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The Phoenix Gate

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Jim R. writes...

matt,

I thought the skiff was blown up at first, but i remembered that only happened in the "Future Tense" episode, which I suppose wasn't real to Goliath. But no one could accidently go to Avalon, because one would first have to recite the Latin to reach it. I got you on this one buddy. :)

Greg responds...

Yup.

Response recorded on March 08, 2001

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matt writes...

in "The Gathering" when Goliath and co. arrived in New York what happened to the Avalon Skiff? did it sink as Arthur's skiff had done in London? if the just left the skiff in the lake or river could anyone have gotten in it and accidently gone to Avalon?

Greg responds...

It sank. But even if it hadn't, you need to know the incantation to get to Avalon.

Response recorded on March 08, 2001

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Ray Kremer writes...

All the rambles on City of Stone recently brought back some memories. While that season was airing I was in High school, and the English Class that semester was British Literature. Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, and of course Shakespere. We did the Scottish play not too long after CoS aired and when I was reading the book the voice of John Rhys-Davies always found its way into my head.

The classroom also had a big poster of the complete family tree of the royalty of the British Isles. You can imagine how much fun it was to look back to 11th century Scotland and find the names of Gillecomgain, Gruoch, and Luoch right there with MacBeth, Duncan, and Malcom Cannmore.

Then when we got to Arthurian Legend I asked the teacher what the significance of Avalon was besides being Arthur's final resting place, half expecting to hear it was the traditional home of the fairy kingdom. (Never could be too sure what was real, what you were making up, and what was some of both.)

Greg responds...

It was (in many works) the traditional home of the fairy kingdom. I wasn't making that up.

Response recorded on March 01, 2001

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matt writes...

by "Ill met by Midnight" are Gabriel and Opheila allready chosen mates or do they decide that later? seeing as how Tom and Katherine are human and raised the gargs as brothers and sisters in a human fashion what is T and K's reaction to the coupling of the eggs? if i am wrong in how they were raised than correct me, please, but neither Tom nor Katherine was very knowledgable in garg customs, were they? did they raise the gargs in a garg way as best they could or just as they would human children and garg instincts took over for the rest?

Greg responds...

Moonlight, not midnight.

You're mostly wrong. I think Tom and Katharine and the Magus realized that these eggs represented an entire generation, not just a bunch of siblings. Relationships developed. Some fraternal, others romantic. The humans attempted to mimic gargoyle customs, which the Magus had some information on.

And Gabe and Ophelia were certainly romantically involved by Ill Met.

Response recorded on February 26, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

A couple more questions...
1) Is Avalon 'round' or 'flat'? That is, would a Foucault pendulum (an experiment demonstrating that the Earth rotates on an axis) work there? If so, would the direction in which it turns always be the same? (Normally, clockwise = N. Hemisphere, and counterclockwise = S. Hemisphere. Useful to know if you're totally lost, and would rather _not_ figure out where you are by observing the Coriolis effect on a cyclone firsthand.)
2) Is it possible to get outside radio reception (which works by bouncing signals off the ionosphere) on the island? What about stuff from offplanet?

Greg responds...

1. Uh... Huh?

2. Largely, no.

Response recorded on February 15, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

A cartload of thanks to Aris Katsaris for adding his wonderful clarification to my earlier question. At least I got part of it answered -- it's nice to think all that boring mist wouldn't get in the way of any Avalon lovebirds' stargazing sessions. :) If you'd really like me to be more specific, well...
1) Is the celestial view (I'm not an astronomy student, so I don't know if I describe it properly) from Avalon the 'same' as what can be seen from a certain point on elsewhere on Earth? 1b) Is this point fixed? 1c) Would the view appear to 'change' 24 times as quickly than from the other Earth point?
2) Does the moon appear to change phase (that is, a terran eclipse) from Avalon? 2b) If yes, would this also be 24x?
3) How is Avalon connected to the rest of space? Are various natural phenomena (for example, comets) visible from Outside also visible on Avalon? 3b) Would the same be true of less natural ones, such as Sputnik? 3b) Does Avalon get especially colorful sunsets or 'green flash' (both of which need a bunch of atmospheric dust to occur)?
...Y'know, that sort of thing. :P

Greg responds...

I'm no astronomer either.

Response recorded on February 15, 2001

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Aris Katsaris writes...

(The Guppi) asked:
---What does the night sky look like, from Avalon?

You replied:
---I don't understand the question. Like the night sky.

I think that (The Guppi) meant what about the constellations? From normal earth one can find out the latitude (or is it longitude?) of one's position if one's learned how. Even if one hasn't learned one could probably easily understand if he's in the Northern or the Southern hemisphere.

So do the constellations of Avalon correspond to those of "our" Earth? What does the night sky look like from Avalon? :-)

Greg responds...

Like the night sky from a unique point of view.

Response recorded on February 07, 2001

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matt writes...

1. i assume that Coldstone went to the Himalayas after "High Noon" because of the isolation, correct?
2. how did he know there were no gargoyles in the area, or did he just have to look around for an isolated spot?
3. did he meet any other garg clans on his way to the Himalayas?
4. what was he hoping to accomplish in this isolation?
5. how did he get from New York to Tibet?
6. how did Xanatos find him in "Possesions"?
7. Iago doesn't have a kid on Avalon, right?
8. in "Possesions" i guess there wasn't really time to explore the Coldtrio's opinions on the eggs surviving so what do they think?
9. would Gabriel's parentage ever be revealed to him as was Angela's? would he care? what would Coldstone and Coldfire think if they found out?

Greg responds...

1. Largely.
2. It seemed isolated, and largely proved isolated.
3. No.
4. To win an internal battle.
5. He flew.
6. Coldstone gives off a signal which X can track.
7. I never said that.
8. I'm not entirely sure they're aware of it.
9. It's something to explore. But the mere fact that Coldstone and Coldfire exist and the mere fact that the "eggs" survived -- is much more significant than biological parentage.

Response recorded on February 07, 2001

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matt writes...

i have a question about gargoyle customs. you've said that Opheila is Gabriel's second in command and for a time, Demona was Goliath's second, is it common among gargs to choose their mate as second? if so, isn't that unfair to the other gargs hoping to become second, or am i thinking too much like a human?

Greg responds...

You're generally thinking too much like a human.

The bigger issue over time is age. A second should be in a position to be groomed to take over for his leader, either in case of an emergency (as when Brooklyn took over for Goliath during the World Tour) or in the case of succession, as when the older Hudson stepped down in favor of the younger Goliath.

Had things gone differently at Wyvern, eventually either Demona would have stepped down to allow a new second to be chosen from the younger generation (most likely Brooklyn) OR Goliath would have stepped aside to allow Demona to lead and chose a new younger Second (again, most likely Brooklyn).

It's largely a meritocracy otherwise. Hudson chose Goliath as his second based on a myriad of positive qualities but primarily integrity, intelligence, natural leadership abilities and a genuine ferocity in battle.

Goliath in turn selected Demona for the same qualities. *He was just mistaken about the integrity.*

As for Avalon, the situation is a bit different, as all the gargs there are of the same generation. Originally Gabriel was chosen as leader and one of his many rookery-siblings Angela was chosen as his second. When Angela left, Gabriel did select his mate as his second, at least for the time being. But you can bet Ophelia was qualified -- look how she performed even when wounded in Avalon Part Three -- or he would not have chosen her. Does nepotism play a part. Possibly. But I'd think that the qualities necessary would have to be even more obvious to avoid charges of nepotism.

