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Characters / Discworld Species

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The various species that inhabit the Discworld.

This page includes significant spoilers, and some are by their nature unmarked. Read at your own discretion.

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    In General 
The Disc is a crowded place when you think about it.
  • Fantastic Racism: Given the variety of races it's not uncommon.
    • The only ones that are hated by everyone are elves and goblins, for very different reasons.
  • Interspecies Romance: Very common all things considered, love finds a way.
    • First and foremost is Angua (werewolf) and Carrot (biologically human, raised and identifies as a dwarf). Their potential children are a plot point in Feet of Clay. In The Fifth Elephant it is hinted that Angua also used to have a relationship with an ordinary wolf, implied to be the descendant of a yennork (a werewolf stuck permanently in one form, in this case wolf).
    • Played With regarding Lupine and Ludmilla Cake: While they're more-or-less the same thing (werewolves), one's a wolf who turns into a wolf-man during the full moon, and the other is a human that turns into a wolf-woman (they more or less meet in the middle). Somehow, they make the relationship work, despite only having one week-in-four per month in which they are the same body shape. The secret and beloved dark heart of this meme is that that's very much their affair, and none of our business... or to put it another way, maybe they are happier than you think.
    • There's also the implied relationship between Lord Vetinari (human) and Lady Margolotta (vampire).
    • The Elf Queen, see below, wants to take a mortal husband, but this is more for political reasons than romantic ones. In the same book there is mention of humans with elf ancestry, which presumably explains Imp Y Celyn from Soul Music and the "elves" mentioned in early books.
    • It's also been stated (or at least implied) that Nanny Ogg has some dwarfish ancestry, albeit several generations back, and she has a looooong list of lovers.
    • Casanunda the Dwarf (get it? cuz he's Casanova but short) will romance (or at least boff) any female who'll hold still long enough, pretty much regardless of species. Nanny Ogg was/is one of his lovers.
    • In Snuff, there is a one-page mention that a dwarf and a troll have set up a house together in Ankh-Morpork. The same book also has Nobby Nobbs beginning a relationship with a female goblin. Of course, Nobby is also so odd-looking that there's a decent chance he has some goblin ancestry as well.
    • In Raising Steam a wedding between a human and a dwarf is crashed by dwarven extremists, though most of the integrated town thought they were a good match, and it only diminished popular support for the extremists further. They also show the beginning of a relationship between a dwarf and a troll at one of the new train stations.
    • In Guards! Guards!, Errol and the (female) Noble Dragon technically qualify; they may both be dragons, but they are of different species (draco vulgaris and draco nobilis, respectively).
    • In Witches Abroad, Greebo is strongly implied to have had sex with a drunken noblewoman at the masqued ball. Greebo is a cat, albeit in human form at the time. Granted, Greebo is infamous for raping anything four-legged and female up to and including a bear ...but this time, the noblewoman evidently (and enthusiastically) cooperated.
    • In Thief of Time, the relationship between a mortal and the Anthropomorphic Personification of Time and the resulting progeny is what kicks off the plot.
  • Loads and Loads of Races: It started with humans, trolls, and elves — although even this was explained in the context of Rincewind trying to work out why there were still dryads. Then gnomes and dwarfs got added in The Light Fantastic, and gnolls in Equal Rites. Then Reaper Man added zombies, vampires, werewolves, weremen, bogeymen and banshees. Then Lords and Ladies introduced The Fair Folk, so the elves that had been vaguely mentioned previously had to be explained as Half-Human Hybrids. Feet of Clay added golems, and Carpe Jugulum added the Nac Mac Feegle (later explained as a society of gnomes) and the Igors (who may or may not be human, it's not quite clear). Thief of Time included yeti. Unseen Academicals introduced orcs and featured the first mention of goblins, who would go on to play a major role in Snuff (as well as a throwaway reference to a "Medusa" in the Watch). (And Night Watch had a brief mention of kvetches, but never really explained what they were beyond being covered in hair).
  • Not So Different: A very common theme across all the novels and associated media is that no race is inherently "better" or "worse" than the other, and they're all far more similar than anyone would ever admit.

Mortal Species

Humanity itself. The most common and currently dominant race on the Disc.
  • Five Races: In an interesting sense, all known human characters actually make up all five categories - Witches are Fairy, Wizards are High Men, the Watchmen of Ankh-Morpork and Watchmen in general are Stout, Twoflower, Moist (early on), and Igors are Cute, and the Muggles are the Mundane.
  • Humans Are Flawed: It's noted by multiple immortal, divine and cosmic forces that humans are often their own worst enemy, and yet it makes them so fascinating at the same time.
  • Humans Are Morons: Many times, it's noted that humans have a very special and unique brand of stupidity no other species can accomplish.
  • Humans Are Special: With the above noted, Death has grown oddly fond of humans as a species, and will protect them when push comes to shove. Furthermore, it's often mentioned that humans are profoundly unique among the Disc's races, and have a level of creativity seen nowhere else.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Humans have the dubious honor of being one of the only races on this Disc to practice intra-species racism.
  • Humans Are Ugly: Some can take us or leave us, with Trolls and the Auditors being in the latter category.
  • Human Subspecies: Igors are implied to be one.
  • Puny Humans: Humans are by far the weakest race from a purely physical perspective on the entire Disc, as even the Nac Mac Feegle have proportional Super Strength.

