Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:40 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Remember that L-Space is written by fans and is sometimes just plain wrong. :naughty:


Absolutely true! Just look at everything I've added to it for proof. :D
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:10 pm

:lol:

I think that comment:

'It all works out,' said Granny Weatherwax, 'somewhere. Your young wizard knows that, he just puts daft words around it. He'd be quite bright, if only he'd look at what's in front of him.'
He wants to stay here for a while,' said Ridcully gloomily. he flicked another pebble into the depths.
'Seems fascinated by the stones. I can't say no, can I? The king is all for it. He says other kings have always had fools, so he'll try having a wise man around, just in case it works better.'
Granny laughed.
and there's young Diamanda going to be up and about any day now,' she said.
'What do you mean?'
'Oh, nothing. That's the thing about the future. It could turn out to be anything. And everything.'


It's about infinite universes. We know that in at least one universe, Granny and Ridcully got married and had children. By that theory, there would be at least one universe where Ponder and Lucy (Diamanda) got together. But as there is never any mention of it again, we might assume that it didn't happen in this universe. :)


I see no evidence in the book for this statement on L-Space:

Following the events of Lords and Ladies, Ponder excitedly asks Mustrum Ridcully for permission to stay on in Lancre, ostensibly to carry out field-study on the Dancers and their "iron-loving" properties. Ridcully, who has noticed a certain understanding growing up between Stibbons and Diamanda, and who in this respect is older and wiser, sighs and grants the request.


As far as we know, Ponder has never even met Lucy. :roll:
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby LilMaibe » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:47 pm

Don't blame me for that misunderstanding :( The german translation is all over the place in this book
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raptornx01 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:24 pm

raisindot wrote:Generally, there seem to be two schools of thought on the extent and reach of Granny's 'headology,' particularly in L&L and Carpe Jugulum. The first school thinks that while she does some manipulation of people, that some of the situations she gets into where she appears to be powerless or shows self-doubt are genuine.

The second school believes that Granny knows exactly what she is doing at every step of the way, plans every kind of manipulation (including feigning her own weakness and vulnerability) knowing full well that she could beat each book's main nemesis in a full-frontal magical assault but doesn't do so because she knows that eventually she won't be around to take on these enemies and that part of her responsibility as the most powerful witch in the world is to use headology to empower the less powerful to work together to try to confront and defeat these same enemies. There's a lot of this "school vs. school" debate in the Carpe Jugulum discussion.

In Lords and Ladies, if you subscribe to the Second School, you'd believe that every one of Granny's actions, including feigning her 'capture' by the Elf Queen and her apparent weakness in being able to escape from them, was carefully planned for the sole purpose of motivating the Lancreans (including Magrat) to take matters into their own hands to defeat the Elves.

It's an interesting debate, and it's to Pterry's mastery of this material at this point in his career that both sides of the debate could find evidence to support their opinions.


See i would place myself in between to the two schools. While she may at times feign weakness she also isn't opposed to claiming credit for something that happened on its own. she has a few "Uh, yeah i meant for that to happen :shifty: " moments. she's in control more often then people probably think, but she isn't a divine entity.
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:17 pm

I'd suggest the L&L is, arguably, Pterry's first DW book that makes extensive use of allegory (one might argue that Small Gods does the same).

The Elves represent the tendency of those in power (monarchies, aristocrats, religious institutions, feudal lords, oligarchies, dictatorships) to use their totally unfounded aura of 'superiority' of oppress the masses. Throughout history, the rich and powerful successfully portrayed themselves as being smarter, richer, better, stronger, and more important than those who weren't, whether it was through slavery, religious indoctrination, ghettoization, superstition, propaganda, social darwinism, or just plain old terrorization. And, throughout history, the masses were totally browbeaten into believing that the rich and powerful knew what was best for them.

