Gargoyles are one of the most interesting mythological creatures because they are so intertwined with western architecture and art.
Aside from the architectural significance of gargoyles, they are surrounded by interesting folklore. These stories describe gargoyles as eating a number of items, ranging from humans to fruit. Exactly what the gargoyle eats depends on the tradition you look at.
In this article, we are going to look at what gargoyles eat in detail. Unlike other mythological beings, this question is really difficult to answer since gargoyles take on so many different forms and understandings.
Not to mention, most stories do not surround gargoyle eating habits.
Firstly, it is pertinent to understand there are two different understandings of gargoyles, Protectors and Evil gargoyles. This will be useful for understanding what they eat below. Let’s get into it.
What Do Gargoyles Eat?
Now that we have discussed the different understandings of gargoyles within certain folklore, we can get into what they eat. Below is the most popular gargoyle diet depending on its state and goodness or evilness. But here is a quick look:
No matter what story you look at, gargoyles are statues during the day at least. Some stories have them acting as guardian stones 24 hours a day. In the case that the gargoyle is a statue, it doesn’t eat anything. This seems self-explanatory, but we thought it was an important detail to mention.
In the stories where the gargoyles come to life to protect a building or people, the gargoyles can eat a variety of things, including fruits, vegetables, and meat. Only a few stories exist that show gargoyles as eating at all since their stories don’t relate to everyday activities, such as eating.
When protective gargoyles do eat in most folklore, they prefer meat from inside the town or farms. More so, they prefer meat being as fresh as possible. Still, some gargoyles prefer fruits and vegetables to meat. These gargoyles also prefer fresh food.
Evil gargoyles can eat fruit, vegetables, and meat as well, but these stories have portrayed gargoyles as even eating humans. When gargoyles attack or eat humans, it is not for nutrition purposes. Instead, it is due to the evil entity which resides inside the gargoyle. This makes sense since evil gargoyles are seen as demonic entities.
In addition to eating fruit, vegetables, and various types of meat, a few sources also claim that gargoyles can live off of thermal energy from the sun. This is a much more modern take on the gargoyle diet, but it is interesting to consider.
With the thermal energy diet, gargoyles absorb the energy from the sun’s rays for energy. This property supposedly allows the gargoyles to heal from the night before and have enough energy to fly. Certain sources claim that thermal energy replaces the need to eat 3 cows.
It is unclear exactly how gargoyles would have the ability to live off a thermal energy diet. They do not appear to have anatomy or features that are conducive to this form of energy. Still, it could be an unknown feature of their magical abilities.
With this thermal energy hypothesis, gargoyles eat while they are in stone form, not while they are alive and active at night. This is a completely different take than the eating habits described above.
Once again, the thermal energy hypothesis is new and not described in most folklore, but it is something to consider.
Since most gargoyle folklore does not circle day-to-day habits or choices, very little is said about a gargoyle’s diet.
Still, most stories present gargoyles as hunting for fresh meat in nearby towns. Some gargoyles will also choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead of meat. Evil gargoyles have even been presented to eat humans.
One other interesting hypothesis about what gargoyles eat is thermal energy. Thermal energy is absorbed rather than eaten, allowing gargoyles to get the energy they need to survive while they are stone during the day.