Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:54 pm

Partly yes, but Vetinari and Lawn never had the eyeball connection with young Sam.

19 year old Sam wasn't on their radar at all back in time, but they both knew John Keel himself on the #1 Timeline and the Sam 'Duke' Keel from the #2 Timeline Vimes version of Keel. So there's no conflict at all with their memory of lilac time when #2 timeline kicks in and can see Vimes in his post time travel state (well Vetinari at least sees him immediately with the eye injury etc and so realises the #2 truth).

For the Watch members it's different and essentially it's their recall of young Sam for 30 odd years as Sam their comrade who's grown up with them (in both timelines of course - that doesn't alter in the slightest) and so, with the passage of #1 timeline (which is no different for them from #2 timeline) and that long association they've never put 2 and 2 together because Keel has always been the Keel in the graveyard from their memory of him and Sam's grown with them - they wouldn't even remember Keel that well in real happening time and have no reason to question their own eyes after such a long time or if they did would only think that he vaguely looks like Keel. Familiarity breeds expectations and they just wouldn't see it except as a strange co-incidence :wink:
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Postby Moon Dragon » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:59 pm

As I've recently stated in the other diskussion, then this along with Fifth elephant are my two favourite book. In My contry we used to have a written assignment meant to make us aware of what was expected when we got to universuty. I wrote in English about this book. It was the second time I read it and have to say that it was very interesting to try and analyse it and see it in a different light because the first time I read it was purely for entertainment. I juest ended up appreciating it even more.
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:25 pm

Terry's books are always worth rereading. I find new stuff in them every time and I've lost count of the times I've read them. :D
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Postby Moon Dragon » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:33 pm

My problem is I have a very mild case of adhd, so I can't concentrate for long periods of time and I use a day to read very few pages. Hence I prefer to read the new books so I can keep up. Heck, I think I'm only halfway through his books, but then again, it has been a while since I last read anything that wasn't university related :-s.
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Postby Beautiful Dirt » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:28 pm

This is perhaps, my favourite book of the entire series. It has everything I expect from a DW story; humour, oppression, the underdog fighting back, darkness, personal turmoil and many other aspects. I loved Vimes stretching his feet out into another person whilst demonstrating everything we love about him. One particular part had me giggling for ages.

The guards decide Keel/Vimes is being a bit of a pain and decide to set him up for thieving. The locker scene in which a brick is 'found' in his locker, and his subsequent explanation that he was 'saving up for a house' had me roaring with laughter.

I realise this an old discussion but I haven't been on here long and wanted to partake. :)
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:36 pm

There's no closing date to these discussions. Feel free to add to any of them. :)
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Postby Thordoc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:41 am

one thing I laughed at a lot was when vimes woke up in a comfy chair for about the 3rd time in the book and he angrily askes "what's wrong with asking me along"

or something to that effect, blasted memory decided to walk out my ear as I was typing this
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Re: Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

Postby Tenthegg » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:02 pm

I wondered what people thought Vimes's motives were, he seems to be driven by a sort of duty or sense of justice, but what is it that makes him put so much effort in whenever he comes up in the Discworld?
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Re: Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

Postby raisindot » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:33 pm

Tenthegg wrote:I wondered what people thought Vimes's motives were, he seems to be driven by a sort of duty or sense of justice, but what is it that makes him put so much effort in whenever he comes up in the Discworld?


Very good question. I think that, in spite of all of Vimes' exhortations of justice and duty, that he's ultimately motivated by anger that manifests itself in many forms. Anger at the aristocracy that 'gets away with murder' and looks down at his humble origins. Anger at the criminals who flout the 'order' that he is sworn to protect. Anger at people who think they can outwit him or keep him from knowing what's going on. Vimes, like Vetinari, is a control freak, but, unlike Vetinari, Vimes takes ruptures in the 'order' he is trying to maintain very personally. His pursuit of wrongdoers more often than not becomes an act of personal vengeance--he needs to capture and punish those who would dare disrupt his city or try to hide crimes from him or use their power and wealth to evade his brand of justice.

Once he's angered, Vimes is motivated by the ages-old copper's thrill of the chase. The end result is less important than the chase itself. Quite often Vimes has no idea of what he is going to do once he captures his man, but this doesn't matter when he's in the thick of the hot pursuit.

AVAST, YE SPOILERS AHEAD!



It's this anger that is sorely missing in Snuff, and a reason why I think it's the worst Vimes/Watch book. Vimes has become so powerful and entrenched in his wealth and position that nothing can truly anger him anymore. The whole murder mystery is little more than a game for him, a hot pursuit diversion to stem off the boredom of down time. In spite of his 'outrage' at the treatment of the goblins, you never get a sense that this shakes him to the core.
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Re: Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

Postby Tenthegg » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:06 pm

raisindot wrote:Very good question. I think that, in spite of all of Vimes' exhortations of justice and duty, that he's ultimately motivated by anger that manifests itself in many forms. Anger at the aristocracy that 'gets away with murder' and looks down at his humble origins. Anger at the criminals who flout the 'order' that he is sworn to protect. Anger at people who think they can outwit him or keep him from knowing what's going on. Vimes, like Vetinari, is a control freak, but, unlike Vetinari, Vimes takes ruptures in the 'order' he is trying to maintain very personally. His pursuit of wrongdoers more often than not becomes an act of personal vengeance--he needs to capture and punish those who would dare disrupt his city or try to hide crimes from him or use their power and wealth to evade his brand of justice.

