The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Who Is Beyond Redemption?


In my long history in the "Gargoyles" fandom, and my resistance to the notion that Demona will ever be easily redeemed by Angela (as Darth Vader was by Luke Skywalker), one very interesting pattern that I've noticed is that none of the fans who think Demona can easily be redeemed by Angela believe John Castaway is redeemable by "the transforming power of a child's love." This interests me because both of them are two sides of the same coin, and Castaway was designed to be a human parallel of Demona.

Both of them, with the best of intentions, ended up screwing their families over. Demona got her clan massacred and the survivors turned to stone. Castaway paralyzed his brother from the waist down. And both of them said the exact same thing: "What have I... what have THEY done!" Both of them quickly found scapegoats to blame their own failings upon rather than take responsibility for their own actions.

But let's get down to this, shall we? Demona is a mass murderer. As of #12 of the "Gargoyles" comic book, Castaway's worst crime is attempted murder of a police officer, and attempted murder of Goliath... which, at this point, wouldn't be seen as a crime yet, but we all know it is, so I'm counting it. We've watched Demona kill innocent people on screen, and attempt mass genocide. So why do the same fans who excuse her refuse to excuse Castaway?

Well, I can think of two reasons. Two big, round reasons...


Let's face it, she's hot. Hotter than Castaway. But as a heterosexual male, that's definitely easy to say. But there are people out there who will always forgive "beautiful people" easily. Too easily. It's a mentality I hate, but it exists.

Castaway could be seen as "the man." Because, he's part of "the establishment" by virtue of being human, while Demona is part of a persecuted species. Let's face it, his Quarrymen despite welcoming humans of all races, religions and walks of life, definitely evoke something very insidious and very real. I don't think that's the main reason Castaway has no apologists. It might be one of the reasons, but doesn't defeat the argument that there are other, worse reasons. And even if they are designed to invoke the Klan, the Quarrymen are not the Klan. They are a fictional organization persecuting fictional people. Therefore, dislike of them is not that much more righteous than disliking other villains. But even if this is the case, Senator Robert Byrd was a recruiter and leader in the KKK before he left the organization, denounced it, and is even quoted as saying: "I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times ... and I don't mind apologizing over and over again. I can't erase what happened." Who is to say Castaway isn't capable of this down the line? It's just as plausible as Demona changing because Angela waves a finger in her face and then hugs her.


But let's say Demona succeeded in either recruiting or cloning a new clan or something, I think she would be using them to spread fear, terror, and violence in her quest for genocide.  She would do the exact same thing Castaway is currently doing, she just wouldn't be wearing a hood as she does it.

There is also a tendency among some outcast nerds to identify with non-human characters and consider them superior to humans. But either way, it's not actually believing they are that thing... just that they have enough self-loathing to think their own species sucks, and therefore they identify more with a non-human species because they must be "better." Look at the people who thought of the Na'Vi from James Cameron's "Avatar" as their otherkin. Usually such fictional species are innocent and idealized, and big, bad, Man is the villain, especially in that movie. I have seen some fans who praise Demona for being willing and able to "fight back" as opposed to Goliath who just "stood there and took it," never mind that these are both gross mischaracterizations of what went on.

Bigotry is bigotry no matter where it comes from, and for both Demona and Castaway, we understand where it comes from. For Demona, she projects her guilt instead of absorbing it, while Castaway had this anti-gargoyle dogma drilled into him by the Canmore family since birth. Both know what they're doing is wrong, but neither can face the consequences of their own actions so blame others for their sins. But let's say that Demona is right because the actions of some (not all, but some) humans such as the Hunters and the Quarrymen, and the vikings of the past and others prove that all humans need to be destroyed in order to protect their kind, and any gargoyle who disagrees and opposes her (like Goliath) needs to be killed. Then isn't Castaway right because the actions of Demona (one, but not all) prove that gargoyles need to be destroyed in order to protect our kind, and any human who disagrees and opposed him (like Elisa Maza) should be killed, also right?

36 comments:

  1. I don't see one better than the other but then again, I didn't know there are Gargoyles fans who have rather interesting views on their mass murdering actions.

    Hell, I can picture The Doctor from Doctor Who calling both Demona and Castaway on their belief system.

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  2. I think that you make a good point about the bias towards Demona stemming in part from her species being persecuted and brought to the brink of extinction (I can think of other examples of fictional villains being more ready to be excused in such a situation - Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice" is a great example).

    Of course, it probably didn't help either that the bulk of the depictions of the Quarrymen came from "The Goliath Chronicles" - and in a way that suggests that the new production team didn't even pay close enough attention to "The Journey". (Take a close look at Castaway's recruitment speech in "The Journey", with such bits as feeling alone and afraid in a world surrounded by danger, and the prospect of gargoyles kidnapping your children. Who would you aim that speech at? A group of would-be villainous henchmen, or ordinary citizens?) One reason why I hope we someday get more "Gargoyles" stories from Greg Weisman to serve as an antidote to the "Goliath Chronicles" depiction of them.

