Mark Reads ‘Wyrd Sisters’: Part 12

In the twelfth part of Wyrd Sisters, time changes, and Hwel spends a night out with Tomjon. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

The Ramtops

I like how distinctly not dramatic this change is, and it’s clearly meant to be that way. Granny pulled off the impossible, but for anyone who wasn’t aware of what was about to happen, it’s not like the world around them was altered in any significant way. As far as I can tell, it’s just… well, fifteen years in the future, the end! The perception of the time “travel” is only relative to those who were aware of it.

With this success comes the next step in Granny’s plan to break her own rules about meddling: locating Tomjon. And of course he’s in Ankh-Morpork. It’s where everyone goes!

Ankh-Morpork

It’s like returning to an old friend! While I would love to get a Discworld book set in an entirely new part of the Disc, I do admit that I’m comforted by this specific setting. I understand it! I get Ankh-Morpork’s charm and appeal! I also think that this particular development in the story – Tomjon’s insistence that they build an actual theater to house Hwel’s plays – needed to be in Ankh-Morpork. It fits! And so much of what’s happening here is not just a reference to the past and to Shakespeare (SO MUCH SHAKESPEARE), I think it’s also a way to establish what Tomjon has turned into. The three witches’ gifts to him are proving to be a lot more helpful than they ever could have imagined.

However, Nanny, Granny, and Magrat are not viewed as fairy godmothers here. No, to Tomjon, they’re part of a nightmare. He only vaguely remembers them, and then he has a dream that’s really just him being aware of the three witches spying on him. So how the hell is he going to react to all of this? I can already see an issue that might come up: he’s not going to want to leave the theater behind. It’s clear from reading this that he cares deeply about the creation of the Dysc and changing the way theater is performed in this world. On top of that, while it’s obvious that he’ll be well-suited as a king, he’s also well-suited as an actor. (Seriously, the Shakespeare meta is hurting my brain.) So which is he going to choose?

For the time being, though, this isn’t even on his radar. I know they’ll all be surprised by the truth once they learn who Tomjon really is. But Tomjon is completely wrapped up in his own world without a single notion of what’s coming his way. So he concerns himself with the construction of the Dysc and with trying to get a drink in the middle of the night. (Er – it’s the start of his day, I should say.) However, I can’t ignore the implications of this! First of all: THE LIBRARIAN. YES. YES. Secondly, DISCWORLD RACISM. Which… it’s not my favorite thing when that word is re-appropriated into something like this because it often leaves actual people of color out of the picture. Still, I found it fascinating that there was racial prejudice on the Disc, and in this case, Hwel is on the receiving end of a ton of verbal abuse because he’s a dwarf. It really is fairly scary, you know? The size factor alone made me worry that Hwel would get his ass kicked or worse.

But in the midst of this brawl caused by the bigot man and his utter loss to The Librarian (I CAN’T LOVE THIS MORE), Tomjon decides to ask for a respectful silence in the bar, all so he can recite – nay, PERFORM – a stirring monologue about companionship, brotherhood, and unity, one that is admittedly not even remotely appropriate or sensical. But Tomjon has such a beautiful way with words that he actually stops a bar brawl. That has to be the first time this has EVER happened in Ankh-Morpork history. And then he walks out of the bar and asks to be taken to another one, unaware of what a magnificent power he has.

I just hope his mouth never falls into the wrong hands…

Yes, it is a hilariously awkward sentence, but I think it also references the coming conflict. What side will Tomjon choose? His life in Ankh-Morpork or a life of royalty that’s rightly his? Will he even care about what Duke Felmet’s done? HOW WILL THE WITCHES CONVINCE HIM?

The original text contains use of the word “crazed.”

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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