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Heartwarming / Thud!

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  • Commander Vimes anticipates A.E. Pessimal's wish to be in the Watch and grants him a lifelong desire.
    • Also in allowing A.E. Pessimal the right to call him "Mister Vimes" on the grounds that he's earned it, not over years as others have, but all in one go.
    • A.E. Pessimal, recovering bemusedly following his attack on a troll (with his teeth) being congratulated by his fellow watchmen.
  • When Vimes, confused, lost and alone, starts roaring the story he always reads to his son automatically and, miles away, Young Vimes stops crying—because, it seems, he—and everyone else for a few miles—can hear it.
    • While not as intense or heartbreaking, my heart grew three sizes when everyone was sitting in the carriage reading to Sam Jr.
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    • Every scene where Vimes is with his son, or even thinks about him and his own feelings and responsibilities as a father. Seeing my favourite ex-depressed drunken hard-boiled misanthropist being all awed by this new-found happiness makes me beam each time.
    • Carrot considers the resulting traffic jam worth the price of making sure that Vimes gets home in time to read to Young Sam.
      The better part of the city was now snarled with backed-up traffic — but it was clear that this did not worry Carrot. He had seen a problem; the problem was now solved. True, the solution had caused massive chaos — but that was a different problem.
    • Related to this is the way Vimes thinks about his wife and baby son, and how he loves them so much and is so happy with them and with the way his life has turned out that he's afraid the universe will do something cataclysmically awful to him in order to balance the books. It's typical of Vimes to be so cynical... but think about the worst catastrophe you can imagine in your life, and then realize that he considers his home life to be the exact opposite of that, because he loves his family that much, and it swings right back into CMOH territory.
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    • The rendition near the end just before they reach Koom Valley with everyone gathering around and joining in was a particular crystallizer of pretty much every bit of heartwarming in the book. "Show Of The Year," indeed.
  • While Vimes's rampage is an awesome sight to behold, the way it stops deserves mention: Vimes is tackled and brought to his senses again by Angua in wolf form. As she explains immediately afterwards, the reason for this was that he was literally tearing himself apart resisting the Summoning Dark. The possibility that Vimes might have given in and killed the unarmed and terrified dwarfs as another reason to stop him did not even occur to her.
  • The bit when Brick, the junkie, the lowest of the low, raises his hands in a gesture which implies the whole universe was against him. "Well, Detritus was on his side now. That evened the odds a little bit."
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  • Another Brick one:
    What dey had been doin down dat hole was makin' der worl' a betterer place, Sergeant Detritus had said. And it seemed to Brick, as he smelled the food, that Sergeant Detritus had got dat one dead right.
  • In fact, the entirety of Detritus's increasingly fatherly relationship with Brick. It comes as no surprise when Lady Sibyl in Snuff confirms that Detritus did end up adopting Brick.
    • When Detritus shares the story about his father hitting him on the head and saying "Remember!" it seems like just a throwaway comment. Then, at the end of the book, Brick recalls Detritus hitting him on the head and saying "Remember!"
      • Brick notes that he didn't explain what Brick was supposed to remember, exactly, but that it seemed to have something to do with not hating Dwarfs - and that that suits Brick just fine, because he's always figured that life is hard enough without wasting energy on hating people. In some select ways, Brick is a quite wise young man.
    • When asked why Mr.Shine, a king among trollkind, would want to stick up for Brick, the lowest of the low among his own kind, his reply boils down to 'Because someone has to.'
  • The cavern under Koom Valley, and the kings' message on the Device.
    'Then Tak looked upon the stone and it was trying to come alive, and Tak smiled and wroten: "all thyngs strive," ... And for the service the stone had given, he fashioned it into the first Troll, and delighted in the life that came unbidden...'
    • To be honest, everything about that scene gives me chills. The passage in question is first mentioned at the very beginning, and the wording implies that while dwarfs and humans are considered to be relative equals, trolls are subdwarf (subhuman? subperson? whatever) abominations. What this new version of the passage does is obliterate that view, stating that trolls and dwarfs and humans are all considered equal. In the equivalent of the dwarfs' holy writ.
  • Vimes notices you can tell when Carrot is walking down the street by the way Angua looks at the door.
  • Also when Sally says everytime Angua sees Carrot her heart skips a beat.
    • And Carrot's speeds up.
  • It's weirdly moving to see such a clear representation of the fact that Vimes isn't kidding when he answers the "Who watches the watchman?" question with "Me." He means that absolutely literally, every moment of his life.
  • A sign of how much the other members of the Watch respect and care about Vimes: when his family is shacking up in the watch house after the dwarf attack, no fewer than four troll officers stand guard over Young Sam. Troll officers who were off-duty at the time. Who VOLUNTEERED for the job.
  • Compared to their previous books' attitudes of passive-aggressive antagonism to each other, it's rather heartwarming to see Vimes and Vetinari behaving almost like friends in this book, complete with jokes and expressing sincere concern for the other's wellbeing. Best summed up in this conversation:
    Vetinari: What would you do if I asked you an outright question, Vimes?
    Vimes: I'd tell you a downright lie, sir.
    Vetinari: (smiling faintly) Then I will not do so.
    Vimes: Thank you, sir. Nor will I.
  • Heartwarming, violent troll style, because it's always nice to see that the Watchmen are as loyal to their Commander as he is to them.
    Brick lurched out of Dolly Sisters Watch House, clutching his head with one hand and, in the other, holding a bag that contained as many of his teeth as Detritus had been able to find. The sergeant had been very decent about dat, Brick thought. Detritus had also explained to him exactly what would have been happening to him had his second blow hit the human, graphically indicating that finding Brick's teeth would have been secondary to finding a head to put them in.
  • From the first scene where Vimes reads to Young Sam, mention is made that the family's pet, VERY elderly, toothless, raggedy-winged dragon pads up the stairs every night and takes up position beneath Young Sam's crib. No one seems to know why. Quite heartwarming for a pet-owner.
    • At first I thought it was a missed Chekhov's Gun during the scene when Vimes was looking for a weapon in Sam's room, that the old dragon still has fire to protect its family. Damn.
    • Flameless, too. Otherwise, even Sybil would never have let the soppy old thing anywhere near the baby.
    • I always felt that it was a reference to a dragon's most notable trait. They guard treasure.
  • Against seemingly all reason, the Summoning Dark gets one, too. During the raid on Vimes' home, one of the dwarf assassins manages to get into Young Sam's room while Vimes' is still downstairs. Vimes is still hurtling up the stairs when the dwarf comes backpedaling frantically out of the room, through the banister, and down to the floor below. The reason? Several of Young Sam's toys had fallen in such a way to form the symbol of the Summoning Dark.
    • Bear in mind, it doesn't need Vimes' family alive. In fact, their deaths would probably make Vimes more susceptible to its influence. And protects them. For some reason, that really does it for this troper.
    • The reason it protects them is that it is not evil in and of itself. It doesn't use good methods, true, but it is a spirit of vengeance, not of evil.
      • Like most things involved with revenge, it probably considers itself to be working on the side of justice. That might well be the reason it and Sam get along so well in the next book.
  • The truth of Koom Valley. "For the enemy is not Troll, nor is it Dwarf, but it is the baleful, the malign, the cowardly, the vessels of hatred, those who do a bad thing and call it good. Those we fought today, but the wilful fool is eternal and will say this is a trick and so we implore you: come to the caves under this valley, where you will find us sharing the peace that cannot be braken."

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