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Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:26 pm

Dotsie wrote:Lilith's behaviour I understand, but not Mrs Gogol's. Why would any mother just wait around for 12 years to beat Lilith? Why not much sooner? I mean, Ella's her daughter, & I'm given to understand that the bond is pretty strong!


She knew she was not strong enough to fight Lilith and as the girl was not being "abused" in the strict sense, I think she had to give it up as inevitable that Ella was a captive.
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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Postby Dotsie » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:30 pm

Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit wrote: She knew she was not strong enough to fight Lilith and as the girl was not being "abused" in the strict sense, I think she had to give it up as inevitable that Ella was a captive.


But why should she be any stronger now? We see her creating new gods to help, couldn't she have done that before? What's changed?

I just see this as a plot hole that niggles every time I read the book. So I'm looking for something that fits so I can relax :lol:
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Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:34 pm

I think she created the new gods to help bring the Help she needed, in the form of the Lancre witches as an assist. Also, it was "Getting Down to the Wire" timewise.
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:18 pm

There are, I think, several reasons that Mrs Gogol didn't act sooner. First of all; Ella isn't the Baron's legitimate heir - in that the Baron and Mrs G weren't married. That makes Ella's claim a bit tenuous unless someone has the strength to fight for it. While Mrs G is very strong, she isn't initially 'that' strong and that is why she is creating the gods.

The main god she seems to have made is the hat and coat. That's why, when the Baron wears them he becomes very powerful - but making gods takes time. Gods, as we've seen in other DW books are created by belief. It would have taken Mrs G a long time (presumably) to get enough belief in the hat and coat to make it a god.

And, as has been pointed out, Ella was still very young - her claim to the throne would be much stronger as an adult, so it paid Mrs G to wait - Ella wasn't in any real danger as Lilith wanted to keep her safe as well. The Duc marrying the heir would have a much stronger position and therefore Lilith would be able to control the kingdom far easier. :)
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Postby chris.ph » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:23 pm

i am going to barge in with why did sir terry name the villaness after adams first wife, who is also supposed to be queen of the demons and underworld in some mythologys :?:
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:34 pm

chris.ph wrote:i am going to barge in with why did sir terry name the villaness after adams first wife, who is also supposed to be queen of the demons and underworld in some mythologys :?:
Oh I think he deliberately used the name Lilith for just those reasons. :wink:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:16 pm

Tonyblack wrote:
chris.ph wrote:i am going to barge in with why did sir terry name the villaness after adams first wife, who is also supposed to be queen of the demons and underworld in some mythologys :?:
Oh I think he deliberately used the name Lilith for just those reasons. :wink:

Lilith was originally Lily before her mother kicked her out wasn't she? Then she went off and took the name Lilith along the way because she was that way inclined I suppose and in the same vein acquired the name of Tempscire... On the subject of which someone was saying somewhere else that this isn't a translation from the French for Weatherwax? I think Terry's done that deliberately too - Genua being the Discworld version of New Orleans, the creole population there had a kind of pidgin French and so that seems to account reasonably effectively for Terry's not using the exact translation. :wink:

swreader wrote:Jan, if I understand what you are saying-you prefer the "fairy stories" to the Pratchett's comic allusions to LOTR, but that you find the fairy stories somewhat somewhat odd, and not really funny.

While there are funny bits in the stories, it seems to me that Pratchett is doing a good deal more. He is leading up to the Cinderella tale at Genua and to the conflict between the sisters--Esmerelda and Lillith. Oddly, though Granny can be (and is throughout most of the book) crabby, bad-tempered and short in her dealings with people--she really cares for people (and animals). What we are seeing in the trip through the woods with the odd fairy stories are precursors of what they find when they get to Genua.

In the final confrontation between Lily & Granny, we can see the difference between the sisters. Granny tells her sister that one shouldn't treat people like character, but that if you do--you have to know when the story ends. But Lily positively thrives on making other people miserable and demonstrating that they are totally within her power because she controls the story and forces people or animals into something they really are not.

The stories are funny, but they are also part of the serious exploration of the book--that stories, like history, will repeat itself--and that treating people like things or characters is morally wrong.

Back-tracking to what you were saying this morning Sharlene - I was meaning that I admired the way Terry was turning all the stories, myths, stereotyping and urban myths (bashing the gollum-alike, Transylvania, Red and the Riverboat card sharks, and the bull run etc) on their heads and looking from a more realistic and unromantic perspective. The fairy stories were perhaps more successfully amusing than the part with the dwarves - but the fairy stories are of course more 'far-fetched' (or perhaps 'contrived' is a better word) with anthropomorphic animals and people sleeping for 100 years etc - and so far easier to send up :lol:

I did say that I found the Grandma in danger from the Big Bad Wolf was poignant because she was a confused, dotty old lady who nobody much bothered with and of course that's not funny except in an ironic manner taken literally. But it's also very touching in that even back then Terry, via Granny and Nanny, was being a champion for people who were not as strong mentally as they once were. What happened to the poor wolf (and to the footmen turned into beetles and stomped on) was a good take on how Lilith's career as 'the good one' was in fact based on malice and arrogance and that Desiderata's approach of giving her godchildren what they needed was in fact a far more appropiate practice.

