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Macbeth is a character in Gargoyles. He was one of the Manhattan Clan's adversaries who later became a tenuous ally.

Description

Macbeth was introduced as a villain in the first season of the show, in the episode "Enter Macbeth," and it was soon made clear that he knows much about the gargoyle species at the center of the series and that he is somehow connected to one of the show's other main antagonists, Demona. However, his full backstory, and his connection to Shakespeare or to the historical king of Scotland was not made clear until part way through the second season, in the "City of Stone" four-part episode.

He was depicted as an elderly Scottish man, wealthy (though not to the same extent as David Xanatos), and having an interest in literature (notably the King Arthur stories). He used several pseudonyms during the series, most prominently going by the name of Lennox Macduff. He was also immortal, having survived through to the 20th century due to a spell cast by the Weird Sisters, three children of Oberon, that linked him eternally to Demona.

Though he bore no particular malice towards the Manhattan Clan, he was a deadly rival to Demona. To that end, he once attempted to kidnap the clan in hopes to draw out Demona, not knowing that they were her enemies as well. As the series progressed and his tragic history became clear, Macbeth himself became a more sympathetic character. In the finale season episode of the series "The Journey," Macbeth, under the name Lennox Macduff, appeared on television in order to defend the gargoyles to the public once they had been revealed.

Background

History

Macbeth was reportedly born in 1005 to Findláech, High Steward of Moray. His earliest chronological appearance in the series occurs in 1020. He and his father resided in Castle Moray when they were attacked by a masked assassin known to them only as "The Hunter". Finláech was killed but Macbeth was saved by the intervention of another sworn enemy of the Hunter: Demona.

Demona was leader at the time to the remnants of Gargoyle clans from across the British Isles who were hunted mercilessly by the assassin. In the form of three decrepit looking gargoyles, The Weird Sisters had visited and informed her of the location of her enemy. Demona arrived at Castle Moray just in time to save a young Macbeth and Gruoch allowing "The Hunter" to escape while she saved them.

The episode revealed the Hunter to be an identity used by Gillecomgain who was in the employ of the young Prince Duncan. Duncan had ordered the assassination in the hopes of removing any other likely heirs to the throne of Scotland to secure his own succession. In return for Gillecomgain's troubles, Duncan promised that he would secure the Stewardship of Moray for him.

His next chronological appearance finds an adult Macbeth in 1032. Macbeth was by now in love with Gruoch but her father Bodhe had decided to instead marry her to Gillecomgain at Duncan's command. He was outraged but could do little to prevent this marriage. Meanwhile Prince Duncan had become the designated heir to the throne and was father to newborn Prince Canmore.

Duncan had realized that Macbeth was growing restless and ordered Gillecomgain to assassinate him. Gillecomgain however refused. If Macbeth shared the fate of his father, people would start questioning the two mysterious deaths and his possible involvement in them. He was not about to risk the Stewardship of Moray for his former employer and current ally.

A vengeful Duncan changed his plans. He approached Macbeth with information that the Hunter and Gillecomgain are the same person. He thus secured a confrontation between the two men and hoped that both would die. Macbeth and Demona confronted Gillecomgain at the same time. During the battle Gillecomgain revealing that he became "The Hunter" after Demona scarred his face when he was a child. The fight ended with Macbeth saving the life of Demona as their rival fell to his death. Demona thanked him for saving her, and after Macbeth declared that he owed her she said that he had repaid his debt and flew away. Macbeth inherited the Stewardship of Moray and married Gruoch. Meanwhile Duncan watched them from one of the castle towers and said, "There will always be a hunter, my son". As he put on the mask of "The Hunter" assuming the identity for himself.

Steward of Moray

The series leaves the following eight years unrecorded. While Luach was born to Macbeth and Gruoch, Duncan had succeeded to the throne in 1034. The next events depicted occur in 1040.

Duncan, although unsettled by the thought, took Canmore with him when he went out hiking with Macbeth and Luach. After being saved by Macbeth, his fears of being killed by Macbeth were just put at ease, when they encountered the sleeping stone forms of several gargoyles during the day. Duncan suggested taking advantage and destroying them but Macbeth plead for their fate and his King/cousin spared them. The four then encountered the Weird Sisters who hailed both men as "King of Scotland, and father of the King hereafter." Macbeth assured Duncan that he neither knew the old women, nor what they meant.

