Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

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Postby Trish » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:40 pm

Batty wrote:Vetinari may well have given Vimes more purpose to live, but he hasn't saved Vimes from physical danger. Therefore he hasn't saved Vimes life in the sense that I was talking about.


Batty, I'm not clear about your 2d sentence's meaning. Help?

Vimes thrives on the "rush" of physical danger. The chase, the takedown are meat & drink to him. Physical danger seems to allow him to feel complete and, by extension, valuable. Certainly, it is what others recognize him for.

Vimes is a realist who sees people for what they are in all their extremes, small wonder he drinks.
He can "see" the paradox of human nature in AM's citizens and, more deeply, within himself.

Vimes suffers from the human condition, too, but he knows it.
Vetinari, too, is a realist who knows himself, but is not bothered by the discrepancies in human nature.

Grown-up, adult angst is a bugger to deal with.
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Postby Trish » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:02 pm

First, Tony said "Vetinari does save Vimes's life" (in another book.

Batty wrote:No, if it's the book that I think you mean, then he doesn't! He saves 'Keel'.


But Keel is the catalyst for new-Watchman Sammy Vimes.
It's Keel who shows Sammy how to walk, talk, listen to the important bits and act on them.
Keel teaches Sammy the basics of life, not just policing.


Vetinari saves 'Keel,' an act that saves Vimes's physical self.
But Vimes saves his inner self himself.

Through Keel, yes, but Sam Vimes had to save 'Keel' in order to save Sybil and Little Sammy --from Carcer, yes, but more imporantly, Sam Vimes saves Sybil from the corruption that AM would have been without 'Keel.'
New-Watchman Sammy Vimes would not have been able to be so unselfish.
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Postby Dotsie » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:10 pm

Well, the first time around Vetinari saves Keel, but down the other leg of the trousers of time, it's definitely Vimes (whatever name he's using), and at the end we know that Vetinari has realised who he was. But, I don't remember if Vimes knew who the assasin was?
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:15 pm

Very interesting and yes I agree with the facts as stated in the last couple of posts - but this is getting away from Guards! Guards! now and straying into Night Watch. Let's keep it on topic please. :)

Remember that some members may not have read Night Watch.
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Postby Dotsie » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:17 pm

I was trying not to say anything Tony, honest I was! But people kept talking about it & it was making me itchy :oops:
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:23 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I know how you feel. :wink:
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Postby poohbcarrot » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:29 pm

I've been itchy for the last week because of "Maurice". I've spent the whole week writing and re-writing my theory. It's dynamite! Roll on Monday.
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:41 pm

poohbcarrot wrote:I've been itchy for the last week because of "Maurice". I've spent the whole week writing and re-writing my theory. It's dynamite! Roll on Monday.
:lol: Glad to hear it!
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Postby poohbcarrot » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:43 pm

Tonyblack wrote: :lol: Glad to hear it!


You might not be so glad when I post it. :lol: It's in a similar vein to the stuff that got me "banned" from Jan's forum! :twisted:
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Postby swreader » Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:36 pm

Not quite through with Maurice Pooh, but am looking forward with considerable interest to your post. :o

You know, every time I read most Pratchett novels, I see something new and different I hadn't seen before--and these conversations, even when we don't agree with each other (as in Batty, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on that point about Vimes and Vetinari)--the discussions give me a new way of looking at things.

I told Tony the other day that he's had a lot to do with making this board so good. But so have all of you. It's such a delight to have a board where people actually read the books, and are willing to talk about why they like (or dislike) a particular novel. :D
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:19 pm

pooh wrote:Tonyblack wrote:
Glad to hear it!


You might not be so glad when I post it. It's in a similar vein to the stuff that got me "banned" from Jan's forum!

Bowl of Petunias ~ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy wrote:"Oh no! Not again"

*sighs* I thought the decision was reached mutually you ratbag! There was an alternative to falling on your sword - it just involved gags (leather ones) and thumbscrews.... :twisted:

And where pray do dancing politicians 6000 years ago come into a story about flamin' rats?! *shakes head* :lol:
Last edited by Jan Van Quirm on Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ja4884 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:45 pm

Just a small comment on Guards Guards, the passage where Vimes is in the gutter and thinking of the city as wossname (woman) is a direct skit of the crime novels of Ed McBain.

