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City of Ankh-Morpork

     Havelock Vetinari 

Current Patrician of Ankh-Morpork. A thin, bearded man with a Spartan lifestyle (no, not like that), his uncanny knowledge of human nature and unparalleled talent for scheming has allowed him to make Ankh-Morpork the most influential city on the Disc through economic and cultural might rather than force of arms. So good at his job that the Assassins' Guild refuses to accept contracts on his life, because without his control Ankh-Morpork would collapse. Fortunately, he is never, ever not in control, not even when he's arrested and locked in a dungeon cell. It's his dungeon cell, after all.

Succeeded "Mad Lord Snapcase" and "Homicidal Lord Winder". He is not named until Sourcery, but Word of God is that he had become Patrician before the events of The Colour of Magic. Vetinari may not be entirely human, but this has yet to be proven.

  • Actually Pretty Funny: He lets out a loud burst of laughter when Mister Nutt an orc who is being asked to go and help civilize other orcs, asks, "Who would you send to teach the humans?". He also apologizes for this.
  • Animal Espionage: In Guards! Guards!, Vetinari somehow manages to make an arrangement with the rats after being imprisoned. In return for him helping them, they will bring him news as to what is happening, both in terms of papers and gossip. It's implied that they were a result of the Unseen University's experiments, which is how they are so useful.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Vetinari has a variant: An Appointment You Can't Miss. When Vetinari wishes to talk to someone, a helpful secretary might swing by and remind the fellow that he has an appointment with His Lordship, no rush. But, should said person ignore the message, he's forcefully reminded by Palace Guards and Dark Clerks; while Vetinari might not feel the need to rush, said fellow most certainly will.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Like Vimes, Vetinari is well aware of how awful a place the world really is and how foolish and petty people really are... and he's set out to use that awfulness to make the city a better place. Rather than confront injustice head-on, he prefers to change the world through subtle trickery and manipulation, or just terrify it into behaving when needed.
  • Anti-Hero: Something between this and Anti-Villain. He's generally on the same side as the heroes but in a "pulling your strings to his own ends" way. In particular, Vetinari loves to get Vimes steaming mad, or Moist itchingly bored, and then set them loose on whatever thorn is currently in his side, removing the obstacle while maintaining plausible deniability.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Without any preparation, he instantly masters juggling skills in Jingo ("A few melons are nothing after Ankh-Morpork"). He can also solve the Times' Sudoku puzzles at a single glance and is the second-best crossword puzzler in the city. The Assassins' Guild Diary reveals that this dates back to his school days, when he was the academy's grandmaster at Stealth Chess: an extremely unpredictable, cutthroat game which he played blindfolded.
  • Badass Bookworm: He can solve crosswords in a matter of seconds and if pressed can solve physical confrontations even quicker.
  • Berserk Button: He regards performing a mime act within the city walls as a capital offense. By Patrician standards, this is merely an endearing quirk and is treated as such by the populace. On a more serious note, questioning Vetinari's devotion to the city, or implying in any way that he's anywhere close to the previous Patricians who definitely didn't care, is one of the few ways to make him truly angry.
  • Black and Grey Morality: He doesn't believe "good" is really possible but "less bad" is worth the effort, even worth a few deaths (although he keeps these to a minimum).
  • Bluff the Eavesdropper: Vetinari sends all his semaphore communiqués using codes that are "fiendishly difficult" but not unbreakable. If a spy can't break them, great, they shouldn't be doing so. If they do, he'll then know what information is being passed on.
  • Characterisation Click Moment: The Patrician who appears in The Colour of Magic seems considerably at odds with later appearances of Havelock Vetinari, to the point that many readers assumed that this was the previous Patrician and that Vetinari had taken over between The Colour of Magic and Sourcery. However, Word of God from Terry Pratchett is that the two Patricians were the same man and the real difference was that he had become a better writer between the two books. The Patrician is identifiable as Ventinari in his second appearance in Sourcery, and fully formed by Guards! Guards! (the juxtaposition with Sam Vimes seems to be a major factor in helping to define Vetinari's personality).
  • Characterization Marches On: Pratchett had to confirm that the first book's Patrician is, in fact, Vetinari because that Patrician displays none of his distinctive traits from later books. note  One fan theory is that Vetinari was putting on a disguise of sorts to lull the political establishment of Ankh-Morpork into a false sense of security while he strengthened his hold.
  • The Chessmaster: Downplayed. Vetinari's real genius is not in "planning for everything" (although he is prepared for a great many things) but in staying just ahead of unfolding events and directing them to his benefit. And while he can be surprised on occasion, any move against him had better utterly succeed in destroying him, otherwise he'll return the favor with interest ten moves down the line.
  • The Comically Serious: Every time he's in a scene with someone like Fred Colon, as Vetinari reacts with solemnity to every idiotic thing that comes out of the other person's mouth while subtly highlighting the absurdity.
  • Cultured Badass: In Going Postal, discusses philosophy with Drumknott. Also, he plays the Discworld equivalent of chess. He also received a classical education- from the Assassin's Guild.
  • The Cynic: He really does not have a lot of faith in people, seeing them mostly as pieces to be moved around and obstacles to overcome. However, when it comes to long term planning, his goals are fairly optimistic and designed to protect Ankh-Morpork and its people.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He dresses entirely in black, rides in a black coach, and his family coat of arms is black on black, and yet he is probably the Biggest Good in all of the Disc.
  • Deadpan Snarker: People live in fear of the mere possibility of Vetinari getting sarcastic at them.
  • Death Glare: Never delivered in anger (because he doesn't need to do anger), but a casual, sustained gaze from Lord Vetinari is enough to make most men wilt. Seen most obviously in the television adaptations, where he is played by the very intimidating Jeremy Irons and Charles Dance.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Usually averted, but just occasionally something takes him by surprise:
    • In Guards! Guards!, he was not expecting Colon and Nobby to, as a reward for "saving the city" from a dragon and conspiracy, ask for a minor pay rise, a darts board and a new kettle. He also, despite his best efforts, did not quite look low enough down the barrel for conspirators, which is how Lupine Wonse managed to scrounge together the Elucidated Brethren.
    • In Thud!, the revelation that previously-boring bureaucraft A.E. Pessimal charged a troll - beings of solid rock - and tried to bite one leaves him genuinely confused.
  • Dissonant Serenity: He is unruffled even in the midst of disaster. It is a very rare day when someone manages to surprise a visible reaction out of him.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Word of God says "Vetinari" is a pun on "Medici" ('veterinary' as opposed to 'medical'), hence his insulting school nickname "Dog-botherer". Vetinari finds this offensive mostly in its lack of imagination.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Though he's not really that evil, he is a tyrant and will use his wide ranging powers and authority to do what he feels is in the best interest of the city. He does, however, have some lines he will not cross. For some it is a quick way to being deposed by unhappy people and for others by his own moral code.
    • He will not order the assassination of old ladies whose actions hinder his plans. The fact Moist only barely hinted he might have and said nothing more is one reason Vetinari didn't kill him for the insinuation.
    • He will not tolerate slavery under any circumstance. The fact the Umnian golems cannot have their chem removed or altered to free them as other golems are freed makes him decide they are property like a hammer and not sapient beings.
    • He will not tolerate genocide, feeling karma would come back harshly on those who pursue such things or by inaction don't try to stop it. It's one of the few times he'll order assassination even when it doesn't really benefit him or his agenda.
  • Evil vs. Evil: His view of the world, as Vetinari's Breaking Lecture in Guards! Guards! demonstrates ("There are always and only the evil people, but sometimes they are on different sides").
  • The Extremist Was Right: Vetinari's original plan to stabilize Ankh-Morpork included legalizing the Thieves' Guild and other criminal societies and winding down institutions such as the Watch and the Post Office. And it worked. Of course, once crime and the Guilds are under control, he can afford to wind other things up again...
  • Famed in Story: In The Shepherd's Crown a goblin invokes his protection against the Queen of the Elves. Although she ultimately (and wrongly) concludes he's lying, the thought of provoking Vetinari almost causes her to outright panic.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Something he's very good at, and which his imitators aspire to match.
  • Genius Cripple: After he gets shot in Men at Arms, he walks with a cane. He was a genius before, of course, but it seems like he gets even cleverer after that point.
  • Genre Savvy: How he holds onto power despite Ankh-Morpork being impossible to plan for. With the Disc's Theory of Narrative Causality, as long as Vetinari can identify what narrative genre is relevant, he can play its tropes to manipulate events. See Wrong Genre Savvy below for what happens when he misidentifies the genre.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's a dictator who nevertheless uses his intelligence to make Ankh-Morpork better.
  • Handicapped Badass: He walks with a limp, but he's still badass. In The Truth, Vimes suggests his bad leg might be the reason he apparently fell trying to get on a horse, and William de Worde realizes it makes it particularly unlikely he could have gone anywhere carrying hundreds of pounds of coins, but he still nearly managed to foil the New Firm thanks to a small dagger and the fact he moves "like a snake". (They still got him anyway, but it was a close thing, and Tulip, a man capable of punching out trolls - a feat previously restricted to fellow trolls, Captain Carrot, and the Librarian - remarks that the only reason Vetinari didn't get them was because he was so surprised by his doppelganger.) In Raising Steam, he gets to be particularly badass.
  • Hidden Depths: His relationship with Lady Margolotta (in The Fifth Elephant and subsequent books) came as a surprise; he'd previously displayed no signs of a private life at all. As hinted at in The Truth, and seen in Night Watch, he's also a very competent fighter and a master of stealth. He failed his Stealth exam in Assassin school because the proctor marked him absent. The treatise he's writing in Feet of Clay and his monologue on evil in Unseen Academicals indicate that he's also given a great deal of thought to the moral implications of his actions.
  • Indy Ploy: While he's better known for being a master at Xanatos Speed Chess, Vetinari can be called upon to personally pull off some insane stunts on the fly and succeed (See him juggling and doing magic tricks without having ever done any of that before). Indeed, according to Pratchett, his whole approach is closer to this than any kind of master-planning - "a smart man plans, but a wise man steers". His is the Indy Ploy as it might be practiced by a Chessmaster.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: As he's The Anti-Nihilist with a Black-and-Gray Morality worldview. He's sufficiently angry about the state of the world that he considers it his moral obligation to act.
  • Large and in Charge: Is described as very thin, and very tall. When Reacher Gilt tries his 'look down his nose to intimidate people' trick on Vetinari, all the Patrician has to do is just stand there for it to not work.
  • Logical Weakness: Vetinari's skills at reading, manipulating, and intimidating people depend on people having goals and mindsets he can understand. A true Wild Card or insane Well-Intentioned Extremist is someone he can't directly counter, instead forcing him to rely on those he can manipulate to do so at his behest:
    • The most prominent example is the affair with Coin the Sourcerer, who has no needs or fears that Vetinari can play on, and so he simply turns Vetinari into a lizard and takes over.
    • Another would be Cohen the Barbarian during his last hurrah in The Last Hero, though Vetinari is by this point savvy to the fact that Cohen doesn't have any levers he can operate.
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong: His job as Patrician keeps the city running through his ruthless actions, but he's Genre Savvy enough to know when to show mercy, how to play sides and how to keep everyone terrified about the things he knows that they hope he never finds out about. He never acts on the ambition of acquiring more power - already having enough as it is - and is more obsessed with maintaining a kind of order to the city. Above all, he avoids crossing the line from Fear to Hate most of the time (the ones who hate him are the ones who ARE ambitious and thus dangerous), and best of all creates grudging respect out of the people he manipulates. Vetinari realises that whether you are loved or feared is ultimately immaterial. What matters is that you are indispensable. (Which means in fact he is closer to the real lesson of The Prince than The Theme Park Version.)
  • The Man Behind the Man: Vetenari is well aware there are plots against him. In fact, he's responsible for some of them.
  • Manipulative Bastard: One of the greatest in all of literature, especially in later books, where he rarely has to take any personal action to remove annoyances from his path: he just has to find someone capable of solving the problem and then find the levers to get them moving. He's charismatic and respected as well because of the subtlety and Politeness Judo with which he does this, and the fact that his larger goal is always the welfare of the city. Any Ankh-Morpork citizen will be happy to tell you that he's an evil, vicious, manipulative tyrant... but they'll have great difficulty saying what exactly he's done that's so bad, and how he's personally harmed them. And they all agree that any potential replacement would be far, far worse.
    • His solution to the out-of-control rates of crime, theft and murder before the Watch had anything like power was to legalise those crimes, have the newly formed Guilds of Thieves and Assassins (or empowered, in the latter case, as the Assassins appear to have been around for a very long time) limit their activities, prevent unlicensed amateurs from stealing their business (using all their creativity and a variety of pointed objects if necessary)...and then pointing out that, since they are legitimate guilds who attend meetings and such, he knows exactly who they are, where they live, and just which of these pieces of information would screw them most were he to offer them to the now-extremely-competent-and-powerful City Watch should the established order be disrupted. For the most part, they behave.
  • Man of the City: Havelock Vetinari is scheming, manipulative, occasionally ruthless and always two steps ahead of the game, and has managed the city into becoming an economically booming, multicultural melting pot (with big lumps) that's presided over one of the greatest periods of peace and prosperity in centuries. And he does it all for Ankh-Morpork.
  • Mind Screw: He's really good with the psychological warfare (most of the time it's just his enemies being Properly Paranoid), but special mention must be given to the clock in his waiting room, which ticks and tocks at completely random intervals, turning the best prepared mind 'into a sort of porridge'.
  • Morality Pet: Wuffles, his elderly and much beloved terrier. Possibly replaced after his death by Mr. Fusspot (in Making Money).
  • Never Gets Drunk: Subverted. In Unseen Academicals he drinks an entire room full of football hooliga— er, team captains — under the table. He is drunk as a skunk afterwards, but for someone with Vetinari's level of self-control this just means a few seconds slower at the crossword and unusually talkative. And he stubbed his toe.
  • Not So Above It All: Somehow no matter how often he gets drawn into silly antics, makes bad puns, or struggles to keep a straight face at other characters' amusing remarks (which is actually fairly often), there's always the sense that he's usually much more dignified and only occasionally descends to the level of others' silliness.
  • Not So Invincible After All: Downplayed. Vetinari's manipulative skills and ability to scheme on the fly generally gives him an immense level of safety, but he has canonically been caught off-guard and even injured at several points throughout the series, from being turned into a lizard by Coin the Sourcerer to being shot in the leg by an assassin to being taken down by the New Firm in The Truth - though in the latter case, as the New Firm note, even catching him by surprise, the only reason that he didn't get them was because he was surprised by his doppelganger.
  • Not So Stoic: It's a rare thing for Vetinari to be caught off-guard, but it does happen.
    • In one of the more extreme examples, he knocks his chair over when Vimes accuses him to "buy and sell" people in Jingo. He makes very clear that, while he manipulated everyone, he did so to prevent a war from taking place.
      Vetinari: And you say bought and sold? All right. But not, I think, needlessly spent.
    • In Thud!, when Vimes informs him that A.E Pessimal fought a troll, Vetinari almost goes into shock, repeatedly asking Vimes to confirm that they're talking about the same person.
    • Another Jingo example is that, when Leonardo de Quirm mentions having visited Leshp before, Vetinari leaves the room — then does an offscreen Double Take and comes sprinting back up the stairs (and playing a dangerous version of hopscotch to avoid all the booby traps along the way) to all but demand an explanation for how that's possible.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Walks with a cane because of an injury sustained in an attempted assassination in Men at Arms. It's left open how much of this is an act to encourage people to underestimate his physical strength and how much is a genuine disability that he's tough enough to ignore when required.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: As noted by Mr. Slant in Going Postal, Vetinari loves to play ignorant, to seem uninterested or mildly curious about some subject matter to lure others in the conversation into a false sense of superiority. And then he strikes with a mind as sharp as Carrot's sword.
  • Permanent Elected Official: Vetinari believes strongly in One Man, One Vote. He is the One Man, he has the One Vote.
  • Pet the Dog: Vetinari's not what you could call a "good" person, but he's capable of genuine kindness once in a while. He agrees to Carrot's request to rehome Gaspode the Wonder Dog (though sadly Gaspode decides he prefers street life) in Men at Arms. And of course, there's his relationship with Wuffles the terrier, whom he mourned when the dog passed away.
  • Plain Palate: He believes that water and half a slice of dry bread is "an elegant sufficiency".
  • Professional Killer: Was trained as one in the Assassins' Guild and can be reasonably named as the best of them, though the only people he's known to kill are Carcer's Unmentionables and possibly one very stupid highwayman who waylaid his coach.
  • Punny Name: By Word of God, a pun on "Medici".
  • Regent for Life: The Patricianship is, hypothetically, there as a placeholder for the King. When the king does return, though, Vetinari still keeps his job, though that's because the king doesn't want to claim his birthright and is happy being a humble watchman. He also keeps his job (and his life) for a lot longer than most Patricians.
  • The Rival:
    • The future Lord Downey was this when the two were at the Assassin's Guild together, with Downey repeatedly bullying him and seeking to embarrass him. Downey's likely kicking himself in hindsight.note 
    • The little old lady who sells dog food and can solve crosswords even faster than he can. She starts writing them later, and in Snuff produces one he couldn't solve. note  He grudgingly admits that she has won.
  • Scars Are Forever: The injury from Men at Arms leaves him walking with a cane for the rest of the books (although note Obfuscating Disability above).
  • Secret Keeper: In Night Watch, he's one of the few to know that "John Keel" was really a time-travelling Sam Vimes. He didn't outright know at first, but had his suspicions over time and Vimes ends up confirming them at the end of the book.
  • Shoot the Dog: How he sees the removal of some "obstacles" to the city's prosperity and stability. He'll have people killed, but he doesn't take joy in it, and often with some reluctance. And not just on their part.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: The lady who composes The Times's crossword. He seems to complete it religiously and outwardly expresses glee when he beats a particularly hard one.
  • The Social Expert: Seen especially in Going Postal when he meets with the Board of the Grand Trunk company. He knows exactly who is in charge, and exactly how to play the members off one another to make them nervous.
  • Stealth Expert: He got into trouble in his student days for constantly being marked absent from stealth lessons. Unlike other Assassins, Vetinari doesn't obey the style guides, which stipulate an Assassin must always wear black (because it looks cool, and Assassins take style seriously), instead preferring dark greens or greys, which blend in much better than black.
  • Stealth Mentor: It's never explicitly said, but gathering from a few innocuous comments by the man and his closest confidants, he seems to be grooming Vimes for a life in high-stakes politics and Thud-playing. Vimes, for his part, learns quite a few lessons, all without losing the essence that makes him Vimes.
  • Unholy Matrimony: His endlessly ambiguous relationship with Lady Margolotta... for a very limited value of 'unholy', of course.
  • Vetinari Job Security: Trope Namer, obviously: while no one actually likes him, everyone is reluctant to replace him because no one else would be capable of playing all the guilds and other groups off one another so successfully. Raising Steam also gives us the interesting wrinkle of Vetinari making use of his double, a guy named Charlie, originally introduced in an earlier story, who has actually gotten to be pretty good at impersonating him. Perhaps if he died he wouldn't have to "die."
  • The Villain Knows Where You Live: "Villain" is pushing it, but shortly after he became Patrician, he gave the guilds more power. After a short while of their enjoying the new high life, he called them up to his office, and said he knew where they lived. He knew where their wives had their hair done. He knew where their children played. And then he smiled. And so did they. After a fashion.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: After tediously cleaning up after several social changes/technologies created by sinister forces (the dragon in Guards! Guards!, the movies in Moving Pictures, the living mall in Reaper Man, the Music With Rocks In in Soul Music) and nearly losing his life to the Gonne in Men at Arms, Vetinari attempts to shut down the printing press in The Truth, assuming that Medieval Stasis in still in effect. Instead, the press is part of a major change in how things work on the Disc and a totally different genre applies. Vetinari catches on to this quickly and by the end of the book is already manipulating the new rules to his own purposes.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Plays a continuous one with Lady Margolotta: makes his coded messages almost unbreakable knowing that she reads them. If she doesn't or can't break them, great, she shouldn't be doing either. If she does both, he'll know what she thinks is in them.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He claims to never have any real plans, instead steering emerging events to his advantage. Plans would just get in his way.