While plenty of this kind of 'old school' oppression exists today, in the 20th century the power of the media and the commercialization of our culture have largely replaced it as the main 'oppressive' force today. Advertising, the cult of celebrity, the media and society's endless coddling of the rich and beautiful have replaced good old dogma and torture as a means of making 'ordinary' people feel ugly, stupid, powerless in comparison to the empty-headed and gorgeous supermodels, movie and TV stars, pop stars, 'reality TV vermin,' jet setters and euro-and-america-trash that constantly fill the pages of tabloids and infest the TV screen.

In Lords & Ladies, the elves symbolize society's emphasis on the superiority of the rich, famous and beautiful. Their whole purpose is to make 'regular people' (the citizens of Lancre) defer to their glamor, give in to their feelings of inferiority, and be trapped in jealousy for illusions that can't have. Like the millions of people who are addicted to reality TV, read the tabloids, and follow celebrity Tweets, the Lancreans are seduced by the empty 'glamor' of the superficially beautiful because the latter make them feel that have no self-worth, just as the media does today.

The theme of 'iron' and 'the land' that permeates the story represents the values that the people are slowly losing as they become seduced by the new. Verence's attempts to 'modernize' Lancre by looking to Ankh Morpork for books on science (and other things!) and his attempts to craft the perfect 'Lancre army knife.' The young witch aspirants' contempt for the 'traditional' witchcraft practiced by Nanny and Granny in favor of the showy and superficial. While the Lancreans still largely live in traditional ways, they are looking outward and are losing their connection to the 'iron' that keeps them grounded in tradition. It's this gradual forgetfulness of tradition--this loss of their iron connection--that makes them forget how bad it was the last time the elves invaded, and, instead, their collective memories only remember the beauty of the elves.

The only people (other than Granny) who aren't affected by the elves' glamor are those who still maintain their strong connections to tradition and the land. Hodges Arrghhh has no capacity to think beyond his little world of raptors. The beekeeper only thinks about his hives. These are people whose are so grounded in the old ways that nothing else--changes in kings, invading forces--truly affects them in any way.

In the end, it is only when Granny is able to remove the seductiveness and repressiveness of glamor from Magrat--and help her regain her own connection to her inner strength--that the elves can be defeated.

Pterry's allegorical lesson here is quite clear: If you let yourself get seduced by the false aura superiority that the rich, beautiful, famous and powerful--and their allies in government, business and the media--cast upon you, you will surrender your own self-worth and any chances of personal fulfillment.
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raptornx01 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:30 pm

raisindot wrote:I'd suggest the L&L is, arguably, Pterry's first DW book that makes extensive use of allegory (one might argue that Small Gods does the same).

The Elves represent the tendency of those in power (monarchies, aristocrats, religious institutions, feudal lords, oligarchies, dictatorships) to use their totally unfounded aura of 'superiority' of oppress the masses. Throughout history, the rich and powerful successfully portrayed themselves as being smarter, richer, better, stronger, and more important than those who weren't, whether it was through slavery, religious indoctrination, ghettoization, superstition, propaganda, social darwinism, or just plain old terrorization. And, throughout history, the masses were totally browbeaten into believing that the rich and powerful knew what was best for them.

While plenty of this kind of 'old school' oppression exists today, in the 20th century the power of the media and the commercialization of our culture have largely replaced it as the main 'oppressive' force today. Advertising, the cult of celebrity, the media and society's endless coddling of the rich and beautiful have replaced good old dogma and torture as a means of making 'ordinary' people feel ugly, stupid, powerless in comparison to the empty-headed and gorgeous supermodels, movie and TV stars, pop stars, 'reality TV vermin,' jet setters and euro-and-america-trash that constantly fill the pages of tabloids and infest the TV screen.


But people choose those things. they aren't forced to buy or watch. there is no magic aura sweeping the land that brainwashes people into being vein and shallow and stupid. they do it to themselves. and they (the ordinary people) have no problem turning around and doing it to others, prefering beauty to quality, wanting soulmates but only looking for a pretty shell. and then when the pretty ones turn out to be the elves, devouring what is good in the world, the victims cry for sanity, realizing all along as they lay broken and bleeding on the floor that they should have sought the real humanity underneath, for 5 seconds, then they turn around and look for the elves again.

