Mort Discussion *Spoilers*

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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:42 pm

Death is seen, at the very start of the book, looking amongst the life timers and choosing one. This seems to be Mort's and Death seems to be satisfied with that particular life.

The question I'm asking is what is it about Mort's life timer that causes Death to choose it?

I think there's more to it than 'because the plot requires it'.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Postby rockershovel » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:57 am

I don't agree. TP sometimes appears to include things simply for the sake of including the joke, or because the plot requires it, or to keep things moving along or just fill some space, and I think this is one of them.

There are any number of things Death does which don't really follow. I've never really understood WHY he pursues his feud with the Auditors, why he goes to Miss Flitwick as Bill Door - when he clearly has no real idea what he intends to do there - or why it is his particularly HIS responsibility to persuade people to believe in the Hogfather.

The business about quite WHY he maintains a quasi-human household has already been discussed.

Most comic writers re-use existing characters or stock situations to inhabit a joke or situation they wish to use, and TP is no exception.
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:26 am

The next book for discussion will be The Last Continent. The discussion will start on Monday 4th April, so you have two weeks to read or reread the book. :D
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Postby Pearwood » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:58 pm

Tonyblack wrote:The question I'm asking is what is it about Mort's life timer that causes Death to choose it?


Could it be maybe because Mort's a similar age to Ysabell? I seem to recall he encourages Mort and Ysabell to spend time together at least once. So maybe it was a case of killing two birds with one stone: he gets an apprentice, Ysabell gets a companion.
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Postby Dotsie » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:51 pm

Ysabel needs a boyfriend, Mort needs a job, and Death has a sense of humour.
What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:16 am

You now have one week to read or reread The Last Continent for the discussion starting Monday 4th April. :D
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Postby LilMaibe » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:11 am

Another thought:

Could it be that Death adopted Ysabell and took Mort a apprentice because deep in himself he remembered how things would end if those two weren't what they are?

Let's look at it like this: Without the two, no Susann, without her, how often would the world have ended in a desaster?
Soul Music, Hogfather, Thief of Time...
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:27 am

Are you assuming that Terry had already decided to create Susan?

There's something like seven years between Mort and Soul Music.

I thin it's more likely that, after mentioning Ysabell in Light Fantastic, Terry decided to elaborate on her story. Clearly Death doesn't need an apprentice, it seems to be more of an excuse to get companionship for Ysabell. And it goes badly wrong because not only does Mort take on Death's powers, but he also brings a certain humanity to Death that didn't exist before.
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Postby Prolekult » Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:44 am

swreader wrote:
And of course there''s the question of why DEATH turns Mort's life-timer over. It seems to me that may be because MORT could have destroyed DEATH and become MORT, but chose not to. DEATH thus owes him his continued existence.

____________
*Terry Pratchett & Steven Briggs - The Discworld Companion; p. 278


Just reread this one, sorry I'm late...I got the impression that when Death turns the lifetimer over, this is a "human" decision - as Tonyblack said:

Tonyblack wrote:Death becomes more human and Mort becomes more Death-like.


He knows it is against the "rules", but decides to do it anyway, for the sake of Ysabell and having been impressed by Mort's character in standing up and fighting him.

I agree with what others have said that Mort was chosen for Ysabell's sake as well. Maybe also the name, when Death ask's Mort's name and says "WHAT A COINCIDENCE", is he saying it ironically, having chosen Mort's lifetimer himself at the start of the book?

One question I wondered about was about the original assassin, surely Mort killing him prematurely is as bad as extending Keli's life, or worse? Is the fate of the assassin explained at all later, is he brought back to life when the reality bubble sets back in? Questions, questions...
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