The New Discworld Companion

  • 76 233 1
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up
File loading please wait...
Citation preview


The Fully Revised and\ Book to all things Discworldian



Copyright © Terry and Lyn Pratchett and Stephen Briggs 2003, illustrations by Stephen Briggs Alt rights reserved The right of Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Discworld t' is a trademark registered by Terry Pratchett. First published in Great Britain in 1994 by Victor Gollancz Ltd An imprint of the Orion Publishing Group Orion House, 5 Upper St Martin's Lane, London WC2H 9EA This revised and updated edition first published in Great Britain in 2003 by Victor Gollancz Ltd This edition published in Great Britain in 2004 A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 0 575 07555 4 Typeset at The Spartan Press Ltd, Lymington, Hants Printed in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, St Ives pic


Where am I?


The Discworld A-Z


The Terry Pratchett Interview: Discworld Quo Vadis?



^V^iJ^fe}^ * Patari dew's Polo-C-e; H7 Sfci

.i v



Plaza BrokaiTloons




'£23 #:

The TUc."l '*ts

>4 fe\




W H E R E AM I? Ponders Stephen Briggs

When I look back over the years since I last revised the introduction to the Companion, I am staggered at how much has happened. My original introduction to the first Discworld Companion said: 'Six years ago I was a civil servant who dabbled in amateur dramatics. (Er . . . I still am.)' Well - OK - nothing actually has changed there. But a lot of other things have. As many of you know, I fell into Discworld backwards, as if I'd been leaning on a rickety old door in a walled garden and I'd suddenly found myself in a magical kingdom full of snow, fauns and benevolent lions. I hadn't meant to be here, but I'm jolly glad that I am. I came across Discworld while looking for books to dramatise for my amateur drama club. We were the first people - anywhere in the world - to dramatise the works of Terry Pratchett. When I first wrote to Terry back in 1990 to ask permission to dramatise Wyrd Sisters, I little realised that in choosing that book, I had made a really BIG life choice. I can still remember how worried we were when the author (Mr Terry Pratchett) actually telephoned me - in person - to say that he wanted to come and see our little production. Would he like it? Would he let us do any more? Wyrd Sisters went so well that we went on to stage a further eleven Discworld books (with more in the planning). Nine of the dramatisations have now been published (as well as two other Pratchett plays from Oxford University Press) and have been staged by amateur drama clubs all over the world - Australia to Zimbabwe, Indonesia to Bermuda, Finland to France, South Africa to the USA. Along the way, they've raised over £40,000 for the Orangutan Foundation from their royalties. 1

The New Discworld Companion

Anyway, back to 1992. One day, when I was working on only my second Discworld play, I mentioned to Terry Pratchett that I was convinced from my reading that AnkhMorpork had a distinct shape. He doubted it - he said he'd just put buildings and streets in wherever the plot required them. I said that in this world they got put in wherever History demanded them and I was sure the city was mappable. Fine, he said. Go ahead. And that led to The Streets of Ankh-Morpork, published in 1993, possibly the first map ever to get into the bestseller lists. The arguments and constant reference-seeking involved in that project led me to wonder out loud if it wasn't time for a guide to Discworld. And The Discworld Companion was born. Since then, my own little 'backlist' has grown to include three maps, dramatisations of eleven of Terry's books - Wyrd Sisters, Mort, Guards! Guards!, Men at Arms, Maskerade, Carpe Jugulum, The Fifth Elephant, The Truth, Interesting Times, Johnny & the Dead and The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents - six Diaries, a cookbook and a graphic novel. It is weird, when friends return from foreign travels to tell me they've seen the maps in a bookstore in Munich, the Companion at a French airport or, much more surprisingly, one of my plays in a bookshop in Zimbabwe. The weirdness factor is compounded when, from time to time, I get a small package from Colin Smythe (Terry's and my agent) containing translations of some of the above - the cookbook in German, the Companion in French, a Diary in Bulgarian or a map of Ankh-Morpork in Polish. Several years ago now, I recorded a couple of lines to go into Dave Greenslade's From the Discworld album . . . this was another happy accident, as I'd only gone along to the studio to dress up as Death for some publicity pix. From those two lines ('The Turtle Moves' and 'Nevertheless, the Turtle Does Move'), I have now moved on to record some of the unabridged books for Isis Publishing (seven, so far). These are a tremendous responsibility. It was nerve-racking enough to have to replace the established artist (Nigel Planer), who had a loyal following 2

The New Discworld Companion amongst those who listen to the books on tape or CD, but I am also all too aware that Terry and his family receive early copies of the completed recordings. Along the way, and again virtually by accident, I have found myself selling a range of Discworld merchandise to Terry's readers across the globe. It all started with an Unseen University scarf, but has gone on to include enamelled badges, T-shirts, key-rings, tea towels, aprons, and much, much more. Before I met Terry, I had no access to e-mail or the internet at all, but now I am now totally immersed in e-mail and e-trading, with my own website ( and with e-mail having replaced the paper-based alternative for 90 per cent of my correspondence. Even so, and much to Terry's disgust this Companion is based on material compiled on an old-fashioned card index. Discworld has been very good to me and I welcome the limited chances I get to meet Terry's readers, either at the Conventions, at Clarecraft Events, get-togethers at Bernard Pearson's shop in Wincanton, or on those all-too-rare occasions when the publishers let me tag along to a book signing. It really is strange to see people wearing badges and shirts I've created, or offering for signature Diaries, maps, plays that I've helped to create. I wouldn't have missed it for worlds.

