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matt writes...

we know that gargoyles were once widespread around the world and much more common than today. we also know that gargoyles are extremely territorial and protective, so my questions are:

1. was there ever a time, in early gargoyle history, that wars between Gargoyle Clans were fought?

2. if so, were wars fought over territory? differing beliefs? something else?

3. if there were not any wars were there any minor battles between Clans or have Gargoyle Clans always had peace between them?

4. was there ever a time when two or more Clans shared strict borders between their protectorates or were the Clans pretty well spaced out even thousands of years ago?

5. how many Clans existed at the peak of the Gargoyle Species? closer to 1000? 10,000? 1,000,000?

Greg responds...

1. I think it would be ridiculous to issue a blanket "no". I think this would be a rare and isolated phenomena in a world which at the time would have had almost unlimited territory to expand into and no predators truly able to hurt the species. But to say it NEVER happened... no. It must have.

2. I don't currently have anything specific in mind.

3. See above.

4. Largely the latter, but again, I don't want to issue an absolute.

5. I'm not good with numbers.

Response recorded on July 07, 2005

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James Sconawah writes...

Is Gabriel Coldstones son? If so then does that make his love his mother?

Greg responds...

Yes, Gabriel is the biological son of Coldstone and Coldfire. But from a gargoyle's point of view, Goliath is as much Gabriel's father as Coldstone is.

Response recorded on October 26, 2004

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Anonymous writes...

Prior to the rise of humanity, did gargoyles ever develop agriculture or animal husbandry on their own?

Greg responds...

Gargoyle Beasts were domesticated.

Response recorded on October 08, 2004

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Babs writes...

Since I can't get any sleep and was watching re-runs of Gargoyles. I remember someone asking how do Gargoyles show love do they kiss ?, and I believe the answer was that they pet eachother, (please correct me if I'm wrong) but I do recall Goliath kissing Demonas hand, and Angela and Broadway giving a kiss to eachother. Can you explain the differences for me, or just tell me if they do kiss ?
Danke for answering

Greg responds...

Culturally, the gargoyle equivalent of the kiss is to stroke hair or ridges, etc.

But Gargoyles have been living around humans for a long time. So the fact that they've acquired the habit (pleasant habit as it is) doesn't surprise or trouble me, continuity-wise or otherwise.

Response recorded on September 13, 2004

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some REAL rambling...


This is just me thinking aloud. (Well, not really aloud. I'm sitting here typing.) I don't even know if I like these ideas. They're definitely not canon.

But the following notions occured to me today...

Gargoyles don't seem to have a native language. They acquire human language ... perhaps much the same way that they acquire names. Naming is clearly addictive. And language, in many ways, is just sophisticated naming.

Clearly gargoyles are just as intelligent as humans. Before humans developed tools, Gargoyles were at the top of the food chain. They may not have created/invented as much "stuff" as humans have, but they also had way fewer needs. Necessity being the mother of invention, they had less motivation for inventing sophisticated shelter, clothes, tools, etc. But that in and of itself isn't a comment on their brain-power.

So why no need for language and names?

When it comes to naming, gargoyles clearly felt that names were superfluous if not somewhat limiting, if not downright harmful to the spirit. Humans must define things. Gargoyles know that things just are.

We are friends. What other name do we require, etc.

It fits in with their animistic/monotheistic view of a higher power. A higher power that requires no name.

Does beg a question, though if you go back far enough.

Does the sky need a name? Does the river?

Elisa responds: "The river's called the Hudson."

But she could have responded: "The river's called a river."

Did the gargoyles have a language that they ABANDONED in favor of human words -- even if those human words were Atlantean (like the term "Gorlois", the true Atlantean etimology for "GARGOYLE")?

Or perhaps...

Gargoyles are so attuned to the earth. They have biological clocks that match the seasons. They have relationships that require no names, until those names have been imposed.

Is it possible, that gargoyles once... long ago... had mild psychic abilities that left them with no need to create language? It wasn't words that they intuited (or transmitted or read or whatever) but emotions, maybe images or sensations.

Maybe it was tied to magic. Not that Gargoyles are magical creatures, but if magic was free-flowing before the Will-O-The-Whisps evolved into the Children of Mab (or whomever) and somewhat confiscated that power for their own, perhaps that magic was just part of the Earth that gargoyles were so attuned to, and allowed for some psychic congress.

Or perhaps, it is a biological ability -- based on biio-elecricity and brainwaves -- that has faded with disuse. Perhaps the very language skills that Gargoyles learned from the human race dampened their psychic intuitiveness, much as Fox's natural magical abilities were stunted by her human upbringing.

Either way, it suggests that this ability could be latent.

I'm NOT saying that the gargs we know are psychic. They've all been fooled enough, even by the INTENSELY emotional Demona (who would theoretically be broadcasting as well as receiving) to bely that notion.

But I wonder if this isn't an interesting area of speculation.

If you see me at the Gathering THIS WEEKEND, it's a topic I'd be interested in discussing.

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Ruth Lang writes...

OK, this page is a great idea, and I'm glad I finally found it.
I've been trying to work out how GOliath's loincloth is tied. All the others (except Hudson,who has trousers) have their loincloths just over front & back, nothing going underneath to keep things secure. ANd I just can't make a single piece of cloth fold around the way Goliath's seems to be. I'm sure it has be only one piece, because that's the way Scots did most of their clothes.
I'm going to have to spend a lot more time on this place and see if anyone else has come up with my theory on gargoyle sex etc, based largely on what they wear, or rather how. ANd figure out who all those characters are in the age list, I've seen all the episodes now but half of them I can't recall hearing of. What Othello & whatshername in Legion? COldstone's mate doesn't have a name, they're characters in something of Shakespeare.

Greg responds...

There is, of course, a part of the loincloth that goes "underneath". Trust me, Goliath et al are not just out there blowing in the wind. It is still one piece, it just folds over the belt with space cut out for the tail in back.

Othello is the name we use to refer to Coldstone before he became Coldstone. The actual character doesn't have a name. It's just a reference.

Desdemona is the name we use to refer to Coldfire before she became Coldfire. The actual character doesn't have a name. It's just a reference, though we did use the Desdemona name in the credits for actress C.C.H. Pounder.

Iago is the name we use to refer to Coldsteel before he became Coldsteel. The actual character doesn't have a name. It's just a reference, though we did use the Iago name in the credits for actor Xander Berkeley.

