Wyrd Sisters Discussion *Spoilers*

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:36 pm

poohcarrot wrote:Tomjohn and the fool have to be related because they look like each other.

The fool's father and the queen are the parents of Tomjohn.

Therefore;

a. The fool's father is the father of both.
or
b. The Queen is the mother of both.
or
c. The fool's father AND the Queen are the parents of both.

I still think it's c.

The Queen, 18 years ago, before she got married to the king, could have had an affair with the fool's father and a baby could have been born.

Definitely not C Smartypants. Nanny birthed both lads from different mums, so Verence definitely 'issued' from the Fool's wife who was a staunch Royalist and named him after the King. I agree that Verence is older than Tomjon though :lol:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10479
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby theoldlibrarian » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:59 pm

I agree because wasn't the fool an adult at the start of the book before the time travel?
It is not enough to succeed, others must fail
-Gore Vidal
User avatar
theoldlibrarian
Member
 
Posts: 342
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:24 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby GrannyWeatherwax » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:00 pm

I've only recently started posting in the forums and so I'm coming into this discussion 5 pages late. Dotsie - thanks for the invitation to this forum.

Where to start
Shakespeare references - I think that if you don't know a bit of Shakespeare you would really miss a lot in Wyrd Sisters. If you think about it, Nanny Ogg could even be described as the perfect Shakespearean audience member. she loves a good joke and a lot of innuendo.

The witches - is Granny weatherwax really being that harsh with Magrat? When Magrat uses her 'natural' approach on the dungeon door Granny says 'wouldn't have thought of that myself' or something similar. praise like that from Granny would be highly valued because its so rarely given.

Nanny Ogg - I don't think she is as bland a character as some might think. One of the big roles Nanny plays is the bawdy relief from seriousness - just like in Shakespearean plays. The other big thing she does is save Granny from cackling. She almost like a 'good devil' on granny's shoulder reminding granny of what is important. When a witch as powerful as Granny weatherwax doesn't have someone like that around they turn into a Lilith de Tempscire.

the Tomjon / Verence II thing - i always thought that they had the same father - the fool. Now I'm just confused. :)

Typos and inconsistencies don't worry me too much. (bits of) the turtle moved and it made for a good storyline. I love the stories being told and the characters in those stories. the story is the thing and the whole of the thing. If i start over analysing it all I feel that I would be doing to Terry what has been done to Shakespeare i.e. over-analysed all the fun out of it.

cheers
Sue *hands protecting head, she ducks for cover* :D
User avatar
GrannyWeatherwax
New member
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:34 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby poohcarrot » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:12 pm

GrannyWeatherwax wrote:Nanny Ogg - I don't think she is as bland a character as some might think.

Hi Sue.

Who thinks that? :?
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
User avatar
poohcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 10425
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
Location: NOT The land of the risen Son!!

Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:17 pm

GrannyWeatherwax wrote:Nanny Ogg - I don't think she is as bland a character as some might think. One of the big roles Nanny plays is the bawdy relief from seriousness - just like in Shakespearean plays. The other big thing she does is save Granny from cackling. She almost like a 'good devil' on granny's shoulder reminding granny of what is important. When a witch as powerful as Granny weatherwax doesn't have someone like that around they turn into a Lilith de Tempscire.

Nanny Ogg - Falstaff with attitiude?

GrannyWeatherwax wrote:Sue *hands protecting head, she ducks for cover*

Don't worry - we only throw soft rotting fruit at those we disagree with, its not the drum here :lol:
"when the gods made sheep they must've left their brains in their other coat"
User avatar
Doughnut Jimmy
Member
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:51 pm

Postby GrannyWeatherwax » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:37 pm

Phew, that's a relief doughnut Jimmy.

I'm going to go and spend a bit of time in the 'how to' and FAQ' to work out the quote thingy.

I haven't used online chats like this since the days of MIRC and newsgroups (used to post to Alt.fan.pratchett back in the 90's).
User avatar
GrannyWeatherwax
New member
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:34 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:03 pm

Tony has explained a lot of it in the ask Stibbons thread in the Broken Drum, that's where I've learnt most of it :)
"when the gods made sheep they must've left their brains in their other coat"
User avatar
Doughnut Jimmy
Member
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:51 pm

Postby theoldlibrarian » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:42 am

On a separate matter, what do you think of Vitoller as a character?
I thought he was a brilliant creation and should of had a bigger role in the book or even series.
It is not enough to succeed, others must fail
-Gore Vidal
User avatar
theoldlibrarian
Member
 
Posts: 342
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:24 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby Tonyblack » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:59 am

I liked him as well, I could just imagine him. The whole troupe were pretty good and, rather like the Zoons in Equal Rites, I'd have liked to know more about them. :D
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28692
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby kakaze » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:55 am

swreader wrote:But, it's clear that Pratchett was working quickly, and making small errors (not caught by his publishers) at this stage. For example, Verence (as ghost) see the coach being pulled by his own horse go tearing out of the castle when he goes looking for the baby he believes is his son.
But one horse has turned into multiple horses by the time it arrives at where the witches are. And while Granny works the death of the primary confederate guard and sends him off to be a sailor, they all go home and apparently leave the coach and horses where they were meeting.


