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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Greetings Greg,

I still don't have time to write out my thoughts about Bad Guys, let alone watch and read the Gargoyles medieval flashbacks marathon like I planned. They'll probably have to wait until graduation and winter break. But I still have so many other questions I want to ask you about Gargoyles!

I wonder often about the Third Race in the Gargoyles universe. You have revealed a lot of information about the gargoyles, since obviously they are the focus of the whole series, and less about the Third Race. I wonder how similar to or different from mortals they are, psychologically. The Third Race include the gods of various polytheistic religions, and at least in Greek, Norse, and Egyptian myths, gods are depicted as having pretty human psychology, and the same emotions as human beings. They are also depicted as having cultures very similar to their worshippers. Of course, myths were created by mortals and "few things are accurate." The Third Race also includes beings like the Fair Folk and/or the Fae. In fiction that I have read about Faerie folk, they aren't often depicted as psychologically similar to human beings. For example, in the book "The Moorchild", the Faeries (called Moorfolk) seem quite different from human beings. They raise their children communally, and also seem to entirely lack the emotions of love and hate. They don't even seem to form any emotional ties to one another, perhaps not even what humans would necessarily call friendship. The book convincingly and successfully depicts beings that are, in some ways, very alien from human beings. Other depictions (like in the table-top role-playing game Exalted) make the Fair Folk even more alien.
In the Gargoyles show and comics, gargoyles clearly have a similar psychology to humans: although they have some differences which make them more than just humans with wings, they're pretty similar to us in most ways. They obviously feel love and hate, for example, and although their family relations are structured differently, it seems pretty clear that they love and care about their children, parents, and siblings. I think in a past response you said that none of the races in the Gargoyles Universe are designed to be all that alien, not even the actual aliens, and that it should be possible to relate to all of them with some effort. So far, as individuals, the depictions of the Third Race make them seem more like the gods of myth, not necessarily following human moral ideas and sometimes being whimsical, but having a mostly human-like psychology. But except for the glimpses of the relationship between Titania and Oberon, and Titania's relationship to her human family (when however she was mostly in a human body, presumably full of human hormones and neurotransmitters) there wasn't a lot of interaction between the Third Race in the show, and obviously their society wasn't the focus.

So the main questions in my mind about this subject are these:

1. Do the Children of Oberon have the same emotional range as human beings, including emotions such as love, hate, shame, compassion, gratitude, jealousy, indignation, etc.?

2. How much detail of their long lives do they remember? Do they generally have better memory than humans, or is their memory only about as good as a human's? Does someone as old as Oberon have only a fuzzy recollection of things that happened 3000 or so years ago, or does he remember 3000 years ago (such as the events of Midsummer Night's Dream) as clearly as he remembers 30 years ago? Humans (and presumably gargoyles) have limited neurons in the brain for forming memories and synapses, and synapses that are not used regularly are trimmed away to make "room" for more useful connections, leading to loss of memories and skills that are less frequently used. But since Children of Oberon are made of pure magic, I don't think they even have neurons.

3. In their long lives, do the Third Race tend to get bored any more or less often than mortals do, or about as often?


Greg responds...

1. Easily.

2. Better memories for quantity, not necessarily more accurate.

3. If you're talking about frequency, I guess it's about the same -- except that they don't have to WORK for a living, so they have less they NEED to do, which may lead to increased boredom.

Response recorded on May 21, 2010