    Liked your bringing up the Doctor, Movie-Brat; he's certainly seen a version of that belief system from the Daleks that outdoes Demona and Castaway at their worst.

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    1. Considering The Doctor's history, both old and new, you can make the argument that he's even more guilty than both Demona and Castaway - he's just accepted that guilt, something neither of the other two will do.

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    2. And if it were the Eleventh Doctor berating them, he'd definitely bring up the Time War stuff.

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  3. I think part of it is that the fans sympathise with Demona because we see her story, we see the horrible things done to her, and so we want to see her redeemed. Of course because of that some fans will ignore her sins just to take the easy route to redemption.

    Castaway is tied to Demona but we don't have much sympathy for him since we didn't get to know him as much as Demona. Also the fact that he's an enemy of Demona and his family tired to kill her for generations probably has something to do with the fans lacking sympathy for him.

    And yeah she's hotter.

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    1. I second this comment, in that it has less to do with Demona being female and more to do with the fact that we've seen more of the bad stuff happen to her than to him.

      Let me put it this way, if you asked a bunch of male spectacular spider-man fans if they'd rather see Flash Thompson or Sally Avril act like a better person; which one do you think they're going to have more incentive to choose based on what we've seen of both of them so far?

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    2. Flash and Sally vs Demona and Castaway.

      No offense, but you are comparing apples and, oh I don't know... steam engines.

      A high school jerk and a mean girl don't compare with a mass murderer and a fugitive hate crime leader.

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    3. I think the the Canmore children witnessing Demona kill their father (from a distance) is a sympathetic moment, especially with the scene of the catacombs added in Bad Guys.

      This is interesting to read about, because I never would have thought Demona was widely considered more sympathetic than Castaway; I find them pretty much equivalent.

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    4. @Greg: Of course the situations don't compare. The argument is more along the lines of men sympathizing with someone just because they're a woman. That IS what we are talking about right?

      All I'm saying is that the article feels like it assumes that most men are going to take Demona's side JUST BECAUSE of her feminine wiles. To me it just feels like too much of a black and white argument and ignores the gray area (like Reaf pointed out, we know far less about Castaway than we do about Demona).

      I'm not saying that Demona being a hot female species might not play a role in certain fans way of thinking. I'm just saying I don't think it's that ridiculously simple.

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    5. "I'm just saying I don't think it's that ridiculously simple."

      Which is why that was far from the only thing I said while theorizing on this subject.

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  4. Castaway's transformation (while perhaps justified) is incredibly sudden, he VERY quickly goes from 'we could ally with the Gargoyles!' to 'those Gargoyles need to die'. Demona on the other hand had a much slower, more noticable transformation. Her intent to commit genocide on the human race didn't pop up overnight or over one single event.

    While "What have I... what have they done to you?" was a definitive moment in her history, it wasn't when her vendetta was formed. She pretty much spent the next forty years afterwards just wandering around just trying to survive.

    In general she's just a more developed character who we've seen more sides of. I doubt Angela will redeem her in a big sparkly ceremony where Demona is cleansed of her sins and welcomed back into the Manhattan Clan with open arms. But at the same time... she's obviously changed Demona. Demona doesn't hate Goliath or the Manhattan Clan towards the end of the series nearly as much as she did at the beginning. While they're obviously still adversaries... it's not as personal. It almost mirrors the Xanatos-Goliath relationship in a way. At the beginning of the series, Goliath was pissed at Xanatos for duping him and for manipulating him and toying with his clan, but by the end of the series Xanatos has learned some lessons, and has learned how to deal with the Gargoyles a bit better and Goliath I think understands that Xanatos isn't the devilish monster he thought he was at the beginning of the series.

    I guess my point overall is that 'redemption' can mean different things. And Demona is just a more important character than Castaway is. Seeing her come to terms with the Manhattan Clan is a more appealing outcome than Castaway coming to terms with the Manhattan Clan is.

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    1. "Castaway's transformation (while perhaps justified) is incredibly sudden, he VERY quickly goes from 'we could ally with the Gargoyles!' to 'those Gargoyles need to die'. Demona on the other hand had a much slower, more noticable transformation. Her intent to commit genocide on the human race didn't pop up overnight or over one single event."

      No, it was still very much what happened at Castle Wyvern... she wasn't thinking genocide because, well, the means didn't exist. But notice in 997, three years after the Wyvern Massacre, she was planning to use the Grimorum to conquer Scotland and kill the humans she was supposedly allied with.

      With Macbeth, it was seventeen years of a change, but look how quickly she reverted.

      Yes, the centuries hardened her... but she was thinking vengeance and genocide in 997... now in the present, this is a much more easily accomplished goal.

