WOSSNAME -- MARCH 2009 -- PART 4 OF 6
- WOSSNAME -- MARCH 2009 -- PART 4 OF 6 (continued)
====Part 4 -- MORE BU DISCUSSION
27) BU NEWSROUND, CONTINUED
27) BU DISCUSSION: BRING ON THE BAD GUYS
I was talking to a few people at Nullus Anxietas (Aus DW Con) and we
realised that Terry kills his Bad Guys in quite 'no way they're
coming back' methods. I'm not talking about characters like Rust -
he's not evil, he's just a Aristocrat of the worst kind.
Lord Hong - Explosion
The Duchess - Eaten by the forest
Cohen & The Silver Horde (he was going to kill all life on the disc
= bad guy) - Explosion
Reacher Gilt - Long Last Step (presumably)
Wolf - Explosion
Pterry doesn't need leftovers, he cooks 'em fresh every time! Slight
diversion -- it surprises me that the Long Step is still there, from
the time of the dragon I assume. Of course, Vetinari never gets rid
of anything he inherited in office, but I would have thought that a)
the damage would have seriously destabilized that part of the
building, and b) such a door would have a very limited number of
uses, even in a narrative context. Though the sweepers might have
found it handy. Or maybe he keeps it to remind him of the dangers of
dragons -- or to remind others? And I would bet good money that if
HE went through that door, he would have ready prepared a method of
doing so nonfatally.
"Let me just take this large sheet from my desk drawer, the one with
the strings hanging from it."
I dunno about sweepers. Would _you_ have the brazen pair to skimp on
cleaning up around Vetinari? I know _I_ wouldn't.
The Long Step isn't there the next time Moist visits in Making
Money: "Moist turned to Drumknott. 'May I borrow your pencil, Mr
Drumknott? Thank you.' He walked over to the door and opened it.
Then he cupped one hand to his ear, theatrically, and dropped the
pencil. 'Let's see how dee' Clik! The pencil bounced and rolled
on some quite solid-looking floorboards. Moist picked it up and
stared at it, and then walked slowly back to his chair. 'Didn't
there use to be a deep pit full of spikes down there?' he said.
"'I can't imagine why you would think that,' said Lord Vetinari."
I'm sure Vetinari has a portable deep pit full of spikes that can be
installed where needed at a moment's notice. Or even a portable
floor that can be removed where no longer needed on a similar
"I'm not talking about characters like Rust - he's not evil, he's
just a Aristocrat of the worst kind."
Which /is/ evil. He's just not the antagonist of any story -- the
closest he comes to are Jingo and Night Watch, where he is a minor
obstacle in Vimes' way.
"Lord Hong - Explosion. The Duchess - Eaten by the forest."
I don't believe we actually /saw/ her eaten though. Her body has
never been found (not canonically at least), she might have fought
her way out, and even if she was killed, well, she's just the sort
of person who could come back as a zombie for revenge.
"Cohen & The Silver Horde - Explosion"
Cohen and the Horde as bad guys??? Did you read a different "The
Last Hero" to me? The bad guys in that book were the Gods, not
Cohen. Yes, he might have /accidentally/ exterminated all life on
the Disc, but his motives were pure (blowing up the Disc's Gods
counts as community service). And he saved the day. Cohen is not a
lawful Good Guy, he's an agent of chaos, and nobody says he's
/nice/, so kidnapping bards and a certain amount of raping and
pillaging comes with the territory, although not so much of the
raping at his age. But he's still the Hero, and he acts heroically
at the end, when it counts.
(I think we can conclude from PTerry's treatment of Cohen that he
has a rather mixed view of the Hero.)
And considering that immediately after Cohen and the Horde were
blown up, they stole the Valkyries' horses, loudly proclaimed that
they weren't dead, flew off and set free the First Hero, Mazda, I
don't exactly see why you say they've been killed in a way that
prevents them coming back. Cohen may never be written in another
story, but that's because PTerry has moved on.
"Reacher Gilt - Long Last Step (presumably). Wolf - Explosion."
PTerry rarely writes the sort of story where the same characters go
up against each other over and over again. The closest he has is
the Queen of Elves and the Auditors of Reality, but they're not the
sort of characters that he can kill off -- the Auditors simply
/are/, in the context of the Discworld you can no more get rid of
them than we can get rid of space. Kill the Queen, and presumably
she has an heir, and possibly the King may be a little...peeved.
So it's probably better that Granny didn't kill the Queen. Besides,
what would be the point, how would she know she lost if she was
But even then, note that Granny has fought the Queen once, the
Wizards have fought her (in a manner of speaking) once, and Tiffany
fought her once. PTerry doesn't do sequels as such: he doesn't
write the same story twice.
