[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Rincewind]]
[[quoteright:238:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Rincewind_and_the_Luggage_474.png]]

->''Luck is my middle name. Mind you, my first name is Bad.''

A cynical, cowardly, and incompetent wizard[[note]](That is, 'one who follows the profession of wizardry', not 'one who actually casts spells or does anything magical')[[/note]] who frequently finds himself unwittingly thrust into situations where he must save the day. Has raised "running away" to an art form, to the point where he has the soul of a wizard and the body of a long-distance sprinter. Is one of the Discworld's greatest heroes despite himself. Accompanied by an [[HeroicComedicSociopath ill-tempered and overprotective]] [[NonHumanSidekick sentient suitcase]] known as the Luggage.
----
* ActionSurvivor
* BadassOnPaper: His list of accomplishments is long and illustrious, but most of them were incidental to ignobly running away from something scarier.
* BadassUnintentional: He just wants to lead a boring life, but has to keep fighting off monsters and saving the world.
-->'''Rincewind:''' I do not wish to volunteer, sir.
-->'''Vetinari:''' No one was asking you to.
-->'''Rincewind:''' Oh, but they will, sir, they will. Someone will say: hey, that Rincewind fella, he's the adventurous sort... And then I'll run away, and probably hide in a crate somewhere that'll be loaded on to the flying machine in any case... Or there'll be a whole string of accidents that end up causing the same thing. Trust me, sir, [[GenreSavvy I know how my life works]].
--> -- ''Discworld/TheLastHero''
* BerserkButton: Like many wiz(z)ards, touching his hat is one of the only ways to make him forget his "violence will only make my situation worse" motto.
-->'''Mad the Dwarf:''' You did this to people just because they stole your ''hat''?! What do you do if they spit in your eye, blow up the country?
** He also seems to have a cynicism-fuelled contempt for ideologies that preach moral superiority in death is preferable, given a short but vehement rant in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' on how a person only has one life but can pick up a new cause at any street corner.
* BlessedWithSuck: Having the Lady favor you means your life is a continuous chain of ''almost'' dying horribly.
* BornLucky: Lady Luck loves him. [[CosmicPlaything Fate, on the other hand...]]
* ButtMonkey
* CelibateHero: Although there are a few hints he's had sex a couple of times, all wizards are ''officially'' celibate. [[note]]Long story short, the eighth son of an eighth son is automatically a wizard, as are all of his sons, [[RuleOfThree the eighth]] of whom will be not just a wizard but a [[PersonOfMassDestruction sourcerer]].[[/note]] Even beyond the rules, however, Rincewind is particularly confused when it comes to sex, thanks to an incident in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' that leaves him with a Pavlovian association between arousal and potatoes. FootnoteFever in the same volume notes that, eventually, Rincewind will get some therapy involving a pretty woman, a huge plate of potatoes, and a big stick with nail in it that will cure him of this. Until then, he basically starts thinking about how much he wants potatoes whenever he would normally get aroused.
* ChewToy: His constant ButtMonkey state is kept amusing because as even he has realized by now, he will always be saved from death or serious injury.
-->"Somewhere in the world, he reasoned, there was someone who was on the other end of the see-saw, a kind of mirror Rincewind whose life was a succession of wonderful events. He hoped to meet him one day, preferably while holding some sort of weapon."
* CosmicPlaything: Oh dear god, ''yes''. Apparently his Lifetimer is so warped that not only does ''Death'' have no idea how or when Rincewind will meet his end, his mere ''presence'' in a situation renders its outcome unreadable. Death keeps Rincewind's Timer on his desk as a conversation piece.
--> '''War''': Odd person.
--> '''Death''': [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: With him here, even uncertainty is uncertain. And I'm not sure even about that. ]]

