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RETORTS 2004-08 (August)

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Okay, gang,

I'm going to be off-line for a while.

I leave early tomorrow morning (8-5-04) for Montreal and the Eighth Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles.

I come home on the 8th, but then the family is immediately going to San Diego for some SeaWorld/Legoland action.

So I won't be back at ASK GREG for over a week.

But when I come back, you can look forward (I would hope) to my ramblings about the Gathering.

PLEASE, PLEASE post your own Gathering Journals, Gathering Diaries, etc. as well.

Seriously, I'm using this as a tool with Disney. We have about 200 people attending the Gathering this year. I'd like to see at least 100 Gathering Diaries posted here at ASK GREG.


P.S. Remember, if you see me at the Gathering, don't hesitate to come up to me and say hello. Don't be shy. Please introduce or re-introduce yourselves. I know many, many of you, but I'm traditionally not great with names. Sometimes it takes me a couple gatherings to remember. For that I apologize, but please don't take offense. I really do want to meet all of you. See you soon.


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some REAL rambling...


This is just me thinking aloud. (Well, not really aloud. I'm sitting here typing.) I don't even know if I like these ideas. They're definitely not canon.

But the following notions occured to me today...

Gargoyles don't seem to have a native language. They acquire human language ... perhaps much the same way that they acquire names. Naming is clearly addictive. And language, in many ways, is just sophisticated naming.

Clearly gargoyles are just as intelligent as humans. Before humans developed tools, Gargoyles were at the top of the food chain. They may not have created/invented as much "stuff" as humans have, but they also had way fewer needs. Necessity being the mother of invention, they had less motivation for inventing sophisticated shelter, clothes, tools, etc. But that in and of itself isn't a comment on their brain-power.

So why no need for language and names?

When it comes to naming, gargoyles clearly felt that names were superfluous if not somewhat limiting, if not downright harmful to the spirit. Humans must define things. Gargoyles know that things just are.

We are friends. What other name do we require, etc.

It fits in with their animistic/monotheistic view of a higher power. A higher power that requires no name.

Does beg a question, though if you go back far enough.

Does the sky need a name? Does the river?

Elisa responds: "The river's called the Hudson."

But she could have responded: "The river's called a river."

Did the gargoyles have a language that they ABANDONED in favor of human words -- even if those human words were Atlantean (like the term "Gorlois", the true Atlantean etimology for "GARGOYLE")?

Or perhaps...

Gargoyles are so attuned to the earth. They have biological clocks that match the seasons. They have relationships that require no names, until those names have been imposed.

Is it possible, that gargoyles once... long ago... had mild psychic abilities that left them with no need to create language? It wasn't words that they intuited (or transmitted or read or whatever) but emotions, maybe images or sensations.

Maybe it was tied to magic. Not that Gargoyles are magical creatures, but if magic was free-flowing before the Will-O-The-Whisps evolved into the Children of Mab (or whomever) and somewhat confiscated that power for their own, perhaps that magic was just part of the Earth that gargoyles were so attuned to, and allowed for some psychic congress.

Or perhaps, it is a biological ability -- based on biio-elecricity and brainwaves -- that has faded with disuse. Perhaps the very language skills that Gargoyles learned from the human race dampened their psychic intuitiveness, much as Fox's natural magical abilities were stunted by her human upbringing.

Either way, it suggests that this ability could be latent.

I'm NOT saying that the gargs we know are psychic. They've all been fooled enough, even by the INTENSELY emotional Demona (who would theoretically be broadcasting as well as receiving) to bely that notion.

But I wonder if this isn't an interesting area of speculation.

If you see me at the Gathering THIS WEEKEND, it's a topic I'd be interested in discussing.

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Stanley writes...

One more about the stone form...

I noticed that often times there are shots of the rising sun, but the Gargoyles remain flesh until the light rays actually hit their body. This seems to imply that it is the actual physical impact of the sun rays on their bodies that turn them to stone. But by that token, a gargoyle hiding inside a dark room with no windows would remain flesh during the day. So instead, do they have some sort of biological clock, in tune with the rotation of the earth? But that seems even too complicated for a gargoyle. I'd like to hear anything you had thought out concerning the specifics of this idea.