The original mountain-dwelling race of intelligent and (relatively) short humanoids typically found living deep in the bones of the earth.
  • Arch-Enemy: Species-wide with trolls. Dwarfs like digging into rock to mine precious minerals, trolls are made of rock and precious minerals. Vimes notes in Men at Arms that the two species no longer need an excuse to fight, it's just standard procedure. Those under Ardent expand this to "anyone we deem not a dwarf".
  • The Blacksmith: PlayedWith. All dwarfs can blacksmith but they're not all necessarily good at it. They branch out into all kinds of professions.
  • Dwarfs Love To Argue: Dwarfs are often compared to real-life Jews (this was not the author's original intention but he seems to be running with it.) One of the main reasons? They argue a lot, especially about their faith. As Cheery Littlebottom says in The Fifth Elephant:
    Cheery Littlebottom: Dwarfs are very argumentative. Of course, many wouldn't agree.
  • Fantastic Slur: "Lawn ornament", a good way to commit Suicide by Dwarf, unless you've earned it.
  • Five Races: Far more in depth then usual, but they share Stout with the Trolls who they absolutely hate. For most of the series anyway.
  • The Fundamentalist: Dwarfs ostensibly have no religion, but being a dwarf itself is like a religion, and there are people who are fundamentalists about being dwarfs. Typically these are found among the grags, the (quasi-)religious specialists, though not all of them are like that. The extremists refuse to be touched by sunlight at all, since it's proper for dwarfs to be underground, and are opposed to dwarfs in human cities taking on foreign influences such as being openly female.
  • Girls with Moustaches: All female dwarfs, openly female or not, have long, flowing beards. Cheery Littlebottom, among the first female dwarfs to embrace her femininity, states no female dwarf would be likely to shave it. After all, there's a difference between declaring yourself female and declaring you're not a dwarf. When Juliet Stollop (a human) becomes the Disc's first supermodel in Unseen Academicals, she does so working for a dwarf fashion store, which requires the use of a fake beard for the full dwarf look. Rhys Rhysson, the Low King, notes in passing when the subject comes up that a number of dwarfs wear them as well, if they aren't naturally gifted in the beard department.
  • Gold Fever: ZigZagged: They actually like iron much more for its practical applications but all the best Drunken Songs use gold because it rhymes better. They still have a realistic view of its limited usefulness.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Speculated as why, after several decades of being perfectly quiet and well-behaved, the first thing a dwarf does on going to the big city is down a stiff drink and try to take someone's legs off at the kneecaps - it's precisely because they've been spending several decades being quiet and well behaved, and it's instilled a need for a stiff drink.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Every dwarf is expected to be a short, bearded man equipped with an axe and armor. The aversions of this can be counted on one hand.
  • Oh My Gods!: They don't exactly worship Tak, their god. According to moderate dwarfs, Tak doesn't command dwarfs think of him, only that they think period. Also explained that it helps to have someone to swear to. "Oh bloody quantum on a stick" just doesn't sound as good, after all.
  • One-Gender Race: Averted and gradually deconstructed. They seem to be an all-male species, but it turns out that female dwarfs just look — and traditionally act — just like male dwarfs. There's eventually a war when this falls apart.
  • Our Dwarfs Are All The Same: Initially played straight, but later parodied and averted, especially on the subject of gender and associated norms.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Subversion, an occasional running gag is dwarfs swearing in Dwarfish sounding like it's more threatening than it actually is. The context in these conversations is such that the non-Dwarfish-speakers present assume they're swearwords.
    • An example from the novel Feet of Clay, when a group of angry dwarves discusses an attempted robbery on a dwarven bakery by human criminals with Captain Carrot of the City Watch: "They kicked Olaf Stronginthearm in the bad'dhakz!", "Let's hang 'em up by the bura'zak-ka!" Footnotes explain that the words in question meant "yeast bowl" and "town hall." The joke is upped when Captain Carrot, dwarf by adoption, patiently explains, "Now, now, Mr Ironcrust. We don't practice that punishment in Ankh-Morpork." with the footnote adding: Because Ankh-Morpork doesn't have a town hall.
    • Interestingly, the dwarf word for Littlebottom's name seems to be "Sh'rt'azs", which sounds rather like "shortarse".
    • There's also the dwarf insult tossed at Cheery when the dwarfs see her dressed in a way that clearly indicates she's female in The Fifth Elephant: "ha'ak". Later uses of "ha'ak" in Thud! establish that it's not gender-specific, but means something along the lines of "betrayer/sullier of dwarfishness".
  • Planet of Hats: Gender diversity is something that happens to other people when you're a dwarf. Both sexes have long, lush beards and dress in so many layers of clothing that they default to an androgynous barrel shape, and every individual has a bone-deep instinct for mining, smithing, and trading (mechanical work and gadgetry, while often associated with dwarfs in other works, is specifically noted not to be a common trait of Disc dwarfs, the dwarf that the narrative is focusing on just happens to be good at it). Notably, traditional dwarfs consider even identifying as female to be shameful and obscene, though this seems to be easing off in more progressive areas. In later books the more extremist dwarfs acquire a new hat where they basically become the Taliban.
  • The Sacred Darkness. Being belowground-dwellers, Dwarfs have several inverted values to humans. One of them is that they consider darkness the most sacred, and the grags try to keep themselves in it whenever possible, many shunning daylight altogether and believing it to be blasphemy. Their culture recognize different kinds of darkness — including malevolent kinds like the Summoning Dark — but generally think of it as a good thing; one dwarf priest uses the metaphor that the eyes grow wider in darkness, but shrink in light. For example, their creation myth:
    "The first Brother walked toward the light, and stood under the open sky. Thus he became too tall. He was the first Man. He found no Laws, and he was enlightened. The second Brother walked toward the darkness, and stood under a roof of stone. Thus he achieved the correct height. He was the first Dwarf. He found the Laws Tak had written, and he was endarkened."

  • Samus Is a Girl: Dwarfish culture is so male-centric that females typically behave and masquerade as men, and officially stated to have all dwarfs considered as dwarfs without distinction of sex. This can cause confusion when two dwarfs like each other and need to delicately find out if they have met a friend or a mate. Angua detects her new dwarf co-worker's secret and coaches her to slowly adopt feminine behavior, which causes a lot of confusion among her other co-workers. She ultimately comes out of the closet and renames herself Cherry. She also starts wearing dresses. Chainmail ones with an axe... she said she was female, she never said she wasn't a dwarf. She also keeps her beard for the same reason.
  • Super Strength: Not as much as trolls, but they're still slightly stronger than the average human.
  • Super Toughness: A very mild form, especially compared to trolls, but Vimes does note that they're more resilient than the average human if only by a little.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Culturally they're expected to look male, but that doesn't mean they are.
    • This is expanded upon with Cherry Littlebottom, a feminist in a race where discovering the other's gender is part of the mating ritual. She would wear makeup, but refused to shave her beard because to do so would deny being a dwarf.
    • Some are never really resolved in Unseen Academicals with Madame Sharn. She claims female terminology but never really a female identity, and her lover is an Ambiguously Gay male (biologically human) dwarf. Thanks to the weird interactions between dwarf and human ideas of sexuality she could equally be male, female, transgender, or not fit cisgender terminology at all.
  • Underground City: Standard for dwarfs.
  • Walking Arsenal: The basic daily clothes of a dwarf include mail and a battle axe, with additional weapons and armor for specific jobs as necessary. Dwarf street toughs in Ankh-Morpork especially as tensions with trolls rise, start carrying a lot more than the traditional battle ax, a form of macho swagger derisively called "clang". By contrast, the personal guard of the dwarf ruler pointedly carry only one axe each. With Grag Bashfulsson going axeless having an "axe in the mind".
  • Witch Species: Downplayed. It's mentioned in The Light Fantastic that they're said to be one of the magical races, but they're never shown to use magic — with one notable exception: they're the ones who manufacture witches' Flying Broomsticks.

