Wyrd Sisters Discussion *Spoilers*

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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:47 pm

I don't think I brought this up in this discussion, but I meant to, and my current signature - Wyrd bið ful āræd* - reminded me of it.

The title - Wyrd Sisters has a meaning that some readers might not have 'got'.

Wyrd is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning 'fate'.

Here's the Wikipedia for Wyrd.

In Norse mythology the Fates, or Norns were three female weavers who controlled the destiny of men.

The whole idea of Wyrd Sisters refers to this I think - with our trio playing that role. This is not just a Shakespearean allusion. :D It's a very clever title by Terry.


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Postby raisindot » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:29 pm

Wow, you learn something new every day.

I had never thought about the title having any other references than the Shakespeare reference (with typical DW spelling).
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Postby ChristianBecker » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:12 am

I read that somewhere before. Well, that's one of the points I love in Terry. He's always doing those clever things you sometimes realize only later. I think someone called it fridge brilliance.

Three women personifying fate also appear in Greco-Roman mythology. The "Moirai" or "Parcae" are pretty much the same as the Wyrd sisters.
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Postby Maura:-D » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:58 am

I like this book. You first see the three witches together, and you see Granny Weatherwax in more detail.
Although I read the Tiffany books before the straight Discworld books, so I'd kinda met her already.... On that, I really liked the Tiffany books. Am only a teen, so when I want something easier going but still Pratchett, they're the ones I go for! :D
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Re: Wyrd Sisters Discussion *Spoilers*

Postby nom* » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:32 am

im coming in quite late on this discussion but anyway,

i don't think its essential to know all of Shakespeare's plays before reading this book, in fact one of the things i like the most about the discworld books is how you can be reading something for the 5th time and realise something new. or have great long discussions about them like this :)

my fave part of the book is where the Fool organises a bowl of water to be present where he and Margrat were to watch the play 'in case she wants to wash her hair'
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Re: Wyrd Sisters Discussion *Spoilers*

Postby RolandItwasntmyfault » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:21 am

nom* wrote:i don't think its essential to know all of Shakespeare's plays before reading this book, in fact one of the things i like the most about the discworld books is how you can be reading something for the 5th time and realise something new. or have great long discussions about them like this :)


I agree. To confess, I from all of Shakespeare's plays I only ever actually read MacBeth at school (and even this in a dumb-German-basic-English-class-pupils-are-to-stupid-to-understand-it-otherwise-simplified-version :roll:), although of course I know about the one or the other content (Romeo and Juliet or "To be or not to be"... is there anybody out there who never had heard of?). On the other hand spotting the several MacBeth references has been enjoyable in itself.

And still are.
Now I have read the complete DW series a second time in the right order I again have begun to pick the highlights and just started with "Wyrd Sisters".

This book I already have read three or four times, but there, right on the second page I spotted two nice little foreshadowings which I never spotted before:
Spoiler: show
[Some descriptions of the Ramtops and Lancre, then:] Even the land, at times, seems alive ...

And:

[The gods] play games others than chess with the fates of mortals and the thrones of kings. It is important to remember that they always cheat, right up to the end...


It was fascinating, well, you presumble hardly would spot it by first reading (except you indeed remember very good such little details of phrases), but I am lookind forward what I also still may have missed... 8-)


They, by the way, there is a question I always wondered about since I am noch familiar with a name beginning with "Hw":

How do you pronounce "Hwel"?
This name always puzzled me.
When I am reading there always forms somethin like "Hüwell", with a silent "ü"-sound (the sound Ankh-Morporkians skip from Überwald because of the silly dots, something similar-sounding as the "u" in "turn") turning up undeliberately between H and w to prevent my (imagined) tongue to choke itself.
But I always had the suspicion that this pronuncation might be far from its actual pronuncation, especially in a native English speaking tongue... Okay, presumbly Hüwell nevertheless would be jumping again up in my mind again and again while reading like a jack-in-the-box, but at least I would know how to pronounce it the right way.

Somewhere above there has been mentioned a connection between "Hwel" and "Will", therefore it would be something in the direction of "Well", "Will" or similar?
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Re: Wyrd Sisters Discussion *Spoilers*

Postby DaveC » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:11 am

Hwell is a Welsh sounding name, that would either be pronounced Huwell or Howell. But as you say, it is also meant to be reminiscent of Will as in Shakespeare.
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Re: Wyrd Sisters Discussion *Spoilers*

Postby RolandItwasntmyfault » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:57 pm

Ah, okay, thank you, then I haven't been too far away. 8-)

Although the connection between Hwell and Will (Shakespeare) I first spottet here at the forum where it is mentioned.

Until I saw Hwel in the animation series I imagined him another way, and even after this I had to be told (or I rather I read it somewhere), that he there has been modelled after Shakespeare (yes, I am rather ignorant on recognizing "stars" :?), I only thought "Hu? That shall be a dwarf?". But I also read somewhere (on L-space presumbly) that Hwel should be a reference on Shakespeare himself and then actually (and at last, if really really late) saw the connection myself, very clear nowadays and I now wonder how I ever not could have spottet it immediately (or even think Hwel should look otherwise in the animation). So it "logically" took until reading this thread before also seeing a connection between both's names (okay, not knowing the correct pronuncation wasn't helpful either).
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