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The Phoenix Gate

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Anonymous writes...

Why did you send Brooklyn on a forty-year journey? Why not Broadway or Lexington?

Greg responds...

On at least one level, because that's how it happened. That is, the characters seem to tell me what happens to them next. It just seems right.

But basically, I felt Brooklyn needed to get away, break out. This was symbollically the most extreme way. BW and Lex don't need to leave.

Response recorded on June 29, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

In what period would Timedancing Brooklyn arrive in Xanadu, China?

Greg responds...

Not telling. Neener, neener, neener.

Response recorded on June 29, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Why does Brooklyn stay so long in 7th century Ishimura? Was it because of Katana or was it because of something else?
What is Brooklyn's mate Katana like?

Greg responds...

When did I say 7th century?

Response recorded on June 29, 2001

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WereFox writes...

Hi Greg

I wonder how Goliath would have reacted to some of the other
tennets of Bushido. We saw how the code teaches redemption of honor through acceptance of personal responsibilty for your actions. However, this is pretty much a universal creed.

There were other aspects of the Bushido code, practiced by the Samaraii, that were very alien to western ideals. For instance, an unredeemable failure is seen as such an affront to the Bushido code, that ritual suicide or Seppaku, was often the only way to restore ones honor. The samarai disembowels himself with a curved knife. Then his "second" decapitates him.

Vengeance is a highly valued right among the practicers of bushido, as evidence by the classic story of the 47 Ronin. When a feudal lord was killed due to treachery of another, his 47 samaraii were shunned and disgraced as warriors without a master. There sense of honor demanded that the offender and his family be hunted down and killed, so the 47 Ronin dedicated the remainder of their lives to this task. Upon completion, the surviving Ronin committed Seppaku.

Surrender was also not tolerated by the bushido code. The samarai would fight to the last man, and enemies who did surrender were executed on the spot.

Were the Japanese gargloyes more selective in their practice of Bushido. I think it would have been interesting to see how Goliath would have reacted to ideals practiced by Japanese gargoyles which would have been so at odds with his own sense of what honor demanded. Dedicating ones life to vengeance? Summarily killing a helpless enemy? Failures so great that ritual suicide is a reasoned expectation, rather than an expression of anguish? There have certainly been instances where his anger or grief might have driven Goliath to these actions. Yet, Bushido enshrines such behavior as honorable and necessary.

Greg responds...

All good points. All stuff I had hoped to explore in TimeDancer with Brooklyn and Katana.

Response recorded on June 29, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Why exactly is does Brooklyn name his son Nashville? Does he name him after the city or does he name him after something else that bears the name of the city?

Greg responds...

Not answering this now, but you might do a little research.

Response recorded on June 20, 2001

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Justin writes...

Hi Greg

Ok now am I too assume correctly that when the 78 ( 39 biologically) year old Brooklyn returns from his dances he is stronger than he was when he left right? I mean he had been fully grown by that time and plus the perils of the dance could cause for a greater need to thicken up.

So the big question,
Can the (39) year old Brooklyn hold his own or maybe even win in a fight against the (29) year old Goliath?

Thanks

Greg responds...

Why would they fight?

Response recorded on June 20, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Why are Brooklyn's travels in time called dances?
Is something or someone controlling where he goes?
Could you tell us who or what it is?

Greg responds...

Again, control is executed or not, depending on the extent (if any) of YOUR PERSONAL BELIEF in a HIGHER POWER.

As to the name TimeDANCER, well, mostly, I just like the way it sounds. And it sort of indicates the way he SKIPS around from era to era. Just seemed right, I guess.

Response recorded on June 10, 2001

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Justin writes...

Ok forgive me if this is confusing but this is the only way I could figure out how to word this question. You have mentioned that a Time Dancing Brooklyn would be a character in 2198. Now, since Brooklyn come home eventually, wouldn't a ver old Brooklyn also be present? or at least Nashville and Tachi? What I am asking is during his Time Dancing wouldn't Brooklyn encounter older versions of himself, Katana, Nashville and Tachi? Seeing as how they do come home, thus are a part of the timestream from 1996 on?

Thanks again!

Greg responds...

They did come home, but do the math as to whether it's feasible that they'd still be alive in 2198.

Response recorded on June 09, 2001

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Jim R. writes...

I'm still a little baffled about Timedancing Brooklyn and the story behind him. You state that when Goliath threw the Phoenix gate into itself without a mind to guide it, it would be forever lost in the time stream. Then you went on to say that it lands in front of Brooklyn.
1. Why did you choose Brooklyn?
2. When does it land in front of him, in what time?
I was reading through the archived responses about this, and you say that he never lays a finger on the gate.
3. But how is it possible for him to travel forty years leaping in and out of random time shifts the gate creates? The gate is just a talisman, without a mind or the incantation it really can't go anywhere, which leads me to my next question.
4. If Brooklyn is susceptable to random time shifts, how long does he or can he stay, in one time?
5. Why couldn't he lay a finger on the gate? I mean surely he would eventually find out how the gate works in some time, grab it, speak the incantation, and boom! he's back home again in his own time exactly when he left. Brooklyn isn't that stupid, he surely would have had some pre-existing knowledge from Goliath about the dangers of the gate.