A race of Silicon-Based Life originating in the mountains that often feuds with the Dwarfs and has a unfair reputation for being nothing more than Dumb Muscle.
  • All Trolls Are Different: They're made of rock, for a start. They also view time as going backwards and imagine heaven as "down below", whereas they think hell is "up in the sky".
  • Arch-Enemy: Species-wide with dwarfs. Dwarfs like mining for precious minerals, trolls often contain precious minerals in their bodies. Vimes notes in Men at Arms that the two species no longer need an excuse to fight, it's just standard procedure.
  • Counting to Potato: They have a counting system based on fours, rather than tens (apart from Detritus, who ends up counting in binary). As a result a troll counting "one, two, three, many"note  comes across this way (leading to an In-Universe stereotype that trolls can't count past three).
    Detritus: SOUND OFF!
    Troll Recruits: ONE! TWO!
    Detritus: SOUND OFF!
    Troll Recruits: MANY! LOTS!
    Detritus: SOUND OFF!
    Troll Recruits: ERR! WHAT?
  • Dumb Muscle: They're perceived this way by most other races on the Disc, and typically end up relegated into menial work as a result. It turns out this is because their brains, which usually work well in mountainous chill and subterranean environments, don't do so well in the relative heat everywhere else.
  • Eat Dirt, Cheap: Given their composition trolls eat gems and rock, and have teeth made of diamond to facilitate this. And yes, it is possible for them to complain about the food, as CMOT Dibbler discovers in Men at Arms.
    First troll: Dis shale is stale.
    Second troll: Yeah, and dere's bloody quartz all through dis granite. Clogs the arteries, quartz.
  • Five Races: Far more in depth then usual, but they share Stout with the Dwarfs who they absolutely hate. For most of the series anyway.
  • Gem Tissue: The Diamond King of the Trolls isn't just a flowery regal title. He really is made of diamond. Trolls are made of what is called "metamorphorical rock," where the silicon-based substance of their bodies is predominantly one form of inorganic silicon tissue: the stuff of their being is partly down to genetic factors, but can also be mimetic of the dominant rock of their surroundings. Many male trolls are simply "Granite" or "Marble" or similar: but female trolls tend to incorporate a lot more wholly and semi-precious gemstones, i.e. Ruby, Beryl, etc. And, of course, all trolls have diamond teeth - the only material strong enough to grind and break down rock.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun; Trolls gamble by tossing something up and then betting on whether or not it will come down. To be fair, there's definitely some parts on the Disc where it's a legitimate toss-up.
    Troll gambling is even easier than Australian gambling.
  • Monster Modesty: Excepting Detritus, who wears a Watch uniform, and Chrysophrase, who wears a suit, trolls mostly just wear a loincloth "to conceal whatever it was that trolls found it necessary to conceal".
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: They're a subspecies of troll, for one. Gargoyles are living statues that live on rooftops and feed on pigeons, and are named after where they're located ("Cornice overlooking Broadway", for example). They are frequently used as Watchmen and to man the clacks system — jobs where being able to stare at a single location for days on end and not get bored is a very useful capability. Also, unlike many depictions of monstrous gargoyles, Discworld gargoyles retain their waterspoutish nature, using their ears and wings to direct rain through the back of their heads and out their mouths, filtering out anything potentially tasty that passes through (especially pigeons). This means that their mouths are always open and their speech is affected quite a bit. It was mentioned once, by either Vimes or Carrot, that the gargoyle was a sort of troll — a species of Rock Monster in the Discworld — evolved specifically to survive in the city. As of The World of Poo, the younger generation of Ankh-Morpork gargoyles have adapted fully to an all-pigeon diet, a change that means they now can close their mouths and speak coherently. This is similar to how young city trolls like Brick are physically adapting to urban living, supporting the notion that gargoyles and trolls are closely related.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Played Straight unlike with dwarfs, Men at Arms has two troll recruits sworn into the Watch using a powerful Trollish oath of loyalty and obedience, namely "I will do what I'm told, or get my goohuloog head kicked in." Monstrous Regiment introduces the word 'groophar', which is implied to be Trollish for "fuck".
    Carborundum: If people are groophar stupid, then we'll fight for groophar stupidity, 'cos it's our stupidity. And dat's good, yea?
    Maladict: I realize I ought to know these things, but what does "groophar" mean?
    Carborundum: Ah, well . . . when, right, a daddy troll an' a mummy troll—
    Maladict: Good, right, yes, I think I've got it, thank you.
  • Plant Hair: Trolls, being made of rock, often cultivate lichen on their heads, and other places regardless of gender. One character in Unseen Academicals makes money on the side selling starter stock for it.
  • Rock Monster: Definitely made of rock, see below. Although their personalities are not particularly monstrous. They can pretend to be part of the landscape to the point where you can need experience and training to properly discern where they are, as trolls are really good at this.
  • Rock Theme Naming: All trolls are named in some way after rocks or minerals. Female trolls may have the names of precious stones (such as "Ruby"), whereas males tend to be named for more mundane minerals or geological terminology (such as "Detritus"). Trolls even grow to look like the specific minerals for which they are named, making these Prophetic Names — a phenomenon which is called "metamorphorical rock" in-setting, but which isn't actually understood there. One book, on the other hand, features a troll called Big Jim Beef, which is explained as a "macho" nickname, similar to a human being called Rocky.
  • Silicon-Based Life: Played for Laughs, but they still qualify. It is specifically noted that, as silicon-based organisms, they function like supercomputers, with processing speed (and thus intelligence) being inversely proportional to temperature. One of them uses Hulk Speak at room temperatures, but when locked in a freezer for a while, almost came up with a unified field theory. They also count in either base four or binary because of that.
  • Super Strength: Trolls are ferociously strong. Vimes is grateful in Night Watch that the enemy force doesn't have a troll, reasoning one would probably have broken through his barricades with ease.
  • Super Toughness: Fittingly for beings made of rock, they are hard to injure even with the sharpest of blades. The typical solution for a troll being in your way is to sic another troll on it.
  • Taken for Granite: A variant; Trolls cannot be turned to stone, because as silicon-based life forms, they are essentially already living rock. It's just that their brains work better in cold temperatures, so if they leave their mountain homelands, they grow dumber, and if it gets too hot, their brains shut down entirely and they go inert until nightfall.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: looking like a monolith with an apple perched at the top is what it takes to be considered a hunky troll. Detritus qualifys.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: It's a bit more complex then usual, but it's accurate for most of them. Generally, if they aren't dumb, than they're terrifyingly intelligent.
    • In The Fifth Elephant, it is suggested that one reason that the Clacks System is so efficient that it can function as a Bamboo Internet is that it employs Discworld's gargoyles, who are good at watching and lack enough creativity to make mistakes.

