- “If you are not my ally, then you are my enemy.”
- ―Demona declaring an end to her alliance with Goliath
Demona is the main antagonist of Disney's Gargoyles. She was the ex-mate of Goliath and partner-in-crime of David Xanatos who distrusted humans ended up turning her frustrations into outright hatred and now desires to kill them all in response to the way humankind has mistreated their kind over the ages.
In the 10th century, Demona was a member of the Gargoyle clan at Castle Wyvern, Goliath's mate, and second-in-command. The two mated and would eventually have a daughter, Angela, that would join the Manhattan Clan 1000 years into the future. Prior to that, she had secretly studied with the Archmage and had developed an aptitude in sorcery. Demona also possesses excellent combat skills with a variety of weapons, most notably a laser cannon. Like the rest of the clan, Demona originally had no formal name, though Goliath frequently referred to her as his "Angel of the Night".
Resentful of human prejudice toward her clan, Demona conspired with the Captain of the Guard to betray the humans inhabiting Castle Wyvern to the Vikings; Demona failed to get the gargoyles away from the castle, however, as it was her end of the bargain, and the clan was slaughtered during the daylight hours. Demona abandoned the castle, returning only to find the six survivors, including Goliath, under the stone sleep curse.
Alone for several years, Demona had an encounter with a child named Gillecomgain, scarring his face during a petty theft. Gillecomgain became the Hunter, a mercenary and assassin seeking revenge against her. Demona allied herself with a young Macbeth to kill Gillecomgain.
Later, an elderly Demona enters into a bargain with Macbeth; Macbeth entered it to protect his kingdom from his cousin Duncan I of Scotland, while Demona wanted her youth back so she can lead the last of her kind. The pact is facilitated by the Weird Sisters, with several side effects: pain felt by one is shared with the other when in close proximity, and both are immortal until one kills the other. Little did they realize that they were becoming pawns as part of a greater plot by the Weird Sisters and the evil Archmage from Castle Wyvern to take over the mystical island of Avalon. When this actually happened 1000 years into the future, they were put into a trance by the sisters and used as extra reinforcements as part of their Avalon takeover bid. When the Archmage and the Sisters were defeated, they were sent back to Earth with no recollection of this event.
Macbeth himself soon came to admire Demona's combat prowess and eventually became heavily dependent on Demona's clan for support in the war with Duncan's forces. In the final battle with Duncan, Demona's devastating attacks so impress Macbeth, he exclaimed: "You fight like a demon!" After becoming king, Macbeth calls her "Demona" (She-Demon) for the first time, a name she finds very pleasing, and simultaneously declares her as his primary adviser. The two became fast friends. Eventually, Demona's trust in Macbeth evaporates after overhearing Macbeth considering betraying her to win the support of the English. Fearing that this would come to pass, she abandons his forces to Duncan's son Canmore and the English armies. Canmore, in turn, betrays her, killing the last of her clan.
Demona was originally very kind and caring for her clan, much like her daughter, though she did hold disdain against humans for their mistreatment of her kind. However, after her plan to free her clan from human servitude backfired, she became bitter and hateful, misplacing her own guilt onto humans in general, blaming them for her sins rather than admitting what her own actions had caused. She forged an unlikely pact with Macbeth to become his advisor in exchange for his youth. However, she turned on him after getting suspicious that he might betray her, only for her actions to again cost her a clan and worse yet her own mortality as she was irrevocably bound to him, making them both immortal unless one of them kills the other. She is not above using ancient sorcery to assist Xanatos in mutual goals. However, she does retain a soft spot for her daughter, Angela, and tries unsuccessfully to win her over to her side.
Demona evolved from a gargoyle in the comedy development named Georgette. Though she wasn't the leader, Georgette was good at coming up with workable plans and pulling the other gargoyles tails out of the fire. Georgette was later promoted to leader and renamed "Dakota." She was smart and fearless, but ultimately a little too intense for a comedy series. And dull. In the final comedy development pitch, she was renamed "DeMona" and became the only gargoyle to side with the series' main villain. She survived into the final action-drama pitch as essentially the same character.
