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Hey, Greg! I haven't been on the site in a while. It was my pleasure to briefly meet you at San Francisco's last (to date) Wonder Con back in 2010.
I also wanted to say that I started reading about Arthurian lore due to your work, as well as Fables. Here's my question: Is The Gargoyles' Universe Peredur Fab Ragnal an Arthurian Survivor?
I had remembered you had stated that nothing had changed from the Arthurian Survivor contest results and you had only stated that Mr. Duval was The Illuminati's founder, not The Illuminati's Number One, as Peredur turned out to have likely been. (I'm thinking Mr. Duval is still Sir Percival, and Peredur is something else.)
This has been asked and answered to the extent that I intend to answer at this time. See the archives...
I wrote this up on my blog last Christmas (a bit of a gift to myself there) and thought I'd share it here.
For every hero, or group of heroes, there must be villains. The villains test the hero, the villains make the hero. In the realm of superhero lore, Batman and Spider-Man have been cited as having the greatest rogues' galleries in comics. And I do not disagree. Sadly, other heroes or teams seem to come up lacking. Sure they may have one or two great villains, but the rest seem to be meh. The FF have Dr. Doom and Galactus, sure. The X-Men have Magneto and the Sentinels, Green Lantern has Sinestro, but the rest of their rogues galleries have always seemed, at least to me, to be okay at best. I know some will contest this opinion, but it's my opinion and as far as this blog goes, that's the one you're stuck with. Personally, I always thought the Third Great Rogues' Gallery belonged to "Gargoyles." So, let's honor them.
First of all, here's who didn't make the list and why:
Wolf - Nothing against Wolf, he's fun. He's a big dumb thug, but he's fun. But, as of yet, I haven't found him to be very interesting on his own. And I always thought his teammates were more interesting and fun to watch.
Tony Dracon - I like him a lot more than a lot of other "Gargoyles" fans seem to. He's usually fun, but he didn't quite have enough to make this list.
Oberon - I never thought of him as a villain, and I still don't. Even when he was trying to kidnap Alex. Did I agree with him? Not at all, but I don't think he was in the "legal" wrong either.
Robyn Canmore, Dingo, Matrix, Yama, and Fang - If you don't know why, shame on you.
Second of all, here's who I hope to add to the list some time:
Queen Mab - Come on Disney, let Greg do it!
Morgana le Fay - Ditto.
With that out of the way, let's dive into list.
20. Duval and Peredur fab Ragnal
At present, we've seen too little of these two to know much about them. But what we have seen has been enough to give us an intriguing mystery, especially if you've been following ASK GREG for the past fourteen years. They are the guiding hands of the Illuminati Society, which was created a century after the Fall of Camelot, by Sir Percival to "set things right." Which of these two men is Sir Percival? Well, I have my theories on that. Peredur fab Ragnal is the Welsh name for Percival, and Duval sounds like a modern alias for Percival as well. In fact, for years Greg Weisman told us that Percival was Duval, and then when the comic comes out we get Peredur. Following that, he said nothing changed from his original plan? So, who is Sir Percival, and what's the deal with the other guy? Again, I have my theories.
But I imagine that should new material ever come our way, one or both of these guys will shoot up on this list.
I also enjoy the idea of Duval being cybernetic, but I think he needs a bit of a re-design. Especially in what he wears.
19. The Banshee/Molly
The Banshee may have only been in one episode (with a cameo appearance in another), but damn did she leave an impression. Everything about this character was executed flawlessly. The character model, the animation, the voice, the effects! I loved how ghoulish she appeared, you could see the background through her.
It also helps that "The Hound of Ulster" is one of the best World Tour episodes. The script is tight, the animation is gorgeous, and a lot of the character actions are subtle and over the top when they need to be. Look at Molly's brief, brief exchange with Rory's father for the subtly, which contrasts the wonderful over the top performance as the Banshee.
This guy was a jerk. I mean, really. A paranoid tyrant who thought the world was out to get him. Well, not the world so much as his cousin, Macbeth. I suppose I can understand seeing Macbeth as a threat to the throne, but he just seemed to go out of his way to make Macbeth miserable. He reveled in it. When he died, we were all happy to see him bite it.
Batman has Joe Chill, and Spider-Man has the Burglar. Goliath has this Viking chieftain who massacred his clan. Well, Hakon may not have acted alone, but with the swing of his mace, the series really began. Like his descendant, Wolf, he's pretty one-note. But he plays that note masterfully.
But perhaps the better story isn't even the one where he shattered the clan, but the one where his vengeful spirit attempted to drive Goliath insane. That episode was the perfect send off for Hakon, even more so than falling off a cliff to his death. His angry, vengeful spirit was trapped alone at the bottom of a cavern for all of eternity without anyone or anything to hate. At least that's where I think he should have stayed. Hakon might have ranked higher if he didn't come back one last time in an episode that I thought was one of the show's only misfires. But hey, sixty-five episodes, eighteen comics, and only one misfire. You're still golden.
