In the ninth part of Feet of Clay, more clues are found, and then WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
Trigger Warning: For suicide
AHHH HOW IS THIS BOOK STILL SO RELENTLESS WITH ITS PLOT. I’m not even halfway through it!
Ah, I was glad to be back with Cheery, and her job as the Watch alchemist is SO COOL. It’s science! She’s doing chemistry to help solve these murders! HELL YES THIS IS SO GREAT. Even while working subpar conditions, she still finds a way to get her job done, too. Using mugs as beakers, not having access to proper ventilation, getting confused with labeling… she still finds away around it.
AND DISCOVERS THAT FATHER TUBELCEK HAD ARSENIC UNDER HIS FINGERNAILS.
Goddamn it, I felt like I was close to figuring this out!!! WHY WOULD HE HAVE ARSENIC ON HIM? Was a golem covered in it? The murderer? Is his murderer the same person who poisoned Vetinari? Why does Dorfl share some of the same clay as that which was left behind at the scene? I still don’t think Dorfl did it.
WHAT THE HELL.
If you want a good example of why some people choose not to out themselves, then look no further than Angua’s conversation with Cheery in this section. Cheery is still completely oblivious to the fact that the woman next to her is a werewolf, despite that to us, all the signs are glaringly obvious. So, Cheery otherwise treats Angua well. She’s respectful, kind, and honest, and Angua appreciates that, but that leaves her in a conundrum: will that evaporate once Cheery finds out the truth?
Angua wanted to preserve that ignorance as a small precious thing…
And that’s completely understandable. I’ve done it; I still do it sometimes. It all depends on how I read a person or an environment. Occasionally, it seems unnecessary or risky to complicate matters, so I keep my mouth shut and move on. What’s interesting about the context of it in the book is that Angua and Cheery have a parallel experience that they can bond over: how overwhelmingly manly the Watch is, and how the Watch’s idea of equality is asking everyone to act like a man. Both these situations are different, they’ve got different power dynamics at hand, but they also deal with the idea of fitting in and how complicated that is, especially for someone like Angua, who has intersecting identities at play.
I LOVE THAT THIS IS TOTALLY PART OF THE STORY, TOO.
And then this book turns into something violent and weird and I WAS NOT READY FOR THIS. The golem that must be made of the white clay the Watch found at the crime scenes finally makes a full appearance, and the beggars of Ankh-Morprok watch it lurch past them, bang its head on buildings, and then bash their own head with a mooring post. I am also guessing that the scream heard all over town comes from the same golem because… I don’t know?
Look, something is happening. It cannot be a coincidence that at Five and Seven Yard, another golem freaks out. In this case, Dibbuk commits suicide by smashing their own body apart with a hammer. It’s a horrific scene, and I honestly was not ready to read something so violent and sad. It was sad to me because these golems are suffering through something that they apparently cannot communicate with the outside world. The closest we go to that is in Dibbuk’s suicide note:
THE OLD MEN HELPED US!
THOU SHALT NOT KILL!
CLAY OF MY CLAY!
It’s a weird assortment of phrases. The first implicates Hopkinson and Tubelcek in some plan involving all the golems. What did they help the golems with? Why is this followed by one of their commands? Why do they all seem to feel so much shame and sorrow? Did the golems do something that went against the words in their head??? That is the only possible explanation I can come up with, but I also don’t have the full chem list they keep in their heads. What does it say???
AND WHY DOES THE SCREAM OF THE GOLEM CAUSE DORFL TO RESPOND BACK??? Oh my god, I have no idea what’s happening, but this section was electrifying, and I believe it signifies a huge shift in the plot. What’s wrong with the golems of Ankh-Morpork???
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