They are a huge series of books set in America (can't remember either the city or the precinct but it could be the 84th) which tells the stories of a bunch of policemen and women trying to do there jobs in a lawless society (ringing any bells :) ).

They are nothing like the Discworld Watch books, apart from the protagonist always going on about the city being a woman, who will both kick you in the nuts and open her arms wide to you, but they are a great read.
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Postby Dotsie » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:32 pm

Terry is great at recycling :lol:
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group

Postby DreadfulKata » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:46 pm

Interesting. It's always funny the points other fans take issue with...

For instance, I never had a problem with the notion Sybil might be talking about putting some of her dragons to sleep. Probably not the Sybil of later books, but in G!G! she strikes me as more of a breeder than anything. People who work with animals - vets and so on - care so much about animals they dedicate their lives to helping them. but they'll still put a dog to sleep without a flicker of sentimentality (and not just sick dogs - some shelters euthanise dogs they can't rehome etc). So to me there was nothing jarring about the implication that Sybil might put Errol to sleep.

I also didn't worry much about the references in Vime's opening scene (and from Fred Colon) to him being brung low by a woman. There's some indication that actually this means the city-as-a-woman in what I agree is totally a parody/reference to a very noir kind of monologue.

ja4884 wrote:the passage where Vimes is in the gutter and thinking of the city as wossname (woman) is a direct skit of the crime novels of Ed McBain.


I didn't realise there was a specific character who did this, so that's interesting. I just read it as generic noir stuff. Which is not to say I discount the possibility that there have been actual women and failed relationships in Vimes' past. I;d be surprised if there weren't. But I think the only thing with the power to bring him so low has got to be the city itself. I also love the passage towards the end where the metaphor is reversed and Sybil compared to a city.


As for Sybil's physical description... I was never bothered by the notion that she is big (not just fat, but I imagine her as fairly tall as well), and it's always surprised me how much this seems to bother a lot of Pratchett fans. There's a lot of fanart around that depicts her as basically just a round-faced, curvy girl. I imagine Sybil as big, it's not a problem for me. I don't actually think Pratchett's description of her physicality changes between books: in The Fifth Elephant I still see the same Sybil that I did in G!G!. What I think changes is Pratchett's attitude towards her. In G!G! her size is a gag, and she's hardly mentioned without it being brought up. In later books she's become a character, and a hugely sympathetic one at that. Her size is no longer treated like a hilarious running joke. But I don't think that means she's shrunk. And as for her baldness - the swamp dragons keep burning her hair off, right? So she wears a wig? Again, not a problem for me. I kind of imagine that in later books where she's a little less involved with dragons and with something else going on in her life (Duchessing, philanthropy etc), she might start to grow her own hair out again.

Sometimes I wonder if people have trouble coming to grips with a sympathetic character who isn't described in very conventionally attractive ways? What's wrong with Sybil being fat and bald and not perhaps much of a beauty? I'm quite happy to think of her as this without that affecting my liking of the character. Honestly, no one tries to pretend that colon isn't fat, is it because Sybil's a woman and we can't bear her not to be pretty? I don't mean any of this with regards to any posts on this thread, it's just a general comment.

And correct me if I've missed something in comparing how she's described here and later.
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group

Postby raisindot » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:19 pm

Interesting. Do a little people have negative comments about her girth or Pterry's description of it?

I kind of see Sybil in GG as being kind of that stereotypical large-bodied, breeder-hipped aristocratic women you often see in the novels of PG Wodehouse of other English drawing room authors.

But over the course of the novels, Pterry uses her size to reveal deeper aspects of her character. In The Fifth Elephant, for example, we learn how she developed her amazing listening and conversational skills in school as a way to overcome her physical awkwardness. She's also not afraid to use her size to intimidate others when necessary (as she does in Thud!).

The most important point about Sybil's physical appearance is that Sam Vimes is physically attracted to Sybil in spite of it or perhaps because of it. Certainly enough to father a son and have a romantic scene with her in Snuff.
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