Are you a Vimes or Carrot (Wo)man?

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Are you a Vimes or Carrot (Wo)man?

Postby raisindot » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:21 pm

Okay, there seems to almost be two schools of thought on which are best Guards books.

There are some who think that the early ones--"Guards, Guards" and "Men at Arms" are the best of them.

Then there are some who think that the later ones--"The Fifth Elephant" and "Thud!" are the better ones.

I wish to posit a theory, open to refutation, that one's favoring of GG/MA over TFE/Thud (or the opposite) depends on whether you are primarily a Vimes fan or a Carrot fan.

In the first two books, Vimes was nothing like the Vimes of the later books. In GG he was drunk, powerless and (often) a stupid bumbling coward who totally cowtowed to Vetinari. If hadn't met Carrot and Sybil, he never would have amounted to anything. Carrot is pretty one-dimensional here, too, but you see his potential of emerging as a main character and eventually replacing Vimes.

In "Men at Arms," the story was nearly entirely Carrot's. He emerged from being a 'boy' to a very resourceful copper, while Vimes was in the background for most of it.

Pterry admitted that when he first started the series he thought the Carrot was going to be main Guard, but that Vimes just emerged as the more interesting character, and he gradually added layers to Vimes while diminishing Carrot's over time.

The 'Vimes' of the later books only began to emerge in "Feet of Clay," where we began to see that genuine 'copper' intelligence that had been in short supply in previous books. Carrot is still an important character, but Vimes is much more of the "commander" here.

By Jingo and TFE, Vimes has clearly become the main character of the series, and Carrot's role is far more of a right-hand person. In "Thud!" he serves as little more than a CSI investigator, and is nowhere near the climax of the book in Koom Valley.

If you like Vimes more than Carrot, you probably prefer the later books, where Vimes' personality ads layer upon layer, making him probably (along with Granny Weatherwax) the most fully rounded-out figure in the DW series.

If you like Carrot more than Vimes, you probably prefer the earlier books, which more closely reflect the 'comedy-driven' style of the earlier DW novels, and where Carrot is a far more dominant personality.

If you don't prefer one or the other, then you prefer books for whatever reason you prefer.

Me? I'm a Vimes man, through and through, which is TFE and Thud! are #1 and #3 on my 5 favorites DW books and GG wouldn't even make my top 10.

Thought? Refutations? Poohisms?

:D

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Postby The Mad Collector » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:27 pm

Vimes for me as well, although the early Guards books are an excellent read I do prefer the later books. However I cannot totally agree that this is just down to the changing profiles of the characters but more to the improvement in the writing style which becomes tighter and less dependant on parody as the series progresses
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:34 pm

Vimes for me, but it's really the whole series. The growth of Vimes from that drunken bum in the first book - the growth of the Watch from a bunch of useless idiots to fine organisation in the later books - all make the story of the series a very rich one.

All the best cop/detectives in literature and on TV have flaws. It makes them interesting and it makes the story of them solving the crime interesting. Vimes has lots of flaws, which makes him a very readable character. :D
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Postby bikkit » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:36 pm

Vimes. Definatly Vimes. Also Thud= <3
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Postby BatrickPatrick » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:53 pm

Vimes, fer surr, but I like the first few guards books about as much as the later ones.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:07 pm

Vimes as well but G!G! is vintage Terry so it's still my favourite Watch book mainly because of Sybil and Errol and also for Vetinari's dungeon lair and the Eludicated Brothers - it all just gels 8)

I don't know why, but I don't actually like Thud that much (but I've only read it once so maybe it'll grow on me) - the other books I probably like more or less equally with maybe MAA a smidge in front and FOC a smidge behind, although the latter's probably the best Nobby book... :lol:
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Postby Sjoerd3000 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:32 pm

Vimes for me too. But I like all the watch books :wink: Men at Arms is one of my favourites :wink:
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Postby poohcarrot » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:44 pm

Carrot for me.

