Carpe Jugulum Discussion *spoilers*

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Postby raisindot » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:15 pm

BTW, everyone, this is becoming a GREAT discussion thread! There must be something about Granny Weatherwax seems to bring the theorists and philosophers in everyone. She almost seems like a literary litmus test in some ways---we all create what we think is the Granny persona we prefer (or infer) and use the text to build a case.

Too bad we couldn't all do this in a "live" book group setting with mugs of scumble strewn about.

And we've barely even begun to talk about Nanny or Magrat yet! :D

J-I-B
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:12 pm

On the matter of turning and biting

Leaving Discworld out of it and looking at rather less arcane vampire canonical info :roll: For a vampire to turn somebody into a vampire (so someone like Countess Magpyr who didn't start out as a vampire) you have to be well and truly bitten - which Granny was of course. To be turned rather than 'just' killed, it's like when Louis (Pitt) gets bitten by Lestat (Cruise) in Interview with the Vampire. IN the 'original' Dracula tales I think you had to get bitten 3 times in as many nights or some such nonsense but the common denominator in this is that it must include some kind of transference between vamp and victim. Wiki is of some help here
wiki wrote:After Dracula learns of Van Helsing and the others' plot against him, he takes revenge by visiting—and biting— Mina at least three times. Dracula also feeds Mina his blood, creating a spiritual bond between them to control her. The only way to forestall this is to kill Dracula first. Mina slowly succumbs to the blood of the vampire that flows through her veins, switching back and forth from a state of consciousness to a state of semi-trance during which she is telepathically connected with Dracula. It is this connection that they start to use to deduce Dracula's movements. It is only possible to detect Dracula's surroundings when Mina is put under hypnosis by Van Helsing. This ability gradually gets weaker as the group makes their way to Dracula's castle.

So with the passages in CJ that pooh has referred to - we know that Granny asked and Agnes agreed that she was bitten. In Granny's case in Lancre it was more than enough to 'turn' her by the Count's/Terry's rules of engagement. In Agnes' case Vlad did bite her (a bit) and she did make the connection with Granny's blood being in the ascendent over the vampires, but Vlad didn't bite her hard enough or long enough to 'turn' her and he was anyway under Granny's influence so Agnes wouldn't have got turned into a vamp at all.

Everyone happy with that? :wink:

jeff wrote:If we want to get into absurb theorizing, one could flip around this theory of "pre-bite vampire influences" to claim that Granny's feeling of isolation made her subsconsciously want the vampires to come, and that made her send out headology telepathy that influenced Verence to invite the Magpyrs to the naming, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. :lol:
It was the Count making the magpies nick Granny's flashy gold invite wot did it after Verence had been stupid enough to invite them to Esme's naming day. :P

So... Nanny & Magrat? :twisted: With them we're seeing them in full flood at their best in single-minded mode. Nanny's mostly full on matriarch after having a half-hearted fiddle with being the other one and Magrat's still admirably showing her claws as Witch Queen and fiercely defending her young, whilst poor ole Verence is off getting pie-eyed with the Feegles. What it does show I suppose is that being too sure of who you are ain't always such a good thing around vampires? Someone should tell Buffy :lol:

Discuss :lol:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:15 pm

raisindot wrote:However I don't agree that it's the influence of the Count's mental telepathy at the beginning that caused thoughts of "evil Granny" to plague "normal Granny" at the beginning.


CJ page 202 wrote:The best one (the Count) nearly got me at the cottage. My cottage!
I've never felt anything like it, Gytha. He's had hundreds of years to get good.


Who's to say the Count didn't succeed? All that would have been needed was a little mind tweak.

Does anyone actually believe that not receiving an invitation effected Granny more than being targetted in her own cottage? :shock:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:20 am

pooh wrote:Does anyone actually believe that not receiving an invitation effected Granny more than being targetted in her own cottage?

It's a combination of being targetted and the invite, with the latter tipping the balance 'cos it's so personal to Granny.

