The Eye of Odin revealed the innermost self of its wearer, transforming the wearer physically (and usually mentally) into an exaggerated version of that innermost self. It also granted appropriate mystical abilities to its wearer. In the case of Fox, it granted her Eye-created form superhuman strength, speed and agility. The Archmage gained vast mystical power. In Goliath's case, it granted all those granted to the Archmage and Fox, making him into a god-like being. It only had two drawbacks. One, it was difficult to remove, giving painful shocks of energy to any who try to do so. And second, it corrupted the personality of its wearer, turning them cruel and evil.
The Eye of Odin was a mystical object created on Avalon, apparently from the actual left eye of Odin, the fay. According to the legends that became centered around it, the Eye granted "power and insight." The exact circumstances of its origin are unknown, but the artifact was apparently off Avalon by 975 AD, as the Archmage was hunting for it in his quest for ultimate power.
It eventually fell into the hands of David Xanatos, who added it to his personal art collection. Soon after his release from prison, Xanatos donated the Eye to the city and earned a favor in the process. He then donned his Steel Clan exosuit and promptly stole it back. Its magical nature also went unrevealed until Xanatos gave the eye to Fox as an engagement gift, unaware of its effects. In the month following this gift, the Eye's magic began to assert itself, transforming her into her "innermost self". In this case, she was transformed into a feral, ravenous werefox during the full moon. As a side-effect, it was draining Fox's lifeforce causing her werefox form to consume whatever meat it could find. It took the combined efforts of Xanatos and the Manhattan Clan to defeat her.
Following this, Goliath took the Eye to keep it safe, but it was stolen by the Weird Sisters who gave it to the Archmage. The Archmage used the Eye in conjunction with the Phoenix Gate and the Grimorum Arcanorum to achieve ultimate power, and sought to take over the island of Avalon. Nevertheless, Goliath managed to wrench the Eye of Odin away from the Archmage, destroying him in the process, and once again kept it with him in order to safeguard it.
Ironically, the next time that the Eye's power became dangerous, it was Goliath himself that wielded it. When Avalon sent Goliath to Norway, he encountered Odin, a fay and discovered that the Eye of Odin was, in fact, Odin's actual left eye. Odin wished to reclaim the eye, but Goliath did not trust him, as his previous dealings with the Children of Oberon had always been troublesome at the very least. In order to prevent its misuse, Goliath donned the Eye himself. The Eye transformed Goliath into the quintessential Protector, but he soon became tyrannical and fascist. Fortunately, he realized what the Eye had turned him into and gave it back to Odin, who promptly placed it back in his empty eye socket, causing it to turn back into a normal eye effectively ending its existence as a magical artifact.
- In the series, it first appeared in episode, "The Edge", as a minor MacGuffin, although the concept of the Eye originated not with the show's production staff but with Disney Interactive.
- It served as an important plot device in the Gargoyles video game, in which it was used by Hakon and his clan of Vikings.
- When it was ported over to the television series, the Eye's connection to Hakon was severed completely, and it was re-imagined as a jeweled eye in the possession of David Xanatos, and redesigned.
- Rather than the Nordic design from the game, it now looked more Egyptian (a fact which occasionally annoyed series creator Greg Weisman).
- The Eye of Odin is likely based on the damage eye of the Norse god Odin.