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The 23rd Discworld novel and the fifth or sixth in the Witches Theme, depending on whether Equal Rites is counted.King Verence and Queen Magrat of Lancre have had their first child, a daughter, and have invited all the nearby rulers to her naming ceremony. Unfortunately, this includes the de Magpyr family of vampires from neighboring Überwald, and now that they've been invited to Lancre, they have no intention of leaving. It's up to the witches, along with a drippy Omnian priest called Mightily Oats, to defeat them and save the kingdom from its new vampire overlords.Preceded by The Last Continent, followed by The Fifth Elephant. Preceded in the Witches series by Maskerade, followed by The Wee Free Men.
Acquired Garlic Immunity: The de Magpyrs have built up a tolerance to, among other things, garlic, holy water, sunlight, and OCD.
Having used this method to build up tolerance to holy symbols ends up backfiring on them. Near the end of the novel, the 'Weatherwaxing' they undergo after trying to vampirize Granny strips them of their tolerance — and the de Magpyrs realize that the weakness is dependent on the vampire recognizing that the holy symbol is a holy symbol, and their training has given them a very broad knowledge of holy symbols, many of which are common geometric figures...
Acrofatic: Whenever Perdita takes over Agnes' body. Agnes has a quite a lot of muscle she never knows how to use.
Affably Evil: Count de Magpyr insists that he is Affably Evil and talks like a self help guru - but in actuality his attempts at being friendly and affable lead to him being a far greater horror than his genuinely Affably Evil uncle.
And I Must Scream: Used as a threat by Granny. While (presumably) there's no way to permanently kill off a vampire, it's entirely possible to, say, trap said vampire in gaseous form in a bottle and then drop the bottle from the edge of the Disc.
No way that they're aware of, anyway, although Witches Abroad indicates that being eaten by a cat will do the trick.
Arc Words: "Everyone knows that, who knows anything about vampires," and "Everywhere I look I see something holy."
Assimilation Backfire: The Magpyrs suck Granny Weatherwax's blood and attempt to turn her. She survives the experience without becoming a vampire; the Magpyrs aren't so lucky, however, as feeding on Granny Weatherwax has allowed her to turn them. By the end, they're craving tea instead of blood and even talking like her.
Awesome McCoolname: Inverted, the vampire teenagers all have "Goth" birth names like Lacrimosa, so they think calling themselves "Wendy" or "Susan" is edgy and rebellious.
A key moment comes when he's alone with Granny in a wet, cold forest at night, afraid she's going to freeze to death, and the only dry material he has that could start a fire to warm her up is the paper his Bible... er, Book of Om is printed on. He recalls a passage that says, "Where there is darkness we will make a great light..." He takes out the Book again... and makes a great light.
Importantly, the whole book Oats had tried to gain faith by reading random passages from the Book of Om. When he meets Granny she stresses that he has the ability to make his own faith...and in the end, he does.
Batman Gambit: Granny getting the vampires to bite her so that she could control the blood inside them.
Battle in the Center of the Mind: Many. Granny resists being turned into a vampire, Oats and questioning his faith, Agnes fights the allure of Vlad and becoming a beautiful, powerful, eternally-young vampire.
Berserker Rage: Verence, of all people, succumbs to this when the Feegles give him an overdose of Big Aggie's battle-brew. He breaks Jason Ogg's nose and needs half the men in Lancre Village to restrain him from bashing his way through his own castle's oaken doors.
Bilingual Bonus: The title. It's a play on the Latin phrase "Carpe Diem" (seize the day). "Carpe Jugulum" means "seize the throat".
Sadly, in a lot of languages, the phrase "Carpe Diem" is not commonly used in its Latin form, but is simply translated, which also led to the book's title getting translated to the actual language, thus losing the bilingual bonus.
The musical beer stein that Shirl Ogg gave Nanny plays a German tune that translates as "I am a drunken pig".
Nanny uses Granny's "I can't be having with all this" at one point, but the other witches are quick to point out that it's just not the same.
Borrowing Granny's mannerisms is one of the first signs that she's infected the vampyres instead of the other way around.
Likewise when Granny leaves Nanny and Magrat's mannerisms start to change to reflect their new roles in the coven (Nanny has taken Granny's place as the Hag and Magrat has become the Mother). Fortunately it doesn't stick.
Burn the Witch!: When Oats mentions the records of Omnians doing this, Granny suggests that the victims were more likely ordinary old women who looked like easy targets. In her opinion, witches are more likely to be the ones doing the burning ("We ain't all nice.")
