Spoilers ahead. Only read if you have listened to Condos and Matryoshka or don’t mind the spoilers.
I’m currently listening to Matryoshka again. I had this thought occur to me and I went back and listened to The Story of Huntokar again which inevitably made me realize the thought couldn’t be true. But then, I decided to listen to Matryoshka again. And I am. And god guys I’ve had a realization.
In Condos Hiram comes on Cecil’s show after The Faceless Old Woman because apparently it’s a matter of legality and political candidates are supposed to have equal airtime on the radio to present their campaign. Hiram goes on to talk about why he is running for NightVale mayor and he tells this story.
When we was very young he was in a town. Not NightVale, somewhere else. He hadn’t heard of NightVale yet. And, as he was hungry, he asked a passerby where a good place to eat was. The passerby promptly screamed in fear and ran away. Obviously Hiram was hungry and sad after this.
But then, years later, he had a similar experience in NightVale. But instead of running away screaming the man did a weird thing with his mouth and pointed towards the Moonlite All-Nite Diner.
Hiram presents this as his favorite memory- when he realized he had found a place that accepted him despite his dragonly-appearance. This was why he was running for Mayor- because NightVale was a place he could truly call home.
Then Old Oak Doors happened. Then, Review happened. Then, The Trial of Hiram McDaniels happened.
Then, Execution Day happened.
Hiram leaves NightVale after the devastating accidental execution of his Violet Head. In Matryoshka, he returns, for one last time. Asking the rest of the dragons to leave NightVale alone, to uphold the treaties Huntokar had set in place.
And he says, “They attack me only because they are scared of me. We cannot find forgiveness in relentlessness.”
In short, Hiram McDaniels came to NightVale and thought it was the one place he could truly call home.
But in the end, it ending up being still very similar to the rest of the world. The world that ran away from him, screaming.
And I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I think that’s actually really sad. Not “oh shame on NightVale” sad (no hecking way NightVale’s actions were still justified,,, almost all of them anyway), just… it makes me feel sorry for Hiram in a way.
Edit: note that obviously none of this excuses any of Hiram’s actions. He made his own choices and they came back to haunt him. Most of the consequences Hiram received were justified and his own fault. But Cecil and even Dana later admit that the death of Violet was unnecessary. Which is the one action of NightVale’s that I feel WASN’T justified. That’s where this post came from, from that canonly-admitted overreaction to Hiram’s actions.