him to be a thief, and take pity on the poor boy after his mother ran out on him. Only for that shocker of a final page where we see Oldcastle with his hands wrapped around the throat of her already dead body.

I really love his gang. At first glance, they seem super human, but are in fact incredibly skilled. And I love that Oldcastle, maybe the world's greatest thief, named himself after Shakespeare's king of thieves. He looked the part, and just seemed to take so much joy in everything he did, and that helped make it a joy to watch him do it.

I hope we get more at some point, because I want to know more about him. Why did he murder Dingo's mom? And when did the Illuminati recruit him? Does he have any other responsibilities for the Society other than guarding their giant vault? Well, until next time, and I believe there will be a next time.

12. Shari

Of all the new characters introduced in the comic books, the most intriguing has to be Shari. Is she Thailog's new executive assistant, or does she own him? So far it seems to be a little bit of both. But I'm sure it's far more one than the other.

I love the narrative device of her storytelling, and I wonder where her knowledge comes from. Sure, she's a very high member of the Illuminati Society, but there are some things she just shouldn't know. And yet, she does. Like I said, she's intriguing. Now, I have my theories on who she really is, in fact I think it's so obvious, I almost wonder what the point of not revealing it was, aside from the fact that I can't see a place in the stories released to do it.

And as a final bit of trivia, Shari's look and basic design was inspired by stage actress and long time "Gargoyles" fan, Zehra Fazal. I've seen her perform on stage, and she is brilliant. She definitely deserved to be immortalized in "Gargoyles" canon in such a way.

11. The Archmage

Who would have thunk it? A one-shot villain if "Gargoyles" ever had one. You watch "Long Way to Morning" again, and you'd never think this guy would have become so important in the grand scheme of the series. Well, let's just say that David Warner kicks ass.

While I do write off his appearance in "Long Way to Morning" as 'obvious one shot villain,' he's still fun, even there. But I think what everybody remembers most is his turn as the villain in the "Avalon" triptych. I loved "Avalon Part Two." I thought the script was brilliant. I thought David Warner's dialogue with himself was tremendous. The entire endeavor was just wonderful.

Do I agree with the decision to kill him off? Absolutely. I don't think he would have had any staying power in the modern day material. The guy is a clichéd sorcerer, even if he's a very fun one. However, that doesn't mean I think the character is done entirely. There is plenty for him to do in a certain spin-off that takes place during the "Dark Ages." Or maybe even something to do if one were to TimeDance and have an encounter with him.

10. Coyote

What can I say, I have a soft spot for this glorified toaster oven. At first glance he may seem like Ultron wearing half of Xanatos's skin, but the influence from Xanatos is evident. This robot has a sense of humor, sometimes even a perverse one. Granted it's not sentient or self-aware, but it almost seems close enough to fool you.

I love all the designs he goes through. They're all different, while at the same time reminding you of who you're looking at. But my favorite will always be the first one. I loved the look, I loved his perception-warping weapon the most. I wish he'd used it more often.

What's next for this character? Well, Greg has kept extremely tight-lipped. We know more upgrades are on the horizon, but come "Gargoyles 2198" … well, let's just say I think I know what the Xanatos of "Future Tense" was actually foreshadowing.

9. Jackal and Hyena

The "Gargoyles Universe" is well known for their complex, complicated villains. But sometimes, it's nice to just cut loose. Enter the sociopathic Jackal; and his twin sister, the psychotic Hyena and we're in for a good time whenever they show up. These two will crack you up one moment and then make you sick the next.

The first time they appeared, they didn't seem THAT bad. Then, come their second appearance, you have Hyena nearly slicing a fan's face up, and smiling when she gets arrested. Following that, we have Hyena falling in love with a robot. And then, after that, the two volunteer to trade in their body parts for cybernetic implants. Frankly, it's rather sick.

Jackal almost seems normal when you compare him to Hyena. "Normal" being very relative, until we get to "Grief" where he becomes the avatar of Anubis, giving him power over life and death, and what does he do? He decides he wants to end all life on Earth. Yeah….

I'm glad these two are close siblings, because they deserve each other. Still, whatever else they are, they're very fun bad guys. Hell, even a friend of mine named his gold colored Aztek after Hyena.

8. Anton Sevarius

Dr. Anton Sevarius earns points for being the creepiest villain we have encountered so far. He's even creepier than Jackal and Hyena! Sure, he's pretty much a hired gun, but the guy enjoys it. He revels in it. I can sum up Sevarius with one quote. After he was asked why he was doing this:

"For science, which as my associate Fang indicated, must ever move forward. Plus there's the money… and I do love the drama!"

This guy is only slightly more ethical than Dr. Mengele! And I also need to give a ton of credit to Tim Curry for really bringing this guy to life. Apparently, Brent Spiner was the first choice to voice Sevarius, but Curry got the role, and Spiner was cast as Puck. Thank god for those decisions.

Another moment that really stands out was when he was all over Angela in "Monsters." Does he have a sexual interest in her? I don't know, probably not. I think he just took pleasure in making her as uncomfortable as possible.

I think my other favorite Sevarius moment comes from "Double Jeopardy" where he thinks he's taking part in a Machiavellian scheme of Xanatos's and decides to act the part… very badly, I might add. So much fun, even when he makes you scream.

7. The Weird Sisters

Okay, let's get this out of the way. Silver haired Luna is the Sister of Fate; Raven haired Selene is the Sister of Vengeance; and Golden haired Phoebe is the Sister of Grace.

The Weird Sisters are, for the most part, a complete mystery. They have plans within plans that stretch through the centuries, after all what is time to them? They could even give Xanatos a run for his money. What is their agenda? Only they know. We've seen two thirds of the story, with Luna ascendant during "City of Stone" and Selene ascendant during "Avalon." But there is a missing piece, where does grace fall in their plans for Demona and Macbeth? Hopefully time will tell.

These three are great fun to watch. I love how they can be both nowhere and everywhere. And I love how they can and will take on different forms depending on who is looking at them at any given moment. Where do their loyalties lie? Well, it seems to be with Oberon, but I've long suspected there is something bigger at play with these three.

It would be easy to say they were plucked straight out of the Scottish Play, but in several folklores and mythologies, the Weird Sisters are present in some form. There is just something elemental and primeval about them. And that's part of what makes them a great element of the series.

6. Fox

Any woman who David Xanatos would marry would have to be cut from the same cloth he is, because anyone else would be beneath him. Fox is that woman. Hell, sometimes she gets the better of him, whether they're sparring in the dojo, or playing chess. And he doesn't resent this; it's just further proof that he's found the love of his life.

It's weird to watch her in "The Thrill of the Hunt" at times, because Wolf, Jackal, Hyena, and Dingo just seem so far beneath her, she almost seems out of place there. And yet, at the same time, the more we learn about her, the more it makes sense. When we meet Halcyon Renard, a huge piece of the puzzle is put into place. She was never a daddy's girl, in fact, quite the opposite. She was clearly motivated, for years, by just annoying her father. Maybe her mother too.

And I think it was just as much of a shock to her that she loved David. But I wonder what their relationship was like before her prison sentence? Obviously Xanatos made her a television star, but what else was going on there?
She was his lover and employee. And a trained mercenary, let's not forget that.

Like her husband, she grew and developed as the series progressed, and is every bit as interesting a character as he is. In fact, in an alternate universe, I wonder how the series would have played if Fox was in Xanatos's role from the get go.

5. Thailog

Ah, the prodigal son… and he's a bastard. Literally.

I love this guy, he's just a hoot. Thailog is as powerful as Goliath, as brilliant and amoral as Xanatos, and as hammy and immoral as Sevarius. All at once. And it shows. In every single appearance, it shows. The guy is a walking Oedipus complex, what with his desire to prove his superiority to his fathers. I suppose one might say that he's already gotten the better of Sevarius, since he has the good doctor on his payroll. And while he outsmarted Xanatos once, I don't think he's done. Turning Nightstone Unlimited into a powerhouse to rival Xanatos Enterprises is obviously a means to this end. But what next?

I think my favorite thing about Thailog is that while he is a clone of Goliath, that's the last thing that comes to mind when I think about him. He's a fully developed character in his own right, and not simply Goliath's evil twin. On that note, I'm happy his coloring is different, because the last thing this show needs is an entire episode where the gargoyles try to figure out which one is the real Goliath.

And how can anyone not find that maniacal laugh of his to be anything but endearing?

4. John Castaway

John Castaway is a fascinating character, hell to crack the top five, he has to be. Castaway is a weak man, and at the heart of everything, a frightened child. Too weak to stand up to his brother and say "this is wrong" and too weak to admit he was wrong when he pulls the trigger and everything goes to Hell. I think the only thing that has changed is his support system.

Now that the gargoyles have been revealed to the world, Castaway represents a political movement who are moving against them. And it's rather frightening. Not for being a group of hooded thugs, they are not, but for being like a cross between the neighborhood watch, and a support group. Oh, there is a violent wing of the Quarrymen, we know that. But with Castaway's shrewdness, and the Illuminati's backing, I don't think he would do something stupid like fire anti-aircraft cannons in Manhattan, or hijack a train. No… because that would make Castaway much less difficult to defeat than he is. And even then, who says that happens? The Quarrymen are destined to be a problem for at least the next two hundred years, and like the Hunters before them, his descendents will lead the organization.

Keep in mind, we can all trace this back to a scratch in a barn in the tenth century.

3. Macbeth

Well, where do I start? Well, I suppose I will start by saying that I almost feel bad for putting him on this list at all. He has a strong sense of honor, if skewed. He's worked against our protagonists and with them. But, in the end I think the only side he's on is his own. While he is more of an ally now, that doesn't mean he hasn't been part of the problem before and won't be part of the problem again.

His story is terrific. Rather than follow the Scottish Play, the story we got was a loose adaptation of the true history of Macbeth and his reign over Scotland. Yes, we had Demona and gargoyles, and the Weird Sisters and sorcery, but we also had a history lesson unfolding, even if we didn't know it at the time. And it's terrific. To this day, it's my favorite tale in the entire mythos.

When we first meet him, the centuries have certainly taken their toll. He is not above attacking the gargoyles, taking hostages, and committing grand theft. And yet, we never once think of him as evil, despite doing some pretty unethical and amoral things. That changes with "City of Stone" when we learn his story and feel sorry for him. But at the same time, I think the perception among many fans has swung around too far. Yes, we understand him more now. But that wasn't his redemption. Far from it.

I think the tail end of "Sanctuary" and "Pendragon" is where the change begins, and I stress this, begins. In the former, he learned that he is still capable of love. In the latter, while some didn't quite get why he competed so violently against King Arthur for Excalibur, well, it always made sense to me. This is a man who has suffered so much, who viewed his existence as sad and endless, that he was looking for something to give it meaning and maybe justify every terrible thing that has ever happened to him. Being the new Once and Future King would serve that purpose, wouldn't it? Well, it doesn't quite work out for him, but over the course of the series we have seen this man go from suicidal renegade to a man who doesn't think life is completely worth living, and now seeks purpose in his existence. Did he look like a fool clutching that broken sword? Well, he was a broken man. And once you hit rock bottom, the healing can begin.

2. David Xanatos

He was designed to be a heroic character, and he was cast as the villain of the piece. That, right there, is what makes this character so brilliant. He has so many positive qualities, so many admirable traits. He's smart, he's cool, he's suave, he's practical, he knows his priorities, he doesn't sweat the small stuff, he doesn't hold a grudge; the titled heroes have more personality flaws than he does! But he is also incredibly ruthless, and while he's not evil, he is incredibly amoral. He seems to be the walking personification of Frederick Nietzsche's ubermensch when one stops to think about it. And he is awesome.

I am actually struggling here, what more can be said about David Xanatos that hasn't already been said? He's designed many tropes all by himself. There was never a villain like him in animation before, and even after he's left, there still has never been anyone quite like him. He doesn't surround himself with dimwitted henchmen and beat them up and scream when they fail. No, quite the opposite, he is always surrounded by incredibly competent people. His assistant and majordomo, Owen Burnett comes to mind. And he so rarely loses. In sixty-five episodes, and eighteen comics, I can count the number of actual losses on one hand. Aside from that, he always comes out on top. Always. But when he doesn't, he doesn't throw a fit and scream, he shrugs it off and moves on to the next plan. There are always contingencies. This guy is the coolest guy in the series.

His character arc throughout the series is brilliant. I love his rivalry with Goliath, and I love how he doesn't hate or even dislike Goliath. He likes Goliath a lot, admires him, and regards him with what I can best call a mix of interest and benign amusement. That's far more interesting than Megatron's hatred for Optimus Prime. And I really love how Goliath would often use the word "evil" to describe Xanatos. Sure, Xanatos has done some evil things, but Goliath's view of him for the longest time was very two-dimensional. It almost represents how most audiences, especially in animation, were trained to view the villain. No, Xanatos wasn't a Dark Lord, or a diabolical evil. He was simply a trickster. A human trickster.

