Night Watch Discussion *spoilers*

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Postby raisindot » Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:01 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Part of the reason (I think) that Vimes is so annoyed with Vetinari at the end of the book is that in just about every other Watch book, the story has ended with Vetinari dishing out some reward. Either a new dartboard and a pay rise, or even a knighthood for Vimes. Vimes feels that somehow Vetinari is manipulating him and he doesn't like it. It's clear that he's doing the same thing in Night Watch and ultimately Vimes is tempted by the restoration of the Treacle Mine Road watch house.

But he knows how manipulative Vetinari is and it annoys him that he always ends up being manipulated. :D


Remember, though, that the reward in NW is the first that Vetinari gives him without Carrot's pre-involvement. From "Men at Arms" on, Carrot is always the one who has that little conversation with Vetinari at the end that gets Vimes his reward...Carrot's price for not asseting his claim to the AM kingship. Also, when Vimes gets promoted, Carrot gets more power. He's not as innocent as he seems.

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Postby raisindot » Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:19 pm

CrysaniaMajere wrote:
One thing I don't like about the book, or maybe about Vimes, is:
why is he so angry at Vetinari in the end? Ok, he had maybe the worst day of his life, but he was able to remain himself with everybody else, he could calm down in front of Carcer and not kill him, but he got furious with Vetinari. Why? Just because he doesn't like him? But things like "that day" don't happen with Vetinari, so why all the anger? why the "how dare you" and the "I warned you" parts?
What has he done? And it was Carrot who wanted to promote him every time, and by the way Vimes likes his promotion so he can order people around, he enjoys it, so why the "you can't bribe me with another promotion" at Vetinari?


Remember that even before the time travel, the Lilac veterans consider its commemoration to be limited only to those who were there, mainly the coppers plus a couple of involved citizens (like Dibbler). It's an exclusive club that does not admit outside members. Even if you weren't a copper, if you wear the lilac (like Vetinari did in the beginning), it is assumed you've somehow earned the right because you were there.

In the end Vimes's arrest of Carcer is meant to be a copper thing. His private moment, where he proves to himself that he is not The Beast. That all of the deaths that occurred twenty years ago were done for the purpose of saving lives and upholding The Law.

Vetinari's surprise appearance shatters this sacred moment that Vimes thought he had all to himself. In that time, in that place, he did not want to be judged by anyone else (although, deep down, he knew that Vetinari's approval of the arrest validated his own authority). Only when he realizes that Vetinari knew that Vimes-was-Keel does he recognize the Patrician as a member of the club.

His additional anger is mainly directed at Vetinari's half-hearted attempts to trivialize the day through statues and memorials. It's yet another test, because Vetinari knows the suggestions are improper and that Vimes would hate the idea, but he wants to make sure that Vimes acted the way he did twenty years for the right reason, rather than for personal gain. Once Vimes has passed the test (his "How dare you!" speech), Vetinari can offer the Treacle Mine Road property--something that will help Vimes the Watch Commander rather than Vimes/Keel the Hero--as a reward.

Because of these events that occurred both in the present and the past, Vetinari is willing to put up with Vimes' outbursts, "In this time. In this place." Once they leave the graveyard, the relationship will need to return to normal, and both men know it.

This last scene of NW may be the finest writing Pterry's ever done. It says almost everything you need to know about both men.

J-I-B
Last edited by raisindot on Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:45 pm

You now have just one week to read or reread Pyramids for the discussion on Monday 4th January. :D
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Postby CrysaniaMajere » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:29 pm

Thanks Jeff, it actually make sense now, and maybe I won't be angry at Vimes anymore :lol:
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Postby poohcarrot » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:35 pm

Tonyblack wrote:You now have just one week to read or reread Pyramids for the discussion on Monday 4th January. :D


:roll: :twisted: :roll:
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Postby raisindot » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:33 pm

Tonyblack wrote:You now have just one week to read or reread Pyramids for the discussion on Monday 4th January. :D


You HAD to spoil a perfectly good NW discussion by mentioning Pyramids, didn't you. Has that suitcase full of Hello Kitty dolls arrived from Japan yet? :lol:

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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:27 pm

I was watching a news report about the troubles in Iran and it struck me that there were some similarities with NW. The demonstrators were apparently attacking and burning police stations and some police were joining the demonstrators.

Let's hope that they eventually get a Vetinari rather than a Snapcase. :?
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Postby Dotsie » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:52 pm

I read about an American police officer who drew his weapon during a snowball fight when a snowball hit his windscreen :shock: Happily, other officers were there to put him right.
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:46 pm

It only takes one hothead to turn a protest into a riot.
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A bit late in this discussion, but...Dr. Lawn question

Postby raisindot » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:03 pm

This thought never really occurred to me until I was re-reading Thud!, but, doesn't it seem a bit odd, at the end of the book, when Vimes goes to see Dr. Lawn to help in Sybil's delivery, that Lawn identifies Vimes as Keel?

