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The Phoenix Gate

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Sean Regan writes...

My sister and I have taped most of the episodes from the original series and we watch them daily. We came to the episode named "The Green" where Goliath and company reach the Guatemala clan. Now in that episode, the Guatemala clan never turn to stone. So I was wondering how they could still be living if the Gargoyles get their energy from the sun's ray's in the day? Thanks for your time.

Greg responds...

Clearly, the magic of the pendants compensates in some way.

Response recorded on August 31, 1999

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Aris Katsaris writes...

I have to admit I have not understood the death-god thing and the events of 'Grief' in their entirety.

1. While Anubis was captured, was noone able to die in the whole world, or only around Egypt?
2. If the former, how come, since there are other death-gods than Anubis? Were they also powerless while Anubis was captive?
3. If Anubis had remained captive, or even more so if Jackal had remained his avatar, how would the other death-gods have reacted to the situation?

Greg responds...

1. Whole world.

2. Powerless, no. But the spell put DEATH itself in stasis. Leading to...

3. I think you would have seen something cataclysmic from the other Death-Gods. Can you picture Odin, for example, just sitting back?

Thank God, Avalon sent our four heroes to Giza.

Response recorded on August 24, 1999

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Aris Katsaris writes...

It has been noticed by the residents of the S8 comment room that the gender of Ariel in Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' only appears as 'he' in a stage direction and is not referred at all within the main text itself. When you included Ariel, what would his/her gender be?

For that matter, may we assume that Shakespeare was inaccurate in portraying Prospero as abandoning his magic?

Greg responds...

Ariel's gender... Don't feel like revealing that now. Sorry.

Shakespeare wasn't wrong. But Prospero found reason to start again.

Response recorded on August 23, 1999

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Todd Jensen writes...

Earlier remarks of yours about "Pendragon" implied that when Arthur and Griff finally did find Merlin, he'd join up with them as some sort of regular. Did you have any plans to keep Merlin's magic from making things too easy for Arthur and Griff in that case - i.e., making sure that Merlin wouldn't become a "deus ex machina" - or in this case, a "magus ex machina". We are talking about a wizard whose very name has become a synonym for "magic", after all. (I won't ask about the details of those plans; I'm just curious as to whether you'd found a way to address the problem).

Greg responds...

As with most things, I'd deal with them on a case-by-case basis. But I also had a few ideas about how I'd play my version of the character (and his 20th/21st century persona) that would have made life a bit more interesting.

I hate Deus ex Machina. I wouldn't have made you suffer through it either.

Response recorded on August 22, 1999

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Llewwellyn Gaelfire writes...

Hi Greg!

I've got a question about the nature of magic in the Gargoyle's universe. Basically, is using magic something anyone can learn to do, or must one first have a natural ability for it? For example, if Elisa studied magic, would she be able to cast spells on a level with Demona, or would she never get the knack of it (assuming she has no "natural" ability)?

Greg responds...

I would think that a certain natural aptitude would help. Almost anyone can learn to play the piano with enough study and practice, but how many will become virtuosos?

Response recorded on August 21, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

You said that Magic is part of the Earth, that Fey evolved from Earth's natural magic. So is this magic confined to Earth or is it Universal?

Would a Fey's power function off of Planet Earth?

Greg responds...

I suppose it's universal, but powersources aren't always compatible.

Magic is magic, but just as an example, it took the Magus a lifetime to learn how to tap into Avalon's magic, and that despite his training in human sorcery.

Puck in space, a prospect I wouldn't hold my breath for by the way, would have a similar problem adjusting to a new powersource.

Response recorded on August 20, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

Since Wyvern's magic was strong enough to keep Hakon and The Captain on the earth plane for a thousand years, what effect might Avalon's stronger magic have on the Magus and the Archmage?

Greg responds...

Oooooh, cool question.

But sorry. They're dead.

Response recorded on August 17, 1999

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J.F.K writes...

In Gargoyles, how did humans learn to use magic
in the first place?

Greg responds...

In real life, how did humans learn to use fire?

Trial and error, I'd guess.

Response recorded on August 17, 1999

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Nick "Elessar" Oder writes...

Actually getting to communicate with THE Greg Weisman, should I be in reverental awe or just hop-up-and-down giddy? Maybe both at the same time. Anyway, here goes my long-winded questions...

This may take a while, but yes, it does actually get to a question :)

While watching Gargoyles, I can't help but get shivers down my spine and goosebumps whenever someone starts chanting in Latin. Whether it's the actual chanting in Latin, the creepy music, or the animation, I don't know. Though I tend to think it's the Latin, because it's how I noticed the difference between the two types of magic in Gargoyles. When watching the Magus cast the spell of sleep on the gargoyles, or Goliath throwing the Phoenix Gate into the void, I always get goosebumps. On the otherhand, when Oberon, Titania, or Puck use magic, there was no tingly feeling, and that's when I finally noticed.

Humans and gargoyles (hencefore refered to as mortals, even though some aren't) always chant in Latin while using magic. Members of the Third Race (henceforth refered to as Fay) speak in plain english, although it's usually in the form rhyme/short poem.

Though there were exceptions, which all proved dangerous, sometimes fatal, as Xanatos said "I'm told mixing magics is dangerous anyway."

Now I start making assumptions, generally intelligent ones though.

First off that all mortal magic is in Latin, while Fay is in English or whatever other language they prefer at the time, or subliminal, not requiring speech.