Response recorded on July 22, 2004

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Starrynight writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman,
I am writing in relation to a thought I had about Gargoyle culture and society after taking a Anthropolgy class this summer. The earliest human civilzations such as the Maya and the Egyptians built large buildings and monuments out of stone.
1. Did gargoyles ever built any kind of stone buildings or sheltors besides their rookeries by excavating caves?

2.If gargoyles did in some form hue stone to make a monument. Would it have possibly have been for there unique god which you have alluded to before?

2. Early weapon making among humans began with one of man's earlies ancestors Australopithecus. Like chimpanzes today they used tools to get food. They used stones to break open roots. The techinques of more advanced tools like arrow heads and flint knives did not begin until the next human ancestor arrived called Homo erectus. Did gargoyles ever develope any kind of weapon making or use of objects such as rocks to better inable themselves with technology in order to survive in harsh enviornmental conditions?

Greg responds...

1. Rarely. They required less protection from the elements, which is one of the major motivators to inventing "shelter".

2. No. There animistic/monotheistic faith required no monuments, as the gods/God was everywhere in everything.

Second 2. Again, generally not necessary. Gargoyles were, until humans invented tools, at the top of the food chain.

Response recorded on July 15, 2004

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matt and others in the Comment Room writes...

we were wondering if a gargoyles urge to protect is a natural urge or something they are taught by older generations to do, or a combination of both?

Greg responds...

I'd guess both.

Response recorded on June 16, 2004

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Jacob writes...

Hi Greg,
did Gargoyles ever play music or are they uninterested in it?

Greg responds...


Response recorded on March 15, 2004

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Siren writes...

I was wondering with Gargoyles' names. Now, according to the show to date, in 994 A.D., it was still the habit, at least of the Wyvern Clan, not to name gargoyles. Save Goliath. And even after then, to my knowledge, Demona's small clan of gargoyles did not have names.
Come present day, the Manhattan Clan all adopt names, even more traditionalists like Hudson. When the Avalon Tour came around, we come to find all the clans give names to the gaargoyles. (Of course, the Avalon Clan has names because they were raised by humans.) So through the centuries, has all the gargoyles changed their minds about naming eachother? Did the gargoyles name themselves or do the humans normally name them?

Greg responds...

Naming is, as I believe I've said before, addictive.

Once the custom is introduced it takes hold rather firmly. I honestly haven't decided for sure whether all of the existing clans use names, but most do.

Sometimes these names come from humans. Sometimes they evolve within gargoyle communitities over time.

I feel that in Guatemala, only four gargoyles traditionally had names, i.e. the four gargs who wore the pendants: Zafiro, Turquesa, Jade and Obsidiana (though at other points in history they might have been Zafira, Turqueso, Jada and Obsidiano). But now that all but those four are dead, now that all the surviving Mayan gargs have names, it will be interesting to see whether or not the hatchlings that hatched there in 1998 were given names or not.

Response recorded on December 02, 2003

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matt writes...

in "The Price" after Hudson's statue was destroyed was the Clan in effect beginning to perform the Wind Ceremony on Hudson when they were standing around talking about him?

also, in the credits of that episode there was a mention of parts of the episode being inspired by material in the comic books (presumably the Gargoyles comic books) any idea what thats about? i have a few of the comic books and i have no idea what the credits are referring to...

Greg responds...

No. They were just trying to get their heads around his death. The Wind Ceremony would have come later.

The story was inspired by an idea by Lee Nordling in a Gargoyles story he did in an issue of Disney Adventures Magazine. It was his idea (though he used Goliath, not Hudson) to have Xanatos replace a sleeping gargoyle with a stone statue to fool the rest of the clan.

That was the only thing from his story that we used, and I've never even met Lee, but it was a great idea.

Response recorded on November 21, 2003

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Vanity writes...

Gargoyle customs-

It has been well established and I would think we all are well aquainted with the notion that Gargoyles didn't use names. Not for themselves as humans did and that the eventual use of names was influence and need of conformity from/by humans.

However you have said that gargoyles kept their myth, history and traditions alive by oral revelation from one generation to the next.

How where they able to tell sagas of things great leaders had done if they had no name of which to tell? (Try to tell your children about Napolean and all the things he did and all the people in his life without using his name)

It would be all too generic and vague for any real value. Did gargoyles never realy have great leaders? Did they consider the clan as a whole more important than the decision making of the leader?


and further note-my post on the guitar tab--well the on the outro the difference in the type size from the field box to the post page made it look wrong. so here is the outro again.



Greg responds...

History to the gargoyles is more about the clan, about movements, than about individuals. But descriptive terms can be used to identify individuals. (Cf. Homer's Illiad.) I'm forgetting the technical term just at this moment -- where's Aris when you really need him -- but if you've got a guy named Ajax of the Broad Shoulders, for example, then do you really need the "Ajax" part of the name.

The point of NOT naming, as Hudson would say is to NOT set limits on who or what an individual is. So he might be "Of the Broad Shoulders" one minute and also be "Of the Massive Temper" the next. Both would be true, but reflect an aspect of the individual, as opposed to making an attempt to wrap the entire individual up into one word: Ajax. Over time these epithets would become as familiar as a name for an historical figure -- particularly in the context of a tale told over and over again.

Response recorded on July 21, 2003

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Vanity writes...

Questions regarding gargoyle sex and sexuality.

1) Do gargoyles reckognize their own sexiness, do they reckongnize that they may or maynot be sexier than another gargoyle?

2) Do gargoyles just instinctively know (or practice) sex or are they taught in some manner?

3) What is/are the function(s) of the female gargoyles' breasts? (Milk, motor oil, chiefly sexual)

4) Do tails play a role in sexual activity? If so how?

5) Do gargoyles practive pre mate-bonded sex, or generally stay virgin up to chosing a mate?

6) Oral sex?

7) Is rape a problem for gargoyles? Either by eachother or by humans whilst they are young.

8) Which would you consider more sexually active male gargoyles or female?

9) Goliath told Elisa that when she was human he hadn't realized how pretty she was. What physical traits in humans can potentially attract the eye of :
A- A male gargoyle to a human female?**
B- A female gargoyle to a human male?**
**no need for great specificity here, merely general qualities that may be attractive to a gargoyle

10) Do they suffer STD's?

note: I am not trying to be cute, I consider these serious questions, I however realise that question (4) is somewhat well...wrong, but I believe in its legitimacy.

