Mark Reads ‘Lords and Ladies’- Part 9

In the ninth part of Lords and Ladies, Jason makes a mistake. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

This section is super weird, but I’m into it. Seriously. it’s like a collection of disjointed scenes and jokes, but they’re so fucking bizarre that I’m okay with it. We start off with a dire warning about the threat of the elves, who hid behind words that accurately described them, but never revealed their true intentions. It’s an incredibly daunting thing to read, and it’s also CLEVER AS HELL.

Even the section that follows this – Granny and Nanny talking about elves, bad-tempered young witches from ages ago, and Granny being open-minded – is pretty serious. As I said on video, I’m still confused by what’s happening to Granny’s mind or her powers. Actually, I don’t even know how to qualify it. Is her memory fading? Or is it something else? Why is her future a blank? Is the Queen responsible for this? That’s my guess.

Well, it was my guess until the Rude Mechanicals scenes. I figured that the Queen was trying to find a way in through Granny. If Granny was militantly stopping every attempt to break through to this world, then maybe taking her out in some way would create a vulnerability. However, I think that Granny’s statement that the Queen was “looking for a way” was a hint that the Queen can influence people in Lancre to do her bidding. I think she influenced the Rude Mechanicals. Partially, I suppose. I think there’s something to be said of peer pressure, especially the peer pressure of fools who don’t heed the word of those who know better. Jason honestly tries to fight his friends’ suggestion to practice RIGHT NEXT TO THE DANCERS (!!!!!), but eventually succumbs to it.

It’s bad. REAL BAD. Clearly, the Queen is going to find a way in through the dreams of these men, and that’ll probably be incredibly creepy. HOW COULD IT NOT BE. I’m also very curious where Magrat’s story is going. I think it’s obvious that she won’t stay queen of Lancre, so the tension comes from that inevitability. How do we get to that point? All the signs are here; Pratchett never wastes an opportunity to remind us that Magrat hates or is confused by practically every single in royal life. The clothes, the prestige, the attention, the toilets… it’s an endless list.

Other than this, though, I didn’t find this to be an unnerving part of the book. It felt like vignettes or little stories meant to make us laugh. For instance, there’s a huge joke made out of the absurdity of Shakespeare’s plays. Granted, this is not the first time Pratchett has poked fun at Shakespeare, but I related to it more here. Why is that? I was lucky enough that I had teachers in high school who helped me understand Shakespeare better, because otherwise, I would have assumed the same shit as most other people: that his work was stuffy, incoherent, and written for bourgeois assholes. I think the joke here is that on the surface, Shakespeare’s plays do seem this way. If you’re not familiar with his style or the language, it’s easy to get lost and have NO FUCKING CLUE what’s happening. And yet, so many other people seem to get it. That’s a frustrating experience!

But as I said, most of my high school English teachers taught Shakespeare well, focusing mainly on the comedies to show us that he was not who we thought he was. Like the Rude Mechanicals (I’m seriously going to keep calling them that, it’s so catchy!), I thought that there was no way to actually understand any of the jokes. I thought people would laugh because they had to or something!

Anyway, let’s talk about Nanny’s bath. My gods, y’all. Pratchett writes the entire section as if this is a horror novel, and it’s incredibly jarring compared to everything around it. AND I DON’T CARE. It’s so fucking ridiculous, and it just works. I’m so happy for it. IS THERE A DRAMATIC READING OF IT PERFORMED IN A VERY SERIOUS MANNER SOMEWHERE? It needs to exist, I swear.

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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