However, Duncan was once again convinced that Macbeth was conspiring against him and that the gargoyles might be part of his plot. Duncan soon returned just before nightfall with a few of his royal guards at the gargoyle's lair. All but Demona and three others were destroyed before the night came and they returned to life. Meanwhile, Bohde warned Macbeth of what was happening and he feared for his safety and that of his family. Not knowing what to do next Macbeth found himself at the gargoyles cave and met the grieving Demona on a bog and plead for her help. But his former ally who was now very old and infirm told him that she wouldn't help him because she had her own problems to deal with and that he would probably double-cross her anyway.

The two protagonists of the drama were facing an impossible situation and at that point a deus ex machina was introduced in the form of the Weird Sisters. The Weird Sisters appearing to Macbeth and Demona as two totally different beings they said, "This bargain calls for an act of good faith." They went on to ask Demona "What do you desire?" Then they asked, "And, what would you be willing to trade Macbeth Of Moray?" After the Weird Sisters offered the two a pact bonding them to each other in exchange for a chance at survival and revenge against their common enemy. The two of them were desperate enough to agree without much questioning. Both of them wound up stronger than ever before as Macbeth aged within moments to a still firm but seemingly middle-aged man; whilst Demona was restored to her youth. Because of the pact both could feel the pain of the other whenever they were close and were effectively made immortal, neither one able to truly die unless killed by the hand of the other, which would end them both.

A reinforced Macbeth led his forces against Duncan and killed his cousin in battle. Elevating himself to the throne with Gruoch as his Queen consort and Demona as his "Primary Chief Advisor," he decided a fitting name for his new ally would be "Demona" because her fighting made him think of a demon. Macbeth felt secure enough to allow young Canmore to live. But exiled the boy to their families Kingdom of England with his meager possessions. Among them, unbeknown to either Macbeth or Demona, was the mask of "The Hunter." Canmore swore to avenge his father as the third man to assume the identity.

King of Scotland

Macbeth reigned in the Kingdom of Scotland for seventeen years that were not depicted in the series. But the "Hunter" returned to his life in 1057. Canmore invaded Scotland with the aid of English forces. His initial attacks were held off by the allied human and gargoyle armies of Macbeth and Demona.

However, Macbeth's father-in-law Bodhe was convinced that the English cared little for who held the throne of Scotland and were more interested in "purifying" all of Great Britain from the last gargoyles known to survive in it. Bodhe suggested that if Macbeth removed the gargoyles himself, the English would abandon Canmore to his fate and return to England. Macbeth doubted it, but when his son Luach expressed his outrage with them for even entertaining the idea, Macbeth told him that a good king has to consider all his options before making his decision. This entire conversation was unfortunately overheard by Demona who concluded that Macbeth had already decided to betray her.

Demona and her clan abandoned Macbeth and allied herself to Canmore. As all of Macbeth's plans for the defense of his castle were centered around the aid of the gargoyles, his forces proved unable to beat Canmore's armies back. Macbeth managed to escape the burning castle with Gruoch, but was found and confronted by Canmore, his second-in-command and Demona. While Demona accused Macbeth of betraying her and her clan, Canmore took the opportunity to stab Macbeth from behind. Immediately both Macbeth and Demona fell to the ground, apparently dead. Canmore concluded that the rumors of Macbeth's magical link to the gargoyle was true and that when one of them died, both died. He then admitted to his companion in front of Lady Grouch that he had already secretly killed the remaining gargoyles serving under Demona. And, since she and Macbeth were now dead and Luach's forces fast approaching, the two should depart for the battlefield.

The body of Macbeth was approached by Luach and Bodhe who took up the crown stating, "The king is dead... long live the king," and placed it onto Luach's head. They then left the scene to prepare for the coming battle against Canmore leaving Gruoch lagging behind to grieve over her dead husband and King. But at that moment The Weird Sisters appeared and told Demona to arise because although she was "hurt" and that even though her pain was "great" she was not dead. Canmore had failed to understand the mechanics of the spell binding them together. When one of them lived, both lived, and thus they would live eternally bound forever until one perished at the hands of the other.

