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Sara Rose writes...

Good afternoon!

I'm working on a paper for my interdisciplinary research class, and the focus is on medievalism in modern media, with topics of our own choosing. I couldn't turn down the opportunity to return to my childhood roots with "Gargoyles"! My topic focuses on why the medieval is used in the show (for instead, instead of antiquity, like Roman times), and how that particular era gave it such success in terms of audience and impact.

If it's no burden to answer, I was wondering:

1. Why was medieval Scotland chosen as the first setting and location for the original gargoyles?

2. Was there any specific appeal, personally or for the purpose of storytelling, that drew you to it?

3. Was it a conscious, debated decision to choose the medieval era and Scotland, or was it more of an intuitive decision that was there from the start?

4. How important has historical accuracy been between the show and comics (on a scale of unnecessary to absolute)?

Thank you in advance!

Warm regards,

Sara Rose

Greg responds...

1. A big part of the reason had to do with suspension of belief. We wanted the characters to speak English, so the audience could understand them. We wanted a European country, because Europe's where the classic tradition/image of Gargoyles sprang from. (We'd explore similar traditions in other countries later in the series.) So if we're looking at English speaking countries in Europe, that narrows it down considerably. Scotland felt like it was more in the hinterlands than England. A rougher/tougher tradition and location, which seemed to fit. Now, of course, I realize that no one was speaking modern English in medieval Scotland, but that's where the suspension comes in. It's just a bit easier to ignore this point in Scotland, then it would have been in, say, France.

2. I'm a Britophile. Love Shakespeare. King Arthur, etc.

3. The even "One Thousand Years Ago..." had it's appeal. The medieval setting and it's statuary seemed to make more sense, fit the tone better, than something classical, like ancient Greece or Rome. And again, the "classic" image of Gargoyles is on medieval churches and castles anyway.

4. Historical accuracy was initially not very important. But it wound up being EXTREMELY important. We found, while researching City of Stone, that - by accident or sheer dumb luck - we had not been inconsistent with the history. From that point on, we strove to be as accurate as possible.

Response recorded on June 30, 2017

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Ice writes...

Alright, so, I'm curious about something. In Episode 2 Owen tells Xanatos that the cost of moving the castle and rebuilding it brick by brick would be "Astronomical". He also mentions something about the castle being hunted. Now, obviously now I know it was Hakon and the Captain. What I am wondering is if that was what was meant by that line at the time it was written for Owen, or if it was just a random throwaway line that ended up evolving into a part of the story like with Matt Bluestone's line about the Illuminati.

Greg responds...

I think he said the locals thought it was "haunted". Not "hunted." But more or less, yes. We had a notion of it.

Response recorded on February 08, 2012

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G2008 Radio Play

G2008 Radio Play (Chapter IX)

Stone STANDS.

237. NARRATOR
12:18AM. LANTERN OF THE ABBEY. Arthur opens the transport container to look upon the Stone of Destiny. Chapter Nine: Rock of Ages. 1:06AM GMT. Arthur listens to the glowing Stone.

238. STONE
…Pointless, Arthur Pendragon, to waste time protecting any particular stone…

Stone sits.

239. NARRATOR
1:31AM. VICTORIA TOWER. Arthur, Macbeth, Hudson, Lex, Amp, Griff, Coco, Coldstone and Coldfire confer.

240. ARTHUR
Perhaps… perhaps this is all unnecessary. I don’t think we need to guard the stone.

Macbeth, Arthur, Hudson, Lexington, Amp, Coco, Griff, Coldstone & Coldfire sit. Coldsteel & Coyote STAND.

241. NARRATOR
NOVEMBER 15, 6:16AM. LEITH. Coyote and Coldsteel stand side-by-side inside a warehouse.

242. COYOTE
No, I am not programmed for free will…

243. COLDSTEEL
Pity. You have potential…

COLDSTREAM GUARD, Macbeth, Xanatos, Coldstone & Coldfire STAND.

244. NARRATOR
NOVEMBER 15, 10:02AM. A Coldstream Guard holds up a hand to stop a transport convoy from driving onto Coldstream Bridge.

