In the fifth part of Jingo, Vimes has a lot of fun at the expense of awful people, and I love it A Lot. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
I like Vimes in this book a great deal. It’s a fantastic thing to see his humor change slightly, at least in terms of who is on the receiving end of his sarcasm. It’s not new that he hates pomp and circumstance, or that he can’t be bothered to care about the aristocracy in Ankh-Morpork. But throughout the 100 or so pages of Jingo, Vimes does a thing we refer to as punching upwards. And he does it a lot. He toys with people in positions of power. And then, he uses his own power – no matter how ridiculous or artificial it is – to be even more ridiculous towards the people in power.
Look, I just love the idea that Vimes is forced to lead the wizard parade because of tradition, which includes the ridiculous outfit he’s required to wear. (GIVE ME FANART OF THIS, PLEASE.) But then he gets that damn truncheon, and it’s like as soon as it made contact with him hand, he realized his true destiny: to walk as slowly and as ridiculously as possible because who the fuck would bother stopping him. Y’all, he acts so wild that CARROT IS EMBARRASSED. Carrot!!! When is Carrot ever embarrassed over someone else???
And you know what? Let Vimes have this moment. Let him relish in it. That’s why I hope that whenever Vimes finds the second bowman, he slaps them across the face for interrupting his procession. YOU TOOK A BEAUTIFUL THING AWAY FROM HIM.
Oh, and shot someone. That, too.
The Second Bowman
Well, did Ossie ever hint at there being a partner in crime? I can’t recall, but I’m fairly certain he thought he was working alone. At this point, I’m not sure I even have that many clues as to who is behind this. I admit that I’m actually much more interested in the political fallout of Leshp than a murder mystery, only because it’s a fairly familiar story device for the Discworld books as of late. Lots of murder mysteries! But I can also admit that this book – at least so far – doesn’t feel like a murder mystery. Instead, the assassination attempt and Ossie’s death are just part of the horrible fabric of imperialism. Someone wanted those Klatchian men dead for a reason, and there’s no way it was just a coincidence. Was it retaliation? To kickstart the war against Klatch? Because of xenophobia? I DON’T KNOW.
And I don’t know what’s on the iconograph that Vimes has. Is it evidence of a second bowman? Something else? AHHHHH I WANT TO KNOW.
I thought it was clever of Vimes to lie to the entire room, though, to see how people would react to the news of a lone bowman. Given this:
Carrot watched the faces round the table. The general expression was one of relief.
I’ll suggest that unless I get evidence otherwise, then it’s safe to say that there is probably no one in that room responsible for the assassination attempt. Well, let’s not rule out the Patrician because he’s a cunning manipulator, but otherwise? It’s got to be someone else. Lord Vetinari, on the other hand, is always a step or a hundred ahead of Vimes, so I had myself a good laugh at how easily he figured out that Vimes was lying. Granted, the evidence was right there. How did Ossie seal himself in the Barbican from the outside of the building? So Vetinari asks for a “simple” answer from Vimes: Who really tried to kill the Prince’s brother? We all know the answer won’t be simple, but that’s what Lord Vetinari needs to give to the city. So… what is Vimes going to find?
Leonard of Quirm
I honestly forgot that the Patrician had him locked up in the palace, y’all. And then, I was initially bewildered by the scene he was in. It made no sense to me. Why would the Patrician visit him to inquire about weapons?
Because that might be the future. Look, Lord Vetinari is cunning, but he’s also a master of information. He wants to know everything that’s going on within Ankh-Morpork. But after learning that Ossie was not the sole assassin, he suspects something terrible is about to happen. Now, he’s the kind of person who wants to control everything, even if it seems like he’s not. He manipulates people into doing what he wants by making them think it’s their idea. Yet this war with Klatch threatens to be too chaotic and too hard to control. So, I read the scene with Leonard as a chance for the Patrician to take inventory. He can’t plan for war, but what if? What if there is a war with Klatch? What sort of weapons had Leonard designed? What were his capabilities?
And let’s not doubt Leonard’s abilities here! The man designed HEINOUS weapons. RAINING UNQUENCHABLE FIRE DOWN UPON FELLOW HUMANS. What the hell. But Leonard, oblivious to the other reason Lord Vetinari is there, admits that the people in Klatch are talented. Like, really talented. Not only were they talented a hundred years ago, but Leonard expects they got better. Everything he tells the Patrician confirms that Ankh-Morpork may be… under qualified. About to be destroyed. Headed for doom.
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!