If we assume that twenty years have passed since the "lilac events" that Vimes/Keel made sure still happened, wouldn't one think that, somewhere along the way, Lawn would have seen Vimes somewhere, either in a photo in the Times, on the street, or somewhere else, and made that connection?

I know, I know, taking this all too seriously. Dramatic license needs to triumph over logic in these situations.

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Postby Dotsie » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:14 pm

I don't think Vimes was Keel, until he was Keel. Makes sense to me.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:21 pm

The past is changed and memory has to match - the 'present' Lawn doesn't remember Vimes as Keel until after Vimes gets back to his right Duke of Ankh timeline in A-M.

Before that Keel was Keel and so he's the one who Lawn remembers up until the amended timeline kicks in - otherwise you have anomaly with Lawn recognising someone who wasn't in his own past timeline. Vimes only has his teenage memory of lilac day for the period before he and Carcer went back - Lawn has the 'first run' memory to match as well. So there was always a not-Vimes John Keel - until there wasn't anymore?

My head hurts.... :lol:
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Postby raisindot » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:39 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:The past is changed and memory has to match - the 'present' Lawn doesn't remember Vimes as Keel until after Vimes gets back to his right Duke of Ankh timeline in A-M.

Before that Keel was Keel and so he's the one who Lawn remembers up until the amended timeline kicks in - otherwise you have anomaly with Lawn recognising someone who wasn't in his own past timeline. Vimes only has his teenage memory of lilac day for the period before he and Carcer went back - Lawn has the 'first run' memory to match as well. So there was always a not-Vimes John Keel - until there wasn't anymore?

My head hurts.... :lol:


But, um,,ummmm..ummm...lessee. Didn't the amended timeline 'kick in' the minute Vimes and Carcer appeared in the lilac time and Carcer killed the original Keel? After all the events of Lilac Day transpire, Vimes and Carcer are simply removed from that timeline and moved "to the future." while the amended future continues its merry way. In the new future, "young Vimes" grows up to be old Vimes, who still should look like Vimes/Kell (except for the scar?). But when he returned to the present, shouldn't the *real* Vimes have encountered the "young Sam Vimes grown to be old Vimes" of the amended timeline just as the Vimes of today encountered his younger self in Lilac days, or did Lu Tze somehow take care of that little paradox as well...er....ummm....brain hurts.....

J-I-B

, that amended timeline continues on for twenty years
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:54 pm

raisindot wrote:After all the events of Lilac Day transpire, Vimes and Carcer are simply removed from that timeline and moved "to the future." while the amended future continues its merry way. In the new future, "young Vimes" grows up to be old Vimes, who still should look like Vimes/Kell (except for the scar?). But when he returned to the present, shouldn't the *real* Vimes have encountered the "young Sam Vimes grown to be old Vimes" of the amended timeline just as the Vimes of today encountered his younger self in Lilac days, or did Lu Tze somehow take care of that little paradox as well...er....ummm....brain hurts.....

Think of it this way - 2 timelines, but not necessarily the same length in 'real happening time' which is the 'present'.

#1 timeline is the original and has been running in real happening time for 30 odd years (or however long it is since the 1st lilac day) where the authentic and unique John Keel was always himself and that's who's remembered by Dr. Lawn up until the time storm, because it was John Keel - the same John Keel who has his own grave and stone and is still the same dead John Keel after Vimes is returned to real happening time by virtue of the History Monks doing the slick switch.

#2 timeline runs from when the storm regurgitates Carcer and Sam back in time - from that moment in real happening time, #2 timeline replaces #1 timeline in the future.

When Vimes and Carcer return to A-M in real happening time #2 timeline is now running instead of #1, effectively wiping everyone's memory of #1 timeline - from that point in real happening time everyone's memory of Keel is the older Vimes 'model'. :roll: I feel v. groggy.

So in effect time is memory or perhaps experience? :twisted:

#1 timeline ceases to have happened when Carcer and Vime return to their proper real happening timeline, and so when they come back, #2 timeline is now embedded and has always happened.

#2 timeline - for those who knew John Keel well enough - begins 30 odd years ago, from when Vimes takes the place of the unique John Keel who dies in a back alley and is then taken into the protective custody of Lu Tze and several days later put back into #2 timeline when Vimes returns to his rightful time slot.

#2 timeline is only a few days old, but is now embedded in Vimes own memory and in Lawn's and Vetinari's as happening 30 odd years in the past. The Watch members present at lilac day will only remember young Sam being there with them during the revolution because John Keel's impersonator was John Keel near enough and because they didn't know the Duke of Ankh back then. Remember people are v. good at not recalling stuff that will upset them, so it's young Sam and not the Duke that Nobby and Colon fought with on the barricades :wink:

Lawn's and Vetinari's memories are now updated and cognisant, but only because they didn't know young Sam, so they don't have such a huge conflict to get over :lol:
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Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:11 pm

Jan wrote:Lawn's and Vetinari's memories are now updated and cognisant, but only because they didn't know young Sam, so they don't have such a huge conflict to get over


And also perhaps because they're sharper and more aware/critical of what's going on? Or don't you think so?
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