Greg responds...

Again, I've answered this before. I don't know what you could possibly mean by "too complicated for a gargoyle".

They do indeed have a biological clock, a pretty intense one that adjusts for the seasons, etc. Like all of us with a biological clock, one can defy it -- briefly. But an actual visual cue like the sun hitting you is a powerful psychological trigger that makes it difficult to beat the clock.

Response recorded on August 04, 2004

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Stanley writes...

Sorry if these has been answered already, but I've been wondering about them for a while, mostly becuase I know that you mentioned that the stone form of the Gargoyles is something that should be highlighted as biological, not magical.

1. How is it determined what inanimate objects in contact with the gargoyles turn to stone when they sleep? Their clothing turns to stone with them, but Hudson's sword remains a sword. I also remember in "Long Way to Morning" Demona's gun also turned to stone.

2. Sevarius surmised that the Gargoyles get the energy they need to use their wings by storing solar energy in stone form. Then since "The Mirror", how does Demona recharge on solar energy? The same question goes for the gargoyles of "The Green".

Greg responds...

1. The new search feature works great. It hardly took me ANY time to find the following in the archives...

"Response recorded on April 22, 2004"

This is in the archives over and over. At the time of transformation, if Hudson is thinking of his sword  as part of his uniform, it will turn to stone  with the rest of his  clothes  per a spell cast during the time of Caesar Augustus. If he's thinking about it as a separate weapon (or whatever) it won't. He doesn't even have to be conscious of the decision.

2. Magic compensates.

Response recorded on August 04, 2004

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Todd Jensen writes...

My ramble on "Sanctuary", in response to yours.

"Sanctuary" is one of three "Gargoyles" episodes that I like to watch (from my tapes) once a year, on holidays. I watch it on Valentine's Day. (The other two are "Eye of the Beholder", for Halloween, and "The Hound of Ulster", for St. Patrick's Day). It does seem appropriate for Valentine's Day, with all the romance in it. (Although, at the same time, it's mostly "failed romance". Macbeth falls in love with Dominique Destine, only to be betrayed by her. Demona falls in love with Thailog, but is betrayed by him - though she doesn't even find out that he's no good until "The Reckoning". We get references back to Goliath and Demona when they were a couple - and we know how that one turned out. The only romance here that's got any real hope is Goliath and Elisa - and even that hasn't quite begun yet, with Elisa still holding off on it, as you pointed out).

I couldn't help but think that Dominique's French accent sounded more than a little hokey.

After marrying Macbeth, of course, Demona now could be called "Lady Macbeth" - and I'd say that she fits the imagery surrounding that name a lot better than Gruoch does.

One of the moments that I find especially touching in this episode is where Macbeth is getting ready to explain to Dominique all about his true nature. (Come to think of it, the real challenge that he'd have here - if the situation was what he thought it was - would be having to counteract the "murderous tyrant" image that Shakespeare had built around him, given that almost everybody who's heard of Macbeth is more likely to be familiar with the Shakespeare version of his story than the real history behind it).

I'll admit that I cringed at Elisa's "This is a job for the gargoyles line" (I honestly don't see the gargoyles as being "super-heroes", at least, not the same variety as Superman or Batman). But I agree with you on Thailog's cunning in immediately derailing suspicion from himself with his "Didn't you search him?" line. And on how unsettling it is when he leers at Angela (and, frankly, I don't think that he'd be at all bothered by the incest angle).

I also noticed how Thailog bears the same first name as Xanatos's biological son - and it's definitely creepy, especially given that Thailog and Xanatos couldn't even have come into contact with each other about it.

So you noticed those paintings that appear to be of Elisa, too? I was wondering about them myself.

One odd little thought from the first time that I saw it: I'm not sure why, but for some reason or other, the first time that I saw this episode, I actually thought, when Angela got buried under the rubble, that she wouldn't make it out alive. It does appear that I wasn't quite certain that she'd make it to the clock tower (too much influence from "status quo" television here, perhaps?).

