Discworld 101

Okay.

So if you read this blog, you may have noticed by now that I am a huge fan of a fantasy series called Discworld. And I have noticed that whenever I bring Discworld up you're all like

*crickets chirping*

because none of you have any idea what Discworld is and I'm pretty much the only blogger who reads it. So here I have an attempt to educate you on what the heck Discworld even is so that in the future you'll understand all my Gaspode the Wonder Dog references and trailer music squealings. :)

What is Discworld?

Discworld is an adult comedy fantasy series written by Sir Terry Pratchett, a British author. It is forty one books long and contains multiple "story-arcs" about different sets of characters (i.e., the City Watch, the witches, the wizards, etc.). All the books except five are adult because of occasional sexual references and severe swearing, but they're all still extremely funny, well-written, and thought-provoking pieces.

The World:

Discworld is a flat world carried on the backs of four elephants, who in turn stand on the back of a huge turtle that swims slowly through space. Ankh-Morpork is the biggest city on the Disc and the one where the Watch stories take place. The witches live in a rural mountain land called Lancre. Other notable places are Quirm, a sophisticated getaway, the Counterweight Continent, a land where gold is as common as dirt, Uberwald, a perilous land of Undead, and Klatch, a desert continent.

Story Arcs and Notable Characters:

1. The Witches
     a. Granny Weatherwax - the irritable head witch
     b. Nanny Ogg - Granny's best friend, the matriarch of the entire Ogg clan and a great lover of beer
     c. Magrat Garlick - a young witch who never seems to have any luck and falls in love with a court jester
     d. Agnes Nitt - a young witch who struggles with being fat and has an incredible singing voice. Also known as Perdita X. Dream.

The witches generally deal with problems of magic getting out of hand.

2. Tiffany Aching
     a. Tiffany Aching - a very young witch who, despite occasionally interacting with Granny and Nanny, has her own story arc.
     b. The Nac Mac Feegle - little blue men who are Tiffany's constant companions. Their leader is
     c. Rob Anybody - the leader of the Feegles. He is a very loyal companion and quite excitable.

Tiffany has her own arc because it does not track adventures she has with the rest of the witches, it tracks her own growth as a witch from when she was nine years old to the present.

3. Death
    a. Death - the Grim Reaper. He is constantly fascinated with humanity and struggles with whether or not he has feelings. He is not evil - in fact, he often takes it upon himself to defend humanity from things that try to destroy it.
    b. Binky - Death's horse
    c. The Death of Rats - just as Death takes the souls of dying humans, the DoR takes the souls of dying rats. Basically another grim reaper, but in rat form.
    d. Mort - an apprentice Death takes to help him out with the workload. He is attracted to Ysabel.
    e. Ysabel - Death's adopted daughter. She's actually a human that he rescued from drowning when she was a baby and then took to the land he lives in to raise as his own. No one knows why. Ysabel has a huge fondness for chocolate and is attracted to Mort.
    f. Susan sto Helit - the eventual daughter of Mort and Ysabel, and therefore in a way Death's granddaughter. She is always trying to escape her "mystical" ancestry and live a normal and logical life, but things don't always work out that way.
   g. Albert - Death's old butler and a terrible cook
   h. The Auditors - a group of nameless beings who are intent on wiping out all living creatures

Death usually deals with combating forces that try to tear apart the fabric of the universe.

4. The City Watch
    a. Sam Vimes - the head of the Watch. Formerly a drunken sewer rat, now risen to the top crust of the nobility. He has very little patience with cases and is very humble.
    b. Fred Colon - an old friend of Vimes's who is also a sergeant in the Watch. His idea of good policing is to run away as fast as possible. He is best friends with
    c. Nobby Nobbs - a corporal in the Watch. He is a "picker-uper of things", and if you've lost something, you can bet he's got it.
    d. Carrot Ironfoundersson - a very tall, very muscular, red-haired man in the Watch. He is extremely likable and, though a human, was raised a dwarf. He is dating
    e. Angua von Uberwald - a werewolf who is also a member of the Watch. She is often haunted by the fact of being a werewolf, but her heightened sense of smell can be a great tool when policing.
    f. Detritus - a very stupid troll who has a very straightforward approach to policing, i.e. asking someone "Was it you what done it?"
    g. Cherry Littlebottom - a dwarf who is the Watch's Head Alchemist and is trying to find her femininity in a dwarven culture that discourages it.

The Watch deals with crimes - mostly murder - in the city of Ankh-Morpork.