The classic underpeople, given a Discworld twist. A race of clever craftsmen unfairly persecuted and despised by the vast majority of the Disc.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Have been the subject of this for centuries, officially classified as vermin by many countries.
  • Our Goblins Are Different:
    • Unseen Academicals establishes goblins as a distinct—and extremely rare—species, similar in appearance to small and odd-looking humans. The only known literature about them is the anthropological text Five Hours and Sixteen Minutes Among the Goblins of Far Uberwald, which according to the author was five hours too long. Incidentally, orcs are introduced in the same novel, but are something else entirely (despite which, humans tend to confuse them).
    • invoked They are elaborated further in Snuff where they are presented as an entire race of Woobies, forced on the edges wherever they go, classified as vermin or property by law in most of the world. They are extremely skilled craftsmen in a very narrow field of making delicate, ornate pots, and they also demonstrate an unexpected skill for stunningly beautiful music and, as of Raising Steam, pretty much anything involving fine detail as well becoming a fixture on the clacks and the new trains. They even build their own underground steam engine, and invent the bicycle.
    • The pots are also extremely important to what is essentially their religion and entire culture all in one, being something made by a magical process out of anything handy that can't be replicated by non-goblins. The religion is founded on the notion that if one's body is a temple then the things that come out of it are holy, and thus the pots are used to store things like snot and nail clippings; this has given them a reputation for being unpleasantly obsessed with all things nasty and unhygienic.
  • The Pig-Pen: Exaggerated, as it's a matter of religion for them.

    Spoilers for Unseen Academicals 
Orcs were once weapons of the Evil Empire, deployed as shock troops and gaining a reputation for being terrifying and brutal. In the present day, they are initially believed to be extinct, until it turns out that this isn't quite the case.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. They merely developed this reputation because of their misuse at the hands of the Empire. As Mr. Nutt proves, they're as capable of good as any other race.
  • The Dreaded: They developed this reputation during their time as war slaves, but it's not entirely merited.
  • Genius Bruiser: Surprisingly enough, but justified in that as they're Super Soldiers, they're bred to be good at strategy and tactics, which naturally bleeds over into other aspects of intelligence. For instance, Mr. Nutt can tell someone just how much force note it will take to snap their neck, and which muscles will get in the way.
  • Healing Factor: A variation. When they get critically injured (beyond the point most humans would drop dead), they have an engineered "Little Brother" that essentially revives them. When Nutt's kicks in, the hospital staff initially think an Igor has treated them and - because this usually means super science without which the patient would be dead - Trev only just avoids being charged with murder (he wasn't responsible, but the perpetrators had run off).
  • Henchmen Race: The orcs were designed purely to serve as weapons, and most people assumed that they weren't capable of functioning without someone to give them orders.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: The Evil Empire created a race of Genius Bruiser Super Soldiers capable of excelling in every field of warfare... and then drove them into battle in poorly-armed waves with men with whips to goad them on. Considering that Uberwald is the old and much-beloved home of Mad Science, they were probably built by Igors to drastically exceed their intended purpose. And that intended purpose seems to have been "an easy-to-breed humanoid lifeform with extremely rapid physical and mental development that allows for minimum time between birth and Zerg Rush use in battle". Most of them probably died long before their real potential began to show.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Tolkinesque-style orcs are deconstructed with them. While they're bred (biologically and socially) to be war machines, if you take them out of the environment, they're no more "evil" than anyone else.
  • Super Soldier: Reconstructed with them. They're all super-strong, super-fast, can come Back from the Dead thanks to their Healing Factor, are super smart due to their brains being instinctively hardwired to easily grasp complex strategy and tactics, and have a natural teamwork instinct.
  • Super Strength: At young ages, they become strong enough that they can lift anvils with their bare hands.

