Mark Reads ‘Thief of Time’: Part 11

In the eleventh part of Thief of Time, Lobsang learns an important lesson that is immensely disturbing, while Susan seeks out a witch. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

WHAT IS THAT ENDING. HOW DO I DEAL WITH THIS NOW????

Saving Time

I am so relieved that I didn’t have to deal with the yeti dying. SO RELIEVED, FRIENDS. I was incredibly upset by the matter-of-fact way that Lu-Tze chopped off that yeti’s head, but NEVER FEAR, IT WAS ALL A TRICK.

Actually, it wasn’t, and that’s sort of the point. Lu-Tze really did decapitate this creature, but through this, Pratchett reveals THE COOLEST worldbuilding I may have ever come across in the Discworld books. And it makes a lot of sense to me how the yetis are able to use a genetic ability to their advantage. In short: they can save up a “life” worth of time, which can be used in any instance as long as they allow something that causes their death to happen. They then immediately come back to life with the knowledge of what might happen if this thing happens, and thus, they can avoid it. Because the thing never technically happened, even though a yeti experienced it. Look, this makes total sense to me, and I have a prediction: at some point, either Lu-Tze or Lobsang will have to use this exact ability and get it right the first time.

I’M A SEER.

Susan

Just kidding, because holy shit, I may have gotten something completely and totally wrong. There seemed to me to be the confirmation I needed about Lobsang, and it came from Death’s instructions to Susan. This is the part I’m referring to, which is when Susan gets Lu-Tze’s lifetimer:

HE IS LU-TZE, A HISTORY MONK. EIGHT HUNDRED YEARS OLD. HE HAS AN APPRENTICE. I HAVE LEARNED THIS. BUT I CANNOT FEEL HIM, I CANNOT SENSE HIM. HE IS THE ONE. BINKY WILL TAKE YOU TO THE MONK, YOU WILL FIND THE CHILD.

Now, there’s a chance that the pronoun used here is referring to Lu-Tze, that Death can’t find him. Even if that’s the case, I still feel like the fact that Death wants Susan to locate Lobsang is confirmation that he’s part of this. Thus, he’s the son of Time that Death referred to in an earlier part of the book, right? So, after she tracked down the midwife, I thought we’d be smooth sailing from there on out.

I should have realized something was up once it was obvious to me that the midwife was Nanny Ogg, and that the scene at the opening of Thief of Time was the birth of Time’s son. However, there are a number of details here, including the BIG one, that don’t match up with my understanding here.

  1. The Father. He seems to be “foreign” but otherwise just a person? So… not Time?
  2. Except Time could have manifested as a person but done something to the woman he got pregnant, given that she seemed wholly unprepared for the sheer weirdness of giving birth. You know, the whole PHASING IN AND OUT OF TIME AND REALITY THING.
  3. He. HE. Pronouns again, and I am just fucking lost. Did Nanny react the way she did because Time had a daughter? If that’s the case… look, I don’t even have a theory who that would be. There’s no one else here who might fit that role except Lady LaJean, but we now know she’s actually an Auditor.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO THIS BOOK

Ride it Out

It’s been years since I read Good Omens, but more than ever before, I really feel like a re-read would be fun. (Maybe on my own after I finish Thief of Time.) If I have the dates right, Good Omens came out before this one. And in that book, Pestilence had retired, right? Is this where he retired to, some tiny hospital? I LOVE THIS HEADCANON. I can’t say I’ll remember every part of Good Omens, but I’m interested to see if they’ll be any odd crossovers or interesting thematic similarities.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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