Tonyblack wrote:The question I'm asking is what is it about Mort's life timer that causes Death to choose it?
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
Tonyblack wrote:Death becomes more human and Mort becomes more Death-like.
LilMaibe wrote: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...
=Tamar wrote:I've been rereading Mort very carefully and I am alternating between feelings about the way it ends.
The introducing-Mort scene reminds me of the opening scene of an old movie, The Littlest Angel, which has been complained about by parents whose children became afraid to run on flat ground because there' s no indication of what actually causes the movie kid's death. Mort is also running in mountainous country, and he is shown to be clumsy.
Regarding Death's original choices of Ysabell and then Mort, I think he knew that Ysabell was going to have a very short life anyway, and so was Mort. What he originally altered was how that life would be spent. Mort's original lifetimer had only a few days left, if that - the total hours he spent in the mortal world, plus the time expended in the fight, because lifesands flow in the Lifetimer room. It was winter when they went to Sheepridge; he might have caught cold and died on the way home or shortly afterward. Ysabell probably had even less time left, the length of time she spent in the coronation scene, which is about how long it would have taken her to die in the desert as an infant. Spoiler for SM:
=Tamar wrote:The main issue I have is with the timing of the climax. Death says he had a word with the gods. When did he have that discussion? There is no break between Mort and company arriving and the whole fight and sudden end. On the face of it, it looks as though Death must have had the discussion with the gods before they arrived, which would mean the whole fight scene is contrived and is just dramatic grandstanding. If so, I'm angry; that's petty on a TCoM level.
But wait, Death can be in more than one place at a time - he's everywhere at once. So maybe he was having the discussion during the fight. Well, when? When did the gods agree to intervene? Was it when Ysabell slapped Death and the noise sounded like a dice cup rattling? (Like the dice cup rattling in TCoM?) Or was it later, after she slapped him and he stood tapping his fingers and seemed to be thinking?
=Tamar wrote:Then he says he can't be bidden - as if it's important that he keeps up the image that nobody can give him orders. He's given orders every time he is called irresistibly by the Rite of AshkEnte. Who is he trying to convince? Albert? Is he really talking only to Ysabell? Or is he defending himself to the gods? Whichever it is, he must have made the agreement by then and he just finishes the fight to save face. He demonstrates that he can take away the sword at any time, so he obviously never needed to have a fight in the first place. It was still all drama, and a sign that he was definitely affected by his interference with humans. (As Ysabell said to Mort much earlier, in the garden, "I think you're having an effect on him.") If it's that his curiosity has led to his being affected by the interactions with humans, I'm less angry, because that would explain some of his behavior. I think Mort is projecting when he remembers the loneliness. I don't think Death is lonely at first; I think he became able to feel lonely as a result of the events of this book. He's experimenting with a kind of intellectual equivalent of emotions, or perhaps demonstrating that emotions are not all glandular.
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