The new Granny

Discussion in 'THE WITCH BOOKS' started by discaimer, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. discaimer New Member

    Maybe I don't get what these boards are for but here goes.. Mistress Weatherwax is now a supporting character to Ms. Achings. PTerry has talked about the disc getting crowded, is this a solution? Is it the natural evolution for characters that grow to big/powerful?( Vimes and the watch have been backround for AM stories) Is it a return to her roots as she first appeared in Equal Rites? Do you like the new perspective, has it changed your view ?
  2. Hsing Moderator

    I find it okay as a solution... if it is well written, and fits the story, it is more than just a five minute cameo à la "enter the stage, don't steal too much time, but bring your fans". I thought Vimes was a good sidekick character in MR, it worked well... The worn old policeman exercising everything he's learnt about politics during the last years without rubbing it under our noses, contrasted the cunning young soldiers quite well. He also became proof that it is not a final solution for veteran characters to end up as a cameo guest in later books, but more a way to tie one time settings into the bigger overal setting of the Discworld, something I like because it makes DW feel like a huge setting instead of a label for a number of loosely related places where the stories happen to take place.

    It depends on the story really, and the writing... A character death can, after all, be an overly dramatic end in an attempt to wring some drama out of a character that has learnt every trick the author was able to come up with, or it can be really good though cruel writing.

    As in Granny's case: I prefer her in guest appearances than dead. She was probably also a means to tie the new setting of the Chalk into the overall Discworld.
    One thing I like about the Discworld series is that I never got the impression that PTerry was writing a character to death -in more than one aspect- because he happened to be popular at the time. That's different to a lot of B class fantsy series', where the marceting machine alone would have dictated 12 Granny or Rincewind novels, 12 Vimes novels, and no "one termers" because that's not what readers asked for.
  3. Saccharissa Stitcher

    Rincewind and the UU faculty have a similar fate, only now they support The Science of Discworld books. You won't believe how dog-eared my copies are...

    I am of the same mind as Hsing. Rather than have Granny in a mediocre story, I'd rather have her in a (certainly strong) supporting role in a good and fresh story.
  4. discaimer New Member

    Thanks for the opinions Hsing and Saccharisa . I bought this computer hoping to find a place to discuss Pterry. You've got The Science of
    Discworld in Greece? I've only seen it mentioned in bibliographies I'll have to see if my local bookstore will order them for me ( there is more than one right). Hsing's mention of Vimes in MR seemed to hit the point about different roles one character can play in different stories. I like seeing Granny through Tiffany. My favorite Pterry books are the ones I didn't see coming, the way he fiddled with his presentation in Going Postal or the darker tone of NW. Of course I also love the stories and characters I've reread so many times so when PTerry finds a new use for an old character....Hurah!
  5. Orrdos God

    I don't think it's too far off that at the moment, actually. He's been in just about every book of late. Six of the last seven main books, I believe.

    If any characters being done to death, it's Vimes. I'd fully expect him to be in "making money" as a side character as well.

    And of course, let's not mention the Igors. Technically, different characters, but still.

    More than overdone
  6. mercybow New Member

    the problem with Vimes is that he's become such a large part of Ankh Morpork that not many things can happen there without it affecting him in some way.

    a simple way to fix this would of course be to kill him off!
  7. Angua_rox New Member

    Yeah, he is very present whenever we go near the city.
  8. mr_scrub New Member

    I also think it would be difficult because in addition to being the second or third most powerful man in Ankh-Morpork he is the only upperclassman who communicates with the street people which gives him information he wouldn't normally get. None of the other main characters from the other novels would be able to get there and do anything important without him knowing and pTerry wouldn't be able to kill him off without several fan mobs.
  9. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    I think Sam Vimes Jr was introduced as a future replacement for Sam Vimes Sr.

    But, as those who attended Dutchcon know, I have Views about these matters.
  10. Katcal I Aten't French !

    And they indeed deserve their capital V ;)
  11. Angua_rox New Member

    Ooooooh, Views eh?
  12. What about us who could not attend Dutchcon? We would like to know your Views on this subject. Please?
  13. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    In a nutshell, my Views are that Tiffany was introduced to replace Granny, who Pterry is going to kill off, and that Sam Vimes cannot be sustained as the literary device he currently is and will therefore have to be killed off, which is why Pterry introduced Sam Vimes Jr - because if you start with a character from when he was a baby, that gives you a lot more time to write about him than if you start from when he's in his late forties and suffering heart trouble.
  14. Hsing Moderator

    Although he'd have to jump forwards a few years to do that, I think, and drag the entire Discworld scenery along - the settings are more tied together than in the beginning of the series, when he could easily make all Discworld except for one tiny country make a 15 years jump in one book so the young hero starting out as a baby could return as a young man only few years (if at all) later. I don't think I want a Discworld version of the Disney Babys, and not many other grown up readers would. Especially in the Watch environment, which always had some whodunnit atmosphere.

