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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: In Witches Abroad, it's observed that racism doesn't get much traction on the Disc (though Jingo demonstrates that it's very real) as speciesism is much more fun ("black and white ganged up on green"). While it's mostly seen between dwarfs and trolls, many of the different races on the Disc view each other with poorly disguised disdain even on the best of days. The only ones that are hated by everyone are elves and goblins, and for very different reasons.
  • Interspecies Romance: Very common all things considered, as love always seems to find 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 (and it's heavily implied that this is the case).
    • 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 either had sex with a drunken noblewoman at the masqued ball or very much intended to before getting sidetracked. 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. It should also be noted that Greebo is a bit better behaved in human form, after his first instinct to ravish Embers led to Nanny Ogg belting him over the head with her boot.
    • 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 with Vimes gloomily remarking that they'll probably find out when he's asked to hire one for the Watch).
  • "Not So Different" Remark: 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.
  • Standard Fantasy Races: Humans, dwarfs and trolls — the latter being humanoid Rock Monsters — are the most common sapient species on the Disc. Humans are the most widespread and culturally diverse, with dwarfs and trolls either living in their own communities in the mountains or as minorities in human cities. There are also a variety of fairy beings, such as gnomes and the pictsies, who mostly live in the wilderness away from civilization, and the elves, who are more along the lines of The Fair Folk and live outside of the Disc itself, only entering it periodically to raid.

Mortal Species

Humanity itself. The most common and currently dominant race on the Disc.
  • 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, having a level of creativity and perseverance 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, being 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: Played With. All dwarfs can blacksmith but they're not all necessarily good at it. They branch out into all kinds of professions.
  • Converting for Love: It's a little complicated, but due to the technicalities of dwarvish traditions, being born a dwarf isn't strictly necessary to be considered a dwarf - a lot of it is more related to having undergone certain rites of passage and observances. This is most notable in the case of Carrot Ironfoundersson, but a biologically human character in Unseen Academicals converted to dwarfdom to be with their dwarf partner. Apparently this has always been possible but it isn't advertised, not even in the relatively liberal city of Ankh-Morpork.
  • Cultural Translation: Dwarf kings would, technically, translate more accurately to "head miner", and the word for their Low King is something like "chief mining engineer".
  • Cycle of Revenge: "Remember Koom Valley!" Koom Valley was a famous battle-site where dwarfes and trolls managed to ambush one another more than once in the same fight, losing their kings. Since then, both sides have used it as a justification to try and murder one another. The narration notes the accurate translation would be "Remember the atrocity that happened last time that we're using to justify the atrocity this time, and so on, huzzah!"
  • 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 Race Weapon Affinity: Dwarves traditionally use axes. In-universe, this because they're miners who traditionally used dual-purpose picks (a pick on one side for prospecting and an axe on the other in case someone disputes your claim) and they're important to the point that Vimes feels guilty about asking a group of them to leave them outside his office after some dwarves had just tried to kill his family. The traditional bodyguards for religious figures also wield flamethrowers, derived from mining equipment intended to clear away flammable gas. Averted by the dwarf Casanunda, who deliberately consciously acts the opposite of the stereotypical dwarf by being a dashing Lovable Rogue who fights with a Royal Rapier rather than an axe.
  • Fantastic Slur: "Lawn ornament", a good way to commit Suicide by Dwarf, unless you've earned it.
  • 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. They only gather gold because, as one of the metals everyone agrees is valuable, it can be used to buy each other for marriage (off of each other's parents, by the by).
  • 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.
  • Literal-Minded: As a consequence of their lifestyle, dwarfs don't have much use for metaphor and figurative language, since in a mineshaft you need to communicate problems like "the roof is about to collapse" damn quick.
  • Mage 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 besides manufacturing witches' Flying Broomsticks and magic rings.
  • 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, at least at the start of the series. Introducing female pronouns and associated concepts eventually forms a substantial sub-plot of the series, particularly in the Watch books.
  • No True Scotsman: A serious problem for them, especially when the Deep Downers get involved, and start making all the typically quiet, well-behaved dwarfs who just want to get on with life start feeling a deep sense of shame in not being "dwarf" enough.