Please. Maybe you could explain this whole Timedancer mess in better detail or in a nutshell, or at least point me out someplace online I could go to read more about it in further detail.

Greg responds...

No, I stated that Goliath threw the Phoenix Gate into the Timestream -- not itself.

1. He chose me largely. He was ready for the next step in his character's evolution. And I felt he could carry a series.

2. In "the present". Originally, that meant 1996. I'm not sure now. I'm leaning toward '97 though. Not 2001.

3. No, it goes everywhere and everywhen. It seems to be random. But the timestream itself may have currents and eddies guiding it.

4. There's no consistent rule.

5. He can never get to it in time.

The only place I can point you for more detailed info is the TimeDancer archive here at ASK GREG. (This doesn't seem that complicated to me, however. I certainly wouldn't call it a 'mess'.)

Response recorded on March 13, 2001

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Adam writes...

1. When he returns from Timedancing, is Brooklyn aware of the time and place of his own death?

2. If so, is he also aware that there is nothing he can do to change the circumstances of his demise?

Greg responds...

1. No.

Response recorded on March 01, 2001

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Adam writes...

If I understand Timedancing correctly, it occurs at unpredictable intervals. The Phoenix Gate suddenly appears and whisks Brooklyn off to a new time period. So my question is: when Brooklyn does his final Timedance, the one that brings him back to just minutes after he originally left, how does he know that his Timedancing is over? Does he know that the Gate will not appear again, or does he expect to be Timedanced(?) away again at any moment?

If he knows that his journey has come to an end, is it because he has gained control of the Gate? If he does have control of the Gate, why did he choose to come back just a few minutes after he left? Didn't he have anyplacetime better to go after forty years of Timedancing? What does he do with the Gate once he gets back?

Greg responds...

I'm not answering any of this. If you think about it, you'll see why.

Response recorded on March 01, 2001

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Justin writes...

Here we go again...
1) Will Goliath and Elisa ever have kids?
2) Will Brooklyn and Katana have kids in the 2008 rookery?
3) Will Lexington?

Thanks

Greg responds...

1, 2, and 3. They will be parents to all the children of the clan.

Response recorded on March 01, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Were you inspired in someway by Quantum Leap while making Timedancer?

Greg responds...

Not really. Plenty of time travel stuff pre-dates QL.

And I'm much stricter about time-travel rules than that show.

Response recorded on February 26, 2001

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Bruno writes...

Hi Greg,

Thoughts about time travel:

There is a little controversy about time travel vs. free will. If the past is unchangeable -and also the future, for consequence- then there is _no_ free will?

On the contrary; The events in the past can't be changed, but they WERE and ARE done by us. That's easy to guilt the others or the timestream, but, quoting Rorschach, from Watchmen:

"That's not God who kill the children, nor the chance who shred they, nor the destine who feed the dogs with they. They're us. Only us". (I'm translating to english from a translation to the portuguese. :-)

Plus, on the contrary of the common sense, change the past is not use free will, but kill it: Demona betrayed Wyvern. If she came back and change this, she should be obstructing her OWN free will. And her responsability, to boot. And responsability is one of the series' themes.

This is a paradox, but, with time travel, what else did you want? The unchangeable past universe IS the free will universe. :-)

Oh, well, now back to my time travel questions:

1- Roughly, when was the Phoenix Gate "created"? Meaning when it droped in Avalon, starting the time loop.

2- If the Phoenix Gate is a "steam valve" and it exists among two time points (??? or before and 2198 or after), what was the steam valve before the Gate? And after?

Ps. I just wanted to say that I fully understood the time loops in Vows, Avalon II and M.I.A. and I loved then. Vows and Avalon were amazing and smart, and M.I.A. was just too fun: Goliath couldn't change the history, but he was so smart that he could trick it! Great work.

Greg responds...

Before we get to your questions, Bruno, let me just say that I agree with you on your time travel/free will thing.

1. I don't want to reveal that yet. It's intrinsic to the whole TimeDancer story.

2. Stories for another day.

Thanks.

Response recorded on February 15, 2001

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LSZ writes...

Would the Loch Ness Monsters ever be featured in Dark Ages or Timedancer?

Greg responds...

Maybe.

Response recorded on February 07, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

Did Brooklyn and Katana lug each of their kids' eggs around with them for the 10 years it took for them to hatch?

Greg responds...

Yes. Largely.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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Camcuru writes...

Do you have any ideas as to what Katana, Nashville, and Tachi look like, if so will you tell me?

1)Is Tachi a girl? When I looked the name up in the encyclopedia on Jeb's page it said Tachi was a male.

