In the sixteenth part of Lords and Ladies, the elves are the worst. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
Seriously, if I took anything away from the whole Herne the Hunted section, it was that the elves are meant to be feared, completed and wholly. Every living thing in this universe is meant to entertain them. (It’s now more ironic than ever that the means that they came into this world was through THE ENTERTAINMENT. I get it!) Even worse? Nanny Ogg just set up a war between THE KING AND THE QUEEN OF THE ELVES. Holy shit, this is going to be ridiculous.
Well, I already knew that. But I’m so into the way that this fight is shaping up. There’s that beautiful segue in the early part of this section where Nanny states confidently that Magrat is off dancing with the elves, only to unknowingly proved wrong because that’s so far from the actual truth. While Ynci’s spirit has filled Magrat with a confidence and skill set that she didn’t know she had, I don’t think it’s changing her identity or her core sense of being. She was always courageous and cunning, but she never felt she could be this kind of person, you know? The same Magrat who walked away from Lancre Castle is the same Magrat who does this:
“And lady, should you be inclined to make use of that nasty iron bow there are more archers hidden in the trees.”
There was indeed a rustling in the trees on one side of the track, but it was followed by a thump. The elves looked disconcerted.
“Get out of my way,” said Magrat.
That’s Magrat Garlick, make no mistake.
So, she meets up with Ponder Stibbons, the Bursar, and the Librarian, and it’s certainly one of the weirder assortment of characters in one place. It’s their chance meeting that gives Magrat the full story of what happened at the Entertainment. Seriously, I can’t get over the fact that it’s called the Entertainment. It’s perfect! I misjudged why the elves used it; it wasn’t because it was the easiest way to get everyone in the same room. IT WAS THE EASIEST WAY TO GET EVERYONE TO BELIEVE IN THE ELVES.
“You’re trying to tell me those… things exist because people believe in them?”
“Oh, no. I imagine they exist anyway. They’re here because people believe in them here.”
And we all know what the power of belief is on the Disc.
One reason this section resonated so strongly with me is that it conveys the chaos of the elf invasion quite well. By the time we check in with Ridcully, it’s clear that the elves are FUCKING EVERYWHERE. And poor Shawn Ogg, with his broken arm, is all by himself trying to fend most of them off. At least he reunites with his mother, which helps give him the confidence to pussike his soldiers up. (PSYCHE. OH MY GOD.) Right, and his soldiers are just a hundred or so everyday citizens and subjects, no actual soldiers. But hey, this is Lancre. And Shawn’s an Ogg. They’ll fair well, right? As Nanny says, it matters where an Ogg follows, and she’s following her son.
Maybe the king of the elves will show up, too. ( screams internally )
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