Feet of Clay Discussion **Spoilers**

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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:07 am

So why can't you get #10 then?

Get it and you win. :D
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:03 pm

Because, as far as I know, Terry never wrote a book called The Spawn of Satan. :lol:
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Postby swreader » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:34 pm

raisindot wrote:Did anyone find the 'gotcha' moment when Vimes claimed to prove that Dragon had poisoned the candles to be a little bit lame?

After all, Vimes had been accusing him of poisoning the candles all along, and Dragon had been providing a rather strong alibi to prove he had nothing do with it.

I also found it quite a bit stretching that Dragon wouldn't have immediately known that Vimes was in his study when he returned. Or that he didn't immediately turn into a swarm of bats when Dorfl grabbed him. (How the Watch would have been able to even keep him inside a cell is a challenge in itself).


JIB, I think you missed the point Terry was making here--the Dragon has been taunting Vimes with his link to the poisoned candles since the beginning because he believes Vimes is too dumb to see what he has put out for all to see. And Dragon as much as admits that his glance at the candles plus his "sudden weakness" means he knows about the candles. He denies their effect and also, and perhaps more importantly says "But who else saw me?" (i.e. - my word against yours)

As to your question about smell and swarms of bats, the obvious answer is that Terry needed that to be true. But vampires are not, I think, known for their sense of smell--rather for hearing. And the Dragon needed to be one big bat in order to attack Vimes (not a swarm).
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Postby raisindot » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:08 pm

swreader wrote:JIB, I think you missed the point Terry was making here--the Dragon has been taunting Vimes with his link to the poisoned candles since the beginning because he believes Vimes is too dumb to see what he has put out for all to see. And Dragon as much as admits that his glance at the candles plus his "sudden weakness" means he knows about the candles. He denies their effect and also, and perhaps more importantly says "But who


I didn't miss the point, SW. While it was quite evident that Vimes saw all of these things, at best they would have added up to circumstantial evidence in a real court of law. The point I'm making is that Dragon's glance at the candles occurs AFTER Vimes accuses Dragon of creating the poisoned candles and poisoning Vetinari with them. In other words, had a trial occurred, Dragon could have said, "Vimes accused me of poisoning candles, which I did not do. I only glanced at the candles on the hall because I thought Vimes was doing to me what he falsely accused me of doing to Vetinari. Vimes planted the idea in my head. It never would have occurred to me to poison candles. All the symbols in the candlemaker's coat of arms were specifically requested by the candlemaker himself; I had nothing to do with creating them, and there's no way to prove it."

1. Vimes talks to Dragon about other things without mentioning the candles or the candlemaker
2. Dragon starts getting weaker
3. Vimes notices this weakness, and says that there's holy water somewhere in the room
4. Dragon looks at the candles, demonstrating that he knows about this poisoning method before Vimes has even spoken of it
5. Vimes calls him out on this as a final means of "proving" Dragon's complicity in combination with the other circumstantial evidence he's already gathered (the coat of arms, etc.)

From a procedural point of view, it's the equivalent of the last scene in a cop show when the suspect, who has effectively hidden his tracks to this time and looks like he can never be arrested, is about to be let go and then is tricked into admitting something about the murder that hasn't been released to the public and that only the murderer would have known.

A small point in the larger story, but since this is a literary discussion, it's fair game to bring up.
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:38 pm

raisindot wrote:
From a procedural point of view, it's the equivalent of the last scene in a cop show when the suspect, who has effectively hidden his tracks to this time and looks like he can never be arrested, is about to be let go and then is tricked into admitting something about the murder that hasn't been released to the public and that only the murderer would have known.

A small point in the larger story, but since this is a literary discussion, it's fair game to bring up.
But isn't that the point of this scene? The book is, to some degrees a pastiche of detective novels, crime stories TV shows and the ilk.

The confrontation scene is an important part of the genre. It might not be particularly realistic, but it is almost a tradition in such stories. :)
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Postby ChristianBecker » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:43 pm

As far as I understand raisindot, the problem is not the scene itself but that Vimes tells dragon about the poisoned candles and THEN says there's holy water in the room. Only THEN does Dragon look at the candles - which is kinda obvious when shortly before Vimes spoke about poisoned candles.
So the scene itself is OK, only Terry messed up the order a bit.