I liked your analysis of Goliath's fears over Angela meeting her mother - but I wonder if Demona really could pose a danger of corrupting Angela. Angela's overall interactions with humanity have been much happier than Demona's - three loving human foster-parents who raised her and her rookery siblings, plus Elisa - that'd have to outweigh even the worst that an anti-gargoyle mob could do. But I suppose that it would be like Goliath to not want to take that risk.

(And re Elisa being Angela's "stepmother" - well, you've got to admit that it would definitely break the Disney cliche there - the first time that they do a "good stepmother" - and with the biological mother as the "wicked witch", at that).

Greg responds...

Have to admit that much as I LOVE Marina's work, I wasn't wild about her French accent.

Demona as LADY MACBETH was very intentional. There's more I could say on this subject... but I'll refrain for now.

As for Angela's survival, I guess it's a war between "status quo tv" and "don't kill off the good guys on a Disney show". Since we tried to defy expectations on both fronts when we could, I like to hope that you guys we'll fear the worst periodically.

The truth is, I'm always hesitant to kill ANY character (good or evil, major or minor), as I can usually find great stories for him or her down the road. But sometimes the Gargverse just doesn't give me any choice.

Response recorded on August 04, 2004

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As I'm sure many of you have noticed, Gorebash has rebooted ASK GREG in a major way. It's still a work in progress, so feel free (politely) to offer your input to Gore.

But don't forget to thank him as well for his hard, hard work.

Thanks, Gore! It's very much appreciated.


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Stanley writes...

In your Timedancerspinoff, does the Gate have a "mind of it's own" like Avalon's boats, taking Brooklyn to time periods that it decides on, or is it completely random?

Greg responds...

It depends on your point of view, I suppose. In my mind, it is random and yet it has to do with eddies and currents and whirls in the timestream... The end result is the same: Brooklyn winds up in times & places where we have the best stories to tell.∂

Response recorded on August 03, 2004

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Josie J. writes...

Dear greg,
I saw a messag online that said there were more than just the first three series. If this is true are they still playing on tv and on wht station?

Greg responds...

I'm not sure what you're referring to.

Do you mean three SEASONS?

There were only three seasons. Two seasons of Gargoyles and one season of Goliath Chronicles.

There were six proposed prequel, sequel and spin-off series (Dark Ages, Gargoyles 2198, Bad Guys, TimeDancer, The New Olympians, Pendragon), but none of them were made.

The fans have some fanfictions series, but I'm not familiar with those.

Response recorded on August 03, 2004

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Scottish Angel writes...

I've scoured the site looking for an answer to this question, and can't seem to find it - maybe I'm just not looking hard enough, perhaps you can help me...so here's my Question.

It's evident from the episode "Temptation" as well as a couple of others that Brooklyn knows Latin - and as he's been flipping through the Grimorum one can only conclude he is able to read it as well - however, you expressed he didn't learn to read until after coming to the 20th Century. So does the answer to his learning to read in the 20th Century relate only to him having learned to read English when he already understood Latin from days of old perhaps having learned from Demona or Goliath, or was he studying Latin in the 20th Century?

Please forgive me if this has been asked before...

Greg responds...

It's not obvious to me that he reads Latin. I think YOU are reading into the scene.

What's obvious is that he can't find what he's looking for. The fact that he's still (at best) semi-literate may in fact be both the problem and the motivator for him to GET more literate.

Response recorded on August 02, 2004

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Scottish Angel writes...

Where exactly in Scotland would Castle Wyvern have been? Are we talking along the West of Scotland or further up North in the Highlands? Please forgive me if this question had been numerously asked, I did take a look for this but couldn't see it anywhere.

Also just wondering even if the Wyvern clan were destroyed, I imagine there would have been several other clans throughout Scotland - would the clans have been expected to fight throughout battles with the humans? (Such as the battle of Dunbar in 1296 where the English invaded Scotland, etc)Would Gargoyles have protected not just their castles, and general areas but towns, villages, and the country against invasion from other countries?

Thanks for your time, sorry if these questions may have been answered before.

Greg responds...

With ASK GREG's new search feature -- installed just the other day, nearly two years after you posted, it would now be fairly easy to find this information.

Wyvern (though fictional) is located on the west coast of Scotland.

Response recorded on August 02, 2004

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