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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!
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.