Equal Rites Discussion *Spoilers*

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Postby Trish » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:33 am

Tonyblack wrote:And does the staff have a mind of its own? It actually makes Esk feel pain when Granny tries to burn it. This is odd as it goes out of its way to protect her in other parts of the story.


Billett had 1 agenda --to make certain the 8th offspring carried his "wizardness," as Smith put it.

Billett himself did this by becoming part of the apple tree.
He could look out for his protege better if he was near her.

His staff was an extension of him, so its job was also to look out for Esk.
Like Billett, the staff was juvenile, selfish and (probably) a right bastard.


Granny, tea leaves, hypocrisy. Et al.
I love Granny Weatherwax, she does what she has to when she has to and hang the consequences because they are for later.

She has an agenda not unlike Billett and his staff's --to look out for Esk. But Granny takes it farther. Not simply the passing-on of the magic, but the knowledge of easing into it.

Telling Mrs W's fortunes is the fastest way into the University.
Esk is talented, certainly. But she is also very young and, even with the right bastard of a staff around, she needs someone with a wiser head and more experience to keep an eye.

Cutangle laughed at Esk. Granny knows he doesn't take her seriously and she also knows the Things do. So she keeps herself close by using whatever means she can.

Although Granny in a red-lined cape... Yeah, she could pull that off.


ps: Sharlene, it's very good to hear from you, even at two removes.
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Postby lyn » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:15 am

re Granny being a hypocrite. I think she can be at times. but she is also a realist so when she finds herself in the city she finds that she has to do whatever it takes to earn a living. and yes the red lined cloak is a nice touch. it shows a bit of flare on her part. and she doesn't lose that flare because when Tiffany gives her a cloak that needs someone with gravitas to wear it she accepts it.
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Postby CrysaniaMajere » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:47 am

Image
Hi Sharlene, it's good to meet you on the forum after reading so much about you!!

Image These are for you! :)

About ER, I don't think either that they're communicating telepatically, otherwise Esk would know what to do, but often she has no idea.
(See Tony, I try to talk about ER...)
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:36 pm

Sharlene says thanks you! :D

Granny has the attitude that anything is ok as long as it's her doing it. That said, she's got to A-M and found that most of the people there don't know what the pointy hat means and they treat her like an ordinary person. :shock:

Much to her surprise she seems to like it in the city - especially once word gets around and she gets some respect. She talks about taking on help and even moving the goats to the city. Without giving too much away, it seems that Granny does take Cutangle up on his offer to teach at the University. In Maskerade, much to Nanny Ogg's surprise, people in the city know Granny and she makes the comment that she's been to the city several times. :)
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Postby swreader » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:35 am

Why does Drum Billet (who seems to have lived an extremely long and probably -- if DEATH is to be believed--wicked life and accumulated much bad karma) care so much about getting the staff into the hands of what he thinks is an 8th son of an 8th son?

Is this perchance a foreshadowing of Sourcery?

My own feeling is probably not. But Drum Billet does seem to have been a very special, powerful wizard who is reluctant to die--and in fact seems to opt out of DEATH's plan, to become, in some fashion 1st the apple tree, and later, via re-incarnation a "magic" ant, involved in building the sugar tomb with "the insect hieroglyphs" the true secret of longevity--which is, unfortunately washed away by the next flood.

(Blame Tony for the "magic - ant" pun) -- making progress in healing but this is about my limit.)
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:43 pm

Please don't push it Sharlene - not with such an obliging stenographer on hand :wink: :lol:

Actually it's interesting these early books are mostly focused on the Wizards (and Witches storming in with a vengeance in this) and with Death. In the next book Mort, he has to take the life of a Witch on his solo outing and there too we have another marked difference with how magically gifted people depart their mortal lives. Then in Sourcery we get yet another contrast between the genders with Coin's megalomaniac father's overpowering rage and grief that prompts him to cheat death in order to give his young son ultimate magical powers.

With Death, the person but really more the process, we see how Witches are far more practical and almost unconcerned about Death. How could they not be? They inevitably see him all the time in the course of their career and so the reason they're almost always calm and matter of fact when it's their turn is because they're so familiar with the dying that they have no fear of it - I don't think I can remember any Witch giving Death a really hard time of it when they die. The Wizards as we know, with the possible exception of Windle Poons, make a terrible fuss with terror from Rincewind and the extravagant behaviour of all the rest in avoiding or trying to bargain with the anthropomorphic personification.

Witches are about Life, Death and Sex - they understand people very well indeed as they are their business and it's this that's important to how they ply their trade. They fight with magic when they need to, against hivers and Elves and, in a way against Wizards too, but with people they mostly don't need to because headology forms the driving force of their brand of magic. It's the cornerstone of their power and why all Witches, including Magrat, Miss Level and Petulia, all possess or acquire conviction and pride in their abilities. But it also bonds and binds them to the real unmagical people they live and work with. Wizards don't do this for the most part. UU is the greatest example of how they hold themselves apart and study grand and lofty ideals and also why they veer from turning into selfish academic gourmands and power-crazed mages who are largley oblivious to anything remotely domestic or 'ordinary'. I'm afraid Terry is a traitor to his gender - he's let the women rule his own world, but in an unobtrusive and thoughtul manner :twisted: :wink:
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Postby poohcarrot » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:38 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:I'm afraid Terry is a traitor to his gender - he's let the women rule his own world, but in an unobtrusive and thoughtul manner :twisted: :wink:


How can you be a traitor to your gender by stating the obvious? :wink:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:33 pm

Know when you're beaten huh? Yes that's a v. pragmatic way of looking at it pooh :P
"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 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:39 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:Know when you're beaten huh? Yes that's a v. pragmatic way of looking at it pooh :P


We were beaten the day God gave us penises/peni.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:48 pm

Never mind. There are compensations - I'd hate to live a world without the funny little chaps :wink:
"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 kakaze » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:57 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:Never mind. There are compensations - I'd hate to live a world without the funny little chaps :wink:


So would I! :lol:

And who says that you have to be a good person to care about your posterity? Wizards don't have children (usually), so in place they achieve a type of imortality by passing on their magic instead of their name/DNA.
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Postby Trish » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:54 pm

Jan's 2d paragraph --yeah, goes double.

Equal Rites is really about the differences in how men & women think.
Same situation brings entirely different reactions /responses from each sex.

But we knew that, just that Terry says it so well.
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Postby chris.ph » Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:40 pm

and he says it again in monsterous regiment as well :)
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Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:41 pm

In Nation too... We are the Grandmothers.
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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Postby Phoenix » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:32 am

poohcarrot wrote:(Gets back on topic) (in wind-up mood)

Apart from Kakaze and Phoenix, is there anyone else who thinks the staff communicates telepathically with Esk and tells her what to do? :D


Hmmm... I've been thinking about this and I'm not entirely sure I haven't merged my memories of ER and Sourcery :oops: I'm not sure that the staff in ER is strictly telepathic, but I do seem to recall that at times Esk struggles against the staff, which suggests it wasn't merely a tool for her to control. Methinks I will have to re-read Equal Rites before I come to a conclusion!
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