One of the arguments against Moariel that I see a lot is “but Moana loves the sea and Ariel wants to get out of it, how would it work?” I see this as a great dynamic between the two characters.
Maybe they initially disagree on some things. “How can you want to go to the sea this much? There’s nothing interesting here” “Well how can YOU want to be on land, when there’s literally just this tiny island that you’ll have finished exploring by the time the sun sets?” Something like that. But by seeing how the other is fascinated with the place that they long to be in, they not only offer to show it off, but find new reasons to fall in love with the place where they’re from. Moana excitedly gushing over how beautiful the underwater landscapes are makes Ariel smile and agree that yes, they are quite stunning. Ariel being fascinated by basic human things like cooked meat, flower crowns and elaborate clothing pieces makes Moana want to tell her all about the way her mother cooks meat, how their people decorate their garments, and while doing so, realize how many beautiful island things she’s been sort of taking for granted. In the end, they realize that as the sea is inseparable from the shore, so are they, and they learn to love both the sea and the land equally, regularly spending time in both of their homelands. They swim and sing with Ariel’s sisters in the sea, they sit by the fire and have dinner with Moana’s family. They go on adventures, Moana on her boat and Ariel always in the water beside her, and they tell stories to all of Motunui when they get back. Because often, when you fall in love with someone, you also fall in love with the things they enjoy, the things that they’re passionate about, the things that make their eyes light up. I think it’s a beautiful concept.
(spoilers for “a story about huntokar” and, below the cut, “all hail”)
- like maybe it’s because i just saw gotg 2, but i do not trust anyone who kicks around the galaxy for a few million years and then goes “yep time to go influence some sapient life”
- “I was, of all of us, the only good one” said no one who was actually good ever
- “Every action that endeavors to improve only causes more suffering and terror.” i wonder if that’s because these improvements include a subway advertised by roaches and creepy-ass children that made people disappear and the 12:37 train to red mesa, which featured, in case you forgot:
“Some people wearing deer masks are gathering by the train, distributing roaches to bystanders. The roaches all have phrases printed on them, things like ‘Business in the front, knife in the back’ and ‘#NotAllTrains.’”
“The figures in deer masks, looking like the same transit lovers who built the Night Vale subway system three years ago, are in an inverted V formation out in left center field, their shoulders and heads bobbing as if in silent laughter”
“She leaned in, insects scuttling across her long brown snout. ‘I am the destroyer. They take our buildings. They put them in crates. Their interests are furthered. I am the destroyer.’”
- “Cecil. Sweet Cecil, who I tried and tried to guide toward the truth.”
i was like “when have mysterious forces ever interacted with cecil (that wasn’t caused by something we already know about)” and then i was like “oh yeah, the weird stuff from ‘cassette’/‘filings’, you know, WHEN HE DIED” so like. that’s not ominous.
- “I came across a valley, dry, almost lifeless. Save for a few brave people who had worked out how they could be sustained there. And I chose them, I guided and taught them, and gradually a town grew. Night Vale. The one place in the world that was truly mine. I am the Creator.”
pro tip: calling yourself “the creator,” much less of a place that already existed and supported life, is not so much a white hat move
- “Worship of me started, as they became aware of my kind presence in their lives. Their love gave meaning to the passing of my years and in exchange, I gave them a better and better world. They developed ceremonies devoted to me, wearing soft meat crowns and building what would become known as bloodstone circles.”
SO MANY ALARM BELLS. who goes “wow, my goddess has such a kind presence! better start worshipping her with BLOOD AND ORGANS”??
- also, everyone knows lee marvin is the one who founded the town and demanded worship: ”One of the arrivals, famous screen actor Lee Marvin, who just turned 30 today – Oh, hey! Happy birthday, Mr. Marvin! – said that they were immediately proceeding to found a town. A town they will call Night Vale. A home for themselves, complete with all the things a home needs: secrets, dread, omnipresent government, and areas that are forbidden! He then donned a soft meat crown as the other newcomers bowed to him.” – [Best Of?]
how dare she try to take that away from him? it’s his birthday!
- meanwhile, the underground city that does still remember worshipping huntokar responded to carlos’ incursion with ALL-OUT WAR. night vale, which has about as much self-control as a toddler on a sugar high, managed to avoid all-out war even after they were actively invaded by desert bluffs.