Oats is something of an update to Small Gods. He laments that his faith's new direction of spending their time arguing points of dogma and comparative religion studies lacks the passion they had in earlier times. This proves Brutha's reforms worked well; when they had that fire, they were a terrible force that focused more on the monolithic church than on Om, resulting in only a single believer of Om within an enormous institution believing in nothing except itself that declared terrible holy wars in its own name. Now the church is less militant, it has spread across the continent. Ultimately Oats ends up striking a balance between pre-Brutha Omnianism and post-Brutha Omnianism that eliminates the worst aspects of both. It seems to be working pretty well.
Oats is also referenced in I Shall Wear Midnight as having become an inspiration to other preachers of the church of Om who have taken up his teachings
There are also a lot of continuity nods to Lords and Ladies, in particular the reappearance of many minor characters.
For example, it is shortly mentioned that one of the would-be-witches from Lords and Ladies now has a baby. But to actually recognize her, you have to have read Maskerade too (because she took her husband's last name). The references in this book and Maskerade are both well hidden in lists of random names used as examples for a recent topic.
Contractual Genre Blindness: Traditional vampires like the old count did this (for very good reason) and Igor does it too (though mostly just to aggravate the new count who he finds insufferable as he refuses to stick to the old ways) though the old count did it so people wouldn't try to make sure he stayed dead, Igor does it as a matter of style (which is integral to being an Igor)
Convenient Weakness Placement: Deliberate on the part of the Old Count, who kept a flowing moat, easily-opened curtains, and objects that could be bent into religious symbols lying around to give his victims a fighting chance.
And to encourage his killers not to take extreme efforts. Be easily dispatched, and it'll be called a day once you're dust. Be hard to kill, and they'll make certain you stay dead for a long time.
Covert Pervert: Magrat. This shocks even Nanny. Magrat reminds her that she is a married woman and a mother now.
Daywalking Vampire: The vampires have gotten rid of their sunlight problems with the power of positive thinking.
Decon-Recon Switch: Of the Classical Movie Vampire, especially Dracula himself. The Magpyrs are the deconstruction, having overcome their various weaknesses and dropped the Villain Ball so that they can be effective monsters and rule over humanity. Granny presents the reconstruction, and this is demonstrated by the Old Count, who is just enough of a threat that his victims get to have a fun adventure without anybody getting seriously hurt.
Verence fits multiple uses of "respect" into a single paragraph. Lampshaded by Nanny.
Dirty Business: Granny doesn't like having to make all decisions that she's had to make.
Early Installment Weirdness: The Nac Mac Feegle are pretty similar to their later portrayal in the Tiffany Aching books, but their accent is quite stronger. Also, Terry stated that childrens' books are "...written with the knob turned down a level, so it will be more accessible to the younger market." This was probably deliberate "de-obfuscation" so that young readers wouldn't be going "Mummy, what's he saying there?" every other line.
Eat Me: Granny letting the vampires suck her blood.
Once Count von Magpyr takes baby Esmerelda hostage, Igor decides that enough's enough and revives the old Count. (Killing his dog probably factored into it, too.)
Even the count, to a little extent. When Lacrimosa mentions they should put Granny out of her misery, she likens it to when the Count said the same thing about her cat. The Count clarifies that what he really meant was for her to stop what she was doing to it.
Genre Savvy: The Magpyr vampires. They train themselves to overcome vampire weaknesses, and mock the old count for his Hammer Horror style Genre Blindness - easily-opened curtains, objects easily broken into holy symbols and stakes, copious holy water, etc. Turns out the old count is far more Genre Savvy than his offspring. He deliberately allows humans to exploit his weaknesses so that, being an easily dispatched villain and giving the village boys something to feel good about, he is never Killed Off for Real.
Go Fetch: Death plays fetch with Scraps, at least until Igor resurrects the Franken-dog.
Good Old Ways: Everyone agrees that the old fashioned vampires were better.
Heart in the Wrong Place: The Old Count turns out to have an anatomical chart showing where the heart is to help would-be heroes, otherwise he might end up leaky as a colander.
Heel Realization: The Count outright asks the villagers of Escrow to look at him, and then at the newly-resurrected previous Count, believing that the comparison will convince them that he's the better of the two. But Villainous Breakdown ensues when he realizes that being Dangerously Genre Savvy is considered far, far worse than the old Count's intentional use of the Villain Ball. Vlad gets this too, presumably, since he genuinely believes that the alternative for Escrow that his father offers is better than what it used to be.
Heroic BSOD: Granny Weatherwax, when she thinks she's becoming unnecessary.
Living Shadow: Played straight, when King Verence's (second) shadow has to be removed and "killed" by the Nac Mac Feegle (with a well-aimed crossbow bolt) because its presence allows the vampires to control Verence.