Greg responds...

1. Huh? I think self-esteem/ego/etc. issues aren't much different for gargs than humans.

2. I'd lean more toward instinct, but I'm sure there is some discussion.

3. Milk. Garg females breastfeed the hatchlings.

4. Use your imagination.

5. Generally they mate for life.

6. Are you offering?

7. Without getting into rape specifically, I think the series has made an effort to show that no species corners the market on either good or evil.

8. Equal.

9. Likely the qualities they have in common, I suppose. Elisa's hair for example, I think, is very attractive to Goliath. Her lack of wings, tail and horns of any kind is probably not so attractive until (a) his eyes are opened during "The Mirror" and (b) he comes to terms with the strong attraction he has for her soul. I would think that for a gargoyle female, there wouldn't be that much in human males to find attractive. But that might just be my bias showing.

10. Not likely, as they heal every day, no illness really has the opportunity to take hold.

I get that you're serious. I tried to answer as seriously as I could and stay in the ASK GREG realm of PG. If you're attending the Gathering this year, Thom Adcox and I will be hosting a late night "Blue" Mug-A-Guest, i.e. an opportunity to ask us adult questions about the series. Over 18 only please.

Response recorded on June 20, 2003

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Vanity writes...

When early man first met a Gargoyle was he just compelled to kill it? Did early man's superstitious and early proto-religous notions convince him that gargoyles must be evil? I would think that early man would be scared of the much more physically dominant gargoyles, however; mammoths proved no match for early humans. Of course I'm also curious as to gargoyles' reaction/response when early man first starting walking about.
Which specie of man first encountered gargoyle (Homo neanderthalis, Homo erectus, Homo sapien..ect..)?

Archeologists have definately found early man developing weapons crafted of wood and stone and bone. This would help offset the physical inequality between man and goyle. When did gargoyles borrow or invent tool making for themselves. Being 'rational' beings I would think it wouldn't take long for them to realize that the spears humans threw at them really hurt!!

I hate to ask a billion questions like this but....

You have said that gargoyle evolution predates mammalian evolution so Gargoyle evolved before man. So given the seemingly headstart in evolution how could they just let man rule the world.

Why does it seem that given the rough lives of gargoyles, which they had no better that early man; did they not invest themselves in art, music, and architecture. When even some of the earliest men developed tools, made art, evidence of instruments presumed by archeologists as perhaps made for music. They began religous elements as burying the dead and trying to preserve the elderly. (Evidence of this espicially advanced in Homo neanderthalis, of which old men have been found with multiple injuries{perhaps gargoyle induced} indicating his being taken care of by the neanderthal family even at the high risk way of life that the neanderthal lead). What accounts for early man's eagerness to "learn-adapt-evolve" where gargoyles seemed content just to use or mimik man's achievements?

Greg responds...

1. Not necessarily. I don't think early man could kill a gargoyle. That took practice.

2. I think fear -- not necessarily superstition, but old-fashioned, this thing is bigger and stronger than I am fear -- would have been there.

3. And Mammoths were something of a match for man, certainly they were dangerous prey. And they weren't nearly as intelligent as a gargoyle.

4. Since, my theory is that Gargoyles pre-date modern man, the answer is, all of them, I believe.

5. I don't have dates for this, but I'm not sure that gargoyles ever truly adopted the spear. Yes, it hurt. But they had better defenses (and offensive strategies) given their physical natures than to adopt spears.

6. Note - I don' mind a billion questions. Just wish you'd NUMBER them, for easier reference. (EVERYONE PAY ATTENTION!)

7. Well, they didn't just let men rule the world. They were largely asleep when man began to take over. Gargs tended to trump everything that came before, including man. But a man with tools, ultimately trumped the Gargs.

8. Who said they didn't? Who's to say that some of those artifacts you speak of weren't gargoylean. And were just attributed to man by human archaeologists who know no better.

9. No, not burying the dead, because gargs have their own tradition, the Wind Ceremony, ashes to ashes or dust to dust.

10. Again, you're assuming facts not in evidence. The fact that they didn't use clothes or weapons or have sophisticated shelters, none of which they physically required, is hardly proof that all they did was use or mimic man's achievements. The first time you meet the gargoyles, in 994, the species is, sadly, already in decline. What you know doesn't speak to what there was or might have been once upon a time.

Response recorded on June 16, 2003

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Justin writes...


I have questions about "full" clans.

1) Now a full clan in definition is a group with common family ties in some form. So would clans ever reach a setup where not every gargoyle knows the gargoyle? I.E a clan with say 500,000 members?

2) Will the Manhattan clan ever exceed a population of a 1 million? or more?

3) If three is yes than will some eventually move into the city and leave the castle?


Greg responds...

1. Not likely. Clans tend to split after their membership gets up into the range of about eighty.

2. Again, not likely.

3. You know I've only planned as far as the early 23rd Century. The numbers of living gargoyles worldwide don't approach what you're asking about. So I can't answer what would happen if or even whether we'd ever get up to numbers that high.

Response recorded on June 11, 2003

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Jared Jones writes...

Hello. I am a big Gargoyles fan and I was wondering something, what would/does happen if a Gargoyle is no good at fighting enemies or protecting a castle or home? Or if a Gargoyle didn't want to fight. Thanks for your time.

Greg responds...

He or she would do other things. As all our characters do other things in addition to protecting and fighting. There might be some stigma attached. Hopefully, not too much.

Of course the gargoyles have many enemies, who might not care whether or not a gargoyle was inclined to fight. So it behooves all gargs to learn some basics in self-defense. Humans too, probably.

Response recorded on June 11, 2003

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F7 Addict writes...

I finally got to see Bushido. I must compliment you on the effect caused by facing opposite the sun. I never realized just how used to their position relative to the sun I was. The backdrop when they turn to stone threw me. Sweet!

Greg responds...

Thanks, although I'm not sure you're right on target. They were facing into the building as opposed to facing out toward potential danger. Since they were still all around the building, at least a quarter of them were still facing the sun.

Response recorded on June 06, 2003

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Benjamin Gilbert writes...

"A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air."

You've said (or implied) that Castle Wyvern was built while Hudson was the clan leader. So protecting the castle can't have been a deep-seated, traditional, imperative practice for the Wyvern clan. Sure, there was the normal gargoyle territorial instinct, but there wasn't a _castle_ to protect.