Now this guy is fun. I love his design, both as a gargoyle and as a robot. I love his Doc Ock-esque tentacles, and I loved Xander Berkeley in the role. Coldsteel is a manipulative jerk, and it's fun to watch him work. His favorite victim is usually Coldstone, and his goal remains unchanging… possess Coldfire. In a nutshell, he's a creepy stalker.
What's also fun is that he's had three voice actors, and not because Berkeley was unavailable. When he controlled Coldstone's body, he was played by Michael Dorn. When he possessed Brooklyn, he was voiced by Jeff Bennett. And they both did it without talking like their regular characters. Watch "Possession" again and listen to "Brooklyn" speak. It's obvious who is in the driver's seat.
I also enjoyed his appearance in the comics, working for Xanatos to distract our heroes from the theft of the Stone of Destiny. Where will he go from here? I'm not sure. I tend to think he works better when he's teaming up with other villains than acting on his own. Well, he did see potential in the Coyote robot, so maybe that's not over; one could see him working with Thailog too; perhaps even re-team with his rookery sister, Demona… they did get along quite well in "High Noon."
15. Constantine III
What can I say about this guy? He follows a long tradition of Disney tyrants, and is just as fun to watch as any of them. Sometimes I think the tenth and eleventh century villains are even more vicious than the modern day villains, and Contantine sums that up.
When we first meet this guy, he uses Finella, the woman who loves him, to lure King Kenneth (who is in love with her) out just so he can murder him in cold blood and take his crown. Then he casts her aside so he can marry Princess Katharine and better secure his claim to the throne. And he tries to keep in control with barely veiled threats against her charges. Harsh.
But even better than that is his return in the "Gargoyles" comic book where he's hunting down and murdering every gargoyle clan he can find, and trying to find Katharine and her friends. By now, he's been in power for two years and rules with an iron fist… which leads to a civil war. This guy is such a jerk that he even kills the messenger that the army of the Three Brothers sends. You never kill the messenger.
And then there was his rather creepy relationship with his new protégé, Gillecomgain, which led to the two inspiring each other in a very twisted ways. Constantine is inspired by Gillecomgain's scars to wear them as war paint in battle, and in turn, Constantine inspires Gillecomgain to become the Hunter. As if Gillecomgain needed any more inspiration. Which brings me to…
Let's face it, even as a kid, Gillecomgain had issues. Obviously there was a lot of darkness instilled in him by his father, who himself had some very understandable issues also. What did these issues lead to? One rogue gargoyle was going through their barn, and Gillecomgain pointed a pitchfork into the shadows to scare a thief only to get slashed across the face. What did THAT lead to? Arguably the events of the entire series.
Gillecomgain's life didn't get better. Constantine III took an interest in him which set him on the path of becoming a masked political assassin, not to mention his continued hunt for the demon that scarred him. Like dominos, this led to events that made Macbeth the man he is today, the Canmore clan what they became, and set the tone for centuries of hatred and pain. And all because of one scratch in a barn.
As a character himself, Gillecomgain stacks up well. There is a moment after his arranged marriage to Gruoch, who obviously doesn't love him, where you almost wonder if you should feel bad for a man whose wife obviously despises him. Then he crushes her rose underfoot. What does this mean? Here's a hint, Luach might not have been Macbeth's son. Powerful stuff.
13. Falstaff/John Oldcastle
Okay, this guy is fun. Him and his gang of LARPers gone bad. They appeared only in the final two issues of "Gargoyles: Bad Guys" but they made an impression. I loved the buildup Falstaff received. We see him take a young Harry Monmouth (who would grow up to become Dingo) under his wing. Train him to be a thief, and take pity on the poor boy after his mother ran out on him. Only for that shocker of a final page where we see Oldcastle with his hands wrapped around the throat of her already dead body.
I really love his gang. At first glance, they seem super human, but are in fact incredibly skilled. And I love that Oldcastle, maybe the world's greatest thief, named himself after Shakespeare's king of thieves. He looked the part, and just seemed to take so much joy in everything he did, and that helped make it a joy to watch him do it.
I hope we get more at some point, because I want to know more about him. Why did he murder Dingo's mom? And when did the Illuminati recruit him? Does he have any other responsibilities for the Society other than guarding their giant vault? Well, until next time, and I believe there will be a next time.
Of all the new characters introduced in the comic books, the most intriguing has to be Shari. Is she Thailog's new executive assistant, or does she own him? So far it seems to be a little bit of both. But I'm sure it's far more one than the other.
I love the narrative device of her storytelling, and I wonder where her knowledge comes from. Sure, she's a very high member of the Illuminati Society, but there are some things she just shouldn't know. And yet, she does. Like I said, she's intriguing. Now, I have my theories on who she really is, in fact I think it's so obvious, I almost wonder what the point of not revealing it was, aside from the fact that I can't see a place in the stories released to do it.
