Questions tagged [discworld]

For questions about Discworld, a series of comic fantasy books by Terry Pratchett.

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What does Pratchett's "poets notwithstanding" joke mean?

In Terry Pratchett's Equal Rites, he writes the following passage: Esk, in fact, moved through the fair more like an arsonist moves through a hayfield or a neutron bounces through a reactor, poets ...
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6 votes
2 answers
789 views

Are there any gay characters in Terry Pratchett's Discworld?

Are there any openly or identifiably gay characters in Terry Pratchett's Discworld?
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5 votes
1 answer
234 views

Do we know when Small Gods is set, compared to the majority of Discworld novels?

Small Gods portrays a time of great change in the Omnian religion, when the This later Omnianism is clearly well-established by the time of Carpe Jugulum as evidenced by the Quite Reverend Mightily ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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Why do Igors (but not Igorinas) lisp when they speak?

In the Discworld universe, when an Igor (which is basically a parody of Adam from Frankenstein) speaks, they generally speak with a lisp (pronouncing "s" as "th"). In Monstrous ...
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12 votes
2 answers
396 views

Can witches see octarine?

In many of the Discworld books focusing on wizards, it is often mentioned that only wizards can see octarine, which is the color* of magic. However, I cannot recall it being mentioned in any of the ...
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10 votes
1 answer
607 views

Equation in "Men at Arms" by Pratchett

Could someone with an early edition of Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett, first published by Victor Gollancz Ltd in 1993, please answer with Detritus' equation? In the scene where Detritus the troll is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
807 views

What kind of witch is Tiffany Aching?

In Terry Pratchet’s Discworld universe, he has five books that focus on Tiffany Aching, a trainee witch. She has a mix of non-magical and magical powers. Non-magical powers: First Sight Second, Third,...
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11 votes
2 answers
503 views

What accent do trolls in Discworld have?

“Dis der Riot Act and you’ve all got to read it, right? “Boys, if dere was a PhD in bein’ fick, youse wouldn’t be able to find a pencil.” These are a couple of quotes from Detritus, the Troll in the ...
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58 votes
1 answer
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Did Terry Pratchett ever explain the inspiration behind the Luggage?

The Luggage is one of the iconic Discworld characters, but did Terry Pratchett ever explain where the inspiration came from for the sociopathic walking trunk with internals that seem to act like the ...
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

In Men at Arms, why announce Edward was caught?

At Vimes' wedding at the climax of Men at Arms, as the shooter flees the tower, Carrot suggests that in order to catch the criminal they would need to announce that Edward was caught and visit the ...
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46 votes
4 answers
7k views

How does The Fools Guild make its money?

In the Discworld series, the city of Ankh-Morpork has numerous professions (including criminal professions) managed and regulated by guilds. For most of these it's pretty easy to work out their income ...
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Terry Pratchett book with a lawyer dragon and sheep

I was talking to someone today who mentioned starting a Terry Pratchett book a few years before. They said that it was about a dragon who was a lawyer and involved sheep. They think that it is ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is a "shilicashe?"

On page 138 of my edition of The Light Fantastic, Cohen the Barbarian tells Twoflower and Rincewind about trolls, and tries to say a word that I cannot at all identify (emphasis added): "Trollsh ...
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24 votes
1 answer
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Discworld quote about an "old couple" who having said everything to each other, can finally go about living their lives

There was a quote about an old couple (I believe it was Death and the character played by David Jason, I forget his name), who having lived together for a long time, and having said everything, are ...
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1 answer
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In Soul Music, where do the corn fields behind Death garden come from?

In Soul Music, Susan explores multiple times the area surrounding Death's cottage. Everything is how we are used to know it, with the predominance of black and the constant feeling that things are odd ...
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38 votes
3 answers
9k views

Who are these Discworld wizards from this picture?

I haven't read many of the novels about wizards yet and would like to know who they are. [Image by Paul Kidby]
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10 votes
1 answer
790 views

What does the ending of Monstrous Regiment mean?

