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Mr. Green writes...

Hello! I am a huge fan of your work. I was wondering, what would have happened if someone were to travel back in time, and keep Macbeth from saving Duncan from falling off the cliff in City of Stone Part Three?

Greg responds...

In the Gargoyle's Universe that isn't possible. It happened, so it happened. We had very strict rules of time travel.

Response recorded on October 02, 2017

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Titus writes...

I found this on the GargsWiki http://gargwiki.net/File:Archmage%27s_time_loop.png

Did you do that? I still don't fully understand it. How did the loop start? Did the future mage pop out of thin air?

Greg responds...

I didn't make that chart, but it looks correct. And it seems pretty clear to me. It's your question that I don't fully understand.

The "future" archmage was enchanted by himself and goes back in time. From the standpoint of the original archmage, it seemed like he emerged from a portal of fire.

Watch the episodes again.

Response recorded on May 15, 2017

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Entropy writes...

Hey Greg, I thought I'd bring up a paradox I thought of regarding YJ, not to criticize the show (I loved the show) but just for fun:

Okay so let's suppose for the sake of discussion that Impulse went back into the past solely to prevent Blue Beetle from going rogue (whether or not this was his only reason remains to be seen). So the reach fails their plan and everything is good. But, we know impulse went back into the past from a dystopic future to prevent said future from ever happening. Now let's say Impulse is able to stop the future from happening. Regardless of whether he can go back to the future or not, the timeline is altered so that the future was never dystopic to begin with, not giving Impulse any reason to go into the past in the first place. What happens to the Impulse already in the past, does he "cease?" The rabbit hole goes deeper. With the future altered, Impulse doesn't go into the past to begin with. So there's no Impulse in the past to fix the dystopic future. So the future becomes dystopic again. So the universe is indetermined. It's in a superposition of states: Dystopic future or happy future. Impulse having to go into the past or not. This is simply a rewording of the grandfather paradox by the way. Let's suppose time travel is possible in the first place (it's not, it's forbidden by the second law of thermodynamics), the ramifications on the universe could be immense, or there could be none at all depending on how the The Young Justice universe works. Just wanted your thoughts on this. Thanks!

Greg responds...

Yeah, I've explored all this in detail. The workings of Time Travel in the DC Universe don't suit my preferences. I prefer the way we did time travel in the Gargoyles Universe. But the way I see it for YJ, is that in essence, Bart came back, and his coming back, split off Earth-16 as a parallel universe. So Bart came back from - in essence - another time line.

Response recorded on April 13, 2017

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Corey writes...

Hello Greg,

My question deals with the mutability of time in the Gargoyles universe. The archives and TV series indictate that time loops are part of the timestream, there are no alternate timelines, and history cannot be changed (If I am missing anything or am being inaccurate, feel free to chastise me accordingly). However, I also remember you saying that the younger Demona could have acted differently then her future self, as could the non-Enhanced Archmage.

So then my question is if history is immutable due to the free actions of the characters or the mechanics of the universe (for want of a better term)? As you said in a previous post, freewill does not give you the ability to do whatever you want in any situation but that a character can strive for greater goals and independence (Please forgive my paraphrasing and or if I misunderstood). Characters like Demona, Xanatos, and the Archmage, knew (to varying extents) their future and (directly or indirectly) chose to act in such a way as to bring these outcomes about. If that is the case then, in theory, history could have been changed but, as it never was, it never can be. However, if reality is such that certain things must always happen as they are crucial to the integrity of the timestream, then freewill is illusory. Every action one takes will always lead them to an outcome they only believed they chose as they could not chose any other option. However, the former interpretation makes it so that, ironically, predestination is the product of life choices of living beings. If I am misunderstanding or letting my own opinions skew facts I apologize and thank you for your time.

Greg responds...

Paragraph One: No, I never said that. I may have said that the younger Demona THOUGHT she could alter her timeline. But she couldn't.

Paragraph Two: No. Free will exists. Forget time travel for a moment. Yesterday you ordered eggs and bacon for breakfast. That was your choice. No one made you do it. Looking back, you wish you had ordered oatmeal. You can't change it now. Too late, right? But that doesn't mean you didn't have free will at the time. It just means you're not omnipotent. So if one-day-older you goes back in time to convince one-day-younger you to change your order, you will fail. Because you can't alter the time stream. But that doesn't mean that (a) one-day-younger you STILL didn't exercise freewill in ordering the bacon he wanted in the time, nor does it mean (b) that one-day-older you isn't exercising free will in attempting to get you to switch to oatmeal. Free will is about choices. Not success.

Response recorded on July 13, 2016

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Max writes...

Hey Greg! My question is in regards to the letters sent by Xanatos in Vows:
1. What details were included in the first letter? Did he just say "here is a coin" or were stock tips or other future knowledge included?
2. Who did young David think sent the letter? Could someone as intelligent as X really leave that alone for 20 years?
3. Are the letters constructs of the time stream or out of David's head? Did he read (or copy) the originals before traveling back in time?

Greg responds...

1. Just the coin, basically, as I recall. It's been a while since I've rewatched the episode.

2. He never knew. He may have searched on and off for an answer, but didn't find one until the second letter came.

3. He probably had them memorized. So the content may in fact have been born with the time stream.

Response recorded on May 06, 2016

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My CONvergence 2014 Schedule

So the #Gargoyles20 U.S. Tour continues. Stop #3 is CONvergence in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Well, actually in Bloomington, Minnesota, but close enough.) http://www.convergence-con.org

This is a big one for us. It includes a number of events that we used to do at the old Gathering of the Gargoyles Conventions, which ran from 1997-2009. And I know a bunch of Gargoyles fans will be attending, so it'll also be a reunion of sorts.

My schedule for the long weekend is quite packed - which is just how I like it!

THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2014
2:00pm - 3:00pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS
Ever wanted to be in a radio play? Now is your chance! We are holding auditions for a live performance at CONvergence! You don't even have to be a fan of Gargoyles to enter. You just have to know how to read! Casting: Myself and Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice). Casting decisions will be posted by 7:00pm on Friday, July 4th. ATRIUM 7.

3:30pm - 4:30pm BUFFYVERSE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Okay, so Gargoyles ISN'T the only show celebrating an anniversary. The Buffy/Angel universe has been off the air for ten years. Let's reminisce and talk about the impact these shows have had on TV fantasy since their cancellation. Panelists: Myself, Tim Lieder, Cetius d'Raven, Madeleine Rowe, Mark Goldberg. EDINA.

7:00pm - 8:00pm OPENING CEREMONY
If it's not exactly a magical invocation, it is nonetheless our official kick-off for the convention! Join CONvergence mascot Connie as we welcome our Guests of Honor, give out some awards (including the Mark Time and Ogle winners), and get this party started. Panelists: Myself, Amy Berg, Emma Bull, C. Robert Cargill, Sarah Clemens, Scott Lynch, Marina Sirtis, Frank Paur, Matthew Ebel, Dawn Krosnowski, Greg Guler, Rob Callahan, Windy Bowlsby, Michael Lee. MAIN STAGE.

9:00pm - 10:00pm GREG WEISMAN'S FANCY BASTARD PIE COMPETITION
Geek Partnership Society is excited to host the Greg Weisman Fancy Bastard Pie Competition at CONvergence 2014! It is open to all CONvergence members who wish to participate. The goal is to make a pie that Greg Weisman, herein to be known as "Fancy Bastard", likes best. The winner will be told super-secret Young Justice spoilers. Find out [some of] what would have happened in Season 3! (But winner must swear to secrecy to claim prize.) See below for some helpful hints.* CABANA 110.

FRIDAY, JULY 4th, 2014
11:00am - 12:00pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS
Ever wanted to be in a radio play? Now is your chance! We are holding auditions for a live performance at CONvergence! You don't even have to be a fan of Gargoyles to enter. You just have to know how to read! Last chance to audition! Casting: Myself and Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice). Casting decisions will be posted by 7:00pm on Friday, July 4th. ATRIUM 7.

