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The Phoenix Gate

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Anonymous writes...

how would a gargoyle survive in space?
In 2198 how is demona and zafiro going to survive in space with there special non-stone sleep circumstances? (i.e. demonas spell, zafiros amulet)

Greg responds...

I'm not revealing that at this time.

Response recorded on December 03, 2010

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Anonymous writes...

Who would you rather be trapped in an eight hour car ride with; Demona; Nerissa; or Green Goblin?

Greg responds...

Nerissa, I guess. She'd have less reason to kill me at random. She might even appreciate the company.

Response recorded on November 23, 2010

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Justin writes...

Dear Greg,

Recently watched "Long Way Til Morning"

And this is hopefully the first question that leads to what I hope to complete soon as a long essay on how fascinating Demona is as a character as well as her impact on her estranged clan "family".

In this we see three characters. All with relatively strong familial bonds. First we have the Father, Hudson. Then of course the rookery children Goliath and Demona.

My actual question is this:

What had to be going through Hudson's mind during all of this? I know he acknowledged the two as a mated pair, but in essence he had to save his son from his daughter. That could not have made him all too plussed.

Secondly, the dialogue in this last scene really shows how even now, they still have latent feelings of being family...

Hudson: "Give it up girl, you can't win.." Which even as a boy, first watching this I always received as a Father being parental in some way to his daughter.

Then there is Demona, who is as bananas as it gets. She, even in her tirade tips her hand. She, through raw, volatile emotion expresses she still has love for Hudson.

"I would have ended this quickly! Your pride will cost you your life!" Even though I know at this point in her life she is past redemption, I still feel that the way she exclaims these sentiments is a tell she doesn't want to HAVE to say them. She loves her rookery father. And in a way, still NEEDS him. As all grown children do once we reach adulthood. But nothing can stand in the way of her vengeance. The vengeance for her murdered family. Not even surviving FAMILY.

All too fascinating Greg, and thank you!

Justin

Greg responds...

You're welcome...

Response recorded on November 03, 2010

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Alix December Frost writes...

I was just reviewing the guidelines for asking question. i just want to make it clear, that I wasn't trying to submit any ideas.

Also, what DID Demona do during WW2?

Greg responds...

Stuff.

Response recorded on October 28, 2010

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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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Matt writes...

Hey Greg. So in "Vows", Demona tries to convince herself to "...rule the gargoyles. Rule the world!" using the Gate. In "Hunter's Moon" she talks about taking her "rightful place" after the humans are all destroyed. And in "Tyrants" she plans to destroy both human forces "leaving the fate of Scotland to {her}". There are probably other examples of this sort of talk, but I think it is clear that destroying humanity is not Demona's only goal. She doesn't just want revenge, but power as well.

Now on to my question. Something occured to me the last time I watched "Enter Macbeth". Macbeth says to Goliath: "It's not you I'm after. You're just a pawn. I want your queen." Naturally, Goliath is puzzled by this statement. But so am I. Macbeth has had a lot of contact with gargoyles afterall. In the same episode he even told Elisa that he "knows all about these creatures". He spent decades dealing with Demona and her clan and he even wrote a book about gargoyles. So, I'm wondering where he got this 'queen' terminology. Gargoyle language is a pretty sparse subject and the only real terms we have ever known about are "Leader" and "Second". So my question is given Demona's particular motivations as I mentioned above, did she call herself a queen during the Demona-Macbeth Alliance or am I just reading into all of this too much?

Thanks Greg!

Greg responds...

Maybe reading a tad too much into it. I doubt Demona ever used the term "Queen". But her version of being "Leader" is.... not too inclusive. You're not wrong about that.

Response recorded on September 29, 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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Charisma82 writes...

In High Noon, what would Demona and Macbeth have done if Iago hadn’t been the personality to take control over Coldstone? What was their plan if Desdemona or Othello had taken over?

Thank you for your time and all that you do,

-Charisma82

Greg responds...

I'm afraid I'd have to watch this again too. It's just been too long.

Response recorded on September 15, 2010

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Greg Bishansky writes...

This discussion has been had in Station Eight a few times, and I thought I would bring it up here. It seems to me like one could make a case that Demona is the lead character in the greater story of the GARGOYLES UNIVERSE.

If one looks at "Dark Ages," "Gargoyles," and "Gargoyles 2198" as a three act story, Demona's story is the one story arc that really plays out through the entire timeline. She is there for all three acts.

Yes, Goliath is the lead in "Gargoyles" and Samson is the lead in "Gargoyles 2198." I think Hudson is the lead in "Dark Ages," but I might be wrong. And they all play huge roles, crucial roles. But Goliath and Hudson are not in Act Three, and Samson is not in the first two acts.

Demona, without being the lead in any of the acts, is the constant presence. Sure, she may not appear in "Pendragon," "New Olympians," Heroes of Ulster," and may only have a small role in "TimeDancer" and "Bad Guys." But if "Gargoyles" is the center of the universe here, and "Dark Ages" and "2198" are both acts in that story, it almost makes me wonder if this is really her story. You've got her youth, her fall from grace, her time as the main antagonist (or one of them), and then her eventual redemption.

Not to take anything away from Goliath, because I definitely agree that "Gargoyles" is his story and that he is the most pivotal character in that series. But is his story a large piece of her story?

I'm not saying it's all about her, because it's not. I don't think that or feel that, because this is all one huge ensemble piece made up of many stories, but like I said, she seems to be the most constant character out of all of them in the Big Picture. And all without ever being THE LEAD in any of the "three acts."

Greg responds...

It's definitely an interesting theory.

Of course, I don't actually view the Gargoyles' Universe as any one character's story, including Goliath. To me it's a tapestry with many threads...

But I'm not disagreeing per se.

Response recorded on September 14, 2010

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Chris writes...

Would Demona and Macbeth still blame each other if they knew how the Weird Sisters had manipulated them, or would they assume that the Sisters were responsible for their betrayals?

Greg responds...

Please, Chris, allow me to scoop my own material by answering these questions. Please! What? You've changed your mind and don't want the answers? But I'm just dying to reveal everything here and now so that the viewing audience is protected from any surprises whatsoever. Besides, if you let me tell you everything now, it'll allow way more second-guessing and pre-judging of ideas, free of all that pesky execution of said ideas. So how 'bout it? Can I spill? Can I spoil? Ahhh, you're no fun.

Wait, wait. This wasn't a YJ spoiler question. Sorry, I got carried away there for a second.

Anyway, I think there's blame enough to go around. Particularly with Demona, who likes to spread the blame, not absorb it.

Response recorded on September 13, 2010


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