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Arlo writes...

1. Given that the Third Race apparently knows about King Arthur's burial on Avalon (the Weird Sisters asked "Where's the sleeping king?" during their battle with the Magus in "Avalon, Part 3"), what is the significance of Oberon's referring to Titania as his "Once and Future Queen" in "Ill Met By Moonlight?"

2. On this question http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=1414 Todd Jensen mentioned a little bit about Merlin's life according to legend, including his encounter with King Vortigern. An eighteenth-century forger named William Henry Ireland wrote a play about Vortigern's life that he falsely attributed to William Shakespeare, on the grounds that Vortigern's story was so tragic, Shakespeare ought to have written about it. Given that King Arthur appears to have a prominent role in the Gargoyles Universe, and given also your love of Shakespeare, I'm especially curious to learn what role Vortigern has in the Gargoyles Universe.

By the way, I'm even more eager to learn what Shakespeare's story is in the Gargoyles Universe, than what Titania whispered to Fox.

Greg responds...

1. You're assuming Oberon knows the title of the book "Once and Future King"?

2. No Spoilers.

Response recorded on October 24, 2016

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Allen writes...

Hey, Greg! I haven't been on the site in a while. It was my pleasure to briefly meet you at San Francisco's last (to date) Wonder Con back in 2010.

I also wanted to say that I started reading about Arthurian lore due to your work, as well as Fables. Here's my question: Is The Gargoyles' Universe Peredur Fab Ragnal an Arthurian Survivor?

I had remembered you had stated that nothing had changed from the Arthurian Survivor contest results and you had only stated that Mr. Duval was The Illuminati's founder, not The Illuminati's Number One, as Peredur turned out to have likely been. (I'm thinking Mr. Duval is still Sir Percival, and Peredur is something else.)

Greg responds...

This has been asked and answered to the extent that I intend to answer at this time. See the archives...

Response recorded on April 09, 2014

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Sarah Anderson writes...

Hi Greg,

In the gargs universe, was Excalibur an ordinary sword that had something "done" to it to make it special? Or was it created to be Excalibur from its beginning? Thank you! :-)

Greg responds...

The latter.

Response recorded on February 22, 2013

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Kylie writes...

I've been a fan since 1994. Now I'm 24 and still a huge fan. My question is this:

At any time were/are you going to introduce Guinevere or Lancelot into King Arthur's past? Were you saving them for the future? Like the King Arthur spinoff? I know you have the whole "Bastard" character down, yet were you ever going to bring Mordred to light or did you decide that it'd be considered more complicated?

Greg responds...

I had/have plans for all of the above.

Response recorded on November 04, 2010

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Jess writes...

Heya Greg! I have a quick question RE a fairly obscure adaption of the Arthurian mythos and your knowledge there-of.

Have you ever seen the episode of the '80s Twilight Zone series called "The Last Defender of Camelot"? If you haven't, to give an explanation without spoiling too much, it involves Lancelot, Morgan La Fay, Merlin and a modern boy named Tom *cough cough*. I was a little surprised to see many of the key themes that show up in Gargoyles, such as immortality, and how power and good intentions can lead one astray.

If you haven't seen it, and it wasn't an influence, I'd recommend checking it out if you should get the chance. Despite a certain cheestasticness and pretty bad special effects, there's some really solid and interesting writing.

It just struck me as an odd coincidence how the tone reminded me so much of Gargoyles at times (in the best possible way. It brought a smile to my face.) Though working from the same source material, not to mention pretty universal themes, some similarities would be inevitable. I guess I'm just curious as to whether it was kismet, or a case of one work having an influence, however small, on the other.

I wish you all the best and am waiting with bated breath for Young Justice's premiere!

Greg responds...

I have seen the episode... or at least a chunk of it... but only recently. It didn't influence Gargoyles, though I'm sure both had common influences.

Response recorded on October 22, 2010

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Random Fan writes...

I've seriously become reobssed after finding this sight thank you so much for doing all you have for not leting gargoyles die. Now that I've complemented you how bout anouther question. What role will the Lady of the Lake play in the Pendragon spinoff? And how did know to go from london to newyork to find Auther
so far in advance?

Greg responds...

I'm not going to get into the specifics of the Lady's role at this time. And, perhaps you're putting the cart before the horse with your second question. She wasn't looking for Arthur.

Response recorded on April 22, 2010

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Gothic Cowboy writes...

Mr. Weisman, I was recently re-watching Excalibur (the bloody 1981 Arthurian adaptation), and was inspired to ask two questions of you:

1. When Quinevere is accused by Sir Gawain (whom I noticed was a young Liam Neeson) and Arthur is unable to act as her champion because the law demands he be her judge, he tells Quinevere (of her and Lancelot) "You are the two people I love most in this world." Having recently read Clan-Building Vol. 2, I was struck by the fact that this is what Peredur said to Duval and Blanchefleur, his wife and his best friend. Was that an intentional parallel, or is it just a coincidence?

2. The Excalibur film is noted for being one of the few Arthurian adaptations that didn't flinch from presenting the more violent and sexual aspects of the stories, which many other adaptations have glossed over or eliminated. I remember the copy my Father taped, and how he'd (roughly) attempted to edit the more graphic scenes (something my little brothers and I found amusing at the time). In his defense, we were quite young. But the question of how you'd have dealt with some of these aspects can into my mind. Obviously, even with the comic, you'd have to be more circumspect than an R-rated film, but even then, how much of, say Lancelot and Quinevere's infidelity would you have shown. Another example would be how Merlin arranged for Uther to be with Igraine, in return for their child (which, when I re-watched the film, couldn't help but remind me of Merlin's father and the events of The Gathering episodes). At the far end of the scale, some of the legend cycles have it that Arthur pulled a Pharaoh, ordering the death of the first-born in an attempt to eliminate a young Mordred, an act that, even in context of the time he lived in, makes him difficult to redeem. How much of these elements would have dealt with?

P.S.-In a previous post, I mistakely used "who's" when I should have used "whose." My apologies.

Greg responds...

1. It was an intentional reference to the Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot relationship. Not necessarily a parallel. And not necessarily a specific reference to Excalibur, since I've seen those sentiments in many other Arthurian adaptations, including "The Once and Future King" and the musical "Camelot" which is based upon it.

2. Everything would have been dealt with. Whether "off-screen" or "on" is the question.

Response recorded on March 18, 2010

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Phil writes...

Greg,

Nine years ago (has it been that long?) there was an Arthurian survivors contest here at "Ask Greg". With the recent "Stone of Destiny" storyline in which Percival seems to have been split into Duval and Peredur, I'm wondering if what change have occurred on the list of Arthurian survivors.

Just to refresh your memory (and for those who don't remember it at all), here's the list as of nine years ago:
1. King Arthur Pendragon. Slept under a spell in the Hollow Hill.
2. Merlin. Son of Oberon by a mortal woman. Imprisoned in the Crystal Cave.
3. The Lady of the Lake. One of the Oberati.
4. Sir Percival. The Fisher King. Mr. Duval. Founder of the Illuminati. Spends a lot of time in Castle Carbonek, a sort of mini-traveling-Avalon, where time passes differently. Also uses the Holy Grail to maintain his youth, though at a very real physical cost, due to his, shall we say, sins.
5. Lady Blanchefleur. Percival's wife. Queen of Castle Carbonek. She lives there and uses the Grail. The only cost being her estrangement from Percival.
6. Morgana le Fay. A changling in the old-fashioned sense.
7. Nimue. A sorceress with connections to Merlin, the Oberati and Morgana. (Think about it.)
8. The Green Knight. An Oberati.

So what, if anything, has changed in the past decade? Are there still only eight survivors? If we replace "Percival" with "Peredur" and take out the reference to Mr Duval is the list still accurate?

(By the way, I loved both Gargoyles: Clan-Building and Bad Guys: Redemption, and I'm looking forward to more in the future!)

Greg responds...

Nothing's changed.

Response recorded on February 22, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

I thought I'd give you a report on spreading the word.

Since King Arthur features in the first half of "Clan-Building: Volume Two", I gave a brief report on the book on an Arthurian mailing list I subscribe to, "Renditions of Camelot", focusing on the elements involving him. (It helped that we'd read Roger Lancelyn Green earlier this year, and a lot of the list members had enjoyed him. I told them about your fondness for Green, and even mentioned how you included a specific reference to him in the book:

* SPOILERS*

"Peredur fab Ragnal" - Green makes Percival the son of Gawain and Ragnell.

* SPOILERS END *

I also mentioned Arthur's consultation of Malory, and the Stone's "Sword in the Stone" role (though I left the revelation of Percival/Peredur's involvement a surprise, saying only that the Illuminati leadership turns out to have links to King Arthur).

I also briefly mentioned the medieval elements of #10 through #12, since I thought they might interest Arthurian buffs, even if Arthur wasn't involved here. And I made a similar report to a forum for the Arthurian role-playing game "King Arthur Pendragon".

I don't know how many people will buy the book based on my reviews, but spreading the word certainly doesn't hurt.

Greg responds...

No, it HELPS!!!

Thank you, I appreciate those efforts tremendously.

Response recorded on December 11, 2009

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Kelly B. writes...

Hey!
I'm in college and my British Literature seminar class is over Arthurian legends and we can write on anything involving the legends and themes and I decided to write about the Arthurian themes in Gargoyles as I am a huge fan-so I guess my question is do you have any input that I might be able to use?
Thanks so much!

Greg responds...

ANY input? Um... probably? I wish you had been more specific. Cuz I'm not inclined to write a small dissertation for you here. (Especially since you posted this back in April, so I'm going to assume that by late June (when I'm answering) your class is over. ) But I would have been happy to answer specific questions. If you still have any, and you're not in a hurry, feel free to post specific questions on the subject.

Response recorded on June 26, 2009

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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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Makhasu writes...

Why did Macbeth want the Scrolls of Merlin? That was never answered in the episode Lighthouse in a Sea of Time.

Greg responds...

Yes, it was, actually. He thought they'd contain powerful magical spells... useful (potentially) in his conflict with/hunt for Demona.

Response recorded on February 28, 2007

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Makhasu writes...

Macbeth said to King Arthur that he was too long a king to serve another. Does this mean that he's never served or worked for anyone post-1057?

Greg responds...

No, it doesn't necessarily mean that.

Response recorded on February 20, 2007

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Raye writes...

Hello again,

I was rewatching 'Lighthouses in the Sea of Time' and noticed that down in the dig-site the archaeologists (Lydia and Arthur, right?) passed a harp that seemed to play music and shine at their passing. Later I noticed that on the seal of the Scrolls of Merlin there was a symbol that seemed to be in the shape of this harp. So...

1. Was the harp pictured on the seal, or was it just a fluke?

2. What *was* this harp?

3. Who put the harp down there in the cavern?

4. Did this harp belong to Merlin?

Thanks you for any reply. I'm really enjoying rewatching all these episodes on DVD (episodes aired in New Zealand with several scenes cut to fit them into a smaller time period, so it's been great seeing all the extra snippets!)

Greg responds...

1. Been a while since I've seen the episode myself, but if you're describing it correctly, it was clearly not a fluke.

2. More of a lyre actually, as I recall.

3. Merlin.

4. Yes.

Response recorded on January 04, 2007

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dph writes...

Was Merlin's conception/birth intentional on the part of Oberon? What I mean is did Oberon deliberately seek out to have a son who was half mortal in the case of Merlin?

Greg responds...

I mostly think he was hot for Merlin's mom.

Response recorded on December 21, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

I thought that I'd better rephrase my Questing Beast comment/question, since I realized that I didn't state it too carefully. What my query was about, properly, was about the Beast still being alive in the present-day of the Gargoyles Universe. As I'd mentioned before, I'd assumed until you mentioned it that it wasn't, since it wasn't on the Arthurian Survivors list, so I'd assumed that it was deceased, like Lancelot, Guinevere, Gawain, Mordred, etc.

So is the Questing Beast's absence from the Arthurian Survivors list simply a case of it not counting as an "Arthurian character" in the same way as Arthur, Merlin, Percival, Blanchefleur, etc. - being rather an animal (though certainly a very remarkable animal)? That's what I'm assuming, but I just wanted to be certain about that.

Greg responds...

I refuse to make you certain of anything in this life. I can't handle the responsibility.

Response recorded on September 21, 2006

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Richard Von Heinz writes...

1-You've previously stated that in your version of Arthurian Lore that Morgana was really a member of the third race who for some reason was actually traded for the real child Duke Gorlois and Igraine and raised by them. So given the strange circumstances surrounding your version of Morgana, would she still be antagonistic towards the reawakened Arthur Pendragon, if by chance they met, considering that the people that Uther Pendragon wronged weren't her real biological parents and that Arthur has been gone and asleep on Avalon for more than a thousand years or would she stilll bear a grudge towards him even though Arthur's knights and kingdom are all but vanished.

2-On a related note to the first question why was Nimue, the person who supposedly trapped Merlin, made the actual biological child of Gorlois and Igraine when there wasn't any connection between her or Gorlois and Igraine in the actual legends. Was this whole plot twist set up in order to explain why Morgana had supernatural powers while Arthur was an ordinary mortal?

Greg responds...

1. The notion that adoptive relationships are less potent then biological makes no sense to me. But other than making that general statement, I'm not really going to answer your question, as it looks forward to Arthur and Morgana's next encounter, which I hope to someday show you ... most likely in comic book form.

2. It's WAY more complicated than that. But the cop out (and yet true) answer is that sometimes a story point just feels right. (cf. Puck is Owen. Owen is Puck.)

Response recorded on September 14, 2006

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Blaise writes...

PENDRAGON

I have to admit, when this first aired, I was more than a little surprised to see Arthur showing up again (or at least, so soon after AVALON). Likewise with Griff. And it was even more surprising that you guys teamed them up like this. Surprising and delightful.

I was also pleased to see the return of Macbeth (for the last time in the regular series). I have to admit, at first I was a little disappointed that Macbeth was the antagonist, simply because after CITY OF STONE and SANCTUARY he had become such a tragic and sympathetic figure, you wanted to root FOR him, not against him. Also, I'm not sure, but I think a lot more of Macbeth's reverance for Arthur could have been shown. In fact, when he and Arthur are crossing swords (well, sword and mace) he says, "You will kneel to me" in an almost spiteful way. Of course, in the end, Mac shows himself to actually be a bigger man than Arthur when it comes to admiting defeat--he does so instantly, unlike Arthur who had to be coached (and I had never thought about the similarity to those who had challenged Arthur's legitimacy back in the legends).

Anyway, back to London. I agree with your reasonings for not giving Arthur a sword (though, personally, I would have preferred a double-bladed axe to a mace, but that's just me). I just love Arthur's surprise at a locked church--says a lot about how times have changed.
BTW, you said that one of Arthur's trips was to the Guggenheim in NYC--New York City, yes? I must say, I find that a bit surprising. Since he didn't run into the clan, I can only guess that it must've taken place during the day. And if I were him, I would have been more than a little cheesed-off that my path looped on me like that ("Aww, I just LEFT here!").

The Stone was a surprise, but cool (and I love Frank Welker's voice). If the Stone's speaking didn't surprise Arthur, though, I wonder what Arthur was reacting to when he gasped and lept back into Griff. He might have felt someone else in the room, I guess.
As for Griff's design, for the most part it's okay in this ep, except for where he recites the poem (nice poem, BTW). At this point, he loses his neck. It just looks like there's this huge LUMP in the middle of his shoulders that has a beak, eyes and a mohawk.