12:30pm - 1:30pm FROM TV TO COMICS
We'll discuss the TV shows that expanded into the comicverse, such as Buffy, Smallville, Young Justice and Gargoyles. Did they succeed? Were any of the comics improvements on the shows? How did canon change during the transition? Panelists: Myself (Gargoyles, Young Justice), Shawn van Briesen, Jonathan Palmer, Greg Guler (Gargoyles), Karine Charlebois (Gargoyles, Bad Guys), Christopher Jones (Batman Strikes, Young Justice, Bad Guys). PLAZA 2.

2:00pm - 3:00pm SIGNING
Myself, Christopher Jones (Young Justice, The Batman Strikes, Parallel Man) and Greg Guler (Gargoyles, Phineas and Ferb) will be holding a signing session. Both Chris and Greg always have an array of stuff (books, prints, etc.) to sell and sign. But this time I'm pretty darn prepared as well. First off, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE - especially if you buy my book. ;) CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

3:30pm - 4:30pm CREATING GARGOYLES
This is what we used to call (at the Gathering) the Rocky Horror Gargoyles Show. The creators of Gargoyles show clips and tell stories of how the show came to be. Lots of visual aids. Panelists: Myself (Creator, Supervising Producer/Story Editor, Writer), Frank Paur ( (Supervising Producer/Director), Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer). ATRIUM 6.

7:00pm - 8:00pm TIME TRAVEL THEORY
Let's assume for a moment that Time Travel is possible. This panel will explore the theories behind such technology. We'll explore quantum realities, temporal anomalies and all other challenges our theoretical time travelers will be face! [Now, I suggested this panel, but then they went and put some actual scientists on the damn thing. So I may quickly be embarrassed into silence.] ;) Panelists: Myself, Nicole Gugliucci, Jim Kakalios, G. David Nordley, Amy Berg. ATRIUM 4.

8:30pm - 9:30pm GARGOYLES Q&A
Join the cast and creators of the "Gargoyles" series and SLG companion comic books to ask and talk about the property. And, as always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Myself (Creator, Supervising Producer/Story Editor, Writer), Christopher Jones (Bad Guys guest artist), Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona and Margot Yale), Frank Paur (Supervising Producer/Director), Karine Charlebois (Gargoyles Guest Artist, Bad Guys Artist), Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer, Gargoyles Guest Artist). MAIN STAGE.

SATURDAY, JULY 5th, 2014
9:30am - 10:30am GARGOYLES SIGNING
Myself, Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona and Margot Yale) and Frank Paur (Supervising Producer/Director) will be holding a signing session. Again, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

11:00am - 12:25pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY REHEARSAL
This is a closed session - for those who were cast in the Radio Play - led by Myself, Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice) & Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona, Margot Yale and Queen Bee). ATRIUM 6.

12:30pm - 1:30pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY PERFORMANCE
Fans and professionals - including Myself (voice of Donald Menken and Lucas "Snapper" Carr), Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice), and of course, Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi from Star Trek TNG and the voice of Demona, Margot Yale and Queen Bee) - perform a LIVE, ORIGINAL Gargoyles radio play! ATRIUM 6.

2:00pm - 3:00pm GARGOYLES BIOLOGY AND CULTURE
A "what if" panel about the biology and culture of the Gargoyles universe. Creators and performers speculate about anything and everything going on outside the frames of the TV series. Panelists: Craig A. Finseth moderates Myself (Creator, Producer) and Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer). ATRIUM 7.

3:30pm - 4:30pm RAIN OF THE GHOSTS
I'll be reading from and talking about the world and characters of my novel "Rain of the Ghosts" and its sequel, "Spirits of Ash and Foam," which comes out July 8th, 2014, one week after the convention! ATRIUM 3.

7:00pm - 8:00pm ONE ON ONE WITH GREG WEISMAN
Hal Bichel will moderate a one-on-one panel with Myself. PLAZA 2.

8:30pm - 9:30pm SIGNING
Once again, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

10:00pm - 11:00pm BLUE MUG
Ever wonder about the sexual habits of Gargoyles? Ever wonder who was sleeping with whom among the Young Justice Team or the cast of Spectacular Spider-Man? Join us for for a late night peek at your favorite animated series. This panel will get blue! (So attendees will be carded!) Panelists: Myself, Christopher Jones, Mara Cordova (Last Tengu in Paris Artist). It is also rumored that Edmund Tsabard (an unfancy bastard and Last Tengu in Paris Writer) may make an appearance. EDINA.

SUNDAY, JULY 6th, 2014
11:00am - 12:00pm PROTOFEMINISTS IN SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare portrayed several intelligent, independent, and self-aware women--Juliet, Lady Macbeth, Katharine, Beatrice, Viola, Rosalind. We'll discuss the problematic and the remarkably (for the era) fleshed-out aspects of their representation. Panelists: Myself, Elizabeth Bear, Ashley F. Miller, Joseph Erickson, Alexandra Howes. EDINA.

12:30pm - 1:30pm GARGOYLES FAN PANEL
It's the 20th Anniversary of Gargoyles. Come share your favorite moments from the show. As always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Daniel Mohr moderates Myself, Ryan Alexander, Robert Wagner, Maggie Schultz, Jennifer Anderson, Karine Charlebois. ATRIUM 6.

2:00pm - 3:00pm SIGNING
Myself and Greg Guler (Gargoyles, Phineas and Ferb) will be holding one last signing session. Greg G. always has an array of stuff (books, prints, etc.) to sell and sign. And I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE - especially if you buy my book. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

3:30pm - 4:30pm YOUNG JUSTICE
Creative minds behind the Young Justice TV and comic book series will talk about this fan favorite. We're planning some special surprises as well. And, as always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Myself, Marina Sirtis (voice of Queen Bee), Christopher Jones (Artist YJ Comic). MAIN STAGE.

5:00pm - 6:00pm CLOSING CEREMONY
It's not over 'til the gynoid sings - or something like that. Join CONvergence mascot Connie and our Guests of Honor as we say farewell to another convention. Shenanigans may ensue. Panelists: Myself, Amy Berg, Emma Bull, C. Robert Cargill, Sarah Clemens, Scott Lynch, Marina Sirtis, Matthew Ebel, Frank Paur, Dawn Krosnowski, Greg Guler, Windy Bowlsby, Rob Callahan, Michael Lee. MAIN STAGE

SEE?!! I told you there was a lot. And that's only the stuff that I'm doing. CONvergence is jam-packed with all sorts of pop culture nutritional goodness. So stop by and say hello!!

*In the interest of Full Disclosure, Fancy Bastard would like all to know that he especially likes the following pies:
APPLE
BERRY (pretty much any kind of berry or a mix of same)
PEACH
APRICOT
PUMPKIN
BANANA CREAM (herein to be known as the funniest pie)
Combinations of some of the fruit pies can be great. Contestants are welcome to try other pies at their own risk.

Fancy Bastard does NOT especially like the following pies:
PECAN
Anything with Chocolate or Lemon or Meringue
Raisins in Apple Pie
Almost never Cherry, though he has tasted the rare exception...


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NoOneSpecial writes...

Okay so I have to be REALLY careful about how I ask this question. If you cant understand my meaning then its probably my own fault and for that I'm sorry, but I thought this was a very interesting concept. It's about xanatos's letter to himself.
Here we go. So in Vows, Xanatos travels back in time and sends himself the coin that he will eventually use to amass his fortune. He also sends a letter that is to be delivered to himself twenty years after the coin which explains how he has to get the coin, which as he said in the episode he received that very letter a week before the wedding. So I guess the best way I can phrase this is, is that the EXACT same letter and by same I mean the same piece of paper. The way I see it that letter is over a thousand years old and must be pretty worn(unless of course it was carefully preserved). So when xanatos gets the letter, does he just send back the same one he got or copy the information on a new piece of paper and send that back instead? If its the first one then that piece of paper must keep accumulating age to it. He sends it once, its over a thousand years old. He sends it a second time, its another thousand years old, and so on. So the piece of paper could eventually become so worn that it would be either unreadable or destroyed. So does xanatos just make a new letter every time he gets it or send back the one he received? PS loved rain of ghosts, hope you get to make all nine books.

