Are you a Vimes or Carrot (Wo)man?

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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:57 pm

WWGD (What Would Granny Do) would work as well. :lol:

The Christians would think the G stood for God.

Check out the bumper stickers HERE. :lol:

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Postby Broccolee » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:36 pm

That bumper sticker site is brilliant,thanks Tony! :D
Now I cant decide which one to have....
But I still like the idea of the WwVd sticker best,tell me if someone managed to actually make it!
It´s still magic even if you know how it´s done.
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Postby BaldJean » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:33 pm

Neither, nor. I am an Angua woman. And there even is a bit of werewolf slumbering inside me.
I don't quite agree with the view that Carrott's role is getting less important. His role in "Thud!" should not be underappreciated; he is the go-between for men and dwarfs. I do agree though that Vimes is definitely the character with more flavor to him. Or flavour, to use Pratchett's spelling.
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Postby Igor » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:01 pm

This might sound like blasphemy to some but I'd rather read a real book about Carrot than another one about Vimes. Vines is probably amongst the three best developed characters in the novels, and just about everyone in the Watch received some sort of characteristic upgrade since Men at Arms, with the notable exception of Carrot. Fifth Elephant was a good try but ended up to conservative in execution. It's as if Mr Pratchett either didn't know what to do with Carrot, which doesn't seem very likely, or had plans for him so big they could not be fit into a secondary story thread. Either way, while I'm not a Carrot man, I'm certainly and underdog man, so I instinctively root for the guy with less text lines behind him.

As a side note, the book I'd like to read is the one where someone, possibly Vimes or Angua, finally hits 'the steel door" behind Carrot's honest face. Mostly because of the scene in MAM with Cruces, sword and pillar. Pray you never face a good man...
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Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:32 pm

Igor wrote:This might sound like blasphemy to some but I'd rather read a real book about Carrot than another one about Vimes. Vines is probably amongst the three best developed characters in the novels, and just about everyone in the Watch received some sort of characteristic upgrade since Men at Arms, with the notable exception of Carrot. Fifth Elephant was a good try but ended up to conservative in execution. It's as if Mr Pratchett either didn't know what to do with Carrot, which doesn't seem very likely, or had plans for him so big they could not be fit into a secondary story thread. Either way, while I'm not a Carrot man, I'm certainly and underdog man, so I instinctively root for the guy with less text lines behind him.


I think Pratchett probably doesn't know what to do with Carrot except have him in a minor role, for 2 reasons - the first is that he started of as a very stock "fantasy hero" type who doesn't really have anywhere to go, the other reason is that "perfect" people are generally boring to read about, yet when Pratchett introduced human failings to him in TFE the consensus seemed to be it didn't fit the character (see the discussion on TFE for longer argument on this)
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Postby raisindot » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:09 pm

Tonyblack wrote:WWGD (What Would Granny Do) would work as well. :lol:


I like WWVD better. Granny is too generic--people wouldn't associate the word with Mistress Weatherwax.

But Vimes...it'd be an instant conversation starter (and DW intro opportunity) for those who don't know who Vimes is and it's be a perfect "secret handshake" mitigator for those who do.

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Postby Igor » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:03 pm

Doughnut Jimmy wrote:I think Pratchett probably doesn't know what to do with Carrot except have him in a minor role, for 2 reasons - the first is that he started of as a very stock "fantasy hero" type who doesn't really have anywhere to go, the other reason is that "perfect" people are generally boring to read about, yet when Pratchett introduced human failings to him in TFE the consensus seemed to be it didn't fit the character (see the discussion on TFE for longer argument on this)


That's why I said the TFE treatment was conservative. Taking a stock Carrot version and giving him a few lines barely suggesting he might not be the ultimate paragon of fantasy heroism won't work, it's not how character evolution works. I've recently re-read TFE and I've found not a single thing Carrot said or did that would be out of line with how he acts under normal circumstance, insofar as normal circumstance exist in Discworld.

What I want to see is the other side of Carrot, the one people like Vimes or Angua glimpse from time to time, but never clearly see. I'd like to see the mean claws unsheathed. Unfortunately, for the past two books he's been nothing more than a glorified secretary for Vimesy. I'll grant you that setting up that kind of story would be hard, and potentially risky, but we're taking Pratchett here. If anyone could make it work, it's him.
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Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:09 pm

Igor wrote:I've recently re-read TFE and I've found not a single thing Carrot said or did that would be out of line with how he acts under normal circumstance, insofar as normal circumstance exist in Discworld.