      "In general she's just a more developed character who we've seen more sides of. I doubt Angela will redeem her in a big sparkly ceremony where Demona is cleansed of her sins and welcomed back into the Manhattan Clan with open arms. But at the same time... she's obviously changed Demona."

      No, she hasn't. We've seen more facets of Demona, but Angela hasn't changed Demona.

      "Demona doesn't hate Goliath or the Manhattan Clan towards the end of the series nearly as much as she did at the beginning. While they're obviously still adversaries... it's not as personal."

      You and I must be watching different shows, because she definitely still does. Just because she didn't want the Hunters killing them doesn't mean she won't do it herself. And she still despises Elisa more than anyone else on the planet.

      Demona's weakness is that she just doesn't learn.

      "I guess my point overall is that 'redemption' can mean different things. And Demona is just a more important character than Castaway is."

      Thankfully, we'll have to wait til 2198 to see that. Because Goliath and Angela won't.

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    2. "No, she hasn't. We've seen more facets of Demona, but Angela hasn't changed Demona."

      While I don't think it's made her hate humans any less, I think Angela's presence has caused Demona to change her priorities a bit.

      I think while she may look at the rest of the Manhattan Clan as a lost cause that she can never be at PEACE with. I don't think she's as determined to kill them. (Unless they specifically get in her way.) In the first season she had a lot of plans that involved killing Goliath. Long Way to Morning for example, though to be honest I dunno if she would have gone through with killing him or not. Her bark is frequently worse than her bite. Anyway, in the second season, I don't get the sense that killing Goliath and the clan is as big a priority for her as it used to be. (Elisa is an exception, though of course.)

      Not out of love or generosity or amicability, mind you. Mainly I think she's found other things to hate more. And I think they will find common ground more and more often as the Quarrymen and the Illuminati come more and more into focus. Regardless of whether or not Demona is ever 'redeemed'.

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    3. "While I don't think it's made her hate humans any less, I think Angela's presence has caused Demona to change her priorities a bit."

      A bit.... a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny bit.

      "I think while she may look at the rest of the Manhattan Clan as a lost cause that she can never be at PEACE with. I don't think she's as determined to kill them. (Unless they specifically get in her way.)"

      A. Destroying humanity and B. altering the clan to suit her vision of what it should be (even it it means killing them) are still major goals, and I don't see that changing anymore than I see Xanatos' desire for immortality going away.

      "In the first season she had a lot of plans that involved killing Goliath. Long Way to Morning for example, though to be honest I dunno if she would have gone through with killing him or not."

      I firmly believe she would have.

      "Her bark is frequently worse than her bite."

      At least a dozen humans-turned-to-stone the night she cast the "City of Stone" spell would have to disagree.

      A dozen is my conservative estimate. That's the minimum amount of damage she did that night. It's probably more.

      "I don't get the sense that killing Goliath and the clan is as big a priority for her as it used to be."

      Based on what!? Her releasing them to save Angela from Thailog? She was backed into a corner and had no other choice. Not to mention, at that moment, her white hot anger was directed at Thailog.

      "And I think they will find common ground more and more often as the Quarrymen and the Illuminati come more and more into focus."

      The Quarrymen are going to be something else Demona uses as an excuse... hell, she'll shine a spotlight on them as proof that she is right. But they are, by no means, going to be a bigger threat to the clan and the world than she is.

      Like I said below.... you really don't get this character at all. Sounds to me like you've imbibed too much TGS and other bad fic.

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    4. I've never read a Gargoyles fanfic in my life. And I don't like TGS (Goliath Chronicles, right?) though Demona was hardly in that anyway. And I can't even remember watching the episode she was in. I think I watched it once, a REALLY long time ago. I've watched Gargoyles since I was young. Maybe I have a more rosier view of Demona's character than you do because I was younger and more naive when I originally watched the series, and Demona was a favourite of mine (and has remained a favourite unlike... say... Brooklyn). I don't think she's a saint, I don't think she's misunderstood in the least bit. I've mentioned several times that I don't think Angela has DRAMATICALLY transformed her, but she has changed her. I think she's taken her first STEP on the thousand MILE journey to 'redemption'. That's what I'm saying, and I don't think you ENTIRELY disagree with that.

      And I think the Quarrymen will be a bigger threat to the clan than Demona is, they're actively hunting them. The Clan is at worst going to get caught in the crossfire in Demona's war with humanity. The hunters have already brought her and the clan together once, I imagine it will probably happen again.

      "Based on what!? Her releasing them to save Angela from Thailog? She was backed into a corner and had no other choice. Not to mention, at that moment, her white hot anger was directed at Thailog."