- “What once was tribute is now a series of gestures, as human and meaningless as they were before I came along.”
so human stuff was meaningless before she came along. that’s a normal thing to say.
- “Night Vale is shattered. But for now it’s still here. Hmm. Time is startlingly persistent in that way.”
uh time’s not real.
- “The other gods were attracted to the site of my teetering domain, but I was able to arrange truces with them. They did not do anything that would upset the balance by which my world barely hung, and in exchange, they could poke their heads in, look around, maybe take a few versions of my Night Vale to turn into playgrounds for their terror-filled delights.”
“terror-filled delights,” she said casually. “no big.”
- “But now the five-headed dragons in their grief and anger have pulled all of the other gods into this situation” …says the person who had previously pulled all of the other gods into this situation. i’m not saying this isn’t true, but… we’ve only got her word for it. we haven’t seen proof of it ourselves.
- “I am a storyteller. The story may do you no good. But a story is never for the listener. It is always for the one who tells.”
meanwhile, in ‘the registry of middle school crushes’: “Before everything, before even humans, there were stories. A creature at a fire conjuring a world with nothing but its voice and a listener’s imagination. And now, me, and thousands like me, in little booths and rooms and mics and screens all over the world, doing the same for a family of listeners, connected as all families are, primarily by the stories we tell each other.”
huntokar sees stories as furthering her own interests; cecil sees them as connecting humanity.
- at the very least, huntokar is a VERY unreliable narrator and we can’t take her at face value. personally, i think she’s trying to manipulate people (especially cecil, for unknown reasons) into sympathizing with her and doing… what? guess we’ll find out in two weeks.
A commercial airliner flying through local airspace disappeared today, only to reappear in the Night Vale Elementary gymnasium… before it could strike any players or structure, it vanished again. This time, apparently, for good. (obviously, current problem with the rips in reality)
Lights. Seen in the sky above the Arby’s…we’ve caught on to their game. We understand the “lights above Arby’s” game.Invaders from another world.Ladies and gentlemen, the future is here, and it’s about 100 feet above the Arby’s.
(also noteworthy - a bowling ball once fell into Mini Vale. Poor town probably got wrecked.)
2 - Glowcloud
Sorry, listeners. Not sure what happened in that earlier section of the broadcast – as in I actually don’t remember what happened. Tried to play back the tapes, but they’re all blank, and smell faintly of vanilla. (we know that some of cecil’s memories that he doesn’t remember are in fact from AUs but i’m not sure with this one, especially with the vanilla thing - i don’t think it was ever resolved? or was it the man in the tan jacket or somethin)
3 - Station Management
Our little town is lit, too, by lights just above that we cannot explain.
Larry Leroy, out on the edge of town, reported that a Creeping Fear came into Night Vale today… It did not affect Old Woman Josie, presumably because of her angelic protection … I myself was frozen, sure that any movement would lead to death; that any word would be my last.
4 - PTA Meeting
…a rift in space-time split open in the Main Street Recreation Center Auditorium, setting loose several confused and physically aggressive pteranodons.
Several curious handball players in the court next to the auditorium actually popped their heads into the portal… aged several thousand years in what bystanders experienced as only a few seconds. Those handball players now straddle the unenviable border of millennially wizened and cripplingly insane. (i wonder if they know something about the recent reality rips?)
… either prehistoric or alternate-universe Night Vale.
The creature’s lifeless body was found a dozen yards outside of the Dog Park entrance, stripped of all flesh, and with most of the organs inverted and strung around its exposed skull like an old fashioned soft meat crowns, as worn by the 18th century religious leaders who settled our fair burgh.
(iunno, might be huntokar? i mean what would tear a thing to shreds and make soft meat crowns out of its organs)
5 - The Shape in Grove Park
The moon’s weird though, right? It’s there, and there, and then suddenly it’s not. And it seems to be pretty far up. It is watching us? If not, what is it watching instead? Is there something more interesting than us? Hey, watch us moon! We may not always be the best show in the universe, but we try. (obviously, echoed by Mini Vale in The Missing Sky)
6 - The Drawbridge
[after a blackout] ….when the lights came back on, they felt that perhaps they were different people – their memories and identities were the same as always, but suddenly felt like costumes that didn’t fit exactly. As though it all were actually brand new to them. As though they had been switched out with someone who was exactly like them. As though all that was familiar would ever after be strange.