* DeadpanSnarker: Given that he lives in a WorldofSnark, this is obligatory. Taken UpToEleven in the video games, where he has a sarcastic comment about everything and anything.
* DemotedToExtra: In recent books, much to his relief. Now he wants nothing more to live a boring life, since boredom is preferrable to the excitement he's been subjected to.
* DeterminedDefeatist: In his later appearances, especially ''Discworld/TheLastHero''.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome With a half brick. In a sock.]]
* DoctorJekyllAndMisterJackDaniels: In ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'' and ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'' his personality pretty much inverts itself after a few beers.
* TheDragAlong: All the adventures he is pulled into are against his will. See quote above.
** There is a partial exception in ''The Last Hero'', where he volunteers for the adventure... solely because he knows this trope would kick in if he didn't.
* FragileSpeedster: Not superhumanly fast, perhaps, but he can, and ''has,'' outrun most people and a fair number of creatures on the Disc. And even a few people and creatures in and from other dimensions. Being all too aware of the "fragile" part just seems to lend extra speed.
* GeniusDitz: Due to his ability to survive life in Unseen University, he knows psychological warfare inside out and can become DangerouslyGenreSavvy in the right situation. However, this usually only occurs when running is no longer an option.
* HighHopesZeroTalent: Is the TropeCodifier.
* IneptMage: Sure, he can't ''do'' magic to save his life, but he's very insistent that his wannabe-NiceHat stays with him. It says "Wizzard" on it in sequins. He ''is'' actually a wizard--he can see octarine and Death--just almost completely inept at spells. Initially, he couldn't use magic because one of the Octavo's eight spells was taking up all the room his mind had for spellcasting. After ''The Light Fantastic'', the Octavo spell is gone and he still isn't much of a mage. To date, the only feat of magic he has ever achieved on his own is unlocking a door after much strain and effort.
* InsistentTerminology: Rincewind defines himself as a wizard, never mind his lack of magical talent.
** Later on, when he's given an honorary (read: having no actual authority) professorship, he insists that people call him ''Professor'' Rincewind. It may be a meaningless title, but it's ''his'' meaningless title.
* InvincibleIncompetent: He is noted for trying to run away from the plot action, yet invariably winning somehow.
* JerkWithAHeartOfJerk --> JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Goes from the former to the latter over the course of his first few books. In ''The Colour of Magic'' he seemed to only be out for himself and only looked after Twoflower under duress from the Patrician. In later books he's still sarcastic and a little mean-spirited, but he genuinely seems to care for other people.
* KidWithTheLeash: Sort of. The Luggage follows his instructions at least a little bit, but mostly just acts according to [[HeroicComedicSociopath its own Luggagey, mysterious, and usually violent whims]].
* LovableCoward: He started out as a DirtyCoward, but his decent qualities have gradually grown to outweigh his earlier greed and treachery.
* NiceGuy: He develops into this while growing out of his DirtyCoward stage -- and is none too happy about it, because, dammit, it means he has a ''conscience'' that sometimes stops him from running away even when that's clearly the smart thing to do.
* NominalHero: He started off as one, but gradually [[CharacterDevelopment mellowed down]] to a KnightInSourArmor.
* NonActionGuy: Unless you count running as a action.
** In early books he occasionally used hand-to-hand combat when he absolutely ''had'' to.
** NonActionSnarker
* {{Omniglot}}: He does have a legitimate talent for languages (that's what Twoflower originally hired him for) but his particular speciality is screaming for help.
-->Rincewind could scream for mercy in nineteen languages, and just scream in another forty-four. -- ''Discworld/InterestingTimes''
* OnlyOneName: Once he mentions that he doesn't know whether he has a first name.
* OnlySaneMan: He and Ponder Stibbons alternate in this role in later books, with Ponder providing the high-level rationality Rincewind lacks and Rincewind making up for Ponder's occasional descent into MadScience.
* PunchClockHero
* RightPlaceRightTimeWrongReason: As the favoured of The Lady ([[AnthropomorphicPersonification Luck]]), this is pretty much Rincewind's way of life. He's saved the Disc several times over, mostly by running for his life and stumbling into the [[EvilPlan villain's plans]]. You can count the amount of times he acted bravely on purpose on one hand.
* SecretKeeper: In a way. He's the only one who knows the Librarian's real name -- and he's not telling, [[TongueTied mainly because the Librarian threatened bodily harm on him if he did.]] He was also carrier of one of the Octavo spells for many years until it freed itself at the end of ''Interesting Times''.
* SillyRabbitCynicismIsForLosers: Somewhat common in Discworld, especially with him. The guy would be so obviously right in his cynicism... but Twoflower would come out fine anyway, leaving him looking like an idiot.
* TheSoCalledCoward: Rincewind is the very patron saint of this trope, he ''wants'' to be a DirtyCoward, but his own decency keeps him from it. He considers this a serious character flaw in himself.
** He did start as being a DirtyCoward, but he got better after the events of 'The Light Fantastic'.
** In ''Unseen Academicals'', there is a moment where it looks like a battle between wizards is going to erupt. The last time this happened, Rincewind stopped it with a half-brick-in-a-sock. In the hall, after the tensions have calmed down, he is seen putting his sock back on.
* TookALevelinKindness: From ''The Light Fantastic'' onwards.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: He likes potatoes. He [[{{Fetish}} really likes potatoes]].
* UnluckilyLucky: He is The Lady's favourite... which is a very bad place to be. He stumbles into so much disaster while running ''away'' from more disaster that only the TheoryOfNarrativeCausality embodied has kept him alive for so long. In fact, in one story he accepts to join a MagnificentBastard scheme by someone who called him the (un)luckiest bastard he's ever met before even being told what it is; this is because he's GenreSavvy enough by now to know that if he declined and walked (and then ran) as far away from the scheme as he could, the scheme and its potential collateral damage would ''still'' find him.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: He is introduced this way in the very first book, attempting to con Twoflower out of his gold, and genuinely willing to abandon his allies to their fates when danger threatens. ''Discworld/TheLightFantastic'' begins his CharacterDevelopment into TheSoCalledCoward.
* YankTheDogsChain: A lot.
** ThrowTheDogABone: His promotion to {{Egregious}} Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography, however, seems to have taken, and he's more or less managed to work his way into the Unseen University faculty CastHerd.
*** As of ''The Science of Discworld III'', Rincewind has been appointed to ''twenty-one'' different faculty positions, all of which involve little to no actual work, and even less prestige.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Librarian]]

->''Oook.''

