Discworld/Thud/Headscratchers

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  • Carrot mentions that the grags in Ankh-Morpork have several Cubes. When the grags flee, it's mentioned that they took all of their Cubes with them, even though they left behind most of their other Devices. What happened to the other Cubes? They wouldn't have left them anywhere, but they didn't have them with them when they were captured.
  • Finding out that two kings from two millennia ago thought that their peoples really should kiss and make up would normally end the rivalry about as effectively as the other million things that happened since it began.
    • The key here is that a major source for that rivalry was the battle of Koom Valley. Both sides believed the other had ambushed their side when they were looking to make peace, so both sides had long standing animosity going toward that event. Finding out that the major "battle" that started the racewar wasn't a battle at all might not completely erase the rivalry (and, in fact, I don't think Pratchett ever said it would), but it's going to take the wind out of peoples' sails, especially the groups that use "Remember Koom Valley!" as a rallying cry.
      • To put that another way: The war-mongers on both sides have been using Remember Koom Valley! as a cry for going to war since Koom Valley, but now Remember Koom Valley! means something like Remember when trigger-happy fools made a peace-signing into a battle!. There is also the noted fact that both sides have to work together to save their respective cultural heroes from being erased by Koom Valley, and that the leaders on both sides were implied or outright stated to be looking for a reason not to go to war even before they knew exactly what had happened in Koom Valley.
      • Unseen Academicals makes it clear that basically every faction in the area was involved in making the peace happen, and the hard-liners were discretely dealt with.
        • Also worth noting that peace was a long time coming, Rhys and Mr. Shine both wanted it and had spent years getting the ground work down and there's still more to be done.
  • Why did Bashfulsson shout "Ha'ak!" right before attacking Ardent? Was he accusing Ardent of being a female dwarf? He doesn't seem like the type of character who would use such a derogatory term, and it's never clarified later on.
    • Ha'ak may not translate as "female dwarf", so much as "sullier of all that is dwarfishness".
    • I always believed that it was a horrific insult along the lines of 'not really a dwarf'.
      • I assumed it was sort of the dwarfish equivalent of treif in Judaism or haraam in Islam: forbidden or profane.
  • I might have missed something, but in Thud its mentioned that the game of thud is a board game replay of the first battle of Koom Valley. However, when they're at Koom Valley, the old diamond king of trolls and the old dwarf king who were there during the first "battle" were apparently playing thud. at the battle it's supposed to recreate. How can they be playing it?
    • Perhaps there were several battles in Koom Valley prior to the botched peace meeting, the game coming from an earlier, less remembered one?
    • Perhaps that was the original "battle"?
    • Remember that nobody - dwarf, troll, human, anyone - is quite sure just what happened at Koom Valley, so the game could be 'modeled' after the battle without being anything at all like what actually happened. It's possible that Thud was a pre-existing board game that just got associated with the battle somehow over the course of time.
    • Um. It's explicitly mentioned, several times, in Thud!, that there have been several Battles in Koom Valley. My interpretation is that the game is a recreation of one of the earlier ones. In fact, the peace accords that turned into a battle were supposed to take place in Koom Valley specifically BECAUSE there had been several battles there and it was a site of historic significance to both parties.
      • Right. I mean, no reason to go sign peace accords if you weren't fighting in the first place. It's just that the unforeseen battle caused by the confusion of the storm was much more massive than the others, and really cemented the hostilities between the races, so it's the most famous battle. But there were battles before then.
  • Maybe I missed it while reading, but what motive did the Summoning Dark have in bringing Sam to Koom Valley? I didn't really understand WHY it brought him there.
    • To kill the dwarfs who had murdered the miners. That's what the Summoning Dark had been called up to do.
    • And the grags too, they ordered it done.
  • Did I miss something? Why is there no mention whatsoever of Reg Shoe in the book?
    • The Watch is quite large by this point. Pterry can't give everyone page time.
  • Could someone please explain the whole Rascal thing? I've read the book dozens of times and I still have no idea what the fuck was up with Methodia Rascal.
    • He's a mad artist who painted details about Koom Valley and at least one Device into his paintings, was obsessed with a supposedly imaginary chicken, and died with a seemingly non-imaginary mouthful of feathers. Is there anything more you want explained? If so, the answer will probably be solidly in Fanon.