And as a final bit of trivia, Shari's look and basic design was inspired by stage actress and long time "Gargoyles" fan, Zehra Fazal. I've seen her perform on stage, and she is brilliant. She definitely deserved to be immortalized in "Gargoyles" canon in such a way.
11. The Archmage
Who would have thunk it? A one-shot villain if "Gargoyles" ever had one. You watch "Long Way to Morning" again, and you'd never think this guy would have become so important in the grand scheme of the series. Well, let's just say that David Warner kicks ass.
While I do write off his appearance in "Long Way to Morning" as 'obvious one shot villain,' he's still fun, even there. But I think what everybody remembers most is his turn as the villain in the "Avalon" triptych. I loved "Avalon Part Two." I thought the script was brilliant. I thought David Warner's dialogue with himself was tremendous. The entire endeavor was just wonderful.
Do I agree with the decision to kill him off? Absolutely. I don't think he would have had any staying power in the modern day material. The guy is a clichéd sorcerer, even if he's a very fun one. However, that doesn't mean I think the character is done entirely. There is plenty for him to do in a certain spin-off that takes place during the "Dark Ages." Or maybe even something to do if one were to TimeDance and have an encounter with him.
What can I say, I have a soft spot for this glorified toaster oven. At first glance he may seem like Ultron wearing half of Xanatos's skin, but the influence from Xanatos is evident. This robot has a sense of humor, sometimes even a perverse one. Granted it's not sentient or self-aware, but it almost seems close enough to fool you.
I love all the designs he goes through. They're all different, while at the same time reminding you of who you're looking at. But my favorite will always be the first one. I loved the look, I loved his perception-warping weapon the most. I wish he'd used it more often.
What's next for this character? Well, Greg has kept extremely tight-lipped. We know more upgrades are on the horizon, but come "Gargoyles 2198" … well, let's just say I think I know what the Xanatos of "Future Tense" was actually foreshadowing.
9. Jackal and Hyena
The "Gargoyles Universe" is well known for their complex, complicated villains. But sometimes, it's nice to just cut loose. Enter the sociopathic Jackal; and his twin sister, the psychotic Hyena and we're in for a good time whenever they show up. These two will crack you up one moment and then make you sick the next.
The first time they appeared, they didn't seem THAT bad. Then, come their second appearance, you have Hyena nearly slicing a fan's face up, and smiling when she gets arrested. Following that, we have Hyena falling in love with a robot. And then, after that, the two volunteer to trade in their body parts for cybernetic implants. Frankly, it's rather sick.
Jackal almost seems normal when you compare him to Hyena. "Normal" being very relative, until we get to "Grief" where he becomes the avatar of Anubis, giving him power over life and death, and what does he do? He decides he wants to end all life on Earth. Yeah….
I'm glad these two are close siblings, because they deserve each other. Still, whatever else they are, they're very fun bad guys. Hell, even a friend of mine named his gold colored Aztek after Hyena.
8. Anton Sevarius
Dr. Anton Sevarius earns points for being the creepiest villain we have encountered so far. He's even creepier than Jackal and Hyena! Sure, he's pretty much a hired gun, but the guy enjoys it. He revels in it. I can sum up Sevarius with one quote. After he was asked why he was doing this:
"For science, which as my associate Fang indicated, must ever move forward. Plus there's the money… and I do love the drama!"
This guy is only slightly more ethical than Dr. Mengele! And I also need to give a ton of credit to Tim Curry for really bringing this guy to life. Apparently, Brent Spiner was the first choice to voice Sevarius, but Curry got the role, and Spiner was cast as Puck. Thank god for those decisions.
Another moment that really stands out was when he was all over Angela in "Monsters." Does he have a sexual interest in her? I don't know, probably not. I think he just took pleasure in making her as uncomfortable as possible.
I think my other favorite Sevarius moment comes from "Double Jeopardy" where he thinks he's taking part in a Machiavellian scheme of Xanatos's and decides to act the part… very badly, I might add. So much fun, even when he makes you scream.
7. The Weird Sisters
Okay, let's get this out of the way. Silver haired Luna is the Sister of Fate; Raven haired Selene is the Sister of Vengeance; and Golden haired Phoebe is the Sister of Grace.
The Weird Sisters are, for the most part, a complete mystery. They have plans within plans that stretch through the centuries, after all what is time to them? They could even give Xanatos a run for his money. What is their agenda? Only they know. We've seen two thirds of the story, with Luna ascendant during "City of Stone" and Selene ascendant during "Avalon." But there is a missing piece, where does grace fall in their plans for Demona and Macbeth? Hopefully time will tell.
These three are great fun to watch. I love how they can be both nowhere and everywhere. And I love how they can and will take on different forms depending on who is looking at them at any given moment. Where do their loyalties lie? Well, it seems to be with Oberon, but I've long suspected there is something bigger at play with these three.
