Demona

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Demona
Gargoyles character
Demona.png
First appearance Gargoyles 1x01 "Awakening Part 1"
Created by Greg Weisman
Voiced by Marina Sirtis
Information
Aliases Dominique Destine
Species Gargoyle (later human, daytime only)
Gender Female
Family Angela (daughter)
Spouse(s) Goliath (former mate)

Demona, (lit. "She-Demon"), voiced by Marina Sirtis, is a fictional character and one of the primary antagonists of the Disney animated television series Gargoyles.[1][2][3] Demona was once Goliath's lover and part of their castle's Wyvern Clan.[4] She is consumed by a hatred of humanity[4] and has attempted several times to destroy it.

Character design[edit]

In the original pitch for the series, the initial leader of the gargoyle clan was Dakota, but it was later decided she would work best as a villain and thus her name was changed to Demona.[5]

Character biography[edit]

Demona was a member of the Gargoyle clan at the medieval Scottish Castle Wyvern, Goliath's mate and second-in-command. Like the rest of the clan, Demona originally had no formal name, though Goliath frequently referred to her as his "Angel of the Night". The two mated and eventually had a daughter, Angela, who would join the Manhattan Clan 1000 years into the future. Resentful of human prejudice toward her clan, Demona conspired with the Captain of the Guard to betray the humans inhabiting Castle Wyvern to the Viking raiders. However, Demona failed to convince Goliath to get the gargoyles away from the castle - her end of the bargain - and the clan was slaughtered during daylight. When Goliath returned with Hudson, he was devastated to see the murder of his clan, which he believed included his mate. Demona abandoned the castle with the intent of coming back once he had calmed down, returning only to find the six survivors, including Goliath, under the Magus' stone sleep curse. This broke her heart, beginning the downward spiral in Demona's life of loneliness and pain.

Alone for several years, Demona had an encounter with a child named Gillecomgain (based loosely on Gille Coemgáin of Moray), scarring his face when he catches her stealing food. Gillecomgain becomes the original Hunter, a mercenary and assassin seeking revenge against her, who is "continued" over a line of generations to come. She is later joined by surviving Gargoyles from other clans in 997. During the year she encounters a time lost Brooklyn, who convinces her and the clan to help Kenneth III to fight against Constantine. Though she agrees, she plans to retrieve the Grimorum Arcanorum — the central book of spells featured in the Gargoyles storyline — after it is taken by Constantine's sorceror Brother Valmont. After Kenneth's side has won the battle, the freed Phoenix (the former prisoner of The Phoenix Gate artifact) is about to take the "timedancing" Brooklyn to another time period. Knowing he can't leave the Grimorum with Demona (since she wants to take over Scotland with it), Brooklyn offers to hold it while she takes out her half of The Phoenix Gate and while Brooklyn is whisked away. Later on, Demona allies herself with a young Macbeth to kill their common enemy of Gillecomgain. Later, an elderly Demona enters into a bargain with Macbeth; Macbeth entered it to protect his kingdom from his cousin Duncan I of Scotland, while Demona wanted her youth back so she could lead the last of her kind. The pact is facilitated by the Weird Sisters, with several side effects: pain felt by one is shared with the other when in close proximity, and both are immortal unless one is simultaneously killed by the other (as long as one of them is still alive, the other cannot be killed through any other means). Little did they realize that they were becoming pawns as part of a greater plot by the Weird Sisters and the evil Archmage from Castle Wyvern to take over the mystical island of Avalon in the 20th century. Macbeth himself soon comes to admire Demona's combat prowess, and eventually becomes heavily dependent on Demona's clan for support in the war with Duncan's forces. In the final battle with Duncan, Demona's devastating attacks so impress Macbeth, he exclaimed "You fight like a demon!" After becoming king, Macbeth calls her "Demona" (lit. "She-Demon"), for the first time, a name she finds very pleasing, and simultaneously declares her as his primary adviser. The two become fast friends, and it appears that Demona's life may turn around for the better. Eventually, Demona's trust in Macbeth evaporates after overhearing Macbeth's courtier advising him on severing their ties with the Gargoyles in order to win the support of the English. Fearing that this would come to pass (though Macbeth strongly denies it), she abandons his forces to Duncan's son Canmore and the English armies. Canmore, in turn, betrays her, killing the last of her clan. Demona would not enter into another alliance with a human for almost a thousand years. During the intervening time, she amasses a substantial fortune, while plotting her revenge on humanity; all the while being hunted by Canmore's descendants, who take up the mask of the Hunter. One hunter attacked her in Florence in 1495. According to Greg Weisman: "In 1920, Demona would encounter a hunter, Fiona Canmore in Paris, France. This event would have been seen in the unfinished Team Atlantis series."[6] She encounters and kills another hunter named Charles Canmore in Paris in 1980.