1. Did Hudson (or another clan elder?) invent that saying out of whole cloth? If so, why? Why did he feel the need to word this saying _so strongly_ for a practice less than a generation old, and repeat it to the hatchlings until they were sick of it? (Certainly the Trio seem to have heard it enough.)

2. If not, where did the saying come from, and why did Hudson latch onto it as strongly as he seems to have?

Greg responds...

1. I think that it was a slight adjustment of the original phrase, which may have been something like "A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the rookery than breathing the air." (I believe, by the way, that the "Rookery" used to refer to the gargs' entire home, not just the cave with the eggs.) Or maybe "A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the clan than breathing the air." Or something like that. Did Hudson make the necessary change? Probably.

Response recorded on June 02, 2003

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matt writes...

do gargoyles have any special terms or names for the years or the parts of the year that they mate, lay eggs, or eggs hatch?

Greg responds...

Gargoyles aren't too big on naming things. But, yeah, probably.

Response recorded on May 19, 2003

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Cha-cha writes...

1.Where there any other clans in Scotland around 994?
2.Was(and is it)uncommon for a gargoyle to mate outside the clan?
2a. If not, would that gargoyle belong to both clans or have to choose just one?

Greg responds...

1. Where were they or were there any? The answer to the latter is yes. Though even by 994, the Garg population in Scotland had already been decimated.

2. Well, I wouldn't say it was common back then, but no, I wouldn't say uncommon either. That's not meant to be evasive, just nuancy. It happens often enough so that no one would think it truly odd. But it's not like it was happening all the time.

2a. Ultimately, the gargoyle can't physically live in two places at once, so he or she or rather they (the couple) would have to chose, but that doesn't mean both or either wouldn't be welcomed at the other location.

Response recorded on April 21, 2003

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Daphne writes...

you said that eventually the Gargoyles would attend night classes at colleges. would high schools or younger hold night courses for young gargoyles, or would they be generally homeschooled? and how would the schools adapt for the difference in aging rate?

Greg responds...

I won't pretend I've thought out all these details. Any change would be gradual at best. Homeschooling would predominate at first, certainly. Age would fundamentally have little to do with aptitude, I would think. But that might be controversial. It would be fun to explore, given the opportunity.

Response recorded on April 21, 2003

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Dragon7 writes...

Dear Mr. Weisman I find your posts on gargoyle physiology and culture very fascinating. Having recently read some of your earlier answers to the newly identified Loch Ness Clan a question came to my mind as to how this clan raised and cared for its offspring. It is widely known that gargoyles in the other clans in the gargoyles universe lay eggs is this also true of the Lochness Clan and if so do they put their eggs into caves until hatching as the Wyvern Clan did in generations past?

Greg responds...


Response recorded on April 15, 2003

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Vashkoda writes...

I've never bother to question any of the following, and I still pretty much accept it as "just the way things are", but I figured I'd still ask about it just in case it led to any interesting revelations:

1) Why *do* gargoyles assume threatening poses while they sleep? You've mentioned that gargoyles have a similarity to scarecrows. Also, one explanation for building gargoyles on medieval churches was to scare away demons. But what's the "Gargoyles-Universe" explanation? Is it really that effective in scaring away predators (and what kind of animal would attack something made of stone, anyways?). Even scarecrows lose their effectiveness over time, once birds get used to them.

2) In Japan, where the clan said that they face inward as a sign of trust to the humans, they still strike frightening poses. Is this "pose-behavior" therefore something instinctual?

3) Similarly, why did the trio, Hudson and Bronx assume threatening poses as the Magus's sleep spell took place? I'm not sure the gargoyles even understood what was happening, or identified the Magus as a threat (Lex says, "What's he talking about?" and Hudson asks, "What's all this?" just before the spell). As they see the magic swirling around them, I think they get suspicious, but it still seems odd for them to assume attack poses at that moment (I would have expected them to be confused or afraid, but not violent, especially if they haven't had time to understand what's going on). I was wondering whether the fact that they were becoming stone had triggered their instinctual pose-behavior, or were they indeed getting ready to attack the Magus?

Greg responds...

1. Partially, it's just tradition. Keep potential enemies away. A reminder to any potential attacker of what they might face.

2. Possibly. You're in a state of relative vulnerability. The pose might lend some sense-of peace-of-mind.

3. That's possible too, although I always assumed that they were on the verge of leaping into action at the attack when they got caught in it.

Response recorded on April 11, 2003

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Chapter XXXV: "Avalon, Part Two"

Time to Ramble...

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.


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.


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.


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?


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"


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?


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...


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).


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.


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.


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.


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."


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.


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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Creamy writes...

Yeah I knowm, stupid questions but...

1)When Gargoyles hatch are they infant or toodlers?
2)When first hatched can they crawl right off?
3)At about what time(month)of the year do they hatch?
4)You said that gargoyles nurse. So do the females take turns nursing all the hatchlings or just one?
5)For how long?
6)What age do gargyles usually learn to glide?
7)What did gargoyles do with hatchlings that were deformed or were found to have a mental retardation later on in life?

Greg responds...

1. Right when they hatch? Closer to infants.

2. No.

3. Generally, around Spring Solstice.

4. It's communal.

5. I'm not sure.

6. I'm not sure of this either. Something I wanted to explore in the future.

7. The clan takes care of its own.

Response recorded on January 15, 2002

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Aris Katsaris writes...

How old do you think a hatchling would need to be before the Manhattan clan allowed him/her to take part in the patrols around the city? Would 13-year old Nashville (of the older conception) take part in patrols? The 9-year old one of the current conception?

Greg responds...

I don't know. Honestly. I think that gargoyles (traditionally) as in most quote-unquote primitive societies expected children to take on adult responsibilites at an earlier age than we generally do these days. But I haven't thought that out.

Of course, the interesting thing about Nashville is the notion of permission. You have a kid who's spent literally his entire life as a virtual temporal fugitive, it's going to be a little difficult to get him to just sit at the castle once he's in the relative safety of a static environment surrounded by an extended family of protectors.

That tension interests me. But I won't pretend to have worked out the details yet.

Response recorded on January 14, 2002

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The Cat writes...

Hi Greg,

Last one from me, for awhile anyway.
Ok, these are about disabilities. I'm disabled and I was wondering about this because it seemed to me that the only gargoyles that had anything wrong with them (such as blindness or missing a limb) aquired it in battle.

