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Francois Ferland writes...

Hello yet another time Greg! Sorry to flood you with questions as of late but keep fate, as I'm running out of things to ask you.

1. This one's simple and concerns the Children of Oberon.

Almost everyone uses Children of Oberon and Fae interchangeably. But after going through the archive for said beings, you once mentionned that Fae (or is it Fey? No one seems to agree on the spelling) are only one particular group of Oberon's Children akin to the Norse or African pantheon.

I'm not really knowledgeable in myths and legends, so could you tell me who the Fey are, with example from the show? I assume (perhaps or should I say probably wrongly) that it simply represents another pantheon, maybe the Anglo-Saxon one (is it Anglo-Saxon if I'm refering to England, Scotland, Ireland and other countries nearby) in which case, Puck, Oberon and Titania might be a part of it, being quite ingrained in English litterature.

But then again, what do I know?

2. This one's not a question but a personal comment, so I can get away with it not being on the same subject :) . It just dawned on me that by creating such a complex and (in itself) realistic universe with Gargoyles, you ran the risk of the viewers not "getting" many of the subtleties of the show, its universe and characters.

With your average TV show, things are often very clear. Heroes, while hardly perfect, are almost always morally right, while bad guys, which are not always purely evil persons, are almost always despisable no matter how they try to justify themselves. You rarely see a character that can't basically be classified as "good" or "evil", or to use more appropriate terms, morally "right" or "wrong".

Also, most of the time, what you see of a character on screen is a pretty accurate representation of who that person is and what they do all the time. So if someone is always seen giving money to the poor and never seen doing anything reprehensible, you assume that person is caring and generous. It never dawns on you that the man in question might actually beat up his wife everyday, because it wouldn't "fit" with the image shown to you. Yet it would not be impossible, as people are known to have very selective values sometimes. He might feel bad for those less fortunate while thinking that "disciplining" his wife is the right thing to do for a husband. Like I said, such is rarely the case, and what is shown is often intended to be representative of the whole truth.

And finally, things are often easily explained in most TV shows. The villain did this because of that, the aliens invaded for such reason, etc.

What am I getting at? That a lot of the questions you get at Ask Greg are due to the above. Although the fans recognize and live the show for its maturity and above-average (and that's putting it lightly) complexity, they fail to realize that things in the Gargoyles universe, just like in real life, don't have easy answers.

The seemingly benign Weird Sisters lost a large part of the popular vote when it seemed all their interventions were geared for the sole purpose of revenge. Yet, you said yourself that the Sisters have many aspects, with vengeance and fate being a part of them. We at first ASSUMED they were completely (or close to) benign, and then we changed our perception to one where they are only after revenge. And yet, like you said, things aren't that simple, and we STILL don't know much about who the Sisters really are. The fate part might play a larger role later on, or they could yet reveal another part of their identity. In the end, they are complex characters who cannot be summed up in a few sentence, which is what most people seem to want.

Oberon is another victim of this. I admit that I too, thought he was a big arrogant jerk, whom Titania manipulated all the time to get what she felt was best for everyone. But like you made me realize, he has a lot of quality, the first being that he cared enough about mortals and how his Children dealt with them to force them out in the real world for a millenium in the hope of them gaining some maturity. And in every story we saw with him, he always ended up being generally fair to most. He isn't perfect (and who is?); is not above pettiness and anger for example. But his behaviour, from his POV, is perfectly acceptable, if not admirable. And there is so much about him we don't know and haven't seen to be able to judge his being accurately. For all we know and despite appearances, Titania might not be THAT more mature than him.

The list goes on and on. People (and I'm guilty of that as well) want easy answers where there are only complex explainations. I hated the concept of Anubis on my first viewing of "Grief" because it seemed at first that all death on Earth were and had always been caused by the guy. It just seemed so cheap, yet I accepted it at face value because it was what was shown at the time (and like I said, we tend to not question things seemingly presented as fact). Now, thanks to you, I know better, with what little you let on about death-gods and their connection to death and such. And just like there's no solid rule as to wether the Children can go against Oberon's law. It depends on all sorts of things, like intent, bending the law itself and people's words and so long and so forth.

In short, thanks for Ask Greg, I've gotten a better perspective on the complexity of the Gargoyles universe. It doesn't mean I'm no longer looking for easy answers, but I understand why you might reply that "there are no easy answers" or "it isn't that simple", because in your mind, that's really the case. Thanks again for your patience and dedication!

Greg responds...

1. The fans took to using the term Fae (spelled variously) as a replacement term for the admittedly awkward "Children of Oberon". Sometimes in answering questions, I have slipped and used the term as well, but I was never comfortable with it. And I'm even less comfortable in trying to define it as a subset of the Children. I haven't researched the subject enough.

2. Thank you for the kind words.

Response recorded on April 26, 2005