Equal Rites Discussion *Spoilers*

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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:45 am

”One of our correspondents recalls that he interviewed Terry in 1987 for a university magazine. In that interview Terry said that tickled him about Josh Kirby’s artwork for the Equal Rites cover was that it subliminally (accidentally?) reflected the Freudian overtones of the book (references to “hot dreams”, the angst of adolescence, things that might be called “magic” envy)…Kirby’s artwork “coincidentally” draws Esk with the broom handle where a penis would be (traditionally supposed to be the basis of the “witches flying around on broomsticks” myth).”
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
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Postby kakaze » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:09 am

But most of those characters you mentioned were minor or supporting roles. When I think of Molly, I think "good cooking". When I think of Tonks, I think "purple hair and funny noses". Trelawney's only there to provide information and comic relief as a lush. Narcissa has almost no role except at the very beginning & end of the last book, and even then doesn't do much except show weakness in resolve in favor of her son (I'm not criticizing). Loona mainly just stands around and says weird things.

I didn't mean that there were more men than women in the books. Every character in the books did stuff, but I feel that the major characters were predominately male.
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I don't know about you guys, but I didn't like the way that Esk was so incompetent until she was "officially" made a wizard. The whole point in the beginning was that she was the eighth child of an eighth son. She had no skills, no knowledge, and no control; everything was done by the staff through her. It seems like anyone who had the staff could be as good a wizard as her.
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Equal Rites wrote: Granny lay back in an ancient cane chair and let the unseasonal warmth creep around her ankles. She idly watched a team of city ants, who had lived under the flagstones of the University for so long that the high levels of background magic had permanently altered their genes, anthandling a damp sugar lump down from the bowl on to a tiny trolley. Another group was erecting a matchstick gantry at the edge of the table.

[snip]

The sugar lump crashed to the flagstones and was immediately surrounded by another team of ants, ready to harness it to a long line of red ants enslaved from the kitchen garden.


Some species of ants, such as Protomognathus americanus, do enslave other ant species and make them do labor.
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Postby Phoenix » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:45 am

kakaze wrote:
I don't know about you guys, but I didn't like the way that Esk was so incompetent until she was "officially" made a wizard. The whole point in the beginning was that she was the eighth child of an eighth son. She had no skills, no knowledge, and no control; everything was done by the staff through her. It seems like anyone who had the staff could be as good a wizard as her.


It's been a while since I've read Equal Rites and my memory is slightly fuzzy around the edges, but I thought that the staff making anyone as good a wizard was sort of the point. It was after Esk broke away from the power of the staff that she started making her own decisions and saved (...tootles off to look at the book again...) Simon. I think one of the main themes in the book was that whether they were witches or wizards, in the end it was about knowing when *not* to use magic- something that is mentioned in other DW books too.

Eh, I've quite probably said something silly in the above, so please be gentle with me and leave some linbs attached ;)
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Postby kakaze » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:09 am

yeah, "not using magic" has been a recurring theme after this book but the whole point, up until the end there, was that she was a wizard who was special because she was female. But I don't think there was anything special about her at all. From what I could see, a dog could have replaced her, as long as he was big enough to hold the staff in his mouth.

Of course, Gaspode could curse, so he could probably make it as a witch, but he's a special case. ;)
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:45 am

poohcarrot wrote:I can't think of much to say about this book, so I'll wait for someone to say something stupid and then argue with them. :twisted:

(Jan's usually good for a stupid comment or two. So is SWReader, but she's incapacitated at the moment.)


Phoenix wrote:
Eh, I've quite probably said something silly in the above, so please be gentle with me and leave some limbs attached ;)


Um... I was only joking! Only trying to wind up Jan and hopefully bring a smile to the face of SWReader. :oops:
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:52 am

kakaze wrote:But I don't think there was anything special about her at all. From what I could see, a dog could have replaced her, as long as he was big enough to hold the staff in his mouth.


Did she have the staff when she noticed the precious stones were "spirkles" (or whatever they were called)?

And she was able to do the burrowing of the eagle, which uses magic.

I thought she had a certain amount of magical ability without the staff, being the 8th son/daughter of an 8th son.
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"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
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Postby Trish » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:44 pm

kakaze wrote:When Death said that Billet would "be lucky to be an ant", I took it to mean that he had to be a tree before he qualified as an ant.

However, the timelines don't match up; the tree was planted before he died, and (presumably) was still around while he was an ant (unless Esk's dad cut it down soon after she left). Of course, with reincarnation lives don't have be consecutive.