In London, Una is the leader of the clan. Her second, whom we have not yet met, is of a younger generation and generally runs things at their more rural (or at least suburban) estate.

In Japan, Kai was the leader. Yama, of a younger generation, was his second. After Yama's banishment, Yama's mate Sora was probably chosen as Second (though don't hold me to that). Again Sora's chosen for her attributes and (relative) youth. Someday -- short of a catastrophe taking place -- she will lead the clan in Kai's place.

In Guatemala, Zafiro is the leader. His second is not his mate Obsidiana, but Turquesa, Jade's mate. They are all of the same generation, but they are also the only gargs alive down there at the moment. (Not counting the eggs.)

Response recorded on February 07, 2001

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matt writes...

did the Magus (or anyone) conduct a marriage ceremony of some sort for Katherine and Tom, or did they just start living a married life? when were they married, before or after the eggs hatched?

Greg responds...

It's more of a common law thing that evolved over time both before and after the hatching. Though they might have held some kind of private moment between the two of them.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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matt writes...

how does the World Tour thing work? do the travelers return to Avalon after every stop in the real world, or only sometimes, or only when the spell is cast? who would cast this spell among Goliath and co. and Jade and Tequesa?

Greg responds...

They returned in between every "real world" adventure. Though sometimes only long enough to start out again.

Either Goliath or Angela would tend to cast the spell. Either Jade or Turquesa could do it, once they learned how.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

What does the night sky look like, from Avalon?

Greg responds...

I don't understand the question. Like the night sky.

Response recorded on January 17, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

Is it possible to swim from the coast of Avalon to ... elsewhere?

Greg responds...

Sure.

Response recorded on January 17, 2001

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matt writes...

is there a clan leader of the Avalon clan? is it Gabriel or do they consider Goliath to be their clan leader?

Greg responds...

Gabriel is the leader.

Response recorded on December 22, 2000

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Kam-Ra Cru writes...

Do the trio have any blood-siblings on Avalon>

Greg responds...

Potentially.

Response recorded on December 22, 2000

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Oberon writes...

Does Avalon have any connection to the third race (a magic link or something) or did they just clame it as there own.

Greg responds...

They're related.

Response recorded on December 21, 2000

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Faieq writes...

You said that one of the reasons that Princess Katherine and Tom the Guardian didn't have any children is because there weren't very many fertility specialists on Avalon. Therefore either Princess Katherine or Tom were incapable of having children.
I always thought that with having to take care of 36 gargoyles and gargoyle beasts, who aged at half their rate, they would have had their hands full.
Anyway, even though I thought that having 36 hatchlings was better than having 36 hatchlings and 1-? kids, I'm just wondering, who had the problem Katherine or Tom?

Greg responds...

Don't know.

Of course, they did have their hands full, but I have to say I doubt they were using (or wanted to use) birth control. So the lack of biological children was most likely the result of one or both of them having a medical issue.

Response recorded on November 15, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

More cycles stuff... It seems that the gargoyles in Avalon have a mating season every ten months of their time. (sorry if I am making a wrong assumption here)

a) Have any (or many) eggs been laid and awaiting hatching in Avalon?
b) What do you feel this will do for the generations? Avalon alone from all the clans in the world will have eggs in the rookery set to hatch at different times, and gargoyles that are only ten months apart in age... There will probably be few "rookery siblings" with the earlier definition of the term...
c) How often would a female be able to conceive (Avalon-time)?

And finally...

d) How does Princess Katherine feel about the frequency of the mating seasons? :-)

Greg responds...

You are making an incorrect assumption. It's every twenty years for them too. Or at least close to that. But they also attune to the closest outside world cycle.

The cycle is both internal and external. It is theirs. But tied to the earth's bio-rhythms.

All things are true. Which makes the math very damn complicated.

Response recorded on November 14, 2000

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Skylar writes...

I didn´t get the thing with the ships.

1. Are the ships, that are used for the Avalon travels, from any special or magic kind, or would travel to Avalon and start a magic journey when leaving be able also with any other kind of ship?

2. Where did the magus and the other humans get the ships, when they started to Avalon with the eggs?

Greg responds...

Do you mean the skiffs?

1. The skiff isn't the source of the travel magic, which doesn't mean the skiffs are magic-free.

2. From the dock.

Response recorded on October 19, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

A question about "Ill Met By Moonlight". At the end of this episode, Oberon appoints the Avalon clan his "honor guard". Is this going to turn out to be a largely ceremonial function with little real work? I can't help but suspect this, in view of the fact that anything capable of seriously threatening Oberon, a fellow capable of swelling up to giant size, animating stone figures, and ordering the earth to swallow up intruders, (and I will confess that the only thing that I can think of in the Gargoyles Universe that could really endanger him at present is Queen Mab) would be able to easily wipe out a whole clan of gargoyles without much effort. (I do have the suspicion that Oberon's appointing the gargoyles to that position was more a matter of "practical politics" - giving them a definite role in Avalonian society - than a matter of "providing for defense", myself).

Greg responds...

Generally, an "honor guard" is by definition ceremonial. If not literal definition, then certainly by common practice.

So I agree. But it doesn't hurt to have loyal warriors handy the next time someone shows up with an iron bell.

Response recorded on September 30, 2000

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Vashkoda writes...

I don't know why I'm obsessed with these skiffs. =P

1) The group originally got the skiffs from the dock near King Kenneth's castle. Presumably, they belonged to local fishermen. a) Did they indeed belong to humans, or did they have some other origin? b) Was it common practice among humans to carve this face onto their boats? c) Was this a local tradition, or did many people world-wide know about the significance of this face?

2) You previously agreed with someone that the skiff's ability to "send people where they need to be" was a property of Avalon itself. You also told me that the Gate being "lost" was similar to how Goliath and company were lost during the World Tour--also seemingly traveling at random, in both cases, people ended up "where they need to be". a) So is the Gate's ability to find these points in time and space where Brook needs to be, a property of Avalon itself, as it is for the skiffs? b) Does that mean that Avalon has some kind of control over the Gate?

Greg responds...

1a. Not saying.

b. That would be telling.

c. The full significance may never be known.

2. The Gate doesn't need Avalon, but the theory is the same.

Response recorded on September 27, 2000

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Faieq writes...

Let me rephrase:
1) If the time travels slower on Avalon than in the real world, then does the food that they consume take longer to digest, or does it digest at the same speed as it would in the real world?

Greg responds...

Time (and I suppose digestion) seems to pass normally on Avalon. It's just that as an hour passes there, a day has passed on the rest of the planet. Does that help?

Response recorded on September 26, 2000

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Vashkoda writes...

Hi Greg. You said that the Phoenix Gate wasn't forged, but in "Avalon, Part 2", Selene says, "The Eye and the Gate were forged on the Island". So...

1) Are the Sisters unaware or misinformed about how the Gate came to exist?

2) Who was responsible for originally causing the Gate to exist?

You also said that "When free, the gate travels about on its own, as Brooklyn learns to his chagrin". Angela also said "without a mind to direct to gate, it will be forever lost in time". So...

