The Wee Free Men Discussion

Discussion in 'MORE TERRY PRATCHETT NOVELS' started by Cynical_Youth, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. Cynical_Youth New Member

    [b:24c77ad121]A Discworld Fairytale[/b:24c77ad121]

    In [i:24c77ad121]The Wee Free Men[/i:24c77ad121] two worlds meet. Two worlds that collide every day and occasionally spill over into each other. One is the world of dreams, where everything can be real. A world where all human fantasies were once united in splendour. Sadly that unity was torn apart and it has become a barren and harsh place. A land of winter where legends and fairytales blend with the darkest recesses of our nightmares.
    The second world is even stranger still, it is called the Discworld. A world that, through its limitations, is decidedly more real. The people are unaware and no-one is watching the border. Nightmares are free to enter, but they make one big mistake. They cross the hag.

    The hag is a little girl called Tiffany and her little brother Wentworth has been taken to the dream world. Now Tiffany has to enter the dream world and save her brother from the Queen. Fortunately Tiffany is assisted by a band of pillaging blue pictsies. Armed with bad poetry, mousepipes and grim determination they journey and fight through dreams and nightmares, making a thrilling and enjoyable story. A Discworld fairytale.


    This is the continuation of the Discworld Discussion group.

    I'm going to start by asking for everyone's opinion of the book, then I'll post pieces of my notes as the discussion evolves. If pressed, I might even have a few trivia questions. :)


    I loved this book. It's very funny and I thought the new characters that were introduced worked really well. One thing that annoyed me slightly was the toad. He started off pretty well, but towards the end of the book he became a bit one-dimensional, as in lazy and a lawyer.

    The Queen was portrayed really well and Fairyland was conveyed effectively. It felt as if anything could happen and everything described in Fairyland was slightly unreal.

    The Nac Mac Feegle are the stars of this book, I think. In content and in comic value.

    So, what did everyone else think of the book?

    Edit: noticed a stray apostrophe
  2. Rincewind Number One Doorman

    I loved the Granny Aching flashbacks, they where the best parts of the book. There was such an element of..saddness to them. Becuase they where tiffanys memories, the memories that defined both Tiffanys relationship with her Granny and defined who Tiffany was. I though Granny Aching was an intriguing character, I liked her interaction with the Baron. When Tiffany thought she'd offended her Granny by giving her the Sheeplady statue that was everything Granny wasn't it was great scene.
  3. Electric_Man Templar

    Yeah, the Granny Aching bits were class, I wish that HFOS had had them, it would've improved it somewhat.

    The Feegles were brilliantly developed from their first appearance in Carpe Jugulum, from mere drinking, fighting and stealing bastards, they transformed into drinking, fighting, stealing and loyal bastards. Despite all their flaws they made brilliant uber-heroes.

    Despite her witchiness, Tiffany still seemed like a proper child, which is credit to the writer of course.

    This really is a great book, and deserving of more people commenting ;)
  4. sampanna New Member

    I really loved the Nac Mac Feegle's philosophy: they were good in their last world, and are now in Heaven. I
  5. Rincewind Number One Doorman

    I don't think Tiffany exactly or rather pyshically entered the Land of the Elves in this book. She took in an iron frying pan. Rather I think she entered the mental world of the elves. maybe she entered the mind of the queen, or she just let the queen into her mind.
  6. sampanna New Member

    I always thought she went there physically. Usually PTerry is pretty good in letting us know if someone is just traveling mentally, like borrowing or Rincewind's visit to Death's cottage.

    Here, she actually finds a specific location "where time doesn't fit" and walks through that .. a bit like Granny's visit to the elves world.
  7. Electric_Man Templar

    I think it was a physical entrance, why else would Roland and Wentworth have disappeared from the 'real' world?

    The reason why she could take iron in is because the entrance wasn't magnetic like it was for Granny. In Lancre they had put up the stones to prevent the elves from entering the discworld. On the wold, they had no such protection, because the entrance wasn't permanent, it was only temporary while 'The worlds collided.'
  8. Cynical_Youth New Member

    It doesn't have to be a physical entrance. It could be some sort of really powerful drome. They still disappear that way, I think.

    The scene where they enter the dreamworld seems like the best reason for it to be physical. If it was something like a drome Tiffany wouldn't have needed to see the gate to enter.

    I'll post some of my notes tonight, btw. If I don't forget it again.