  • Oh, My Gods!: They don't exactly worship Tak, their god. According to moderate dwarfs, Tak doesn't command dwarfs to 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, so they have always had two sexes but only one traditional gender: dwarf. There's eventually a war when this falls apart.
  • Our Dwarves 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 recognizes 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, compacted into a much smaller frame.
  • 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".

A race of Silicon-Based Life originating in the mountains that often feuds with the Dwarfs and has an 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".
  • Alternative Calendar: Troll dates are counting down. Nobody's sure if it's counting down to anything, and they're not sure they want to find out.
  • Arch-Enemy: Species-wide with dwarfs. Dwarfs like mining for precious minerals, trolls often contain precious minerals in their bodies and tend to resemble pieces of large rock when at rest during the day. 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.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The earliest stories have trolls turn to rock in sunlight. It's about the time of Men at Arms that this changes to sunlight just being bad for their brains.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Heaven Above: In an Inverted Trope, the usually subterranean trolls they view down as the direction of Heaven. This is such an unusual view in a culture where Heaven is constantly associated with the sky that it ends up Played for Laughs.
  • Human Subspecies: Well, Troll subspecies - gnolls, gargoyles and yetis seem to be all a variety of troll (there are also "troll animals", a shapeless "troll horse" or even troll ducks). Gnolls seem to have the same relationship with rotting or semi-organic matter like soil trolls have with rock, while yetis adapted to the cold climate using rock wool - and the ability to save their lives like video game characters.
  • 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".
  • Monster-Shaped Mountain: Some of the Disc's mountains are actually trolls who sat down for a deep hard think one day and just stopped moving. Apparently the world might be in trouble if they ever wake up.
  • 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 water spout-ish 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 Vimes, 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.
  • Primitive Clubs: Troll weapons are usually clubs, ranging from a simple lump of wood (sometimes with a nail in it) to an entire uprooted tree, depending on the size of the troll.
  • 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. Detritus is a particular example, being considered moronic even by city troll standards, and uses Hulk Speak at room temperatures. However, since his brain is even more sensitive to temperature differences than most, when locked in a freezer for a while he 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. Although despite being made of stone they're far from invincible, as uncommonly strong humans like Carrot Ironfoundersson and Mr Tulip are capable of knocking trolls unconscious with ease.
  • 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 qualifies.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: It's a bit more complex than usual, but it's accurate for most of them. Generally, if they aren't dumb, then 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.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Goblins are, in the early books, classed as a type of "pictsie," and it's stated that Dwarfs often hire them to provide background noise in their mines to help them think. By the latter books, goblins are a mortal species who nobody else likes much because they're dirty and save their bogeys for the afterlife.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Have been the subject of this for centuries, officially classified as vermin by many countries.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: Subverted. Goblins practise cannibalism only as part of a reincarnation ritual when faced with starvation and have to resort to cannibalism so they can put the poor thing into a Soul Jar for when things get better, but it's in-universe "Common Knowledge" that they eat their own children out of hand.
  • 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 Überwald, 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 (though Fred Colon is implied to develop the ability after being exposed to one of their pots and the soul inside for an extended period). The religion is founded on the notion that if one's body is a temple then the things that used to be a part of it are holy, and thus the pots are used to store things like snot and nail clippingsnote ; this has given them a reputation for being unpleasantly obsessed with all things nasty and unhygienic.
  • Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: They all have such names, for example, "Tears of the Mushroom" and "Flowers of the Gorse Bush." The older ones consider nicknames to be an insult on par with Malicious Misnaming, but some of the younger ones are okay with it (or, in the case of the few who've joined the City Watch, realize you need a moniker that can be said with the same breath a comrade uses to say "...Duck!").
  • 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 while they were almost exclusively used in a Zerg Rush, they're Super Soldiers designed by Igors. As a result, they're less standard orcs, more Captain America, and are 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 Überwald 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: Tolkienesque-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.
  • Required Secondary Powers: When an orc is grievously injured and their Healing Factor kicks into high gear, the they become ravenously hungry as a result. All that energy and biological matter that is used to grow the body back together has to come from somewhere.
  • 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 the laws of physics, 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.