3) When the gate is "travel[ing] about on its own", is that what you meant by "lost in time"? "Lost", as in "having no sense of direction and randomly arriving at destinations", or is it lost as in "lost to the world", meaning no one would have access to it anymore? Because I believe you also said that the Gate wasn't moving randomly, and that there was often a purpose for Brooklyn going where he did. So if Brooklyn isn't controlling the Gate, and the Gate is moving on its own, and a mind normally needs to guide the Gate, is it the Gate itself that's deciding its destinations? And does that mean that the Gate has a mind? And does that mean that the gate is alive in some way? (sorry for grouping the questions like this--but they all lead into one another).

Greg responds...

1. This is merely a problem of semantics.

2. The timestream.

3. "Lost" is a point-of-view thing. One might say that Goliath, Angela, Elisa and Bronx were lost during the World Tour...

Response recorded on September 26, 2000

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Vashkoda writes...

skiff questions:

I noticed that there was a face on the Sisters' barge that resembled the face on the skiffs.

1a) Are they of the same person/being? b) Is this person/being a Child of Oberon? c) What is this person/being's name? d) Is he (if it's a "he") still alive at the time of "The Journey"? e) Does he have any associations with sailing or water?

2a) The Princess and company originally left in three skiffs, but Mary and Finella took one back to the mainland, leaving two at Avalon. So how was it that there were three skiffs at the end of "Avalon, Part 3"? (one for the gang, one for Macbeth/Demona, and one for Arthur) b) Why would they need the extra skiff at Avalon? c) Did the Princess or Magus or any of the "eggs" ever accompany Tom to the outside world?

3) Since the incantation to reach Avalon is referred to as a "spell", and the Magus orginally read it from the Grimorum (which may have acted as the necessary conduit), how is it that Tom could invoke the spell, not being a wizard and having no conduit? (in addition, the Magus worries about whether "Constantine or his *sorcerers* get a hold of [the spell]", implying that his sorcerors might be needed to cast it.) For that matter, how will Jade and Turquesa be able to cast it?

Greg responds...

1a. Yes.

b. Maybe.

c. I'm not saying.

d. Perhaps. (That's a new one, right?) ;)

e. Obvioulsy.

2a. You can never have too many skiffs.

b. There is no b.

c. No.

3. Magus was able to teach it to Tom. Angela also knew it. She could teach it to Jade.

Response recorded on September 26, 2000

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Faieq writes...

1. Do the gargoyles and the humans on Avalon know about both the World Wars (in 1996), seeing as they have no comunication with the outside world except for when Tom goes on his search for Goliath every 100 years? We saw the bulk of his search in 1995, but the century before that it would be way before the first World War. (Obliviously the Children of Oberon know about the first World War).
2. Probably a silly question, but seeing as one day on Avalon is equal to 24 days in the real world, do the humans and gargoyles on Avalon eat 3 meals a day (24 days in the real world) or do they eat 72 meals a day (24 days in the real world).

Greg responds...

1. By now, they've probably learned a bit. But no, not when he arrived to search for Goliath.

2. I don't know if it's silly or not, but I don't understand the question.

Response recorded on September 25, 2000

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Adam writes...

You said there is no naturally occurring iron on Avalon. Wouldn't this create a health problem for the humans living there? I don't know about the gargoyles, but Princess Katherine, Tom and the Magus have blood that requires iron to transport oxygen. Normally this iron comes from the food we eat; but if there's no iron on Avalon, then no plants that grow there would have iron in them and no animals that live there (and eat the iron-free plants) would contain iron. So you would think that the humans who have lived there for decades would be anemic, or sick, or something. How did they get around this problem? Sorcery? Or did they have to bring their food in from outside of Avalon? Did Tom have to occasionally hop on a skiff and go grocery shopping?

Greg responds...

O.K. Wow. You caught me. I was thinking of iron in terms of big deposits of metal. Not in terms of the basic iron molecule.

Response recorded on September 25, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

Does the Avalon clan have a leader among the gargoyles? A Second? Or are they all equally under the leadership of their rookery parents: The Princess, the Guardian and the (now late) Magus?

If there's a leader and/or a second, how were they chosen? By the three humans, or by the gargoyle clan itself?

Is Gabriel leader? Or was it just his personality that caused him to take major part in both crises?

Greg responds...

Gabriel is the leader. Angela was his second. Now Ophelia is.

The clan chose the leader. He chose his second.

Tom, Katharine and the Magus, always encouraged their independence.

Response recorded on September 09, 2000

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Scott Iskow writes...

1. Do Brooklyn and/or Lexington have any biological siblings on Avalon? Perhaps other blood relatives?

2. Does anyone in the Garg universe know or find out that Broadway and Hudson are related?

I know that these are questions that wouldn't matter to a gargoyle, but I was curious. :)

Greg responds...

1. Probably.

2. A non-issue. So no. I don't think so. (Unless I find some dramatic purpose for it that overwhelms what I think is the coolness of no one knowing OR caring.)

Response recorded on September 05, 2000

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Alex "Cyclonus" Bishansky writes...

This may sound like a silly question, but can you reach Avalon from a bath tub with the spell the Magus used in "Avalon pat 1"... I told you it was silly. I guess my brother is rubbing off on me.

Greg responds...

Yes, theoretically.

Response recorded on August 23, 2000

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Anonymous writes...

Where did Ophelia get her name? Tom, Katharine and the Magus all went to Avalon way way before Shakespeare was around (if I'm not mistaken), so I guess "Hamlet" is ruled out?

Greg responds...

Well, Tom has taken trips to the real world once a century. So "Hamlet" isn't ruled out actually.

Response recorded on August 21, 2000

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Matthais writes...

Hello! First of all, I thought I should say that I really love Gargoyles, I write role playing games and a lot of Fae concepts comes from the show. So, without further ado:

At the end of "Ill Met By Moonlight", Oberon says something like "From now on you and your clan shall be imune to all our powers" to Goliath. You have mentioned before that Oberon uses the royal "we", or "us", or "our", but says "I" if it would be confusing otherwise. This is certainly a confusing instance. I hope by "our" powers he dosn't mean the powers of all Fae? I couldn't remember if any of the clan are affected by Fae powers after Ill Met. (Unless "Future Tense" was after it?)

Greg responds...

Just his. And of course he "bends" THAT rule all the time too.

Response recorded on August 18, 2000

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Vashkoda writes...

One last question. Is the relationship that the three original "Coldstone spirits" have with their new robotic bodies similar to the relationship (or magical ties, or whatever you want to call it) that Hakon had with the axe? Are they similarly bound to the living world only through their bodies? And does this connection now rely more on the magic that summoned them into Coldstone's body (which was done with human magic) or on the spell that transfered them to their new bodies (which was done with Alex's fairy magic). Where I'm going with this, as you might guess, has to do with the Coldtrio's access to Avalon, where human magic is forbidden. I must stop here before I say too much, but if you can, please discuss this possible complication.

Greg responds...

The answer to your first question is yes.

The answer to the last is subject to interpretation. Which means anything is possible -- as long as the loophole exists.

Response recorded on August 02, 2000

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Ambrosia writes...