At any rate, I really like Arthur's portrayl (sp?) here. A lot of times in popular culture, it seems, he's turned into this infallible, wonderfully wise, Paladin-like character. While that is definitely a side of his personality, I like that it's only a side--Arthur is a human, and as such, imperfect. He's not terribly humble, he perfers acting to thinking (like you said), and continually refuses to accept the possibility that he may NOT be destined for Excalibur again. Actually, this makes him easier to identify with.

One bit I like: As Macbeth is performing the summon spell, Banquo yells over the wind and rain, "HE AIN'T PAYIN' US ENOUGH FOR THIS!" In hindsight, it's like a bit of foreshadowing for him and Fleance leaving Macbeth's service (and joining up with Castaway).

Arthur immediately recognizes Macbeth (no fond memories there), and Macbeth, of course, has no memory. I like how that doesn't really phase him, though.

The gargoyles expertly handle Macbeth and his goons (it's great how they disarmed them all in less than 5 seconds). Brooklyn displays his leadership of the clan when he opts to stay and collect "some answers" rather than pursue Macbeth.

And then the clan gets a big ol' 1-2-3 punch. 1) There's a gargoyle standing right in front of them--when they thought they were the last all this time. 2) King Arthur is there as well--THE King Arthur. 3) Both the gargoyle and King Arthur have seen their missing leader and friend, Goliath. It's a heck of a lot of information to take in, and that (coupled with their trying to find Excalibur and deal with Macbeth) kind of numbs them to the ramifications of Griff's very existence for the moment. Or, at least, that's my guess. I would have loved to hear them wonder whether or not Griff was the only other one.

One nit, here: The poem says "Ebon glass in emerald frame." And they (correctly) figure it's the lake, but the lake is just a dark blue. Ebon should be black. Oh, well.

Finally, we meet the Lady of the Lake. A fun little note, here: a few months ago, I turned some of my friends onto GARGOYLES, and sometimes they had interesting observations. One of them was along the lines of, "The Lady of the Lake would HAVE to be a Child of Oberon to have a body like THAT in the Dark Ages."

I like how Macbeth plugs in his crystal ball, and uses a monitor screen as his "scrying pool." Ah, the conveniences of modern technology.

Can't add much to what you've already said about the Water Djinn sequence, mostly because I find myself agreeing with you. Still, you guys only had 22 minutes or so to work with.

I got a kick out of the whole "Brooklyn" exchange. There are some inconveniences to being named after a location.

Like Todd, I was a bit surprised that Banquo (and Fleance as well, it seems) know about Macbeth's true identity. Mac must have a LOT of confidence in them.

At about this point, the Trio and Hudson largely take a backseat to the main action--Arthur and Griff vying with Macbeth for the sword. That's not to say that they don't have some good fight moments with Banquo and Fleance.

While it was never readily apparent that Banquo and Fleance were wearing power-suits, that knowledge does help explain a couple things I'd always wondered about: 1) How Banquo didn't lose his legs when Hudson hit them with what looked like the sword's cutting-edge, and 2) How Banquo wasn't crushed under the weight of both the tree AND Broadway.
Actually, Fleance seemed to be the more competent of the two in this battle--almost single-handedly taking out all four gargs. And she's got a tough hover-bike, one that crashes, but can still be used as stairs later on.

Griff encourages Arthur to continue fighting for Excalibur--yup, our king's found his first uber-loyal supporter.

The dragon...I am a BIG dragon buff, and I was indescribably pleased to see one in GARGOYLES, even if it was technically made of stone. The "vents" on the neck were an interesting and unique touch. And of course the whole "fight-and-flight" sequence was fun. The Trio and Hudson seemed to have the roughest time of it, being knocked back at the first, and then dodging fireballs while flying around the dragon's head, (Hudson whacking it with his sword...which right now reminds me of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" where Lancelot whacks the French castle with his sword before retreating).

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is Griff's way of freeing Arthur--making the dragon drop him and then grabbing him by the *corner of his cape* as he starts to fall! Arthur never even blanched. Then again, this is the same guy who a few seconds later plunges his had into the magical fire to retrieve Excalibur. I loved that part, BTW.

Poor Macbeth looks so sad when he drops the remnants of the false sword. I like that Arthur asks Macbeth to join him. As I recall, that was something he often did in the old legends: make a friend and knight out of a former foe. Of course I also recall reading somewhere that Excalibur could burst into blue flame or some such thing, so what do I know?

Arthur pretty much states what his next quest is (find that old fart, Merlin), and then does something I didn't quite expect...he knights Griff. I have to admit, maybe it's a bit prejudiced on my part, but I never contemplated the idea of a gargoyle-knight. I like it though.

I didn't get the idea that this was a sort of "backdoor pilot" to a spin-off, but once I found out, it made perfect sense. If this ep was any indication, it was already shaping up to be a fine show.

There's my ramble, and tomorrow I start replying to EYE OF THE STORM.

Greg responds...

I think you misunderstood me. The Stone sent him to the roof of the Guggenheim. I can't imagine that I said that he'd been there before. I don't think he'd been to Manhattan before. Of course, it's been two years, and I have no memory of what I wrote at all. But that seems unlikely.

Response recorded on September 11, 2006

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Harvester of Eyes writes...

I have a question concerning half-breeds. Perhaps you've answered it, but I've perused most of the questions concerning the third race, Oberon's children, and Fox. Anyway, if Merlin is the offspring of Oberon and a mortal human, does that make him immortal? Arthur seems intent on finding him at the end of the episode "Pendragon." Would this also mean that Fox, being the offspring of a similar union, is immortal? Does whether or not the immortal parent is male or female have any bearing on this?

Greg responds...

The gender of the immortal parent has no bearing.

As for the rest, I've never said that Merlin was immortal, so you can't make assumption based on facts not in evidence.

Questions about Fox and Alexander's status have yet to be revealed.

Response recorded on September 05, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the "Pendragon" ramble, Greg.

This is, of course, an episode that I'm very fond of because of my being an Arthurian buff. I've been therefore eagerly awaiting your ramble on it for a long time, and I'm glad that the wait is finally over.

I hadn't expected Arthur and Griff to team up before this episode, but I very much liked the concept. I still think that it's a pity that the "Pendragon" spin-off never got made to show us their adventures. (It's still my personal favorite of the projected spin-offs in the Master Plan.)

Although you don't mention it, there's an echo here of the first Arthur-related episode in "Gargoyles", "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time", with Macbeth again as the antagonist and Banquo and Fleance as his assistants. And again Macbeth is going after an Arthurian artifact.

A couple of bits about Macbeth in this episode still stand out to me. One is the fact that Banquo and Fleance know that he's *the* Macbeth; that got my attention at once. The other is that Macbeth, after drawing the fake-Excalibur from the statue, describes himself as "Macbeth, son of Findlaech". I very much enjoyed the little reference to his father, who thus gains a certain posthumous presence in the series long after "City of Stone Part One" (I find myself also recalling his cameo in "Avalon Part Two", when the Archmages are spying on Macbeth in 1020). Even when characters are dead, they're not forgotten.

I was initially a bit taken aback by the Stone of Destiny being the stone from the Sword in the Stone legend, since the Stone of Destiny was in either Ireland or Scotland at the time rather than in London (where the Sword in the Stone was set up), but I've since grown to accept it. It certainly makes sense; I've read a couple of commentaries on the Sword in the Stone legend which connected it to the Stone of Destiny, so equating them is certainly feasible. (I hadn't even considered the possibility of the Stone actually speaking those words to the assembled British nobles and knights until you mentioned it, I might add.)

I very much like the concept of Arthur's role being somewhere beyond Britain, even if it does take a different course from the traditional legends about his future return. (Arthur becoming ruler of Britain again would have made the Gargoyles Universe too different from the real world, of course, which gives an additional good reason to go in the direction that you chose.)

I hadn't even noted the parallel between Macbeth and King Pellinor, but I really like it. Thanks for sharing it with us. (I always was fond of Pellinor, from the time that I first met him in T. H. White's "The Sword in the Stone".) I certainly get a kick out of Arthur and Macbeth as allies - two of the most famous legendary kings of all time, if with dramatically different reputations. A real crossover concept, in fact.

Maybe the one weak point about the Gargoyles take on Arthur is that he seems a little too influenced by T. H. White - in the sense that he doesn't seem "uniquely Gargoyles Universe" enough. Other characters from traditional legend who cropped up in "Gargoyles" in major roles did so in a way that felt true to their originals, and yet in such a way that you could still, when meeting them, say "This is the Gargoyles Universe version of the character" at once. Macbeth was definitely this way, as is Puck, and so are the Weird Sisters, Oberon, and Titania. But Arthur feels maybe a bit too "conventional Arthur" in his appearances. Although I assume that, if you'd gotten to make the "Pendragon" spin-off, you'd have found ways of making him stand out a bit more from other writers' take on Arthur.

The bit about the fake Excalibur (which Arthur recognizes at once to be a fake) reminds me of a story in Malory where Morgan le Fay stole Excalibur from Arthur and replaced it with a worthless duplicate, while then giving the real Excalibur to one of her knights whom she then manipulated into attacking Arthur - obviously Arthur isn't going to be taken in by the lookalike ploy this time around.

And I certainly liked the concept of a different take on "the sword in the stone".

I can't help wondering a little what Leo and Una must have thought about Griff going off with Arthur so soon after he'd rejoined them, though I doubt that it was quite as bad this time around. For one thing, I get the impression that a major point behind it was that they didn't know for certain what had happened to Griff in "M.I.A.", and whether he was dead or not, which wouldn't happen this time around (since I recall that you mentioned that Griff called them up from New York long-distance). Also, there was the "buried guilt" issue over the fact that they knew, deep down inside, that they should have gone with him - and since now, after "M.I.A.", they've returned to being protectors, that isn't an issue any longer either.

At the end, I was eager to see Arthur and Griff go on their quest for Merlin, and thought it a pity that that story wasn't continued. (This will touch slightly on "Sentinel", but I'm saving my comments on that for when you ramble on it.) At least we get to see Arthur knighting Griff, which I thought was a great scene. And a fine way to begin a new set of adventures.... (Here's hoping that someday you'll get to tell them.)

Greg responds...

I've got my fingers crossed certainly.

Response recorded on August 31, 2006

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Joey writes...

How did Elisa know how to wake up Sleeping King Arthur in Avalon part 3?

Greg responds...

The Magus filled her in off-camera.

Response recorded on August 22, 2006

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Gipdac writes...

I believe you've said Arthur had some adventures before the events of "Pendragon", so, I was wondering…
1. When did Goliath & Co. arrive in London and meet Una and Leo (in "M.I.A.")?
2. When did Arthur arrive in London and first meet Griff (in "Pendragon")?
3. What day in 1920 did Goliath travel back to first meet Griff ("M.I.A.")?

Greg responds...

1. Goliath, Elisa, Angela and Bronx arrive in London and first meet Leo and Una on January 23rd, 1996.

2. Arthur arrives in London and first meets Griff on May 19th, 1996.

3. I have not pinpointed a precise date in 1940 for when this took place. (Note, however, that the year is 1940, not 1920.)

Response recorded on May 11, 2006

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gipdac writes...

I have some more questions about the Arthurian characters in the Gargoyles Universe,
1. When was Merlin imprisoned in the Crystal Cave?
2. Who imprisoned Merlin in the Crystal Cave?
3. When did Sir Gawain battle the Green Knight for the first time?
4a. Is Excalibur the Sword from the Stone or are the two separate swords? 4b. When was Excalibur forged? 4c. Where was Excalibur forged? 4d. By whom was Excalibur forged? 4e. How did Excalibur come into the possession of the Lady of the Lake?
5. What year were Sir Percival and Lady Blanchefleur wed?
6. What year were King Arthur and Lady Gwenyvere wed?
7. What year did Lancelot and Gwenyvere run away together?
8. Which spelling do you prefer: Gwenyvere or Guinevere? (I know Angela and Broadway's daughter's name is spelled Gwenyvere, but I wasn't sure if it was the same for the Arthurian queen)
9a. Who are Morgana le Fay’s parents (biological and/or adopted)? 9b. Is Morgana Arthur’s half-sister?
10. When and how did Sir Percival first come in contact with the Holy Grail and Castle Carbonek?
11a. Did Joseph of Arimathea bring the Grail to Britain? 11b. In what year did the Grail first come to Britain?
12. When where the Scroll of Merlin written?

As always, love the show and truly appreciate your dedication to your fans (including me) and their endless borage of questions. Thanks ;-)

Greg responds...

1, 3, 4b, 5, 6, 7, 11b, 12. Again, haven't done the research or math on this yet.

2, 10, 11a. The legends make it pretty clear. Otherwise, I don't feel like scooping myself.

4a. In the Gargoyles Universe I'm conflating them into one sword.

4c, 4d, 4e, 9a. I'm not revealing this yet.

8. I haven't decided definitively yet.

9b. I've hinted at the answer to this, if you're in the mood to search the ASK GREG archives.

Response recorded on December 01, 2005

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gipdac writes...

I have some questions about the birthdays of the Arthurian characters in the Gargoyles Universe,
1a. When was Merlin born? b. What was his mother's name? c. When was she born?
2. When was Nimue born?
3. When was Morgana le Fay born?
4. When was Gwenyvere born?
5. When was Lancelot born?
6. When was Galahad born?
7a. When was Percival born? 7b. What year did he take on the name Duval? 7c. Who are Percival’s parents?
8. When was Blanchefleur born?
9. When was Gawain born?
10. When were the Lady of the Lake and the Green Knight born?
11a. When was Modred born? 11b. Who are his parents?
12. When were Uther Pendragon and Igraine born?
13. When was Ector born?
14. When was Kay born?

Thanks you for all your patience.

Greg responds...

1a, 1c, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7a, 8, 9, 11a, 12, 13 & 14. I haven't yet sat down to do the research and math necessary to answer these questions. I've dated Arthur's birth as 485. You're welcome to sit down with Mallory or Lanclyn Green or whomever you prefer and figure out dates for the rest based on that. I will, eventually, have to figure out most of the above for myself, but I'm not motivated to do it now.

1b. I can't remember off the top of my head, but you're as capable of looking it up as I am. (Or ask Todd Jensen. I'd lay odds that he knows.)
7b. I haven't decided this yet.
10. As Children of Oberon, I'm not too interested in their 'birthdates'.
11b. His bioparents were Arthur and Morgause. He was raised by Morgause and Lot. (And, no, I haven't made a final decision on the spelling of either Modred or Morgause.)

Response recorded on December 01, 2005

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Todd Jensen writes...

A question about Elisa awakening King Arthur "early". Now, we know that Elisa awakened Arthur ahead of schedule, based on the information given in "Avalon Part Three" and "Pendragon", and that he was apparently originally supposed to be awakened somewhat later and for a different emergency than the Archmage (although we don't know what it was or how far away in time it would be).

What I'm curious about is: has Elisa thereby altered Arthur's destiny? To explain a little more about what I mean, I suppose that I'd better go into a brief "ramble".

We don't know much about the nature of fate or destiny in the Gargoyles Universe (beyond the fact that the Weird Sisters are linked to it, at least when Luna is the dominant one), but we can tell that it exists in some ways (such as Avalon sending people "where they need to be"). I don't know if it's actually supposed to be possible to "alter destiny" in the Gargoyles Universe, beyond the fact that we know that the past can't be altered (as Goliath and Demona have both learned the hard way), but since Elisa came to the Hollow Hill in her own time rather than in the past, her awakening Arthur obviously wouldn't count as changing history in the same way that somebody going back in time to, say, avert the Wyvern Massacre would. However, since the future is part of the time-stream (and I assume that the only 2198 in the Gargoyles Universe is the one where the Space-Spawn show up and take over the planet and there are no alternate 2198s where that event doesn't take place), it doesn't seem so probable that it can be altered.

