In the thirteenth part ofÂ Carpe Jugulum, everyone makes a choice. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to readÂ Discworld.
Ahhhh, this is all so entertaining!!! I AM VERY SATISFIED.
So, figured Iâ€™d split this up by character so I could talk about the three major things that happened in this section. Agnes continues to be my favorite part of this book in terms of characterization, and Iâ€™m floored by how well Pratchett uses her unique nature to tell this story. Each of the characters here is faced with a difficult decision, and Agnes, like Granny, must weigh the pros and cons of a huge unknown. Vlad simply refused to accept Agnesâ€™s rejection of his offer to make her a vampire, so he tries to make it seem appealing to her.
Of course, he torments her in the process, shifting the definition of â€œappealingâ€ to something a lot closer to â€œa life where you donâ€™t die horribly,â€ but I didnâ€™t expect anything less from that monster. He teases her about her weight, suggests that sheâ€™ll be happier if sheâ€™s a vampire. I must say that this is the first time Iâ€™veÂ everÂ read a scene where a vampire usedÂ weight lossÂ as a reason to convert a human. And make no mistake: he isnâ€™t doing this out of concern for Agnes. (Not like thereâ€™s really a scenario where that wouldnâ€™t be a fatphobic nightmare.) He is trying to pick away at her insecurities, to budge herÂ justÂ far enough that the idea of becoming a vampire doesnâ€™t seem so ludicrous. Really, thatâ€™s all he needs to do: sow that seed of doubt or interest in her, and sheâ€™ll be his.
But Agnes, even if she wonâ€™t admit, is way more resilient than she thinks. Perdita is still a part of her! Yet Iâ€™d argue that itâ€™s not even Perdita that gives her strength in these scenes. Hell, Perdita is the one part of her that feels like what Vlad is offering isnâ€™t all that bad! Instead, as Vlad drops her repeatedly, teasing her with the ability to be â€œlightâ€ for the first time in her life, itâ€™sÂ AgnesÂ who reasons that thereâ€™s a value in at leastÂ pretendingÂ to be interested in vampirism: she can get closer to where she needs to be. Thatâ€™s not to suggest that she isnâ€™t conflicted. SheÂ is. God, that line where she admits that Vlad â€œactually seemedÂ attractedÂ to herâ€ broke my heart.
But you know what didnâ€™t?
Besides, there was always the chance that, at some point, she might find herself in a room with Lacrimosa. When that happened, she wouldnâ€™t need garlic, or a stake, or an ax. Just a little talk about people who were too unpleasant, too malicious, tooÂ thin. Just five minutes alone.
And perhaps a pin,Â said Perdita.
YES.Â YES. GET HER.
Holy shit, WHAT A SCENE. Itâ€™s hard not to appreciate this, given how far Granny has come since she was first introduced in theÂ DiscworldÂ books. Sheâ€™s a complicated character, for sure, and this scene â€“ in which she speaks with Death and fights with the Weatherwax darkness â€“ builds off of that complication. Granny is a character who respects duty, understanding that there are uncomfortable and unfortunate things that need to be done in the world, and she routinely makes herself the one who does them. This means that choices must be made, much like the poor farmer in the opening of this book. She chose to save the mother over the child, and yes, that means that someone died due to her choice, but that choiceÂ hadÂ to be made.
Thatâ€™s what she is taunted by. (And for the record, Iâ€™m so thrilled that this split meant that I gotÂ bothÂ temptation scenes in the same section!) She initially chooses the darkness, where sheâ€™s faced with her great secret: she isÂ muchÂ darker than she ever lets anyone else on to. Thus, itâ€™s not a stretch for her to embrace the darkness and become like the Magpyrs, is it? Much like Agnesâ€™s temptation, the darkness appeals to a part of Granny that is very much real.
And yet, Granny still fights it:
â€œNo. I know you. Iâ€™ve always known you. The Count just let you out to torment me, but Iâ€™ve always known you were there. Iâ€™ve fought you every day of my life and youâ€™ll get no victory now.â€
She opened her eyes and stared into the blackness.
â€œI knows who you are now, Esmerelda Weatherwax,â€ she said. â€œYou donâ€™t scare me no more.â€
AHHHHH I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.
So, Iâ€™m gonna wonder out loud for all of you: do the MagpyrsÂ knowÂ about the secret weapon that the Nac mac Feegle have? We already know that the Count despises them and wishes them out of Uberwald. What if itâ€™s notÂ justÂ due to his disgust of â€œinferiorâ€ beings, but because heÂ alsoÂ knows they have the means of countering the vampyre influence ability??? FOOD FOR THOUGHT, MY FRIENDS.
The scene at the end of this split is short, butÂ IÂ feel like thereâ€™s a ton of possibility in it. Can Verence team up with the Nac mac Feegle to take down the Magpyr clan? PLEASE????
Mark Links Stuff
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