     Rufus Drumknott 

Lord Vetinari's personal secretary since Feet of Clay. A quiet little man we know a minimal amount about who nonetheless has what's arguably the closest relationship to Lord Vetinari... Certainly the closest proximity.

  • Clerk: Front to back, very clerk-y. It tends to shock people when he expresses interests in things other than filing. Vetinari once speculated that a woman would have to dress up as a manila envelope to catch his attentions.
  • The Confidant: To Lord Vetinari, more or less. Vetinari has kept him out of the loop a few times, and Drumknott himself notes that he couldn't possibly identify all for Vetinari's sources despite his best efforts, but for the most part he trusts Drumknott enough to confide in him.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: When your job is to be the personal clerk to one of the greatest politicians in literature, you'd better be a damn good clerk. Drumknott is also the Chief Clerk to an entire (normally) unseen legion of clerks that attend to the Patrician's office.
  • The Non Descript: William de Worde described him as "having no discernible character", and since his appearance in the books the most description we've gotten of him that wasn't alluding to his quietness indicates that he's of a small, slight stature, and pale, pink complexion (which apparently darkened when he became involved with trains). Mind you, even that much physical description came almost entirely from one book, Raising Steam. Prior to that...
  • Not So Stoic: Typically has a calm professional demeanor, but some emotionalism shines through from time to time. Gets flustered when he catches himself doing something unprofessional, got annoyed at Lord Vetinari of all people for once suggesting he might nick office supplies due to convenience, got very annoyed at the infamous crosswords lady for making a puzzle so difficult it actually put Vetinari in a slump, and was all but wreathed in smiles throughout Raising Steam. In The Truth, he bellows, taking William de Worde aback. After a certain point in the books, his coming off as especially stoic or closed off stops feeling like normal behavior and more an indication that things in the Oblong Office are especially tense for whatever reason.
  • Paperworkaholic: Drumknott takes great pride and joy in his work. In fact, he is so insulted when Vetinari suggests in an offhand comment that he's been less than honest with office supplies that Vetinari feels compelled to apologize. (Although, Vetinari was dunk at the time.)
  • The Quiet One: Moist von Lipwig has gone so far as to describe him as "the quietest person he's ever met." Enters rooms silently, speaks softly, generally doesn't leave much of an impression on people.
  • Servile Snarker: It's difficult to tell if some of Vetinari's observations go over Drumknott's head or if the clerk is just being sarcastic.
  • The Watson: Along with being an excellent secretary, his main purpose is to allow Vetinari to explain at least some of his thought process.