1. Are any gargoyls born with problems that cause a disability?(Like, I have heart problems and they caused me to have a stroke when I was 4 years old which caused the right side of my body not to work properly.)
2. Are any gargoyles born blind, mute, deaf or missing any limbs?
3. If yes, what does the rest of the clan do with them?
4. If no, why not?

Ok, I'm being chased off the computer. I better run. Bye.

Greg responds...

1. I don't know. I won't rule it out, but I have their healing factor to figure in. It's also possible that some eggs just don't hatch. But I'd have to think and do more research.

2. Same answer. I'm not sure at this point.

3. The clan takes care of its own in any case.

4. The answer, if the answer is no, would have something to do with the healing factor which begins to work even in the egg. But again, I haven't considered this yet, honestly.

Response recorded on November 29, 2001

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The Cat writes...

Hi Greg,

The Cat, again.
Ok, these questions are about language.

1. Do gargoyles have their own language?
2. If no, then how come the Guatamala and Japanese Clans could understand Goliath, Angela and Elisa when they were on the "World Tour"?
3. If yes, what would it be called? Don't you dare say English, that is a Human language!
4. How come the Guatamala Clan and the Japanese Clan could speak perfect English? It takes a bit of time to translate Spanish into English and vica versa. Same with Japanese.
5. Languages under go many changes. In just a generation the words that one used to mean "Nice!" Have gone from "Groovy!" to "Cool!" So, how could Elisa understand Goliath since the English language had gone through many changes in 1,000 years and most likely Goliath and his clan spoke Celtic, Gaelic or Anglo-Saxxon, not English?

Ok, Bye.

Greg responds...

1. No.

2. On some level we were cheating. But basically, we were assuming that English is fairly global at this point.

3. See above.

4. I wanted to make more use of foreign languages in these and at least a couple other episodes. Do a bit of stuff with subtitles. But my bosses rejected the idea.

5. This was another cheat, largely. I'm told, Michael Reaves has a theory to explain this using a magic spell. But I've not heard it first hand.

Response recorded on November 29, 2001

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The Cat writes...

Hi Greg,

Ya said post every question separately for each topic, so that is what I'm doing.

Ok, these questions are on another topic of much controversy. Race. I'm curious about this topic because during my freshman and sophmore years in highschool my classmates were in a racial, I'll say, argument. While, I think, no one was hurt it left me wondering about what gargoyles might do in the same predicament.

So, here are the questions:
1. Are gargoyles prejudice of another gargoyle just because the other has something different than the others, like wings, a beak, ears, etc?
2. Do gargoyles ever think that they are better or worse off because of how they look?
3. If either of these two are incorrect, then why?

Well that's it, Bye.

Greg responds...

1. Because there is so much racial prejudice between gargoyles and humans, the cosmetic differences between various gargoyles seem relatively insignificant. Everything is relative, of course and depends on scale.

2. Sure.

3. See above.

Response recorded on November 29, 2001

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The Cat writes...

Hey Greg,

Figured I'd nag ya just a little.

Ok, these questions are about religion. I'm curious about this one because I remember (this is still probably going on) when the northern half of Ireland was in turmoil with the southern half just because of religion.

So, here are the questions:

1. Are gargoyles concerned about religion as much as humans are?
2. Do they have their own?
3. Do they ever get into fights with other clans just because their version of the truth doesn't quite corruspond to the others version of the truth or because one clan may believe in one god or goddess while the other clan may believe in more than one god or goddess?

4. Are gargoyles so much "higher" than humans that they're not that petty and really don't care about whether or not the religion of one clan corrusponds to their's as long as it has something in it about protecting humans and being "good"?

Hope ya got all that. Hope I spelled right. Oh well, you should get the idea of what I mean if I didn't spell any big words right, like corruspond, I don't think I spelled that one right.

Greg responds...

1. Referring to any group of individuals as monolithic in their beliefs is a mistake. But generally speaking the Gargoyles' Faith, so to speak, is both animistic and monotheistic and essentially more laissez faire than most human religions. Codes of conduct and respect and tradition mean quite a bit. But God generally takes care of himself/herself.

2. Sure, to some extent. Check the archives under Gargoyle customs for more information.

3. Interclan warfare would be EXTREMELY rare in that the clans are so spread out even in medieval times.

4. Individual gargoyles may be more 'evolved' than individual humans, but one of the points of the series was that no one species is superior to any other species.

Response recorded on November 29, 2001

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Mooncat writes...

If Gargoyles are biologically inclined to take a monogamous mate (as well as traditionally) why is it so easy for Thailog to discard Demona?

Can a gargoyle have physical relations with more than one other gargoyle before the "imprint" sets in? Or does the "imprint" set in during the first full physical relationship?

Greg responds...

Opportunistic programming allows Thailog to override certain impulses.

Generally, the latter.

Response recorded on October 10, 2001

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matt writes...

a couple weeks ago someone asked what gargoyles protected before the other races showed up and you said each other. but since we have the Mayan clan protecting a forest, the Loch Ness clan protecting prehistoric monsters, the London Clan protecting a shop in SOHO, and i'm sure there were other examples, what gargoyles protect has always been extremely varied and never limited to sentient beings.

1. it seems from clan to clan there is a wide range of what to protect. why is that?

2. every species, like the gargoyles, protect their own kind and eggs, etc., but why did gargoyles begin to extend that protection to more than themselves?

Greg responds...

1. Reread your own preamble. Good. Now. Why do you think?

2. Because they care.

Response recorded on September 06, 2001

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John writes...

Hi Greg,
now, I have something REALLY nice for you:


Oh, yes. I've allmost forgotten my question: the Gargoyles in 995 took a new children as a children of the whole clan. Will it be the same in 2198, or will the Gargoyles here raise their kids like we do??

CU, John

Greg responds...

Nice link. Very kind words. Thanks.

Largely, gargs in 2198 return (assuming any ever left) to communal rearing of their children.

Response recorded on September 06, 2001

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Justin writes...

Hi Greg,

1a) I would like to know whose responsibility is it to train the younger warriors in a clan? 1b)Is it the leader? 1c)The second? 1d)Or some other garg entirely?

2) If the answer is the second then did Hudson's mate train while she was alive? Did Goliath take the job once he was chosen? Did Demona take it after him?

Greg responds...

Ultimately, the leader is responsible. But the whole clan is also responsible. It's possible that some clans at some times might appoint an individual to head up training. But again, that doesn't remove responsibility from either the leader or the clan as a whole.

