When old age hits!

Discussion in 'THE WITCH BOOKS' started by mercybow, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. mercybow New Member

    Lately, I've re-read the 'witch series'. First just to see how the characters expands during the course of the series, but foremost because something irked me when I first read 'Carpe Jugulum'!

    It's no secret that Granny Weatherwax is one of the most popular characters in the Discworld macrocosm. Starting out as Pratchetts first female-lead, and the way I see it, really shaping the 'Discworld consensus'. As all of Pratchetts female characters[1] she is strong and self-sufficient, however, the first time I read CJ I kept thinking "what's next?", because it's pretty evidently that the only one (or thing) she can't beat; is herself! So what could really be next for Esme?

    To me, the novels took a turn after CJ[2], the wizards became more prominent in 'The Science Of...' books, and the witches haven't really made any appearance at all, aside from the Young Adult Novels.

    When reading CJ and 'A Hat Full of Sky', I note how frail and old Granny is portrayed, oh she's still strong and... able (?), but something seems to be different.
    For one thing, she has to be really old around AHFoS, as the events of CJ is mentioned, and in CJ she [Weatherwax] is said to look around 70-80 years[3]. If 'Wintersmith' picks up the same formula that 'Wee Free Men' and AHFoS, Tiffany Aching will be around 13-15 years. If 'I Shall Wear Midnight' ever happens, Aching will be somewhere near 20[4] - which mean we'll have a very old Granny on our hands.

    Tiffany seems to be a very good[5] witch, my first thoughts (or second thoughts, who knows) where that she will eventually exceed Granny - or take her place.

    So do you think the end is nigh for her, or will she just go on and on. I can hear people screaming OMG! Gandalf rip-off[6]. Pratchett have been sparse with killing off his main characters, but it could happen. Any thoughts?

    [1]refering to Pratchetts marks on the subject in 'The Art of Discworld'.

    [2]neither for better nor worse, just so we got that out of the way.

    [3]not exact quote as I don't have the book in front of me now.

    [4]perhaps :p

    [5]or should I say righteous...

    [6]or Dumbledore if you will
  2. Katcal I Aten't French !

    I spend way to much time here, I kept having to re-translate CJ into Carpe Jugulum instead of chrisjordan :D

    Also, I must admit I personally have little grasp of the way time passes in the Discworld books myself, apart from obvious follow-ups I tend not to think about age and time, and everything may just as well have happened at the same time. But maybe that's just because I didn't really read them in the right order and have missed some out along the way... But still, I notice the growing up of people like Susan or Tiffany, but less so the ageing of other recurring characters, such as Nanny Ogg, Ridcully, Colon & Nobbs...

    Others, such as Carrot, Vimes/Sybil, or Magrat don't necessarily age in an obvious way, but their lives are marked but stages, Carrot gets promoted and finds a girlfriend, Vimes and Sybil get married and have a son, Magrat marries Verence, etc. implying that they are progressing through life, but not specifically mentioning age.

    And I find this true in real life... until you're 20ish you count every year, and each one is different, you grow and change, time goes slowly enough to notice details, but once you hit what the French call "active life" (I always thought that was underestimating teenagers' energy myself) one year is rather like another, unless something special happens ; meeting/marring significant other, getting a diploma, finding/changing jobs, having kids, etc.

    So what now for Esme ? (or Nanny actually ?) Maybe she'll just go out borrowing one day, and not return, still clinging to her "I maybe aten't dead" sign. Maybe he just won't write about her any more, and we'll find out in some later book that she passed away, as you say, once replaced by Tiffany. Or it'll all finish in a grand finale against someone like the Queen, and she'll be the sacrifice so that good can triumph, an' all that... I wonder what she would prefer.

    Or maybe she'll finally marry Ridcully (who will of course invite himself to the wedding) and they'll both retire and not have kids somewhere quiet.

    I think half the fun is in the "wait and see" ;)

    (and don't get me started on Dumbledore :D ) :D

    Edithed four spulling
  3. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    I will not be distracted by Dumbledore discussions!

    I pretty much agree with this assessment of the Granny situation, Mercybow. I have been waiting for Pterry to kill Granny off for several books now. I think he intended to earlier, but he failed to come up with an adequate character to replace her. I think Agnes was supposed to be it, but he simply couldn't make her interesting enough.

    As soon as we encountered Tiffany, I thought, "This is it, this is Granny's trainee and eventual replacement." Tiffany has all Granny's power and the same kind of rock hard core that makes Granny the character she is. I believe that as soon as Tiffany seems old enough (about 16, I guess), Pterry will finally kill Granny off.

    But Katcal, I don't think Pterry would ever send Granny out in anything less than massive style. Remember, she's beaten Death once before! If Granny dies (or simply moves on somehow), I think it'll be a huge set-piece scene. I think Pterry's too fond of Granny to be able to refrain from it - and he is a little bit self-indulgent where his favourite characters are concerned (vis any recent Vimes book).
  4. dididave New Member

    I disagree with Granny going out in massive style. I think PTerry is more likely to keep bringing her back in cameos indefinitely (much like he seems to do with DEATH). Plus I think she has potential to be an advisor to witches once she is no longer the force she was. And of course even is she is killed off, in a Pratchett book that can mean very little!
  5. Angua_rox New Member

    I'd say that Tiffany would be a good replacement for Granny, but she'd need training up.
    Obviously pTerry has already provided for her training, but I think she'd need training from Granny herself.
  6. chrisjordan New Member


    I'm rereading CJ at the moment.
  7. Maljonic Administrator

    Re-reading chrisjordan?
  8. chrisjordan New Member

    Well, the book's proper name is Self Help, but rereading myself is all part of it.
  9. roisindubh211 New Member

    If Granny is going to stop witching, she has to die. I cannot see her retiring, it just doesn't work. I think that even if she reaches a point when she feels she isn't up to it any more, she's going to make sure she goes out somehow. Wouldn't put it past her to open a door into Death's domain and tell him off for being late.

    I just had an odd thought- is it possible to Borrow another person, instead of an animal? Creepy idea, but I think it has possibilities.
  10. Katcal I Aten't French !

    Yes, it's possible, it kindof happens in CJ. (see previous discussion :D)
  11. trees New Member

    If Granny dies there are the options of being a zomby or reincarnation - it would be interesting to see a toddler with granny's mind.

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