Original Domain: Scotland (990’s)
Resident of: Avalon
Premiered in: Gargoyles (1994—1997)
Voiced By: Kath Soucie
Truth be told I hadn’t intended to do a character review on Princess Katharine solely for the fact that she is a minor character from the television series, Gargoyles and one whom was featured in all of nine episodes out of sixty-five. However, after a heavily one-sided conversation with a dear friend of mine, I quickly realized four important facts about Katharine. First and foremost, she beats out Merida as a princess of Scotland by eight years. Second, though her role was small, Katharine is easily one of the most pivotal of minor characters I’ve ever seen. Third, as of the time of this review, she is the only princess, official or otherwise, to be shown canonically as a child, an adult, and an elderly woman. Last but certainly not least…
I freaking loved Gargoyles as a kid and I still do now all these years later and it is my sincere hope that someday in the future, we will be rewarded not with a re-imagining or even a spinoff of this series, but one that holds the same spirit, the same depth that it had. A cartoon that, for all intents and purposes, was more of an epic story than any cartoon that came before or since and one whose fan base is so strong and great that for well over ten years since its cancellation, conventions were still taking place in its honor.
That being said, let’s move on to Katharine herself shall we?
As I’m sure you read above, Katharine was solely a princess of Scotland, specifically the area known as Wyvern Hill where her castle, appropriately named Castle Wyvern, was guarded by a clan of gargoyles. With her father having been the third son of the then ruling king, Katharine had no chance at the actual throne itself and was content to reside in her castle and do her absolute best to ignore the presence of the gargoyles, no matter the huge debt she and her people owed them. This was due mainly in part through the idiocy of her father who thought it was a good idea to paint the gargoyles as bogeymen to his young daughter to keep her from misbehaving, a sentiment that was shared and encouraged by the Magus, Katharine’s eventual advisor and magician.
For those who’ve seen the show, or at least the beginning episodes of the series, I shan’t go into detail over the events that lead to Katharine’s departure from Castle Wyvern but I will discuss how she became a resident of Avalon. To keep true to her vow to Goliath to keep the eggs of his clan safe until they hatched, Katharine escaped to the mystical isle of Avalon with the Magus and a young boy named Tom. She and Tom grew close over the years and when the gargoyles hatched, they raised them as their own children, going so far as to give them rather ironic names in the process.
Speaking of Tom… How do I go about this delicately…? Though it is never outright stated how old Katharine or Tom is, it is blatantly obvious that there is a significant age gap between them insomuch that… Well, to be perfectly blunt, I’d say that Tom is at least somewhere close to eight maybe ten years old while Katharine herself has to be, at minimum, eighteen to twenty-one. This was rather surprising to see outside of an anime and especially so in a Disney cartoon series no less. Now I’m a firm supporter of love having no boundaries there are some things that simply raise far too many questions, most notably how in the world the two of them ended up falling in love when we are shown that their relationship began with the two of them acting, quite literally, like children.
As to Avalon itself, it is both the original and true home of the Third Race, most commonly referred to as Oberon’s Children. The Third Race consists entirely of mythical beings that range from the monstrous Banshee, to the godly Anubis. Basically, anything that could be considered as a god is a member of the Third Race and is a child of Oberon, the King of Avalon, and Titania, his queen. The island itself exists outside of time in the sense that for every hour spent on Avalon, a day passes in the outside world.
Between Scotland of the late 990’s and Avalon, I’d say I would visit Avalon pre-The Gathering of the Third Race but otherwise steer far and away from both. As Goliath narrates at the beginning of every episode, the time that was once his, was a time when “superstition and the sword ruled. It was a time of darkness it was a world of fear. It was the age of Gargoyles.” Now while the latter is something I would very much like to see and meet, and perhaps even get a picture or two, the rest of it I could do without.
In the grand scheme of things, I can certainly understand why Princess Katharine is not even amongst the unofficial Disney princesses but I still stand by argument that, without her, a great many things would never have been done. Without her, the Magus would have likely cursed Goliath to the same stone sleep as his clan and seen them destroyed long before Xanatos could have even attempted to break the curse. More importantly, without her, the gargoyle eggs would never have hatched and Goliath, and by extension Demona, would never come to know Angela, their daughter.
As I made mention of this earlier in the review, I feel that I should share that there is a website entitled, The Gargoyles Saga wherein a massive fan collaboration has created not one, note two, but four epic length series of novellas based firstly upon the Gargoyles series itself and three of its possible spin-offs.