When our streets were overrun with crime, we thought the best way of stopping it was to arrest the criminals. Lock them up. Punish them. But in the end, the solution to the problem was control.Lord Vetinari to Captain Sam Vimes, "Twilight Canyons"
Approximately twenty years ago, Lord Vetinari resurrected the ancient crime guilds in the city of Ankh-Morpork following a major crime wave. As such, crime has been legalized within the city, provided it is carried out under the regulations that have been laid down.
Twenty years later, Lord Vetinari summons Captain Sam Vimes and Sergeant Detritus of the City Watch and tells them that she has a job for them: to recover a book stolen from the Unseen University's library.
Later, as a creature called the Noble Dragon begins terrorizing the residents of Ankh-Morpork, Vetinari learns of the Watch's efforts to investigate it and the activities of Carcer Dun, the man who summoned it. She subtly orders Sam Vimes to continue the investigation, while making it seem outwardly as if she is ordering the exact opposite. The Watch is successful in locating the sword Gawain, which can control the Noble Dragon, and Vetinari congratulates Vimes on a job well-done, saying that perhaps she should take him off-duty more often. She orders him to interrogate the sword, a sentient artifact, despite his urging to keep it locked away. She then shows him a case with bloodied remains of bounty hunters who tried to solve their problem, saying "you can't kill a beast by feeding it." He realizes that she intends to try to control the dragon herself and she warns him that failure to comply with her orders can only be fatal.
- Whereas the Havelock Vetinari of the Discworld novels is male, Lord Vetinari on The Watch is female. Despite this, characters sometimes refer to her using male pronouns, suggesting that the character might be gender-fluid.
- Her full name is revealed as "Havelock Vetinari" in the episode "Not on My Watch."