70 – Unreliable Narrators

The Mythcreant Podcast

Can you trust everything you’re told? How about the sights and sounds of a viewpoint character? Mike, Oren, and Chris discuss the use of unreliable narrators. They sort out the liars, the delusional, and the ill-informed whose voices we hear our stories through.

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

Show Notes:

Unreliable Narrator via TV Tropes

Roshoman (1950)

The Player of Games (A Culture Novel Book 2) by Iain M Banks

Oculus (2013)

The Visit (2015)

Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Matter of Perspective (episode)

Star Trek: Voyager: Ex Post Facto (episode)

Elim Garrek from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

The Dark Knight (2008)

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) by Jim Butcher

Total Recall (1990)

The Lego Movie (2014)

Memento (2000)

Fight Club (1999)

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  1. Hunter-Wolf

    Thanks a lot guys for making this episode and for the shout out.

    And about the Lego Movie, if it isn’t the kid who is narrating (imagining) the entire events of the movie then who!?, I mean there are many obvious clues it is the kid like the whole thing with the glue in his story (a jab at his father’s obsession with gluing Lego after building something with it), the kid is obviously frustrated because that glue is stopping him from using all that huge amount of Lego the way he wants creatively, so in response he makes up this epic nonsensical story with his father as the villain and the glue as the ultimate evil weapon, and while he doesn’t say it we understand the meta commentary here about molds/stereotypes and killing all other possibilities to use something creatively by thinking in antiqued preconceptions which are like glue, that’s the attitude that stifles imagination and creativity which the father exhibits … The kid doesn’t say any of that but it’s clearly implied.

    And yeah that meta commentary exists throughout the whole movie not just the last bit and is a huge part of why the movie is so good (and yes the kid obviously doesn’t know about it in-movie) but that won’t change the fact he has to be the narrator otherwise the whole bit at the end doesn’t make any sense (and yeah eight year olds these days can be very smart and movie/comic savvy compared to how we were when we were eight years old).

    Overall it also makes sense to think that the inconsistencies in the plot (the ones not directly related to the meta commentary) are really because he is a kid imagining the story in his head, i mean weren’t we all like that at some point … i remember the Star Trek inspired stories i made up while playing with Lego back in my younger days were quite full of inconsistencies just like this kid’s story, so yeah there is a very good reason people are supporting this idea/theory.

    And as for the contrast between how we saw the Lego act and move during the movie and how we see the kid playing with the Lego later on in the last bit of the movie is clearly the contrast between the vivid imagination of the kid versus the lackluster boring reality of things (possibly as seen from the father’s persepective), again we all as kids experianced this … It’s a more complex version of “The floor is lava” make-believe game kids used to play, we all pretended it is lava and see it in our minds as so, but in reality we were just jumping on the sofa to avoid the carpet, that’s what any serious adult would see, and this contrast is really central to the meta commentary of the movie too.


    Oh, and by the way … you guys should really watch the first season of True Detective and Mr.Robot, both are excellent TV series and aside from the raw enjoyment of watching them they are also sure to give you more topics for furure articles and podcasts.

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