Ghosts create cold spots, and it’s very cold outside, so if you think about it, all of outside is a ghost! That’s the kind of insight you can look forward to in this episode, where we discuss all things relating to our spooky friends from the other side. We discuss why ghosts make better villains than protagonists, how to make them protagonists anyway, and whether the three Christmas Ghosts are actually ghosts. Spoilers: no.


Generously transcribed by Paige. Volunteer to transcribe a podcast.

Chris: You’re listening to the Mythcreant Podcast, with your hosts, Oren Ashkenazi, Wes Matlock, and Chris Winkle.

[Intro music]

Wes: You’re listening to the Mythcreant Podcast. I’m your host Wes, and with me today is Oren and Chris. And so, it’s winter, and winter is cold. You guys know what else is cold? Ghosts. 

Oren: Ahh!

Wes: My logic is flawless. Let’s get into our topic. 


Oren: I mean, that’s the logic I expect from certain ghost stories. 

Chris: You laugh, but I was on a ghost tour recently and the ghost tour guide just took us through a dark alley and was like, ‘People say they can feel a ghost here. And if you reach off into this area on the right, and it feels a little colder, that’s the ghost!’ [laughter] 

Wes: He’s not wrong!

Oren: Cold spots are, in fact, a common association in ghost lore, in both straight up fiction and people who claim ghosts are real. Spoilers, they’re not. Sorry. Anyway…

Wes: Moving on to why ghosts are real. [laughter] The cold spots that you feel over your house are definitely ghosts and it’s cold outside, which means that we are surrounded by ghosts during this time of year. 

Oren: Yeah, ghosts are everywhere outside. And the whole place outside is a cold spot, it’s all one giant ghost.

Wes: One giant ghost. Perfect. So really, I don’t know how much we need to talk about what a ghost is, cause it’s varied. But when I was threading notes, it was five minutes before a D&D game. And so I was like, ‘Oh, what does the Monster Manual say a ghost is?’ Okay, so they say a ghost is the soul of a once living creature—okay, I’m on board—bound to haunt a location, creature or object from its life. I think that sounds pretty good. 

Oren: The ‘bound to a location’ thing is more questionable, but yeah, generally speaking, most of the time, ghosts are the remaining consciousness, in some form, of a person who died. And they’re usually incorporeal, not always, but most of the time. If your ghost isn’t incorporeal, I’m going to start questioning why you’re calling it a ghost.

Wes: Yeah. I have a whole list of ‘Ghost or Not Ghost?’ that we can get into later. But one more thing in the Monster Manual, they make a point that ghosts yearn to complete some unresolved task from life. Since it’s in this Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual, I’m inclined to think that’s also how the popular conscious is going to associate ghosts in fiction.

The presence of a ghost suggest that it is there for a reason that could be resolved. What do you do to do that? I don’t know, exhume the body and burn the bones, right? That definitely gets rid of ghosts. 

Oren: That’s my favorite thing about Supernatural is that they’re like, ‘Hey, to get rid of a ghost, you need to salt the bones and then burn them.’ And that literally never works on the show, they do that all the time. 

Wes: All the time. 

Chris: It’s cause they have too many ghost storylines because it fits their budget. And so that would just be repetitive. 

Oren: They still do it though. That’s the funny part, is that they always do it and then it never works. And it’s—this is the weapons array of Supernatural. 

Chris: It’s like, Supernatural, once you’ve subverted yourself, you can’t just keep doing that. It’s not subverting anything anymore. You’ve already shown this doesn’t work. Because it’s always like, ‘Oh, twist, it didn’t work!’ Okay. We can tell it’s not time for the climax yet, show, so we know that it wasn’t going to work. 

