Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Gargoyles

Go To
Somehow, the censors thought this was less horrific than a dagger in his sleep (Shakespeare) or being killed in action some mundane way (Historical).

This show is one of Disney's darker efforts, so it comes as NO shock that there would be some frightening moments.

WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

  • "Deadly Force": Broadway becomes absolutely terrifying after he becomes traumatized from accidentally shooting Elisa. Who knew the guy who'd one day voice Patrick Star could use practically the same voice and still be scary?
    Broadway: [tackles and grabs a mugger armed with a high-tech gun] What's this!? A new kind of gun? A NEW WAY TO KILL PEOPLE!? [crushes gun with his bare hands] WHERE DID YOU GET THIS!? WHO GAVE IT TO YOU!?
    • The doctor's matter-of-fact description of exactly what the bullet did to Elisa is also nightmare-inducing.
  • The Hotel Cabal episode, which ends with Mace Malone frantically trying to find an exit to the sealed maze of traps, all of which are designed to drive the prisoner insane. Word of God is he eventually died of dehydration.
  • Demona happily destroying human statues in "City of Stone", especially when she only destroys the arms of one. This event shows that she is both completely serious about wiping out mankind and takes pleasure in murder.
    • The 11th century flashbacks, in which Demona becomes gaunt and aged thanks to the stress of living as a fugitive, make her look more like a vampire than a gargoyle. And she's quite enthusiastic with that spiked mace of hers.
    • In the same episodes, King Duncan's demise. He attempts to strike down his cousin Macbeth, who reveals a strange orb given to him by the Weird Sisters. As soon as Duncan's sword shatters it, he is engulfed in magical energy, and otherworldly light erupts from his eyes and mouth, torching him from the inside, accompanied by an anguished shriek. Finally, we see his flaming corpse, eyes and tongue burned out of his head, fall out of frame as it tumbles down a cliff. Just... YEESH.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Xanatos Goon Squad in "Monsters" being dragged down in their submarine to a watery grave by some very angry plesiosaurs.
  • Jackal in "The Green" fantasizing about smashing stone gargoyles by day. Frightening enough as it is, but then he whips out a chisel and carves Goliath's face to look like his.
    • His entire killing spree in "Grief." How bad is it? He starts small; a tree withers away, a couple of machines are turned to scrap metal, and a pair of crocodiles are reduced to skeletons. The last thing we see him do? He lays waste to an entire thriving city!
      • In an inhuman display of depravity, he not only spares the Emir to witness the devastation firsthand, he also plans to resurrect his son after the earth has become nothing but a barren wasteland.
  • On the subject of "Grief," there's Anubis's simple, straightforward, even mundane remark on the subject of death: "Death is always pointless. That is the point." Death comes to all, it's a constant, and a rule of the universe - it simply IS. Think about it a little too much, it starts to terrify you - if death is pointless, what's the point of life, as well? It always ends in the same way, after all.
    • If you think of it this way, Anubis was describing the pointlessness of death as what gives life meaning. A life that never ends has no point to it. (Observe how unhappy and amoral many of the immortal characters are.) Life is only precious if it can end.
  • Advertisement:
  • The whole concept of Thailog, once you think about it. He has Goliath's strength, wordly knowledge, and combat skill coupled with Xanatos's manipulative genius and Sevarius's scientific knowledge, but without a trace of any kind of morality.
    Xanatos: Owen... I think I’ve created a monster
  • Demona's transformations from gargoyle to human and vice versa.
  • The werefox, to say nothing of Fox's transformation, especially when she's reaching out to Xanatos and screaming before the beast takes over. The werefox is ravenous, murderous, and retains glimmers of Fox's intelligence, and nearly kills Xanatos and Elisa.
  • "Leader of the Pack," which first introduces Coyote, was often skipped in syndication, probably because of the scene in which Bronx knocks Coyote to the deck and mauls his head. It was only allowed in the first place due to Coyote being a machine, but it's still rather brutal, and a first-time viewer would probably still assume that Xanatos was the guy in the armor.
    • Mind you, his face post-mauling—half human, half robotic skull with a giant glaring eye—is still pretty much Nightmare Fuel on its own.
    • And then he returns in "Upgrade". And the same half-mauled robotic head ends up being crushed by Goliath. Just in case you forgot how dangerous the leader of the Manhattan Clan is when really angry.
  • The gang's fates in "Future Tense." Broadway gets blinded in a fight before being shot dead while Bluestone, Bronx, Claw, Angela, Brooklyn, and Demona are all vaporized on-screen. Xanatos also kills his own son with a smile on his face.
