Born to Petros Xanatos a fisherman from Maine. At a young age he received a letter containing a coin from the 10th century. Being worth $20,000 he sold the coin and invested the money into various stocks and founded Xanatos Enterprises. Due to his father's belief that his fortune was unearned, their relationship became strained.
Xanatos's holdings include Xanatos Enterprises, a genetics company Gen-U-Tech, the Scarab Corporation robotics firm, and the television franchise Pack Media Studios. Despite his father's belief that Xanatos did not deserve the gift that had launched his career, Xanatos continued to claim that he would one day prove himself a self-made man.
Xanatos learned of Castle Wyvern from Demona, the only remaining Gargoyle from the Wyvern Clan, and proceeded to purchase the castle and transport it, brick by brick, and reconstruct it atop his New York skyscraper, the Eyrie Building. With the castle "above the clouds," Xanatos successfully released the survivors of the Wyvern Clan from their frozen sleep.
Xanatos initially posed as the Gargoyles' friend, convincing them to "acquire" technology from his rival Cyberbiotics for him and ultimately attempting to destroy the gargoyles once their replacements, the Steel Clan, came online. The Steel Clan was defeated, however, and Xanatos was convicted for receiving stolen property. Xanatos continued to plot against the gargoyles from prison, testing them and attempting to remove them from the castle. Upon his release, he became one of their greatest enemies, engaging in a particularly fierce rivalry with their leader, Goliath.
Xanatos also committed himself to getting his own clan of gargoyles that would be loyal and obedient to him. To that end, he tried several attempts throughout the series to do that such as resurrecting Goliath's brother, Coldstone, from the smashed bodies of three dead gargoyles from the Scottish clan; genetically creating his own clan of mutant gargoyles, one of whom was Elisa Maza's brother, Derek Maza; creating a clone of Goliath, and perfecting the Steel Clan. When these attempts failed, he changed focus to continuing his quest for immortality but by using sorcery, magic, and even involving himself with Children of Oberon, the King of the mystical island Avalon, instead.
Xanatos would meet an equal in Fox and marry her. It was on this occasion that, by inviting Goliath to the wedding and luring him into seeking reconciliation with Demona, Xanatos was able to reconstruct the Phoenix Gate. The wedding party was brought back in time to the 10th century, where Xanatos arranged for the ancient coins to be delivered to himself a thousand years in the future, as well as a message to himself detailing the instructions how to do it that he had received a some time ago. In this way, Xanatos fulfilled his own history through a predestination paradox, at the same time proving himself to his father as a "self-made man." ’’Vows’’
When Demona finally betrayed Xanatos to advance her own goals of destroying the human race, Xanatos was forced to call a truce with Goliath to stop her. ’’City of Stone, Part II’’ Goliath was later instrumental in saving Xanatos's newborn son Alexander, at which time Xanatos pledged to pay the debt back to him. ’’The Gathering, Part II’’ When the existence of the Gargoyles is revealed to the public, Xanatos ultimately calls an end to the feud and restores the Gargoyles to their ancestral home in the castle. ‘’Hunter's Moon, Part III’’
Soon after, Owen received a call from Mr. Duval from The Illuminati for Xanatos. Xanatos refused as he spent some time with his son that night. On Halloween Night, he's later visited by Martin Hacker (who ranks 32 in The Illuminati) who gives him an invitation to the White House. From there he meets another Illuminati member, Quincy Hemings (Chief Stewart at the White House who ranks 2 in The Illuminati). He hands Xanatos a mission from The Illuminati.
’’Note: This section is not canon’’
Xanatos was portrayed as a benefactor to the Gargoyles.
One of the primary antagonists in the series, Xanatos's plans are often intricate and Machiavellian. His behavior is often ruthless and amoral, although his personality is slightly softened later in the series by his affection for his wife Fox and their son Alex. He is obsessed with obtaining immortality for himself and his family. His loyal right-hand man is Owen Burnett, a stoic man with extraordinary hidden talents Xanatos gained through equally remarkable circumstances.
Perhaps Xanatos' greatest strength is that he lacks the typical cartoon villain weaknesses. For example, he is notably not vindictive as he sees revenge as foolish and even tends to try to see the positive side of his defeats. In fact, his plans often work out beneficially to him in one way or another, despite the frequent intervention of Goliath, Xanatos' arch-rival, and his clan of Gargoyles. This win-win duality of his schemes is so paradigmatic among pop culture that such plans are often referred to in the real world as "Xanatos Gambits."
Another example is that, despite his clear intelligence and skills, he is not conceited. Xanatos is fully aware of his strengths and limits, apparently by conscious choice. In the episode The Edge when Owen beat him in a sparing match, by his own statement, for the first time, and Owen offered to pretend to lose, he responds by saying he'd "fire [him] if [he] did".
Another typical villainous quality found in most of the gargoyles' enemies that Xanatos lacks is prejudice. While Xanatos often tries to exploit the gargoyles, he is equally driven to exploit humans. Xanatos never seems bothered by the gargoyles' appearance nor does he ever treat them with fear, scorn, contempt, hatred or any other emotion that humans have often displayed towards gargoyles.