  • Being Evil Sucks: They're cosmic nudniks, consider the scale though; cosmic, destroying a world is well within their abilities if they can get away with it. problem is they have no imagination, barely exist at all with any hint of growth or change or individuality leading them to sef-destruct, hints point to the enemy auditors being
  • 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 soulless dull entities. For them, to develop a recognisable personality and individual self-awareness is death.
  • Dirty Coward: In 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. Might explain some of their insane actions, and ultimately doesn't make them any less dangerous.
    • To put it another way? They're stupid enough to try really bad ideas, but powerful and insane enough to pull them off.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Of physics of all things and thus Murphy's law.
  • Enemies with Death: Played With, as they're literally this and could count as "Death" themselves for the purposes of the trope. Being personifications of universal physical laws, similar to death, they're 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 becomes 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 monitoring 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.
  • 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 it's inherently chaotic and messy by their standards, making their job harder.
  • Grayscale of Evil: They're constantly described as astonishingly dull grey robes devoid of colour and occupents really.
  • 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.
    • The final book they appear in suggests that it’s closer to a Hive Empathy, when a large number of Auditors become human in an attempt to quantify and catalogue human sensory experiences and the remaining pure Auditors pick up individualistic personality traits from that group, making them alive enough to die permanently through injury rather than logic and reconstitution.
  • Humans Are Ugly: Variant, they do not like all those 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? It’s implied that this form of death is itself a physical process that must be initiated by an Auditor, which is why they always gather in groups of three or more. To watch each other. 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 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 organization.
  • 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 per instructions.
    “They run the universe. They see to it that gravity works and that atoms spin (or whatever it is atoms do).”
  • 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".
  • Mirroring Factions: 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.
  • Motive Decay: When they first appear in Reaper Man they're primarily concerned about Death becoming too human (not unreasonably, considering the events of the previous book) and while they do regard the concept of personality itself with disdain, they don't show the Omnicidal Maniac tendencies they would in later books. It's possible that being humiliated in front of Azrael when their plan ended up causing more problems than it solved is what caused them to believe the existence of life itself was the problem.
  • Necro Non Sequitur: Known for causing this type of "inverse-miricle", in The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch, they align events so that every that in every single Alternate Universe, Charles Darwin dies in increasingly unlikely ways before he can write The Origin of Species and keep humanity planet bound.
  • 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 of 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: In their earlier appearances, 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 and arrogance cement 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.
  • The Watcher: What they're meant to be; egoless observers who pin down reality so it exists essentially the Magical Underpinnings of Reality given form. Instead, they continually step outside their role for the purposes of meddling, they don't like life it makes their job more difficult.
  • 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.
  • Abstract Apotheosis: Has been known to happen, family members can act as stand-ins when needed and people can become gods of certain nations but this is part of the larger issue that differentiates Personificatons from gods.
  • 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 forever, 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's 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 prophecy 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 Hogfather, the spirit of Hogswatch Night.
  • 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 ant hives with magnifying glasses.
  • Achilles' Heel: They're really weak to Cold Iron, which is to say 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 beautiful humans 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.
  • Alien Invasion: Inverted. It's actually stated that nothing that lives in the pocket universe they've set up shop in is actually native to it.
  • 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, too.
  • Doing in the Wizard : Downplayed since they're still a Mage 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).
  • Fantasy Aliens: Thanks in part due to them being inspired by the older stories regarding The Fair Folk, the Elves of the Discworld are heavily influenced by many pop cultural ideas around aliens. Not only are their attacks on the Disc framed as Alien Invasions (they come from an entire different universe, after all), but much emphasis is given to how unnervingly inhuman their psychology is, and they are especially weak to Thunderbolt Iron (along with their whole Weaksauce Weakness to Cold Iron being given a semi-scientific explanation). For bonus points, crop circles and mysterious abductions serve as signs of their arrival whenever they intrude on the Disc.
  • 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.
  • For the Evulz: They'll stab anything they see, smash anything they can grab. At one point, 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.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: It's pointed out in Science of Discworld II: The Globe that while Elves might enjoy sex they don't tend to have full elf blooded children because that'd be making competition for them.
    • Probably explains the comment about inbred Elves in Carpe Jugulum and the existence of half breeds and similar.
  • 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, who 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.