    Edit: noticed a typo
  9. Rincewind Number One Doorman

    I think I probably is a dream world, though I think it doesn't have to be. The gate my only have been a gate away to/in her mind. Tiffany stepped through the stones (if i remember correctly) a few times and nothing happened. The stones her just a tool to focus her mind to the place it needed to be.
  10. Ba Lord of the Pies

    It wasn't exactly a Dream world. It just lacked the solidity of a real world. That's why it needed to feed off of other universes. That's why it was a parasite dimension.
  11. Cynical_Youth New Member

    Well, here it is... the first bit of analysis:

    [b:d94782c0ad][size=14:d94782c0ad]Good and evil[/size:d94782c0ad][/b:d94782c0ad]

    Good and evil are important concepts in fairytales. In Pratchett's discworld fairytale they form an important part of the message. Ranging from the fairytale book used as a Roundworld mirror to a discworld story to Tiffany's contemplation of Miss Robinson's guilt Pratchett once again attempts to reveal universal truths.

    [b:d94782c0ad]The Nac Mac Feegle[/b:d94782c0ad]

    The Nac Mac Feegle are the loveable rogues of the book. They may drink, steal and fight excessively, but mostly among each other and always according to their own strange system of morality. They cannot be called good or evil. They are real heroes. Their cause is not so much worthy as one of self-preservation and they have their flaws. Yet... that is not quite true. Whichever you look at it the Wee Free Men are portrayed as on the good side. Their rough humour and violence may make them a lot more believable than the fairies, pixies and munchkins of Roundworld fairytales, but elements of their nature are still underplayed throughout the book. Their violent nature is continuously compensated for. The creatures they fight are dream creatures, and even in that they are either one-dimensional and evil (grimhounds) or parasites (dromes). They resort to gonnagling and the mousepipes, both in stark contrast with the up close and personal approach of the blue pictsies. Even their philosophy, death is not a bad thing, weakens the portrayal of violence.

    [b:d94782c0ad]The Queen[/b:d94782c0ad]

    The Queen represents evil in the book. She is a parasite, feeding on dreams, kidnapping and mistreating children. Is she really evil though? There is a good reason for the connection Tiffany makes between the story of Miss Robinson and the Queen. The Queen is embittered, lonely and deserted. After her king left her, when the dreamworld was still a nice place (indicated primarily by the presence of the Nac Mac Feegle and also by the symbolism of summer to winter), she started to turn into what she is in [i:d94782c0ad]The Wee Free Men[/i:d94782c0ad]. And the way she treats comes from the way she sees children. Although she is quite sophisticated in some areas, she's not that intelligent. The Queen is a like a real villain, she is not a monster merely someone with deep personal issues. Again... this is not really true. The portrayal of Elves in [i:d94782c0ad]Lords & Ladies[/i:d94782c0ad] and her potential for cruelty place her firmly on the evil side. The contrast between a loving, caring, frail Miss Robinson and the harsh, vain Queen makes their connection more incidental than indicative.Whichever way you look at it, the Queen fails to invoke any form of sympathy in the reader.

    What do you think? Is the Queen evil? Are the Nac Mac Feegle good? And why does Pratchett make the distinction between good and evil? Because it's for children? Because it's a fairytale? Or is Pratchett unwilling to break that convention and is that necessarily a bad thing?
  12. Rincewind Number One Doorman

    The Nac Mac Feegle are good, but not because goodness is part of their moral code. Unlike, Granny Weatherwax who made a conscious decision to [i:a995acc365]be[/i:a995acc365] good the Nac Mac Feegle are good because good just happens to be in line with their wants. The Feegle don't robbed the poor or fight the weak because it's [i:a995acc365]wrong[/i:a995acc365] to do so, but because it's not interesting for them. They have nothing to gain from it. I think that the Feegles are basically amoral hedonists. They are not driven by what is right or wrong, but what is enjoyable and what is not enjoyable. The only times when they reign in thier wills is under oath or fear, they don't cross a witch, nor will they break there word once they give it.
  13. fudgecake New Member

    [quote:93bb2ef2a5="Rincewind"]....nor will they break there word once they give it.[/quote:93bb2ef2a5]

    But don't you think that's evidence of some kind of goodness? To keep a promise?

    Edited because, for some reason, kep is not yet a word. :lol:
  14. Electric_Man Templar

    I think the feegles are more scared as to what will happen if they break their oath, they think of it as a type of magic.

