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Todd Jensen writes...

I was recently rereading Roger Lancelyn Green's retelling of the Arthurian cycle (it was the January 2009 book for an Arthurian book club that I recently joined), and found this passage at the end of the section on the Quest for the Holy Grail:

"But when the last battle had been fought and the realm of Logres was no more, Percivale's kingdom made still a little light in the darkness of a Britain conquered and laid waste by the barbarians." (p. 248 of the old Puffin Books edition I bought as a boy).

Was this passage the inspiration (or at least, *an* inspiration) for your idea of Percival/Duval founding the Illuminati?

Greg responds...

Probably.

Response recorded on March 23, 2009

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TiniTinyTony writes...

Questions concerning Avalon Parts 1 - 3:

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

Greg responds...

1. Yes, eventually.

2. Yes. Pendragon, among others.

3. Not revealing that at this time.

4. Ditto.

5. Yes.

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

Response recorded on December 20, 2007

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Todd Jensen writes...

While the notion of mists surrounding the skiff on its journeys from and to Avalon during the World Tour was something that the story needed anyway, to give the proper sense of mystery about travelling to Oberon's isle and back again, I've sometimes wondered whether that concept was also intended as a visual reference to the title of Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon". Do you know if the name of her book was an influence there (obviously not the book itself, since Bradley's Avalon is very different from the Avalon of "Gargoyles")?

Greg responds...

I"ve never read Bradley's book. It was given to me as a gift, but I've been reluctant to read yet another modern treatment of the legend, so as not to color my own. Of course, I do know the title, so it's theoretically possible it influenced me, but I think it's much more likely that the choice was a pragmatic necessity combined with a cool moody choice.

Response recorded on October 26, 2007

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SEPTEMBER 29

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

September 29th...

500
Arthur is crowned King of Britain.

994
Hakon the Viking lays siege to Castle Wyvern, but is driven away by the Wyvern Clan of gargoyles. The Captain of the Guard invites Goliath and Demona to the celebratory feast. Princess Katharine is most seriously displeased. She demotes the Captain, declaring that from now on he will report to the Magus, who later prepares a spell to deal with the gargoyle clan, should they get out of hand. Seeing that Goliath will continue to tolerate human prejudice, Demona and the Captain find an excuse to temporarily lure the gargoyles away, so that the castle can be sacked and the humans taken away by Hakon, leaving Castle Wyvern to the gargoyles once more.

995
Michaelmas. Constantine III is so furious he initiates a plan to destroy all the gargoyles in Scotland.

1040
Macbeth is made High King of Scotland. He swears on the Stone of Destiny, to protect Scotland and serve her people. Macbeth names Demona and publicly rewards her and her gargoyles, welcoming them as his allies into his home and castle. Demona becomes his primary advisor. Thorfinn is rewarded with basic autonomy over Orkney, in practice if not in name.

1994
Xanatos inspects his castle atop the Eyrie Building. He wants everything to be perfect before he attempts to wake the gargoyles.


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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

I asked a question about Pendragon before, but didn't really get into why I asked it. Although I have a lifelong love of mythology, I'd never been interested in Arthurian legends before. I had read The Sword and the Stone in high school, but not the rest of T.H. White's book. However, since getting into Gargoyles I've become interested in Arthurian legend and have read a lot, mostly online. I recently managed to borrow a copy of R.L. Green's book and liked it. I agree with you that his version of Gawain is a very likable character. Making him Percival's father was a strange idea to me, though. I'm currently working my way through the rest of The Once And Future King.

Looking through the archives, it seems like you might not be aware of how close some of your interpretations come to very early pre-Malory versions of the Arthurian legends. For example, according to what I have read, Excalibur was originally considered to be the Sword in the Stone, and they were not considered two separate swords until the 1230s. Also, your choice to make Morgan le Fay a changeling is particularly fitting because although she is usually described as Arthur's sister, she is also often an inhabitant of Avalon and in her first appearance, she is one of the noble ladies of Avalon or even its queen.

Man, I'm forgetting my actual question. I do have one. Um...

Oh yeah. A long time ago, somebody (probably Todd) asked you about the lions and other creatures in Malory. Have you heard of the story of Owain (Yvain/Uwain/Owein) and the Lion? I don't know whether Malory included that story, but a version of it is in R.L. Green's book, although Green gives the adventure to Percival instead of Owain.

Greg responds...

I've read both Green and Mallory, and know both versions of the story.

Response recorded on September 05, 2007

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

I don't believe these questions have been asked before.

1. How does Duval remember King Arthur's reign, what is his current (as of 1996) opinion of King Arthur and his reign?

2. As of Issue #4 of the SLG Comic, does Duval know that King Arthur has been awakened?

Greg responds...

1. I'm not answering this at this time.

2. Ditto.

Response recorded on June 25, 2007

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MAY 19

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

May 19th...

