30-days-of-Discworld

Day 18 - The scene, or book, which made you think.

(There are so many I could choose, but this one is as good as any.)

“There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment on the nature of sin, for example.”

“And what do they think? Against it, are they?”

“It is not as simple as that. It’s not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of grey.”

“Nope.”

“Pardon?”

“There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.”

“It’s a lot more complicated than that–”

“No it ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.”

“Oh, I’m sure there are worse crimes-”

“But they starts with thinking about people as things…”

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Discworld Meme, Day Eighteen; A Scene or Book Which Made You Think?

Most of them to be honest, but Night Watch (yes, again…)

“One of the hardest lessons of young Sam’s life had been finding out that the people in charge weren’t really in charge. It had been finding out that governments were not, on the whole, staffed by people who had a grip, and that plans were what people made instead of thinking.”

                    - Terry Pratchett, “Night Watch”

“Two types of people laugh at the law; those that break it and those that make it.”

                    - Terry Pratchett, “Night Watch”

“Against the dark screen of night, Vimes had a vision of Ankh-Morpork. It wasn’t a city, it was a process, a weight on the world that distorted the land for hundreds of miles around. People who’d never see it in their whole life nevertheless spent that life working for it. Thousands and thousands of green acres were part of it, forests were part of it. It drew in and consumed… and gave back the dung from its pens, and the soot from its chimneys, and steel, and saucepans, and all the tools by which its food was made. And also clothes, and fashions, and ideas, and interesting vices, songs, and knowledge, and something which, if looked at in the right light, was called civilisation. That was what civilisation meant. It meant the city.”

                    - Terry Pratchett, “Night Watch”

30 Days of Discworld - Day 1: Favourite male character.


His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh; Commander Sir Samuel Vimes.

Because he is a kick-ass, wonderful, honest bastard. He may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but by Io, he’s the straightest. (I just typed dwarf instead of drawer. That made it more awkward than it needed to be.)   I consider Thud! the climax of Vimes’s character. Yes, Thud! is the climax and then Snuff is the denouement, the happy-ever-after (at least for long enough). As Pratchett has said that Snuff is the last Vimes book, I cannot be happier that Vimes got an ending where he had a future and where he could be happy. Some days, at least. I admire him so much for what he achieved. He was a drunk and a fool and he became… well… Mister Vimes. I admire him for his fight with the darkness within and his never-ending battle to remain someone who could live with his conscience, and I think this struggle is something we can all identify with at some level. In Night Watch we see the boy that he was (obviously in contrast with the man he became). In Guards! Guards! we see the drunken captain, who has been damaged by seeing too much of life and policing. His drunkenness is psychologically accurate as the reaction someone with his personality could have after seeing all the things one should not have to see, I think. Then he becomes a husband and Commander and eventually a father. He has everything he knows he doesn’t deserve, but this exactly why he really deserves them so much. He doesn’t have entitlement illusions. He doesn’t think he is better than he really is. He is fully aware of what he is capable of and it terrifies him (see quote above). He is scruffy and often rude. He doesn’t respect authority, customs or beliefs. He hates everyone equally until he gets to know them better. He has a heart. He is fiercely protective of those he loves. He is as hard as dwarven steel, but can melt like butter on a hot day when he looks at his son. He is everything a real policeman should be. He is a real person. He is Vimes.  

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

- George R.R. Martin

Day 4 - Favourite minor character, female: Lady Myria LeJean

“A dry toast almost killed me,” said her ladyship. “Susan, can you imagine what it is like to experience taste for the first time? We built our bodies well. Oh, yes. Lots of taste buds. Even water is like wine. But chocolate…even the mind stops. There is nothing but the taste.” She sighed. “I imagine it is a wonderful way to die.”

– Lady Myria LeJean/Unity, Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett.

I thought she was a tragic character, but also loved her slow discovery of self-identity and learning to think and choose for herself. I always felt that Susan was a little mean to her, even though I do love Susan. 