    As for Granny - he hasn't come up with any new ideas for this character for some time now. As I said, a worse writer wouldn't need too many new ideas and just make it do the same stunt again and again in a different frilly dress... Granny has always had more of a common theme underlying her stories, but in a way that worked, and the stories themselves never had a "second warming up" feeling. Still, now getting a story with her in it that makes me go "Whoa, how totally unexpected" would surprise me.
    Everything's possible.
  15. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    I don't think Vimes is going out in the next book. I just think Pterry's planning for when he does.
  16. Tiffany New Member

    a bit random, but anyone see the last 'inspector morse'? he basically directs everything from his deathbed, i could maybe see granny or vimes doing something like that as a grand exit but i still dont think Pterry will kill either off. And isn't Carrot already sort of taking over from vimes? a vimes Mk 2 isn't really needed if he's going to get killed off.
    I agree with tiffany taking over from granny though, maybe granny finally swallowing her pride and asking her to help with something... after all she's thought it was her time before now...
  17. Katcal I Aten't French !

    I just noticed that this thread should really be in the Witch section... Sweepers ?
  18. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    I agree. Moved it.
  19. LonaHoxworth New Member

    vimes killed off?

    Oh dear...I can hardly imagine AhnkMorPork without Vimes. Maybe he can be relegated to the wise old teacher. The Watch needs his expertise, and I think carrot does also at times.
  20. LonaHoxworth New Member

    granny's exit

    Granny should hang around as a sort of spirit guide to the new witches...kind of like "what would Granny do" with inner certainty boosted by her guidance. PTerry used this sort of in the wee free men, when a girl needed her grandma's wisdom.
  21. Roman_K New Member

    It is indeed difficult to imagine Ankh-Morpork without Vimes. That's part of the trouble, really... PTerry has been trying, I think, to relegate Vimes to a more of a support role with every passing book, without really being able to let go. The result is that Vimes can't work as a support role character anymore, because the character as crafted by Pratchett is too bossy and stubborn for his own good. The only possible scenario that I can see at the moment is that Vimes will become relegated to a full secondary role due to child and health issues (a heart attack sounds like a reasonable literary device here), letting Carrot finally grow out of the "simple yet maybe deep" secondary role at last, and taking full control of the Watch in *essense* and not just in job description. After which, I can also see Vimes succumbing to a heart attack while trying to bail an older Young Sam out of some mess... We'll see. First PTerry has to come to grips with the fact that he has to let Vimes go.

    Also, a bit unrelated, but at this point, I must admit that I have reached fairly close to the level of revulsion that Doors holds for any appearance of the Igors. They have simply grown to be a regressive character in terms of depth. The whole Igor thing is starting to remind me of the old standard parodies that PTerry wrote as his earlier books. Nice, but we've grown up since then, I had hoped.

    Now, a bit more related to the original topic: I can see Granny as a "spirit guide" character, and can work out rather well in my view. Unlike with Vimes, Granny can be "let go" with much greater ease.
  22. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    Don't be too shocked, but I actually agree with most of what Roman said there. Pterry's attachment to Vimes is the nub of the issue. But the trouble with Vimes is the decrease in conflict in the character's life. He's more or less at peace with himself, he's happy with his wife and son, he doesn't get so wound up by Vetinari (or anything much) any more, he's got the Watch in good shape, he's sorted his drinking problem... Without enough conflict, it becomes very difficult to generate a good story, and there's a limit to the amount of NW-style artifices you can use.

    I think Pterry's been building up to letting go of Vimes for a long while now, but I think he's working carefully to get the right elements ready to replace him - I think most fans would find it very hard to accept the Vimes-shaped hole without, for example, the presence of Vimes Jr. However, I personally feel there's a long way to go with Carrot before we'd be ready to see him running the Watch. He certainly couldn't support a novel of his own at the moment. With Carrot, Pterry tends to break one of the cardinal rules of good writing - the 'show, don't tell' rule. He tells us about Carrot's magical characteristics far more often than he shows them in action - and when we do see them, they usually feel really clunky to me.

    Of course, this is all diverging a long way from a Witches thread, but there we go.
  23. Katcal I Aten't French !

  24. Roman_K New Member

    *throws Katcal into an alligator pit*

    Ba has standards that I must uphold while he is away, you understand.

    Grace, regarding the lack of conflict making Vimes difficult to properly fit into a story, not to mention writing a full story just around him, I agree. And yes, there's certainly a Vimes-shaped hole that must be filled, but it has to happen soon. Vimes doesn't fit that Vimes-shaped hole anymore...

    Regarding Carrot, his mezmerising personality worked rather well as a plot item up to and including Jingo. The problem was that it was the exact same plot item, used in the exact same manner, and it's become rather dull. Carrot evolves as a character, but he does it so slowly...
  25. roisindubh211 New Member

    I wish we'd get more Sybil, to be honest. I'm not that interested in MiniSam and she has gotten very little space to shine since her first book.
  26. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    I'd love to see more of Sybil too. I think she's a great character, and very underused.
  27. Katcal I Aten't French !

    Yep, same here, although I guess there are those who rant on about Pterry only ever doing strong female characters, but hell, if he's good at them...
  28. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    Depends on what you mean by 'strong'.
  29. Katcal I Aten't French !

    Strong as in rich, coulourful, detailed and put forward in the storyline instead of being sidekicks... and also strong as in personality strength too. I seem to remember having this discussion before, and that the outcome was that the only female character that we could think of that was really "weak" was Christine in Maskerade...
  30. Hsing Moderator

  31. Katcal I Aten't French !

    Yep, why not...

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