      In her last two appearances they all worked together. Based on that mainly. And just her attitude towards them, the way she speaks to them. And again, she does not seem to be as ACTIVELY seeking their demise as she once did. Now in the Reckoning, that might be in part due to Thailog's more practical influence. And in Hunter's Moon, it could be because she had bigger fish to fry (the Hunters), but I don't think that's the only possible interpretation for her behaviour. And I think ANOTHER element of her character is that more and more, after being betrayed by Thailog especially, she realizes Goliath is the one Gargoyle she can actively TRUST. Even if he doesn't share her views, even if she hates him and blames him for the Wyvern Massacre, she can still trust him to be at the very least honest with her. I don't really have any concrete or rather specific evidence in the 'text' as it were for that, but I think it's the case personally. Based on her overall behavior. Well, and she always has and still does love him. She wouldn't hate Elisa as much as she does if she didn't.

      "Like I said below.... you really don't get this character at all. Sounds to me like you've imbibed too much TGS and other bad fic."

      That's just so... dismissive. I really feel like you're responding to what other people have said in the past that what I'm saying reminds you of. I don't even particularly like Angela, I don't think Angela will 'redeem' Demona or that Demona will ever rejoin the clan and I don't think Demona is any less dangerous or hateful than she was at the beginning of the show. I don't even personally like the term 'redemption' I think people are more complicated than that. I just think she's less inclined to blast Goliath's brains out than she was at the beginning of the show. That's it.

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    5. Oh, sorry, one more point I missed. (These posts are getting long)

      "A. Destroying humanity and B. altering the clan to suit her vision of what it should be (even it it means killing them) are still major goals, and I don't see that changing anymore than I see Xanatos' desire for immortality going away."

      I don't disagree with that AT ALL. But altering the clan to suit her vision (or as has been her most recent goal -- creating a whole new clan to replace them), and *killing* them are two completely different things. But then again, I don't think she ever would murder the clan. Except Elisa, if you count her as part of the clan. I'm honestly not sure if she would ever kill Goliath, I think she has very complex feelings about him. She says frequently that she would kill him, but she's never actually done it. And she's had many opportunities to.

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    6. "I've never read a Gargoyles fanfic in my life. And I don't like TGS (Goliath Chronicles, right?) though Demona was hardly in that anyway."

      TGS is the The Gargoyles Saga. A lot of the fandom imbibed that.

      "I've watched Gargoyles since I was young. Maybe I have a more rosier view of Demona's character than you do because I was younger and more naive when I originally watched the series, and Demona was a favourite of mine (and has remained a favourite unlike... say... Brooklyn)."

      Demona's always been a favorite of mine, but come on... she murdered lots of innocent people. On screen! She's a three-dimensional character, but there's nothing rosy there at all. Not yet.

      "I don't think she's a saint, I don't think she's misunderstood in the least bit. I've mentioned several times that I don't think Angela has DRAMATICALLY transformed her, but she has changed her. I think she's taken her first STEP on the thousand MILE journey to 'redemption'. That's what I'm saying, and I don't think you ENTIRELY disagree with that."

      If it's a first step, it's a baby step This isn't quite exactly what I'm disagreeing with.

      "And I think the Quarrymen will be a bigger threat to the clan than Demona is, they're actively hunting them. The Clan is at worst going to get caught in the crossfire in Demona's war with humanity."

      Maybe on a political level... just put the TGC versions out of their mind, and somewhat on a violent one. But even on a political level, I suspect Demona running around, acting like a lunatic will do more damage to them than the Quarrymen. It's a cycle, the Quarrymen will feed her hate, while she will feed the Quarrymen's.

      Not to mention the level Demona operates on is far above Castaway's.

      And the clan aren't caught in her crosshairs against humanity, they are IN her crosshairs. She wants to either convert them, or kill them... she won't let them oppose her. This hasn't changed.

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    7. "The hunters have already brought her and the clan together once, I imagine it will probably happen again."

      That was not bringing them together... maybe on some level Demona hoped Goliath, and by extension the rest would finally come around. But they didn't, she now knows for sure 100% that Goliath won't. Especially after "Hunter's Moon."

      "In her last two appearances they all worked together. Based on that mainly."

      No, they didn't. She released the clan in "The Reckoning" to save Angela, but after that, they very much worked separately... well, Goliath tried to help her, but she pretty much kept telling him to go the fuck away.

      "And again, she does not seem to be as ACTIVELY seeking their demise as she once did. Now in the Reckoning, that might be in part due to Thailog's more practical influence. And in Hunter's Moon, it could be because she had bigger fish to fry (the Hunters), but I don't think that's the only possible interpretation for her behaviour."

      In "The Reckoning" she was planning to outright murder them all. Thailog's betrayal changed things up, but she was still going to go through with it, with a smile on her face.

      "And I think ANOTHER element of her character is that more and more, after being betrayed by Thailog especially, she realizes Goliath is the one Gargoyle she can actively TRUST. Even if he doesn't share her views, even if she hates him and blames him for the Wyvern Massacre, she can still trust him to be at the very least honest with her."

      Yes, but she also sees him as a threat that needs to be removed. And she would still kill him because his honesty represents some very, very uncomfortable truths she doesn't want to face. Ever.

