This article contains brief biographies for characters from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Characters are listed here either if they only appear in one novel or if their biographies consist only of a single paragraph. This list consists of human characters. For biographies of noted members of the Discworld's "ethnic minorities" (Dwarfs, trolls, undead), see the specific articles for those races. For further Discworld character biographies, see the table below.
Characters are listed alphabetically by name.
Achmed the Mad/Achmed the 'I Just Get These Headaches'Edit
Originally an Omnian novice in the Citadel of Om, noted only for being a simple boy with an apparently perfect memory. Brutha was the main character in Small Gods, in which he found himself Chosen by the Great God Om because he was the only person who really believed in the god. He went on to become the Eighth Prophet of Om and Cenobiarch of Omnia, and transformed Omnianism into a religion of tolerance and understanding. He died 100 years later and some time ago, an issue that has been proven by a passage in Thief of Time. It has been suggested that Brutha is modelled on Aquinas Thomas Aquinas, whom Magnus Albertus Magnus reports having been called "the dumb ox" by other students. Brutha cannot learn to read and write; in the words of his teacher, "he cannot fathom the link between the sounds and letters," but he learned the holy scriptures of Om to perfection by listening. An example of Brutha's memory is given when he says that his earliest memory is that "there was a bright light. Then somebody hit me", referring to the slap a doctor gives a baby after it is born to make it breathe.
Dangerous Beans is a small albino rat. He is one of the main characters in The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. Dangerous Beans is tiny, rather weak, and nearly blind. He is the most intelligent of the band of Changeling rats. He is quite idealistic and morally pure, which many other rats find puzzling. Due to his intellectual power, he is the only one who can withstand the psychic onslaught of Spider, the terrible rat king.
Darktan is a Changeling rat who appears in The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. He is a tough, battle-hardened rat. Hamnpork, the leader of the rats at the beginning of the book, is wary and afraid of him; it is clear that Darktan, who is in his prime and much more accustomed to being sapient, is a better leader for the rats. When Hamnpork is trapped in a pit with a terrier, Darktan rescues him by bungee jumping into the pit and grabbing him. Soon afterward, Darktan is caught in a rat trap and has a near death experience. When he regains consciousness, he finds that Hamnpork has died. The rats elect him as their new leader and he uses his so-called "meeting with the Bone Rat" to rally them into action.
High priest of Djelibeybi; largely responsible for its creation, its culture and its religion, not to mention its hundreds of pyramids. Rendered immortal by the pyramid in which he sleeps, Dios remained for hundreds of generations the self-appointed guardian of the traditions and values of his country, most of which he invented. He performed the rituals and rites to the gods so many times that, come their allotted hour, his mind would automatically go through them even if physically doing so was impossible. He believed he may be 7000 years old, though by the end of Pyramids his unhappy fate reveals he is actually far older than that, if indeed he could be said to have an age at all (he is somewhat of a living ontological paradox.) It also raises the question of whether it was indeed Dios who created the pyramids, or the other way around. "Dios" means "God" in Spanish and his staff is described with two snakes entwined around it, like the Caduceus, though by the end of the novel, when his ultimate destiny is revealed, the snakes form into an ouroboros.
A highly proficient horse doctor who treated Vetinari in Feet of Clay (human doctors were generally not trustworthy but everyone took care of their horses). Due to his lack of experience with human patients, much of his advice was flawed ("walk him round a bit on loose rein...and no oats"). A former jockey, he won a lot of money by not winning races. Highly skilled at achieving results, when he treated 'Dire Fortune', it didn't fall over until the last furlong. A miracle perhaps, considering the fact that the horse had, in fact, died coming up into the starting line. His given name is James Folsom. (Vimes requests him to attend the Patrician under this name—and assures his attendance by blackmailing him about a rigged race.)