     Moist von Lipwig 
"Trust me."

A con-artist turned government employee, noted for his masterful people skills and for being so average in appearance as to be nondescript. Having been saved from the hangman's noose by Lord Vetinari, Lipwig was put to work revitalizing the Ankh-Morpork Post Office, and later the Royal Bank and the Royal Mint. Romantically involved with Adora Belle Dearheart, a fiercely independent, cynical, chain-smoking but beautiful golem-rights activist. Was essentially created as a way to have novels set in Ankh-Morpork without the Watch automatically taking over the plot.

  • Allergic to Routine: Moist is unable to handle boredom in any measure, and will go to alarming lengths to avoid it.
  • Amazon Chaser: Moist loves Adora because she's dangerous. He says she looks more beautiful when considering violence.
  • Boxed Crook: Moist would rather live than be executed as a scam artist, but he's an adrenaline junkie, and he misses the thrill of the hustle so much it almost drives him crazy. He finds ways to make up for it, such as by pulling crowd-pleasing stunts at the Post Office and just being near his fiancee.
  • Cat/Dog Dichotomy: Despite having traits that seem to align with cat-like behavior (ie, sneakiness and a fondness for nighttime prowling), Moist grew up with dogs and is emphatically a dog person, potentially a nod to his true nature as a rather honest and loyal person.
  • The Face: Vetinari is using Moist as this for the Post Office staff. Stanley is thought of as weird even by other pin collectors and Groat is... odd, to put it charitably, although he IS capable of carrying out the daily Post Office operations with very little input from the Postmaster once he's given a push, but Moist knows how to sell an idea.
  • Happily Married: In Raising Steam he and Adora Belle have upgraded their relationship. Though they both have jobs that can keep them away from each other through extended periods of time, they make the most of the time they have together.
  • Indy Ploy: He positively thrives on this trope.
    This was where his soul lived: dancing on an avalanche, making the world up as he went along, reaching into people's ears and changing their minds.
  • In Harm's Way: He does his best work when his life is in danger. Additionally, his fiance seems to be a sufficient source of danger for him, so much so that when she goes out of town on business, he takes up a number of dangerous activites (such as free climbing large buildings and Extreme Sneezing).
  • Lady Killer In Love: With Adora Belle Dearheart. However, despite admitting to having conned women, Moist is not an ardent womaniser.
  • Loveable Rogue: He thinks of himself as this since he's charming and doesn't hurt anyone. Until Mr. Pump gives him a mathematical breakdown of the damage he's caused through his scams.
  • Manipulative Bastard: For good causes these days, though. Questioned by himself:
    Moist: Am I really a bastard or am I just really good at thinking like one?
  • The Nondescript: Very handy trait, for a con artist. When he was a child, his mother frequently came home with the wrong kid.
  • Not So Different: Despairs that this might be true of Reacher Gilt.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Possibly the Discworld's finest exponent. His way of dealing with not knowing what to do is "up the ante in the most ridiculous way possible".
  • Running Gag: Stealing Drumknott's pencils.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Moist is an interesting study: He's probably second only to Lord Vetinari himself when it comes to cynicism and people-manipulation, but he utilizes this in the service of idealism. Even he doesn't quite understand how he keeps pulling it off.
  • The Social Expert: "Everyone had their levers. For Groat, it was his position... Stanley, now... Stanley was easy." He can push Gilt's buttons in their media war but is wise enough not to do the same to Vetinari, especially after the broom incident. Taken to another level in Making Money when he has to defuse potential mobs more than once.
  • Stock "Yuck!": Having grown up on various rural dishes based heavily around organ meat and other parts of the animal not usually considered "fine dining", he's developed a firm distaste for them. Which makes things interesting at meal times, because Adora, his wife, loves them.
    • Also claims to have not eaten spinach "since he was old enough to spit".
  • Technical Pacifist: Of a different sort. He really never does lift a hand against anyone, and uses this to justify scamming people. His golem probation officer points out that the victims of his larger frauds were actually worse off than they would have been if he had simply mugged them. When he actually kills someone in self-defense, he promptly vomits. This lasts up until Raising Steam when he kills several dwarf assassins in open combat.
  • Too Clever by Half: Whilst Moist is an extremely clever man, his adrenaline junkie nature and bursts of impulsiveness often leads him into harm's way.
  • Unfortunate Name: As Topsy Lavish puts it, "Yes, I can't imagine you had any choice in the matter."
  • What You Are in the Dark: This becomes very important to him by the end of Going Postal and continues to be a concern in Making Money: is he really a crook, and if so, what kind of crook is he? Can he make a legitimate distinction between himself and Reacher Gilt? Vetinari certainly seems to think so. He witnessed Reacher Gilt's response to the same choice he offered Moist (Gilt really believed in freedom of choice, unlike Moist) and has noted that Moist is more nervous when holding a sword than when being threatened with one, and describes him as "an honest soul with a fine criminal mind".

     Adora Belle Dearheart 

The cynical, chain-smoking, and severe head of the Golem Trust. She is also Moist's fiancée, and assisted him with the restoration of the post office by employing him golems. Fiercely devoted to causes and doesn't take crap from anyone. Mostly because she can drive a stiletto heel through their shoes... and through other parts.

  • Broken Bird: Her brother was killed, all the money they had left squandered, all the family friends left jobless or hopeless or both, and she herself was fired because she was the only employee lowly enough to take the blame. Of course, she wasn't particularly nice before any of that. But being a bit snappy isn't a crime that deserves that sort of punishment.
  • Canon Immigrant: Not Adora herself, but her talent for and interest in the clacks system. When she first appeared in Going Postal her connection to the clacks was strictly familial, but she was given an Ada-Lovelace-esque aptitude for coding in the BBC adaptation. Pratchett imported this trait into the novels, and in Raising Steam she's far more interested in running the clacks (from atop the towers, not in the office) than in continuing to help the Golem Trust. (A footnote assures the reader that these days the golems are comfortable trusting themselves.)
  • Combat Stilettos: Very sharp ones at that. She scares off a drunk hitting on her very aggressively in a bar by threating him with them, and the knowledge that, after years of dance lessons, she's got the strength to use 'em.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Golem proximity. Any golem proximity, including china parts.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: To some extent. She can be pretty sharp around Moist himself, but that's how he likes 'em.
  • Embarrassing First Name: ... And Embarrassing Middle Name... and Embarrassing Last Name. Moist calls her "Spike."
  • Expy: As noted above, she plays a very convincing Angelina to Moist's "Slippery Jim".
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Not that you would want to point that out. Ever.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Constantly smoking, though it's treated as more of a character quirk. Moist finds it "oddly attractive" upon first meeting her, and later describes their first kiss as "like kissing an ashtray, but in a good way."
  • Happily Married: At some point between Making Money and Raising Steam (after her mother got tired of waiting for her to plan the wedding on her own) she and Moist officially tied the knot.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ankh-Morpork is on the golem standard, you know, and she's decently nice deep down. She's just prickly after a lifetime of having her family wealth swindled away by crooked bankers.
  • Non-Indicative Name: 'Adora Belle Dearheart' sounds as though she'd be a Glurge Addict. She decidedly is not (and would skewer you through the foot with a high heel if you suggested it), but she has a kind heart.
  • No Sense of Humour: Or so she claims. In reality, her humour is simply very dry.
  • Not Good with People: The cranky variety. She prefers golems.
  • Punny Name: And if you know what's good for you, you won't notice the pun.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Downplayed, but in contrast to Moist, who grew up on snouts, brains, boiled heads, organ meats and other such dishes and developed a strong distaste for them, she absolutely loves them. In Making Money, when the only food available is the organs, offal & scraps-based cuisine prepared by Mr. Fusspot's personal chef, she tucks away into his cooking repeatedly and with sincere gusto, much to Moist's shock.
  • Tsundere: Moist is a born risk-taker, and his fiancée's nature gives him the thrill he needs in life.

     William de Worde 
"The truth has got its boots on. And it's going to start kicking."

A scribe who comes from a wealthy family, William is making his own way by sending newsletters to leaders of various other countries. He is pulled into the newest technological advancement of the Disc, movable type. With the assistance of a shed filled with Dwarves, the attractive daughter of an engraver, and a vampire/photographer, he begins the Disc's first newspaper, the Ankh-Morpork Times. Reappears in Monstrous Regiment doing on-the-site reporting in Borogravia. As of Unseen Academicals, he seems set to become the Disc's first sports announcer.

Although he does not directly appear until a cameo in Unseen Academicals, mention should also be made of Making Money, in which Moist von Lipwig observes that William was a young man who "somehow managed to write as though his bum had been stuffed with tweed."

  • Badass Bookworm: He's a professional scribe before throwing his lot in with the newspaper Dwarfs and his pursuit of the truth allowed him to gain the respect of Sam Vimes and Havelock Vetinari. He also manages to save his own life from Mr Pin in his own book.
  • Blue Blood: He's part of a fairly influential family.
  • The Cameo: Though he's the main character of only one book (The Truth), The Times continues to be a major player in Ankh-Morpork so he does appear a lot in other books.
  • Foil: To Otto. Both of them are men of upper class backgrounds who are passionate about their chosen fields and trying very hard to act against the worse natures (something Otto notes, remarking that it's difficult to go against what you are). Otto, though, puts on the Upper-Class Twit mannerisms on purpose, with a bit of Looks Like Orlok, to make himself as Vimes observes 'a music hall vampire' in the eyes of the public. William, on the other hand, sometimes slips into by accident, or weaponises the associated arrogance when dealing with the Watch.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Considering he's running the first newspaper on the Disc...
  • Jerkass: Towards the Watch (and other prominent City figures) on purpose when weaponising his upper-class arrogance, and sometimes in general by accident - he's a snob at heart, and doesn't always recognize when he's acting like one.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Otto observes this, noting that William is a Jerkass by nature and by upbringing, he's constantly watching himself and forcing himself to be kinder to others (though he sometimes misses obvious cues that he's not as kind as he thinks), pretty much forcing himself to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Not So Different: At one point while he's ranting about his father's arrogant, selfish behavior, Otto cheerfully says "But you make up for it in other vays!" earning him a Death Glare. The difference, though, is that William is trying to be a better person.
  • Uncle Pennybags: Averted. William deliberately turns down a life of luxury living off his family fortune to avoid this trope.
  • Upper-Class Twit: He's trying so hard to avoid it that he sometimes falls into it by accident. He wasn't born into poverty, he chose it, and he can always opt out (unlike people who are actually poor) - it's when he forgets this fact that he acts like a jerk, usually.
    • This might be regarded as a Shout-Out to Eric Blair, better known by his adopted name of George Orwell, whose writings about unemployment had more than a touch of this about them.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: When he was first introduced. He gets over it soon enough.

     Sacharissa Cripslock 

The aforementioned engraver's daughter, who is William de Worde's partner at The Times. She does much of the journalist field work after William de Worde gets settled in at the newspaper, and as a reporter she receives a couple of cameos in newer Discworld books (Going Postal, Making Money). As of Going Postal, she appears to be married (presumably to William).

