A Station Eight Fan Web Site

Gargoyles

The Phoenix Gate

Ask Greg Archives

Time Travel

Archive Index


: « First : Displaying #11 - #20 of 82 records. : 10 » : Last » :


Posts Per Page: 1 : 10 : 25 : 50 : All :


Bookmark Link

JAC writes...

To elaborate on my last post...if you go back & change something, then there would be no reason to go back, therefore you never did, and nothing changes...ie. Bart would have to have been from a future in which Impulse had already arrived from the future 40 years ago, and the changes he made would be a part of his own.
history.
I swear, its not as complicated as it sounds.

Greg responds...

Wow. I'm sure you don't mean to sound as condescending as you're coming across. I totally understood what you were getting at. And again, it's the way I prefer to handle time travel stories. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S STILL A FICTIONAL CONCEIT. As long as we're being internally consistent about the rules of time travel on Young Justice, then I think we're fine.

Response recorded on November 06, 2012

Bookmark Link

MacLeod writes...

Hey Greg,

Ok so in Gargoyles the Archmage fell into that chasm in 984 and was supposed to die, but didn't. How was it possible for him to save himself? I understand the "future Archmage" came and saved himself in 984, but the Archmage from 984 must have conjured his future incarnation to begin with while he was falling down that chasm, I'm I close? Thanks!!!

Greg responds...

No, you're not. Didn't you JUST ask this question recently? If not you, someone else did. Anyway, "ASKED AND ANSWERED." Check the archives.

Response recorded on May 05, 2011

Bookmark Link

Anonymous writes...

Greg: "The Archmage's ENTIRE LOOP was part of the timestream. [..]

The Archmage NEVER died in that cavern. In ANY incarnation.

[...] it's a WORKING paradox. It does have logic. I did a panel on this at a Gathering once, and it's easier to explain with a chalkboard. But it works. Trust me."

If he never died in the cavern then how did the time loop begin? Just out of the blue future archmage shows up to save his past self? Isn't that Deus Ex Machina?

I'm not trying to provoke you or anything, I just really wish to understand this paradox, especially the part that makes it work. Would it be too much to ask you to doodle that panel and upload it to GargWiki or something? I CAN'T be the only one not understanding this...

Greg responds...

If you want to call it Deus ex Machina, you can. In other words, you can fault the storytelling but not the integrity of the time-loop. ;)

But I don't think it IS Deus ex Machina, except by technicality, BECAUSE of the time-loop. It was inherent in who the Archmage was.

I have no ability to upload a doodle anywhere, I'm afraid.

Response recorded on March 31, 2011

Bookmark Link

Jurgan writes...

"Xander writes...

Can you tell us who was the first (a) person, (b) being and (c) entity to figure out how to work the Phoenix Gate?
Greg responds...

Yes, I can."

Really, you can? I wouldn't think the term "first" could apply to the Phoenix Gate. And I'm not even being sarcastic (well, maybe just a little), but how can something in an infinite loop ever be said to have a beginning or end? Perhaps there's an earliest time it appeared, but odds are it was taken there by someone else, who may have taught this "earliest" person how to use it- in which case, could (s)he really be said to be the first person to have used it? I'm interested in this- do you think of there being a beginning to something like the Phoenix Gate? Or am I just reading way too much into an off-the-cuff smartass remark?

Greg responds...

Mostly, yeah, you're reading too much into it...

BUT.. haven't I already answered this? The first entity to figure out how to work the Gate was the entity that bound the Phoenix IN the Gate.

Response recorded on February 25, 2011

Bookmark Link

Anonymous writes...

I’d like a clarification on the only thing I don’t understand about Gargoyles: Archmage’s time loop.

So, the Archmage didn’t die when he plunged down the chasm because he was saved by his future self, thus changing his inevitable outcome: death. But, the future Archmage could not have travelled back in time to save his past-self in the first place unless the latter had survived naturally, only to age and get the talismans and then travel back and begin the loop. The future Archmage saving his past-self from certain death doesn’t go against the show’s premise of time being immutable? The future Archmage could not have saved his past-self without changing history...

Is this confusing? So is this paradox, but even paradoxes make sense when they adhere to an internal logic, but I can’t find this one. A clarification would make wonders for the throbbing headaches this time loop gives me.

Thanks.

Greg responds...

The Archmage's ENTIRE LOOP was part of the timestream. It changed nothing. It always was. (You're viewing the timestream linearly instead of viewing it as a whole.)

The Archmage NEVER died in that cavern. In ANY incarnation.

And yes, this is a paradox, but it's a WORKING paradox. It does have logic. I did a panel on this at a Gathering once, and it's easier to explain with a chalkboard. But it works. Trust me.

Response recorded on February 09, 2011

Bookmark Link

Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Greg:
In response to Matthew and also to your answer earlier concerning "All You Zombies," doesn't changing what he did (let alone preventing his own birth) also change history? It is part of the past that the character said certain words in a certain order, and not other words. If he chooses to change the words, he must change history also. Isn't this true of Demona in Vows as well? But in Gargoyles, history cannot be changed.

The reason I focused on whether or not the character remembers the words spoken to their past selves is this: when Demona shows up with the Phoenix Gate, the events of her encounter with herself have not actually happened yet. So they appear not to be predetermined. But she remembers what she her future self said to her when she was on the receiving end, and she remembers watching her future self kick Goliath. The events are already in her memory, and therefore part of the history she has already participated in. If she remembers the events, then either her memories are wrong (and were wrong all along) or else the events were part of history. The other possibility I can think of is that when she went back in time, she temporarily forgot her previous encounter with her future self and was free to make it up from scratch.

