Men at Arms Discussion **Spoilers**

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Postby ChristianBecker » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:20 am

I agree with Tony and raisindot.
Even the incidence where the Gonne kills Hammerhock to prevent him making a copy doesn't disprove the idea that not the gonne itself has a will, but that it is really the will of the wielder.
The Gonne is unique, it is the most powerful weapon on the Disc (or at least in Ankh-Morpork). Anyone having it has unsurpassed power. Now, if Gonnes become common, like they are more or less today, there's no real power left. You can be shot at a distance as well as you can shoot someone. So there'd be a kind of balance if there were more Gonnes.
Thus it is probable that the killing of Hammerhock was, in the end, just done for fear of losing power.
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Postby Tonyblack » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:34 pm

I should make it clear that I'm still not certain about whether the gonne has a life of its own. I think there's an answer somewhere between the two.

To me it's a little Faustian - the gonne seems to offer the owner their heart's desire, but ultimately there's a terrible price to pay for it. Carrot being pure of heart, doesn't fall for this and is therefore able to destroy the gonne.

It's a theme similar to the guitar in Soul Music and the way that belief gives power to things on the Discworld.

So I think that maybe the gonne does have some power of its own, being a DW invention, but this is Terry's way of pointing out the power of guns in our own world.

A gun is at it's most powerful when there is only one. The gun lobby's argument about owning guns goes - if criminals have guns, then I need a gun to protect myself. It's a bit of a self-defeating argument as criminals then think - if the public are armed, then I'd better make sure that I am as well.
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:39 am

Blimey! It took me a while to find this thread. :oops:

You have two weeks to read or reread Hogfather for the discussion starting on Monday 7th November. :D
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Postby stripy_tie » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:04 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Blimey! It took me a while to find this thread. :oops:

You have two weeks to read or reread Hogfather for the discussion starting on Monday 7th November. :D


AHA An excuse to re-read Hogfather before December (though i know Hogswatch is technically in November)
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:08 am

You have one week to read or reread Hogfather for the discussion starting on Monday 7th November. :D
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Postby cabbagehead » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:31 am

I realize I'm coming to this thread a bit late, though hopefully not all that late. A few comments:

Carrot's development: While he still believes the best about people he is different from the country boy from Guards! Guards!. For example he acknowledges that the Thieves Guild is an institution that promotes the well-being of the city and as things stand the Watch has to coexist with the licensed thieves and let them go about their business - despite the fact that he doesn't like it. Carrot is at his deepest in Feet of Clay, with his interactions with Dorfl and towards the end of The Fifth Elephant, when he makes his promise to Angua. The problem with Carrot's development is that there are places where it is hard to know how much he understands why his tactics work - for example when he plays the gambit in the Fool's Guild - did he realize the fools would think they were being threatened?

On the other board I once raised my little theory that Carrot, Vimes and Vetinari are in a way an urban male equivalent to the maiden, mother, crone trio. Carrot always retains a bit of the simple idealist, Vimes who takes care of the widows and orphans of watchmen and who is good at teaching watchmen how to walk was a father figure well before his son was born and Vetinari - well, you know.

Edward d'Eath vs Cruces:
Edward was an idealist. He was upset that Vetinari was changing the power structure in the city by letting members of working-class professions (such as plumbers) form guilds and thus gain a voice in the council of the guilds. He really believed going back to the good old days and having a king in charge would make things better. If Carrot had agreed to be king he would have followed him and obeyed him sincerely. Cruces was purely after power, and d'Eath's story was what gave him the opportunity to act. If Carrot had become king, Cruces would ave wanted him as his puppet.

The backstory about Vetinari supporting more guilds is part of the story about the economical and political change Vetianri had been pushing in Ankh Morpork all the time (though things only started seriously picking up with the invention of the clacks and printing). The old noble families are unhappy, but they are for the most part helpless to stop the changes.
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Postby DaveC » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:46 am

cabbagehead wrote:On the other board I once raised my little theory that Carrot, Vimes and Vetinari are in a way an urban male equivalent to the maiden, mother, crone trio. Carrot always retains a bit of the simple idealist, Vimes who takes care of the widows and orphans of watchmen and who is good at teaching watchmen how to walk was a father figure well before his son was born and Vetinari - well, you know.



Love that theory, never thought of it like that. :D
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Postby Penfold » Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:44 pm

What DaveC said. :D
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Re: Men at Arms Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby yingxuy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:23 am

I like some of the everyday folk, they can see and know they can rely on him. I understand the story better focus Vimes switch.
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Re: Men at Arms Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Cool Middle Name » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:45 am

Just finishing this book again.
Forgot about and loved the part where Cuddy is buried with the Gonne. No demon or dwarf could attack him when he had that.

I enjoyed the relationship between Cuddy and Detritus, Angua's pessimistic assumptions of Vimes and Carrot's development as a leader and, above all, a dangerously good and simple man.
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Re: Men at Arms Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby One Man Bucket » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:38 pm

I'm currently rereading this book and this is when Carrot shone the brightest as a character. If Terrance could go back to writing him like this then all would be forgiven.

In addition this book struck the proper balance between Vimes being the main character and the book being about The Watch rather rather than Vimes and supporting characters.
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Re: Men at Arms Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby TimBou » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:15 am

Just finished this book, it was quite good. Thanks for the interesting discussion of Carrot, Vimes, Vetinari, the evolution of the City Watch etc., most enlightening!

I also enjoyed the Gaspode/Angua/Big Fido subplot. Gaspode had 'the Power" - BAD DOG! I suppose that fits in with the idea that power is a major theme here. I always enjoy Gaspode.

The way Carrot and Vimes work together near the end is really interesting of course. What becomes very clear by the end that the alternative of Carrot being head of the Watch and Vimes retiring would be a disaster.

I enjoyed Beano's funeral too. Pouring his ashes down someone else's trousers... it's the way he would have wanted it...
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Re: Men at Arms Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raptornx01 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:06 pm

I think its more Carrot fanboying Vimes then anything. he looks to Vimes as a mentor, a role model. He knows Vimes would be a miserable retiree. The commander job was the one way to make everyone happy.
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Re: Men at Arms Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby One Man Bucket » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:38 pm

Vimes retiring would be a disaster for him since he doesn't see himself as anything but a police officer. It wouldn't be a disaster for the Watch itself.

Carrot running the Watch wouldn't be a disaster because it would still do what it's doing now its just the reason people are doing it would be different. In essence they'd go from doing it because it's right to doing it because Carrt asked. Carrot couldn't tolerate such a state of affairs.

The current Watch as of Snuff is more than capable of running without Vimes and they have enough officers who could lead it besides Carrot but they never will because Vimes can't give up the Watch because it means too much to him
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Re: Men at Arms Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby hazel8252 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:55 pm

That's a good point about the current Watch - if we compare it to TFE when Colon is left in charge and everything goes t*ts up (exactly what Vetinari planned, I'm quite sure!) then to how far it has evolved in Snuff in that they are able to cope better and actually be of assistance to Vimes even though he is away. I know Carrot remains behind in Snuff, when he didn't in TFE, but it still shows how far they have come. Never realised that till just now!
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