In Lords & Ladies, the elves symbolize society's emphasis on the superiority of the rich, famous and beautiful. Their whole purpose is to make 'regular people' (the citizens of Lancre) defer to their glamor, give in to their feelings of inferiority, and be trapped in jealousy for illusions that can't have. Like the millions of people who are addicted to reality TV, read the tabloids, and follow celebrity Tweets, the Lancreans are seduced by the empty 'glamor' of the superficially beautiful because the latter make them feel that have no self-worth, just as the media does today.

The theme of 'iron' and 'the land' that permeates the story represents the values that the people are slowly losing as they become seduced by the new. Verence's attempts to 'modernize' Lancre by looking to Ankh Morpork for books on science (and other things!) and his attempts to craft the perfect 'Lancre army knife.' The young witch aspirants' contempt for the 'traditional' witchcraft practiced by Nanny and Granny in favor of the showy and superficial. While the Lancreans still largely live in traditional ways, they are looking outward and are losing their connection to the 'iron' that keeps them grounded in tradition. It's this gradual forgetfulness of tradition--this loss of their iron connection--that makes them forget how bad it was the last time the elves invaded, and, instead, their collective memories only remember the beauty of the elves.

The only people (other than Granny) who aren't affected by the elves' glamor are those who still maintain their strong connections to tradition and the land. Hodges Arrghhh has no capacity to think beyond his little world of raptors. The beekeeper only thinks about his hives. These are people whose are so grounded in the old ways that nothing else--changes in kings, invading forces--truly affects them in any way.

In the end, it is only when Granny is able to remove the seductiveness and repressiveness of glamor from Magrat--and help her regain her own connection to her inner strength--that the elves can be defeated.

Pterry's allegorical lesson here is quite clear: If you let yourself get seduced by the false aura superiority that the rich, beautiful, famous and powerful--and their allies in government, business and the media--cast upon you, you will surrender your own self-worth and any chances of personal fulfillment.


but here's the thing, and where this falls apart. they maintain strong connections to the land, NOW. But they didn't always. The contempt the young witches feel has nothing to do with some kind of loss of tradition, they may be looking outward but they looking into the world with the eyes of the outsider, seeing the flaws and knowing they can fix them. everyone around them is old and set in their ways and are like the frog in the pot of slowly heating water going down the path to eventually boiling to death without noticing. they, infact, are looking at the world with the eyes of youth, the same eyes everyone has at some point.

what you are seeing is a glimpse into the life of granny, as she was. What is playing out here is like the scene of today of some old woman complaining about the evil music of today, when in her youth her parents were doing the same thing, and so on and so on. Marylin Manson haters being old Elvis fans, etc.

also we see what she could have been. the theme of what might have been is here too, as we saw Grandmother Weatherwax, here is where we see how granny turned away from the queen, but in Diamanda we see what would have happened if she didn't.

to me this is Pterry looking at his own life. and what might have been.
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:41 pm

raptornx01 wrote:But people choose those things. they aren't forced to buy or watch. there is no magic aura sweeping the land that brainwashes people into being vein and shallow and stupid. they do it to themselves. and they (the ordinary people) have no problem turning around and doing it to others, prefering beauty to quality, wanting soulmates but only looking for a pretty shell. and then when the pretty ones turn out to be the elves, devouring what is good in the world, the victims cry for sanity, realizing all along as they lay broken and bleeding on the floor that they should have sought the real humanity underneath, for 5 seconds, then they turn around and look for the elves again.

Yes, people do make those choices, and people are to blame if they make choices that favor style over substance. But in the Roundworld, the influence of the media or dogma or authority is the equivalent of the elves' magic--it is seductive, and often subconsciously absorbed. Part of the reason the Lacreans fall victim to the elves' magic is because they all know the stories of the elves in the past and are susceptible to the manipulation of these beautiful superbeings in a way they aren't by figures of authority (such as Verence).

raptornx01 wrote:but here's the thing, and where this falls apart. they maintain strong connections to the land, NOW. But they didn't always. The contempt the young witches feel has nothing to do with some kind of loss of tradition, they may be looking outward but they looking into the world with the eyes of the outsider, seeing the flaws and knowing they can fix them. everyone around them is old and set in their ways and are like the frog in the pot of slowly heating water going down the path to eventually boiling to death without noticing. they, infact, are looking at the world with the eyes of youth, the same eyes everyone has at some point.