      "I don't really have any concrete or rather specific evidence in the 'text' as it were for that, but I think it's the case personally. Based on her overall behavior. Well, and she always has and still does love him. She wouldn't hate Elisa as much as she does if she didn't."

      A very, very twisted version of love mixed with a lot of hate. As for Elisa, that's part of it... the other part is Elisa is living proof that Demona is wrong, and Demona knows it.

      "I just think she's less inclined to blast Goliath's brains out than she was at the beginning of the show. That's it."

      And this is where we disagree. I think "protecting Angela" makes her more inclined to blast his brains out.

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  5. As Greg B and others have stated before, Demona planned to go through with her genocide, even after meeting Angela.

    Plus, there's the fact that she risked Angela's life by tossing the vial up into the air to cover her escape at the end of Hunter's Moon.

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    1. "As Greg B and others have stated before, Demona planned to go through with her genocide, even after meeting Angela."

      I'm not doubting that she still hates humanity and wants to eradicate it. I never said anything of the sort. I said she doesn't hate Goliath and the Clan as much as she did at the beginning of the series. (When Goliath's 'betrayal' was more fresh in her mind for one thing.)

      Mainly I think Goliath and Demona UNDERSTAND each other a bit more towards the end of the second season. Goliath obviously can't stand for Demona's genocide, but I think on a PERSONAL one-on-one level, they understand one another a bit better. And that has a lot to do with Angela. And that could change depending on what Demona does next. Demona is incredibly impulsive and does really dangerous things without really thinking about them. At the same time, I think Demona WANTS to have a good relationship with Angela. She probably can't, but she wants to. And I think that's an important thing to take into consideration.

      "Plus, there's the fact that she risked Angela's life by tossing the vial up into the air to cover her escape at the end of Hunter's Moon."

      She always does stuff like that. In pretty much every episode she tosses something into the air in order to escape. She's temperamental and impulsive more than suicidal or apathetic I feel.

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    2. "I said she doesn't hate Goliath and the Clan as much as she did at the beginning of the series. (When Goliath's 'betrayal' was more fresh in her mind for one thing.)"

      I massively, massively disagree with this.

      "Mainly I think Goliath and Demona UNDERSTAND each other a bit more towards the end of the second season. Goliath obviously can't stand for Demona's genocide, but I think on a PERSONAL one-on-one level, they understand one another a bit better."

      Goliath might understand Demona a bit better, after his rush for vengeance against the Hunters without thinking... but what makes you think the feeling is mutual on Demona's part?

      "And that has a lot to do with Angela. And that could change depending on what Demona does next. Demona is incredibly impulsive and does really dangerous things without really thinking about them. At the same time, I think Demona WANTS to have a good relationship with Angela. She probably can't, but she wants to. And I think that's an important thing to take into consideration."

      Yes, she wants to have a good relationship with Angela... but on HER terms. Not Angela's. If anything, Angela will become Demona's newest excuse for the things she does. "I must destroy humanity to protect my daughter" .... she won't stop for Angela's sake, and I guarantee you that she hates Elisa more than she loves Angela.

      She wants Angela on her side... Angela wants Demona on their side. Neither of them are going to change for the other. And this is a huge part of the reason why some fanfic, like TGS, sucks... because a lot of people don't understand the dynamic their.

      "She always does stuff like that. In pretty much every episode she tosses something into the air in order to escape. She's temperamental and impulsive more than suicidal or apathetic I feel."

      Ahem...

      http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=1766

      AND...

      http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=489

      I really mean no offense with what I am about to say, Aldrius, but I've read your posts in s8 and on ToonZone over the years on the subject of Demona... and I really don't think you get the character.

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    3. "Yes, she wants to have a good relationship with Angela... but on HER terms. Not Angela's."

      Of course. I never said otherwise. But at the same time, even that implies that she cares what Angela thinks. Even if it is just a little bit.

      "Goliath might understand Demona a bit better, after his rush for vengeance against the Hunters without thinking... but what makes you think the feeling is mutual on Demona's part?"

      Well I think she's always loved him. And I think her... attitude towards him has always been rooted in how HE makes HER feel. (Read: guilty) And the less he judges her for her actions and comes to understand her, the less she's going to hate him.

      I know Greg has said otherwise about the suicidal thing, but honestly, especially in the second link it sounds more like he's just sort of analyzing her behaviour himself (and obviously he would know better than anyone). I think a willingness to commit suicide is an element there, but I don't think it's what was primarily motivating throwing the vial.
      Meant to respond to this, sorry:

      "At least a dozen humans-turned-to-stone the night she cast the "City of Stone" spell would have to disagree.

      A dozen is my conservative estimate. That's the minimum amount of damage she did that night. It's probably more."

      And those are all humans she doesn't know. Goliath (in particular) is different. Killing Gargoyles is different. In fact I don't think we've ever seen her directly kill a Gargoyle. I don't think that's something she would be capable of doing.

