Polls: Who is August W. Booth, and what does his name mean?

Update 9/20/12: This post contains polls taken before the show revealed the identity of the mysterious stranger August W. Booth. Now we know who he is — see the recap for episode 20, The Stranger.

Even though we now know August’s fairytale identity, there hasn’t yet been any explanation of what the name “August W. Booth” itself actually means. “August Wayne Booth” does anagram to “Snow, a tough beauty,” for whatever that is worth. At this point, I think the name is most likely a nod to Wayne Booth (creator of the term “unreliable narrator”), as a reference to the lies that August has told. But if so, what does “August” stand for?

Original post below:

These four polls are about August W. Booth, aka the Mysterious Stranger, aka the guy in the black leather jacket.

The choices in the polls come from some of the theories suggested in previous comment sections, plus a few more I added. I tried to give credit, where I could, to the first person who posted each theory. Thank you to everyone who shared their ideas!

If you have more ideas or want to elaborate on existing ones, please leave a comment below.
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Update March 4, 2012, 8:00 PM Eastern time (right before “Dreamy” aired)

The polls are now closed!

Summary of results:

A large majority of the voters (74 percent) thought that August W. Booth was the author of Henry’s original book.

The vote was closer on the question of whether August W. Booth will be Emma’s true love, with 57 percent voting yes and 43 percent voting no. This vote was neck-in-neck for several days, but then the “yes” votes started taking the lead in the end.

The poll asking “Who is August W. Booth?” had 12 choices. The clear winner is he is one of the Grimm brothers, which got 26 percent of the vote. Other popular answers are that he is Rumpelstiltskin’s son (15 percent), Henry, grown up (11 percent), “Other” (10 percent), someone who has always been hiding in Storybrooke (9 percent), and Pinocchio (8 percent).

The question about the meaning of August W. Booth’s name had eight choices. The top three answers were very close: That his name refers to Wayne Booth, the literary critic who coined the term “unreliable narrator” (24 percent); that it is an anagram (24 percent); and “Other” (23 percent). In fourth place was that “booth” (meaning a temporary shelter) referred to the wardrobe where the newborn Emma was placed (16 percent).

The comment section is still open, so please post if you’d like to discuss any of the theories.

I’m looking forward to finding out the answers and seeing how we did! In the PaleyFest panel discussion on March 4, the show’s producers said that we would find out the truth about Booth sometime this season.





The original comments, and more, are from the comments to the recap posts for Episode 10, Episode 11, and Episode 13.

I’ll close the polls to voting before the next episode begins (which will be on March 4), in case that episode contains any of the answers. Then we can see how good we are at guessing!

29 responses to “Polls: Who is August W. Booth, and what does his name mean?

  1. I think AWB (August Wayne Booth) will be a love interest for Emma for the balance of the season, but as the producers/writers are probably planning for 4 or 5 seasons, Booth will either die or leave Storybrooke in season 2 or 3.

    • That would be pretty sad if every man Emma loves dies! First Graham, then Booth, then … whoever comes next? But I agree the show will need dramatic tension in future years. Maybe the writers could just throw some obstacles in the couple’s path (assuming they do turn out to be a couple).

  2. I was thinking Booth is the boy who found Emma on the road. I don’t recall the article on that story showing his name so I don’t know if that’s possible for sure. Whoever he is, I wish they’d hurry and start giving us some more clues, besides the fact that he’s a writer and he’s interested in the book. If that is future Henry it would make sense on how he knew where to find the book. But then there’s the question how did he get there? Did he get transported with the cast of Lost during their last two seasons of time travel?

    • That ties into my theory of August being Pinocchio. In the pilot, Geppetto says he and his wife always wanted a child (in the jail scene) so we know Pinocchio is not in Storybrook. August has stated he doesn’t like to lie. A boy was there to protect baby Emma and found her, what if Geppetto, who made the curse saving tree, put the Pinocchio puppet boy in the tree, too? The way they twist and turn the fairy tales they could easily spin that Pinocchio was outside of the curse, too.

      We still don’t know how Rumpelstiltskin retained his power and memory. What if he had something to do with that, too? He hates Regina, so it goes to the story that he would have had a way out so perhaps he had a hand in this, as well?

    • wow! good points! the boy who found emma was 7 i believe so that makes sense. but it also makes sense that it could be old henry since he knew where to find the book. but no matter what, i’m glad we’re finding out he wants everyone to know the truth, aka he’s good not evil. i think it’s also plausible he could be a grim brother though because of the type writer. it’s also interesting that he can enter and leave storybook land.

  3. If his nose starts bleeding, we’ll know he’s in trouble. We’ll know we’re in trouble too because we will have to live through another time-travel plot. 😉

    I like the idea of his being the boy who found the infant Emma. That’s a really good theory. I think Booth has some significant connection to Emma, some relation to her in the past. It makes sense that it would be something that happened while she was a child, since she doesn’t recognize him now.

