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Humility Spell

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Todd Jensen writes...

This is more an observation than a question, but I decided it was time to share it with you.

We've discussed before the truth of Goliath's saying in "M. I. A." how "human problems become gargoyle problems" - which certainly showed itself several times in the series, such as the struggles over the Scottish throne in the 10th and 11th century affecting the Scottish gargoyles. But more recently, it occurred to me that human conflicts and their consequences, even when they didn't directly involve gargoyles, could impact them.

The example I noted was the struggle over the Roman world between Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C. and the fall of Egypt in 30 B.C., ending with Caesar Augustus firmly in control of Rome. Its outcome definitely affected the gargoyles; I can't imagine Mark Antony and Cleopatra being as shocked by gargoyles waking up from their stone sleep without clothes as Augustus was, certainly not enough to order the Roman Magus to cast the Spell of Humility over them.

Greg responds...


Response recorded on January 04, 2017

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Brendan Cole writes...

Why do the Gargoyles' loincloths turn to stone? Hudson's sword is inconsistently drawn in the comics and TV show as both turning to stone and not at different points, but I assume the latter is the correct interpretation since Xanatos (in the TV show) makes a point of finding a replica of Hudson's sword in order to make a convincing statue of him. Therefore, it seems like their accessories do not turn to stone, yet their clothing does. Why?

Greg responds...

This has been asked and answered MANY times. It's called the "Humility Spell" and we have an entire archive about it here at ASK GREG. For more info, check here: http://gargoyles.dracandros.com/Spell_of_Humility

In fact, the gargoyles wiki is a VERY useful place to get info BEFORE coming here to ask for it.

Response recorded on February 25, 2011

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Todd Jensen writes...

Another comment, rather than a question. I've mentioned before about how well Goliath's statement in "M.I.A.", "Human problems become gargoyle problems" had been borne out so often in the series (especially when we saw how the struggles over the Scottish throne between 971 to 1057 - definitely a human problem - affected the gargoyles in Scotland, not to mention the Quarrymen being ultimately about a human unwilling to face his responsibility for seriously injuring his brother). Recently it occurred to me that the Humility Spell, though not actually a *problem* for the gargoyles (except maybe the occasion when it prevented Brooklyn from recovering Goliath's half of the Phoenix Gate in 997), is also an example of this at work.

We know from your statements (canon-in-training, of course) that the Humility Spell stemmed from Caesar Augustus' wish to improve the morals of the early Roman Empire, which extended to his disapproval of gargoyles awakening in the nude because their clothes were torn apart with their stone skin shells at nightfall. Thus, it's the result of another human problem which came to affect gargoyles worldwide (even gargoyle clans that presumably never even suspected that the Roman Empire existed).

Greg responds...

That's one way to look at it, certainly.

Response recorded on November 19, 2010

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Chip writes...

Some questions bubbled up in my mind while reading Gargoyles Clan-Building, first about the Timedancer arc.
1)Is Fu-Dog’s gold collar affected by the humility spell?

2)Does Katana speak English? I note that she had no lines in “Phoenix” and in the non-canon Radio Play…is the reason she doesn’t speak because she can’t speak English?

3)Somewhat related to question 2, is Brooklyn able to understand the languages of times/places he goes automatically, or does he need to learn them?

Greg responds...

1. It's up to him.

2. She speaks English.

3. I haven't fully decided, but I'm leaning toward the Phoenix compensating magically.

Response recorded on March 05, 2010

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

I have another question about the "Timedance" arc of comics: Brooklyn mentions the Spell of Humility, in a way that made me think at first that he had already visited ancient Rome before coming to medieval Scotland. But most of the rest of this arc makes it seem more like this was his first time-trip.
1. So did the Wyvern gargoyles already know about the Spell of Humility back in the 10th century?
2. Do gargoyles of other clans know about it in 1996? In 2006 you said "I think it's inconsistent common knowledge." and I don't know what that means.

And thank you again for answering questions from fans!

Greg responds...

1. Yes.

2. It means some know about it, some don't.

Response recorded on March 02, 2010