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What country is the city of Ankh Morpork located in?

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    The city-state of Ankh Morpork, for all intents and purposes. The Tyrant doesn't officially answer to anybody. There are further subtleties, though...
    – Politank-Z
    May 14, 2015 at 17:03

2 Answers 2

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Ankh Morpork is a city state and therefore regarded as a country in its own right.

According to the Discworld Mapp, published by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs and subtitled "Being the Onlie True & Mostlie Accurate Mappe of the Fantastyk & Magical Dyscworlde", the city is bordered on the hubward side by Quirm and Sto Lat, with the Sto Plains beyond.

Ankh Morpork lies on the coast, so to the rimward is the Circle Sea. Djelibeybi lies just across the sea.

In The Fifth Elephant, the 24th Discworld book, Ankh Morpork sends Sam Vimes to be the new Ambassador to Uberwald. Only a sovereign state can send or receive ambassadors - even in Discworld. So, it is not located within any other country.

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It's not much of a city, but Morepork Creek is located in Australia.
It's only about 15 miles from the town, if not quite a city, of Porcupine.
As both are in the Australian outback, 15 miles is a mere stroll by local standards, so Morepork Creek can, arguably, be regarded as a suburb of Porcupine.

If you don't look too hard you may decide that Morpork and Morepork are alike-enough to qualify as valid-enough for a question of this sort. Hopefully, Terry would have agreed :-).


Here is the crest of Ankh-Morpork.
At the top there is a Morepork holding an Ankh. When Terry played games he did so with a vengeance :-).

This image is from Wikipedia which has more to say on the matter.

enter image description here

From here

  • In The Art of Discworld Pratchett explains that the city is similar to Tallinn and central Prague, but adds that it has elements of 18th century London, 19th century Seattle, and modern New York City. He also states that since the creation of The Streets of Ankh-Morpork, he has tried to ensure that the descriptions of character movements and locations in the books match the Ankh-Morpork map; this has allowed him, and fans of the series, to visualise the story more clearly. Ankh-Morpork is also referred to as "The Great [or Big] Wahoonie" on occasions, alluding to "The Great Wen" (London), or to "The Big Apple" (New York). There are also strong parallels with the political structure, economy, social structure, topography and history of the city-state Florence during the Renaissance.

Note:

The Morepork Owl is native to New Zealand (where I live), but is a relative of the Australian Boobook Owl.

Added:

The Wikipedia Ankh-Morpork entry says (without attribution) - 'The word "Morpork" is from a type of New Zealand owl called the morepork, which is depicted holding the ankh on the coat of arms.'

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    How odd! They should have called it Echidna! It's too late to ask Terry now!
    – CJ Dennis
    May 15, 2015 at 6:09
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    I suspect that if he had based the city on Morepork Creek it would have been located in Fourecks.
    – Chenmunka
    May 15, 2015 at 7:38
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    @Richard Both. May 15, 2015 at 8:43
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    @RussellMcMahon I find the connection here tenuous to say the least. The connection to the owl may be intentional, either as inspiration for the name (like Hotblack Desiato), or when designing the city's Arms. But a stream so small I can't even find it on the map, with no connection whatsoever? That's called "coincidence".
    – IMSoP
    Oct 6, 2022 at 17:12
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    I just looked up the Wikipedia page at the time this answer was written and it stated (without any reference) the exact opposite of "Terry knew what games he was playing": "Terry Pratchett had not heard of the bird when he came up with the name but retroactively associated the name with the bird in later books." Not that the owl is remotely relevant to this question anyway.
    – IMSoP
    Oct 6, 2022 at 17:17

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