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Hello! I am a huge fan of your work. I was wondering, what would have happened if someone were to travel back in time, and keep Macbeth from saving Duncan from falling off the cliff in City of Stone Part Three?
In the Gargoyle's Universe that isn't possible. It happened, so it happened. We had very strict rules of time travel.
I remember your mentioning that in the proposed "Weird Macbeth" story, you'd cast Goliath as Macduff. It recently occurred to me that that would fit the "none of woman born" element (as with Demona earlier) - if in a different manner than the Macduff of the original play.
I don't know if that was one of the reasons you'd cast Goliath for that role, but I thought I'd mention it.
It's all in there.
Since Demona is still around as of the Gargoyles 2198 spinoff, that means MacBeth is still around as well. I know you won't discuss any actual plans for the character (SPOILERS!), but can you tell us if you had specific plans for him? Or did the outline for 2198 not get that far?
I have plans for everyone and everything.
1)When Macbeth first fought the Manhattan Clan, did he know they were members of Demona's original clan? And that Goliath was her former mate?
2)As of Phoenix, how much does Mac know of Demona's past before they first met? Does he know about the Wyvern Massacre and the role she played?
3)During the 17 golden years of Mac's kingdom, did he and Demona ever discuss her past? And if yes, how honest was she?
1. He knew the former, not necessarily the latter.
2. I assume you mean as of the END (i.e. the present day 1997 ending) of Phoenix. If so, he knows about the massacre. He's heard HER version of the role she played. I doubt she'd have copped to the entire truth.
3a. She was completely honest to her thinking. Emotionally honest. She just left out a few details.
Hi Greg! It`s me again, Austrias biggest Gargoyles and Rain of the ghosts fan! I`m still hoping for more Comics and/or a continuation of the series.
I am deeply fascinated with the subplot about Demona and Macbeth. They are by far my favorites.
There is one thing I don`t understand. According to Gargoyles Timeline Gruoch was about 27-28 when she had to marry Gilcomghain. Judging by medieval standards she was a very old maid. Why wasn`t she married at "the right age" like 15 or so as it was the custom for a gentle woman?
Why didn`t Macbeth and Gruoch marry years before? They grew up in the same castle, were fond of each other, Macbeth was evidently wealthy and of noble birth so why did`t they just get engaged around the age of 18-22 or so when they were of age? What was the problem?
Best wishes for your current projects! Can`t wait to see "Masque of Bones" (P.S. Any news about its publication yet?)
Historically, what happened, happened. We were only able to guess at the reasons.
So, in universe, Macbeth was without a father and had his inheritance ripped away. (So he was no longer wealthy, and he was virtually homeless.) That gave Gruoch's father pause about allowing Gruoch & Macbeth to marry. Gruoch wouldn't marry anyone else, until Macbeth was convinced by Bodhe to reject her.
And they didn't grow up in the same castle. Bodhe and Gruoch were VISITING the night Findlaech was killed. And that was the first time Macbeth and Gruoch met. They fell in love then and thereafter, but by that time Macbeth was S.O.L.
As for Masque of Bones, I haven't written it yet, because I've been writing World of Warcraft: Traveler novels for Blizzard and Scholastic.
I estimate Macbeth is, or at least was, a fan of theater given that he knew Shakespeare well, liked the Macbeth play, and borrows his aliases from it.
1. What are some other plays he was particularly fond of? Of any genre or time period. The idea of Macbeth attending Broadway musicals makes me smile.
2. Did he ever try his hand at acting or play-writing? Especially in the more modern times, the stage seems like the last vestige for an immortal to physically revisit some of those olden days. Can't say if it would be nostalgic or not for him though.
1. I'll leave that to your imagination.
2. I think so.
Hi Greg. Hope you're well. I'm working through my to-read pile, but I have both Rain of Ghost novels on my desk waiting. I'm glad you decided to put books out. Xanatos, Macbeth, & Puck/Owen are my favorite characters from any medium, and I recently found out my dad loves the Star Wars Rebels series. He never watches cartoons. I haven't seen it yet, but he said he enjoys it because the characters were written really well. I wasn't surprised to hear that.