Greg responds...

It was carefully preserved by the Illuminati.

In the past, he wrote the original. He doesn't reuse it.

Glad you liked Rain! If you haven't already, could you do me a favor and write up a review on Amazon?

Response recorded on May 13, 2014

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Because im Batman writes...

How is it possible that Impulse is still present in the 2016 timeline? he time-travelled to achieve an objective (i.e. stop the reach apocalypse) and with that objective achieved there wouldn't have been a reason for him to time-travel in the first place, thereby creating a paradox which would have erased impulse from the 2016 time line and placed him back in his own 'altered' timeline (where the reach apocalypse was prevented). Time travelling gives me a headache :(

Greg responds...

Me too sometimes. But this is basically ASKED AND ANSWERED already. Check the archives under Young Justice Invasion or Time Travel.

Response recorded on October 16, 2013

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Anonymous writes...

Since the concept of time travel has been introduced I was wondered if you view time travel as more of a circular thing (events that repeat themselves and are unchangeable) or more like J.J. Abrams Star Trek where time travel creates an alternate reality?

Greg responds...

It depends which series you're talking about. I've gone on ad nauseum about time travel in Gargoyles, and I've even answered this question vis-a-vis Young Justice. (HINT: They utilize two different theories of time travel.) Check the ASK GREG archives.

Response recorded on April 12, 2013

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Rob In Chicago writes...

Hey Greg,

Once again, you and your team are incredible. Each new episode of YJ is better than the last. I'm sure that you are bummed about the unscheduled hiatus, but I (and I'm sure everybody else who has followed you since Gargoyles) will be there Jan 5th, feeling like it is Christmas morning. Perhaps absence will make the heart grow fonder. But enough of the propers, as I've had a question that I've been wanting to ask you for months.

1) Have you seen Looper? If not I STRONGLY suggest that you do. I would imagine it is right up your ally.

2) If so, I wanted to hear your take on the time travel aspects. How does its interpretation of multi-verse/multiple timelines mesh with your working theory on Gargoyles. You have talked at length about working vs non-working paradoxes. As the movie suggests, "I don't want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws." So, let's face it, it isn't an exact science.

2)Obviously, it doesn't hold true to your interpretation, based on the ending (I'm not going to spoil it for anyone here), but do you think that it implies a working or non working paradox? If you see it and are like "WTF?", there is a great piece online, where they actually lay it out with straws that I would suggest.

Just wanted to see if you had checked it out and get your spin.

Thanks once more to you and your team (and The Team) for Young Justice. I have a feeling that it is going to come back to serious fanfare and you'll be answering questions about Bibbo's blood type for years to come. At least I hope so.

Happy New Year! I know this next one will be a big one for you!

P.S. You teased something about Gargoyles a few weeks ago... anything? Just a tiny taste? A morsal for a long time fan?

Greg responds...

1. I have not.

2. (You had two question twos.) But since I haven't seen the movie, I can't respond to either.

P.S. I did? I seriously don't recall. What did I say?

Response recorded on March 12, 2013

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.


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DECEMBER 30

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 30th...

1995
Macbeth and Demona attack the humans and gargoyles at Oberon's Palace, while the Magus faces off against the Weird Sisters at the Hollow Hill, and Goliath and Angela seek out the Archmage at the Grotto. At first things look grim, but Princess Katharine defeats Demona with help from Ophelia, the Guardian, Elisa Maza, Gabriel, Bronx and Boudicca. King Arthur Pendragon also defeats Macbeth, and the Magus captures the Weird Sisters, though it fatally weakens him. Goliath battles the Archmage, who uses the Phoenix Gate to bounce them around through Time and Space. But the Archmage cannot shake Goliath, and returns to the present, where Goliath succeeds in removing the Eye of Odin from his brow. Without the Eye, the energy from the Grimorum Arcanorum burns the Archmage to death from the inside out. The battle is over.


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NOVEMBER 6

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 5th...

1994
Owen tells Xanatos the results of his Gargoyles vs. The Pack experiment. With Fox and Wolf under arrest, The Pack television series is quickly cancelled. Dingo flees to Europe.

1995
Fox arrives at the Eyrie with Xanatos' father, Petros. That night, Goliath decides to attend the wedding. He brings his half of the Phoenix Gate along. Fox and David are married. Demona tricks Goliath into giving her his half of the Gate. She then uses it to travel back in time to the year 975. Goliath, David, Fox and Petros Xanatos go too. Seconds later, they return, having fulfilled their roles in the time-stream. That same night, Thailog, who had intentionally been kept hidden from Goliath, initiates his plan to steal $20 million from Xanatos.

1996
5:32am EST - [withheld]

6:00am EST - [withheld]


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NOVEMBER 1

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 1st...

975
Using the Phoenix Gate, Goliath, Demona, David Xanatos, Petros Xanatos and Fox come back in time from the year 1995. Demona immediately uses the Gate to disappear again. Xanatos saves the life of Princess Elena of Normandy. He is rewarded with a coin, which he gives to the Norman Ambassador, a fellow member of the Illuminati Society. The 1995 Goliath encounters the 975 Hudson. The 975 Demona is studying under the Archmage as his apprentice. He instructs her to steal the Phoenix Gate from Princess Elena, which she does. But then she is confronted by the 1995 Demona and Goliath. After a brief trip for all three to 994, the 975 Demona returns them to her time and winds up on the outs with the Archmage. She breaks the Phoenix Gate in two and gives half of it to the 975 Goliath at the wedding of Malcolm and Elena. Meanwhile, all the 1995 participants return to their own time.

1975
David Xanatos receives an anonymous gift of a medieval coin worth $20 grand. It is the start of his fortune, and was actually sent to David by his 1995 counterpart, via the Illuminati Society from the year 975.

1995
A fully-grown Thailog is released from his maturation chamber and takes up residence at the Eyrie Building. Xanatos receives a letter from the Illuminati Society. It is from himself, sent in the year 975. It explains that he sent himself the medieval coin that was the basis of all his wealth. The letter also explains how he set this all up by turning his wedding to Fox into a time travel excursion to 975.

1996
Xanatos gets a new assignment from Quincy and the Illuminati. Hudson confirms he is a gargoyle to Robbins. Thailog and the clones fight the Manhattan Clan. During the battle, Thailog gets DNA samples from Goliath, Angela, Broadway, Lexington, Elisa, Brooklyn, Hudson and Bronx. Delilah, Malibu, Burbank and Hollywood reject Thailog, but Brentwood chooses to depart with him. Thailog gives the DNA to Sevarius and gains a new personal assistant, Shari. Doctor Sato treats Goliath. Goliath and Elisa declare their love for each other.


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OCTOBER 1

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

October 1st...