While Xanatos and Goliath seem to have made some form of peace, that still didn't make Xanatos one of the good guys! I love that! In a way, he's still the enemy, and now the gargoyles are living with him, and they know it! He still has plans and schemes, and while he likes the gargoyles and helps them out, that doesn't stop him from manipulating them to his own ends, or even working against them. And best of all, as far as Xanatos is concerned: it's nothing personal.

I also have to give a ton of credit to the performance of Jonathan Frakes. He made Xanatos sound so sophisticated, fun, and erudite.

David Xanatos, he should run a seminar on villainy. Often imitated, never duplicated.

1. Demona

Demona is the clear number one on this list, for reasons both grounded and very esoteric at the same time. At the most minimal of glances, she seems very typical. We've seen genocidal human haters before. But scratch the surface, even a little, and we get the deepest creation of not only the series, but one of the deepest creations in the realm of fiction. I'm going to say this now, and roll your eyes all you want, but Demona would not be the slightest bit out of place in Russian literature. Or William Shakespeare's for that matter. I love this character.

Let's start with the surface elements first. She's got a terrific character design, and was so very well animated. Marina Sirtis deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the work she did bringing her to life. She embodied that character so completely that I never want to hear anyone else ever voice Demona on any animated project. No one can do it. Period. Hearing Marina Sirtis voice Demona was just as much of a revelation as hearing Mark Hamill's Joker. And I will stand by that statement even under threat of torture. She is also just such a badass! An intimidating warrior, an immortal, a sorceress, and she transforms into a human during the day! Hell, in both forms, she's pretty hot.

Now, for the esoteric. She has a guilt complex that makes Peter Parker's look tame by comparison, but she spreads it around to everyone else rather than internalize it. And considering how much she has to feel guilty over, this makes her arguably the most dangerous character in the series. She cannot accept her own culpability for the terrible things that happened to her, and for all intents and purposes, murdering her clan. She may not have swung the mace, but her ambition, her bigotry, and her cowardice put them in front of it.

Her favorite scapegoats are humanity as a whole, who make an easy and convenient target for her to project her guilt and self-loathing on. Now, does she have a point? Yes. Let's face it, humans can be bastards. We've done terrible things as a species. But, just as you cannot blame every Muslim for the attacks on September 11th, or every German for the Holocaust, Demona is wrong to blame every human for the terrible actions of a few. And at the end of the day, she was either directly or indirectly responsible for those actions. She betrayed her clan, and caused the massacre; she created the Hunter, and betrayed Macbeth. Demona created her own pain, and she intends to wipe out every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth just to justify every damned stupid choice she ever made.

Despite all of that, she is an eternally conflicted character. She is not a one-dimensional cut-out. Deep inside, she knows she's wrong, she knows what she did. But she cannot and will not acknowledge that. And that's what makes her hatred for Elisa Maza so interesting. The one human she hates most is the one that has been a true friend to the gargoyles, because Elisa is living proof of just how wrong Demona really is. And the fact that Elisa and Goliath are now in love doesn't help considering Demona's lingering feelings of jealousy.

Of course, there is Demona's biological daughter, Angela. She is probably the one person Demona cares about in the world. My single biggest regret about the cancelation of the comic book is that we didn't get to see the two of them interact again. I am beyond curious to see where this goes. But one thing I am confident of, it's not heading towards a hysterically easy redemption. Nope, if we take the plan for the "Gargoyles 2198" spin-off seriously, and I most certainly do, Demona is still plotting against humanity long after Angela has died. Is it sad? Yes. Is it tragic? Yes. Is it Demona? Absolutely.

I also love how she is a walking mess of contradictions. Her belief system is based so much on lies she tells herself, that she will rationalize anything she can to fit her world view. Why? Because the alternative is admitting she is wrong, and right now, she will not do that. Cannot do that. Sadly for both her and Angela, I see tragedy in their future.

Demona's through line is one of the main reasons I am so desperate for "Gargoyles 2198" to be produced. I want to see how her story ends, and if it's going to end anywhere, it's in that spinoff. This is a story I am dying to see, and if Disney never produces it, well… one way or another I intend to find out what happens to her. What her ultimate fate is going to be. We know she'll have an epiphany of some kind. How does it happen? Why does it happen? What's the fallout? How does her story end?

Demona is an endlessly fascinating character. We've never seen anything like her in the realm of western animation before her debut, and I don't think she's been replicated since. Why? I don't know. But lightning has been caught in a bottle, and I am rather happy that no one has attempted to imitate this unique and perfectly conceived character but tragically flawed person.

Greg responds...

What? No love for Bruno?

Response recorded on March 13, 2013

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NIGHTWALKER193 writes...

1. Do the Captain of the Guard, Magus, Archmage, and Emir have first and last names?

Greg responds...

1. The Captain's first name is Robbie.

1a. The Magus and the Archmage have first names at least.

1b. The Emir has first and last names at least.

Response recorded on October 08, 2012

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Anonymous writes...

Greg: "The Archmage's ENTIRE LOOP was part of the timestream. [..]

The Archmage NEVER died in that cavern. In ANY incarnation.

[...] it's a WORKING paradox. It does have logic. I did a panel on this at a Gathering once, and it's easier to explain with a chalkboard. But it works. Trust me."

If he never died in the cavern then how did the time loop begin? Just out of the blue future archmage shows up to save his past self? Isn't that Deus Ex Machina?

I'm not trying to provoke you or anything, I just really wish to understand this paradox, especially the part that makes it work. Would it be too much to ask you to doodle that panel and upload it to GargWiki or something? I CAN'T be the only one not understanding this...

Greg responds...

If you want to call it Deus ex Machina, you can. In other words, you can fault the storytelling but not the integrity of the time-loop. ;)

But I don't think it IS Deus ex Machina, except by technicality, BECAUSE of the time-loop. It was inherent in who the Archmage was.

I have no ability to upload a doodle anywhere, I'm afraid.

Response recorded on March 31, 2011

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Anonymous writes...

I’d like a clarification on the only thing I don’t understand about Gargoyles: Archmage’s time loop.

So, the Archmage didn’t die when he plunged down the chasm because he was saved by his future self, thus changing his inevitable outcome: death. But, the future Archmage could not have travelled back in time to save his past-self in the first place unless the latter had survived naturally, only to age and get the talismans and then travel back and begin the loop. The future Archmage saving his past-self from certain death doesn’t go against the show’s premise of time being immutable? The future Archmage could not have saved his past-self without changing history...

Is this confusing? So is this paradox, but even paradoxes make sense when they adhere to an internal logic, but I can’t find this one. A clarification would make wonders for the throbbing headaches this time loop gives me.

Thanks.

Greg responds...

The Archmage's ENTIRE LOOP was part of the timestream. It changed nothing. It always was. (You're viewing the timestream linearly instead of viewing it as a whole.)

The Archmage NEVER died in that cavern. In ANY incarnation.

And yes, this is a paradox, but it's a WORKING paradox. It does have logic. I did a panel on this at a Gathering once, and it's easier to explain with a chalkboard. But it works. Trust me.

Response recorded on February 09, 2011

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MasterGandalf writes...

A couple of questions regarding the Archmage:

1. The Archmage is very much a walking evil sorcerer cliche, and I always got the impression that was entirely deliberate on your part- but is it on his? In other words, do you see him as the kind of guy who hams it up because it's fun (like Sevarius and even Thailog to an extent) or is all of that genuinely his personality?

2. Magic-users on the whole are generally portrayed in fiction as being intelligent, especially powerful ones, but the Archmage makes some sloppy oversights. Would you say he's a smart guy too drunk on his own power to think clearly, that he's rather dim but with a natural knack for dark magic, or somewhere in between?

3. Demona was the Archmage's apprentice- do you think witnessing his cruelty had any role in what initially soured her opinion of humanity, laying the foundation for what would later grow into her genocidal fury? Or was it unrelated?

4. Finally, how would the Archmage+ compare in terms of raw magical power to one of the lords of the Third Race, such as Oberon or Odin? Mostly, I'm just curious as to what would have happened had he successfully conquered Avalon, only to run afoul of Oberon when he returned.

Greg responds...

1. I mostly believe that's him. It may have been less of a cliché a thousand years ago.

2. In the immortal words of Abe Simpson: "A little from Column A, a little from Column B.'

3. Couldn't help.

4. It would have been interesting. But see my Hulk vs. Thing discussion in the archives.

Response recorded on September 21, 2010

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

I read "All You Zombies" by Heinlein a while ago, based on your recommendation that it demonstrated working paradoxes in time travel, and although it was not recent I decided to finally type up and share what I thought from reading it. First of all, the story creeped me out!

But what I'm writing to you about is free will. Did the main character of that story have free will? On the surface at least, it appears to me that he did not for much of the story. He clearly remembered everything that had happened to him, yet he did not have to option not to seduce himself, or not to catch take past self back in the time machine, nor could he choose to change what he said and did in that bar when he was the bartender. When interacting with his past self, I think he had no choice but to say and do exactly what he remembered seeing his future self doing and hearing his future self saying.

He did have options regarding abducting the baby, mainly because he didn't remember being abducted, but one way or another he had to abduct that baby or get someone else to abduct her: he only had options in how he did it. This is comparable to Goliath time-travelling with Griff in M.I.A. Goliath could not possibly get Griff back to his clan in the 1940s, but he had plenty of options of what he could do instead. In that situation Goliath had far more options than the character in "All You Zombies" had when abducting the baby, but still this is a situation with free will.

But what options does a character really have when meeting their past self, if they DO remember the entire encounter? This is apparently what happened to Demona in Vows. She remembered Goliath's "little speech" (or maybe she was lying to him or to herself, but let's assume she was telling the truth this time) and so she must have remembered what her future self said and did. Does that mean she had no free will to change the encounter with her past self when she went back in time? For example, did she really have free will to change what words she said, or not to kick Goliath? It appears to me that this is a situation where she didn't have free will. When the Archmage(+) told his past self that the future is a place of science, not superstition, and that Demona and Macbeth were only "cannon fodder" he couldn't even have understood what he was saying, let alone invented it himself. In fact his entire bizarre mini-timedance seems to abrogate his free will, because as he said "I should (know what to do), I watched you do it."

Demona's PAST self certainly had free will in Vows, since she did not yet remember the encounter. Likewise, the Archmage clearly had free will during his first pass through his time loop. I would think that any time a character is in a stable time loop, they have free will as long as they are unaware of what "already happened." But when they do remember what happened because their past self is there at the scene, they don't have the option to change what already happened. They already KNOW what happened. If they already know what words they spoke to their past self, then those words are something they remember, not something they are thinking up freely, and they don’t have the option of saying anything different from what they remember.

Am I missing something?

Greg responds...

I tend to disagree with you about the free will thing. Heinlein's character could have chosen NOT to cooperate with his memories. Either because he liked the end result or because he felt oppressed by the inevitability of it all (or some other reason I can't think of at this moment), he CHOSE to play along.

Again, Free Will doesn't mean you get to live the life you want to lead. It means that at best you have the option of STRIVING for the life you want to lead. But some people use their free will to conform. Doesn't mean it's not a choice.

Now, that raises the obvious question: what would have happened to Heinlein's character, to Demona, to the Archmage had they chosen NOT to play along. We'll never know.

Response recorded on September 17, 2010

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Brian Bartoccini writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman it is me again; 3 days ago I saw Avalon, they are very exiting and interesting episodes but I don't understand how the Archmage survived after the battle in "Long away to morning", can you explain that to me in detail?
Well, I hope again my english it is understandable.
Goodbye Mr. Weisman

Greg responds...

This is in the archives, but BRIEFLY, he was rescued by his future self, who caught him before he hit bottom.

What else do you need to know?

Response recorded on August 18, 2010

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Anonymous writes...

Would you be willing to explain the events that led to the Archmage's falling out with Prince Malcolm?

Greg responds...

Sure. Someday. In a story.

Response recorded on December 02, 2009

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Thorgrimur writes...