Once he's angered, Vimes is motivated by the ages-old copper's thrill of the chase. The end result is less important than the chase itself. Quite often Vimes has no idea of what he is going to do once he captures his man, but this doesn't matter when he's in the thick of the hot pursuit.


Good point, anger does seem to lie behind quite alot of his actions, but isn't his anger often fuelled by injustice and what he sees as wrong. He clearly hates aristocracy and a particular class of privelaged but could this be because he doesn't like the fact they are privelaged and prejudiced rather than because he is angry?

That said, if he wasn't a copper he'd most definately be a thief :D
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Re: Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

Postby raptornx01 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:25 pm

Don't forget that in snuff he isn't IN his city anymore.

but also what motivates Vimes is fear. fear of the beast, fear of becoming what he is fighting against. he sees in these people parts of himself he doesn't like. he sees it in carcer, in stratford, in all the petty little evil doers that roam the streets and the ones that crack and release the beast in themselves and take justice into their own hands. in fighting these people he is also fighting himself. and believe if he doesn't, then who will? and if there is no one else, who will be there to deal with him when his time comes?
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Re: Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

Postby raisindot » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:55 pm

raptornx01 wrote:Don't forget that in snuff he isn't IN his city anymore.

but also what motivates Vimes is fear. fear of the beast, fear of becoming what he is fighting against. he sees in these people parts of himself he doesn't like. he sees it in carcer, in stratford, in all the petty little evil doers that roam the streets and the ones that crack and release the beast in themselves and take justice into their own hands. in fighting these people he is also fighting himself. and believe if he doesn't, then who will? and if there is no one else, who will be there to deal with him when his time comes?


I think these aspects only begin to show up in earnest in Jingo, the first book where the idea of "The Beast" and Vimes' fear of losing his moral compass emerges. In the first two books, Vimes' character is barely developed. In Feet of Clay, the first vestiges of the "Vimes who will be" emerges, but he is still motivated primarily by anger--anger that he is denied the opportunity to be 'accepted' by the aristocracy, combined with his anger at the aristocracy for pulling the invisible strings of city intrigue.

By Snuff, however, this fear is entirely gone. He has absolutely no fear of being co-oped by the aristocracy--he's fully accepted his place and is quite willing to exploit his advantages. He has no fear of becoming Stratford--the fact that he can collaborate with The Summoning Dark demonstrates that he has The Beast fully under control. He has no fear that he will be outmatched by Stratford or anyone else--he can still fight and, in a pitch, he can depend on WIllikens to guard his back. He has no fear of losing Sam or Sybil--again, he WIllikens to serve that role. He is comfortable in his own skin that his old fears and angers are long gone--which is why Snuff totally lacks in dramatic tension.
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Re: Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

Postby raptornx01 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:08 pm

Except he says quite a few times that he's afraid of becoming that person. he questions himself the entire time. especially in the latter half of the book. and in the end questions if what he did was right. Even though he tells Feeny "do whats right, and fudge the paperwork after" he still doubts himself.
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Re: Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

Postby raisindot » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:31 pm

raptornx01 wrote:Except he says quite a few times that he's afraid of becoming that person. he questions himself the entire time. especially in the latter half of the book. and in the end questions if what he did was right. Even though he tells Feeny "do whats right, and fudge the paperwork after" he still doubts himself.


Yes, but his doubts aren't particularly dramatic--they're more the guilty pangs of a confident man than a man who is truly questioning his own beliefs. In Snuff, Vimes finds a way to either rationalize or justify his behavior, and no longer worries about whether his actions are in accordance with The Law. In other books, he considers himself a servant of The Law. In Snuff, he IS the law.
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Re: Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

Postby Margi » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:06 am

raisindot wrote:
raptornx01 wrote: In other books, he considers himself a servant of The Law. In Snuff, he IS the law.


No. He isn't. I don't have the book in front of me so I can't remember the name of the young watchman, but Vimes tells him that he serves the Law, not any other person or body of people. And that attitude is so ingrained in Vimes' own soul that no amount of power or position will change it. But... back to Night Watch...

When I first read Night Watch I was riveted from the start. I have now re-read it twice and am half way through the third re-read. This time I finished it and went straight back to the beginning and started again. Is that fanaticism or what? I thought I would skim it this time, but no, every word and every detail is being reabsorbed. This time I'm reading it with the Compleat Ankh-Morpork at my side and that is getting opened at every mention of new roads and places. I've always loved maps and discovering the geography of where the characters all are helps to bring the book into reality for me. Oops! I did say 'reality' didn't I? Well, I live in the __ _ place: maybe I'm getting sucked through the Portal. And I live not just in Ankh Morpork, but at the end of Treacle Mine Road, and my house has a label on it: 'The Olde Watch House'. I think I might re-name it and leave out Olde. After all, it got re-opened didn't it?

I guess Night Watch has grabbed me because it uses one of my favourite story devices: incognito characters. And Vimes teaching his younger self is different from most time travel stories; they more commonly have some catastrophic, time shattering event happen if a character meets his/her younger self.

In this book you can see Vimes' character development, so brilliantly illustrated in the whole series of Watch books, span the course of one story. Mention is made, in a way that is not just to fill in back story, of all his stages of growth and change: from his innocent youth to his alcoholic days, and through to his recovery, marriage, promotions and onwards.

Vimes is definitely the strongest and most real character in the whole catalogue of DW books, and I believe that Night Watch is the best of his stories.
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