Fridge: Feet of Clay

Fridge Brilliance

  • After hearing details about Cockbill Street, it suddenly makes a lot more sense that Vimes has always been described as short and skinny. Severe malnutrition in childhood does tend to have that effect.
  • When Sam Vimes thinks of Stoneface Vimes, he quotes from Stoneface's Journal: "In the fires of struggle let us bake the new men, who will not heed the old lies." This is exactly what Sam Vimes does in the end, telling Carrot to rebuild Dorfl - Dorfl is destroyed in a fight, baked in fire in a pottery oven, and he does not heed the old lies - he knows he can own himself, doesn't need to have a master, and doesn't believe religion to be important even if gods do exist.
  • Dorfl states that when he is off duty he will debate the existence of gods. A few pages earlier, he tells Vimes that because he does not eat, sleep, or need to bury his granny he needs no time off. Meaning, the next time he will be off duty will be when he is dead and can debate with the gods directly.
    • Sooner than that, though—Going Postal establishes that every free Golem gets one day off per week.
  • The effect of Carrot putting his receipt for Dorfl the golem in Dorfl's head is obvious when you look at the Exact Words of the receipt: "I Gerhardt Sock give the barer full and totarl ownorship of the Golem Dorfl in xchange for One Dolar and anythinge it doz now is his responisbility and nuthing to doe with me." Dorfl was given new words to obey, words telling him that he owned himself and that he was responsible for his own actions. This sudden introduction to the concept of philosophical agency is a Disc-shattering revelation to someone who's been unable to do anything but take orders from a master for his entire centuries-long existence, so it's no wonder Dorfl went a little crazy and raised a ruckus.
    • Yet it also adds a heartwarming element to his later actions (and sums up The Anti-Nihilist trope perfectly): You own yourself, and your only obligation is to take responsibility for all your actions. Therefore, Dorfl chooses to take actions for which he will be proud to take responsibility - capturing villains, saving lives, freeing his fellow golems, and existing 'To Protect And Serve'.
    Dorfl:a I Could Take No Notice Of That Command, But I Obey Out Of Earned Respect.
  • Very minor tidbit of Brilliance: when Angua finds the discarded matchsticks, she notes that they haven't had their inflammable tips applied yet, and wonders if one of the golems worked in a match factory. Later, after Dibbuk's suicide, one of the foundry-workers suggests that a replacement be purchased from the sawmill, which wants to get rid of its golem: reputedly, it'd sawed a valuable trunk into matchsticks. Rebelling-by-working and acquiring something it needed, all in one go? Golem efficiency at its finest.
  • The revelation that the golems are morally-culpable individuals rather than clay machines, possessed of real feelings and (as Going Postal would verify) a soul, isn't as much of a surprise if you consider the testimony of the one character who'd know for sure if they're people or not. In his conversation with the late Mr. Hopkinson, Death himself refers to the bread-expert's attacker as the man's "murderer" rather than his "killer", and soulless machines can't commit murder. Death's surely collected the souls of destroyed golems before.
  • The four dwarf constables who react to Cheery's skirt are stated to have just come off patrol on King's Way. If you check one of the published maps of Ankh-Morpork, you'll find that King's Way and Park Lane are connected, meaning that the dwarfs who were acting so intolerant of Cheery are the same dwarfs which Mr. Catterail wrote his bigoted letter to the Watch about. Sexism meets racism.

Fridge Horror

  • Vetinari admits to Drumknott that he had the poisoned candle trick figured out ages before anyone else... meaning that he is directly responsible for the deaths of William and old Mrs. Easy, and could have spared them at any time if he hadn't been so patronizingly intent on letting Vimes "have his fun". But there is no indication that he knows or cares about their deaths, while the fact that Dragon and Carry didn't know or care about the deaths of little people inadvertently caught up in their schemes is used to illustrate how monstrous they ultimately are.
    • Not necessarily—Mildred Easy is sent for to go home the day before the funeral, presumably because her family members are already dead or taken ill, meaning that she'd taken the poisoned candles to them at some point before that. Her absence from the palace is only revealed as Detritus and Vimes question the servants in a scene immediately following Vimes being summoned back because Vetinari's condition has worsened. Since Vetinari doesn't actually allow himself to continue to be poisoned once he figures out the source, he clearly hasn't by that point, meaning that in all likelihood, Mrs. Easy and William died before he knew.
  • Way back in Guards! Guards!, the dragon King's demand for maidens to devour specified that they be of the highest social rank: a requirement that Wonse says has something to do with flavor. This makes perfect sense in retrospect, as Dragon King of Arms has been manipulating the upper classes' marital selections for many, many centuries, and he never did specify in what respect he was trying to "improve the race". The blood-sucking S.O.B. may well have been breeding the nobility to have better flavor as victims, and the great dragons had caught onto this before they vanished!
  • The Rats Chamber in the Patrician's Palace features a painted ceiling, in which rats dance in a ring with their tails intertwined at the center. Go read The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, and then re-think the implications of that image being displayed in a room where ruthless conspirators meet to plot domination over the city. Have mind-controlling Rat Kings secretly ruled Ankh-Morpork in the past? Is that why its previous kings and Patricians kept going insane, and why they always allowed the city to remain such a rats'-paradise hellhole?

Fridge Logic

  • If slavery is illegal in Ankh-Morpork, and this novel establishes that you can be a magically-created lifeform that's incapable of speech and still be protected from enslavement by this stricture, then why are imps (which could always talk) still being bought and sold for use in Magitek cameras, tape recorders and PDAs in so many books to follow?