Response recorded on September 06, 2001

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matt writes...

1. would two gay or lesbian gargoyles still be considered rookery parents to certain generations of hatchlings?

2. if a gargoyle had no mate, would he/she still be able to be a rookery parent to certain generations if he/she wanted too?

3. if a gargoyle is the biological parent to a hatchling in a rookery, can he/she choose not to be a rookery parent and be accepted by the clan for that choice?

Greg responds...

1. Traditionally, and I'm not saying I approve, the only gargoyles who were considered rookery parents were the ones who actually contributed to the breeding. But there are also uncles and aunts, grandparents, cousins etc. who helped with child-rearing.

2. Again, traditionally, they were still not counted as 'parents' but as members of the clan, they would share responsibility for raising the children. How much of that responsibility was assumed by any individual, depended on that individual's desire and abilities.

3. Uh.... This again would be beyond unusual and not well accepted or understood by the clan. Also it would take a sort of conscious statement on the part of the individual. He or she would have to be making a big point of not wanting to participate. Because given that there's a whole clan there raising each new generation, it would be easy enough to just not do all THAT much with the kids, if you weren't inclined.

Good questions, by the way.

Response recorded on September 06, 2001

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Lord Sloth writes...

1. Why does Hudson where a full set of clothes when most of the other Wyverin Gargoyals seem content with loin cloths and bra cloths (or whatever they are called).

2. Do you know what thoes "bra cloths" the female Gargoyles wear are really called? I'm not sure why this question interests me. Really.

Greg responds...

1. Sloth, I'm guessing that you're either young or in good shape or both.

2. Is this a quiz?

Response recorded on September 03, 2001

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Vashkoda writes...

Referring to that Tootsie Roll quote, did you mean "my sympathies" to those who know of it because it would mean that we're old, or were you apologizing to us for using that quote as your answer? Anyways, like Sapphire said, it's not *that* old--in fact, it played when Gargoyles was still part of The Disney Afternoon (I know because it's on one of my tapes, though it's a version with a robot and a dinosaur monster instead of "Mr Owl" and "Mr Turtle").

I know I had a question to insert in here somewhere.... Ah yes:

You also just said, "Tachi will also get some individual rearing, because B&K will be the only parents in range." Maybe I misheard you, but I thought that at the Gathering you said that from your timeline calculations, it turns out that Tachi will still be an egg when Brooklyn returns from his timedancing. So did I misunderstand, or did you do some re-calculating?

Greg responds...

Tachi will be born after they return. But she'll be the only egg to hatch in 1998 and thus the only set of rookery parents will be Brooklyn and Katana. She'll have a lot of rookery aunts and uncles though.

But basically, I was splitting hairs a bit.

Response recorded on September 01, 2001

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matt writes...

1. in 1996, does the Loch Ness clan use names?

2. does the New Olympus clan?

3. does the Pukhan clan?

4. does the Xanadu clan?

Greg responds...

I have intentionally not made decisions about this at this time.

Response recorded on August 30, 2001

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Lord Sloth writes...

Do they main 7 Gargoyles only protect Manhattan and not the rest of new york? I know protecting Manhattan alone must be a lot of work, but still, why are they being so selective?

Greg responds...

Times have changed, and they are now more far-ranging. But initially they limited themselves to the island of Manhattan, because that was something that their medieval minds could grasp. An island fortress was just an extension of the community and castle that they were accustomed to protecting.

Response recorded on August 24, 2001

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Kelly L Creighton/Kya White Sapphire writes...

just another FYI

I was watching discovery, learning about human relationships. a theory says that way back when humans were hunter/gatherers, a pair would mate, and stay together long enough for the offspring to no longer "burden" its parents. then the pair would split, and find new mates, therefore keeping a large range of genetic possibilities.

the theory further stats that modern humans seem to have kept this behavior somewhat, which explains the trouble so many humans have staying with a life mate.

another part of the theory says that humans generally have three marriages: the first for sex, the second for children, the third for comanionship.

so gargoyles combine all three into one. cool. but again, that hurts their genetic diversity :)

Greg responds...

I suppose, but only when you put it that way. If humans are only mating once for kids, then they are no better off.

Response recorded on August 21, 2001

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Sexy Queer writes...

Do Garagoyle Clans view or declare a Homosexual mating or as some humans do they think thats to werid?

Greg responds...

I swear, I'm not clear what you are asking here.

Response recorded on August 06, 2001

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Jimmy writes...

If gargoyles evolved before humans and the fay, what did they to protect?

Greg responds...

Each other, as usual, and whatever else was around. Also that long ago, I'm not guaranteeing that GARGOYLES PROTECT was the big slogan.

Response recorded on July 18, 2001

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Steven L. writes...

Gargoyles mate for life. Does that mean that once two gargoyles show interest in each other, and become intimate, that they've mated, and are officially forevermore monogamous?
If so, what happens if, over the years, the two gargoyles come to drift apart, or realize they have nothing in common? Do they stay together simply because of tradition? I take it there's no gargoyle equivalent of divorce. (Or at least there wasn't until Goliath and Demona kinda set precident).
And in that vein; should a gargoyle have an affair, then what happens if that affair is discovered? Does the unfaithful gargoyle and the one he/she had the affair with get banished from the clan?
Hope this hasn't been asked before.

Greg responds...

Gargoyles mate in both sexual and ritualistic fashion. After that they GENERALLY (and that's the key word) remain monogamous.

They imprint upon each other biologically, and there are strong ties of custom to discourage a split. Affairs, I believe, are quite rare.

But as you noted, sometimes things don't work according to plan. Iago has clearly imprinted on Desdemona, though she is imprinted on Othello and he has imprinted on her.

Goliath and Demona imprinted upon each other, but maybe as a result of a thousand years, that imprinting didn't last. Goliath has clearly imprinted anew on Elisa. (BTW, I'm not sure I'm using the word imprinting correctly. I know it's generally used for babies to imprint on their mothers. But it's the closest thing I can think of.)

So there are issues of both biology and custom that discourage anything like divorce or cheating. But that doesn't mean it NEVER happens.

Response recorded on July 18, 2001

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Gipdac writes...

Do the members of the Avalon clan celebrate their hatch-days the same way we celebrate our birthdays? I know hatch-days aren't important to Gargoyles, but humans raised them, so.

Greg responds...