On the other hand, we do know that carefully-laid plans that were devised, not by God or destiny or something of a transcendent nature, but by humans or gargoyles or the Oberati, can be changed through the actions of others. Demona and the Captain of the Guard's original plans to betray Castle Wyvern, for example, wound up having different results than those that they were expecting, thanks partly to Goliath's decision to only take Hudson with him, partly to Hakon's decision to smash the gargoyles at the castle in spite of the Captain's protests.

So what my real question is, I suppose, is this; was the original "future time" for Arthur's awakening (in which he will not be awakening after all thanks to Elisa) set by God or Fate or something of that nature, or was it set merely by people (as in, the ones who placed him in the Hollow Hill)? Has Elisa genuinely altered Arthur's future, or only altered his future as it was perceived by those who laid him to sleep on Avalon?

Greg responds...

It's a very interesting distinction isn't it? Does Destiny = Future?

Well, I'm thinking no. The future, as you stated, is part of the timestream. Actual events that happened in the future (from some kind of external perspective) are immutable.

But Destiny, to me at least, means something different. Destiny is about potential. It's not about a lock or a guarantee.

Individual characters may be loose with language, but I think that in the Gargoyles Universe, when one says a character is "DESTINED" to do X, what one means is that said character is destined to ATTEMPT X. Doesn't guarantee success. Success relies on a combination of indiviual and circumstance.

So, to your original question, has Elisa altered Arthur's destiny? I'd have to say... "MAYBE!!!!"

I mean actually, I know the answer to that question, but I just don't feel like answering it now. What I mean by "maybe" is that she certainly may have. She may have created a new destiny for him. She may have spoiled plans for the old destiny. And yet he may find his way back to that old destiny. Or what he does accomplish may not be exactly the original destiny, but winds up doing the same thing or sowing seeds for others to reep. Any or all of the above.

Response recorded on June 02, 2005

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Francois Ferland writes...

Hi Greg! I'm posting for the first time and it feels wierd, since I tried to send questions 4 or 5 years ago and they got deleted. Anyway...

First of all, I'd like to thank you for having been (and still being) such an important part of the Gargoyles franchise. You (and others of course) provided me with easily THE single best animated show ever. A well written series great voice acting, continuous plots, characters that are believable, and a complex universe that manages both to include lots of existing legends and myths while still retaining a distinct identity. I truly think that in terms of all-around quality for a dramatic show, Gargoyles was easily Disney's best effort by far. Reboot is the only other animated show that I've seen that seems to exhibit the same qualities, meaning well-written, clever and quite enjoyable for both kids and adults.

Also, I'm happy to learn that Gathering 2004 will take place in Montreal, meaning I might actually be able to attend! I don't know if you're the one who chose the location, but if you are, thanks on behalf of us Canadians!

Finally, I'd just like to thank you for actually answering the flood of questions we fans send your way. And especially your god-like patience towards people who obviously never took the time to read the FAQ OR archive. I can understand asking about a minor detail that could have been missed, but among the questions being submitted, I know there are some LAZY people I wouldn't mind slapping once or twice in the face...

Anyway, I have a number of questions on different subject, so expect a few one-question posts from me.

This one would fit in a "Writing" category if there is such a thing.

1. Regarding your current master plan (i.e. your ideas for the various spin-offs), it's obvious you've given lots of thoughts to the initial setting of each. The main characters and their immediate goals for example, as well as ideas for early stories as well as a few ideas for on-going plots. A lot of course would be dictated by the characters (and your muse I'm sure) as the shows would go along.

a) Now here's my question: Do you have an idea about the possible endings of some of your spin-offs? I don't want you to tell me anything, just if you have some "Ultimate goals" in mind for all your spin-offs.

Gargoyles itself has always been very open-ended. There never was a single overlying theme to the series, it just kept going on on its own, the plots and characters growing in complexity in a very organic and sometimes unpredictable way. It could potentially keep going on for years and years.

But some of your spin-offs have very specific premises. There ARE stories that are better told if planned from beginning to end as a whole. Others however are better if left to evolve on their own. An aimless story could potentially "find its voice" after a while, leading to an ultimate ending of sorts. Or, the initial premise could be transformed over time, leading the story in a quite different direction.

For example, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Initially, the show is about our heroes trying to restore a people (Bajorans) to a stable society following years of occupation by an enemy race (Cardassians). Yet, after two years, the show introduced a much bigger menace, a race who sought to conquer and control all others (the Dominion). From then on, the show eventually lead to a huge war with the ending signaling the end of the hostility.

a) How do you feel about long stories? About those that are open-ended and those that have some finality set for them? (I hope I'm not being to vague here. I'm really interested in how you feel about this)

And about some specifics spin-offs:

b) Bad Guys: The basic idea is about our main characters seeking redemption. Do you know if they ever find it? And would that be the goal of the show?

c) TimeDancer: Ultimately, the very final ending is, in a way, already known. Brooklyn makes it home a lot older with a family. But do you already have some sketchy idea about how he finally makes it there, like some final adventure dealing with the Phoenix Gate itself, or were you planing on dealing with it once you were forced to, like a series' finale?

c) Gargoyles 2198: This one seems to be mostly about the war against the Space-Spawn but as you often say, "Things aren't that simple". Would the liberation of Earth signal the end of the series, or would you keep the series going with the existing setting once the war is over? After all, there might still be other threats like Coyote-X, the Illuminati, etc.

d) Dark Ages: Since this one could theoretically run up to the beginning of "Awakening", I won't ask if you have an ending in mind.

e) Pendragon: It's obvious now that Merlin, Mr. Duval and Holy Grail would be important part of the story. Do you have an ending in mind for this one, or where you again planing on seeing where the story ultimately took you?

f) New Olympians: This one feels pretty generic, and feels like it could run forever like Gargoyles. The ultimate goal I suppose would be the acceptance of New Olympus by humanity, but judging by the response toward gargoyles, wouldn't likely fit within an entire series, no matter how long it might be. Still, got an ending in mind, even if it's pretty open-ended, like "Hunter's Moon pt.3"?

Thanks a lot for answering.

Greg responds...

Francois,

Well, time delay means that I believe we met in Montreal (and, no, I didn't choose the location -- I don't make those decisions). You played Lex in the radio play, right?

1a. Some yes, some no. I know where Dark Ages ends -- with "Awakening, Part One". I know where "TimeDancer" ends... right where it began. I have a VERY good idea of how the Space-Spawn thing is resolved, but I don't think that necessarily marks the end of 2198. And likewise, I don't have a firm ending for Pendragon, Bad Guys or the New Olympians... but I have a good idea where I want to go with the first major arcs. As for Gargoyles itself -- that would end in 2198.

1a) [You had two (a)s.] Some stories -- whether long or short -- need closure. They're one-shots... no matter how long they last. Others can be open-ended. I lean toward the latter personally... because life is ongoing -- even after individuals die. But I respect the other form as well.

b) I'm not going to reveal whether or not they find redemption, but yes that's the goal. The thing is... even if I were to redeem all the original cast, the concept can survive them. And new characters may be introduced that give us a reason to continue. I will say, that I wouldn't be shy to bring a series to an end if I had no more stories to tell. That just has never happened to me within the Garg Universe. Not yet anyway.

c) See above for confirmation of your basic thesis. But I have a fairly clear general idea of how the whole dance, including the finale choreographs. But I won't pretend I have all forty years worth of adventures planned out to the last detail. I don't.

c) [You had two (c)s, as well.] See above. The war doesn't end the series.

d) See above.

e) I have endings in mind for some of the arcs that I plan to set in motion. But even the ultimate death of Arthur himself (which I was not planning anytime soon) might not end this series. I have at least one significant idea to go beyond Arthur...

f) Same deal. I have specific arcs in mind, and I have a solid idea of how they end. But I doubt that they wouldn't lead to more stories. If in fact they didn't and I was out of juice there, I'd shut it down.

Response recorded on April 14, 2005

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Gothic Cowboy writes...

If he were to see it (provided he hasn't seen it already), what would King Arthur think of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

Greg responds...

I don't know... but I like it.

Response recorded on March 04, 2005

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matt writes...

Griff

1. you've said before that Una, Leo and Griff hatched in 1898. Leo and Una haved aged normally, but Griff was pulled forward in time 55 years or so. so, the closest generation in biological age to Griff is the rookery that hatched in 1958, correct? that would make him just slightly biologically older than Brooklyn, but not as old as Goliath, right?

2. will Griff find a new mate since Una is with Leo now (and WAY too old for him)?

3. you once mentioned that "The Three" taught the London Clan the nursery ryhme about King Arthur that Griff quoted in "Pendragon". who were/are "The Three"?

4. how much time was there between when Goliath brought Griff to the modern age (MIA) and when Arthur showed up in London (Pendragon)?

Greg responds...

1. In 1996, Goliath was biologically 29. The Trio were biologically 19. Griff was biologically 22. That would put him closer in biological age to Sora (hatched in 1958) then Yama (hatched in 1938).

2. One would hope.

3. I just tried to search through the archives for "The Three" and couldn't find an appropo reference. But I think I've covered this before... if not, I guess I'm revealing something... the three I assume you're referring to are Morgana le Fey, Nimue and the Lady of the Lake.

4. Griff gated to the present on January 24th, 1996. Arthur arrived in London on May 18th, 1996. (Though he and Griff didn't actually meet until after midnight, i.e. on May 19th.)

Response recorded on February 15, 2005

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Todd Jensen writes...

When you recently answered one of my questions about "Pendragon", you said in the course of it:

<So elements, like the Illuminati, the Gargoyles and Macbeth would have definitely entered into stories of the Questing Beast and the Holy Grail, and vice versa, etc.>

I was interested in the "Questing Beast" part, because I hadn't seriously thought that the Questing Beast was going to show up in "Pendragon" - for one thing, it hadn't made the "Arthurian survivors" list - but now it appears that the Beast would still be around. Did I read what you said correctly? That the Questing Beast would feature in "Pendragon"? I'm glad to learn that, since I'd always had a certain fondness for the Questing Beast dating back from when I first read about it in T. H. White's "The Sword in the Stone".

Greg responds...

As I've said, given enough time and episodes, we'd eventually cover everything in one way or another -- so how could I leave out the Questing Beast?

Response recorded on December 10, 2004

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DPH writes...

A couple of questions:

1)What is Arthur Pendragon's legacy in the Gargoyles universe after he was carried away to Avalon?

2)What is Arthur Pendragon's legacy in the Gargoyles universe after he really died?

Greg responds...

I don't really understand what either of these questions mean. One life -- any life -- touches untold numbers of others directly and indirectly. A life of historical significance, let alone legendary significance is going to touch an exponential amount of people.

Response recorded on December 02, 2004

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Puck Robyne Lover!! writes...

Can you give me a family tree of oberon and titiania's children across the centuries? I can't figure out if Puck is Alexnder Xanatos is pucks nephew or not. I would really like to know about Puck's/owen's secret love that you mentioned earlier too.

Greg responds...

I'm not going to reveal anything new at this time, but I will summarize what I've already revealed:

Lord Oberon is the son of Queen Mab.

Lord Oberon married Titania (who became Queen Titania after Mab was overthrown). (Note: Oberon intentionally did not take the title of King. Retaining his "Lord" title is his semi-skewed attempt at being more... egalitarian.)

Oberon and Titania have two children together: one male and one female. I know exactly who they are, but I'm keeping their identities and personas secret for the time being.

Oberon also has at least two sons by mortal women: Merlin and the changeling boy from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Titania has one child with the mortal Halcyon Renard. This is Janine Renard, a.k.a. Fox.

Fox married David Xanatos. They have one child: Alexander Fox Xanatos.

Puck, a.k.a. Owen Burnett, is not directly related to ANY of these individuals.

Response recorded on November 18, 2004

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Chapter XLVIII: "Pendragon"

Time to ramble...

Chapter XLVIII: "Pendragon"
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia Marano
Director: Dennis Woodyard

SOMETHING'S COMING
There's a wonderful children's book called "Something's Coming" about three stuffed animals and [SPOILERS] a sneeze. I hadn't read that book when we did this episode, but it was all I could think of reviewing the opening minutes now.

In fact, what's coming, according to Macbeth, is the "Harmonic Convergence". When I heard that, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that this was a Cary Bates episode. (Cary, at least for a time, was very into incorporating all sorts of New Agey schtick into his work [cf. his comic book series SILVERBLADE published in the late 80s by DC Comics].)

Of course, as noted above, this was a Brynne/Lydia/Greg collaboration. No Cary at all.

A BRIEF STOPOVER IN LONDON
Arthur arrives in his "City of Wonders", i.e. modern day London. We throw in some beauty shots of the city from "M.I.A." here. It helped us trim a few bad seconds of animation later in the episode, and helped establish the mood a bit better.

With Arthur arriving at what must have been his final destination from Avalon's point of view (minus a quick Stone of Destiny hop to NYC's Guggenheim Museum), his skiff sinks down into the water. I always imagined that the skiff resurfaced back on Avalon. Having shown this here, I didn't feel bad about NOT showing the sinking skiff in "Gathering, One" when our quartet returned to Manhattan. Allowed us to keep some surprise at their arrival at the Clock Tower.

Arthur makes a point of using a mace, since his quest is to find EXCALIBUR and we didn't want to confuse the issue by having him simply exchange one decent sword for the subtlety of a better sword. Or at least not until the end of the ep.

We also made a point of him missing Merlin, which was a bit of foreshadowing to the proposed Pendragon spin-off, where Arthur and Griff's first order of business would be a Quest for Merlin.

Speaking of Griff, his silhouette is a bit too distinctive here for my tastes. I wish it hadn't quite given away his indentity so soon. His design is somewhat inconsistent in this episode. As I mentioned during my "M.I.A." episode, Frank, Greg Guler and I were never 100% satisfied with the design. In this episode, in particular, he has some real Foghorn Leghorn moments.

The first real stop on Arthur's tour is Westminster Abbey. The door is locked, which makes sense in the Twentieth Century but not to a guy from the Sixth Century. And it perhaps makes even less sense to us in the 21st-Century. Is that all the security that exists there: a locked door? And of course, GARGOYLES continues its traditions of wantonly damaging historical sites, when Arthur uses his mace to enter.

Inside we find the Stone of Destiny in it's 1990s home beneath the throne. Shortly thereafter, the Stone would be moved to Edinburgh Castle. As for the Stone, I perpetrated one of my favorite mythological devices, which is conflating various similar concepts... so the Stone of Destiny (i.e. Jacob's pillow) also becomes the Stone from the Sword in the Stone, i.e. the stone from which Arthur drew Excalibur. And the thing talks!! What's interesting to me now, is that Arthur doesn't seem surprised by the fact that it talks. Legends state that an inscription revealed that "Whosoever pulleth this sword from this stone [and anvil] will become King of Britain." But perhaps there was no inscription, and the stone talked from day one. One question: Is the Stone itself one of Oberon's Children (in stone form) or is it magically enchanted? (I lean toward the latter, but it's interesting to ponder the former.)

Arthur, without Excalibur, had hoped that the sword would have returned to the stone. He's frustrated when he finds it hasn't. But he doesn't doubt his "ownership" of it, until much later in the episode. The Powers That Be are much less sure of Arthur's claim on it. They are constantly reminding him that at best, all he has is a shot at it: "It belongs to the True King. Are you still he?"