Jingo and Guards Guards are my two faves. :P
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Postby swreader » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:25 am

I am a Vimes person, and except for GG and MAA find Carrot increasingly unsatisfactory and by 5th Elephant downright annoying.

I agree with Tony, more or less, that it is in part the human frailties that make Vimes such an interesting character. It gives him the room to grow and develop into the rich, complex character with the mixture of strength and weakness that we see in Thud! . That has become one of my favorites of the Watch books. Interestingly enough Monstrous Regiment has become another favorite, even though Vimes plays only a small role but crucial role.

I've come to believe that Terry painted himself into a corner in his creation of Carrot's character from his first appearance. Carrot is delightfully funny in his naivete and the literal mindedness that comes from the dwarf upbringing in Guards! Guards! I suspect that the Carrot of MAA, which is probably his best appearance, was demanded because of the limitations/hints of the dwarf/royal background Terry gave him in the first book. And I've come to believe that Carrot is somewhat misogynistic--coming probably from his dwarf upbringing. In FoC, when he and Angua have a conversation about his shocked disapproval of Cheery's announcing she's a female dwarf (by wearing a leather kilt), Angua wonders why she likes him for his being" blind to shape and color " when he treats women dwarfs in that way.

It seems possible to me that the reason the two of them are drawn to each other is that he has grown to expect women to conceal their female identity (and thus remain subservient?) and Angua, because of her werewolf background, cannot help following him around like a dog with its master.
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Postby Beautiful Dirt » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:19 am

Whilst I do enjoy the earlier books, I have to agree that from Feet of Clay onwards the writing and character depth is much improved. I'm glad Terry decided to expand Vimes the way he did, although as mentioned before he probably didn't have much choice in this regard. I found Carrott too . . . flat and innocent to be a leader.

Nightwatch is my favourite book of the series, so it's definitely Vimes for me. Another character that degenerates for me is Angua, I really liked her to begin with but now I find her complaining and bitchiness at best boring and at worst downright annoying.
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Postby poohcarrot » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:39 am

I would hazard a guess that the people who don't like Carrot also don't like Rincewind. 8)
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Postby Willem » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:40 am

MAA and Jingo are my favourite Watch books, and I'm a Vimeser. Never cared much for Carrot, but I don't mind him really.
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Postby ghostsecurity28 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:47 am

definitely vimes !! I have a thing for older men and some of his bad habits resonate with me !! though I enjoy my alcohol don't fancy giving it up :lol:
I have yet to read thud as I am very new to the series and presently I am on The truth but I thoroughly enjoyed fifth elephant.
guards guards is still one of my faves and thats because I love dragons and it was my introduction to the watch I love nobby too !! hes great !! :lol:

@ poohcarrot I like Rincewind again outcast thing :)
Last edited by ghostsecurity28 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The Mad Collector » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:47 am

poohcarrot wrote:I would hazard a guess that the people who don't like Carrot also don't like Rincewind. 8)


I don't think that follows although I can see your reasoning. I'm with a few people on this thread that Carrot isn't developing and sometimes is just plain annoying but Rincewind, although becoming a more minor character recently (apart from in the Science of Discworld series) is still someone I'm pleased to see appear.

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Postby Dotsie » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:38 am

I really like both Vimes and Carrot (for different reasons), and Nobby & Colon are just stellar. I wouldn't call Carrot a misogynist, the relationship between dwarf men and women is very different to that between human men & women, so the word doesn't apply. And we know that Carrot can learn to get over his prejudices, in his early dealings with Angua, so he probably doesn't have an issue with Cheery any more. He was a lot more interesting in the first three books, now he's just a captain who never gets any good lines.

Angua has got more annoying, that's true. She's like Susan now - she has powers that will get her out of most situations, so good manners no longer apply.

Which books do I like more? I don't really know. I like to see the development of the characters and the watch itself, from useless & ineffectual to an efficient crime-fighting machine! Although I have a bit of a problem with Thud! - I just couldn't stay with the story at all.
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