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Todd Jensen writes...

Rewatched "Vendettas" today - this time around, I spotted what looked like a small village in the opening shot (near the former site of Castle Wyvern). A minor detail, I know, but I liked the discovery of a village or small town in the area.

Greg responds...

Yep. Especially one that the Vikings haven't sacked for a century or ten.

Response recorded on August 17, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

Rewatched "Bushido" today (I rewatched "Sentinel" yesterday, but had no new thoughts on it).

What most struck me this time around was the parallel to "Awakening", with Taro as like a less-serious version of Xanatos. The two specifics I noticed were the gargoyles' awakening in the theme park, which reminded me of the clan's first awakening in Manhattan, and their wondering if someone had moved the temple, which evoked Xanatos moving the castle to New York.

Greg responds...

Those parallels were very intentional.

Response recorded on August 17, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

Rewatched "Shadows of the Past" today.

Bronx was definitely not enjoying the wild boat ride through the stormy seas - his response put me in mind of the "series Pitch"'s description of him as angst-ridden and not fond of adventures.

I really enjoyed the little animation details in this episode - Elisa cautiously climbing up the path from the shore, grabbing hold of the stone wall at one point to steady herself, or Bronx slipping a bit when he starts climbing up the cliff.

The entrance to the rookery looked different than it did in "Awakening Part One" - apparently those doors and the gargoyle-like face over them were removed by Xanatos to New York, along with the rest of the castle. The depiction of the now castle-less cliff - with a huge gap - brought home just how much of it Mr. X had removed.

I really like the illusory Demona's words to Goliath "Join me in the dark" - it's an illusion of her, of course, but those words capture so well in metaphor what she's been trying to get him to do (when not simply trying to kill him).

This time around, looking at the giant skull-like shape left over from the Archmage's battle with the gargoyles in "Long Way Till Morning", I tried to work out (but wasn't certain) whether it was a real skull (if so, it belonged to something really huge) or just part of the cave sculpted into the likeness of a skull. I'll have to pay closer attention to it, the next time I watch "Long Way Till Morning".

Greg responds...

The animation on that episode was just lovely..

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

I rewatched "Legion" today.

When Goliath and Lexington were reunited with Coldstone near the start, I suddenly found myself thinking of your mention of a (rejected) outline for a live-action adaptation of "Gargoyles" you'd written which had Goliath, Lex, and "Othello" as the gargoyles who'd be awakened in the modern world.

This time around, also, the Xanatos Program felt like a foreshadowing of "Future Tense".

I also wondered (just a wondering, not a question) whether the ivied balcony in Coldstone's memories (where he's standing while Iago's "pouring poison in his ear" about Desdemona and Goliath) was supposed to be an actual feature of Castle Wyvern before the massacre, or just a symbolic construct.

Greg responds...

Yeah, one thing I'd have loved to do was to better integrate the Coldtrio into the early episodes.

I think maybe the castle might have had some kind of ivy. Maybe. Guess I'd have to research that.

Response recorded on August 13, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of "Gargoyles", I watched "Awakening" (all five episodes) on DVD yesterday, and thought I'd share a few things I hadn't noticed before (or hadn't noticed enough) that struck my fancy.

1. When Goliath sends the trio and Bronx to the rookery, Bronx looks ashamed of himself - in a way that reminds me of times when dogs I'd known looked guilty over something.

2. When Xanatos tells Owen "Make the offer now" at the ruins of Castle Wyvern, I suddenly wondered whom he bought Castle Wyvern from. I won't ask here - it's obviously a "No spoilers" answer - but I was struck by the fact that this was the first time I wondered that.

3. I spotted what looked like a "foliate head" (or "Green Man"-type head) carved over the archway the gargoyles are standing beneath when the Commandos showed up in the courtyard, and a couple of winged figures on one of the tapestries. (I'll have to check for other unusual and remarkable features of the castle in later episodes, as well.)

4. Many of the human characters repeatedly call the gargoyles "beasts", both in the medieval scenes and the modern (Princess Katharine's protest at allowing beasts in the dining hall, Mary calling the gargoyles beasts, Bruno asking "Where's the beast?" while pursuing Goliath and Elisa).

5. Goliath asks Elisa, when they first meet, "What were you doing in my castle?" Despite Xanatos having bought it, he clearly thinks of it as still his - as if laying pipe for the arc about the gargoyles having to leave the castle and Goliath resisting it.

Greg responds...

1. The dogs I've had get that shamed look based on my reprimanding tone more than based on what they've done. As opposed to the cats I've had (and have), who at best stare at me as if to ask, "Are you talking to me?"

2. An interesting question.

3. Art Direction was pretty awesome on the show.

4. All very intentional.

5. We tried to keep each character's POV clear.

Response recorded on August 12, 2021

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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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