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A few questions that I forgot to ask: 1. Was Bronx part of the original
comedy development, or was he added in after you decided to switch to the
serious action-drama concept, like Goliath? 2. Does Titania know about
Oberon being Merlin's father? After all, Merlin was born long before the
"Great Divorce" (with apologies to C. S. Lewis) of 995, by traditional
Arthurian chronology. 3. In the Gargoyles universe, just how accurate is
Malory's account of King Arthur's reign? Did Sir Thomas get it pretty much
right, or did he "goof it up" the way that Shakespeare did with Macbeth's
story? 4. You said in your last response that you're currently reading
Christopher Marlowe's plays. How do you think that he compares with
Shakespeare? (The only Marlowe play that I've read is "Dr. Faustus", but I
think that it's quite good, especially the end where Faustus is horrifiedly
aware that in a few minutes, Mephistopheles and Co. are going to drag him
off to eternal torment and that there's nothing that he can do to stop the
progression of the clock towards that moment). 5. Was Owen's line about
out-Vogeling Vogel in "The Gathering Part II" inspired by Hamlet's line
about out-Heroding Herod in his famous speech to the Players? 6. In "A
Lighthouse in the Sea of Time", Macbeth says that Merlin's magic was
"stronger than anything, except the human heart." Was that "human heart"
bit an allusion to Lancelot and Guinevere's love (the traditional cause of
1. Bronx was a later addition.
2. I'm sure she knew. I'm not sure he knew she knew.
3. I'd hardly say Shakespeare goofed up. Same with Malory. But I think the
seeds of truth in Malory may not always have grown in the same direction as
in our series. Have to take it case by case.
4. I haven't finished reading his complete plays yet. Faustus is episodic
but impressive. Tamburlaine is very episodic, but certainly has some great
moments. That's all I've read so far. I just started THE JEW OF MALTA. Ask
me again later.
5. Hmmm. Maybe subconsciously, although I think you're giving us too much
credit this time.
6. Among other human hearts, yes.(GDW/1-27-98)
Hi, Greg. Thanks for taking time to answer our questions. 1)
Approximately when did Puck reveal himself to Xanatos? 2) When did Xanatos
meet Demona? 3) When/How did Fox and Xanatos meet? 4) If "The Reckoning"
had been a 2-parter what else would have happened? 5) Is Hudson half-human?
He's the only gargoyle with facial hair and his coloring is almost human.
1. Before you met either character.
2. Before you met either character. (Or at least before you met Demona in
the 20th century.)
3. Same answer.
4. Good question. I can't answer that with absolute certainty, but I don't
think much more would have been added from the standpoint of PLOT POINTS. I
just think we would have had more room to deal with Angela and Demona, with
Thailog, with each of the clones and our characters' responses to them.
5. No, of course not. And he's not the only gargoyle with facial hair.
What makes you think the others don't shave? :) (GDW/1-27-98)
Hi Greg, sorry to bother you again, but after watching the Avalon eps again,
something is bothering me. I realize that you created a paradox with the
archmage living, but he had to survive the first time to get the talismans
so he could save himself. (Im sorry if that isnt to clear, and if you like
Ill try and clear it up in the future) I'm interested in temporal
mechanics, and that has been bugging me for years. ( Basically I want to
know how the Archmage survived the first time so he could create the
paradox) Thanks for your time!
I've discussed this a lot recently, both here and in the comment room. The
Archmage survives BECAUSE his future self saved him, which allowed him to
live and age so that he could come back and save his younger self. It's a
loop. Like the Revolution at SIX FLAGS MAGIC MOUNTAIN. (GDW/1-27-98)
MORE RAMBLINGS ON TIME TRAVEL AND FREE WILL:
Hey, Gary (and everyone)... You asked me further questions about time. The
answers all come down to Point of View. You didn't comment on the
"religious" aspects of my comments, but frankly, they seem unavoidable.
PoV. To Goliath, in the 1990s, the past seems fixed. The present and
future, not. To Goliath in 1940, the past and present seem fixed, and the
future seems fixed for a few decades, and then past the mid-nineties, not.
To Greg Weisman, in his capacity as god of the Gargoyle Universe, the past,
present and future seem fixed.
But what does this mean? It means we are bound by what we know and nothing
more. What does "fixed" mean? Goliath realizes that Griff can't return to
his clan in the forties, because he didn't return in the forties. But that
doesn't mean Goliath cannot affect their mutual futures, by bopping Griff
forward to the nineties.
