Mark Reads ‘Lords and Ladies’- Part 7

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



Is there a situation where Granny would have accepted those three young women as possible witches? I imagine that if any of them are tenacious enough, she might come to accept a student. Perhaps all witches reject wannabe students right off the bat, you know? Regardless, I wonder if the timing of this scene is part of the reason Granny is so harsh with the three girls. If they’d come to her when the Lords and Ladies weren’t threatening to break into our world, would she have been more sympathetic? Eh, probably not. This is Granny Weatherwax we’re talking about.

Still… wouldn’t another version of Equal Rites but with young girls learning to be witches be the BEST???


“You mean you weren’t Chosen?”

“Me? No. I chose,” said Granny. The face she turned to Nanny Ogg was one she wouldn’t forget in a hurry, although she might try. “I chose, Gytha Ogg. And I want that you should know this right now. Whatever happens, I ain’t never regretted anything. Never regretted one single thing. Right?”

WELL, THAT’S NOT DAUNTING AT ALL. Why does she say this???

The Lords and Ladies

This is a very surreal thing for me because the “mystery” of the Lords and Ladies wasn’t exactly a mystery, was it? Pratchett revealed that one of the creatures from the parasite universe was an elf very early on, and I just assumed that was the only one. A BAD ASSUMPTION, since Nanny’s POV section here reveals that the Lords and Ladies are elves. Who, in this world? Are utterly fucking terrifying.

She really thought they’d seen the last of them. How long was it, now? Must be hundreds and hundreds of years, maybe thousands. Witches didn’t like to talk about it, because they’d made a big mistake about the elves. They’d seen through the buggers in the end, of course, but it had been a close thing. And there’d been a lot of witches in those days. They’d been able to stop them at every turn, make life in this world too hot for them. Fought them with iron. Nothing elvish could stand iron. It blinded them, or something. Blinded them all over.

SO MANY THINGS MAKE SENSE! The iron in the rocks, the secretive way in which everyone talks of the Lords and Ladies, and the absolutely absurd claim that anyone who heard the one-word description of them would not understand why they were evil. Because E L V E S. They’re always nice and resourceful and industrious and always the good side in every form of fiction and fairy tale ever. (Well, the ones I’m familiar with, I should say.) (Well, except maybe in some Shakespeare? I mean, there was a reference to A Midsummer Night’s Dream a bit ago.) (Oh my god, there are now way too many references to that play for me to ignore.) (WHY DO I ALWAYS REALIZE THESE THINGS SO LATE, JESUS CHRIST.) But they’re evil here, and witches long ago pushed them out of the Discworld universe and into another one, and DIAMANDA IS GOING TO LET THEM BACK IN.

Oh no. OH NO.

The Dancers

Well, at least I was right that the Queen gave Diamanda her “power.” I’m guessing that there’s something the elves can do to “trick” people easier than most, as I don’t get a sense for a motivation on Diamanda’s part. Plus, Granny says, “There’s always someone who’ll listen,” so I don’t think Diamanda is important aside from being both arrogant and foolish enough to get involved with the Lords and Ladies. I feel some sympathy for someone who is tricked as she is, but she’s also so forceful about being wrong that it’s also a bit hard to feel all that bad for her. She nearly invokes the elves into existence, then defies Granny by running into the circle of Dancers, right into the Elves world and SMACK INTO THE QUEEN AND HER RIDERS.

I just love how the elves are described because they genuinely feel upsetting and frightening. They are not delicate creatures, and Pratchett twists the normal elf superiority into something sinister:

There was something about the eyes. It wasn’t the shape of the color. There was no evil glint. But there was…

…a look. It was such a look that a microbe might encounter if it could see up from the bottom end of the microscope. It said: You are nothing. It said: You are flawed, you have no value. It said: You are animal. It said: Perhaps you may be a pet, or perhaps you may be a quarry. It said: And the choice is not yours.

WELL, I’M SOLD. THEY’RE FUCKING TERRIFYING. Everything they do here – from trying to keep Granny from protecting Diamanda’s mind, to SHOOTING DIAMANDA WITH A POISONED ARROW – is a demonstration of both their power and the careless way they think of humanity. Y’all, Nanny later mentions that the elves used to CART OFF BABIES. Now, there’s an elf in Lancre. Granted, the elf isn’t conscious, and they’re probably going to lock it within the Lancre dungeons, but this shit is real, y’all. There’s no denying it anymore, and Diamanda may have just provided the final means of breaking through the gateway for the Lords and Ladies.


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

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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