This Revised Edition In enlarging the Companion for this revision, we have had to act like Legitimate First, gravedigger at the Cemetery of Small Gods (see Night Watch). We have had to move some people out of the main cemetery of the Companion and into the charnel house of my Card Index to make room for all the new people struggling to get in. So - we've lost quite a few more of those characters whose only function was to support a gag line, or to bop Rincewind on the head. Some of them have still held on we have a soft spot for the bit-part players on the great stage of life. I have also incorporated the various Discworld Diaries; these contain some good background material, which I enjoyed 3

The New Discworld Companion

researching and which it would be a pity to see disappear because the Diaries, by their nature, are only transient . . . they wither away like the purple lilac once their year is over. Since the last revision to the Companion, Terry has written another nine novels, with another one (sorry, make that two) in draft as I write this. Along the way, he's found time to collaborate to produce not only Nanny Ogg's Cookbook but also two editions of The Science of Discworld and six Discworld Diaries. These latter have filled in huge chunks of background about life in Ankh-Morpork and, as I said, have involved some very enjoyable research in libraries, on the internet and - in one case - on the hallowed premises of a very well-known public school.

An Important Bit from the Earlier Edition If you've bought, stolen or been given this book, I assume that you must know something about the Discworld. YouTl have read quite a few of the books. You may even have bought the maps, or perhaps some of my badges. It's about now that my publishers would like me to invoke that all-powerful Spell: The Famous Note About Consistency. Tolkien readers will soon recognise that they are moving through a world fully realised by its creator - capable of being mapped, chronicled, discussed, pinned down right from the word 'go'. Middle Earth, one feels, came first - the books were derived from that vision. On the other hand, Terry Pratchett has gone on record many times saying that he wanted to write books using a certain kind of world as a background. I'm not saying he made it up as he went along, but Discworld was quite clearly bent around the stories and, over the years, things have . . . er . . . evolved. Take, for example, Granny Weatherwax. While there has been no actual change in the character as such, the woman who defies the Queen of the Elves and more or less runs an entire kingdom from underneath in Lords and Ladies is a much more developed and complicated person - I feel - than the village 4

The New Discworld Companion

witch of Equal Rites, the first book in which she appears. And trolls begin as little more than conventional monsters in The Colour of Magic, rapidly become quite talkative in The Light Fantastic? and by Men At Arms and Soul Music are, if a little slow of thinking, certainly capable of using a knife and fork (even if not for the purposes originally envisaged by the makers of fine cutlery). That is, of course, natural development. And, perhaps, a bit of storyteller's licence - the author says that there are no inconsistencies in the Discworld books, merely alternative pasts. Have a look at Thief of Time. There are other little difficulties, in most cases readily overcome. The fact that names are sometimes spelled differently is a tribute to the Discworld's robust approach to spelling. This is not uncommon. Look at William Shakespeare, for example. Shakespear, Shakespere . . . whatever. And the Old language (Latatian) of Ankh-Morpork has been rendered into Latin - very bad, very doggy Latin. FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC belongs in the same dictionary as NIL ILLEGITIMI CARBORVNDVM. Don't expect it all to pass close examination by a Professor of Classics at Oxbridge. This is a guide to a world that exists on the very borders of reality, which is an enviable place from which to view our own; its existence is buffeted by the tides of history and the forces of narrative causality. It is astonishing that it is as coherent as it seems to be. But of course you will know this, unless by some oversight you haven't read a Discworld book at all and are just reading this idly in the bookshop until the rain stops. In that case it's not too late! The whole collection is probably on a shelf next to this book. Go on . . . try one . . . you don't need to be a fantasy fan - / wasn't. . . they're just good books . . . go on, you don't need to buy lunch every day . . . NOTE: A name or word in SMALL CAPITALS indicates that it is the subject of a fuller, separate entry; Ankh-Morpork, and various

The New Discworld Companion

regular or generic references (like Granny Weatherwax, trolls and dwarfs) are not flagged. Where a character or reference occurs in only one or two books, this is indicated at the end of the entry. The following abbreviations are used for the books: The Colour of Magic COM The Light Fantastic LF Equal Rites ER Mort M Sourcery S Wyrd Sisters WS Pyramids P Guards! Guards! GG Eric E Moving Pictures MP Reaper Man RM Witches Abroad WA Small Gods SG Lords and Ladies LL Men At Arms MAA Soul Music SM Interesting Times IT Maskerade M!!!!! Feet of Clay FOC Hogfather H Jingo J The Last Continent TLC Carpe Jugulum CJ The Fifth Elephant TFE The Truth TT Thief of Time TOT 77ie Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents TAMAHER The Last Hero TLH Night Watch NW We Free Men. WFM 6

The New Discw