Other names suggested for Demona when Gary Krisel felt the name "Demona" was too on the nose were Angelica, Carve, Dagger, Shale, Slate, Malachite, Anthracite, Gelignite, Javelin, Fury, and Electra. "Angelica" was almost an alias for Demona in the pilot and then again in "Sanctuary" for her human name before settling on Dominique Destine. Variations such as "Angel", "Angelique" and even "Dierdre" were considered. When the production team came up with the notion of gargoyles traditionally not having names, it solved the issue with Demona's name sounding too villainous and the notion that a human would name her made "Demona" less silly and more chilling.
Greg Weisman and Marina Sirtis both have different stories on how the latter was cast in the role. According to Weisman, Sirtis was the first actor to read for Demona and she nailed it right then and there. Marina, on the other hand claims that she had to read and audition for the role several times before it was given to her.
At CONvergence 2014, when asked by Gargoyles fan, Mara Cordova, about how she approached the role of Demona, Marina Sirtis noted that one of the reasons she identifies with Demona is that she's a very "in the now" person, who doesn't really engage in worrying about the future. Demona, as Sirtis puts it, rather HAS to live "in the now," simply to function. Genuine, honest self-reflection on her past and future would pretty much destroy her. 
In a 2017 interview with AV Club, Sirtis said "[Demona] was misunderstood. [...] She was kind of the only one of the gargoyles who hung on to what the humans had done to the gargoyles. She was the one that was like the walking history of pain and betrayal. On a certain level, I think she represented [...] someone like Native Americans or the First Nations peoples up in Canada or aborigines in Australia, whose lives and lands and everything was destroyed by the others who came in, as there were still people in those communities who were fighting for their equality and their rights. So she just chose really not the smartest way to do it, but like I said, it came from a place of truth for her."
Demona has blue skin with her wings sporting a darker blue exterior and purple interior, and spiky, red hair. As a gargoyle, she wears a golden tiara and armband on her left upper arm and a leg band on her lower leg. For clothing, she wears a white loincloth with a matching single strap top.
Demona was granted a "gift" by Puck that allowed her to walk around in daylight without turning to stone, but at a price. While a gargoyle at night, she'd transform into a human by day, and the transformation is very painful. Though initially furious at Puck's trick, she realized the advantages of her human form, as she later took up the alias of Dominique Destine.
As a human, she retains her red hair, has green eyes, and is quite beautiful. While running Nightstone Unlimited, she wears a red business suit designed for a woman: a jacket, matching skirt, and pumps and a white shirt under her suit. Due to transforming into her gargoyle form while still wearing her human clothing, Demona has to repeatedly replace them, as they get shredded in the process.
Powers and abilities
- Gargoyle Physiology: Demona holds the inherent physical abilities of a gargoyle: super-strength, durability, gliding, prolonged youth, etc. But these pale in comparison to her true strengths.
- Sorcery: Demona was secretly tutored by the Archmage, becoming a capable and dangerous sorceress, which enabled her to utilize almost any magical artifact she could get her claws on, such as the Grimorum Arcanorum or Titania's Mirror.
- Technology Adept: Demona would also develop a fine understanding and use of science and technology in the 20th century, using high-tech equipment and weaponry where sorcery failed, one of her favorite weapons being a laser cannon. She was also able to combine Sorcery and Science to produce more powerful means of reaching her goals, such as Coldstone and a virus that would kill all of humanity while the Gargoyles survived thanks to an artifact called the "praying gargoyle".
- Human Form: After Puck "thanked" Demona for an interesting pastime, she gained the power to become a Human during daylight, although the transformation is quick, it is also very painful. Being the ever-deceitful demon she is, Demona used her human form to create an alias, Dominique Destine, to become the CEO of her own company, Nightstone Unlimited, providing Demona with several advantages her gargoyle form could not give her.
- Immortality: As part of the pact she entered with Macbeth when meeting the Weird Sisters, Demona not only gained her prime body but became immortal and eternal; she also doesn't age and will soon revive if she is killed. The only way for Demona to die permanently is if Macbeth kills her or if she kills him. Since the spell linked them both together, both feel each other's pain when close, and both of them will die if one kills the other.
