SPOILERS Hogfather Discussion **Spoilers**

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RathDarkblade

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#61
Aquamarine said:
But that "Teh-ah-tim-eh" business was grating. "Teatime" is just such a nice, cosy name that ironically compliments his twisted character; why spoil such an oddly fitting name with an ugly joke that only really serves to scramble my brain briefly and take me out of the text?
Is "Teh-ah-tim-eh" a joke? *shrug* Sorry, I haven't noticed. I simply thought that it fitted with Teatime's haphazard grasp of reality, much like Lily de Tempscire's or Edward d'Eath's. Remember how Lily's mind, for instance, was described as a "crazy patchwork of broken glass" or something similar; well, I thought that description fits Edward d'Eath's state of mind, and - for that matter - Teatime's too.

I imagine, also, that Jonathan Teatime's fellow students at the Assassins' Guild School would have teased him about his name (although, presumably, not for very long). Perhaps he figured out a way to twist his name in order to confuse other people, so they wouldn't tease him; he doesn't strike me as someone who likes - or even tolerates - being teased.
 
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#62
Hogfather has one of the messiest and least comprehensible plots of all the DW books, but its really good parts have some of Pterry's best writing. Alas, some of the bad parts just go on and on and on. Whenever I re-read it, I tend to skim through parts like the scene with Death in the toy store, the wizards' endless "creation" of flesh-and-blood fairy tale creatures (funny the first time, tedious the fifth time), and the endless boring Tolikenesque trek with Susan and and the god of Hangovers. None of this stuff is necessarily "padding" or out of place (like, say, the tedious shopping mall sideplot in Reaper Man), but Pterry seemed to throw so many characters, sideplots and ideas into Hogfather that it's hard to slog through sometimes.

But then, when you're just about to give up, Pterry gives us amazing scenes like Susan facing off against the auditors trying to kill the primordial Hogfather-boar and it redeems the whole thing. A flawed masterpiece, for sure.
 
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#63
RathDarkblade said:
Is "Teh-ah-tim-eh" a joke? *shrug* Sorry, I haven't noticed. I simply thought that it fitted with Teatime's haphazard grasp of reality, much like Lily de Tempscire's or Edward d'Eath's. Remember how Lily's mind, for instance, was described as a "crazy patchwork of broken glass" or something similar; well, I thought that description fits Edward d'Eath's state of mind, and - for that matter - Teatime's too.
I see what you mean, especially about the "cracked mind" aspect (such a brilliant metaphor!). But as for the name, I disagree. If that was its main purpose, then it was pretty redundant given how evocatively Teatime's craziness was exemplified elsewhere.

Myself, I think the implication is that "Teh-ah-tim-eh" is his real name, hence Death remembering it correctly at the end of the book. All I know is that the "Teh-ah-tim-eh" thing took me out of the novel every time it came up, to the point that I stubbornly still pronounce it "Tea-time" instead.

Incidentally, we got a pretty good idea of what he was like as a kid, thanks to Susan. Hint: Even the bullies were afraid of him! You don't screw with Teatime at any age. (Unless you're the inner babysitter, of course).

raisindot said:
Whenever I re-read it, I tend to skim through parts like the scene with Death in the toy store,
I actually really like that segment, albeit mostly because Death is automatic comedy gold as far as I'm concerned. Certain fragments stick in my memory: most of the stuff involving Nobby Nobbs, for starters, but also the individual kids' reactions and Crumley's "Disneyfied" display getting stomped over by the pigs.

On the other hand, it really snags against the whole "congruent reality" aspect, unless there was a part explaining how no one remembered things like the night being extended for the Hogfather. And that one skeptic kid read so much like a typical straw skeptic stereotype that it's grating rather than funny.

raisindot said:
the wizards' endless "creation" of flesh-and-blood fairy tale creatures (funny the first time, tedious the fifth time),
This is one place where I think the Sky adaptation improved upon the book. (Not something I'd say a lot, mind, but still.) I like the Wizards scenes more than you did, but that whole subplot was definitely going overboard by the time it reached the Towel Wasp and the Cheerful Fairy.

raisindot said:
and the endless boring Tolikenesque trek with Susan and and the god of Hangovers.
Trek? I remember the investigation, and I thought it had some pretty good complimentary material, but I don't know if I'd call that a trek, much less a "Tolkienesque" one. Unless you're referring to the "child's painting" landscape, which was reiterated at least three times before they enter the Tooth Fairy's castle.

raisindot said:
A flawed masterpiece, for sure.
A good way of putting it. This is, after all, a book with three climaxes (the Tooth Fairy's castle, the Hogfather's rebirth, and Teatime in the Gaiter household).
 
#64
Hogfather was my first exposure to Sir Terry and Discworld. It was unique in my experience because a woman I'd met through my game store and her husband took turns reading it aloud. Later, she and I read it aloud to each other, and later than that..... let's just say Hogfather will always hold pride of place in my appreciation of the Discworld books, both for its content and the context in which I experienced it. I've re-read it innumerable times, and Death's statement, "HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE." still brings a shiver to my spine and a tear to my eye every time I read it. That and "Because inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened." are my two favorite Discworld lines. At 62, I'm wondering more and more. :oops:
 

Tonyblack

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#65
My late wife and I used to love reading aloud to each other. Some very special memories come from that.
 