A few Q's about Avalon:
From my understanding, Avalon is not a place you could point to on a map, correct? My question is about communication. 1. Would it be possible to phone/e-mail/talk in any way to someone on Avalon from, say, New York? One problem is obviously that phone lines couldn't physically run all the way there, but what about satellites? Or is that ridiculous?
Another possibility: 2. could you communicate magically like mirror-to-mirror or some such thing?
Here's another problem that presents itself: Time passes at one twenty-fourth speed on the magical island... 3. if you *could* talk to someone in real time, would his voice sound slower? and would yours sound fast?
Thank you for your time!

Greg responds...

Ø. Correct.

1. Largely ridiculous.

2. Certainly. We've seen it done.

2a. Depends on the method employed.

Response recorded on July 30, 2000

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Charles writes...

Okay, I have a question regarding being rookery siblings and lifemates. Gargoyles consider all the other gargoyles that hatch with them to be siblings. From what I understand, from among this group a gargoyle will also be expected to take a lifemate. Now, you can proably see where i'm heading. This kind of relationship sometimes strikes me as almost incestual, b/c a gargoyle will, for all intents and purposes, develop romantic and sexual feelings for what used to be his/her sister/brother. The problem is obviouslly avoided in cases such as Broadway and Angela, who didn't have much contact with each other, or between different geneartions of rookery litters, which I guess also applies to Broadway and Angela. What got me to thinking about this is when you denied Angela and Gabriel having feelings for each other b/c they were bros. and sisters and in the same sentence said Gabriel was mated wtih Ophelia, who I understood as also being a Rookery sibling. I guess you could say that i'm thinking too much like a human, which, I confess, is a big problem of mine.
8-)
Anyway, if you would give your interpretation and response to these thoughts of mine, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much to you and your fellow workers for creating such a wonderful show.

Greg responds...

Mostly, as you said, you're thinking too much like a human. None of a generations rookery siblings are biologically sister and brother. So the kind of incest taboo that you refer to wouldn't exist between them.

Look, think of it this way. Say you grew up in an orphanage with thirty plus other kids. All the same age. Both sexes. None related to each other. You were all raised together. When you're young and basically immature enough for sex to be a non-factor, all these kids would be like siblings to you. You'd get along better with some than others, but they'd be your de facto brothers and sisters. But as the years pass in this orphanage, as you all start to hit puberty, some of you would start to look at others in a different light. Not everyone. Some of you would maintain a close fraternal relationship. Others you were close to might grow distant. Some you didn't like might evolve into friends. Not brothers and sisters, but friends. And still others would become objects of attraction. But no matter what, you'd still be the thirty plus kids who grew up together in that orphanage. Whatever else happens, you'd always have that with all of them.

Gabriel and Angela don't still treat each other as brother and sister because it was some kind of mandatory result of them being rookery siblings. It's simply how their relationship developed, whereas Gabriel and Ophelia obviously had the hots for each other. Even though at a young age, they were raised in that "orphanage" on Avalon together.

Does that help, human?

Response recorded on July 30, 2000

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Nemi writes...

On to the serious stuff! All have to do with Iron and the Avalon

The Human body, Earth, and all other natural organisims can cleanse themselves.

Avalon is natural, if magical.

We know that Avalon's magic can effect Iron, it's just the fey in that respect.

But if Iron was dumped into Avalon and the fey couldn't remove it, could Avalon itself process the iron out of it's system?

Would Avalon remove it in the first place since suposedly it does no harm?

How long would this take?

Greg responds...

If Iron was dumped there?

First answer my question. What if it wasn't?

Response recorded on July 29, 2000

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fae Rae writes...

Are Coldstone and Coldfire Gabriel's parents? Gabe looks like Coldstone and I think he has Coldfire's weird wings. Was that intended?

Greg responds...

Coldstone and Coldfire ARE Gabriels biological parents. They are also two of his rookery parents. Two of only five that survive into this century.

And yes, that's all intentional.

Response recorded on July 11, 2000

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Pamber writes...

have jade and turquesa returned to guatemala from avalon yet? did they go on adventures wherever avalon sent them?

Greg responds...

Yes. Yes.

Response recorded on July 11, 2000

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Zuppstein Luvir Manoruvver writes...

Hiyah, I'm Zupp! I love Gargoyles sooooo much, and they simply kick. They're way to good for Toon Disney!

My Q's are on relationships in GARGOYLES:

1) Why did you give Angela to Broadway? I don't wanna like offend you or something, but she'd be so much better as Brooklyn's. They look a heck of a lot better together than Angela and Broadway.

2) In teh avalon episodes, especially when Angela leaves for the first time, she and Gabriel were always together. Gabriel at least acted like he was in love with her. But you said that Gabriel was going with Ophelia. Was there ever anything with Angela and Gabriel?

3. The Goliath/Elisa relationship rocks! I love how you got rid of a gap between 2 species with it. But will they ever have a future together?

Thanx!

Greg responds...

1. I didn't "give" Angela to Broadway. As she herself said, she's not a prize to be won by OR gifted to anyone. As for a direct answer to your question, sorry, but I'm tired of answering this one. If you'd bothered to check the Angela or the Trio archive to this site you would have seen that this question has been asked and answered many times. I don't want to offend YOU, but if you think she'd be better off with Brooklyn, then I think you weren't paying very close attention.

2. Again, no. Check the archives for a more complete answer. But Angela and Gabriel had a much more fraternal relationship. Think of them as fraternal twin siblings. They were very close. But it was brother/sister affection -- never romance.

3. Yes.

(Zupp, I'm sorry if this response seems harsh. But I've got a ton of questions to go through, and it's a little tough when the questioner doesn't bother to check the specific archive for his question first.)

Response recorded on July 11, 2000

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Abigail Thorne writes...

How did Goliath and the others learn that Demona and Macbeth can only be killed if one kills the other? Demona told Brooklyn in "Temptation" how she had been dealing with humans for hundreds of years, and Macbeth told Goliath in "Enter Macbeth" how he had named Demona, which she herself said in "Awakening Part 5" happened long ago. So I get how they could figure out both were immortal, but how exactly did they figure out the terms of the spell?

And another thing--if they knew that only Macbeth could kill Demona and vice versa, how come they thought Macbeth died in the crash in "The Price" and Demona died in the fire in "The Reckoning'?

Greg responds...

From the Weird Sisters, after they were captured -- but before they were released -- in "Avalon, Part Three".

"The Price" took place before "Avalon". And they never said she was dead in "The Reckoning". Goliath simply acknowledged that he wasn't sure. I mean how many questions have I had to answer here about the rules of the whole Macbeth/Demona thing. If you all have some doubts about how that spell works, don't you think Goliath and Angela might also.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Nyrtleka writes...

In the AskGreg Archive, you wrote: "I expect Angela, Sora, Ophelia, Boudicca, Obsidiana, and Turquesa to all lay eggs in 2008."

As I see it, Angela is Broadway's mate, Sora is (presumably) Kai's mate, Ophelia is Gabriel's mate, Obsidiana is Zafiro's mate, and Turquesa is Jade's mate. But what about Boudicca? Did she and Bronx mate? It seems logical, since (other than Fu-Dog) there are no other gargoyle beasts in the series. Is this true?

Greg responds...

