Gargoyles: Defenders of the Night

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Gargoyles: Defenders of the Night is a 28-page retelling of "Awakening Part One" and the first act of the second part, adapted by David Cody Weiss and published by Fun Works (the only date given for copyright is 1993). It is fully illustrated, with pencils by Debra L. Pugh, and painted by H.R. Russell.


The blurb on the back of the book reads:

"Stone by day...Fearsome flesh by night...Gargoyles. Placed under a thousand-year-old spell, the Gargoyles sleep as stone until their castle rises above the clouds. One day, a rich, powerful man with evil in mind, transports the ancient Scottish castle and its stone guardians across the sea. Looming at the top of the tallest skyscraper in New York City, the castle rests in the clouds, breaking the spell. The Gargoyles are released from their stone slumber and drawn into battles against modern-day barbarians. Fiercely protective by nature, the winged creatures are once again...defenders of the night. This is how it all began..."


The book follows the actions of the episodes, beginning with the Viking attack on Castle Wyvern and ending with Goliath being cursed. The book is illustrated with original artwork throughout (as opposed to the screen shots used in the book published by Golden Books).

While ostensibly a children's book, this adaptation still includes the Wyvern Massacre (although, as often happened in the animated series, the word "destroyed" is used in place of "killed"), as well as Hakon and the Captain of the Guard falling off the cliff (the exact wording in the book reads "fell out of sight").

Throughout, the point of view character is Tom, who appears in all but 3 of the 14 "scenes" presented in the book. This includes being in the background of shots he was not there for--such as the dining hall scene, witnessing Hakon and the Captain's fall and Goliath's rescue of the Princess (as opposed to arriving after as in the series), and Goliath's final request in regards to the eggs and himself. In the last case, instead of looking to the Magus and Katharine to watch over the eggs, Goliath asks them to "Help Tom care for [the] eggs." Goliath's "suicide" is also included, with him asking to be cursed as well, and the last page of the book is once again focused on Tom, looking up at the stone forms of his "enchanted heroes [and] hoping that he would someday be as brave and loyal as these mighty defenders of the night."

The only indication that Goliath and the rest of the clan will wake up is given in the descriptive blurb on the back cover of the book. Without that, the book ends on a surprisingly somber note.

Other items of note:

  • Tom's Mother, Mary appears throughout the book as well, but with a brighter color scheme.
  • In the illustration on pages 4-5, Lexington is drawn with bat-wings as opposed to his proper webbed-type. This is the only time this error occurs, and Lex retains his normal wings all other times he's depicted in the book.
  • As per the series, Goliath is the only gargoyle named, although all of the main characters are shown, including Demona. However, their appearance in the illustrations is the extent of their presence in the book in that the text does little to distinguish them. No mention is made of Demona being Goliath's Second in Command or mate, for example. And the text seems to indicate that the Trio and Bronx went with Goliath and Hudson to hunt the Vikings (there is no mention of them being sent to the rookery), despite the illustration only showing Hudson with Goliath.
  • There is no indication that the Massacre occurred during the day while the gargoyles were frozen in stone. The text reads: "Goliath and his friends were sent away on a false mission. When they returned, they found that Castle Wyvern had been attacked by the Viking raiders."
  • Goliath's desire for revenge is omitted. According to the text, after the Massacre, "Goliath vow[s] to rescue the humans he had been sworn to protect." Also, the Captain, Hakon and the Princess fall off the cliff before Goliath arrives (he swoops down in time to save the Princess). There is no indication why the Captain and Hakon were fighting just before the plunge (this whole sequence is told largely from Tom's perspective, and he just sees them fighting as he arrives).
  • There is no indication that the Captain is Goliath's friend, or an ally of the clan. He sends Goliath off on the false Viking hunt, and is next seen in the Viking camp helping Hakon to drag Princess Katharine away (rather than her escaping and them pursuing), before the final fall. There is never a reason given for the Captain's betrayal.
  • Because this adaptation only covers the 10th Century scenes, Elisa Maza and David Xanatos do not appear in this book.

See Also