Discworld/Fridge

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Fridge Horror[edit | hide]

  • The sweet little tale of "Where's My Cow" makes you wonder... if the kid is unable to identify the animal until the appropriate sound is made, does that mean the kid is blind?
    • It's mocking books like "Are You my Mother?" and it's specifically said that the art makes it appear (of course only to the very young and the very stupid) that the animals look like cows for a moment. Kids books are that silly because kids don't need full logic. They like the repetition.
  • Terry Pratchett recently wrote another Discworld book (Wintersmith) in which an afterlife is populated by invisible monsters that drain emotion, memory and hope from the spirits trapped there. One character remarks "When you take away memories, you take away the person. Everything they are." Some time later, Terry revealed that he has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease...
    • It wasn't the afterlife. Nevertheless...
    • Even in-universe, there's plenty of horror there. That same character goes on to lose his memories of at, the very least, his role in the events of the first book, and quite possibly the supernatural other two books as well, in I Shall Wear Midnight. And suddenly he's acting pretty differently...


Fridge Brilliance[edit | hide]

  • In Mort the characters come across books that are written about people's lives as they happen. At the end of the book Death shows Mort, the character, the book titled Mort. The last few paragraphs are in italics to show that Mort is reading it. Having finished the book, you close it, look at the cover, and realize that the physical book Mort could quite easily be the book Mort that exists in the Discworld-verse. -drumsolo
    • On a related note, when Mort and Ysabell read Keli's book, it describes the consequences of (what would have been) her death, rather than just jotting "The End" the instant she (was intended to have) kicked the bucket. It's only when I skipped the intervening novels and moved directly to Reaper Man, next in the "Death" subseries, that I realized that Windle Poons' book really would have listed the consequences of his life and unlife (e.g. getting Lupine and Ludmilla together), following the end of his zombie-hood. Where Death's biography collection is concerned, dead people really do live on until whatever they helped initiate in life has run its course. The biography of Adora Belle's brother is still being written. - Sharlee
  • For some time I wondered why Vetinari was so easy to let go of the issue of tax evasion amongst the guild leaders in Jingo, but then I realized: When someone with high social standing complains to Vetinari or the Watch, they almost always end up having the tables flipped on them, as Vetinari (or Carrot) mentions taxes, they suddenly become more cooperative. Related example: In "Guards! Guards!" the Thieves' Guild leader complains to Vetinari about being arrested. Vetinari manages to turn the situation around by implying to know about unlicensed crime. If Vetinari had done anything about all the violations he knows of, he wouldn't be able to use them as leverage in arguments! If he did something about the tax evasion, the Guilds could suddenly rightfully demand help. If he didn't help them, he wouldn't last long. As things are he can just use what he knows against them!!!
  • When I first read Unseen Academicals, I wasn't sure about Glenda's second job selling "beauty aids" to female trolls that help them grow lichen, since Monstrous Regiment says that male trolls disapprove of females having lichen. Then I reread MR, and the exact quote was "der boys say bald is modest". Couple that with the fact troll "strippers" put clothes on, and it appears that a female troll covered in lichen is the equivalent of a human woman wearing very revealing clothing. Daibhid C
  • In Guards! Guards!, the discussion between the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night concerning the sword in the stone myth. The True King the legends tell you to search for is the person that pulls the sword out of the stone, but, when you really think about it, the True King you should really be looking for is really the one that put the sword into the stone in the first place. In Men at Arms, immediately after it is revealed that Captain Carrot is the True King of Ankh-Morpork, he does both.—Vebyast
  • After reading Guards! Guards! probably five times, I finally realised that, near the start, Brother Plasterer talks about an old prophecy; "Yea, the king will come bringing Law and Justice, and know nothing but the Truth, and Protect and Serve the People with his Sword." Then Carrot shows up and is revealed to be the true king, but he doesn't want to rule. Instead he brings Law and Justice, knows nothing but the Truth and Protects and Serves the People with his Sword by staying a regular watchman.
    • He also becomes involved with Angua, daughter of one of the ruling parties of a foreign nation, Uberwald. IE, a princess.
  • In Mort, Death slaps Mort across the face (I forget the transgression). In Soul Music, Mort's daughter Susan has a birthmark on her face that shows up when she is embarrassed or angry - three parallel lines on her cheek in exactly the same place her father was slapped. You know the expression "hit you so hard your kids feel it"? Death did that for real.
  • I've always wondered what the hell Pterry was thinking when he described the sound of the Pyramids flaring in Pyramids as "Cheops". Then I realised: The flaring is the Pyramids essentially moving things back in time. And the sound "cheops" is phonetic.
    • Also, the Great Pyramid of Cheops is one of the more famous pyramids in real life—also goes by the name of "Giza".
  • I wondered why I Shall Wear Midnight had Nanny Ogg mentioned much more in a mentorly context to Tiffany Aching - anyone who read just that book, and not Wintersmith or A Hat Full of Sky would think that Nanny was Tiffany's real mentor, and not Granny Weatherwax. But when I finished the book, I realized: there's matchmaking, family affairs, weddings, and romances all over the book, and that is Nanny Ogg's territory (that of the Mother) entirely. - vifetoile
  • I really don't know how it could've possibly taken me so long to get this but Death's main adversaries being the Auditors makes even more perfect sense when you think about it. After all, what're the two certainties in life? Death and Taxes. - User:Mr Death
  • In Carpe Jugulum, Granny Weatherwax has a Heroic BSOD when she thinks she wasn't invited to Magrat's daughter's naming-ceremony (due to magpies stealing the invitation). It took me until just now to realize that this is a complete subversion of what usually happens in fairy-stories when you forget to invite someone with a firm grasp of magic (or at least headology) to an important ceremony. -Kimiko Muffin
    • It gets even more brilliant/telling when you remember that Granny's biggest fear is that she'll start to ...cackle (turn to the Dark Side), and the role Narrative Causality usually assigns to the powerful magic-user you failed to invite. She thinks she's being forced to ...cackle, and set-up to go on the usual Revenge SVP, so she goes and hides where she can't hurt anyone. - Alasseo