I think your statement proves my original point. Verence and the young witches (and many of the Lancreans whose children have moved to Ankh Morpork or regularly bring back worthless trinkets and junk from that big city) see the Ramtops traditions--including old school witching--as being old, outdated, and irrelevant. By consciously breaking rebelling against these traditions--grounded in iron and the power of the land--they become more susceptible to the seduction of the new and superficial, making them easy prey for the elves' manipulation.
raptornx01 wrote:also we see what she could have been. the theme of what might have been is here too, as we saw Grandmother Weatherwax, here is where we see how granny turned away from the queen, but in Diamanda we see what would have happened if she didn't.

Precisely. Had young Granny been seduced by the Queen's offer, the elves probably would have taken over the Ramtops, with Granny as their vessel. But she didn't, precisely because she had strong 'iron' ties to the land and to the witching traditions, which required young witches to gain power through 'learning,' rather than having powers magically bestowed upon them. Diamanda is like the pre-teen girls of today, who dress up like tarts at age 9 and try to act like adults, even though their bodies are brains are not ready for it, in good part because they are heavily influenced by the images of pop stars and other 'idols' who sex their way across TV screens.
raptornx01 wrote:to me this is Pterry looking at his own life. and what might have been.

That's an interesting statement. I'm trying to wonder what other kind of 'quanta' would have offered Pterry a life that would have been better off than the one he was living at the time he wrote L&L when he was already a successful, highly popular writer, happily married man and father, and (presumably) quite wealthy.

he was one of the world's most successfuly fantasy wrtiers
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby swreader » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:02 am

Pratchett began his writing with a focus primarily on comic humor. But fairly early in his career, he began to explore more serious ideas and themes. One major theme, a central part of all the witch books whether old or young witches--is the importance of seeing reality. This is perhaps the most important theme of Lords & Ladies is to look carefully (and listen carefully) at people and life and not to "take as gospel" what everyone knows.

Pratchett uses a framing device in this book - an appearance of the young would-be witch Esmerelda. She is working very hard at finding out for herself the function of The Stones and what they were designed to do. And what the stones are, like part of the work of witches in Discworld, is a means of protecting this world from incursions from other realities or perhaps other forms of life (other galaxies?).

In traditional folklore, witches are evil creatures (think of the Disney witches) who enjoy harming others, doing evil, and even perhaps consorting with the Devil (at least that's what some people thought). But Pratchett's witches are quite different. They are wise women, the ones who are charged with guarding the borders, with caring for the births and deaths of the people whom they serve. While the major witches Pratchett uses are those of Lancre (and the Chalk), there are other witches on Discworld.

Granny has already faced one struggle (in Witches Abroad) with her sister who wanted to turn real life into fantasy stories that she can control. She does this for her own enjoyment and sense of power without regard for the people of Genua where she holds power (at least temporarily). Significantly, Granny finds her way out the mirror maze (although Lillith cannot) because she knows who she is, and that she is real. The young Esme takes nothing for granted--she has visited the Trolls and learned about their beliefs. She has heard, apparently, about the "Lords & Ladies" and she wants to find out if they are real. But she is able, even at this early stage in her career, to resist the temptations of elvish power. But, as Pratchett tells us--"But that was a long time ago, in the past. And besides, the bitch is . . . older."

Pratchett leaves it somewhat unclear just when the elves and the earlier witches fought for control of Lancre--it seems more probable that Granny & Nanny have been properly instructed about elves, and Granny has of course met the Queen in that first scene. They know that they are dangerous, vicious creatures - who appear to have glamor and style which draws people to them.