The D'regs are a nomadic and warlike people who inabit the desert regions of hubward Klatch, in particular the lawless borderlands between Klatch proper and Hersheba. They will attack anyone, anything and even themselves. In their language, the word for "stranger" is the same as their word for "target". Nonetheless, in a tradition echoing the Afghan law of milmastia or the ancient Greek law of xenia, they will show a guest perfect hospitality for exactly 72 hours, whereupon killing him becomes an option. They can, however, toy with this rule; Samuel Vimes passed one of their many cultural "tests" by refusing to eat the sheep-eye soup traditionally offered foreigners to see if they'd go for it. Their most noted member is 71-Hour Ahmed, who gained his name for violating the ancient 3-day custom by executing a criminal one hour before it expired, an act so unthinkable that other D'regs call him the most feared man in all of Klatch. They have very strict ideas about women fighting-they expect them to be good at it. It is generally said that if a D'reg is your friend he is your friend for the rest of your life, and if he is not your friend the rest of your life will be about five seconds; to still be alive five minutes after meeting a D'reg tribe is a clear indication that they really like you. Distrust is generally encouraged among the D'regs, with Ahmed once telling Vimes that his mother would be greatly offended if he trusted her on the grounds that she would feel she didn't bring him up right. Their name is probably a play on Tuaregs and "dregs". In Jingo, it's noted that "D'reg" is not actually their name for themselves, but a name given to them by others. It means "enemy" (in this case, everybody's) and the D'regs adopted it out of pride.
The wizard who starts the events of Equal Rites by bequeathing his staff just before his death to, as he thinks, the eighth son of an eighth son, the child of the smith of the village of Bad Ass in Lancre. The midwife, Granny Weatherwax, tries to point out that they are making a mistake but Billet and the new father ignore her. As a result, the staff and its power are transferred to a girl: Eskarina Smith ("Esk").
Billet is later reincarnated as an apple tree, with fruit that goes "from stomach-turning sourness to wasp-filled rottenness overnight" (see Scumble). He watches over Esk, who is the only person who can climb him.
Later in the book he has left the life of a tree for the life of an ant living under Unseen University.
The daughter of Baron Saturday of Genua and Mrs Erzulie Gogol. She appears in Witches Abroad as an attractive young woman with brown skin and blonde hair. Her entire life has been controlled by her fairy godmother, Lady Lilith de Tempscire, to ensure that she marries Lady Lilith's pawn, the Duc (pronounced "Duck") (actually a frog). She spends much of her time in the palace kitchens, apparently because she enjoys being helpful, rather than because she is mistreated. Because she helps lay the fires, the palace cook nicknamed her "Embers" (she is, of course, the Discworld version of Cinderella, although the full nickname "Emberella" is referred to as sounding "like something you'd put up in the rain"). At the end of Witches Abroad, she became the Baroness of Genua.
Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling of LancreEdit
Daughter of King Verence II and Magrat Garlick, Princess Esme made her appearance in Carpe Jugulum. Her unusual middle names are the result of a Lancre tradition that whatever the priest says at the naming ceremony is your name (Thus, Lancre once had a king called My-God-He's-Heavy the First, as well as a current farmer named James What the Hell's That Cow Doing in Here Poorchick, usually called 'Moocow'). Magrat owed her own name to a combination of this tradition and her mother's inability to spell "Margaret", who was determined it wouldn't happen again, hence the "Note Spelling".
A diminutive spiritualist (or "medium verging on small"), Mrs Evadne Cake is introduced in Reaper Man. A very forceful personality, she doesn't so much dabble in the spirit world as "march in and demand to speak to the manager". She has precognition (which she can use at will) which recently has become recursive, and often answers questions before people ask, unless she remembers not to. When people don't "fill in the blanks", it tends to give her a migraine, so people sometimes try to inform her that she's precognizing so she'll turn it off. She tends to wear a hat almost as tall as herself, with significant numbers of knick-knacks attached to it.
Her daughter Ludmilla is a werewolf. In Men At Arms we learn that after Ludmilla left home, Mrs Cake opened a boarding house for the undead, and Angua is boarding there at the time of the story. In Making Money Ludmilla has returned.
Mrs Cake is very religious, usually picking a religion, bullying her way into complete control of all traditional "lay-woman" work, then getting into a huge row with the priests and abandoning it, resulting in chaos. Priests of lost temples in Klatch are terrified she might find them, not to mention be able to make through many awfully deadly traps. She is listed twice on the sign outside the Ankh-Morpork Post Office as one of the things that will impede these messengers about their duties. When Moist von Lipwig asked about Mrs Cake, he was told, under no uncertain terms, to not ask.
Evil Harry DreadEdit
Evil Harry Dread is the villainous counterpart to Cohen the Barbarian; an old fashioned heroic-fantasy type annoyed with how the Discworld has changed (nowadays, modern heroes always block his escape tunnel before confronting him). He's proud of being a Dark Lord, and the heroes don't bear him any grudges; after all, he always lets them win and, in return, they always let him escape (see the Evil Overlord List). Evil Harry Dread always plays the Game by the code, he intentionally hires stupid henchmen, invests in masks that cover the WHOLE face (thus making it easy for a Hero to disguise himself) and places Heroes in overly contrived, easily escapable deathtraps.