Greg responds...

Yes and no.

1. Tachi is female.

Response recorded on December 22, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

Your description of how important it is to control the Phoenix Gate (or else you wind up, to cite your example, at Burger King instead of Fort Knox) got me wondering just now: is this one reason why it takes Brooklyn forty years to get back home during "Timedancer"? That he didn't concentrate in the right manner on his desired destination until the final "dance"?

Greg responds...

No. Brooklyn, try as he might, never (or almost never) lands a finger on the Gate. He's basically leaping into portals that the Gate opens "at random".

Response recorded on November 21, 2000

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Ed writes...

'VOWS' - what an episode. So many twists, so much drama, and some brilliant comedy from the Xanatos family. The thing that always occurred to me when watching this is: who on earth in Shari Goodharz? She only wrote the one episode that I recall and yet this is one of my favourites, if not my favourite outright. And yet she never did anything else. I guess looking at your outline she had a lot of dialogue to work in but even so, it was pretty damn good.

Actually, it always seemed like quite an intense episode to put before a multi-part story. I didn't watch it in order properly until I knew the whole season ('CITY OF STONE' aired at the beginning of the season here in two back-to-back weekends: accompanied with some stunning preview adverts of Demona blasting the stone humans).

Just one reply:

You said…
"But the gate stays open long enough for him to go with. Did it ever occur to her to go somewhen else other than 994? I guess part of it could be chalked up to dim memory. It was over a thousand years ago. And Demona lived through that 1000 years. Even for a very significant event in her life, it must still be very hazy."

Apart from the shock factor of the castle still burning (in this episode) and Goliath in stone, I think this would have meant most to Demona. But another possible explanation is in your outline:
"But choosing requires incredible concentration. Otherwise, the chooser's emotional or mental whim of the moment may cause the gate to drop everyone off at Burger King instead of Fort Knox."

Seeing as how Demona claims to have a clear memory of Goliath's 'inspirational' presumably this is the thought that would have dragged her to 994.

I really like your explanation of the Gate's changing size as being due to its 'time valve' function. Was this something you ever planned to develop or at least mention out loud in the series? I guess we'd get some hints from what you've told us about 'TIMEDANCER' so far.

Greg responds...

I LIKE you're explanation for Demona's choice A LOT. THANKS!

As for the timestream steam valve theory, it would get some real play in TimeDancer for sure.

Response recorded on November 17, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

At what age do you feel that gargoyles learn to glide?

Will Tachi (aged six) know how to glide when she timedances into the present, or will it be something she'll learn during the course of the series?

Greg responds...

She'll have started learning. I don't know that she'd have mastered it under all conditions. But she'd be doing a bit of it.

Response recorded on November 17, 2000

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John writes...

Hi Greg,
On my last question you repost: Define "love". Well, I know that Brooklyn didn´t really love Angela from our point of view. But from his point of view, he is in love, and so, I think, he would tell angela, that he is. So, will he ever?
CU, John

Greg responds...

They might have a conversation some day. But not until after the TimeDance, when it's WAY moot.

Response recorded on November 14, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

You've revealed to us (through chronological info) that the gargoyles' twenty-year cycle is "attuned to the earth" rather than something which is mostly internal (as I had earlier assumed).

How did this affect Katana during her timedances? Her and Brooklyn's two children are twenty years apart in age, as if the cycle had been internal for her, affected only by the time which passed for her, rather than affected by the "earth's cycles" and the different times she would journey to.
Is that simply a coincidence? Did she just happen in her travels to journey to two mating seasons, with a period of twenty years inbetween as subjectively perceived by the timedancers?

Greg responds...

As I've stated recently, very little is truly random in the Gargoyles Universe. My mind just doesn't work that way.

Response recorded on November 14, 2000

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Faieq writes...

Is Brooklyn's timedance injury that severe that it can't be healed by the healing rays of the sun? Or is magic involved which prevents it from healing?

Greg responds...

Not saying at this time.

Response recorded on November 02, 2000

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Vashkoda writes...

You mentioned that one Timedancer villain would be the Archmage, presumably due to his little side-trip with Goliath during their battle for possession of the Eye. If this actually makes it into a Timedancer episode, then presumably it will also feature Brooklyn. So...

1) Does Goliath meet Brooklyn in that/those episode(s), and therefore have foreknowledge of Brooklyn's Timedancing?

2) Does Goliath have any role in how the Gate ends up with Brooklyn?

Greg responds...

1. I'm not saying.

2. I'm not sure what you mean.

Response recorded on October 26, 2000

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Sothis writes...

Dear Mr Weisman,

Regarding Timedancer and The Dark Ages, given the time, would you plan to turn both of those into animated shows, or do you feel they are best left as part of the written world?

Greg responds...

Given the opportunity, I'd gladly do either as animated series.

Response recorded on October 20, 2000


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