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't get her mad.
  • Buxom Is Better: She may not be the prettiest woman on the Disc (certain of her features are described as having been in fashion at various different points in history), but she is noted as quite attractive... and what gets her the most attention, from several male characters, is the fact that she has 'features at home in any time period': large breasts.
  • Intrepid Reporter: In the Moist von Lipwig novels.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Part of the "appears to be married" is that she refers to herself by her maiden name while Moist von Lipwig notes the wedding ring on her finger.
  • Proper Lady: Tries to be this most of the time. William, an actual aristocrat, is somewhat bemused by this.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In her first appearance, she goes from a would-be Proper Lady obsessed with being respectable to someone willing to tell off Mister Tulip for presumed swearing (his '-ing' isn't actually a swallowed swear-word, but sounds like one), and hold the Big Bad Wannabe head of the Guild of Engravers at crossbow point.
    • On a more figurative level, she goes from someone who's not especially formidable to someone capable of verbally fencing with Moist von Lipwig, who's got some of the quickest wits on the Disc, and when fencing with her is sure to remain on his toes.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: To William, during one of the moments when he forgets that he can technically opt out of poverty whenever he likes.

     Otto Chriek 

The iconographer (photographer) at the Times. A native of Uberwald who moved to the Big Wahooni (Ankh-Morpork, that is), Otto is a card-carrying member of the Black Ribbon society (vampires who have sworn off human "b-vord"). He has the slightly crazed edge of a born killer who has found something else to divert his energy — namely, taking iconographs. Unfortunately, as vampires are sensitive to bright light, he tends to be turned to dust by his own flash when he takes pictures... but fortunately, a drop of blood on his remains will restore him immediately. Otto has started wearing a small container of blood to make sure he auto-resurrects on the job. Made short appearances in Thud! and Monstrous Regiment.

  • Addiction Displacement: From blood onto photography.
  • Back from the Dead: Over and over and over...
  • Blinding Camera Flash: Exaggerated. Whenever he takes a flash photo, it results in (at best) him screaming in pain on the ground or (at worst) his demise until blood is poured on his ashes. In later books, he's found filters and other ways around this.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He looks and acts like a small, meek iconographer, but he is still a vampire, with all the abilities that involves.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He wasn't always reformed. Additionally, back in the old country, his friend Boris was reformed too. The mob didn't listen.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: "Ze bosoms goink in-and-out and up-and-down like zat!" triggers his Hammer Horror instincts.
  • Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire: Much of it is for self-preservation, yes, but he's also a genuinely decent guy.
  • Funny Foreigner: Deliberately goes for this vibe, which Vimes notes. It's better than the torches and pitchforks, after all.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Paul Kidby tends to portray him like this. William and Vimes both suspect that he deliberately cultivates this image (see below).
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Vimes notes that he acts in a stereotypical vampire fashion tailored specifically for his profession (i.e. a pocketed vest in black silk with tails) and speaks in Vampire Vords so that people see him as more amusing, a 'Music Hall Vampire', than threatening.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Per Discworld standards.
  • Slasher Smile: That worryingly intense smile - normally reserved for vampires about to eat you - is instead used as a default (if slightly crazed) expression.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: At the end of The Truth, when Otto faces down a gang of William's father's enforcers using "proper fisticuffs" (rather than vampiric means, which would probably have been messier), he is a hilariously inept fighter, but having a vampire's strength and stamina means he still wipes the floor with them.
  • Vampire Vords: Exaggerated for effect, like most of his stereotypical-vampire traits.
  • The Von Trope Family: Sometimes known as Otto von Chriek.
  • We Need a Distraction: At one point, William De Worde takes advantage of the aforementioned Blinding Camera Flash to get past some watchmen, noting that a vampire writhing and screaming in pain is always the centre of attention.

     Gaspode the Wonder Dog 
"Woof bloody woof."

Gaspode was a fairly normal stray until Moving Pictures. Then he suddenly found himself thinking. He found this vastly irritating, and was vaguely relieved when he went back to normal after the Holy Wood incident was over. But then he slept near the University's trash heaps a few times too often and suddenly found that his little problem was back. Now he roams the city, using his talents in new and creative ways. He's extremely cynical and has pretty much every doggy skin disease known to dogkind and a few others as bonuses. The laconic description of Gaspode was provided by Vimes in The Fifth Elephant: The Corporal Nobbs of the canine world. As far as he's concerned, the only real advantage to being a thinking, talking dog is that he can remember when the guilds throw out their kitchen trash. Often seen leading the beggar Foul Ole Ron by a leash.

     The Canting Crew 

A group of beggars even other beggars look down on (although they admire the Crew's craftsmanship). They include:

  • Altogether Andrews, who has nine personalities inhabiting his body. None of them answer to "Andrews," but apparently altogether they make up the individual of that name). The other members think Andrews might have been the original personality and got crowded out.
  • Arnold Sideways, who has no legs and gets about on a little wheeled cart, but carries a boot on the end of a pole for the purpose of kicking people.
  • Coffin Henry, who has a spectacular cough and an even more spectacular collection of skin diseases, and carries a sign saying For sum muny I wunt follo you home. Coff Coff.
  • The Duck Man, who is on the whole the sanest and most educated member of the Crew (as opposed to Altogether Andrews, who is in part the sanest and most educated), except that he's never seen without a duck on his head. And if you ask him why, he'll act like you're the odd one for seeing ducks where ducks aren't.
  • Foul Ole Ron, whose speech is incomprehensible ("Millennium hand and shrimp!") and whose smell is so strong it's taken on a life of its own (and sometimes goes to parties without him and reads poetry - he's outclassed by it). In more recent appearances, he has been accompanied by Gaspode, acting in the capacity of "thinking-brain dog".

They appear in Soul Music (where Death, trying to get away from it all, spends some time in their company), Hogfather (where they are among the recipients of the stand-in Hogfather's attempts at an equitable distribution of Hogswatch), and The Truth (where they are hired by The Times as newspaper vendors, and play a role in the newspaper's big scoop). Foul Ole Ron and Coffin Henry both appear, individually, in Where's My Cow?.

  • Catch Phrase: Wherever Foul Ole Ron goes, "bugrit, millennium hand and shrimp" follows.
  • Crazy Sane: Implied to be the case for the Duck Man. He finds everyone's persistent fixation on ducks around him quite bewildering.
  • The Dreaded: "Burke", one of Altogether Andrews personalities. It's never mentioned exactly what Burke did but the entire crew in a rare display of unanimity fervently hope Burke never shows up again.
  • Homeless Pigeon Person: The Duck Man appears to be an example of this trope. However, conversation will reveal that he is, or claims to be, completely unaware of the duck that gives him his name, despite the fact it's on his head.
  • Mysterious Past: All of them, to one extent or another, but the Duck Man in particular, who is noted as being a well-educated and well-mannered gentleman, as well as being entirely sane... save for the duck on his head that he doesn't seem to be aware of.
  • Talkative Loon: All of them to some degree, but especially Foul Ole Ron.
  • Voices Are Mental: Altogether Andrews' voice changes depending on who's speaking.

     Mr. Slant 

Ankh-Morpork's foremost Amoral Attorney. He's also a zombie. And one of the most badass lawyers you'll ever find.

  • A Fool for a Client: While he was actually a skilled lawyer rather than an untrained amateur, he did still lose in the case that ended his life while defending himself. It didn't stick, but he (probably) didn't know that ahead of time.
  • Amoral Attorney: Pretty nearly defines it - if you can afford his exorbitant fees (or have something on him) then he'll work for you, no questions asked.
    • There is a limit for him, though. Which has little to do with either profit or morals. Any client who repeatedly refuses to play by his rules, be it to an earned win, loss or compromise (and Morporkian law is his, remember) will get thrown to the wolves. He'd rather tank a loss than see the whole body of law go up in flames or get openly flouted. Use the carefully provided loopholes only — no amateur punching through walls!
  • Badass Bookworm: The fact he wrote and memorized most if not all of Ankh-Morpork's laws makes his power pretty scary. Also, aside from fire, he fears nothing.
  • Badass Decay: See The Dragon below for details on his (figurative) early years. The chain of logic as to his abatement in later novels goes as follows: The Ramkin Family are unquestioningly the richest in Ankh-Morpork; He was the Ramkin Family lawyer for generations (theirs, not his); Lady Sybil Ramkin married Sam Vimes; As Slant himself explained to Vimes, the Ramkin Family has always been led by a patriarch who has absolute control over everything, so all of their holdings under his control; Vimes has Slant as his lawyer. Don't piss off Sam Vimes, especially if you stand to be severely hurt financially as a result.
  • Death Glare: Literally. He's dead.
  • Determinator: All zombies are this. In his case, it's powered by the fact that he simply refuses to pass on until his descendants cough up the money to pay back his legal fees (he defended himself at the trial for his own execution and lost), and he will wait as long as he has to; forever, if need be.
  • The Dragon: Slant has been the 'face' and executive officer in at least two plots to overthrow Vetinari, and was involved in the one leading to the death of Lord Winder in Night Watch.
  • The Dreaded: To all members of the legal professions in Ankh-Morpork. He's the head of the Guild of Lawyers to boot, if the others hadn't found him terrifying enough otherwise.
  • Kill It with Fire: Nobody's ever done this, but it's quite clear that it would work - he's very, very dry...
  • Nerves of Steel: Only fire has the ability to even partially unnerve him. Well, fire and William de Worde dangling the fact that he knows things that Slant would rather he doesn't over his head.
  • Pet the Dog: He and his fellow undead law partners are noted as being relatively kind to their living subordinate, Henry Lawsy, in part because he has no prospect whatsoever of promotion through the old 'dead men's shoes' route.

     Lord Ronald "Ronnie" Rust 

Ankh-Morpork's leading aristocrat (Vetinari doesn't count, and as for the current Duke of Ankh...) Rust is a starched, snobbish and ridiculously pompous individual with an abiding and entirely mutual hatred towards Sam Vimes. Led Ankh-Morpork during the brief war with Klatch in Jingo where he displayed all the military genius you might expect. Apparently dated Sybil Ramkin in her youth.

  • Blue Blood: His family is so highly-bred he's had all the usefulness bred out of him. He's got the traditional military background, but no grasp of tactics.
  • Born Lucky: Veterans of battles that he's led claim that arrows meant for him will always kill another one of his soldiers.
    • It's suggested this is another aspect to his Weirdness Censor, and that Rust is simply failing to notice he could ever get hit.
  • Characterization Marches On: His first appearance in Men at Arms notes that Rust is one of the nobles who managed to adapt to the changing times, whereas his latter appearances suggest he's anything but. There's also his much kinder, considerate treatment of d'Eath in the same book, but that may be because he's generally nicer to fellow members of the upper class.
  • Fearless Fool: In Night Watch, Vimes considers him one. "He thought idiot stubbornness was bravery."
  • General Failure: In Jingo, where he all but single-handedly destroys the Ankh-Morpork war effort on his own.
    • Spanner in the Works: While at the same time forcing his Klatchian counterpart's hand with his premature invasion, saving the city itself from an invasion that happened in an Alternate Universe.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: His idea of "tactics".
  • The Neidermeyer: As Captain of the Treacle Mine Road Watch House in Night Watch. After he gave orders to open fire on civilians, Vimes (as Keel) knocked him out and claimed to be removing him from command due to temporary insanity.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: A parody thereof.
  • Upper-Class Twit: His military tactics tend to get his men killed, but he's so stupid he survives his own idiocy by not realizing it should get him killed.
  • Verbal Tic: "What?"
  • Villain Decay: Not really a villain, but all the same Vimes notes in the later books that he's got old, a lot more genial and generally harmless (being on the road to senility didn't hurt).
  • Villain Respect: Again, not really a villain, but Vetinari notes in Snuff that in his old age, Rust had come to genuinely respect Vimes as a man of honour and probity (even if it is a rather specialised sort of honour). Of course, since Rust had been pleading for his amoral son's life at the time, he could have been trying to butter Vimes up by proxy, but it is worth noting that he had been decidedly more friendly to Vimes than normal earlier in the book.
  • Weirdness Censor: Will not notice things that cannot possibly be happening, such as Vimes calling him an inbred streak of piss to his face.

