Carpe Jugulum Discussion *spoilers*

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Postby raisindot » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:22 am

swreader wrote:

Where I have a problem with this book is with what follows – what it says about Granny and Oates, and to a lesser extent about the other witches, but I’ll save that for another post.


So, SW, what is your problem with the follow up?

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Postby poohcarrot » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:51 am

I think that in CJ is the only time Granny ever completely gives up in any book. She didn't run off because of not getting an invite - witches can go anywhere and don't need invites. She didn't run off because there were three witches in the coven - Magrat had already left. She ran off because she knew the vampires were trying to find her and she was powerless to fight them. She knew she couldn't win.

If Nanny Ogg hadn't accidently given her the idea about blood, Granny would probably never have come back.

However, once she had made a plan, she knew exactly what would happen, even reminding Oats to take the ax before they set off on their journey, because she knew he'd use it.
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Postby Dotsie » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:49 pm

I think Granny is the sort of person to say that she knew what would happen all along, but she's wise enough to have a plan B, just in case. That's not to say that she isn't supremely confident, once she's had an idea.
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Postby raisindot » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:27 pm

poohcarrot wrote:I think that in CJ is the only time Granny ever completely gives up in any book.

However, once she had made a plan, she knew exactly what would happen, even reminding Oats to take the ax before they set off on their journey, because she knew he'd use it.


I thought that part--Granny's "confession" to Nanny--was one of the most powerful parts of the book. It added a totally new dimension to her character--vulnerability--that she had never been able to admit, either to others or herself (although she did hint at the possibility of defeat at the end of Lords and Ladies). It also opened her to the realization that she sometimes needed to rely on others to help when she wasn't strong.

But didn't Oats grab the ax on his own volition before they embarked on their journey and Granny confimed the wisdom of his action, although before she had reminded him in the forge not to let it get too far out of his reach. I don't think she necessarily knew that Oats would use the ax to strike down the Count. Having Oats tag along with her was never part of her original plan, and he nearly needed to force her to allow him to help her (unless you want to count this as classic Granny headology). I never thought she reminded him to carry it for any other reason than in case he needed to use it on her.

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Postby poohcarrot » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:59 pm

raisindot wrote:But didn't Oats grab the ax on his own volition before they embarked on their journey and Granny confimed the wisdom of his action, although before she had reminded him in the forge not to let it get too far out of his reach. I don't think she necessarily knew that Oats would use the ax to strike down the Count. Having Oats tag along with her was never part of her original plan, and he nearly needed to force her to allow him to help her (unless you want to count this as classic Granny headology). I never thought she reminded him to carry it for any other reason than in case he needed to use it on her.

J-I-B


If that's what you were thinking, then you'd be thinking wrongly. So obviously Granny's headology worked on you too! :lol:

Carpe Jugulum - page 301 SB wrote:"Just so long as you understand that I didn't AX you to come along and I don't need your help."
"AX?"
"Ask, then, slipped into a bit of rural there".
(Oats thinks for a while, gets off the mule goes into the forge and returns with the axe)
"You're learnin', said Granny.
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
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Postby swreader » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:00 am

A small bit of catching up with other comments. I quite agree, Jeff and Pooh that the scene in the caves is extremely powerful, though I don’t think that Nanny knowingly gives her the blood idea—though Terry has undoubtedly thought of it by this time. And I think that Granny is disturbed and worried by her apparent failure to be invited to the christening. Granny knows that she’s not a “people person”, and it’s clear from her first appearance (prior to making the delivery of the stillborn child—a choice she makes) that she’s looking for her invitation. It’s a mark of respect that is due to her.

But the real passage showing how disturbing it is to her not to have been asked (apparently) begins with her recollection of her judging of the child murderer—and her belief that the burden of making the hard choices, as all witches do, is particularly heavy on her because she is called for the “hard cases.” However, the imagery of that passage strongly suggests that she is also beginning to feel the impact of the probing of Count Magpyr.

As to the ax—it’s not when they start out that Granny stresses the importance of Oats having the ax and being willing to use it when necessary. Its importance in dealing with vampires is brought up by Granny before she goes into her struggle to maintain her own soul. She commands him to have a sharpened stake and ax to behead her if she wakes up as a vampire.

Granny couldn’t have beaten the vampires without the care and help of Oats. She finds her way back into the world through Oats’ prayers which wriggle like little golden fish toward the light and by the phoenix’s flashes of light which wink out if she looks at it too long. It seems clear to me that she would have died, at least twice, on the journey, but for Oats’ care for her. Had she died, the best they could hoped for was that Igor’s Old Master could solve the problem. And Igor doesn’t know anything about Granny’s power when he summons The Old Master. The “Weatherwaxing” might or might not have worked had she died before she confronted them. It took Oats as well as Granny to deal with the vampires.

