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Though not literally the offspring of Oberon, he is nevertheless the leader of the entire race, serving both as ruler and father-figure. In general, it seems the species are referred to as children of their current ruler, as they were called "Mab's children" when still governed by Oberon's mother, Queen Mab. Oberon ascended to the position both by virtue of being Mab's son, but also because he had been the one to overthrow her.
Members of the race range from fairies to gods to other mythological creatures that were encountered during the "World Tour" arc during the show's second season. They are shown to possess fantastic and supernatural powers, which vary from individual to individual, although most do have the power to change shape and appearance at will alongside other abilities. If they shapeshift fully into a mortal form, they are bound completely by the nature of that mortal body. They suffer all the frailties typically associated with that body, age as a mortal, and lose all their magical powers save one: they can still transform back. They may not be said to have "real" forms, but most do have an appearance (or several) that they favor above others and will use in most circumstances.
Several members of the race (most notably those identified as "tricksters" by themselves or others) have displayed willingness to interact with mortals and even grant wishes in the style of traditional genies. However, such wishes often have an ironic twist and cost similar to the monkey's paw. They are immortal and have lived throughout the ages, influencing folklore (or even playing a central role) of certain ethnic groups and cultures worldwide. They are also shown to have a weakness to iron; their magic will not work on it, they can be bound by it, and it can cause them pain. In fact, iron is such a threat to them, that even sound vibrations from an iron source are damaging. Other than that, they are formidable opponents.
The foremost members of the species are characters from two Shakespeare plays: Oberon himself, his wife Titania, and Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the Weird Sisters from Macbeth. By the end of the show's run, each of them had been woven tightly into the mythological fabric of the series.
Though separated by their various mythologies, it is suggested that all members of the race have a common home on the mystical island of Avalon.
Curiously, several of the characters are voiced by actors who worked for various Star Trek series.
Oberon (based on the Shakespearean character of the same name) is the lord of Avalon and the ruler of the Third Race. He is arguably the most powerful being on the show, possessing god-like powers both on Avalon and on the rest of the planet. Unlike all human magic-users and the most of the Third Race, he does not need targets of his magic to see or hear him for it to be effective. Even with reduced power, or when physically weakened, he is still a very powerful and formidable opponent. Because of such power, he tends to be very arrogant, impudent, and very short-tempered although he has shown a generous and noble side to himself and is willing to compromise.
Little of his past was revealed on the show. He was once married to Lady Titania, but her frivolous actions caused them to separate for many centuries. As a means of her and the rest of the Third Race to "learn humility", Oberon passed an edict expelling all of his people from Avalon until the time of "The Gathering", a time when they all would return to Avalon, and then left himself. What he did during this time is unknown. According to series creator Greg Weisman, Oberon's lesson proved quite effective in the case of Titania and Puck, to the extent that both are much more reasonable now than Oberon (who did not believe he had a lesson to learn).
However, more information about Oberon has been revealed to the fandom by Greg Weisman: Oberon became the ruler of his race after overthrowing his mother, Queen Mab (another Shakespearean character, this time getting a brief mention by Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet). Not only was Mab insane, but she also disagreed with Oberon's marriage to Titania. Oberon defeated and imprisoned her, becoming the Lord of Avalon and the Third Race (he eschewed the title of "King" in an attempt to seem more egalitarian).
Oberon first appeared in the episode Ill Met By Moonlight, in which he returned to Avalon as a prelude to the Gathering and at the behest of the Weird Sisters. He discovered that "his island" had been occupied by the Avalon Clan of Gargoyles.
Disturbed by this, he attempted to remove them, but was thwarted by his wife Titania, the gargoyle Goliath and an iron bell forged by Elisa Maza, Tom the Guardian and Princess Katharine. Following this, he remarried Titania (now much matured) and proclaimed that the Avalon Clan were his new palace guards and that the magic of his children would not affect any of their clan.
His motives and behavior are often amoral and hypocritical at best. While he was generous enough in sparing the Avalon Clan their lives and allowed them to stay on Avalon (only after they defeated him), his impudence and short temper contradicted his own edict of staying out of human affairs such as when he assisted his wife Titania in attempting to kidnap David Xanatos' son, Alexander, to Avalon. In the process, he battled Goliath for the second time violating another edict of his that his magic would not affect him or his clan. Upon returning to Avalon following the battle, he made a thinly veiled threat at the Manhattan clan, leaving his relationship with him and Goliath and his clans open to question in the future as to whether or not he is a friend or foe. Show creator Greg Weisman at this time has remained mum on the issue.