994
Just before dawn, Goliath and Hudson discover that they have been following only a small contingent of Vikings; the rest must be preparing to attack the castle. The two gargoyles turn to stone before they can get back. Simultaneously, Demona nearly warns Othello and Desdemona, but changes her mind as she sees the Vikings approach. Instead, she hides at the foot of Wyvern cliff, where she turns to stone as the sun rises. Hakon attacks. The archers' sabotaged bows are useless, and the Captain opens the main gate, allowing the Vikings to enter Castle Wyvern, which is sacked. The humans, including Katharine, the Magus, Mary and Tom are led away bound. Hakon then sets about to destroy the gargoyles, including Othello, Desdemona, Iago and Hyppolyta. The Captain is "unable" to stop him. When the sun goes down again, Demona awakens to discover that the Wyvern Clan have been massacred. When she sees Goliath and Hudson returning, she cannot face them and flees before they can discover the massacre. The only other survivors seem to be the Trio and Bronx, who were in the Rookery. The survivors head for the Viking camp to take their revenge. When Hakon and the Captain hear the gargoyles approaching, they take Katharine as a hostage. The Magus mistakenly assumes that the Princess is dead. Blaming the gargoyles, he casts a spell on all but Goliath putting them to sleep "until the castle rises above the clouds." Meanwhile, Goliath confronts the Captain and Hakon atop a cliff. He rescues the Princess, and the two villains fall to their deaths. But when Goliath discovers that the rest of his clan has been turned to stone, he asks the Princess to watch over the eggs in the Rookery and asks the Magus to cast his spell one more time. Goliath is turned to stone with the others and placed atop Castle Wyvern. Demona later returns to the castle to find Goliath frozen in stone. She watches the Magus, Tom and Princess Katharine removing the eggs from Wyvern. She departs for good. Katharine dubs Tom the Guardian of the Gargoyle Eggs. Katharine, the Magus, Tom, Mary and the rest of Wyvern's human inhabitants take the eggs and leave the cursed castle to live under the protection of Katharine's uncle, King Kenneth II. Seconds later, three time travelers arrive in 994: the Demona of 1995 has brought the Demona of 975 along with the Goliath of 1995 to see the results of the massacre. But the 1995 Demona fails to convince the 975 Demona to take up her evil cause. The time travelers depart, returning to 975.

1995
Xanatos proposes to Fox and gives her the Eye of Odin as an engagement gift. She accepts both his proposal and the Eye. Alexander Fox Xanatos is most likely conceived on this night.


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Dan writes...

Hi Greg. Wanna thank you for doing Ask Greg, so few people are willing to take time to discuss their series like this (and I enjoy reading the Gathering write-ups you do). If only Invasion America got that treatment... Books never finished the series. I digress. I have two questions I was hoping you could answer.

1. Since the phoenix gate has a cyclical existence throughout history, it only goes so far back in time and only up to a certain date in the future (which would be whenever Brooklyn was leaving the latest date he traveled to I suppose). Is there a reason that the gate is constricted to a specific time range?

2. While Brooklyn traveled to times in his future did he try to avoid learning about events that affected his clan? After returning home it might be kind of awkward to know exactly how your friends will die and what events will claim them...

Thanks.

Greg responds...

1. I don't know how to answer this without confirming parts of your question which are not confirmable and/or not correct and/or I don't want to confirm.

2. Yes.

Response recorded on June 28, 2007

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Loralee Dawson writes...

OK In the episode Vows, Xanatos says he is a 'self made man' and shows how he sent himself the money. Then how he got a letter 20 years later on how he did it and to re-do it ect. But how did it happen ORIGINALLY. Like the 1st time wouldn't he of been poor. And never of been able to awake the Gargoyles in the 1st place?

Greg responds...

Ahhh... time travel.

There is no "first time". The timestream exists. Whole. Just is.

For more on this, check the ASK GREG archives under "Time Travel".

Response recorded on June 08, 2007

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Danny Dyche writes...

My view about time travel isn't the same as what "Gargoyles" uses. I think it's more likely that going back in time creates a new universe independent from the original, with no need to account for causality paradoxes. Still, despite this and a mild annoyance at the "jalapena" thing, I rather like the series and hope you get to tell all of your remaining stories.

Greg responds...

Thanks.

Response recorded on March 09, 2007

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Jen writes...

In the episode Vows, why does Demona bother trying to change what her younger self did to prevent the massacre? You cannot change history, so I don't understand her motivation. You could say she didn't know that rule but I would expect that a soceress that has lived for over a thousand years would know that.

Also she would have remembered everything that happened to her when she was younger (though maybe her memory would be rusty after a 1000 years but she does tell Goliath that she remembers her speech) so what would be the logic and motivation for her to go into the past if she knows she failed and act exactly how she remembered and FAIL like she remembered. Did she only go because she had to go because she remembered it happening? The whole time being fixed says she had to go to remember failing, but that still doesn't explain her motivation for doing something she knew wouldn't work out. Or perhaps her motivation was to see herself as innocent again? To remember why she did what she did at the last wedding she attended with Goliath? Agh...this turns into a big wouldn't one cancel out the other and get all confusing thing...

Also considering that Demona is a thousand years old, what did she do for all that time? The some of it is shown in the episodes, but nothing really after the whole hunter thing and macbeth, and that was a long time ago. Wouldn't a thousand years be enough time for her to travel around the world and find other clans so she would not have ended up so alone?

Also really old characters always bother me. I know you cannot assume that wisdom comes with great age, but I wonder how someone could live that long and not really mature at all? I guess that adds to the insanity, that everything else changes and you don't so that would add to her whole "alone" complex and anger.

Heh sorry for the long question/ramble...

Greg responds...

Demona was hoping that you COULD change history. Since the Gate was broken, there wasn't any time travel in her long past to know for sure how the system worked. She was hoping she could avoid Goliath's appearance. She knew he showed up, but she didn't know how that happened, so she was hoping... hoping...

It's interesting that Demona is so full of hope. Hmmmmm.... Maybe it's just denial.

I won't pretend I've mapped out ALL of Demona's 1000 years, but I have a few key events in mind. As to her stunted growth... well, I know a lot of wise old people myself. And I know a lot of wise old idiots too. So I based her on REAL LIFE. ;)

Response recorded on January 08, 2007

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Lisa writes...

First of all, I love Gargoyles, and still watch them to this day. I've been watching since it was aired, and I'll be watching my tapes until the day I die. Anyways, I've never really understood the episode M.I.A. Una and Leo recognize Goliath when he arrives, but Goliath has no idea who they are. Goliath then uses the Phoenix Gate to travel back in time to try and save Griff, and figure out what is going on. Goliath saves Griff, brings him back to the 1990's, and all is well. Goliath then tells Elisa that he 'first had to travel back in time to meet them' (Una and Leo). But I don't understand. Supposedly, he was frozen in stone when he met Griff, Una and Leo. So how would they (Una and leo) have known him? It doesn't make sense. If you could explain, it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Greg responds...

Sigh. (I sigh because if the explanation -- let alone the demonstration of that explanation -- from the episode wasn't clear, I'm unlikely to be able to make it clearer for you in writing here and now.)

Yes, Goliath was frozen in stone in Scotland during WWII.

But in the 1990s, THAT Goliath (the Goliath of the 1990s) went back in time and met Leo and Una and Griff DURING WWII. So they met him THEN. But he (the Goliath of the 1990s) hadn't met them yet, when they first encountered him AGAIN outside the magic shop at the beginning of the episode.

As he said, first HE had to go back in time to meet them.

It's a time loop. What I call a "Working Paradox".

It's easy to draw a picture of on a piece of paper, so come to the GATHERING in Los Angeles this summer, and I'd be happy to demonstrate.

Response recorded on November 04, 2005

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David Olsen writes...

I'm pleased to see that you would take time, out of what must assuredly be a busy schedule of yours, to answer fans questions via the internet. I don't know of any other creators of television shows who do that.

I've checked the archives (though not absolutely thoroughly; so much information is rather intimidating to sort through) and I believe I might have a question no one has asked yet. In regards to the mechanics of the Phoenix gate, a ball of flame usually engulfs the user and those with him. However, in "Past Tense" Goliath creates the flame away from him to send the Phoenix Gate through without going through time and space himself. So, can the user of the Phoenix Gate always cause time/space vortices (for lack of a better term) external to himself? Or must the Phoenix Gate always go through the flaming sphere if travelers are to be transported elsewhere?

I realize you won't get to this question for about 2 more years. Maybe a DVD will be out by then.

Greg responds...

DVD's out. Another one's coming.

The Gate generally creates the flame around it, but by this time, Goliath had used it enough to generate an element of control, which allowed him to put the flame off a few yards. But the Gate always goes through the vortex. Perhaps the gate is what shuts it.

