Puck – Gargoyles
“Heeeeere’s Puck!” – Puck, Gargoyles*
Shakespeare called Puck “that merry wanderer of the night,” but this fae is far more than that. Though the”shrewd and knavish sprite” was court jester for Lord Oberon, lord of the fae, Puck also acted as Oberon’s servant in the mortal world outside Avalon. Puck is among the most powerful and versatile of the Children of Oberon.
When Oberon exiled the fae from Avalon in order to teach them humility, Puck passed the time by interacting with the humans. But he didn’t become truly interested in them until he saw Queen Titania, Oberon’s wife, marry scientist and businessman Halcyon Renard. What was so fascinating about these mortals? He had to know. So he had the brilliant idea to play a part he’d never played before: the straight man. He chose a character nearly the exact opposite of his personality: Preston Vogel. Renard’s personal assistant and “the most wooden man on the face of the planet.” The new character? Owen Burnett.
In the guise of Owen, Puck began working for Renard in order to watch Titania. Unfortunately, Renard bored Puck to tears. Titania and Renard’s daughter, Janine, was a different story. Janine changed her name to Fox and hooked up with a business rival of her father: David Xanatos.
Puck ditched Renard and threw in his lot with billionaire and self-styled trickster Xanatos. Xanatos so pleased and enthralled Puck that the fae revealed his true nature to the Magnificent Bastard. I really wish they’d given us a flashback of this. It would be priceless. Puck gave him a choice: one wish from the Puck, or a lifetime of service from Owen. Xanatos is as wise as he is cunning, at least when it comes to dealing with wishes. Maybe he read 1001 Arabian Nights? He chose Owen. This impressed Puck even more. He keeps his promise, with Owen acting as Xanatos’s majordomo and head of security.
His secret didn’t stay between him and Xanatos, however. Somehow Demona discovered Owen’s true identity. She summoned Puck through Titania’s Mirror in an attempt to destroy the humans and knock sense into Goliath, her former lover. Puck has other ideas. Then he “thanks” Demona by swapping her stone-by-day nature for a human-by-day form.
All went swimmingly until the Time of the Gathering arrived, when “Big Daddy Oberon” ushered his wayward Children back to oh-so-boring Avalon. After a failed attempt to trick Goliath into giving him the Phoenix Gate (a handheld TARDIS) as a bribe for Oberon, Puck tarried with the mortals.
Puck spent his time well, though. When he learned Fox, Titania (aka Anastasia) and Renard’s daughter, was pregnant, he knew the lords of the fae would come for the child. So Owen commissioned defenses for the Eyrie Building, Xanatos Enterprises’ HQ and House Xanatos’s home.
The fateful day arrives when Oberon ventures into the mortal realm to track down his servant. Instead of Puck, he finds Titania, who is at the Eyrie Building in the guise of Anastasia. She’s getting her first look at her grandson, Alexander Fox Xanatos. Besides boasting genes that will make him one fine looking man, he also has magic in his blood. When Oberon arrives, she reveals her true identity and asks Oberon to take the child back to Avalon to “train him in his magical heritage.” Talk about overprotective grandma!
Out of his league, Puck abandons ship, but not before Owen tells Xanatos how to operate the fae defenses. But despite the defenses, the gargoyle clan, Halcyon Renard’s airship, and the best efforts of the Xanatoses, Oberon is on the brink of victory.
Owen arrives against his better judgement. Puck is loyal to his friend David and to his new family, House Xanatos. Revealing himself to be Puck – a surprise even to Oberon – he fights the Lord of the Fae while explaining the history of the Puck and Owen. It’s a losing battle, but his devotion leads Goliath to suggest that Puck stay behind to train and protect Alexander. Oberon and Puck agree. But Oberon ups the ante by exiling Puck from Avalon forever and binding his power “save when training or protecting the boy.” Puck pleads, but Owen accepts.
Puck is now Alex’s guardian and tutor. Alex is a quick study and Puck is a willing teacher.
Using shape-shifting to confuse his opponents.
Manipulation of others’ behavior by changing situations, surroundings, and even the species of his opponents.
Talking in rhyming metre.
Executing plans largely for entertainment value.
Animating inanimate objects into cartoonish things that will fight for him.
Offering bargains that may be quite detrimental to the recipient if they don’t act wisely.
Faking weakness and innocence.
Playing tricks on people who he thinks lack a sense of humor.
Associating with people who fascinate, entertain, and challenge him.
Outwitting his opponents.
Shape Shifting, Rhyme, Childcare, Invisibility, Conjuration, Animation, Illusion, Manipulation, Comedy, Flying, Music (Flute), Soul Transference, Education, Protection, Magic, Annoying Enemies, Sarcasm, Witticisms
Iron, like all fae.
More powerful fae, like Lord Oberon.
Failing to understand his own feelings.
Loyalty. (This is only a weakness in that Oberon used it against him, or rather it cost Puck Avalon and freedom.)
Titania’s Mirror, which can summon him.
Diverting situations, which distract him. Shiny!
Oberon’s law: no interfering with mortal affairs.
Bargain with Xanatos: he can’t use Puck’s powers to help Xanatos.
Oberon’s decree: Puck can’t use his powers now except when training or protecting Alexander Fox Xanatos.
♦ Notable achievements:
Becoming David Xanatos’s personal assistant in the form of Owen Burnett.
Transforming the entire populace of NYC into gargoyles.
Animating inanimate objects.
Making Demona transform into a human in the day, rather than becoming stone like the other gargoyles.
Giving Goliath a dream that leads Goliath to throw the Phoenix Gate into the time stream.
Defying and then hurting Lord Oberon.
Accepting exile and restriction of power to protect Alexander and to remain outside Avalon.
Training Alex how to perform a soul transference that shifts the three souls inside Coldstone into other vessels.
♦ How Puck can help us succeed in life:
Be loyal to your friends. They deserve it. Usually, anyway.
Associate with interesting people. Your friends and colleagues should challenge you. They should also be able to think outside the box.
Don’t be afraid to leave boring people. You don’t need that negativity in your life.
Try something different. You never know if you’ll enjoy something until you try it. Within reason, of course.
Play different characters when given the chance. Role playing is a great way to learn how to problem solve better. It also builds teamwork.
Think outside the box. Do the unexpected.
Defy authority when it’s for a good cause. Even if the authority is stronger than you, and you’re probably going to lose, there are some things worth fighting for.
Have fun! Life is what you make it, so make the most of it.
Play practical jokes. It lightens the mood. Just don’t hurt anybody!
♦ Puck Quotes:
“Did you say that human or that human? Oh, never mind, I’ll figure it out. This just might be fun after all.“
“Does this look like Aladdin’s lamp? I have limits, after all. .”
♦ Further reading/reports:
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments. Perform your own assessment with the Villain Matrix. Use the Villain Matrix spreadsheet that comes free when you join the Research Team, where you’ll also get our newsletter with its exclusive updates and content.
(*Affiliate link, meaning you get a movie/DVD/book/whatever, I get a few pennies, and everybody’s happy!)