Let's review some of the things we know about gargoyles:
(1) They are anatomically
They are built on the same basic plan as all higher Earthly animals ... bilateral
symmetry, four limbs, head and tail at opposite ends of spinal column; but they
also have fully functional wings, making them essentially hexapods rather than
tetrapods. These wings appear to depend from the ribcage, as was the case in some
extinct Mesozoic arboreal gliding reptiles. But it's more complex than that, because
there are at least two major and numerous minor variants on the basic gargoyle
(a) Wings depending from the arms and legs, as in the case of Lexington.
(b) A wingless "watchdog" breed, as in the case of Bronx and Boudicca.
We've seen other variations, including a legless but armed "winged serpent"
kind, among the dwellers in the Green.
(2) They apparently possess
either a very high mutation rate, or (more likely)
a VERY wide variety of possible genotypes.
Even the four-limbed, two-winged variety (the most common) varies wildly
in terms of horns (or lack thereof), brow-ridges, beak shape, coloration, and many
other factors. This does NOT represent "racial" differences ... a "clan" is a very small
gene pool, yet Goliath's clan exhibits all three major varieties. And there is reason
to believe that all three major varieties are interfertile (if they aren't it would be
hard for a small clan to survive), even though gargoyles seem to prefer to mate
with others of the same variety.
(3) They seem to possess both saurian and
They are endotherms, as are mammals and as were the carnivorous
dinosaurs. SOME of them have hair (as do mammals), others are naked-skinned (as
were most dinosaurs).
Their skin appears not to be scaly, however they have many saurian or avian
body features. Their mammalian features, interestingly, are anthropomorphic
ones ... they resemble reptilian or avian humans rather than any other mammalian
species. Their tails are fully prehensile, an attribute shared not with apes (who are
tailless) but with monkeys. No known reptiles or dinosaurs have fully prehensile
(4) They are oviparous (egg-layers).
However, if we assume the female breasts are functional, they also lactate
(secrete milk). This is a strange combination of characteristics, shared only with
some very primitive mammals.
(5) Breeding cycle controlled by pherenomes
Common in mammals, almost unknown in reptiles or avians.
Females can control this release and thus schedule a "breeding" at will.
(note: this premise advanced primarily in C. Morgan's work)
(6) Able to glide and maneuver with ease,
despite obvious aerodynamic
Gargoyles aren't hollow-boned like birds (if they were they'd be a lot more
fragile), and their bodies are WAY too massive for their stubby wings, yet they
can not only glide but do so FAST ... faster than should be possible on air currents
The obvious implication of this is that they possess a nascent telekinetic
ability which is entirely oriented towards levitation and propulsion. Gargoyles
seem to be competely unaware of this ... since they THINK they are merely gliding.
(I suspect that both Xanatos and Renard would have noticed this, especially Xanatos
who was able to duplicate gargoyle flight abilities ... but not maneuverability ...
only by installing turbojets in his Steel Clan robots!)
(7) They are fully sentient
At or above human average, with some gargoyles (Lexington) appearing to
possess genius or supergenius level intelligence. Yet they have a number of
curious instincts, the most prominent being a pronounced tendency to identify
with something which they feel compelled to "protect". A consequence of the
need for an oviparous species to protect their nests ... or something more?
(8) They seem to have possessed a "native"
culture (which yields to human
culture with remarkable ease).
We've never seen a totally "natural" gargoyle, but elements of this culture
(which may partially be hardwired into their brains) include:
(a) Basic social unit the "clan", led by a "leader" who is chosen for fitness in
combat command. Ageing "leaders" are not cast out but become "elders" and
advise the new "leaders."
(b) Extreme loyalty to clan. Betrayal is viewed with incredible horror, and
seems to be possible only with some degree of insanity (e.g. Demona).
(c) No personal names (very curious, in view of their obvious intelligence).
(d) Very little accumulation of technology or wealth, though individual
gargoyles have shown superhuman aptitude at both (Lexington, Demona,
(9) Very unusual diurnal cycle, utterly unprecedented
Gargoyles "turn to stone" in daylight (even if not in direct sunlight) ...
this seems to involve not only the secretion of a pseudo-lithic integument but
also some degree of temporary internal petrification (note what happens if the
"statue" is shattered). While in "stone" form the gargoyle is somehow able to
absorb energy (perhaps solar, but the skin surface isn't large enough even with
the wings to account for all of it), and employ at least some of this energy to
allow incredibly rapid healing (almost anything short of an amputation or major
nerve damage can be cured by a day's sleep).
(10) VERY sharp, tough claws.
