Awakening Part One

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"Awakening: Part One" is the first televised episode of the series Gargoyles, and the first episode of Season 1. It originally aired on October 24, 1994.


Main Plot

The gargoyles of the Wyvern Clan are introduced while repulsing an attack during a battle between the Vikings and Castle Wyvern. However, thanks to the planning of the Viking leader Hakon and a traitor within the Castle, Wyvern is sacked the next day, free of Gargoyle intervention, and Hakon slaughters almost all of the gargoyle clan while they are asleep. Goliath and the gargoyle who will be known as Hudson return that night after being decoyed away from the castle, and find the remains of their clan, including what Goliath believes to be his "Angel of the Night"...


In Manhattan, a battle appears to be taking place atop the Eyrie Building while debris falls down to the street below. Detective Elisa Maza arrives on the scene, and wonders at the strange claw marks in a piece of fallen stone.

The gargoyles are treated with disdain by most of the denizens of the castle, including Princess Katharine and the Magus. The Captain, who is most likely the only human friend of the gargoyles, has Goliath and his mate appear before the Princess for recognition of their bravery. Instead the Princess calls them "beasts" and demotes the Captain, a move which motivates the Captain to betray the people of Wyvern.

The Captain and Demona try to convince Goliath to take the whole clan with him to scare off the Vikings from returning. Goliath instead decides to take just his mentor. He realizes too late that he has been tricked at the turning of the dawn. The captain goes ahead with his plan for the humans to be captured, but is unable to prevent Hakon from destroying the clan.

Brooklyn, Lexington,and Bronx act savagely towards a group of humans after Mary insults them. Goliath sends them and Broadway down to the rookery as punishment, which will end up saving their lives.

The Story


In modern day Manhattan, the light and noise of explosions, accompanied by falling debris, rock the nighttime skies above the Eyrie Building, a towering skyscraper. A Manhattan detective, who introduced herself as "Maza" from the 23rd Precinct, arrives on the scene and narrowly avoids being hit by falling rubble. As she yells for onlookers to get back, she notices claw marks on some of the rubble. What, she wonders to herself, could be strong enough to leave claw marks in solid stone?

Act One

In 994 Scotland, just before sunset, soldiers defend a castle from invaders. Two of the bowmen express doubts about their chances of success. The Captain of the Guard orders them back to their posts, remarking that the sun is about to set and "then we’ll see some fun". Meanwhile, two of the Viking invaders express similar doubts about the wisdom of attacking a castle full of gargoyles with nightfall approaching. It's a crazy move. Their leader, Hakon, warns them that the real danger is questioning his sanity while he is within earshot. He orders his men to attack the castle. As Hakon scales the castle wall and reaches the top near a crouching stone gargoyle, night falls. Cracks spiderweb across the surface of the gargoyle and a living creature bursts forth from a layer of stone skin. The gargoyle lifts the startled Viking leader by the wrist and informs him, "You are trespassing." All around, other gargoyles awaken to confront the invaders.

With his free hand, Hakon draws his sword and slashes at the gargoyle. The gargoyle catches the blade in his hand and is wounded. Realizing that the gargoyles can be hurt, Hakon calls for his men to resume the fight. He kicks off the wall, freeing himself from the gargoyle’s grip, then catches a rope to break his fall. More gargoyles glide through the skies above and a trio of young gargoyles eagerly joins the battle. They won't let their brothers and sisters have all the fun. The lavender gargoyle who first confronted Hakon comes to the aid of an elder gargoyle when a Viking attempts to sneak up on him. The lavender gargoyle then fights alongside the Captain of the Guard, who calls him "Goliath", and remarks that the Vikings must have followed a band of refugees taking shelter at the castle. Nearby, one of the refugee children watches excitedly as the young aquamarine colored gargoyle stops to enjoy a piece of meat before whacking a Viking on the head with the bone. Hakon tries to catch his breath, and is confronted by a blue gargoyle beast. He flees, but is soon trapped between the beast and a fearsome female gargoyle who dares him to face her. The lavender gargoyle lands near the cornered Viking and notes that the man has met "our watchdog" and "my Second-in-Command." Goliath then tells Hakon to take his remaining forces and go. Hakon vows to return and the gargoyles and bowmen chase off the remaining Vikings. With the battle won, the Second-in-Command bandages the lavender male's injured hand. The Captain of the Guard thanks Goliath for defending the castle and its inhabitants. Goliath thanks him in return for defending the gargoyles during the day.