He appears in The Last Hero, where he joins the Silver Horde on their quest to 'return fire to the gods' by blowing up the mountain. Harry ends up betraying the Horde since it is his job, though when the horde confronted him about his betrayal they praised him for still being a reliable dark lord even at the end. He was last seen descending from Cori Celesti with Silver Horde's bard, a man they had kidnapped in order to chronicle the quest.
Captain Swing is the head of the Unmentionables in the Ankh-Morpork of the past in Night Watch. He is described as a thin, balding man dressed in a long, old-fashioned black coat with large pockets, and supports himself on an opera cane (which is in reality a swordstick). He is mainly remembered for his attempt to control crime by ordering all weapons confiscated, reasoning that this would result in a decline in crime figures, failing to acknowledge that criminals don't obey the law in the first place and would actually greatly enjoy the lack of weapons in society. He always carries with him a large set of calipers and a steel ruler, with which he measures the facial characteristics of people he meets in order to determine their personal traits (phrenology). Its reliability is questionable; according to it, Vimes has the eye of a mass murderer (Vimes says he indeed does, in his other suit) while Carcer's only problem was his environment (most likely all the dead bodies wherever he went). He moves and speaks in an erratic, jumpy fashion, in bursts... and sputters ratherthan a... continuous flowof movement... or sound. He is killed by Vimes during the fire at the Unmentionables' headquarters.
Lord Vetinari confiscated the weapon and turned it over to the Assassins Guild to destroy, but they instead kept it under lock and key. It was eventually stolen by Edward d'Eath in Men at Arms as a part of his quest to restore the monarchy.
However, the gonne merits a place in the characters section because it is, in some strange way, alive. Like the One Ring, it uses, argues with, and even abandons its wielders, and struggles with them in an effort to kill as many people as it can (perhaps a jab at the adage, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people."). It succeeds in manipulating its owner by offering them the power to achieve whatever they want, from power like a god (Dr. Cruces), to a chance to clean up the world (Samuel Vimes, though he resists enough to ultimately put it down).
While the exact nature of its sentience is kept ambiguous, there are sections where the gonne apparently cries out in pain with no one to hear it. It even manages to kill someone on its own, the dwarf artifacer who fixed it, out of jealousy. (He was planning to manufacture more gonnes).
It is ultimately destroyed by Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson, who is immune by virtue of both his dwarf upbringing and upright nature. He probably places it in Constable Cuddy's coffin as part of a dwarf burial rite.
Despite its name, the gonne less resembled a gonne than a modern semi-automatic rifle. It fired via a tinderbox mechanism from a six-shot magazine with a clockwork slide action. The gonne's stock was hollow to allow for the storage of extra magazines.
Herrena, the Henna-haired HarridanEdit
Her name says it all really, an ex-opponent of Cohen, and sometime lover. Ofttimes beset by other barbarians, and even more often tearing across the Disc-scape as an aside. Inspired by Brigitte Nielsen's red-haired heroine, Red Sonja.
Castle falconer at Lancre, Hodgesaargh is not his actual name, but some misunderstanding has been caused due to his birds' habit of attacking him when people speak to him (i.e. "Hello, my name is Hodges...ARRRRRGH"). He survives a direct elvish invasion of the Lancre castle, a very rare feat. His ceremonial outfit of red and gold with a big floppy hat is usually supplemented with about three sticking plasters. One of the birds he breeds is the wowhawk, or Lappet-faced Worrier, which is like a goshawk only more so – it prefers to walk everywhere and faints at the sight of blood. In the book Carpe Jugulum he is responsible for discovering the phoenix. In the same book, he assists Granny Weatherwax in recovering from a vampire attack, though he clearly understood his life was in danger at that point.
Imp Y CelynEdit
A bard from the decidedly Cymric country of Llamedos. In Soul Music he was possessed by "Music with Rocks in" and became the Disc's greatest musician under the name Buddy in the Band with Rocks In along with Cliff and Glod, before dying in a cart crash (a reference to Buddy Holly— Imp's name translates as "bud of the holly"). The timeline in which this happened has, however, been eradicated following Death's intervention, and he was last seen working in a fried fish stall in Quirm, a clear reference to Kirsty MacColl's first hit. During the novel several characters comment that he seems a bit "elvish".