I also love how Arthur says that he hates riddles. It just feels so right for my interpretation of Arthur as a man who LEARNED to be a thinker, but to whom it didn't necessarily come naturally. Said interpretation of course heavily influenced by the works of T.H. White. Anyway, that poem/riddle which Griff recites (an unknowing trust past down across generations of the London Clan) was written, as I recall, by Lydia. It was hearing this poem that reminded me that she had written this episode and not Cary.

Note that everytime he sees a gargoyle, Arthur asks if he's "of Goliath's Clan".

BACK AT THE RANCH
Once again, we abandon our travelers to focus on life on the homefront with the Trio & Hudson. We will, once they've met up with Griff & Arthur, get a bit of an update on how updated our left-behinders are. They've heard from Halcyon Renard that he spotted Goliath, Elisa & Bronx in Prague. They've heard from Diane Maza that she spotted them in Nigeria. [I have to assume that all communications were channelled, per Elisa's suggestion, through Matt.] Now they learn about the travelers stop-overs in London (from Griff) and Avalon (from Arthur). [All of this was a bit of a risk, as we couldn't guarantee the airing order of the World Tour episodes. But I guess we felt it was a risk worth taking in order to give us a bit of legitimate continuity. Fortunately, it all worked out.] I'm curious if Angela was mentioned by either Renard or Diane (or Griff or Arthur after the adventure was over), and if so how prominently. Also, Griff demonstrably proves that other Gargoyles still exist in the world. Though the ramifications of that and of Angela clearly don't sink in with Hudson and the others until "The Gathering, Part One".

You'll see flashes of Brooklyn taking charge in this episode. With no one (including him) questioning it or even making an issue of it. I guess the lessons of "Kingdom" stuck.

You'll also see Broadway destroying one of Macbeth's lightning guns. But in contrast, Griff -- a man of HIS era, i.e. the forties -- comandeers the other one and makes it a part of his arsenal. I liked that, even -- or especially -- with the spin-off series in mind.

WILL OF THE WHISP AND OTHER STRANGERS...
I've since revealed here at ASK GREG, that the Will of the Whisp (introduced here by Macbeth, who uses both science and sorcery to control and utilize it) is the primitive magical entity that Oberon's Children evolved from. Sort of the Homo Erectus of the magical set. (Or maybe something even more primitive like a lemur or lungfish.)

The Lady of the Lake surfaces (literally). I like Lexington's "And she was right in our own lake.." for its understated humor. Also, this gives Hudson an excuse to say "Jalapeña", thus fulfilling another of the verbal challenges that Voice Director Jamie Thomason set for me -- and thus further pissing off the contingent of artists who truly HATED that expression. I think this may be one of the last times, until "The Journey", that we used it.

Anyway, we constantly raise the question of why the sword and the Lady associated with it were now in New York and not in Britain. Of course, the short answer was that we wanted to involve Hudson & the Trio without sending them on their own World Tour. But in fact, we did have a larger purpose. We wanted Arthur to become a player on the World Stage. A larger stage, as the Lady says.

I wasn't wild about that Water Djinn sequence. We wanted Arthur to solve the problem through leadership. But having him order Griff to use the Lightning weapon seems a fairly feeble solution to me (even though I endorsed it at the time). Wouldn't Arthur simply be electrocuted?

PEN... DRAGON
It's a goofy joke, but I still chuckle at Lex saying "Brooklyn" and Brooklyn answering.

I also am amused by the fact that it's Banquo in his slow pondering way that gives Macbeth the idea -- if not the ambition -- to take Excalibur for his own: "Hey Boss, you're a king. And you've been alive a long time..." Mac, an established Arthurphile, may seem an unlikely person to try to supplant his own hero. But it perfectly suits my interpretation of the character. Our Macbeth may not have the ambition of Shakespeare's Macbeth. But he's always been a man to sieze an appropriate opportunity. And he's always been a man in search of his own purpose. Perhaps this business of being a "Timeless King" and everything else that Excalibur represents in the past and future provides the reason for why he's lived for a largely tormented nine hundred years. Of course, Mac is also a man of honor. He vies for the sword. But when it becomes clear at the VERY end that Arthur is indeed its true master, he swears fealty to the (Whitean) Once and Future King. The thought DID cross my mind to add Macbeth to the cast of regulars in my PENDRAGON development. To give Arthur, in essence, two knights: Griff & Macbeth. But the dilemma comes in the fact that any spin-off has to stand on its own two feet. Characters can have backstories, but you can't assume that the audience has seen x amount of episodes of Gargoyles. I felt that telling Arthur's GARGOYLES-related backstory was going to be difficult enough. Throw in Griff's complicated story and you've set yourself a real challenge. Throw in Macbeth and that boat is just going to sink under two much backstory-weight. Much better to use him as guest star. Then if it seemed to work, over time he might spend MORE time in Pendragon. You never know. [NOTE: I was considerably less worried about adding Blanchfleur, Merlin and Duval to the cast, as we would be introducing them IN Pendragon.] So in the end, Mac accepts a more separate but equal arrangement. This was still cool to me. It reminded me of Arthur's relationship with King Pellinore. King Pellinore was also a King, but he was a wandering King. He didn't always sit at the Round Table, but he always came to Arthur's side, when Arthur needed him. They maintained a certain equality between them, and yet unspoken was the acknowledgement that Arthur was the one true king.

Speaking of Banquo... note his "Popeye" expression throughout most of the episode. This is a result of his model sheet, which showed him squinting through one eye. That was just supposed to be a single expression, but many of the overseas artists naturally assumed that it was a permanent condition -- because of course, we didn't have another model sheet with a different expression. Also, what did you think of Banquo & Fleance's power armor. I'm not sure it really came across as power armor. It was supposed to make them tougher and stronger. But I think it just looked like a flight suit for their sky-cycles. [But I did love those sky-cycles, especially the way Lex used them as a staircase for the Gargoyles to get some air. That was really cool and clever, I think.]

Random fact: My ten-year-old daughter Erin was fascinated with the topiary monkey.

An episode called Pendragon needed... a Dragon. I think this one is positively glorious. I love those steam vents. And the stone flight. And the fire. GREAT FIRE. But before it wakes up, I like how in essence this stone statue becomes the NEW Stone of Destiny. Macbeth draws the (faux) Excalibur from the dragon's stone grip and declares: "Macbeth, son of Findlaech, is the one true king." Arthur for a minute seems a sore loser. But his better nature wins out, after Macbeth points out that he's being a jerk. [Macbeth is great about being right when he's wrong.] When, as a youngster, Arthur drew the sword, many opposed his rule. It's a lesson that he's learned from. Griff resists, but Arthur kneels. He will not be an obstructionist if Macbeth is the new true king. Erin also felt that Arthur was being a sore loser. But Benny, my seven-year-old, disagreed, calling Arthur "the World's best fighter" and therefore the guy who deserved the sword. What's interesting, is that was NEVER my intent. I don't think of Arthur as the world's best FIGHTER. Even in his own legends, there were many knights who could outfight him. Arthur was a decent fighter, but his greatest strength was as a LEADER of men. That's what we tried to get across, both here and in "Avalon, Part Three".

It's also a cool play on words, I think, that this time the phrase "Sword IN the Stone" needs to be taken literally. The dragon statue surrounds the true sword inside it. I love the steps Arthur goes through to figure this out, primarily that moment when he recovers the faux Excalibur and can instantly sense that it isn't the genuine article. That was us trying to DEMONSTRATE with clarity that Excalibur wasn't just any sword, but rather something special. But what exactly was it? That, to be honest, we still needed to figure out. But we were hoping we'd have an entire spin-off to explore that question.

SOME GOOD LINES
Fleance: "No free rides, Bat-boy."

Broadway: "Now you stay put." And Banquo: "No problem."

Lex: "Take the stairs."

Arthur: "Arise... SIR Griff."

Plus a bunch of great British Griffisms:
"In for a penny, in for a pound."
"Well, that just about tears it."
"You are the Once and Future King."
"Right with you, Your Majesty"
"That's the stuff!"

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Anonymous writes...

What did the Lady of the Lake mean when she said that the world needed a leader? Was that suppose to be mean that Arthur was to become leader of the world?

Greg responds...

A leader for the world, not necessarily THE leader OF the world.

Response recorded on September 30, 2004

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Anonymous writes...

How long was the Lady of the Lake living in that lake in Manhattan?

Greg responds...

I don't know that she was living there.

Response recorded on September 30, 2004

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Rising Moon Starsword Warrior Daiginga writes...

1.Were you going to introduce more "International Heroes" in Pendragon?
2.What exactly is the purpose of all these heroes?

Greg responds...

1. Not per se, but it happens. I had an overall plan for the "International Heroes" however, and Pendragon had a role in that plan.

2. Not going to reveal that yet.

Response recorded on July 28, 2004

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Dave writes...

Hey Gregg, I'm new to this site, and I was just wondering... is there something I missed about Gargoyles? I mean, I know of Gargoyles, and The Goliath Chronicles, but was there some other Gargoyle show that aired after?

What lies ahead for Gargoyles? Do you plan on bringing them back to the air at some point? I'd really like to see some new Gargoyles cartoons....

Thank you.

Greg responds...

There were proposed spin-offs, sequels and prequels, including

Gargoyles: The Dark Ages
TimeDancer
The New Olympians
Pendragon
Bad Guys
Gargoyles 2198

plus plenty ideas just to continue the "Gargoyles" series itself.

I haven't been able to convince Disney to do any of these things.

But who knows?

"Firefly" was dead. It sold a TON of DVDs and now they're making a movie, "Serenity". "Family Guy" was dead. It sold a TON of DVDs and now they're making new episodes.

Up until this year, the best single way you could help relaunch the show in some way, shape or form was by attending the Gathering, our annual convention. That's still true. So if you haven't heard, check out this year's con at their website:

http://www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com/

The good folks at Walt Disney Home Entertainment took notice of the fandom, largely thanks to these conventions. They'll be attending this year with a video crew to tape footage of the con to put on the Gargoyles DVD, to be released later THIS year (2004!).

The DVD will contain all 13 episodes of the series' first season, complete and uncut. It will also have a commentary track and other extras (in addition to the con footage) that are still being discussed.

If you want to see the 2nd Season on DVD, and if you want to see Disney make more Garg Universe materials, there's no better way to get them to take notice than by buying the DVD. If the fans demonstrate an audience with disposable income, Disney will respond. It's not far-fetched. It's happened before.

Response recorded on July 02, 2004

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Balrog writes...

Pendragon

I am from Iceland and want ask a question about person that i have seen not asked about.

Would Prince Valiant appear in The Pendragon series, i meen he was quite unique knight (at least in the comics about him) and he had Excalbur's sister sword; Flamberg.

P.S be merciful to me(glup).

Greg responds...

Prince Valiant is not public domain, so the answer is no. Hope that was merciful enough.

Response recorded on June 16, 2004

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Todd Jensen writes...

You mentioned once that the rookery riddle about Excalibur Griff recites in "Pendragon" was taught his clan by "the three". A few people have claimed that "the three" are Morgan le Fay, Nimue, and the Lady of the Lake; my own response was that we don't know as yet who "the three" are; that title isn't specific enough. What are your thoughts on this issue?

Greg responds...

Well, I'm sure I was being intentionally vague. But in fact you just named the three I was talking about, and I guess I'm feeling generous, because I'm copping to it.

Response recorded on April 30, 2004

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The Cat writes...

Hey Greg,
It's The Cat, again. Technically I've already asked this question, but it has more to do with when the gargoyles learned how to read than anything else.

It has been asked already, but your answer is not correct.

You aswered that Demona learned from the Archmage. Goliath learned from Demona. Lexington learned right before they were turned to stone for a thousand years. Brooklyn learned right after the spell was broken and of course Broadway and Hudson learned together from Elisa and the rest of the clan.

It is not correct in the fact that English was not a language back in 994A.D., much less a written language. So, here is your answer revised a bit for all those people that have to learn this in History class and then wonder how it could be possible for the gargoyles to have learned to read English if it wasn't a language.

Demona learned how to read English sometime while the others were in their stone sleep, after all life must really get boring having nothing to do and being a live for several centuries( do ya'll people really think that she'd kill humans all the time?) Goliath, Brooklyn and Lexington most likely learned how to read right after the spell was broken. After all the language Goliath and Lexington learned how to read was most likely Latin given the fact that that language was the only one besides Greek and Hebrew that were written down at the time.

Another question(actually the one above wasn't really a question, hmm, I've really got to work on that)

In the episode, A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time, The Scroles(I'm unsure if I spelt that right and I don't have a dictionary at hand right now) of Merlin were written in Ancient Celtic, but how could that be? Celtic wasn't a written language. Or it could have been and I just haven't covered that topic in my history lessons yet. But I don't think it was a written language at the time that the scrolls were written.

Well, I know this is a kind of multi-topic letter, but I was going on the topic of written languages more than anything. See ya.

Greg responds...

I don't think I was asked when they learned to "read English", I think I was asked when they learned to read.

Of course, we generally cheated on language issues. Michael Reaves had a magical solution to this, which I like and have commented on before.

As for the Scrolls, I'd have to do more research to answer you in the kind of detail your post displays.

Response recorded on April 26, 2004

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Gerald writes...

what happened to king arthur after he retrieved Excalibur.

Greg responds...

He and Griff went looking for Merlin.

Response recorded on April 15, 2004

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Todd Jensen writes...

Here's my ramble on "Shadows of the Past".

First off, of course, this is where the Avalon World Tour begins (if you don't count the "Avalon" triptych), which makes it a biggie. I agree with you that the reruns in between the three instalments of it (which aired, as I recall, in November-December 1995, February 1996, and May 1996 - more or less) make the World Tour seem longer than it really was. (Incidentally, you're right that you were able to bring out more than 18 episodes of "Gargoyles" in the September-December period; I remembered that the "fall run" ended with "Grief", and so worked out that it was 30 new episodes during that period).

As I mentioned before, I enjoyed the Avalon World Tour, and agree with you that something like that was necessary for the series at some point (especially in bringing in enough other gargoyles to make it feasible for the species to survive and recover - as I've mentioned here before, something along the lines of the World Tour was probably the only realistic way for Goliath to discover that there were gargoyles left in other parts of the world, given that he couldn't simply hop on board the next flight from New York to London or Japan).

Angela's correct (from the original legends perspective) about it always being summer on Avalon; in fact, I remember that the old Welsh legends about Avalon (or, more accurately, its "literary predecessors") called it the Summer Country or the Region of the Summer Stars.

In hindsight from "Vendettas", I picked up on the significance of that axe that Goliath unearths - and agree with you now that Hakon's mace from the Wyvern Massacre would indeed have worked better. Too late for that now, though.

I also liked that line (which I considered very poetic) of Elisa's about "old wounds".

The Captain and Hakon's tormenting of Goliath was very effective - probably the creepiest part, in my opinion, was when Angela and Elisa appear in Goliath's eyes to be the Captain and Hakon - but then we hear Angela and Elisa's voices coming from the Captain and Hakon's mouths.

The Captain of the Guard's change of heart worked for me (again, I especially liked the bit that you mentioned where he's looking troubledly at his hands as he and Hakon solidify). In fact, it made sense in view of his role in "Awakening" - he'd never wanted the clan massacred, and was horrified as to how that had gone wrong. I might add that Hakon showed, again, just how creepy he is when he gets into the fight with Goliath and begins laughing as his fists pass through Goliath - the reason for that being now, not that Hakon's insubstantial and Goliath solid, but the other way around.

Incidentally, the Captain actually appears better-looking in the scene where he's giving Goliath his thanks, just before he ascends.

