Mark Reads ‘Carpe Jugulum’: Part 14

In the fourteenth part of Carpe Jugulum, Granny heads after her friends, and Verence prepares. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld. 


If there was any character in the history of the Discworld books who could resist the conversion to a vampire entirely with their mind, then it was Granny Weatherwax. This whole section is the result of the mental battle she had with the darkness in part 13, and good lord, is it satisfying. Yes, it is badass that Granny was able to mentally refuse to be a vampire (INCREDIBLE!!!), but I also appreciated that Pratchett didn’t make it that simple.

Because physically? That woman still lost a lot of blood, and you can’t really will yourself out of the effects of that, can you? Yet Granny certainly tries to. She ignores Mightily Oats’s question about whether or not she got turned. (Which I interpreted as her way of saying that it was silly that he asked in the first place.) Instead, she sets out to get shit done as she always does: over a cup of tea. Now, Pratchett reveals quite a few things through this, like the fact that THE PHOENIX LAID MORE THAN ONE EGG. I am completely unsure what it is about the phoenix that Granny believes will prove advantageous to her, but hey. The Magpyrs hate the phoenix, so I’m going to assume that it’s just like the Nac mac Feegle. There must be something about them that can be used against vampires. Perhaps it’s their ability to adapt? Maybe that is the clue. BECAUSE I DIDN’T KNOW THAT THE PHOENIX COULD CHANGE ITS APPEARANCE IN ORDER TO SURVIVE. It’s like instantaneous evolution!

Adaptation seems to be a major theme of this novel anyway, so it’s rather fitting to know that an adaptable phoenix is now part of the action. But so will Mightily Oats, given that he’s going to help Granny get to Uberwald to rendezvous with Nanny and Magrat. (I just realized that this would be a reunion of the original trio!) What Granny is going to do there is a mystery to me, though; I also assumed that she’d do something at the castle now that it was unoccupied. However, I’m pleased at this turn of events for a purely selfish reason: I’ve always wanted to see what Uberwald is like. All we know if it is secondhand, either from random characters or from Angua. WE’RE GOING TO UBERWALD, I’M SO THRILLED.

Magrat and Granny

Pratchett briefly checks in on these two, and again: I’m selfishly pleased because I miss Magrat, and any chance to get her in scenes with Nanny or Granny (or both!) are welcomed by me. Their conversation – about baby Esme, about Granny’s borrowing, about the plan to save Verence – is rather sweet, a testament to how close these two became over the years. They’re just so honest with each other in a vulnerable way that you didn’t see as much in their first book. That’s why Nanny’s so willing to offer up her advice for how Verence can be taken more seriously. She does care about Magrat, and she wants her friend to be happy. At the same time, she tells it like it is, though not as cruelly as Granny can be at times. In the end, Nanny sees herself and Magrat and Agnes and Granny as just a little different from everyone else:

“Oh, we’re always all right. You remember that. We happen to other people.”

In that moment, even if Nanny was talking to the Queen, she was speaking like she was talking to a fellow witch.


Look, I don’t know why the Nac mac Feegle are getting Verence to take up a sword, but I kind of don’t care. I love the idea of them teaching him to fight and storming the castle and taking it back from the Magpyr clan, all with the help of Big Aggie and all the other pixies. I HOPE THERE’S A RIDICULOUS TRAINING SCENE.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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