    • Lexington's mentality when he turns out to be the villain behind it all. His reaction to Goliath's return was seemingly lukewarm in contrast to Brooklyn's anger and Broadway's benevolence. Upon exposing his megalomaniacal goals, it's revealed that his hatred of Goliath's forty-year departure and the resulting aftermath had driven him completely insane. Fortunately it turned out not to be real.
    • Even though the previous two points eventually turned out to be an illusion crafted by Puck, this still serves as a huge point for Nightmare Fuel regarding the trickster. He mercilessly tormented Goliath almost to the point of madness and comes dangerously close to reaching his goal (which wasn't driving Goliath insane, granted, but still). The whole ordeal still leaves Goliath quite shaken. Turns out Puck can be an incredibly dangerous adversary when he wants to be, and all of Oberon's Children used to be whole lot worse a millenia ago. Seems like there is a very good reason for Oberon's non-interference-rule after all.
    • Easy to overlook is the fact that "Xanatos'" armies are, along with upgraded Steel Clan drones, comprised of patrols and shock troops made of cyborg duplicates of Talon and Thailog, two of Xanatos' fiercest enemies. Thailog is stated to have died in the Clone Wars, and whatever happened to Talon at Sevarius' bidding must have been horrific for an eyeless Broadway to be deemed "the lucky one." Regardless of who is really responsible, whatever mind orchestrated the fates of these ferocious warriors is truly depraved.
    • For the remaining humans to be left destitute and subjugated, one can only imagine what happened to the ones that spoke out publicly against the rise of Xanatos (which almost certainly included Peter, Diane and Beth Maza.)
  • The Goliath Chronicles episode "Genesis Undone" stands out as rather horrifying. The deterioration of the Manhattan Clan's clones is unsettling to say the least. We then get to watch as they all (including Thailog) writhe in agony before turning to stone, at night.
  • In "Shadows of the Past", Goliath is plagued with visions of his fallen comrades. They appear in the form of stone apparitions with empty eye sockets and cold, vengeful expressions.
  • At the end of the five-part pilot, Goliath takes one look at the mess in which Demona seemed to perish, lifts Xanatos by his collar, suspends him over the edge of the building, and tells him, "She wanted me to destroy humanity. I THINK I'LL START WITH YOU!!!" Oh, yeah, he's pissed.
  • In "The Green", Hyena uses her morph ball attack in a very similar way Samus did in Metroid. Think about all the human parts that must have been removed from her body to make sure the transformation wouldn't kill her.
    • Think about how she and her brother willingly volunteered for that.
  • In "The Price", Goliath punches out the robotic Macbeth's GUTS after believing he had destroyed Hudson.
  • In the "Timedancer" arc of the graphic novel continuation, we get what is perhaps the most chilling image in the entire series: A war-painted King Constantine with rings around his pupils instead of irises. Good luck trying to sleep with that image in your head!
  • Matt Bluestone in the episode "Revelations". Matt was once part of the FBI, but was let go due to his belief in conspiracy theories such as The Illuminati, who actually exist and were responsible for Matt losing his job with the FBI. During once of his investigations, he finds that Mace Malone is still alive thanks to the Society. Matt is offered membership if he can pass a loyalty test, the test being to bring them a gargoyle to the Hotel Cabal. Mace then goes on to reveal Elisa's secret and how she has been hiding the gargoyles from humanity. Hurt that Elisa would keep a secret from him, especially since it is related to his passion, he forces Elisa to let him drive her car near the end of a shift. He then starts driving erratically and almost runs the car off of a cliff, saying that only the gargoyles can save them. If the guardrails on the cliffside had been any weaker, Matt could have killed Elisa and himself since The Clan were not following her that night. If anyone else had been in the car or if Elisa had decided to not tell her secret, Matt could have lost his job at the police force and become an Un-person thanks to The Illuminati.
  • In "The Gathering", Petros Xanatos fires at Oberon with a harpoon gun....whose tip was made of iron. It impales him through the center of his chest, and weakens Oberon to the point he looks much frailer — his blue skin dims to grey, he loses his hair and his head becomes pointier. Combine that with his fury at being impaled with iron...
    • Also, him going giant size and whaling away at Xanatos' tower. Not to mention him putting the entire city to sleep; Word of God subverted No Endor Holocaust and stated that yes, people died because they fell asleep while driving and other hazardous activities.