  4. I think that he is Pinocchio and let me explain why. In the traditional story, Pinnochio is originally made of wood and then transformed into a human boy. It’s possible that, in the fairytale worls, he was made with the same wood as the wardrobe. Once he became a real boy, some of that magic was still in him, which means that he was not affected by the curse. Once he arrived in our world, he remembered everything. He found Emma by the side of the road and got older just like her. Now that he knows that she is in Storybrooke, he followed her there to help her remember the curse.
    Anyway, this is just a theory. But I love it!

  5. maybe not the answer we’re looking, but it’s also the anagram of “A Beauty Sought Won”

  6. If he is the narrator and his name is a reference to Wayne Booth, August could be something of a title (the august Wayne Booth). August can mean venerable, revered, or eminent and it is thought to derive from the Latin augustus meaning, “consecrated by the augurs, with favorable auguries” . Good omens.

  7. My theory on the August W Booth (the writer)
    We know that Snow admits to somehow being responsable for the Queen to hate her. And many people have mentioned she somehow made the Queen Loose a child. Could the writer be the queens child bannished from FT land and unknown to the Queen but with the knowledge of what was happening?

    It would be somewhat interesting to have the “love interest” of the person the Queen hats the most’s daughter be her own son.

    • I don’t think it had anything to do with a baby. Regina, in Fairy Tale form, explained to David (in his Genie form) that the reason she hates Snow is that she confided something to her and Snow told this secret to her father which made him hate Regina (this is Regina’s POV, however, so we don’t know if that was the truth).

  8. I think August w booth is Pinocchio. In the story of Pinocchio-Gepetto gives Pinocchio a book. PINOCCHIO sells the book to a PAWN SHOP dude so that he can have money to get into the puppet BOOTH. And Pinocchio and Gepetto are both swallowed by a (whale) and find each oTher -the Water brought back the thing Pinocchio lost.August’s necklace looks like a tree to me-as in the magic tree from which he and the cabinet were made.

  9. I believe August Booth is Pinocchio as well. I don’t believe he was THE wardrobe because there is a scene with Pinocchio in the Pilot where he is helping Gepetto create the wardrobe. I do believe that he was IN the wardrobe. The wardrobe could only hold one PERSON, but Pinocchio could have still been a puppet at the time and have been put in as well (hidden in the shadows perhaps?). How else could a seven year old boy have found a baby on the side of the road? (Seven-year-olds don’t just take strolls on the sides of roads!)

  10. To francise: Don’t you remember that only one person could go into the tree? It was Emma, and therefore Pinocchio could not have gone as well. I’m waiting for Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood to appear.

  11. pronounce the letter “W” it sounds double (2) u August is both rumpel’s son and pinocchio. Emma emphasized the W. when august told him his full name. No one else in storybrooke has 2 names. He is also the author of Henry’s book. If the tree was magic it knows everything and also pinocchio knew the story of the wardrobe and the curse. August probably will play a big part in Emma breaking the spell because Rumple designed it that way

  12. I really like your theory Lisa.

  13. People! August and Emma = no chemistry! I think Jefferson should be a love interest.

  14. My first thought was that he is Henri’s real father – as the first time he appeared on the show was when Emma reinforced the lie to Henri (that is father was a hero fireman who died in a fire). But then I have to ask myself – why wouldn’t Emma recognise him? – However in a tv show about magic anything can happen.

  15. Possum Snoodle

    August/Wayne/Booth = Noble/Cartwright/Carol (alt. sp. carrel) =
    Nobility, King, Knight/a craftsman who makes and repairs carts or things/Carroll = White Knight/Book repairer and Story editor/Lewis Carroll

    POSSIBLE IDENTITY = White Knight aka Lewis Carroll. Both, Knight and Writer/Editor are “Wrighters” of things, through their sword/pen. Which is mightier?

  16. I agree with the Lewis Carroll guess. Although I have to say that the whole dead leg thing definitely had me stuck on Pinocchio. In the episode last night he sold it that he was Rumple’s son but when it was revealed that he wasn’t and that he needed magic I went right back to Pinocchio, and I read the preview of the next couple episodes and clearly stated that Gepato works with another couple to keep their kids safe from the upcoming curse….So after all the confusion IT IS KNOWN! he is indeed Pinocchio!

  17. The older Henry idea was genius I never even thought of that :)

  18. I think the writers’ reason for going with the name “August W. Booth” is more simple. If you say the name with the middle initial several times quickly, it almost sounds like “Author of the Book”, which is justified by the fact that:
    1) He owns the typewriter with the exact same font as the font in the book
    2) After the storm when he stole the book, he added an additional story which sugguests he must be the creator of the book
    3) He’s hinted he’s been to Storybrooke before as he finds the place gives him writing inspiration
    4) And finally, it was August’s responsibility to teach Emma of her origins, but instead he abandoned her as a baby. He must’ve created the book (containing everything that he was meant to teach Emma) & returned to Storybrooke to ensure the book was passed onto Henry to figure out the truth (& in turn seek out Emma) which he could, as he was an open-minded child with an imagination that wasn’t limited by the curse, since technically he is 2 generations removed from the curse

  19. That makes a lot of sense. But if August wrote the book, how did Mary Margaret get it to give to Henry?

  20. Another theory making the rounds is that “Mysterious Man” — the guy in New York who got the “Broken” postcard at the beginning of episode 2×01 — is the author of the book.

What do you think?