Discworld character Face-Off

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Discworld character Face-Off

Postby Cool Middle Name » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:02 pm

Hello there! This is CMN and in this thread we shall discuss and compare different characters in the areas of skill , intellect, strength and anything! Who are the deepest, most developed characters? Who's the number one copper? Best leader? Most intelligent character?
We start off with the latter!
Who is the most intelligent character in the Discworld series? Is is Granny Weatherwax or the Patrician? Or his aunt?
Does Mr Nutt have a chance here?

It would be great to see how people view and compare Granny and Vetinari. Both are very good 'headologists'. Both know how to press peoples' buttons.
However, I believe that Granny sees things in black and white, even if she says otherwise - the patrician sees only in black.

Vetinari's aunt, introduced in Night Watch, seemed to be behind the plans to get Snapcase on the head of the city. Vetinari has great respect for her and she probably taught him everything he knows.

There are characters like Carrot, Ponder and Mr Nutt who read very much and have therefore gained much general knowledge but are not very good with understanding people or emotions. You may debate about that with Carrot, but he is clearly very simple.
Veni... Vici... Vetinari!
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby Penfold » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:55 pm

I don't know if mathematical ability counts for intelligence but I would have to opt for You Bastard. Not only is he the Disc's greatest mathematician, but he doesn't have to work particularly hard for a living, unlike the others mentioned, nor does he have to worry too much about where the next meal is coming from. He hasn't made any enemies either and, if I recall correctly, about all he does is laze around in his stall all day thinking. :D
The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby raptornx01 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:17 am

Leonard De Quirm?
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby LilMaibe » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:25 am

You should count the orc out.
He's too perfect and overcomes all obstacles too easily. He always has had the last word, always said the wisest things had the most clever idea, the total overview and was in all ways superior to all other characters. With his only 'flaw' being a bit of unworldyness, as in 'he doesn't quite understand the ways of the simpler races' which never turns out to be in his disadvantage. The world bends around him so he comes out in top.
Therefore, count him out.
And:
Pre- or Post-Going Postal/Nightwatch Vetinari?
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby MongoGutman » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:58 am

Nobby Nobbs. He is a petty crook to the marrow of his bones, yet he has managed to get into a position where he's and old and tolerated, if not trusted, member of the constabulary. His small time pilfrages are not only forgiven, they're expected. He's created a very comfortable niche for himself when most of those who share in his basic nature are scrabbling for lose change in the gutter.
Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? ~~ Oddball
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby Cool Middle Name » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:41 pm

What's the difference, LilMaibe? I didn't notice Vetinari acting particularly strange/more or less intelligent in those two books or after.
Veni... Vici... Vetinari!
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:48 pm

If it's not Vetinari or Granny it has to be Gaspode actually :lol: He's a savvy top dog on the street, keeps the Canting Crew as healthy and viable as they can be, help outs the Sammies and generally scams his way out of trouble with only minimal gripes about his poor old paws and a dose of licky end. He lives life on his own terms and is mostly content with it aside from a slightly naive romantic attitude to the way of the wolf so I'd say he's got things pretty much sussed and sewn up.

If we must have a traditional sentient race then I'd much prefer Vetinari over Granny or Nutt as he's far more realistic than either of them and knows exactly how to exploit situations purposefully so they turn out the way he wants them to. And no, he doesn't see things in black or white, just shades of grey from deepest charcoal to the mistiest of pales as per his most prized possession at one time while he was still a post-grad Assassin :ugeek:

As for Aunties, Vampire statespersons and Crossword Ladies - well they're specialists not all-rounders and can only exceed in their areas of expertise, which he studies and learns from then applies in ways they're unlikely to have thought of... :dance:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby LilMaibe » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:09 pm

Cool Middle Name wrote:What's the difference, LilMaibe? I didn't notice Vetinari acting particularly strange/more or less intelligent in those two books or after.