Sora is Yama's mate. And Boudicca has mated and probably will again mate with Bronx.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Patrick Toman writes...

Hi, Greg.

I guess this is sort of a combination ramble and question, growing from a discussion that got started in the TGS comment room.

First, the ramble that explains the origin of my question. I recently saw part of a documentary on PBS about birds (David Attenburough's "Life of Birds" series) and a segment was shown about endangered species of birds being raised by humans from eggs to be released into the wild later. Part of it showed how whooping crane chicks raised completely by humans were being taught how to fly. It was really rather comical... the people were running about flapping their arms, but in the end by mimicing the gestures the young cranes caught on and were able to get into the air for their first flights.

So now to the question... would Katharine, Tom, and the Magus have applied anything similar to help the Avalon hatchlings learn how to glide, or did they simply leave the young gargoyles to their own devices and instincts?

And also related to this... how old must a gargoyle be before it's ready to begin gliding? Does it vary from individual to individual, or does a rookery all mature at about the same rate?

Greg responds...

1. Both, I think. If for no other reason than it would be fun to show in flashback someday.

2. I bet it varies a bit. Just as walking and talking, etc. varies among human children. Even between siblings.

Response recorded on July 05, 2000

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Vashkoda writes...

1) Without stating my obvious suspicion lest it be interpreted as a new idea, who will Bronx's mate be? 2) What gender is/are the gargoyle beast/s on Avalon other than Boudicca? 3) Do you have any specific plans for that big red beast we saw in "Bushido", or was it just thrown in by the artists? 4) When the Guatamalan clan's eggs hatch, will there be any beasts? 5) Are all gargoyle beasts land-bound?

Greg responds...

1. Boudicca, of course.

2. Male and female.

3. We get to everything eventually.

4. Yes.

5. Pretty much. (If I get your meaning.)

Response recorded on June 23, 2000

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Warrioress writes...

Did you have any children planned for Gabriel and Ophelia? If so, what are their names?

Greg responds...

Yes. I haven't named them yet.

Response recorded on June 23, 2000

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Chris writes...

1)Do Goliath and Demona have any other children besides Angela? And if so, do you mind if I ask who?

2)Since there's no chance of Goliath and Demona ever getting back together, will they ever be friends again, or at least not at each other's throats?

Thanks for your time.

Greg responds...

1. Biological children? No. Rookery children? Yes. The entire Avalon clan, including Gabriel and Ophelia.

2. They will, on occasion, be allies again.

Response recorded on June 23, 2000

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Faieq Ali writes...

In Huter's moon part three, Demona was going to cast a spell which would wipe out all life except gargoyles. But wouldn't she kill herself because, she would have killed Macbeth and she would have perished as well or would Macbeth be the only human alive? Would Demona's disease or plague have reached the shores of Avalon and killed tom and the Princess?

Greg responds...

Both these points are debatable. I've answered the first one before. (Check the archives for a fuller answer.) It would depend on her mindset. It's possible her survival would have kept Macbeth alive.

I think it's unlikely that it would have hit Avalon.

Response recorded on June 21, 2000

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Faieq Ali writes...

On Avalon, would they have differant seasons, or would it be the same weather throughout the year?

Greg responds...

If they have seasons, they are extremely mild. Endless summer, unless Oberon decrees otherwise.

Response recorded on June 20, 2000

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Alex Wittenberg writes...

Two questions inspired by the Avalon World Tour and "The Gathering"

1. What is the nature of Avalon that it sends poele where they need to be? It is alive or sentient or just an agent of kismet? And why is the island endowed with these powers? (OK, that's really three questions, but one answer, I suppose)

2. We don't see Goliath, et al, actually return to New York. What happened to the skiff? Did it sink like Arthur's skiff did? And was there a scene perhaps showing them returning that was left on the cutting room floor?

Greg responds...

1. One answer: Yes.

2. No scene on the cutting room floor. We had JUST shown a very similar scene in "Future Tense". Basically, we felt it would have played the same way minus the "Planet of the Apes" shock value of seeing the Statue of Liberty half-destroyed. So we chose NOT to show their arrival, not to show a LESS dramatic version of what we had just depicted one episode previous. Instead, we decided to give the PoV to Hudson, Cagney and the Trio. See their surprise. Get a cliff-hanger out of it. You understand. As for the skiff, yes it sunk, as Arthur's had. Again, something we had shown before.

Response recorded on June 14, 2000

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Aaron writes...

To supplement Todd's Boudicca info. Boudicca is the one who had swords mounted on the wheel hubs of her chariot to cut roman soldiers off at the knees. Oddly, Margret Thatcher had a mood that her aids referred to as her Boudicca mode. My tenth grade history teacher wanted to name his daughter after her, but his wife objected.

Greg responds...

Can't say I blame her.

Response recorded on April 04, 2000

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p;xl writes...

You ask for comments, and boy, do people give them to you. I think you'll be shackled in this Ask Greg piece for the rest of your life, or if by some miracle... <which won't come cause Disney corps are stupid and inherently greedy> the shows ressurected.

Anycase.... I was going through my very fractured gargoyle collection. <I had started taping the episodes off the WB, but the show was cancelled, le sigh, and never got key episodes like "The Mirror" which I so adore, so I only have the crappy USA versions and a couple of uncuts>. Anyways... I saw a handfull of episodes. I'd forgotten how powerful some scenes were.

The first episodes I popped in and saw. Avalon 1-3. Avalon 1 was nice, flashback, filler episode. And then came Avalon 2, with David Warner <who for Star Trek fans voiced a cardassian in an episode where Picard was captured, the "how many lights" big brother deal ep>. His interaction with anyone is great, but with himself?! Pure genius. But even yet... this probably didn't prepare anyone for Avalon 3. This was truly a pivotal episode. In it we see the typical fights, Archmage, Macbeth/Demona. But the Magus. Wow. My congrats whoever did that... The Magus. How you expanded in on his character to let everyone know *who* he was. His feelings, regrets, hardships, guilt. And then the impossible battle he fought... you stated that Puck would have a hard time taking on the Weird Sisters. But he did it, a single sorceror, without the strength to weild the magic, took them on anyways. And in his last ounce of strength, cast a spell sealing the battle. Just must applaud whoever wrote that, whether you or anyone. And the Death scene, I'm not a cryer, but I swear I nearly shed tears. Goosebumps..

The Price came next. Another very key episode. It shows how much Goliath cares for his former leader, and the loyalty of Owen. Xanatos really pissed me off at the end of that episode, how he casually shrugged off the loyalty bit.

Well I'm gonna end my little episode opinions, but its fun to talk about them and such. With such a *huge* audience. If Gore ever put a counter on this page, I'd laugh to see what its little ticker would be. You get at least 15 questions a day I'd think.

Thanks for the show.

Greg responds...

I'd hardly call AVALON I, filler. Anyway....

As for Avalon III, I think Lydia wrote the episode. I came up with the basic story idea, and Lydia, Brynne and I worked out the plot together.

As for "The Price", you don't need to be quite so pissed at Xanatos. He knew Owen was Puck.

As for how many questions I get... I'm not sure. But February's going on forever.

Response recorded on April 04, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

Incidentally, you mentioned during your October posts that you weren't too familiar with the original Boudicca, and I thought that I'd fill you in on her a bit.