It seems to me that there are two extremely significant passages in this book, which Pratchett uses to convey the one of the themes of the novel. One has to do with the nature of elves (or other words that can be substituted). The passage begins:

"Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvelous. They cause marvels."

but then Pratchett moves on to the vernacular - Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
The point which Pratchett is warning us about is the danger inherent in the words that have changed their meanings. As he says, ..meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning. No one ever said elves are nice."

Pratchett's elves, although they draw heavily on folklore regarding elves and fairies, are also almost like a kind of alien with the ability to manipulate the minds of others. (Pratchett is, after all, a writer of fantasy/science fiction). But if one listens carefully to the words, they can lose their power to control. Code phrases (for example in political speech) allow one to espouse beliefs that neither the speaker nor the listener are prepared to acknowledge. We certainly couldn't say that we don't want Obama as President because he's black. But we can say that "he's not our kind of people" in various and sundry ways. We can justify almost any war because one side's terrorist is an other's freedom fighter. But if you watch the words carefully--Pratchett suggests--you can recognize what is real.

And what Granny has learned is that what is real has value. It's hard, but real. If you can't die you're not really alive. And only living creatures are capable of change because they can learn.

But Nanny has an important role in this book--it is she who finally rids them of the elves by calling on The King of the Elves. I'll post more about that theme and function later.
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:30 pm

Very good points, Sharlene. I'm interested in hearing what you have to say about the Elf King. For me, this sideplot was one of the weak parts of the book, created to give Nanny something meaningful to do (since she herself was incapable of fighting against the Elf Queen). I was really bothered that he had happened to appear just at the moment when Magrat would have perhaps killed the Elf Queen, or at least managed to weaken her to the point where the rest of the Lancreans would have been knocked out of their 'submission' and gotten rid of the Queen (and all the other elves) themselves. Pterry never gives them the opportunity (the same way he uses another "last minute appearance" in CJ to deny the villagers the chance to kill off the vampires on their own).
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raptornx01 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:58 am

raisindot wrote:Yes, people do make those choices, and people are to blame if they make choices that favor style over substance. But in the Roundworld, the influence of the media or dogma or authority is the equivalent of the elves' magic--it is seductive, and often subconsciously absorbed. Part of the reason the Lacreans fall victim to the elves' magic is because they all know the stories of the elves in the past and are susceptible to the manipulation of these beautiful superbeings in a way they aren't by figures of authority (such as Verence).


But, the media exists as an extension of the people. its the media that is influenced, not the other way around. The media simply flows with the prevailing winds. They may provide the people with alternatives, but the people decide which of those alternatives are to be followed. Is the trend of reality tv, for example, a product of the media forcing its views of entertainment on us? No. they can be traced back to the biggest, Survivor. That was presented for our consideration, and became huge. the Media acknowledged that and began to give more of the same. there were tweaks and alterations that gave us the various types of shows, but what we have now would not have existed without the one big thing. and even Survivor came about that way, being the result of the popularity of Road Rules, which itself was an extension of The Real World.

Even the view of beauty is the same. Look at 70's porn. look at the people who were popular then. You honestly think women like Kay Parker et al would even be able to find work today? they'd be too fat, too.... natural (cough). why? because of some stick-thin bald chick got popular and now they all look like that. and it even extended in the real world were now every woman has to look like a 9 year old ifyouknowwhatimean. and go back further and you see the same differences. times change and people do as well. the media just feeds it and feeds off of it.

If you want a alagory to tie to the elves the only thing that really fits is if you see the media as you see the queen later in Wee Free Men. giving sweeties to a young boy because he wants them, and only giving him what he wants, not what he needs.

I think your statement proves my original point. Verence and the young witches (and many of the Lancreans whose children have moved to Ankh Morpork or regularly bring back worthless trinkets and junk from that big city) see the Ramtops traditions--including old school witching--as being old, outdated, and irrelevant. By consciously breaking rebelling against these traditions--grounded in iron and the power of the land--they become more susceptible to the seduction of the new and superficial, making them easy prey for the elves' manipulation.


maybe, but it seemed to me you were implying that what these young witches were doing was somehow different. I was merely saying that they were just acting like granny and nanny the rest acted when they were the same age.