I just rewatched "Avalon", and while I didn't have any trouble understanding the time loop, there were several things about the Archmage's behaviour that I began to find slightly confusing, most of them because from the Archmage's perspective, only about one day seems to have passed since he was the "one-shot villain" from "Long Way to Morning". So I'd like to ask these questions:

1. Did the Archmage ever actually find out that the Magus managed to cure Prince Malcolm's poisoning? If so, did he get that information from Demona?
2. Why does the Archmage feel his revenge won't be complete without Goliath? As far as the Archmage seemingly knows, Hudson is the leader of the gargoyles, and Hudson was the one who decided to go after him and get the Grimorum, resulting in his "death". It just seems to me that someone as arrogant as the Archmage would consider Goliath in 984 an unimportant pawn. Did Goliath do something to the Archmage prior to their encounter in "Long Way to Morning" that would make him hate Goliath more than Hudson and Prince Malcolm?
3. Did the Archmage ever find out the details about how Goliath survived into the 20th century?

Of course, I guess NONE of the plotting in "Avalon" was really the Archmage's idea, since he was merely instructed by his future self and probably didn't want to alter the plan by adding Malcolm or Hudson onto his black list.

Greg responds...

1. Probably not, but it doesn't matter. As you noted, he was, by this time, following the plan laid out by his empowered self. His vengeance on Malcolm was no longer relevant.

2. Rewatch "Long Way to Morning". Goliath was the IMMEDIATE cause of his "death".

3. Probably not, but it doesn't matter.

Response recorded on August 11, 2009

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Kevin Shane writes...

Why is Prince Malcolm unintelligent enough not to see the threat from the Archmage and to not see the bad effect of him telling his daughter to be afraid of gargoyles?

Greg responds...

I wouldn't call him unintelligent. You don't know the history, Mr. Judgemental. The Archmage was an invaluable ally for years.

Response recorded on September 16, 2008

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DECEMBER 30

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 30th...

1995
Macbeth and Demona attack the humans and gargoyles at Oberon's Palace, while the Magus faces off against the Weird Sisters at the Hollow Hill, and Goliath and Angela seek out the Archmage at the Grotto. At first things look grim, but Princess Katharine defeats Demona with help from Ophelia, the Guardian, Elisa Maza, Gabriel, Bronx and Boudicca. King Arthur Pendragon also defeats Macbeth, and the Magus captures the Weird Sisters, though it fatally weakens him. Goliath battles the Archmage, who uses the Phoenix Gate to bounce them around through Time and Space. But the Archmage cannot shake Goliath, and returns to the present, where Goliath succeeds in removing the Eye of Odin from his brow. Without the Eye, the energy from the Grimorum Arcanorum burns the Archmage to death from the inside out. The battle is over.


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DECEMBER 29

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 29th...

1995
Goliath, Angela and Gabriel attempt to steal the Eye of Odin and the Phoenix Gate from the Archmage. They fail. Meanwhile, Elisa Maza and the Magus succeed in waking the Sleeping King, Arthur Pendragon.


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DECEMBER 28

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 28th...

1065
Westminster Abbey, built by Edward the Confessor, is consecrated.

1994
David Xanatos, who is scheduled to be released from jail in one week, is contacted by Macbeth, who offers to rid the castle of gargoyles.

1995
Goliath and Tom the Guardian meet at Belvedere Castle in Central Park. Together with Elisa Maza and Bronx, they depart for Avalon, where they are introduced to the grown hatchlings of the Wyvern Clan, including Angela, Gabriel and Boudicca, and reunited with the Magus and Princess Katharine. Meanwhile, a recently transformed Archmage travels back in time...


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DECEMBER 22

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 22nd...

1995
Just before dawn, the gargoyles are attacked by "Macbeth". After sunrise, David Xanatos kidnaps Hudson's sleeping body and replaces it with a stone statue. At sundown, the other gargoyles awaken and believe that Macbeth has used sorcery to keep Hudson asleep. Goliath & Lexington search for a cure, while Brooklyn & Broadway protect the statue from "Macbeth". Meanwhile, Xanatos reveals that in his bid for immortality, he plans to use Hudson to test the Cauldron of Life. And on Avalon, the Archmages and their allies launch their attack on the Avalon Clan.


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TiniTinyTony writes...

Questions concerning Avalon Parts 1 - 3:

1) Will we see the adventures of Tom in any of the Gargoyles Spinoffs or main comic?
2) Will there be any repercussions for waking up King Arthur "early" and will we see those repercussions in the comics? If so, which comic?
3) Who's face is represented on the front of the Avalon boats?
4) Who's face is represented at the watery gateway to Avalon, where Magus turned the Weird Sisters into owls?
5) Do all 36 Avalon Gargoyles survive the Archmage's assault?
6) Any chance the magic in the sleeping hill will one day revive Magus or is he dead and gone forever?

Greg responds...

1. Yes, eventually.

2. Yes. Pendragon, among others.

3. Not revealing that at this time.

4. Ditto.

5. Yes.

6. Who am I to kill hope? Hope lives eternal. The Magus, on the other hand, is dead.

Response recorded on December 20, 2007

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DECEMBER 5

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 5th...

1995
The two Archmages reunite outside Avalon with the Weird Sisters, who have brought Demona, Macbeth, the Eye of Odin, the Phoenix Gate and The Grimorum Arcanorum. The three talismans are given to the "younger" of the two Archmages, and he is transformed into a double of his future self. They enter Avalon and prepare to attack its inhabitants.


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NOVEMBER 22

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 22nd...

1963
John F. Kennedy assassinated.

1995
Matt questions Jack Dane and gets a lead on Mace Malone. Just before sundown, he confronts Elisa in the Clock Tower about her lies. She puts him off again. In Scotland, Tom hikes back up Wyvern Hill and spends some time reminiscing. He even searches the Archmage's caverns.


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NOVEMBER 1

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 1st...

975
Using the Phoenix Gate, Goliath, Demona, David Xanatos, Petros Xanatos and Fox come back in time from the year 1995. Demona immediately uses the Gate to disappear again. Xanatos saves the life of Princess Elena of Normandy. He is rewarded with a coin, which he gives to the Norman Ambassador, a fellow member of the Illuminati Society. The 1995 Goliath encounters the 975 Hudson. The 975 Demona is studying under the Archmage as his apprentice. He instructs her to steal the Phoenix Gate from Princess Elena, which she does. But then she is confronted by the 1995 Demona and Goliath. After a brief trip for all three to 994, the 975 Demona returns them to her time and winds up on the outs with the Archmage. She breaks the Phoenix Gate in two and gives half of it to the 975 Goliath at the wedding of Malcolm and Elena. Meanwhile, all the 1995 participants return to their own time.

1975
David Xanatos receives an anonymous gift of a medieval coin worth $20 grand. It is the start of his fortune, and was actually sent to David by his 1995 counterpart, via the Illuminati Society from the year 975.

1995
A fully-grown Thailog is released from his maturation chamber and takes up residence at the Eyrie Building. Xanatos receives a letter from the Illuminati Society. It is from himself, sent in the year 975. It explains that he sent himself the medieval coin that was the basis of all his wealth. The letter also explains how he set this all up by turning his wedding to Fox into a time travel excursion to 975.

1996
Xanatos gets a new assignment from Quincy and the Illuminati. Hudson confirms he is a gargoyle to Robbins. Thailog and the clones fight the Manhattan Clan. During the battle, Thailog gets DNA samples from Goliath, Angela, Broadway, Lexington, Elisa, Brooklyn, Hudson and Bronx. Delilah, Malibu, Burbank and Hollywood reject Thailog, but Brentwood chooses to depart with him. Thailog gives the DNA to Sevarius and gains a new personal assistant, Shari. Doctor Sato treats Goliath. Goliath and Elisa declare their love for each other.


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SEPTEMBER 28

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

September 28th...

994
Tom, Mary and other refugees are given shelter from rampaging Vikings at Castle Wyvern.

995
Michaelmas Eve. Tom and the Magus get the eggs out of Edinburgh Castle. Finella drugs Constantine so that Katharine can escape, and flees with the Princess, Tom, Mary, the Magus and the eggs. The Magus brings them all to the mystic island of Avalon. He is forced to battle the Weird Sisters to achieve the island. He turns them into owls but is unable to take the Grimorum with him. Finella and Mary agree to take the book and keep it safe from Constantine. They depart. Katharine, Tom and the Magus land on Avalon with the eggs. The two time-traveling Archmages witness all this and rescue the Weird Sisters from their owl-state. The Archmages and the Sisters form an alliance. They agree to meet again in the year 1020.

1963
Vinnie Grigori is born in New York.

1980
In Paris, Demona steals the Praying Gargoyle statue from Notre Dame Cathedral. Confronted by Charles Canmore, the Hunter, she kills him and escapes. Canmore's children, Jason, Robyn and Jon swear vengeance.

1995
At midnight, Demona uses Titania's Mirror to summon Puck. They turn Elisa and all the humans in Manhattan into gargoyles and vice versa. The situation is soon reversed, but Puck arranges it so that Demona is human during the day and a gargoyle at night. Fox contacts Preston Vogel, inducing him to betray her father Halcyon Renard.

1996
Xanatos and his robots track Coldstone down in the Himalayas and disable him.


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Ylm writes...

1. Why did the Archmage-Plus specifically pick Macbeth to serve him alongside Demona other than just following the directions of his future self?
2. How did the Archmage intend to deal with the returning Oberon and his entourage? Could he have fought Oberon off if he had succeeded in taking Avalon from the gargoyles?
3. Who was the greater threat in the Avalon Three Parter? The Weird Sisters or the Archmage?

Greg responds...

1. Do you think he needed a better reason? (I do, but I may be a touch smarter than he is.)

2. Not sure he knew about Oberon's pending return.

3. Depends on whether you're the Magus or Goliath.

Response recorded on April 06, 2007

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gipdac writes...

I’ve always been very interested in the Archmage. I really love his transformation from a kind of one-dimensional villain in “Long Way ‘til Morning” to a character with such an interning as in “Avalon” (and to a lesser extent “Vows”). And I absolutely love the idea of Archmage Plus being a villain in the Timedancers and G: 2198 series.
I also really enjoy the Magus. When he first appeared in “Awakening” I was really mad at him, but when he die at the end of “Avalon”, I was amazed at the huge change that had occurred in my perception of his character. He became such a tragic hero.
Anyways, because of my interest in these characters, some questions have come to mind,
1. When did the Archmage first come to live at Castle Wyvern?
2. Why did the Archmage start to “work” for Malcolm?
3. When did the Magus become Archmage’s apprentice?
4a. What is Archmage’s real name? 4b. What is Magus’ real name?
5. When was the Archmage born?
6. When did the Archmage discover the ruins and megalith in the caverns near Wyvern?
7a. Did Magus know about the magical ruins in the Archmage’s lair? 7b. Did he know about the Archmage’s plans for "ultimate power"?
8. Did Archmage deduce that use of the Gate, the Eye and the Grimorum together would give him the "ultimate power" or did he find the information from an outside source (i.e. another Sorcerer or magic book)?

Greg responds...

1. Well, I suppose it depends how you define "Castle" Wyvern... but the answer is 971.

2. He made a strategic alliance.

3. 982.

4a&b. I don't know or can't remember.

5. 914.

6. That I'm not revealing.

7a. Define "lair"..

7b. I'm not revealing this either.

8. Outside source.

Response recorded on December 01, 2005

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Emperor Auladarr I writes...

Mr. Weisman,

I was perusing the Hudson archives and read your ramble on "Long Way 'Til Morning," where you invited response to the episode. Of all the episodes of Gargoyles (the REAL episodes, not those GC episodes that made no sense), this is one I remember most vividly as one of my absolute favorites. Rarely do we get to see the elderly character in a series be the hero, or have the spotlight on him for almost every second of the show. It was refreshing to see Hudson as the hero and not some doddering old coot who needs to be saved by his fellows.

The things I remember most about the episode are the good lines the characters had. Some of my favorites from Demona are: "Ciao." (Ms. Sirtis's callous tone there just made it work), and "Your courage is admirable, but ultimately futile." Mr. Asner had the best one's, though: "Just dreaming old dreams, I guess." "I can face her. I just can't beat her." And, of course, his speech to Demona at the end about growing old and waiting.

The flashback scenes are great, too. The planting of the Archmage and that whole plotline was brilliant, as was the Prince's faux pas on "the gargoyles will get you," and the whole snowball effect that had on Katharine.

But, again, above all else, Hudson stands out in this episode. He's not sitting at the clocktower watching TV with Bronx--he's in his element, both in the past and in the present, as a warrior. "He favors speed over stealth, which could mean he has traps waiting for us." Brilliant. His heading underground where neither he or Demona could use their wings--clever.

The whole episode just struck me as excellent because it showed Hudson as a competent, wise, and experienced warrior. I don't know...maybe because my grandfather seems like he knows how to do anything under the sun I took more to Hudson craftiness.

Well...those are just my thoughts. Kudos on one of MANY great episodes.

Greg responds...

Thanks. Working with Hudson was always fun, and working with Ed Asner continues to be a joy. (He just did a voice for me on multiple episodes of WITCH.)

