Portal:Discworld

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The Discworld Portal

Discworld is a comic fantasy book series by the British author Sir Terry Pratchett (1948 — 2015) set on the Discworld, a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which are in turn standing on the back of a giant turtle, the Great A'Tuin. The books frequently parody or at least borrow ideas from J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and William Shakespeare, as well as myth, folklore and fairy tales, often using them for satirical parallels with current cultural, technological and scientific issues.

Since the first novel, The Colour of Magic (1983), the series has expanded, spawning several related books and maps, five short stories, cartoon and theatre adaptations and even music inspired by the series. The first live action screen adaptation for television (Hogfather) was broadcast over Christmas 2006. Another one for the cinema (The Wee Free Men) is currently in development.

Newly released Discworld books regularly top The Sunday Times bestsellers list, making Pratchett the UK's best-selling author in the 1990s. He has since been overtaken by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, but still holds the record for the most shoplifted books. Discworld novels have also won awards such as the Prometheus Award and the Carnegie Medal. In the BBC's Big Read, four Discworld books were in the top 100, and a total of fourteen in the top 200.

Character of the day

Gytha Ogg (usually called Nanny Ogg) is a witch and member of the Lancre coven. The character of Nanny Ogg is based on the Mother stereotype of the Triple Goddess myth, and probably influenced by the character Nannie Slag in the Gormenghast series. She's had 5 husbands and been married to three of them and has fifteen children who survived their early childhood (one was born some ten years after the death of her last husband). She has as well innumerable grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but that's incidental; what makes her the Mother is her mentality. People go to Granny Weatherwax for help when they have no choice, but they go to Nanny for advice all the time. Granny is respected, but Nanny is actually liked.

Nanny Ogg has a talent for getting along with people and fitting in. As described in Maskerade, people, after knowing her for fifteen minutes, feel like they have known her all of their lives. Granny Weatherwax knows about this ability, and recognizes its use, and wonders sometimes if it would have been worth acquiring it. Nanny is a lot wiser than Esme (Weatherwax) in some ways, and certainly wise enough not to show it. Gytha Ogg is seen as "one of the people" in a way that Esme isn't. While Granny thinks there's no point in competing if you aren't going to win, Nanny reckons the sympathy you get for being a good runner-up is much better. Granny comes across as judgemental, whereas Nanny has a mind so broad she could tie it under her chin. She appears to be kinder than Granny, but is equally prepared to make tough decisions if necessary.

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Article of the day

Unseen University coat-of-arms

The Unseen University (UU) is a school of wizardry in the Discworld city of Ankh-Morpork, staffed by a faculty composed of mostly indolent and inept old wizards. The official motto of UU is "Nunc Id Vides, Nunc Ne Vides", loosely translated as "Now you see it, now you don't". The unofficial motto is "η β π," or "Eta Beta Pi." (Eat A Better Pie). The university's name is a pun on the real-world Invisible College.

The coat of arms is a livre des sortilèges, attaché en cuivre, sur un chapeau pointu, on a field, azure. (That is: a book of magic spells, with copper clasps, over a pointed hat, on a blue background.) As usually rendered, the coat bears a strong resemblance to the coat of arms of the University of Oxford.

The University is centred around the 800-foot Tower of Art, out of which it grew; any further attempt at grasping its geography is close to pointless. Due to the high levels of background magic in the vicinity, a typical map of UU vaguely resembles an exploding chrysanthemum and is usually only valid for a day or so. This is also the cause of the various physical and biological anomalies that plague it. In some rooms the direction of gravity moves around as a day passes, and some rooms contain other rooms which contain the room you started with (especially problematic for a conga line). The University's gargoyles have taken on a life of their own (not that this is anything unusual for Discworld gargoyles in general), and both a colony of ants in the main university buildings and a flock of ravens roosting in the Tower of Art show unnatural intelligence and, for the ravens, an ability to speak. The fabric of the University is said to absorb knowledge, since all students enter university knowing absolutely everything, and leave admitting they know very little.