Wes: That’s right. We burned the wrong bones. There are more bones around here, surely, to burn. [laughs]

Oren: The wrong bones, more bones. Some ghosts are tied to things other than bones. Sometimes there was like, a secret bone that we missed, or the thing was something other than a ghost, et cetera. Man, I lost track of how many excuses they came up with, why burning the bones didn’t work. It was just very funny to me to watch Sam and Dean be extremely confident that it would work this time. 


Wes: Because they love that shot, of those two very attractive gentlemen standing there, pensively staring down at a pile of bones, and then they just casually toss the world’s largest match into it.

Chris: Also, you got to see them grave digging. 

Wes: That’s right. [laughs] Okay. So, great. Ghosts, okay, unfinished business, maybe they’re there from like a horrible death. Maybe they’re attached to some kind of item. Maybe they’re attached to the fulfillment of some kind of quest. Or maybe they’re just cursed. But they’re pretty fun to use in stories because they bring in all kinds of weird elements. 

Are they incorporeal, fully or not? Or is it like the movie Ghost, where you can learn to push things with your ghost…brain? I don’t really know. It’s creepy and weird, but it’s great. Ghosts are often tied to emotions or particular memories or events, which could help inform location, or I don’t know, backstory. Or your world, or something like that.

Oren: The ghost of last week’s podcast.

Wes: The ghost of last week’s podcast haunts us to this day. I also just kind of like that ghosts can be as dark as you want. They don’t have to be super horrific. They can just be lighthearted Caspers, if you really want them to. 

Oren: Ghosts do have a number of storytelling advantages, right? I mean, the fact that the tropes that they come equipped with often revolve around some kind of strong emotion, you know, that’s great for drama. Whether it’s like, ‘I was tragically murdered,’ or, ‘I died before I could make sure that my beloved puppy was cared for,’ or something. 

It gives you a reason to go into backstory. It gives you a reason for drama. So ghosts have an advantage there. Ghosts are also, as enemies, very flexible and can kind of do whatever, for a lot of authors. And so that’s where like, haunted house movies come from where it’s, ‘Look, today, the ghost can come out of your bathtub. And then in the next movie, they can come out of a closet or something.’ Right. They do a lot of things.

Chris: The thing about ghosts is the logic behind ghost behavior is often very loose. And I think it’s okay, for the most part, as long as you can explain it as some kind of emotional outburst. But there are some situations when what they do just doesn’t make any rational sense, given their motivation.

Oren: This is why ghosts don’t make very good protagonists, in my experience. It’s not like there aren’t any stories with ghost protagonists, but they’re pretty rare. And I think one of the reasons is that theoretically, a default ghost is basically invincible to anything other than a very high-magic enemy who has anti-ghost magic or what have you.

So if the ghost can do the things a ghost can normally do, they’re just too powerful as a protagonist. And so they have to get stuck with so many limits that they don’t really work as a protagonist anymore. So friendly ghosts tend to be side characters who are stuck in one place and can’t leave it, or have so many limits on what they can do that they can’t really affect the plot very well. Or are inherently irrational because of some emotional ghost magic that makes it so they have to keep doing the same thing over and over again. None of these things really work for a protagonist in most stories. 

Chris: And there are stories where you have the loved one that appears some point during the end. But then you got to ask, ‘Okay, so why couldn’t you be here before giving me free information?’

Wes: It’s a very selective ghost.

Chris: One example of weird ghost logic that is partly attributed to a protagonist in Mystwick, the school of musical magic, the main character has a ghost that’s just haunting her and basically doing mischief that sort of makes it so that she looks bad and all of her music classes and everything like that. And at one point, it spells out ‘poser’ just to torment her, which to be fair, she kind of is. 

Oren: Oh yeah, she definitely is a poser. 


Chris: She cheated her way into the school. That’s one of the problems with this book. There are people waiting to get into the school. And she managed to cheat her way in, but she’s taking a spot somebody else should have. [laughs] But then we find out that this is actually a friendly ghost that was just trying to spell ‘composer’ and just trying to warn her by terrorizing her in her classes. And it’s like, okay, sure, Mystwick. Sure. 