Had some more domestic, trivia-type question regarding Macbeth during his retirement from the world around 2198 & earlier (pre-Invasion). Couldn't find anything in the Archives.
1. How is Macbeth occupying his time by this point? Activities, interests, etc. I'm very interested in this sort of thing because I feel it adds dimensions to characters.
2. Secondly, was there something specific that caused him to want to withdraw from the world?
3. What was it, if you're willing to share?
Respect & Appreciation,
1. No spoilers.
2. No spoilers.
3. No spoilers.
1) The spell the Weird Sisters cast on Demona and Macbeth ensures that the two of them are unaging and immortal, only able to be killed by one another. However, in "The Mirror", Demona expresses her wish to no longer turn to stone during the day, stating it makes her "vulnerable".
If Demona were to be shattered by someone other than Macbeth when stone during the day, would it bypass the Weird Sister's enchantment and kill both her and Macbeth permanently, or would the enchantment be powerful enough to simply piece her back together?
1. Vulnerable to Macbeth, at least. The rest of your question is hypothetical and moot.
Hello, Mr. Weisman. Back again.
Something that bugged me a little when I was watching "High Noon" and "The Price"; in both episodes, Goliath wonders how Macbeth could have escaped from the Weird Sisters (of course, Macbeth didn't actually escape, but that's neither here nor there with regards to my point).
Anyway, my question is this: did it never occur to Goliath that the Weird Sisters might have just let Macbeth go? After all, he doesn't really know anything about the Sisters at this point; they're almost entirely an unknown quantity. Did he think that they'd keep Macbeth and Demona prisoner indefinitely (that isn't rhetorical; I really do want to know)?
Thank you for your time, sir. Have a nice day.
I don't know about indefinitely, but the Sisters didn't take them casually, hence Goliath's response.
Gargoyles is a great show. Now that my praise is out of the way, I'm moving onto the question.
I watched the version of City of Stone with your commentary (which was very amusing) but there was one part which stood out to me. In the beginning of Part 4, we see Demona of the eleventh century meet up with Macbeth. You (or one of the other commenters) acknowledged that Demona was, and I quote, "a bit in love with Macbeth". It makes sense why she would feel this way, seeing that Macbeth was a close ally of hers.
Was this really true, or were these possible feelings of hers frivolous?
Um... all of the above?
Mostly, I prefer to leave that to every viewer's interpretation.
At the Blue Mug Convergence 2014 Panel, you have stated that Mac and Demona had lots of sex while they were engaged. Didn't you previously state that "Dominique" had presented herself as a good catholic french girl, presumably to avoid having sex with him?
One of the two was a mistake, you changed your mind, or what?
(By the way, I must admit that, if you did change your mind, I liked the original version more.)
All things are true. Few things are accurate.
Or put another way, don't take a Blue Mug TOO seriously.
I think the original answer is better too.
Why does Demona and MacBeth's pact make it where they can only die by each other's hand's?
I understand that neither can die while the other lives, but wouldn't that just mean that they would both have to be killed at the same time? And if the one killing the other isn't physically hurt by the same action why does that supersede the "when one lives, both shall live" rule.
Also, what happens if they're decapitated or if Demona had been destroyed during the day when she still turned to stone?
The pact is what the Weird Sisters declared it was. That was one of their conditions. They could have chosen a different condition, but they didn't.
The "when one lives, both shall live" condition means specifically that no one else can kill them. Because as long as one of them is alive, the curse will drag the "dead" one back into life, as you saw in multiple episodes.
And if Demona kills Macbeth or vice versa, the other is hurt - in fact killed by the action. So it supersedes the other rule because that's what the Witches declared.
As for the what happens if question, it's moot. Because it's a hypothetical question that hasn't/didn't/pretty much won't ever occur, because Luna is the Weird Sister of fate and knows.