  • Mirroring Factions: 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.
  • 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.
  • Speak of the Devil: They can hear when people use the name of their species. Even witches like Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg use euphemisms like "the Gentry" and "the Fair Folk", and even then when around iron, rather than risk drawing their attention. Of course, at circle time, when the walls between reality are thinner than usual, even that can be enough.
  • 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. See here for more detail.

     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". After all, the things that do hate humans are something completely different.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: These things are not good at taking on physical forms by themselves. They are described as looking like pure Body Horror, put together with only the slightest idea of how a body is supposed to work. They have parts where they shouldn't be, too many of them or none at all. However, they also function as well as logically follows from that. Shove one slightly off-balance, and it will likely fall over in a pitiful mess of limbs and take a good while getting back up. Of course, they have other advantages that make this a temporary reprieve at best.
  • A Day in the Limelight: They're given the most prominence in Moving Pictures. It's also mentioned that this is really all they want, though sadly it would destroy everything else in creation.
  • Demonic Possession: Only not as nice. One of the ways they can get into the world. After all, much is said of them making paths into the world, it's just not always specific on where those paths are. Human minds are very receptive.
  • 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 children like Eskarina Smith can 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.
  • It Can Think: At least some of them have intelligence. And with that, cruelty. And madness.
  • 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.
    • Moving Pictures they do the same to Tulpas of the new movie characters.
  • Magic Eater: They feed on magic.
  • 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 resemble a mix between an octopus and a bicycle. It Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
  • Nightmare Face: The ones that are described are merely hideously unpleasant to look at, such as one with the face of a dead rabbit. There are much worse out there.
  • Nightmare Weaver: One of their talents. Though it might not necessarily be nightmares as just photos of what the Dungeon Dimensions look like.
  • Nothing Personal: If they ever got through into the Disc, they'd kill all humans there without ever giving them the dignity of hatred. They wouldn't even notice.
  • The Resenter: Most of them don't even have the intelligence to notice the Disc has life on it. The ones that do despise it.
  • Tragic Monster: Described as being both mad and sad. They desperately crave reality, but it'd be as life giving to them as it would being out of water would be to a fish. They'd die and take the Disc with them in the process.

Undead Species

The archetypical bloodsucking humanoids of legend, humans that must drink blood in exchange for immortality. On the Discworld, vampirism is an incredibly widespread and loosely defined phenomenon (originating from and mostly being found in Überwald) 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 Überwald 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.
  • Arch-Enemy: Werewolves. Not only do the noble werewolf and vampire families of Überwald feud with each other for all of the same reasons that ordinary mortal nobles do, but they both feed off of the same food supply (humans).
  • 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 diseases 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 Überwald 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.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: A severe problem for female vampires is that while they can do the whole "turn into a flock of bats" thing, it's a lot more difficult for them because of the underwire dress problem, so they usually don't bother.
  • Fur Against Fang: They don't get on with werewolves. Vampires make werewolves feel like dumb animals, while vampires think werewolves make them look like vicious monsters.
  • Loophole Abuse: While there are many known ways to kill a vampire, other good ways include unknown ways. Greebo manages to kill a vampire while it's in bat form without ever knowing what he's dealing with. To Greebo, it's just a particularly wriggly snack. No-one has ever said anything about vampires rising from the cat before...
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Parodied and exaggerated with them. There are as many types of vampires as there are diseases, so some just make you walk funny and avoid fruit. In an interesting twist, some vampires in the Discworld can actually have children with each other and make new vampires that way.
  • 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.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: It's another vampire thing. They are incapable of looking scruffy. A vampire in the middle of a war-torn craphole will still, at best, manage to look stylishly scruff without ever trying.
  • 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.
  • Waistcoat of Style: How you can tell who's head vampire; the more stylish the waistcoat, the higher up the food chain s/he is.
  • Weak to Fire: Fire is mentioned as being one effective method of killing a vampire.
  • 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. Notably, they can also be killed by any particularly bright flashes of light, as seen by poor Otto Chriek disintegrating every time he takes a picture with his camera's flashbulb.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Aside from the stock of stakes, bright light and holy objects, there's their Genre Blindness - all vampires, regardless of age or intelligence, legitimately believe they can fool people by writing their names backwards. Also, certain types of vampires are allergic to fruit, and it's believed stealing their socks can put them out (though granted, the only known instance of this being mentioned is with the Old Count de Magpyr, and that was more because they were expensive, dammit!).