Plus you're looking at it like a bloke pooh - not receiving an invitation was a huge insult and snub from both Magrat and Verence, because in a way they're Granny's family, especially Magrat. Just because Granny can come and go as she pleases doesn't mean she's immune to insults that becomes set rigid in the 'It's the pinciple' game - "I'm not going where I'm not welcome/wanted - I wouldn't want to impose... " :lol:

Didn't she more or less say that in the book - if she didn't I bet she said something v. similar... :wink:
Last edited by Jan Van Quirm on Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:35 am

An afterthought on that (again from a female PoV).

CJ's all about choices - choosing not to behave like a vampire, even if you are one; life and death choices; choosing your own path to grace through the petty word-chopping of people who supposedly 'share' your beliefs; being fat and sensible with a stroppy thin person inside trying to get out and cause trouble...

Granny's having to make choices all the time - how hurtful would it be to think she hadn't been chosen to go to an important family as well as national event in one of your best friend's life? So that's the lever for all the rest of the Magpyr's influences to feed on the anger, resentment and yes, insecurity or self-doubt, call it what you like. Then all the rest of being feeling unappreciated and uncared for when she does so much for everyone can gather momentum and leave Granny exposed to the Magpyr's poisons. :)
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Postby poohcarrot » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:06 pm

Dear Jano

Out of all TP's characters, I can't think of anyone who would suffer from self-doubt LESS than Granny. I can think of at least one self-doubt from Vetinari, Carrot's simple (not the same as stupid) so doesn't count, Death is always having self-doubts etc etc.

In L&L Granny says that witches don't need invites, they go where they please. Lancre is not a big place. How could she even think it possible that she wouldn't get an invite, unless her mind had been tweaked? Why did Lillith and Nana Alison go away?

(It's not bad that we're on page 6 of this thread and I haven't even mentioned religion once! :lol: )

Yours sincerely,

Petty Word-Chopper
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Postby raisindot » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:51 pm

poohcarrot wrote:Dear Jano

Out of all TP's characters, I can't think of anyone who would suffer from self-doubt LESS than Granny.

In L&L Granny says that witches don't need invites, they go where they please. Lancre is not a big place. How could she even think it possible that she wouldn't get an invite, unless her mind had been tweaked?


In Lords and Ladies (LL, thank you Pooh), Granny isn't as "invulnerable" as she seems. For much of the book, because of the Queen's influence, she is affected by an awareness of quantum realities, of the many different paths her life could have taken, including those where she dies or those where she ends up married to Ridcully. Yet, she only starts becoming affected by this 'quantum conundrum' after Ridcully comes to Lancre and stirs up thoughts of "what might have been."

At the end of LL, she does "choose" the life she currently wants, but even at the end she has a tiny bit of wistful thought about what might have been. Yet, would a 100% self-assured Granny even fall victim to these kinds of doubts? No way.

Granny is the most powerful witch there is, but this doesn't mean that she doesn't have personal conflicts that make her vulnerable to outside influences. In CJ the Vampyres could never have "gotten into her head" in the first place if there wasn't some well of vulnerability in Granny that they could exploit.

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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:24 pm

Dear Petty Word-Chopper, :lol:

What have you got against a plethora of factors affecting somebody's emotional tone and balance? Also why does Granny have to be this... ROBOT of a character who's never wrong, always winning and thinks her way around every obstacle before she even gets out of bed? :P

In fact - let's try it your way a minute because you may be onto why Carpe Jugulam is the last of the Coven books (so far) - Granny just got so perfect and powerful that nobody was ever going to be able to beat her and so maybe TERRY GOT BORED WITH THE OLD BAG because she'd have had nowhere else to go in terms of excellence. which in turn makes it all too easy and trite for her. How do heroes get to be heroes without a little bit of adversity along the way? She has to work for it a little bit else it's all "yeah, yeah she's Granny and when's the next joke coming up Terry?" :roll:

Your answer (which you have already had of course) is that Granny wasn't doubting herself at all over the lack of invite at first. She was ballistic with anger over not apparently getting one - she wanted to be invited like everyone else (except of course she was all along) and that's where the Magpyr's slid in and started their own chipping away at her sensibilities (rather than her common sense) which triggers all the out of character self-examination and soul-searching, which in turn make her behave differently to how she normally would and open to manipulation up until she's got the others to follow her to the gnarly ground.