And I'll confess that I'm one of those who would have preferred Hakon to have remained trapped in the cave for all time - I felt, when "Vendettas" aired, that it destroyed some of the effectiveness, in retrospect, of Hakon's sentence: trapped alone for eternity, with nobody at hand for him to hate. (Also, "Vendettas" felt anticlimactic on the Hakon front; in "Shadows of the Past", he battles Goliath by skillfully undermining him with a lot of psychological subtlety; in "Vendettas", he's reduced to simply fighting him in a slugfest with a big dumb werewolf - though don't tell Wolf that I called him that. :) ). But I do think that you made a good point about how, ultimately, Hakon would have to be given more permanent resolution than just that.

Incidentally, your treatment of the megalith that the Captain and Hakon were using, and your comments on it, make me wonder now how you would have handled Stonehenge if you'd ever gotten to do an episode involving it (especially since you mentioned having had plans to send King Arthur and Griff there during their quest for Merlin) - a pity that we may never know the answer to that now.

Greg responds...

*I think it's appropriate that as the Captain is (in essence) redeemed and "ascends", that he is beatified a bit.

*I get what you're saying about Hakon, certainly. And yet, I really like "Vendettas" and hardly think that Hakon's post-Vendettas fate is likely to be any kinder than his post-Shadows fate. And although Hakon was the series' first big villain, he was hardly the most impressive of our villainous creations.

But, let's be honest, I just couldn't resist giving Clancy Brown the opportunity for a David Warner-esque tour de force performance. I'm sure I'll get into this topic more when (some day) I get around to rambling on Vendettas, but I think Clancy's double duty in Vendettas is perhaps even more impressive than what Warner did -- (a) because Clancy did what he did with a then amateur voice director (i.e. me) and (b) because the two characters he was playing (Wolf & Hakon) allowed for much less subtlty than Warner's two Archmages. (This of course, is not designed to take any credit away from the brilliant David Warner, simply to give Clancy his just desserts as well. And speaking of Clancy, he does a great Mr. Freeze in the new "The Batman" series.)

*The ideas used in Shadows for the Megaliths, were in fact cribbed from ideas I've had for Stonehenge for some time. (Pre-dating the creation of Gargoyles, in fact.) It would be interesting to see (even to me) how I handled Stonehenge now. On the one hand, I wouldn't want to repeat myself, but I'd also want to be consistent and I don't want to betray the notions I've had in my head forever. That's the problem when your brain begins to cannibalize its own ideas. A danger I find myself facing all the time.

Response recorded on April 12, 2004

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Todd Jensen writes...

Yay! A new episode ramble! Thanks, Greg!

Here are some of my own thoughts about "Double Jeopardy".

The opening one is a rather odd little memory. In the summer of 1995, I spotted an article on "Gargoyles" in a sci-fi magazine (whose name I can no longer remember) discussing what would be done in Season Two; among other things, it included a mention that Goliath's daughter would be introduced into the series. I was quite curious about that, and wondered what she'd be like and how it would be done. And then, when "Double Jeopardy" first aired, and Thailog was treated as Goliath's son in it, I wondered if the article had erred and gotten the gender of Goliath's offspring wrong. (Of course, I know now that it was Angela that the article meant, not Thailog, so that there was no mistake there except on my part.)

In light of the opening flashback, Xanatos must have already started building a whole new set of Steel Clan robots even while he was still in prison, before "The Edge" (especially given that I spotted a whole bunch of those robots in storage, alongside the one that was activated to attack Goliath).

I also liked Owen's "Is this a plan that you've neglected to mention?" line. He really sounded hurt there.

I was interested to notice Renard on Xanatos's suspects list for Thailog's kidnapping, alongside Demona and Macbeth. While I can easily imagine Demona or Macbeth being willing to engage in such a maneuver against Xanatos, I doubt, in light of his rigid code of integrity, that Renard would have done the same (although there is "Golem" to consider, coming up later in the season). Maybe Xanatos believed that the temptation of kidnapping his new gargoyle would have been too much for even his father-in-law to resist.

Sevarius's hamming it up with Xanatos ("Yes! You robbed me of my creation!") was one of the funniest moments in "Gargoyles" for me; certainly the funniest in the episode. (Don't quit your day job, Anton.) And I agree with you about the Dr. Antinori business, by the way. (Also on the subject of Sevarius's overacting, I couldn't help but think that some of his narration in the "clone files" that Lex and Broadway discovered felt almost like a parody of that in a nature documentary, such as the "time for it to leave the nest" line, though I don't know if it was intended that way.)

You no doubt recall how I'd earlier pointed out the similarities between Thailog and Edmund (which I first began to notice after you mentioned Edmund being your favorite Shakespeare character); it occurred to me recently that Thailog also does have a certain similarity to Mordred, especially in many modern-day versions of the Arthurian legend, such as T. H. White. He's Goliath's "illegitimate son", just as Mordred was Arthur's, and his training by his other two fathers, Xanatos and Sevarius, does have (if you're out looking for the parallels) a certain echo of how Mordred, in White's "The Once and Future King", similarly gets trained by his mother Morgause. And the dynamics between Goliath and Thailog, with Goliath initially rejecting his son but then learning that he was wrong to do so, and now reaching out to him - but too late - do remind me of how in White, Arthur similarly initially moves against his son (trying to drown him at birth), but then understands that he was wrong to do so, also makes the attempt to reach out to him, but is coldly rejected by Mordred when he does so. (Come to think of it, Thailog also clearly lusts after both of Goliath's loves, Demona and Elisa, even to the point of combining them in Delilah, just as Mordred lusts after his stepmother Guinevere and attempts to wed her after he usurps his father's throne.)

I've mentioned before the element that I believe makes Thailog an especially great antagonist (the incongruous pairing of Goliath's physical appearance and voice with a thoroughly Xanatosian amorality - though I think that Thailog comes across as more malevolent than Xanatos does, which is also a good touch), so I won't go into that again. It's a bit of a pity that he only turned up twice more in the original series after that ("Sanctuary" and "The Reckoning"), although I suppose that if you'd gotten to do more episodes past "The Journey" that we'd have gotten a lot more of the guy.

The ending definitely surprised me; I was expecting Xanatos to reveal that he'd seen to it that he didn't lose the ransom money after all, but instead we got the revelation that Thailog had escaped with it and is out there, happily scheming away, to Xanatos's own alarm. (As I mentioned before, it's particularly of interest to note that this is the last time in the series that Xanatos attempts to make his own gargoyles - and after the way that Thailog backfired on him, who can blame him?)

It's great to have the rambles going again, and I'm looking forward to the ones to come.

Greg responds...

I'm afraid we haven't made that much Ramble progress recently, though I know we got past Avalon and into (at least) the beginning of the World Tour.

I think, like your Edmund comparison, your comparison of Thailog to Mordred is very apt. Perhaps moreso. Another bastard, basically. I'm not sure how conscious I was of any of these individuals influences, but I'm fascinated with the archetype of "The Bastard" in literature. Both the quote/unquote good guys (like Theseus, Arthur, Dunois, etc.) and the quote/unquote bad guys (like Edmund and Mordred, etc.) Thailog with his three fathers was clearly designed to be our bastard. And what a great bastard he is.

I've certainly read White's ONCE AND FUTURE KING at least a couple times. And I've lost count how many times I've seen CAMELOT.

Response recorded on January 22, 2004

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Todd Jensen writes...

A couple of "King Arthur-in-the-comics" related questions:

1. You mentioned that you've read "Camelot 3000" (and were even working at DC Comics at the time that it came out). In your opinion, did it have any influence on your vision of Arthur's return in the Gargoyles Universe. (Well, there were obviously some strong differences, such as Arthur returning in the present day in "Gargoyles" rather than the year 3000, and finding Excalibur before he finds Merlin where in "Camelot 3000", it was the other way around).

2. Have you ever read "Prince Valiant" (the most famous Arthurian comic)? If so, what did you think of it?

Greg responds...

1. My ideas on Arthur were fairly well-formed by the time I read Camelot 3000, a limited series by Mike W. Barr and Brian Bolland. For example, in my mind Arthur was in Avalon, not on British soil. And frankly, the notion of Arthur coming back is part of the legend, not something that Mike came up with. I also have no plans to use reincarnation to bring back dead knights, etc. So I don't think it was a major influence.

Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed Camelot 3000. Thoroughly.

2. Prince Valiant was never in the L.A. Times, at least not in my memory. When I was in High School, it appeared in the now-defunct L.A. Herald Examiner, a paper we didn't get at home, on Sundays only. So on Monday mornings, I would occasionally take a look at it. Basically, I'm passingly familiar with it, but I don't know much about it.

Response recorded on January 14, 2004

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Anonymous writes...

1.Is Morgana related to Oberon?
2.What does she think of Oberon?
3.Does she still hate Arthur or Merlin?

Greg responds...

1. Not saying.
2. Not saying.
3. At what point in history?

Response recorded on November 14, 2003

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Wolfram Bane (wolfram_bane@hotmail.com) writes...

Illuminati

1/ What is the connection (if any) of the Illuminati that Percival (Duval) created in 642 and the Illuminati created by Adam Weishaupt in 1778?

2/ Was Percival present at the Battle of Camlann in 542? If not, was it because of his responsibilities as the Fisher King?

3/ Does the Illuminati have connections to the Knights Templar and the Freemasons in the gargoyles universe?

Greg responds...

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

2. Ditto.

3. Tritto.

Response recorded on October 15, 2003

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Chapter XLIII: "M.I.A"

Time to ramble...

Haven't done this in a while (over a year, actually), and I definitely feel rusty. Anyway, I watched "M.I.A." last night with my wife Beth, my nine-year-old daughter Erin and my six-year-old son Benny.

This episode was directed by Kazuo Terada, story edited by Gary Sperling and written by Robert Cohen.

The (semi) one word title, as usual, was one of mine. (As was the springboard, but more on that later.) It's appropriate both because of Griff's disappearance and because of the wartime setting. Although I don't know if they actually used the M.I.A. acronym as far back as WWII. I associate it with Vietnam. Does anyone else know?

Benny read the title and thought it said Mia. He has a friend named Mia, whose birthday party he had gone to earlier in the day. So the title required a bit of explaining.

INTO THE MYSTIC

This was one of my ideas that I really fell in love with. The idea that a magic shop never goes out of style. The idea that these gargoyles have been running this shop right in the midst of London's teeming humanity for a millenium. I just love the idea that you could stop by there in 1940 or 1996 or 1809 or 1776 or 1595 or whenever. Different gargoyles manning the store, of course. But the store itself largely remains the same. It's a place where Lennox Macduff and Will Shakespeare might have ended up after a night of carousing together.

My notion, which I've stated here before, is that the London Clan has an estate in the burbs, and that the shop helps fund them.

Responding to the guys line about the shopkeepers having "incredible" masks, Benny takes a good look at Una and says: "That's a unicorn. A real one."

And Erin: "Those aren't masks."

Of course, these kids have both seen the episode before. But it was so long ago and they were so young it's like they're seeing it for the first time.

LONDON

We get some gorgeous shots of London. So gorgeous that when the animation on PENDRAGON came back weeks later looking not so good, we reused some of the "M.I.A." footage for that ep.

[Of course the animation here was done by Walt Disney Television Animation Japan, GARG's Best studio. It still kills me that Disney has shut down that unit. They did SUCH great stuff.]

Elisa talks to the Cabbie. In my mind, this Cabbie appears during the 1940 sequence as a little boy, running downstairs and into a bomb shelter with his sister. It's not important, but that's how I saw it.

And we explain (include) another legend. That of Gremlins. Not Gremlins from the Spielbergian movie. But gremlins that caused damage to airplanes during the war. This was/is a very famous legend among pilots. Roald Dahl (of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame) wrote a book about them, which Walt Disney himself optioned. Eisner once had us develop a tv series based on the idea. I handed it off to a couple of producers who COMPLETELY redeveloped the idea. They came up with a good show, but it was unrecognizable to Eisner. (It also had a toupee joke, which probably didn't go over well.) Anyway, he didn't buy it.

SOHO

Actual racists thugs. We didn't do much of that. We usually went with anti-gargoyle types, who were metaphors for racists. But here we actually go with the real thing.

Their attack is very reminiscent of Awakening 3.

I love Brigitte's work here. Angela sounds like a tough warrior one minute, like a naive innocent the next. All within her character.

And that shot of Bronx leaping down from the roof is just gorgeous.

Leo and Una come out and confront Goliath, whose confusion is a lot of fun.

They're all in conflict, but everyone can agree with Elisa to take the argument inside...

We go inside and see the portrait of Griff.

Benny makes a connection: "There's a statue of him on the airplane."

UNA

I love Una's line: "I know my merchandise."

Throughout this episode, I think she comes across a bit like a junior Demona. I don't know if I felt that way at the time. But we have a female garg with sorcerous powers in denial about her own feelings of guilt and rewriting history to blame Goliath for things that were really not his fault.

Una was in love with Griff. And still is. But in the interrum, in my mind, she mated with Leo. She LOVES Leo. But she never got over being IN LOVE WITH Griff.

AWKWARD MOMENTS

Two of them.

One is having Goliath black out and instead of using it as our act break, we just go to black, wait a beat and then come back. We had a much better act break coming up, so I guess I don't regret it, but I also don't like it much.

The other awkward moment is giving Goliath that voice over of his interior thoughts, where he states his plan to use the Gate to figure out what the hell happened in 1940. I'm sure I resisted doing that VO. But we just didn't have a better solution.

I do love Goliath's frustrated: "I don't know any Griff!" line.

G uses the gate and Benny asks "What did he just do?" Beth explains it to him, but it illustrates my point that it has been so long since the kids last saw an ep, that their memories of the show are very vague.

WWII

We meet Clive and Douglas Bader. I've stated this before, but Douglas Bader was a real person. A true war hero. Douglas Bader lost both his legs in a plane crash, and became a war hero and fighter ace AFTER he recovered and learned to walk on two artificial pins. He was a hero during the Battle of Britain. Later, he was shot down over enemy territory and put in a POW camp. He escaped twice but was recaptured both times. Years later, he was knighted.

I met him once. My father, Wally Weisman, is a real Spitfire afficionado, and Bader was one of his heroes. My dad eventually met Sir Douglas in London and at the RAF Museum outside London. When I was a kid, Sir Douglas and his wife came to Los Angeles and we all went to Disneyland together. He never used a wheelchair. Always just moved along with his hip-swinging walk. An amazing man.

So there was no way I wasn't going to pay tribute to him here (and indirectly to my father as well -- in my mind, this ep is dedicated to my dad). I gave Gary Sperling the Bader biography, "REACH FOR THE SKIES," knowing that it would be tough for him to incorporate much into the episode. But we tried to base the design of Bader on one of his photographs. And we made sure that his first and last name were both used in dialogue so that he could be indentified by those paying attention.

And most of all, we tried to show that these pilots were the true heroes. Sure, Goliath and Griff save them. But Bader saves the gargoyles too, and he's the one who takes out the most dangerous of the Nazi fighter pilots.

This was important to me. Influenced by both Dahl's Gremlins book and my father and Bader, I'd wanted to do a Battle of Britain story pretty much since the series' inception. It's even listed in the bible. This came out of the notion we once had that (while the other gargoyles may have been asleep for a thousand years) Goliath had been awake and alone for 1000 years.

Imagine, if you will, that scene in Awakening-2, when Goliath comes back and finds Hudson, Bronx and the Trio asleep. Instead of joining them, he watches over them for a millenium. (This was back when we had a more magical view of Garg biology.) I thought Goliath would have largely spent a thousand years brooding. But that during WWII he might have ventured forth to fight the Nazis, if for no other reason than to prevent the bombing of Wyvern.