      "I really mean no offense with what I am about to say, Aldrius, but I've read your posts in s8 and on ToonZone over the years on the subject of Demona... and I really don't think you get the character."

      I don't understand, I'm not even being particularly passionate. I don't even really disagree with you. She is her own worst enemy, and she does not learn her lesson, she WON'T stop her war on humanity for Angela's sake, I never denied that. I understand that. I think there's just more to her than that. I'm just discussing this issue. If you disagree with me, that's fine, I understand that you feel very passionately about the character and how you interpret her. That's cool. I respect that, I can relate to that. I've spent the last few weeks arguing on StarCraft boards about how out of character a character named Kerrigan is in the latest Heart of the Swarm expansion. (It honestly is almost the exact same issue, with them making her WAY too soft just based on her relationship with another character.) Though actually, come to think of it, the game's voice acting might interest you, lots of Spectacular Spider-man alumni. Two of the main characters are played by Josh Keaton and Tricia Helfer. But anyway, sorry, tangent. My point is I don't really disagree with you, so I'm not sure why you're being so dismissive (in a fashion).

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    4. "Of course. I never said otherwise. But at the same time, even that implies that she cares what Angela thinks. Even if it is just a little bit."

      Yes, but she's also a believer in tough love. I think she's just as likely to hit Angela over the head and lock her up until "the threat of humanity has passed." She loves Angela... but she sure as hell doesn't respect her.

      "Well I think she's always loved him. And I think her... attitude towards him has always been rooted in how HE makes HER feel. (Read: guilty) And the less he judges her for her actions and comes to understand her, the less she's going to hate him."

      No, I think her feelings for him are going to get even worse. I have a theory as to how "their story" ends, and it's not good.

      "I know Greg has said otherwise about the suicidal thing, but honestly, especially in the second link it sounds more like he's just sort of analyzing her behaviour himself (and obviously he would know better than anyone). I think a willingness to commit suicide is an element there, but I don't think it's what was primarily motivating throwing the vial."

      She still risked Angela's life there, Goliath might have missed. Either way, it's fucked up.

      "And those are all humans she doesn't know. Goliath (in particular) is different. Killing Gargoyles is different. In fact I don't think we've ever seen her directly kill a Gargoyle. I don't think that's something she would be capable of doing."

      Hudson and Goliath certainly disagree. Brooklyn too, but he's biased. Her bite is just as deadly as her bark, and while we've never seen her kill a gargoyle.... dammit, she's certainly tried to. She is more than capable of it. Because I don't think she was play fighting in any of her appearances... Goliath would be dead right now if Coldstone didn't take the shot for him in "Reawakening." "Long Way to Morning" was an assassination attempt... and she tried to murder them in all her appearances except for "Sanctuary."

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    5. Yeah, but she's never succeeded in killing even one of them, and I don't think she's inept enough to have messed up that many times. If she REALLY wanted them dead, I think at least one of them would be. She just has too much of an advantage in too many ways. And we know she's a character who lives in denial, and I BELIEVE at one point Greg said something about her believing herself to be capable of more harsh things than she actually is. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      That's not to suggest that she's play-fighting as you put it. But killing in the heat of battle is one thing, but I dunno if she could do it if it was easy, if they were stone or if they were helpless. I think she'd probably find the idea of killing a stone gargoyle kind of repulsive honestly.

      "She still risked Angela's life there, Goliath might have missed. Either way, it's fucked up."

      Absolutely. I guess I was more taking issue with the individual interpretation than how it related to Angela.

      I'm not a big fan of the "Elisa is the one good human who throws a wrench in Demona's baseless hatred" interpretation either. I think she has plenty of other reasons to hate Elisa honestly. That one just seems kinda vague to me.

      "No, I think her feelings for him are going to get even worse. I have a theory as to how "their story" ends, and it's not good."

      I think they easily could get worse, I think that's more likely. But I think they could get better too. Though, honestly, I think the most likely ending here is that Demona just grows more and more apathetic towards Goliath as time goes on, rather than getting more murderous or more caring. I'm more curious to see what the next step is in Thailog's relationship with Demona. They both own a company together. Eventually, they're probably gonna come to blows.

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    6. "Yeah, but she's never succeeded in killing even one of them, and I don't think she's inept enough to have messed up that many times. If she REALLY wanted them dead, I think at least one of them would be."

      Or the Manhattan Clan is just THAT good at surviving. Coyote, Thailog, the Hunters, and the upgraded Pack certainly weren't inept. Hell Xanatos tried to kill them at the end of "Awakening" and while he underestimated them and realized they were more useful to him alive, he's certainly not inept.

      By your own logic, do you believe Castaway is incapable of harming another human? Sure he tried to kill Vinnie and Elisa... but hey, he didn't succeed, and he can't be so inept that in spite of his years of Batman-esque training, he just failed to kill Vinnie and an unconscious cop.