Precisely. Had young Granny been seduced by the Queen's offer, the elves probably would have taken over the Ramtops, with Granny as their vessel. But she didn't, precisely because she had strong 'iron' ties to the land and to the witching traditions, which required young witches to gain power through 'learning,' rather than having powers magically bestowed upon them. Diamanda is like the pre-teen girls of today, who dress up like tarts at age 9 and try to act like adults, even though their bodies are brains are not ready for it, in good part because they are heavily influenced by the images of pop stars and other 'idols' who sex their way across TV screens.


I don't know where you get the idea that young Esme declined the queens advances because of witching traditions and ties to the land. The impression I got was she simply didn't like being told what to do and was very strong minded.

as for the other stuff, kids have always acted like adults. girls dressing up in their mothers dresses and make up, boys pretending to be various professionals. saying this is because of tv is like saying violence in the result of tv.

That's an interesting statement. I'm trying to wonder what other kind of 'quanta' would have offered Pterry a life that would have been better off than the one he was living at the time he wrote L&L when he was already a successful, highly popular writer, happily married man and father, and (presumably) quite wealthy.

he was one of the world's most successfuly fantasy wrtiers


Who said better? anyway wealth isn't the end all be all (and has problems of its own). and writing may not have been the only thing he was interested in. and the one you marry isn't always the one you wanted.
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:37 pm

raptornx01 wrote:[
raisindot wrote:That's an interesting statement. I'm trying to wonder what other kind of 'quanta' would have offered Pterry a life that would have been better off than the one he was living at the time he wrote L&L when he was already a successful, highly popular writer, happily married man and father, and (presumably) quite wealthy.

he was one of the world's most successfuly fantasy wrtiers

Who said better? anyway wealth isn't the end all be all (and has problems of its own). and writing may not have been the only thing he was interested in. and the one you marry isn't always the one you wanted.

I don't know that it has to be better necessarily - it's the principle of 'what might have been' for everybody. What if you were a raving zealot and became a priest, or were gay, or insane, or born a girl/boy/transexual, had anorexia or obsessive surgery addictions. Even made this decision and not another, were late for a date, or were the one who got stood up, took that job offer or ended up unemployable - had an accident and sustained brain damage/went into a coma, did/did not die, or simply got lucky and emerged without a scratch, but the next week went down in a ball of flames on your annual charter flight to Lanzarote? :lol:

It's not even a case of reality against fantasy, just alternatives that might have been or are your choices. What if there aren't alternative universes? What's the point of everyone having endless variations of the same existence? Could it even happen? If it did would you still be you? Terry gives us the answer more or less when Granny says to Ridcully (and of course I paraphrase 'cos I'm too lazy to go look it up :P )
"I'm 'me' here and now - none of the other 'mes' matter because that's not the me I am."


And as we see in the mirror maze, Granny always knows exactly who she is and the reasons why which is why Diamanda and Lilith (who was the prototype and 'closer to home' Diamanda in that her 'reality' was founded on reflections, literally smoke and mirrors, rather than reflected glory from Elf Queen) ultimately pay for taking shortcuts simply to get what they want now. In Diamanda's case this makes her weaker than Lilith in that she just got everything from the Queen on a plate but perhaps the reason that this makes Lilith the more powerful in her own right of the two is down to vanity (for her own allure and ability) which conversely is also the reason why Granny doesn't succumb to the Queen's temptations because she's too vain or proud/clever/sensible to have someone just give it to her. Like Lilith, Esme wants power on her own terms, but Lilith wanted it the quick and selfish way where it's all about her? With Esme, perhaps because of Lilith's bad example and the query mark over her own Granny's fate
Spoiler: show
(cleared up in CJ of course when her vampire slaying career is revealed ;) )

she was forewarned of the danger and took a more 'scholarly' or at least considered route to enlightenment by seeking and rejecting wisdom with experiences that leads her to superlatives in her chosen career. Her brief relationship with Ridcully was a strong 'might have been' for both of them that she got over more quickly and he discovered it wasn't worth enough to pursue beyond writing (if he'd really wanted her he could simply not have gone back to UU in the first place). They neither of them wanted the 'happy ever after' experience enough and went on to excel at magic in their different ways.

