Gargoyles was an animated adventure-drama series created by Walt Disney Productions, that ran in syndication for two seasons, from 1994 to 1997. The series dealt with the adventures of a group of living gargoyles from Scotland in the late 10th century, forced to sleep by a wizard's spell for a thousand years, and re-awakened in New York in the 1990's. Three storylines of the second season involved King Arthur.
A Lighthouse in the Sea of TimeEdit
Two archaeologists discover the Scrolls of Merlin in one of his old caves, and bring them to New York for study. One of the gargoyles' adversaries, named Macbeth (he is later revealed in the series to be *the* Macbeth, who had survived into modern times as the result of a deal with the Weird Sisters that Shakespeare had not mentioned in his play), steals the Scrolls, believing them to contain Merlin's magical secrets. The gargoyles set out to recover the Scrolls from Macbeth; one of them, named Broadway, is captured by him. When Broadway asks who Merlin was, in a dismissive fashion, Macbeth replies "He was a singular spectacle. A bearded old man who took a ragged young boy and with magic and wisdom, turned him into the greatest king this world has ever seen: a king who ruled with justice and compassion, who took the torn remnants of warring tribes and knit them into a country of beauty and civilization, with Merlin always by his side - until it fell. Merlin's magic was stronger than everything, except the human heart." The Scrolls turn out to contain, not Merlin's spells, but his memoirs, including an account of his first meeting with the young Arthur; Macbeth is disappointed, but the gargoyles correctly recognize how much more valuable this makes them.
Goliath, the leader of the gargoyles, and Elisa, make a journey to the isle of Avalon, to protect the gargoyles living there from an evil wizard called the Archmage, who wants to seize Avalon as his first step to conquering the world, and who has joined forces with the Weird Sisters, the three witches from "Macbeth", now revealed to be powerful faerie-folk in the service of Oberon. The Weird Sisters have also brought Macbeth and a female gargoyle named Demona under their control to fight for the Archmage. The defenders are so hard-pressed that Elisa recognizes that they will need reinforcements, and seeks out the sleeping King Arthur in Avalon's Hollow Hill, braving the enchantments that guard it and awakening him. Arthur tells Elisa and her friends that he has been "awakened early", and does not have Excalibur, any of his knights, or Merlin; however, he vows to help them in the battle, organizing the defenders' strategy, and defeating Macbeth in hand-to-hand combat. After the battle, he decides to explore the outside world.
PendragonEditArthur's wanderings take him to London, where he befriends a griffon-like gargoyle named Griff living there, and encounters the Stone of Destiny in Westminster Abbey; the Stone is revealed to be the very stone from his Sword in the Stone feat. The Stone tells Arthur that he must prove his worthiness to bear Excalibur again, and transports him and Griff to New York City; there, Arthur and Griff, with the aid of the gargoyles, seek out the Lady of the Lake (in a lake in Central Park), who further tests them, and tells Arthur to find Excalibur in a stone dragon in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Macbeth learns of Arthur's quest and decides to claim Excalibur for himself; the battle between the two kings is cut short, however, when the dragon statue comes to life and attacks them both. Arthur discovers that the "Excalibur" openly thrust in the dragon's chest is only a duplicate and that the true Excalibur is inside the dragon statue; with Griff's help, he shatters the dragon's chest and recovers his sword from iside. Macbeth concedes Arthur his victory; Arthur forgives him and offers him a place among his followers, which Macbeth refuses, though promising to aid him in times of need. Afterwards, Arthur decides to set out upon a quest for Merlin, and takes Griff, whom he dubs a knight with Excalibur, as his companion on the quest.
Greg Weisman, the creator of "Gargoyles", planned a spin-off called "Pendragon" that would have dealt with Arthur and Griff's adventures in search of Merlin, but this was never made. However, when the series was revived in a short-lived comic book published by Slave Labor Graphics, one of the stories (covered in issues 7 through 9 and reprinted in the trade paperback "Gargoyles: Clan-Building Volume Two"), featured King Arthur in an attempt to protect the Stone of Destiny during its real-life return to Scotland in November 1996.
Castle Wyvern, the gargoyles' home in medieval Scotland, was modelled on Tintagel.