- Greg Weisman has revealed on his forums that Oberon has had at least four children in his long life. He has had two children by Titania (though they remain unnamed and never appeared on the show), as well as two children by mortal women. The first was the changeling boy from A Midsummer Night's Dream, giving him new motivation for wanting the child. The second was King Arthur's ally Merlin. It was because he owed Merlin a favor that Arthur Pendragon was allowed rest on Avalon, though Greg hasn't specified the full details.
- The only future plans for Oberon that Weisman has let known was that in future, Queen Mab was to break free from confinement with major implications for Oberon and everyone on and off of Avalon. He has not given any more details beyond that.
He was voiced by Terrence Mann.
Powers and Abilities
On Avalon, Oberon's powers are practically limitless, and even off the island he is by far the most powerful being in the Gargoyles universe. Like all his Children, he can change shape and appearance. By using his magic mirror, he can teleport anywhere in the world. He can grow to immense sizes (as tall as the tallest building in New York City), hypnotize someone into sleep with a look, and deflect energy blasts by hand. He is also telekinetic. He can manipulate the weather, conjuring both lightning and freezing rain in "The Gathering". He can use his hair as a weapon to entangle smaller objects or beings, and can absorb other beings into an alternate dimension for a limited time. His breath can be used as a weapon, as the forcefulness of one strong blow can knock flying objects from the air. The effects of his magic can be very far reaching; in "The Gathering", he is able to put all of New York City to sleep simply by yelling, "Sleep! Sleep! Sleep!".
Oberon has also demonstrated control over most of the nature on Avalon; in "Ill Met By Moonlight", he at various times has rocks, vines, and lava attack Goliath and his clan, and nearly has them all swallowed by the ground. He can also fly, and assume a diamond form which renders him impervious to injury. Even in normal form, he is shown in "The Gathering" to be able to take a laser blast to the chest with no worse effect than being knocked down.
The Lord of Avalon has absolute command over the rest of the Third Race. When Banshee and Odin (in his polar bear form) brawl at the onset of the Gathering, he is able to instantly immobilize both with a word, first freezing the ursine form of Odin within solid ice. He then silences the Banshee by covering her mouth with a magical seal, rendering her powerless. Not long after, he forcibly changes Titania out of her human disguise and back to her true form. Oberon is later attacked by Puck, but only slowed down, not defeated, and then only because he had already been struck with an iron harpoon by Petros Xanatos, David Xanatos' father, when Oberon once threatened to kidnap David Xanatos' infant son Alexander.
Oberon is shown to be a reasonably talented hand-to-hand combatant, as he manages to win a three-on-one fight against three gargoyles (while admittedly protected by his diamond form).
The only known weaknesses Oberon has are iron (like the rest of his race), and energy. Iron used as a weapon will kill or seriously injure him, while overloading on energy absorbed will drain his powers.
Lord Oberon can seem arrogant and cruel at times, so it must be pondered just how bad his young wife, the Lady Titania must have been for Oberon to levy and enforce a thousand-year banishment from Avalon upon her and every other member of their race in order to make her "grow up".
Nevertheless the punishment seems to have worked, and Titania as she appears on the show is far more mature than her old self, appearing especially serene and mature when compared to her arrogant and short-tempered husband. Oberon certainly seems to appreciate the change when they are reunited in the episode "Ill Met By Moonlight", and the two remarry. Titania is depicted as a skilled (though oddly utilitarian) manipulator, possessing near total control over Oberon himself to the point where she can influence him to do whatever she desires. She also expressed a keen interest in "the human magic known as science" over her centuries of exile, learning much of the human sciences. "Anastasia Renard", one of her personae, gained quite a reputation as a scientist in fields such as nano-technology and biology.
During her time on Earth, Titania posed as a number of mortal women. Most recently, she posed as Anastasia Renard, the ex-wife of Halcyon Renard and mother of Fox. It is through her union with Halcyon that Fox and her son, Alexander came to possess limited magic powers. She tried to take Alexander back to Avalon with her with the help of Oberon, but was thwarted. Though, it seems that her failure in doing so was seemingly her idea from the beginning.
She was the only member of the third race to appear in the non-canonical season 3 The Goliath Chronicles. In the episode For It May Come True, she had used the same reality manipulation powers similar to Puck's attempts in the episode Future Tense to create an alternate future in order to manipulate Goliath.
