In the seventh part of Hogfather, I still haven’t figured this out. NO ONE IS SURPRISED. If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
Honestly, I could read an entire book of Death learning how to be the Hogfather. I REALLY COULD. I expected him to treat that snotty, know-it-all kid much harsher, but in a lovely twist, Death is SO MUCH MORE PATIENT THAN ANYONE SHOULD BE. But I saw this as a sign that he’s adapting, and he’s clearly doing so for a reason. There’s this quiet acceptance that Death needs to do whatever he can to get these kids to believe in the Hogfather, even if that means having flashy gift-giving moments. WHICH INCLUDES GIVING A CHILD A LITERAL PONY. INSTANTANEOUSLY.
He’s doing a lot to get them all to believe in him. But why? I still don’t know the answer to that question.
The Hogfather’s Lists
Meanwhile, Susan is doing some reconnaissance of her own, and through this, Pratchett helped me rethink my own conceptions of the Hogfather. Namely? The Hogfather isn’t human. How can he be? If we accept that gods will do anything to stay alive, then, much like Death is doing in the present time, the Hogfather learned to adapt. All of the images she got from his past scrolls were nonsensical at first, at least until the raven points out that the Hogfather very easily could have stood for something else thousands of years ago on the Disc. Pratchett does poke fun at how religious and mythological beliefs can change over time, but it’s still an important part of the story within Hogfather. So, that led me to a new question: If the Hogfather had been adapting for so long, what had happened that the Hogfather couldn’t adapt to??? Then this perplexed me more:
Wherever the Hogfather was – dead, alive, somewhere – he wanted to be left alone…
So… what if he’s not dead, but… retired????
WHAT. IS. IN. THAT. LOCKED. ROOM. I totally got the parallel between Ridcully and Teatime, in that they both saw a locked room and immediately wanted to get it opened. But I also can’t figure out what the rest of Teatime’s associates are meant to do anymore. Isn’t the Hogfather dead already (at least relative to them, that is)? So… they’ve just been threatened to stick around, I’m guessing, but then… oh god, this book feels more confusing than I’m used to. BUT I’LL FIGURE IT OUT, I SWEAR.
The Castle of Bones
Perhaps this entire book is both a rumination on and a parody of the concept of childhood beliefs. That seems to be an ongoing theme, but, again, I’m not sure. Yet the Castle of Bones is a big deal! Like the Hogfather, it’s something that Susan explicitly did not believe in as a child, and yet? Here it is, in all of its icy and terrifying glory. I thought it was going to be a largely fruitful visit for Susan, but once more, Pratchett CONFUSES ME FUTHER. The place is deserted, there’s a thing lying in the snow, being hit on the head by a “small green and purple imp,” AND LITERALLY NOTHING MADE ANY SENSE TO ME. What “Arrangement” is the imp referring to? Who is the figure with the crown of vine leaves who can’t stand up?
“Who are you?”
“I… think my name is Bilious. I’m the… I’m the oh God of Hangovers.”
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS BOOK. How is there now an oh God of Hangovers??? It struck me that there are now two gods who appeared out of nowhere who have random beliefs attached to them. How is that possible? THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES ON THE DISCWORLD, Y’ALL. So it has to be connected, and it must be important that the Castle of Bones “collapsed.” Or wasn’t there to begin with??? What the fuck, y’all, this book is A LOT TO HANDLE already.
Mark Links Stuff
– I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards.
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