We’re back and trying to find more ways to say Lords and Ladies, lest we invoke them …
Magrat leaves the palace upon hearing of the witches’ duel; Grandma is sitting across from Diamanda, both of them looking at the sun. Granny wins the duel because Pewsey is falling and crying and Granny is going to help her – she stopped looking at the sun, but the contest was about who was the best witch, and the best witch is surely the one who would seek to see what went wrong. ‘was not going. with a crying child. Wizards are on the Lancre Road, and Ridcully tells Ponder how he almost married a girl there when he was very young. They are held back by Casanunda, and Ridcully is so impressed (and annoyed) that he invites the dwarf to take the tour. Magrat walks into the garden and speaks briefly to the Royal Falconer, then to Mr. Brooks, the Royal Beekeeper. Grandma has flashes of déjà vu that don’t belong to her when Nanny shows up at her door with the three girls to whom Diamanda was teaching witchcraft. Granny challenges them to knock her hat off, which neither of them can, so she sends them back to their friend. She tells Nanny that she was not chosen to be a witch; she chose it herself.
Nanny is in bed, thinking of the return of the Elves, and decides to get up and go for a walk with an iron to protect herself. Diamanda returns alone to the Dancers, but Grandma is waiting for her there. She tells Diamanda that she has to leave this place or she will go against her. Diamanda slips between the dancers and Mamie must follow; they meet in the elven dimension and the queen is there with her soldiers. Granny works to keep the Queen out of Diamanda’s mind, so the Queen tells her people to kill them and leaves. Grandma pulls her “old lady” number and hits the two elves; she and Diamanda run towards the stones as the elves start shooting arrows at them on horseback; Granny borrows one of the spirits of the horses to confuse him and the plan works, but Diamanda has already been caught by an arrow. Granny comes to pick her up and they’re almost at the entrance, but they’re still about to be killed when Nanny arrives with her iron. Then they’re all back in the world and trying to figure out what to do with an elf and a wounded and unconscious Diamanda. They each pick up one and make their way to the castle, where they demand that Shawn let them in.
Magrat and Verence are discussing the possibility of making Nanny the poet laureate of the kingdom when the two witches arrive and Grandma tells Magrat to help Diamanda with her injury. Magrat sends Shawn to his cabin to collect his books. The bandits who have taken Casanunda’s horse attempt to rob the wizards, but their leader is turned into a pumpkin by Ridcully; the bandits end up paying them. Grandma takes Verence to the dungeon to see the elf and explain to him what they are. While talking about it, she gets confused and asks after “the children”. Then she comes to herself and insists that there is nothing to worry about. Nanny and Granny leave Diamanda with Magrat, but Granny knows they must be vigilant because the Fairy Queen has found her way. Jason Ogg and his companions rehearse the royal play for the wedding festivities and find nowhere else to do without being interrupted, so they go up to the Dancers. Later, they all drink and Jason knows something is wrong, but the whole crew fall asleep. Magrat uneasily prepares for her wedding, nanny bathes and Grandma borrows, neither of them know what happened to the boys.
You know, I forgot that this book hangs out here a little bit in the middle. It’s still very enjoyable to read because the storytelling is fast-paced as always – it’s just that not much is happening.
That said, the passage on language and the elves (“Elves are great. They breed terror.”) Is pretty much one of the most perfect asides of any fantasy novel I have ever had. of things, that doesn’t mean you don’t learn a thing or two.
We get a ton of foreshadowing and a lot of little quasi-vignettes on the witches themselves. Nanny’s bath time isn’t the kind of thing that you can easily forget, not that you would like. Grandmother’s confusion about this other life that she keeps glimpsing, a life where she made different choices, torments her. Magrat continues to learn what queens do and to be mortified by the passivity and boredom of the whole ordeal. And sure, you want to shake her and Verence for not saying what they’re thinking and being obtuse about the wedding, but that’s how you know it’s realistic because who knows how to be frank about this. kind of stuff?
We move into the foreshadowing with Ridcully talking about the girl he loved in Lancre when he was young, and there’s something particularly satisfying about Esme not caring enough about him to accept his offer. Not only because she’s Granny Weatherwax and her power over herself is absolute, but also because Ridcully deserves that kind of reaction. He’s the kind of guy who’s wonderful to read in a book, but if I ever met him on the street, I don’t think I would be so amused.
There is something to be said about this book to continue building Lancre in its own identifiable corner of the Discworld. We know a lot about Ankh-Morpork, of course, and a few other towns besides, but all the little details in this story seem destined to make Lancre a little more specific, rather than a “generic kingdom with witches.” . ‘ There are the dancers, the Ramtops, the fact that his castle is really too big for the region it belongs to, the way people react to royalty and witchcraft and the epic change with little more than a shrug. And then, of course, there’s the fact that Granny Weatherwax really thinks the kingdom is her own, by virtue of her rights and knowledge.
Jason and his team of laymen are a direct riff on the players of A Midsummer Night’s dream, which makes sense as this is the usual group to send when you want to have fun with the local theater concept. I remember doing a production in high school where the “actors” completely stole the show from everyone; when interpreted properly, the whole concept is a great testament to the truth that bad theater can often be as enjoyable and enlightening an experience as good theater. (For example, there are other things I could tell you about this production of Midsummer who make festive stories. Or standing. I played Peaseblossom, which is already a whole line that takes care of itself.)
Apart and little thoughts:
- The logical puzzle Ponder talks about in the carriage is the same one given to Sarah in the movie. Labyrinth, and it’s pretty common, but it always makes me laugh when it appears.
- There is a point where we are told that Granny is doing “a last minute check to make sure that she had not absently taken off all of her clothes, or something like that” before opening her door, and I feel like that’s an incredibly accurate description of generalization anxiety. Have I forgotten my keys? My wallet? My phone? Maybe all my clothes?
Nanny Ogg had a pragmatic attitude towards the truth; she said it if it was practical and she couldn’t bother to invent something more interesting.
From somewhere in the distance came Hodgesaargh’s cry as nature moved closer to him.
Now the universes have aligned. They ceased their boiling spaghetti dance and, to get through this chicane of history, rushed shoulder to shoulder in their race through the rubber sheet of Incontinent Time.
Magenta-shading-to-Violet shaded to pink.
And we’re stupid, and memory plays tricks, and we remember the elves for their beauty and the way they move, and forget what they were. We are like mice that say, “Say what you want, cats have real style. “
The chef had turned into a pumpkin although, according to the rules of universal humor, he still wore his hat.
We’re leaving next week for vacation and then we come back and read up “Then she kicked the bowl of milk so hard it sprayed across the street.” “