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Victor

Victor Tugelbend is a perpetual Student wizard, and friend of Ponder Stibbons, at the Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork in the book Moving Pictures. Victor's defining personality trait is his active laziness - he goes to great lengths to avoid work. His uncle left him a legacy that would pay his tuition as a student at Unseen University, but only so long as he got above an 80 on every exam he took. The mark required to pass and become a wizard is 88. Since Victor much preferred the life of the student wizard, where nobody was actively trying to kill him, he studied extremely hard and carefully got an 84 on every single exam except for three (once, he passed by accident, but argued his grade down a few points, and got an 82 and an 83 on the next two to be safe). The Bursar eventually noticed this and gave him an exam with one question - "What is your name?" - but Victor never took it, having headed off to Holy Wood instead. In this way, he is indirectly responsible for the ascension of Ponder Stibbons to Unseen University's faculty, as Ponder ended up with his exam. For similar reasons, Victor also stays in shape because it is easier to get through life with the strength and dexterity to accomplish tasks easily, and dragging around a bunch of fat is more effort.

Victor becomes a leading actor, if not the leading actor in the Discworld's prolific, but short lived, film industry in Holy Wood. He is told that he "Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a sword a little" which is is an obvious reference to Fred Astaire's supposed screen test result of "Can't sing. Can't act. Balding. Can dance a little." Victor goes by the stage name of Victor Maraschino. He played a major part in saving the world from Holy Wood magic, notably the Librarian of the Unseen University when during the premiere of "Blown Away" an enormous version of leading lady, Ginger (Aka Theda Withel), grabs hold of the ape and climbs to the top of the Tower of Art. Victor is also the first human with whome the talking dog Gaspode strikes up a friendship.

In the wake of the prohibition of moving-picture production, Victor's subsequent location and circumstances are unknown, although it is mentioned in Moving Pictures that he reminisced about Holy Wood and its strange architecture some years later.

Annotation Edit

Pratchett has clearly patterned Victor Tugelbend's practice of failing exams and living off a trust on Richard Gordon's Doctor in the House series of comic novels, which follow a group of medical students through graduation and into medical jobs. In the series, a medical student called Grimsdyke is pushing thirty and for the previous eight years has been failing his final exams. But he has very carefully ensures that he only just fails them by the slenderest of margins. On being questioned by Simon Sparrow, Grimsdyke confesses that he is living off a trust fund set up to help him through medical school, which will end when he graduates. But he has to make sure that he doesn't fail his exams by such an abject margin that the medical school will not let him retake his Finals every year. The intellectual effort involved in avoiding graduation has given Grimsdyke a medical knowledge rivalling that of his senior tutor, consultant Sir Lancelot Spratt. Grimsdyke's knowledge and acumen is generously shared with the other students, particularly Sparrow, to whom he takes a paternal shine.

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