  • In Carpe Jugulum, at the end, the Omnian preacher, Mightily Oates, sets off into the mountains with his harmonium, sing-alongs, and cups of tea, to teach the vampires "something else." Cue later Discworld books, where suddenly reformed Ubervald vampires turn up, and they like to gather round the harmonium, sing songs, and have a nice cup of tea... looks like Mr. Oates missionary work was successful. - jackk
    • Also, in Unseen Academicals, we learn that "Pastor Oates" walks Far Uberwald, with Forgiveness (his double headed battle axe) at his side... it was Forgiveness that cut through Nutt's chains and set him free. - rarefiednight
    • I realized that there was never a more appropriate Weapon Name than Forgiveness—after all, it's double-edged In Real Life in a lot of ways, starting with how a little can be good but a lot is really really bad for you. - Marvellous9
  • In Night Watch, it's mentioned that Commander Vimes has been removed from the potential list of clients for various reasons such as politics and the chaos such an assassination would be liable to create. But there's another reason. As big and personally loyal to him as the Watch has become, if someone assassinated Vimes, just how long would the Assassin's Guild stay standing? -Canonier
  • Took me a while to get this one. In Guards Guards, when the Brethren first summon the dragon, the items they use include an anti-crocodile charm and an "altar ornament", which the leader doesn't ask about. A few pages later, it's mentioned that there's an altar ornament missing from the Crocodile God's shrine. A few pages later still, one of the Brethren is mauled by a wild crocodile out of nowhere. Divine retribution. -Anderling
  • It took me a while to understand the logic behind a couple of the characters' voices in the Stephen Briggs audiobooks. I had trouble with Vena the Raven-Haired until I realised that he was going for New Zealand. Reacher Gilt was also a puzzler: the point of the character is that he's a pirate, but that's not a West Country accent, and quite right too because that wouldn't fit the character at all. He's speaking quite fast but leaving weird pauses, and slurring a bit almost like he's drunk... Ohhhhh.
  • When Detritus the Troll is stuck inside the pork futures warehouse the cold temperature increases his intelligence. Truly a different kind of Fridge Brilliance, partly for the obvious reason and partly because it took me a while to figure this one out.
    • And then there's the way his brain works in general. Like him, his mind is silicon-based. It functions more effectively when equipped with a cooling fan. And he was unable to count very high until the moment Cuddy introduced him to binary.
  • The theme of one of the latest books, I Shall Wear Midnight, is the importance of good endings and leaving a legacy. Pratchett, as we know, is not in the best of health. And many of his "main" characters - insofar as such a series can be said to have main characters - seem to be electing successors. Vetinari, for example, seems to be grooming Moist von Lipwig as a replacement by training him in Xanatos Speed Chess and putting him in charge of all the city's most important offices (the Post Office, the Royal Bank and according to the title of the next Moist book, the tax office). Mistress Weatherwax seems also to be making young Tiffany ready to take over as the leader the witches don't have - Tiffany is already extraordinarily accomplished by any standard, and it's implied that the Cunning Man comes after the most powerful witch of the times: namely Tiffany. Even Ponder Stibbons and Rincewind are getting better at handling the senior wizards, and might well take over one day. Pratchett is ensuring that the Discworld continues to have a life after him. Combined with a touch of Fridge Horror and more than a touch of Tear Jerker.
    • YMMV. The question that remains it: The way the new characters are and what some of the old ones are becoming, will there be anywhere left to go with them? The more recent characters are pretty much one-shots that just work in their one role. You couldn't put, let's say, Trevor into an adventure in Howondaland or Juliet into a treasure hunt near the hub. They just wouldn't work there. Likewise with the established characters. Vimes has become too infallible, just as Vetinari. The wizards have been reduced to jokes, solely there to be amazed by what the new characters can do. It's a pity.
    • The Disc's mileage might be varying too. Assuming narrative causality, there's a good chance the older characters as they exactly make sense in a modern story, while their modern equivalents are takes on more modern tropes that have more cultural inertia.
  • On a funnier note, the real life section of the Band of Brothels page states that in Dutch, sewing ("naaien") is slang for screwing. No wonder they call it the Seamstresses' Guild.
    • This one is quite deliberate. Various remarks to the effect of, ahem, "threading the needle" are old euphemisms for, well, you know what. Threadneedle Street in London used to be called something quite different (although with precisely the same meaning...) due to the businesses along it, let's just say. Gropecunt Lane, if you really want to know.
  • If you look closely, the really important thing about the big game between the Academicals and Ankh-Morpork United in Unseen Academicals is this: it's all about the best of the new football (Trev Likely and Mr. Nutt) beating the worst of the old football (Andy Shank and his flunkies) in a fair fight, despite the cheating and brutality of the latter. In fact, since Discworld runs on the Theory of Narrative Causality, a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits is almost guaranteed to beat an antagonistic rival team, something of which Vetinari was almost certainly aware.
  • Forgive me for being so dense, but I've only just now figured out that There's no justice; there's just me is a pun. --Wackd
    • It's even better in Discworld/Mort - "There's no justice: there's just us."
  • In Jingo the Curious Squid are specifically and carefully prepared so that absolutely no squid gets in dishes, apparently just like the Japanese dish fugu, which is a poisonous pufferfish that is considered a delicacy. I just realized that maybe the squid aren't sold to the chefs who keep them out of the food, but are actually just caught to keep them out of the sea, so that none of the good fish are contaminated while they are alive.
    • Actually, that's already taken by Deep Sea Blowfish as of Discworld/Pyramids.
  • The role of the Summoning Dark in Snuff is... curious. It's a quasi-demonic personification of vengeance, and it's exceedingly helpful to Sam Vimes throughout the story, providing him the gifts of Night Vision, Talk With Goblins, and key witness territory. All given freely without penalty (other than some minor itching). It only asks in return that Vimes continues to help the Goblin people, which he would've been doing anyway. So, on the one hand, you can conclude that its defeat in Thud forced it into subservience. It can't leave Vimes, but it doesn't have the teeth to take over again. On the other hand, perhaps the Summoning Dark, realizing that saving the goblin people would take more than mere vengeance can achieve, has decided to call upon a higher power. Sam Vimes himself.