In the castle dining hall, the Princess, her Magus, and the soldiers enjoy a celebratory meal. Two soldiers at first praise, then mock the Captain of the Guard, saying he’s more like a gargoyle than a man. The Captain overhears them, but says nothing. The Princess thanks the Captain for defending their home, but he refuses to take credit, saying that Goliath and the other gargoyles truly deserve it. Both the Magus and the Princess look annoyed and the Princess asks that the Captain not mention "that monster's name" in her presence. The sound of a door swinging open alerts the startled diners to the presence of Goliath and the blue female gargoyle in the doorway. Goliath growls and narrows his eyes.

Act Two

Goliath and the other gargoyles enter the dining hall. The Captain of the Guard explains that he asked them to come and be recognized directly for their bravery. The Princess replies that she is "most seriously displeased to allow beasts in the dining hall". The Magus praises her "wise" words. Goliath approaches the frightened Princess, but merely bows to her. The Captain remarks on how apt the name they gave Goliath is; his battle prowess rivals that of the Biblical Philistine giant. The Princess counters that the Philistine giant "was also a bully and a savage". Goliath’s companion snarls at the insult. Goliath lays a restraining hand on her shoulder and asks the Princess to excuse them. After the gargoyles leave, the Princess demotes the Captain, informing him that he will now be reporting to the Magus rather than to her.

Outside the dining hall, the Captain apologizes to Goliath for how he was received. Goliath insists that the apology is unnecessary. The blue-skinned gargoyle rails against the injustice of the humans' contentious attitude. She points out that the cliffs where the castle now stands were the gargoyles' home long before humans arrived. The Captain agrees that the gargoyles deserve better, but Goliath protests. Taking the other gargoyle's hand in his, he reminds her that humans naturally fear what they do not understand, but the ways of gargoyles are different. With a sigh and a smile, the other gargoyle marvels at Goliath's patience, calling him "my love".

As dawn approaches, the Magus is flipping through a book of spells. While the gargoyles sleep in stone, a mysterious robed figure rides to the Vikings' camp and offers to help Hakon take Castle Wyvern, for a price.

The following night, Goliath removes the bandage from his hand, now fully healed. The Captain warns that the Vikings may return at daybreak. He and Goliath's Second suggest that he take all of the gargoyles and drive them off for good. Goliath is reluctant to leave the castle unprotected, but eventually agrees to take one other gargoyle to confront the Vikings. Goliath tells his Second to stay behind and guard the castle and reminds her that the two are "one, now and forever".

In the courtyard below, where the refugees are camped, the three young male gargoyles from before are playing with the blue gargoyle beast who cornered Hakon. The young refugee boy who watched them during the battle runs over and introduces himself as "Tom". When asked for his name, the olive green gargoyle replies that none of the gargoyles except Goliath have names. As they’re talking, Tom’s mother runs over and tells her son to get away from the "monsters". The rust colored beaked gargoyle protests that they wouldn’t hurt the child. Tom’s mother responds angrily and throws a stick at the young gargoyle. Goliath's Second, who has been watching from above, jumps between the humans and the gargoyles. The young gargoyles decide that if the humans see them as monsters, perhaps that's what they should be. They growl and flex their talons menacingly.

Act Three

The two young gargoyles and the beast growl at the refugees as Goliath's Second stands by. The refugees flee in terror. The remaining young gargoyle hears the commotion and wonders what's going on. Before anything more can happen, Goliath and the elder gargoyle drop down between the two groups. Angrily, Goliath sends the three young gargoyles and the beast down to the rookery to await his return. After the group has slunk off into the rookery, Goliath's Second protests to him that the humans were the ones at fault. Goliath says that he cannot allow fighting between gargoyles and humans regardless of who starts it, but promises to make it up to the younger gargoyles when he gets back.

Goliath and the elder gargoyle track the Viking forces. In their absence, a shadowy figure tampers with one of the bows of the soldiers at Castle Wyvern. Goliath and the other gargoyle catch up to the men they've been pursuing, only to find a small group of men leading horses. Men and horses alike scatter and the two gargoyles realize that it was a trick to get them away from the castle. They race back, but are caught by the dawn and turn to stone on a nearby cliff.