Really? I think heading off to Uberwald because he's jealous when he should be looking after the watch not dumping it on Colon is very unlike him

normally event's work out so he gets what he wants he doesn't have to act selfishly for it
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Postby Igor » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:32 pm

Doughnut Jimmy wrote:Really? I think heading off to Uberwald because he's jealous when he should be looking after the watch not dumping it on Colon is very unlike him

normally event's work out so he gets what he wants he doesn't have to act selfishly for it


This is a tricky one. The problem with TFE Carrot is that, for him as a character, each decision or act must be defined by context. Since we never get past the iron curtain and thus never listen to his internal narrative, the circumstances have to be clearly defined to give us a decent insight into what's going on inside. When he quits his job as a watchman he does so when the Watch is working flawlessly and all that he plans on doing while Vimes is away is clearing his backlog of paperwork. That doesn't evoke the feeling of defying his moral code in the name of fighting for love, not at all. It's lukewarm and tasteless, much like most of Carrot's screentime after Jingo. He does stuff that could be considered un-Carrot like, but at the same time could be absolutely justified with a single sentence of internal monologue we'll never hear and, unfortunately, nothing tips the scales either way.
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Postby raisindot » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:41 am

Igor wrote:
Doughnut Jimmy wrote:Really? I think heading off to Uberwald because he's jealous when he should be looking after the watch not dumping it on Colon is very unlike him

normally event's work out so he gets what he wants he doesn't have to act selfishly for it


[Good stuff deleted] When [Carrot] quits his job as a watchman he does so when the Watch is working flawlessly and all that he plans on doing while Vimes is away is clearing his backlog of paperwork. That doesn't evoke the feeling of defying his moral code in the name of fighting for love, not at all. It's lukewarm and tasteless, much like most of Carrot's screentime after Jingo. He does stuff that could be considered un-Carrot like, but at the same time could be absolutely justified with a single sentence of internal monologue we'll never hear and, unfortunately, nothing tips the scales either way.


Actually, Carrot leaves AM at a terrible time, when tensions are high in the dwarf community over the low king issue and the stolen Scone of Stone. Civil war could have broken out in AM between the city dwarfs and the 'deep downers' at any time and Carrot, being a dwarf, would have been the only one who could have prevented this from occurring. But he abandons his post, and his responsibility, all in the name of love. Until TFE, Carrot always lives by the code of "Personal is not the same as important," meaning that duty to the Watch (and upholding the Law) are more important than personal considerations. In TFE, he abandons this philosophy entirely. And he plays no significant role in the eventual outcome of the story. Everything that would have happened would have happened without him there, and, in some cases, his actions make things worse (such as inadvertently causing the death of Gavin).

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Postby Igor » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:57 pm

raisindot wrote:Actually, Carrot leaves AM at a terrible time, when tensions are high in the dwarf community over the low king issue and the stolen Scone of Stone. Civil war could have broken out in AM between the city dwarfs and the 'deep downers' at any time and Carrot, being a dwarf, would have been the only one who could have prevented this from occurring. But he abandons his post, and his responsibility, all in the name of love. Until TFE, Carrot always lives by the code of "Personal is not the same as important," meaning that duty to the Watch (and upholding the Law) are more important than personal considerations. In TFE, he abandons this philosophy entirely. And he plays no significant role in the eventual outcome of the story. Everything that would have happened would have happened without him there, and, in some cases, his actions make things worse (such as inadvertently causing the death of Gavin).

J-I-B


Ahh, I think we've got a mild case of consensus here. See, while I can agree that Carrot's action, viewed under certain angles, do feel un-Carrot like, the problem here is the lack of context. Civil war never happens in AM, Vimes could have been saved by any random character, Wolfgang was defeated by Gaspode(sic!)/Vimes etc, etc. A character cannot be defined by things that didn't happen, acts he didn't perpetuate or people he didn't kill. And it's not just that he seems like s superficial character in TFE, it's that the evaluation of his actions is left almost entirely to the reader, with very little in terms of hints as to what exactly Mr Pratchett wanted Carrot to be in TFE, because none of those things that could have helped us see what he's supposed to be ever showed up. Imagine the bridge scene with Carrot winning the fight with Wolfgang, maybe with some help from Gaspode. They end up in the classic action movie configuration with the good guy holding the bad man over a mile deep drop, while himself clutching to the ledge/bridge/whatever by a thread. Usually the good cop pulls his prey up and makes the arrest while spouting some random bad***ery. But here, Wolfgang falls. Maybe the blood made Carrot's hand slippery. Maybe the werewolf chose to drop. Or maybe Carrot let him go. We'll never know. But something happened. It's a cold fact, a cornerstone one can build his vision around. More importantly, it would give the author a way of direction the character even without explicitly stating what exactly just took place Without it, everything just falls apart.