Even before his more amoral tendencies abated due to the birth of his son, Xanatos was never truly sadistic or cruel. Although he had no qualms about stealing, defacing sacred and historical landmarks, or experimenting on sentient beings, he did have his limits. During the City of Stone story arc, upon discovering Demona's plan to kill every human in New York City, he immediately makes plans to stop her. This shows that while he was capable of manipulating people, violating their trust, or even ruining the lives of one or more individuals, he draws the line at senseless mass murder or genocide.
After Goliath helped save his son from Oberon, Xanatos decided to put aside his more selfish goals and methods, and ceased being an enemy to the Gargoyles. He even restored them to their ancestral home after the Hunter's Moon story arc, claiming to have no ulterior motive, and attempts to help them following their public revelation.
He is a formidable fighter in his own right. In addition to advanced karate and judo skills, he also has a specialized red armored suit modeled on his Steel Clan that he wears frequently. He also has a highly advanced AI and cyborg clone modeled after himself, designed to do his bidding; it impersonates and represents him whenever he needs it to. This robot became the leader of the criminal group The Pack under the name of Coyote and there was a time where he actually used it to try to capture the actual Coyote spirit.
Though at first Xanatos seems to have an on and off partnership with Demona when neither magic nor technology seem to be enough to accomplish their goals, neither Xanatos nor Demona seem to truly trust one another. This proves to be a fatal flaw on their part that tends to doom their plans to failure.
In general, Xanatos has an odd way of dealing with those he "loves". One example can be found in Thailog, Goliath's clone that he had Sevarius create. While the clone was being grown, he had a program playing giving him information about the world and his beliefs. He seemed to have a paternal feeling towards Thailog as, when the gargoyle was kidnapped during his stone slumber, he would not let Owen fire on the kidnappers out of fear of hurting Thailog, and handed over $20,000,000 for his safe return without a second thought. He even showed pride in Thailog's manipulative abilities and genius when he found out the clone had engineered the entire plot to abscond with the money, referring to him as "a chip off the ole block". He even expressed to Thailog that if he wanted the money he would have given it to him if he would have asked for it. However his paternalism seems thin as, when he thinks Thailog died during battle with Goliath, he states that he knew the whole time that a copy (Thailog) couldn't match the original (Goliath), which infuriates Goliath as Xanatos was able to dehumanize a living being to such terms. Though arguably lacking romance, Xanatos asks Fox to marry him on the basis that "it makes sense" because they are genetically compatible, share the same interests, think the same way, enjoy the finer things in life, and "love each other" as much as two people such as themselves can. Fox accepts, yet Xanatos's feelings for Fox are largely debatable.
Though he does love Fox, he is shown using her to get what he wants as well. In the Halloween episode, Xanatos gives Fox the Eye of Odin as an engagement gift. The necklace holds unfathomable power that Fox cannot control. It turns her into a large red-haired beast, looking like a 'fox' or large wild dog. Though Xanatos suspects it has an effect on her, he does not fully understand until he witnesses Fox transform in front of him. Terrified by what he has set into motion, he asks Goliath and Elisa for assistance, though they are initially reluctant. Goliath seems especially perturbed at how he has treated Fox and seemingly disregarded her life.
As Fox continues to go on rampages in search for food, Xanatos, Goliath, and Elisa scour the city for her. Eventually, they chase her to a rooftop and Goliath is able to free Fox from the Eye of Odin after electrocuting her with a neon sign. While preparing to leave and holding Fox in his arms, Xanatos regretfully informs Goliath that now he knows his only weakness. Goliath turns to him, slightly disgusted, and remarks, "Only you would regard love as a weakness." These words leave Xanatos speechless.
In the episodes of the Gathering, Xanatos seems instinctively protective of both Fox and Alexander, seemingly having come to terms with the idea of love not being a weakness.
- Xanatos is one of several characters played by a Star Trek cast member, in this case Jonathan Frakes, who portrayed William Riker.
- During the show's development, Xanatos was originally known as Xavier and he was the descendant of the wizard that originally cursed the gargoyles to sleep for a thousand years. According to Greg Weisman, he was, "rich, powerful and petulant. Very Captain Hook."
- The name Xavier was eventually dropped because of the similarity to Professor X (Charles Xavier) in Marvel Comics X-Men. Still, Greg Weisman wanted a name with a similar sound to it.
- Thinking of Thanatos, the Ancient Greek God of Death, and since X and TH sounds are often interchanged, he tried the name Xanatos, which was quickly accepted by other crew members.
- Sometime later, he checked the phone book and found that Xanatos was in fact a real name.
- Weissman chose Xanatos's first name to be David as Goliath was his former enemy, a reference to the biblical story of David & Goliath except with the roles of hero and villain reversed.
- Odysseus was also in Greg Weisman's mind when developing Xanatos into a human trickster, particularly when the character became Greek-American.
- Coincidentally, Jonathan Frake's wife, Genie Francis, was expecting at the same time as Fox.
- Xanatos's plans throughout the series have caused his tropes to be recognized. The Xanatos Gambit, Roulette and Speed Chess all are tropes that basically cement victory no matter where the plan takes.
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1. Leader of the Pack
1. The Journey
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