Oren: In that situation, if you look at the abilities this ghost has, and then the motivation that it has, it could clearly have warned her in a much more effective manner than it chose to. And they decided not to have this ghost feel weird and emotionally irrational, which is how you usually explain that. 

Like, that’s how you explain why villain ghosts don’t just kill the protagonist in the first scene, because given what we can see most villain ghosts do, it wouldn’t be hard, but we don’t want them to do that. We want them to spook the protagonist and then leave. And that just doesn’t work as well when it’s a friendly ally character.

Chris: Ghosts are so often associated with places, it seems what happens is we see a creepy place and we want a reason to be scared of it. So we’re like, ‘Okay, well maybe it could get us cause there’s a ghost here. And that’s why that abandoned playground is going to hurt us.’ We’re just creeped out by the abandoned things and things that remind us of death.

Oren: I saw this, one of many, viral social media posts, that was supposedly by this woman who was like, ‘Oh my god, guys, we almost bought this house that was clearly haunted, and good thing my husband saved me from making that terrible mistake.’ And, first of all, this is obviously fake. But people were sharing it seemingly very sincerely. And I was like, if this was real, those people let themselves get talked out of a very good deal or talked themselves out of a very good deal. Because that sounded like a really expensive house that they were offering you for very little money.


Chris: But Oren, that’s how every ghost movie starts. 

Oren: It is. So, spoiler alert, if someone offers you a house that is really good and suspiciously cheap, it’s probably because there’s some secret damage you haven’t seen. So hire a home inspector. 

Chris: Yeah, hire a home inspector, stat. 

Wes: The ghost was broken pipes all along. 


Oren: If you don’t find one, then take the house, please. If by some chance there is a ghost, even better. 

Chris: Yeah. You can sell tickets to that. 

Oren: Sell tickets. You know how much people who actually investigate ghosts will pay you for that? Just get everyone in here. It’s great. The profit potential is unimaginable. 

Chris: Plus all of the haunted houses in movies are so cool. Like they’re these beautiful Victorian houses that have other cool, unique things about them. Definitely houses I would want to live in. 

Oren: I’ve noticed something, and maybe this is just a role-playing problem, but whenever I do a campaign involving ghosts, I often struggle to figure out what the climactic confrontation is going to be. Because the default is, well, you have to find whatever thing it is that ties the ghost to the world, if it’s a hostile ghost. And you have to destroy that. 

But my players are all so onto that, I have to work really hard to make it a thing that both seems thematically appropriate and also isn’t something they just immediately spot in the first scene and destroy it. [laughter] I don’t know if ghost readers are going to have that same problem, but I feel like that has been done a lot.

Wes: Yeah. I think ghosts are attached to the world of the living by something. And I think that’s flexible enough, like the item, sure. I really like the ghosts in the movie, Stardust. The brothers. They are basically attached to the fulfillment of the line of succession. They exist until there’s only one of them left to take over the king ship or whatever. I thought that was kind of a fun way to do it. They don’t really matter at all to the story, they’re just in there for comic relief. 

Chris: Hey, at least they’re not getting in the way of the protagonist. 

Wes: Very true. I liked that, I guess, quest attachment, just to go along for the ride and we’re there. So next time you can litter a room full of items Oren, but then really this ghost just actually needs to get over to Waterdeep and set up a shop and sell chocolate.

Chris: The thing I like about ghosts is the built-in mystery that often comes with them. Which person is this a ghost of? Why didn’t they move on? What do they want, what happened to them? And some of those things can be really fun and that’s the fun part of them. Not, ‘Okay, what do we do with it? Well, let’s find its bones and burn them.’

So I personally think that they work better when you have to actually solve the mystery. To get the ghost to move on, or maybe just get the ghost to calm down. Maybe the ghost will stop murdering people if you send it’s murderer to justice.