- Manipulation: Probably Demona's most dangerous weapon is her mind, as she can fabricate ingenious plans, backup plans, all deceitful and self-serving, and she is also a skilled manipulator, having fooled and used Xanatos, Macbeth, Brooklyn, her own daughter Angela, Goliath, and more.
Role in the series
Demona appears as a major antagonist, and initially an ally to David Xanatos. At the beginning of the series, she facilitates the revival of the Wyvern Clan by bestowing Xanatos with the Grimorum Arcanorum and told him about the spell put upon the Gargoyles at Castle Wyvern. This leads Xanatos to bring the castle to Manhattan and waking up Goliath and the rest of the clan. Despite her and Xanatos' efforts to manipulate them, the clan refused to join her vendetta and actively opposes her. She later assisted Xanatos in resurrecting one of the dead Gargoyles from Wyvern, Coldstone, attempted to murder Elisa Maza, and also tried to exterminate humanity on numerous occasions; first by turning New York City's human population into Gargoyles (unintentionally), and then try to turn them to stone at night. When magic and sorcery failed, she turned to science by hiring the villainous geneticist Dr. Anton Sevarius, to help create a virus that would destroy all human life on Earth.
When the thieves return to Demona's hideout, drop off the mirror, and receive their payment, before being scared off by Demona when she grows annoyed by their presence, Demona then uses the mirror to summon the trickster Puck, of the Children of Oberon, to serve her. When Puck uses the mirror to see Demona still harbors some love for Goliath, despite her hatred of humanity and Goliath's decision to protect Manhattan from evil like her, it is when Elisa appears that Demona demands that Puck get rid of her. However, being the trickster that he is, Puck grants Demona's request, but not in the way she had wanted, as he turns Elisa into a Gargoyle, to the shock of the Manhattan Clan, who bore witness to Elisa's transformation. Meanwhile, in an alley, Demona is furious to see that Puck twisted her wish to get rid of the humans by giving them the gift of being Gargoyles, despite her own past intentions of wanting to rebuild the Gargoyle race, which Puck actually helped fulfill with his powers, and demands he reverse the wish. Puck reverts the Manhattan Clan back into Gargoyles, and per their agreement, Goliath releases Puck from his chains of servitude, allowing him to take Demona and return to Demona's hideout with Titania's Mirror.
Though Puck wants to cause more trouble, tired out from all of Puck's mischief, Demona just asks him to leave. Offended, Puck leaves, but not without casting one more spell on Demona to fulfill her wish to be able to walk in the sunlight instead of going into her stone sleep when the sun rises. After he leaves, Demona lets off a low growl of frustration and annoyance.. As for Demona, she can't believe Puck made good on his spell and is able to enjoy the sunlight instead of going into her stone hibernation. However, as she passes a mirror, whether or not it was Titania's Mirror, Demona discovers, much to her horror, that Puck's spell has made it so she becomes human by day. Her screams of horror are enough to break glass.
The transformation is incredibly painful and it hurt Macbeth when he was in proximity as part of their binding spell. Though initially furious at Puck's trick, she realized the positive uses of her human form as she later took up the alias of Dominique Destine. Using the immense fortune and resources that she acquired over the years, she formed a company called Nightstone Unlimited and became its CEO. She uses the company to further her goals where she couldn't as a Gargoyle. She allied herself with Goliath's evil clone Thailog to first steal Macbeth's fortune and, when failing that, create their own version of the Manhattan Clan through cloning. The ever-treacherous Thailog had other plans, however, and betrayed her.
- Demona is one of several characters played by a Star Trek cast member. In this case, Marina Sirtis, who portrayed Deanna Troi.
- Demona was originally going to be called Georgette and the clan's leader. She was described as a scaly female Indiana Jones with a weakness for ice cream and a mortal fear of pigeons. Later, she was renamed "Dakota" (and swapped the ice cream for Chinese food). Finally, she became an overambitious bad apple and the only gargoyle to side with Xavier. To fit her less heroic personality, Dakota got her final change of name of Demona.
- Unlike the other gargoyles, Demona's eyes glow red when she's angry.
- Although Xanatos acts as the main antagonist (having awakened the gargoyles), he never quite sinks to the depths Demona does when she turns her coat. Plus, she is the true main antagonist due to the fact that she had bigger plans than him and was far more dangerous.