The archetypical shapeshifting "savages" of legend, humans that transform into wolves in concordance with the full moon. On the Discworld, lycanthropy is classified as a form of the undead, and this hereditary condition originates from Überwald along with vampirism (helping explain the numerous vampire and werewolf baronies in the region).
  • Ambiguous Disorder: When werewolves in human form try to describe the smells they experienced as a wolf, it's typically presented as synesthesia, with scent data being reinterpreted in terms of colours and sounds.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's unclear if werewolves are actually "biologically undead" on the same level as zombies and vampires. However, the general consensus on the Disc seems to be "Werewolves are big and scary, they come from Überwald, and if you stab them with a sword they don't die. What more do you want?"
  • Animal Motifs: Most werewolves are compared to dogs in terms of both psychology and physicality. This may seem odd on the surface, but it makes sense in that dogs are a "halfway point" between the "civilized" mind of a human and the "savage" mind of a wolf. After all, dogs are essentially wolves given human traits, and werewolves are wolves that are partly human.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Vampires. Not only do the noble werewolf and vampire families of Überwald feud with each other for all of the same reasons that ordinary mortal nobles do, but they both feed off of the same food supply: humans... well, at least sometimes, in the case of werewolves. The Von Uberwald family do, Angua excepted, because it's Hunting the Most Dangerous Game, and an unnamed werewolf clan in Carpe Jugulum doesn't, by contrast, because humans don't run fast enough to be interesting.
    • Surprisingly enough, wolves. While humans hate werewolves, wolves hate werewolves so much more. This is because humans use werewolves as an excuse to kill wolves, and the opposite never occurs. While a lone werewolf is relatively safe mixing in a human community, a lone werewolf who stumbles into a pack of wolves generally has an exceptionally short life expectancy (unless they're a wolf-form yennork, who seem to be given more respect thanks to their Shapeshifter Mode Lock).
  • Berserk Button: Thanks in part due to their allusions to dogs, they really hate certain words like "bath" or "vet".
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Subverted, surprisingly enough. Angua is all but stated to have the uncannily intelligent wolf Gavin as her ex-boyfriend, and their relationship isn't portrayed as wrong but just a bit unusual. Even Vimes' only reaction is to consider it for a few moments, then just shrug. It's implied that Gavin's obvious and at least human-level intelligence is why no one's really bothered.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: A downplayed case; as wolves are creatures that have smell as their primary sense, the narration of werewolf characters often describes smells in incredibly detailed and vivid terms vaguely reminiscent of synesthesia.
  • The Clan: Most werewolf noble families are made up of extensive clans with numerous family members. This is in sharp contrast to vampire noble families, which despite the name, typically consists of only a handful of allied vampires since vampires typically aren't the sort to raise families - werewolves implicitly die of old age, while as Vlad points out in Carpe Jugulum, vampires are immortal and thus not raising successors, but competitors.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Fifth Elephant doesn't even try to hide the clear parallels between werewolf supremacists and Neo-Nazis.
  • Fantastic Racism: Many of the more zealous and hateful werewolf noble families kill any child that is born a yennork.
  • Fictional Disability: Yennorks are werewolves suffering from a permanent case of Shapeshifter Mode Lock, always looking like either a human or a wolf.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: There're numerous werewolves that aren't just sadistic predators. Easily the most notable and recurring example is Captain Angua von Überwald of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, with her even leaving behind payment for the chickens she eats whenever she's having her "unseemly time of the month." Another clan is mentioned in Carpe Jugulum, with the villagers of Escrow mentioning that unlike the Magpyr family, they never bother the humans because "we don't run fast enough to be interesting."
  • Fur Against Fang: They don't get along well with vampires. Vampires make werewolves feel like dumb animals, while vampires think werewolves make them look like vicious monsters.