Also, the reason he'd be lucky to be an ant is because of his karma, and he wasn't a very good tree (sour, wormy apples, and twisting branches to drop Esk's brothers), so I don't think that would have improved his karma very much.

I'm not sure if I'm remembering it correctly or not, but couldn't cats see Death in The Color of Magic, but were scared of him?



Billet "moved into" the apple tree to look after Esk.
The tree was gnarled and gave sour sour fruit, which is a reflection of Drum Billet while alive.

Esk's brothers more or less lived to torture her, but even they realized that their 'right' to do so ended at the foot of the apple tree.

Timelines...
It's about magic. Regular rules don't apply --a thing the UU wizards find out for themselves.


I didn't think highly of this book when I first read it. Then I read it again --slowly.

It's full of sly, wry jokes.
Sure, it's about sex. See the "regular rules" bit 2 paragraphs ago.

I particularly enjoyed the Zoons. So honest, they're considered untrustowrthy!

"And can you play a musical instrument?"
"Probably."

Equal Rites is worth a good, slow read. Other than Granny browbeating the dwarf to patch-up her broomstick, there aren't many laugh out loud lines.
But all the characters are against type... Granny wearing a red-lined cape. Esk granted wizard "power" although she's female. Billet actually managing to become a carbon-based lifeform.


Please, no more Rowling and Harry Potter.
I used to love the books, but each has become more wordy and nonsensical.

Yes, one must suspend disbelief while reading them.
Just not good taste.
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Postby CrysaniaMajere » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:05 pm

Sorry Trish, just a few words then there will be no more Harry Potter, ok? It's just that I've read above "Molly=good cooking, Nimphadora =funny noses ecc " means no strong women. I'd just like to say that a woman to be strong doesn't have to be "a protagonist" "a leading character". For example, Hermione is the most intelligent student, but Ginny is the most powerful with magic, more powerful than Harry, who always win because there's always someone helping him. Molly is very strong, he can be a wife and a mother when nothing else is needed, but he can be a fighter when requested, ecc ecc.
END of HP.

Now on with Equal Rites, that i've read in italian and they translated L'arte della magia, The art of magic, nothing to do with the title but at least there's a line in the book that explains it...

What I'm really curious about is why Granny never give back the broom she borrowed from Hilta... it's the same that she uses from that moment on, in witches abroad and on.. she didn't even like brooms, yet she keeps another witch's broom !!
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:14 pm

I wondered that about the broom - it seems like Granny has that same broom throughout the books. But someone pointed out to me that maybe it wasn't the same broom - maybe it was just Granny's flying ability. :lol:
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Postby CrysaniaMajere » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:16 pm

This is NOT an important question, I know, but at the beginning (on my book is page 42 of 172 total) it says "don't try to walk before you know how to run" ... :?: shouldn't it be "don't try to Run before you know how to walk" ???
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:22 pm

CrysaniaMajere wrote:This is NOT an important question, I know, but at the beginning (on my book is page 42 of 172 total) it says "don't try to walk before you know how to run" ... :?: shouldn't it be "don't try to Run before you know how to walk" ???
I didn't spot that, but it fits with other mis-quoted phrases in DW such as 'a leopard can't change his spots' and 'we've passed a lot of water since then'. :lol:

Or it could be an error. :wink:
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Postby CrysaniaMajere » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:35 pm

Tonyblack wrote:I wondered that about the broom - it seems like Granny has that same broom throughout the books. But someone pointed out to me that maybe it wasn't the same broom - maybe it was just Granny's flying ability. :lol:


But in witches abroad she says that she had it repaired from the dwarves... as in this book!!
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Postby CrysaniaMajere » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:39 pm

Tonyblack wrote:
CrysaniaMajere wrote:This is NOT an important question, I know, but at the beginning (on my book is page 42 of 172 total) it says "don't try to walk before you know how to run" ... :?: shouldn't it be "don't try to Run before you know how to walk" ???
I didn't spot that, but it fits with other mis-quoted phrases in DW such as 'a leopard can't change his spots' and 'we've passed a lot of water since then'. :lol:

Or it could be an error. :wink:


But it's a DW error or a translator error? I was curious about that.. but I don't have the money to order it in english just to check that
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:43 pm

Can you describe the scene where that happens? I'll have a look in the US version I have here. :)
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Postby CrysaniaMajere » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:45 pm

AND it says clearly that Hilta's broom was old and malfunctioning...
I just think TP forgot about that. He probably liked too much the idea of Granny running and running to start the broom.. :lol:
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