1996
Arthur encounters Griff and the Stone of Destiny at Westminster Abbey. The Stone transports Arthur and Griff to Manhattan, where Macbeth is waiting. Macbeth is temporarily forced to flee when Hudson and the Trio intervene. The four Manhattan gargoyles join forces with Arthur and Griff to help Arthur find Excalibur. In Central Park, they encounter the Lady of the Lake, who gives them another clue to the sword's whereabouts. But Macbeth uses a Will-o-the-Wisp to listen in. He becomes determined to find Excalibur first. The quest takes them all to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, where Macbeth accidentally brings a giant stone dragon to life by removing a copy of Excalibur from its grip. Arthur destroys the dragon and finds the true Excalibur inside the stone beast. Macbeth swears allegiance to Arthur. Just before sunrise, Arthur knights Griff. And after the sun sets, Arthur and Griff depart on a new quest - to find Merlin. Meanwhile, Goliath, Elisa, Angela and Bronx also depart Avalon and are drawn to Norway by the power of Odin, who appears to them in the form of an old man and tries to get Goliath to trade the Eye of Odin for a coat to keep Elisa warm. Elisa and Goliath agree to pass on his offer. But Elisa is on the verge of hypothermia. She takes shelter with local farmer Erik Sturluson and his son Gunther.


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MAY 18

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

May 18th...

1996
In Manhattan, Macbeth and his flunkies, Banquo and Fleance, prepare for the Harmonic Convergence. And on Avalon, King Arthur decides to leave in order to find Excalibur. He arrives in London.


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Todd Jensen writes...

I was hesitant about making this comment for a while, since I was afraid that it might be read as an idea. But I finally decided (especially since it only uses information directly from "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time") that it was probably safe.

You mentioned in your ramble on "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" that the significance of the inscription on the chest containing Merlin's Scrolls, "The seeker of knowledge has nothing to fear; the destroyer everything" was that the chest was magically warded so that anybody intending to destroy the Scrolls in the manner of Hakon burning pages from the Grimorium Arcanorum would apparently have met an unpleasant fate (and that it was a good thing for Morwood-Smythe and Duane that they were seekers of knowledge). But I found myself seeing another significance to those words beside that.

Macbeth's purpose in stealing the Scrolls was to use the magic that he believed was in them for his own purposes, apparently as part of his hunt for Demona. Goliath clearly feared that others would be after Merlin's magic for the same reason (such as Xanatos - and indeed, we've seen at least two other magic-workers in the series who would have no doubt been eager to exploit the spells that Merlin's Scrolls were thought to contain for their own dark ends). I believe that you could term anyone seeking to put the Scrolls to such use a "destroyer".

But it turns out that the Scrolls are of no value to a "destroyer" in that sense, but only to the "seeker of knowledge" - for what they contain is not Merlin's spells but his memoirs about his life and his tutoring the young King Arthur. Such information seemed useless to Macbeth, but a "seeker of knowledge" would indeed have found them invaluable - an eye-witness account of King Arthur's times, written by Merlin himself! So indeed, in a different sense than you mentioned in the ramble, the search for the Scrolls of Merlin would only be rewarding to the "seeker of knowledge" and not to the "destroyer".

Greg responds...

I like that analysis... and it fits in with plans I have. Stay tuned...

Response recorded on April 19, 2007

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Anonymous writes...

I've got a few oppinions/questions about Oberon. Many fans seem to veiw him as a 'bad guy'. I really don't see him as such. Yeah, he's immature,(the kind of person you don't know wether to laugh at or stranggle at times) but he's a KING. In his mind, he's supposed to get what he wants. For the most part, I often dissagree with his judgement, but I try to look at it from his point of veiw too.
For example, his punishments for the Banshee and Puck (expecialy for Puck) made many fans unhappy with him. I agree, they were harsh.... very harsh. However, I have to remember his feelings of superiority as a lord and the way HE sees it.
I interpreted his POV when punishing the Banshee and Puck to think himself pretty fair. Girl yells a lot, make her shut up. Servant doesn't want to come back to Avalon, fine, banish him. Servant wants to play mortal, fine, take away his powers. Heck, maybe he was event thinking ahead. If he ever desides to change his mind, a harsh punishment might have been better. He could always chalk it it up to being merciful or to have been 'teaching them a lesson'. Or, the subject is so releaved about having the punishment lifted they don't take the time to wonder WHY Oberon changed his mind. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, if you will. That way, Oberon saves face. I supose I should get to the questions now.

1. During the series, will Oberon be given the chance to mature?
2. How does the poor guy keep order in his kingdom? When almost all you subjects are magical, that must be tough. Makes you wonder how he finds time to sleep...
3. You've said Oberon loves his children, does that include Merlin?

Greg responds...

1. I like to think all our characters evolve, some for the better, some for the worse.

2. There's no one method. But being Joe Most-Powerful helps a lot.

3. Life is complicated.

Generally, I'd like to say I agree with much of your analysis of the character.

Response recorded on April 10, 2007


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