We, obviously, didn't end up going that way, but the visual of Gargoyles fighting in the Battle of Britain stuck with me. (And man, is that visual brought to life here beautifully.)

But having decided to do that, I didn't want to give the gargs all the credit. Real men and women gave their lives during the Battle of Britain. I didn't want to undercut their contribution in order to make my fictional gargs look good. That just seemed like it would be both irresponsible and disrespectful. A betrayal of the very reasons why we were doing the ep in the first place.

GRIFF

Casting... we had used Neil Dickson to tremendous evil effect as Duncan and Canmore in City of Stone. Here he gets to play Errol Flynn. Neil is a Brit. As is Charles Shaugnessy who played Bader and Sara Douglas who played Una. (Leo/Gregg Berger, on the other hand, is a Yank.) And they all really brought life to their respective roles. I have to admit I was worried about whether Neil would be right for the role. I should no better, but Duncan especially was so memorable, I really had that fixed in my head. But Neil's voice just worked perfectly for Griff. I'm still sorry we didn't get to see more of Griff with King Arthur in the Pendragon spin-off.

Griff was conceived as a real swashbuckling hero. A Robin Hood of the 1940s. As opposed to our rough-hewn "Scottish stock", this was a good-old-fashioned patriotic English Hero to put up against the Nazis. His costume was influenced, I think by the Blackhawks. And his look was inspired by British Heraldry. He was the Griffin to Una's unicorn and Leo's lion, three of the most striking heraldic beasts. Again, going back to my earliest development of the series, I thought that adaptations of heraldic beasts might be the English version of gargoyles. So Griff has Eagle and Lion qualities. Feathered wings. A mohawk-like main. An eagle-like beak, but lionesque limbs.

I know that Greg Guler, Frank Paur and I went over and over Griff's model. We were never 100% satisfied with it. But it must work, as I've never any complaints from the fan. And I think Neil (and Jamie Thomason's voice direction) deserve much of the credit for that. Because even with the great Japanese animation, he still looks a bit too Foghorn Leghorn for my tastes.

TIMELOOPINESS

Goliath (after Griff saves his life): "It was supposed to work the other way."
Erin: "I think this is how it started in the first place."

So, hey, she got it!!

Benny even jumped ahead, figuring out: "So he can take Griff back forward in time."

So he got it too. Did you guys get it right from the beginning? That Goliath would take Griff "back forward" to the present to reunite him with Leo and Una?

I love the scene between Griff, Leo, Una and Goliath over tea in the shop. Everyone's motivations are so clear that I often use this scene when I do voice seminars.

Griff wants to sell everyone on going on the offensive.
Leo wants to sell everyone on sticking with defense.
Una is more subtle. She'll use any argument that will promote Griff's safety.
Goliath is trying to stay out of trouble.

But I love his line: "In my experience, human problems become Gargoyle problems." How true... (witness the cancellation of the show...)

And then later, Goliath AGAIN realizes a lesson that he and the audience would have to relearn again and again. Fate cannot be cheated. History cannot be changed.

And once again, we show our lack of imagination and/or our desire to stick with something once we find it works by using the line "Not where, when."

We can say "1940" but we were discouraged from referring to the present by an actual year -- so that reruns would still sound current. I'm surprised that Goliath got to use the phrase "the 1990s". How short-sighted of Disney to not think we'd still be airing these reruns in the 21st Century. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Griff almost gets hit by a car in the present and Goliath says "Let's not start that again." A mini-tribute to the English Vultures in "A Jungle Book".

At the very end, Elisa's confusion is fun: "Just explain it one more time." That probably came out of my fear that the audience might not get it. If Elisa didn't get it either, the audience wouldn't have to feel so bad about it.

DOGFIGHTS

Everything I could have asked for.

I have a VERY vague memory that we were discouraged from using Swastikas. I can't remember why or even if this is true.

But the skull-like pilot with the skull & crossbones on his plane certainly looks like a bad guy, doesn't he?

The planes themselves just look great. I found out later that Bader didn't fly Spitfires during the Battle of Britain. He flew Spitfires later, but flew Hurricanes during the Blitz. This fact drives me crazy.

But I love his line about the Gargoyles (which in my mind, he viewed as Gremlins): "They're real, and they're on our side!"

Benny noticed that they shot a hole through Goliath's wing. I had to reassure him that he'd be okay after getting some stone sleep.

Parachutes. No one dies in this episode. At least not in theory. Of course, we KNOW people died during the Blitz. But we couldn't show or even imply that.

THE WORLD TOUR

We end of course by creating new heroes out of old. Griff has returned. And Leo and Una have been reinvigorated. They take back their neighborhood.

Leo: "Or we'll make it our business." Leo's spent years worried only about business. Now he remembers what his business is supposed to be. The nation of shopkeepers is once again ready to defend the realm. So to speak.

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Wolfram Bane (wolfram_bane@hotmail.com) writes...

Pendragon

In Arthurian lore, Arthur Pendragon is generally born because his biological father, Uther Pendragon, took on the form of Gorlois, the Duke of Cornwall and the first husband of Igraine, Arthur's biological mother. Uther was transformed through the magic of Merlin to appear as Gorlois, and essentially sexually assaulted Igraine by tricking her into taking him into her bed.

Given the moral focus that often is found in animated series, how would you have handled the situation surrounding the birth of Arthur Pendragon and Merlin's part in the events.

Greg responds...

I'm not revealing this at this time, though if you attended Gathering 2002 or 2003 you may have noticed a VERY indirect clue.

(The above is in itself a HUGE clue).

Response recorded on October 10, 2003

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Wolfram Bane (wolfram_bane@hotmail.com) writes...

Pendragon

Geoffery of Monmouth states that Mordred was the son of Lot and Anna (Arthur's sister), and Arthur Pendragon's nephew. Sir Thomas Malory later expanded upon the story, having Mordred be the son of Arthur and his sister Anna (now Anna Morgause, Arthur's half-sister) through an incestuous tryst. This created the idea that Mordred was both the son and nephew of Arthur, and both his eventual heir and ultimate nemesis.

I read that you had intended Mordred to be the son of Arthur and Morgause, but was he conceived through an incestuous relationship, or given the moral focus that often is found in animated series, is their another explanation?

If the answer for the above question is that Mordred is not the product of incest, than is he the biological son of Lot and Morgause, yet have some special paternal bond with Arthur (ie. godfather or such)?

Greg responds...

I don't see me changing one of the fundamental relationships of the legends, i.e. Mordred being Arthur's illegit son by his half-sister. Assuming it was televised, I don't see me dwelling on the incest angle, but I wouldn't have contradicted it either.

Response recorded on October 10, 2003

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As requested...

Todd sent the following to me in response to my request for a quick info fix...

Dear Greg,

I hope that you don't mind me e-mailing you directly about Roger Lancelyn Green, but I thought that this was the quickest way
of getting the information to you (given the length of the queue and the fact that I know that you don't dare read much of the
comment room because many of the people there post "creativity demons" there).

At any rate, you're correct about the spelling: it is Roger Lancelyn Green. The title of the book is "King Arthur and his Knights
of the Round Table".

Todd Jensen


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Lord Sloth writes...

1. Is Blanchefleur an original character on your part, or is she in any other older Arthurian Legends?

2. If she is in other stories, in what ways dose she vary, or stays the same as what you have planned for your version? Is she always Persival's wife?

3. If she is in other stories, do you know what books I might find reference to her in? What books I might find reference to her in?

Greg responds...

1. She's a character from Arthurian legend. The eventual wife of Sir Percival.

2. Uh... she becomes Percival's wife at the end of the grail quest. I just extrapolate from there.

3. The first one that comes to mind is Roger Lancelyn Green's book on King Arthur. Having said that, I'm not sure of the exact title or the exact spelling of Green's name. I don't have the book in front of me. (Todd, I know you and Lord Sloth are both comment room regulars. Maybe you could help me out with the spelling and title both here and in the comment room. Thanks.)

Response recorded on October 03, 2003

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Todd Jensen writes...

In "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time", when Macbeth starts reading the Scrolls of Merlin out loud, the part that he's reading is about Merlin's first encounter with the young Arthur and his impressions of the future king. Something that I've occasionally wondered over is that this does seem a bit late in Merlin's life to begin his autobiography, considering how many things had already happened to him (according to traditional legend), prior to his becoming Arthur's tutor (such as his boyhood encounter with Vortigern and the ensuing battle between the dragons, becoming involved with Stonehenge, helping to bring about Uther and Igraine's meeting and Arthur's subsequent conception at Tintagel, etc.). Were the Scrolls really only a partial autobiography, beginning relatively late in Merlin's life and career? (Which, if so, is a bit of a pity, but even an incomplete autobiography's better than nothing).

Greg responds...

There are at least two obvious possibilities.

One: That it was not an autobiography (despite what Macbeth may have said at the spur of the moment) but a history of Merlin's time with Arthur.

Two: That it opened with a reference to what even at the time Merlin must have known was the most significant thing to happen in his life. And that after the intro, he would eventually start at the beginning.

I'm not going to make that call at this time. But I'm hoping it's the latter.

Response recorded on September 23, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

Was arthur's alliance with gargoyles an extrapolation of Gargoyles being used on coat of arms?

Greg responds...

Not particularly.

Response recorded on August 15, 2003

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Todd Jensen writes...

You've mentioned how, in the Gargoyles Universe, you see Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone as being one and the same. One thing that I found myself wondering lately was whether you'd ever worked out a plan to reconcile these two different accounts of how King Arthur got his sword.

After all, the "Lady of the Lake" account of how Arthur received Excalibur portrays him as receiving it from her some time after he became King via the Sword in the Stone, so that if Excalibur was the Sword in the Stone, he would already have it by the time that he met her. (Of course, as I recall, the movie "Excalibur" did manage to reconcile the two different versions by having Excalibur be broken under the strain when Arthur used it to defeat Lancelot and then being briefly returned to the Lady of the Lake, who restores it and gives it back to Arthur).

Of course, if you've managed to find a solution yet, you're probably choosing (and understandably so) to keep it secret for now to be saved for the possible future occasion that you get to do the "Pendragon" spin-off, but I was still wondering if you'd ever come up with a way to reconcile the two different origin-stories, seeing that you treat them as both true in the Gargoyles Universe.

Greg responds...

Well, I kinda believe (generally) in consolidation. So, for example, the Stone of Destiny is also the stone from the Sword in the Stone. The Weird Sisters are Fates, Graces and Furies, etc.

So, yes, I see Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone as being one and the same in the Gargoyles Universe. As to the exact how, well, I'd tend to follow the lead of the movie "Excalibur," probably. But I'll admit, I haven't given the specifics much thought.

Response recorded on August 14, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

Does alex or merlin have enough fay blood in them to mate with non-compatible species?

Greg responds...

I'm really not sure I understand the question.

If they transform into another species than they can mate. They have enough "fay blood" to theoretically transform, but it also requires extensive training. And more training for them than for the average Child of Oberon.

Response recorded on July 29, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

Does Duval still remember Arthur?

Greg responds...

Yes.

Response recorded on July 22, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

1.In which series did you plan to introduce Castle Carbonek?

Greg responds...

Well, really intro it in Pendragon, though it might appear in any of them.

Response recorded on June 18, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

1. In Pendragon since Griff, Arthur and Merlin have been out of circulation was Blanchefleur introduced as their guide in the modern world?

2.Will Arthur meet any character we meet in the World Tour?
If so care to give a few names?

Greg responds...

1. Not really, though she may be useful in that function.

2. Yes and no.

Response recorded on June 18, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

1.Who traded Morgana for Nimue?

Greg responds...

I'm not telling at this time.

Response recorded on June 12, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

1.Who is Morgana Le Fay's BIOLOGICAL mother?
2.Have we met her?

Greg responds...

I'm not telling at this time.

Response recorded on June 12, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

1.Who is Morgana Le Fay's BIOLOGICAL father?
2.Have we met him?
3.If not do you plan to introduce him into the show?

Greg responds...

I'm not telling at this time.

Response recorded on June 12, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

Who created the stone dragon in the episode Pendragon?

Greg responds...

I'm not telling. See previous post as to why.

Response recorded on June 10, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

Who created the iron knights that guarded the Hollow Hill?

Greg responds...

You mean who forged the armor? Cause I have no idea.

If you mean who enchanted the armor, that's a different question, and I know the answer to that, (and if you take a look at the Pendragon archive... you could probably figure it out), but I'm not in the mood to tell you.

General note, no offense, but I'm less likely to reveal info to an "Anonymous" poster. I'm more likely to reveal stuff to someone who I've gotten to know -- either at one of the Gatherings or through consistent intelligent posts. Just a fact of life.

Response recorded on June 10, 2003

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Todd Jensen writes...

A question that suddenly occurred to me about "Lighthouse in the Sea of Time". When Macbeth mentions how Merlin's magic was "stronger than everything, except the human heart.", I think that we easily recognize it as a reference to the Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot triangle.

But I suddenly found myself wondering if Merlin's entrapment by Nimue is also alluded to there. After all, the traditional way that Merlin's imprisonment by Nimue is handled in the legends is as Merlin's magic and wisdom proving no match for his love - or infatuation - for Nimue. Did you have that in mind as well where that line of Macbeth's was concerned?

Greg responds...

Yes. All of the above, plus more. (Including Arthur's love for Mordred, Gawain's love of his brothers, etc.)

Response recorded on June 06, 2003

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Todd Jensen writes...

Something that I've occasionally wondered about "Pendragon". Unlike the rest of the spin-offs (except maybe "New Olympians", which had connections to Greek mythology in its core concept in that the New Olympians are descended from the gods and monsters of classical myth), which were primarily based on the elements of the Gargoyles Universe ("Dark Ages" and "Gargoyles 2198" with the Wyvern clan's past and future, "Timedancer" with Brooklyn, and "Bad Guys" with some of the gargoyles' former antagonists), "Pendragon" appears based more on a "pre-existing mythology" (the Arthurian cycle), involving the return of King Arthur to the modern world. Of the five major characters that we know of in the projected spin-off (Arthur, Griff, Blanchefleur, Merlin, and Duval/Percival), all of them except for Griff are figures from the legend (though Percival is here the head of the Illuminati, a "Gargoyles" rather than Arthurian element). We do know that Griff would probably have stuck around as one of Arthur's knights for the duration of the series (and of their lives), and that a gargoyle clan would spring up at New Camelot when Arthur finally founds it (though I doubt that that would happen for a good long while in the spin-off if it had ever been made), but aside from that, the focus seems more on the Arthurian survivors (though we don't know as yet how large a role you'd planned for the other four survivors - the Lady of the Lake, Morgana, Nimue, and the Green Knight - in the series).

Did you primarily imagine "Pendragon" as more of a "return of Arthur" story that simply happened to be set in the Gargoyles Universe, or would "Gargoyles Universe" elements (as in, elements specifically created in the series, such as the gargoyles) have played about an equal role with the Arthurian aspects of it?

Greg responds...

I don't have a quota in mind. But I guess the answer is both.

Certainly, it was a "Return of the King" story set in the present of the Gargoyles Universe.

But I think one of the strengths of the Gargoyles Universe is its interconnectivity. So elements, like the Illuminati, the Gargoyles and Macbeth would have definitely entered into stories of the Questing Beast and the Holy Grail, and vice versa, etc.

Response recorded on May 16, 2003

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Oberon writes...

In you mind did Merlin have any particular religion back in medeival times. I ask this because many books and movies say he was a druid, but many others said he was a Cristian.

Greg responds...

I don't see him as either, per se. Though influenced by both.

Response recorded on April 24, 2003

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DPH writes...

What is your opinion of Arthur Pendragon's legacy in the gargoyles universe before he re-awakened?