Lots of Luggage: In a maternal variant, when Magrat leaves the castle, she insists that Reverend Oats haul along every toy, blanket, nappy bag, basin, potty or bath item which her baby daughter might possibly need. Most are things which an infant that age won't be old enough to require for months, and they're only away for a day or two.
Magpies as Portents: Flocks of them. Pterry jokes that none of the traditional counting rhymes work very well because "they're not the ones the magpies use."
Make Me Wanna Shout: Agnes's superhuman vocal range lets her scream high and loud enough to stun keen-eared vampires, albeit not for long.
Mercy Kill: Granny sometimes did something similar; she didn't actually kill people, but she helped them to die. "There was no need for desperate stuff with a pillow, or deliberate mistakes with the medicine. You didn't push them out of the world, you just stopped the world pulling them back. You just reached in, and... showed them the way."
Our Vampires Are Different: Notably, thanks to the Count training them with a little exposure at a time, the Magpyrs are not affected by traditional vampire weaknesses such as garlic, holy symbols, holy water, and sunlight.
Also, the vampires of de Magpyr family turn into flocks of magpies instead of bats.
They're also capable of conventional reproduction, as Vlad and Lacci were both born as vampires.
The trope is also invoked in the story, since the method for disposing a vampire depends on which village he's from. And a footnote compares vampirism to diseases — some are extremely virulent and deadly, and some just make you avoid fruit and walk funny.
Goth: Completely turned on its head: Lacrimosa and her vampire friends partake in a subculture that has them wearing bright colours, pretending to drink wine, staying up well past Midday, and adopting names like "Henry" and "Freda".
Pragmatic Villainy: The Count occasionally objects to his daughter's sadistic habits, but not for altruistic reasons. They discuss the phoenix, concluding that it's absurd for a bird to burn. After all, Lacrimosa tried with a chicken — the count says that she really should have killed it first because at least then it would've been quieter.
Countess: And we met such lovely people. Do you remember Mr and Mrs Harker? Count: Very fondly. I recall they lasted nearly all week.
Reverse Psychology: The Magpyr's castle is named Don'tGoNearThe Castle, and route is regularly marked by signs like "Don't take this quickest route to the Castle". According to Igor, it was always full of guests.
The Count and Countess reminisce about their honeymoon, where they met (and killed) Mr and Mrs Harker.
A subtle one to Jurassic Park: Hodgesaargh the falconer does a quick count of his birds and is satisfied that none are missing, that he has 50 as usual. A more careful count, prompted by Granny Weatherwax, reveals that he actually has 51.
Also Mightily Oats, to a much lesser extent - he just hasn't named it. At least not formally. He does have a habit of calling his "two selves" Good Oats and Bad Oats. Both his pious and skeptical sides agree with the terms, but have different interpretations of who is who.
Too Dumb to Fool: More like, Too Singleminded To Fool. Hodgesaargh reckons a bird is a bird is a bird, even if it's a phoenix, and goes hunting for it like he would any other.
Took A Level In Bad Ass: With a little coaching from Granny, Mightily Oats goes from a wishy-washy priest wracked with doubt and inner turmoil to chopping off the head of the evil Count Magpyr with a single axe blow.
Trojan Horse: Agnes and Oats sneak into the castle by hiding in some empty coffins that are being delivered. Luckily, the peasants who carry them in are too befuddled from being fed upon to notice the difference in weight.
Granny defeats the vampires by putting part of herself in the vampires but using Nanny to make them think she put herself elsewhere
Vampire Invitation: A significant plot point. Verence sends a formal invitation to the Magpyrs for the naming ceremony, failing to consider what a very bad idea this might be.
Vampire Vannabe: Inverted. Normal rebellious teenagers start dressing in black and giving themselves elaborate names. Vampire rebellious teenagers, apparently, try to act like ordinary people for the same reason.
When the witches go after Granny to the "gnarly ground", an Empathic Environment, Nanny says that it's perfectly safe to take Magrat's baby daughter with them, because "it's Granny's thoughts that are shaping this place. But she wouldn't raise a hand to a child. Couldn't do it. Hasn't got it in her."
After Granny's blood has its effect on the vampires, she's certain that they won't hurt baby Esmerelda, because she wouldn't.
More traditionally, the first thing the Magpyrs do is beat Granny in psychic battle.
The Count was wrong about this, the witches never defeated the villains themselves, they just meddled so a deuteragonist could get the cojones/chance/abilities to do so. He fails to understand this, and he gets taken out by the deuteragonist.
The first indication of how formidable the Nac Mac Feegle can be? Greebo is scared of them.
Wine Is Classy: Played with, where the human subculture of vampires are considered freaks because they file down their teeth, wear bright colors, stay up past noon, and drink... wine.