Oren: Yeah, that’s more of a behavioral thing where you have to do something. It’s not, find the quest object and put the quest object in the destroy box.

Chris: Yeah. Although I have to say, I also liked the Nancy Drew subversion of this, where there’s this notable sea goddess who turns out to be a ghost. And they’re like, ‘Oh, look, she’s really angry at us, but we can solve her murder.’ And it turns out, no, she doesn’t want you to solve her murder. She doesn’t care about that. She’s just vengeful. 

Oren: She just doesn’t like you. She’s just rude. 

Wes: Is that not the definition of a poltergeist? A poltergeist is a ghost that has no memory of death, nor a reason for sticking around other than spite. ‘Well, I don’t really care, but I’m going to bother as many people as I can.’

Chris: Is the poltergeist a sandwich? That’s the question I would ask.

Oren: The specifics will change, but generally what defines a poltergeist is that they are especially violent. They’re not always violent towards people. Sometimes they just break things, but they’re destructive, is usually what’s going on with a poltergeist.

And sometimes you can make a Poltergeist calm down by solving it’s murder or showing it that its beloved puppy is fine or things like that. So it’s not like that doesn’t work with a poltergeist. Poltergeist is mostly just an aesthetic. Do you want a creepy ghost figure standing on the water or do you want an angry screaming incorporeal child running through your house, breaking things?

Chris: In this particular Nancy Drew storyline, this ghost was basically framed as a sea spirit, who they actually made a deal with, much like you’d make a deal with some kind of trickster spirit. ‘Hey, we’ll give you this if you give us that.’ And that deal went sour, which is why she was angry with them. So that’s too calculated, I think, for what is associated with a Poltergeist, which are more just throwing things around for no reason.

Wes: Would you both like to play Ghost or No Ghost? 

Oren: [laughs] Yeah, give us some. 

Chris: Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s play Ghost or No Ghost. 

Wes: It’s December, so we’ll start with a Christmas story. Jacob Marley: ghost or no ghost?

Oren: Definitely a ghost. 

Chris: Yes, ghost. 

Wes: Okay. What about the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future? 

Chris: Not ghosts. 

Oren: Mmm, no. Not actually ghosts. I mean, they could be, right? Those could be people. But those are more spiritual embodiments. By modern definitions, I would not call those ghosts. 

Chris: Yeah, I would say they’re spirits, but it’s weird to call them ghosts. 

Oren: A ghost is a kind of spirit, but not all spirits are ghosts. 

Wes: Yes. There we go. It’s a thumb issue. [laughter] But Jacob Marley, sure, but he only gets to appear on the one night. He’s not really bound to anything. Other than, I guess he did used to be a person.

Chris: And he has a specific purpose that he has to fulfill. 

Wes: So then in Scrooge becoming a good person, do we figure that Marley is no longer a ghost, or out of hell, or… 

Oren: I mean, he started a chain of events, if you know what I mean. [laughter] The Christmas Carol is extremely vague on what happens to Marley. I’m pretty sure it has some dialogue about how it’s too late for him. So I have some issues with the afterlife justice system of being eternally damned for things you did during a finite mortal existence, but whatever, that’s how things work now. 

Wes: How about all these Force ghosts that exist in the Star Wars universe?

Oren: Yeah. Close enough. 

Chris: Yeah, ghosts. 

Wes: Okay. So does that suggest that the only people that are allowed to hang around as ghosts have to be Force-attuned? 

Oren: Basically, they have to be people that the studio executives are invested in having back in the movie despite being dead. Cause, you know, we started to hint that Han can do that in the last movie. Although you could argue that that was just a hallucination that Kylo Ren was seeing. Who knows. 

Chris: It does feel like the movies suggest that—again, they’re called Force ghosts, suggesting the Force is involved and the Force is basically Star Wars magic. So if a magic wielder is not the ghost, then it suggests some kind of special thing happened to imbue this person’s spirit with Force power? I don’t know. Midichlorians.