What is your opinion of Arthur Pendragon's legacy after he really died in the gargoyles universe?

Greg responds...

1. Uh... I'm in favor of it?

2. Okay, let me just admit I don't understand the question.

Response recorded on April 16, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

What does Merlin, Blanchefleur and Duval look like in 1997?

Greg responds...

I think I'll reserve comment on this, since I wouldn't want to needlessly tie the hands of any artist who might someday get to draw them, should the opportunity arise. I have some definite ideas, but none I'm ready to reveal at this time.

Response recorded on February 28, 2003

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DPH writes...

Since I read the archive and didn't see any mention of this, I'd thought I ask these two questions:

1)Did Arthur Pendragon have an alliance with the London clan before he was taken to Avalon?

2)If so, did any written/non-oral records of that alliance surive to 1996?

Greg responds...

1. Gargoyles played a major roll in Arthurian "History" in the gargoyles universe. I'm not ready to be more specific at this time.

2. Well, there's the Scrolls of Merlin just for starters. And I'd imagine that the London Clan managed to preserve some cool things.

Response recorded on August 16, 2002

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matt writes...

when Arthur begins his quest for Excalibur and to find Merlin, how does he know if Merlin is still alive or if Excalibur still exists? are Excalibur and Merlin so powerful that they will always be around?

Greg responds...

He certainly thinks so.

Response recorded on August 13, 2002

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Galvatron writes...

Who inserted excalibur into the stone?

Greg responds...

When?

Response recorded on June 10, 2002

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Chapter XXXVI: "Avalon, Part Three"

Time to Ramble...

This third part of the tryptich, was designed to be a kick-ass battle. Lots of action, lots of excitement. All (or nearly all) the pipe had already been laid out. We had two of our toughest mortal villains (Demona and Macbeth) working with the mysterious and powerful Weird Sisters and the MEGA Archmage Plus, who possessed the power of Gate, Book and Eye. That seemed like some real competition for our good guys, who had wounded to protect.

It was time to go to war.

A few other soldiers:
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia C. Marano

As the main titles were playing and Keith was narrating, my seven-year-old daughter Erin mentioned that Goliath and Darth Vader both do voices for phone companies.

Erin also figured out that Angela and Gabriel were being stalked by Demona, before she actually came on screen.

JALAPEÑA

Goliath says it like a curse word when he realizes that A&G are being followed. That was how I wanted to use it. As I've mentioned before, the art staff eventually threatened a coup if I didn't drop it.

But if I ever get to do Gargoyles 2198, I'm bringing it back. That's a threat, not a promise.

Anyway, Goliath attempts to appeal to Demona and Macbeth's better natures. It starts to work, but it's too late. The Archmage has a good line: "They are my creatures now."

Then Bronx and Boudicca attack, saving our 'goyles. This was hinted at in Part Two. And clarified later when Angela comments on it. But it also was my way of serving notice that Bronx was no longer going to be the puppy-most-left-behind. The World Tour was his coming out party.

Anyway, the Archmage now changes his plan. Not because he doesn't want to take any chances, but really because his sensibilities have been offended. He has another good line: "If they are so eager to die..."

But it's really that balance I was trying to maintain between his newfound ultimate power and his original clichéd origins.

HUNTING HOLLOW HILLS

Elisa asks about the Sleeping King. The Magus says he's been sleeping in his Hollow Hill. More hints as to who the king was. (If the name Avalon wasn't hint enough.)

On the way, Elisa pumps Magus for information like he was in the interrogation room back home. She already guessed that he had a thing for Katharine. She wants the lowdown. It's really not her business. Call it a habit of her profession.

(There's an animation error on my tape, which I hope was corrected for later airings. When the Magus starts to narrate the flashback, both his and Elisa's mouth are moving, mouthing the same lines. Obviously, Elisa's animator misread the X-sheets and thought she was talking instead of the Magus.)

(Of course there's another semi-error which I've tried to explain away in the past. The lighting on the scene where Katharine and Tom play with the baby-gargs Angela, Gabe and Boudicca seems very daylight. I've always claimed that it was just a very bright moonlit night. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

This last flashback got my five year old son Benny talking. He asked "How did the gargoyles even get born?" And had to be reminded about the eggs from Part One (which we saw three weeks ago). "Oh, yeah," he said.

Then when we got to the Sleeping King, he compared that to a character that's on his radar: The sleeping MATA NUI from Bionicle.

The Magus uses magic, explaining that "magic is the lifeblood of Avalon." This seemed logical to me. That a practioner like the Magus could train himself to access that ambient magic -- but at a price.

My wife Beth was very impressed with Jeff Bennett's performance here. As a change of pace, Jeff was only playing one character -- as opposed to his usual fifty. But it was a truly heartbreaking performance, I think.

And I have to ask, given the Magus' first appearance in "Awakening, Part One", did you guys ever think that you could or would find that character this appealing, this sympathetic? I think that our ability to allow characters to grow and change was one of the hallmarks of our series. And I had the backbone of his change planned as early as "Awakening, Part Two": (1) his love for Katharine which is unequivocal and (2) his guilt over what he did to the gargoyles, which he never tries to dodge or make excuses for in any way.

The Leap of Faith. It does seem too Indiana Jones now. But obviously it must not have at the time. Either that or we were kidding ourselves. Still, I like Elisa here a lot.

The Platform lowers on cue and Elisa finally names the Sleeping King: "Arthur Pendragon, King of All Britain... You are needed." We wanted to keep it simple. That simple. I also wanted to begin establishing the name Pendragon. Everyone's heard of King Arthur. But you have to have had a bit of exposure to the legends to be familiar with the Pendragon name. I always thought it was cool. And I think that even then I had the notion of using it as the title for a spin-off.

Anyway, we get back to the Palace, and Elisa states a fact that I wonder if anyone had focused on before (regarding Demona and Macbeth): "You've never actually beaten either of them." Goliath agrees: "Simply foiled their plans or fought them to a stand still.

And then Arthur asks: "What's going on?" which I always thought was kind of funny. They're counting on him to help save the day. He doesn't even know the set up.

So while we get him up to speed, we cut to the Archmage who orders the Sisters to "Dispatch the Sleeping King." Erin smiles and says,, "What they don't know..." is that it's too late. But what I found interesting is that Erin actually did trail off. She knew that she didn't need to state what they didn't know. Cool.

DIVIDING THE TROOPS

True to Elisa's hopes (and my interpretation of the character of legend) Arthur in fact does immediately take charge.

He'll go with Elisa, Tom and Gabe to fight Demona & Macbeth.

Katharine, Bronx and Boudicca will guard the wounded 'eggs'. (Katharine has one of her bookend tough mom statements here: "They'll not harm my eggs again!")

Goliath and Angela will attack the Archmage.

And the Magus agrees to take on the Sisters.

Eventually -- after Art figures out that Demona feels Mac's pain and Demona establishes that she and Mac need to put distance between them to minimize the link -- things change a bit and Arthur faces Mac one-on-one, while Kathy, Bronx, Boudicca, Ophelia, Elisa, Tom and Gabe all team up to battle Demona -- who as always, may present the greatest threat of all, even when it's against her own interests.

All this seemed very appropriate to me. I like how the battle divides up. How the opponents match up. And you'll notice at the cliffhanger/commercial break that every one of our battles is going badly for the good guys. Macbeth seems to have the upper hand over Arthur. The Archmage has Goliath down. The Weird Sisters are clearly overpowering the Magus and even Demona is on the verge of wiping out all her opposition at the Palace.

KING ARTHUR PENDRAGON vs. MACBETH
We gave Arthur a mace, because I didn't want anyone to think that some random sword he was carrying might be Excalibur.

When Arthur says, "What manner of magic is this?" it made me wish we had just gone ahead and said "What sorcery is this?" like we usually did.

There's some fairly effective slo-mo animation in here. Slow motion in animation (when called for in scripts) usually makes me nervous. If not done well, it can just look like a poorly-timed, poorly-animated scene. But here it seems to work.

I like how the battle ends. Arthur takes the sword fragment, and for a second, it looks like he's going to skewer Mac. But instead he uses it to pin Mac to a tree. Setting him up for Arthur's punch into camera with his ringed fist. Disney S&P let us do that. ABC S&P didn't allow those kind of fist coming into camera shots on Goliath Chronicles. But I wasn't informed of the change in policy until after "The Journey" was animated.

PRINCESS KATHARINE, OPHELIA, BRONX, BOUDICCA, GABRIEL, THE GUARDIAN & ELISA MAZA vs. DEMONA

Ophelia gets another nice moment here, as even injured, she attempts to stop Demona.

Elisa again takes advantage of the fact that she knows that Demona's hatred for her is so extreme and irrational, that she'll literally drop her weapon for the chance to grapple with Elisa, the chance to tear her apart with her bare hands.

Of course, this is after Elisa demonstrates that she never carries enough ammo. After uselessly shooting at a beach and a hollow suit of armor, she's out of bullets by the time she gets a target of flesh and blood. Of course, we made Elisa a touch dopey in this department for S&P reasons. Elisa, being a NY cop, had to carry a gun. But short of doing an episode about gun violence like "Deadly Force" (which Toon Disney refuses to air these days), we couldn't actually let Elisa shoot anyone with her gun. So we found other uses and excuses.

But ultimately, it's Katharine who brings Demona down, looking quite intentionally like a medieval Ripley, saying the other bookend: "No one threatens my eggs."

THE MAGUS vs. PHOEBE, SELINE & LUNA: THE WEIRD SISTERS
Luna says to the Magus: "There is no future for you." That was a clue from the voice of fate. Anyone pick up on it?

I also like how all the Sisters say together: "You will suffer!" But of course, he's been suffering for decades. What he will soon be is free of all suffering...

I wanted to show here (among other things) that magic itself was neither good nor evil. Magic simply existed at the disposal of those with the power to wield it.

The Magus defeats the sisters and collapses onto Artie's platform. Erin asked quietly: "Did he die?" Benny looked for another way out: "He might have just lost his power."

GOLIATH & ANGELA vs. THE ARCHMAGE

Erin asked what the Archmage was planning for Goliath... and I had to answer something like "a painful death."

Goliath asks what I thought many of you might be asking: why doesn't the Magus just kill him. And David Warner answers as only he could: "Because I'm having too much fun."

We have all this Gate-Jumping. This was an afterthought. Because at one point I had thought of having our guys steal the gate back, I had forgotten to have the Archmage use the gate in the script. So at the board stage, I asked Dennis to put this in. We were very tight for time, but he obliged me. Ideally, I'd have liked to show them briefly in some other times, but I knew we just couldn't afford to design new layouts for two second shots. Even so, who knows where and when they went? Who knows how long they were gone? Sometimes their poses changed. But Goliath is like the Old Man of the Sea. He never lets go. And finally he takes the Eye away.

The Archmage is already in trouble, but how much he doesn't know for a few seconds. Then the power of the Grimorum destroys him from within. A nice creepy companion to him eating the book in Part Two.

And I love David's last line, the forlorn: "All my lovely magic..." Believe it or not, I had to fight a little to get that line in. Just a little. But still.

DEATH OF A HERO

The Magus' death stll moves me. His quiet desire for rest. Katharine's love for him. (Not romantic love, but love nonetheless.) K: "Oh, Magus, what have you done?"

The Magus still concerned that he owes a debt to Goliath and Goliath's forgiveness. The eyes closing and the star shooting overhead.

For S&P reasons, we decided not to make it absolute that he was dead. No one mentions death. Just rest. Sleep. And he is lying on the Sleeping King's platform by his own request.

And many fans, even adult fans, chose to believe he might still come back someday. Hey, more power to 'em, I guess.

But I felt/feel that would cheapen the moment. Cheapen the sacrifice. We sent our heroes into battle. And in battle, their are casualties. Some things are worth fighting for, but if we don't understand costs, then I want people to know that when something isn't worth fighting over, they shouldn't.

FAREWELLS

For various reasons, many of our voice actors in this episode recorded their lines separately. So we recorded each character saying goodbye to everyother character. Not knowing exactly what we would use. We, in my opinion, wound up using too much of these wild goodbyes. It's very awkward sounding to me now.

Gabe & Goliath establish why Gabe and his clan don't join Goliath in Manhattan and why Goliath doesn't bring his clan back to Avalon. Though both clans are born of the old Wyvern Clan, both have found new homes, which they will not abandon.

But Angela has a bit of Demona in her. The iconoclast, she wants more than normal clan life has to offer. She wants to see the world with Goliath. He proudly agrees. He wants one of his children with him. Gabriel and Angela say goodbye. He refers to her here as his rookery sister (not as his "Angel of the Night" or some other equivalent). This was done to make clear that they regarded each other as brother and sister, not mates. I basically wanted to leave her unattached for the Trio. Nevertheless, many fans still thought that they were a couple.

Art goes off on his own to be less conspicuous, and Goliath laughs a borderline Thailog laugh. He also plants pipe for Arthur's eventual stop in Manhattan.

Mac & Demona are freed from the spell, leaving them with no memory since they were first ensorcelled. There's an awkward bit of business here as the gargs who were guarding them move away, just so that Goliath can move in and push the skiff off. Flaw in the boarding that no one caught, I'm afraid.

The Sisters move off, having been forced off-camera to explain most everything.

Bronx & Boudicca part. Now that's a couple.

More pipe: Goliath swears that no one will ever use the eye or the Gate again. Famous last words.

Tom: "Elisa, I thought you understood. Avalon doesn't send you where you want to go! Avalon sends you where you need to be!"

Both Elisa and Erin said: What does that mean? at about the same time.

What did you think when you first heard that? We had officially launched the World Tour, but you didn't know it yet. What were you thinking?

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours...?


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Chapter XXXV: "Avalon, Part Two"

Time to Ramble...

"PART TWO"
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Writer: Lydia Marano
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves

I guess you guys were used to longer multi-parters from us, so you probably didn't think this was the last part when you saw Part Two come up after the title. I tried something different at the end though. Instead of writing "To be continued" I had them put down "To be concluded". It seemed (at least in my head) to increase tension to know that the next part would be the last.

I've been told by people that out of context, this episode is incomprehensible. I hope it's not quite that bad, but I will say that unlike the rest of our eps, I felt that multi-parter eps don't quite need to stand alone in the same way.

Still with all the time travel stuff, it's very complex. I remember Lydia having to come into my office after her first draft and needing me to diagram the time travel for her. The loop that the Archmage takes. I love it. But I guess it's not that easy to follow.

Anyway, this ep was designed to be the second part of a tryptich. This is the one where we focus on our villains and bring them all up to date, just as in part one, we focused on our heroes. All gearing to a MAJOR BATTLE coming in Part Three.

THE EGGS

Picking up where Part One left off, Elisa looks at Angela, Gabriel and Boudicca and says: "These are the eggs?" I love her tone there.

Guardian: "Sorry, I always call them that." It was a cheat to buy us, at least with some percentage of our audience, the shock value of expecting eggs and finding fully grown gargs and beasts instead. Still, I believe that a guy like Tom, dubbed "Guardian of the Eggs" would continue to use that term to refer to his kids, even after they are grown.

Goliath is initially shocked that the gargs have names. Angela says the standard human response: "How else would we tell each other apart?" This was done intentionally to both cover the issue of non-garg naming (which I still think is neat, but which is often a massive pain) and to indicate that these are gargs raised by humans.

BEACH FIGHT

So I'm in my office one day, after the script to "Avalon, Part Two" has gone final. And Supervising Producer Frank Paur and Producer/Director Dennis Woodyard come in. Frank hates the script. Dennis is calmer, but he seems to clearly agree with Frank, more or less.