I hope that answers your questions.

Response recorded on October 05, 2005

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Fan o' Gargoyles writes...

Hey Greg, its me again, I got a question for you I keep forgeting to ask. (Hope you can answer it)

the Gargoyles were completly devistaded by the loss of there clan in 994, so why didnt they try to go back in time and try to erase that event once they obtained the phenox gate?

I know the past is hard to change but it is possible (they did it with Griff)

Well, i was just courious thanx for trying to answer

Greg responds...

They didn't change the past with Griff, they played into it. Griff didn't die in WWII, he disappeared. So Goliath disappeared him to the present.

The gargs in 994 were massacred. Goliath learned he could NOT change the past.

Response recorded on March 16, 2004

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Joshua P. Christie writes...

Hi Greg- first time posting but a well educated fan of the show. I am now in the process of showing the series to my girlfriend and she recently posed a question following 'M.I.A.' that even I cannot justify or find an answer for. Question being, if Goliath is able to utilize the Phoenix Gate to return to the past and save Griff by bringing him to the present day, then why is it he cannot use the Gate to return to Scotland prior to the slaughter of the clan and bring them into the present where they may be alive with the remaining gargoyles?

Now I have exhausted the archives and I realize that this question has been asked before although not in this exact scenario. Problem is that people are writing essays on the subject in rough draft form and thus their respective points, along with your answers/explanations, are lost to me.

Now, knowing full well that history cannot be altered, the closest thing to an answer I found was you citing that Goliath did not in fact change the past but rather fulfilled it. To the effect of Leo and Una having recognized Goliath from 1940 demonstrates it was not anybody elses history being altered but rather Goliath playing out his role in something that already had happened TO HIM.

Armed with that, it still makes no logical sense to me. First off, if Goliath had in fact saved Griff once before, why did he have no recollection of him, the war, Una, or Leo? Also, in 1940, wasn't Goliath still in stone sleep as
Xanatos had not yet found them and broke the spell? If that is the case, how could have Goliath ever been there to fight alongside Griff in the first place?

Perhaps the answer is that the line between altering the past and fulfilling it is a fine one given all of the intricacies of time travel. Anything you might wish to
expound on this matter would be of great appreciation Greg.

Greg responds...

It hadn't happened to Goliath already, but it HAD happened in the past to Una and Leo already. Goliath then went back and fulfilled the role that from there point of view he had already played but from his perspective he had yet to do.

His 1940 self was unaffected. His 1940 self was indeed frozen in stone sleep. But his 1996 self went back in time. In essence for a few short hours, there were TWO Goliaths in Great Britain. One flying over London, one frozen in stone in Scotland.

The past was not altered. Goliath going back to Wyvern solves nothing because those gargs were not saved. They did not "disappear" as Griff did in 1940. They were reduced to rubble by Hakon and his men in 994. We saw this -- or at least the start of it. So we know it cannot be altered.

(I know I promised not to get snippy, but I swear I feel like I JUST answered this question, and that it was phrased in almost the exact same way. Is this a double post?)

Response recorded on November 13, 2003

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RAMpage writes...

In Avalon Part 3(I think) after the, shall we say, "newer" Archmage uses the Phoenix Gate to travel back in time to get... well, himself, the "older" Archmage says something along the lines of " I thought he would never leave" then promptly goes off to face Goliath and the others alone only to fail. If the whole point of getting his doppelganger was to attack en force to take over Avalon, why did he do the final battle alone? Also, when the Archmage returned with himself, did he ever wonder where his older self had gone to?

Greg responds...

The point was NOT to get a doppleganger to attack "en force". The point was to get himself up to his level of power. To complete the time loop.

I don't understand your second question. But I'm guessing you don't understand the loop.

Response recorded on October 30, 2003

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Chapter XLIII: "M.I.A"

Time to ramble...

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

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

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

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

INTO THE MYSTIC

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

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

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

And Erin: "Those aren't masks."

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

LONDON

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

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

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

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

SOHO

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

Their attack is very reminiscent of Awakening 3.

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

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

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

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

We go inside and see the portrait of Griff.

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

UNA

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

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

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

AWKWARD MOMENTS

Two of them.

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

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

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

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

WWII

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRIFF

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

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

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

TIMELOOPINESS

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

So, hey, she got it!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DOGFIGHTS

Everything I could have asked for.

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE WORLD TOUR

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

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

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


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Cha-Cha writes...

Seline: "Are you mad? The Eye and the Gate were forged on the island..."
--Avalon: Part Two

Who forged the Gate? Were they human or one of the children?

Greg responds...

The gate forged itself out of flame. Or out of the timestream or whatever. Think of a Phoenix.

Response recorded on August 21, 2003

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Vanity writes...

Time Travel Question/Fate vs. Free will

1. Time flows in one direction. To travel back is merely to go on the bank run up stream and jump in up there. No matter what you do though, you will flow down stream back to the point where you were when you got out. You will see the same trees and scenery as you did previously. The river will not change that. I think that is a fitting anology, after all historical events are just scenery. They only act as landmarkers.

1-B: That being said I see that where ever you decided to get out of the river on to the bank. (Which as far as I am concerned is mostly impossible do to the force of the water and steepness of the bank. Not that somebody will not be able or has not been able to do it). But once you jump back in you will have in effect stopped the river. It can no longer push beyond the point of where you got out. Because the bank is where the scenery is and once you jump out you become the scenery for however long you wait or far as you run upstream. So every time you flow back to that point where you had gotten out you will have to get out again, as that was the scenery and now will always be the scenery for that duration of the river bank. Others may or may not know you got out and their lives would go on only untill you jumped in because the river never revealed anything up to the point past the duration of however long you had remained on the bank. The longer you stayed on the bank the longer everyone else lives thier future. And vice versa. (Do you accept my assertions so far)?

2- Free will, I will continue to use the above anology; is in action up to the time that you get out of the stream and then jump back in upstream. You decided when to do it. But once you have you kill free will. No longer do you decide to do it. You have to because you did. Everybody in the river looses thier free will, they can no longer choose to do or not do anything, they have to do it, or not because they did or didn't.

2-B Fate-Pre-destination or fore ordainment of events. Is not a polar opposite to free will. (Would you agree so far)? If God, a god, gods, or Gods decided to plant a shrub or build a structure a set of scenery 300 miles upstream. It does not affect your free will. You will see it once you get there, because it is there. You didn't put it there but not because you were destined not to do it but because the Gods put it there. You had nothing to do with that. The scenery's free will is in question. If Gods put it there before the river flowed down to that point we would say that that scenery was destined to be seen. But in effect even out own scenery will be destined to be seen by any who look at it. Because it will be there because we will place it there because we put it there. The question of free will is not at issue, it is a prophesy "This is what you will do", choose to do whatever you want but you will still do this becuase you will because eventually you did. You didn't know you did but the Gods knew you did they divert the rivers they watch them, they do because the did and alway have. After the river runs its course it starts again, and the Gods watched and they saw and still see because the river of time flowed and will continue to flow because it did and will always do.

3- Can multiple persons travel back in time at different times in the river? Of course but only depending on the duration of the time that the first person who jumped out stayed out. And if you were able to get out of the river whilst the person before you was able to jump back in. Ultimatley the first one to jump back in destroyed free will. But the latter has a chance to make the former(s) mysteriously vanish.
---If you get out of the river on to the bank before I do but I jump in before you do, not as far upstream as you, then you will forever be gone to the people after you climbed on the bank. YOU NEVER GOT IN THE RIVER, AND YOU WON'T EVER GET IN BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T.--"unless by the grace of thier tender mercies the Gods are with you"

- Just remember that, if you ever go time traveling -;)

I want to say that I very much love the way time travel worked on Gargoyles. It was definatley very unique and I absolutely love that. You have said you wanted strict rules for time travel. And as far as I can remember Gargoyles never betrayed the basic guidlines for time travel that were made evident in earlier episodes.