  • Furry Reminder: Several little indications are given to serve as reminders of their bizarre semi-animal state. For instance, at one point Angua kept squeezing a dog's squeaky toy during a conversation as part of a nervous tic and after she left, had to consciously come back to put it down.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Werewolves can interbreed with both humans and wolves. There's a slight chance with any werewolf child, such as two of Angua's siblings, of them being yennorks, and far enough down the line the resulting hybrid werewolves can become quite... peculiar.
  • Healing Factor: Any damage a werewolf takes that isn't from silver or fire is only temporary, and even then they can still heal from injuries inflicted by silver or fire given enough time.
  • Horror Hunger: During the involuntary moon-induced transformation, there's an irresistible urge to eat meat, but enough control is still maintained for the werewolf to choose what kind of meat is consumed.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Werewolves hunger for flesh during their involuntary transformations - and "flesh" here includes humans and other mortals. In Angua's own words, "It was easy to be a vegetarian by day, but hard not to be a humanitarian by night."
  • Intellectual Animal: Angua implies at one point that some of the abnormally intelligent wolves that populate the Disc, such as Gavin, might actually be that way thanks to some werewolf ancestry.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: All werewolves who aren't human-form yennorks cannot stop themselves from turning into their animal forms during a full moon.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Silver and fire are their only two real weaknesses.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: The longer a werewolf stays in one form, the more their mind is influenced by that form. The effects also tend to linger: a werewolf who stays human most of the time will have diminished senses but a stronger capacity for complex thoughts, while a werewolf who stays a wolf most of the time will start thinking and acting like one.
  • Off with His Head!: Werewolves can be killed by decapitation, though it's mentioned that this isn't that noteworthy since ordinary humans can also be killed by decapitation.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: They have great regenerative capabilities, are only truly vulnerable to silver and fire, can switch freely between wolf and human form unless they are in the light of the full moon (which renders them wolves), and they struggle with conflicting sets of instincts and thought processes after changing. Being effectively a human/wolf mix, they also have a nagging tendency to compromise and think like dogs.
    • There are distinct varieties, too, within the traditional variety and without. To further expand, crossbreeding between yennorks and ordinary humans has resulted in various other forms of werewolf. The most obvious are the people who turn into wolf-men, rather than wolves, at the full moon, but the spectrum ranges from people who only have hairy palms and eyebrows that meet in the middle to creatures that look like feral wolf-human hybrids... except at the full moon when they completely turn into wolves. Meanwhile, yennork-wolf mating has led to some extremely intelligent and savage wolves, and is possibly also the cause of the occasional "wolf-were/were-man", an intelligent wolf that turns into a wolf-man at full moon.
  • Resurrective Immortality: It's mentioned that even if someone does damage a werewolf enough to bypass their Healing Factor and seemingly kill them, they can be resurrected under the light of the next full moon unless they were killed by silver or fire (in which case, they're Deader than Dead).
  • Sadist: Werewolf psychology combines carnivorous animal instincts with human abstract reasoning. In some, this unfortunately manifests as a fusion of natural predatory instincts and the purely human concept of taking joy at someone else's suffering.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Some unfortunate werewolves suffer from a permanent case of this, being termed as "yennork". They are trapped in the permanent form of either a wolf or a human, and Angua had two siblings that were each different cases of this trope (a brother who now lives as a champion sheep dog, and a sister who was permanently in human form until her psychotic brother Wolfgang killed her out of Fantastic Racism). It's worth noting that they're not "just" a wolf or a human, they're still a werewolf, just ones "without the switch."
  • Super Senses: Werewolves are far more accurate and sensitive in terms of senses than ordinary humans are, most notably with their senses of hearing and smell.
  • Super Speed: While it doesn't seem to be on the same level as vampires, werewolves are frequently described as being able to move far faster than humans.
  • Super Strength: Again, not on the same level as vampires, at least on average: Wolfgang is an exception (Angua is implied to be another), given that he casually took a couple of punches from Carrot (for context, a 16 year old Carrot punched out Detritus, the gold-standard for troll strength) and nearly killed him with two punches - and trolls are meant to be stronger than vampires. In any case, werewolves can easily overpower humans through sheer force thanks to their enhanced strength.
  • The Upper Crass: The werewolf clans of Überwald are families with titles, and even have castles and estates... but also have the sort of social graces one might expect from people who spend at least half of their time in a canine form.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: As evidenced by Angua, most werewolves who aren't human-form yennorks can change into their wolf-forms at will while maintaining control of themselves (though it's mentioned that it takes extensive practice to get to this point).
