Mark Reads ‘The Last Continent’: Part 7

In the seventh part of The Last Continent, Rincewind makes a “friend” while the wizards realize when they are. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

Okay, let’s split this up.


I am leaving myself in the hands of Pratchett because y’all: I don’t get where this is going. The introduction of Mad the dwarf is interesting, at least in the sense that it gave me an idea what life was like in Fourecks. Well, one part of life here, that is. Not very many people willingly choose to live in the bush-filled wilderness, but if you do, it’s pretty much chaos. Bandits chase one another for supplies that are hard to come by. There’s no sense of law or order, either. You take what you want by force, or you protect what you want by force. And Rincewind gets one hell of a taste of this lifestyle when Mad picks him up.

Why does he pick him up? The dwarf openly confesses to hating wizards, but was he that desperate for a wingman? He seems to have faired well for himself in the desert of Fourecks. I say that because his cart is not only full of by covered with weapons. After they raid the remains of the bandits who attack them, Mad picks up all the weapons he wants. So how many times has he done this in order to amass the sort of collection he has? Thus, it doesn’t make sense to me (yet) why Mad would risk getting caught just to pick up Rincewind. Perhaps this is the influence of the trickster god; maybe they just see it as amusing, a way to get Rincewind to where they actually need them.

I do have a selfish reason for enjoy Mad at the moment: I WANT FAN ART OF HIS PUNK ROCK CHIC OUTFITS BECAUSE YOU KNOW HE HAS INCREDIBLE STYLE.

Anyway, I am intrigued, but still lost. What sort of role will Mad play in Rincewind’s quest? How many other deadly creatures will destroy Rincewind’s enemies with such impeccable timing?

The Wizards

So, clearly I should have paid more attention to the conversations about evolution that the wizards participated in. Let me refine my theory: what if Mono Island is where evolution first began? What if it is entirely because of wizards that evolution even happened on the Disc? I say that because, as Ponder Stibbons points out, evolution is not an instantaneous  thing. You can’t really witness it happening in a literal sense. Yet that dinosaur “evolved” into a chicken in a matter of seconds. They all saw it happen! (After Ridcully raised his arms to it… did he do a spell, maybe?) And what if their continued presence on Mono Island leaves so much magic behind that everything starts evolving?

Am I grasping at straws? Probably. But after the last few Discworld novels have left me lost and confused, I’ve found it’s actually a lot of fun to write down all these little theories as I think of them. Plus, Pratchett is so intentional, y’all. He had the wizards make fun of Stibbons and evolution, and then evolution became a part of the story. Here, Stibbons tries to warn them all about the Grandfather Paradox, and they ruthlessly make fun of him for that. (Except for the Dean; he doesn’t seem to disagree with Stibbons often.) So, how will that play into the story? What have the wizards caused or changed in the world because of that window to Mono Island that the geography professor discovered?

There’s so much possibility here! And not just for the story, but for Pratchett to satirize and parody the time travel genre, too. PLEASE TEAR IT TO SHREDS, I LOVE TIME TRAVEL SO MUCH BUT MOST OF IT IS GARBAGE. My favorite joke in this part:

“Excuse me, can we tread on ants or not?” said the Senior Wrangler peevishly.


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 POST A LOT OF CUTE PHOTOS, OKAY. Think of it like a private Tumblr blog that only SPECIAL PEOPLE get to read.
– I have updated my list of conventions and events for the remainder of the year and much of next year.  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.
– Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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