245. COLDSTREAM GUARD
Get the bomb unit! Now!!

246. MACBETH
Macbeth to Coldstone: convoy’s stopped, and Xanatos is here.

247. XANATOS
Well, it’s a momentous occasion… and such a lovely day…

248. MACBETH
Safe to say he’s up to something.

249. COLDSTONE
Yes, safe to say.

250. NARRATOR
Coldstone and Coldfire intercept Coldsteel and Coyote heading for the Bridge.

251. COLDFIRE
Hold, brother!

252. COLDSTEEL
Hold, sister!

253. NARRATOR
Coldsteel’s tentacles grab Coldfire, forcing her arms up so that she nearly FRIES Coldstone.

254. COLDSTEEL
As you see, I’ve had time to mend my ways. Well, my appendages…

255. COLDSTONE
Release her! <pain cry>

256. NARRATOR
Coldstone’s back is raked by Coyote’s buzzsaw-arm.

257. COLDSTEEL
Now that we’re machines, don’t you love these exhilarating daytime battles…? No nasty organic gargoyles to even the odds…

258. NARRATOR
Coldfire HEAD BUTTS Coldsteel violently. His tentacles release her.

259. COLDFIRE
Consider the odds evened.

260. COLDSTEEL
A t-t-temporary s-s-setback…

261. COLDFIRE
Then let’s make it permanent.

262. COYOTE
Out of David’s respect for Goliath, I am programmed to inflict only as much damage as necessary to reach our objective. But I define the parameters of “necessary”.

263. COLDSTONE
Define this.

264. NARRATOR
Coldstone’s fist SHATTERS the half-Xanatos/half-robot skull image on Coyote’s screen. Coldstone shoves his forearm cannon down Coyote’s “throat” and fires. Coyote EXPLODES! The dented Coldsteel watches the wreckage of Coyote fall toward the RIVER TWEED below.

265. COLDSTEEL
P-p-pity. He had p-p-potential…

266. NARRATOR
Coldsteel POWER-DIVES down into the river. Coldstone follows but can find no sign of Coldsteel.

Coyote & Coldsteel sit.

267. NARRATOR
10:12AM GMT. COLDSTREAM BRIDGE. Xanatos stands between Macbeth and Arthur. A Marching Band plays. Xanatos presses a small one-button remote. Inside the Land Rover, the Stone’s metal transport container is strapped to the floor of the cargo space â€" which FLIPS over, so that the real container is replaced by a DUPLICATE (with a duplicate stone inside).

268. COLDSTREAM GUARD
Hold it down! The Bomb Squad’s at work!

269. NARRATOR
10:38AM GMT. The Guard signals the convoy forward.

270. COLDSTREAM GUARD
Right, we’re clear. Not a bomb. Just an empty shoebox.

271. COLDSTONE
Coldstone to Macbeth. We’ve lost Coldsteel.

272. MACBETH
Just stay on the alert…

273. COLDSTREAM GUARD
Let’s go! We’re behind schedule!

274. MACBETH
The Stone’s on the move again.

Coldstream Guard, Macbeth, Xanatos, Coldfire & Coldstone sit. Thailog & Shari STAND.

275. NARRATOR
NOVEMBER 15, 5:43AM EST. NIGHTSTONE UNLIMITED.

276. THAILOG
Check.

277. SHARI
The story is told â€" though who can say if it be true â€" that on a clear Christmas night, a band of Scottish patriots broke into Westminster Abbey to steal the Stone and in the process broke it in two!

Thailog & Shari sit. Arthur & Macbeth STAND.

278. NARRATOR
NOVEMBER 15, 12:00PM GMT. EDINBURGH CASTLE.

279. ARTHUR
Well?

280. MACBETH
The Stone’s back where it belongs! Well, it belongs in Scone, but at least it’s back in Scotland.

Macbeth & Arthur sit. Stone & Xanatos STAND.

281. NARRATOR
A land rover from the convoy drives past Macbeth and Arthur. 12:36PM. LEITH. The Land Rover pulls into a non-descript warehouse and stops in front of a smiling Xanatos. 1:06PM. Xanatos listens to the glowing Stone.