Macbeth wanted to return to battle and defend Scotland. But Gruoch convinced him that even his loyal forces would fear a man who returned from death. He had to vanish from Scotland and allow Luach to continue the battle for him. Knowing that one of them had to stay by Luach's side Macbeth reluctantly agreed and left Scotland and Gruoch.

Present Day

His activities until 1994 are not known, although during the last nine centuries it is revealed that he has amassed a huge fortune and built several bases of operation, including a castle in New York and a Chateau in France. His resources also allowed him a private army, though he usually preferred to handle jobs alone, and a large arsenal of technology and advanced weaponry, such as his signature lighting gun.

Despite losing both his father and his son to Hunters, Finláech to Gillecomgain and Luach to Canmore, Macbeth himself donned the Hunter's mask while tracking Demona, determined to remind her of her betrayal and to exact revenge on her for all it cost them. He is hinted to have had several encounters with Demona over the course of the nine centuries but the circumstances are not known.

He first appeared in the series as a man willing to remove the Manhattan Clan from Castle Wyvern for David Xanatos, for a fee. When in fact, his aim was to use the clan as hostages to lure Demona out of wherever she was hiding; and, he stated that the only reason he asked Xanatos for money was because he would be too suspicious of him if he offered to do the job for free. Goliath informed him of his mistake, that Demona was their enemy too.

Macbeth finally crossed paths with Demona again in the middle of her scheme to turn all of New York's inhabitants into stone. As the two confronted each other, The Weird Sisters appeared, taking control of both of them as part of a wider scheme by the villainous Uber-Archmage and the Archmage of Castle Wyvern to rule the world from the mystical island of Avalon. When the Uber-Archmage's plans were foiled, Macbeth and Demona were set loose with no memory of their actions from the last few weeks.

In Paris, they would both nearly fall victim to plotting by Thailog. Using Demona as a willing "partner," he had Demona, in her human form of Mademoiselle Dominique Destine, to romance Macbeth, eventually convincing him to marry her. Demona thought the plan would then be for her and Thailog to reveal their true colors, imprison Macbeth, and take his fortune. In fact, Thailog's true plan called for Demona and Macbeth to kill each other, thus leaving both their fortunes in his talons. Fortunately for them, however, the scheme was ruined by the timely appearance of Goliath, Elisa, Bronx, and Angela, who had been sent to Paris by Avalon while on their World Tour.

Macbeth would eventually make his way back to Manhattan, where he would enact a ritual to bring forth powerful magicks to himself. Unexpectedly, the spell summoned the legendary King Arthur Pendragon and the English gargoyle Griff. Upon discovering that Arthur was trying to find the legendary sword Excalibur, Macbeth also a "Timeless King" challenged Arthur for the sword. Macbeth appeared to win and claimed the sword, but it turned out to be a fake. Arthur found the real Excalibur, and Macbeth conceded that Arthur was the more worthy king.

The pair reconciled and Arthur offered him a position as his knight. Macbeth declined, but promised his assistance if Arthur ever needed him.

Most recently, Macbeth has found a new position in life as a professor of history at New York University. He appears on television to defend the Gargoyles against the propaganda of John Castaway's Quarrymen.

Powers and abilities

Macbeth's only superhuman ability is the gift, or in his case curse, of immortality placed upon him by the Weird Sisters. As a result, Macbeth is immune to any further aging, disease, and cannot be killed through conventional means. The only way Macbeth can die is if he is killed by Demona, or if he himself kills Demona.

Even though Macbeth appears to be middle aged, having sacrificed his youth to restore Demona's as part of the pact he'd made, he is an exceptional athlete in peak physical condition. He is also an extremely formidable combatant, both armed and unarmed. Even though he has no superhuman physical abilities, Macbeth's skill and physical conditioning allows him to hold his own against much stronger opponents such as Demona, Goliath, or any of the other Gargoyles he has encountered. Due to his extended lifespan and the vast fortune he has amassed over the centuries, Macbeth has become well versed in sorcery and various areas of science and technology as well.

