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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.
1. You're assuming Oberon knows the title of the book "Once and Future King"?
2. No Spoilers.
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.)
This has been asked and answered to the extent that I intend to answer at this time. See the archives...
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! :-)
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?
I had/have plans for all of the above.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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:
"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.
No, it HELPS!!!
Thank you, I appreciate those efforts tremendously.
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!
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.
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?
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?
1. Yes, eventually.
2. Yes. Pendragon, among others.
3. Not revealing that at this time.
6. Who am I to kill hope? Hope lives eternal. The Magus, on the other hand, is dead.
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")?
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.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Arthur is crowned King of Britain.
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.
Michaelmas. Constantine III is so furious he initiates a plan to destroy all the gargoyles in Scotland.
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.
Xanatos inspects his castle atop the Eyrie Building. He wants everything to be perfect before he attempts to wake the gargoyles.
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.
I've read both Green and Mallory, and know both versions of the story.
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?
1. I'm not answering this at this time.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
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.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
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.
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".
I like that analysis... and it fits in with plans I have. Stay tuned...
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?
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.
Why did Macbeth want the Scrolls of Merlin? That was never answered in the episode Lighthouse in a Sea of Time.
Yes, it was, actually. He thought they'd contain powerful magical spells... useful (potentially) in his conflict with/hunt for Demona.
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?
No, it doesn't necessarily mean that.
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!)
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.
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?
I mostly think he was hot for Merlin's mom.
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.
I refuse to make you certain of anything in this life. I can't handle the responsibility.