They all hatched together over a two or three day period. It's a community celebration.

Response recorded on July 11, 2001

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Gipdac writes...

1) Will Angela and Broadway raise their kids like humans, by only two parents, or will they be raise like gargoyles, in a collective rookery?
2) If so, will that trend continue into the future?
3) What about Brooklyn and Katana's children will they raise their children collectively or individually?

Greg responds...

1. Like gargs.

2. Generally.

3. Nash will be raised individually, initially, or communally if you consider that his TimeDancing parents represent the complete community of adults. Tachi will also get some individual rearing, because B&K will be the only parents in range. But both kids will get a lot of community parenting from the Manhattan Clan.

Response recorded on July 11, 2001

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Vashkoda writes...

You've said that gargoyles *could* live up to an old age, but that few survive that long because of the violence of the times.

1a) Were the Wyvern gargoyles constantly under attack in the days before castle Wyvern? b) ...after Castle Wyvern? c) I think you'd mentioned an event we'd never seen where many in the Wyvern clan were murdered, hence explaining their numbers in 994. Can you confirm this, and give us any details on the event?

2a) Are these warriors dying young, or are they dying as they start reaching their 120's or so, and start slowing down? b) Are older gargoyle warriors expected to keep fighting, or at some point are they able to retire? c) Is this expectation what's causing gargoyles not to live up to their 200's?

Greg responds...

1a. I don't know about constantly. But there were problems.

b. Ditto.

c. I don't recall that. I did mention that the clan colonized a new location before 994.

2a. Both, I suppose. I don't like talking in generalities. (I like being mysterious, of course. That's different.) I tell stories about individuals. Just not here.

2b. The concept of retirement is largely human. Though Hudson did step aside for Goliath.

2c. Possibly.

Response recorded on July 06, 2001

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Blaine writes...

Okay, so we know gargoyles mate for life, but do they ever date.
1) Like, for example, Gabriel and Angela (I know they aren't a couple, it just an example it could be replace with anyone (Demona/Coldstone, Zafiro/Turquesa, etc.) but what if they had dated for a little and decided they just didn't like each other that way, and then they both go off to find other mates (Ophelia and Broadway). Again, not literally Angela and Gabriel but just for example. Could or would that ever happen? And I realize I thinking really human on this one.
2) And what if your mate dies. Could you remate (that's not a word, but you get the idea). Like Hudson, could (not will, so you wanted be revealing anything) find another mate?
Thank you, I LOVE the show ;-)

Greg responds...

1. You're thinking pretty human. The clan spends a LOT of QUALITY TIME together. There's time to get to know prospective mates without "dating".

2. In theory, it's possible. Goliath lost his mate and is now extremely attached to Elisa. But that's the exception. Not the rule.

Response recorded on July 02, 2001

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Punchinello writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman.

I don't come here often, but occasionally I'm struck by the urge to quiz you on something. I was browsing the questions you're fielding, and I was struck again by something I notice every time I visit this page. There seems to be some preoccupation here with "the mind of the other." I noticed another poster make reference to your interest in it (although I cannot find any record of your having initiated the discussion).

While the series was still active I saw you invoke this theme frequently whenever you emphasized the cultural shock that the gargoyles experienced in modern America, and I appreciated the fact that you treated our linguistic tendencies to "name everything" as a curious human social construction. It helped to push the idea that these creatures were _not_ human and that we could not understand their natures or their motivations from within the context of human sensibilities. I see there is some similar talk here of the fay, and the notion that their essential nature might be something that is sufficiently far removed from humans so as to be outside our understanding. All of this puts me in mind of the anthropomorphic problem that the SETI administration outlined for dealing with the idea of extraterrestrial intelligence's. Human beings have a tendency to ascribe human values to non human species, and beyond that have considerable difficulty in contextualizing "the mind of the other" without unconsciously resorting to the context of human sensibilities.

Which brings me to the reason for this post; because being a student of the sciences (and probably less attached to my humanity than most people), I have found reason to be extremely critical of some of the aspects of the way the anthropomorphic problem is treated within the natural sciences as it applies to non-human animals. Generally speaking, my problem is that some of the more archaic ethical distinctions that are made between humans and other animals have their foundation in the premise that the ascription of certain mental capacities ( reflection, emotion, etc.) are the ascription of _uniquely human_ qualities. The fact that this premise, itself, is socially constructed rather than informed by data, seems to be lost on at least most _social_ scientists. What is troubling me is that I have begun to observe this kind of thinking migrate into the popular domain through science fiction. I don't really follow sci fi, but I've seen star trek, and I have had occasion to see the half-dozen or so other popular sci fi programs that one can find on television. I see a trend wherein the heroes casual disintegration of a planet is commonly justified with the hazily defined and indistinct ethics of "It did not harbor any sentient life."

This trend is scaring the hell out of me; because the expression "sentient" is not really used within the scientific community, so it does not have any agreed upon definition attached to it and there is no objective data informing the idea of it. The word seems to have infiltrated popular culture, however, where it finds frequent expression. That's what's bothering me. I see a lot of the same hazy ethical reasoning on this board. A number of messages expressing the confusion that humans in your story were subject to when they "mistook the gargoyles for animals rather than sentient beings" and in doing so, justified a campaign to exterminate them.

I would hope that a reasonable group of people would be given pause by the almost casual disregard for life that is being demonstrated with the prioritization of one life over another based upon the presence or non-presence of this seemingly magical endowment. Because if I am reading the intentions of the contributors to this board accurately, then it would appear their position is that if the occupants of that clock tower had been a group of stray dogs or a family of polar bears, then annihilating them with a wire guided missile would have been perfectly reasonable. "It's all right. It didn't harbor any sentient life." I would encourage the fans that come to this site to give some thought to what it is they mean by "sentience." What is the content of this sentience? If it entails that a creature can react to it's environment, anticipate, reflect and emote, then it should be pointed out that what available data exists indicates that this capacity is only about as exclusive a domain as most land based vertebrates.

I guess they shouldn't have disintegrated that planet after all. I hope to encourage others to give this issue the thought that it requires. I am also hoping to elicit some commentary from you, on the matter of how you perceive "the mind of the other." What mental distinctions do you draw between humans and gargates or faeries. I would be interested in hearing you address the notion.


Greg responds...

Thank you for writing. It certainly gets me thinking.