Of course, it was the Archmage's appearance in "Long Way To Morning" that inspired the plotlines to follow. At the time, we didn't know we were laying pipe for the future. Frankly, it was the amazing performance of David Warner that made us feel like we HAD to bring the character back.

Response recorded on October 27, 2005

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Hardwing writes...

1.Who is better trained in magic, the Archmage of 984 or Demona anno 1994?
2.Did the clan learn of Demona learning magic by the Archmage in the Dark Ages? If yes what was their reaction? I'm just asking since neither Goliath nor Brookly seemed very surprised by seeing Demona using magic.
3.Why has the Archmage taught Demona magic? I mean as selfish as he was he wouldn't do it for nothing and having a gargoyle around who is trained in magic (or anybody else for that) is dangerous. Was it sort of quid pro qou, Demona helped him by his rituals and he trained her?
4.Did the Archmage have a large effect on Demona's personality? I mean from 971 to 975 she was still young and easy to influnce.

Just in general. simple delete questions which don't make sense or completly off topic and if a question is asked too often ignore it. So you have more time for the serious fans.

Greg responds...

1. It's an interesting question. Demona's certainly had years to study... but she's also not the most focused or patient of students, whereas I believe the Archmage would have been mono-maniacal in his pursuit of the Dark Arts.

2. I don't think they did.

3. It's a pretty standard master/apprentice set up.

4. I'm sure he had an influence -- taught her an appreciation of power. But I doubt she'd acknowledge that influence.

Response recorded on July 25, 2005

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RAMpage writes...

In Avalon Part 3(I think) after the, shall we say, "newer" Archmage uses the Phoenix Gate to travel back in time to get... well, himself, the "older" Archmage says something along the lines of " I thought he would never leave" then promptly goes off to face Goliath and the others alone only to fail. If the whole point of getting his doppelganger was to attack en force to take over Avalon, why did he do the final battle alone? Also, when the Archmage returned with himself, did he ever wonder where his older self had gone to?

Greg responds...

The point was NOT to get a doppleganger to attack "en force". The point was to get himself up to his level of power. To complete the time loop.

I don't understand your second question. But I'm guessing you don't understand the loop.

Response recorded on October 30, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

Silverbolt, the lightbulb contest is over.

Who created the monolith we see in Shadows of the Past?
How did the archmage find it?
Did the gargoyles of the Wyvern clan during the Dark Age era ever stumble upon it?

Greg responds...

I'm not sure what you mean by monolith? Do you mean the megalith circle? Or the wall that contained prophetic carvings, including images of the Archmage?

The Archmage explored the caves for his own purposes.

Again, since I'm not clear on what "it" you're referring too, it's hard to answer the questions. The gargs had been in those caves, witness "Long Way to Morning".

Response recorded on March 04, 2003

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Chapter XXXVI: "Avalon, Part Three"

Time to Ramble...

This third part of the tryptich, was designed to be a kick-ass battle. Lots of action, lots of excitement. All (or nearly all) the pipe had already been laid out. We had two of our toughest mortal villains (Demona and Macbeth) working with the mysterious and powerful Weird Sisters and the MEGA Archmage Plus, who possessed the power of Gate, Book and Eye. That seemed like some real competition for our good guys, who had wounded to protect.

It was time to go to war.

A few other soldiers:
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia C. Marano

As the main titles were playing and Keith was narrating, my seven-year-old daughter Erin mentioned that Goliath and Darth Vader both do voices for phone companies.

Erin also figured out that Angela and Gabriel were being stalked by Demona, before she actually came on screen.

JALAPEÑA

Goliath says it like a curse word when he realizes that A&G are being followed. That was how I wanted to use it. As I've mentioned before, the art staff eventually threatened a coup if I didn't drop it.

But if I ever get to do Gargoyles 2198, I'm bringing it back. That's a threat, not a promise.

Anyway, Goliath attempts to appeal to Demona and Macbeth's better natures. It starts to work, but it's too late. The Archmage has a good line: "They are my creatures now."

Then Bronx and Boudicca attack, saving our 'goyles. This was hinted at in Part Two. And clarified later when Angela comments on it. But it also was my way of serving notice that Bronx was no longer going to be the puppy-most-left-behind. The World Tour was his coming out party.

Anyway, the Archmage now changes his plan. Not because he doesn't want to take any chances, but really because his sensibilities have been offended. He has another good line: "If they are so eager to die..."

But it's really that balance I was trying to maintain between his newfound ultimate power and his original clichéd origins.

HUNTING HOLLOW HILLS

Elisa asks about the Sleeping King. The Magus says he's been sleeping in his Hollow Hill. More hints as to who the king was. (If the name Avalon wasn't hint enough.)

On the way, Elisa pumps Magus for information like he was in the interrogation room back home. She already guessed that he had a thing for Katharine. She wants the lowdown. It's really not her business. Call it a habit of her profession.

(There's an animation error on my tape, which I hope was corrected for later airings. When the Magus starts to narrate the flashback, both his and Elisa's mouth are moving, mouthing the same lines. Obviously, Elisa's animator misread the X-sheets and thought she was talking instead of the Magus.)

(Of course there's another semi-error which I've tried to explain away in the past. The lighting on the scene where Katharine and Tom play with the baby-gargs Angela, Gabe and Boudicca seems very daylight. I've always claimed that it was just a very bright moonlit night. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

This last flashback got my five year old son Benny talking. He asked "How did the gargoyles even get born?" And had to be reminded about the eggs from Part One (which we saw three weeks ago). "Oh, yeah," he said.

Then when we got to the Sleeping King, he compared that to a character that's on his radar: The sleeping MATA NUI from Bionicle.

The Magus uses magic, explaining that "magic is the lifeblood of Avalon." This seemed logical to me. That a practioner like the Magus could train himself to access that ambient magic -- but at a price.

My wife Beth was very impressed with Jeff Bennett's performance here. As a change of pace, Jeff was only playing one character -- as opposed to his usual fifty. But it was a truly heartbreaking performance, I think.

And I have to ask, given the Magus' first appearance in "Awakening, Part One", did you guys ever think that you could or would find that character this appealing, this sympathetic? I think that our ability to allow characters to grow and change was one of the hallmarks of our series. And I had the backbone of his change planned as early as "Awakening, Part Two": (1) his love for Katharine which is unequivocal and (2) his guilt over what he did to the gargoyles, which he never tries to dodge or make excuses for in any way.

The Leap of Faith. It does seem too Indiana Jones now. But obviously it must not have at the time. Either that or we were kidding ourselves. Still, I like Elisa here a lot.

The Platform lowers on cue and Elisa finally names the Sleeping King: "Arthur Pendragon, King of All Britain... You are needed." We wanted to keep it simple. That simple. I also wanted to begin establishing the name Pendragon. Everyone's heard of King Arthur. But you have to have had a bit of exposure to the legends to be familiar with the Pendragon name. I always thought it was cool. And I think that even then I had the notion of using it as the title for a spin-off.

Anyway, we get back to the Palace, and Elisa states a fact that I wonder if anyone had focused on before (regarding Demona and Macbeth): "You've never actually beaten either of them." Goliath agrees: "Simply foiled their plans or fought them to a stand still.

And then Arthur asks: "What's going on?" which I always thought was kind of funny. They're counting on him to help save the day. He doesn't even know the set up.

So while we get him up to speed, we cut to the Archmage who orders the Sisters to "Dispatch the Sleeping King." Erin smiles and says,, "What they don't know..." is that it's too late. But what I found interesting is that Erin actually did trail off. She knew that she didn't need to state what they didn't know. Cool.

DIVIDING THE TROOPS

True to Elisa's hopes (and my interpretation of the character of legend) Arthur in fact does immediately take charge.

He'll go with Elisa, Tom and Gabe to fight Demona & Macbeth.

Katharine, Bronx and Boudicca will guard the wounded 'eggs'. (Katharine has one of her bookend tough mom statements here: "They'll not harm my eggs again!")

Goliath and Angela will attack the Archmage.

And the Magus agrees to take on the Sisters.

Eventually -- after Art figures out that Demona feels Mac's pain and Demona establishes that she and Mac need to put distance between them to minimize the link -- things change a bit and Arthur faces Mac one-on-one, while Kathy, Bronx, Boudicca, Ophelia, Elisa, Tom and Gabe all team up to battle Demona -- who as always, may present the greatest threat of all, even when it's against her own interests.

All this seemed very appropriate to me. I like how the battle divides up. How the opponents match up. And you'll notice at the cliffhanger/commercial break that every one of our battles is going badly for the good guys. Macbeth seems to have the upper hand over Arthur. The Archmage has Goliath down. The Weird Sisters are clearly overpowering the Magus and even Demona is on the verge of wiping out all her opposition at the Palace.

KING ARTHUR PENDRAGON vs. MACBETH
We gave Arthur a mace, because I didn't want anyone to think that some random sword he was carrying might be Excalibur.

When Arthur says, "What manner of magic is this?" it made me wish we had just gone ahead and said "What sorcery is this?" like we usually did.

There's some fairly effective slo-mo animation in here. Slow motion in animation (when called for in scripts) usually makes me nervous. If not done well, it can just look like a poorly-timed, poorly-animated scene. But here it seems to work.

I like how the battle ends. Arthur takes the sword fragment, and for a second, it looks like he's going to skewer Mac. But instead he uses it to pin Mac to a tree. Setting him up for Arthur's punch into camera with his ringed fist. Disney S&P let us do that. ABC S&P didn't allow those kind of fist coming into camera shots on Goliath Chronicles. But I wasn't informed of the change in policy until after "The Journey" was animated.

PRINCESS KATHARINE, OPHELIA, BRONX, BOUDICCA, GABRIEL, THE GUARDIAN & ELISA MAZA vs. DEMONA

Ophelia gets another nice moment here, as even injured, she attempts to stop Demona.

Elisa again takes advantage of the fact that she knows that Demona's hatred for her is so extreme and irrational, that she'll literally drop her weapon for the chance to grapple with Elisa, the chance to tear her apart with her bare hands.

Of course, this is after Elisa demonstrates that she never carries enough ammo. After uselessly shooting at a beach and a hollow suit of armor, she's out of bullets by the time she gets a target of flesh and blood. Of course, we made Elisa a touch dopey in this department for S&P reasons. Elisa, being a NY cop, had to carry a gun. But short of doing an episode about gun violence like "Deadly Force" (which Toon Disney refuses to air these days), we couldn't actually let Elisa shoot anyone with her gun. So we found other uses and excuses.

But ultimately, it's Katharine who brings Demona down, looking quite intentionally like a medieval Ripley, saying the other bookend: "No one threatens my eggs."

THE MAGUS vs. PHOEBE, SELINE & LUNA: THE WEIRD SISTERS
Luna says to the Magus: "There is no future for you." That was a clue from the voice of fate. Anyone pick up on it?

I also like how all the Sisters say together: "You will suffer!" But of course, he's been suffering for decades. What he will soon be is free of all suffering...

I wanted to show here (among other things) that magic itself was neither good nor evil. Magic simply existed at the disposal of those with the power to wield it.

The Magus defeats the sisters and collapses onto Artie's platform. Erin asked quietly: "Did he die?" Benny looked for another way out: "He might have just lost his power."

GOLIATH & ANGELA vs. THE ARCHMAGE

Erin asked what the Archmage was planning for Goliath... and I had to answer something like "a painful death."

Goliath asks what I thought many of you might be asking: why doesn't the Magus just kill him. And David Warner answers as only he could: "Because I'm having too much fun."

We have all this Gate-Jumping. This was an afterthought. Because at one point I had thought of having our guys steal the gate back, I had forgotten to have the Archmage use the gate in the script. So at the board stage, I asked Dennis to put this in. We were very tight for time, but he obliged me. Ideally, I'd have liked to show them briefly in some other times, but I knew we just couldn't afford to design new layouts for two second shots. Even so, who knows where and when they went? Who knows how long they were gone? Sometimes their poses changed. But Goliath is like the Old Man of the Sea. He never lets go. And finally he takes the Eye away.

The Archmage is already in trouble, but how much he doesn't know for a few seconds. Then the power of the Grimorum destroys him from within. A nice creepy companion to him eating the book in Part Two.

And I love David's last line, the forlorn: "All my lovely magic..." Believe it or not, I had to fight a little to get that line in. Just a little. But still.

DEATH OF A HERO

The Magus' death stll moves me. His quiet desire for rest. Katharine's love for him. (Not romantic love, but love nonetheless.) K: "Oh, Magus, what have you done?"

The Magus still concerned that he owes a debt to Goliath and Goliath's forgiveness. The eyes closing and the star shooting overhead.