Wes: The answer.

Oren: I mean, I don’t think they’re ever actually called Force ghosts in the movies. I think that’s a term we came up with to describe them because it was a thing that Jedi could do with the explanation of Jedi or magic, but, you know, close enough.

Chris: Right, but it’s certainly suggestive that the magic worker is the one that does this. So it suggests you need magic for it to happen. But I don’t know. Maybe a Jedi did something to Han. [laughs] 

Wes: Yeah. Cause the third prequel has that line, near the end, where they nod at ‘Qui-Gon Jinn figured out how to do something important, Obi-Wan, so maybe you should figure out how to do it too, in case you die.’


Oren: Right, the extremely weird, Qui-Gon Jinn figured out how to do Force ghosts. It’s like, you guys couldn’t even get Liam Neeson back in the movie for that. 

Wes: Nope.

Oren: Just going to mention that it happened off screen. Yeah. That’s a thing. 

Wes: I guess us calling them Force ghosts is really just the power of aesthetic. It is shimmery and translucent, therefore, ghost. Wash our hands. 

Oren: It was always very funny to me that the prequels tried to establish that Force ghosts are a new thing. Because of course, like immediately all of the secondary source authors were like, ‘No, man, we’ve always had Force ghosts.’ And they were using Force ghosts all over the place, because it was a very useful storytelling trope. 

So there was no way they were going to give that up. It would have been like if the prequels established that, ‘Yeah, we only just invented lightsabers. So any Star Wars story that takes place before this date can’t have lightsabers.’ It’s like, imagine how well that would go down.

Wes: Oh man. [laughter] Let’s see, another one. I have two from Shakespeare. One is Hamlet’s dad, King Hamlet, AKA Ghost Hamlet. Is he a ghost? 

Oren: I think so? It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen Hamlet.

Chris: Does he actually appear to Hamlet? 

Wes: So that’s the thing. He shows up and says, ‘Hey, I got murdered. You have to avenge me.’ And then we never see him again. 

Chris: Is it questionable whether or not Hamlet is imagining him?

Wes: I think for us, yes. And I think there’s a nod to it, some gravekeepers see a ghost in a graveyard later, but I don’t think anybody else really notices that. So I don’t know. I’m on team ‘not really.’ Like, it’s just a plot contrivance. Hamlet needs a reason to go home and kill his uncle. And so he just says, ‘Oh, you’re my dad and you’re dead. So I’ll do that.’ 

Chris: So much of that story is focused on Hamlet’s internal struggle. 

Wes: Yeah.

Chris: That’s why I asked if maybe Hamlet imagined him, because it feels like it fits in the story much better if he was imagined by Hamlet. 

Wes: I think it does fit better, which makes me think it’s really not a ghost. But then he’s privy to privileged information, otherwise he’d have no way to know that his dad was killed in such a way.

Chris: Yeah, sounds like a ghost to me. 

Wes: Oh boy. 

Oren: Okay. All right guys. As an expert in sandwich discourse, I’m going to go ahead and put the final nail on this one. First, it can be both a ghost and a plot contrivance. Many ghosts are very contrived. Supernatural exists as proof. And I would argue that it’s a ghost, regardless of whether it’s imaginary or real.

Chris: It’s an imaginary ghost.

Wes: Oh, man. [laughs] 

Oren: Yeah, it’s an imaginary ghost or a real ghost. It’s still a ghost either way. 

Wes: I think you win.

Oren: I would like my ghost fries now, please. 


Chris: That’s fine. Okay. It’s a ghost.

Wes: Well then, all the rest that I’m going to list here are ghosts for sure. But anyway, they’re fun to still talk about. The other Shakespeare example is in Macbeth, his friend Banquo appears to him in the room while he’s entertaining guests and stuff. And I just, I like the ghost as guilt personified in that kind of way. He knows he’s guilty and the ghost is just casually haunting him, not really doing anything other than just staring at him, hanging out, looking around. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Oren: It’s fine. Whatever. 