5. The Wizards
    a. Rincewind - a wizard who can't even do one spell and always runs away from whatever's threatening him.
    b. Mustrum Ridcully - the Archchancellor of the Unseen University for Wizards. He has a boisterous personality and likes to run right over anyone who tries to disagree with him.
    c. Other wizards at the University, including
         a) The Chair of Indefinite Studies
         b) The Dean
         c) The Senior Wrangler
         d) The Lecturer of Recent Runes
         e) The Bursar, also known as Spelter - a wizard who is going insane
    d. The Librarian - the Librarian at the University. He used to be a man, but was turned into an orangutan during a magical accident. He refuses to be turned back.
    e. The Luggage - Rincewind's magical chest that can actually walk and follows him around wherever he goes

The first half of the wizard books deals mostly with Rincewind and his adventures, but as the arc progresses he fades out into being a minor character and the rest of the wizards take the stage.

6. Moist von Lipwig
    a. Moist von Lipwig - a former swindler turned government employee
    b. Adora Belle Dearheart - his girlfriend who does a lot of work with golems and refuses to let anyone tell her what to do.

Moist's books deal with his various adventures as head of the Post Office, Royal Mint, and city trains as he transitions from being a swindler to a reformed man.

There are also a few stand-alone books, like one about the city newspaper, that have nothing to do with any of the story arcs.

Additional important characters that don't really belong to a particular arc:

1. Lord Vetinari - also known as the Patrician, the head of the city of Ankh-Morpork. He is very crafty and always gets what he wants.
2. Drumknott - Lord Vetinari's very organized assistant
3. William de Worde - head of the city newspaper
4. CMOT Dibbler - Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler, a vendor who sells sausages made of meats with questionable origin
5. Foul Ole Ron - the city's premiere beggar who smells horrible and is quite delusional.
6. Gaspode the Wonder Dog - a talking dog who belongs to Foul Ole Ron and likes to flirt with Angua - she is, after all, part dog. He often sticks the phrase "style of thing" at the end of his sentences. THE BEST CHARACTER. HANDS DOWN.
7. Lord Downey - head of the Assassins' Guild and old archnemesis of Lord Vetinari
8. Mr. Boggis - head of the Thieves' Guild
9. Sybil Ramkin - Vimes's wife
10. The Things - evil creatures that sometimes try to tear through the fabric of reality in order to inhabit the universe and kill everything in it.
11. Cohen the Barbarian - the most well-known barbarian on the Disc

The Books:

1. The Color of Magic - Rincewind is swept up with the naive tourist Twoflower and goes on adventures confronting the likes of the evil god Bel Shamharoth. Wizard's.

2. The Light Fantastic - A red star is on a collision course with the Disc, and the only person who can stop it from destroying humanity is Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the earth. Direct sequel to The Color of Magic. Wizard's.

3. Equal Rites - Young Eskarina Smith sets out to prove that women can be wizards, too. Witch's.

4. Mort - Death brings in an apprentice who can't help messing with the fabric of time. Death.

5. Sorcery - The spirit of an evil, dead wizard possesses his sorcerer son and tries to take over the Disc. The only things that stand in his way? Rincewind, a half brick, and a sock. Wizard's.

6. Wyrd Sisters - Granny, Nanny, and Magrat must assist in the hiding of the true heir to the throne of Lancre while trying to unseat the evil Duke usurper in a battle of wills, land, and magic. Witch's.

7. Pyramids - The young prince Teppic comes back to his ruined homeland after boarding at assassin's school and finds he must combat a rebirth of the Undead. Stand-alone.

8. Guards! Guards! - A dragon is on the loose in the city of Ankh-Morpork, and it's up to the rag-tag, unskilled Watch to stop it. Watch.

9. Eric - Eric is the Disc's only demonologist. Unfortunately, he's not very good at it. When he accidentally summons Rincewind in place of a demon, the two go on an insane ride through space and time to try to grant Eric his wishes. Wizard's.

10. Moving Pictures - Movies have come to the Disc - but the magic used to create them has attracted the attention of unwanted Things. It's up to struggling actors Victor, Ginger, and Gaspode the Wonder Dog to save the Disc from the demons that lurk just outside their universe. Stand-alone.

11. Reaper Man - For the first time ever, Death finds his own time is running out when he's scheduled to be executed by a replacement Reaper. Can he prove that only he can be the true Reaper Man? Death.

12. Witches Abroad - When Magrat is given fairy godmothership over a girl in a faraway city, she, Granny, and Nanny must travel under Dwarven mountains and through swamps where evil magic lurks in order to finally combat the villainous witch who's controlling Magrat's new charge. Turns out, that villainous witch is Granny's long-lost sister. Witch's. Best book, HANDS DOWN. If you only ever read one, read this. GOLLUM MAKES A CAMEO. :D

13. Small Gods - The Great God Om appears unto hapless monk-in-training Brutha in the form of a turtle. Stand-alone.

14. Lords and Ladies - Granny must battle the evil Elf Queen, who is trying to invade Lancre and enslave all its people. Witch's.

15. Men at Arms - The Watch investigates and must solve a string of unconnected murders across the city. Watch.

16. Soul Music - Susan Sto Helit doesn't believe in magic or the supernatural - until she's brought to her grandfather's house and had her ancestry explained to her. She refuses to believe - but only she and Death stand in the way of a music that seeks to possess the minds of the people of the Disc. Death.

17. Interesting Times - Rincewind is summoned by revolutionaries in the Counterweight Continent to help them win their rebellion. Wizard's.

18. Maskerade - A coven of witches always has to have three. With Magrat gone, Granny is slowly fading for lack of three. Nanny must find a third member before her old friend dies. Unfortunately, the most promising candidate has just moved away to Ankh-Morpork to pursue a career in opera - and get more than she bargained for in drama. Witch's.

19. Feet of Clay - The Patrician has been poisoned, and it's up to Vimes to solve the mystery before he perishes. Watch.

20. Hogfather - The Auditors attempt to destroy the Hogfather (Disc equivalent of Santa Claus), and only Susan and Death stand in their way. Death.

21. Jingo - A land battle between Klatch and Ankh-Morpork ensues when an island rises up in the sea that separates them. Watch.

22. The Last Continent - Rincewind has been spirited away to a previously unknown continent, and it's up to the wizards to find him. Direct sequel to Interesting Times. Wizard's.

23. Carpe Jugulem - Agnes and Nanny must battle an invasion of vampires into Lancre. Witch's.

24. The Fifth Elephant - Rumors are there used to be a fifth elephant holding up the Disc. But where did it go? The Watch is forced to confront this in the middle of battling the murderous rampage of Angua's long-estranged evil brother across Uberwald. Watch.

25. The Truth - William de Worde tries to set up a newspaper in Ankh-Morpork. Stand-alone.

26. Thief of Time - The world's best clockmaker is making a clock that could stop time forever - and it's up to Susan and Lobsang, an untrained monk, to stop him. Death.

27. The Last Hero - The Disc's last hero sets out to return fire to the Gods - which could, accidentally, end the world. It's up to a reluctant Rincewind, an eager Carrot, and the genius inventor Leonardo de Quirm to stop him. Kind of a wizard/Watch/misc. Ankh-Morporkians mashup.

28. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents - The talking cat Maurice, his intelligent rats, and their human Keith move from town to town scamming the local population. But what about when the rats' lives are in danger? YA. Stand-alone.

29. Night Watch - Vimes goes back in time to visit a younger him and Patrician during a time of rebellion and revolution in Ankh-Morpork. But there was a serial killer loose in his own time.....and it looks like he's come back, too. Watch.

30. The Wee Free Men - Young Tiffany Aching must discover her power as a witch to rescue her brother from the evil Elves. YA. Tiffany Aching.

31. Monstrous Regiment - Polly Perks disguises herself as a man to find her brother Paul, who has been lost in war. Stand-alone.

32. A Hat Full of Sky - Tiffany is possessed by the mind-eating creature Hiver and must fight to get back her own mind - and her powers. YA. Tiffany Aching.

33. Going Postal - The former criminal Moist von Lipwig is spared his life at the gallows - but only if he will take over the city's haunted postal service. Moist von Lipwig.

34. Thud! - Koom Valley is a battle where the dwarves and trolls ambushed each other, long ago, and started their ancient hatred. As Koom Valley Day approaches, dwarf and trolls begin to drop dead in the streets. But something deeper is going on here - and Vimes must travel all the way to dark Koom Valley itself in order to find out what it is. Watch.

35. Wintersmith - The spirit of winter, Wintersmith, falls in love with Tiffany and refuses to lift winter unless she marries him. YA. Tiffany Aching.

36. Making Money - Moist is put in charge of the struggling Royal Mint. Moist von Lipwig.

37. Unseen Academicals - The wizards pit their soccer team against that of another university. Wizard's.

38. I Shall Wear Midnight - Tiffany Aching must battle unbelief and superstition in order to save her life and that of her homeland. YA. Tiffany Aching.

39. Snuff - Vimes goes on what theoretically is a peaceful country retreat, but is appalled by the local enslavement of goblins and engages in a fight for their freedom. Watch.

40. Raising Steam - Moist is put in charge of the Disc's first trains, and a race against time to build a track all the way to Uberwald soon ensues. Moist von Lipwig.

41. The Shepherd's Crown - The evil Elves are back, and this time it's Tiffany's duty to battle them to save her homeland, Lancre, and, ultimately, the Disc. Tiffany Aching.

A question lots of people ask when confronted with all this is: Where do I start? The answer is: At the beginning. Duh.

If you are only interested in reading one arc - just the witches or just Death or similar - then you read that arc in order. If you are interested in reading the entire series, start at the first book, then go to the second, then the third, etc. Lots of people wonder where to start and go in complex patterns out of order, but really just read them in order. They were published in chronological order*. So read them. In order.

In Conclusion:

I highly recommend the Discworld series. It is extraordinarily funny, yet thought-provoking at the same time. It is also good if you're looking for a fantasy series to read because you're bored of reading LotR ten times over. You might want to stick to the YA ones (there are five of those) if you're 12 or under, but otherwise if your parents are okay with that sort of thing and/or you're older dive right in! You'll love it. :)

ALSO.

D&D.

We've started playing the actual game - yes! :) It's a ton of fun. Currently, Adrie, Kibar, and Karissa are in a town called Greenest. The background of the story is that there is a group of cultists who wants to resurrect an ancient dragon-demon-spirit to give them more powers, but to do this they must have all the pieces of a mask that they will use to bring her back to life. They're burning and ravaging towns looking for pieces of the mask, and one of these towns happens to be Greenest. Right now, K, K, & A are in the thick of the burnings, trying to find innocents to rescue and bring back to the keep. AND THEY ONLY NEED 7 MORE EXPERIENCE POINTS TO REACH THE SECOND LEVEL UUUGHHHHH. They'll get there for sure next time, though. Oh, and on account of wizards apparently not being very good at healing, Daddy changed Adrie to a druid, because they apparently are. *shrugs* But everything about her being an Outlander, a Wood Elf, and other such stuff still applies - it's just her occupation what's changed. :)

Well, I think that's all for today. See you next time!

Namarië,
Ellie

*Except one, Small Gods. It takes place 100 years before the rest, but, being one of the most poorly-written out of the entire series, and a stand-alone that has nothing to do with any other books, you can skip it. I highly recommend skipping it.

12 comments:

  1. OH WAIT these are all the pictures/drawings you have in your room right?
    Hmmm Granny Weatherwax seems pretty awesome.
    I think Eric sounds like it would be a really good book.

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    Replies
    1. YESH they are.
      SHE IS. SHE IS ZA BEST. You would really like her, I think.
      It is. It's pretty whimsical, but also deals with the concepts of Hell and demons in a very humorous but fascinating way.....:)

      - Ellie

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  2. This sounds amazing, and holy crud, 40 books? Sign me up. I'll definitely be looking into the series. It sounds great.
    ~Adi

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    Replies
    1. It is. ;)
      IKR though. When I figured out there were that many, I nearly fainted with surprise. But it'll sustain you for a good long time, and since every book is something different, it doesn't get boring. :)
      You should! I think you'd like it.
      It is :)

      - Ellie

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  3. Eeeeeeeeeexcelent. I've been looking for something new to read- I think I've found it! I tried the sample on iBooks last night and I like it pretty well so far.
    Gwen

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad I could help!
      Great! :) I can't wait to hear what you think if you end up reading it!

      - Ellie

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  4. Wow, I have to try it! I like a huge book series, it sounds fantabulous!

    ~Noor
    www.alittlebitofsunshineblog.com

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    Replies
    1. Huge book series are amazing :). Especially so since they sustain you for a while.

      - Ellie

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  5. Fantastic! I've been searching for a new series lately (my expectations have been set impossibly high by, "The Book Thief" xD) and this might just be it. Thank you for this awesome recommendation, Ellie! <3

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad I could help! I think you'll like them and they'll meet your expectations. :)

      - Ellie

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  6. I GOT MY COPY OF THE FIRST BOOK FROM AMAZON TODAY AND I LOVE IT!!!
    I wish I had known of this in 7th grade, when we had to do a book project with books at out lexile level. Being that I had the highest in the class I was stuck with reading Sense and Sensibility (monotonous and bogged down with foolish romance. Forever I fear the adjectives "lush prose" describing a novel) bleugh I hated it.
    THIS IS BRILLIANT! It's full of words I don't know (flogged, akimbo, kibitzing, sapient) but it's so INTERESTING! And humorous "the gods had a habit of going around to atheist's houses and smashing their windows"
    "You little (such a one who, while wearing a copper nose ring, in a footbath atop mount Raruaruaha during a heavy thunderstorm and shouts that Alohura, goddess of lightning has the facial features of a diseased uloruaha root)!"
    Oh man. Thank goodness there's 40 of these.

    Gwen (summer squash)

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    1. OH MY GOODNESS I AM SO GLAD AND EXCITED YEEEEESH!!!!!
      Ugh. I've never liked those kind of books. They're all just about women freaking out and fainting because they served the wrong drink at a party or can't find their favorite thread and then teaching somehow a lesson about the "simple things" in life. Blech.
      IKR THOUGH!!!!!
      The 41st is actually coming out this October :)

      - Ellie (pickle)

      Delete

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