Publisher in Ankh-Morpork. Books published by his company include The Joye of Snacks by A Lancre Witch and the Ankh-Morpork Almanack. He appears in Maskerade, where he makes a great deal of money out of Nanny's book, and is surprised she wants some of it. He also has a sort of appearance in Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, in the form of a series of memos drawn to appear pinned to some of the pages. These form a discussion between him and the head printer, Thomas Cropper, about the book. After previous experience with Nanny Ogg's writing he is anxious to avoid innuendo, but is not entirely successful. His nephew has a similar exchange with Cropper in the pages of The Discworld Almanak.
The Discworld equivalent of Odysseus. He was the finest military mind on the continent of Klatch. His genius consisted of realising that, if there has to be a war, the aim should be to defeat the enemy as quickly and with as little bloodshed as possible - a concept so breathtaking in its originality that few other military minds have been able to grasp it, and it shows what happens when you take the conduct of a war away from skilled soldiers. He was a hero of the Tsortean Wars, which he ended by bribing a cleaner to show him a secret passage into the citadel of Tsort. He is also known for having undergone a long and perilous journey home after the war, much like his Roundworld equivalent. It is possible that he is the ancestor of Rincewind as his name means "rinser of winds".
He appeared in Eric.
Lewton is a fictional character in Terry Pratchett's Discworld media. He appears exclusively in the third Discworld computer game, Discworld Noir. Lewton is the Disc's first and only Private Investigator and a former member of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, having been banished from it for taking a bribe. He is a stereotype of traditional film noir detectives with familiar aspects such as hard-boiled dialogue.
Lewton was once a member of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch (sometime before the books). Commander Sam Vimes had a particular unexplained grudge against him. Lewton met and fell in love with a female archaeologist named Ilsa and seemed to have a happy life; a particular moment fondly remembered was the Hotel Pseudopolis. Life seemed to be going well for Lewton. However, one day, Ilsa left Ankh-Morpork unexplained and this drew Lewton into a depression. He spent countless days drinking and drinking. During these hard times, Lewton took a bribe which ended in him being permanently excluded from the Watch. A few years later, Lewton decided to pick himself up, forget about Ilsa and the rest of his past and start a new life. He became a Private Investigator. However, he rarely got any cases.
When Carlotta Von Uberwald came into his life, Lewton's life changed forever. She gave him the Mundy Case and although Lewton didn't know it, she used him as a puppet in order to find Mundy (of whom she said was her lover but he was really an informant for her cult). After discovering this, they argued and during this argument, Carlotta kissed Lewton, turning him into a werewolf (or some variant type, several of which are named/referenced in the books themselves). Using his new wolf abilities, Lewton managed to put a stop to Carlotta's cult's plans and save Ankh-Morpork from being consumed by a giant god of destruction.
Daughter of Geicha the First, lord of the Wyrmberg, and leader of the dragonriders. An archetypal fantasy barbarian woman, she has red chestnut hair, is curvaceous and and wears almost nothing except for a chainmail harness. Liessa's ambitions are high: having poisoned her father, the traditional means of succession in her family, she is hindered by the fact that as a woman, she cannot become lord of the Wyrmberg and faces intense rivalty from her two brothers. There is however a loophole: by marrying a man who would then become lord of the Wyrmberg through allegiance, she could act as the real power behind the throne. When she forments this plan, Rincewind, Twoflower and Hrun the Barbarian are passing close to her mountain country. Liessa is interested in Hrun, for as a strong but slow-witted warrior, she could use him to defeat her brothers and then place him as a puppet lord. Having kidnapped Hrun and Twoflower (for whom she expresses no interest and has locked away), she tests Hrun by trying to stab him in his sleep. Hrun grabs her wrist and almost breaks it. Convinced of the fellow barbarian's agility, she tells him that he may marry her if he defeats her brothers. Hrun accepts and succeeds in carrying out her orders, but refuses to definitely kill her siblings. Liessa agrees to banishing them instead and tells Hrun tenderly (calling him by name for the first time) that she did not expect such mercy from him. It seems at that point that Liessa is developing genuine feelings for her husband-to-be. But Liessa still has one more trial in store for him: she strips till she is naked, so as to see how much passion he truly has for her. Before the couple can embark onto anything intimate however, Hrun is snatched away by Rincewind and Twoflower riding Twoflower's dragon Ninereeds. In desperation, Liessa summons her own dragon to pursue them (still naked, as Pratchett makes a point of). Ninereeds nearly outruns her but vanishes when Twoflower loses consciousness, causing everyone riding him to fall. Liessa abandons Rincewind and Twoflower to their fate and catches Hrun on her dragon, and the two share a passionate kiss.