It was all about the chocolate in the end. Yum.

Special mention: Perspicacia Tick, the Witch-Finder. Love her stealth hat, her escape artist skills and her dry humour when talking to Tiffany. 

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Day 30 - What is it that you love most about Discworld?

I’m going to cheat massively and say everything. But especially this picture of Sir Pterry with a duck on his head.

Death strode away, stopped, and came back. He pointed a skeletal finger at The Duck Man.

WHY, he said, ARE YOU WALKING AROUND WITH THAT DUCK?

“What duck?”

AH. SORRY.

30 Days of Discworld

Day Four - Favourite Minor Character, Female

Lady Sybil Vimes (nee Ramkin)

Quite frankly I don’t think ‘minor character’ does her justice in the slightest but if i were to start with that sort of thing I’d have nobody to write about for this section. So.

LADY SYBIL. Also known as the original Mother of Dragons, also known as the actual nicest person ever, also known as total HBIC.

Remember how she breeds animals that can burn you to a crisp and/or explode with a moment’s notice and she gives them all beautifully dorky names like “Lord Mountjoy Gayscale Talonthurt III of Ankh”?

Remember that time there was a huge dragon burning everyone to a crisp and she was just all “THINK OF THE RESEARCH!”?

Remember how she thinks that Nobby Nobbs is a fine, upstanding young(?) man(???)?

Remember that time she married Sam Vimes even though she was a total lady and he was a scruffy watchman?  'Cause let’s be real, she’s one of the most rich and powerful women in Ankh and if she had wanted any of the grody old lords or their sons or whatever, she could have had them. But she didn’t, because she is secretly an adorable romantic who wanted to marry for love and we all remember that time in Guards! Guards! where she thinks it’s Sam at the door and is all “Oooh Mister Captain!” (right before she tries to take out a guard with a broadsword. HAPPY SIGH).

Remember how she keeps in touch with basically every single one of her girlhood schoolmates, even the ones who are literal monsters? (lookin’ @ u, Serafine Von Uberwald) And then she proceeds to basically organize the entire world with those friends, via letters?

Remember that time she got locked in a room in a tower and she was like “FUCK THIS” and pulled the climbing-out-the-window-with-the-sheets trick? 

Remember how she negotiated a totally awesome trade deal on fat with the Low King because she had read all the literature and because Vimes was semi-conscious at the time and, let’s be honest, would have sucked at it anyway?

Remember how she took a small child to Koom fucking Valley like it was no big deal?

REMEMBER HOW GREAT SYBIL VIMES IS GUYS? WOW WHAT A LADY WOW

[art by Paul Kidby]

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Discworld Meme, Day Seven; Favourite Quote?

“‘I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are the good people and the bad people. You are wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.’”

         -  Lord Havelock Vetinari in Terry Pratchett’s “Guards! Guards!”

30 Days of Discworld

Day 2–Favourite female character

For a moment I was trying to decide between Sybil Ramkin, Tiffany Aching and Granny Weatherwax. Then I realized who it obviously is for me.

(Google didn’t have any official art, so have this one by lindbloem on Deviantart!)