Boudicca was the Queen of the Iceni (an ancient British tribe in what is now Norfolk) and wife to King Prasutagus in the early days of Roman Britain. When Prasutagus died, he left part of his lands and wealth to Rome, but the Romans greedily decided to help themselves to a lot more than he'd left them. When the widowed Boudicca protested, they flogged her and raped her daughters. In anger, Boudicca sought revenge by rallying the Britons (both the Iceni, and the neighboring tribes) against the Romans, and sacked three cities (London, St. Albans, and Colchester), ruthlessly slaughtering everyone that she could find living in them, in a war of rebellion between A.D. 60 and 61. The Romans finally defeated her army in the end, however, and Boudicca poisoned herself.

(She does remind me a bit of Demona, on the general level, in fact. Certainly the same basic concept was there of furious retaliation upon one's persecutors on a level just as savage as the original wrong itself, if not worse).

Greg responds...

Reminds me of Tamara in TITUS.

I wonder if Katharine, Tom and the Magus were thinking of that story when they named their Boudicca, or if it was just the notion of a female warrior that got them to choose the name?

Response recorded on April 03, 2000

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Michael Norton writes...

You have stated that newly hatched gargoyles need to be nursed. How did Katherine, Magus, and Tom manage to handle that when the eggs hatched on Avalon?

Greg responds...

Good question. Somehow Avalon provided.

Response recorded on March 25, 2000

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Chapter XI: "Long Way To Morning"

"Long Way To Morning" This was my title, based on an idea I'd had from way early in the development of the series. It was always obvious to me that the fact that the gargs turned to vulnerable stone at sunrise, gave the series a built-in ticking clock that added tension. But given the gargoyles' healing factor (to borrow a Wolverine term) it occured to me early on that there might come a time when sunrise couldn't come fast enough. That was the origin of this episode and the title. (I think I may have even mentioned the scenario in the Series' Writers' Bible.)

The other obvious purpose of the episode was to give Hudson a showcase episode to equal the Trio tryptich. As I've mentioned before, Gargoyles was originally developed as a comic series, and one of the funny little gargoyles in that show was "Ralph", a very domestic couch potato Gargoyle who loved to stay at home and watch T.V. Hudson developed out of Ralph, but he spent much of the first few episodes "Guarding the castle" (or the clock tower). We'd given him some great action in AWAKENING. But we still felt a major need to UN-RALPH him.

I wanted to deal with his age as realistically as possible. To have him doubt himself, maybe even be aware of his limitations, but then have him prove to himself that he still had something to contribute. I think we basically succeed in that here.

But this ep afforded us other opportunities as well. Opportunities to explore Wyvern backstory in our parallel flashback story:

--We find out definitively that Hudson WAS the leader of the clan and that Goliath was his second. We also get to see the baton get passed.

--We learn how Hudson was blinded in one eye.

--We meet Prince Malcolm and get a sense of how Princess Katharine became the bitch she was at the start of "Awakening". I think this was very important in paving the way for her role in the "Avalon" tryptich. By the end of "Awakening", she's remorseful and has seen the error of her ways, but it doesn't change how badly she acted. But this episode reveals how and why her antipathy toward Gargoyles was created. It doesn't excuse her behaviour, but it helps to explain it enough so that we can buy her as a heroine when we next see her. Malcolm doesn't come off as well. I wanted to present how easily casual thoughtless words could be hurtful, and even lead to tragic consequences. My daughter Erin (age 5 1/2) had seen this episode at least once before. But this time, that aspect of Malcolm's inadvertent damage and Katharine's mistaken blame really grabbed her attention. The injustice of it really troubled her. Which is exactly the response I was looking for. (My kids are so cool. She also noticed Hudson's eye getting injured, and commented on how smart Hudson was to jump off into the waterfall.)

--I love the subtle changes that Jeff, Keith and Marina made in their voices when playing the young Magus, Goliath and Demona. It's interesting to see Demona's progression in hindsight from "Vows" to "Long Way" to "Awakening, Part One" to "City of Stone" to the present day. She really is a fascinating character, if I do say so myself. Here, you see her ambition. But no villainy. Of course, it made for a nice counterpoint with her vicious murderous tendencies in the present day story.

--Throughout production of this episode, I had to keep pointing out to the artists, etc., that the flashbacks all had a point of view, i.e. Hudson's. That Demona and Goliath's "private conversations" could NOT be as private as they thought. Hudson had to know what they were saying about him. Both because it further eroded his confidence in both the past and present (the true demon he had to overcome) and because if he didn't hear those conversations it would be cheating to include them in HIS dreams and flashbacks.

--We also intro'd the ARCHMAGE. A one-shot villain if I ever saw one, except that David Warner was so amazing, I knew I had to bring the character back. When he falls into the chasm, you can just here the Phoenix Gate exploding open down there. (Of course, to some people that sounded like him hitting bottom. Their mistake.)

Continuity:

Brooklyn still has it in for D. Broadway is now Ultra-Protective of Elisa. Hudson has superior tracking skills in the past and the present.

And Demona has clearly focused her hatred on Elisa. (Who, by the way, loses her second gun of the series.) It was important for these early episodes that we fool Demona into thinking that Elisa was dead. Otherwise, how else do we explain why she doesn't just kill her.

Demona at the end, uses her cannon as a club. This was designed to be ambiguous. Did Hudson's sword damage the weapon? Or was Demona just so furious that she wanted the satisfaction of cudgeling the old guy to death? Yeah, it was designed to be ambiguous, but no one ever EVER thought that the gun was damaged. They all assumed Demona just lost it. Which is probably true.

Speaking of that Waterfall thing, that image was important retro-pipe for Hunter's Moon, Part Three. (More on that in 54 chapters.)

Animation-wise, I just wish Demona hadn't come off as such a lousy shot.

I love Hudson and Goliath's last exchange. Goliath assures Hudson that he still has "Years of fighting left". Hudson, glad to be of use, is still less than thrilled at the prospect. It's a great wry beat, but it was also important to me to point out that no rational person would wish to fight like that forever. The gargs, including Hudson, fight the good fight because they have to, because it is their duty, part of their natural protective instincts. But none of them WANT to fight.

As usual, I'd like to encourage responses to this episode here at ASK GREG, particularly how you responded to viewing this for the first time.


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Tana writes...

Greg,

I was just reading some of your responses, and came across one response which made me crack up:

"I think Angela was a virgin even at the time of "The Journey". (Broadway too for that matter.) Not so sure about Ophelia. "

I don't know how many other fans have read Hamlet, or even seen it performed (personally I think reading should be done before viewing). But as it's one of my favorite plays, I found the comment about Ophelia absolutely marvelous. Now I don't read fanfiction, nor do I really write it (I am working on one story as more of a roast towards Stephen Sobatka and Wyrmwolf); but I tell you that one little comment does get the ideas flowing. Like who is our young "hamlet"??

I've always enjoyed all of the Shakespearian refrences, and this little one about Ophelia's purity has definately made a good day out of a bad week. Thnx!

Greg responds...

Uh, Ophelia's mate is Gabriel. Haven't I mentioned that?

Response recorded on March 22, 2000

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Michael Norton writes...

Dear Greg,

1)How would Tom's mother react to his relationship with the Princess?