There are however things that bug me about M.I.A. Goliath was there in WWII Britain before he was awaken from stone hybernation. Goliath says something to the affect that their (Una and Leo's) memories of him where accurate he just hadn't lived them yet. And he saved Griff, who wasn't saved, because he hadn't been, because he died and will have died because he is dead, yet will have been saved because he had will be, by Goliath. (whew). Is this like the Gods just planting some scenery on the bank, regardless of what else was going to happen on the banks of the river? (I hope you understood my anology enough to answer this). If the answer is yes then that would mean that as I suspect Goliath's free will was not tampered with, even though he was lead to believe, by Leo and Una; that it might well have been. Is this also a correct assumption?

Greg responds...

1. A lot depends on your model for time travel. I tend to use the roll of film model when explaining how it works in the Gargoyles Universe. But your analogy here sounds okay. Don't know if it tracks. Rivers are so changable, don't you know. I also don't see you floating back to the point where you exited. You may not live that long, for starters. And you can float beyond that point easily... in fact you will flow beyond that point unless you do something to stop yourself.

1-B. No. You don't have to get out again. You're younger self is doing it. Already did it. You can just keep going. (Cf. the Archmages.)

2. Well, I see what you're saying. But Free Will is always relative only to YOUR own future and subject to the FACTS OF LIFE around you. Forget time travel for a moment. You can say, "I don't have Free Will unless I have the ability to fly under my own power." So you jump into the air and are disappointed when you fall right back down to Earth. If you say, "See, I don't have free will," then my response is, "Well, you had the free will to look goofy." Likewise, you could argue, "I don't have free will unless I can uneat that knish I just ate." I can respond, well I suppose you could induce vomiting, but otherwise I think you're defining Free Will as Omnipotence, and if you are then I guess I agree: no free will. But if you define free will as freedom of choice, then that NEVER goes away, even under the Gargoyles system of time travel. Goliath could have chosen to knock Griff out and drag him back to the shop. But both would have likely died. He could also choose to knock Griff out and walk into a moving airplane propeller. And again both would have likely died. Reality happens, right? Doesn't negate free will just because you realize that somethings are going to turn out bad no matter what you do. See?"

2-B. I'm not sure I followed all of that, but it sounds about right.

3. Again, Free Will is never destroyed unless you define Free Will as Omnipotence. So I'm not at all getting why one persons time travel would restrict other persons time travel. I just don't get what you're trying to say here.

I can't answer your question, because you're definition of Free Will and mine don't seem to match up. And I haven't, I'll admit, completely followed your analogy. But I can assure you that there's no problem with MIA respecting the rules of time travel in the gargoyles universe. I'm VERY confident about that.

Response recorded on July 17, 2003

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Vanity writes...

Besides watching "City of Stone" all of it I also watched "The Mirror" and "Vows". Hey it's Saturday.

I want to talk/ask about Vows.

I have read the archives about Time Travel and you said about the Archmage saving himself, that even then how did he know Macbeth? His older self told him. How did HE know? HIS older self told HIM. and so on. I however am still troubled with this. Here is my thougts.

Demona said that she had clear recollection of Goliath's inspirational speech. But shouldn't she have already had them, after all, in 975 she had gotten a visit from her future self and Goliath, we saw him tell her. Why did it take her the going back to remeber it. It already happened in 975, she was there. And the events in 994 may not have happened at all if she hadn't of gotten the visit from herself in 975. Her trying to rid Wyvern of humans was an attempt to avoid the prophesy she had gotten in 975. But for her to go back to 975 would most likely not have been possible if the events in 994 didn't unfold as they had.
**note and don't tell me that she didn't remember because it was the first cycle** (see below) I know she wouldn't remember it on the first cycle but...I'll explain it below

Hudson visisted with the future Goliath in 975 so he knew what would happen that would put him back in 975. He should have had memories of Goliath holding his mouth shut when Hudson was at the clocktower with the Trio, bronx, and Elisa.

And the First time it ever happened it would be brand new memories. He would have been telling the trio and Elisa "Wait I see him, he says he's from the future. I don't remeber this before". Because the first time it happened he wasn't visited from the future because Goliath wasn't there yet, and Xanatos hadn't got his coin yet because the very first time it happened he wasn't around to go back in to 975 to get the coin. Without Xanatos' money Goliath would be a statue. Thus never being able to give Demona his half of the gate, thus she could never have went back to set the stage for it all to happen again, by creating not only another gate but the motivation for it to be split and shared between herself and her lover, Goliath.

So I guess there could have never been a first time. The closest we can get to is the second or third time. I would have to think about it the second time may not be possible either because it would have required Demona to travel back to 975 AD and to do that she would have needed the Phoenix Gate which was broken in half and forever intombed with Goliath as stone. I summize the earliest one we can get to is the third cycle of course the old 'ad infintum' principle could be applied. I won't apply it because it would make the whole garg universe stall. Time would go on nations would rise and fall, but Goliath would not be ressurected by the same guy, in the same manner, with same manipulative reasons, and probably not on the same day, year, month, so on and so forth. And whoever that lifted the spell would most likely not be Xanatos and may not wish to go back into time anyway. And even if he had would Demona want to, she's the only one who know's the incantation.

So the third cycle of time minus 'ad infinitum' is the closest thing we can get to the very first time.

What do you think? Do you follow me? Do you want to?

My thought on the episode though:

Animation was probably the worst up to this point.

Check out the Gate in grows and shrinks unrestrainably,

Demona dissapears magically at the end of the episode when Goliath glides away. One second she's bitching him out next second she's gone, solid gone.

Also Demona's eyes are open on second and close the next (as if blinking, or awake) when Goliath is carrying her after the climax of the fight scene.

One thing to help redeem it, is that the ending of the show was the same as the begining where Demona calls "My love, you're here", and embraces him, it is different. When she sees him as stone in 994 and comes to him in 975; as opposed to the preceding cycle (the flashback) when she hadn't yet visisted herself in 975 to show her 994 to return to 975. She hugs him a little more vigorously, passionately, and I think that was too cool. It would have been easy just to re-shoot the first flashback. Great work!!

That will end this post I am getting sleepy.
Again Greg thanks for listening, I appreciate it.

Vanit~~

Greg responds...

Your premise is faulty.

For example, Demona did NOT require going back to remember Goliath's speech. As she said, "I always have."

There's no cycle. No first time vs. 2nd time vs. 3rd time/ad infinitum. The timeline (in the garg universe) just IS.

What happened, happened.

Response recorded on June 20, 2003

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gargoyle fan writes...

hey greg i have been wondering about demona lately so here are my questions

1.In the episode city of stone why did't demona stay in wyvern was in it much safer then in a cave or it it would bring to much painful memories

2.I notice that in city of stone in the cave where demona and her clan lived there was a beach behide it so i am wondering since castle wyvern was next to a beach was the cave near wyvern

3.does demona approve of angla's relationship with broadway

4. in vows why did't demona use the phenoix gate to stop
the death of her clan

Greg responds...

1. The phrase "The Horror. The Horror." comes to mind.

2. I don't recall a beach behind that cave, and I always thought of that one being more interior to Scotland. But in any case, no, it wasn't Wyvern.

3. Well, as of when I left the show, Demona didn't know about Angela's relationship with Broadway. Only Angela, Broadway and Brooklyn knew. But assuming she found out, I think she'd have mixed feelings. Broadway is a Goliath loyalist, for starters.

4. A careful viewing would show she couldn't. If you're asking why she didn't try, I think one answer is that she did. Not by going back to the daylight hours of the massacre, when she couldn't have done anything anyway, but by going back to a point when her past self might -- had time travel worked that way -- have been able to change everything from that point forward.

Response recorded on January 29, 2003

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Chapter XXXV: "Avalon, Part Two"

Time to Ramble...

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

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

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

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

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

THE EGGS

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

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

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

BEACH FIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

"Uh. Yeah."