I didn't fully understand Discworld "Monstrous Regiment". Polly is going back to war, presumably, but then what was the point of the book from Jackrum? If she was just going to blackmail people then ...
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6 votes
2 answers
573 views

What was the inspiration for the 'draco vulgaris'?

Is the draco vulgaris (first described in Guards! Guards! (1989) inspired by the pseudodragons found in Dungeons and Dragons? I recently learned about them and find many similarities: small winged ...
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34 votes
1 answer
4k views

What does this quote in Small Gods refer to?

In Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett, the following quote appears: It was something he shared with tortoises. Watch any tortoise walking, and periodically it will stop while it files away the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
475 views

How big is the Circumfence barrier?

In The Colour of Magic, it is shown there is a net on the edge of the Disc when How big is this net? In The Light Fantastic on page 13 it mentions ships falling off the world, so I guess it isn’t ...
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69 votes
2 answers
18k views

What term is being referred to with "reflected-sound-of-underground-spirits"?

In The Colour of Magic, on page 46 of my copy, Twoflower says this word: “Reflected-sound-of-underground-spirits?” What term is being referred to above? It seems to be like “in-sewer-ants-policy”,...
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did the characters in Moving Pictures not know about cameras like Twoflower's?

In Moving Pictures, video-cameras are invented... But they're essentially the same thing as Twoflower's camera which only took one picture at a time but Twoflower probably could've asked it to paint ...
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4 votes
1 answer
295 views

Correlation with trilogy of movies in Discworld timeline?

I was reading the timeline of "Discworld" on L-space, and I noticed this at the bottom of the page. Anyone note the years and their correlation with a certain trilogy of movies? Which trilogy are ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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What's the target audience of Discworld and how was it pitched for a publishing house?

I'm not in the publishing area, but recently I've been reading up on middle grade and YA literature and the importance of target audiences, etc and then I started wondering about the Discworld series. ...
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9 votes
1 answer
1k views

What specific works of fantasy were parodied in The Colour of Magic?

This question about magic in Discworld set me thinking a bit. The earliest books in the series are qualitatively different from the later volumes. The Colour of Magic is an episodic tale, parodying ...
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8 votes
2 answers
791 views

Pronunciation of "Teatime"

Mr. Jonathan Teatime's name is, as specified in the book Hogfather, pronounced "Teh-ah-tim-eh". But since there's no marks of pronunciation included, its pronunciation is still under question. The ...
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35 votes
6 answers
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Terry Pratchett's Discworld: is there an inconsistency in the treatment of magic?

In The Colour of Magic, we learn that: "Can't tell you. Don't really want to talk about it. But frankly," he sighed , "no spells are much good. It takes three months to commit even a simple one ...
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why doesn't anyone remember the Eight Great Spells?

In Interesting Times, Arch-Chancellor Ridcully says that Rincewind is not technically a wizard because he failed at the University and has never performed any "great services to magic". Rincewind ...
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62 votes
4 answers
13k views

What's the pyramid joke?

In The Light Fantastic, after talking about the dimensions of the Pyramid of Tsort, it says All in all, it was a lot of effort to go through just to sharpen a razor. What's the joke here?
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33 votes
1 answer
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Who is the little girl in Raising Steam who blocks the railway meant to be a reference to?

In Raising Steam, about 80% of the way in, a girl named Edith and her brothers intentionally block the railway so as to be able to save the train and be heroes. “I dare say you do, but I don’t think ...
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22 votes
2 answers
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Why does Moist von Lipwig pull this trick against Reacher Gilt?

At the end of Going Postal, Moist von Lipwig makes a bet that his post office can deliver a message to a town thousands of miles away before the Grand Trunk company can. Immediately before the race ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Is Angus from Small gods really a small god?

In Pratchett's novel Small Gods, there is this character, Angus. Because he saves St. Ungulant from the lion attack it is clear that he is not only fictional (as opposed to what we could think when ...
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9 votes
1 answer
748 views

Why did this happen to Maurice from Pratchett's novel?

In the Pratchett's book The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, there is a moment when the intelligent cat Maurice After that, Maurice wakes up and How is that possible? I think it is not ...
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18 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why did Pratchett name Maurice Maurice?