I admit, it is slightly unnerving, as Mr Pratchett usually doesn't waste character space like that. I refuse to believe it's because Vimes needed more space, after all he was a fully developed character by the end of TFE which he technically shared with Carrot and didn't grow much, if at all, in Night Watch and Thud. And sidelining Carrot so badly actually caused splash damage to Angua, another character that, in my opinion, suffered in Thud.

Damn, I'll need to go an read me some Guards!Guards! to disperse the gloomy mood...
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Postby raisindot » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:30 pm

Umm, a few things, Igor.

While you are correct that one can't conjecture what would or would not have happened had the action gone differently, it is quite clear that Carrot abandoned his post, leaving a Watch without a strong leader. Given that he did this at a time of peak tension in the city, it's unacceptable. The Carrot of the earlier books would never have done such a thing.

As far as the Wolfgang fight, Carrot totally failed. The only thing he did was jump first, and he was totally ineffective, getting his arm broken. It was only then that Gavin jumped into the fray. As Angua notes, if Gavin had jumped first, Carrot probably would have been the one to tumble with Wolfgang into the gorge.

If Carrot hadn't been there, Angua would have probably jumped first. Had she been overcome by Wolfgang, Gavin would have jumped in to save her. Same end--Wolfgang and Gavin tumbling into the river. Or Detritus would have shot Wolfgang with the Peacemaker.

Again, all conjecture, but all pointing to the fact that Carrot's presence has no major impact on what ultimately becomes the final confrontation between Vimes and Wolfgang.

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Postby Igor » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:28 pm

raisindot wrote:While you are correct that one can't conjecture what would or would not have happened had the action gone differently, it is quite clear that Carrot abandoned his post, leaving a Watch without a strong leader. Given that he did this at a time of peak tension in the city, it's unacceptable. The Carrot of the earlier books would never have done such a thing.


Granted. I just don't see it as a meaningful act. If he goes against himself, he does so without consequence, and ultimately it's the consequences of someone's actions that drive the story.

raisindot wrote:Again, all conjecture, but all pointing to the fact that Carrot's presence has no major impact on what ultimately becomes the final confrontation between Vimes and Wolfgang.

J-I-b


I'm pretty sure that's what I said - Carrot is a superficial character in TFE, right? He could have been utilized a lot better at the very least.
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Postby BaldJean » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:02 am

Carrot was a boy of 18 at the beginning, so certainly there was a lot of development for him. And basically he has not changed at all. He does not simply leave his post to follow Angua; that would indeed be out of character. No, he resigns first, and that is typically Carrot. He was in a moral dilemma: Follow his love or do his duty? Both was not possible. The only way out was to resign; that way the dilemma was gone. Anyone else would just have followed Angua without resigning first.
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Postby Beyond Birthday » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:12 am

Well I prefer Vimes because he's like Batman and Kamina combined!

Okay, I compare way too much so I'll get a little deeper than that. I prefer characters that have this code of ethics that they follow no matter how much others piss him off (understatement). You've got a character with so much pure willpower that he fights off an ancient demonic entity that is encouraging him to kill dwarfs (I am reffering to Thud!) that, considering what they tried to do to his family, that he wants dead. But he stops himself because that would simply be revenge, not self-defense, and even then he knew that would be wrong. To some people it would be more satisfying if he did kill them but not to me.

Using comparisons again it's kind of like how in Star Trek TNG Captain Picard never stoops so low as to immediately try to kill someone who has just been rendered defenseless in spite of how many times this other humanoid has tried to kill either him or his entire crew.

To me it's far more awesome to let your worst enemies live than to kill them when they've given up.

Carrot, maybe my second favorite character, is like Superman in so many ways. Both were orphaned and raised with high moral standards by another species, both are the most physically powerful characters working for the side of good, both are thought of by those who don't completely get their characters as being kind of dim and Carrot seems like a real farmboy at times. Oh, and both see humanity in incredibly idealistic ways.

Now, while all of this isn't bad, the reason why Superman and Carrot aren't as popular as Batman and Vimes is that it's harder to be worried about any conflicts these characters face because they're so powerful that you know they'll always win, and it's harder to make that as interesting the more human Batman and Vimes. Also any moral conflict is gone because you know they'll always make the right choice.

The fact that there's even a debate over which character is better shows that the way Carrot is writtern is done well enough that people care. Now, with that said, would Carrot work as a main character without Vimes? Well, yeah, but you'd end up with a very different series. Would Vimes work as a main character without Carrot? Well, ditto.

With all that said you have to feel bad for Carrot: he went from being THE main character to A main character (depending on which book you read).
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