2)Have you determined exactly why Tom and Katherine never had biological children of thier own?

Greg responds...

1. I think she'd be happy for him, and not a little impressed.

2. Not a lot of fertility specialists on Avalon.

Response recorded on March 21, 2000

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Vashkoda writes...

Hi Greg! Ditto what Jenna just said. I'm going to try to insert a question in here, tho'. Did the third race create Avalon, or did Avalon create the third race? If this question is hard to answer, could you tell me which appeared first? Thanks!

Greg responds...

It's not quite that cut and dry... One didn't create the other.

Response recorded on March 17, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

What's the general feeling among the Avalon Gargoyles concerning Oberon and his children's coming to the island? I'd expect there'd be quite a bit of resentment, especially given Magus' death at the hands of the Sisters...

Greg responds...

I think that there's much uneasyness both ways. But I also think the Children like having a few mortals around. And the clan may simply be glad that they have both a roll (i.e. honor guard, i.e. protection) and the support of Oberon.

I tried, in that little scene in GATHERING PART ONE between Oberon and Katharine to indicate that a pleasant detante had been reached.

Response recorded on March 11, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

I believe you've said that Gabriel will learn he's Coldstone and Coldfire's son (and I think vice-versa as well). To what extent will he *care* about this? As much as Angela cared about her own parentage? Less so? Will he be completely uninterested, considering only the Princess/Guardian/Magus to be his real parents?

Greg responds...

I think he'd care more than, say Broadway. Probably not as much as Angela. The difference is that Coldstone and Coldfire wouldn't care at all. That is, they'd be thrilled that all their children survived. To them, Angela is as much a daughter as Gabriel is a son. They were too distracted to deal with that in Possessions. But if I had been able to get back to that....

Response recorded on March 11, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

This question's also a Norse mythology one. In the cosmology of the Gargoyles Universe, where do you see Asgard fitting in, since the Aesir are part of it? Do you see it as on Avalon, or as a "home away from Avalon" for Odin and the other Norse gods?

Greg responds...

Home away from home.

Response recorded on March 03, 2000

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Michael Norton writes...

How are the two Gargoyles and the vegetation from Guatemala faring on Avalon?

Greg responds...

I imagine the vegetation is fairing well. But Jade and Turquesa are no longer on Avalon. They were needed back on Guatemala, so I think they left Avalon A.S.A.P. Of course, we all know that Avalon sends you where you need to be. So I'm sure they had a few adventures of their own. But I imagine their back in Guatemala by now.

Response recorded on February 20, 2000

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lisa writes...

HI GREG!
you said that when you wrote avalon part one it was to long so some of the scenes were taken out. what were those scenes about?

Greg responds...

First off, I didn't write Avalon, Part One. Lydia Marano did.

I'm sure it was too long. (Most of our scripts were.) But I don't have it with me at this moment, and I don't remember anything in particular that was cut. Probably there were a few little trims here and there. No major scene cuts.

Avalon, Part Two had WAY more cuts.

Response recorded on February 17, 2000

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AWAKENING, PART THREE

Watched this with the family half an hour ago...

More random observations...

RE: Our supporting cast...

Who knew that Brendan & Margot would wind up being so important? Credit Marina Sirtis, for making Margot so gloriously bitchy.

And then there's Vinnie's first appearance on that motorcycle. Of course, no one knew Vinnie existed back then, which is thoroughly appropriate to his character.

And credit Keith David with breathing real life into Morgan the cop. Morgan didn't even have a name then. He was just a place holder, someone for Elisa to respond to. But Keith made me interested in him.

Little things still bug me. Xanatos' floating ponytail in the scene where he and Elisa first meet.

In the Kitchen, the Freezer door was supposed to have one of those easy to open latches on the inside. The irony being that Broadway could easily extricate himself, if he just knew how to operate the latch (or even what it was). Something a kid could do, assuming the kid was born in the 20th century. But BW has to bust down the door.

In the original script and the recording of that script, it's Brooklyn who says "So many wonders..." and it's Broadway who says "Goliath said not to let anybody see us." But in those early days, lots of people in L.A. and in Tokyo kept confusing their names (and Bronx's) so the animation came back as you see it. And it was easier to re-record the voices then to reanimate. (Or am I getting all this totally backwards? I just saw the show again half an hour ago, and already, I'm confused.)

(CAVEAT: In all these little things, I'll probably be pointing out animation errors here and there. But please understand, I think most of the animation we got, particularly from Walt Disney TV Animation - Japan, was brilliant. I think those guys did a great job and don't get enough credit. But anecdotes generally come out of when things go wrong, not when they go right, so it may seem like I'm talking about mistakes more often than not. Sorry, in advance to Roy Sato or anyone else who might take offense.)

When Elisa is first being checked out by the Trio, there was a scene in the original animation where Brooklyn seems inordinantly interested in her behind. We had to call a retake, cuz the guy was practically drooling. I wonder if that's where I got the idea that Brooklyn would fall for anyone in a skirt (or with a tail).

Also, after Goliath saves Elisa from falling off the building we have a point of view shot from her. It begins at Goliath's feet and pans up to his face, as she takes him in. In the original animation, the pan started at his head and panned down. That seemed less effective, so we had our editors reverse the pan, without calling for a retake.

At the end of Act Two, the door slides open revealing Demona in silhouette, clearly plotting something with Xanatos. That always really bugged me. I didn't want to give away that she was alive in this episode. I didn't want to know who Xanatos was talking to. How did you guys react to this? Did that spill everything? Did any of you not know that Demona was alive? Did any of you, by this point, not know that she and Xanatos were the bad guys?

Elisa says something like "This is where Dracula shows up." when she's walking through the corridors of the castle. If you take that literally (and you might as well), then you gotta figure that someday, Dracula will be roaming that very hallway.

Elisa loses the first in her series of guns, when Goliath crushes it near the end of Act One.

Goliath tells a joke: "And please, don't fall off the building this time." Goliath tells a joke. Can you believe it? It wasn't bad either. We should have let him tell jokes more often.

Elisa's surprise that Goliath can talk is indicative of what I thought a 20th (or 21st) century initial response to the gargs would be. That's why Goliath Chronicles' trial episode bugged me so much. I don't think humans would take for granted sentience. And I think most humans, those less open than Elisa, wouldn't even buy talking as enough evidence that the gargs weren't just beasts. (Cf. Margot Yale.)

Goliath is a pretty begruding hero. That's somewhat unique for cartoons. Elisa asks if there are more gargs, and Goliath responds: "Barely." He cuts her very little slack. But already you can see their relationship developing. I still think Hudson's expression after Goliath sweeps Elisa up into his arms is just priceless.

In that same scene, Hudson gets named for the river. I love that scene, as I loved the scene where Tom, Brook and Lex are talking about names. Of course, the desire not to name most of the gargoyles until we got to NYC '94, was mostly pragmatic. It allowed us to use those fun, cool NY names for most of the characters. But once we came up with the rationale for it, and once I managed to explain it to everyone, I really fell in love with the concept. Hudson's lament, here, that humans don't think something is real until they've put there stamp on it, is, to me at least, so damn true. And Elisa's response is so feeble and circular. "Things need names." Pathetic. But I'm no different. <SIGH> I'm such a human. But I aspire to gargoylosity. Anyway, after Hudson points to the river, and Elisa basically tricks him into taking that name, she used to have a line, as I may have mentioned before, where she said (under her breath) "Good thing we weren't facing Queens" -- implication being that Hudson nearly ended up being called Queen, I guess. It was always funny, but S&P didn't care for it, and I couldn't really defend it. So out it went. We tried another version, where she just says, "Good thing we weren't facing East." But it didn't play. So out it went too.