It would be easy to say they were plucked straight out of the Scottish Play, but in several folklores and mythologies, the Weird Sisters are present in some form. There is just something elemental and primeval about them. And that's part of what makes them a great element of the series.
Any woman who David Xanatos would marry would have to be cut from the same cloth he is, because anyone else would be beneath him. Fox is that woman. Hell, sometimes she gets the better of him, whether they're sparring in the dojo, or playing chess. And he doesn't resent this; it's just further proof that he's found the love of his life.
It's weird to watch her in "The Thrill of the Hunt" at times, because Wolf, Jackal, Hyena, and Dingo just seem so far beneath her, she almost seems out of place there. And yet, at the same time, the more we learn about her, the more it makes sense. When we meet Halcyon Renard, a huge piece of the puzzle is put into place. She was never a daddy's girl, in fact, quite the opposite. She was clearly motivated, for years, by just annoying her father. Maybe her mother too.
And I think it was just as much of a shock to her that she loved David. But I wonder what their relationship was like before her prison sentence? Obviously Xanatos made her a television star, but what else was going on there?
She was his lover and employee. And a trained mercenary, let's not forget that.
Like her husband, she grew and developed as the series progressed, and is every bit as interesting a character as he is. In fact, in an alternate universe, I wonder how the series would have played if Fox was in Xanatos's role from the get go.
Ah, the prodigal son… and he's a bastard. Literally.
I love this guy, he's just a hoot. Thailog is as powerful as Goliath, as brilliant and amoral as Xanatos, and as hammy and immoral as Sevarius. All at once. And it shows. In every single appearance, it shows. The guy is a walking Oedipus complex, what with his desire to prove his superiority to his fathers. I suppose one might say that he's already gotten the better of Sevarius, since he has the good doctor on his payroll. And while he outsmarted Xanatos once, I don't think he's done. Turning Nightstone Unlimited into a powerhouse to rival Xanatos Enterprises is obviously a means to this end. But what next?
I think my favorite thing about Thailog is that while he is a clone of Goliath, that's the last thing that comes to mind when I think about him. He's a fully developed character in his own right, and not simply Goliath's evil twin. On that note, I'm happy his coloring is different, because the last thing this show needs is an entire episode where the gargoyles try to figure out which one is the real Goliath.
And how can anyone not find that maniacal laugh of his to be anything but endearing?
4. John Castaway
John Castaway is a fascinating character, hell to crack the top five, he has to be. Castaway is a weak man, and at the heart of everything, a frightened child. Too weak to stand up to his brother and say "this is wrong" and too weak to admit he was wrong when he pulls the trigger and everything goes to Hell. I think the only thing that has changed is his support system.
Now that the gargoyles have been revealed to the world, Castaway represents a political movement who are moving against them. And it's rather frightening. Not for being a group of hooded thugs, they are not, but for being like a cross between the neighborhood watch, and a support group. Oh, there is a violent wing of the Quarrymen, we know that. But with Castaway's shrewdness, and the Illuminati's backing, I don't think he would do something stupid like fire anti-aircraft cannons in Manhattan, or hijack a train. No… because that would make Castaway much less difficult to defeat than he is. And even then, who says that happens? The Quarrymen are destined to be a problem for at least the next two hundred years, and like the Hunters before them, his descendents will lead the organization.
Keep in mind, we can all trace this back to a scratch in a barn in the tenth century.
Well, where do I start? Well, I suppose I will start by saying that I almost feel bad for putting him on this list at all. He has a strong sense of honor, if skewed. He's worked against our protagonists and with them. But, in the end I think the only side he's on is his own. While he is more of an ally now, that doesn't mean he hasn't been part of the problem before and won't be part of the problem again.
His story is terrific. Rather than follow the Scottish Play, the story we got was a loose adaptation of the true history of Macbeth and his reign over Scotland. Yes, we had Demona and gargoyles, and the Weird Sisters and sorcery, but we also had a history lesson unfolding, even if we didn't know it at the time. And it's terrific. To this day, it's my favorite tale in the entire mythos.
When we first meet him, the centuries have certainly taken their toll. He is not above attacking the gargoyles, taking hostages, and committing grand theft. And yet, we never once think of him as evil, despite doing some pretty unethical and amoral things. That changes with "City of Stone" when we learn his story and feel sorry for him. But at the same time, I think the perception among many fans has swung around too far. Yes, we understand him more now. But that wasn't his redemption. Far from it.