Greg Weisman knows that something big happens in the year 2158. But he
doesn't yet know all the results of that. For that matter, Greg has a lot of
knowledge about what happened in 984. But what exactly happened between 984
and 994? I've got a basic idea, but there's room for movement. There are
facts I can't dodge, therefore facts that my characters can't dodge. But
that doesn't remove their free will.
Pre-destination does not NEGATE free will, unless the character abdicates
free will in the mistaken belief that he or she has none. And even then, the
"act" of abdication is a choice, an act of free will.
One other note: the Gettysburgh Address in my previous example could be
called a "time circle". Unbroken. No beginning or end. The Archmage is not
a circle, but a loop in a straight line. Think of a roller coaster. It goes
along straight for 100 yards. Then it begins a loop-de-loop. We travel up
and backwards and around and then the track flattens out again at the eighty
yard mark. For twenty yards the tracks run side by side, or put another
way, since the track is unbroken, lengths of the ONE track run side by side.
Then one length, "the younger length," heads back into the loop, while the
other "mature" length continues forward on the straight flat track.
Hope this helps. (GDW/1-27-98)
How did Wyvern Hill get its name?
Good question. The answer's pretty self-evident.
Yes, that's a hint.
Why did you put Eliza as a love intrest for goliath instead of demona?
eliza and goliath now thats disgusting, but i still love the show!
Well, Evelyn, I think you're in the minority on that one. But basically, we
had a Beauty and the Beast motif in mind from the beginning. (GDW/1-26-98)
What episode did anibus appear in?
Anubis appeared in "Grief."
In "Avalon Part 2", I noticed that when it showed the young Princess
Katherine and Magus playing with the baby gargoyles (baby Angela and
Gabriel, it was daylight and not nighttime. Was that a mess-up? If it was,
it was a very big one!
I've answered this before. It's not daylight. The moon is bright in Avalon
when it's full, and they were all framed by the moon and torchlight.
And, yes, of course, we messed up a bit, but since I've got the above
explanation, I'm gonna stick with it and pretend we didn't mess up at all.
At any rate, please don't think we didn't notice that the lighting in the
scene was too bright. We did but we couldn't fix it before it aired.
Here's a rambling:
There's been a little debate in the comment room, regarding the Archmage
time travel loop, time travel in general, and the subject of free will in
the Gargoyles universe. I posted my two cents, but thought I should include
it here too, in case anyone missed it:
Oh, I'm probably going to regret this, but...
Gary, Gary, Gary> Yep. There is a loop. And you're comparison to the
classic "Kill your own grandfather" chestnut doesn't parallel.
I could show you this pretty easy on a diagram, but it's a little more
complicated in type. But let me give it a shot.
The grandfather thing is a "non-working" paradox. The timestream short
circuits. [No cheating, now. No "Well, it turns out the man I always
thought of as my grandfather wasn't really my biological grandfather" and no
"He had sex with my grandmother just before I killed him." None of that.] I
go back in time to kill my grandfather. He dies. My father's never born.
I'm never born, therefore I don't exist to go back in time to kill my
grandfather. Since I don't exist, my grandfather never dies. So my father
is born, and, subsequently, so am I, allowing me to go back in time to kill
my grandfather. And so on, and so on, and so on... It iterates without
fusing. Again, short circuit.
Compare another chestnut that I made up a few years ago. I am a historian.
My specialty is Abraham Lincoln. I travel back in time and meet him just
before he's scheduled to give the Gettysburgh Address. To my horror, I
discover that he's got writer's block. The most famous speech a president
ever gave, and Abe can't think of what to write. I panic. And "write" the
speech for him. Of course I didn't compose it. I simply write down the
Gettysburgh Address from memory. Abe loves it. Gives the speech. Reporters
transcribe it. Historians put it in history books. I study it and go back
in time. Time flows unbroken. It is a "working" paradox. A paradox that
doesn't short circuit the time stream. Now it raises a HUGE question? Who
composed the Address? Not Abe, he got it from me. Not me, I got if from a
history book. Not the historians or the reporters, they got it from Abe.
The answer is it was born with the timestream, created by God or the Big Bang
or whatever. It is mysterious. But it works.
The best example of a working paradox story I've ever read is Robert
Heinlein's "All You Zombies". It's a brilliant, subversive little piece of
The Archmage (and/or the M.I.A.) loop has much more in common with the
Gettysburgh chestnut than the Grandfather chestnut. It is a working
paradox. Simpler even than Gettysburgh. You are the Archmage. Once upon a
time, you were a kid. Then you grew up to be a man, and you wind up falling
into a chasm. You're rescued by a "STRANGER" who looks something like you,
but not quite. The "Stranger" mentors you and gives you power and actually
changes you so that you look more like the stranger than like your old self.