     C.M.O.T. (Cut Me Own Throat) Dibbler 
"Twenty pence and that's cutting me own throat."

A never quite succesful peddler of well, anything he thinks will make a profit, but mostly his only theoretically edible sausages-inna-bun. Has numerous counterparts in every nation on the Discworld, including Cut-Me-Own-Hand-Off Dhblah (Omnia), Disembowel-Meself-Honorably Dibhala (Agatean Empire), etc.

  • Catch Phrase: "And that's cutting me own throat". Most of his counterparts have similar Catch Phrases.
  • Characterization Marches On: When we meet Mr. Dibbler in the earlier books he is a smarmy amoral vendor who will sell anything and use anyone. As the series continues he becomes the hapless "least successful businessman in Ankh Morporkh" whose only skill is selling his inedible sausages.
  • Doom Magnet: Any enterprise Dibbler is involved in seems to end badly sooner or later, like the moving pictures, or Music With Rocks In It.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: No matter what he tries, it never quite succeeds in the long term. Only the sausages last. Perhaps because flies won't go near them.
  • False Reassurance: One of the many tools in Dibbler's arsenal. His pies are assuredly organic. And they most certainly include meat from a pig.
  • Hidden Depths: He has the right to wear the lilac on the 25th of May, and took part, however unwittingly, in the Glorious Revolution.
  • Honest John's Dealership: The trope even used to be named after him!
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: His numerous counterparts, each who sell mysterious food products, and each have similar catchphrases.
  • Lethal Chef: Or, as Nanny Ogg's Cookbook puts it: "No visit to Ankh-Morpork is complete without a taste of one of CMOT Dibbler's famous sausages-inna-bun. After that, it is often completed very, very quickly."
  • Loophole Abuse: Supplemental material for the series reveals that he's the founder and sole member of the Guild of C.M.O.T. Dibblers. Presumably there was some financial or political benefit in applying for this status, immediately before Vetinari closed the loophole. Or it's possible even the Merchants didn't want him.
  • Mountaintop Healthcare: One book features him selling health tonics he claims came from a mountain monastery who specialise in healing. The epilogue reveals this is actually true, although they're a bit bemused as to why anyone would buy them.
  • Overly Long Name: "C.M.O.T." doesn't just stand for his Catch Phrase; his full name is Claude Maximillian Overton Transpire Dibbler.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: On occasion, Dibbler has branched out into other markets beyond suspicious meat and meat-based products, including oils and salves made by monks what live on distant mountains (who, for the record, have no idea what Dibbler wants with their product).
  • Stable Time Loop: In Night Watch a time-travelling Vimes gives the young Dibbler his own Catch Phrase from the future. It does take him a while to get the hang of it - "buy this sausage or I'll cut my own throat!"

     Leonard of Quirm 

A somewhat old but talented painter, as well as a brilliant inventor (the Discworld's version of Leonardo da Vinci). Leonard invented the Discworld's first firearm in Men At Arms, but had no idea how dangerous it would prove to be. Because good-hearted Leonard keeps coming up with dangerous ideas, the Patrician keeps him in a solitary apartment and makes sure he has enough pencils, paper, and parts to keep him quietly occupied.

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Well, he would be if there were any non-wizard universities around.
  • Ambiguously Bi: In his youth, he had what seemed to be a very interesting time with Gytha Ogg, and like his historical counterpart he has an appreciation for the male form (or at least drawing it in his usual obsessive detail. And without an abundance of clothing). It's likely he's open to experience, though obviously experience is somewhat limited while he's alone in his room.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: His ideas are brilliant, but he has a lot of them. So many they tend to crowd a bit. He could probably have escaped his "prison" a hundred times over if he ever set his mind to it, especially since he designed it himself. In fact he has left it unauthorized to go tour sunken Leshp, but it never occurred to him to stay away. He's never focused for very long (and he likes it in there, anyway). At one point Vetinari muses that he would despair over the fate of the world if Leonard ever focused on something for more than half an hour.
  • Bald of Awesome: The narration suggests his brain fizzes with so much thought that hair can't survive on his head. It's trying to make up for the lost territory everywhere else.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He is one of those people who are impossible to imprison, since he "lives in his own head". And his head is an interesting place.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: How he names his inventions; This-Is-What-It-Does Device. His genius stops at names.
  • Expy: Of Leonardo da Vinci, with a little Alfred Nobel (a Swedish scientist and pacifist who patented over three hundred and fifty inventions, which included dynamite for mining purposes, and then saw a mistakenly published obituary that named him "the Merchant of Death". He posthumously dedicated his fortune to become the Nobel Prizes in order to ensure he wouldn't be remembered as a war-maker).
  • Giver of Lame Names: The one area in which his genius tends to give out.
    Leonard: Because it's submerged in a marine environment, I call it the Going-Under-The-Water-Safely Device.
  • Keeping the Enemy Close: He's not a villain as such, just unconsciously very dangerous: an amiable, gentle man who is brilliant enough to invent all sorts of devices (implied at one point to include the atom bomb, composed of some useless metal that doesn't like being squeezed, which he thinks could be useful in civil engineering "when they need to move mountains out of the way") and naive enough to believe nobody would be silly or cruel enough to use them on other people. Lord Vetinari has him locked in a cell in the palace with a supply of art materials.
  • Literal-Minded: When asked to make codes that are fiendishly difficult to break he consults various occult texts to determine what codes will be considered difficult by various fiends (this was after Vetinari rejected his codes that were literally unbreakable since Vetinari wants to be sure about what people think he is thinking) .
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Leonard's cell is a comfortable apartment with all the materials he needs to paint and tinker provided free of charge. It also has the bonus of keeping people who would turn his harmless ideas into terrible weapons away.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: He's fascinated endlessly in the most impossible detail by everything in the world.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Invoked. His designs could revolutionize the entire disc, but because they're so dangerous, Vetinari keeps him under lock and key where they can't do any damage.
  • Too Clever by Half: Vetinari occasionally muses that Leonard is so smart that he's discovered new and highly specialized forms of stupidity. It mostly involves his refusal to understand human nature or cynicism even a little bit.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: He doesn't seem to notice the military applications of his inventions unless they are pointed out. And when he does notice them, he's usually of the belief that nobody would be crazy enough to actually use them that way.
  • Younger Than They Look: He's described as "not, in fact, all that old"; he just "started looking venerable around the age of thirty".

     Chrysoprase the troll 

Ankh-Morpork's most famous "Legitimate Businessman". Is mentioned several times but doesn't make a real appearance until Soul Music, and later on, Thud!. Known to take an interest in horse racing and has recently gotten out of the drug trade business.

  • Early-Bird Cameo: In The Light Fantastic, Rincewind encounters a troll named Krysoprase. The Discworld Companion states that this is Chrysoprase before he came to Ankh-Morpork, the name difference attributed to the Disc's only semi standardised spelling.
  • The Don: What he eventually turns into. He also appears to be leading other troll families in some kind of consortium. Which of course he denies the existence of.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Got out of the Troll drug trade when the "look at the pretty colors" drugs started to be supplanted by more potent ones given to causing violent rage and/or killing the user. If nothing else, killing your customers is bad for business.
    • He also deeply disapproves of the Shame If Something Happened line, or more generally involving civilians. After one of his henchmen very unwisely pulls on Vimes in Thud! - in the middle of a crowded Watch-house - he laments that young trolls these days have no respect or finesse, before offering Vimes a new rockery. When Vimes says he never wants to see the troll in question again, which Chrysoprase casually says won't be a problem, indicating a box next to him - it's about a foot square and thus far too small to contain an entire troll. While this could be Pragmatic Villainy (provoking Vimes is extremely unwise), but his other behaviour and Vimes' own thoughts (when the Grags' troops go after his family) that even Chrysoprase wouldn't pull that kind of thing, it seems to be genuine.
  • Genius Bruiser: He plays dumb by using Hulk Speak (it's unclear if his malapropisms or forgetting idioms is an act or not), but when he first arrived in the city he took control of his segment of the criminal underworld as much from cunning as raw strength, and as Vimes notes he's plenty smart even when he's not sitting in an icebox.
  • Loan Shark: Offers this service. In Wyrd Sisters, we learn that the penalty for late payments is having your limbs torn off, so owing 'an arm and a leg' isn't a metaphor. In Soul Music, when the Band With Rocks In flee the outdoor festival with money that Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler borrowed, Cliff says running to the Disc's Rim and throwing themselves off is their only way out - and even then, only maybe.
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters:
    • Chrysoprase helps Vimes prevent riots on Koom Valley Day by revealing a drug lab, because the drug manufactured there causes homicidal insanity, and later death. Chrysoprase wants stable business, which is difficult with dead customers.
    • He also helps Vimes during their meeting first by lending him a warm coat during their meeting in a freezer and casually offering the coat to Sybil after Vimes had left. It leads Vimes to realize it could be considered taking a bribe from the criminal. Vimes has the coat destroyed then and there. The troll takes it in stride, and praises Vimes again on his incorruptibility.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: As well as being willing to work with the police on some occasions, he runs a mixture of legitimate and illegitimate businesses. He's generally not a fan of rocking the boat, especially when he's got such a good seat.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Most trolls are not known for their intelligence, but Chrysoprase, even without the benefit of cold-enhanced thought processes, is smarter than most human criminals in the city. He intentionally uses Hulk Speak to throw people off their game even though he's fully capable of speaking normally.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Two of his henchmen attempt this on Vimes, but Chrysoprase later assures him that it was entirely their own idea and offers Vimes a box of gravel that couldn't possible contain an entire troll.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Meyer Wolfscheim from The Great Gatsby, as both wear cufflinks made of teeth (respectively human and troll) - the joke being that troll teeth are made of diamond.
    • In the animated adaptation, he speaks like Vito Corleone.
  • Villain Respect: He genuinely respects Vimes for his honesty and complete refusal to be bribed or corrupted.
  • You Have Failed Me: One of his henchmen very unwisely pulls a Shame If Something Happened on Vimes. When Chrysoprase offers to make restitution for this behaviour, he offers Vimes 'a new rockery' - and when Vimes just snaps that he doesn't want to see the troll in question ever again, he casually indicates a rather small box next to him, and remarks that that won't be a problem.

     Hughnon Ridcully 

The High Priest of Blind Io, Chief of the gods, and Mustrum Ridcully's brother. He's the unofficial spokesman for Ankh-Morpork's religious community.