I still haven't finished rereading FoC, so I don't know if raisondot is right, but if it is indeed like he said, then he is.
On with their heads! I'm the clown prince of fools
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Postby raisindot » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:01 pm

ChristianBecker wrote:As far as I understand raisindot, the problem is not the scene itself but that Vimes tells dragon about the poisoned candles and THEN says there's holy water in the room. Only THEN does Dragon look at the candles - which is kinda obvious when shortly before Vimes spoke about poisoned candles.
So the scene itself is OK, only Terry messed up the order a bit.

I still haven't finished rereading FoC, so I don't know if raisondot is right, but if it is indeed like he said, then he is.


Thank you. That's EXACTLY what bugs me here. The scene itself does everything it needs to do; as you said, it's the order of these events that for me at least is a problem. Had this same kind of scene occurred in a traditional Agatha Christie-like mystery or police procedural this incongruity would have been a bigger issue. Since here it's only one of several narrative themes going on it's more a minor niggling point than anything else.
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:32 pm

You have one week to read or reread Eric for the discussion starting Monday 4th July. :)
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The fight in the candle factory

Postby Mary Skater » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:52 pm

I've just reread FoC. I remember being confused before by the sequence of events during the fight with the white golem, specifically what happed to Carrot. I've had another go at it, but I'm still not clear.


Carry fires the crossbow. Carrot gets the bolt through his left hand. The impact knocks him down. Carrot won't let Angua pull the bolt out because it has a silver point.

Cheri distracts the golem. Angua pulls Carrot out of the way and hauls him to his feet, blood dripping from his hand.

Carrot drew his sword. (Does he still have the arrow through his left hand? Usually you'd want the left to steady the scabbard while you draw with the right, but okay, maybe you can draw one-handed.) The golem knocks the sword away.

Dorfl distracts the white golem. Carrot gets a long metal rod from a stirring tank. (I was initially confused by the phrased "eased himself back down to the grease-crusted floor," as it seemed to mean he lay down. Eventually realised he must have had to climb up to the stirring tank, and was now back standing on the floor.)

As the white golem approaches, "Carrot hopped backwards, steadied himself on a rail, and swung." Why hopped? Does he have a bad leg? First I've heard of it. I think we can assume he has by now got rid of the crossbow bolt through his hand, although it hasn't been mentioned.

Carrot has a plan. We next see him climbing along the overhead gantry. He jumps on to the white golem's back, then off to the floor when Vimes and Detritus arrive. "He landed awkwardly on a sliding heap of candles. His leg buckled under him.." There's that bad leg again. Or did he just get hurt by the slide? Carrot is usually tougher than that. When the white golem comes for him, he "squirms" away and later "struggles up". Suggests to me a leg injury rather than a hand injury.

Carrot and Detritus carry away Dorfl's remains. Okay, maybe Detritus did most of the work. No further mention of injuries.


Maybe I'm just being thick, but it reads to me like a scene that was written in two different versions, and the "merge" wasn't done too carefully. Does anyone else have problems with it, or is it all obvious to everybody but me? :doh:

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Re: Feet of Clay Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:02 pm

It's all a bit confused, isn't it? :?

I don't really have an answer for you, but have you ever read about the possible Robocop/Terminator parody that the scene may be?

Here's a section of The Annotated Pratchett Files from L-Space on the subject:

L-Space wrote:+ [p. 258] "He landed on the king's back, flung one arm around its neck, and began to pound on its head with the hilt of his sword. It staggered and tried to reach up to pull him off."

In Robocop 2, our hero (Robo) jumped on the back of the 'Robocop 2' and tried to open its head.

+ [p. 260] "'They gave their own golem too many, I can see that."

The way the king golem is driven mad by the number of rules in its head reminded many people of a scene in Robocop 2, where Robocop is rendered useless by programming with several, partly conflicting rules. This slightly tenuous connection is reinforced by several further similarities between Dorfl and Robocop.