I think the tail end of "Sanctuary" and "Pendragon" is where the change begins, and I stress this, begins. In the former, he learned that he is still capable of love. In the latter, while some didn't quite get why he competed so violently against King Arthur for Excalibur, well, it always made sense to me. This is a man who has suffered so much, who viewed his existence as sad and endless, that he was looking for something to give it meaning and maybe justify every terrible thing that has ever happened to him. Being the new Once and Future King would serve that purpose, wouldn't it? Well, it doesn't quite work out for him, but over the course of the series we have seen this man go from suicidal renegade to a man who doesn't think life is completely worth living, and now seeks purpose in his existence. Did he look like a fool clutching that broken sword? Well, he was a broken man. And once you hit rock bottom, the healing can begin.
2. David Xanatos
He was designed to be a heroic character, and he was cast as the villain of the piece. That, right there, is what makes this character so brilliant. He has so many positive qualities, so many admirable traits. He's smart, he's cool, he's suave, he's practical, he knows his priorities, he doesn't sweat the small stuff, he doesn't hold a grudge; the titled heroes have more personality flaws than he does! But he is also incredibly ruthless, and while he's not evil, he is incredibly amoral. He seems to be the walking personification of Frederick Nietzsche's ubermensch when one stops to think about it. And he is awesome.
I am actually struggling here, what more can be said about David Xanatos that hasn't already been said? He's designed many tropes all by himself. There was never a villain like him in animation before, and even after he's left, there still has never been anyone quite like him. He doesn't surround himself with dimwitted henchmen and beat them up and scream when they fail. No, quite the opposite, he is always surrounded by incredibly competent people. His assistant and majordomo, Owen Burnett comes to mind. And he so rarely loses. In sixty-five episodes, and eighteen comics, I can count the number of actual losses on one hand. Aside from that, he always comes out on top. Always. But when he doesn't, he doesn't throw a fit and scream, he shrugs it off and moves on to the next plan. There are always contingencies. This guy is the coolest guy in the series.
His character arc throughout the series is brilliant. I love his rivalry with Goliath, and I love how he doesn't hate or even dislike Goliath. He likes Goliath a lot, admires him, and regards him with what I can best call a mix of interest and benign amusement. That's far more interesting than Megatron's hatred for Optimus Prime. And I really love how Goliath would often use the word "evil" to describe Xanatos. Sure, Xanatos has done some evil things, but Goliath's view of him for the longest time was very two-dimensional. It almost represents how most audiences, especially in animation, were trained to view the villain. No, Xanatos wasn't a Dark Lord, or a diabolical evil. He was simply a trickster. A human trickster.
While Xanatos and Goliath seem to have made some form of peace, that still didn't make Xanatos one of the good guys! I love that! In a way, he's still the enemy, and now the gargoyles are living with him, and they know it! He still has plans and schemes, and while he likes the gargoyles and helps them out, that doesn't stop him from manipulating them to his own ends, or even working against them. And best of all, as far as Xanatos is concerned: it's nothing personal.
I also have to give a ton of credit to the performance of Jonathan Frakes. He made Xanatos sound so sophisticated, fun, and erudite.
David Xanatos, he should run a seminar on villainy. Often imitated, never duplicated.
Demona is the clear number one on this list, for reasons both grounded and very esoteric at the same time. At the most minimal of glances, she seems very typical. We've seen genocidal human haters before. But scratch the surface, even a little, and we get the deepest creation of not only the series, but one of the deepest creations in the realm of fiction. I'm going to say this now, and roll your eyes all you want, but Demona would not be the slightest bit out of place in Russian literature. Or William Shakespeare's for that matter. I love this character.
Let's start with the surface elements first. She's got a terrific character design, and was so very well animated. Marina Sirtis deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the work she did bringing her to life. She embodied that character so completely that I never want to hear anyone else ever voice Demona on any animated project. No one can do it. Period. Hearing Marina Sirtis voice Demona was just as much of a revelation as hearing Mark Hamill's Joker. And I will stand by that statement even under threat of torture. She is also just such a badass! An intimidating warrior, an immortal, a sorceress, and she transforms into a human during the day! Hell, in both forms, she's pretty hot.
Now, for the esoteric. She has a guilt complex that makes Peter Parker's look tame by comparison, but she spreads it around to everyone else rather than internalize it. And considering how much she has to feel guilty over, this makes her arguably the most dangerous character in the series. She cannot accept her own culpability for the terrible things that happened to her, and for all intents and purposes, murdering her clan. She may not have swung the mace, but her ambition, her bigotry, and her cowardice put them in front of it.
Her favorite scapegoats are humanity as a whole, who make an easy and convenient target for her to project her guilt and self-loathing on. Now, does she have a point? Yes. Let's face it, humans can be bastards. We've done terrible things as a species. But, just as you cannot blame every Muslim for the attacks on September 11th, or every German for the Holocaust, Demona is wrong to blame every human for the terrible actions of a few. And at the end of the day, she was either directly or indirectly responsible for those actions. She betrayed her clan, and caused the massacre; she created the Hunter, and betrayed Macbeth. Demona created her own pain, and she intends to wipe out every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth just to justify every damned stupid choice she ever made.
