Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale is a fiction podcast by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, and narrated by Cecil Baldwin.

I just caught up with the most recent episode of Night Vale. And I have thoughts. Questions. Possibly even theories.

For those of you who don’t know, Welcome to Night Vale is a horror-fantasy-drama about the desert community of Night Vale. Our experience of Night Vale is through the community radio show delivered every two weeks by Cecil. Cecil in our narrator, our interpreter, and our guide. The podcast is quirky, funny, dramatic, and sometimes unsettling.

The world of Night Vale is clearly … complicated. And here is the point of this post where I will start talking utter gibberish to all of you who have not listened.

Guys … is Cecil a reliable narrator?

For a while I thought he was. And then, around “Valentine’s Day,” I started wondering if he perhaps was using words to mean things other that what I would mean. Like, is Hiram McDaniels ACTUALLY a five-headed dragon? Or is Cecil a complete psychotic? Then there was the question of Carlos. I couldn’t tell if Cecil was being an utter creeper-stalker towards Carlos.

But then … then we got “The Sandstorm.” And Kevin. And KEVIN is an unreliable narrator, my goodness yes. And I was pretty sure Cecil is just giving us the truth. I mean, one of the two of them is using words to mean things in ways I do not use words. “Hug.” “Fight.” Presuming, of course, that the events of the two narratives are supposed to match.

And what is UP with Desert Bluffs? Seriously!

But what, then, does that say about Night Vale’s world? I had thought it was supposed to be our Earth, our dimension. That Night Vale was just this weird pocket of stuff. But then we got the memories of Cecil’s trip across Europe. What the hell countries are those? Are they supposed to co-exist with our European nations? Or do they REPLACE them? What if … what if all that talk about the night sky being void with a few stars isn’t dramatic hyperbole, but it straight-up fact? Is Night Vale in a pocket dimension?

And what about the man in the tan suit? He’s … not on the side of the underground city, okay, sure. But in a town of various evils, I honestly can’t tell that he’d be any better than the City Council. Or the Dog Park. What does the man in the tan suit want? And who will be the next instrument of his will, after what happened in “One Year Later”?


I’m listening. Yes, yes I am.

Can’t wait for the next episode.


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