RathDarkblade Moderator City Watch. Jul 16, Mar 24, 5, 2, 43 Melbourne, Victoria. Now that The Spell was out of his brain, he could have been a decent wizard.
Pratchett, Terry - Discworld 22 - The Last Continent
But then, we'd be deprived of a "hero" in the making. Now that I think about it, he probably did apply to UU but never passed any exams, as Ridcully points out towards the beginning of "Interesting Times". I wonder why that is. Without The Spell to hinder him, what held him back?
Personally, I like and sympathise with Rincewind. He knows he's not a hero in the mould of Cohen and so on, but he never stops trying, in spite of his complete lack of hero material. It's just too bad that he keeps meeting people who try to stick bits of metal in him, etc. Penfold Sergeant-at-Arms Jul 16, Dec 29, 8, 80 2, Worthing www. At that time, it seemed all the really dangerous situations facing the hero could be solved by a mage stepping forward and casting a previously unheard of spell Harry Potter or Elric of Melnibone, for example.
I was getting a bit tired of this old trope, to be honest, so it was quite refreshing to come across with the half brick inna sock method of dealing with a protagonist.
Going to the point of him always running away, but ultimately having to face up to facts. It's a sort of resignation that the fate or just Fate means that he is the person on the spot that has to step up.
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He's a reluctant hero, who probably would never describe anything he did as heroic. I don't think his character develops much during the series. It's a good thing that Terry made him such a memorable character in the first place. I'll be the contrarian here, but for me RIncewind is a one-joke character and the only one of Pterry's main set of core "series" protagonists who dones't change into something deeper over the course of his books. I found the first two books which I read long after I had read later DW books to be strained parodies that were obviously trying to be the fantasy equivalent of Doug Adam's Hitchhiker's series even with the footnotes serving the same role as the Galactic Encycloedia entries.
Rincewind really is, at best, a straightman for all the other comic characters around him. I'm glad the Pterry essentially gave up on him and focused his energy on developing the much better and well-rounded protagonists of his other series books Vimes, the witches, Moist, Susan, Tiffany. Last edited: Jul 17, Here goes I don't see Rincewind as the usual Hero. His position is the Mentor. The mentor is usually old, but Rincewind is young, because comedy requires a change in the combination of elements.
However, young as he is - college dropout - Rincewind has traveled a lot, and has learned just enough of many languages to get by almost anywhere. His strong point is communication - he is a teacher. He begins with the commonplace Everyman position, rejecting heroism - the narrator's description of a standard Hero is rather disparaging. Enter Twoflower, whose appreciation of the moment is Zen-like: even when falling off the planet or looking out from a troll's mouth, he is able to appreciate the view.
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Rincewind has some of the external attributes of a traditional wandering Buddhist monk. He lives day to day, sleeping where he can, wearing his one faded red robe and sandals. His development is slower than most main characters. In his second appearance, in Mort, he is "accidentally" the one who foils Albert's Ridcully-like plan and saves UU from forced exercise.
I put accidentally in quotes because although Rincewind wasn't consciously doing it, his happenstance behavior turned out to be Right Action, done without use of intellect - the sort of thing that the zen practitioner is supposed to develop. In Sourcery, Rincewind actually takes on a heroic endeavour because his true self is threatened - his existence as a wizard. Yet when it turns out that the supposed villain is a child under the direct control of his vengeance-driven father, Rincewind perceives the problem correctly and acts to save the child, not quite sacrificing himself - he continues to run.
When Eric calls him into the Discworld again, Rincewind again is in the position of Mentor. In the course of about a week, he turns a self-centered spoiled teenager around, away from the typical Faustian desires and toward the ability to feel some compassion for Ulysses. After a well-deserved rest, he's called to Mentor again, this time in the Agatean Empire. There is another Mentor present, Teach, who tried to give up teaching but can't help it. Teach teaches the old men, Rincewind teaches the young. Flung to the continent of XXXX, Rincewind finally completes his journey of self-discovery, when Skippy explains it all and he realizes he is going to be the Hero no matter what he does.
Once he has accepted that as his role, he gets to retire until The Last Hero and the Science of Discworld books. In The Last Hero, Rincewind is among those who storm Heaven, but when offered that traditional trap, a gift of the gods, he only asks for a childhood wrong to be redressed. In the Science of Discworld books, he is again mentoring, but this time he's in our world, teaching the wizards. Rincewind, like Teach, just can't give up teaching.
There's a meta level, too, but that's for a different post. Jul 17, He's there, but only as an arbitrary character. I think Pratchett almost decided that he'd pushed the character arc as far as he could and gave him a sort of retirement. Ridcully keeps him around because he's a sort of canary in the mine when it comes to trouble. I never considered Rincewind from the angle of being the Teacher figure.
Thank you for showing me there was more to him than that. Penfold also makes a good point that we haven't considered. Thanks, Penners! Up until TCOM, fantasy characters tended to come up against insoluble problems. Then a powerful wizard turned up, cast a spell and - boom! Gandalf's battle with the Balrog. Elminster, Ed Greenwood's iconic wizard, takes a different route - i.
The overarching plot for the Harry Potter character is very similar. The "orphan raised in ignorance of his identity" trope is also very familiar - being a very old trope lends it strength through familiarity.
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I used to think that Rincewind was a sort of Deus ex machina created by Terry to allow us to visit parts of the Disc that would take a lot more exposition to get to these places - as Rath comments "a tour guide". I still think that was his original purpose, along with the Luggage to get Rincewind out of and maybe into a lot of scrapes. I know that when Rincewind didn't appear in books a few times, people would badger Terry about when they would see him again as they did with Eskarina Smith. So he came back to a sort of settled life, in the University, but with a much diminished role.
I believe Unseen Academicals was his last book and that was very much as a supporting role. I could be wrong, but didn't he have a brief appearance in Raising Steam when the wizards are taking a train ride--something about him running away from the engine? Quatermass Sergeant-at-Arms Jul 18, How could you ever make any progress against minds like that? The darkness has always been good enough for us. Discworld constellations changed frequently as the world moved through the void, which meant that astrology was cutting-edge research rather than, as elsewhere, a clever way of avoiding a proper job.
Topic: Astrology The god, almost alone among gods, thought questions were a good thing. Or would have been, of course, if he existed. However, there were limits.
Topic: Gods You could see light all the way through it. Clear beer. Ankh-Morpork beer was technically ale, that is to say, gravy made from hops. It had texture. It had body. It had dregs. You could eat the last half-inch of it with a spoon. This stuff was thin and sparkly and looked as though someone had already drunk it.
Dead is only for once, but running away is for ever. Shouting, smiting, getting angry all the time. But the worst part. You know the worst part?
Pratchett, Terry 1948–
The worst part was that if you actually stopped the smiting, people wandered off and worshipped someone else. I think that before we made humanity, we broke the mould. They are implying the kind of behaviour more generally associated, oddly enough, with people wearing a full suit of clothes, often with the same insignia. Take that business with the tame lightning.
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