Orignally known as [[spoiler: Dr. Horace Worblehat]] before the events that made him a mon... ''ape''.

Librarian at Unseen University. He was turned into an orangutan in ''The Light Fantastic'', and shows no desire to turn back. This is because of the many advantages his new form offers, including increased agility and strength (and with a name like [[spoiler: Worblehat]], you can imagine he gets more respect as an orangutan than he ever did as a human).
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* {{Animorphism}}: Although he could be changed back to human form, he likes being an orangutan and has taken many precautions to prevent that from happening.
* AscendedExtra: Started as a one-off joke. Now makes an appearance in pretty much anything set in Ankh-Morpork.
** Has been said to have been in more Discworld books than any other character except Death.
* BadassBookworm: he might look like a 300-pound sack, but remember that it's filled with muscle. Not for no reason is he a Special Constable as well.
* BerserkButton[=/=]IAmNotWeasel: ''Don't'' call him a "monkey." Don't even say the ''word'' "monkey" around him. You could be talking about animals you saw at the zoo to your friend, or someone named Monk Elie and he'll come after you.
** On a few ''very'' rare occasions, he lets people get away with saying the M-word. The list include Glod Glodsson, Bestiality Carter and Agnes Nitt -- the first two because they were being tricked by malicious pranksters into saying the m-word (though Glod was smart enough to turn it back on the pranksters), and Agnes got off with a politely wagging finger of warning for no other reason than that he liked her.
* CursedWithAwesome: Not only does he have the specified benefits of being an orangutan, but he also gained the ability to read even the most cursed books that are said to drive a man mad from glancing at it, because he's not [[NoManOfWomanBorn technically]] a ''man'' anymore.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Mostly because he's gone out of his way to make sure that his name is nowhere in any of the records, in case someone wanted to use it to change him back.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: But for gods sake, don't call him one!
** ShownTheirWork: He's an orangutan, and orangutans are '''apes''', not monkeys. He feels [[BerserkButton VERY strongly]] about this distinction. And he doesn't have the cheek flaps because, despite being the only orangutan at Unseen University, he's still not ''dominant'' - he's a wizard as well as an ape, and Ridcully's senior to him. (Ridcully, meanwhile, insists he doesn't dominate anyone, and ''stop staring at his cheeks!'')
* InsistentTerminology: He is an ape and he will insist ''[[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown very firmly]]'' that he be called one, not a monkey.
* IntelligibleUnintelligible: He only communicates through "ook"s and the occasional "eek." Despite this, few characters seem to have any trouble understanding him after a little time to acclimate.
** Lampshaded in ''Moving Pictures'', when the Bursar tried to explain about the Librarian to the newly-appointed Archchancellor Ridcully:
-->'''Ridcully:''' No life for a man, bein' a monkey.\\
'''Bursar:''' ''Ape,'' Archchancellor. And he seems to prefer it, I'm afraid.\\
'''Ridcully:''' How d'yer know? Speaks, does he?\\
'''Bursar:''' ...He says "oook", Archchancellor.\\
'''Ridcully:''' And what's that mean?\\
'''Bursar:''' Means "no", Archchancellor.\\
'''Ridcully:''' And how does he say "yes", then?\\
'''Bursar:''' Er... "Oook", Archchancellor.\\
'''Ridcully:''' That was the same oook as the other oook!\\
'''Bursar:''' Oh, no. No. I assure you. There's a different inflection... I mean, when you get used to... I suppose we've just got into the way of understanding him, Archchancellor...
* NoManOfWomanBorn: The [[TomeOfEldritchLore grimoires]] in the Library are full of ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow, not Things ''Ape'' Was Not Meant To Know. An orangutan can read them with no problem.
* [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Primate]]: When the rest of the University has thrown away the SanityBall, the Librarian is the one who catches it.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: It's gotten to the point where people just habitually ignore the 300-pound ape at the Mended Drum, and if someone told the Faculty that there was an orangutan wandering around the grounds, they'd probably go ask the Librarian if he'd seen it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mustrum Ridcully]]

Arch-Chancellor of Unseen University, Ankh-Morpork's premiere WizardingSchool. Combines traits of the traditional wizard with that of the stereotype of the gruff, outgoing huntin'-and-sportin' British gentleman. Far from stupid, but very stubborn and set in his ways. His mind has been likened to a steam engine: powerful, but slow to start and stop, and almost impossible to steer.

