In the fourteenth part ofÂ Maskerade, the Ghost is unmasked. I think??? If youâ€™re intrigued, then itâ€™s time for Mark to readÂ Discworld.
I keep going over this in my mind, and it hurts to think about. How can Walter be confirmed as the Ghost but alsoÂ notÂ be the Ghost? As Nanny got closer to Mrs. Plinge and the truth, I was so ready for the big reveal of the Ghostâ€™s identity, only to be met with this:
A door opened somewhere. A lanky figure in a black suit and a ridiculous beret crossed the foyer and went up the stairs. At the top, they saw it turn in the direction of the Boxes and disappear.
Well, thatâ€™s definitely Walter, isnâ€™t it? For a brief moment, a theory danced in my mind: maybe someone else was pretending toÂ beÂ Walter to make it seem like he was the Ghost. But from Nannyâ€™s conversation with Mrs. Plinge, it seemed like all but a direct confirmation that Walter was the Ghost. Mr.s Plinge certainly spoke of her son in those terms, defending him as a â€œgood boyâ€ instead of denying that he was the masked lover of the opera.
But then he walked into Box Eight, and Granny caught him and I couldnâ€™t ignore it any more. Walter Plinge was the Ghost. Yet there are still so many little details here that donâ€™t make sense, which is why Iâ€™m guessing that both Nanny and Granny believe that thereâ€™s something else going on here. For instance: Walterâ€™s odd walk has been a key descriptive part of his character. Now, I canâ€™t doubt how nimble and acrobatic Walter is, so I have to rectify these two realities. Why does Walter have such distinct identities? Does donning the mask allow him a confidence that he otherwise doesnâ€™t? We must acknowledge that to date, he is theÂ onlyÂ character to ever withstand the Granny Stare and IMMEDIATELY DASH AWAY FROM IT.
What power does that mask have?
Itâ€™s got to be confidence. Pratchett writes Walter as the Ghost with certainty and flair. The boy finds exactly what he needs when he needs it. Heâ€™s able to climb over the boxes, across the lip of the balcony, jump into the chandelier, and make it up to the roof all while Greebo, of all people, is in close pursuit. He outruns Greebo, yâ€™all! Thatâ€™s talent, and it seems so utterly like the Walter Plinge weâ€™ve seen throughoutÂ Maskerade.
The chaos that all this causes is BEAUTIFUL. Just gorgeous! The Librarian adds his own soundtrack; Mrs. Lawsy is finally entertained by the opera; Mr. Salzella is holding part of a skull??? But one of the most fascinating things the Pratchett accomplishes here is the passing of gossip and the creation of a narrative. Thereâ€™s shock initially as the cast and crew hear news of Walter Plingeâ€™s duplicity. But look how easily they believe it. Look how quickly they pick apart Walterâ€™s oddness in order to make him fit the story that heâ€™s the Ghost. But itâ€™s not that simple, obviously. WalterÂ isÂ the Ghostâ€¦ right?
Sort of. After reading through Grannyâ€™s scene with Walter, Iâ€™m not convinced that this is the whole story. She grills him in her own way while sending Greebo off to act like heâ€™s the Ghost. (Which he fits all too well.) This bit was key for me:
â€œYou mean he really did do the murâ€“?â€
â€œWhat doÂ youÂ think?â€ said Granny.
â€œWell, if it comes to it, I think he didnâ€™t,â€ said Nanny. â€œCan I have a word in your ear, Esme? I donâ€™t reckon I should say this in front of young Walter.â€
The witches bent their heads together. There was a brief whispered conversation.
â€œEverything is simple when you know the answer,â€ said Granny.
If these two believe Walter didnâ€™t commit the murders, then I believe them. Which means someone else did.
Which means there are two people who are the Ghost, AND I HAD NOT CONSIDERED THAT UNTIL I TYPED THAT QUOTE OUT, OH MY GOD. THERE ARE TWO OF THEM. But why??? And who???
This book is destroying me.
Diane Duane is still offering a massive discount on the first 9 books in theÂ Young WizardsÂ series just to this community, so please take advantage of this deal while you still can:
Mark Links Stuff
– I am now on Patreon!!! MANY SURPRISES ARE IN STORE FOR YOU IF YOU SUPPORT ME.
– IÂ will be at numerous conventions in 2016! 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.Â My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death NoteÂ andÂ Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
-Â Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook!Â I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!