Chris: But Wes, I noticed in your notes that you had The Good Place on your list, and I would argue not ghost. 

Wes: Yeah, I’m fine with that. 

Chris: Eleanor and Chidi are not ghosts in my opinion. 

Oren: They meet some of the criteria, but in execution, they’re just decidedly un-ghostlike.

Chris: I just don’t think that they count as ghosts when they’re in an afterlife world where everything is normal.

Wes: Yeah. They have to be present. 

Oren: Yeah. They’re clearly corporeal, and even when they come back, well, they’re just alive again now. Right? I wouldn’t describe them as ghosts. 

Chris: I think one of the associations with ghosts is that they’re some kind of aberration. That they’re unusual and sort of from a different reality, or not really supposed to be here, or an old echo or something.

Not that they’re just walking around as a normal part of—and if you have an afterlife where there’s just people who live there and they seem to be corporeal, even if they technically died and are technically souls, I think calling them ghosts at that point just doesn’t seem to fit. 

Wes: Doesn’t quite fit. 

Oren: The closest I can think of to a story about corporeal characters who I might be convinced to call ghosts is Dead Like Me, which is about grim reapers, which are kind of their own thing. Grim reapers could be ghosts, but in this case, they’re in charge of taking the souls of the dead and sending them on to wherever. But they get bodies again. For awhile, they’re ghostly, and then they get put back into bodies. 

First of all, they look different to everybody else. They don’t look like themselves. They are played by much uglier actors when other people look at them, which is a strange choice. But to me, I don’t know, there’s something ghostly about that. 

Chris: The fact that they still are associated with death, because they’re performing functions related to death. And they still feel like an aberration in the world.

Oren: You know what’s not a ghost story? Frankenstein. But it was apparently described as a ghost story for a while. 

Wes: I think they must’ve just meant ‘ghost’ to mean ‘scary’. Right? 

Chris: Yeah.

Wes: My next Ghost or Not Ghost are definitely ghosts, but I kind of liked the execution since we haven’t talked about it. In Lord of the Rings, there’s the King of the Dead and the Dead Men of Dunharrow that Aragon has to go get to slay everybody.

Chris: So we’re not talking about the Nazgul. 

Wes: No, not the Nazgul. That is a little different. But basically, the guys that looked like ghosts, the Aragorn goes and talks to, they’re green, they’re translucent. They abandoned their oath to Isildur, so he curses them and they’re doomed to haunt a bunch of places in Middle Earth until they fulfill their oath. So that says that I guess you can curse someone with unfinished business, making them a ghost. 


Oren: Joke’s on you, Isildur. I have plenty of unfinished business on my own. Ah! I have five manuscripts I’m not going to finish. 

Wes: I mean, if that’s the case, Elrond should have cursed Isildur until he threw the Ring into Mount Doom. His ghost could have just fulfilled that and we would’ve been fine. 

Oren: Maybe just do some judo on him. I feel like Elrond could probably have taken Isildur. That’s my theory.

Wes: Yeah, yeah, no question. 

Chris: Yeah…

Wes: But I thought that was kind of a fun one. They are oath breakers. That’s the lesson here. But I like the idea of cursing someone with unfinished business. Like, surprise. You’re a ghost now. 

Chris: It opens up a lot of questions though. Did they just die naturally and stick around as ghosts because they’re oath breakers? Did they all instantly die and then become ghosts? Did they have descendants somewhere, if they lived until the end of their life and then became ghosts? I just have lots of questions about this ghost society of entirely men.

Wes: And how Isildur had the power to even do that.

Oren: I mean, honestly, is being a ghost bad enough that you wouldn’t want that?

Wes: Hmm.