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Quotes

Did you know...
  • She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.
    -- Hogfather
  • Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.
    -- Jingo
  • Ridcully was to management what King Herod was to the Bethlehem Playgroup Association.
    -- The Last Continent
  • In Ghat they believe in vampire watermelons, although folklore is silent about what they believe about vampire watermelons. Possibly they suck back.
    -- Carpe Jugulum
  • He sagged to his knees. He ached all over. It wasn't just that his brain was writing cheques that his body couldn't cash. It had gone beyond that. Now his feet were borrowing money that his legs hadn't got, and his back muscles were looking for loose change under the sofa cushions.
    -- The Fifth Elephant

                             

Showing 5 items out of 36 More Discworld quotes Wikiquote

Book of the day

Wyrd Sisters is the sixth Discworld novel and re-introduces Granny Weatherwax of Equal Rites. Essentially a parody or calque of Macbeth, Wyrd Sisters features three witches: Granny Weatherwax; Nanny Ogg, matriarch of a large tribe of Oggs, who owns the most evil cat in the world, (Greebo); and Magrat Garlick, the junior witch, who firmly believes in occult jewellery, even though none of it works.

Preceded by
Equal Rites
2nd Witches Story
Published in 1988
Succeeded by
Witches Abroad
Discworld reading order Full article

Deity of the minute

Urika: The Goddess of Snow, Saunas and Theatrical Performances for Fewer than 120 People

Did you know...

From the Discworld's craziest paragraphs:

Death

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People:

Terry PratchettStephen BriggsPaul KidbyJosh KirbyIan Stewart and Jack Cohen

Characters:

Tiffany AchingAlbert (Discworld)|AlbertAngua • The Auditors of RealityThe BursarCarrot IronfounderssonCohen the BarbarianFred ColonDeathDetritusCut-Me-Own-Throat DibblerGaspodeGranny WeatherwaxGreeboHexIgorBloody Stupid JohnsonLeonard of QuirmThe LibrarianLu-TzeThe LuggageMagpyr familyMort and YsabellNanny OggC.W. St J. NobbsMoist von LipwigMr PinMr TulipMustrum RidcullyThe Great God OmRincewindSusan Sto HelitPonder StibbonsGeneral TacticusTwoflowerVerence II of LancreHavelock VetinariSam VimesLady Sybil VimesThe WitchesDiscworld godsmore...

Locations:

Discworld (world)Ankh-MorporkAgatean EmpireDeath's DomainDjelibeybiDungeon DimensionsEphebeGenuaKlatchLancrePseudopolisQuirmSto LatÜberwaldUnseen Universitymore...

Concepts:

City WatchThieves' GuildAssassins' GuildBeggars' GuildFools' GuildClacksGuildsMagicPost OfficeStealth Chess

Novels:

The Colour of MagicThe Light FantasticEqual Rites Mort Sourcery Wyrd Sisters Pyramids Guards! Guards! Eric Moving Pictures Reaper Man Witches Abroad Small Gods Lords and Ladies Men at Arms Soul Music Interesting Times Maskerade Feet of Clay Hogfather Jingo The Last Continent Carpe Jugulum The Fifth Elephant The Truth Thief of Time The Last Hero The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents Night Watch The Wee Free Men Monstrous Regiment A Hat Full of Sky Going Postal Thud! Wintersmith Making Money Unseen Academicals I Shall Wear Midnight Raising Taxes

Short Stories:

Troll BridgeTheatre of Cruelty The Sea and Little Fishes Death and What Comes Next

Other books:

The Discworld CompanionThe Science of Discworld The Science of Discworld II: The Globe The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch The Pratchett Portfolio The Art of Discworld The Unseen University Challenge The Wyrdest Link The Streets of Ankh-Morpork The Discworld Mapp A Tourist Guide to Lancre Death's Domain Nanny Ogg's Cookbook The Discworld Almanak Where's My Cow? The Unseen University Cut Out Book The Discworld Diaries Once More* With Footnotes A Blink of the Screen

Games:

The Colour of MagicCripple Mr Onion Discworld Discworld 2 Discworld MUD Discworld Noir GURPS Discworld Stealth Chess Thud

Films and TV series:

Welcome to the DiscworldSoul Music Wyrd Sisters Hogfather The Colour of Magic Going Postal Troll Bridge

Categories: DiscworldNovelsCharactersGamesLocationsPeoplesShort storiesFilms and TV series

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