    They have a twisted code, which occasionally loops onto good.
  15. Rincewind Number One Doorman

    Obviously, they feegle have 'some kind of goodness' but likewise, we could say there stealing from all the different worlds is edvidense to 'some kind of wickedness'. I don;t tyhink terms like good and bad can be aplied to the Feegle in the same way they act to other characters. The Feegle, are in many ways like children. They have no real concept of what 'good' and 'bad' mean. They do things they like, they don;t do things they don't like or don;t find interesting, sometimes they'll refrain from doing something they like becuase an authority figure (Kedla or a witch) tells them not too. They don;t understand why it;s morally wrong. They just don;t do it becuas they've been told.
  16. sleepy_sarge New Member

    I like Pratchett's own description of them...

    The novel’s main protagonists are, in the author’s words, "like Glasgow Smurfs who have seen Braveheart too many times. There is nobody they won’t fight... and they don’t mind a drink or two".

    The full article is [color=red:25fa330d3f]here[/color:25fa330d3f]
  17. shadowgirl New Member

    so i'm sitting in hospital awaiting the birth of my son. i was brought in a week before he arrived due to my high blood pressure. i ask my husband to bring me a book, any book. i'm bored with the four walls and the pregnant women.

    "sure, hon, i'll bring you the wee free men, it's really good.", says he.

    i bite my tongue, i don't want to read it because i haven't finished the other older books yet. but i'll read anything!!!

    two days later, i've finished the book.

    "that was blooming fantastic!!!", says i.

    i loved everything in this book. the nacmacfeegles, tiffany, the queen. so i got hat full of sky and read it too. it wasn't as good, but i still enjoyed it. is selling nacmacfeegles. check out the t-shirt feegle spotting - :lol:
  18. Hsing Moderator

    :D What a choice! No honestly, perfectly reasonable...

    I always surprised myself by actually being able to read what they say, despite it being not exactly the English you learn at school...
  19. Ba Lord of the Pies

    As opposed to Doors, who didn't realize they were speaking differently until someone pointed it out to him.
  20. Hsing Moderator

  21. kormaciek New Member

    Can anybody explain me what does [i:34c6d85d0c]it [/i:34c6d85d0c]mean or write this using another words. Especially greebs nad hoggets. I have no idea where can I find meaning of these.[size=9:34c6d85d0c] [yep, I'm not Ehglish ;) ] [/size:34c6d85d0c]:

    [quote:34c6d85d0c]Cloggets are a trembling of the greebs in hoggets.[/quote:34c6d85d0c]
  22. Ba Lord of the Pies

    The point of that is to be indecipherable by normal people. The idea is that it's shepherd jargon, and very local jargon at that. Hogget is a term for a female sheep. Greebs and cloggets are either very obscure, or else made up.
  23. davobanavo New Member

    [quote:1606e7ff59="Ba"]The point of that is to be indecipherable by normal people. The idea is that it's shepherd jargon, and very local jargon at that. Hogget is a term for a female sheep. Greebs and cloggets are either very obscure, or else made up.[/quote:1606e7ff59]

    I know that a Greeb is a type of river/lake based waterfowl, but of course this knowledge may be entirely irrelevant.
  24. Pixel New Member

    I don't have the book immediately to hand to check the context, but it sounds to me like the description of a sheep disease (cloggets) - symptoms being a trembling of the "greebs" - presumably a PTerry invention - in female sheep (hoggets) - possibly related to Licky End - normally only found in pregnant sheep, but Gaspode suffers from it!

    Given the dragon diseases that PTerry has come up with, this disease sounds fairly straightforward.

    Oh, and the bird is a grebe, not a greeb.
  25. Katcal I Aten't French !

    Being a Cotswolds girl myself, I thought the use of rolling green chalk hills, sheep and white horses was the best bit...

    But then, that's just me being sentimental ;)
  26. koshu New Member

    I grew up in SA so we dont hav many hills and if we did they were in the middle of nowere, but they were anything but green, more a dusty browny color. :lol:
  27. peapod_j New Member

    i have just heard from a live web chat that Terry Prachett is finashing the next book of the wee free men im so happy
    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
  28. koshu New Member

    thats cool,, do u know wat its called or anything about it?
  29. Firelord New Member

    The Wee Free Men are the coolest little folk around. Recently spend 9 months at work in a project room with their pic sat on my project board ( all the other stuff on the board was of little interest ). :lol:
  30. Maljonic Administrator