I'm annoyed because it's VERY late in the game for them to be giving me these kind of notes. Things get heated between me and Frank.

I yell something like: "Well, what do you want me to do?!!!"

And he yells something like: "We need some action! Like a fight on the Beach with the Archmage!!"

And I start to object for about a second. Then I go, "Oh, yeah. A fight on the beach with the Archmage. That'd be cool. Would that fix it?"

"Uh. Yeah."

And that was it. Our fights were always like that. We always only wanted to make it better. He'd get worked up, but the solution wound up being simple and when push came to shove (we never actually pushed and shoved by the way) we agreed on nearly everything.

It was also good to have Dennis' calming influence. Frank and I would go momentarily nutty and Dennis would always maintain.

So anyway, after the fact we added the memorable fight on the beach. Now I can't imagine the episode without it. It forced us to trim down some the Archmages travels (cause we were already long) but it definitely improved the episode.

I think, not sure, but I think I wrote that fight because it came so late in the game. It's also possible, I might have taken it back to Brynne and/or Lydia to write. I really don't remember anymore.

Either way, there are some great lines:

Goliath: "Don't be too insulted!" I love how he goes nuts here. We really get a reminder of his warrior-ness.

Archmage: "Don't crow too loudly, after all, what have you accomplished: you beat up a beach." You beat up a beach. That's one of my favorite lines in the whole series.

Archmage: "At dawn you all will die. Get used to it!"

Tom: "Let's get out of here before the very air attacks us!"

The fight itself is pretty cool too. I like how Bronx and Boudicca immediately team up. I like the symbolic nature of the Archmage growing wings, turning to stone and then shattering. I think that was a board-artist's addition. I don't remember seeing that in the script. (And I'm too lazy to stand up and check right now.)

At the end of the fight, my five year old son Benny asked: "Why can't they glide to the castle?" I had to explain the flight rules.

ANGELA & GABRIEL

Elisa slides up to Goliath: "Angela sort of looks like Demona, except her coloring is different. Exactly whose daughter is she?" Again, I love Salli's reading here. That need to know. The jealousy. The feeling for Goliath -- who dodges the question by saying that all children belong to the clan.

But of course Elisa knows. Knows something that I believe never occured to her before. Sure, she knew that Goliath and Demona had been mates, lovers. But she didn't let her mind traverse to the next logical step. Parents. Together. Goliath and Demona.

And of course, the audience knows it too, I hope. It was never meant to be a secret to anyone but Angela who her biological parents are. These lines also served to point that out.

On the other hand, we didn't make a big deal of Gabe's bio-parentage. But I wanted it to be semi-clear that his folks were Othello and Desdemona (Coldstone and Coldfire). Anyone get that at first viewing?

REUNIONS

Everyone returns to Oberon's Palace. There are many injured and Gabe is apologetic. As Leader, he feels responsible. But there was 'never any need to hone our combat skills' before this.

Tom & Katharine are reunited. Elisa, the cop, picks up on the human dynamics, the relationships, immediately. She sees the Magus' reaction to their reunion.

I also really like the exchange between the Princess and Goliath.

K: "This is more than I could have hoped for."
G: "What you've done for the eggs is more than I could have dreamed of"

SLEEPING KING

We kept dropping hints. He's mentioned by the Magus, but the conversation moves quickly on.

Later, the Weird Sisters mentioned him. The Archmage is surprised to hear he's not a myth, causing Seline to say her famous: "All things are true." line. The Archmages promise to kill the king later.

And Elisa brings the guy up at the end. This policy was me trying to play fair and make his awakening in Part Three not seem artificial. But also not to allow the guy to distract from the matter at hand.

Of course, most of THIS crowd must have known the s-king was a ref to KING ARTHUR. Particularly when the Hollow Hill ref was thrown in too. But did anyone not know on first viewing?

LOOSE ENDS

This was an episode for tying up Loose Ends in a big way. Solving some mysteries.

Why did the Weird Sisters do what they did? (At least objectively.)

Why were Demona and Macbeth working together in "High Noon"? (Elisa: "They hate each other." Guardian: "I saw no sign of that.")

And how did the Archmage survive?

Tom unwittingly hints at the truth when he says that the Archmage seemed to be able to be in two places at once.

Now let's reveal...

WEIRD SISTERS

Wow! Did we get negative feedback from fans when we played the Sisters as villains here. Of course, I always had it in my head that the Sisters had three aspects. Grace, Vengeance and Fate. Sometimes one aspect is ascendent, but there is always a touch of all three in anything they do. But after the Sisters' Fateful appearances in "City of Stone", many fans rebelled at the notion that the objective reason they did all those things was for simple petty vengeance here in "Avalon". Oh, well.

[When Benny saw the Sisters for the first time, he said "Weird Sisters" with an interesting tone of awe. They're his favorites. But he didn't comment on them being bad guys here.]

The sisters have some nice lines...

L: "What is time to an immortal."
Phoebe: "This is true." (in ref to what cannot be broken can be bent).

ARCHMAGESES

Okay, this was just fun for me. In many ways the origin of much of this was the flat out talent of David Warner. He brought such life to the underwritten (and clichéd) part of the Archmage in "Long Way to Morning" that I just knew I'd have to bring him back. Many of the events of "Vows", "City of Stone", "High Noon" etc. were all geared toward bringing him back as a real THREAT!!

Yet with all this, I didn't want to forget the character's roots. We tried to set a balance between his clichés and his new power.

Think about it. The Archmage+ (as we called him in the script), had only been plussed for about a day. Still he's full of arrogance. His power hasn't raised him above that hybris nor above the thirst for vengeance nor above gloating or above impatience. That's his flaw, but also the fun, I think.

And of course, David. Wow.

Praise for Salli Richardson as Elisa. For Kath Soucie as Princess Katharine and all three Weird Sisters. For Frank Welker as Bronx and Boudicca.

But this Archmage stuff here is a tour de force, I think. David just went through, playing both characters. Both versions of himself. Keep in mind, he hadn't been privy to all that the writers had planned. He had come in for his small parts in both "Long Way" and "Vows". Now suddenly, he's this guy(s). Amazing.

"Do you know what to do?"
"I should. I watched you do it."

"Show some dignity."

"I could put you back where I found you."
"No, no." (I love that no, no. So tiny and fearful.)

"Not where. When."

"If you don't know, don't guess."

"The book must remain in play."

"Try to keep up."

"We're not doing her any favors."

"The rules that cannot be broken can surely be bent."

"Nine hundred and seventy-five YEARS??!!"

"I hadn't thought that far in advance."

"What am I supposed to do, eat it?!"

"Now I understand."

"As it did. As it must. As it always will!"

All great fun.

FLAWS

All these episodes were being produced simultaneously. All in various stages of production. So inconsistencies were bound to happen.

The Egg boats are messed up here. Demona's model in her flashback. Etc.

And storywise, what's the deal with Macbeth? I can see why the Archmage wants to include his former apprentice Demona in his plans. He felt betrayed by her, and is glad not to be doing her any favors by enslaving her.

But Macbeth?

Okay, it's not a true flaw. Macbeth is included because the 'plan of the Archmage' -- birthed whole from the timestream without the Archmage ever actually coming up with it independently (though he takes credit) -- included Macbeth.

It is the provence of Luna, not Seline, at work.

But still, I'd have liked to have been able to figure out some connection between the Archmage and Macbeth so that he wouldn't question the boy's inclusion. Thankfully, the Archmage+ is so arrogant, he takes credit and thus never questions. It occurs to me now, that I could have made a connection between Mac and his ancestors, all related to Katharine and Malcolm. Oh, well.

CAPTIONS

These became fun for me. Adding Captions indicating place and time is one of the very last steps in production. So I'm in there for the "On-Line" with Jeff Arthur, our post-production supervisor, and I'm just indulging...

Sure we start with...

"Scotland, 984 A.D."

But pretty soon we're at "YESTERDAY" and "SIX HOURS AGO" and "ONE MINUTE AGO" and finally "NOW".

It still makes me smile.

POWERING UP

So the Archmage gets the eye. Power. But he's still an idiot. He needs wisdom. He eats the book, which I always thought was really creepy and cool. Now he understands. Now we truly have two Archmage+es. But they can't coexist forever. Aside from how complicated that would be to choreograph, and aside from the fact that the timestream needs the younger of the two to fulfill his role....

They also couldn't coexist because both are too arrogant.

So we repeat the scene of departure to close the circle and tack on: "Finally. I thought he'd never leave."

BATTLE FLASHBACK

We get to see a new clan awake from stone. I hoped that was fun.

Ophelia appears (pre-injury). She looked way cool. For all those people who thought that Gabe and Angie were a couple, take a look at the way Gabe is holding Ophelia and looking at her after she's injured.

LAYING PIPE

In addition to the Sleeping King, we were also laying pipe for our whole fourth tier WORLD TOUR. Tom says: "Avalon dropped me in your laps." He credits Avalon with sending him to Goliath.

The Magus declares that he is without magic and useless. Katharine rebels at that: "Don't say it, and don't think it!" She loves him. Just not the way he wanted her to love him.

Bronx and Boudicca want to go with Goliath.

Elisa asks about the Sleeping King...

And Goliath, Angela and Gabriel take off on a stealth attack.

And we immediately see that the Archmage knows they're coming.

Uh oh.

As the Archmage says... "[We've layed all the damn pipe we could possibly need and more], Now the fun really begins!"

To be concluded...

And that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Gipdac writes...

You pretty much already said this, but just to make sure,
Morgana is a fae and who was which with Nimue, a human, at birth, correct?

Greg responds...

Huh?

Response recorded on March 28, 2002

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Todd Jensen writes...

You mentioned that you could only recommend Isaac Asimov's book on Shakespeare (I assume that you mean his Guide to Shakespeare, which I have a copy of) with reservations. I was wondering if you could tell us a little more about those reservations of yours about it.

Greg responds...

Boy, I must have been really touchy on September 10th.

Let me just say, it's weird to be looking at these questions, asked early in the morning of 9/11, clearly before the events of the day. (Or at least before people became aware of those events.) Puts everything into perspective, you know.

Anyway, Merlin and Oberon have a thorny relationship to say the least. I can't really answer your question in any more detail at this time. I half regret revealing that Oberon was M's dad.

Response recorded on January 23, 2002

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Todd Jensen writes...

You've mentioned earlier that Merlin isn't considered one of "Oberon's Children" (by which I mean the Third Race, rather than Oberon's biological offspring). I recently began wondering over the reason for that, i.e., what reasons Oberon has for not classifying him as such.

The only other "halflings" we know of in the Gargoyles Universe at present are Fox and Alex, and we know what criteria Oberon had for deciding whether they could be considered "Children of Oberon" or not. He viewed Fox as human rather than Third Race because she had shown no sign of manifesting any magic (at least, at the time of "The Gathering Part One") and Alex as Third Race because he still had the potential of developing magic.

Now, moving back to Merlin; he clearly did learn how to use magic, so obviously Oberon used a different criterion for classifying him as human rather than "Oberon's Children" than he did with Fox. So my question is, what is this different criterion?

(And don't worry; this isn't one of those "trying to trip you up questions" that you mentioned being unhappy with recently. I'm just genuinely curious about this).

Greg responds...

Boy, I must have been really touchy on September 10th.

Let me just say, it's weird to be looking at these questions, asked early in the morning of 9/11, clearly before the events of the day. (Or at least before people became aware of those events.) Puts everything into perspective, you know.

Anyway, Merlin and Oberon have a thorny relationship to say the least. I can't really answer your question in any more detail at this time. I half regret revealing that Oberon was M's dad.

Response recorded on January 23, 2002

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FanForLife writes...

Hi, Greg, I just wanna say I love the show and I was wondering something---Titania had Fox by the human, Renard, but did Oberon have any flings with human women? Did he have any children by them? Thanks!

Greg responds...

Merlin.

Response recorded on November 29, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Merlin
Is Merlin still in love with Nimue in 1996?

Greg responds...

Not saying.

Response recorded on November 13, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Is Merlin and Blanchefleur still around in 2198?

Greg responds...

Not saying.

Response recorded on October 17, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Will Arthur have any kids in the future?
Who will succeed Arthur as the ruler of New Camelot?

Greg responds...

Did you really think I'd blithely give this away?

Response recorded on October 17, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

1.Does Xanatos know of Mr.Duval's immortality?
2.What about his identity as Sir Percival?
3.In 1996 of the eight arthurian survivors who among them know Percival is Duval?
4.Who else knows Duval's identity as Percival?

Greg responds...

1. Nope.
2. Nope.
3. Two at least. No more than six.
4. I do. You seem too. Anyone else?

Response recorded on October 17, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

You said that in Castle Carbonek time passes differently so my question is how differently? A day in our world is an hour in Carbonek?

Greg responds...

It's not an equation as with Avalon.

Response recorded on October 17, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

What extraordinary properties does Excalibur possess?

Greg responds...

I'm holding on to that as well.

Response recorded on October 17, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Why isn¡¯t Merlin, Oberon¡¯s own kid, considered a Child of Oberon? Why is Alex considered one?

Greg responds...

Well, let's begin with this: Considered by whom?

Alex was considered to have the potential to be one by Oberon & Titania.

Merlin and Oberon have long-standing issues, but what makes you think that he isn't considered a Child of Oberon?

Response recorded on October 16, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

What was the original cast of Pendragon? I know the Magus and Arthur was there, but what about Griff? How did you reach the present cast of Arthur, Griff, Merlin and Blanchefleur? Did Griff come after the airing of MIA?

Greg responds...

Calling it 'the original cast' isn't quite fair. I was brainstorming and briefly considered having the Magus survive and travel off with Arthur.

But by the time the idea for Pendragon (the spin-off series) solidified, I already knew that the Magus would make the ultimate sacrifice at Avalon and that in any case, I didn't need two magic users in the small group.

I knew early on I wanted Arthur and Griff and eventually Blanchfleur and Merlin. I knew I wanted Arthur to find Excalibur and then search for Merlin. I knew what I had planned for Blanchefleur and Percival/Duval. And yes, Griff turned out to be so much fun in MIA that I wanted to include him as well. But I can't put everything in a precise order for you. We were working on all these episodes (including Pendragon and MIA simultaneously). And the ideas were just coming to me then, fairly fast and furious.

But none of this came after the AIRING of MIA. Things aired LONG after the stories were written.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Jim R. writes...

About a week ago in the Comment Room I asked about Arthur's stepbrother, Kay, and why he had not been mentioned in the TV movie "Mists of Avalon." I was just curious to ask would you make any notion to tell about Kay or any of Arthur's relatives in a Pendragon spinoff?

Greg responds...

In flashback, at least, yes. I always was fond of Kay.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

I meant his New Camelot knights not that of old Camelot.

Greg responds...

Oh.

Well, still, no.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Care to list the names of Arthur's knights?

Greg responds...

All of them?

No, I do not care to do that.

(Do your own research, pal.)

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Is Morgana at the Gathering on Avalon? What about Nimue?

Greg responds...

One is. One isn't.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Was the number of the search for Merlin episodes suppose to be around the number of World Tour episodes?

Greg responds...

I haven't quantified it at all.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Does Duval or the Illuminati know where Merlin is?

Greg responds...

No.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

It seems from the answers that you've given that you don't have any plans for the Green Knight is my assumption true? If so why don't you have any plans for him?

Greg responds...

I do have plans for him. Now.

I didn't when I first started that "Guess the Arthurian survivors" contest YEARS ago. Because, I had forgotten about him. But halfway through the contest I remembered him. And in the intervening years (YEARS) I've had plenty of time to figure out what to do with him.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001


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