First seen in ''Discworld/MovingPictures''- others filled the post before him.
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* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Was chosen to be Archchancellor because the other wizards thought he'd be a pushover. Remained Archchancellor by being anything ''but''. It's stated that he once went a few rounds with Detritus the troll, and arm-wrestled the Librarian and ''survived'' with both arms.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Ridcully's attitude towards magic. He's actually seriously powerful -- a fact which he [[ObfuscatingStupidity tends to keep hidden]] -- but in his experience if the eldritch horror born out of nightmare can't be taken down with [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu a couple of hearty thwacks from his staff]] (six feet of solid oak, wielded by a man strong enough to box a troll) it's probably immune to magic as well.
** This doesn't stop him keeping a couple of subcritical spells in his pocket for good measure though. Just in case.
* BigEater: One of the more particular wizards in this regard, although the entire staff of Unseen University seems to have this trait, and with a compulsion to add condiments.
* BlazingInfernoHellfireSauce: Wow-wow sauce is a TrademarkFavoriteFood of his; it contains (among other things) scumble (itself a highly infamous GargleBlaster), [[MadeOfExplodium saltpeter and sulfur]], and protective gear is an important part of its preparation. It tends to explode when mixed with charcoal (not surprising, given that sulfer, saltpeter, and charcoal together make [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder black powder]]) or is allowed to age. Doubles as a HideousHangoverCure.
* BoisterousBruiser: has hands the size of dinner plates and a magically-reinforced staff. And he used to keep himself in shape by avoiding the assassination attempts by wizards trying to use the Dead Man's Shoes clause.
* CatchPhrase: ''"BURSAAAAR!"''
* CrazyPrepared: Mostly seen in his hat, which (despite being thoroughly un-magical, unlike the ''last'' Archchancellor's Hat) includes a crossbow, a bottle of whisky and cup, fishing flies, a roll of oiled silk and four extendable legs allowing it to transform into a tent, little cupboards and pockets containing three days' iron rations, and a small spirit stove.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: don't be fooled by the confusing stupidity and good-natured expression. There's a reason this man is Archchancellor of a University that acts as Ank-Morpork's nuclear deterrent[[note]]Although it's less "we'll unleash the wizards on you and then you're screwed" and more "we'll unleash the wizards and then we're ALL going to be cleaning up this mess for the next half a century and don't you think that we won't be sending you the bill with interest!"[[/note]]
** His mind has been compared to a locomotive. Slow to start and given to linear travel, but once it gets going there's not a whole lot that can stop it.
* EgomaniacHunter: "Mustrum Ridcully did a lot for rare species. For one thing, he kept them rare."
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Subverted: That's what the faculty expected him to be like before he arrived, since Ridcully grew up in the mountains (his title at first appearance was Ridcully the Brown, in parody of Radagast from ''LordOfTheRings''). As it turns out, [[EgomaniacHunter he only talks to the animals to say "Winged you, you bastard!"]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Depending a little on who you ask. He can be a right bastard to his subordinates, and is at least partially responsible for at least one major nervous breakdown, but he's not malicious, and is known for being generally pleasant towards the common populace. He's even on good terms with Sam Vimes, which takes some doing.
* JustSmileAndNod: His standard reaction to Ponder Stibbons. Unfortunately Ponder is now getting savvy enough to use it to his advantage (Ridcully is finding his name signed on things that he "agreed to")
* KlingonPromotion: He single-handedly stopped the tradition of this at Unseen University by being [[{{Badass}} pretty much completely indestructible]].
* LargeHam: Most of his dialogue is "bellowed" or "roared". Fans occasionally compare him to Creator/BrianBlessed.
* ManipulativeBastard: very much so - although he's a leading power in ''Ank-Morpork'', so what did you expect?
** Unfortunately he is now being observed by a quick learner - Ponder Stibbons - who is taking notes.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: Tends to be distracted by metaphors and similes, especially in conversations with Ponder Stibbons. (The other wizards are the same, but he's more prone to it.)
* NewMediaAreEvil: One of his beliefs. This being Discworld, he's often right.
* NiceHat: See above.
* NoIndoorVoice: Ridcully's favored method of management is bellowing at people until they deal with the problem. (Though granted, he has other tactics in his arsenal for when this fails.)
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: Ridcully refuses to leave a fellow wizard in danger, even if they're a zombie (''Discworld/ReaperMan'') or almost totally incompetent at wizardry (''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'')
* NotAMorningPerson: Inverted, especially considering the habits of most wizards. "Ridcully was a morning person and, most unfairly, a late night person. Sometimes he went from one to the other without sleeping in-between."
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Particularly noticeable in ''Lords and Ladies''. Ponder Stibbons tried to explain the concept of AlternateHistory, and Ridcully kept wandering off on tangents until Stibbons gave up. The next day, ''Ridcully'' explained the theory to Granny Weatherwax.
--> "Not for the first time, Ponder wondered if Ridcully was smarter than he looked. Which wouldn't be that hard."
** Ponder eventually becomes an avid "Ridcully Watcher" and is now under no illusions whatsoever about Ridcully's intelligence. This actually left him completely flat-footed in ''Unseen Academicals'' when Ridcully turned out to be ''actually'' clueless about something.
* OnlySaneMan: Depending on how you view the rest of his (frequently misplaced) faculty. Shares the title to varying degrees with Ponder and the Librarian.
* PapaWolf: Despite all their flaws, as a group or as individuals, Ridcully is strongly loyal and protective of his faculty. To wit, when the Librarian appears to have been poisoned:
-->"[I]f anyone has poisoned our Librarian, then, although I am not, by nature, a vindictive man, I will see to it that this university hunts down the poisoner by every thaumic, mystic and occult means available and makes the rest of their life not only as horrible as they can imagine it, but as horrible as I can imagine it. And you can depend on it, gentlemen, that I have already started work on it."
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Not his ''usual'' way of talking, but he does occasionally demonstrate that when it suits him he's perfectly capable of using big words and flowery language. Usually it's a sign of him turning on the charm.
* ShoutOut: To [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Radagast]]. He's referred to as "FriendToAllLivingThings" and his "wizard-colour-[[BuffySpeak thing]]" is Ridcully the Brown. Make of this what you will.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: To [[spoiler: ''Granny Weatherwax'']], believe it or not. He still harbors feelings after all this time.
* TheWorfEffect: His main purpose in some books (such as ''Reaper Man'', ''Lords and Ladies'', and ''Soul Music'') is to show that brute force and magical power aren't enough to defeat some of the menaces to the Discworld.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Ponder Stibbons]]