Oren: That’s one of the things about ghosts, is that ghosts don’t necessarily change the equation of death that much. Unless they are part of a complex system, like The Good Place. But in most cases, ghosts also don’t know what happens when they stop being ghosts.

I don’t know, if I could just be a ghost instead of rolling the dice on that one. Uh, maybe I’ll just be a ghost. How unpleasant is being a ghost? If it’s really bad, then, all right, no thanks. I’ll just go see what’s up. But if being a ghost is just being around, but being incorporeal, it’s like, I feel like I could make that work.


Chris: Especially when it comes to these Lord of the Rings cursed ghost society—first of all, if they don’t like being ghosts, why didn’t they just, I don’t know, fulfill an oath much, much earlier? I mean, what did they have to lose? They’re ghosts. They were supposed to come to battle, I think. And didn’t, but then they could have died, but as ghosts, they can’t die.

So why not just do it? And then if they like being ghosts, why come and help Aragorn? Why not just stay and hang out? My best theory is that they just got really bored cause they’re living in a desolate place and they’re just like, ‘Well, we’ve talked to each other for several centuries now, so…’

Oren: I can also explain this. I’m assuming, based on how eager they are to fulfill their oath, that being a ghost is bad. For some reason. I don’t know. Maybe there’s no good music. Maybe there’s only Ted Nugent music when you’re a ghost.

Chris: Is it that there was no other Gondor king for them to fulfill their oath to? 

Oren: That for a long time, but also, I’m pretty sure the Gondor Kings that were around before the line got lost, I think they were just keeping those ghosts in their back pocket for a rainy day. ‘Yeah. I mean, I could give you an opportunity to fulfill your oaths and stop being ghosts, but I’m not gonna, because I like having a strategic reserve of extremely overpowered ghosts. Gonna save those for a rainy day.’

It’d be like if your cruise missiles hated being cruise missiles and wanted to not be that anymore. And you’d be like, ‘No, I’m going to wait until I need something to shoot a cruise missile at. Sorry, man.’

Chris: But if they got in a battle, could they really stop the ghost from just showing up?

Oren: Pretty sure that he has to call for them. Otherwise they’re just doing free work. It’s how if you show up on a Saturday and just start working, at your work, your boss doesn’t have to pay you. [laughter] You know, they have to call you in. 

Chris: Right. But the assumption in employment is that they’re Monday through Friday, by default, you’re working. So as long as you show up on one of those days—

Oren: You know, Chris, those are clearly freelancers. Does it look like they have healthcare? 

Chris: [laughs] Well, their oath was to come and show up and fight. So why can’t they just show up and fight?

Oren: Maybe Gondor just made sure that they never find out whenever there’s a fight. Maybe they show up occasionally like, ‘Hey, you guys fighting?’ And the Gondor people are like, ‘Nah, nah, we’re not fighting. It’s fine. It’s cool. Don’t worry about it.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, okay. Well, we’re watching you.’

Wes: Fighting’s over you guys. We’re done. So, I think where we’ve landed is that pretty much, most things are ghosts, as long as there’s attachment. Which means hopefully all of your readers are ghosts following the exploits of your main characters around.

Oren We’re all ghosts here. 

Wes: We’re all ghosts here. But keep in mind that they can fit your story, any genre, appropriately, because they are just that flexible. They can be hilarious and they can be terrifying and they can also just be really sad contractors whose supervisor will not punch their time cards. 

Oren: I am saying we need a revolution to overthrow the kings of Gondor.

Wes: Yes. Agreed. 

Oren: And with that, we’re going to go ahead and end this podcast. For those of you at home. If anything we said piqued your interest, you can leave a comment on the website at

Before we go, I want to thank a few of our patrons. First, we have Kathy Ferguson who is a professor of political theory in Star Trek. Next, we have Ayman Jaber. He is an urban fantasy writer and a connoisseur of Marvel. And finally we have Danita Rambo and she lives at 

We’ll talk to you next week.

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