  • Badass Preacher: He's a Ridcully, what do you expect?
  • Explaining the Soap: Parodied when Mustrum asks him what the gods of the Disc have been up to, as a possible explanation for the poltergeist activity plaguing Ankh-Morpork. Hughnon's description of the antics of the gods sounds like a cross between Greek mythology and the soap opera recaps that used to be done by BBC announcers in The '70s, against still images from previous episodes (of course, when it comes to Greek gods and soap opera, there's a... surprising similarity). Mustrum brushes it off by saying "I've never been able to get interested in that stuff, myself."
  • Sibling Rivalry: He and his brother have a fairly cordial relationship, but treat each other's professions with disdain. Mustrum considers being a priest "god-bothering" while Hughnon considers wizardry "tinkering with things man was not meant to understand". This is actually incredibly restrained by the standards of their respective groups; they have to cut off the conversation where they trade those barbs because their subordinates are trying to kill each other.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Vetinari's attempts to explain the Clacks to him causes him, true to the family tradition, to be sidetracked by an analogy about shrimp, leading him to assume Vetinari may have gone insane, talking about making shrimp fly through the air.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: In The Last Hero, Paul Kidby's painting of him is basically Mustrum with a better-trimmed beard and a bishop's hat. Possibly justified, as their mannerisms and attitudes are so clearly parallel that there's a good chance they really are identical twins.
  • Vetinari Job Security: A minor example. He's the unofficial spokesman for Ankh-Morpork's various religions because getting them to work together long enough to officially choose a spokesman is like herding cats, and Hughnon is by far the most level-headed, with the most forceful, practical personality. It's comparable to the reason Mustrum is in charge of the wizards. (He's similarly handy with a blunt object at need; in his case, a thurible.)
  • A Wizard Did It: Or rather, Science Did It. When Vetinari idly wonders aloud what makes it so that frozen ink isn't as dark as unfrozen, Hughnon waves it off with a vague "science, probably."


     Lady Margolotta 

Lady Margolotta is a vampire, who appeared mainly in The Fifth Elephant and very recently Unseen Academicals but has made a few cameos in other books. She lives in Uberwald and shuffles the political factions (dwarves, werewolves, trolls, etc.) there in much the same way that Vetinari does in Ankh-Morpork... only Uberwald is less civilized and possibly less predictable. She plays chess (and occasionally Thud) with Vetinari by the clacks system (the Discworld's version of the telegraph) and has been known to read his secret messages. The Patrician is aware of this, and purposely makes his coded messages almost unbreakable, so he'll know what she thinks is in them. It is quite possible that she knows that he does this, having most likely taught him as much as he taught her (either way, it's going to lead to a Gambit Pileup sometime in the future). Lady Margolotta also annoyed the hell out of Commander Vimes by saving his life, because Vimes hates vampires.

  • Addiction Displacement: Replacing blood with politics. And cigarettes.
  • Anti-Villain: Like Vetinari, she escapes true villain status by happening to be on the hero's side. However, it's for entirely her own reasons rather than patriotism or morality, even the strange sort displayed by Vetinari.
  • Bait the Dog: When introduced, she seems pretty harmless, especially given her taste in colorful sweaters with bats on them. Vimes describes her as looking like "someone's mother". But then you find out that she is (almost?) as skilled a manipulator as Vetinari himself.
  • Blue Blood: She's so posh, her name takes up several pages in the Almanack de Gothic.
  • The Chessmistress: Vetinari considers her a Worthy Opponent, and that's saying several somethings.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Averted. Although she spends most of The Fifth Elephant wearing a pink jumper, describing her as anything close to The Chick is bound to land you in a lot of trouble.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: In Unseen Academicals the mild-looking Lady Margolotta is confused with her much more haughty-looking assistant. She immediately exploits this when having a chat with Glenda.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking : Well, Anti-Villain smoking anyway.
  • Interspecies Romance: The jury's still out on this one.
  • Kick the Dog: Oddly crossed with Pet the Dog in her treatment of Nutt.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Lady Margolotta, like several of the vampires in later books, has sworn off human blood, and considers animal blood a poor but necessary substitute, "like lemonade replaces vhisky, believe me."
  • Overly Long Name: Margolotta Amaya Katerina Assumpta Crassina von Überwald, and thats just the short form... It's mentioned in The Fifth Elephant that she fills four whole pages in The Almanac de Gothick (the list of major aristocracy for the region), though whether this is just her name or includes a biography is left uncertain.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: A cynical and very manipulative ruler using control (and cigarettes) as an addiction replacement, who nevertheless does seem to care about Nutt (among others) beyond their usefulness as political pawns.
  • Vampire Vords: Her accent comes and goes depending on her mood. In The Fifth Elephant she uses it with Vimes and in Raising Steam with Vetinari but notably doesn't in Unseen Academicals.
  • The Von Trope Family: Margolotta (insert four pages worth of middle names/titles here) Von Uberwald.

     Rhys Rhysson 

The Low King of the Dwarves, newly elected in The Fifth Elephant. Originally picked because he was the least offensive choice during a power struggle between big factions, recent events have seen her successfully pushing big changes in dwarfish society, while slowly moving it into a more modern era.

  • Ambiguous Gender: Like with all dwarfs, but at the end of The Fifth Elephant, it's implied that Rhys may well be a woman. In Raising Steam, this is confirmed and she is also pregnant.
  • The Chessmaster: Arranges most of the events of Thud! along with her secret ally Mr. Shine. Since neither of them can openly make peace without offending the conservative and warlike parts of their own people, and they cannot go to Koom Valley to look for what they suspect is there ahead of their enemies who seek to destroy it without making peace or they'll start a war, they plant Sally in the Watch and help Vimes along with his case so they can have legitimate reason to follow him and search it.
  • Dark Horse Victory: Got the job mostly because other big power blocs all hated each other too much to consolidate behind any one of their own candidates, so they instead gave the job to some random nobody none of them had ever heard of. They bit off much more than they could chew in the process.
  • Good Is Not Nice: As Vimes and others noted, being a King is not a job that encourages niceness - unless your name is Verence of Lancre and you have Granny Weatherwax to take you down several pegs if need be, or, possibly, Mr Shine.
  • Knew It All Along: Rhys knew part of the big historical mystery in Thud! all along. Downplayed in that exactly what and how much is left ambiguous.
  • Meaningful Rename: In Raising Steam, after coming out publicly as female, decides to rename herself Blodwen, after another openly female dwarf who was murdered by grag extremists during her wedding to a human man.
  • Moment of Weakness: Threatens Vimes's family when the Commander is being a bit too obtuse in Thud!. To her credit, she regrets it moments later, especially after hearing about the assassins from earlier in the book, and tries to spin it differently. Vimes isn't fooled but lets it slide.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Drops the Verbal Tic and becomes deadly serious whilst interrogating Dee in The Fifth Elephant.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Favors progress and making peace with the trolls, and has a firm but polite personality most of the time. However, as first Cheery, then Vimes, observe, to even be considered to be the Low King, you have to have a significant capacity for ruthlessness.
  • Verbal Tic: At least in The Fifth Elephant, see? It even shows up in writing, see? Just in case you hadn't realised LLamedos was Useful Notes/Wales yet, see? Notably does not have it in later appearances, save for a joke Vimes makes partway through Thud!. Its absence might be because she no longer feels that she needs to come off as harmlessly provincial.
  • Worthy Opponent: While Albrecht Albrechtson is the Low King's major political opponent and the leader of a big conservative faction, the two have enormous personal respect for one another.

Characters not set in one particular locale

     Mr. Shine a.k.a. Diamond King 

Him Diamond.

The rightful and indisputable King of all Trolls, Diamond King is a troll made of pure diamond, which allows him to channel heat away from his heat-susceptible silicon brain and give himself a genius-level intellect, instantly qualifying him as the best candidate to lead all trolls.

  • All-Loving Hero: He is instrumental in creating the Dwarf/Troll truce after centuries of animosity. Before that he had a basement for Thud players of all races to play together.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Trolls in Discworld are made out of metamorphorical rock (a pune, or play on words, upon the terms metaphor and metamorphic). Once in a while a special diamond troll will turn up, who will almost certainly become the king and leader of the troll race (if there's already an incumbent, they'll leverage their intellect in other ways). This is because diamond trolls are capable of regulating their internal body temperature by refracting light away from their brains which, being silicon-based, work better and faster the colder they get, naturally making diamond trolls the smartest trolls around. Mr. Shine does the whole heat refracting trick so well that frost forms on his skin.
    • It's implied in later books that other gemstone trolls make equally-formidable intellectuals; in Snuff Diamond's ambassador to Ankh-Morpork (although not seen on-screen) is a troll named Black Ruby. Contrast this with the Ruby who married Detritus, though, who was an ordinary (but presumably attractive) stone troll.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: All trolls are silicon-based lifeforms, Diamonds are 100% carbon. Given the whole "Metamorphorical" thing, that's probably not a major concern.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Being made out of solid diamond allows him to think faster, since it instantly refracts away any heat, but also makes it hard for him to sneak around, and being made completely out of a precious mineral is heretical in a place like Ankh-Morpork. It also makes him a little difficult to look at, ('Shine' is not a metaphor in his case), so he has to wear a cloak most of the time to avoid blinding his audience.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a formidable Thud player and a politician operating on the same level as the Low King, Lady Margalotta, and Lord Vetinari, but he is still a troll, meaning he can punch your spine out if he wants. And since he's made of diamond, it is presumably harder to kill him than most other trolls (who are only made of rock).
  • Memetic Badass: Being a Trollish cultural hero, Mr Shine is one of these in-universe.
    Him who mountain crush him no
    Him who sun him stop him no
    Him who hammer him break him no
    Him who fire him fear him no
    Him who raise him head above him heart
    Him diamond.
  • Names to Trust Immediately: Mr Shine.
  • Nice Guy: He's sharp as a razor, but of the major political leaders on the Disc (Vetinari, Margalotta, Rhys), he's probably the nicest. Of course, Good Is Not Soft, and to keep up with that lot, you need to be very sharp.
  • Not So Different: Mr. Shine invokes this subtly on Vimes when the latter questions his concern for Brick:
    Vimes: Why do you care about some troll?
    Shine: Why do you care about some dwarf?
    Vimes: Because somebody has to!
    Shine: Exactly! Good day, Mr. Vimes.
  • Secret Keeper: Hints that he knows Carrot's secret. Of course, by that point in the series it's less a secret than just impolite to acknowledge.

Yeth, marthter..

Not so much one individual as an entire clan of individuals from Uberwald, who are a parody of the archetypal hunchbacked servants of monsters and mad scientists.