Despite all of that, she is an eternally conflicted character. She is not a one-dimensional cut-out. Deep inside, she knows she's wrong, she knows what she did. But she cannot and will not acknowledge that. And that's what makes her hatred for Elisa Maza so interesting. The one human she hates most is the one that has been a true friend to the gargoyles, because Elisa is living proof of just how wrong Demona really is. And the fact that Elisa and Goliath are now in love doesn't help considering Demona's lingering feelings of jealousy.
Of course, there is Demona's biological daughter, Angela. She is probably the one person Demona cares about in the world. My single biggest regret about the cancelation of the comic book is that we didn't get to see the two of them interact again. I am beyond curious to see where this goes. But one thing I am confident of, it's not heading towards a hysterically easy redemption. Nope, if we take the plan for the "Gargoyles 2198" spin-off seriously, and I most certainly do, Demona is still plotting against humanity long after Angela has died. Is it sad? Yes. Is it tragic? Yes. Is it Demona? Absolutely.
I also love how she is a walking mess of contradictions. Her belief system is based so much on lies she tells herself, that she will rationalize anything she can to fit her world view. Why? Because the alternative is admitting she is wrong, and right now, she will not do that. Cannot do that. Sadly for both her and Angela, I see tragedy in their future.
Demona's through line is one of the main reasons I am so desperate for "Gargoyles 2198" to be produced. I want to see how her story ends, and if it's going to end anywhere, it's in that spinoff. This is a story I am dying to see, and if Disney never produces it, well… one way or another I intend to find out what happens to her. What her ultimate fate is going to be. We know she'll have an epiphany of some kind. How does it happen? Why does it happen? What's the fallout? How does her story end?
Demona is an endlessly fascinating character. We've never seen anything like her in the realm of western animation before her debut, and I don't think she's been replicated since. Why? I don't know. But lightning has been caught in a bottle, and I am rather happy that no one has attempted to imitate this unique and perfectly conceived character but tragically flawed person.
What? No love for Bruno?
Why isn't Peredur fab Regnal considered to be one of the Arthurian survivors.
SPOILER REQUEST. NO COMMENT.
Was the Gargoyles Universe's take on the Holy Grail modelled on the Nanteos Cup? When the Grail gets a cameo in "Rock of Ages", it's depicted as a wooden bowl, and the wood seems the right color for olive wood. That matches the Nanteos Cup's description; did you have that in mind when you decided on that form for the Grail?
I'm embarrassed to say I had never heard of the "Nanteos Cup" until now. So I guess the answer is no. Though obviously, I was following the tradition of it being the Cup from the Last Supper, brought to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea and kept at Carbonek by the Fisher Kings (leading to Pelles and then Peredur).
Nine years ago (has it been that long?) there was an Arthurian survivors contest here at "Ask Greg". With the recent "Stone of Destiny" storyline in which Percival seems to have been split into Duval and Peredur, I'm wondering if what change have occurred on the list of Arthurian survivors.
Just to refresh your memory (and for those who don't remember it at all), here's the list as of nine years ago:
1. King Arthur Pendragon. Slept under a spell in the Hollow Hill.
2. Merlin. Son of Oberon by a mortal woman. Imprisoned in the Crystal Cave.
3. The Lady of the Lake. One of the Oberati.
4. Sir Percival. The Fisher King. Mr. Duval. Founder of the Illuminati. Spends a lot of time in Castle Carbonek, a sort of mini-traveling-Avalon, where time passes differently. Also uses the Holy Grail to maintain his youth, though at a very real physical cost, due to his, shall we say, sins.
5. Lady Blanchefleur. Percival's wife. Queen of Castle Carbonek. She lives there and uses the Grail. The only cost being her estrangement from Percival.
6. Morgana le Fay. A changling in the old-fashioned sense.
7. Nimue. A sorceress with connections to Merlin, the Oberati and Morgana. (Think about it.)
8. The Green Knight. An Oberati.
So what, if anything, has changed in the past decade? Are there still only eight survivors? If we replace "Percival" with "Peredur" and take out the reference to Mr Duval is the list still accurate?
(By the way, I loved both Gargoyles: Clan-Building and Bad Guys: Redemption, and I'm looking forward to more in the future!)
I thought Duval and Percival were the same person but after reading Gargoyles Clan-Building Volume Two, I just learned that Duval is a Illuminati member one rank below Percival (named Peredur in the comic, Peredur being Welsh version of Percival's name).
1. Didn't you mention or hint at some point before that Duval would be the name Percival uses in modern times?
2. If you answered yes to question 1:
2.a. Did you change your mind and decide to make Duval and Percival seperate characters?
2.b. Did you decide you liked the name Peredur better than Duval and then recycled the name Duval for a new character?
