212 – Fake Outs

The Mythcreant Podcast

Today our podcast is about stories that only do what you expect – PSYCHE, it’s really about fake outs! We bet you were really surprised by that sudden reveal, but was it a good thing? Did it add to this paragraph, or was it just a cheap trick? You’ll have plenty of time to think about it because that’s what we’re talking about today, except with real stories and not the intro text to a podcast. We discuss why storytellers use fake outs, how they can do more harm than good, and some instances where they actually worked. Plus, the only story we could think of with a triple fake out!

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Empire Strikes Back

Commander Saru

Dramatic Irony

The Next Phase

The Matrix

Teen Wolf

The Wrath of Khan

Cabin in the Woods

Game of Thrones

Infinity War

The Last Jedi

Iron Man 3

Pacific Rim 2

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  1. Jake

    I would love to hear your opinion on George RR Martin’s fakeout of Bran and Rickon (specifically in the books, I don’t really remember how it goes in the show). Personally, I thought he handled it really well – we as an audience find out the truth, but it still has a large impact on the rest of the story (their mom never finds out!). Was it well done in your opinions?

    • Oren Ashkenazi

      It’s been such a long time since I read the books that I honestly don’t remember exactly how that went down. I do remember getting annoyed with death fakeouts, especially because sometimes it would get hard to remember if a character was actually dead when the book moved around in time.

  2. Fay Onyx

    The conclusion of The Adventure Zone’s Amnesty arc had an exceptionally good fake out in it (spoilers).

    They roleplayed through a post battle scene which took about five minutes game time. The characters woke up (result from a big magical event) and got to connect with the NPCs. Then suddenly the world ended. Then the characters woke up, this time for real. What just happened was a vision of the future. You have five minutes to prevent the end of the world. What do you do?

    What was so effective was that everything that events that weren’t real still had an inherent value because they give the audience a short cool down before the next action sequence, were meaningful character interactions that gave us updates on the side characters, it set up who was present and where for the coming action scene, and knowing exactly how long it is until the world ends (and having it described in detail) creates a lot of tension for the next scene.

    This really stands out to me as exceptionally good because the not real events serve the story on so many levels.

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