Immortal Species

     The Auditors of Reality 
The Celestial Bureaucracy of the universe, who are trying to make less work for themselves. Unfortunately, this manifests as them being a bunch of Omnicidal Maniacs that despise creativity and individuality.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: They're the Squid, but unlike below examples they hate all life everywhere and so in practice act as the Devils. Unlike gods, demons, spirits or elementals they don't want anything from humanity, only that they disappear quietly. The monks of Oi Dong have hundreds of statues of horrible creatures from throughout the multiverse and consider the Auditors to be the worst.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Of Order - and Bureaucracy. In fact, they're possibly "Taxes" - Because there are two things certain in life, and Death is already accounted for, right?
  • Arch-Nemesis: To Death and Susan.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: They actually have hundreds of senses, all for the purposes of gathering data. But they don't have taste.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The Auditors are not strictly evil, and are a part of the multiverse just the same as Death is. But they are antagonistic and hostile to all life specifically because life interferes in their operations (though mainly only as a result of their pettiness and lack of imagination).
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: Exaggerated, as they're bureaucrats who oversee the minutiae of the Magical Underpinnings of Reality they want efficiency and to save on paperwork. Unfortunately for all life, they despise anything resembling creativity or individuality, since it increases the amount of said paperwork.
  • Creative Sterility: Originality and learning are not their things, possibly because of aforementioned lack of creativity. They can do it, but it takes serious effort. And they can still only learn so far.
  • Death of Personality: Inverted. They exist as grey soul-less entities. For them, to develop a recognisable personality and individual self-awareness is death.
  • Dirty Coward: In The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch it's stated they're all cowards, which is part of why they resort to cheating and weaseling in their schemes.
  • The Ditz: A particularly dark version. They are, what with the aforementioned Creative Sterility, very stupid. Very, very stupid. Which might explain some of their insane actions, and ultimately doesn't make them any less dangerous.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Of physics of all things.
  • Enemies with Death: Played With, as they're literally this and could count as "Death" themselves for the purposes of the trope. A personifications of the physical laws of the universe, like death, they are a necessary to its function. Unlike Death, they hate all life and butt heads with him quite often.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: They find life intolerably messy, their mere presence causes an increase in malignity - ordinary objects becoming more hostile to non-objects. Buttered bread become tripping hazards, ropes and hoses tie themselves into knots, rakes get under foot.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The Auditors' fundamental problem is that they cannot understand basic things like imagination or individuality. Or chocolate.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Death. Both are Anthropomorphic Personifications who exist to enforce some existential concept independent of individual belief. But while Death feels compassion for humanity and the Disc, these bastards just want order. Absolute order.
  • Evil Is Petty: Though they try to deny it, their motives largely boil down to "we are spited by life not being ordered and will try to kill everything because we are offended by its existence".
  • Expy: In many ways, they're evocative of the Men in Grey from Michael Ende's Momo. Just like the Men in Grey, the Auditors are a race of gray-clothed accountant-like entities closely monitor the actions of all people, are stumped by encounters that seem not to follow literal guidelines, and are ultimately flouted by beauty and a childlike love of narrative.
  • Foil: To the elves. Both are terrifying races of Humanoid Abominations with very hostile intentions towards mortal life. However, not only are the Auditors overall far higher on the cosmic totem pole than the elves are, but they're at the exact opposite ends of the scale of Order Versus Chaos: The elves lead chaotic existences unfettered by laws, rules and restrictions, while the Auditors have "lives" with such order and rigidity that they see gaining a personality as a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Fusion Dance: They have to merge in large numbers just to accomplish some mild physical action when operating on earth.
  • Ghostly Chill; Variant, they aren't undead but when one is accidentally summoned by the Rite of AshkEnte a ritual meant to summon Death, which was a vacant position during Reaper Man, ice starts forming in the circle, something that never happens when Death is summoned.
  • God of Order: Though not strictly gods in the same sense as actual gods in the series, they are cosmic beings who represent order, by making sure the universe works as it's supposed to. They're contemptuous of life because its inherently chaotic and messy by their standards, making their job harder.
  • Hive Mind: According to them, at least. They aren’t interconnected so much as they are interchangeable. Since gaining any semblance of individuality immediately causes an Auditor to cease existing, all existing Auditors must think and behave exactly like all other existing Auditors would in that situation.
  • Humans Are Ugly: Variant, they do not like all the disgusting orifices life has.
    • Once they start living though all the "glands and things" take over and avert this trope.
  • Individuality Is Illegal: They so loathe individuality that any Auditor who uses the personal pronoun "I" tends to spontaneously vanish, to be replaced by another, identical Auditor because to have an individual personality is to be mortal, and what is mortal life compared to the infinite span of the universe? In Thief of Time, a number of Auditors take human form, and their excursion to the Discworld ends in chaos and bloodshed, with the only survivor driven hopelessly insane (by Auditor standards at least) and committing suicide in a vat of chocolate.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Something is only alive if it has an independent existence. All living beings die in time. Any span of time is minuscule compared to the lifespan of the universe. Therefore, if an Auditor develops signs of an individual identity, it instantly vanishes.
    • The book that introduced them implied that this happens because you have to be an individual to get the insane troll logic of it - and since the Auditors disappear when they realize they have an identity, they never manage to get to the point of realizing that their logic is not perfectly sound before going puff.
    • Everything about them screams Insane Troll Logic. They have no emotions or physical needs, yet they hate life forms specifically because of how annoying it is to record everything they do. And don't even ask how creatures with a Hive Mind can make jokes with each other...
  • Jerkass Gods: They're not gods in the same sense as the actual gods in Discworld, but they are cosmic beings that oversee the universe and they are highly antagonistic.
  • Kill All Humans: And non-human sentience. And non-sentient life. All life current and in potentia, in fact. It's untidy. However, they were pleased by the evolution of humanity (inasmuch as anything "pleases" them) because humankind could be persuaded to shoot itself in the foot.
  • Knight Templar: They will stand for nothing but the cessation of life, which they view as chaotic and in need of organisation.
  • Light Is Not Good: Not light per-se, but given that their job is to keep the universe working, one would think they wouldn't hate its inhabitants as much as they do. In Thief of Time, one of them calls himself "Mr White" and happens to be the most Axe-Crazy of the lot.
  • Logic Bomb: They'll suicide if they develop a personality, they always follow directions on signs, incorrect signs cause painful dissonance to them.
  • Magical Underpinnings of Reality: What they're supposed to be doing: seeing that the universe, operates as it's supposed to.
  • Measuring the Marigolds: They attempt to understand human conceptions of art by disassembling famous paintings molecule by molecule, and sifting through them to find the parts that are "art" and "beauty".
  • Meat Puppet: They can create any substance with perfect accuracy. This includes bodies when they get down to it. They just need to insert an auditor for the "soul".
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Functionally, though they're not above breaking their own rules to get what they want.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: If they could - and they're trying very hard - they'd exterminate every living thing above the level of microbes. Fortunately, their utter lack of imagination (and certain cosmic mechanisms) prevent them from doing so directly.
  • Omnicidal Neutral: They don't care about good or evil or anything, in fact their antipathy to life stems in part from people putting all these different labels on things and messing about. They've been annoyed with it since life first evolved in fact. Life is messy and they'd like to keep things tidy.
  • Order Is Not Good: The other part their alignment; desiring absolute order, which, combined with their Insane Troll Logic, makes them into Omnicidal Maniacs due to life being untidy.
  • Painting the Medium: They don't speak as such. Rather, they send the words they would've said if they spoke into someone's head, represented as text.
  • Puff of Logic: Thanks to a Slippery Slope Fallacy regarding time, any Auditor that comes close to thinking of itself as an individual will usually disappear in a Puff of Insane Troll Logic.
  • Pure Is Not Good: In this case, their goal is pure order. Preferably lifeless.
  • Reality Warper: They can effortlessly alter the world around them to achieve all kinds of things, like creating gold and causing thunderstorms. What they can't do is simply wipe away life - it's against the rules.
  • Sense Freak: Every now and then, they'll step down from being lifeless concepts into living bodies, and whenever they do, they immediately discover that life is both far more untidy than they thought and more addictive than they ever could have foreseen. Their reactions to food and colours stand out. And then they discover the price one inevitably pays for living, which puts them in conflict with Death, who doesn't much care for their attempts to destroy all living creatures in existence.
  • Smug Snake: Their pettiness cements them as this.
  • The Three Certainties in Life: They are taxes.
  • Token Good Teammate: Myria LeJean/Unity from Thief of Time. At the book's end, when she commits suicide in a vat of chocolate, she is shown to have earned herself a soul and a spot in the afterlife, unlike all the other Auditors who took on human form.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Several. Chocolate, for one. And dreams. Hell, even being human for very long functions as Mind Rape for them, and eventually causes a Heel–Face Turn, insanity and/or death. Between these, all seven hundred that take on human form in Thief of Time die before the book ends. They're also very weak to direct instructions. They can't not obey them.
  • World of Silence: Their ideal world is a variation of this. Though they'd probably find silence too noisy. Emptiness would be best of all.