I'm probably as guilty as anyone of overusing, or rather overbilling the issue of "sentience". I think the concept has its uses. But it's probably used as a crutch too often.

Certainly, I don't want to see a family of polar bears, anthropomorphic or otherwise, blown up by a guided missile.

I don't much like the idea of destroying planets. In science fiction or otherwise.

As to this "mind of the other" concept...

Well for starters, I don't believe I did initiate the discussion of it -- unless you're including my constant admonishments to posters here that they are thinking like a human.

The previous post by Demoness and my response are a perfect example. She thinks Oberon is out of line. But she's thinking like a human, and a biased one at that. (I don't mean to pick on you, Demoness.) Oberon has a valid point of view. We may not like it, but it seems justifiable to me.

But the question of the mind of the other, was posted here initially by someone else. ( I can't remember who it was at this moment. ) I only just answered it in the last few days. Since you posted YOUR question, hopefully you've seen my response to that one.

And to reiterate, my response was that I'm still (in our universe) interested in the mind of US. Not the OTHER. But one way to explore that is to put ourselves in the shoes of the OTHER. Finding and describing and bringing the OTHER to life, whether as a Gargoyle or as a Child of Oberon, is for me an exercise in EXTRAPOLATION.

For example: If I was me, BUT I turned to stone every day AND I aged at half the rate I currently do PLUS most of my species had been exterminated 1000 years ago, ETC. -- then WHAT WOULD I BE LIKE?

For me, it's less about investing in species then in individual characters. Each with his or her own UNIQUE LIST of "extrapalatory parameters" (I just made that phrase up.)

It's really no different with a character like Elisa. After all, I'm a white Jewish male from California who has spent his entire adult life working in fiction. Elisa is an African-American/Native-American female from New York who's spent her adult life fighting crime. To understand her, I need to extrapolate.

However, in order to understand individuals of another species, I need to know more about that species. I need to envision the parameters that I will use to fully create their characters. So I've done that. In many ways, to me, gargoyle culture represent a kind of ideal. Not perfection, which doesn't personally interest me. But an ideal. Purpose. Loyalty. Oneness with the world they live in. Etc. I've borrowed things that I admired from multiple cultures and from my imagination, and I've tried to weave it into a coherent whole that fits the biology that I assigned them. These biological limits also create parameters for extrapolating character. Yes, the turning to stone thing. But also the group egg laying on a twenty year cycle. This naturally leads into the group child rearing thing. One is biological. One is cultural. But they are linked by extrapolation.

[Or... and I know this sounds silly but... perhaps they are linked by truth. By the fact that they exist in the Gargoyle Universe. As I've said many times before, sometimes this show flowed so well and easily, that it just seemed like I was tapping into something that existed. (But that's got nothing to do with this discussion, so let's ignore it.)]

And yet, from my point of view, all this is used to further illustrate the human condition. I don't think Oberon does or should think like us. But don't we all know a couple people with a little Oberon in them.

Keith David has said, as recently as seven days ago, that when he grows up he hopes to be like Goliath. And I personally think, that flawed as he is, Goliath is a wonderful role model. So we, as humans, can learn from Gargoyles. And we, as humans, can learn from Margot Yale as well. Maybe as a negative example. Maybe as something more down the road.

Ending Hunter's Moon with Jon Canmore becoming the human equivalent of Demona, was not an accident. They arrived at that point in two very different ways -- each, I hope, well informed by his or her species. (Or well extrapolated.) Nevertheless, the similarities between them are obvious and represent a "lesson" for us all.

All that stuff interests me MUCH, MUCH more than the exercise of creating something fully OTHER, just for the sake of achieving that.

Someday that may not be true. Aliens could land in Washington D.C. tomorrow and then comprehending the OTHER for the sake of understanding the OTHER will become a BIG priority fast. But for the time being, the human race is effectively alone in the universe. And before the aliens land, I'd like us all to get to know ourselves MUCH, MUCH better. In that sense, an Oberon, a Goliath, a Nokkar, are all just tools to that end.

The concept of sentience, comes in again, as I said, as a crutch. A convenient distinction between Bronx and Goliath, for example. Let's say you're from Russia. You don't speak English, and Goliath doesn't speak Russian. Still you have a hope that one or both of you may learn to speak the other's language. Dialogue is possible.

Bronx isn't ever going to speak Russian or English. That's the distinction. For what it's worth. In a moral sense, I'd say it's not worth MUCH at all. In a PRAGMATIC sense, we're not being honest if we don't admit it MEANS a lot.

Now. I don't think sentience is a WALL. Koko the gorilla can communicate in sign language. And I've got to say, I'm not sure that whales and dolphins aren't squealing complex philosophical discussions every day of the week. (Which is confusing because Dolphins have an eight day week, and whales have a thirty-seven day week. But what are you going to do?)

But even including a Bronx or a Cagney has value in the show. How do we respond to them. How do they respond to us? It's fun to do "The Hound of Ulster" and try to understand how an "animal" responds to various stimuli. It's still extrapolation. Now, with Bronx, I can cheat. I can keep him a beast and anthropomorphize him to my heart's content, because that species doesn't truly exist. I can make him as intelligent as I want. My goal there is to simply be consistent. Bronx can't start responding like Scooby Doo one day. You get the idea.

It's still about us understanding us and our place in the world. If in my own small way, I'm helping to open minds, helping to pave a bit of a way for when the aliens DO LAND, then great. But first and foremost, I'm asking us to KNOW OURSELVES.

Anyway, I feel like I'm starting to get repetitive. But this whole thread intrigues me. Feel free to post again with a follow-up. And everyone's welcome to join in.

Response recorded on July 02, 2001

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matt writes...

are there any other titles and positions in gargoyle clans besides leader and second in command? perhaps like rookery-guard, gargbeast-keeper, shaman, etc.?

Greg responds...

Not universally.

Response recorded on July 01, 2001

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Demonskrye writes...

Been a while since I asked anything. So here are a few questions related to gargoyle mating and the related customs. (Don't worry. It's pretty G rated.)

1. If a gargoyle does not mate for some reason, is he or she still considered a clan father or mother to the children of his or her rookery siblings?

2. Is there any kind of social pressure on young gargoyles to choose mates?

Thanks for answering.

Greg responds...

1. Depends. Generally not. But there are always "uncles" or "aunts" who act more like parents than the parents.

2. Probably. (I'm not defending this, but I'm sure it exists.)

Response recorded on July 01, 2001

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