1. Check the Ask Greg Archives.
2. I didn't.
You've established that you mentally cast actors for some of the new characters in the Gargoyles comics, such as Quincy Hemmings played by Morgan Freeman (or someone who can sound like him i.e. Kevin Michael Richardson). Anyway, do you have any voices in mind for some of the Illuminati figures (Percival, Duval, Shari, et al.)? What about Katana and Tachi and some of the characters from the Phoenix Gate arc?
Generally, I don't "cast" until the characters have actual speaking parts. So neither Katana nor Tachi have been cast yet.
As I believe I've mentioned, Peredur "is" Jude Law, and Shari "is" Zehra Fazal, who played her in the Radio Play this past summer.
Duval "is" Eddie Marsan.
Inspired by a remark from Vaevictis's review of "Rock of Ages".
* SPOILERS FOLLOW *
You gave the name "Peredur" to the character who is apparently the counterpart of Percival. This is the Welsh equivalent to his name.
I've read much modern Arthurian fiction, and have noticed that often in it, many of the legendary characters are called by the Welsh forms of their names (such as Cai for Kay, Bedwyr for Bedivere, Medraut for Mordred, etc.) to give a sense of the older version of Arthur, the Dark Age war leader rather than the medieval king of Camelot. Is this why (or one reason why) you chose the name "Peredur" rather than "Percival"?
* SPOILERS END *
If you figure the guy -- if he actually lived -- was Welsh in the first place, then I figure the Stone would be calling him by his proper name.
G2008 Radio Play (Chapter IX)
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.
â¦Pointless, Arthur Pendragon, to waste time protecting any particular stoneâ¦
1:31AM. VICTORIA TOWER. Arthur, Macbeth, Hudson, Lex, Amp, Griff, Coco, Coldstone and Coldfire confer.
Perhapsâ¦ perhaps this is all unnecessary. I donât think we need to guard the stone.
Macbeth, Arthur, Hudson, Lexington, Amp, Coco, Griff, Coldstone & Coldfire sit. Coldsteel & Coyote STAND.
NOVEMBER 15, 6:16AM. LEITH. Coyote and Coldsteel stand side-by-side inside a warehouse.
No, I am not programmed for free willâ¦
Pity. You have potentialâ¦
COLDSTREAM GUARD, Macbeth, Xanatos, Coldstone & Coldfire STAND.
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!!
Macbeth to Coldstone: convoyâs stopped, and Xanatos is here.
Well, itâs a momentous occasionâ¦ and such a lovely dayâ¦
Safe to say heâs up to something.
Yes, safe to say.
Coldstone and Coldfire intercept Coldsteel and Coyote heading for the Bridge.
Coldsteelâs tentacles grab Coldfire, forcing her arms up so that she nearly FRIES Coldstone.
As you see, Iâve had time to mend my ways. Well, my appendagesâ¦
Release her! <pain cry>
Coldstoneâs back is raked by Coyoteâs buzzsaw-arm.
Now that weâre machines, donât you love these exhilarating daytime battlesâ¦? No nasty organic gargoyles to even the oddsâ¦
Coldfire HEAD BUTTS Coldsteel violently. His tentacles release her.
Consider the odds evened.
A t-t-temporary s-s-setbackâ¦
Then letâs make it permanent.
Out of Davidâs respect for Goliath, I am programmed to inflict only as much damage as necessary to reach our objective. But I define the parameters of ânecessaryâ.
Coldstoneâs fist SHATTERS the half-Xanatos/half-robot skull image on Coyoteâs screen. Coldstone shoves his forearm cannon down Coyoteâs âthroatâ and fires. Coyote EXPLODES! The dented Coldsteel watches the wreckage of Coyote fall toward the RIVER TWEED below.
P-p-pity. He had p-p-potentialâ¦
Coldsteel POWER-DIVES down into the river. Coldstone follows but can find no sign of Coldsteel.
Coyote & Coldsteel sit.
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 Stoneâs 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 Squadâs at work!
10:38AM GMT. The Guard signals the convoy forward.
270. COLDSTREAM GUARD
Right, weâre clear. Not a bomb. Just an empty shoebox.
Coldstone to Macbeth. Weâve lost Coldsteel.
Just stay on the alertâ¦
273. COLDSTREAM GUARD
Letâs go! Weâre behind schedule!
The Stoneâs on the move again.
Coldstream Guard, Macbeth, Xanatos, Coldfire & Coldstone sit. Thailog & Shari STAND.
NOVEMBER 15, 5:43AM EST. NIGHTSTONE UNLIMITED.
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.
NOVEMBER 15, 12:00PM GMT. EDINBURGH CASTLE.
The Stoneâs back where it belongs! Well, it belongs in Scone, but at least itâs back in Scotland.
Macbeth & Arthur sit. Stone & Xanatos STAND.
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.
â¦Pointless, David Xanatos, to substitute yet another stone to fool the Illuminatiâ¦
Stone sits. Coldsteel STANDS.
2:23PM. Coldsteel dumps pieces of Coyote shrapnel on the floor.