Queen Magrat Garlick

Magrat’s character development arc is one of my favourite in all of Discworld, okay? Maybe because I identify very strongly with her. She’s pathetic and soppy and ineffectual and likes to read and can’t get people to listen to her or pay attention to her a lot of the time. And yet, she’s an extremely powerful witch. She has so much power and the only thing stopping her from using it is her. In the first book she appears in, Wyrd Sisters, she has enough power to bring the wood in a door back to life and make it grow. In Witches Abroad, when Granny Weatherwax adjusts her mind just a little to give her confidence, she becomes beautiful and powerful. She was always beautiful and powerful, but her own lack of confidence was holding her back. (I love the fact that earlier in the book, it says that Magrat put people in mind of “a small, furry animal”. When she’s cornered by the snake sisters later, the analogy continues, “the problem with small, furry animals in a corner is that, sometimes, they’re a mongoose.”) It isn’t even about magical power, but simple strength, and she has it, she just holds herself back from using it. Her beatdown of the snake sisters is surpassed by her truly epic beatdown of the elves and the Disc!Titania in Lords and Ladies. This is the reason that Lords and Ladies is one of my favourites. All Magrat needs is the little push of some (fake) armour to have confidence, and with it strength and power. When the Queen strips her down to the very barest core of herself, she kicks the Queen’s ASS. At her core is strength, and the only thing holding her back is her. She’s so much more confident in Carpe Jugulum, maybe because of the Disc’s narrativium shifting her to the role of “Mother” in the the trio for a while but I think mainly because of her character development. She’s spent more than a year by this point being a queen and a wife and therefore in charge, and now she’s a mother too, and she’s absolutely fearless in facing the vampires to protect her daughter. 

I love Magrat so, so much. She gives me strength. She’s absolutely fantastic and I love her. 

30 Days of Discworld

Day 23 - A scene you think is underappreciated

There’d been that man down in Spackle, the one that’d killed those little kids. The people'd sent for her and she’d looked at him and seen the guilt writhing in his head like a red worm, and then she’d taken them to his farm and showed them where to dig, and he’d thrown himself down and asked her for mercy, because he said he’d been drunk and it’d all been done in alcohol. 

Her words came back to her. She’d said, in sobriety: end it in hemp. 

And they’d dragged him off and hanged him in a hempen rope and she’d gone to watch because she owed him that much, and he’d cursed, which was unfair because hanging is a clean death, or at least cleaner than the one he’d have got if the villagers had dared defy her, and she’d seen the shadow of Death come for him, and then behind Death came the smaller, brighter figures, and then- 

In the darkness, the rocking chair creaked as it thundered back and forth. 

The villagers had said justice had been done, and she’d lost patience and told them to go home, then, and pray to whatever gods they believed in that it was never done to them. The smug mask of virtue triumphant could be almost as horrible as the face of wickedness revealed.

She shuddered at a memory. Almost as horrible, but not quite. 

The odd thing was, quite a lot of villagers had turned up to his funeral, and there had been mutterings from one or two people on the lines of, yes, well, but overall he wasn’t such a bad chap … and anyway, maybe she made him say it. And she’d got the dark looks.

- Carpe Jugulum

Do you guys remember that time Granny Weatherwax straight up had a dude hanged, because I do.

This is a fucking powerful scene because it reiterates a lot of what witching IS.

Because witching is a double-edged sword. Witching is being the person people turn to when hard decisions need to be made, and witching is making those decisions for people, and witching is deciding whether to take or spare a life, and witching is deciding all on your own what is just, and witching is seeing those decisions through, and witching is standing by even when people proceed to blame you for the decision they asked you to make for them. 

There is power; but there is no glory. You are not rewarded for this.

Witching is choices, and witching is deeply unforgiving, and witching will cut you right down to the bone and then tell you to handle it, and THAT is why it’s important that it isn’t just taught to every young lass who owns a pair of lacy black gloves with the fingers cut out.

WITCHING, GUYS.

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Okay, let’s get this show back on the road!

30 Days of Discworld - Day 10: Favourite TV adaptation (official stage adaptations also acceptable, if none of the former apply)?

I’ve only seen Going Postal, so I don’t have any choice but to pick that one. (I do love it though.)

I’ve never been able to find Hogfather or The Colour of Magic to watch them and I don’t live somewhere where people stage awesome things on stage.