He's acting more in favour of the 'story'. Okay, possible Narrativium and 'Stories' gained much more influence over people in the fixed timeline since Thief of Time.
But, UA, for example, this whole 'Forbidding foot-the-ball because of its brutality' The Vetinari of Jingo would have known it won't of much use, as there'd still be matches in much narrower alleys, the hate between the fans would still be there etc. In short, forbidding the game on the street was pointless.
That move was 'good for the story' though, but little else.
Then in general his way of being informed. It switched from knowing what he needed to know to pull the right strings to knowing either nothing to force suspense about a character or know everything and just keep quiet because....well, because of the story (snuff struck me as if he knows exactly what s going on and what all will happen)
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby Ziriath » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:36 pm

Yeah, in MM and UA it seems to me he knows everyone in the city, including their family tree some generations back. He was talking like Leto II Atreides, the God Emperor of Dune. It's quite strange and not much believable in case of a guy around 50 years old.
When I'm thinking about this, an inconsistence came to my mind. Vetinari was talking with Nobby Nobbs in the end of Guards! Guards! but in Men at arms he did not recognize him and asked him, if he's a dwarf and a city's employee (or something like this).
Maybe forgetting of Nobby's face after some time is kinda self-defense mechanism of the mind?
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby raptornx01 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:15 am

and he had just been shot.
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby Ziriath » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:26 am

That would explain it. The drink Ridcully gave him, maybe worked too.

And I prefer Vetinari. He's sometimes menacing, arrogant, quite depressed the most of the time, but he has a very high moral standard. Relatively. He doesnt know anything about mechanics or alchemy, but I think he pretends it- people will tell him more than they wanted to say in their effort of explaining stuff. Sometimes he seems to me like a sort of male witch, but not so bad-tempered like Granny Weatherwax.
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby Cool Middle Name » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:38 am

Ziriath wrote:Yeah, in MM and UA it seems to me he knows everyone in the city, including their family tree some generations back. He was talking like Leto II Atreides, the God Emperor of Dune. It's quite strange and not much believable in case of a guy around 50 years old.
When I'm thinking about this, an inconsistence came to my mind. Vetinari was talking with Nobby Nobbs in the end of Guards! Guards! but in Men at arms he did not recognize him and asked him, if he's a dwarf and a city's employee (or something like this).
Maybe forgetting of Nobby's face after some time is kinda self-defense mechanism of the mind?

Oh, everyone remembers Corporal Nobbs. He must have been in a pretty bad situation to forget his face.

I don't think he had the ability to remember Nobby's face, and I'm not even sure he saw it really. He noticed his height and assumed that his ethnic employment programme employed him.
Veni... Vici... Vetinari!
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby hazel8252 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:45 pm

Vetinari is a character where I often wonder how deeply he has to think about things; does he plan years ahead or is he just naturally able to deduce what will happen?
Granny is clever in a different sense, I don't often compare the two as they're from different areas, different worlds almost. I compare Granny and Nanny a lot, using magic in different ways. Nanny is sometimes very clever in a way people don't see and that makes her even sharper.
HO. HO. HO.
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby TimBou » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:04 pm

Surely Ponder Stibbons deserves a mention if we are talking intelligence? He certainly doesn't have political nous like Vetinari or the my-way-or-the-highway certainty of Granny Weatherwax, but he would beat them both hands down in his understanding of the quantum theory of magic, parallel universes etc. etc. And he's just about the only person in UU who actually does any work nowadays.

I'm glad You Bastard and Gaspode got a mention already!

I agree! Down with Nutt! Boo!

Just reading "Lords and Ladies" now and the contrast between the kinds of intelligence applied by Granny and Nanny is very clear there. Go Nanny!
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Re: Discworld character Face-Off

Postby Mattvwj » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:44 pm

Wow, so little love for Nutt! I feel like I'm the only person who actually liked this character? Yes, he was unrealistic in his intelligence, but thats somewhat explained, in that whilst he was living with Margalotta (sp?) he literally had nothing else to do but gain knowledge and 'worth', and because he was basically 'Tabula Rasa' (to be as pretentious and uppity as i can, because....why not?) he filled himself with knowledge and skills as much as he could. I think it was fairly brave of Sir Terry to introduce a new race so late in the series, and to do so in this way, much in the same way as he did with the goblins in Snuff. I don't think that Nutt was shown to be infallible, just that everything panned out for him in this particular story, especially as so much stuff relied on luck, considering how different things could have gone, simply if he had not met Trev or Glenda, but i suppose this could be said about any character. This is all my opinion of course, and considering its an unpopular one it seems, i've probably interpreted this excessively wrong! :D

However, away from all that, i would have to agree on Vetinari being the most intelligent character, mostly through his ridiculous cunning and use of countless Xantos Gambits (Oh hi again pretension/ TV tropes), and the fact he knows about nearly everything that happens in his city, and his very good use of democratic tyranny.
Can't comment on Granny though as the only Witches book i've read is wintersmith, so haven't got enough background to go from!
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