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1. I agree with the commenters above, Vimes was not laughing at his own men. He was laughing at the rich and the powerful, who expected to see a group of men just as cynical and manipulative as them and now don't know what to do with men who are afraid to ask for a dartboard.
This also gels very well with what Vimes told the Patrician earlier, about people just being people. Those watchmen were just being watchmen, who see themselves remaining in the watch, brewing tea in the watchhouse, perhaps playing a little game during off hours and trying to get a little more to get by.
2. Regarding the "siege" and "conqueror" metaphors, I felt that it was a natural extension of their relationship. Vimes had put up an impenetrable barrier around himself, which PTerry made pretty clear in describing how their last meeting at her house ended. I did not find it odd.
(All the usual caveats apply, of course. These are simply my readings. I am not arrogant enough to think that others will not interpret these things differently.)
I apologise to anybody I may have inadvertently spoiled.
V nz rqvgvat gur vzntr gb erzbir gur onyybbaf.
So I'd say that you more or less nailed it.
V jnf whfg er-ernqvat Avtug Jngpu n srj qnlf ntb. V'q pbzcyrgryl sbetbggra whfg ubj fnq vg jnf. Gung rkcynangvba nobhg jul byq fbyqvref pel jura gurl fvat "Nyy gur yvggyr natryf": "Gurl jrer erzrzorevat jub gurl jrer abg fvatvat vg jvgu" nyzbfg oebxr zr.
They got the wardrobe correct!
Quite stylised, but I like the fact that they did not make it too aerodynamic. This Draco nobilis is clearly a large, scary, and magical beast. Comparing a swamp dragon (Draco vulgaris) gives us a better idea of the scale.
In addition to being goofier-looking, this is clearly a much smaller species from the same genus. (It's the eyes, isn't it? Larger animals have much smaller eye size vs body size ratio than smaller animals.)
V qba'g guvax Znex erzrzoref gur ersrerapr gb "n lbhat zna urnqvat sbe gur pvgl jvgu nyy gur bcraarff, fvaprevgl naq vaabprapr bs checbfr bs na vproret qevsgvat vagb n znwbe fuvccvat ynar" sebz rneyvre va gur obbx. CGreel gblf jvgu gur gebcrf, ohg qb abg nonaqba gurz. Pneebg'f neeviny va gur pvgl frg pbhefr gb gur Jngpu trggvat fgebatre naq gung vaqverpgyl urycrq va n ybg bs guvatf punatvat va Naxu-Zbecbex.
V qba'g xabj vs vg'f jbbyl guvaxvat ba zl cneg, ohg fgbevrf frg va NZ orsber guvf obbx nyjnlf sryg yvxr uvfgbevrf bs n Snagnflynaq (Uvfgbevpny snagnfl? Snagnfgvpny uvfgbel?) naq gur ynggre obbxf sryg zber yvxr heona abiryf frg va Snagnflynaq. Vg'f cnegyl vasyhraprq ol CGreel'f ybivat rzoenpr bs abve frafvovyvgvrf, ohg gur uhtr punatrf va NZ guebhtubhg gur frevrf fbzrubj nyjnlf sryg vagreyvaxrq jvgu gur Jngpu. Guvax Tbyrzf, Arjfcncref, Genvaf, rira Pynpxf naq gur Cbfg Bssvpr.
Also, here is the greatest (or the worst) street vendor in all of multiverse, Mr. C.M.O.T. Dibbler (with captain Vimes).
(Spoilers for this book) Gur yvarf "V pna tvir vg hc, ur gubhtug. V pna tvir vg hc nal gvzr V yvxr." sebz gur Fhcerzr Tenaq Znfgre ner FBBBB terng. V erzrzore ernqvat guvf sbe gur svefg gvzr naq ernyvfvat ubj CGreel unq qenja cnenyyryf gb nqqvpgvba urer. V tbg tbbfrohzcf.