Some time before 1994, Demona allied herself with David Xanatos, gets him the Grimorum Arcanorum, and tells him about the spell put upon the Gargoyles at Castle Wyvern. This leads Xanatos to bringing the castle to Manhattan and waking up Goliath and the rest of the clan. Despite her and Xanatos's efforts to manipulate them, the clan refused to join her vendetta and actively opposes her. She later assisted Xanatos in resurrecting one of the dead Gargoyles from Wyvern, Coldstone, attempted to murder Elisa Maza, and also tried to exterminate humanity on numerous occasions; first by having Puck destroy them (which failed: he impishly "destroyed" the humans by turning them into gargoyles), and then used magic to turn them into stone during the night, allowing her to go on a vicious murder spree. When magic and sorcery failed, she turned to science by hiring geneticist and villain Anton Sevarius, to help create a virus that would destroy all human life on Earth. (Though knowing Demona to be genocidal, it is unclear whether or not Sevarius actually gave her what she asked for, though she assumed he had.) When she was invited to Xanatos and Fox's wedding as the bridesmaid, with Goliath as the best man. However, it was a plot to restore the Phoenix Gate. The four traveled back to 975 AD, where Xanatos would fulfill his own destiny while Demona showed her past self her clan frozen during the night. These events lead up to her hatred of humanity.

Demona in her daytime-only human form, as "Dominique Destine"

Demona is also granted a "gift" by the magical being Puck: after she requests that he make her able to walk in daylight without turning to stone, he devises and casts a spell that transforms Demona into a human at sunrise, and remains so during the day ("The Mirror") until sunset, when she transforms back into her "gargate" form. The transformation is incredibly painful and it hurts Macbeth when he is in proximity as part of their binding spell. Though initially furious at Puck's trick -she had wanted to be a gargoyle during the day, not a human- she realized the positive uses of her human form as she later took up the alias of Dominique Destine. Using the immense fortune and resources that she acquired over the years, she formed a company called Nightstone Unlimited and became its CEO. She uses the company to further her goals when she cannot as a Gargoyle. She allied herself with Goliath's evil clone Thailog to first, steal Macbeth's fortune, and when failing that, creating their own version of the Manhattan Clan through cloning. Though, the ever treacherous Thailog had other plans and betrayed her, leaving her for dead after a fight with the Manhattan Clan. She was later revealed to be alive. At the end of the show's run, she was still trying to successfully execute her ultimate plan of the destruction of the human race while trying to reach out to her daughter Angela, and win her over to her cause. She is incredibly overprotective of Angela and will step in and defend her if she is attacked. Demona was last seen on Halloween in Saint Damien's Cathedral recovering the crystal ruins of the Praying Gargoyle.

Powers and abilities[edit]

Demona possesses most of the standard superhuman attributes common to all members of her species. Demona is superhumanly strong, sufficiently so to easily crush or shatter guns in her grasp. Demona's agility, reflexes, and stamina are also much greater than those of a human. Her body is somewhat tougher and more resistant to certain kinds of injury than those of humans. She can withstand great impact forces, such as being struck with a blunt object or falling from several stories or being struck by a superhumanly strong being, that would severely injure or kill a human being. However, Demona can be injured by conventional bullets, bladed weapons, or more advanced weaponry, such as lasers, just as easily as a human can. Also, Demona's eyes glow a deep red (as any female gargoyle's would) when she is angry, unlike male gargoyles, whose eyes glow white.

Demona, like all gargoyles, has a physiology that is distinctly different from the human species. While she is vaguely humanoid in shape, but with wings and a tail, many gargoyle bodily functions are distinctly non-human. For example, all gargoyle females lay eggs just as monotremes do. Demona possesses large, bat-like wings that she is able to use to glide on currents of air, though she can't actually fly. She has to be a good distance above the ground in order to take off. Her fingers and toes end in very sharp and powerful claws. Combined with her great strength, her claws are capable of rending most materials including stone and most types of metals. Demona also has a long, prehensile tail that she uses to help keep herself balanced while gliding or while running at high speeds. She can also use this tail as a weapon and even to wrap around objects and grip them if she chooses to. As seen in a number of episodes,[7] items held by a gargoyle often will turn to stone as well, a magical effect which also affects their clothes.