Other villains who haven't been killed off in the books:
* the Magpyrs
* most of the various people who have plotted against Vetinari over
the years, in various books (including Lord de Worde)
* Coin (not so much a villain himself, but awfully dangerous)
* the Things From The Dungeon Dimensions
* the political leaderships of Borogravia and Klatch
* the Deep Downer dwarfs
* Dragon King of Arms
* Lily Weatherwax
"The Long Step isn't there the next time Moist visits..."
Surely you've heard of trap doors? When the Patrician wants the Long
Step, a door in the floor opens up and its there, and when he
doesn't, it's perfectly safe. He probably has the finest Dwarf
engineers keep it maintained.
Almost all the villians are neutralised in one way or another.
The Magpyrs are no longer a threat - the Count is back.
Most of the minor plotters against Vetinari were being puppet
mastered by Vetinari anyway - sure a Free Press (The Truth) may
take a little power away from Vetinari, but it takes power away
from all the big players.
Dungeon Dimensions - sock full of sand
Bel left in a hurry and closed the doorway behind it.
The Klatchian prince got overthrown and probably met up with 71 Hour
The Borogravian situation is fixed (for now) - he did send the Duke
of Ankh to fix it.
Deep Downer Dwarves were resolved with 'THAT'S NOT MY MOO COW!' and
the Low King regaining full control.
Dragon King of Arms ends the novel in the Palace Dungeons - and with
his power base destroyed.
Knowing Dragon King - and Vetinari's liking for the traditional A-M
infrastructure to stay in one piece (relatively speaking) - I doubt
he was there for long. Possibly a verbal slap and a Look from his
lordship. And for all that Vimes' burning of the records was a
dramatic gesture, surely Dragon King, after so very long in the
job, would at least have copies of everything stowed away somewhere
BTW, seeing as how alt-books-pratchett seems to be dead in the water
(and alt.fan.pratchett is beneath mentioning), it's amusing and
rather sweet to see actual Discworld discussion taking place on
"Almost all the villians are neutralised in one way or another."
Well, of course they are, in /some/ sense, otherwise the story
wouldn't be over. But you specifically mentioned that PTerry killed
off his villains so they couldn't come back. That's true for some
of them (e.g. Teatime, Lord Hong) but not so much for the others. A
less imaginative author could (e.g.) have the Magpyrs gang up on
the old Count and stake him, then go looking for Granny Weatherwax
for revenge. Or Lily Weatherwax could find her way out of the
mirrors. (Actually, I'd pay to read that last one.)
"Most of the minor plotters against Vetinari were being puppet
mastered by Vetinari anyway..."
I don't think Vetinari engineered to have himself poisoned with
arsenic, or shot, or hit on the head and framed for robbery and
attempted murder. I'm sure once events were in motion, Vetinari was
very good at manipulating events to his benefit, but he's not
immune to having holes poked in him by small lead slugs, and he now
walks with a limp.
And could come back. At least, in a lesser writer, he could come
back -- I'd be very surprised if PTerry had anything more to say
"Dungeon Dimensions - sock full of sand."
PTerry has said that he's run out of things to say about the Dungeon
Dimensions. It's a pastiche and parody of fantasy monsters, but not
"Deep Downer Dwarves were resolved with 'THAT'S NOT MY MOO COW!' and
the Low King regaining full control."
I think you have misunderstood Dwarf politics. The Low King already
had full control, of the Dwarfs who acknowledge his authority. The
Deep Downers don't, and there's no reason to believe that the ones
who went to Ankh-Morpork are /all/ the Deep Downers. The analogy
with Roundworld politics isn't exact, but I look at it kinda like
this...in theory all Islamic nations are supposed to merge under
the control of the Caliph. The Low King is like the Caliph. If
you've read your history, you'll know that there have been plenty
of historical periods where the supposedly subordinate kings have
told the Caliph "I've got a bigger army than you", figuratively
To put it another way...remember in The Fifth Elephant when the Low
King's political opponent went along with the charade that the
replica Scone of Stone was the original? The Low King made a
comment about Albrecht Albrechtson disagreeing about who should
captain the boat, not sink it. I suspect that, if Round World
politics is any guide, there are plenty of Deep Downers who would
be prepared to sink the boat, and remember that as crusty and
conservative as Albrechtson is, he's not a Deep Downer. Even he is
not endarkened enough for their liking.
"Dragon King of Arms ends the novel in the Palace Dungeons..."
He's a rich, powerful, ancient vampire with lots of friends, or at
least minions. Vetinari will be watching him now, and as Vimes
fantasied, the time might come that a very, very skillful assassin
would be sent out on a mission with a wooden stake and a bottle of
holy water. But if that has happened, we haven't seen it, so it
isn't canon, and the possibility of him making trouble is still
The Pratchetts are a game-playing family -- perhaps if he doesn't
kill "the boss" Pterry doesn't feel he has properly finished the
book. The [L-space] "death lists" are a handy (if incomplete)
reference for who got 'done' and how.
End of Part 4, continued on part 5 of 6.
If you did not get all six parts, write: interact@...
Copyright (c) 2009 by Klatchian Foreign Legion