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Fridge / Unseen Academicals

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  • Lichen:
    • Glenda's second job selling "beauty aids" to female trolls that help them grow lichen seems odd, since Monstrous Regiment says that male trolls disapprove of females having lichen. However, the exact quote is "der boys say bald is modest". Couple that with the fact troll "strippers" put clothes on, and it appears that a female troll covered in lichen is the equivalent of a human woman wearing very revealing clothing.
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    • Or, alternately, the equivalent of a human woman trimming and shaving her body hair.
    • Or, troll fashion in (noted backwater) Borogravia is well behind Ankh-Morpork's avant-garde. It's mentioned several times in later books that human culture is heavily influencing other races, including their beauty standards and gender roles.
    • It's pretty simple: modest is kinda boring. No lichen vs lichen is like wearing a long, loose dress vs a short, tight one. Borogravia is rural and old-fashioned, so the trolls there are more into modesty. Ankh-Morpork is urban and more modern, so troll women there want to be a bit more daring.
  • If you look closely, the really important thing about the big game between the Academicals and Ankh-Morpork United is this: it's all about the best of the new football (Trev Likely and Mr. Nutt) beating the worst of the old football (Andy Shank and his flunkies) in a fair fight, despite the cheating and brutality of the latter. In fact, since Discworld runs on the Theory of Narrative Causality, a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits is almost guaranteed to beat an antagonistic rival team, something of which Vetinari was almost certainly aware.
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  • Some people might complain that Andy Shank is built up to be some kind of half-savage street monster that has Trev Likely terrified, but most of what we see him do in the book is posturing and threats; the worst thing he does in UA is stab Carter in the face for back-talking, knee-cap Macarona and Riducully during the Big Game, and try to kick Trev in the nads after the game. Then again, that's the point of Andy. He's a bully and a nutter, but he's still only human, and not the invincible beast Trev initially thinks he is. There might even be a bit of a Small Name, Big Ego thing going on with Andy, who thinks of himself as the terror of Dimwell when he's just another low-level psycho who gets his arse kicked by real tough guys like Mr. Nutt and Pepe.
  • Near the beginning of the book, Mr. Nutt's boss assures him that while the Hunting of the Megapode looks like a bunch of wizards goofing around, it's probably actually a ritual vitally important to the safety and security of the cosmos, and in a way, he's right: Ponder Stibbons is looking for ways to keep Archchancellor Ridcully occupied and take his mind off the recent departure of the Dean of Pentacles. As earlier books have demonstrated, the only thing worse than a bored wizard is a bored, angry wizard. We saw how tense things were between Ridcully and the former Dean when they were arguing over the Archchancellor's Hat; if Ponder hadn't been able to find meaningless but fun activities to keep Ridcully occupied and cool his temper, things might have escalated to the wizard equivalent of Defcon 1 before Stibbons could intervene.
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  • If the orcs seem over-designed for their racial purpose as a cannon fodder slave race, remember that their creator was most likely assisted by an Igor. Igors have a tendency of exceeding expectations, and when the marthter decided to create a race of superior soldiers, his Igor probably put more thought into what makes a good soldier than he did.
  • The way Her Ladyship drove Nutt so very hard to teach him to be worthy, and sent the Sisters to watch him, makes sense if you recall that she's the founder of the Uberwald Temperance Movement, and a reformed vampire herself. She knows how a vampire's b-word-thirst constantly gnaws at them, pressuring them to prey on people if they don't keep their minds occupied and have others watching them for signs of backsliding, and she mistakenly assumed that orcs' aggressive impulses might work the same way.
  • In a very minor example, Vetinari bids Ridcully goodbye by saying "Please don't let me trespass any further on your time." To readers familiar with his usual "Don't let me detain you", this is an impressive indication that he respects Ridcully's position as separate from, but of equal stature to, his own: he doesn't pull his usual could-be-a-threat Politeness Judo on the Archchancellor.
  • At the end, when Nutt addresses the crowd after the game, he stands with his arms crossed. This is how Glenda stands when she's putting up a stern, uncompromising front. Nutt copies others' mannerisms to fit in, so he learned the crossed-arms pose from her.
  • Rincewind plays the part of the Megapode in the Megapode-hunting ritual. Even though he's back in the UU and among friends, he still ends up being chased.
  • Vetinari's retainer doesn't know him to ever drink alcohol, despite out-drinking the captains by a ludicrous margin. However, if his equivalent of "a person twice your size falling down and needing to be wheelbarrowed home" drunk is stubbing his toe in the stairs, he could very well have been honing his alcohol resistance by getting only moderately soused without any of his retainers ever knowing different.
  • In the latter half of the book, it's mentioned that sometimes Mr Nutt looks big and sometimes he looks small, but it's somehow subtly conveyed well before it's actually spelled out. Sometimes he comes across like a small childlike Ugly Cute critter and sometimes he comes across as basically shaped like an adult human, so by the time it comes up that this is an explicit ability of his, you're like, "I thought so!"
  • Glenda asks a waiter if Vetinari does not drink wine or does not drink... wine, and the waiter's next line mentions that Vetinari has "ears everywhere" (ie., spies, even though Glenda pretends to interpret it differently). Later on, Vetinari offers Margolotta "some more... wine", which probably isn't just a coincidence. (See also: in Snuff, someone says something to Vimes about how Vetinari sends him to "break wind in the halls of the mighty", which Vetinari refers to later on despite not having been there. Ears everywhere.)

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