Liessa is never seen or mentioned after this. Since Hrun is mentioned to have joined the Watch in Interesting Times, she and Hrun may have split up, or she herself is now part of the Watch, though the latter seems improbable. Liessa's kingdom is not likely to have survived, for by the later books, barbarian way of life has all but vanished from the Discworld.
She appears in The Colour of Magic, and is a parody of Lessa in Anne McCaffery's Dragonriders of Pern novels. In the Easter 2008 Sky One adaptation of The Colour of Magic, she is to be played by Karen David.
The Patrician who came to power after Lord Winder. Also known as Mad or Psychoneurotic Lord Snapcase. During his reign, he was considered "eccentric" rather than mad by the upper classes, but he is now known by most Morporkians, including the nobles, as the Mad Lord. He was sadistic, and extremely fond of torture, much like his predecessor. Lord Snapcase was succeeded by Lord Vetinari. There are few historical records of Lord Snapcase's tyranny. This may be because of Snapcase's mental disorder, which caused him to be very secretive while trying to spy on everyone else.
His obsession with his own security left him no time to govern or affect history. His overthrow apparently occurred in a spontaneous uprising caused by years of cruelty and hardship shortly after he made somebody eat his own nose (Interesting Times). Following this rebellion, he was hung up by his figgin, a common joke in the books. Lord Vetinari's rise to power is still undocumented.
Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, and predecessor to Mad Lord Snapcase. Also known as Homicidal Lord Winder. During the last years of his reign, he was extremely paranoid, albeit with good reason. He took pride in being pathologically careful about everything, running Ankh-Morpork as a police state, with his dreaded Cable Street Particulars, under the command of Captain Swing, causing dissidents to disappear. He was deposed during the Glorious Revolution, during which he was very nearly assassinated by the future Lord Vetinari, managing to escape only by the possibly unique and uncharacteristically clever route of dying of fright moments before the fatal blow.
Former childhood friend to Samuel Vimes and later secretary to Lord Vetinari. As the Grand Master of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night, he summoned a dragon intending it to be killed by a king, whom he would then control. This failed and he found himself personal assistant to the Dragon King in Guards! Guards!. Following a confrontation with the City Watch, he was killed by a metaphor, or possibly the ground, after then-Constable Carrot Ironfoundersson literally "threw the book at him" and sent him stumbling past a missing wall on an upper floor of the Patrician's palace and down to the floor below.
Ly Tin WheedleEdit
Ly is arguably the greatest philosopher on the Disc, although he is usually the one arguing for this. He comes from the Counterweight Continent, home of Rincewind's friend Twoflower. In his home country he is regarded as a great sage because of his peculiar smell, and his many sayings advocating respect for the old and the virtues of poverty are frequently quoted by the rich and elderly. He is first mentioned in The Colour of Magic.
In addition to social philosophy, Ly is also a proponent of natural philosophy. When the philosophical community came to the conclusion that distance was an illusion and all places were in fact the same place, Ly was the philosopher to make the famed conclusion that although all places were in fact the same place, that place was very big. He has also theorised on the physical underpinnings of monarchy, explaining royal succession by use of a particle known as a Kingon (or possibly Queon).
Mrs Marietta Cosmopolite is a dressmaker, who appears in Moving Pictures as Vice President of Costuming and Theda Withel's landlady. Earlier in the book she is mentioned as being capable of believing the Disc is under threat from inhuman monsters, since she already believes that the world is round, it does you good to have a laugh, and that three dwarfs look in on her undressing. She is right about the inhuman monsters and the dwarfs (although she is never told about the first one and the second is "only by coincidence"). She is noted as having (appropriate to her name) what would be seen as a contemporary view of the world. Theda claims Mrs. Cosmopolite wouldn't mind Victor Tugelbend coming with her up to her room—assuming they would be going up for sex (this might be a reasonable assumption for our modern times, but in the story, they had a different reason).