That's the way I read it as well, but it could also be read that the carriage is being pulled by his horse, in addition to others. Kinda odd way to write it though. :P

This is one of the errors I was thinking of:

Wyrd Sisters wrote: 'If you do confess,' said the duchess, 'you will merely be burned at the stake. And, please, no humorous remarks.'
'What false rumours?'
The duke closed his eyes, but the visions were still there 'Concerning the accidental death of the late King Verence.' he whispered hoarsely. The air swirled again.
Nanny sat with her head cocked to one side, as though listening to a voice only she could hear. Except that the duke was certain that he could hear something too, not exactly a voice, something like the distant sighing of the wind.
'Oh, I don't know nothing false,' she said. 'I know you stabbed him, and you gave him the dagger. It was at the top of the stairs.' She paused, head cocked, nodded, and added, 'Just by the suit of armour with the pike, and you said, "If it's to be done, it's better if it's done quickly", or something, and then you snatched the king's own dagger, the very same what is now lying on the floor, out of his belt and—'
'You lie! There were no witnesses. We made . . . there was nothing to witness! I heard someone in the dark, but there was no-one there! There couldn't have been anyone seeing anything!' screamed the duke. His wife scowled at him.
'Do shut up, Leonal,' she said. 'I think within these four walls we can dispense with that sort of thing.'
'Who told her? Did you tell her?'
'And calm down. No-one told her. She's a witch, for goodness sake, they find out about these things. Second glance, or something.'
'Sight,' said Nanny.
'Which you will not possess much longer, my good woman, unless you tell us who else knows and indeed, assist us on a number of other matters,' said the duchess grimly. 'And you will do so, believe me. I am skilled in these things.'
Granny glanced around the dungeon. It was beginning to get crowded. King Verence was bursting with such angry vitality that he was very nearly apparent, and was furiously trying to get a grip on a knife. But there were others behind – wavering, broken shapes, not exactly ghosts but memories, implanted in the very substances of the walls themselves by sheer pain and terror.
'My own dagger! The bastards! They killed me with my own dagger,' said the ghost of King Verence silently, raising his transparent arms and imploring the netherworld in general to witness this ultimate humiliation. 'Give me strength...'
'Yes,' said Nanny. 'It's worth a try.'
kakaze
Member
 
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:42 am

Postby Tonyblack » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:38 am

Oh yes, I'd forgotten the Granny/Nanny transposition in the dungeon. :wink:
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28692
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby swreader » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:20 am

I think the reason we’re all having such trouble with what is the real relationship between Verence (2) and TomJohn is that Pratchett was, in fact, slipshod in his plotting here—but it’s in the same tradition as Shakespeare’s contrived happy endings in the comedies and settings like "the seacoast of Bohemia". In all fairness, this is an early novel, and has a fair number of typos and mistakes. Pratchett was still writing two novels a year at this time, and I don’t think he paid the attention to structural details and the development of themes that he did in later novels. The real answer is that Pratchett screwed up on this technical detail, but it doesn't make it a less effective book--just not as good as the later ones.

It seems pretty clear to me from the text that since Nanny delivered both babies, and since she says that the Queen told her who TomJohn’s father was (the Old Fool), that the boys are half-brothers. The key that Pratchett uses to make the trick plausible is the resemblance of the two men—which if they are approximately the same age and have the same father—would makes sense.

But the math doesn’t work. The Fool (Vernence2) has been sent to school and has served at least for some period of time in the household of the Felmets. That means he probably is somewhere around 25 when TomJohn then aged something less than 2 was given to the Vitollers. He would thus have been around 40, but for Granny's trick with time. But this is a novel and the author needs the resemblance to bring about the denoument. Shakespeare would have understood perfectly.

One other thing I think is significant. Granny has the same drive to excel and to see herself as smarter than anyone else in this novel that she does in the later books. But here, Pratchett pokes a bit of fun at her. Not only does Magrat actually rescue Nanny with her magic on the door (while Granny is late getting there). And when Granny tries to put her spellcasting ability down—“Can’t see it working. I’d have tried the stones if it was me, but—“ Magrat’s spell works like crazy. Granny has to yell at them to run and take cover. And once the land insists on a king, Granny is insistent that TomJohn must be that King and has no doubt that she can make that happen, even if she has to cast a time spell to do it. And she refuses to believe he doesn't want to be King until he acts the king and commands her to bring Hwel to him. It is in fact Magrat and Nanny primarily who solve the problem, and Granny has to fall in and support them.

Pratchett never lets us forget, in this novel or any other, that Granny may be very wise and very powerful, but she can be wrong.
User avatar
swreader
Member
 
Posts: 806
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:39 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

Postby Tonyblack » Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:54 am

swreader wrote:


But the math doesn’t work. The Fool (Vernence2) has been sent to school and has served at least for some period of time in the household of the Felmets. That means he probably is somewhere around 25 when TomJohn then aged something less than 2 was given to the Vitollers. He would thus have been around 40, but for Granny's trick with time. But this is a novel and the author needs the resemblance to bring about the denoument. Shakespeare would have understood perfectly.

I think you're forgetting the 15 years the kingdom was taken into the future, Sharlene. Whatever age the Fool was when Tomjon was handed over to the Vitollers, he's not that much older (a couple of years it seems) when he meets Tomjon and the company in Ankh-Morpork, because he didn't leave to go there until after the witches had done there magic. :)
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28692
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby Dotsie » Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:22 am

Actually, wasn't Verence II's father missing somewhere? Hadn't he been gone for years? I can't remember at all. But he must have been around recently to get the Queen in the family way :?
What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
User avatar
Dotsie
Member
 
Posts: 9412
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:07 am

Postby Tonyblack » Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:30 am

Well the baby was around two years old when handed to the witches and it's mentioned that although Verence's father had left home, he used to turn up now and again "to visit old friends" - the suggestion being that he visited the queen. :)
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28692
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

PreviousNext

Return to Discworld novels

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests