Raising Steam contains a map¹, on which there is a river, which:

  • runs from the Ramptops to the Circle Sea;
  • has no depicted branches;
  • is labelled R. Ankh near Zemphis;
  • passes a point denoted Lancre by less than a millimetre.

Given that points denote cities and towns (as opposed to countries) on this map, I presume that the point denoted Lancre refers to Lancre Town, which is known to be located above Lancre River. Since the creator of the map did not draw any branches or denote a separate name, this suggests that the two rivers are identical.

However, other sources (e.g., the L-Space Wiki) claim that the Lancre River discharges into the Ankh.

Hence I am asking: Is the aforementioned map sloppy (in universe) or are Ankh and Lancre two names for the same river.

¹ of which you can find some legally questionable scans online

  • 1
    Must resist the urge to tag this limnology. – Wrzlprmft Oct 9 '16 at 11:25
  • When you think about it, most rivers are basically identical. I mean, they’re all water. – Paul D. Waite Oct 9 '16 at 20:51
  • 1
    @PaulD.Waite: Sure, but then mankind has come up with the concept of a river (that extends longer than a few kilometres) for a reason. Usually when two rivers meet, one of them is bigger. – Wrzlprmft Oct 10 '16 at 5:45

In a word, yes. They're the same river, albeit I think we can assume that it's joined by tributaries (or possibly is itself a tributary) as it progresses through the Ramtops and out onto the Sto Plains.

enter image description here

As proof we have the Mapp above (from The Discworld Atlas) as well as the following footnote in The Shepherd's Crown

‘River’ as a term doesn’t quite describe the sludge of the river Ankh in its course through the city, though it is of course a decent torrent up in Lancre.

And in Wyrd Sisters, a troupe of players from Ankh-Morpork find themselves in the Lancre region. It's clear that the river at Lancre and the river at Ankh Morpork are at least connected since the suggestion is that they work their way to the river at Lancre and then take a boat all the way back to the city.

“Oh. Coming along. Coming along, you know. I’ll get it right one of these days.” Hwel changed the subject with speed. “You know, we could work our way down to the river and take a boat home. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?”

  • I find that map is even less convincing than the one in Raising Steam. It has even less detail and at best it shows that the River Ankh passes through the country of Lancre but not next to Lancre Town. – Wrzlprmft Oct 9 '16 at 11:53
  • @Wrzlprmft - I've taken that into account. It's possibly a tributary although given its described size, it's more likely to be a primary tributary. – Valorum Oct 9 '16 at 11:57
  • That map your image shows, where (what book) is that from? – b_jonas Oct 9 '16 at 12:30
  • The Discworld Mapp. From the Discworld Atlas – Valorum Oct 9 '16 at 12:57

The Mapp of the Discworld was published in 1995, eighteen years before Raising Steam (2013), and inevitably Terry's Discworld evolved between those dates. If you look at the Compleat Discworld Atlas, published in 2015 (which has many more features than the earlier map as a result of events in later novels), you will see that the Lancre River joins with the Whitston River between Lancre and Ohulan Cutash and downstream from there it is named the River Ankh. The greater detail (and slight changes in the map) were inevitable, in the same way that The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide (2012) has much more detail than The Streets of Ankh-Morpork (1993), and some changes - for example, the Dragon's Landing Redevelopment Site is now the New Brickfields. The Discworld maps evolved with the novels, and inevitably there are some changes between early and late books. The River Quire, running through Quirm to the sea in Snuff does not exist on the earlier map, but is very much in evidence in that novel, and so appears in the Compleat Discworld Map. Not sloppiness, but the evolution of a great series of books over decades.

  • Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy SE and thank you for your answer. Note that by sloppy I was referring to the creation of the map in-universe which may resulted in omitting the name change or the limnological details, not to the out-of-universe continuity. – Wrzlprmft Oct 9 '16 at 20:24
  • This is all very interesting. Can you provide a scan/picture of the map in question? – Valorum Oct 9 '16 at 20:35

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