Would Macbeth or Demona have to be in complete control to kill one another? I.E. if one of them were brainwashed or possessed, would it still work?
I guess so.
In the Gargoyles universe weve head about Macbeth ad nausium...but close to nothing about Lady Macbeth, who, in my opionion (as at least in the begining of Shakespear's play) was FAR more interesting.
In your view, was she a witch?
I'm leaving the term "witch" up to your own interpitation, whatever that may be, and a simple "yes or no" will suffice.
You saw Lady Macbeth on the show. Gruoch, remember?
1. In 'Double Jeopardy' Lexinton and Broadway view the tapes of Severius, detailing the creation of Thailog. (I'm being a bit specific in case some details have slipped your mind over the years) Anyway, Severious artfically aged Thailog to be the age of Goliath, but how did Severious know Goliaths age or did he just estimate?
2. Also in that tape, Severious mentioned how he managed to counter the 'slow aging process'. Goliath would later explain to Elsa that gargolyes age at 1/2 of humans, so once again, how did Severious know that?
3. If Thailog had been aged differently, say to the age of the Trio or Hudson, would that have affected his mind by much?
4. In Vows, Thailog and Macbeth meet for the first time and I do love Macbeths reaction. 'Who the blazes are you?!'. Did Macbeth react like that because he was put off by Thailog's resemblance to Golaith?
5. In that same scene, Thailog slips Macbeth a gun and allows him to escape. So I'm assuming that Macbeth was not entirely sure of Thailog's intentions, other than that it looked like he was double crossing Demona, but it has me thinking. Does Macbeth count Thailog as an alley, enemy, or just neutral?
1. He estimated, I suppose. But I also think it's possible that he had that information from Xanatos, who may have gotten in the past through Demona.
2. I don't remember this. Are you sure you heard that right? Because Thailog from this point on ages at a normal rate.
3. Too hypothetical to answer.
4. He was reacting to that, yes.
5. I think by the time Macbeth and Goliath were done comparing notes, Macbeth would regard Thailog at best as someone to be very wary of.
Who rebuilt macbeths home after it was destroyed in enter Macbeth ?
You mean what contractor did he use?
I just wanted to write and just give you some thanks for some of the great shows you have helped create, Greg.
Young Justice I enjoyed thoroughly, though I am more a fan of the first season than the second; I like fewer characters and more characterization as opposed to detailed plots just as a personal preference. I will also say I was not a fan of how Wally West was handled but I am sure you have heard your share of them. I will just say that the Wally of the comics and the Wally of Young Justice seemed to be entirely different characters which seemed a shame to me, given all that could have been done with him. He had such a rich comic book history that I really do not understand why more was not done with it but that is your creative decision. Just not my cup of tea.
I adored your version of Dick Grayson however. He was competent without being overly skilled; he suffered under pressure but learned from what he was exposed to. His relationship with Wally in Season 1 was one of my all time favorites. Thanks for the great run!
Secondly, I could not write you without mentioning Gargoyles. I mean, wow. I think I was in fifth or sixth grade when I first caught it on the air. I just remember being deeply enthralled with it. I thought Elisa was an awesome character, as I did not see a whole lot of strong female leads back then and she was definitely that. I also adored the interesting family background you gave her. So often, characters fall into the stereotypical white, black, etc and she brilliantly avoided those.
I also firmly owe you thanks for igniting my interest in Shakespeare. I remember that I saw "City of Stone" when we were having to pick plays and such to read/analyze for school and after seeing that awesome four parter, I went right to my English teacher and asked if I could read MacBeth. It is still my favorite of the Bard's works.
The characterization of Demona was incredible. Most villains are so one dimensional but all the villains of Gargoyles were so well fleshed out. I am a creative writer myself and working on my first work to aim towards publication and I definitely count Gargoyles among my top inspiration for how to do characterization. To this day, I will tell people if they want to see a well fleshed out villain, go watch Demona from Gargoyles. I honestly would rank her about equal to Gollum from "Lord of the Rings." She can be diabolical, sneaky, cruel and yet you can totally see why she would have turned out that way and I can switch very easily from feeling such anger at her to feeling overwhelming pity. Bravo, my good Sir!
