In the fifteenth part of Hogfather, Susan confronts Teatime while Death reveals his motivations. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
AHHHHHHH EVERYTHING IS FINALLY HAPPENING!
Susan and Teatime
Gods, I really, really do not like Teatime. There is no redeeming feature in this character’s make-up, and at this point, all I want is for Susan to destroy. He is so cruel to Sideney over something that isn’t really in his control. He’s like… oh god. Teatime is like all those assholes I met through my retail job who would demand impossible things of me and my employees and then get mad we couldn’t fulfill them. (Like the horrible woman who tried to get me to return clearly used underwear. I wish I was lying.) Teatime is also 90% of all people who hire a graphic artist for commission/contract work, except he’ll murder you at the end. OTHERWISE, HE IS THE SAME.
I feel very good about typing that. I’m gonna start calling unreasonable jerks Teatime, and I’ll mispronounce it, too.
So, anyway! Susan and Teatime finally meet, and I came to realize that I was looking forward to this more than anything else in the book. Which is weird in hindsight because I don’t think I would have expected them to ever meet, given how the story was unfolding. I had figured early on that Teatime and Death would have a big confrontation. This, though? Oh, it’s so much better. Why? Well, I feel like they’re more evenly suited to battle another, first of all. But I’m now noticing how many times Pratchett hints at the twist that comes at the end of the section. I missed each of them, and it wasn’t until he spelled it out that the terrible irony hit me:
She was normal. Here, she was what she’d always wanted to be.
SHE HAD TO GO THROUGH THE DOOR, REMEMBER? OH MY GOD. THEY AREN’T EVENLY SUITED AT ALL. How??? How is she going to stop him???
Violet and Bilious
Okay, I kinda love the idea of a temp god. This is my new favorite thing, and I kinda wanna run with it and write a modern version of this. It’s perfect. PERFECT. Oh god, and I could make it set in the American Gods world and I’m just gonna stop here. This will get out of hand soon. Anyway, I am guessing that Violet will learn who Bilious is very soon, but that discovery can’t happen here because of the Vanishing Cabinet that sends people to the Room of Requirement – er, back to the real world, but dead. There’s something viscerally horrifying about the way the nightmares in this world kill people, y’all. It’s not funny at all, but I suspect that Pratchett never intended these moments to be hilarious. This place is more or less fighting back against the intruders as they get closer to their goal. That’s kind of ironic, isn’t it? Their very belief is what fuels these things, despite that they’re trying to steal it from others. The very thing they’re hoarding is causing their demise.
I felt very comforted by the fact that I’d nailed down a great deal of the mystery at work here. The Auditors had “killed” the Hogfather through Teatime. Like we’ve seen of them before, the world was too sloppy with the Hogfather in it, especially since he represented a “wistful lying” in humanity. So, Death set out to correct that disparity in belief, as I’d hypothesized! I felt so proud of myself. I HAD GOT IT RIGHT.
“Anyway, why’re you doing the job?”
SOMEONE MUST. IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT. THEY MUST BE SEEN, AND BELIEVED. BEFORE DAWN, THERE MUST BE ENOUGH BELIEF IN THE HOGFATHER.
“Why?” said Ridcully.
SO THAT THE SUN WILL COME UP.
The two wizards gawped at him.
I SELDOM JOKE, said Death.
WHAT THE FUCK, Y’ALL. I don’t get it! How are those two things even remotely related??? I figured that Hex would have helped me understand this, but instead, Pratchett takes this plot in an adorable direction. Death orders Hex to believe in the Hogfather – which is a brilliant strategy, I might add – and Hex then immediately makes a Hogswatch list. I REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S ON IT, FRIENDS. Please let that happen. PLEASE.
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