One of the younger wizards at Unseen University - the youngest member of the University Council by multiple decades - who heads up the "new generation" of wizardry in the High Energy Magic department (read: physicists and nerds). Creator of the {{Magitek}} computer "Hex".

He's a cross between BeleagueredAssistant and HyperCompetentSidekick to Ridcully. Although he complains about his job, he's happy enough with it to turn down Ridcully's offer of a real professorship and [[spoiler:Brazeneck College's offer to make him Bursar]].
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* AcronymAndAbbreviationOverload: When dealing with Hex. He turns it on by "initializing the GBL" (great big lever); it only works when it's "FTB-enabled" (it has a fuzzy teddy bear) and so on.
* AlmightyJanitor: As of ''Unseen Academicals'', Ponder is ''still'' not tenured faculty, and may not even have officially received his DThau (since he seems to be "Mr. Stibbons" instead of "Dr."). However, he has taken over so many ''staff'' positions that he's the only one who understands UU's finances and holds a majority of votes in University Council meetings. A Roundworld equivalent would be the lab tech who never finished his dissertation but is the only one who knows how to calibrate all the instruments.
* BeleagueredAssistant[=/=]BeleagueredBureaucrat: Gets every single administrative job the rest of the faculty positions doesn't want to do (read: all of them). With ''all'' the paperwork this entailed. However, this has also given him a level of control over the inner workings of Unseen University that has effectively made him [[TheManBehindTheMan The Man Behind The Group Of Crotchety Old Wizards]]. He finds it rather ironic that all he was trying to do was work hard and be responsible. Fortunately for the other wizards Ponder's got no political ambitions whatsoever.
* BlackSheep[=/=]WhiteSheep (depending on your interpretation of Unseen University): Unlike all the other wizards who start off eager and eventually become lazy and well-fed, Stibbons started off plump and lazy (which everyone agreed was a good start), and then he quickly became the head of the Department of High Energy Magic, which all the Old Guard are ''not'' fond of. And then, to add insult to injury, [[WhatTheHellHero instead of becoming lazier]] as time went on, he's become increasingly more ''[[YouMonster competent]]'', something every wizard in his right mind finds [[ThereShouldBeALaw strange, weird, and generally deplorable]].
* BrilliantButLazy: Started off as this. And then he founded the [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic High Magic]] tower with a [[{{Geek}} group of like-minded students]] [[ForegoneConclusion and well...]]
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: From InsufferableGenius crossed with TooCleverByHalf (none of the wizards take all his brilliant accomplishments at the High Energy Magic tower seriously), he goes through a BreakTheHaughty and has now become the BeleagueredBureaucrat cross HyperCompetentSidekick who effectively runs ''everything'' in UU.
* GasLighting: All the senior wizards used to enjoy running rings around Ponder with their ObfuscatingStupidity, almost driving him mad with frustration and bewilderment. [[OhCrap Then he caught on.]] [[ImplausibleDeniability Now they're paying for it]] as he automatically assumes they really do understand what he's saying and scoffs when they have to beg for an explanation.
* [[GeekPhysiques Geek Physique]]: In a University where a large waistline and long beard are congruent with wisdom and gravitas, it doesn't help that he's skinny and cleanshaven. What is worse is that he ''started out'' as plump in his student years but started to lose weight shortly after ''Lords And Ladies''. By 24 he was positively scrawny by wizard standards...and he's stayed that way into middle age. Reversing the established trend of increasing age and girth hasn't made him any more popular with the senior faculty.
* GeniusProgramming: He made Hex, a magical multi-dimensional {{magitek}} computer, from ''ants''. Ponder's best student defects to Brazeneck College in ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'' and makes a knockoff called [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Pex]] which runs on chickens. Ridcully can't understand why Ponder takes this all so calmly [[LaserGuidedKarma until failure to account for the blit-slood differential results in a 30-foot high killer chicken]] and Ponder isn't at all surprised.
* GoAmongMadPeople: His sanity has gotten seriously challenged by the time he spends around the [=UU=] faculty. Their InsaneTrollLogic and frequent irrationality leave him continually flustered...at least until he learns how to get around them.
--> He wasn't interested in promotion, anyway. He'd just be happy if people ''listened'' for five minutes instead of saying 'Well done, Mister Stibbons, but we tried that once and it doesn't work,' or 'We probably haven't got the funding,' or, worst of all, 'You don't get proper fill-in-nouns these days - remember old "nickname" ancient-wizard-who-died-fifty-years-ago-who-Ponder-wouldn't-possibly-be-able-to-remember? Now ''there'' was a chap who knew his fill-in-nouns.'
** This pushes him into BreakTheCutie territory in ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', when he is stranded on an evolutionarily-bizarre island with Mustrum Ridcully, resulting in a HeroicBSOD where he [[TenMinuteRetirement quit the UU faculty]].
* GoodWithNumbers: The only people in the Literature/{{Discworld}} who are better at them are Susan Sto Helit (who [[TooCleverByHalf memorises square roots]]), the [[CloudCuckooLander Bursar]] whose role Ponder has largely replaced, and Nutt, who Ponder is delighted to find out is a polymath...[[UnusuallyUninterestingSight and is then rather shocked to find no-one else finds this amazing]].