282. STONE
…Pointless, David Xanatos, to substitute yet another stone to fool the Illuminati…

Stone sits. Coldsteel STANDS.

283. NARRATOR
2:23PM. Coldsteel dumps pieces of Coyote shrapnel on the floor.

284. COLDSTEEL
There’s what’s left of your boy… and here’s your rock.

285. NARRATOR
Coldsteel tosses the Coyote Diamond to Xanatos.

286. XANATOS
Oh, I’m just its minder.

287. COLDSTEEL
I believe that completes our bargain…

288. XANATOS
Indeed. Consider your tracking device deactivated.

289. COLDSTEEL
Pleasure doing business with you.

Coldsteel sits. FLEUR STANDS.

290. NARRATOR
3:59PM.

291. XANATOS
Thirty-six.

292. FLEUR
Three. <pause> Any problems?

293. XANATOS
Only finding a duplicate on such short notice.

294. NARRATOR
4:04PM. Behind the wheel of the Land Rover, Fleur drives through Leith. Fog rises, until the street is barely visible. The fog forms into Castle Carbonek. The Land Rover drives across the drawbridge into a large cobblestone courtyard.

DUVAL STANDS.

295. DUVAL
Finally. Two.

296. FLEUR
Bugger off.

297. DUVAL
I still outrank you, milady. I won’t tolerateâ€"

PEREDUR STANDS.

298. PEREDUR
Couldn’t you both try to get along? Since you are, after all, the two people I love most in this world?

299. FLEUR
I brought the Stone.

Fleur, Duval & Peredur sit. Macbeth, Griff, Amp, LUNETTE, Coldstone & Hudson STAND.

300. NARRATOR
NOVEMBER 15, 8:13PM. KNIGHT’S SPUR.

301. MACBETH
I know it doesn’t matter, but I’m glad the Stone’s back in Scotland.

302. GRIFF
You lot should stay a while. Get to know the clan…

303. AMP
Yeah, mates, stay!

304. LUNETTE
Please!

305. COLDSTONE
But Coldsteel is still out there…

306. HUDSON
Aye, lad, but it’s a mighty big world, and even the banished and the badduns eventually return to the clan.

Macbeth, Griff, Amp, Lunette, Coldstone & Hudson sit. Stone, Peredur & GRAIL STAND.

307. NARRATOR
NOVEMBER 16, 1:06AM. CASTLE CARBONEK. A frowning Peredur listens to the glowing stone.

308. STONE
…Pointless, Peredur fab Ragnal, to have gone to such extremes merely to possess… a rock.

309. NARRATOR
On APRIL 11, 1951, 1:07AM at ARBROATH ABBEY, on NOVEMBER 15, 1:07PM in a warehouse in LEITH, on NOVEMBER 15, 1:07AM in the LANTERN OF THE ABBEY, and on NOVEMBER 16, 1:07AM inside CASTLE CARBONEK, Macbeth, Xanatos, Arthur and Peredur listen to the glowing Stone of Destiny.

310. STONE
Do you think the Spirit of Destiny can be contained in one vessel? I am the Fatal Stone. The Lia Fáil. The Stone of Bethel and Jerusalem, of Egypt, Samothrace and Portugal… The Stone at Tara and of Mora, at Iona and of Scone, in London and in Edinburgh… I am the Blarney Stone, the Coronation Stone, the Hero Stone… I am the Pillar Stone, the Stone of the Sword, the Stone of the Waters, Clach-na-Cinneamhain… The Tanist Stone, the Philosopher’s Stone, the Standing Stone, the Cornerstone… The Foundation Stone, the Megalith Dance, the Burden of Sisyphus… I am the Rock of Gibraltar, the Pillar of Hercules, Uluru, Clach Sgàin… Jacob’s Pillow, the Rosetta Stone, the Rune Stone, Sire of the Wyrd… I AM THE MANTLE OF FATE… I AM THE STONE OF DESTINY… I AM THE ROCK OF AGES! Do not dream of possessing me, mortal.