7 - History Week
[prediction for year 2052:] The City Council will reveal its true form and eat half of Night Vale’s population
Approval ratings for the mayor will hover in the low 40s…which will be surprising, as there will have been no mayor for over thirty years.
(ummm i dunno how long mayors are supposed to reign in Night Vale, but by 2022, there will be no more mayor? dana’s term started in 2015, so in 7 years there will no longer be a mayor. even if this has nothing to do with year 5 yet, i’m still worried)
8 - The Lights in Radon Canyon
[referring to Mini Vale] …every window of the city is now glowing both day and night.
(the beginning of the Night Vale - Mini Vale war, i’m guessing. teddy williams started it or…?)
(also the lights in the canyon itself)
9 - PYRAMID
[message of the Pyramid:] “I will place within some of you questions. Within others, I will place answers. These questions and these answers will not always align. The questions I provide may have no answers, and the answers I provide may have no questions. I will study the effects of these questions, and these answers. Some of you will hurt others, and others will heal. Grow my seeds inside you, and let them flower.”
(??????? I WANT TO BE GIVEN ANSWERS DUDE)
11- Wheat and Wheat By-Products
idk if Apache Tracker suddenly turning Native American is reality-rip-worthy but
…Angels have gathered in a circle in her living room, blocking her view of the television. They are shoulder-to-shoulder, facing each other, radiant with holy light.“The Bowling Alley,” they are chanting. “The Bowling Alley.“
12 - The Candidate
the unholy voice of Old Scratch himself (idk who Old Scratch is but might be noteworthy)
[referring to noisy sunsets]… only Old Town residents have reported hearing these inconceivable noises
13 - A Story About You
…a vision came to you. You saw above you a planet, of awesome size, lit by no sun. An invisible titan, all thick black forests and jagged mountains and deep turbulent oceans.
(note: You did NOT LIVE IN NIGHT VALE when they got this vision. They then drove to Night Vale afterwards, and even then found the town by accident)
You move wooden crates from one truck to another while a man in a suit silently watches. It is a different man each time. Sometimes the crates tick. Mostly, they do not.
[about the crate] It’s warm, warmer than the air around it. It smells sharp and earthy, like freshly ground cinnamon. And when you put your ear against the rough warm wood, you hear a soft humming – an indistinct melody.
(while driving, You feels the Dark Planet Lit By No Sun again)
Apache Tracker’s warnings: 1 - You are in danger. 2 - They’re coming. 3- They will come from below. Pies will not help.
(the crate has grown even warmer)
[about crate] It pulses with some kind of life.
…pulls out of it an intricate miniature house…inside the house you think you see for a moment, lights and movement.
[about DPLBNS]: A monster. Spinning. Soundless. Forgotten. It’s so close now. You see it just above you. Maybe even if you tried very hard, you could touch it.
14 - The Man in the Tan Jacket
(first mention of Huntokar)
(assumption of a Child King ruling Mini Vale, but this is probably wrong….or very right. toss up)
(also, Teddy records footage from Mini Vale)
…the Angel said that the Man in the Tan Jacket with the deerskin suitcase was from a place underneath the earth.
(I AM GOING TO START SCREAMING)
(IS MINI VALE KING CITY??? IS KING CITY MINI VALE???? IS THIS WHY MITTJ WAS ABLE TO FIND NIGHT VALE BECAUSE HE WAS FROM AN ALTERNATE VERSION IN THE FIRST PLACE?)
16 - The Phone Call
(SSP telling everyone to prep for war, presumably against Mini Vale)
(also we are presented The List)
18 - The Traveler
(time traveler who wears a Desert Bluffs marching band uniform [which has not been worn since The Incident - presumably Strexcorp takeover; see Triptych] who presumably saved Night Vale many times before?)
Perhaps he has leaped again through the stream of time, or passed to an alternate dimension created by the changes he has made to our world.
nothing remained of The Traveler except for a pile of indescribable buttons from his uniform
19A and B (Night Vale and Desert Bluffs)
(larry leroy possibly already knew about doubles pre-sandstorm, but you know this probably isn’t relevant to year five)
(a vortex opened, leading cecil to DB and kevin to NV; i have no idea if the vortex was sanstorm-created or reality-rip thing. most likely a reality-rip thing because kevin has travelled to NV via vortex several times, and there was no sandstorm - see The Debate and The Investigators)
21 - A Memory of Europe
(Teddy Williams has created a 24/7 barricade around the entrance to Mini Vale)
I don’t remember having a traveling partner before or after Svitz. Who was he? Who knows? It all seemed perfectly normal at the time. (obviously not his brother Cal from 108; alt reality bleed or…?)