For S&P reasons, we decided not to make it absolute that he was dead. No one mentions death. Just rest. Sleep. And he is lying on the Sleeping King's platform by his own request.

And many fans, even adult fans, chose to believe he might still come back someday. Hey, more power to 'em, I guess.

But I felt/feel that would cheapen the moment. Cheapen the sacrifice. We sent our heroes into battle. And in battle, their are casualties. Some things are worth fighting for, but if we don't understand costs, then I want people to know that when something isn't worth fighting over, they shouldn't.

FAREWELLS

For various reasons, many of our voice actors in this episode recorded their lines separately. So we recorded each character saying goodbye to everyother character. Not knowing exactly what we would use. We, in my opinion, wound up using too much of these wild goodbyes. It's very awkward sounding to me now.

Gabe & Goliath establish why Gabe and his clan don't join Goliath in Manhattan and why Goliath doesn't bring his clan back to Avalon. Though both clans are born of the old Wyvern Clan, both have found new homes, which they will not abandon.

But Angela has a bit of Demona in her. The iconoclast, she wants more than normal clan life has to offer. She wants to see the world with Goliath. He proudly agrees. He wants one of his children with him. Gabriel and Angela say goodbye. He refers to her here as his rookery sister (not as his "Angel of the Night" or some other equivalent). This was done to make clear that they regarded each other as brother and sister, not mates. I basically wanted to leave her unattached for the Trio. Nevertheless, many fans still thought that they were a couple.

Art goes off on his own to be less conspicuous, and Goliath laughs a borderline Thailog laugh. He also plants pipe for Arthur's eventual stop in Manhattan.

Mac & Demona are freed from the spell, leaving them with no memory since they were first ensorcelled. There's an awkward bit of business here as the gargs who were guarding them move away, just so that Goliath can move in and push the skiff off. Flaw in the boarding that no one caught, I'm afraid.

The Sisters move off, having been forced off-camera to explain most everything.

Bronx & Boudicca part. Now that's a couple.

More pipe: Goliath swears that no one will ever use the eye or the Gate again. Famous last words.

Tom: "Elisa, I thought you understood. Avalon doesn't send you where you want to go! Avalon sends you where you need to be!"

Both Elisa and Erin said: What does that mean? at about the same time.

What did you think when you first heard that? We had officially launched the World Tour, but you didn't know it yet. What were you thinking?

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


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Chapter XXXV: "Avalon, Part Two"

Time to Ramble...

"PART TWO"
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Writer: Lydia Marano
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves

I guess you guys were used to longer multi-parters from us, so you probably didn't think this was the last part when you saw Part Two come up after the title. I tried something different at the end though. Instead of writing "To be continued" I had them put down "To be concluded". It seemed (at least in my head) to increase tension to know that the next part would be the last.

I've been told by people that out of context, this episode is incomprehensible. I hope it's not quite that bad, but I will say that unlike the rest of our eps, I felt that multi-parter eps don't quite need to stand alone in the same way.

Still with all the time travel stuff, it's very complex. I remember Lydia having to come into my office after her first draft and needing me to diagram the time travel for her. The loop that the Archmage takes. I love it. But I guess it's not that easy to follow.

Anyway, this ep was designed to be the second part of a tryptich. This is the one where we focus on our villains and bring them all up to date, just as in part one, we focused on our heroes. All gearing to a MAJOR BATTLE coming in Part Three.

THE EGGS

Picking up where Part One left off, Elisa looks at Angela, Gabriel and Boudicca and says: "These are the eggs?" I love her tone there.

Guardian: "Sorry, I always call them that." It was a cheat to buy us, at least with some percentage of our audience, the shock value of expecting eggs and finding fully grown gargs and beasts instead. Still, I believe that a guy like Tom, dubbed "Guardian of the Eggs" would continue to use that term to refer to his kids, even after they are grown.

Goliath is initially shocked that the gargs have names. Angela says the standard human response: "How else would we tell each other apart?" This was done intentionally to both cover the issue of non-garg naming (which I still think is neat, but which is often a massive pain) and to indicate that these are gargs raised by humans.

BEACH FIGHT

So I'm in my office one day, after the script to "Avalon, Part Two" has gone final. And Supervising Producer Frank Paur and Producer/Director Dennis Woodyard come in. Frank hates the script. Dennis is calmer, but he seems to clearly agree with Frank, more or less.

I'm annoyed because it's VERY late in the game for them to be giving me these kind of notes. Things get heated between me and Frank.

I yell something like: "Well, what do you want me to do?!!!"

And he yells something like: "We need some action! Like a fight on the Beach with the Archmage!!"

And I start to object for about a second. Then I go, "Oh, yeah. A fight on the beach with the Archmage. That'd be cool. Would that fix it?"

"Uh. Yeah."

And that was it. Our fights were always like that. We always only wanted to make it better. He'd get worked up, but the solution wound up being simple and when push came to shove (we never actually pushed and shoved by the way) we agreed on nearly everything.

It was also good to have Dennis' calming influence. Frank and I would go momentarily nutty and Dennis would always maintain.

So anyway, after the fact we added the memorable fight on the beach. Now I can't imagine the episode without it. It forced us to trim down some the Archmages travels (cause we were already long) but it definitely improved the episode.

I think, not sure, but I think I wrote that fight because it came so late in the game. It's also possible, I might have taken it back to Brynne and/or Lydia to write. I really don't remember anymore.

Either way, there are some great lines:

Goliath: "Don't be too insulted!" I love how he goes nuts here. We really get a reminder of his warrior-ness.

Archmage: "Don't crow too loudly, after all, what have you accomplished: you beat up a beach." You beat up a beach. That's one of my favorite lines in the whole series.

Archmage: "At dawn you all will die. Get used to it!"

Tom: "Let's get out of here before the very air attacks us!"

The fight itself is pretty cool too. I like how Bronx and Boudicca immediately team up. I like the symbolic nature of the Archmage growing wings, turning to stone and then shattering. I think that was a board-artist's addition. I don't remember seeing that in the script. (And I'm too lazy to stand up and check right now.)

At the end of the fight, my five year old son Benny asked: "Why can't they glide to the castle?" I had to explain the flight rules.

ANGELA & GABRIEL

Elisa slides up to Goliath: "Angela sort of looks like Demona, except her coloring is different. Exactly whose daughter is she?" Again, I love Salli's reading here. That need to know. The jealousy. The feeling for Goliath -- who dodges the question by saying that all children belong to the clan.

But of course Elisa knows. Knows something that I believe never occured to her before. Sure, she knew that Goliath and Demona had been mates, lovers. But she didn't let her mind traverse to the next logical step. Parents. Together. Goliath and Demona.

And of course, the audience knows it too, I hope. It was never meant to be a secret to anyone but Angela who her biological parents are. These lines also served to point that out.

On the other hand, we didn't make a big deal of Gabe's bio-parentage. But I wanted it to be semi-clear that his folks were Othello and Desdemona (Coldstone and Coldfire). Anyone get that at first viewing?

REUNIONS

Everyone returns to Oberon's Palace. There are many injured and Gabe is apologetic. As Leader, he feels responsible. But there was 'never any need to hone our combat skills' before this.

Tom & Katharine are reunited. Elisa, the cop, picks up on the human dynamics, the relationships, immediately. She sees the Magus' reaction to their reunion.

I also really like the exchange between the Princess and Goliath.

K: "This is more than I could have hoped for."
G: "What you've done for the eggs is more than I could have dreamed of"

SLEEPING KING

We kept dropping hints. He's mentioned by the Magus, but the conversation moves quickly on.

Later, the Weird Sisters mentioned him. The Archmage is surprised to hear he's not a myth, causing Seline to say her famous: "All things are true." line. The Archmages promise to kill the king later.

And Elisa brings the guy up at the end. This policy was me trying to play fair and make his awakening in Part Three not seem artificial. But also not to allow the guy to distract from the matter at hand.

Of course, most of THIS crowd must have known the s-king was a ref to KING ARTHUR. Particularly when the Hollow Hill ref was thrown in too. But did anyone not know on first viewing?

LOOSE ENDS

This was an episode for tying up Loose Ends in a big way. Solving some mysteries.

Why did the Weird Sisters do what they did? (At least objectively.)

Why were Demona and Macbeth working together in "High Noon"? (Elisa: "They hate each other." Guardian: "I saw no sign of that.")

And how did the Archmage survive?

Tom unwittingly hints at the truth when he says that the Archmage seemed to be able to be in two places at once.

Now let's reveal...

WEIRD SISTERS

Wow! Did we get negative feedback from fans when we played the Sisters as villains here. Of course, I always had it in my head that the Sisters had three aspects. Grace, Vengeance and Fate. Sometimes one aspect is ascendent, but there is always a touch of all three in anything they do. But after the Sisters' Fateful appearances in "City of Stone", many fans rebelled at the notion that the objective reason they did all those things was for simple petty vengeance here in "Avalon". Oh, well.

[When Benny saw the Sisters for the first time, he said "Weird Sisters" with an interesting tone of awe. They're his favorites. But he didn't comment on them being bad guys here.]

The sisters have some nice lines...

L: "What is time to an immortal."
Phoebe: "This is true." (in ref to what cannot be broken can be bent).

ARCHMAGESES

Okay, this was just fun for me. In many ways the origin of much of this was the flat out talent of David Warner. He brought such life to the underwritten (and clichéd) part of the Archmage in "Long Way to Morning" that I just knew I'd have to bring him back. Many of the events of "Vows", "City of Stone", "High Noon" etc. were all geared toward bringing him back as a real THREAT!!

Yet with all this, I didn't want to forget the character's roots. We tried to set a balance between his clichés and his new power.

Think about it. The Archmage+ (as we called him in the script), had only been plussed for about a day. Still he's full of arrogance. His power hasn't raised him above that hybris nor above the thirst for vengeance nor above gloating or above impatience. That's his flaw, but also the fun, I think.

And of course, David. Wow.

Praise for Salli Richardson as Elisa. For Kath Soucie as Princess Katharine and all three Weird Sisters. For Frank Welker as Bronx and Boudicca.

But this Archmage stuff here is a tour de force, I think. David just went through, playing both characters. Both versions of himself. Keep in mind, he hadn't been privy to all that the writers had planned. He had come in for his small parts in both "Long Way" and "Vows". Now suddenly, he's this guy(s). Amazing.

"Do you know what to do?"
"I should. I watched you do it."

"Show some dignity."

"I could put you back where I found you."
"No, no." (I love that no, no. So tiny and fearful.)

"Not where. When."

"If you don't know, don't guess."

"The book must remain in play."

"Try to keep up."

"We're not doing her any favors."

"The rules that cannot be broken can surely be bent."

"Nine hundred and seventy-five YEARS??!!"

"I hadn't thought that far in advance."

"What am I supposed to do, eat it?!"

"Now I understand."

"As it did. As it must. As it always will!"

All great fun.

FLAWS

All these episodes were being produced simultaneously. All in various stages of production. So inconsistencies were bound to happen.

The Egg boats are messed up here. Demona's model in her flashback. Etc.

And storywise, what's the deal with Macbeth? I can see why the Archmage wants to include his former apprentice Demona in his plans. He felt betrayed by her, and is glad not to be doing her any favors by enslaving her.

But Macbeth?

Okay, it's not a true flaw. Macbeth is included because the 'plan of the Archmage' -- birthed whole from the timestream without the Archmage ever actually coming up with it independently (though he takes credit) -- included Macbeth.

It is the provence of Luna, not Seline, at work.

But still, I'd have liked to have been able to figure out some connection between the Archmage and Macbeth so that he wouldn't question the boy's inclusion. Thankfully, the Archmage+ is so arrogant, he takes credit and thus never questions. It occurs to me now, that I could have made a connection between Mac and his ancestors, all related to Katharine and Malcolm. Oh, well.

CAPTIONS

These became fun for me. Adding Captions indicating place and time is one of the very last steps in production. So I'm in there for the "On-Line" with Jeff Arthur, our post-production supervisor, and I'm just indulging...

Sure we start with...

"Scotland, 984 A.D."

But pretty soon we're at "YESTERDAY" and "SIX HOURS AGO" and "ONE MINUTE AGO" and finally "NOW".

It still makes me smile.

POWERING UP

So the Archmage gets the eye. Power. But he's still an idiot. He needs wisdom. He eats the book, which I always thought was really creepy and cool. Now he understands. Now we truly have two Archmage+es. But they can't coexist forever. Aside from how complicated that would be to choreograph, and aside from the fact that the timestream needs the younger of the two to fulfill his role....

They also couldn't coexist because both are too arrogant.

So we repeat the scene of departure to close the circle and tack on: "Finally. I thought he'd never leave."