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

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

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

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

Either way, there are some great lines:

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANGELA & GABRIEL

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

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

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

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

REUNIONS

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

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

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

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

SLEEPING KING

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

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

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

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

LOOSE ENDS

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

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

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

And how did the Archmage survive?

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

Now let's reveal...

WEIRD SISTERS

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

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

The sisters have some nice lines...

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

ARCHMAGESES

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

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

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

And of course, David. Wow.

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

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

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

"Show some dignity."

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

"Not where. When."

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

"The book must remain in play."

"Try to keep up."

"We're not doing her any favors."

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

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

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

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

"Now I understand."

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

All great fun.

FLAWS

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

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

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

But Macbeth?

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

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

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

CAPTIONS

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

Sure we start with...

"Scotland, 984 A.D."

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

It still makes me smile.

POWERING UP

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

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

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

BATTLE FLASHBACK

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

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

LAYING PIPE

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

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

Bronx and Boudicca want to go with Goliath.

Elisa asks about the Sleeping King...

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

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

Uh oh.

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

To be concluded...

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


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Cha-Cha writes...

Can the Phenix Gate be used to go foward in time into the future??

Greg responds...

Yes.

Response recorded on February 14, 2002

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matt writes...

in "Vows" Xanatos says a line and i'm not sure how/what he means with it?

does he say "Time travels funny that way." meaning that time is traveling funny or does he say "Time travel's funny that way." meaning that time travel itself is funny that way? does that make sense? i keep reading over it and i think it makes sense...

anyway, kinda a pointless question, but one i've been wanting to ask for a while now...

but on a related note, right before Xanatos says that, Goliath says he wishes he could leave Xanatos in that time and Xanatos says "You won't, because you didn't..." how did Xanatos know that? Goliath could've very well left Xanatos there and that may have been what always happened! you could say, Xanatos would've sent a letter to the Illuminati warning himself of his fate or some excuse like that, but as we've seen in "MIA" that letter would've been lost or something and all his ways of warning himself would've fallen through cuz the point is he did end up in Goliaths time and if he warned himself it would have created a paradox! so, there is no way Xanatos would have known for sure that Goliath wouldn't leave him there. was he saying that to Goliath to kinda trick Goliath into thinking that he had to bring him home or something, or was Xanatos just being confident and egotistical of his abilities to have a plan all worked out?

i hope all parts of this post make sense to you. if they don't, i apologize, its late...

Greg responds...

Time travel IS funny that way. Again, I think it's fairly self-evident. Meaning, hey, it's quirky.

It makes sense. It's just ANNOYING!!!

Sorry.

You're logic is flawless. I agree with everything you said.

Let's move on now.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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matt writes...

does the Phoinex Gate have limits on how far in time and space it can take you? i'm pretty sure you've said its limited to Earth, but how far back and forward can it go? can it take me to the time of the Dinosaurs or before that or to the time when the Earth is swallowed by our aging and expanding Sun? what are its limits if any?

Greg responds...

There are no time limits.

Response recorded on September 01, 2001

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zakhur writes...

Was the archemage influenced by someone, apart from his future self, to take the three talismans and his plans to take over avalon and the world? sorry if this is a weird question, but I was wondering about that for a long time

Greg responds...

He had wanted the three items of power for some time because he had read about their joint use before.

The Avalon take-over seemed the idea of his future self. But of course that future self only learned it from his future self. So one might ask, who came up with the actual idea. Was it born of the time stream, whole?

Response recorded on September 01, 2001

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Kelly L Creighton/Kya White Sapphire writes...

Just got done reading the Greg Weisman section of the archives. Time for a LONG rant.

I wanted to tell you at the gathering, but I forgot. which angers me to no end, because i went on and on about this at work for months before i left for LA. in awakenings, elisa makes the number three on her hand. you said how odd it was that the japanese animation studio had her make three in that particular way, with the thumb, index and middle fingers. the reality is that thats the PROPER way in AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE to make the number three. they must have looked it up to see "how americans do it." what people usually do as three, with the thumb holding down the pinky, is actually "six" in sign language. and the thumb holding down the index finger is "nine" (with the middle being eight and the ring finger being seven.) a 'hitchikers thumb' is ten. :)

speaking of awakenings, the "nice mask" comment isnt in the "movie". i was mad. i pouted all night last night.

re: goliath and elisa needing help to have a child
technically, theyre closely related enough that they prolly could have a child. that child would not be fertile tho. a Stallion and a female donky can have a hinny, a Mare and a male donky can have a mule, but neither a mule nor a hinny can have offspring. though, in your book, a garg and a human may be way farther from eachother than a donkey and a horse. despite the fact that donkeys and horses arent nearly as related as they look.

I know you dont think this way, but humor me for a second. if you were an animal, what would you be? Tore (my fiancee) would be a polarbear. he likes red meat. he likes the cold. he LOOKS like a polarbear, even when hes not overweight. he acts like one. people give him the respect of one. and he's all white collar(fur) on the surface, and blends in with the crowd(snow) but underneath hes jet black(covered in tattoos, a closet freak ;P) it took a long LONG time to find an animal for me. im nocturnal. im cute. im mostly herbiverous, but not completely. i like florida's hot and muggy weather. i sleep a lot. we went through many rodent and lemur species before settling on flying squirrel.

on the topic of what names mean (oh wise one :) my full name is Kelly Leigh Creighton. Kelly started as a gaelic name, i think spelled calleach, pronounced ka-LEE-ack(phlem sound here). Then the irish clan the O'Kellys took the name. and they were a big factor in the liberation of ireland. so it became fashionable to name boys Kelly. then in 1958 i believe, there was an actress named Kelly. so it became okay to name girls kelly. which is more the case now. anyway, Kelly means "warrior of the king" or "female warrior" Leigh is an english word still used today (in britan) which means "meadow". my last name, Creighton, started as a scottish name, and then spread to england and ireland, where it took many diversion such as Crichton, etc. my family roots have been traced to scotland. it means "near the creek." so fully, my name means "Female warrior of the King, in the meadow near the creek." i always wonder if i will find a meadow near a creek with some unmarked grave in it or something.

along the same track, have you seen the gargoyles code? its a long string of letters and symbols that, if you know how to read them, describes one's character. part of the code is for real life, and asks how obsessed you are. the maximum obsession is defined by one who would be willing to be a test subject for a mutagen that might make them a gargoyle. im one of those silly people. are you? doubt it... (thats not meant to be offensive, i just doubt youre that kind of person :)

at the gathering, while talking about all the spinoffs, specifically i think you were talking about 2198, you said "and its really sad that im still working on this." actually, i dont think its sad at all. im pretty happy about it. because it really is something special. and we all believe in you. its pretty cool that youre as obsessed with your own shows as your fans.

i also recently learned that you dont drink, and think smoking is pretty haneous (sp?). that rules. its nice to see other people out there like that, not just in the fandom too. its really rare these days. not that i didnt respect you before, but i really respect that, and in a way, appreciate it.