  • Chick/Dude Magnet: It comes as a mild shock to every single non-Igor that the clan is entirely capable and indeed proficient at keeping up their numbers in the usual way. They don't always have to do whole the stitching, bolts and misshapen parts look, you know - or at least, the Igorinas don't. The men generally do, in every appearance they make, yet they're still inexplicably Chick Magnets, with Lady Margolotta observing that she finds it best not speculate why.
  • Creepy Good: They are (usually) good guys, but tend to creep out a lot of people, due to their Mix-and-Match Man prowess.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Female Igors (Igorinas) are described as these - being the Discworld equivalent of a Magic Plastic Surgeon has its advantages after all.
  • Door Judo: An Igor will always open the door right before a visitor knocks.
  • Fell Off the Back of a Truck: Igors often have to scrounge materials for their master.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: In spite of their namesake archetype, Igors are actually extremely efficient at accomplishing whatever task they are assigned. If anything happens to Go Horribly Wrong, it's usually the fault of their less sensible masters. And one thing you can be absolutely sure of is this: any technique an Igor applies to others, he or she has practised many times, possibly on themselves.
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: The price for accepting an Igor's medical assistance is to serve as an organ donor after death so that the Igors can use any intact organs to help someone else down the line. You're free to refuse, and if you do the Igors will quietly and politely leave... and never serve you or your family again. Igors do this with their own organs as well, with young Igors implanting organs from their ancestors into their bodies. If an Igor says he has his grandfather's eyes (or nose, or hands, or whatever), he means it literally.
  • The Igor: Of course.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals/Planet of Steves: It's hard to tell Igors apart if you haven't memorized the visible scar patterns. The fact that they're all named Igor (Igorina for the girls) doesn't help. Despite this, Igors instinctively know which Igor you're talking about when you mention an Igor to them. The Igor of Carpe Jugulum gets very put out when Nanny Ogg just assumes that because he's got scars and a lisp he must automatically be an Igor. Which he is. But he might not have been!
  • Literal Genie: An issue with mechanically-inclined Igors. You rarely get what you asked for. Instead, you get what you wanted. It's a subtle difference, but an important one.
  • The Medic: Igors are very good at organ transplants.
  • Noiseless Walker: Igors have a strange ability to appear right behind people without them even noticing, and time this to just the moment the Marthter summons them. They're good enough at it to confuse even powerful Master Vampires. This skill may or may not involve in-universe Offscreen Teleportation; a few characters tried to test it but were thwarted.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: As a collective - all Igors are, as mentioned, Magic Plastic Surgeons, but individual Igors often have additional specialisms. The Igor in Thief of Time is an expert clockmaker, and the Igor in Making Money makes the Glooper work so well that it starts to feed back into the actual money supply. As the text notes at one point, the function of the Disc's Igors is to take the crazy ideas of their "marthter" and do virtually all the spadework required to make those ideas a reality.
  • Opt Out: Igors serve their masters loyally... right up until the angry mob arrives. (Hey, nobody put being burned at the stake in the contract, all right?)
  • Speech Impediment: All Igors lisp. It's tradition.
    • What's interesting about this is that Igors are capable of speaking without a lisp. They just do it because it's expected of them. They occasionally forget to under stress. Or sometimes because they find it easier to deliver exposition.
    • The Watch's Igor, ironically, is referred to by his father as having a 'thlight thpeech impediment' because he sometimes doesn't lisp.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: An Igor will always appear behind his master when called for, even if there's no possible way for them to do this without being noticed. Some masters have done extensive tests.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Igors can tell this, both metaphorically and literally. Since so many of them work for mad scientists, it's a useful skill.

     Mightily Oats 

An Omnian reverend who oversaw the christening of Emerelda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre in Carpe Jugulum. He gets name dropped in several other books, and appears at the end of Science of Discworld IV's fiction thread.

  • An Axe to Grind: It's named Forgiveness.
  • Badass Preacher: By the end of Carpe Jugulum, he carries merciful forgiveness in one hand and bloody Forgiveness in the other.
  • Expy: After the events of Carpe Jugulum he becomes Discworld's answer to Solomon Kane.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He started off as a pretty pathetic if earnest priest, but after a book of Character Development which involved beheading a vampire leader with an axe and having his faith both tested and affirmed by Granny Weatherwax, he became a Badass Preacher on a quest to spread the faith and bring justice to evil.
  • Good Shepherd: In the very best traditions of Brutha before him, Reverend Oats takes up a personal crusade to help the helpless and give aid to those in need, while carrying a big axe when that aid involves disposing of evil.
  • I Call It "Vera": His axe, Forgiveness, which he carries into the dangerous and fearful places of the world.
  • Near-Death Experience: Briefly has one during Carpe Jugulum. Well, technically. It's Granny Weatherwax who's nearly dying, but it's Oats who sees the unidentifiable figure on the white horse and tells them to bugger off, which he's a little offended by
    It wasn't as if I said anything.
  • Overly Long Name: He's an Omnian, and so it comes with the territory for The Quite Reverend Mightily-Praiseworthy-Are-Ye-Who-Exalteth-Om Oats.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Originally something of a milquetoast, when confronted with vampires and having to defend his faith against the challenges of Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax, he quickly grows into his position and takes several levels in badass, taking down a powerful master vampire by turning an ordinary wood-cutting axe into a holy symbol.
    • Mentions of his off-page deeds in later books show that he's become even more formidable. When he makes a surprise cameo appearance in the fourth Science of Discworld book, even Vetinari treats him with respect and considers his advice well worth listening to.
  • Wandering the Earth: He's been wandering the Disc, spreading the faith and bringing Forgiveness where it is needed.

The Counterweight Continent/Agatean Empire


"Let's just say that if complete and utter chaos was lightning, he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are bastards.' "

The co-protagonist of the first two Discworld books and also of the later book Interesting Times. Twoflower is the Discworld's first tourist. He's a naive and harmless little man from the Agatean Empire, who happens to be fabulously wealthy by the standards of all other cultures on the Disc. Rincewind spends quite a while following Twoflower around, trying to collect a few gold pieces for his trouble, translating for him (since Twoflower doesn't speak Morporkian), and trying not to let him get killed. Twoflower, though he tosses fistfuls of gold around like pebbles, definitely gets his money's worth when it comes to hiring Rincewind, because he is very good at getting into the worst sorts of trouble. He is badly dressed, rich and utterly un-streetwise, optimistically determined to talk to everyone and get iconographs (the Discworld equivalent of photos, painted by a tiny imp in a box) of everything... and as always, accompanied by his Luggage which he eventually hands over ownership of to Rincewind as his final parting gift. As it turns out, though, he's hiding a truly epic grudge under his sunny exterior.

  • Bald of Awesome: Mentioned once, and never again, in a throwaway line in The Light Fantastic.
  • But Now I Must Go: At the end of The Light Fantastic, he leaves Rincewind to return home.
  • Break the Cutie: In the events after The Light Fantastic.
    • Also in the film version of The Light Fantastic after Rincewind confesses that their friendship is a false one.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: Due to a miscommunication between author and artist, actually; the original covers of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic depicted Twoflower with two pairs of eyes right next to each other, after artist Josh Kirby failed to pick up on the obtuse way Pterry was describing the spectacles he wore (which were unknown in Ankh Morpork at the time).
  • Fearless Fool: He gets through all the chaos of the first couple of books cheerfully and obliviously unhurt.
  • Funny Foreigner: Sort of - he seems like your typical cheerfully oblivious tourist. However, as Interesting Times reveals, he has considerable Hidden Depths.
  • The Good Chancellor:
    • He becomes Grand Vizier in Interesting Times; if he stays the way he is, it can only be assumed he's a good one. In The Last Hero, he does end up betraying his liege, but considering he did it to save the Discworld...
    • Logically, it makes sense that he becomes The Good King after Cohen leaves.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: In the TV movie and the graphic novel.
  • Hidden Depths: Considerable depths at that. For instance, we don't discover until Interesting Times that he has a family, by which time he's a widower with two daughters and an enormous grudge under his sunny exterior.
  • The Pollyanna: Is constantly optimistic throughout the first two books, and, in terms of his belief in Rincewind's capabilities, even after that. To Rincewind's constant irritation, this faith is, in a back-handed way, constantly justified.
  • Too Dumb to Live: And yet he does...
  • Tranquil Fury: When he challenges Lord Hong to a duel because he held him responsible for the pointless death of his wife. It earns him the respect of Cohen the Barbarian, which is no mean feat.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: He comes to Ankh-Morpork and trusts everyone. This is such a bad survival move that it actually somehow works, since the Discworld tends to work like that. The improbability of his survival and/or the power of his belief actually keeps him alive.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He thinks he's on a fun adventure, which is really more like a series of near-death experiences.

     The Luggage 

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Twoflower's Luggage is every traveller's dream: it's made of ridiculously expensive sapient pearwood, it looks like a wooden trunk on legs, and it follows him everywhere like a big wooden guard dog. The Luggage also is invitingly full of gold, has a near-bottomless capacity, and seems to be able to magically clean Twoflower's laundry. Thieves look at it with great interest... until they discover (usually much too late) that the Luggage has big teeth, it's impervious to magic, it's prone to violent psychosis, and it is quite happy to eat anyone or anything that gets in its way. Twoflower later bequeaths it to Rincewind as his final parting gift. Rincewind, for his part, views it as something of a mixed blessing.

  • Animate Inanimate Object: In the first book, it is often described as "opening its lid threateningly" or "it turned and faced them, despite the fact it had no face with which to face them with." Right near the end of The Colour of Magic, it spits out Tethis, the sea troll, at Rincewind's feet, after which it "manages to project a smug expression." It can stare without eyes and has a very disconcerting tongue.
  • Anti-Magic: An inherent property of sapient pearwood, which The Luggage happens to be made of.
  • Chest Monster: One with no brain (yet still somehow sapient), and a homicidal attitude towards anything that threatens its master.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: Being made of sapient pear wood, and having a definite personality of its own, the Luggage straddles the line between this and The Cat Came Back until it meets a mate.
  • Crossdresser: In The Last Continent, it gets dressed up in high heels.
  • Determinator: If lost, The Luggage WILL return to its owner. Not even dimensional barriers can stop it.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Luggage has eaten people (on many occasions), sharks, crocodiles, legendary grimoires, and even (on one occasion) a demon. Only one of these things - the Octavo, one of said legendary grimoires, which contained the Eight Great Spells used to create the Discworld by the Creator - caused it any trouble, which Rincewind described as 'sulking for three days before spitting it out.'
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Very, very much so.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It has saved children from a burning tower, is quite courteous to ladies and drag queens, and has Undying Loyalty to Rincewind (even if it occasionally goes on detours). It also eats or terrorises just about everyone else.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In The Light Fantastic, it eats Galder Weatherwax, the only wizard at Unseen University who stood in Trymon's way, alive, setting in motion the conflict for the rest of the book.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: If being buried in Fourecks long and deep enough for opal deposits to form on top of it didn't even noticeably hurt it, it's very hard to imagine exactly what it would take to actually do so. Hell, in The Colour of Magic, it gets hit with magic the sheer volume of which has not been seen since the Mage Wars, and it isn't even fazed, probably helped by being made out of sapient pearwood.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: To Twoflower, then to Rincewind.
  • Undying Loyalty: To its owner.

     (Genghiz) Cohen the Barbarian 

Cohen the Barbarian is exactly what you'd get if Conan the Barbarian was a skinny old man. He's a bazillion years old with all the hallmarks of age, including a bad back, bunions, no teeth (until he gets new ones made from a troll's teeth - Old Grandad's, to be precise), and a very long beard. Cohen is, however, not to be underestimated. In a profession with an extremely short life expectancy, Cohen is still looting temples, rescuing maidens, and pillaging villages... and the only way to do that is to be very, very good at it. In Interesting Times and The Last Hero, Cohen is seen at the head of the Silver Horde, a terrifying pack of barbarian warriors who are almost as old as he is, but haven't let age stop them.