Yes, Going Postal isn’t the book, but it doesn’t need to be. Anyway, I think it must be a pretty big nightmare to adapt a Discworld book for the big screen. They would probably work better in a TV-series. There are just so many locations and small details and characters and… differently normal races who would all need costumes and make-up and crazy random scenes that are just funny but don’t seem to have much further purpose. I mean, how do you pick what to put in the movie and what do you leave out? It’s sub-plots and footnotes and footnotes that have footnotes and, oh gosh, what do you put in and what do you leave out? Anyway, Going Postal has its faults and I don’t like one or two of the plot changes that much, but it is the little things about it that always catches my attention. For example, in the scene where Mr Groat takes Moist down to the locker room to meet Stanley (Ian Bonar did a brilliant job playing him, by the way), you can see the table with the white line painted across it and the salt cellar standing in its own demilitarized zone behind them. Or, when Sacharissa is standing at that stall, she is ordering two figgins. No one bothers to explain what a figgin is, it’s just there to amuse the book-fans. Or, the in-jokes in the graffiti. Or the random Morporkians just wandering everywhere in the back of scenes. I think, for the screen, the story is better off without the sub-plots and with the more streamlined chronology. That sort of thing works in a book, but not so much for the screen. It gets confusing. For the whole, Going Postal was very well cast and the sets and costumes looked really realistic. I’m very happy that people care enough about Discworld to make a quality adaptation. Also, Vetinari now for the first time has a voice in my head when I read his scenes…

Day 3 - Favourite minor character, male?

This is an almost impossible question given how many minor Discworld characters there are! So I’ve just picked a rather excellent one, sort of at random. Since I’m a book lover and have been known to indulge in librarian-ing - it’s The Librarian! 

This was partly due to how happy I was when I recently discovered that the Discworld Emporium’s bookshelves are presided over by a very large cuddly orangutan who had also dropped a few banana skins about the place.

Ook!

30 Days of Discworld

Day 15 - Favourite Recurring Character Set

The Lancre Witches

IT’S FINALLY HERE!

*RUBS HANDS TOGETHER EXCITEDLY*

Those of you who have been following me for… well, for any amount of time longer than a week, really, will know that I make no secret of the fact that this is the character set dearest to my heart.

Let me attempt to tell you why. I make no promises with regard to coherence, relevance or logical thought progression.

Keep reading

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Discworld Meme, Day Eleven; Favourite Actor?

Charles Dance as Lord Havelock Vetinari in “Going Postal”

He had the right presence of genius/awe and slight alarm, and it created the right atmosphere, it was brilliant.

“Well, you’ve made quite a splash. As the fish said to the man with the lead weight tied to his feet.”

Ridcully: Now, listen, magic is not some workman’s tool that you can hire out by the hour.”
Lord Vetinari: Just as well, because I wasn’t intending to pay you.”

Day 2 - Favourite female character? (previous:X)

.

Esmeralda Weatherwax. Do I need to say more? Okay here is a quote:

“But you ain’t part of it, are you?“ said Granny conversationally. "You try, but you always find yourself watchin’ yourself watchin’ people, eh? Never quite believin’ anything? Thinkin’ the wrong thoughts?” 

or

“People who didn’t need people needed people around to know that they were the kind of people who didn’t need people.” 



― Terry Pratchett, Maskerade

(I have used Vanessa Redgrav’s features as a basis of Granny)

The gentelman (gentlecat?) in the suit of course is Greebo

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30 Days of Discworld - Day 2: Favourite female character.