     Anthropomorphic Personifications 
Things that exist in the minds of mankind based on legends and aspects of reality itself.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: "Officially" they're the Squid, but thanks in large part to Death being their most prominent member, most of them are the Angels in practice.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The series isn't exactly the Trope Namer but still has plenty of these running around, sprinkled in with the regular gods. In particular, Death is a main character of several books, as is his granddaughter, Susan. Other Anthropomorphic Personifications are Time and the remaining three Horsemen of the Apocralypse [sic]. There were originally five Horsemen, but Kaos (who shows up in Thief of Time) left before they became famous. There are also the above-mentioned Auditors of Reality which are portrayed as embodiments of order, bureaucracy, and the mechanics of the universe, and are, instead of Death, portrayed as the opposite of life (which they hate). Unusually, these characters are referred to in the story as Anthropomorphic Personifications, and Pratchett is largely responsible for popularizing the phrase.
    • Hogfather centers on what happens when someone manages to bump off an Anthropomorphic Personification. The book also goes into the purpose of such beings; according to Death, minor beliefs and incarnations such as the Hogfather help humans to establish the beliefs in justice, mercy, duty — the things that make them truly human.
    • "The Lady" gets mentioned in passing in several books. Who she is specifically is never addressed, but contextually, she seems to be Lady Luck, called simply the Lady because to invoke her name is to Tempt Fate, and thus lose her favor.
    • Speaking of... Fate himself appears in Cori Celesti whenever the Lady does. They've been embroiled in a bitter rivalry for ever, what with a fair amount of Order (Fate) Versus Chaos (Luck) going on. He's described as being a well-groomed man with grey hair whose only unique feature is his pure black eyes, punctuated with pin-pricks of light. Upon close inspection you'll see that in fact his eyes contain the entire universe, the instant before the terror of it sends you insane. Mean-spirited at best, downright sadistic at worst; you have to be alive to be a psychopath.. so he isn't one. Just.
    • In Reaper Man when the Auditors forced Death to retire, a number of other Deaths sprang up to take his place, such as the Deaths of Mayflies, Trees, Fleas, and Rats, as well as a new one for Humans. When the original resumes his role, he sucks up all the rest except for the Deaths of Rats and Fleas. Additionally, Azrael, the Death of Universes, is presented as his own superior.
    • Discworld largely plays this trope straight — Death is an Anthropomorphic Personification, born of the theory that 'belief shapes form'; Death isn't a skeleton because of tradition, but because that's what people believe Death looks like.
      • However, in Pyramids, a pharaoh is disappointed that Death doesn't appear as a giant scarab, as per Djelibeibian beliefs. Death wearily explains that he long since gave up trying to match everyone's personal expectations, and settled on the one form that was most common.
    • Morporkia is the anthropomorphic personification of Ankh-Morpork. Unlike the other examples she's fictional in-universe and is a parody of real life personifications such as Britannia and Columbia. note 
    • Although a Goddess of the Seas is seen in The Last Hero with a startling resemblance to the Statue of Liberty. She is even called Libertina.
    • The Three Disgraces, Nudicia, Pultrichrudina, and Voluptia, may be the daughters of Bissonomy and appear from context to be the anthropomorphic personifications of It's Not Porn, It's Art, existing in Classical Ephebian Mythology purely so that it's acceptable to have statues of them.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: After establishing Death, along with his pale horse Binky, not just as a recurring but as a main character, the other three had to show up. They would have ridden out in Sourcery, but they stopped at an inn and got drunk. Only Death could hold his liquor, and the other's horses were stolen, so Death had to ride out alone.
    • Thief of Time introduces the fifth member, Kaos, a.k.a. Ronnie Soak the dairyman, who quit the Horsemen before they got famous. After gathering together, the Four Horsemen decide they like the world too much and decide to try and save it from being destroyed. Hey, the prophesy just says they'll ride out; nothing in there says against whom.
    • Terry Pratchett mentions that it's not just the Apocalypse — many things have their Four Horsemen. The Four Horsemen of the Common Cold are Sniffles, Chesty, Nostril and Lack of Tissues, for instance, and the Horsemen of Panic are Misinformation, Rumour, Gossip and Denial.
    • Two of them even started families. Death has his adopted daughter and, through her, a granddaughter with her own books. War married a Valkyrie and they had at least three children together; sons Panic and Terror and daughter Clancy.
  • Jack Frost: Shows up in an early scene Hogfather, Jack Frost complains that he's bored with just drawing ferns all the time. Various points later in the book describe windows on which patterns of frost have formed a picture of kittens or something.
  • Santa Claus: He's got an expy in the Hog Father, the spirit of All Hogswatch
  • Seven Heavenly Virtues: The Library of Unseen University has statues representing the eight virtues — Patience, Chastity, Silence, Charity, Hope, Fortitude, Tubso, and Bissonomy. No one knows what the last two are, since no one practices them anymore, and their statues are just as mystifying as their names.