  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: We're... not really sure. The Silver Horde plunged off Dunmanifestin just as the Agatean Thunder Clay detonated, but when the Valkyries came to take their souls, they hijacked their steeds and rode off into the stars in search of more worlds to conquer.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He had a brief stint as Emperor after the Silver Horde (all seven of them) stole the Agatean Empire.
  • Badass Crew: The Silver Horde. There are seven of them, all of them as ancient as Cohen, all of them as bloodthirsty, Genre Savvy and Book Dumb as he is (albeit to a lesser extent). Well, except for Teach.
  • Book Dumb: The only use he ever found for books is lavatory paper. However, unlike most barbarians, he actually has a great deal of genuine respect for book-learning, even going so far as to make a retired geography teacher part of his retinue, and deferring to him in his areas of expertise. Hell, he's even willing to listen to Rincewind when it's relevant, which is more than just about anyone else ever does.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Cohen and his Silver Horde embody this concept: a band of barbarians running around in an era that's moved beyond them.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: One of the key reasons for his success. When outnumbered by a vastly superior force, the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits will undoubtedly prevail. This gets turned on the Horde when they go up against Carrot, though they back out the moment that this is pointed out to them.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In his final story, The Last Hero, the entire plot is essentially about doing this to the Gods, all of them. However, a particular example turns up when, upon meeting the Lady, he sneers at her assertions that he should be grateful to her for ensuring his successfully claiming the Million-to-One Chance throughout his life, calling her out on all the good friends he saw who didn't end up on the winning side of that equation before declaring that she "ain't no Lady".
  • Dirty Old Man: Has descendants throughout the Disc. Sometimes feels bad about not keeping ties with any of them, but it's hard to do the whole parenting thing when your face is on wanted posters in most countries.
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth: Justified. His dentures are made from a troll's (specifically, Old Granddad's) teeth, which are diamond.
  • Expy:
    • Of Conan the Barbarian, albeit a thousand times more cunning due to being much, much older. When asked what is best in life, he replies:
      Cohen: Hot water, good dentishtry and shoft lavatory paper.
    • To a lesser extent, Genghis Khan, albeit mostly in name, in multitude of descendants, and conquering the Disc's equivalent to China. The Silver Horde is also a reference to the Khan's Golden Horde.
  • Genius Bruiser: An odd variant. He's repeatedly stated to be not all that bright, but he has enough cynicism, experience, and pure cunning which combined with pure audacity can more than pass muster - certainly, it allows him to run rings around much more conventionally smart people, especially in Interesting Times when everyone is vainly trying to guess what he and the Silver Horde are there to steal, guessing artefact after artefact... then finding out that he's going to steal the Empire.
  • Genre Savvy: He calls it "The Code", and it's what ensures heroes win, villains lose (but allowed to escape for the sequel) and everyone winds up happy. He knows it inside out and backwards.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Cohen parodies the special 'heroic moral license' that's so prevalent in the fantasy genre. Everybody acknowledges that he's a thief, killer, bully, sex maniac (well, back in the day, anyhow) and all-around enemy of civilization. In Interesting Times, Rincewind speculates that he probably gets away with it because of his complete candour and absence of malice.
  • Heel Realization: When the Silver Horde faces off against Carrot, they realize that they have become the bad guys in the story and Carrot is The Hero, because he's the one man facing off against multiple, far more experienced fighters to prevent them from destroying the world. The fact that he's also the long lost heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork, which the Horde quickly figure out (it's an open secret at this point) is a mere courtesy detail at that point.
  • Living Relic: He's a hero of a bygone era, when things were simpler, and heroes were considered heroes because they were Designated Heroes - they don't murder, rape and steal; they slay monsters, ravish damsels, and plunder treasures. Of course, the second might not apply - it is observed that, apparently, no one ever complained.
  • Old Master: Eighty-seven when he first appears, probably a century or more old when he last appears, and still kicking ass.
  • Old Soldier: The fact is that if you manage to live to that age in a profession like Barbarian Hero, you're probably really good at staying alive.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: In his final story, The Last Hero, he sets out to blow up the Discworld equivalent of Mount Olympus and all the gods out of a lifetime's accumulated rage of their abusing heroes — primarily that they had the indecency to treat their lives like games and then let them fade away into uselessness, which Cohen has lived to see. Finding out that this goes all the way back to the first hero, Mazda, who was chained to a rock with an eagle eating his liver for eternity for having stolen fire, was only icing on the cake.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The Silver Horde's plan to steal the entire Agatean Empire in Interesting Times, and to break into the city of the gods and blow them all up in The Last Hero.
  • Speech Impediment: Until he gets dentures upon Twoflower's suggestion.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His plans to firebomb the home of the gods was just meant to be a huge middle finger to them, and he figured it wouldn't really hurt anyone — he had no idea that it would cause a chain reaction that'd annihilate the Disc.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In The Last Hero, you really have to feel sorry for Cohen; he's been alive so long that his entire way of life has literally come to an end around him, leaving him the last remnant of an age that most people now sneer at and mock. Almost all of his friends are dead, often in less than noble circumstances, and he's overwhelmed by the feeling that nothing he's ever achieved has ultimately mattered at all - something probably following on from Teach's Motive Rant in Interesting Times, which points out how the Silver Horde's deeds hadn't amounted to much at all. Add in that he actually doesn't realize his plan for a final spit in the eye of the gods who used him like a playing piece will kill everyone, and he's actually horrified when he finds this out, and saves the world one last time, going out in style... and when the Valkyries come for them, he and the Horde promptly mug them, nick their horses and carry on conquering for eternity. All in all, he's quite sympathetic.

The History Monks


The not-exactly-holy, wrinkly, smiling little man who debuted in Small Gods, appears in Night Watch and co-stars with his pupil in Thief of Time. He may also have shown up in Going Postal as a background cleaner in a temple, and anytime a sweeper is mentioned, it may be him. He follows the Way of Mrs. Cosmopolite and thinks that "Rule One" Needs More Love. And if you annoy him too much, you will abruptly learn why he's Shrouded in Myth.

  • Actually, I Am Him: He doesn't really tend to explain who he is, preferring to wait for the person talking to him to figure it out so he can laugh at their expression.
  • Almighty Janitor: Literally. He is a janitor/sweeper/misc cleaning person and his influence over time and history gives everyone pause.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Although his favourite weapons are stealth and trickery.
  • Cynical Mentor: Lampshaded in Thief of Time:
    Lobsang Ludd: You said that it would be in Ankh-Morpork!
    Lu-Tze: Yeah, but I have years of experience and cynicism! You're just talented!
  • Exact Words: He loves to use the phrasing "is it not written..." when quoting bits of common sense wisdom. Where it's written is a small notebook he keeps in his pocket, and the original source is the everyday comments of an old housekeeper from Ankh-Morpork. When his apprentice directly asks where it's written he laughingly reveals that it's the first time anybody's asked and he's been pulling it for decades, even though some of the monks remark they never come across the passages he quotes.
  • For Want of a Nail: His shtick - he prevents wars by selling nails and horseshoes in convenient spots, putting compost heaps in the right places, and making sure that single pieces of machinery are faulty. The senior History Monks' respect from him largely derives from the subtlety with which he can alter the timeline.
  • Hermit Guru: Very grudgingly, and unconventionally.
  • Koan: The Way of Mrs. Cosmopolite, composed of the mundane, common-sense sayings of an Ankh-Morpork landlady. As such, they are as exotic to Lu-Tze as Zen koans are to Westerners, but still work as a form of wisdom for him. A lot of it comes down to her sayings being coincidentally similar to the profound wisdom of the order's founder, but with a more practical bent that gives him an edge.
  • Mind Screw: The question of whether or not he really is as badass as his reputation has him, or if he's just a very adept conman runs through Thief of Time. As it turns out, he is that badass, enough to beat the living incarnation of freaking Time in a straight fight.
  • My Greatest Failure: The first time a glass clock was built, he failed to stop it from freezing time and shattering it into little tiny pieces, meaning the History Monks had to piece it all together again.
  • Not So Stoic: He rarely lets his wrinkly smiling old man image drop, but Lobsang can get to him.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Another major part of his shtick, with the additional wrinkle that everyone knows he's doing this, and just tries to guess how he's tricking them. Nobody ever figures out in time, though.
  • Old Master: Rule One: "Never act incautiously when confronted by a little bald wrinkly smiling man!"
    • The first impression he gives in Thief of Time is that he is hiding his physical skills behind his age and appearance, hence Rule One. Then Lobsang realizes that this is all untrue, and that he just lets his reputation and peoples' expectations do all the work without even being capable of fighting...
    • then it turns out that no, Lu-Tze actually is a martial arts master beyond compare, the only known practitioner of Déjà Fu, and capable of beating up the living incarnation of Time.note 
  • Shrouded in Myth: Deliberately so, because It Amused Me.
  • Weirdness Search and Rescue: Served as one for Vimes in Night Watch.


    Blind Io 
The Disc's thunder god — lightning is used freely by all major deities, but Io jealously guards thunder. He's also the leader of the gods, inasmuch as they have any real hierarchy to be on top of.
  • Expy: Of Zeus/Jupiter, primarily, by means of his Top God status, appearance as an old man in a white robe and status as a god of thunder. His eyelessness and former raven servants also have shades of Odin.
  • Eyeless Face: He has no eyes beneath his blindfold, only smooth skin.
  • God of Thunder: He holds the divine copyright on thunder. In fact, he actually absorbed all lesser thunder gods of the Disc — not only is he the Thunder God, he's also every thunder god.
  • Top God: He's generally acknowledged as the leader of the Discworld's gods.

    The Lady 
A mysterious goddess (probably) of luck, frequently seen playing games with the Fates of Men, usually against Fate. Rincewind is one of her favourite pieces, explaining both his unfortunate life and his miraculous survival.
  • The Chessmaster: Good at getting things to work out in her favour from the most unusual circumstances, like the right butterfly in just the right place... she's also a total cheat.
  • He Who Must Not Be Named: She has a name, but people who say it come to bizarre and improbable ends. Just call her the Lady if you have to.
  • Jerkass Gods: She's nicer than most of the other gods, but that's not exactly saying anything. She still plays the game along with them. And bad things tend to happen to people who try worshipping her.
  • Million-to-One Chance: She is the chance. Eventually, in The Last Hero, Cohen points out she's all the other chances as well, and says that as a result, "you ain't no lady."
  • Pet the Dog: She does whatever she can to keep Rincewind alive. Of course, she's also part of the reason he ends up in some much danger in the first place.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Hers are a magnificent shade of green. Completely green, in fact.

A crocodile-headed god popular in Klatch.
  • Expy: Crocodile-headed god associated with rivers and popular in the local Egypt analogue... yep, he's Sobek.
  • Non-Human Head: He has a crocodile's head.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: His religion is showy and theatrical without an excess of dogma or inconvenient rules, and in all his appearances he's generally the most reasonable and cautious of the Gods.
  • Speech Impediment: He has a pronounced lisp, on account of his crocodile heads' large fangs.

Cosmic Entities

     The Auditors of Reality 

    Great A'Tuin 

The World Turtle, who carries the Four Elephants, and by proxy the Disc, through space. Not much is known about it.

  • Ambiguous Gender: Male or female? The question was attempted to be solved by a spaceship, but Rincewind got in the way.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Where did Great A'Tuin come from? Where is it going? Why does it carry the Elephants and the Disc? No one knows.


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