I think the point of this is really that you makes your choice of bed and then you lie on it as well as you know how instead of worrying about the 'what if's'. And the other side of it is that's there's never such a thing as a free lunch - especially when you go off and play with the Elves :twisted:
Last edited by Jan Van Quirm on Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:57 pm

raptornx01 wrote:But, the media exists as an extension of the people. its the media that is influenced, not the other way around. The media simply flows with the prevailing winds.


Uh, no, generally, the media CREATES these prevailing winds, and then duplicates the strongest kinds an nauseum. I don't recall there being a huge outcry from the masses for the creation of "Survivor," "American Idol," "Big Brother," "Mad Men," "NCIS," "Two and a Half Men," Beyonce, Justin Bieber, or a million scantily clad Britney clones. or any show with Kardashians in it. These were all created by programmers in networks who were looking for new ways to deliver viewers to their advertisers, in the same way that marketing and advertising are designed to generate 'artificial needs' that consumers don't know they have (i.e., it's doubtful that your average person would normally consider their life incomplete without triple bacon cheeseburgers, cubic zirconia, or $80,000 SUVs.) on their own volition. Those shows that are most popular spread their cultural influence over society. Thus, all half-dressed Britney clones influence pre-teen girls to dress and act like her. This is far different than little girls who dress like their parents--these are little girls who are influenced by the icons the media creates to look and act like little prostitutes, even if they don't know what this really means. Until too many of them find out the hard way. Believe me, I've known of enough 13-14 year old girls (children of friend, okay?) who have gotten into terrible trouble because they weren't emotionally ready to handle the characterizations they were emulating.

Getting back to L&L, the elves are exactly like the media. They push their own notions of beauty and fashion upon a population that 'laps it up.' But instead of giving the elves money in exchange for goods, the Lancreans give the elves their self-esteem and power.
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raptornx01 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:25 pm

As I said, they offer alternatives. its up to the people to decide. no one forced people to watch those shows. if the shows hadn't been watched the network would simply have moved on (just as the fashion mags wouldn't be here if no one bought them, etc etc). and yeah, whats popular gets spread around, but again thats not new, nor is it the fault of the shows themselves. If those girls are going out, dressed like that and getting into trouble, well, who let them? where are the parents? and why didn't the girls themselves know better? Who's been teaching them whats right and wrong? The media is just there, its not forcing anyone to do anything. you don't like what they do, vote with you pocket books/wallets, make them change it.

to me this is no different then claims of violence in the media sparking the rise of little satans everywhere. and while i may be a victim of the world you talk about i can't support that kind of view because i know its a load of marsh gas. I was raised in a movie household, my earliest films included the likes of the friday the 13th series, elm street, Faces of death, and numerous other hugely violent work of cinema. But i overcame that so called short coming and ended up a normal, civilized human being. those people can to.

the Lancrastians on the otherhand didn't "give" anything. it was taken. the Elves glamour FORCES people to see themselves as inferior, unworthy, and submissive.
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:35 pm

raptornx01 wrote:the Lancrastians on the otherhand didn't "give" anything. it was taken. the Elves glamour FORCES people to see themselves as inferior, unworthy, and submissive.

Just as you mentioned that people have a choice to be influenced or not influenced by the media, the Lancreans had a choice of whether to be 'glamored' or not. No one is 'forcing' them. The elves don't 'hypnotize' people through propaganda (like Hitler and Goebbels--yes, I'm invoking Godwin's law here) or through religious evangelizing (like every two bit TV preacher). Instead, they don't convey any ideas at all--all they do is prey on people's own feelings of inadequacy and lack of self-confidence. As Granny says, the elves offer nothing and take everything--even a genocidal dictator can change the minds and hearts of normal well adjusted people by emphasizing nationalism, militarism, and racial superiority. The elves can only exploit those feelings of inadequacy people already have, and only when the people allow themselves to be exploited.

