troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Thief of Time
WMGs for Discworld / Thief of Time

Lord Vetinari is the son of Susan Sto Helit and Lobsang Ludd
His ancestry is never really discussed in the books, beyond his having an Aunt (and since Susan is part of the Sto Plains nobility, she probably has lots of distant relatives that could take care of him.) The Assassin's Guild is known as being a common place to leave infants (much like Lobsang and Jeremy were at their respective Guilds.) And really, he has a lot of characteristics from both of them- Susan's massive unflappability, ability to bend people to their will just by glaring at them, and ability to move through solid objects, which he disguises with some fake secret doors. From his father he gains the ability to predict future events, his above average reflexes, and his boundless-seeming knowledge and super-fast problem solving skills. Also, being a cross between the two of them probably explains his ability to go without sleep, exist on very little food, and never need to care out basic hygienic tasks (while anyone's watching anyway.)
  • Except that is already an old man long before Susan and Lobsang ever even meet.
    • Between how messed up history is due to Monkish meddling and the fact that Lobsang is Time now, I don't think order of events matters much.
    • Well, Nanny Ogg said she had delivered Lobsang about 2 weeks prior to when the story was set, and he was somewhere in the 14-16ish age range, so Vetinari could have been sent back in time as well.
  • ...I love you. This is now canon in my mind.
  • Slight problem with this: her nobility goes back only one generation: Mort and Ysabel were created the Duke and Duchess Sto Helit. Ysabel was Death's adopted daughter, and as such was out of the world for at least 30 years. We never find out about her biological family except that she was orphaned at a very early age. It's possible, then, that Susan has a number of maternal great-aunts and great-uncles (and cousins from said lines of descent), but unlikely that she'd have any idea who they were. On the paternal side, the only confirmed relatives are Lezek, her paternal grandfather (who she remembered, but also remembered dying years before Soul Music), and Hamish (Susan's paternal great-uncle), who gets at best a two-page mention and is promptly forgotten about. I really can't see how she'd arrange fosterage on that side without messing up her own timeline.
    • Perhaps future!Susan tracked down Ysabel's sister or aunt, and convinced her to take care of young Havelock until he was old enough to live outside of time himself or choose to stay on the Disc, or until he became inextricable from present history?
    • Lady Merosole in Night Watch compares young Havelock to his father, in terms that imply he is deceased by then, and was well known to her.
  • But could any child of Susan's and grandchild of Ysabell's really be content, living a life without chocolate? And wouldn't a grandchild of Wen the Eternally Surprised look a bit more Hublandish?
    • Lobsang went unremarked. Hublanders don't really seem to look much different from Morporkians, aside from cultural differences in outfits and suchlike.
    • Although somebody did call Lu-Tze a "little yellow bastard", or words to that effect, in Small Gods.
    • Concerning the chocolate issue, Vetinari would also technically be the son of Jeremy Clockson. That should certainly be enough to cancel it out. Incidentally, the reason Death never contacts his great-grandson is that Vetinari is a dog lover.
    • Almost "right". But think of who else could be in the frame as the female incarnation of Time. One who has learnt to walk up and down the timelines at will. One who knew, because she had been born in Lancre and apprenticed to Granny Weatherwax, exactly where to go to find the world's best midwife, Nanny Ogg. One who, when she re-appears in the series in "I shall wear Midnight", explains that she has a son she must take care of...
    • wait a minute. You mean... Eska??!

Lu-Tze is actually Simon the Digger.
Think about it. Ancient badass doing overlooked menial labor. Spiral Power can keep you around for quite a while(as Lordgenome proved.) At some point he decided to see how the universe he saved would turn out. So, he found a new home on an odd little planet, replaced his drill with a broom, and found a menial job in a place where living several centuries wouldn't raise an eyebrow and went about his business.

Two versions of Lu-Tze existed simultaneously at the end of the Century of the Fruitbat: a little bald wrinkly smiling man, and a naive youth in search of perplexity.
Lu-Tze learned his Way from Mrs. Marietta Cosmopolite, dressmaker, whom we first met in Moving Pictures. She hadn't been born yesterday hundreds of years ago, and as he was only a novice and untrained in time manipulation, Lu-Tze couldn't have jumped ahead to her time. Furthermore, it was a flyer from the Ankh-Morpork Guild of Merchants that drew him to the city, and we know that this Guild only came into existence due to events in The Colour Of Magic. This suggests that Lu-Tze was born quite recently, and his discovery of the Way of Mrs. Cosmopilite happened during the time period covered by the novels. Once the History Monks saw what his new Way made him capable of, they moved him backward in time by several centuries, probably because none of the present monastery staff had a clue how to teach or challenge him. Aside from numerous side-treks into past and future eras of the world, he's lived out the centuries there ever since, eventually catching up with (and possibly even recruiting!) his youthful self.