* HeroicSelfDeprecation: When he's first introduced, this trope is pretty much ''inverted'', where he is an InsufferableGenius who looks down on the faculty who do nothing but move between their rooms and the dining tables, wondering why they're not out trying to improve or change the world. Then he realized, to his disappointment, that there is a reason things are working as they are and just tries to keep things running. [[note]]Rather like Susan Sto Helit, who initially thought she could fix up the organizational mess of Death's Domain... this [[Discworld/SoulMusic didn't work out so well]].[[/note]] Nowadays, despite his occasional stab at an ego he has a very realistic understanding of his situation and, oddly enough, isn't so much proud of his own academic accomplishments as of HEM as a whole. He's become pretty cynical for his young age - and apparently is finding grey hairs.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Ridcully's, in later books. Most of the day-to-day business of the university is handled entirely by Ponder.
* InsufferableGenius: Was this until he went through a BreakTheHaughty courtesy of Ridcully and the senior wizard staff's [[HilarityEnsues misadventures]]. Not even Ridcully's powerful mind can always keep up with Ponder's travels deep into the landscape of the logical, theoretical or abstract. However, despite not being as technically brilliant as Ponder, the older Faculty members - particularly Ridcully - have decades of ingrained cunning he lacks.
* IWasToldThereWouldBeCake: The reason he decided to come to Unseen University in the first place. Didn't quite work out as planned though. It's not so much that [[TheCakeIsALie The Cake Was A Lie]], but that [[RuleOfFun The Cake Is Less Interesting Than Multi-dimensional Sufficiently Analysed Magic]].
* JadeColouredGlasses: Starts wearing a pair after prolonged exposure to the Wizarding Faculty. You see, he started out quite naive, and was rather shocked to find out that the reason UU exists is [[spoiler:to keep Wizards happy, fat and constantly wandering between breakfast, lunch, dinner and various snacks]].
* JustThinkOfThePotential: The older wizards, who have seen the less than pleasant outcomes of thinking like this, are quick to point out that the "potential" is all too often [[EldritchAbomination great big green things with teeth]]. For example, he was quite excited when he found out that there were rips in time and space, much to the rest of the faculty's horror. Hex is a direct result of his thinking along the lines of "I wonder what would happen if..." and much of the senior faculty still deeply mistrust it.
* MagiBabble: See the entry immediately below.
* MrExposition: If there's a reason for what's happening that is in some way connected to logic, expect him to find it... and ''exposit'' it! At length! The other wizards find it a bit exasperating. {{Lampshaded}}, of course. [[note]]Despite being usually correct, he is easily waylaid by Ridcully's irrationality.[[/note]]
* OneJudgeToRuleThemAll: He ''is'' that judge, technically -- he gradually accumulates staff responsibilities that have to be taken care of but no one else will volunteer for. The University Council assigns votes per position not per individual, and by ''Unseen Academicals'' Ponder holds enough of those posts to be a quorum and a majority of the University Council ''by himself''. However, he rarely exercises this power for more than routine business, as it would only make more work for him.
* OnlySaneMan: He thinks of himself as this, but he's got a MadScientist blind spot towards the risks HEM poses to the local space-time continuum and he lacks the caution of some of the older wizards. But non-wizards certainly see him as the sanest and easier to deal with of the UU faculty. The only other faculty member Ponder sees as sane is the Librarian, and relies on his help to keep things running smoothly.
** Ponder gradually learns that much of the senior faculty's pigheadedness is ObfuscatingStupidity and [[CassandraTruth they understand more of what he says than they let on]]. He's also now made a ''science'' out of watching Ridcully so he can get past all the times when he's pretending to be less intelligent than he actually is. There are a lot of times when it's heavily implied that Ridcully misses when Ponder was more the InsufferableGenius archetype and far more naive.This leads to Ponder sometimes assuming that they understand more than they really do, and [[CryingWolf disbelieving them when they say they don't]].
* ReluctantMadScientist: As of Hex's construction, this has become one of his defining traits. The more he investigates L-space and experiments with {{Magitek}}, the more fully entrenched in this trope he becomes. The fact that Hex has started ''giving suggestions for his own improvements'' doesn't make him feel any better.
* SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic: Specialises in it.
* TheyJustDontGetIt: This is the result whenever he is in the position of explaining things to the Faculty. The degree of mental scarring he receives from each exposition attempt is determined by how badly the Faculty warp what he's said into a combination of [[InsaneTrollLogic irrationality]], [[BreadEggsMilkSquick disturbing images]], and [[BigEater food-centric dialogue]].
* TooCleverByHalf: The older wizards like to pretend that the HEM and any administrative or apocalypse-universe-destroying-end-of-the-world problems don't exist. This makes it rather difficult for them to notice when Ponder is running around cleaning up everybody else's mess or offer him any recognition for doing so.
* VetinariJobSecurity: Ponder is the only member of the University Council who fully understands its rules and finances. He's got a job for life, now, as removing him would mean every one of his dozens of responsibilities would have to be reassigned, and he got them in the first place because no one else could be bothered.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Bursar]]