Standing outside Castle Wyvern, Hakon calls his men to attack again. The defending archers draw their bowstrings, but they immediately snap. An unknown figure raises the portcullis and the Vikings stream in. The Princess calls out to the Captain, only to realize that he is the one who betrayed them. As the Vikings lead their prisoners from the sacked castle, Hakon asks the Captain why he betrayed his own kind. "They are not my kind," the Captain responds. Hakon gets ready to smash the sleeping gargoyles. The Captain tries to protest, saying that the gargoyles won't give chase once the Vikings depart. Hakon slams the other man against a wall and threatens him with his mace. The Captain relents and can only watch in horror as Hakon begins to smash the helpless gargoyles.

That night, Goliath and the elder gargoyle return to find the castle in flames. The humans are gone and the shattered stone remains of gargoyles are everywhere. Goliath soars to the usual perch of his Second – his beloved - and picks up handfuls of rubble. "My angel of the night," he mourns, as the fragments fall from his hands. Wings unfurled, Goliath roars in anguish.

Featured Characters and First Appearances

Gargoyles Humans

Places Objects Miscellaneous


  • "You wanna wind up street pizza?" - Elisa
  • "What could be strong enough to leave clawmarks in solid stone?" - Elisa
  • "All of nature trembles at my passing!"
"I can see why." - Broadway and Lexington
  • "Face me human, if you dare!" - Demona
  • "We are most seriously displeased, to allow beasts in the dining hall." - Katharine
  • "We are what we are. Her opinion will not change that." - Goliath
  • "It is the nature of human kind to fear what they do not understand. Their ways are not our ways." - Goliath
  • "Remember, you and I are one, now and forever." - Goliath
  • "But what do you call each other?"
"Friend." - Tom and Brooklyn
  • "If they think we're beasts and monsters..."
"Then perhaps we'd better live up to the name." - Brooklyn and Lexington
  • "I hope we're not down here long. He might eat us." - Lexington
  • "Why betray your own kind?"
"They are not my kind." - Hakon and the Captain


This episode begins with a "cold opening", that is without an opening credits sequence. This was done so that the opening sequence would not give away important plot twists such as the Wyvern Massacre. The episode begins with the title screen (the word "Awakening" on a black background) then goes straight into the action with a short teaser set in the modern day. The word "Gargoyles" appears on-screen at the transition to medieval times (immediately after Elisa's question of "What could be strong enough to leave claw marks in solid stone?"). The series' familiar credits sequence is included at the end of the episode.

Castle Wyvern, while fictional, was modelled after the real castle of Tintagel in Cornwall, which, according to legend, was the place of King Arthur Pendragon's conception. (Intriguingly, in the never-made Gargoyles/Team Atlantis crossover story entitled "The Last", Greg Weisman had the Atlantean word for "gargoyle" be "gorlois"; Gorlois was also the name of the Duke of Cornwall in the lifetime of Uther Pendragon, Arthur's father, whose likeness Uther took on while begetting Arthur upon Gorlois' wife Igraine at Tintagel.)

Sharp-eyed viewers will note several dogs roaming through the great hall during the banquet scene. While true to medieval custom, it also subtly displays Princess Katharine's hypocrisy, when she objects to Goliath and Demona's presence with the words "To allow beasts in the dining hall!" Originally it was intended to immediately follow up Katharine's words with a scene in which one of the dogs proceeded to help himself to food from someone's plate, to make this all the clearer, but unfortunately the scene was not animated well-enough to appear in the finished product.

Another deleted scene (though this one was cut out for time constraints) had the young gargoyle who would later name himself Lexington examining one of the Vikings' catapults, as an indication of his fascination with all things mechanical. [1]

The Captain of the Guard is never given a personal name in the series. Since the gargoyles (except for Goliath) had no personal names in the 10th century, and the Captain identified with them far more than with his fellow humans (to the point where, when Hakon asks him "Why betray your own kind?", the Captain bitterly replies, "They are not my kind."), this is very fitting and appropriate. Greg Weisman first revealed the Captain's real name as Robbie in 2000, which was later confirmed in "The Reach". [2]

Officer Morgan, introduced in the "modern-day teaser" sequence at the beginning of this episode, was the first of many familiar recurring characters to appear in the background of the Gargoyles' New York. "Morgan" is both his first name and his last name (a concept inspired by the name of a high school classmate of Greg Weisman's, Morgan Lord Morgan III). In early versions of Gargoyles as it went through various breakdowns, "Morgan" was an early name of Elisa's, reused for an incidental character after her final name was decided upon. (Many of Elisa's "first draft" surnames, such as Chavez, Bluestone, and Reed, would also be used for other characters as the series progressed. Clearly, the Gargoyles production staff shared Xanatos's fondness for "recycling" of the sort shown in "Cloud Fathers"!)

VHS/DVD Release


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