Today concludes the read-along of Terry Pratchett’s Wintersmith. For the next three weeks, I will be participating in a read-along of the final novel in the Tiffany Aching series, I Shall Wear Midnight. I’m also planning on joining a read-along of Scott Lynch’s Republic of Thieves in November. I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes next for Locke & Jean!
The questions for today are provided by Dab of Darkness, and cover from chapter 8 to the end of Wintersmith. There are spoilers through the end of Wintersmith ahead.
1) What did you think of Annagramma's blunderings and then her reveal to Tiffany about her parentage?
I think it makes sense, in the end. Annagramma has a somewhat similar background to Tiffany, but instead of being proud of it, she wants to hide it. A lot of Tiffany’s witchery is about being true to herself, while Annagramma’s has been tied up with pretending she’s someone else. I suppose putting on an act is actually a fundamental part of Annagramma’s identity, in a way. Luckily, a good act is exactly what her townspeople want! She just had to change up her props a little to fit what they needed. Things have ended up a lot happier for Annagramma than I expected.
2) Lady Summer makes herself known in this section of the book. How did your impressions change with each time we saw her?
The first glimpse of her was pretty much what I expected, she seemed irritated that some young thing had usurped her position. I hadn’t considered how deadly the Summer Lady is, though. I guess I was thinking of her more as the Spring Lady, making things grow and bringing abundance. I guess the point was that life depends on the dance between the Summer Lady and the Wintersmith, and can’t endure with either of them alone.
3) Ah, the Cornucopia, the Horn of Plenty. Was it all you expected? What would you ask from the Cornucopia if you had it for a day?
Gruyère, filet mignon, and French wine. I’m sure only the best would come from the cornucopia!
4) Werk, werk, werk. So many chickens! Which is worse: 5 kilted Feegles hiding under your bed or a house full of chickens? What would you do with so many of the feathered egg-laying manure factories?
I think the chickens would probably smell worse (though I know the Feegles don’t often bathe). Realistically, I would probably sell them to somebody. My little apartment has no room for chickens.
5) The winter was a harsh one, with wolves in the ice tunnels. However, Mistress Weatherwax put a stop to the wolves but never said how. What do you think she did?
My immediate thought was that she killed them all, but that seems very un-Weatherwax-like. My second thought was that she gave them a look, and they knew they’d best not cross her.
6) The immortal who tried to make himself into a man: did you enjoy the Wintersmith's attempts to make himself a man?
It was often funny, but also a bit chilling at times (no pun intended). I can see how Tiffany pitied him—he had no idea what it was he was missing about being human. He gained the ability to think and to move like a human, but never the ability to understand human existence.
7) Granny Weatherwax tests Rob Anybody's spelling and then sets him a heroic task. Do you think she was right to set that in motion or do you think someone else would have some up with the same idea?
I think Rob and the Feegles were the right people to send. They’ve wandered around in pretty much all worlds, so they had a lot of knowledge to help Roland out in the underworld (though that is a really weird statement to make about Feegles). Granny Weatherwax made the point that they can’t be heroic because they aren’t afraid of the underworld—but at the same time, I think their lack of fear helped Roland out. And, you know, maybe they’ll come back down to the underworld with Roland later to kill all the monsters. They can bring sandwiches and have a picnic afterward.
8) Finally, did you applaud Tiffany's solution to the Wintersmith dilemma? Did you find the ending satisfactory?
Yes, it makes sense that winter has to die for spring to come. And she didn’t destroy him and his castle because she hated him, she did it because it was what she was supposed to do.