Mark Reads ‘Carpe Jugulum’: Part 18

In the eighteenth and penultimate part of Carpe Jugulum, the attack begins. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld

There is too much here that I love, thus it is TIME FOR ME TO BRING A LIST BACK.

Reasons These Scenes of Carpe Jugulum Are Awesome

  • The fact that these vampires are running around the old castle screaming for tea is never not going to be hilarious to me. NEVER.
  • Igor’s revenge is also beautiful to me. Honestly, think about it. He’s been disrespect, dismissed, and ignored by Count Magpyr. No one actually cares about him. Thus, he gets to enact a justice of his own by dispensing of these new-age vampyres. Of course, that’s not the only thing he does in this section, but more on that in a second.
  • At one point, Nanny says, “I reckon only Esme could mess up someone’s head like that…” and I wanted to comment on how clever it was that Pratchett combines both the physical and the mental during this giant confrontation. I don’t want to ignore how violent this is – and that’s important – but Granny is waging an entirely mental assault that fascinates me. She’s turning their cravings into something banal and normal relative to the people of Lancre, but utterly frightening to the vampyres. (And I mean that tea is ubiquitous, not that tea tastes banal or anything. I LOVE TEA A GREAT DEAL, I DRINK IT EVERY DAY.)
  • “A bird, house-sized, wings of flame wider than the castle, reared in the broken doorway.” I HONESTLY DID NOT EXPECT THE SHEER GRANDEUR OF THIS AT ALL, EVERYTHING ABOUT IT IS BEAUTIFUL.
  • But I have a question… we know that Granny’s got some neat mental tricks up her sleeve, but she still has to pay the price for these things. It was a spectacle to watch the fire of the phoenix swirl around her, but… how is she paying the price of not getting burned? Hell, how is she paying the price of resisting being turned into a vampire? It’s got to come from somewhere, right?
  • Regardless, I do love that the moment provides a chance for Granny to further challenge Mightily Oats’s beliefs. About pain, about magic, about phoenixes, about the aurora coriolis, all so that when Oats says that he thought the phoenix was an allegorical creature, she responds, “Well? Even allegories have to live.” BLESS THIS BOOK.
  • Y’all, the Count truly is evil and selfish. He may not ever be outwardly aware of it, but in the face of the pain and suffering that his kids feel, he still digs in and insists that it’s all in their heads. Now, I don’t actually feel bad for these characters, but I thought it important to note how Pratchett wrote the Count as stubborn right up to the end. (I do believe they’re about to be deposed, if you will.) He had the nerve to say that Cryptopher let himself be frightened to death!
  • The supreme irony, of course, which Lacrimosa realizes when it’s too late, is that the Count’s training exposed his family to every possible vampire deterrent, all so they could “train” against their effects. Unfortunately, that means they’re now aware of them, which makes the castle a nightmare zone.
  • I’m a little hesitant to make any big judgments on what Agnes’s path has been as a character because I want to wait to see what the last few pieces of this puzzle are. It seemed important, though, that Perdita remarked that Agnes had truly changed and that she “found herself thinking in the way Granny Weatherwax thought.” Is that because she did that on her own or was she affected by Granny, too? AND HOW?
  • Claude trying to burn down the stone castle. Bless his heart.
  • I don’t know what the Countess’s fate is, but bravo to Magrat for coming up with that clever solution to the Countess turning into mist and trying to get into the crypt. Also, bravo to her for figuring out that that wasn’t the real Nanny at the door. I HOPE SHE AND BABY ESME ARE OKAY.
  • SO LET’S TALK ABOUT IGOR USING HIS OWN BLOOD TO BRING THE OLD MASTER TO LIFE. IT’S MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE DEVELOPMENT IN THIS SECTION. I love what it says about his character, that he finally took initiative to change his life after having been so poorly treated by the Magpyrs. I JUST WANT THE BEST FOR IGOR.
  • After that, though? The long sequence in which Granny teases the Magpyrs with how much control she has over them. They can’t hurt Magrat or baby Esme; they can’t leave the castle; they don’t thirst for human blood. Somehow, Granny tapped into the very power that they had over other people. But how??? What am I missing? What is she referring to when she says that “it” will probably wear off soon? Some magic over their minds? But how did she affect the villagers or Agnes?

Reasons This Section of Carpe Jugulum Made Me Sad

  • Rest in peace, Scraps. I MORALLY OBJECT TO YOUR DEATH.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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