Never mind Robocop, however: one correspondent has posited that the entire candle factory sequence is a clever amalgam of the endings to both Terminator movies. I will let him explain this to you in his own words -- I couldn't bring myself to paraphrase or edit it down:

"The candle factory itself, with all the candle production lines is reminiscent of the robotics in the automated factory that Reese activates to confuse the Terminator. Throughout the candle factory scene, Carrot is Reese, Angua is Sarah Connor, the king switches between the original T-800 when fighting Carrot and the T-1000 from T2 when fighting Dorfl, who is the 'good' Terminator from T2.

Carrot is shot early on and has to be dragged around initially by Angua, much like the injured Reese has to be supported by Sarah. The following fight between Dorfl and the king is similar to the big T2 confrontation between the two Terminators, in which one of the combatants is able to 'repair' himself and thus has an advantage. When Dorfl is 'killed', his red eyes fade out just like a T-800s, but he is later able to come back to life. The T-800 achieves this by rerouting power through undamaged circuitry; Dorfl does it by getting the words from elsewhere (heart as opposed to head).

In T1, Reese finds a metal bar and tries to fight an opponent he can't possibly beat -- exactly as Carrot does. When Angua finds herself facing the injured king, it is similar to the scene in T1 after Reese's death, when the torso of the Terminator pulls itself along after the injured Sarah, grabbing at her legs (which the king also does to Angua). Then, Detritus' shot at the king, which has no effect, is like Sarah's last stand against the T-1000, when she runs out of ammo just at the crucial point. When it appears that the seemingly invincible king has survived everything and is about to finish the job and kill Carrot, the thought-to-be-dead Dorfl makes a last-gasp interjection which finally kills the king -- much like the resurrected Arnie appears just in time to kill the T-1000 in T2. Oh, and finally, the molten tallow that Cheery almost falls into is, of course, the molten metal at the end of T2."


What do you think? ;)
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Re: Feet of Clay Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Mary Skater » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:22 pm

I've never seen Robocop. I have seen Terminator, but too long ago for me to remember the details. If the Candle Factory scene was written to incorporate those elements, it would explain why it went through several incarnations. But I still think it should be internally consistent, and since it isn't, that looks like sloppy editing. That's irritating, because it suggests an attitude that "the readers don't matter, they'll never notice."

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Re: Feet of Clay Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby DaveC » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:04 pm

I do agree that I've found some of Pterry's action scenes hard to follow, some are great and some are a bit confusing. But it can happen in books just as in films, check out this breakdown of the car chase from The Dark Knight.

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Re: Feet of Clay Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Mary Skater » Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:33 pm

I suppose I'm just too word-orientated. If I'm taking the time to read the words, I want them to make sense. "Sense" can mean a flat world on the backs of 4 elephants, on the back of a turtle flying through space; it's internally consistent, and I have no problem with it. I do have a problem with the inconsistencies in that fight scene - a bit like Dr Watson's Afghan war wound, which can be in the shoulder or leg, depending on which story you're reading. (A discrepancy dealt with nicely in BBC's 21st-century "Sherlock.")

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Re: Feet of Clay Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby cabbagehead » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:27 pm

A minor comment: Female vampires turn into a swarm of bats. Male vampires turn into a single bat - Dragon does that when he escapes from the candle factory (IIRC). I suppose by the time he realized Vimes had him figured out (and wasn't there merely to ask ignorant questions or anything like that) he was weakened enough not to be able to escape in that manner.
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Re: Feet of Clay Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:41 pm

cabbagehead wrote:A minor comment: Female vampires turn into a swarm of bats. Male vampires turn into a single bat - Dragon does that when he escapes from the candle factory (IIRC). I suppose by the time he realized Vimes had him figured out (and wasn't there merely to ask ignorant questions or anything like that) he was weakened enough not to be able to escape in that manner.


A bit of 'backward rationalizing,' I think. :D

Pterry hadn't really figured out his vampire mythology by this time, since a few books later in Carpe Jugulum the Vampyrs can turn into mist at will. Most likely vampires can turn into whatever they want. Sally just chose to become a swarm. But, yeah, I can only think that the only reason Dragon couldn't change was because Vimes' holy water trick had taken away his power. Although how Vimes was possibly going to be able to keep him in a cell was never addressed, and ultimately a moot point, since Vetinari freed him.
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