Talking of Desiderata - wasn't there a suggestion that she and Mrs. Googol were working together in some way because the voodoo magic was insufficient to fight Lilith's mirror magic and Desiderata was powerless to stop the story until a certain point where it would need Magrat and the others there to support Mrs. G's own efforts to take the city back. That centred on it being Samedi Nuit Mort and the Baron being able to ride the magic of that night of random passions :P
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Postby mspanners » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:16 am

Genua being the Discworld version of New Orleans... careful there! :D

I thought The counterweight Continent was a Discworld Version of maybe Japan or China or both from Terrys books but when the made for TV version of The Colour of Magic hit the TV Twoflower was a more US then Asian! :shock:

Genua could be the Discworld version of France....... or Germany! :lol:
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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:15 am

mspanners wrote:Genua being the Discworld version of New Orleans... careful there! :D

I thought The counterweight Continent was a Discworld Version of maybe Japan or China or both from Terrys books but when the made for TV version of The Colour of Magic hit the TV Twoflower was a more US then Asian! :shock:

Genua could be the Discworld version of France....... or Germany! :lol:
It's certainly not as straight forward as Genua just being the DW version of New Orleans. Think about it - the city is referred to as "The Magical Kingdom" and the description of it sounds rather like Walt Disney World in Florida. The 'fairytale' castle, the ultra clean streets and the strict hiring of 'jolly' people. Add to that all the Disney versions of the various fairy tales and think of the swamps as the Everglades (complete with alligators) rather than New Orleans and it fits the bill.

I think that trying to tie any place on the DW to an actual place on Earth is a mistake. Yes, there are similarities, but that's it. :)
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Postby mspanners » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:32 am

True, it is the Discworld and not Earth... and there are parallels to here but they get jumbled up a little.......... to be honest I do think Genua probably is the Discworld equivalent of New Orleans but you never know.... could be the Discworld Disney land too as Tony has indicated !!

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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:15 am

Toss you lads for it then :wink: In WA Genua WAS like New Orleans - built on/by a swamp, lots of lazy lifestyle and good cuisine - food like Gumbo that's not of the finest kind (bottom-feeders and fishbones? :P ) but tastes divine because the cooks are geniuses. Oh - and like the Everglades they have swamps and alligators too in the bayou all around the Mississippi delta of Louisiana... :P

Embers herself is white blond with a mid-brown skin meaning, like many others in the region she's of mixed race (or creole), but in Discworld that really doesn't matter at all (in AM at least). Along comes Lilith and wham! No Dwarves, no Trolls (OK it's prolly too hot there for them), a different kind of local witch driven out - no wizards which is actually quite surprising given the cuisine BUT the reasons for all that is because Lilith starts to give the city a makeover and so Genua BECOMES Disneyland (I'd say it's closer to the original in California as that is the most unremittingly, to the point of sickliness, 'magic' kingdom of them all, being in LALAland with so many 'perky' wannabe actors working there :roll: ).

The old city gradually gets forced back and the new one has to be 'perfect' - on the surface, because that's all Lilith can do and why she has to enforce her creation on the people, so Toymakers have to whistle and tell children stories etc. With me so far? :lol: OK - this is why I think Mrs G has to all appearances deserted Embers. Erzulie cannot fight the combined wand and mirror magic and work her kind of magic in the central part of the City. So, like the old city she's progressively being eroded and pushed back and, with the old Baron dead she does kind of lose the plot and gets desperate and very, very angry.

I think in a way Mrs. G had to abandon Embers, because she's trying to see things long-term? If she stays in Lilith's terrible pristine Genua she will become powerless and she needs to be strong to continue fighting Lilith, so she retreats into the swamps, the epitome of Genua's old dishevelled lazy lifestyle and magic to garner her strength and to shelter the newly zomboid Baron (from Lilith as she's killed him once and no doubt would do so again). They have to use the natural 'free' magic of the old city, but it isn't strong enough yet but can be harnessed at certain times... like Samedi Nuit Mort?

Also don't forget that Erzulie doesn't completely desert Embers - Mrs. Pleasant keep her posted as to what's happening to her daughter and so, like Tony says, the heir's safe enough and Mrs G bides her time and appears defeated to Lilith who grossly underestimates her and so is lulled into a false sense of security. Parents are not always predictable in defence of their young. Some will leave them when danger threatens - some birds will deliberately leave their nests and even feign injury in an attempt to divert predators from their chicks? Some deer/gazelles take their babies away from the apparent safety of the herd and hide them so the great cats or hunting packs will not find them or be able to easily bring the fawns down if the herd is stampeded? And some women will walk out of destructive relationships and even leave their beloved children to make themselves stronger and able to act more independently so they can fight more effectively. I think the latter is what Mrs Googol decided was the best in the circs - let the story and Lilith appear to have won. But that's only part of the story of course! :)
Last edited by Jan Van Quirm on Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bookworm 303 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:20 pm

Tempscire isn't the translation use in the french books but it is a translation word by word (weather=temps, wax=cire). :wink:

I really love this explanation new-orléans->disneyworld! I would never have thought of that!

for mrs gogol I think she also needed people to want some else than lilith to rule them and in the first time live in disneyland can seem pretty good.
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Postby swreader » Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:18 am

One thing to recognize is that Terry is writing, in this book, for the first time about history and stories, about the difference between truth and illusion. While he, as always, thoroughly enjoys poking fun at people's idiosyncrasies and dropping in allusions to other works, he is doing much more than that. Thus in this book the use of fairy stories is much more than a humorous "send-up"; it is a means of exploring stories (or narrative causality) and its relation to history, just as the mirror magic is about seeing the difference between illusion and reality.