      "And we know she's a character who lives in denial, and I BELIEVE at one point Greg said something about her believing herself to be capable of more harsh things than she actually is. Correct me if I'm wrong."

      The example used when Greg said that was smashing an infant's skull. She WOULD kill one of the Manhattan Clan gargoyles, and the fact that you think she couldn't bring herself to is... well... preposterous.

      "That's not to suggest that she's play-fighting as you put it. But killing in the heat of battle is one thing, but I dunno if she could do it if it was easy, if they were stone or if they were helpless."

      I dunno, Weisman seems to think Demona is capable of smashing them while they sleep. I most certainly think so.

      "I'm not a big fan of the "Elisa is the one good human who throws a wrench in Demona's baseless hatred" interpretation either. I think she has plenty of other reasons to hate Elisa honestly. That one just seems kinda vague to me."

      And yet, that's exactly what it is. You might not like it, but it's all over the show, and even Weisman himself has confirmed this....

      ... and before you bring up the line "perhaps the policewoman is the exception that proves the rule," Demona was lying through her teeth there and forced herself to say it to get Brooklyn to listen, because she knows he likes Elisa. Marina's performance bristled with hatred.

      Oh, and...

      http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=1462

      "I think they easily could get worse, I think that's more likely. But I think they could get better too. Though, honestly, I think the most likely ending here is that Demona just grows more and more apathetic towards Goliath as time goes on, rather than getting more murderous or more caring."

      I believe she is more likely to succeed in murdering him. In fact, my theory on Goliath sacrificing his life, paving the way for the UN to pass the Gargoyles Minority Protection Act is him dying at Demona's hands while stopping her from destroying humanity again in a much more public setting.

      I even dramatized this theory of mine by writing a fic out of it. But it fits in with what few clues we have.

      "I'm more curious to see what the next step is in Thailog's relationship with Demona. They both own a company together. Eventually, they're probably gonna come to blows."

      Yeah, this is obvious. Villain vs villain.

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    7. "I believe she is more likely to succeed in murdering him. In fact, my theory on Goliath sacrificing his life, paving the way for the UN to pass the Gargoyles Minority Protection Act is him dying at Demona's hands while stopping her from destroying humanity again in a much more public setting.

      I even dramatized this theory of mine by writing a fic out of it. But it fits in with what few clues we have."

      Been meaning to read that honestly. I started when you first posted it, then lost track of it. Where's it posted?

      "And yet, that's exactly what it is. You might not like it, but it's all over the show, and even Weisman himself has confirmed this...."

      It's an interpretation I don't agree with. It's far too vague to be literal text within the show and IN the show itself, I don't see a lot of evidence of this. I'm not denying that they're there, I just don't see it.

      "... and before you bring up the line "perhaps the policewoman is the exception that proves the rule," Demona was lying through her teeth there and forced herself to say it to get Brooklyn to listen, because she knows he likes Elisa. Marina's performance bristled with hatred."

      Sigh. WHY the hell would I bring that up? What would that have to do with anything? If anything, that's more of a support for your argument that she sees Elisa as the one good human and she hates her for it. I suppose she may hate Elisa because she is a loyal person. But I dunno if Elisa is so devout and pure a human being that she disproves Demona's millenia of declaring humanity a selfish and traitorous species. By that logic she should hate MacBeth as much as she hates Elisa, or Matt or Renard, or any of the other especially loyal and honest human characters in the series, but she doesn't (again, not as much). She hates Elisa. I guess she's more aware of her, of course, but I don't think it's the main reason she hates her.

      "By your own logic, do you believe Castaway is incapable of harming another human? Sure he tried to kill Vinnie and Elisa... but hey, he didn't succeed, and he can't be so inept that in spite of his years of Batman-esque training, he just failed to kill Vinnie and an unconscious cop."

      I dunno. I think Castaway would like to avoid killing humans if he CAN. But I think he'd be willing to do it. That's more or less how I look at Demona I suppose. I forget what I said before, been a busy week. I don't think she'd kill a Gargoyle if she could avoid it, but I think she'd be willing to do it if she had to. That's how I look at Castaway I guess, but I haven't really put any real thought into him.

      "Yeah, this is obvious. Villain vs villain."

      Well of course, but it's a story I'm more interested in seeing right now is what I mean.

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  6. What I have to ask is...what is the evidence that Demona holds the Manhattan Clan in even slightly higher regard than before? She teamed up with them to stop the Hunters, but that was only because the Hunters were a danger to all gargoyles. It did not mean any larger change in her outlook, just that she needed a temporary alliance.

    And how has Angela changed Demona, also? Demona only slotted Angela into the plans she already had--only now it was to save her daughter, as well as save the gargoyle species. Demona already views herself as alutristic, working for the good of her species--and it doesn't mean it's true.

    Demona believes she is doing good, but she believes a lot of things that aren't true. She hasn't changed in the slightest, merely incorporated new situations so they make sense with her current worldview.

