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Recap / Gargoyles S 2 Vows

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  • Story Arc: Demona's vengeance against humans, The Archmage's ascent, Xanatos' and Fox's wedding, the Illuminati
  • Characters: The Manhattan Clan, Demona, David Xanatos, Owen, Petros Xanatos, the Archmage
  • Enemy(ies) : Demona, Xanatos, the Archmage,

Xanatos and Fox get married and enjoy a truly medieval honeymoon, as Demona uses the Phoenix Gate to try to change the past, inadvertently causing "the past" to happen in the first place. In medieval Scotland, the Archmage ruminates about how to obtain the "ultimate power" and how close it is to his grasp, while the Illuminati make sure that a certain royal wedding goes smoothly, unwittingly making Xanatos a rich man.

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Demona, Xanatos, and Fox reappear in City of Stone, while the Archmage makes his next appearance in Avalon. Petros Xanatos next appears in The Gathering.


This Episode contains the following Tropes:
  • Artistic License – History: This episode features a Norman ambassador to Scotland in 975... nearly a hundred years before the Normans even conquered England, let alone sent ambassadors to Scotland.
  • Berserk Button: Petros Xanatos in this episode proves to be one of the few people able to break through David Xanatos' shell when he hands his son a single penny, since money is all he cares about and the younger Xanatos' subsequent reaction, even if not verbalized, demonstrates it.
  • Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit: Xanatos' coin trick in Vows is in the spirit of the trope, if not the letter: Xanatos doesn't gain any interest on the coin, but its antique and historic value goes up over 1,000 years. "It's practically worthless now, in 975 A.D... but by 1975, it should be worth... oh about twenty grand?"
  • Continuity Nod: Quite a few references are made to prior episodes which include the following.
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    • In some prior episodes, The Illuminati was mentioned at times in passing. In this episode, it is not just only shown to have existed for more than a millennium, but that Xanatos is also a member of it.
    • As Goliath retrieves his half of the Phoenix Gate from its place in the clock tower, the dormant Coldstone (from "Legion"), the Grimorum Arcanorum (from "Enter Macbeth"), and the Eye of Odin (from "Eye of the Beholder") are shown in storage nearby.
    • In the prior episode, Xanatos had given his marriage proposal to Fox. In this episode, they have their wedding.
    • In the Dark Age scenes in this episode, Goliath almost refers to Hudson by his name, before remembering that in this time period he has not yet chosen a name for himself. ("Awakening: Part Three") None of the gargoyles in these scenes have names. In addition, Hudson hasn't been blinded in his eye from the confrontation against the Archmage he would get involved in 984 as revealed in "Long Way To Morning".
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  • Downer Beginning: While the overall status quo does't get any worse, but some tragic moments in the past still play out. Goliath hoped his speech to the younger, Past Demona would have some effect in changing how she would respond to the events in her future. However, the present Demona reveals after they have returned to the present that she remembered that speech and that nothing he said made her change her outlook.
  • Foreshadowing: The Archmage's attempt at gaining possession of the Phoenix Gate and bitter monologue near the end of the episode talking about how he can achieve ultimate power (by by combining the Grimorum, the Phoenix Gate and the Eye of Odin) provides hints as to what he will do in later episodes.
  • Future Me Scares Me: One episode dealt with Demona going back in time and confronting her younger self. Demona of the past, who's still young and reasonably idealistic, refuses to believe that she could ever turn into the bitter and emotionally scarred monster in front of her.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: After the bride-to-be Fox tells Xanatos that she's about to "get changed for tonight," Xanatos watches her leave... with his eyes fixed squarely on her butt. The smirk on his face makes his inner thoughts quite readable.
  • Irony: Early on, Petros remarks he'd like to strangle whoever it was that mailed his son the coin that led to his vast fortune. He later learns that it was his own son by way of time travel.
  • Properly Paranoid: The Hudson of the past is openly suspicious of the Archmage.
  • Shout-Out: A somewhat subtle one To Shakespeare. When Xanatos's father asks him why he has acquired so many possessions (such as Castle Wyvern and a suit of Powered Armor), Xanatos replies with "Reason not the need". It is a quote from the Shakespeare play King Lear.
  • Stable Time Loop: No one is capable of changing the past, neither Demona nor Goliath. Only David's actions stuck and that was because they already happened. When Goliath states his temptation to abandon him, the younger Xanatos replies "But you won't, because you didn't. Time Travel's funny that way."
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble: Goliath gets into this when talking with his Mentor in 975 (who would later take the name "Hudson" in the present) when he is describing his current dilemma.
  • Unfazed Everyman: It's easy to miss because of everything that happens in 'Vows', but Petros Xanatos demonstrates this. Inhuman species secretly dwelling among humanity, power armor, medieval swordfights, temporal paradox, secret societies... A lesser man might Go Mad from the Revelation. Petros responds by scolding his son for using them to satisfy his greed.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: A lot of this was motivated by Xanatos wanting to prove to his father that he is a self-made man and get his respect. Petros is less than impressed for obvious reasons.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Greg Weisman has referred to this as the divorce episode. The events here convince Goliath that Demona will not change, so he gives up his appeals and treats her as his enemy.
    • This was the first episode to establish that the Illuminati does actually exist and that it's not just Matt's conspiracy theory. Also, Xanatos is shown to be a member.
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