YMMV / Discworld

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: There is quite a substantial group of fans who hold the view that Carrot is evil and/or The Chessmaster. It helps that he is almost never the POV character - we get to hear what Vimes or Angua think about him but hardly ever see Carrot's actual thoughts.
    • He has also set up Vetinari Job Security several times: the most obvious is in in The Fifth Elephant when he leaves to pursue Angua and Fred Colon is left in charge, the watch falls apart. Not surprising given that it's Fred Colon, but Vetinari lampshades that as everyone knows Vimes and Carrot will be back soon, no criminals take advantage of the Watch’s self destruction for fear of their wrath. The book ends with Carrot very politely bullying the collapsed watch back into shape by reminding them they swore an oath to the king to do their duty.
    • When Vetinari has trouble reading your motives, says things like, "You drive a hard bargain, Captain," and you reply, "I wasn’t aware I was driving a bargain at all, sir," and live you have to be The Chessmaster, albeit probably a benevolent one.
  • Archive Panic: 41 books, not counting the various canon supplementals.
  • Author Tract: Terry's views on religion, race, integration, etc etc etc became a lot more blatant after he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Lady Felmet from Wyrd Sisters is modeled after Lady Macbeth, only more sadistic and cruel. The Duchess participated in the overthrow and murder of King Verence I for her husband Leonald to gain the throne for her own benefit and power. Once she inherits her position, she encourages a brutal suppression of peasants and witches alike while using the Fool to spread a propaganda campaign. Revealing herself as a sadist who loves Cold-Blooded Torture, Lady Felmet personally engages in inventive torture with captives. When Granny Weatherwax removes the mental walls she put up and shows her all the evil in her own mind, she shrugs it off. Unlike most ''Discworld'' villains, the Duchess is fully aware how evil she is. She just doesn't care.
    • Jonathan Teatime from Hogfather is a Psychopathic Manchild. Lord Downey let him into the Assassin’s Guild out of pity that his parents died, only to later suspect that he killed them. If he is sent to kill someone, he will mercilessly slaughter them, their family, and their pets. He kills any accomplices he has the instant they're not currently useful to him, not excepting Ankh-Morpork's most gifted lock-picker who was an incredibly valuable asset to the Guild. He horrifies even hardened criminals who’ve earned their reputation on murder. The most terrifying thing about him is that he honestly doesn't understand that his sadistic behavior is wrong. He sees no difference between having a friendly chat with a man and stabbing him to death. The real kicker is when Teatime tries to use Death as a Human Shield against a weapon powered by the beliefs of children. It only hurts monsters, and goes through Death harmlessly, but kills Teatime stone dead.
    Susan: But... he was a man.
    Death: I think they know quite well what he was.

  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Despite Vimes' almost suicidal urge to be normal in a World Full Of Crazy, he often does things that fall under Refuge in Audacity, such as arresting the military leaders of both Ankh-Morpork and Klatch under charges of Behaviour Likely To Cause A Breach Of The Peace in Jingo.
    • AE Pessimal. Attacking a troll, of all things, with your teeth is pretty insane, especially when you remember trolls are living rocks.
    • Pretty much any scene where the Feegles cut loose. Actually, pretty much anything to do with the Feegles, really . . . They're just that awesome.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Granny Weatherwax started out as a supporting character in Equal Rites, but basically took over the book from the real protagonist by sheer force of awesome and ended up being the focus of the rest of the books set in Lancre.
    • Same with Vimes and the main Unseen University faculty (Ridcully, Ponder and the Librarian) taking over the Watch series (originally meant to be centered on Carrot) and the Rincewind series.
  • Genius Bonus: Everywhere. From the fake Latin, to obscure historical and cultural references...
    • Pratchett uses a lot of physics knowhow, especially with regard to the magic system. For instance, wizards have to deal with conservation of energy when translocating objects, and teleportation requires some very complex calculations. And the blue light that comes off Death's scythe, said to be atoms from the air being split? That really happens. It's called Cherenkov radiation.
    • Ankh-Morpork's awful cuisine, which is referenced particularly in The Fifth Elephant and Thief of Time, is based on two things: firstly, the pop-culture perception of British food being awful and/or British people making awful chefs, and secondly the very real lineage Britain has of low-quality food and ineffective quality control laws. Think the description of Ankh-Morpork chocolate in Thief of Time is awful? In the real world, underhanded British chocolate companies have tried since the earliest times to swindle customers by cutting their cocoa powder and hot chocolate with things like brick dust and red lead.
    • Makepeace Thomas Bounder, a cabbage-obsessed, potato-hating poet of awful skill featured in the Almanak, is a round-about Joseph Gwyer, a potato-obsessed poet who was so awful that he was described as the McGonagall of Penge.
  • Iron Woobie: Despite being the perpetual Buttmonkey, Verence always tries to do his job: be a fool and advisor to his king; an enlightened king to his people; and a husband to Magrat.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Granny Weatherwax is a powerful witch who exploits the misconceptions of others more than she bothers to use magic, often disguising herself as a dotty old woman, rather than one of the strongest magic users in the world.
    • Nanny Ogg, like Granny, is a powerful witch disguised behind a dotty old lady. And it's been suggested by the author that this dotty old lady bit has even fooled Granny, as Nanny may well be the stronger witch.
    • Lord Vetinari almost single-handedly turned a shitty city run by a cut-throat, utterly insane monarchy into a shitty city that is also a thriving metropolis run by a highly efficient government that, even if most people don't particularly like it, pretty much everyone acknowledges is one of the more successful systems in the world.
    • Lady Margolotta, who is also a Bastard Understudy. In The Fifth Elephant Vimes initially assumes she taught the young Vetinari, but turns out it was the other way around.
    • Moist, Magnificently self-Lampshaded:
      "I wonder... am I really a bastard or am I just really good at thinking like one?"
  • Nightmare Fuel: In Maskerade, Granny Weatherwax lists, in suspiciously specific detail, all the things she would do to someone physically, if she were a bad witch. But as she's not she just laughed an in no way evil laugh, and went to deal with Salzella via headology.
  • Stoic Woobie: Without a doubt, Death is the best person for his job, but it clearly takes its toll on him at times, most obviously when he has to collect the souls of his apprentice Mort and daughter Ysabell, at the end of their lifespans.
  • The Woobie:
    • All graduates of the Guild of Fools are "sad, beaten young men".
    • This is one of the reasons Magrat is attracted to Verence. He's even more wishy-washy than she is, and that's no mean feat.
    • Rincewind, who started out as a Jerkass Woobie in The Light Fantastic, has been smacked around by fate hard enough to lose the Jerkass by Interesting Times.
      • To put that into perspective: The other recurring protagonists of their respective sub-series', Tiffany Aching, Granny Weatherway, Sam Vimes, have year-long periods of happiness between their books. On the other hand, all of Rincewind's books end with him trapped in some hellish place until the start of his next book. The poor guy cannot get a break. The sole exception to this was the end of The Light Fantastic, where he had at least some peace and quiet until the events of Mort (and from there, until Sourcery happened later).
      • To Rincewind's boundless relief, his life seems to have gotten blissfully boring again in the wake of The Last Hero.
    • The Bursar just wanted a nice quiet bean-counting job and went librarian-poo dealing with Ridcully.
    • Otto. William describes thinking of not hiring him as like kicking a puppy.
    • Mr. Nutt. Of the iron variety. Despite his past and how people treat him when they discover his species, he continually seeks worth and always sees the brightest potential in those around him.
    • Brick, before Detritus took him under his wing.
    • Gaspode has his Woobie moments also.