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Kevin writes...

1. Were Hudson and Bronx close in the Dark Ages as they are in the present day?

2. Was the Blue Nosed Beaked Gargoyle that was with Demona's clan of the generation that hatched with Goliath's and Demona's or the one with the Trio's?

3. Does Bronx and other Gargoyle Beast like to have their bellies scratched like dogs do?

Greg responds...

1. Sure.

2. I'm not sure which gargoyle you're referring to. Check out the Gargoyles Wiki. Most of those unnamed Gargoyles were given out-of-universe names for reference. Find the one you're talking about, and then let me know.

3. Sure. I mean, I like that, too.

Response recorded on September 01, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

Rewatched "City of Stone" today (all four episodes). A few things that stood out to me this time.

Continuing the "gargoyles being called beasts" thread: the granary guards in Part One call Demona's clan "filthy beasts". Gillecomgain doesn't use the term "beast" for Demona, but does call her a creature and a monster.

(By contrast, the "breastplate gargoyle" comments about their old home, after Demona and her clan have to abandon it following Duncan's attack, "The hunting there was good" - probably one of the few occasions where gargoyles are talking about being the hunters rather than the hunted.)

Demona's clan uses nets twice in this multi-parter - once against the granary guards in Part One, once against Canmore's army in Part Four. The nets being in Parts One and Four gave a nice sense of "bookends".

A detail that I can't believe I missed before: Demona was bearing the Hunter's mask at her belt, as if a trophy, after the battle with Duncan. (The young Canmore grabs it from her during his attack upon her.)

Demona calls Bronx "my pet"; I looked up your remarks on gargoyle beasts in the archives and found that gargoyles don't see gargoyle beasts as pets, but as equals. Maybe another sign that Demona thinks far more like a human than she'd admit (or than it would be safe to tell her)?

I like the touch of the various new kings (like Macbeth and Lulach) being hailed as "High King of Scotland" - the "high king" part conveys all the more a sense of Scotland as a collection of recently-united chiefdoms (which it would have been at the time in actual history).

Greg responds...

We tried to get a feeling for the actual history into the piece.

Response recorded on August 16, 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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DS writes...

You mentioned that gargoyles and gargoyle beasts are distinct from most mammals and are classified as "gargates." Given their traits of milk production and warm bloodedness while laying eggs, I'd be tempted to classify gargoyles as monotremes, a subset of mammals that includes platupi and the echidnas, though I would need to look at their biochemistry to be absolutely certain (which has obvious logistical issues). I remember reading in the archives that gargoyles are the first "sentient" race, emerging sometime in the same time magnitude as dinosaurs. Classing gargoyles as monotremes could fit in with that time frame, because birds/dinosaurs and mammals diverged some time in the Carboniferous, significantly before the Triassic. This would put them in the same ecological classification as other monotremes (which you had demonstrated reluctance to accept before vis a vis platupi), but given the long time period, I would EXPECT them to look more and be more different from other monotremes than, say, a sparrow does from a T-rex, since their most recent common ancestor was much longer ago. Oddly enough, the most difficult thing about figuring gargoyles out is the difference between Lexington and the rest of the clan, because four vs six limbs is a major difference, and figuring out that phenotypic difference that still leaves the two types of gargoyles able to create viable offspring wasn't very easy. However, I think I managed to crack it. It is most probably a trait of the MOTHER of the gargoyle, not the gargoyle in question proper (so if Lexington decided he wanted a kid and found a willing female gargoyle (ignoring for thought experiment purposes that he wouldn't be interested in women), he probably wouldn't be able to pass it on). At some point, some female proto-gargate from just as gargoyles and gargoyle beasts were starting to diverge had a mutation that probably added an extra pair of limbs on their back. These extra limbs could have been useful, and could have evolved over time to help gargoyles fly (well, glide) through the power of "jazz hands" (like how bats fly proper). Eventually, another female gargoyle had another mutation that essentially told her kid's biological plan to omit the first pair of "arms" and only have the second kind (the ones that look wingish). Both phenotypes produced viable offspring with roughly the same ability to reproduce, but the second mutation probably started out rarer because it came later. So the general timeline looks like this:

Mammals and dinosaurs diverge -> Platupi diverge from other monotremes -> Gargates diverge from other monotremes (this comes after platupi because female gargoyles have mammary glands, and probably came about as a result of developing the first rudiments of stone sleep) -> Dinosaurs come on the scene -> Gargoyles and gargoyle beasts diverge from each other (probably via gargoyles becoming bipedal) -> Gargoyles evolve six limbs and this variant overtakes the population while the two back arms become more winglike -> the Lexington variant of gargoyles evolves -> Dinosaurs kick it -> Gargoyles gradually become more intelligent as their longer lifespans and lack of natural predators (thanks giant meteor) makes intelligence a more viable strategy for survival to make them more cooperative.

I don't know if this perfectly fits with what you have, but I did the best I could with the information (both show/FAQ-wise and through a degree in biochemistry) I had. What are your thoughts?

Greg responds...

I love all this.

A couple thoughts that might or might not influence your thinking...

Lex has six limbs. The middle "rib" of his wings is actually a limb. In original development art (which you may have seen on the first season DVD) he has four hands: the two we're all used to and two more coming off those mid-wing arms. So what you're seeing in his final version his six limbs, but the middle two limbs have, uh... devolved into ribs.

We've discussed in the past that Gargoyle Beasts have vestigial wing bones beneath the skin.