Goliath is capable of gouging all but the most obdurate steel alloys with
his claws (and he is able to at least scratch even those). I've NEVER seen a
gargoyle break a nail. The implication is that they embody some sort of carbon
or silica crystalline matrix in their claws (industrial diamond?), growing this
from their bodies. An adaptation from their ability to secrete the pseudo-stone?
(11) Incredible strength and toughness.
A gargoyle is probably at least 3-10 times stronger than a human being of
equivalent mass, and can shrug off traumas which would fell most animals. While
not "bulletproof" their tough skins, dense muscles, and thick bones enable them to
catch sword-blades in their bare hands with but minor cuts, or survive multiple
hits with small-caliber firearms and still remain functional. This extra strength
seems to be mostly naturally produced (gargoyles have tremendous appetites), but
is VERY unusual in a flying creature. Gargoyles are also VERY pain-resistant.
(12) Incredible coordination and speed.
The average gargoyle is probably faster than the average human fighter pilot.
Part of this is explicible as necessary for aerobatics, but the effect combined with
their strength and bodily construction is to make a gargoyle a hellaciously
effective natural fighter with just about any weapon, melee or ranged. Goliath's
clan, though brought up in the Dark Ages, seemed to have little problem adapting
to combat with firearms and energy weapons, and even when unarmed save for
their claws routinely best elite mercenaries armed with the most advanced human
(13) Very fine manipulation abilities, despite
seemingly clumsy hands
comprising one thumb and three fingers, all talon-equipped.
Equivalent at least to human capabilities here (and among other creatures
humans are the master manipulators). Note that Lexington has no problem working
with electronic or mechanical equipment. None of the gargoyles appear to be at
any disadvantage using gear designed for human beings.
(14) Excellent vocal abilities, again equivalent
to or superior to that of
Their voices can duplicate the full range of human capabilities (Demona
has no trouble casting spells), including all human phonemes, and at full volume
they can scream or roar louder than could any human. (Useful for communication
when airborne?) Note that aside from ceteceans and some parrots, humans are the
supreme vocalizers among other animals.
Some related points:
There seems to be only one
reference to the gargoyle origins in the show,
and it is an indirect one. In one episode, Goliath, Demona, and Hudson quest
for the Grimorum Arcanorum in a cave complex near Wyvern Castle. The cave
complex leads into a mysterious underground structure obviously of artificial
origin, which seems to be of vaguely Olmec or Mayan design (and is obviously that
ofsome precursor to pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilization). The wall carvings
depict gargoyles at war (a humanoid gargoyle fighting a serpentine one).
The alien on Easter Island
assumes Goliath to be an extraterrestrial. This is
unlikely, though, because gargoyles have too much in common with other Earthly
life, though in a rather chimerical fashion.
Are the New Olympians gargoyles?
Probably not, though it's possible that they
may be related to both them and to the Children of Oberon. Half-breeds? The
creatures of Greek myth that the New Olympians obviously inspired were said to
be descended from gods, monsters, and men. And we know that the Children of
Oberon inspired many myths about gods.
======= JORDAN'S OPINION ON THE MATTER ==========================
I think that the gargoyles
are an artificially created warrior race,
genetically engineered (possibly through sorcery) from numerous species.
Their chimerical and widely variable anatomy and instinctive clanning sound
like an attempt to produce a race which spontaneously generated "squads" containing
their own specialists, without any formal organization necessary.
Note that the standard gargoyle is a generalized fighter, larger than the average
human, and much stronger, tougher, and faster. He can "glide" without mechanical
assistance, and is fully capable of doing battle either with or without external
The web-winged variety (Lexington) sacrifices size and strength for intelligence
and dexterity. This was clearly intended as a "technician" or "scout" type.
The "watchdog" variety (Bronx) cannot fly and is thus not as mobile as the others,
but has superior senses. Watchdogs also seem to have much lower intelligence (and
no verbal ability) compared to regular gargoyles (witness how Demona tricked Bronx).
The clear and obvious weakness
in this theory is that gargoyles turn to stone
by daylight. One has to wonder if the gargoyle creators knew a way to prevent
this from happening. The Mayan priest who created the amulets depicted in "The
Green" seems to have been able to do so, and he presumably did not have all
the resources of their creators. Maybe this weakness was DESIGNED into them as
a means of control ... disobey the creators and they kill you come daylight. It's
likely that gargoyles were meant to fight in support of other creatures which were
active by day.
OK ... if they were a created
race, WHO created them? I don't know, but I suspect
(1) It has something to do
with Oberon and his Children ... not that they created
the gargoyles, but that maybe both have the same original source.
(2) Whoever created the gargoyles
did so to fight some apocalyptic war, and
that war destroyed most of their civilization.