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    1. I dunno if 'hating them less' means she holds them in higher regard. More that she's found other things to blame for her problems. That's how I see it anyway.

      I think Demona accepts that she's done some pretty despicable things, but she also thinks they were necessary, that she was forced into doing them. That doesn't mean she sees herself as altruistic. Merely that she does what needs to be done.

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    2. "I dunno if 'hating them less' means she holds them in higher regard. More that she's found other things to blame for her problems. That's how I see it anyway."

      Pfffftt........ Demona is an expert at spreading blame rather than absorbing it.

      "I think Demona accepts that she's done some pretty despicable things, but she also thinks they were necessary, that she was forced into doing them. That doesn't mean she sees herself as altruistic. Merely that she does what needs to be done."

      Demona's entire life is a rationalization to blame everyone else for her own sins and problems.

      She is NOT Magneto with boobs!

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    3. You don't really seem to define what you mean by "hating them less", then, so it's hard to engage with the viewpoint. If hating them less is not expressed in a greater respect for the Manhattan Clan, how does it manifest?

      And I do think Demona views herself as a martyr to some extent--that what she did was for the good of the gargoyle species, and so nothing should fall on her conscience.

      She is, in her own mind "sacrificing" herself by committing fully to human genocide rather than doing anything else with her life, while in truth, Demona ignores what she could actually be doing to help her species.

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    4. "You don't really seem to define what you mean by "hating them less", then, so it's hard to engage with the viewpoint. If hating them less is not expressed in a greater respect for the Manhattan Clan, how does it manifest?"

      Directing her bile towards other targets. They don't matter to her as much, I think. She doesn't LIKE them, I don't think. If they prove useful, she'll use them, if they threaten her, she'll stop them or kill them if it gets them out of her hair. That's the way I look at it. Or the way I see it at least.

      "Pfffftt........ Demona is an expert at spreading blame rather than absorbing it."

      That sounds like redirecting blame to me, rather than absorbing it or spreading it. It's definitely not her taking any responsibility.

      "Demona's entire life is a rationalization to blame everyone else for her own sins and problems."

      That's exactly what I just said... there have definitely been times when she's admitted fault, but then immediately gone on to say why that fault was so necessary. (Such as her first conversation with Angela.)

      "She is NOT Magneto with boobs!"

      Not familiar enough with Magneto to know what that means. Again, Greg, this will be a much more enjoyable and productive conversation if you don't assume I'm saying things I'm not actually saying.

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  7. I'm making a seperate response for this as I'm not debating for the moment, but:
    "I believe she is more likely to succeed in murdering him. In fact, my theory on Goliath sacrificing his life, paving the way for the UN to pass the Gargoyles Minority Protection Act is him dying at Demona's hands while stopping her from destroying humanity again in a much more public setting.

    I even dramatized this theory of mine by writing a fic out of it. But it fits in with what few clues we have."

    Could you post those clues?

    Also, I've been meaning to ask for a while, as the rest of Clan Building was released after Rhapsody, are there any details that clash with your fic?

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    1. Well, considering how tight-lipped Greg is, here is what we know.

      1. Goliath sacrifices his life, martyring himself and in the aftermath, the UN passes the Gargoyle Minority Protection Act.

      2. Greg said 2008 is way too early for this event to occur.

      3. If the Atlantean crystal is left on holy ground, the Praying Gargoyle regenerates after sixty years. Demona is well aware of this considering the events of "The Last." So it's due back in 2056. Of course, Demona will likely use it again.

      4. I think that Goliath's death coming about through thwarting Demona's new scheme involving the Praying Gargoyle makes logical sense. Castaway, in Greg Weisman's plans (as we've learned from the comics), is careful enough to confine his war to the gargoyles; he's not likely to endanger the city the way that his "Goliath Chronicles" counterpart would, and so the public would see anything he does to Goliath as a private feud. But Demona's scheme does threaten humanity, and so Goliath's death, in the course of defeating it, would be seen as a noble sacrifice on behalf of the human race - and thereby could change how many people see gargoyles, enough so to ensure passage of the Act.

      "Also, I've been meaning to ask for a while, as the rest of Clan Building was released after Rhapsody, are there any details that clash with your fic?"

      Nope. Same with the rest of "Bad Guys." Notice that I had Fiona Canmore appear as a member of the Illuminati.

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  8. Huh. I would've thought that the girls in the fandom would find Castaway attractive and charismatic. Did the mustache just throw his looks off?

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    1. Heh, wouldn't surprise me. But Brooklyn, Xanatos, and Goliath tend to get the lion's share of fangirls. Jason Canmore has some also, more than his brother anyway.

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  9. Interesting read. Personally, I felt by the end of the series that both of them are beyond saving, but what do I know. It's also interesting how we like to sympathize with the minority, which makes it easy to forget that given the chance, the oppressed will do things to their oppressors just as bad, or possibly even worse, than what the oppressors did to them.

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