From a practical standpoint, gargoyles are meant to expel water from roofs, but their usage in gothic fiction in particular is meant to represent warding against evil. As the definition of “evil” is pretty non-traditional in “Wednesday,” where not all monsters commit atrocious deeds or harm people, the gargoyle designs at Nevermore were retrofitted to reflect this sentiment. Instead of the usual hybrid humanoid faces, these gargoyles represent the different supernatural groups that make up the student body at Nevermore, including vampires, gorgons, and sirens.
Scruton explained how this creative choice was also meant to hint at greater mysteries, containing “a clue to the mystery hidden away up there,” which is most likely a reference to the major flashback that occurs halfway through the series. If one looks closer, the school’s quad, where everyone gathers together during celebration or calamity, is shaped as a pentangle and flanked by these gargoyles that look over like ancient guardians. As the school undergoes a massive crisis towards the end, and the final boss fight occurs inside the quad, the gargoyles assume greater significance as the guardians look on while the fate of Nevermore is decided by Wednesday, and every student that helps her protect its legacy.
While the gargoyles in “Wednesday” do not come to life at any point, these grotesque-looking statues shift expressions depending on the tone of certain scenes, granting an unsettling quality if one is keen enough to notice. In this world, demons, or monstrous mutations, can be protectors against the true evil of mankind: superstitions and religious frenzy, that drive people like Joseph Crackstone to hunt people and burn them at the stake.
“Wednesday” is currently streaming on Netflix.