Tiffany Aching, witch. Tiffany Aching has been my favourite character ever since I first read The Wee Free Men a long time (in book years) ago. It is a strange little thing, but it is just how it happened. She is my favourite character because for the very first time in my life, when I read how the Kelda described her (quote above), it felt as though the author had taken a description of me and put it there on the page. When the Kelda described Tiffany, I felt as though I was reading her explaining me to myself. I’m the one who sits in the corner with a drink at a party. This has nothing to do with being stuck-up, though I do often wonder what goes on in people’s heads. How can their heads be so filled with fluff and then they talk about nothing but how cute babies are and who is now going out with whom. Anyway, I’m getting distracted. I meant to say, I sit in the corner because I cannot join in. I cannot act normal, like all those other people at the party. I cannot “melt and flow”. I cannot stop thinking. I absolutely suck at small talk. I hate the formulaic answers that people give when you inquire after their well-being. I feel like Tiffany Aching. Oh, there have been other characters that I have identified with over the years. There have been characters like Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Lucy Pevensie and so on that I could identify with on a certain level, whether it was something they did or something they went through. But there has never been another character like Tiffany to me. I didn’t know that other people felt the way that I felt, or would even be able to describe it, as I had not been able to do it before Tiffany. For example, when the Boston bombings were happening, I was sitting with my twitter open, watching it all unfold. I’d logged into twitter about 15 minutes after it had happened and that was where I learned that something was going on. I’d gone to tweet something, but instead I only sat and stared at all the things that was going by on my feed. It just kept scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. There were all these people saying stuff. Most were reacting with shock and sympathy for the victims. There were people reacting blindly in hate, prejudice and half-knowledge. These were people feeling things. I couldn’t feel anything. This has nothing to do with not being American. I couldn’t feel anything because I couldn’t stop thinking. And all I could see was this terrible, bitter irony playing itself out in front of me. This is what thinking too much does to you. It prevents you from reacting like a normal human being. This is the sort of thing that makes you use your own brother as monster bait. (I luckily for him don’t have a brother.) I’ve always had to be the one to keep it together while everyone else goes completely Bursar. I love watching Tiffany grow up over four books. I love her interaction with Preston. I would love to find a guy like him. Tiffany is a witch from the tip of her pointy hat to the toes of her too-large boots. A witch is someone who watches the borders and thinks things through and makes the hard decisions and steers and leads and protects. Witching is not about waving your hand and making things magically better for people, because witches give people what they need, not what they want. And witches think where others stop thinking. Now, if only I could stop thinking, and thinking about thinking about thinking…

Day 9 - Favourite scene?

The ending of A Hat Full of Sky. Mildly spoilery if you haven’t read the book!

She reached the place where four rusty iron wheels were half buried in the turf and a pot-bellied stove stood up from the grass. It made a useful seat.

Silence spread out around Tiffany, a living silence, while the sheep danced with the lambs and the world turned.

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

The words ran through TIffany’s mind as she watched the sheep, and she found herself fill up with joy – at the new lambs, at life, at everything. Joy is to fun what the deep sea is to a puddle. It’s a feeling inside that can hardly be contained. It came out as laughter.

“I’ve come back!” she announced, to the hills. “Better than I went!”

She snatched off the hat with the stars on it. It wasn’t a bad hat, for show, although the stars made it look like a toy. But it was never her hat. It couldn’t be. The only hat worth wearing was the one you made for yourself, not one you bought, not one you were given. Your own hat, for your own head. Your own future, not someone else’s.

She hurled the starry hat up as high as she could. The wind there caught it neatly. It tumbled for a moment and then was lifted by a gust and, swooping and spinning, sailed away across the downs and vanished for ever.

Then Tiffany made a hat out of the sky and sat on the old pot-bellied stove, listening to the wind around the horizons while the sun went down.

As the shadows lengthened, many small shapes crept out of the nearby mound and joined her in the sacred place, to watch. 

The sun set, which is everyday magic, and warm night came.

The hat filled up with stars…

Art by Pimienta on DeviantArt

30 Days of Discworld

Day Two - Favourite Female Character

Nanny Ogg

If you didn’t see this coming I can only ponder exactly WHICH rock you have been following this blog from underneath.

There are so many things I have to say about Gytha Ogg. I have probably said many of them before, and it’s entirely likely that I will say them again, and they will not suffer from repetition, because this woman is my dearest idol for a reason.

SO. Let’s talk about Gytha Ogg.

Keep reading

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Discworld Meme, Day Twenty-Two; Least favourite part of the series?

Soul Music (It is still good, just the weakest of a strong bunch.)