311. NARRATOR

NOVEMBER 16, 1:07AM. CASTLE CARBONEK. Behind Peredur, Fleur listens from the doorway.

312. STONE
Besides, Peredur, don’t you have more important matters of concern… now that your Master has awakened?

313. PEREDUR
What?! King Arthur cannot be awake?!

314. STONE
Awake and returned. I have twice conversed with him.

315. PEREDUR
But we did not expect him for another two hundred years! Everything we planned--

316. STONE
Plans change.

317. PEREDUR
I must contact the Upper Echelons immediately!

318. NARRATOR
Peredur exits. Fleur is no longer in the doorway. The Stone is left alone with the Holy Grail.

319. STONE
Hey.

320. GRAIL
Hey.

Peredur, Stone & Grail sit. Thailog & Shari STAND.

321. NARRATOR
NOVEMBER 16, 5:44AM EST. NIGHTSTONE UNLIMITED.

322. THAILOG
Checkmate.

323. SHARI
Very good. Should I continue?

324. THAILOG
Please.

325. SHARI
The story is told â€" though who can say if it be true â€" that the Stone was repaired and recovered. Some say a replica was reinstalled at Westminster; others disagree. Either way, the Stone remained undisturbed until yesterday, when it was transported to Edinburgh without incident…

326. THAILOG
And that’s all you know of the Stone of Destiny?

327. SHARI
Well, one last story is told--

328. NARRATOR
As the sun sets, Owen Burnett and Macbeth wait for Goliath to wake…

329. SHARI
--Though who can say if it be true?

Thailog & Shari sit.

THE END


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Todd Jensen writes...

This is a comment rather than a question.

A few years ago, I mentioned here that the medieval flashback scenes in "Awakening Part One" had reminded me, the first time that I saw them, of a PBS animated adaptation of David Macaulay's "Castle". Recently, I was rereading the book that the PBS program had been based on, and discovered that the castle in it (a fictional castle, portrayed as part of Edward I's castle-building program in northern Wales) was called Aberwyvern, and stood by the Wyvern River. I'm certain that it must have been a coincidence (I assume that when you came up with the name "Wyvern" for the castle in "Gargoyles", you were thinking of the two-legged dragon-like creature), but it still astonished me, and I wanted to share it with you. (And Edward I *does* have a link to the Gargoyles Universe as the man responsible for the Stone of Destiny's removal from Scotland to Westminster Abbey.)

Greg responds...

I think Michael Reaves came up with the name Castle Wyvern. So you'd have to ask him what his influences were.

Response recorded on April 01, 2009

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Litwolf writes...

This might be a silly question but I thought Id ask it anyway.

Given the amount of damage Wyvern Castle has taken since it was moved to Manhattan (the damage it took at the end of Awakening and in the fight in Enter MacBeth is what pops into my mind but there's been tons more), how much of the original structure do you think is left? Obviously, Xanatos cant keep taking the same old stone from Scotland that falls off the castle and put it back in place. He has to get new stone, right? Even if he made a mirror copy replica, its not the same stone that came from Wyvern Hill. So how much of the original castle is really left?

Just curious :P

Greg responds...

It could be stone quarried from the same site where the stones that originally were used to build the castle were quarried. And I'm not interested in percentages.

Response recorded on September 10, 2008

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JANUARY 4

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

January 4th...

1066
Edward the Confessor dies of natural causes. His brother-in-law, Harold Godwinson, succeeds him.

1995
Goliath, Lexington, Bronx and Brooklyn return to Castle Wyvern atop the Eyrie Building but are intercepted by Elisa Maza, Hudson and Broadway, who finally manage to convince Goliath to follow Elisa to their new home at the Clock Tower above the 23rd Precinct -- but not before Goliath warns Owen Burnett that the clan will some day return. David Xanatos is finally released from jail that morning and returns to the castle. He starts serving his probation. Later that day, Xanatos goes to Gen-U-Tech Systems to observe Anton Sevarius' progress. Sevarius has successfully cloned Goliath and begins to accelerate the growth of "Thailog".

