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Tear Jerker / Discworld

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Terry Pratchett's Discworld has a lot of these:

Main Discworld novels

Young adult novels


  • Repeatedly in witch novels: If any ground is sacred, this ground is; if any day is sacred, this day is.
  • The Sea and Little Fishes: "It’s hard to contemplate, in the grey hours of the night, that probably the only reason people would come to your funeral would be to make sure you’re dead." Granny Weatherwax can be a very heartbreaking character at times.


  • The introduction in which Terry Pratchett writes about getting letters from people who are due to meet Death, and hope that he is as Pratchett has written him. Not just any people. CHILDREN. Terminally ill children who thank Mr. Pratchett for making Death less scary for them. Let's just say Terry wasn't the only one left staring at the walls when they read that.
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  • Towards the end of his life, Pratchett suffered from Alzheimer's, a disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions, and eventually died from complications thereof.
  • He made a documentary discussing the concept of assisted suicide, showing a half dozen people suffering from horrible diseases that have absolutely destroyed their bodies, yet they are just as alive and bright in mind as Pratchett himself...and the point of it all was explaining and showing how he planned to end his own life (which he does not seem to have). Watch it here.
    • He wrote a Dimbleby Lecture, Shaking Hands with Death, about a year after that documentary was made. It was about euthanasia, and the single hardest thing to watch in it is him explaining that he needed his friend Tony Robinson to read out his entire speech for him, because his brain just is not capable of letting him properly read any more. The look on everybody's faces, and the obvious way Pratchett is struggling to read about a page of notes- the introduction- is heartbreaking. Making it worse is that he sits on stage afterwards, extremely dignified, as Robinson reads the speech, and the camera keeps cutting occasionally to Pratchett quietly sitting in his chair, his hat covering his face. Watch it here.
  • Shortly after Pratchett's death his literary agent, Rob Wilkins, posted several tweets to the effect of Pratchett meeting the Discworld Death.
    • It gets worse when you realise those tweets were written by his daughter Rhianna. During one of the hardest moments of her life, she was still thoughtful enough to give strangers what was, to many of us, the only goodbye we could take. Thank you, Rhianna.
  • Naturally, after Pratchett's death there was an outpouring of fanart mourning his passing.
  • In the wake of his death, two trends became very meaningful and pervasive among Pratchett's fans.
    • The first was "Death brought the sword", since it's explained in one of the books that for the common folk, Death has a scythe, but kings get the sword.
    • Instead of signing 'RIP Terry Pratchett', fans started tagging 'GNU Terry Pratchett'. This is from Going Postal, where it is a mechanism of the clacks towers that any message marked "GNU" will continue to be passed up and down the lines. And a man never dies as long as his name is still spoken...
    • Which has led to the tag Speak His Name
      • Not only that, but according to this page, more than 32,000 (!!!) different pages are broadcasting GNU Terry Pratchett across the web, as it would be on the clacks.
    • Special notice should go to xkcd's tribute, one of the very few that didn't mention Death.