Gallery

External links

v - e - d
Gargoyles Logo
Media

Gargoyles | Marvel Comics | SLG Comics | Video Game | Gargoyle | William Shakespeare (The Bard of Avon)

Characters

Gargoyles: Goliath | Hudson | Brooklyn | Broadway | Lexington | Bronx | Demona | Angela | Coldstone | Coldfire | Talon | Delilah | Burbank | Claw | Maggie the Cat | Fang | Brentwood | Hollywood | Malibu | Thailog | Gabriel | Ophelia | Boudicca | Una | Leo | Griff | Zafiro | Jade | Turquesa | Obsidiana | Kai | Sora | Yama | Golem
Characters: Princess Katharine | Prince Malcolm | Princess Elena | Magus | Tom | Elisa Maza | Owen Burnett | Puck | Alexander Fox Xanatos | Matt Bluestone | Diane Maza | Carlos Maza | Fara Maku | Tea Gora | Peter Maza | Derek Maza | Beth Maza | Duncan | Halcyon Renard | Oberon | Titania | King Arthur | Lady of the Lake | Anubis | Coyote the Trickster | Taurus | Petros Xanatos | Boreas | Grandmother | Natsilane | Merlin
Villains: Captain of the Guards | Hakon | David Xanatos | The Pack | Fox Xanatos | Coyote | Tony Dracon | Macbeth | Banquo | Fleance | Gillecomgain | Anton Sevarius | Taro | Preston Vogel | Archmage | The Weird Sisters | Banshee | Puck | Proteus | Anansi | Odin | Raven | Jackal | Hyena | Wolf | Dingo | Ekidna | Quarrymen | Matrix | Mace Malone | Street Thugs | The Assassin | Tomas Brod | Helios

Episodes

Season One: Awakening | The Thrill of the Hunt | Temptation | Deadly Force | Enter MacBeth | The Edge | Long Way to Morning | Her Brother's Keeper | Reawakening
Season Two: Leader of the Pack | Metamorphosis | Legion | A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time | The Mirror | The Silver Falcon | Eye of the Beholder | Vows | City of Stone | High Noon | Outfoxed | The Price | Revelations | Double Jeopardy | Upgrade | Protection | The Cage | Avalon | Shadows of the Past | Heritage | Monsters | Golem | Sanctuary | M.I.A. | Grief | Kingdom | The Hound of Ulster | Walkabout | Mark of the Panther | Pendragon | Eye of the Storm | The New Olympians | The Green | Sentinel | Bushido | Cloud Fathers | Ill Met by Moonlight | Future Tense | The Gathering | Vendettas | Turf | The Reckoning | Possession | Hunter's Moon
Season Three: The Goliath Chronicles: The Journey | Ransom | Runaways | Broadway Goes to Hollywood | A Bronx Tail | The Dying of the Light | And Justice for All | Genesis Undone | Generations | For It May Come True | To Serve Mankind | Seeing Isn't Believing | Angels in the Night

Clans

Wyvern Clan | Demona's Clan | Manhattan Clan | Steel Clan | Labyrinth Clan | Avalon Clan | London Clan | Mayan Clan | Clan Ishimura | Iron Clan

Objects

Grimorum Arcanorum | Eye of Odin | Phoenix Gate | Three Keys to Power | Cauldron of Life | Mayan Sun Amulet | Stone of Destiny | Titania's Mirror | Oberon's Mirror | Seline's Orb | Excalibur | Scrolls of Merlin | Scroll of Thoth | Praying Gargoyle

Locations

Castle Wyvern | Scotland | Manhattan | New York (state) | New York | Clock Tower | Eyrie Building | Labyrinth | Avalon | London | Loch Ness | Knight's Spur | Eyrie Pyramid | Kara Digi | New Olympus

Actors

Greg Weisman | Keith David | Jeff Bennett | Bill Fagerbakke | Frank Welker | Roger Rose | John Rhys-Davies | Justin Shenkarow | Lacey Chabert | Tim Curry | Clancy Brown | Salli Richardson

See Also

The Disney Afternoon

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