She is briefly mentioned in Witches Abroad as being venerated by some younger Ramtops monks who, on the basis that wisdom seems wiser if it comes from further away, trek down to Ankh-Morpork to hear her wisdom. This is usually "bugger off" or something similar, but since the monks don't speak Morporkian, it doesn't matter much. In Thief of Time it turns out that this was started by Lu-Tze, who spent some time lodging with her, and has a much better understanding of the Way of Mrs Cosmopolite than the monks who followed; he wrote down many of her sayings as guides by which to live his life, such as "Because", "It won't get better if you pick at it", and "There's a lot goes on that we don't know about, in my opinion", among other things.
Mr Mavolio Bent is the Head Cashier and all but in charge of the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork. He is first introduced to the discworld series in the book, "Making Money". He has been in employment at the bank since he was thirteen, when he came to the city with a group of travelling accountants. He was born as a clown (Charlie Benito), but his first time performing was severely affected by the audience laughing at him. He fled the show, and he happened upon a group of travelling accountants, and discovered his talent for numbers. From then on, he renounced his clowning job, and went to work at the bank.
Mr Bent eventually accepts his clown heritage after having a mental breakdown because (among other things) he made his first mathematical mistake. It appears that he remains at the bank, though.
Mr Bent resided in Mrs. Cake's Boarding House. This has likely changed since getting married to a 'Miss Drapes' (although she is presumably now Mrs Bent) at the Fool's Guild Chapel of Fun by Reverend Brother "Whacko" Whopply..
Mr Hong never appears in any of the books, having (apparently) died before the start of any of the stories, but appears to form an important part of Ankh-Morpork's collective memory. In several Discworld books, a character is admonished to remember what happened to Mr Hong when he tried to open the Three Jolly Luck Takeaway Fish Bar on the site of the old fish god temple in Dagon Street on the night of the full moon [sometimes lunar eclipse]. This incident appears to act as a deterrent for Morporkians against meddling with the occult or supernatural- or, far more likely, against doing something that is patently stupid. Though it is never satisfactorily explained exactly what happened, in Jingo it is revealed that only his kidney and a few bones were found; in the game Discworld Noir his shop was used as a location for one of the murders. Found boarded up, deep investigation reveals that a local thespian from the Dysk theatre was eaten there. The Mr Hong story, occurring as it does on Dagon Street, and referred to in Jingo where ancient Cyclopean undersea ruins suddenly resurface, is an obvious homage by Pratchett to H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu stories.
Mr Pin (other names unknown) is the brains of the New Firm, a duo of interloping criminals in The Truth. In general Mr Pin makes the plans and decides where they are going to go and what they are going to do, but he is open to suggestions from his partner. Both men can become violent, but Mr Pin's violence is more directed and instrumental. The background of Mr Pin is much more vague than his partner, Mr Tulip.
He comes to a rather sticky end when he is impaled by the desk spike of William de Worde in the offices of The Ankh-Morpork Times after being trapped in a cellar with molten lead raining from the ceiling as the building burned. Mr Pin is then reincarnated into a potato and deep fried.
Also, Mr Pin and Mr Tulip are very similar in many respects to a violent duo in Neverwhere, written by Neil Gaiman. The two authors have collaborated before in Good Omens, and sometimes reference each other's works. However, Pratchett has denied any conscious reference in this case .
The Director of Music at the Ankh-Morpork Opera House in Maskerade, most notable for an absolute hatred of opera (although he was really as "infected" with operatic romanticism as everyone else in the place). He was embezzling money and murdering people who found out, blaming the murders on the Opera Ghost. He was finally killed in an extremely operatic battle with the Ghost. In this scene he spent two pages on several final monologues eventually followed by his death, despite the fact that he had only had a sword theatrically thrust beneath his armpit by Walter Plinge.
Olaf Quimby IIEdit
A past Patrician of Ankh-Morpork referred to in The Light Fantastic, Olaf Quimby was noted for his interest in honest and accurate descriptions as well as proper standards for everything, particularly metaphor. As Patrician, he used his power to enforce laws against creative exaggeration in writing. For example, no bard was allowed to say of a hero that "all men spoke of his prowess" on pain of death; he should instead add that some people spoke ill of the hero and that still others did not know of him at all. Similarly, the phrase "her face launched a thousand ships" could only be used to describe a beautiful woman if relevant shipyard records were produced or, failing that, evidence that the woman's face resembled a champagne bottle.