  • The Virus: As shown in Discworld Noir, lycanthropy on the Discworld can be spread by bite (though this is only mentioned in passing in the actual books). Notably, for it to be actually effective and the human to receive all aspects of lycanthropy, not only must the werewolf intend to infect the human, but the human must be willing. It's implied that those who are unwilling are in part the origin of the "stranger" types of hybrid werewolves.
  • Weak to Fire: Fire is mentioned as being one of their weaknesses. Most notably, Vimes kills Wolfgang near the end of The Fifth Elephant by tricking the werewolf supremacist into biting down on a semaphore flare that explodes in his mouth.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Silver. Even the slightest touch by silver can horribly burn a werewolf and incapacitate them from the debilitating pain.
  • Wolfman: Some werewolves look like this, being the result of extensive crossbreeding between yennorks and either humans or wolves. Most notably, Reaper Man features the werewolf couple Lupine and Ludmilla Cake. Lupine is a yennork who looks like a wolf for three weeks out of the month, and transforms into a "were-man" (wolf-man) on the fourth week. Ludmilla, meanwhile, is a hybrid werewolf who is perfectly human for three weeks out of the month but transforms into a "hairy wolf thing" (basically a wolf-woman) during the fourth week. The two eventually form an Interspecies Romance, learning to make their relationship work despite the fact that they're both only the same species for one-fourth of a month.

Unliving Species

Living statues, typically made out of clay and animated by a chem in their heads, used as menial workers in jobs no other bugger will take. Eventually, Ankh-Morpork's population of golems start their own entirely peaceful liberation movement. Probably best represented by Dorfl of the City Watch.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Golems are quiet, hardworking, and do not kill. That said, a golem doesn't need to eat. A golem doesn't need to sleep. A golem doesn't feel pain. If a golem chases after someone, they will never ever stop until they're done.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans are weirded out by their being entirely quiet, and looking too much like them while not being them. Werewolves and other undead dislike them because even the undead have to look down on the unliving (Angua maintains there's a difference).
  • Immune to Fire: Golems are made of ceramic, and thus can survive exposure to intense heat with minimal issues.
  • Loophole Abuse: Their propensity for White Mutiny is taken directly from the old stories. Some characters (Moist V. Lipwig at least once) go around ordering Golems to think for themselves, leading to newly-liberated Golems who think for themselves on a permanent basis, because the order was never rescinded; in much the same way they'd empty a well because master never specified he only wanted one bucketful, just "some water."
  • Magitek: They're basically the Discworld's equivalent of robots, with the chem serving as a sort of programming kernel.
  • Mighty Glacier: They're slow but they're tough. It takes an awful lot to destroy them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The ones who made the Golem King went suicidally mad with grief and shame when it started killing people, because golems don't kill.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Some golems like to get back at their owners by being overly literal with their orders. Everyone tends to assume they're being thick.
  • Painting the Medium: A Golem Speaks With Each First Letter Of Every Word Capitalised. Presumably To Make Them Sound Robotic, Or To Indicate The Slowness Of Their Speech.
  • Slave Liberation: The golems are said to be slowly working through the quietest slave liberation in history. Dorfl, a golem who owns himself and requires no days off to rest, announces he will work to buy another golem he knows and give him his freedom. Together, they work to buy another golem... By Going Postal, the operation has expanded into the Golem Trust, which buys golems, who then buy their freedom from the Trust at cost, and in turn contribute their wages to free even more golems at an ever-expanding rate. Their motto is "By no hand but our own".
  • Slave Race: For their entire existence, golems have been bought and sold, and most people didn't even really think about it because they didn't really think of them as "people".
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: They believe very strongly in this. Though Constable Dorfl is willing to Seriously Prod Buttock if required. He also makes the important distinction that he has declared "I Will Not Kill" - he is free and has made the moral judgement by himself.
  • The Voiceless: Most of them, since they weren't built with mouths in mind, though in the case of one in Feet of Clay, it's speculated that it's also a mix of The Quiet One. There's just not much they really have to say.