Thanks. Always nice to have the work thoughtfully appreciated.
I just watched Enter Macbeth and I have a question about why he went to Xanatos with his offer. How did Macbeth know that there were gargoyles living modern Castle Wyvern in the first place?
He had seen them.
In 2198 are the Wyrd Sisters still watching Demona and Macbeth?
Do you mean still in cooperation with the Archmage? No.
You said that Macbeth found the play bearing his name to be rather amusing in how it got most about him wrong. What do you think his view on the Highlander film would have been?
I think he would have found the notion of Sean Connery playing an Egyptian Spaniard, while Christopher Lambert played a Scottish Highlander, hilarious.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What? No love for Bruno?
Some questions about Macbeth and Shakespeare...
1)Did Macbeth have a particular reason to choose the names Lennox and Macduff as his alias? I mean, why those and not, for example, Donalbain and Seyton?
2)You previously stated that Macbeth was mostly amused by the shakespearean version of his story. Is this true also regarding Shakespeare's portrayal of Gruoch?
3)A)What do you think is Macbeth's favourite shakespearean comedy?
3)B)And his favourite tragedy?
1. I seem to recall Michael, Brynne or Lydia having a clever reason for why Macbeth specifically chose those two, but I can no longer remember what it was.
2. Ultimately, it was so far removed from the truth, that all Macbeth could be was amused at the bad history (which he was already long-accustomed to) and marvel at the artistry and the truths revealed there even if they were not hi truths. As for Gruoch, he saw so little (really nothing) of his wife in the boy playing Lady Macbeth that he couldn't be too upset. It may have also helped that the name Gruoch was.never used in the play.
3a&b. I'll leave that for each fan to imagine.
What exactly did Demona's position as Macbeth's primary adviser entail? He said that he had planned for her to govern at his side... very, very strong words for a king. We know she maintained command of her clan, and she also seemed to have command of a number of his human troops but what was she doing during "peace time?" Was she advising him on strategic and diplomatic alliances? Tax policies? This was definitely much bigger than what Goliath's or Hudson's positions with Prince Malcolm were. When I hear "govern at my side" it makes me think that for all intents and purposes, even if not in name, she was the co-ruler of Scotland.
"Peace time" is a relative term. She helped him maintain his army and (if you will) his air force, along with other defenses. She advised him on military strategy, and as we saw, he was open to hear anyone give advice on anything. But her primary job description was basically Secretary of Defense.
She was not co-ruler of Scotland.
I was wondering, was Blade a possible inspiration for Macbeth's modern design?
Did Demona carefully think through her Operation Clean Slate plan? If the virus was meant to eliminate all human beings, wouldn't that kill Macbeth, as well? If so, that would mean that by her killing him she would be engineering her own death due to their magical link.
Greg Weisman says:
"Good question. Keep in mind that magic isn't an exact science. The Weird Sisters told Macbeth and Demona that 'When one lives both live.' Demona used the magic Praying Gargoyle statue to insure she would survive the fullfillment spell. So would Macbeth have survived? Probably. She knows about the mortality link. She would not want his death at her hands if that resulted in her own. Towards Macbeth, her impulse should not be murderous by necessity. And mindset has a real effect on magic results. However, Demona isn't the most stable and rational of characters. She certainly has murderous feelings toward Macbeth. And if their linking spell 'perceived' the death of all humanity as a successful attempt to kill Macbeth, then it might very well have killed her as well. Did she consider this? Maybe.
Maybe it was a risk she was willing, even eager to take. Maybe somewhere underneath it all, she's a bit suicidal. Could she die with the idea of leaving behind a human-free 'paradise' where her daughter could live in safety? Remember, Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land, but he was not allowed to enter it himself. Maybe that's how Demona felt about it.
Then again, maybe not. Very provocative question."
[Response recorded in the Station 8 "Gargoyles" FAQ, Section VI.]