Lily and Black Aliss - easy peasy. :roll: :lol: It's the power tripping. Granny can't be having with that. She's a community witch and looks after her own (even if they have to go to Genua or A-M). Why stay in a hick place like Lancre when you can wreak havoc in bigger places with more people, more accolades, more power? Granted Aliss maybe didn't mix much with people - that's more Lily's style but maybe Aliss had a different idea about power and got off on kicking Vampire ass more? They are rather fun after all... :lol:

Sincerely
JVQ

PS. Religion is a false premise on Discworld since the foundation of religion is belief and faith in the absence of proof. The Discworld gods (including Om) are real therefore belief and faith in them aren't needed. Neither are priests, as Blind Io etc can make their needs known perfectly well without any 'intercession'. Omnism, post the true Prophet Brutha, is in fact a purely human philosophic vehicle with a godhead tagged on for the look of things. But I'll argue with you about it if you really want.... :twisted: :lol:

Or we could both apply to join the Jesuits and really have some fun...? :twisted:
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Postby poohcarrot » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:22 pm

raisindot wrote:
Granny is the most powerful witch there is, but this doesn't mean that she doesn't have personal conflicts that make her vulnerable to outside influences. In CJ the Vampyres could never have "gotten into her head" in the first place if there wasn't some well of vulnerability in Granny that they could exploit.
J-I-B

Didn't I just say all that while talking about Dark Granny?

Dear Jan-i-pops

I agree with you. You are absolutely correct about everything. :P
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:04 am

Shut it smartypants word-chopper :lol:
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Postby poohcarrot » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:01 am

I do agree with you and I will expand on the reasons why, when I have some time. :P

It will involve my "Carrot Syndrome" theory and what TP's religious comments might mean.
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Postby swreader » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:11 am

We haven't had a chance to keep up with this thread for several days as I had a friend from Law School (now living in Alaska) stop on her way to a conference on Family Law in New Orleans. So, we've been doing a certain amount of the "visiting fireman" bit with guests, and then recovering from that. So, neither of us have read all of the last three pages, or jumped in on the discussion.

On the other hand, tonight we have just watched a two hour documentary which was shown on PBS, based on the Daniel Jonah Goldhagen book of last year called Worse than War. He explores examples of genocide, or as he calls it "Eliminationism" in the 20th century, pointing out that more people have been deliberately killed by forms of genocide in different parts of the world than in all the wars taking place in the 20th century.

The thing which came through so loudly was that the way one creates a nation or group who are willing executioners is to encourage them to think of the group as both less than human, and at the same time as a threat to one's own self interest. PTerry was writing this book during the Bosnia/Serb conflict (one explored in the program). And suddenly, Granny's comment, "And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things," as well as Lacrimossa and her father's comments that those they feed on are "meat" and deserve to be treated that way made me think--this is what Terry is writing about. The Vampires need to expand their kingdom and get rid of others (like the witches, the centaurs, etc.) who impede their quest to acquire more sources of meat to feed on. And whether you think of Rwanda, or Cambodia, or Bosnia, or Guatemala--this book is about much more than whether Granny is determined to show up the other witches, whether she is Machiavellian or humanist. Terry uses the witches, who guard the boarders and who make the hard decisions about life and death, to explore a question that needs consideration. How do we stop the killing?

The real question is not whether or not Vlad bit Agnes/Perdita (he did), but why Terry uses her in the way he does and leaves her to travel with the vampires to Escrow. There, Agnes/Perdita manage to get in one good blow before things begin to fall apart for the vampires. But it is important to consider what Escrow stands for and why it let itself be used as well as how it fits into the whole of the book.