Those who still maintain their strong connections to the land and are completely self assured in who they are are not glamored--in L&L, this means Hodges Arggh, the Beekeeper, and Granny.
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Re: Lords and Ladies Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby swreader » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:23 am

As I said, I’m coming back to Nanny Ogg’s quite significant part in this novel Remember that Pratchett writes comic satire, not polemics. Thus, the “common people” never have a major role in his fiction because that’s not the kind of novel he’s writing. They function as a backdrop for the points being made through the major characters.

Pratchett makes some reference to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in this book. But unlike the almost parody of Macbeth in Wyrd Sisters, in this novel he uses Titania and Oberon (from Shakespeare) or the Fairy Queen & King to draw in all of the folkloric and mythic symbolism associated with them. But this is primarily a Witches novel, and Pratchett gradually expands his use of Nanny who is both a true friend to Granny, and the one who really saves the day and gets rid of the elves. Nanny is not so concerned with demonstrating her own power, or showing off by borrowing the bees. Nanny is the voice of the earthy part of life, and that life revolves around ordinary people and their concerns. Nanny understands them better than Granny ever will.

It is Nanny who tries to talk Magrat out of her fit of sulks after finding “the letter” and (more importantly) she sees Magrat as clearly as Granny does, but Nanny is able to work with her, to leave her some pride and dignity while making her aware of what Granny did for her. When Nanny & Magrat go to Granny’s cottage after the “apparent” death of Granny, Magrat reveals why she was so angry. It’s quite clear that Nanny had nothing to do with, and was not even aware of Granny’s writing the anonymous letter that has made Magrat so furious. But in her discussion with Magrat, Nanny gets her to see that Granny knew Magrat and Verence would never manage to get married without being prodded—so Granny prodded them. And Magrat has to admit that she really does want to marry him. Without her anger at Granny, Magrat would never have been willing to fight (with help) for her mate against the Fairy/Elf Queen. The Magrat of the end of the book is an adult—no longer a dreamy teenager mooning about love and singing folk songs (badly).

Nanny takes equal care of Granny (who acts as if she doesn't need the help) by waving the bag of sweets and luring Pewsey into the circle in the duel between Granny & Diamonda. Granny, as a proper witch, breaks off the contest and looks after the child, getting it to safety. Granny even does her best to save Diamonda (and to educate her about the danger of elves.) And incidentally, Nanny has rescued Granny from a contest that she was in no shape physically to win.

Nanny, the much married and always ready for a few more, is also much better at seeing how to get rid of the "Lords & Ladies". She (and Casamunda) descend into the lair of the “Horned King” figure—akin to Oberon, but drawing on the masculine principle as equally important and powerful. Granny is right, that he is dangerous and tricky and as much an elf as his wife. But Nanny knows that he can be" persuaded" to take the Queen in hand. She threatens his very existence when she warns that she’ll get the scholars/archaeologists to dig up the Long Man with iron shovels. She has equipped herself with an iron safety measure so that the King cannot force her to do anything. But Nanny is not having the kiddies need to go back “to them dark old ways.” She warns him that if he doesn't act, “I’ll see you nailed.” Granny and Magrat have the showy roles, but it is Nanny who actually gets rid of the elves.

Pratchett throws in the “rude mechanicals” who figure so prominently in Shakespeare, but who are not attempting to perform “Pyramus and Thisbe” as Shakespeare’s characters do. Although they serve a similar comic function with their highly sexual Morris dancing, they can protect themselves but not others. The struggle ends with only Magrat hearing the King say “something about meeting by moonlight,” which is a reference to the trick Oberon plays on Titania at the end of the play—where they all meet at the end by moonlight.

The wizards, in this novel, function primarily as comic relief, although Pratchett does use the “trousers of time” concept in the first meeting of Esmerelda and Mustrum, and their reunion. But they are different people now, and though he still cares for her, Ridcully does not understand Granny any better than he understood the young Esmerelda.
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