Mark Reads ‘Lords and Ladies’- Part 5

In the fifth part of Lords and Ladies, Granny faces down with Diamanda. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of cissexism.

I’m a quarter of the way through this book, and I still don’t know where the story is going. HELP.


So while I am busy not understanding the Lord and Ladies, despite that all the evidence is probably there and y’all are cackling endlessly at me, let’s talk about one of the cooler parts of this books thus far:

The point was that Granny Weatherwax had a feeling she was going to die. This was beginning to get on her nerves.

It’s a bold thing for Pratchett to drop into his book on page 72. But how much is he going to commit to this? Is this threat legitimate? He’s killed off a few characters before, and Rincewind was off in another dimension for a few books. But he could really kill off Granny Weatherwax at this point? I don’t think it’s a stretch for me to suggest that she’s an iconic character within the Discworld series, and she’s also an integral and necessary part of the witches. How could you do this without her?

But as far as I can tell, he’s ready to commit to a world without her. He’s having her write her will, y’all. That seems like a huge deal! (It’s also rather sweet, given what she says concerning Magrat.) Is there some other reason that her “memory” shows a future that’s completely blank? WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?

Showdown at Noon

I suspect that this is not the last time we’ll see Diamanda or Agnes, especially since Diamanda does possess a real power within her. (Did someone from the other universe give it to her? That’s my guess.) And while there’s certainly a bit of a parody of the whole GET OFF MY LAWN MENTALITY, Pratchett does resolve Granny’s battle with this young witch in a really neat way. I didn’t see this as an example of headology, though. I think that the point of all of this is that being a witch has little to do with power. As Nanny puts it, it’s all how that power is used.

So how does Diamanda wield power? As something to be cast about, to prove her worth, and to possibly even hurt others. I’m guessing that she was the one that suggested that the staring contest be with the sun, not each other. And why not? Why not exploit Granny’s physical weakness? Why not just go for the absurd? Diamanda does it, ostensibly so she can protect herself with her magic and succeed against Granny. Except that’s not how this works in Lancre, does it? In Lancre, as much fear as there might be for witches, these people understand that witches are a part of their culture. They’re there because they help others. That’s something we’ve seen time and time again in every book where the witches were the main characters! They care about Lancre, and that’s what makes them witches, at least more so than Diamanda.


She’s never going to make it as a queen. That’s my prediction. The world of witches is where she belongs, even though Granny hasn’t exactly made her feel welcomed. She’s bored in the palace, her life there has virtually no meaning outside the ceremonies that are expected of a queen, and she’s got no purpose. Verence isn’t exactly helping her deal with this either. He’s off being all kingly and leaving her behind to do… what? Nothing at all, it seems. Does he care? As far as I can tell, not even a little bit!

Oh, but he’s had a play written for her! How charming, I suppose. Does he care about Magrat’s emotional welfare at all? Look, I don’t think Verence is being evil or cruel to her; I think he’s just oblivious to anything that isn’t him or his life, you know?

And I’m not a fan of the utilization of the “man in a dress” joke again in another Discworld book. Unfortunately, it seems like Pratchett might commit to this for more than just a single scene or gag, given that performers for Verence’s play are all men. There’s no voice here to any sort of disagreement with the men who are concerned about appearing in public wearing dresses and make-up. Ultimately, it feels just like the kind of casual cissexism that permeates a lot of fiction. The parody isn’t of all-men casts. It feels like a vehicle for these men to whine about gendered clothing.

I also just feel super fucking weird about someone named Bestiality. Who’s the audience for that joke, y’all? Maybe some of the Supernatural writers, but not me.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at Borderlands Books, Book Riot Live, and Windycon this fall! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Kings, season 1 of Sense8, season 1 of Agent Carter, seasons 1 & 2 of The 100, Death Note, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
– Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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