Willikins: "As for your question... I think Sam Vimes is at his best when he's confident that he's Sam Vimes."

  • In one scene in Thief of Time, Death uses a Tablecloth Yank to explain to Susan how History Monks manipulate the time of the universe to resolve problems. When Susan points out that he spilled the salt and there are still stains left on the cloth, Death takes pride in the effectiveness of the metaphor. Clever in itself, but after reading Reaper Man and seeing how Death deliberately throws off his dart game to endear himself to the villagers, it becomes apparent that Death specifically pulled the cloth such that the salt would spill and everything else would be fine. He can do that.
  • In Making Money, Moist asks goddess Anoia for a favor, since it was him that caused her to become famous and great goddess with her own temple (instead of one of the small gods that shared a single room and had one shared priestess). She is goddess of, among other things, things stuck in drawers. At the climax of the book, Moist's former partner gets bitten by the false teeth that he had stolen from a dead man, that were stuck in his "drawers" for years...

Another possibility is that the fight was considered "a lost cause". In another Discworld book (forget which), it's mentioned that Anoia was considering expanding her domain to be the goddess of lost causes.

  • In Carpe Jugulum, Mightily Oats' fear that Om doesn't really exist ("Was the god silent, or was there no one there to speak?") seems strange in a world where the gods are very much real... but when you remember what nearly happened to Om in Small Gods (that is, fading away into a small god because His followers weren't really worshiping Him), Oats' worries are pretty much justified.