My problem with the ending is with Granny’s inability ever to acknowledge her debt to Oats. He thanks her the next morning for the transformation she has helped him achieve, but all she can do is smile at him then and on their return to ask the Lancrestians to give him respect. Granny is unable to acknowledge, ever, that she would have failed but for him. She circles, as an eagle, above the service, and she’s obviously had a word with Nanny and Magrat but her last action is to change her sign to read “I STILL ATE’NT DEAD” .

It’s true that Granny has her own little ways, but even though Oats is not a witch, she owes him and I found it disturbing that Terry didn’t deal more specifically with that.
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Postby poohcarrot » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:37 am

To say that Granny didn't repay him, I think is wrong. She repaid him with the only currency she deals in - respect.

At the beginning, Oats was objectionable, wet, naive, and derided for his beliefs. Because of Granny, he grew up as a person and he became respected. All the people went to his service at the end because of what he had done for Granny. Granny herself, doesn't want thanks for all the times she helps people, she only wants respect.

Granny wants people to work things out for themselves. Oats should have been able to work out for himself that Granny appreciated his help.

And also she couldn't go to the service at the end for two reasons;
Firstly she was knackered after having nearly died the day before.
Secondly as a mark of respect, she didn't want to steal the spotlight from Oats.

PS I did say that Nanny accidently gave Granny the plan about the blood. :roll:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:23 am

poohcarrot wrote:Granny wants people to work things out for themselves. Oats should have been able to work out for himself that Granny appreciated his help.
And also she couldn't go to the service at the end for two reasons;
Firstly she was knackered after having nearly died the day before.
Secondly as a mark of respect, she didn't want to steal the spotlight from Oats.

Agree all of that smartypants :wink: except..... :lol:

He knew, when she made him take the axe (as Sharlene says because she couldn't be sure that her 'turning' would fail) before they left Lancre that she desperately needed his help and they started to play the 'I don't need help at all but I'll come along just to make sure you're OK' game'. He allowed her to do that because he was appalled at what was happening and simply didn't know what to do because the Book of Om had nothing useful to say about Witches or Vampires except burn/kill the whole bally lot of 'em.

As in life it's not as simple as good fighting evil - it's about how to discern that there's a difference. I'm not sure, but did Pterry write Good Omens with Neil Gaiman around this time? It's the same in there although he comes to it in the other direction, because there's really very little difference between Aziraphale and Crowley and they find themselves in alliance against the faction they should sympathise with. So this is also about choosing wisely and why it is Witches who have to guard the edges. :wink:

As pooh says :shock: she paid the highest respect to Oats by not going to his service (because she was completely knackered) in her true form - although in a way the eagle was symbolic of the ultimate acknowledgment of her own beliefs/honour after pulling off the ultimate mastery of Borrowing - Borrowing her own blood to defeat the Vampires. When she borrowed the swarm in Lords & Ladies she thought that was the ultimate, but to 'borrow' your own blood tops that. That's why she's so weak, because she's not in her own body anymore to all intents and purposes - and also why the Vampires take time to succumb (in Escrow) to her manipulation in their super-sentient symbiotic swarm... :wink:
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Postby raisindot » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:43 am

poohcarrot wrote:If that's what you were thinking, then you'd be thinking wrongly. So obviously Granny's headology worked on you too! :lol:

Carpe Jugulum - page 301 SB wrote:"Just so long as you understand that I didn't AX you to come along and I don't need your help."
"AX?"
"Ask, then, slipped into a bit of rural there".
(Oats thinks for a while, gets off the mule goes into the forge and returns with the axe)
"You're learnin', said Granny.


Oh yeah...that did go right by me. Probably because this round I was listening to the audiobook whilst running, instead of reading it.

But even though Granny convinced Oats to bring the ax, it still doesn't prove that she intended for Oats to have it for any other purpose than killing Granny should she succumb to the 'darkness' of the vampire curse. At that time, the beginning of their journey, there's no real evidence that she believed that he was good for anything other than helping her get to the castle. I don't think she even thought Oats had any potential or value at all until she discovered that he had burned his Book of Om. That really began to change her thinking about him.