Thereâs whatâs left of your boyâ¦ and hereâs your rock.
Coldsteel tosses the Coyote Diamond to Xanatos.
Oh, Iâm just its minder.
I believe that completes our bargainâ¦
Indeed. Consider your tracking device deactivated.
Pleasure doing business with you.
Coldsteel sits. FLEUR STANDS.
Three. <pause> Any problems?
Only finding a duplicate on such short notice.
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.
I still outrank you, milady. I wonât tolerateâ"
Couldnât you both try to get along? Since you are, after all, the two people I love most in this world?
I brought the Stone.
Fleur, Duval & Peredur sit. Macbeth, Griff, Amp, LUNETTE, Coldstone & Hudson STAND.
NOVEMBER 15, 8:13PM. KNIGHTâS SPUR.
I know it doesnât matter, but Iâm glad the Stoneâs back in Scotland.
You lot should stay a while. Get to know the clanâ¦
Yeah, mates, stay!
But Coldsteel is still out thereâ¦
Aye, lad, but itâs 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.
NOVEMBER 16, 1:06AM. CASTLE CARBONEK. A frowning Peredur listens to the glowing stone.
â¦Pointless, Peredur fab Ragnal, to have gone to such extremes merely to possessâ¦ a rock.
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.
Do you think the Spirit of Destiny can be contained in one vessel? I am the Fatal Stone. The Lia FÃ¡il. The Stone of Bethel and Jerusalem, of Egypt, Samothrace and Portugalâ¦ The Stone at Tara and of Mora, at Iona and of Scone, in London and in Edinburghâ¦ I am the Blarney Stone, the Coronation Stone, the Hero Stoneâ¦ I am the Pillar Stone, the Stone of the Sword, the Stone of the Waters, Clach-na-Cinneamhainâ¦ The Tanist Stone, the Philosopherâs Stone, the Standing Stone, the Cornerstoneâ¦ The Foundation Stone, the Megalith Dance, the Burden of Sisyphusâ¦ I am the Rock of Gibraltar, the Pillar of Hercules, Uluru, Clach SgÃ inâ¦ Jacobâs Pillow, the Rosetta Stone, the Rune Stone, Sire of the Wyrdâ¦ I AM THE MANTLE OF FATEâ¦ I AM THE STONE OF DESTINYâ¦ I AM THE ROCK OF AGES! Do not dream of possessing me, mortal.
NOVEMBER 16, 1:07AM. CASTLE CARBONEK. Behind Peredur, Fleur listens from the doorway.
Besides, Peredur, donât you have more important matters of concernâ¦ now that your Master has awakened?
What?! King Arthur cannot be awake?!
Awake and returned. I have twice conversed with him.
But we did not expect him for another two hundred years! Everything we planned--
I must contact the Upper Echelons immediately!
Peredur exits. Fleur is no longer in the doorway. The Stone is left alone with the Holy Grail.
Peredur, Stone & Grail sit. Thailog & Shari STAND.
NOVEMBER 16, 5:44AM EST. NIGHTSTONE UNLIMITED.
Very good. Should I continue?
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 incidentâ¦
And thatâs all you know of the Stone of Destiny?
Well, one last story is told--
As the sun sets, Owen Burnett and Macbeth wait for Goliath to wakeâ¦
--Though who can say if it be true?
Thailog & Shari sit.
STONE OF DESTINY -- CLAN-BUILDING, VOLUME TWO SPOILERS!!!!
GXB sent me a question about the Stone of Destiny in Clan-Building. He wrote:
"Just to be clear... Xanatos has the original Stone of Destiny? Scotland has a fake? That's... kinda cool. :)"
Now, of course, I shouldn't have responded. The book SHOULD either stand and fall on it's own. But of course, if that was my policy, we wouldn't really have ASK GREG at all, would we?
I apologize that I wrote with so little clarity that an explanation is necessary at all, but here's my answer to him, and before the rest of you get a chance, to all of you:
You're missing the point.
Which was the original, the one Moses sent with Gathelus or the one Moses kept and used to bring forth water in the desert?
Which was the original, the half that stayed at Tara or the half that sailed to Dalriada? (Note that both halves are the same size as the so-called "original".)
Which was the original, the one that was kept in London or the one that became the Blarney Stone?
There is no original. There is no fake.
But if you're asking where the specific stone that had been at Westminster went, Peredur has it in Carbonek. Look at the timeline. Xanatos switched the stone at the bridge and was about to make a DOUBLE switch at Leith before Blanchfleur came to pick it up. He was planning to keep the one he assumed was the original, when the stone itself told him it was pointless. So he gave Blanchefleur the stone the Illuminati wanted, i.e. the Westminster stone.
Xanatos kept one of the two "fakes" and Edinburgh has the other "fake", except both are still real stones. (It's not like they're paper mache or something.) And ANY stone can be THE stone.
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