Awakening: Part One is the first episode of the Gargoyles series, the first episode of the five-part series premiere and the first episode of Season One. It was also released on VHS, in a condensed format, as Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken.
A crowd walking through the streets of New York is startled by sounds of explosions from the top of a building obscured by clouds. The crowd scatters as debris rains down from the clouds. Stone and steel crash into the street, causing quite a bit of damage. The crowd watches the sky in fear as the police arrive. A female detective pulls up and identifies herself as Maza, 23rd precinct. She asks the officer in charge what is going on. As he answers that he doesn't know more debris falls into the street. She orders the crowd back and notices what appears to be claw marks in one of the stones that have fallen. She narrowly dodges still more falling debris. A fire hydrant is hit, dousing the crowd. Maza looks again at the claw marks as the water spreads and wonders what could be strong enough the leave claw marks in solid stone.
The year is 994 A.D.. A castle in Scotland is under siege from a band of Vikings. Catapults hurl huge boulders into the battlements. The castle's defense is failing. The Captain of the Guard reassures his men that they can hold the castle a few minutes more until sunset. He glances up at the stone gargoyles perched on the tower. "Then we'll see some fun," he chuckles.
In the Viking ranks, a soldier tells his comrade that the attack on a castle full of gargoyles is crazy. Their leader, Hakon overhears and says that his sanity shouldn't be questioned. "I say those gargoyles are naught but chiseled stone," he yells, "and even if they're not, it's worth the risk for the plunder within." He gives the order to attack, and the Vikings storm the castle. They overrun the defense, and ascend the tower. The sun sets just as Hakon reaches the gargoyle at the top of the highest tower. He stares unbelievingly as the statue's stony exterior cracks and falls away, revealing a living, breathing gargoyle underneath. The Vikings back away in fear as the other gargoyles come to life as well. Goliath notices the intruder and picks him up by one arm. "You are trespassing," Goliath thunders. Undaunted, Hakon swings his sword at Goliath, who catches it. A slow trickle of blood oozes from Goliath's palm. Hakon orders his men to attack, that the gargoyles are not invincible. The gargoyles attack, and easily overwhelm the Vikings. As the vikings flee, Hakon shouts that he'll be back. The Captain of the Guard thanks Goliath for his help.
Later that evening, there is a celebration in the dining hall. Several of the guards joke about their recent plight. The Captain overhears them laughing at his alliance with the gargoyles. The Captain sits at his table, and the Princess thanks him for fighting well. He refuses the credit, saying that the gargoyles were the true heroes. The Princess dismisses his opinion, saying that they are monsters. The door to the dining hall opens. Goliath and his mate, Demona enter (only Goliath is named at this point, but for clarity, I will use the other gargoyles future names).
The attendees at the banquet are outraged by the appearance of the gargoyles. The Captain apologizes and explains that he invited them to be recognized for their bravery. The princess expresses her anger at his decision. Her advisor, the Magus agrees with her and says that no good could come from associating with these unnatural creatures. The gargoyles approach the head table, and Goliath spreads his wings. The air forces the princess back in her chair, but Goliath merely folds his wings into a cape and bows to the Princess. The Captain remarks that they named him well, as he is as good a soldier as the Philistine giant. The Princess reminds the Captain that the Biblical Goliath was also a bully and a savage. Demona growls at the Princess, but Goliath calms her and excuses himself. The Princess informs the Captain that in the future, he should report to the Magus, not directly to her. The Captain leaves.
The Captain follows Goliath and Demona down a hallway and apologizes for the Princess's outburst. Goliath dismisses his apology, saying that her opinion does not matter. Demona recants saying that saved the humans' lives, and now they are repaid with contempt. The Captain agrees with her. She continues, saying that the cliffs were their home ages before the humans came. Goliath calms her once again. "Their ways, are not our ways," he says. She commends his patience.
The Magus returns to his chambers and consults his spellbook.
As the next day dawns, the gargoyles are once again immobilized in stone on the parapets. A hooded figure rides out of the castle, and heads toward the Viking encampment. Once there, he talks to Hakon about arranging a bargain for the fall of the castle. Hakon listens.
After nightfall, Goliath removes the bandage from his hand, which has now healed. The Captain says that the Vikings may return at sunrise, and that the gargoyles should chase them away once and for all. Demona agrees. Goliath refuses to leave the castle unguarded. The Captain persists, reminding Goliath that their leader swore he'd be back. Goliath reluctantly agrees, but says that he will go alone. Demona argues that it would be too dangerous. He reassures her that he won't go by himself, and he leaves her in charge. He reminds her of their love and leaves.
In the courtyard, Broadway is eating, while Lexington, Brooklyn, and Bronx are playing a game of catch with a ham. Demona alights on the tower above and watches the young ones at play. A boy watches the scene from a nearby camp and walks over just as Bronx catches the ham. He introduces himself as Tom and asks the gargoyles' names. Lexington replies that, except for Goliath, they don't have names (yet). Tom asks how they tell each other apart. Lex answers that they look different. Tom persists, asking what they call each other. "Friend," says Brooklyn. Tom's mother runs over and yells at the gargoyles to get away. Brooklyn says that they wouldn't harm the boy, but Tom's mother calls them beasts and throws a stick, hitting Brooklyn. Demona lands and says that the humans are the beasts. Brooklyn and Lexington say that if they are to be called beasts, they should live up to the name. They growl and advance toward the humans.
The gargoyles advance on the humans, who run away when Bronx barks at them. Broadway hears the commotion and thinks that they are under attack again. Goliath and Hudson land in the middle of the foray. Goliath angrily send Brooklyn, Lexington, Broadway, and Bronx to the rookery. Brooklyn apologizes, saying that they meant no harm. Goliath is not swayed, and they sadly go down into the rookery. Demona protests that they were not at fault, the humans were. Goliath says that no matter who was at fault, he cannot condone fighting between the gargoyles and their human charges. He says that he will make it up to them later, but now he has business to attend to.
Goliath and Hudson fly over the countryside, looking for the Vikings. They see tracks leading into a forest, and land to investigate. Hudson says that the tracks are very light for horses carrying armored men. He and Goliath follow the tracks into the forest.
In the rookery, Brooklyn remarks on how embarrassing the situation is. Broadway says that he hasn't been down here since he hatched, while Lexington examines the eggs in the nest. Broadway goes to a stalactite, pulls some slime off of it, sniffs and eats it. Lexington watches in disgust, hoping that they aren't there long. Broadway might eat them he quips.
In the castle armory, someone tampers with the bowstrings.
Goliath and Hudson follow the tracks. Hudson reminds Goliath of the approaching sunrise, and that they should return. Goliath spots the Vikings, and they attack. However, they are only attacking a few men that are leading the horses. It was a decoy to lead them from the castle. They hurry back to the castle, but are caught by the sunrise and immobilized.
At the castle, the Vikings attack. The guards on the battlements aim their bows, but the strings break, leaving them defenseless. Someone raises the portcullis, and the Vikings storm the castle, easily overrunning it.
Inside the castle, the Princess runs to the Captain for help. He grabs her arm, saying that it is worse than that.
The Vikings take the castle and lead off their prisoners. On one of the parapets, Hakon and the Captain are talking. Hakon asks why the Captain would betray his own kind. The Captain answers that they are not his kind. Hakon walks over to a gargoyle and raises his mace. The Captain stops him, saying that it is not necessary. The gargoyles won't follow once they are out of sight of the castle. Hakon shoves the Captain out of the way and smashes all of the gargoyles to rubble.
Hudson and Goliath return after sunset and find the castle in flames. He alights on Demona's perch, picks up her crumbled remains and roars in anguish.
(In order of appearance)
- Elisa Maza
- Morgan Morgan
- Captain of the Guard
- Princess Katharine
- Sharp-eyed viewers will note several dogs roaming through the great hall during the banquet scene. While true to medieval custom, it also adds a nice touch in displaying hypocrisy on Princess Katharine's part, when she objects to Goliath and Demona's presence with the words "To allow beasts in the dining hall!" (Originally it was intended to immediately follow up Katharine's words with a scene in which one of the dogs proceeded to help himself to food from someone's plate, to make her hypocrisy all the clearer, but unfortunately the scene was not well-enough animated to appear in the finished product.)
- Another deleted scene (though this one was cut out for time constraints) had Lexington fascinated examining one of the Vikings' catapults, as an indication of his fascination with all things mechanical.