Due to the spell cast upon her by the Weird Sisters, Demona is functionally immortal in the sense that she no longer ages and cannot die through conventional means, although it has not been specified if she simply cannot die or will merely come back to life if she sustains enough damage to kill her. The spell that binds her and Macbeth states that they can only be permanently killed by one another, although doing this would also result in the death of the murderer as well as the victim. Also, they can experience one another's pain if they are physically close to each other. For instance, if they're in the same room and Macbeth is struck or injured, Demona will feel it and vice versa. She also no longer transforms into stone during the day as other gargoyles do. Due to a spell cast upon her by Puck, some time following the immortaility enchantment by the Weird Sisters, Demona physically transforms into a human female at sunrise, and back into her true gargoyle form at sunset. The process takes only a few seconds but is extremely painful to endure, possibly because her entire body is literally reshaping itself, from gargate to human and back again, every time the transformation occurs.

Demona had secretly studied with the Archmage as his apprentice and had developed an aptitude in sorcery. Also, due to her greatly extended lifespan and experience, she has also become quite adept at understanding and using advanced technology. Demona is also a highly formidable combatant, both armed and unarmed. She is particularly skilled with a broad variety of weaponry ranging from swords to the most advanced firearms. She also has a general understanding of chemical compounds, although she is nowhere in the league of the likes of Anton Sevarius.

Demona at one point possessed a number of pages torn from the Grimorum Arcanorum, the central and ancient spell book of magic in the Gargoyles series, of which the majority are presumably still in her possession. These removed pages contain spells that can be used as formidable magical weapons that Demona can bring to bear against the Manhattan Clan and humanity in general. She has thus far invoked three different spells from the Grimorum, two of which were ripped out of the book after the failure of the first. The first such spell was an attempt to turn Goliath into a slave of whoever held the spell which ensnared his mind. Originally this spell was contained within the book itself, but Brooklyn tore it from its pages in order to keep her from using Goliath any further, Elisa later using the spell to order Goliath to act for the rest of his life as though he wasn't under its influence when they couldn't find a means to break the original spell. The second spell she used was taken from the torn pages of the Grimorum, and was used during the four part "City of Stone" story arc to turn Manhattan's human population to stone during the night, although it was eventually negated when the clause was triggered and the night sky blazed bright thanks to Xanatos and the Manhattan Clan working together to disperse a combustible chemical through the air. The last spell was used in the Hunter's Moon episodes in which she intended to use a mix of sorcery and science to destroy all other intelligent life on Earth except for the Gargoyle species, by dispersing a lethal virus while using an enchanted statue to protect Gargoyles, but this plan was averted when the statue was destroyed, thus creating the possibility that gargoyles would succumb to the infection as well. Although each attempt at the use of magic to achieve her goals has been thwarted, the remaining pages she possesses, if any, means she has many other methods by which she might yet achieve her desire for the elimination of mankind. Whether or not she ever used them are unknown, as the series came to an end after the events of the third-season spin-off The Goliath Chronicles. In one of the spin-offs originally pitched by series co-creator Weisman, Demona would have eventually reformed during one of the Gargoyles spin-off ideas set in the far future. This would indicate that whatever weapons or plots she had at her disposal, they either failed, or she simply did not use them.

In other media and merchandise[edit]

Demona is the end boss in the video game Gargoyles.[8]

Reception[edit]

In 2011, UGO.com included Demona on their list of the TV's most horrible curses.[9] The Nostalgia Critic also called her a "Female Magneto" and one of the greatest cartoon villains.[citation needed] In addition, his female counterpart, the Nostalgia Chick, named her the third Greatest Nostalgic Villainess of all time.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dretzka, Gary (1995-08-08). "What's Dramatic, Fun And Keeping These Actors Busy?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  2. ^ "Gargoyles Has 'Star Trek' Ties". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  3. ^ "Fifteen-year fans: the "Gathering" united by a ’90s Disney cartoon". North by Northwestern. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  4. ^ a b "DISNEY'S GARGOYLES LACES CARTOONING WITH JOLT OF PROVOCATIVE STORYTELLING". Miami Herald. 1994-10-21. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  5. ^ "WonderCon: Greg Weisman Spotlight Panel". Comic Book Resources. 2007-03-04. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  6. ^ "Search Ask Greg : Gargoyles : Station Eight". S8.org. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  7. ^ For example in the episode "Long Way To Morning" where her laser gun turns to stone with her.
  8. ^ GameFAQs: Gargoyles (GEN) FAQ/Walkthrough by Overated
  9. ^ Demona and MacBeth - Horrible TV Curses - UGO.com

External links[edit]