I can think of three instances of a mortal using fay magic, and perhaps one of a fay using mortal magic, and one of a fay realizing not to get involved with mortal magic.

Let's start with the mortals. In Grief, the Emir uses the Scroll of Thoth to summon Anubis, of the Fay. I will now be brash enough to assume that the Scroll is of Fay origin, since:

a) It was powerful enought to summon Anubis, a Fay (though Demona summone Puck with a Latin spell that I assume was of mortal origin)

b) It was spoken in english, like other Fay magic.

c) If Anubis is Fay, it stands to reason that all the other Egyptian gods were also and since it's the Scroll of Thoth, an Egyptian god, it must be Fay in origin.

And in the end the Emir presumably dies, the usual fee for mixing magics.

Second scenario. In the Avalon Trilogy the Magus casts two spells, both in english, whereas he previously used Latin. Which brings me to my next assumption, "When in Avalon, do as the Avalonians do," or that you can't even use mortal magic on Avalon, it has to be Fay in nature.

And the Magus also paid the price for magic mixing.

Part Three. All the uses of the Eye of Odin were pretty ugly, Fox almost died, Goliath went nuts, and the Archmage died since without it's assumed Fay (it's Odin's eye, he's a Fay, it's Fay) power, he couldn't contain the mortal-magic Grimorum.

Are we seeing a pattern here or what?

Ok, I lied, one more mortal use that could have been dangerous. Fara Maku and Tea being were-panthers. Um, that's just plain dangerous. :)

The fay perhaps using mortal magic. While I don't know if the Cauldron of Life is of fay or mortal origin, it was dangerous to Owen (fay in human form) and would have been dangerous/fatal to both Xanatos and Hudson. Which leads me to believe the Cualdron is of Fay origin, Xanatos probably wanted to see if this mixing was indeed dangerous. And even though it was a Fay trying out Fay magic, it did alter Puck's human form, but his natural form is still fine.

And Owen/Puck was smart enough not to try reversing Demona's spell in City of Stone, since he knew she used mortal magic. Which re-enforces the belief that the Cauldron is of Fay origin, otherwise I doubt Owen would have gone ahead with dunking his hand. Even though it was a Fay using Fay magic, his human form still got chumped. I suppose this was a learning experience for the Puck, don't use Fay magic in mortal form.

1) So the question is: Are my assumptions correct? Please correct me if I've goofed anywhere, I'd love to know the real answers if I'm wrong.

2) The Emir used the Scroll of Thoth to summon Anubis and used the Papyrus of Thoth to become a vessel. Are they two different things or one thing refered to by two names.

3) Even though the Phoenix Gate is of Avalon origin, it's used by a Latin incantation. Ermmm, why? Wouldn't this be mixing magic?

4) Why did Elisa hand Tom her gun in Ill Met?

4a) How did Tom know how to hold it?

4b) Why did she call it a revolver in Sentinel? Semi-autos have a very hard time revolving. :)

4c) Speaking of that, is it full auto, or just semi?

5) Where does Xanatos aquire all his cool stuff? The Cauldron of Life, the Star of Arabia, the Coyote Diamond, the Eye of Odin, the Grimorum Arcinorum, etc... I know where he got the diamond, but why would anyone be selling the other stuff?

Well that's it for now, my brain's starting to go numb. Thanks for taking the time to read these.

Greg responds...

1. Some of your assumptions are correct. Some aren't completely correct, but most are close enough.

Latin isn't the only language of magic. Hebrew works as well, we know. And they can't be the only ones. In theory, English could work, but it would take more than a literal translation to imbue modern English with the correct magical cadences.

The Cauldron, being iron, isn't Fay magic.

And Owen wasn't really at liberty to reverse Demona's spell or even to reverse the whole stone hand thing. He was bound by his pact with Xanatos.

2. The latter.

3. It clearly is. Don't you consider the Gate fairly dangerous?

As per our new rules, I invite you to resubmit your remaining questions as multiple separate posts.

Response recorded on August 17, 1999

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Todd Jensen writes...

A few more questions that I forgot to ask.

1. How did Oberon get around his non-intervention edict when he put everybody in Manhattan to sleep in "The Gathering"? I'd have thought that that definitely counted as interfering in the lives of mortals.

2. You said once that there were so few gargoyles left that there was a big question over whether they could survive. In your opinion, has Demona ever considered this? Has it ever occurred to her that even if she did succeed in wiping out humanity, it might come too late to save her species from extinction? I don't know that that would really make all that much difference to her, mind, since I have the feeling that her genocidal attempts are based more on revenge and an effort to avoid facing her own responsibility for the Wyvern Massacre, but I'd still be interested to know the answer to this one.

3. Does Thailog have an Oedipus complex? I mean, he tries to kill his "father" (Goliath - and also Xanatos and Sevarius), and his two choices of mate are first Demona, then a combined clone of Demona and Elisa.

4. I read once about a race of beings in Japanese legend called tengu, who had wings and sometimes taught humans bushido. Was this a partial inspiration for the Ishimura clan?

Greg responds...

1. Not from Oberon's point of view. If they're asleep, then they won't witness the battle and his gigantic form won't be part of their consciousness. He won't have interfered. When you think of it that way, it kinda makes sense.

As per the new rules, I invite you to resubmit the rest of your questions as multiple separate posts. I hope you do.

Response recorded on August 17, 1999

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