As far as standardization was concerned, Quimby instituted the Ankh-Morpork Bureau of Measurements, in which is kept the standardized Blunt Stick (originally a Sharp one was on display as well, but very few things were found worse than a poke in the eye with it), the recipe for the Pie that It May be As Nice As, Two Short Planks and the stone used in the original Moss-Gathering Trials. This Bureau is maintained by the current Patrician, Lord Havelock Vetinari, on the grounds that the sort of people whose minds work like this ought to be kept busy, or they might do anything.
Quimby's reign ended when he was killed by a disgruntled poet during an experiment to test the truth of the saying "The pen is mightier than the sword". In his memory, it was amended to read: "The pen is mightier than the sword only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp".
It has been noted that many Ankh-Morporkians tend to have a certain literal mindedness. It is not known if this is the result of Quimby's rule, or simply a natural trait that reached its peak in him.
Princess/Queen Kelirehenna (Keli)Edit
Daughter of King Olerve the Bastard of the Sto Plains kingdom of Sto Lat, and the last person between the Duke of Sto Helit and the throne, she was saved from assassination by Mort, who found himself unable to allow her would-be assassin to kill her. After the initial complications had been sorted out- the universe insisted that she should be dead for a time, which meant that most people simply refused to acknowledge her existence unless she made her presence clear- she became Queen Kelirehenna I, Lord of Sto Lat, Protector of the Eight Protectorates and Empress of the Long Thin Debated Piece Hubwards of Sto Kerrig.
Queen Keli still ruled at the time of Soul Music, when she ejected the Band with Rocks In from the city by royal proclamation. Sto Lat still had a queen by the time of Going Postal, though she isn't mentioned by name. If it is her, she would be the first person on the Disc other than the Patrician to have her face on a stamp.
Pteppicymon XXVIII (Pteppic)Edit
King Pteppicymon XXVIII of Djelibeybi (lit. "Child of the Djel", the Disc's version of Egypt) is the main character in Pyramids. The first king to leave the kingdom, he was trained at the Ankh-Morpork Assassins' Guild. He passed his final exam by a fluke, having already decided he wasn't going to kill anyone. His cosmopolitan nature clashed with the hidebound traditions of the kingdom and the even more hidebound high priest Dios, and after saving Djelibeybi from destruction and shaking up its traditions, he abdicated.
Queen Ptraci I of Djelibeybi. Pteppic's half-sister and successor. A former handmaiden, the Djelibeybian priests thought she would be easy to control. They turned out to be very wrong. Like her half-brother she is keen to get in some decent plumbing. Appears in Pyramids; by the end of the novel she is enthusiastically embracing many of the stranger regimens, such as bathing in ass's milk, favoured by Cleopatra.
Ronald Rust, LordEdit
An Ankh-Morpork nobleman, whose full name is Ronald (or Ronnie) Rust. He first appears in Men at Arms, in which he is one of the nobles who doesn't take d'Eath seriously. In this novel he seems to have keen political instincts; it is stated that the Rusts have survived by not being romantic. It is also mentioned that his ancestor was created a Baron after killing thirty seven Klatchians whilst armed only with a pin.
Lord Rust makes more sizeable appearances in Jingo and Night Watch, wherein he appears overly-bred and arrogant; a brief subsequent appearance in Monstrous Regiment suggests he still has some of the intelligence of his earlier portrayal. Lord Rust's most defining characteristic, along with his arrogance, is his unsurpassed military and strategic incompetence (or, at least, his ability to achieve goals only by simultaneously sustaining devastating losses; he is described as operating on the theory that a battle was a glorious victory if you can subtract your casualties from the casualties of the enemy and come up with a positive number), coupled with the inexplicable ability to be repeatedly chosen to command large armies and similar organisations, hence his description as "The god's gift to the enemy, any enemy, and a walking advertisement for desertion". Also notable is his method of dealing with unpleasant occurrences. He simply mentally edits them out. The logic is, 'That sort of thing cannot happen, therefore, it did not just happen. It couldn't have.'
He has a contentious relationship with Samuel Vimes, regularly looking down upon him. For his part Sam Vimes also dislikes him greatly, though grudgingly respecting the fact that Rust is exceptionally, if almost suicidally brave.