Tonyblack

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#66
I'm currently reading Neil Gaiman's book - Norse Mythology and was surprised to learn that Thor had a magic chariot pulled by two goats: Snarler and Grinder. Considering the names of the Hogfather's pigs: Gouger, Snouter, Rooter and Tusker, I wonder if Terry was influenced at all by Thor's goats.
 

RathDarkblade

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#68
That's right! Tanngrisnir (Old Norse "teeth-barer, snarler") and Tanngnjóstr (Old Norse "teeth grinder") were the two goats who pulled Odin's chariot. :) Here is an illustration:

Here is why Thor chose goats to pull his chariot. Briefly, goats in Scandinanvian society represented strength and abundance as well as a closeness to humanity. No wonder Thor was the closest ally to humanity in Norse mythology. :)

And here is how Norse gods travelled. I was surprised to learn that Freya, the goddess of fertility, had a chariot pulled by cats! :) The cats were a gift from Thor. Well, cats in Norse society were symbols of femininity and fertility. So it is not such a surprise. :) Here is Freya with her cat chariot:

As our American cousins would say, Thor was a "badass" - but Freya's chariot is charming. :)
 

Molokov

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#69
I was kind of slyly referring to the fact that Thor could cook and eat his goats, and as long as he retained a leg bone (femur?) they would regenerate and be ready to pull his chariot again by morning. I don't think the Hogfather would do that to his hogs... it'd almost be cannibalism!
 

RathDarkblade

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#70
Hmm. At first blush, it seems unusual - but the same motif occurs elsewhere in mythology, too (including in Norse mythology).

The einherjar (Old Norse literally "army of one", "those who fight alone") are mortals who have died in battle and are brought to Valhalla by valkyries. In Valhalla, they eat their fill of the nightly-resurrecting beast Sæhrímnir (a kind of magical boar, according to the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning), and valkyries bring them mead (which comes from the udder of the goat Heiðrún). (Emphasis mine -RD) ;)

Then again, in Greek mythology, Zeus as an infant was suckled by the milk of an entity called Amaltheia. According to some translations, she was his foster mother; others say she was a supernatural goat.

The infant future king of the gods had unusual abilities and strength, and in playing with his nursemaid accidentally broke off one of her horns, which then had the divine power to provide unending nourishment, as the foster mother had to the god. This is where we get the idea of the cornucopia (literally "horn of plenty"), a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly shown as a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers or nuts. :)

There are similar stories in other mythologies - e.g. Auðumbla, the primeval cow in Norse mythology who nourished the primordial entities Ymir (father of the jotunn or frost giants) and Búri (grandfather of Odin, as well as Vili and Vé, Odin's brothers). And, in Roman mythology, we have the legend of the she-wolf who suckles Romulus and Remus.

So the idea is hardly unique to any one culture, but shared among many. :) It's not surprising that the idea made the leap from Roundworld to Discworld - or vice versa!
 
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#71
Goats, cats, and pigs share a few characteristics. They are accustomed to humans, intelligent on their own, and notoriously difficult to control. Of the three, goats are the most likely to be functional in harness.
 

RathDarkblade

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#72
Well, possibly. But then, we have animals tethered to a harness that are clearly ridiculous. Like Radagast and his Rhosgobel Rabbits, a device clearly based on the Flemish Giant Rabbit ... but ... really? Really, Radagast? Really, Peter?

****WARNING: LOTR Fan about to lose his cool**** ;)

The LOTR films were fun and awesome because they stuck to the books pretty well. Even the battle scenes were evocative of real-world battles. The "siege of Helm's Deep" scene could have easily been a late medieval/early Renaissance siege; just change Saruman's orcs into any real-world besiegers you like. Yes, there are dwarves and elves and wizards and orcs, but change that into English or French or Mongols or what-have-you, and the battle scenes resonate with the audience because they could so easily be part of anyone's history, or mythology, or folklore - whatever you like. Yes, there were some crazy and silly moments (often involving Legolas, and sometimes Gimli), but they were in the background.

The Hobbit films, on the other hand ... oh boy. Silly, silly everywhere. Radagast and his Rabbits were just the first. Then you have:

1. The dwarves bathing and farting in Elrond's house in Rivendell
2. Legolas doing crazy crap like chasing an orc by jumping on thin air
3. The dwarves letting out some crazy technology to create a giant golden dwarf to drown Smaug in liquid gold - which he someone survives (???)
4. The entire "barrel battle" scene while the dwarves are leaving Mirkwood in their barrels ... oh dear. If you haven't seen that scene, I suggest you skip it. It starts very close to the book, but quickly becomes a CGI-fied nightmare. For the love of any god you care to name, Peter Jackson, why?

And more. Yes, The Hobbit (i.e. book) is a fantasy, but it could have happened on earth, a long, long time ago.

The Hobbit movies are not something that could have happened anywhere, under any circumstances, ever. Ever, ever, ever. EVER. They are simply an excuse for CGI on top of more CGI, until we are tired of saying "Wow, that was cool" and looking at our watches, instead. "Aren't you done yet?"

Which is why this is sadly true. :(



Anyway, sorry to rant (and derail this thread). *blush* Carry on ... :)
 

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