A trickster fey, Puck was banished from Avalon along with the rest of his race. Despite this, and despite Oberon's order that his children not interfere in mortal affairs, Puck continues to bypass these rules (as, admittedly, do others). Like other children of Oberon, such as Titania and Coyote, Puck developed an affinity for humans, and chose to remain with them on Earth rather than return to Avalon for the Gathering. Knowing that this could incur Oberon's wrath (indeed, Banshee's refusal of the same later resulted in a dire punishment for her), he planned to bribe Oberon with the Phoenix Gate in order to buy himself some more time, but he failed to get it from Goliath (By law, he could not take the Phoenix Gate by force, it had to be given to him.).
It was Puck that, during the show's run, cast the spell on Demona that made her turn human during the day, rather than turning to stone. Further, it was later revealed that Puck had played a far more central role in affairs than had previously been believed, when it was revealed that he had for many years been posing as Owen Burnett, the stiff and severely un-Puck-like aide to David Xanatos, who was in fact, based on Halcyon Renard's aide, Preston Vogel.
Before the beginning of the series, Puck, following the lead of Titania, had formed the identity of Owen Burnett by imitating Preston Vogel, the aide to Halcyon Renard. He had gone to work for Xanatos, whom he considered a trickster like himself, and eventually revealed his identity, offering a deal: a single wish from Puck, or a lifetime's loyal service from Owen, with no interference from Puck. Xanatos chose Owen, and the two have been inseparable ever since, so much so that Puck risked angering Oberon by remaining with Xanatos and missing the Gathering. He revealed himself when Oberon attempted to kidnap Xanatos's infant son, Alexander (also the grandson of Titania through his mother, Fox).
In the aftermath, Oberon decreed that Puck would remain with Xanatos to teach the young Alexander how to use his magical gift. However, he would be locked in the form of Owen when not training or protecting Alexander, and he was banished forever from Avalon. Puck himself reacted badly to this news (though Owen took it stoically, after he transformed back).
One night, while Xanatos and Fox went to dinner, Puck/Owen watched over Alexander and taught him his first magic lesson, soul switching. Disguising themselves as Goliath and Hudson, they bring the three souls inside of Coldstone (Coldstone himself, his love Desdemona, and the evil gargoyle Iago) into the bodies of Broadway, Angela and Brooklyn. Puck took on Coldstone's cyborg form while Alexander took over Lexington. They worked together to bring the souls inside Angela and Brooklyn to their new robotic bodies, Coldfire (Desdemona) and Coldsteel (Iago) respectively. This had been part of a plan made by Xanatos to make things up with Goliath. Once the souls went into their rightful bodies, Puck turns back to Owen and acted as if nothing had happened when the parents came home.
Alone among Oberon's children, the triplet sorceresses called the Weird Sisters were the only ones of the third race left at Avalon following Oberon's banishment as sentries and to care for the island. They failed at this task when the Magus from Castle Wyvern used his magic to get past them, and ever since have held a grudge not only against the Magus but against the whole of the Avalon Clan (and, by extension, Goliath's clan also).
In order to get their revenge while circumventing Oberon's rules preventing interference in mortal affairs, they bound themselves in servitude to the Archmage (who was traveling through time in his own plot to take revenge on Goliath). The Weird Sisters, on the Archmage's word, performed the spell that bound Demona to Macbeth, making both immortal and invulnerable — except to each other, and then enslaved them to the Archmage. When they were defeated, the ever vengeful sisters returned to Avalon with Oberon hoping to get one final score.
Like Oberon, their true motives are inscrutable and their behavior amoral. While they unquestionably follow Oberon's will and do his bidding such as bringing back the defiant Banshee and guarding Avalon, they have done actions that often circumvent his will such as assisting the Archmage. While they initially helped the Gargoyles in their first appearance on the show (in the episode City of Stone), they have since often gone into conflict with Goliath and particularly the Avalon Clan making them villains. Creator Greg Weisman has stated that each of the three has a distinct personality. The dark-haired one, Selene, represents fury; the gold-haired one, Phoebe, represents grace; the silver-haired one, Luna, represents fate. Their actions, while sometimes appearing contradictory, work towards achieving all three aims simultaneously. As such, they can appear variously as Fates (or Norns), Graces or Furies, depending upon which one of them is "ascendant". Note that they are all named after moon goddesses, though no connection to the moon has ever been made clear on the series.