i read about how you fell out of the bunkbed when you were little. that reminded me of my bunkbet gymnastics. i hate using the ladder, since i can never find it when im sleep walking. (i sleepwalk a LOT). so ive trained myself to grab the bar on the side of the bunk, or if there isnt one, the lip underneat the bunk, and flip over the side to land on the floor. thing is, if i lose my balance i land on the edge of the bunk below, instead of the floor, and wake whoever is sleeping there. usually, though, since im sleepwalking, i wont remember that i did it unless they confront me about it in the morning. so no guilt ;P

on sleepwaling: i have recently discovered that any time someone tells me im dreaming, i get very angry at them and insist im not, even if i am. i have instructed my parents (specifically my mom, my dad did it anyway because he thought it was funny) to just agree with me, pretend i make sense, and send be back off to bed. o_O

ive wanted to tell you about my religion for some time, but ive been a little nervous to, because its a touchy subject with some people. but after reading your views, i feel like i can at least give you a short version, and it shouldnt be too bad. basically i believe that there are an infinite number of universes, all connected by a void. everything is true, in some universe or another. and some things can travel thru the void into other universes. so basically all religions are true, because there are an infinite number of universes. i simply choose to pray to an alternate set of dieties than the normally accepted ones. which isnt to say i put any less faith in God or Budda (sp?), etc. I just choose not to pray to him/them. which i think this kind of falls into your beliefs anyway, since you belive in alternate universes, and that all things are true. which is basically what my religion preaches. so youre Raptorian and didnt even know it ;P

theres actually scientific evidence coming to light to support the "theory" of alternate universes. cold dark matter, morphic fields, time as a fourth dimension, the possible non-existance of time... its fascinating. this thing that i knew all along is now getting proved by science. basically, the theory of cold dark matter states that there is a force in the universe that is more powerful than gravity. but it only partially exists in this universe, so it is hard to see and study. and most of the force it exerts is exerted in another universe, so were not even getting the full effect. morphic feilds is the theory that everything in the universe is connected by lines of force. this explains why when an atom is split, and two electrons go zinging away from eachother at high speed, one can look at the north/south orientation of one electron and know that the other electron is the exact same. because they are connected. which is why dogs know when their owner is comming home, even if the spouse does not. which is why people can sometimes instinctively know that something is wrong with a loved one, even if miles away. why twins, if separated, can still sense what the other is doing, even if they dont have a twin. why sometimes we can predict the future, or get flashes from the past. morphic fields trancend even time. there is also a theory that states that time is the fourth dimension. basically, since were three dimensional creatures, we can see the EDGE of things in TWO dimensions (meaning you can see the edge of a planar surface), and we can COMPREHEND things in the THIRD dimension (you cant see the edge of a 3D object, a coke can for example, the edge curves away from you and you cant see it. technically, it has no edge). fourth dimensional beings could see our EDGE, and comprehend the fourth dimension. we, as 3d creatures, can only measure what we think is the passing of time. a two dimensional creature could only measure the third dimension. of course there is another theory, who's own creator admits that its just a neat theory he came up with and doenst actually believe in. he said that maybe time doesnt exist at all. maybe we think time passes, just like when we watch a movie we think the pictures are going by, but its just many still frames. as in there is an alternate universe for each second in time. and we only think there is motion because at each second, we have the memories of all the things that have passed before. its an interesting theory, but im more inclined to think of time as the fourth dimension.

anyway, im done rambling for the night. please feel free to comment as you see fit, or not at all :)

Greg responds...

Whew...

Random responses...

I think that humans and gargoyles are biologically much further apart than horses and donkeys.

I already AM an animal. Homo Sapiens, I believe.

Even after your explanation, I'm still not sure what the Gargoyles code is. But no, I wouldn't want to be a mutagen guinea pig.

And I was being a bit fecetious and/or self-deprecating (given my audience) at the Gathering when I said it was 'sad'. Obviously, I enjoy still thinking about the property.

I do think smoking is a fairly heinous and shockingly stupid habit. Though I generally try not to preach. As for alcohol, I see nothing wrong with drinking in moderation -- for most people. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those people.

I'm Jewish. And a bit pagan. I believe in the religion of the Three Musketeers: "All for one, and one for all." Or something like that.

Time has also been referred to as the fourth dimension in the sense that it spots any point. You can spot a point in three dimensions and still miss it if you don't also measure it's location in time.

Response recorded on August 30, 2001

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hbkholic writes...

What is the famous words used to activate the Phoenix Gate?

Greg responds...

From memory, which may not be too reliable:

Desligrate muri tempe et intervalia!

Response recorded on August 08, 2001

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JEB writes...

If the past is fixed in the Gargoyles universe, how does that affect those that can see the future? Can they change something that has yet to happen or are any efforts they make futile?

Greg responds...

Any 'sight' is generally subject to interpretation.

But who said ANYONE can see the future?

Response recorded on August 08, 2001

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Lexy writes...

Hey Greg!:)

Brooklyn TD's to 2198 so he knows some things that are going to occur. But by him being in that time line, and not gone TDing doesn't that change things? I guess with Goliath and Griff the events that had to occur did, they just came about in different ways, because Goliath was there to change things. Is this correct?

By the time Brooklyn returns from TDing would he be resigned to letting things happen as they would?
Just keep his mouth shut, and let things occur?
Or at least warn ppl if he felt it necessary?
(IE: They can't stop a bomb from dropping, but they can at least be prepared to deal with it, in the very least, emotionally?)

I hope this wasn't too messy..

Greg responds...

Uh, Lexy, I'm just not following your first paragraph, which may mean that you aren't getting the rules of time travel in the Garg Universe... or am I just dense?

What I will say is that Brooklyn intentionally does NOT learn much about the immediate future of his friends and family. What he knows of the future is of events two centuries removed. He doesn't go back and research the time between.

Response recorded on August 08, 2001

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Lord Sloth writes...

Future Tense:
1 Why didn't Goliath just let Puck have the Phenix gate?
2 Why didn't Puck just ask for the Phenix gate?
3 What would be so bad about Oberon having time traval acsess?
4 How was Goliath able to create the phenix flame above him instead of around him?

Greg responds...

1. Would you after what you had been through?
2. Not in his nature, and it wouldn't have worked.
3. What would be so good about it?
4. He used the Gate.

Response recorded on July 17, 2001

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Entity writes...

Hi Greg,

You refer to Demona and Macbeth as "foot-soldiers" in the context that the Weird Sisters used them for (or sought to use them for). Isn't that a bit of an under-title for them? Why go through all the trouble of obtaining Demona and Macbeth if only to use them as "grunts"? First off, isn't the entire purpose of foot-soldiers/grunts to have a lot of them? Merely two suggest specialization, and indeed, they seem to have been chosen because they were special. What was the Archmage's motivation behind obtaining these two in particular, and any two in general? Did he just not want to have to get his hands dirty with "menial" tasks? Did he want the ego boost of having underlings? Were Demona and Macbeth candidates because they were "the best" and therefore more of an go boost?

Greg responds...

Terms like "foot soldier" and "cannon fodder" were clearly used by the Archmage to make him feel more important. In fact, he was cherry-picking very talented warriors.

Or one might argue, he had nothing to do with the selections. How did he even know about Macbeth? Sure his older self told him, but how did he know? Sure HIS older self told him, but how did he know? And so on, and so on, and so on...

Response recorded on June 19, 2001

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Jim R. writes...

Just watched "Vows" and I have some questions:
1. Demona breaks the Phoenix Gate in half to share it with Goliath. How is this possible? I would of thought the Gate, being forged on Avalon, would be indestructable since it is of pure magic. But how can a mortal such as Demona simply break it as if it were a cracker?
2. Stupid questions: Can the gate still work being broken in half? How much more can it be broken?
3. Does Goliath explain the whole situation to Hudson about how they turn to stone for a 1000 years, when Hudson first sees him after he has arrived from the future? I wouldn't think so, but I was thinking that Hudson might be a bit curious about Goliath's time-travel story. And Hudson, being a wise garg, would think twice as to whom this future Goliath could possibly be.
4. Why was castle Wyvern still burning when future Demona brought her past self to see what would become of their kind? Goliath and the rest of the gargs were already turned to stone to sleep for a 1000 years, and I would have thought that the castle fires would be out by then.

Greg responds...

1. I'm sorry, why should it be indestructable? I don't follow your logic there at all. After all, Oberon's not indestructable. Keep in mind, breaking it in half didn't destroy it anyway. It simply neutralized it until the pieces were joined again. At which point they soon sealed up as if they had never been broken.

2. No. Don't know.

3. Goliath consciously chose to reveal as little as possible. You saw most of their conversation on screen.

4. On one level, you can call it artistic license. Or you could say that there were still a few fires burning that no one bothered to put out.

Response recorded on June 10, 2001


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