If we don't actually see a young Lu-Tze in the series, of course, that doesn't invalidate this WMG. It only goes to show that the Closing of the Flower worked so very well, in his case, it even erased his youthful self's presence from all the other Discworld novels.
  • This makes perfect sense.

Clodpool the Apprentice is the Abbot
Wen himself went off to live in Time's glass palace, but we never get told what happened to his foolish apprentice. Presumably, Wen succeeded in teaching him about the nature of time ("It is fortuitous that you are my apprentice at this time, because if I can teach you, Clodpool, I can teach anyone"), and he went on to teach the next group of seekers after wisdom, becoming the first abbot of the order. Which, since the abbot is reincarnated, makes him the current abbot.
  • Awesome.
  • Except Small Gods says that the 59th Abbot was deposed and hunted down by his brethren for making bets on horse races using knowledge from the Books of History. That would break the line of succession.

Lu-Tze is a Time Lord
His broom is his Tardis.
  • That would honestly be a big step down.

The changes that the new personification of Time imposed on history laid the groundwork for Thud!.
When the new Time, formerly Lobsang & Jeremy, re-assembles history using the Procrastinators, he does more than just repair its fractures and re-start time. While some of the changes imposed would've been to cover up the glass clock — filling the shop with oranges, erasing Jeremy's history like Lobsang's had been, wiping Igor's memory of how to build one — he also took the opportunity to change things in other ways. The meta purpose of this was to justify discontinuities in the Discworld novels, but he might've also wanted to undo some damaging consequences of the previous glass clock: to be specific, how the repetitions of the Battle of Koom Valley had poisoned dwarf/troll relations for fifteen centuries.

While the History Monks wouldn't have had much choice in the matter, when they desperately patched up Discworld's history the first time, the new Time can't have overlooked how their slapdash repairs had provided a virulent point of contention between the two races. Because he'd been able to perceive everything — not just past, present and future as they were, but as they could be or have been — Time had the opportunity to revise reality in ways that would, within a few years, expose the truth behind the original Koom Valley conflict. All he needed to do was slightly adjust the history of a crackpot artist, add a very large mural to the Royal Art Gallery (which he'd had to repair anyway, to undo the Auditors' "art appreciation" efforts), and make sure a certain long-forgotten Device was speaking loud enough for tunnelers with ear-trumpets to detect. The unlikely coincidence that the individual in the best position to expose the truth, one Sir Samuel Vimes, just happened to have a copy of that same mural in his headquarters' attic, was no coincidence at all: neither the original mural nor Sybil's pantograph even existed, until Time's changes took effect.

Time looked at the possible future outcomes of history, both in his and all possible alternate timelines, and chose to apply those alterations which could correct Koom Valley's toxic side-effects, while leaving the rest of history as intact as possible. Then he sat back and watched it unfold, precisely as it needed to. Indeed, the fact that Time didn't intercept Vimes and Carcer in Night Watch and immediately send them home, despite how their presence thirty years ago endangered the course of past events, suggests that Time had a hand in that novel, too: perfect insight into history had warned him that only a Vimes who'd faced the terror of losing his family, and re-lived the events of the 25th of May, would have both the fatherly devotion to fight through stone, water and darkness in search of his son, and a conviction to tether the Beast so strong, it could confront the Summoning Dark and make it back down.

While Lobsang/Jeremy took on Lobsang's name and personality, he took on (part of) Jeremy's age.
I always pictured Jeremy as being at least ten years older than Lobsang (who is sixteen according to the book), partly because of his preternaturally colorless persona but also because of the way his timeline seems to be constructed (he seems to have had ashop for several years, for instance). I'd place him at about 25-30. When Lobsang first met Susan, they seemed to be each other's type but there was really no indication that they'd finish the story with a "perfect moment"- Susan just seemed to find Lobsang annoying. Of course- he was a teenage kid and Susan was at least twenty (judging by the fact that she was sixteen in Soul Music). Once he'd combined with Jeremy and taken on some of his age (in addition to the gravitas that kind of comes with the whole personification of Time thing), he was a lot more mature and around Susan's age, which could lead to an attraction even if there wasn't one before.
The Fifth ElephantWMG/DiscworldNight Watch

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
12756
6