The three sisters take many forms, most commonly young women, but have also appeared to Goliath as children. To Macbeth, they appeared as old women (the three witches who prophesied that Macbeth would be King of Scotland); to Duncan, the second Hunter, as maids; to Coldstone in cyberspace they appeared as three versions of his mate Desdemona; to Demona they appeared as wizened old gargoyles. Interestingly, when Demona and Macbeth both saw the Sisters at the same time, they seemed to have each seen a different vision of their appearance, implying they may deal more in illusions than transformation. Notably, the sisters' respective hair colors remain the same no matter how they look.
All three Weird Sisters were voiced by Kath Soucie.
- A planned but unmade 2 Part story has The Weird Sisters imprisoning the cast into the Shakespeare play Macbeth. The higher ups insisted on the story being a single episode, due to its weirdness. Since it wouldn't work as such, it remained unmade.
Several other members of the Third Race were shown during the series, often in one-off appearances. In their own spotlight episodes, most of the following were not identified as children of Oberon, and were referred to only by terminology relevant to their own mythological roots. However, their heritage was made clear in the episode The Gathering, in which Oberon calls his children back to Avalon and they all attend. These other children are as follows.
- Anansi, voiced by LeVar Burton, is a west African spider trickster and popular folk hero. Appeared as a villain in an episode.
- Anubis, voiced by Tony Jay, is a death-god originating in Ancient Egypt. David Xanatos attempted to use him in his quest for immortality. If he is trapped, then no one in the world can die. Also, if anyone can become merged with Anubis to become the Avatar of Death, can control it and the process of age. However, he cannot play favorites nor bring anyone back from the afterlife. The Emir attempted to merge Anubis with him, only for the transfer to be interrupted by Jackal, who proceeded to bring death to the entire planet. Emir managed to transfer Anubis to his body and rechanneled the stolen energies. Also in this episode it is revealed that gargoyles age at approximately half the rate of humans. Jackal does not know this, and it costs him.
- Banshee, voiced by Sheena Easton, is a creature of Irish mythology whose powers are derived from her voice. She is an old enemy of the hero Cuchullain. Like Puck, she refused to return to Avalon for the gathering but was forced back by the Weird Sisters. She is gagged indefinitely by Oberon for her defiance.
- Unnamed centaur present at The Gathering (though given the mythological nature of many of Oberon's Children, Chiron might be a fair guess).
- Coyote, is a Native American trickster spirit who took the appearance of Peter Maza, father of Elisa Maza. Xanatos also tried to use him in his quest for immortality.
- Grandmother, an aged woman and Native American spirit that guides the destiny of Natsilane to battle Raven.
- Lady of the Lake, a water spirit from Arthurian mythology. In the Gargoyles universe, she manifests herself from the pond in Central Park and helps King Arthur locate Excalibur when he comes to retrieve it.
- Merlin, the friend and mentor of King Arthur and a powerful wizard. Though never seen on the show, according to creator Greg Weisman, Merlin is in fact the literal child of Oberon and a human woman in the 5th century. Though Merlin and his father had a difficult relationship, Oberon granted Merlin's request to allow the mortally wounded Arthur to sleep on Avalon, as payment for an unknown favor Merlin had done him earlier.
- Odin, voiced W. Morgan Sheppard, the all-father of Norse mythology, lost his right eye to Mimir that became a powerful artifact called the Eye of Odin. Eventually he battled Goliath to get it back. However, after Odin finally reclaimed his property, he and Goliath peaceably reconciled for their mistakes during their encounter.
- Pegasus (or a similar winged horse), seen in line at the Gathering.
- Raven, a devious trickster spirit from Native American mythology, he serves as the antagonist of Natsilane.
- Naught - Dapper looking cloaked figure that appeared to be paying fealty to Oberon during the Gathering Episode. Aside from his name, Greg Weisman has not given any details about the character. However, he strongly resembles DC Comics' Phantom Stranger, except that he is seen wearing a chin curtain beard in the "Gathering, Part 1" episode.
- Medusa is seen on the second floor talking with a gargoyle.
- A Cyclops and Giantess is waiting on the side as Oberon's other's children go to bow to him.
- Disney should remake its 1994 animated hit | Ology
- "Gargoyles Has 'Star Trek' Ties". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- "Gargoyles Has 'Star Trek' Ties". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-08-18.