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Postby raisindot » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:53 am

swreader wrote:My problem with the ending is with Granny’s inability ever to acknowledge her debt to Oats. He thanks her the next morning for the transformation she has helped him achieve, but all she can do is smile at him then and on their return to ask the Lancrestians to give him respect. Granny is unable to acknowledge, ever, that she would have failed but for him. She circles, as an eagle, above the service,


Much as I find myself shocked to agree with Pooh, he is right here. Granny is incapable of direct gratitude to those who help her. Part of being Granny Weatherwax is a firm belief that she doesn't need anyone's help. This, with Oats, it's her little actions--the smile, her compelling of the Lancreans to let Oats conduct a service, the eagle--that let him know, more than any kind of thank you note, how important his help was. It's clear by that point that while everyone may not know the details of Oats' journey with Granny, that they are keenly aware that without his help Granny wouldn't have made it. For a man like Oats, who struggles with his own spirituality, this is the best kind of thank you Granny could have given.

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Postby poohcarrot » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:58 am

swreader wrote: As to the ax—it’s not when they start out that Granny stresses the importance of Oats having the ax and being willing to use it when necessary. Its importance in dealing with vampires is brought up by Granny before she goes into her struggle to maintain her own soul. She commands him to have a sharpened stake and ax to behead her if she wakes up as a vampire.


She had woken up and she hadn't turned into a vampire. Therefore she wasn't going to change.

They were about to set off and Oats didn't have the axe, Granny subtley reminded him, because she knew it'd be used in killing vampires - not her.

If the reason Oats taking the axe was to possibly kill her, why didn't she mention the sharpened stake too?
Why did she mention the axe in such a cryptic way?
Why do we spell axe differently? :lol:
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Postby poohcarrot » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:17 pm

There is one thing that everybody seems to be forgetting.

ON DISCWORLD, WITCHES KNOW EXACTLY WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO DIE!

Therefore Granny KNEW she wasn't going to die on the journey.
So she also KNEW that Oats would keep her alive.

Therefore, suggesting to Oats to bring the axe couldn't possibly have been for her own killing, because she would have known about it, and it didn't happen, so she knew beforehand that it wouldn't have happened. 8)

(Hang on to your hats! I have an absolutely stonky theory brewing that I will deliver shortly :lol: )
Last edited by poohcarrot on Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:43 pm

What if she had failed to resist the 'turning' Pooh - does Death turn up for the undead? :lol:
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Postby poohcarrot » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:50 pm

But the point I'm making is that getting Oats to take the axe couldn't have been for killing her because as she didn't die, she must have known beforehand that the axe was not to be used for killing her. :roll:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:55 pm

They needed the axe whether she'd resisted the turning or not surely? It took a while for her blood to 'infect' the Vampires didn't it? It's the edges again, a literal sharp edge.

Nanny accidentally triggered how to resolve it but Granny can't always know if she's 'right' or not, like with the child murderer. She makes decisions but she can't know for sure they're always the right one which is why she's always interrogating herself on which way to go and doing that for the people who can't make that type of decision. You need to understand the 'grey' more than the black and white and see the least bad and most good to weigh your decision. The child murderer wasn't 'all bad' and some people can remember the man who was OK because they didn't know what he was capable of. Death shows up at the still birth where the midwife doesn't know what to do - the child is already dead but is the mother going to die as well? Who has Death come for? Just the baby or the mother/wife as well? Will the husband be left with no one? Granny doesn't know that does she?

So even Granny is plagued with doubts, but she knows she IS good at making decisions and trusting herself. She saw a way to pull defeat out of the inevitability zone and a way to neutralise the Count's advantage because she did know that he would want her cowed and under his influence. Therefore she opted for the not 'million to one' chance but a gamble which might be a victory if she could pull it off. She chose that because it was the only choice she had - she knew they would be defeated if she didn't do it, so no option but to do it, knowing that she could still be defeated. Either way Death showing up for her wasn't an option because she wouldn't die whatever happened. THAT was the certainty. But she would possibly have been a vampire so she didn't know for sure, until her blood began to take effect on them in Escrow and when Agnes realised the meaning of her not being turned by Vlad.

From that point yes, Granny knows she's got them for the moment at least because her blood has weakened them so much - however she's also at the very limits of her own strength in keeping her borrowing on top of their nature because it can only be kept going so long before she'll get like Esk when she borrowed the eagle for too long...? The natural form reasserts itself eventually and will take the borrower with it - so she's actually still in danger of being turned if the others don't take advantage of the temporary effects of her borrowing whilst she can still stay in control of the Vampires. So even at the castle there was still a chance of the Vampires getting their usual act together again... :lol:

So no, I don't think she knew she would win because she couldn't keep on winning indefinitely. All she was doing was buying the others enough time by staying on top just long enough to let all the others see to exploiting the temporary weakness she imposed on the Vampires. It's always far braver to fight when you're not sure of victory and this is why Granny has to be hard on herself and her instincts, because if she thinks she's always going to win then that's actually a weakness isn't it? To be truly victorious you have to be scared of losing everything, else you don't try hard enough - and you can then lose your own 'edge'... :wink:
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