Dr. A.A. Dinwiddie ("that's Dinwiddie with an ''O''") is usually referred to only by his title, primarily when Ridcully is shouting ''"[=BursAAAR=]!"'' to get his attention. He oscillates between a nervous wreck, manic, and schizophrenic, which the wizards attempt to manage by feeding him hallucinogenic pills made from toxic Klatchian jungle frogs, carefully designed to make him ''hallucinate that he is completely sane''. The dosage frequently needs adjusting. Regardless of whatever madness the wizards have cooked up lately, the Bursar is mentally several light-years away, and it's rare for him to come out with a comment that ''isn't'' a non-sequitur.
----
* AchievementsInIgnorance: His ability to fly when he takes the wrong dose of Dried Frog Pills is stated to be a form of this: lots of people ''think'' they can fly when they take hallucinogenic drugs, but if you're a wizard, the universe isn't quite sure that you ''can't''.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Used to be relatively sane, but now does this as a coping mechanism for all the weird stuff that happens at UU.
** Or, rather, just to cope with Arch-Chancellor Ridcully.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Everyone always calls him Bursar.
* GeniusDitz: No matter how far gone his sanity goes, he can still function as the University's Bursar.
** As of ''Unseen Academicals'' this is no longer the case, after he declared he would have nothing to do with decimal places. Ponder took up his job as the last bit of the administration arm he didn't already control.
** He did, however, [[Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld understand quantum mechanics perfectly.]]
* GoodWithNumbers
* NervousWreck: The events of ''Moving Pictures'' and ''Reaper Man'' leave him a paranoid, twitching, nervous mess, who has to be medicated into hallucinating he is sane (attempts to cure of his nervous state proved impossible).
* NoodleIncident: He isn't allowed metal utensils after 'The Unfortunate Incident At Dinner'.
** Subverted if you've read ''Reaper Man''--it's pretty clear the 'Incident' was the Bursar witnessing Zombie Windle Poons lurching into the Great Hall, which led him to ''bite through his spoon''.
%% * TalkativeLoon
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Dean ]]