BATTLE FLASHBACK

We get to see a new clan awake from stone. I hoped that was fun.

Ophelia appears (pre-injury). She looked way cool. For all those people who thought that Gabe and Angie were a couple, take a look at the way Gabe is holding Ophelia and looking at her after she's injured.

LAYING PIPE

In addition to the Sleeping King, we were also laying pipe for our whole fourth tier WORLD TOUR. Tom says: "Avalon dropped me in your laps." He credits Avalon with sending him to Goliath.

The Magus declares that he is without magic and useless. Katharine rebels at that: "Don't say it, and don't think it!" She loves him. Just not the way he wanted her to love him.

Bronx and Boudicca want to go with Goliath.

Elisa asks about the Sleeping King...

And Goliath, Angela and Gabriel take off on a stealth attack.

And we immediately see that the Archmage knows they're coming.

Uh oh.

As the Archmage says... "[We've layed all the damn pipe we could possibly need and more], Now the fun really begins!"

To be concluded...

And that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Memo for "Avalon, Parts Two and Three"

In preparation for my ramblings, here's the memo written to Brynne Chandler Reaves & Lydia C. Marano on the last two parts of their Avalon outline. I've added a few [notes], to indicate some handwritten changes to the document.

WEISMAN 2-2-95

Notes on "Avalon, Parts Two and Three" Outline...

GENERAL

ARCHMAGESES
For purposes of clarity, I'm going to refer to the new and improved Archmage as Archmage+. There will be a number of scenes where the Archmage and the Archmage+ will be appearing together. And a few scenes (including one scene repeated twice) where two Archmage+s will appear together. For those scenes I'll refer to them as 1st Archmage+ and 2nd Archmage+, but they'll look exactly alike.

CLARITY
It goes without saying that any time travel episode is going to be complex. So make an extra effort to be as clear as possible. Both in stage description for the artists, and in dialogue for the audience. I know we resist expository dialogue generally. But as you'll see below, the Archmage+ needs to explain things to the Archmage. So it won't feel artificial.

ACT BREAKS
I'm going to leave that up to you. See how the scripts progress.

BEAT SHEET
"Avalon, Part Two"
1. Pick up right where we left off. Pretty much your beat XX. Tom does need to explain that he still refers to the gargoyles as
"eggs". It's an old habit. He apologizes if it caused confusion, but they have been in Avalon long enough for him to grow old. Of course the eggs hatched some time ago.

Also none of the wounded gargoyles should be at the shore. We'll see them back at the palace.

Also don't forget that Angela has Goliath's coloring, which doesn't escape Elisa's notice. And on your Beat XXB1c. the line should expand to: "Daughters and sons belong to all of us, Elisa. That is the gargoyle way."

2. At Oberon's palace. Pretty much your beat XXI. But keep in mind, that the palace is in crisis mode. Acting as a hospital of sorts, to many wounded gargoyles.

Elisa should notice the tenderness between Tom and Katharine when they are reunited. She should also notice the pain it causes the Magus.

Don't forget to describe the Magus as 72 years old. Also describe Gabriel as looking like a young Othello with Desdemona's coloring.

The fact that the young gargoyles act more human than the trio may be too fine a point to get across. They've been raised by humans, but as a practical matter a lot of what we would think of as human is really just contemporary. And obviously, the trio are much more contemporary than these gargoyles.

You need some reason why Tribeca doesn't already have a name. Maybe, Katharine and Tom had tried not to name any of the gargoyles at first, but it just got too difficult for them with the sentient ones. But they didn't bother to name the Beasts? [We dropped the Tribecca notion eventually, and Tribeca became Boudicca. -GW 5/21/02]

Also, both Gabriel and Tribeca will be present in beat 1. So you may want to introduce them there along with Angela. That frees Beat 2 to reintro Katharine and the Magus. (Magus may be acting as a healer, using natural remedies and polstices.)

When Magus makes his point about Oberon's Children having been absent for nearly 1000 years, he might slip in a subtle reference to the sleeping King. (i.e. Arthur.) Something like: "The island's totally deserted except for the sleeping king." And then before anyone has a chance to ask about the sleeping king, something forces a change of topic.

3. Pretty much your beat XXII. Except that the Magus and Tom should probably be the ones to go into detail. The Magus knew the Archmage the best. He'd recognize that the Archmage has evolved into the Archmage+. If the Magus wasn't positive that the Grimorum cannot be brought onto Avalon, he'd swear that the Archmage+ had it. Plus when the Archmage appeared, he carried the Phoenix Gate and wore the Eye of Odin. Goliath realizes that those items must have been stolen from him.

Tom led the first disastrous attack. He saw Demona (doesn't know her name, but recognized her as Goliath's former love) plus some human in strange armor who used a weapon that fired lightning (Macbeth) and the Weird Sisters who once guarded the island. Again Goliath and Elisa can put two and two together. Macbeth and Demona never escaped the Weird Sisters. The Sisters have been using them all along. When Demona and Macbeth stole Coldstone, it was just a cover to steal the Eye, the Gate and the Grimorum. They must have given the items to the Archmage.

All Tom knows is that the Archmage+ is incredibly powerful. So powerful, he sometimes seemed to be in two places at once.

4. Enemy camp. Obviously, somewhere on the island, but where? In or in front of a cave? Someplace pleasant and relaxing, since the villains have every reason to be confident? I'll call it the GROTTO for easy reference, but anywhere is fine. [In the margin, I wrote: "Vengeance Angle"]

Present are the 3 Weird Sisters, Demona, Macbeth and... TWO Archmage+s. Each carries his own Phoenix Gate. And each wears his own Eye, (maybe imbedded like a third eye in his forehead?). They are dressed in black. Their beards are short. Maybe a metal skullcap (ala Merlin in EXCALIBUR). All very dangerous looking in contrast to the cliché Archmage that we knew.

1st Archmage+ says to 2nd Archmage+: "Shouldn't you be going?"
2nd Archmage+: "I suppose I should." 1st Archmage+: "You know what to do?" 2nd Archmage+: "Of course. I watched you do it." So the 2nd Archmage+ raises his Phoenix Gate and says the Phoenix Gate spell, disappearing into the past (see "Vows").

5. We follow 2nd Archmage+ back to 984 A.D. (He can even say: "First stop: 984 A.D." He can have a lot of attitude.) He arrives just outside the cave and secretly watches the battle between young Goliath, Hudson, Demona and the original Archmage ("Long Way To Morning"). (Again, he can fill us in, by commenting on it wryly to himself.) The Archmage loses the Grimorum and falls into the bottomless fissure, the Archmage+ uses the Phoenix Gate to pop into the fissure. He then uses the gate to transport himself and the Archmage to safety.

6. A hilltop or someplace safe. The Phoenix Gate deposits both the Archmage and the Archmage+ a few feet above the ground. The Archmage+ floats. He says "Freeze". And the Archmage freezes in mid-air. The Archmage+ says "Feathers". And a huge pile of feathers appears right below the Archmage. Archmage+: "Resume". And the Archmage tumbles into the pile of feathers.

We get some sputtering and outrage from the Archmage. And introductions. Archmage+ is his future self. Archmage realizes that means sometime in the future he accomplishes his goal of getting the Eye and the Gate. But what of the Grimorum? Archmage wants Archmage+ to use the Gate to go back and take the Grimorum back from the Gargoyles. Archmage+ says they can't accomplish their goals that way because they didn't accomplish it that way. History cannot be changed. But don't worry. We'll get the Grimorum. He uses the Gate and they both vanish again. [In the margins, by these two paragraphs, I wrote: "You want power, revenge. Allies Soldiers Weapons Base]

7. They reappear in 995 A.D. just in time to see the Magus use the Grimorum to reflect the Weird Sister's spell, turning all three of them into owls. (Archmage+ continues to use one word commands like "Float" and "Invisible" to keep them above water and undetectable. His command of magic is that complete. He can also fill Archmage and audience in on where and when they are, fairly naturally in dialogue.) Archmage recognizes his former apprentice the Magus, who's obviously grown into a potent sorcerer. But the fool just hands over the Grimorum, his source of Power, to Finella. Archmage thinks he understands now. They'll take the Grimorum from Finella. But Archmage+ says no. That's not why they're here. They're here to recruit. [In the margin, I again wrote: "Allies"]

Once all the various skiffs have moved on, the Archmage+ finds the three owls and transforms them back into the Weird Sisters. The Sisters are furious that they were defeated. When Oberon forced all of his "Children" to mingle with the mortals of the real world he had left the guarding of Avalon in their supposedly capable hands. Oberon will be very pissed off that they failed. Archmage+ offers them a chance to get even. It will take time though. The Weird Sisters don't mind. Time is one thing they have plenty of. "Then," says the Archmage+, "I will see you again in twenty-five years." And with that, he uses the gate and vanishes with the Archmage.

8. The year is 1020 A.D. ("City of Stone, Part One") and the Archmages appear via the gate. They meet up with the Weird Sisters. The Archmage+ shows them a vision of the forty year old Demona, the fifteen year old Macbeth and their enemy the HUNTER. [In the margin, I wrote: "Soldiers"] The Archmage+ wants the Weird Sisters to help Demona and Macbeth defeat the Hunter. Weird Sisters remind him that Oberon's Law prevents them from directly intervening in the lives of mortals. Archmage+ knows they are magically prevented from breaking Oberon's Law. But he also knows that they can bend it quite a bit. O.K., fine. But how does helping Demona and Macbeth do anything to help the Sisters and the Archmages achieve their goals? Archmage+ tells them that in order to achieve these goals, they will need powerful warriors, fighters adept at sorcery and weaponry, fighters we can control. These two are the perfect candidates. Guide them, help them, protect them for the next twenty years. The Archmage+ will return then with further instructions. The Weird Sisters agree and depart.

Archmage isn't too happy about this. He recognizes Demona as another of his former apprentices. One who betrayed him by losing the Phoenix Gate "years, uh... decades ago." Why are we helping her? Archmage+ tells him not to worry. This is our revenge. Believe me, we're not doing the gargoyle any favors. And again, he uses the Phoenix Gate to make them both disappear.

9. They reappear in 1040. The Weird Sisters report that they have done their best to aide Demona and Macbeth. The first Hunter is dead. But there is a new one now who's even more dangerous. Archmage+ is very pleased. He knows that Demona and Macbeth will arrive soon. He instructs the Sisters to guide them into making a magical pact that will link their life energy together. We will need them alive and vital centuries from now. We must make them immortal. [In the margin, I again wrote: "Soldiers".]

Sisters and Archmage are confused. Immortal warriors are powerful. How will we control them? Trust me, says Archmage+.

Archmage+ renders him and the Archmage invisible, just in time to see the fifty year old Demona and the 35 year old Macbeth enter. ("City of Stone, Part 3") We see the Weird Sisters link them magically.

Afterwards, the Sisters explain that the job is done. Neither can die, unless one kills the other. Excellent, says the Archmage+. Keep an eye on the two of them. Also keep an eye out for the Grimorum, the Gate and the Eye of Odin. The Weird Sisters are confused. Archmage+ has the Eye and the Gate. Archmage+ laughs. But I didn't have them. Not until you brought them to me. We'll meet again on an island called "Manhattan"... in 955 years.

Archmage: "Nine-HUNDRED and fifty-five years?!!" But before he can protest, the Archmage+ uses the gate to transport them both away.

10. 1995. Manhattan. Weird Sisters as NYC Fashion Models rendezvous at Tavern on the Green, with the Archmages. Archmage+ says: "Disguise". And he and the Archmage, seem to be wearing modern clothes. Over a pleasant candlelit dinner, the Sisters fill us in. All three magical talismans have fallen into the hands of this gargoyle... and an image of Goliath appears in the candlelight. Archmage recognizes Goliath, and can't believe that he survived this far into the future. Archmage+ says, "This isn't the future yet."

Archmage+ asks about Demona and Macbeth. Sisters respond that both are phenomenal fighters, proficient with modern technology and weaponry and half-decent sorcerers to boot. Plus each warrior has his or her own agenda. Demona is determined to wipe out humanity. And Macbeth is equally determined to wipe out Demona, even though he knows it will cost him his own life. They will be very difficult to control. Archmage+: "Yes, yes, but what are they up to now?" [And yet again, I wrote "Soldiers" in the margin.] The Sisters believe that Demona is about to cast a powerful spell to turn everyone in Manhattan into stone. Macbeth will take this opportunity to hunt her down.

Archmage+ is very pleased. He advises the Sisters to help Goliath defeat both Demona and Macbeth. Make your final move after they've fought each other, but before Macbeth has a chance to end their lives. At that point they will be weakened enough for the Sisters to put a sleep spell on them. Then bring them to me. Where? Macbeth's home on this island.