Elves in the Discworld, unlike the fairytale versions, are not Nice. Elves are bad. Generally speaking, they're a inhuman race of terrifyingly beautiful and alien monsters from a "parasite universe" that love to screw with mortals for the same reason that little sociopaths like to burn anthives with magnifying glasses - For the Evulz.
  • Achilles' Heel: They're really weak to Cold Iron, which is any iron and not just literal cold iron. As such, industrialization hits them hard.
  • Alien Blood: Their blood is copper-based, making it look blue-green.
  • Alien Fair Folk: Thinks to Glamour, they can pass for human but they are definitely not, being closer to The Greys. They raid alien worlds and collect things that humans can barely wrap their head around.
  • Axe-Crazy: When torture is your hobby, you fall into this.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: Turns out elves can sense magnetic fields, being how they navigate; among other things. This explains their aversion to iron, which can distort and "blind" such senses.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Not played for much sympathy (generally, at least), but their immortality means they don't understand the world in the same way as mortal brings do.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Their glamour produces a crushing inferiority complex in others. Readily averted by cats, bees, and any character that thinks like a witch (that is: very, very hard). Also by dwarfs and trolls, whose instinctive reaction on meeting an elf is to bash it with something hard, heavy and/or sharp.
  • Changeling Tale: Lords and Ladies, being based on The Fair Folk legends, references this — elves are known to have a habit of stealing children, and while they aren't seen to do it in the book itself, the mere possibility is so infuriating to the usually laid-back Nanny Ogg that she actually (if half-jokingly) suggests Cold-Blooded Torture. Later, in The Wee Free Men, their child-stealing ways get actual page time and The Shepherd's Crown shows the Queen has a full retinue of them. Some are explicitly called Lost Boys.
  • Creative Sterility: They have no proper imagination or real emotions, leading to them kidnapping human artists and musicians to provide entertainment. And if they don't like what the artists create... well, torture's pretty entertaining from the perspective of the elves, to.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Downplayed since they're still a Witch Species, but their weakness to Cold Iron is given a scientific explanation - Their primary sense is "seeing" lines of magnetic force (like some birds), and iron so badly screws with this sense that it's like going deaf and blind at the same time.
  • The Fair Folk: Much closer to the older depictions of elves and fairies than the newer and Lighter and Softer post-1870s depictions.
  • Faerie Court: The chaotic, malevolent, malicious example to match the Elves themselves. Best seen in Lords and Ladies, The Wee Free Men and The Shepherd's Crown: The Elf Queen is vicious, imperious, capricious and not nice to meet. Her lieutenant, Lord Lankin, is a psychopath who commands and demands respect. The King of the Elves is loud, rumbustious, undeniably male, and slow to grasp current realities on the Disc. Then there is the increasingly Treacherous Advisor Lord Peaseblossom. And finally, there also are the Wee Men themselves, the rioting and chaotic Nac Mac Feegle, whose clans each have a Queen (called a Kelda) who is generally wise, motherly, thoughtful and somewhat regal (in her own way).
  • Fairy Companion: The Nac Mac Feegle, who are probably best considered a pastiche. Yes, they're technically fairies; they just happen to be six inch-high Violent Glaswegian "Pictsies!". Note, however, that calling them fairies in front of their faces is considered suicide. Most well known for helping out Tiffany Aching.
  • Fairy Sexy: Again thanks to glamour they all look beautiful. The Queen emulates Magrat at one point and looks breath-taking.
  • Five Races: Inverted, with them being the cruel evil race.
  • Foil: To the Auditors of Reality. Both are terrifying races of Humanoid Abominations with very hostile intentions towards mortal life. However, not only are the Auditors overall far higher on the cosmic totem pole than the elves are, but they're at the exact opposite ends of the scale of Order Versus Chaos: The elves lead chaotic existences unfettered by laws, rules and restrictions, while the Auditors have "lives" with such order and rigidity that they see gaining a personality as a Fate Worse than Death.
  • For the Evulz: They'll stab anything they see, smash anything they can grab. Nanny Ogg says they'd smash the world if they thought it'd make a pretty sound.
  • Glamour: Their one and only trick, but they use it dangerously well. They can even get people to do their thinking for them.
  • Glamour Failure: Can easily lead to their death. Trolls, dwarfs, and animals are no go. Glamour also fails in the presence of iron and only exists when conscious.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The only "elves" that live on the Disc are at most this, if not more diluted. They tend to be very unpopular (given the reputation of their parent species), with no special powers. Barring some rare exceptions.
  • Hidden Elf Village: More of a Pocket Dimension crossed with Sealed Evil in a Can plugged by a Circle of Standing Stones. It's further inverted in that they're hidden away for everyone else's protection.
  • Horned Humanoid: The King of the Elves wears a glamour of a satyr with huge antlers, reflecting the Horned God of Celtic Mythology
  • Humanoid Abomination: On the surface, they look like beautiful, Tolkien style elves. When the glamour fades, however...
  • Immortal Immaturity: Showcased in their first appearance and explored in all subsequent ones.
  • Inhumanly Beautiful Race: Again, they cheat; with projected Glamour they appear inhumanly beautiful (with emphasis on the inhuman). When their glamour is removed, they are shown for what they really are: sad, pathetic deformed monsters.
  • Land of Faerie: There's two; one is a parasitic universe where the queen rules over her subjects, eho can visit the Disc, our world, and other stranger places. The other is on the Disc, where the king dwells in exile. Both are a form of Pocket Dimension and appear Bigger on the Inside.
  • Nostalgia Filter: In-Universe. It's been so long since elves lived on the Disc (on a large scale) that people have forgotten just how nasty they are capable of being. It doesn't help that the words originally used to describe them have taken on different meanings (i.e. "elves are enchanting" means they weave enchantment, and their being glamorous means they use glamour to hide their horrific true forms).
  • Screw You, Elves!: Justified and averted. The elves cast a glamour to make people think they're wonderful, but if someone breaks through that then they're usually downright pissed off. As mentioned above without their glamour they're just stagnant immortal stone age savages with a proclivity for torture.
  • The Wild Hunt: The Royalty of fairyland explicitly leads them on raiding parties.