Another member of UU's senior faculty, the Dean (Name unknown) is seldom nice or kind. No one really knows what he does, besides attend public functions and eat big dinners. A wizard of the old school, the Dean is usually the first to launch fireballs in the face of danger, and prefers to go 'Hut-hut-hut' when trouble arises. He also may be more sensitive to occult changes in the world than other wizards, as during the 'Music With Rocks In' craze, he began to dress in leather and painted his room black while everyone else was only mildly rebelling. [[spoiler: He may or may not be the one responsible for bringing our universe into existence, although it was completely unintentional on his part.]] By ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', he's become [[spoiler:Archchancellor Henry _______ of Brazeneck University]]
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* BigEater: Even more so than his fellow wizards. He's gained so much weight that, according to Ridcully, he "looks like he swallered a bed!" Ridcully also nicknames him "Two-Chairs" because, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin he has to sit on two chairs]].
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Like most of the UU staff, he is known only by his title. On his first appearance his full title was given as Dean of Pentacles, and at least two other UU Dean positions have been mentioned, but he's usually just called the Dean. Even Ridcully, who's known him for decades, has to think pretty hard in order to remember what his actual name is.
* FleetingPassionateHobbies: He's always the one to get dragged into the craze of the day, especially Music With Rocks In.
* HeroicWannabe: See especially ''Reaper Man'' and ''Soul Music''.
** He even [[spoiler:sets himself up as Archancellor of a ''different'' university]] to try to one-up Ridcully.
* JediMindTrick: Proves to be capable of performing it in the fourth ''Science of Discworld'' book, using it mainly so he can take a cab for free.
* {{Jerkass}}: And HOW.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Despite insisting that he's humble... he ''really'' isn't.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Ridcully [[spoiler:since they were undergraduates together. Revealed in ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', where we also learn his first name]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Lecturer in Recent Runes]]

Another member of UU's senior faculty. All we know of his real name is that it ''isn't'' "Arnold".
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* BiggerIsBetter: His solution to Roundworld's constant extinction disasters in ''The Science of Discworld'' is to design a giant mountain-sized limpet capable of surviving through them.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Like most of the UU staff, he is known only by his title.
* FlatCharacter: Mostly.
* NervousWreck: In the AnimatedAdaptation of ''Discworld/SoulMusic'', he's characterized as a timid stutterer who seldom gets a word in edgewise.
* NoNameGiven: See above. To the point that in ''The Science of Discworld'', when he has the opportunity to name an element after himself, he calls it "Runium".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Senior Wrangler]]

Another member of UU's senior faculty. ''Hogfather'' revealed that his first name is Horace.
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* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: In some universities, a Wrangler is a philosopher, while in others it's the title of someone who looks after the horses. "The Senior Wrangler was a philosopher who looked ''like'' a horse".
* DistractedByTheSexy: The one wizard of the UU staff most likely to be this, though he's loath to admit it.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Like most of the UU staff, he is (mostly) known only by his title.
* FlatCharacter: Formerly, but got some characterisation in ''Hogfather'' and ''The Last Continent''.
* NoNameGiven: See above. To the point that in ''The Science of Discworld'', when he has the opportunity to name an element after himself, he calls it "Wranglium".
* OneSteveLimit: Averted, as he shares his first name with the Librarian.
* SpeechImpediment: In the ''Discworld/SoulMusic'' AnimatedAdaptation, he whistles the occasional S.
* StalkerWithACrush: On Mrs Whitlow.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Chair of Indefinite Studies]]

Another member of UU's senior faculty.
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* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Only in ''Moving Pictures'' is he said to be the fattest of the wizards - in later books this characteristic was transferred to the Dean.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Like most of the UU staff, he is known only by his title.
* FlatCharacter: Probably the least characterised of any of the faculty.
* SomebodyElsesProblem: In ''The Last Hero'' we see that he can get out of anything by pointing out that it's a ''definite'' problem, and thus not his department.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professor John Hix]]

Head of the Department of Necrom... er, Post-Mortem Communications, first introduced in ''Discworld/MakingMoney''. Professor Hix is required by university statute to be at least a little evil, within acceptable levels, which usually includes cheating at games, playing pranks, and [[DeadpanSnarker making smart-alecky or tasteless remarks]].
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* BrutalHonesty: Another function of his job. Since he makes tasteless remarks anyways, it falls to him to say the things that nobody wants to say, but must be said nonetheless.
%% * DeadpanSnarker
* InsistentTerminology: It's not necromancy, it's ''Post-Mortem Communications''.
* NecessarilyEvil: Under [[CatchPhrase University statute]], Professor Hix is required to partake in acts of evil on a fairly regular basis. Not quite great evil, but still, evil none the less. This allows him to fulfill two important functions:
** 1. Performing actions that are morally questionable but practically necessary. This includes [[TapOnTheHead hitting Archchancellor Ridcully over the head fairly hard]] to free him from a possessed object.
** 2. Allowing the university to claim a monopoly on all evil magical activities. If independent wizards continue to perform evil acts, he is fully authorized to show up at their caves and serve orders to cease and desist. With fireballs.
* PokeThePoodle: One of his more common evil acts is to distribute tickets to his community theater group, which it's implied aren't very good. He also regularly makes tasteless remarks.
* PunchClockVillain: Seriously. As in, it's his actual job description to be (minorly) evil.
* TokenEvilTeammate: By University statutes no less. He's got a skull ring and everything.
* XtremeKoolLetterz: His parents were a Mr and Ms Hicks, but no self-respecting necromanc…err… [[InsistentTerminology post mortems communications wizard]] would pass up the chance to spell [[SpellMyNameWithAnS his name with an X]]
[[/folder]]