What I don't follow is how she (or Heinlein's protagonist) can choose not to play along without altering history.

Greg responds...

Nothing prevents you from TRYING to change history. Succeeding is something else. Nothing prevents you from trying to jump off a cliff in order to fly under your own power. Succeeding at flying under your own power is something else.

Again, free will is NOT the same as sudden control over things you never had control over.

There's no forgetting in a mystic sense going on with Demona. (No making it up from scratch.) But it has been a thousand plus years. Her memory is good, but not photographic. She tries to make some changes, and no changes are made. They can CHOOSE not to play along. But they DIDN'T choose not to play along. It's a loop. The fact that the CHOICE itself is part of the loop doesn't negate the choice.

If you're falling off that cliff (not flying) and AT THAT POINT choose not to jump... well, it's a little late. But the fact that you can't change it halfway down the mountain doesn't negate the fact that you made a choice in the first place.

Response recorded on October 02, 2010

Bookmark Link

Matthew writes...

In an earlier post the discussion was about Robert Heinlein's "All You Zombies..." and whether the protagonist had free will or was predestined to carry out his actions in the story. You said he could have chosen to do otherwise. I agree, but I'd like to point out that it wasn't much of choice. If he did not he would not have been born. So whether not he had free will, he had to do what he did to ensure his own existence.

Greg responds...

If existence mattered that much to him. Like any of us, sometimes the choices we're presented with aren't particularly appealing. You're in a burning building. You can jump to your death or burn to death! Choose! (Yeah, not fun. But you get the idea.) Having free will doesn't make you omnipotent in real life, so why would it make you omnipotent in a time travel story?

Response recorded on October 02, 2010

Bookmark Link

Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

I read "All You Zombies" by Heinlein a while ago, based on your recommendation that it demonstrated working paradoxes in time travel, and although it was not recent I decided to finally type up and share what I thought from reading it. First of all, the story creeped me out!

But what I'm writing to you about is free will. Did the main character of that story have free will? On the surface at least, it appears to me that he did not for much of the story. He clearly remembered everything that had happened to him, yet he did not have to option not to seduce himself, or not to catch take past self back in the time machine, nor could he choose to change what he said and did in that bar when he was the bartender. When interacting with his past self, I think he had no choice but to say and do exactly what he remembered seeing his future self doing and hearing his future self saying.

He did have options regarding abducting the baby, mainly because he didn't remember being abducted, but one way or another he had to abduct that baby or get someone else to abduct her: he only had options in how he did it. This is comparable to Goliath time-travelling with Griff in M.I.A. Goliath could not possibly get Griff back to his clan in the 1940s, but he had plenty of options of what he could do instead. In that situation Goliath had far more options than the character in "All You Zombies" had when abducting the baby, but still this is a situation with free will.

But what options does a character really have when meeting their past self, if they DO remember the entire encounter? This is apparently what happened to Demona in Vows. She remembered Goliath's "little speech" (or maybe she was lying to him or to herself, but let's assume she was telling the truth this time) and so she must have remembered what her future self said and did. Does that mean she had no free will to change the encounter with her past self when she went back in time? For example, did she really have free will to change what words she said, or not to kick Goliath? It appears to me that this is a situation where she didn't have free will. When the Archmage(+) told his past self that the future is a place of science, not superstition, and that Demona and Macbeth were only "cannon fodder" he couldn't even have understood what he was saying, let alone invented it himself. In fact his entire bizarre mini-timedance seems to abrogate his free will, because as he said "I should (know what to do), I watched you do it."

Demona's PAST self certainly had free will in Vows, since she did not yet remember the encounter. Likewise, the Archmage clearly had free will during his first pass through his time loop. I would think that any time a character is in a stable time loop, they have free will as long as they are unaware of what "already happened." But when they do remember what happened because their past self is there at the scene, they don't have the option to change what already happened. They already KNOW what happened. If they already know what words they spoke to their past self, then those words are something they remember, not something they are thinking up freely, and they don’t have the option of saying anything different from what they remember.

Am I missing something?

Greg responds...

I tend to disagree with you about the free will thing. Heinlein's character could have chosen NOT to cooperate with his memories. Either because he liked the end result or because he felt oppressed by the inevitability of it all (or some other reason I can't think of at this moment), he CHOSE to play along.

Again, Free Will doesn't mean you get to live the life you want to lead. It means that at best you have the option of STRIVING for the life you want to lead. But some people use their free will to conform. Doesn't mean it's not a choice.

Now, that raises the obvious question: what would have happened to Heinlein's character, to Demona, to the Archmage had they chosen NOT to play along. We'll never know.

Response recorded on September 17, 2010

Bookmark Link

Brian Bartoccini writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman it is me again; 3 days ago I saw Avalon, they are very exiting and interesting episodes but I don't understand how the Archmage survived after the battle in "Long away to morning", can you explain that to me in detail?
Well, I hope again my english it is understandable.
Goodbye Mr. Weisman

Greg responds...

This is in the archives, but BRIEFLY, he was rescued by his future self, who caught him before he hit bottom.

What else do you need to know?

Response recorded on August 18, 2010

Bookmark Link

JANUARY 23

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

January 23rd...

1996
The travelers immediately depart Avalon again, landing in London, where they meet Leo and Una, who remember Goliath from 1940 and blame him for the death of Griff. Goliath is mystified, and uses the Phoenix Gate to travel back in time to 1940, in an attempt to learn the truth and save Griff. He and Griff return to 1996, reuniting Griff with Leo and Una.



: « First : Displaying #11 - #20 of 82 records. : 10 » : Last » :