Yesterday, I read about Hawking's new proposal regarding the firewall paradox. A more general thought about standard black holes occurred to me. Black holes including stellar black holes are of course always presented as if the event horizon is an invisible barrier, which the unfortunate astronaut is wont to cross in thought experiments rather unremarkably (perhaps to be incinerated immediately, or not, but at least getting there is unremarkable). In the thought experiments of course the outside of observer never sees the astronaut actually get to the event horizon because of gravitational time dilation. It is unclear to me why the same would not hold for the original collapsing mass itself. It seems runaway time dilation should occur the moment the seed singularity forms. I assume the singularity starts in the dense core and begins absorbing successive outer layers with the event horizon expanding outward. Why would an outside observer ever be able to see the end result and not a degenerate star just starting to implode? I'm not a specialist, though I do have a BS in physics, so perhaps I am missing something.