There has been some suggestion/question about the relationship between Mrs. Gogol and the other witches, especially whether she has any part of bringing the three to Genua. As far as I can find, there is no suggestion that Desiderata has ever has worked with Mrs. Gogol: it's not clear that they even know each other. There is, however, a very strong suggestion that each of them has been independently working to protect Ella. Instead Desiderata uses a different technique to protect Ella and stop Lily. Desiderata tells DEATH (at the beginning of the book) that when she and Lilith gave their wishes for Ella, Lilith wished for her to have "beauty and power and marry a prince."

Desiderata knows she doesn't have the power (and never has) to fight those wishes, however much she would wish to. And through her second sight, Desiderata saw all three of the witches in Genua. So, though she doesn't understand what she's seen, she very deliberately arranges things to get the three of them to Genua to keep the princess from marrying the prince. Granny, Nanny & Magrat's trip to Genua
has nothing to do with Mrs. Gogol. They are not even aware of her existence. They end up in a kind of co-operation, but they work independently.

Mrs. Gogol, since the Baron's murder has been using the local version of magic or Voodoo (which incidentally was very prevalent among the Negro slaves in round world New Orleans) and building up the power of the old gods who are believed in by the simple people of the city, those that have drifted outside Lily's "story". And the time has come now--12 years after the Baron's murder, that Mrs. Gogol and Saturday have to act to save their daughter. And this night (which bears a certain resemblance to the end of Mardi Gras) is the night of power of the old gods--and the time that Mrs. Gogol and the Baron's powers are at their height.

The witches trip is motivated (if facilitated by Desiderata) by Granny's need to find and stop Lily from what she's doing now. And rescuing Ella gives her the excuse to go far outside her normal territory. Additionally, it allows Pratchett to enjoy himself in parodies or literary allusions to other literature, as well as having a hilarious time parodying the English (or Americans) abroad and the totally unintended consequences of their actions.

But Pratchett's use of the fairy tales in this book, while sometimes amusing, is really quite different. Though these stories have humorous moments, but they are Pratchett's way of leading up to the point of the confrontation between Lily and her sister Esmeralda. They show Granny that Lily has been practicing her manipulations before taking over Genua.

Lily is, and has always been, totally self-centered, intent on acquiring power just to have it. She gains her power through a combination of mirror magic and the heartless use of people to create new versions of old stories. That power is tremendous, and her absolute power has corrupted her completely. Granny, for all her apparent dislike or irritation with other people, and for all her pride in her own power, does not use her power to enslave others. Powerful and proud as her sister--but utterly opposite--mirror images of each other, Granny knows reality from illusion and will not allow people to be enslaved.

Thus Granny gives her sister the chance to change, to give up her evil ways, but when Lily refuses--Granny shows no mercy in destroying her (by leaving her trapped forever in the mirror world).

EDIT - style and clarity.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:58 pm

Not doing a whole quote but there's this conversation between Lilith and Desiderata...

L ~ You are dying, Desiderata
D ~ I am that too
L ~ You've grown old. Your sort always do. Your power is nearly gone
D ~That's a fact, Lilith
L ~ So your protection is withdrawing from her
D ~ 'Fraid so
L ~ So now it's just me and the evil swamp woman. And I will win
D ~ That's how it seems, I'm afraid...

then a little further on when Desiderata's talking to Death there's this

... Anyway the girl was born, out of wedlock but none the worse for that, it wasn't as if they couldn't have married, they just never got around to it... and Lilith wished for her to have beauty and power and marry a prince...

So not to much further on for whether Erzulie knew about Desiderata but she knew of or about Mrs. Gogol and Saturday if only from the point at which the wish-making was being done - presumably she was with Lilith for that and so was the Baron at least?

The other thing in that first conversation with Lilith is that Desiderata's power must have been protecting Embers right up until she died, so yet another reason for Erzulie to have been upping her game, although of course she wasn't to know that Desiderata was sending someone or three to help. However Erzulie would presumably have picked up on Embers losing what little protective charm or spell Desiderata had wished on her as Lilith was able to begin to finish off the story and get on with the marriage plans with the Duc...?

Did we ever know exactly what Desiderata did wish for Embers aside from what she needed - so presumably protection from Lilith's wish as far as possible?
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:18 pm

In an effort to restart this. :D What did you all think of Greebo as a man?
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