    I just started reading this book myself, not too far into it but I think it sounds pretty cool so far. :)
  31. peapod_j New Member

    i think its called "Wintersmith" or something like that. :?
  32. Plugger New Member

    yup your right
    "Wintersmith, Future novel, hinted at in 'The Art of Discworld'. A brief excerpt was read at the 2004 Convention. Contracted to appear by March 2006."
    and there may even be another
    "I Shall Wear Midnight, Possible future novel, hinted at in 'The Art of Discworld'.
  33. peapod_j New Member

    have you heard that there making a film of the wee free men. they are scared that the scottish will be ofended but im from scottland and terry prachett lanced the book in inverness. the book gets the scootish down to a tee. i cant wait until it comes out :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
  34. Hsing Moderator

    Hey peapod, a small advice... I know you're one of our dyslexics, so not a word at all about your spelling. Especially not from me. But there's no diagnosis that excuses such an overwhelming amount of smileys - I think one or two would do the job. (It's kind of being regarded as the visual equivalent of a multitude of explanation marks, and you know what the Marthter says about [i:2f33b1c9c3]them[/i:2f33b1c9c3], do you?) :)
  35. sleepy_sarge New Member

    [quote:30dbac71e4="peapod_j"] the book gets the scootish down to a tee. i cant wait until it comes out :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:[/quote:30dbac71e4]

    Hmmm they are great characters, among my favourites, and TP certainly draws a wonderfully observed caricature, but it IS a caricature, like the "See you Jimmy" character of Russ Abbott (ok I'm giving away my age here!).

    Or maybe I'm just fortunate to have grown up never meeting a real life Scot who talks and behaves like that!
  36. LaughingFire New Member

    Ehh...I think he mentioned in the Art of Discworld that their jargon was a bit of Scots and a bit of made up stuff and a few other things, and of course they owe a lot to the Picts, who are the people who USED to live where to Scots are now. Something somebody said earlier in this thread intrigued me... The Nac Mac Feegle were "more believable than Roundworld fairy tales of pixies" and things. They're certainly more fleshed-out, but plenty of the old elves ('elf' used here in the broadest sense of the word) were sort of like them, in various ways.

    Good and evil came up, too. I think...the Queen is 'evil' but she doesn't KNOW it; hasn't the capacity to know it, I think...remember Lily Weatherwax? It's a type of evil he seems to like applying to females. Hm, there's a thought. First one I've produced today! Wow, I'm going to bed....
  37. peapod_j New Member

    well i fell sory if you have never met a scott who specks like the wee free men. i hear scots every where and when i moved up i was very confused (i used to live in Durham near newcastle before i moved up 4 and a 1/2 years ago) but i can translate it in my head now since i have got used to it and i hope they get good Scottish actors with the right acent to do the wee free men :) i would hate it if the used English actors :( (noyhing gainst England but the English an not do a scots acent
  38. LaughingFire New Member the brownies in Willow...
  39. Katcal I Aten't French !

    **desperately tries to remeber in which episode of Buffy Willow ate brownies... and then gives up and goes to hang herself for such a lame joke**
  40. LaughingFire New Member

    Hah. ^-^ No.

    It was one of the first movies they used the 'morfing' technology (no, I didn't misspell that; they really used an 'f' for some reason.) There are these two little lunatic brownies who like to fight and steal and get drunk, and they have the most absurd accents. No offense to anyone who actually talks like that, if such person exists. More Welsh than Scottish, though, I think....
  41. Catriona New Member

    1) I love Willow and the brownies are amazing, although I couldn't define their accent as Welsh or Scottish really. I just love their comedy arguing ("You are drunk, and when you are drunk you forget that I AM IN CHARGE"), and their mad hair.

    2) I would probably have to say that this is my favourite book- I know it's really impossible to choose one, but if forced at gunpoint...The reason is Tiffany's relationship to the land and her grandmother. Plus Pratchett's concept of witchcraft is most fully explained in this book, I think. And I love Tiffany, and the fact there's a heroine with dark hair who doesn't fully get on with people and reads everything she can lay her hands on, and is so tough and rescues people instead of being rescued. Plus the pictsies- I did think that maybe some Scottish people would be offended if it was made into a film, but I think most of them would love it. My mum's Scottish but she hasn't read the book so I can't do any unscientific opinion polls, sorry.
  42. Ba Lord of the Pies

    The Brownies' accent was mostly derived from French, not Welsh or Scottish. They varied it a bit from a real French accent, making it a bit more nasal, but it's at least as French as French wine (grown from American rootstock).
  43. Katcal I Aten't French !

    Unfortunately I have only ever seen the movie in French, so they don't have much of an accent... One day, I'll get myself the DVD...

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