Response recorded on July 12, 2021

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Chip writes...

Please bear with me...My question involves math. I will try to bullet-point and simplify it as best I can, if I can. I was thinking about gargoyle-beasts and their breeding cycles in relation to the cycles of the winged-gargoyle species.

1) You have stated in the past that beasts have four heats, and are capable of contributing an egg to the rookery following their own hatching, is this correct?

2) Assuming that question 1 is correct, a beast who hatched in '58 would be able to lay an egg in '68, whereas a winged-gargoyle from '58 would not be able to lay an egg until '08. Afterwards, that same female can lay an egg in '28, and '48. The beast from the same generation, however, can lay eggs in '68, '88, '08, and '28. At which point, they become too old to lay eggs. You have stated that beasts get the additional heat because they can mature faster. The question I ask is...Why is it not two additional heats? A female gargoyle from '58 can't lay until '08, but a female beast can lay after just 10 years. Why does the beast not get a final heat in the same year that a winged gargoyle from the same clutch does?

3) I'm sorry if my math or question is confusing. I was just hoping for clarity on this matter. If you don't feel like figuring out the math on this subject, I'll just default to my final, and most frequently asked question...

4) When did the London Clan's beast population go extinct?

Thank you for taking the time and effort to answer these questions. We really appreciate it, and you. #WeLiveAgain

Greg responds...

1. I think so, but it's been a LONG time since I've thought about this.

2. I think BECAUSE they mature faster, they move through and past their breeding years faster as well.

3.

4. No spoilers.

Response recorded on March 01, 2017

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JC writes...

Hello Mr. Wiesman,

I have been reading the archives and I have a couple of questions regarding the more obscure Gaegoyle clans:

1) Youve mentioned that the Xanadu clan exists to protect the Beast lineage. My question is, are their Beasts all from Chinese stock, or have they incorporated other "breeds" (so to speak) into that gene-pool? Basically, Im asking if they all have the same basic appearance, or reflect all types of Beasts.

2) You also once said that the Lach Ness clan were aquatic in nature. Does that mean that they are truly amphibious (like frogs), or can they just hold their breath for long lengths of time (like dolphins)?

Thanks.

Greg responds...

1. Leaning toward the latter, but haven't made a final decision yet.

2. Likewise, I haven't decided, though again I lean toward the latter.

These might both be good questions to bring up at the Gargoyles Biology and Culture panel this July at CONvergence. There are always some actual biologists in the room to advise me.

Response recorded on May 21, 2014

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Matt writes...

So, with "Chaw" becoming canon you have established that at least some female beasts' eyes are red. First of all, I love this feature. It becomes a common tie in gargate physiology, it gives us a visual cue to determine beast gender (which would otherwise be readily lacking) and it just looks cool.

I do wonder though if you have any thoughts about any future appearances of Boudicca. Perhaps you've seen the Gargoyle Beast page on the GargWiki where Boudicca's eyes have been modified to be red rather than white as we saw in the show. Would you make this minor ret-con official if we see Boudicca in a Gargoyles project down the road? In your mind are all female beasts' eyes red? Or is there a reason that Chaw's are and Boudicca's are not?

What about the beast we saw briefly in Ishimura (with white eyes)? Is that beast male or female?

Greg responds...

All female gargate eyes glow red. Mistakes may have been made and may continue to be made. But the rules are the rules. Boudicca's eyes should have burned red. Are you sure they didn't? I know sometimes the red tint is fairly washed out...

As for the Ishimura beast, for the time being, if his eyes glowed white, let's assume he was a male.

Response recorded on April 23, 2014

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Matt writes...

Hey Greg.

So a few years back we had talked about the two other beasts on Avalon (besides Boudicca) and how they are male and female and mates. We seemed to come to the conclusion that if the math is correct they should have already mated and laid an egg as of 1996, though it has not hatched yet. I believe you agreed the math worked out correctly, but didn't commit to the idea that this had actually occurred and put it tentatively in the canon-in-training category (which is how it continues to be labeled on the GargWiki).

I just want to get some confirmation from you that this has not happened after all. Since Angela commented in "Phoenix" that she had never seen a gargoyle egg before, I suppose the two beasts on Avalon have yet to parent one, right?

Also, as a side note, I find it interesting that during the time spent at Ishimura and ChacIxChel (and to a lesser extent London since Goliath and Co probably didn't visit Knight's Spur), Angela never got a peak of the Ishimuran or Mayan rookeries. Is this something private to a clan and not something they'd put on the tour or did it just not come up due to lack of time or whatnot?

Thanks, Greg!

Greg responds...

Hmmm...

The latter question is easier to answer. I don't think there was time for Angela to see a rookery. And it didn't occur to her to ask for a special tour.

The former question... I guess she hasn't seen one.

Response recorded on May 21, 2010

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Battle Beast writes...

Hello!

Greg,

Since we now call them "Beasts," if you could, would you change the line in "Awakening 1" from "I see you've met our Watch-dog..." to something like "I see you've met our Beast..." ?

Greg responds...

No. To Goliath, it is -- and always was -- a metaphor.

Response recorded on January 05, 2010

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Stormer23 writes...

Is Fu-dog a girl? Why I ask this is because depending on the future of the Manhattan Clan, if Fu-dog's a boy, then there probably won't be any gargoyle beasts in this clan in the future, since Bronx is male.

Greg responds...

Fu-Dog is male. But Bronx's mate is Boudicca.

Response recorded on June 10, 2009


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