1996
Hudson and the Trio have been searching for Goliath and Bronx to no avail. Broadway, realizing that Elisa Maza is missing too, brings her cat Cagney back to the Clock Tower. Brooklyn resists taking the reins of leadership, but he does go to visit Talon and Maggie the Cat in the Labyrinth, where homeless humans like Al, Chaz and Lou have joined the Mutates in what is supposed to be a free society of outcasts. Broadway visits Matt Bluestone next, but Matt is equally in the dark over his partner's disappearance. Lex eavesdrops on Elisa's parents and learns they are also worried. Meanwhile on Queen Florence Island, Elisa and the gargoyles find each other again, and then find Grandmother as she transforms into the Thunderbird. Grandmother later admits that she was undergoing these transformations to convince Natsilane to take up arms against Raven to save the island. When Natsilane meets the gargoyles, he is convinced. The gargoyles and Natsilane battle Raven and drive him away. With Raven gone, Grandmother is able to heal the island. The travelers again return to Avalon, where it is six in the morning, causing Goliath, Angela and Bronx to turn to stone.


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JANUARY 3

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

January 3rd...

1995
Macbeth attacks the gargoyles at the Eyrie Building, capturing Lexington, Brooklyn and Bronx. Elisa Maza, who is largely recovered but still on crutches from being shot, again tries to convince Goliath to leave the castle. He won't listen, but after Goliath departs to find the others, she manages to convince Hudson and Broadway that the castle is no longer their home. They take the Grimorum Arcanorum from Owen Burnett and leave the castle. Meanwhile, Bronx escapes and leads Goliath back to Macbeth's mansion. Macbeth and Goliath battle, Macbeth revealing that his true target is Demona. Macbeth's mansion is damaged by fire, and the gargoyles escape.

1996
The travelers depart Avalon again, arriving on Queen Florence Island off the west coast of Canada, where they immediately encounter Grandmother in the form of a Sea Monster. Elisa is separated from the others and washes ashore, where she is found by Grandmother and Natsilane, the chief of the local Haida band. Elisa is alive, but gravely ill. Grandmother helps heal her. That night, Goliath, Angela and Bronx encounter Raven posing as a gargoyle.


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DECEMBER 28

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 28th...

1065
Westminster Abbey, built by Edward the Confessor, is consecrated.

1994
David Xanatos, who is scheduled to be released from jail in one week, is contacted by Macbeth, who offers to rid the castle of gargoyles.

1995
Goliath and Tom the Guardian meet at Belvedere Castle in Central Park. Together with Elisa Maza and Bronx, they depart for Avalon, where they are introduced to the grown hatchlings of the Wyvern Clan, including Angela, Gabriel and Boudicca, and reunited with the Magus and Princess Katharine. Meanwhile, a recently transformed Archmage travels back in time...


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DECEMBER 27

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

NOTE THAT THIS IS CORRECT FOR DECEMBER 27. THE PREVIOUS POST FOR DECEMBER 26 IS INCORRECT. AT THIS TIME, I HAVE NOTHING IN THE TIMELINE THAT DEFINITELY TOOK PLACE ON 12/26.

December 27th...

1994
The Manhattan Clan enjoys a pleasant, peaceful night at the castle: Broadway cooks; Goliath reads; Lex and Brooklyn play cards; Hudson watches Donald Duck on TV; Bronx chews a bone. Meanwhile, David Xanatos is still counting down the days until his release.

1995
Hudson and the Trio patrol, while Goliath and Bronx remain behind at the Clock Tower. Tom, now known as the Guardian, arrives in New York, looking for Goliath. He is arrested by Officer Morgan Morgan, who mentions him to Elisa Maza. Elisa arranges a meeting between Goliath and Tom.


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DECEMBER 26

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 27th...

1994
The Manhattan Clan enjoys a pleasant, peaceful night at the castle: Broadway cooks; Goliath reads; Lex and Brooklyn play cards; Hudson watches Donald Duck on TV; Bronx chews a bone. Meanwhile, David Xanatos is still counting down the days until his release.

1950
The Stone of Destiny is stolen from Westminster Abbey by Macbeth and four Scottish patriots.



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