Then the "stranger" sends you back in time to that point where you rescue
your old self. Now to that old immature version of you, you seem like "the
stranger". You mentor the old you, you give him power. Then you send him
back to effect the rescue. It's a loop, because you don't go back again.
You continue forward until Goliath does you in. There's a beginning and an
end and a loop in the middle. It IS a paradox. But it's a working paradox.
There's no short circuit. Time flows. THERE IS A BIG QUESTION! Where did
the Archmage get the idea to save himself. Well, he knows to do it because
his old self was a "witness" to the rescue. His old self was the rescuee.
But where did the IDEA come from? Again, a quirk of the timestream.
Many people have asked me why I made this the time travel rule in Gargoyles.
It's a very conservative approach. You can't change history. Period. Sure
we may not know the whole story. But what happened, happened. We can't
change it. That's the rule as I established it in "Vows," and as we stuck
with throughout the series. Why? Time travel is all theoretical. I could
have chosen any rule I wanted. I could have chosen no rules. Why did I
chose this rigid approach? Basically, cuz I thought it was MORE fun. I hate
feeling cheated at the end of stories. Time travel stories are easily
subject to this abuse. So many great Star Trek episodes full of time travel,
wind up wimping out in the end. Cheating. Using non-working paradoxes or
breaking any semblence of rules they've already established. I always felt
ripped off. I didn't want that for Gargoyles. Also it presents our
characters with a greater challenge. Griff vanished in WWII. Goliath goes
back in time to change it. AND HE CAN'T!!!!!! So he has to find another way
to solve the problem. It also explains why our guys just don't go back and
fix things so that the Wyvern Massacre never happened. Once you open a a can
of worms, you're stuck with a lot of worms (or worse, you pretend they aren't
there). That seemed lousy to me, so I made it clear that once an event is
absolutely known, you can't dodge it. Only work within it's frame. It's all
a matter of opinion, but that seemed like MORE fun to me.
And now...DAH DAH DAH. Predestination vs. Free will. This is an ancient
argument. God is omniscient. He knows what Eve is going to do. So she had
no free will, right? Well, most theologians would say she does. Eve is
created with free will by God. She doesn't have to take that apple. Cain
doesn't have to kill Abel. Sure, God knows that Eve is gonna take it, that
Cain is going to kill, but he doesn't impose that knowledge or his authority
on either Eve or Cain. (He's God. He can make those subtle distinctions in
his creations.) The fact that Mom tells you not to eat the cookies and
nevertheless knows you're going to, doesn't mean that you have no free will.
You could surprise Mom and skip 'em. Now you can't surprise God. He's God.
So he knows ahead of time what you're going to do. But it's still your
choice. Nothing touched your free will.
Now, I'll admit, that at times in Gargoyles, that distinction seems less
clear. I'm the main (though not the only) god of the Gargoyles Universe.
(At least I used to be.) But, obviously, I'm not GOD, and I don't have his
subtle powers of creation. But I tried. I suppose it's tough to figure how
the Archmage could choose not to save himself. But I think the key is that
he wouldn't want to choose anything other than what he did. So his free will
isn't touched. Griff chooses to fight in the Battle of Britain. He chooses
to risk his life. He doesn't know about Phoenix Gates or time travel. But
he knows the risks of war. He doesn't make it home for forty years. Maybe
that's a consequence he couldn't predict, but it's better than dieing. His
free will isn't missing from the equation just because the time stream (or
God or whatever you believe in) knows that he's not coming back even before
he departs. In GONE WITH THE WIND, Rhett Butler doesn't join the Confederate
Army until he knows the Confederacy is doomed. HE KNOWS. But that doesn't
effect his free will. We all make decisions. Maybe someone out there knows
the results. God. Or a psychic palm reader living in Petaluma. Or your
Uncle Ralph, who did the exact same thing when he was your age. But the fact
that someone else know, whether we know they know or not, does not effect our
Anyway, that's my two cents. (GDW/1-26-98)
I've never really been a huge fan of fantasy myself, just wasn't that type
of guy. The only two people who have ever done fantasy that I really got
into are you Greg, and Neil Gaiman. I was wondering if there was a
possiblity of you two colabirating on a project of some sort.
I doubt it. I've never met Neil, and God knows he doesn't need me to tell
his stories. Also we work in different media, and though we are both
interested in many of the same themes and topics, I think we have very
different approaches, very different tones, very different voices. I once
used his character of Death in an issue of CAPTAIN ATOM. I tried to be
respectful, but I heard through the DC Comics grapevine that he didn't care
for the appearance, though I never talked to him about it personally. But
Neil, if you're out there, I'd be willing to give it a shot.