Secretary to Patrician Vetinari of Ankh-Morpork, following the death of Lupine Wonse. First appears in Men at Arms. Commonly seen entering and leaving the presence of the Patrician bearing either paperwork or verbal information on the activities of other denizens of the city, or the Discworld in general, Drumknott seems not to think much about the political implications of the information he works with, believing in filing for its own sake. During The Truth he was seemingly attacked by the Patrician- later revealed to be a look-a-like hired to try and get Vetinari deposed-, and by the time of Going Postal was responsible for relaying the orders of the Patrician in assigning tasks to other clerks.
Theda 'Ginger' WithelEdit
A Holy Wood actress in Moving Pictures. Using the name Delores De Syn, she starred in several movies with Victor Tugelbend, usually as the maiden to be rescued. She is descended from the High Priestess of Holy Wood, and while sleeping, she was repeatedly possessed by an unknown force, possibly the priestess. This force used Ginger to attempt to awaken the Holy Wood guardian, which would have put a stop to the Holy Wood magic and prevented the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions from breaking through to the Discworld. Her name is likely a reference to Theda Bara and Ginger Rogers. It is also conceivable that Withel's character has a connection with Marilyn Monroe, as evidenced by Withel's daydream of the famous blowing skirt picture of Monroe. Her character also has a brief reference to Greta Garbo and her famous line "I want to be alone" - this was misheard in the book as "I want to be a lawn".
Student wizard turned actor, and protagonist of Moving Pictures. Victor's uncle left a legacy to pay for Victor's tuition at Unseen University, provided that Victor never scored below an 80 on an exam. Victor, however, decided that being a student wizard was greatly preferable to being a wizard, because as a student he could live a relatively safe and comfortable lifestyle but on graduating he would no longer be entitled to the money. Therefore, Victor studied extremely hard and, when finals came around each year, carefully and competently scored an 84; four points above the minimum to continue receiving the legacy, but four points below the passing grade of 88 (On one occasion he actually passed by accident, but appealed against it on the grounds that he felt he'd failed to pay adequate attention to some details and he wouldn't feel right to pass over the more eligibile candidates; he subsequently only received an 82 and an 83 in the later exams as he was trying to be careful). Eventually this caught the attention of the Bursar, who arranged for Victor to receive a special test consisting of only one question: "What is your name?" By this time, however, Victor had left Unseen University to become an actor in Holy Wood, under the stage name Victor Maraschino, and the test paper in question was, instead, received by accident by Ponder Stibbons. He films several movies with Ginger Withel (aka Delores De Syn), and eventually uses the magic of Holy Wood to defeat the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions with Ginger's help. Victor has not reappeared in any subsequent Discworld books.
Victor is a clear reference to actor Fred Astaire, who also frequently starred with an actress named Ginger. His response at interview, "Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a sword a little" is a parody of Astaire's famous, if apocryphal, screen test result – "Can't sing. Can't act. Can dance a little".
Victor is also notable for being actively lazy; he kept himself fit because it was less effort to do things with decent muscles, and put a lot of work into avoiding work (as his University career illustrates). He was looking for a job that was romantic, but did not involve hard work, which Holy Wood provided. His stage name seems to be inspired by the 1920 Hollywood actor Rudolph Valentino. Among other similarities, Valentino starred in a silent film in known as Blood and Sand that subsequently lent its name to the eponymous cocktail, served garnished with a Maraschino cherry.
Vorbis' character combines a strange mix of apparently religious mania with a fervent desire to spread the Word/Empire across all the Disc. The character of Vorbis is one that may interest any reader interested in questions regarding institutional religion, heresy, and the direct communication between God and Man. Vorbis has a reputation for being a man touched by destiny (and perhaps something else) and as being one of the most devout Omnians in the Empire ('Vorbis could humble himself in prayer in a way that made the posturings of power-mad emperors look subservient') yet in the end the reader finds that the only voice Vorbis has been listening to is his own. He is perhaps a Discworld equivalent of Tomás de Torquemada or even Matthew Hopkins. The Great God Om kills him by having himself (still in the body of a tortoise) dropped from a great height by an eagle onto Vorbis's head, in doing so creating a spectacle that allows Om to reassert his divinity. This incident echoes a story about the death of the Greek playwright Aeschylus in 456 or 455 BC, which claims that he was hit on the head by a tortoise dropped by an eagle or vulture.
The Vorbis audio codec is named after this character.
An Ankh-Morpork tradesman, owner of Sonky's Rubber Goods, and maker of Sonky's Preventatives. His "sonkies" (condoms), as they are generally known, sell for a penny a packet. Without them, the housing problem in Ankh-Morpork would be even more pressing.