“The guitar screamed like an angel who had just discovered why it was on the wrong side. Sparks glittered on the strings.
Imp himself had his eyes shut and was holding the instrument close to his chest, like a soldier holding a spear at the port. It was hard to know who was playing what.
And still the music flooded out.
The Librarian’s hair was standing on end, all over his body. The ends crackled.
It made you want to kick down walls and ascend the sky on steps of  fire. It made you want to pull all the switches and throw all the levers and stick your fingers in the electric socket of the universe to see what happened next. It made you want to paint your bedroom wall black and cover it with posters.
Now various muscles on the Librarian’s body were twitching with the beat as the music earthed itself through him.
There was a small party of wizards in the corner. They were watching the performance with their mouths open.
And the beat strode on, and crackled from mind to mind, snapping its fingers and curling its lip.
Live music. Music with rocks in it, running wild …
Free at last! It leapt from head to head, crackling in through the ears and heading for the hindbrain. Some were more susceptible than others … closer to the beat …”

             - Terry Pratchett, “Soul Music”

“Unaccustomed feelings surged through him. He wanted to disobey! Disobey everything! Including the law of gravity. He was definitely not going to fold his clothes before going to bed! Ridcully was going to say, oh, you’re a rebel, are you, what are you rebelling against, and he’d say… he’d say something pretty damn memorable, that’s what he’d do! He was

But the Archchancellor had stalked off. ‘mumblemumblemumble,’ said the Dean defiantly, a rebel without a pause.”

             - Terry Pratchett, “Soul Music”

“Life wasn’t simple. She knew that; it was the Knowledge, which went with the job. There was the simple life of living things but that was, well… simple…

There were other kinds of life. Cities had life. Anthills and swarms of bees had life, a whole greater than the sum of the parts. Worlds had life. Gods had a life made up of the belief of their believers.

The universe danced toward life. Life was a remarkably common commodity. Anything sufficiently complicated seemed to get cut in for some, in the same way that anything massive enough got a generous helping of gravity. The universe had a definite tendency toward awareness. This suggested a certain subtle cruelty woven into the very fabric of space-time.

Perhaps even music could be alive, if it was old enough. Life is a habit.

People said: I can’t get that darn tune out of my head.

Not just a beat, but a heartbeat.

And anything alive wants to breed.”

             - Terry Pratchett, “Soul Music”

30 Days of Discworld - Day 7: Favourite quote.

The conversation between Granny Weatherwax and Mightily Oats on the nature of sin.   The conversation between Granny Weatherwax and Mightily Oats on the nature of sin. When I read this quote for the first time, it was one of those moments when I just sat and stared. I’d been thrown with a bucket of cold water and I just had to sit there and blink to get it out of my eyes. I might indulge in melodramatics to the point of saying that reading this quote turned my entire worldview upside down. It went so far as becoming the inspiration for one of my NaNoWriMo novels. Well, the starting point, at least. I don’t agree with the idea that the world is divided into black and white, because that really is just not accurate. That is just Granny Weatherwax’s uncompromising character talking there, though. However, the idea of people as things - the more I think about it, the truer it becomes. Racism is thinking of people different from you as things, rather than as real people. The same goes for the other -ism’s. You know, sexism and classism and so forth. As soon as you are thinking of other people as things without real feelings and ideas and agency, then you are taking away their humanity and that is wrong. As soon as you are thinking of yourself as not a real person who is allowed to have feelings and good moments and moments of error, then you are not giving yourself the treatment you deserve and that is wrong too. If you idolise someone to the point of not accepting their humanity and their flaws, you are also reducing them to a thing. If you steal from someone, you are reducing them to a thing that does not have the same right to its possessions that you, as a person, have. If you murder someone, or covet someone, you do the same… just replace “possessions” with “rights” or “choices” or whatever. That’s just my worldview. And it all stemmed from this quote. :) #yes there are so many shades of grey fifty shades to be precise :P