Real world geography/connections within Discworld

Discussion in 'BOARDANIA' started by willbaforce, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. willbaforce New Member

    The thread title makes this a bit self explanatory, and a lot of the comparisons are blatantly apparent, but I thought it might be nice to get everyone's thoughts on the matter!

    I mean, clearly Uberwald is some kind a reference to the Holy Roman Empire / Germany, and Ankh-Morpork perhaps could be twinned with some major cities across the world (read: trying not to say London :wink:), but what about Lancre?

    Moving away from geography too, Unseen Academicals got me thinking about DW's systems and such, so what about the teams? With what little information you could tie in from the book, could anybody match some DW foot-the-ball teams to real world football ones?

    I completely see that most references are meant to be bold as brass, but perhaps it might be nice to list a few a see if anyone changes their mind / finds a surprise etc.

    i imagine there might already be something similar to this too but meh, do with this as you will!
  2. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    Pratchett's said repeatedly that Ankh-Morpork is an amalgam of more than just London. You can also read into it Rome, New York, and pretty much any geographical place in the world where more than one person has tried to live at the same time.

    Lancre, however, is pretty clearly rooted in Rural Britain. Oggham is an actual ancient language of the british isles (or parts of them), for example. specifically, the name is intended to evoke Lancashire.

    that said, there's other bits and pieces that are more globally reaching in their references. the king asleep under the mountain who wakes to ask if the crows still fly (in Lords and Ladies, i believe?) is both aluding to a fairly common trope in mythology and to at least one specific germanic (i think) legend.

    Ubervald is definately HRE-ish (as in the geographic area cognative to the Empire) in its influences. there's also slavic and ulgric (is that the right ethnographic group?) elements. Germano-Austrio-Polish-Slavic-something-or-other-Mish-Mash-Masu.

    Speaking of Nepalese... the sweepers and their ethnographic culture is pretty overtly Tibetain/Nepalese, with some outlying Chinese Automous Region elements added in. I think as Discworld grew to be more satirical commentary on life as we know it on 'roundworld', Pratchett found himself looking further and further afield for inspiration and elements to incorporate. I would be hard pressed to identify any human culture or ethnographic/geographic icons that haven't made their way into discwourld.
  3. Hsing Moderator

    For example Barbarossa... Kyffhäuser - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Also, the discussions about why the town was called "Bad Blintz" in the Amazing Maurice were funny for someone having lived in a Bad B. in Germany... :)
  4. willbaforce New Member

    Interesting! Didn't know that about "Lancreshire"! :lol:

    Where or what do you think Genua is meant to be too? I initially thought of Cajun / Deep South America (Witches Abroad)...
  5. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    there's one hell of a new orleans vibe there, but of course the new orleans/louisiana culture is a mish-mash itself. african, native american, spanish, french, accadian, english, southern... all cooked up with onion, celery, and bell pepper to make one of the tastiest stews to ever simmer up from the swamplands.
  6. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    My dad always says that the name Ankh-Morpork makes him think of Angkor Wat.

    On the more likely connections front, Quirm is often used as a France analogue.
  7. Hsing Moderator

    Plus Italy maybe, a Renaissance-political-intruiges-Italy... I think a lot of the places seem to have been, essentially, melted together from Realworld places at different stages of time. In this case, I thought so because of Leonardo, and the fact that somehow, many political meddlers of Discworld at least seem to have relatives in Quirm, made me think of Machiavelli and famous meddlers like the Medici and other legendary clans.
  8. Katcal I Aten't French !

    Don't forget the terracotta army in... um... Interesting times? China! THe barbarians have quite a mongol thing going on too.

    Tiffany's area, the Chalk, is very much the Cotswolds, with the white horses etc.

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