Mark Reads ‘Hogfather’: Part 8

In the eight part of Hogfather, Susan makes a discovery. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld

Mr. Crumley

I would feel bad about his predicament, except I am so amused by Death’s new role. Plus, Pratchett does an amazing thing by turning Crumley’s logic on its head through Corporal Nobbs, who goes through a bit of chaos himself. The “crime” being committed by Death is less of a crime and more of an inconvenience because he’s giving away exactly what these kids want. How can Crumley ever compete with that? It’s a lot of fun watching Crumley squirm his way through a conversation with Nobbs, since he can’t truly admit the reason why he wants the “impostor” Hogfather removed.

But then Pratchett takes it a step further: Nobby HATES Hogswatch, so much so that he’s determined to find a way to help out Crumley (and perhaps get a little something on the side, of course). YET WHO CAN RESIST THE CHARMS AND WILES OF DEATH? No one, and I thought it was pretty damn cool to see Death’s development as the Hogfather thus far. He’s gotten so good at it! Thus, when Nobby tries to do his best to trick Death, he is instead completely taken in by the Hogfather. It’s beautiful, y’all. BEAUTIFUL. He gets a crossbow!!!

Susan and the Wizards

My new band name, friends.

Susan’s consultation with the wizards produced a result that truly shocked me. I was a bit confused by how much time was spent on “curing” the hangover that the Oh God of Hangovers, but as this section moved towards that new reveal, it started making a lot more sense. What if this god could provide insight on how it came to be? Even better, there’s a long scene where Susan debates cures as the wizards debate amongst each other, all certain that they’ve got the best treatment for a hangover. (Which I read as a joke on a very real phenomenon: everyone I know swears they have a foolproof way of getting rid of a hangover. I am glad I do not drink and thus never have to deal with them anymore. I only had one of them in my life, and NO THANK YOU.) It leads to the brilliantly foolish idea of MIXING ALL OF THEM TOGETHER AT ONCE.

As you do. And you must add Wow-Wow Sauce, which I kind of want to try? That’s a mistake, I know it, but I DON’T KNOW IF YOU KNOW THIS, BUT MAKING VERY PUBLIC MISTAKES IS KIND OF MY JAM. All of these ridiculous cures are poured in a beaker, which reacts with a flash of white light, a couple tinkles, and a fizz, and Bilious, ever the sport, decides to actually drink this monstrosity. Look, what else was he going to do??? So I understood by the end of this section why Pratchett had spent such a huge block of text focusing on just one solution. The glimpse into the world of the God of Wine was a hint towards what this potion would do, and lord, I wasn’t ready.

“Oh, look, it’s obvious,” said Susan. “When the God of Wine drinks, Bilious here gets the aftereffects, so when the God of Hangovers drinks a hangover cure, then the effects must jump back across the same link.”

Which makes this a story about VENGEANCE. Because this poor god – who has only been around for a very short amount of time – has been on the receiving end of every painful repercussion of the God of Wine, AND NOW HE CAN GET HIS REVENGE. Yet that’s not the point of this character; Susan still wanted information. But how can a being provide that kind of information of they were just incarnated into a human body? This part particularly broke my brain:

“Odd, that. I remember always having headaches… but never having a head. That can’t be right, can it?”

GOOD LORD. It’s in this moment that Pratchett reveals a little bit of what’s going on. The wizards joke about Ridcully creating this god out of nothing, someone makes a joke about a Hair Loss Fairy, and then GLINGLE. There it is. It’s real. THE WIZARDS ARE CREATING GODS JUST BY THINKING THEM INTO EXISTENCE. But how? And why? Are they part of something bigger???  Oh my god, they created a fairy for missing socks. OH MY GOD, THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS. I don’t get what this has to do with the Hogfather, but I’m excited nonetheless.

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.
– I 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. My next Double Features for Mark Watches have been announced here.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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