[Optional, if you have space: The sisters exit. Archmage+ asks the Archmage if he'd like to watch the action. Archmage says yes. Archmage+ says: "Somehow I knew that."]

Archmage+ uses Gate and both disappear.

[Optional, if you have space:
11. Invisible Archmages watch a replay of the final scenes from the end of City of Stone, Part Four. The ones where the Weird Sisters help Goliath talk Macbeth out of killing Demona. Put them both to sleep. Tell Goliath that they will take responsibility for them and vanish with them. The Archmages depart as well.]

12. Macbeth's mansion. The Archmages appear as do the Sisters with Macbeth and Demona. The latter two are sound asleep. The Archmage+ whispers to the sleeping warriors. He "suggests" that they work together to steal the Grimorum, the Gate and the Eye from Goliath. The Sisters provide the clock tower location, and suggest that they steal Coldstone as well. That way the theft of the talismans won't be detected immediately. Demona and Macbeth leave together to carry out this plan, completely fogged about how it came to them or why they are working together. [By the margin of both paragraphs 12 & 13, I wrote: "Weapons".]

Archmage asks about Coldstone. Weird Sisters say he is another warrior that might be of use to them. Archmage+ shakes his head. Coldstone wasn't part of the plan, so he can't be now. If his presence aids in the theft of the talismans, fine. But he must be separated from Demona and Macbeth, before the next stage of the plan can be set in motion. They will meet again at the watery door to Avalon.

[Optional:
13. Invisible Archmages watch Demona and Macbeth steal the Eye, the Grimorum and the Gate from the secret hiding place in the clocktower from "High Noon".]

14. The Archmages reappear above misty water. Archmage+ says: "Boat". And a boat magically appears beneath them. They float down to it. While they wait for the sisters, Archmage demands to know the plan. Archmage+ finally fills him in: "Soon the sisters will bring you the talismans. The ultimate magical power that you've always dreamed of. [In the margin, I wrote: "Base".] But once you get that power, what will you do with it?" Archmage is baffled. He hadn't thought that far ahead. He mutters something about conquering Scotland. Archmage+ suggests conquering the world, but warns that it will not be easy. The modern world is a place of science not sorcery. Magic is potent, but so are modern weapons. The Archmage will need a safe place to launch his attacks from. That haven is Avalon. The only problem is Avalon is occupied. Fortunately, Oberon and his children have abandoned it. But there are a few humans and gargoyles living there. Our first job is to kill them. The Archmage is very pleased with his counterpart's plan.

The Sisters join them on the raft, along with entranced Demona, entranced Macbeth and the three talismans. The sisters warn the Archmages that the Gate and the Eye are not a problem, but the Grimorum is a book of human sorcery. It cannot enter Avalon. Archmage+ is unconcerned: "Give him the Eye." Seline gives the Archmage the Eye of Odin. The Archmage puts it on. The Archmage+ explains that the Eye grants power and insight. It makes the wearer a more powerful version of himself. It usually takes weeks to transform an individual, but the Archmage+ has the ability to speed things up. "Change," he says. And the Archmage begins to metamorphose -- painfully -- into another Archmage+.

When the metamorphosis is complete, the 1st Archmage+ tells the 2nd Archmage+ that he now has the power of the world's greatest and, frankly, most evil sorcerer. But he lacks the knowledge. The exhausted 2nd Archmage+ gets the message. He asks Phoebe to give him the Grimorum. He uses his new-found power to swallow it hole. The 1st Archmage+ is very pleased. Now he is one with the magic, and there's no need to worry about bringing the Grimorum to Avalon. Even Luna is impressed. She hands the 2nd Archmage+ the Phoenix Gate, completing his power. 1st Archmage+: Shall we proceed?

[Note: I circled paragraphs 15, 16 and the first paragraph of 17 and wrote: "One Beat" in the margin and "But show it to us." By 15, I also wrote "Base".]

15. The 1st Archmage+ materializes in the palace of Oberon, in front of Katharine, Tom, the Magus. He tells them to "Make your peace, for at sundown, you die." He uses the gate to disappear again.

16. He reappears in the Grotto, joining the 2nd Archmage+, the Sisters, Demona and Macbeth. One of them spots Angela and Gabriel watching them and sneaking away. Demona asks if she should stop them. No, says the 1st Archmage+, they'll be back.

17. Sure enough, Tom the Guardian leads the gargoyles against the villains. It's a disaster. Many gargoyles are wounded. None of them can fight on a level with either Macbeth or Demona. Let alone the futuristic weapons that they bring. The Weird Sisters avoid direct interference, but still manage to use their magic to ensnare their opponents in their environment. And the Archmage+ is everywhere, popping in and out, using the Gate, vanishing. Using magic. He's devastating. (During the fight, play the two Archmage+s so that Tom might say something like "It was like he could be in two places at once." As opposed to Tom realizing that there are two of them.)

Tom is forced to sound retreat.

[I marked the rest of seventeen and 18 and wrote "combine" in the margin.]

Demona and Macbeth want to pursue and finish them off. But the 1st Archmage+ is supremely confident. Why bother? If we wait until Dawn, the gargoyles will all be stone. Only the Guardian, the Princess and the Magus will be left to defend the palace. It's so much easier to sit back and enjoy the cool breeze for a few more hours. [In the margin, I wrote: "Waiting for Goliath. Important. Vengeance. He wants Goliath.]

Luna asks: "What about the sleeping King?" The 2nd Archmage+ is surprised. He had heard the legends of the sleeping king, but didn't know that they were true. Seline assures him the King is on the island, asleep. Phoebe warns that the King's power was once very great. 1st Archmage+: "Then when once we've taken the island, we'll just make sure he never wakes up."

18. Time cut to a few hours later.
1st Archmage+ says to 2nd Archmage+: "Shouldn't you be going?"
2nd Archmage+: "I suppose I should." 1st Archmage+: "You know what to do?" 2nd Archmage+: "Of course. I watched you do it." So the 2nd Archmage+ raises his Phoenix Gate and says the Phoenix Gate spell, disappearing into the past. Obviously, this is an exact repeat of Beat 4, and finally leaves us with only one Archmage+ for the rest of the story. Archmage+ makes some comment about how the other one was getting on his nerves.

19. AND Finally, we return to the present and resume from beat 3 with our heroes in the palace. Tom picks up his story where he left off. After, there disastrous mass attack on the Grotto, they all realized they were in deep shit. Sunrise was only six hours away. They thought about hiding the gargoyles, but realized there was no place on the island where the Weird Sisters couldn't find them. They had to get help. Tom ventured out by skiff to the real world. As he had done once every century. The skiff landed at Wyvern, and Tom was shocked to see that the castle was missing. He went to a local village, where he was told that the castle had been moved to the top of a skyscraper in a place called NEW York. Tom picks up on the word "skyscraper". Is it possible that the castle has risen above the clouds? One villager's seen it in New York. It's definitely above some of the clouds. (You can show this village scene in flashback if you have space or time.) Tom returns to his skiff, returns to Avalon, and launches off again, praying that Avalon will send him to this NEW York. (Hinting that he doesn't have a lot of control.)

Sure enough he found New York and Goliath and brought him and his friends back. But the mission took two days in the real world. That's two hours here on Avalon. There's only four hours left until sunrise.

Tom apologizes to Goliath. He's tried to train the gargoyles to be warriors, but he's self-taught himself. Plus Avalon always seemed so peaceful, etc. Protective instinct must never have developed. Maybe if Goliath led the next attack... But Goliath is sure Tom did his best. Sometimes a direct attack isn't the answer. Sometimes stealth is required. If we can steal the Gate and the Eye back from the Archmage, we may have a chance. Goliath will need someone who knows the island. Gabriel and Angela both volunteer. Fine. Goliath asks the Magus to come as well. His magic might prove useful. The Magus cannot meet Goliath's gaze. He hesitates. Finally, he says that without the Grimorum he has no magic and would be a liability to Goliath. Elisa wants to come, but Goliath asks her to stay behind. If this mission fails, Tom and the others will need her expertise on dealing with Demona and Macbeth. Goliath, Angela and Gabriel depart. After they go, Elisa turns to the Magus and asks: Tell me about the sleeping King.

20. They sneak into the grotto and for a beat it looks like they might succeed in their mission. But no. They are caught. Woops. [In the margin, I wrote: "Arch+ sees them coming."]

END PART TWO

START PART THREE
21. Looks like curtains for our three heroes. Goliath even resorts to making an appeal to Demona and Macbeth. Can't they see they're being used. Does it suit Macbeth's sense of honor to wait 'til dawn to slaughter innocent gargoyles. Demona hates humans, but why would she help the Archmage hurt her own children. It doesn't make sense to Demona and Macbeth. They start to come out of the spell. But the Archmage+ is just amused by Goliath's pleas. With one word: "Obey", Demona and Macbeth are again his to command. Fortunately, rescue comes from another quarter. Bronx and Tribeca. To some extent, the rescue only succeeds because the Archmage+ is complacently amused. He likes watching the little mice run the maze. In a few hours it'll be all over anyway.

22. Goliath and Co. return to the palace. The mission was a failure.

[Note: the following paragraph was crossed out.]
But not a complete failure, says Angela. In the confusion, she got away with the Phoenix Gate. Angela wants to use it to go back in time and stop the Archmage+ before he arrives. Can't be done, explains Goliath. History cannot be changed. He's learned that lesson, painfully. Can they escape to the future? They'd be abandoning Avalon. The situation they arrived in might be even worse. Better to make their stand now. Well could they use it flee the island? This time Gabriel says no. This is his home, the only one he's ever known. He will protect it, not abandon it! Goliath is impressed. The gargoyle way is strong in Gabriel. But Angela's disappointed. Stealing the gate didn't help very much. Goliath assures her, that it helped a lot. They've taken away the Archmage's mobility. And gained some for themselves. The Gate doesn't have to be used for time travel. It can be used just to move instantly from place to place. But how will that help? Goliath isn't sure yet.

Hey, where's Elisa and the Magus?

23. Elisa and the Magus journey to the "Hollow Hill" where sleeps the sleeping King. (It's Merlin who sleeps in the Crystal Cave. At least by my research.) Maybe they have some time to talk. Elisa has noticed that Tom and Katharine are close. The Magus tells her that as the boy Tom became a man, he and the Princess fell in love. (Again, if you have the room and/or the inclination, you can show this in flashback.) Now they are husband and wife. They raised the gargoyles as their own children. Elisa wonders where the Magus fits in. I don't, he says. But his feelings for Katharine are also obvious to Elisa. How could he stand to stay and watch them grow closer? He had to stay. He had done an unforgivable thing when he cast his spell upon the gargoyles. He owed it to Goliath to tend the eggs. His pain is not important.

24. They arrive at the Hollow Hill. They see the sleeping King. He lies on a bed, surrounded by arms and gold and jewels. They move to wake him, but are intercepted by two hollow suits of armor. Elisa empties her revolver into one, but it's pretty useless. Suddenly the Magus casts a rhyming spell. (Rhyming in English, not Latin.) The armor is defeated, though it leaves the Magus drained. Elisa is shocked. She thought the Magus had lost his magic. He had. Centuries ago when he lost the Grimorum. But the island is full of magic. It is everywhere: in the wind, in the water, in the trees and certainly in this hollow hill. His training makes him sensitive to it, but summoning it without study is very hard. It's an unpredictable and often unsuccessful endeavor. He cannot be counted on.

Elisa approaches the sleeping King. For the very first time in this three parter, we hear someone speak his name. Elisa: "Arthur Pendragon. King Arthur. You are needed." And King Arthur awakens. It's that easy.

Suddenly Goliath and Angela appear via the Phoenix Gate. [The phrase 'via the Phoenix Gate' was crossed out.] What did Elisa think she was doing? Elisa realized that Demona and Macbeth are two of the greatest warriors of all time. It's a hard truth, but even Goliath has never actually bested either of them. The best he ever did was foil their plans or fight them to a draw. They needed someone better. They needed the best warrior who ever lived. Arthur clears his throat. Would someone please tell him what's going on? Angela's excited. In a minute, she says, and using the Gate, teleports them all away. ["and using the Gate, teleports them all away." was crossed out.]

[From this point out, stuff in {} is crossed out material.]

25. Back at the Grotto, The Archmage+ {has only just discovered that the gate is missing. He} is furious, and his demeanor does not improve when the Sisters wryly blame his own hybris and complacency. Fine, he says. Then we will attack now.