In the Czech translation of Pratchett's book The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (which I read) the name of the cat is Mauric. Also, there is a word from the translator at the beginning of ...
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  • 4,537
10 votes
1 answer
835 views

Do we have any evidence that there were plans for an Ankh-Morpork Underground?

I'm going to have to add details and quotes later for this as I don't currently have access to the books, but I remember noticing some things I thought were foreshadowing for an underground system in ...
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26 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why does Detritus not become disabled in daylight?

It is established in novels such as The Light Fantastic and Moving Pictures that Discworld trolls turn to stone in daylight, or at least become disabled, and become active at night. This does not seem ...
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6 votes
2 answers
943 views

What should this conversation between Tiffany Aching and Preston mean?

At the end of the book I Shall Wear Midnight, this strange conversation takes place: I don't understand what Tiffany means by that. Of course, I got the message that but still why ‘Listen’? That ...
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5 votes
0 answers
492 views

Why is “Equal Rites” misspelled on two pages?

In the HarperTorch paperback of Equal Rites the title of the book is misspelled on the heading of two different pages as "Equal Rights” (I don’t have the book with me at the moment). This seems likely ...
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34 votes
1 answer
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Who said "One person, one vote. I just happened to be the person voting"?

This quote is probably misquoted, but I remember this as a Blake's 7 quote from Servalan. However, I have also read elsewhere a similar quote from Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Is there a quote like ...
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19 votes
1 answer
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What happened to Fred Colon's sugar lumps?

In "The Fifth Elephant" Acting Captain Colon (normally known as Sergeant Fred Colon) is obsessed about missing sugar lumps. During the course of the story more and more sugar lumps go missing. It ...
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5 votes
1 answer
649 views

Which Discworld book has the Chief of Police engaging in a war?

The Chief of Police becomes the head of the army. He crosses a sea to do "battle", but when he gets there they all call the war off. Which book is that?
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25 votes
3 answers
9k views

What does the city name Ankh-Morpork in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels mean?

I would assume that someone has asked this question before but I haven't found any discussion about the name of Ankh-Morpork. Ever since I read my first Discworld book, I kept wondering about this ...
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9 votes
1 answer
544 views

Is Vorbis a God?

This question relates to Vorbis in the 13th Discworld novel, Small Gods. Reading beyond this point will spoil the ending.
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16 votes
3 answers
4k views

Who is depicted on this image showing major Discworld characters?

Source: https://twitter.com/PaulKidby/status/857882705165524992. I only recognize Twoflower the Tourist, Death, the Luggage and the Librarian. However, I'm only a couple of books in the series, so I'...
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7 votes
3 answers
623 views

Which Discworld books feature the gods looking down on the world?

Several Discworld novels feature interlude/prologue/epilogue chapters which show the gods talking amongst themselves atop Cori Celesti. I think in some cases they are wagering on a game. Where in ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
439 views

What are the TV/movie Discworld adaptations?

So... I've seen the Hogfather and Colour of Magic/Light Fantastic via YouTube... think they were pretty good, but the video/audio quality was poor. And I understand Going Postal is out there as well (...
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11 votes
1 answer
701 views

What laws are Unseen University Wizards bound by?

In Ankh-Morpork, the Wizards' guild claims to operate outside the mundane laws of man, but how true is this? For example, in Reaper Man, we learn that while the university doesn't pay taxes, they do ...
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  • 1,477
52 votes
1 answer
6k views

Pratchett Quote about Research and Development

I'm looking for a quote by Terry Pratchett. I'm pretty sure that the patrician was speaking about Leonard of Quirm and giving funds to Research and Development. It was something along the lines of: ...
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  • 777
13 votes
4 answers
1k views

When and how does Samuel Vimes learn about his ancestor "Old Stoneface" Vimes

In Guards! Guards! Sam Vimes is surprised that Ankh-Morpork used to have a king: Vimes shook his head. The world was definitely going mad around him. "You've lost me there," he said. "Air," ...
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are the rivers Ankh and Lancre identical?

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 ...
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