Eventually I was knocked out on one of our falls and when I awoke, it was in a different country. I had aged by years, and no one I talked to knew where the country of Svitz was, or even had heard of it. (def alt reality or something)
[Simone Rigadeau]: The world ended three or four decades ago. I don’t know what this thing is that we’re living in, but it’s not the world. Scientists won’t investigate it because they’re not real.
(LISTEN TO ME)
(IN EVERY ALTERNATE REALITY WE HAVE BEEN PRESENTED, THERE IS NO CARLOS AND THERE ARE NO SCIENTISTS)
(’SCIENTISTS ARE NOT REAL’)
(there’s a monster in Franchia)
24 - The Mayor
(Mini Vale residents presumably made the Desert Flower Boeling Alley’s jukebox continuously play Mister Brownstone. this ep has an ad for the Brownstone spire)
25 - One Year Later
(hhhgngngnpppffttt remember when cecil got carlos a trophy)
a commercial airliner appeared today inside the home of surprised Night Vale citizen Becky Canterbury
(i mean there’s so many things from this ep but basically, Mini Vale already was plotting a war against us and Teddy had set up a barricade against it; after this i guess Mini Vale just got full-scale destroyed, i think)
I’ve been misspelling her name all this time… damn. Heavy spoilers incoming, probably.
The very concept of them being gods… it’s satisfying, strangely. It doesn’t feel out of place at all.
She created Night Vale. Helped them… So she really was a god to them. I wonder.
Soft, meat crowns, bloodstone circles… A special one.
I wonder who the Faceless Old Woman (who secretly lives in your home) is, then. At the same time? I think we got more than enough information.
Oh shit, the beagle. She knows the fucking beagle. Doesn’t like him of course.
Intentions never matter, indeed.
The planet, lit by no sun… Is it something even more ancient than even Huntokar?
Goodness, so she did that. The Desert Otherworld is the Night Vale that never existed, I suppose.
Still, I don’t think that ALL strangeness of Night Vale can be explained just by- Well. She did destroy them…
That is an early weather, wth. Has that been almost 20 minutes already?
Gosh the song is good, though. I like it.
The voice actress is great as well. It’s not that easy to play a goddess broken with sorrow.
My… This actually does explain. So much. Everything, really. And yet, it’s satisfying. It doesn’t break anything, as I feared. It’s just.
Many, many events in Night Vale now make sense, and yet they don’t. We got an explanation of everything, yet it makes no difference in the great scheme of things. Only puts the well-needed peace in your heart.
She doesn’t know the men with their crates, that’s good.
And the planet of awesome size, lit by no sun… We still know nothing of that. We may know, one day. Until then.
How can you justify making fun of someone's tin foil hat because it's "So 1983" but you yourself wear a soft meat crown every Sunday. Those went out of style 2000 years ago...
Excuse me?? How dare you assume my fashion sense. Also, soft meat crowns are, like, sooo retro and cool, but I wouldn’t expect you to understand basic fashion terms. Also, as the one person in Night Vale who the Sphere has never even LOOKED at, I can tell people what’s fashionable and what’s not, and tinfoil hats, in addition to being childish, are, like, so. over. Who are you, Steve Carlsburg or something? Ugh. I can’t believe you.
I think Carlos is right. Night Vale isn’t a single unified thing that can love, or be loved. It’s just the name, slapped onto a set of borders and rules that some old bureaucrats wearing soft meat crowns devised centuries ago. But they don’t live here anymore! We do!
And I can make it worth it. I can’t just leave it, I have to live it! Live it, and make it better! For myself, for Carlos! For my friends. For Abby, and Steve, and Janice, for Old Woman Josie and all of the Erikas. For Dana. And for you, listeners.
We will, together, celebrate another homecoming game. We will, together, survive another street cleaning. We will, together…well, we will see.
I can’t promise I’ll never leave you. No one can promise that. But until that moment, let’s keep working on this town, this collective idea, this Night Vale. Whatever we want that name to mean, we can always start over if we have to. Rededicate ourselves. Do it right.