The thing that struck me most, however, was the almost thorough lack of action in this episode. After all that Viking stuff in Part One, and Vikings and a full act of commandos in Part Two, Part Three is a mood and character piece. Sure Elisa falls off a building, but that was a problem easily solved. Until the commandos' Central Park attack in the last seconds of Act Three, nothing else happens that could genuinely qualify as action. That was mostly a result of what was once a four-parter being turned into a five-parter. The reason we made that change is because Michael Reaves wrote a brillaint four-part script. It was amazing. But it was WAY too long. I was faced with either having to make drastic cuts (as I would later have to do in Avalon and Hunter's Moon) or expand it. Fortunately, Gary Krisel and Bruce Cranston saw the wisdom of expansion. For one thing, it would save us money. But also, it made sense because we could run the five parts across a whole week of the Disney Afternoon like a mini-series special event. It wouldn't require us to re-program one day of that first week. So we were all agreed, the four parter would become a five parter.

But that meant adding act breaks, and redividing everything. The episode that most benefited was Part One. In the orignal version, Part One covered all of what is currently part one, plus the first act of what's currently part two, i.e. ALL the Scotland stuff. The episode ended with Goliath's "suicide". A great ending, but we would have obviously had to cut a TON out of the flashback. This way we were able to expand into part two and preserve almost all of the story.

So Part Three winds up being nearly action-free. And by the way, I love that. I still think the episode works great, and it proved to me that the charcters themselves could really hold the audience's attention. (I'm such a proud papa. Unashamedly so. It must be pretty obnoxious.) I wish we had always had the luxury to be so... well, luxurious. To expand and play character. But generally a half-hour format makes it tough. I'm very sick of writing half hours, actually. But the powers that be in Animation believe that kids can't or won't sit through an hour long show.

As usual, I welcome posts here responding to this episode. Both your original reaction to seeing it for the first time, and your current reaction if you've seen it again recently.


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Aris Katsaris writes...

Is Boudicca the only gargoyle beast of the Avalon clan? And does the fact that gargoyle beasts seem even rarer than normal gargoyles mean that their species is in an even worse danger of extinction?

Greg responds...

No, she's not. But the beast species is, generally, in even greater danger of extinction than gargoyles.

Response recorded on February 10, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

How did the Avalon gargoyles learn how to glide? After all, their human foster-parents were obviously in no position to teach them themselves how to do it.

Greg responds...

Trial and error.

Response recorded on February 09, 2000

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MAui writes...

Hi there ;)

Just wondering...where did you guys come up With the Name Bouhdicca? (sp?) thanks alot, have a ncie day ;)

Greg responds...

Boudicca was a Celtic female warrior. I don't actually know that much about her. Brynne Chandler Reaves and/or Lydia Marano chose that name.

Response recorded on February 09, 2000

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Heather N. Allen writes...

I'll mention here that I've reintroduced myself to Gargoyles only this summer via fan webpages and I've managed to get Toon Disney for only a month. Therefore, while not completly updated on every detail of each episode, I do remember quite a bit from the original airdates of them. And if this question has been asked before, forgive me, but I've only frequented Ask Greg for three months. If it's in the archives somewhere, just point the way. SOOO, without further ado...

I remember in a past question where you mentioned recycling characters. (Morgan, Margot and Brendan, Vinnie, etc.) While watching the AVALON episodes, I noticed that many of Angela's rookery sibs were identical to those gargoyles seen in Demona's renagade clan from 2nd century, right down to the clothing. As I understood it, she collected THEM from other clans that were destroyed throughout Scotland. No way for their eggs to end up in Wyvern's rookery, or even on Avalon for that matter.

So, here's the question: were these gargs mearly another batch of recycled characters? And if so, why use them on Avalon? Did you see any kind of conflict coming from this? Or is there another reason altogether that I'm missing entirley?

By the way, I REALLY envy you for having created such a great story, with all these fictional and factual elements mixed in to create the best animated series ever. Wish I'd thought of it :)

Greg responds...

If you're looking for the "Behind the Scenes" answer it's pretty obvious. We couldn't afford to design multiple clans of background gargoyles everytime we did a flashback story or went to Avalon. So we reused the models, figuring most people wouldn't notice.

But there's also a within the Universe explanation that works for me. When a Gargoyle clan gets too large for it's location, it splits and colonizes. The Wyvern Clan had been living in relative peace under Prince Malcolm. In my mind it got up to about 100 or so Gargoyles and Beasts. That was too large a number for Wyvern to sustain, so approximately half of the gargoyle population moved on to found a new colony, start a new clan. But all the eggs were left behind in the established Wyvern rookery. The new colony obviously didn't fair any better than Wyvern ultimately, but Demona collected up a few of its survivors, during the Maol Chalvim/Duncan era.

But some of those survivors left eggs behind at the Wyvern rookery, which explains why there are some look-alikes on Avalon.

As for the clothes.... Give me a break.

Response recorded on February 03, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

This is more of a comment/correction rather than a question. I think that you've miscalculated a date. In a previous Ask Greg question you had said that you had once calculated that the gargs both in Avalon and in the real world will lay eggs at 2008. I think that must have been a mistake on your part: I believe that gargoyles lay egg in their 50th or 49th year (biological 25). That would mean that in Avalon-time 50*24=1200 years. The gargs at avalon should lay their eggs only 1200 real-world years after they were hatched. That in turn means that if they were hatched around somewhere around year 1040, they shouldn't lay eggs until 2240 or something like that...

Anyway thought I should mention this...

Greg responds...

No, that's not right.

God knows it's been years since I did this math, however I think you are operating on faulty assumptions.

Yes, the Avalon eggs hatched in 1044.

Thus by 1995, Angela, Gabriel, Ophelia, et al. would all be biologically twenty years old. That's way past Gargoyle puberty in my book. So what remains is for their internal clocks to be in sync, so to speak, with the natural rhythms of the Earth that would put the females "in heat" (for lack of a better term). That would next occur sometime in late 2007 or early 2008.

That easily puts, say, Ophelia in synch with Angela and Obsidiana out in the real world. The difference comes twenty years later in 2028, when the latter two might again lay eggs. But to Ophelia she would have only just laid her first egg a mere 20 months ago. I don't know whether that's enough recovery time for her, enough time for her own internal cycle -- but in any case her first egg certainly wouldn't have hatched yet.

It's also worth considering whether Ophelia and Angela might have been "in heat" in Avalon in 1988? Maybe they were, and maybe Katharine was preaching abstinence in a major way.

Suddenly, I feel like this is Christine's show. :) [No, I haven't read her fan-fiction, but boy have I heard rumors.]

In any case, for those of you with dirty minds, I think Angela was a virgin even at the time of "The Journey". (Broadway too for that matter.) Not so sure about Ophelia.

Response recorded on February 02, 2000


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