26. Back at the palace, Arthur's just heard the gist of the situation. He's not thrilled. This isn't what he was supposed to be awakened for. He doesn't have Excalibur. He doesn't have his knights or Merlin... But he looks around the room and sees the faces of those who need him. He will do what he can. Gabriel enters. They're out of time. The villains approach. Arthur will lead Tom, Elisa and Gabriel against Macbeth and Demona. Goliath and Angela will {use the Gate to} face off against the Archmage. Katharine, Bronx and Tribeca (and whatever other healthy N.D. Gargoyles we've shown) will stay with the wounded gargoyles and do their best to protect them. But who will take on the Three Weird Sisters. I will, says the Magus.

27. The battle. O.K. This is going to be a big one. You want to have space for it, cause it's the fight we've been building towards for THIRTY-SIX EPISODES, so we've got to make it worthwhile. (Also we have tons and tons of epiloguing in this one, so we need the audience to feel like they want a good long rest after the mega-battle is done.) You'll do a lot of intercutting between the various fronts. But for clarity here, I'll take them one at a time. (Also feel free to adjust or expand on any of the details... I'm just trying to give a big picture overview.)

ARTHUR, ELISA, GABRIEL, GUARDIAN vs. MACBETH & DEMONA
The Archmage+ has sent his two warriors as an advance force to soften up the enemy. Macbeth is impressed by this new warrior. He asks his name, and when he hears that it's Arthur, we can see that he's momentarily shaken by it. He's an Arthur-buff. A great admirer. Well. He's always wanted to test himself against the best. For his part, Arthur's quick to figure out that when either Macbeth or Demona are hurt, both feel the pain. He instructs his troops to use that to their advantage. Demona realizes that she must put some distance between herself and Macbeth. She'll still feel his pain, but not as severely. She gets past Arthur's force and into the castle. Arthur sends Gabe, Elisa and Tom in after her. He'll handle Macbeth.

ARTHUR VS. MACBETH
Macbeth is quickly deprived of his lightning gun. Both wind up using medieval weapons. It may even come down to hand to hand combat. Finally Arthur wins.

DEMONA vs. KATHARINE, BRONX, TRIBECA
Demona gets into the palace. She is confronted by Bronx and Tribeca, but they don't stop her. She finds her way to Katharine and the wounded gargoyles. We need to see by this time that Demona's bloodlust is so high, that there's no chance of talking her down again. The spell on her has worked her into such a froth that she can't see that what she's doing is against her own interests. She's a brainwashed assassin. Katharine is ready to die for her charges, and it looks like she might have to.

DEMONA vs. GABRIEL, GUARDIAN, ELISA
They arrive just in time, Gabriel and Guardian save Katharine temporarily. But they're no real match for Demona either. She's about to kill them all, when Elisa says wouldn't you rather have me. And there it is. Someone Demona hates so much, that no spell is more powerful. She leaps at Elisa, giving the others time to regroup. Ultimately, Demona is taken down by sheer force of numbers. Maybe Elisa gives the takedown blow.

MAGUS vs. THE WEIRD SISTERS.
They can't believe this old, impotent man is challenging them again. Without his precious Grimorum, no less. But he rises to the occasion. It's a sorcerers battle, so have a lot of fun with it. And the Magus wins by trapping them. Probably in some kind of iron or some kind of chain. (But here's a thought, that only just occurred to me. Should the Magus give his life in this fight, i.e. be mortally wounded during it. Maybe drained beyond any hope of recovery? He would be the one real casualty of the battle. Goliath would of course forgive him on his death bed as the old man passed away, finally at peace, maybe with Katharine's kiss on his lips. I know we planned on sending him off with Arthur, but I can't help wondering if we didn't make this fight to easy on our heroes. Isn't it necessary for them to lose something truly precious, i.e. the life of a friend? I have very mixed feelings, cause I like the character a lot. I could probably be swayed either way. Before you go to script on part three, talk this over with both me and Adrienne [Bello, our S&P executive].)

GOLIATH, ANGELA vs. ARCHMAGE+
Goliath attacks directly. And is really being trounced. The Archmage+ has not forgotten how Goliath defeated him back in "Long Way to Morning". He's really punishing Goliath. But that was part of the plan. Angela uses the gate to {bop in, and} throw the overconfident Archmage+ off balance. {She and} Goliath {toss the gate back and forth between them. They vanish and reappear.} The Archmage+'s magic still is formidable, but the tactic is infuriating him, which makes him sloppy. Finally, Goliath manages to grab the Eye and wrench it off the Archmage+. (Note: As in Eye of the Beholder, this should be damn painful for Goliath.) The Archmage+ immediately metamorphoses back into the old Archmage. But he's not through yet. He's still got all the power of the Grimorum inside him. But without the Eye to contain that power, he has a problem. You see you're not supposed to bring human magic onto Avalon. The Grimorum is burning him up from the inside out. Nothing gory, but he is destroyed in magical flames. It is over.

28. Epilogue time. Goliath realizes that the Eye and the Gate were not meant for mortals to use. He swears never to use either of them again. (He'll break this promise later, but it at least explains why he doesn't immediately use the Gate to take him, Elisa and Bronx back to Manhattan). He and Angela gladly walk back to the palace.

29. It is now only ten minutes until sunrise. Decisions must be made. They ask Goliath if it is safe for the Gargoyles out in the real world. Unfortunately, no. Not really. They invite him to bring the other gargoyles back to Avalon. No. That won't work either. Some of them must continue to live in the real world. Learn to live with humans. It will take time, but if they don't try, the outside world will never be safe for gargoyles again. Given that Goliath is willing to take any gargoyle who wants to leave. From here, you can pretty much pick up back on your outline: BEAT XXXX. (Though obviously if we kill the Magus, Arthur's leaving alone.)

30. Pretty much your Beat XXXXI. Arthur (and the Magus?) leave first. Also we have to deal with Macbeth and Demona. They can still be unconscious. The trapped Weird Sisters are forced to free Demona and Macbeth from the spell. They tell our heroes that neither warrior will remember anything that happened to them since the spell was first cast in City of Stone, Part Four. Somehow, we have to rationalize sending them off unconscious on a skiff of their own. Good luck. Finally our 4 travelers leave for Manhattan, poling out into the misty water. But Tom knows from experience that "Avalon does not take you where you want to go. Avalon takes you where you need to be."

That's it. Call me with any problems or questions, and in any case let's talk about the Magus.


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Galvatron writes...

1.You've said that there was someone prior to the archmage who joined together the grimorum, phoenix gate and eye of odin so when did this happen?
2.How did he integrate the grimorum into it? I know he didn't swallow it.
3.What did he do with the power?

Greg responds...

1. Not saying.

2. That was only necessary for our Archmage because he was entering Avalon.

3. Entertaining stuff, I tell you.

Response recorded on January 23, 2002

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Anonymous writes...

How did the Archmage get the grimorum?
How did he become Malcolm's advisor?
What did he do before becoming Malcolm's advisor?
Why wasn't the Archmage burnt for witchcraft?

Greg responds...

1-3. Not saying now. All part of the Dark Ages tapestry.

4. He was too useful for too long.

Response recorded on November 01, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

How did the archmage acquire the grimorum arcanorum?

Greg responds...

In a very entertaining story.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Demoness writes...

Today I watched the "Avalon" episodes and somehow it got me thinking about what we saw in "Long Way Till Morning" and "Shadows of the Past". *cracks knuckles* Okay here goes...

In "Long Way Till Morning" during one of the flashback scenes; Demona, Goliath, and Hudson enter the Archmage's cave and pass this wall with a bunch of carvings on it. From what I could tell, these carvings looked ancient and I began to wonder the following questions:

1: Did the Archmage somehow create these?

2: If no, who did then?

Now, there is this one carving we get a close up of that shows what looks like the Archmage standing over some gargoyles. So heres my next question:

3: What was the significance of that carving?

Now in "Shadows of the Past" we see this huge structure underneath the Archmage's cave. It looks like it has runes etched into it or some strange ancient writing. We know that it has a magical property because Hakon tells us when he is explaining how their ghostly forms could exist. At first I thought of the Archmage some how building it, but then again that leaves me with a bunch of questions. Anyway here is a question pertaining to that:

4: If not the Archmage, which is obvious by now, then who built that structure?

Also, I read the Lost Race archive and you stated that there were some artificats of the Lost Race left behind. So....

5: Is question (1) a Lost Race artifact?

6: Is question (4) a Lost Race artifact?

Greg responds...

1. No.

2. I'm not telling right now.

3. That's subject to interpretation.

4. See answer to question 2.

5. I'm neither confirming or denying this.

6. Ditto.

Response recorded on September 01, 2001

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matt writes...

i just watched "Awakening 1 and 2" and wow, i love these eps, particularly "Awakening 1" its beautiful!
anyway, i was wondering some things about the sleep spell:

1. would the sleep spell work on a human? could a human be put to sleep for a thousand years?

2. what is the spell's peculiar attachment with the castle? the spell says "until the castle rises above the clouds", but what if the Magus tried this spell on some rogue gargoyles? would they still sleep til Castle Wyvern rose above the clouds? what if the gargs live in another sort of structure, like the Mayan Pyramid? would the spell still work? i just don't quite understand the spells need for a link to the castle. could Magus have changed the spell to say "sleep until the sky burns or whatever"?

3. was the sleep spell in the Grimorum when Magus first acquiered it? was that spell in the Grimorum there when the Archmage first acquiered it?

i guess the Grimorum being transported through time by the Phoinex gate over 900 years really helped it to be presearved, eh?

Greg responds...

1. The spell would work on humans. But we age while we sleep. So we'd die long before the castle rose above the clouds.

2. Open ended spells require more power, more energy. Setting a limit (no matter how unreasonable the limit may seem) makes casting the spell easier. Certain spells were written or adapted to certain limits. The Magus may also have adapted the spell to his needs. But basically, it was the equivalent of "til Kingdom come".

3. I imagine so.

Didn't hurt.

Response recorded on September 01, 2001

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zakhur writes...

Was the archemage influenced by someone, apart from his future self, to take the three talismans and his plans to take over avalon and the world? sorry if this is a weird question, but I was wondering about that for a long time

Greg responds...

He had wanted the three items of power for some time because he had read about their joint use before.

The Avalon take-over seemed the idea of his future self. But of course that future self only learned it from his future self. So one might ask, who came up with the actual idea. Was it born of the time stream, whole?

Response recorded on September 01, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

1a.In some cultures knowing the name of a person gives you power over it so is this true in the gargoyles universe?
1b.If so is that why the Archmage and Magus are called by their titles because of their names?

Greg responds...

1. It can be true. It certainly can't hurt.

b. Perhaps... ;)

Response recorded on August 30, 2001

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matt writes...

is the Magus related to the Archmage?

Greg responds...

Not by blood.

Response recorded on June 29, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

What did the Archmage do to get charged with attempted treason?

Greg responds...

That's classified.

Response recorded on June 29, 2001

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Oberon writes...

1) Why did the Weird Sisters spend so much time and effort making Demona and MacBeth their pawns, and keeping them alive for nine-hundred and something years?
2) Why did the Archmage want those two in particular?
They seam pretty powerfull but there have got to be people of equal power in the 20th century (even people who would be willing o go the Avalon)
3) If they had over 900 years, why didn't the Weird Sisters get afew more pawns (would have been a good idea, considering ththier attack on Avalon failed)

Greg responds...

1. Partially, because the Archmage asked them to. And for other reasons, I'm not yet revealing.

2. I don't think the Archmage fully knew the answer (or thought to care). Demona, he thought he was punishing for an earlier ("Vows") betrayal. But even that argument is specious. And he didn't know Macbeth from Adam.

3. The Archmage didn't ask for any others. That restricted them, vis-a-vis Oberon's Law.

Response recorded on June 20, 2001

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Entity writes...

Hi Greg,

You refer to Demona and Macbeth as "foot-soldiers" in the context that the Weird Sisters used them for (or sought to use them for). Isn't that a bit of an under-title for them? Why go through all the trouble of obtaining Demona and Macbeth if only to use them as "grunts"? First off, isn't the entire purpose of foot-soldiers/grunts to have a lot of them? Merely two suggest specialization, and indeed, they seem to have been chosen because they were special. What was the Archmage's motivation behind obtaining these two in particular, and any two in general? Did he just not want to have to get his hands dirty with "menial" tasks? Did he want the ego boost of having underlings? Were Demona and Macbeth candidates because they were "the best" and therefore more of an go boost?

Greg responds...

Terms like "foot soldier" and "cannon fodder" were clearly used by the Archmage to make him feel more important. In fact, he was cherry-picking very talented warriors.

Or one might argue, he had nothing to do with the selections. How did he even know about Macbeth? Sure his older self told him, but how did he know? Sure HIS older self told him, but how did he know? And so on, and so on, and so on...

Response recorded on June 19, 2001