     Gods of Cori Celesti 
The numerous deities populating the many pantheons of the Discworld. Not so much worshiped as blamed, being generally more trouble then they're worth.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: On a good day they'll count as Angels though it's pointed out there's not much difference between gods and demons, with it ultimately being the same distinction between terrorists and freedom fighters.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Their typical response to clever dicks going around wondering whether they exist or not.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: How a small god becomes a big god.
  • Council of Angels: Functionally this as actual creator deities don't stick around for long.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Very rarely, a person who is worshiped or beloved enough by a group of people (say, the Duchess of Borogravia) can be elevated to a position of genuine godhood after death.
  • Divine Conflict: In the early novels, they are engaged in an aeons-long feud with the Ice Giants, who play their radio too loud and have refused to return the lawnmower.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: While Gods Need Prayer Badly produces swarms of small gods and Odd Job Gods, the most prominent deities like Blind Io and Offler the Crocodile God form a recognizable pantheon. Small Gods provides a rare monotheistic example in the Great God Om, but believing Om is the only god doesn't actually make it so, and Om has to deal with the pantheon somehow. There's also a Bast, a cat headed god, but the only difference with the Egyptian cat goddess appears to be the gender.
  • Fate Worse than Death: If all the worshipers of a god dies, than they become "small gods" and go crazy, become rabid whispers on the wind found far from civilization who desperately try to cajole anyone who passes through into worshiping them (often driving those unfortunate sods to madness in the process).
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: They can survive for a while without prayer, but if they can't find a new source of it, eventually they'll fade away.
  • Home of the Gods: Theirs is Dunmanifestin, the city at the top of Cori Celesti, a ridiculously tall mountain at the center of their (disc-shaped, duh) world. There they spend their time playing games with the lives of mortals. It appears in The Last Hero as a vast structure of conflicting architectural styles, the gods coming from various different cultures, and also having zero taste.
  • Jerkass Gods: All of them. Things like "mercy" or "empathy" of "thinking this through" aren't concepts they can wrap their heads around. That being said, a few are eventually shown to be slightly more moral and decent than others (i.e., Om post-Character Development and Offler), while others are more just as clueless and/or out of their depth as their own followers (like P'tang-P'tang, the newtlike god of a tiny tribe of 51 fishermen).
  • King of All Cosmos: The entire pantheon. Most of them are incredibly kooky, quirky, and just plain bizarre, even on the best of days.
    • Not only the deities who venture more into Crystal Dragon Jesus territory, like Blind Io and Fate, but the slightly odder ones, like the god of great ideas you forget to write down and will never remember again, the "Oh God" of hangovers, the goddess of the afternoon, the goddess of small dead things left half-digested on the porch (she has a cat head), the goddess of things that get stuck in drawers, and *cough* the Lady.
    • Meanwhile, the Creator of the Discworld is an absent-minded little guy who's basically an engineer working on spec, who laid down the terrain and then left it for somebody else to equip with life (not his department).
  • Our Gods Are Different: They run the gamut. However, it's shown as gods need (and are shaped by) belief: The more belief, the stronger the god. If you only have one believer, well you might be able to summon a minor thunderstorm over one person's head. The other end is Death, whom everything believes in. One god seems to get by believing in his own work. They aren't outright cosmic forces thought, like the Auditors, but they are not the subject of worship and have no need for it.
    • To further clarify, gods in the Discworld have two main varieties - Proper "gods" and "Creators". Creators are cosmic entities that... well, create entire universe and worlds, such as the eponymous Discworld before letting everything sort itself out since seeing everything through isn't their department. Gods as people both on the Discworld and in Real Life would conceive of them are spirits of nature that wander the world and are empowered by mortal belief. The more genuine and widespread the belief, the stronger the god.
  • Stock Gods: They come in several varieties with some using different personas to keep power. Blind Io, for instance, serves as every Discworld culture's thunder-and-lightning god.

     Things From the Dungeon Dimensions 
A race of Eldritch Abominations from the Dungeon Dimensions.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: The Squid, and they crave the light of reality. It's been said that if they ever succeeded, the effect would be that of an ocean trying to warm itself around a candle. They fit the "not evil so much as alien" bit mentioned above, as Rincewind realizes they'd kill us without giving us "the dignity of hatred".
    • The things that do hate humans are something completely different.
  • A Day in the Limelight: All they want really, sadly this will destroy everything else. Still, they're given the most prominence in Moving Pictures.
  • Eldritch Abomination: These things defy even the Discworld's decidedly loose laws of physics, and often come through when reality breaks down.
  • Glass Cannon: For all their world-breaking powers, even a child like Eskarina Smith could easily defeat them by just punching them.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: For The Light Fantastic with the majority of the story being spent with them waiting on the proverbial sidelines.
  • Living Bodysuit: Seen doing this multiple times.
    • During The Light Fantastic; Rincewind expects the Things to break through in the sky above Ankh-Morpork, tentacles waving, but all they really need to do is break into Trymon's mind.
    • They do the same thing with Simon in Equal Rites. Unlike Trymon he gets better.
  • Magic Is a Monster Magnet: Oh yes, although you have to go fairly overboard to make a path large enough for them to come through. This seems to be a bigger problem for wizards than witches, for some reason they stop being an issue after the Holywood incident.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The nicer looking ones look like a mix between an octopus and bicycle. It Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.

Undead Species

The archetypical bloodsucking humanoids of legend. On the Discworld, vampirism is an incredibly widespread and loosely defined phenomenon vaguely akin to certain types of disease, though here it generally seems to draw more heavily from the vampires seen in Dracula and Hammer Horror in execution than elsewhere in fiction.
  • Addiction Displacement: Vampires can manage their thirst for blood by gaining another, more socially acceptable addiction. For instance, Lady Margolotta's obsessive desire to be as competent and clever a ruler over Uberwald as possible is implied to be how she's displacing her thirst for blood, while Otto Chriek and Sally von Humpeding are passionately obsessed with photography and police work respectively.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's never made clear whether or not vampires have anything resembling a proper afterlife one way or another, with their Resurrective Immortality further complicating how exactly they could even permanently stay in an afterlife.
  • Classical Movie Vampire: What most of them are inspired by.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Most vampires have access to Super Strength, Super Speed, Resurrective Immortality, Supernatural Fear Inducement, and Voluntary Shapeshifting.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Vampirism is often compared to both various disease and alcoholism, with the organization dedicated to helping create friendly Vegetarian Vampires being literally called a "League of Temperance."
  • Flight: Some vampires can fly, albeit by transforming themselves into animals that can already fly (i.e., Sally can turn herself into a swarm of bats, Count Notfaroutoe can turn into a single bat, and the de Magpyr family of vampires can each turn into flocks of magpies). Some of the more powerful vampires, like Lady Margolotta, can just casually float through the air while still in human form, while others like Dragon King of Arms have their own huge wings that grant them flight.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: It definitely varies, with some just being more Affably Evil than others. However, there's several vampire characters introduced who have definitely shown themselves to be quite friendly and decent people (i.e., Sally von Humpeding, John Smith, Maladict(a), and Otto Chriek among others). What certainly helps is that the Uberwald League of Temperance exists to help encourage vampires to become more "civilized" and go "cold bat" by taking on a second addiction to ward off their blood thirst.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire is mentioned as being one effective method of killing a vampire.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Parodied and exaggerated with them.
  • Resurrective Immortality: As long as fresh blood is poured on a vampire's ashes, they can come Back from the Dead.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: A common trait seen across all vampires is that they think that simply spelling their name backwards is the perfect alias.
  • Super Speed: They can move "disarmingly fast" when they really want to.
  • Super Strength: While not on the level of trolls, vampires are often described as being "unnervingly strong." For instance, Captain Sally is mentioned as being the strongest member of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch who isn't either a troll or golem.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: According to Sally, vampires can "induce fear" in whoever they wish, though other characters suspect that it's more just a consequence of most people being terrified of encountering an incredibly dangerous and powerful undead monster that might want to eat you.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Some vampires displace their desire to drink mortal blood by instead drinking the blood of animals (i.e., cattle).
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: A common vampire ability. More specifically, vampires have been seen in the novels transforming into huge black dogs, bats, and magpies.
  • Weakened by the Light: Vampires can be killed by direct sunlight, turning to ash if they don't wear thick-enough protective clothing when walking outside during the day.


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