I hope that you all are ready to stop re-hashing Granny and turn to other elements of the book by now. I'll have much more to say later (as will Tony I'm sure). But as Jeff said--this is probably the strongest book in some ways of the Pratchett novels because it deals most clear with the nature of good and evil.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:06 am

More than ready to leave the rotten biting aspect certainly. :lol:

Interesting you mention the 1990's genocide in Rwanda as that's a time that's definitely been glossed over in polite international circles - did you know that nearly 800,000 people were murdered in about 4 MONTHS there. Not using gas chambers or starving people to death in concentration camps, just pure unbridled racial/tribal hatred unleashed on a single section of society and often using knifes and machetes after they'd run out of bullets - against people who were neighbours and whose children had played together.

And yes, the 'meat' issue and Escrow's capitulation to the Count's rationalisation to enable a system which boils down to letting the vampires have a 'civilised' meal bears comparison with the Nazis coming to power between the world wars. Accepting strength, dynamism and social 're-structuring' to recarve functional nationhood and ignoring the terrible inhumane and prejudicial cost of that insane road. Rwanda was 'personal' at least in that the Tutsi had oppressed the Hutu for a century or more under Belgian rule. That's possibly a more 'rational' if emotionally hysterical trigger compared to the German and Polish death-camps which were far more frightening in that they were deliberately purpose-built and run very efficiently. Cold and reasoned like the Count. :shock:

The other thing about Carpe Jugulam is that it's a template for the rehabilitation of the vampires, both in Uberwald and, more importantly, in A-M in that traditional or mentally diseased vampires could not really function in Discworld unless they were neutralised in some manner. The Count is vital to this transition in that he categorically proves that all the surefire ways to repel or kill vampires are in effect learned behaviour and simply sloppy bad 'habits'. But he still wants his meat. Granny and the other Witches are in turn there to prove that they in fact don't need meat either and from there we get the next phase of vampire assimulation into mainstream Disc society with the Black Ribboners spear-headed by Lady Margalotta in Fifth Elephant and ending with Sam Vimes being able to countenance, if grudgingly, a vampire in the Watch. :wink:

Who needs religion when you can have racial dynamism! :twisted:
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Postby raisindot » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:41 am

poohcarrot wrote:
raisindot wrote:Does anyone actually believe that not receiving an invitation effected Granny more than being targetted in her own cottage? :shock:


If you back to the beginning of the book, you read that Granny had already been feeling more depressed and isolated than usual. According to Nanny, this had started as soon as Magrat had given birth. In Granny's mind, already full of resentment at which she feels are the Lancreans' lack of appreciation of her (possibly tinged with jealousy at Magrat, Nanny and Agnes for being socially integrated into the community), she sees herself being "outstead" from the traditional witches' 'trinity," and her belief that she has been 'snubbed' by not being invited to the naming cements this belief. It's all this--which happens before the vampires cross into Lancrean territory--that make her vulnerable to the first real "attack" of the vampire mental threats in her cottage--the attack that convinces her to escape to the cave.

So, yes, her feelings about Esme's birth, her fears of turning to the evil side, and her loneliness and feelings of being unappreciated, compounded by the lack of the invitation, make her vulnerable to giving in to the darkness. If she didn't already have these feelings, the vampires' mental attack in her cottage would never have had such a profound effect on her. Now, it's true that the Count was aware of Granny's inner conflict, and may have been able to sense these resentments from far away, but they existed long before they began their trek to Lancre.

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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:48 am

Shut it Raisindot! :lol: Well done - you made the exclusive club :wink:

The invite was stolen by magpies - ergo the vampires controlling the birds stole the golden card. All the internal insecurities were as usual buried deep and being ignored by Granny #1 until that point when she thought she'd been well and truly snubbed - then the undermining and manipulation was able to take hold :roll: :lol:
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