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The Gargoyles concept began as a comedy series in the style of The Gummi Bears, although set in the modern day. When this proposal was rejected, a Disney producer named Tad Stones suggested that the series be altered to include a tragic lead gargoyle, and the concept became an action-oriented series. This lead character developed into Goliath, and the rest of the series was reworked around this character.
The primary protagonist and central character of the whole series, Goliath is the leader of the Gargoyle clan, a strong, intelligent character, with a firm sense of morality coupled with a short temper. Goliath had been named after the Biblical giant Goliath by his human protectors some time before the beginning of the series, making him the only gargoyle character to have a name before their 1000-year-long stone sleep (since Gargoyles themselves as a race never saw the point of having names). His relationship with other members of his clan, other Gargoyles such as his former life partner Demona and his evil clone Thailog as well as humans such as his current love, Elisa Maza and enemy, David Xanatos drove many stories in the series.
Goliath appeared in more episodes of the series than any other character (except for the episodes The Silver Falcon, Kingdom and Pendragon), and according to Greg Weisman was the "prism through which the universe was recreated". This is clearest during the first season, in which several episodes revolved only around Goliath and one other member of the clan (Thrill of the Hunt featured Goliath with Lexington, Temptation featured him with Brooklyn, Deadly Force with Broadway, and Long Way To Morning with Hudson).
Goliath hatched in 938. In 994, Goliath was the head of his clan at Castle Wyvern. Like the rest of the clan he faced prejudice from the human residents of the castle, and members of Wyvern's court often compared him to his biblical namesake Goliath; the Captain of the Guard regards Goliath as a mighty warrior, but Princess Katharine reminds him that the original Goliath was a "bully and a savage" , even though the gargoyle was neither. Her father, Prince Malcolm had named him years before.
In this time, he had mated with a female gargoyle that he called his "angel of the night" (later known as Demona). During the Viking attack he was led away from the castle with his mentor (later called Hudson), on bad information by Demona and the Castle Captain of the Guard. This information was part of a greater plot conceived by Demona and the Captain of the Guard to evict the humans and leave the castle to him and the Gargoyles. When he returned, he believed that his love had been killed with the rest of his clan, and desired vengeance. He led the five surviving clan members in a raid on the Vikings, and personally chased the Viking leader Hakon when he fled with Princess Katharine as hostage. He rescued Katharine, but Hakon himself was tackled by Wyvern's Captain of the Guard and they fell to their deaths (though they later returned as ghosts).
Things were only compounded when he returned to the main group of Wyvern's refugees to discover that the five remaining members of his clan had already been turned to stone by a grief stricken Magus, who believed that they had been responsible for killing Princess Katharine. Upon realizing his mistake, he followed through with Goliath's request that he join them in stone sleep, and, along with Princess Katherine, vowed to protect the rookery eggs. Goliath and his clan was to remain in stone forever until, as the spell stipulated, "the castle rose above the clouds."
In 1994, Goliath and his clan were reawakened by billionaire David Xanatos who moved Castle Wyvern and the clan to the top of his Manhattan skyscraper, effectively breaking the spell. Initially distrustful of Xanatos's intentions, after an attack on the castle by enemies of Xanatos he agreed to work for Xanatos for a time. It was through the intervention of an NYPD detective, Elisa Maza, that he came to see Xanatos for the ruthless individual who had manipulated him, and finally agreed to lead the clan away from their ancestral home.
He also encountered his former love, his "angel of the night." Now called Demona, she had also survived through to modern times, and had been partially responsible for the Viking attack that had wiped out the clan. She was cruel and twisted, and spiteful of humans, but Goliath nevertheless held out hope for a long while that she could be redeemed. Eventually, he came to realize that this could not happen, and his affections turned instead to the human, Elisa Maza, though for longer still neither of them would acknowledge the fact.
Partway through the second season, Goliath discovered that the rookery eggs from Castle Wyvern had been rescued to the mythical island of Avalon and were cared for by Princess Katherine and the Magus who had vowed to protect the eggs as atonement for freezing the clan in stone. On Avalon they formed a new clan, and among them was his own daughter, Angela. He was reluctant to accept parenting responsibilities, partly because of the Gargoyle tradition that the entire clan acts as a parent rather than one particular Gargoyle acting as a parent to his/her biological offspring and partly because he knew that Angela's mother was Demona, but was eventually convinced to treat her as a daughter. She became a part of the Manhattan Clan when they finally returned from Avalon. He also has an evil clone, Thailog, whom he has grudgingly accepted as a "son" (since Thailog was created from Goliath's DNA).