it is fixfic / fulfillment fic of INTERESTING TIMES
remember i identified the butterfly-shape of the mask as closest to a type of butterfly found in n & central america aka FRITILLARY back in sept last yr
& then tagged it to the butterflies gold & otherwise in the waite-rider-coleman tarot , esp those found on the thrones of the court of swords
which made me wonder if the gold points on striker eureka werent meant to emulate the gold pointing on the fritillaries pupal form ? ?
WELL YES I THINK SO
I RATHER THINK SO NOW
IN FACT I CANT NOT THINK IT ANY MORE
"See the wings, slightly more ragged than those of the common fritillary. In reality, thanks to the fractal nature of the universe, this means that those ragged edges are infinite—in the same way that the edge of any rugged coastline, when measured to the ultimate microscopic level, is infinitely long—or, if not infinite, then at least so close to it that Infinity can be seen on a clear day. And therefore, if their edges are infinitely long, the wings must logically be infinitely big.
They may look about the right size for a butterfly’s wings, but that’s only because human beings have always preferred common sense to logic.
The Quantum Weather Butterfly (Papilio tempestae) is an undistinguished yellow color, although the Mandelbrot patterns on the wings are of considerable interest. Its outstanding feature is its ability to create weather…”
bc this is also where GREEN AS THE COLOR OF HOPE & DANGER & PROMISE THAT MAY BE FULFILLED BY THE LADY — FITS INTO THE MONOMYTH , SEAMLESSLY BETWEEN DISCWORLD AND DEL TOROS PERSONAL COLOR HERALDRY
its in WIZARD OF OZ of course which he has cited as a major influence on his work
but first there was the ‘green spectacles’ & deceptive decaying green & illusory gold of the poem “VERDE EMBELESO” by the 17th c lesbian poet known as “the phoenix of mexico” that i have ranted so much abt bc that same poem has the phrase “EYES IN MY HANDS” as a metaphor for skepticism , & bc del toro used her poem INCENDIO as a heartwrenching bit of dialogue in DEVILS BACKBONE | EL ESPINAZO DEL DIABLO along w a highly relevant chunk of tennysons IN MEMORIAM to be repeated in HELLBOY 2 : THE GOLDEN ARMY
which yes isnt just a “take that’ to the trend of carelessly transmitting the worst aspects of the old pulps as seen in comics & films & games , but specifically engages w THE MUMMY 3: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR
& now after finally rereadin INTERESTING TIMES long after i shld have, i realize that M3 was def stealin-wo-understanding from pratchett — looting , in fact , w a snickering giggle in their sleeves abt tomb robbing , bc everyone involved in writing & directing that movie is assholes
—its been noted here b4 that my major failing is overlooking the obv bc HEY ITS SO OBV , OBV NOBODY WLD GO THERE but then after putting the two & the two & the two of the vampires VAMPIRES YAH & the lamp of poison / FISH SHAPED LAMPS WE GOT EM & the fasces AXE & STICKS in FEET OF CLAY tog
& getting ( obv! ! ) 8 as a result
( 8 are the sides of the bagua , the mirror of divination on which the moon-toad sits , guarding gold —& this is not irrelevant either )
not only did i see where gough & millar got their plot elements of sacred jewels in temples combined w the resograph , i mean earthquake weathervane used as a magic gadget to raise a “red army” of terra cotta golems , i mean ghost soldiers , to be fought by ray harryhausens army of dragons-teeth warriors from JASON & THE ARGONAUTS which yes cohen & the rest of the silver horde discuss in INTERESTING TIMES
but i understood the HOW of how guillermo flipped everything abt via the magical handmirror & turned HK into AM
ok i was already gettin there bc “We own all your helmets, we own all your shoes” any more these days sounds like yes china rather than the west , except that the only bit of mass manufacturing weve held on to was our military stuffs in a rare bit of prudence-over-profit ( which has backfired from humanistic perspectives bc we are kinda stuck bein war merchants & profiteers now …)
but i hadn’t quite put the bit where YET-AGAIN-WHITEWASHING-GODSDAMMIT SKY1 CASTING SEAN ASTIN AS TWOFLOWER CREATED THE HINGE ON WHICH TO TURN IT AROUND
or the axle of the wheel rather SEE ALSO THE TAO TEH CHING
but if twoflower is anglo-american in the film version then (obv ) ankh-morpork must be on the counterweight continent , QED
& i wrote off the sky1 adaptations back when the casting was announced so i had not even realized that jeremy irons AKA THE WICKED BROTHER in disneys HAMLET was vetinari in that COLOR OF MAGIC but there are all my meta links to BRIDESHEAD REVISITED and THE PROFESSIONAL | LEON confirmed via LION KING & jean reno voicing & thus RONIN & SHARPES RIFLES via so many degrees of sean bean
& yes sir terry is in on the game & has been for a long while now — @ least since UNSEEN ACADEMICALS
bc he set up the serves perfectly for PACIFIC RIM starting there w bioengineered monster supersoldiers who ‘reboot’ after bein killed
whose role as cannon fodder is proven via necromancy through a bit of skull from a battlefield , & magitech that is operated by a lawful evil (ish) wizard w a skull ring & his skeletal partner
trains have finally come in their roundworld form to the disc — but they were there earlier , in FIFTH ELEPHANT as a wagon train too
& in SNUFF there is a boat train
not only that there is a classic train-roof-chase-fight straight from a century of action films
but that is nothing
i reread SNUFF this past week too
there are SO MANY SPECIFIC THINGS THAT TIE INTO THE DEL TORO MONOMYTH and esp which bounce back & confirm PANS LABYRINTH | EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO as NIGHT WATCH elseworlds darkfic but also lock into the bondverse / batverse / bprd-&-bladeverse connections - names , & functions , & heraldic symbols THE CROCODILE THE SCOTS (WANNABE) DRAGONRIDER THE LINKING OF THE OLD AMERICAN SLAVE TRADE & GENOCIDE W THE 20TH EUROPEAN GENOCIDE & SLAVE LABOR VIA TOBACCO
that is exactly what i have been tapping & chipping @ for all these months I DIDNT SEE IT WHEN I READ THE BOOK BC I HADNT SEEN “PANS LABYRINTH” & when i first watched LABERINTO i didnt understand that VIDAL IS AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE VIMES WHO DID KILL SYBIL , AS THE HISTORY MONKS OBLIQUELY WARNED WOULD HAPPEN , IF VIMES DIDNT GET A LESSON IN GOOD COMMUNAL POLICING FROM JOHN PEEL , I MEAN KEEL , IN “NIGHT WATCH”
for obv reasons NIGHT WATCH w its themes of societal apathy to authoritarian wrongdoing , the militarization of the police , & eventual flareup to repeat the cycle again as victor hugo described so long ago , has been much heavily on my mind of late
but that isnt the only place nor the first place pratchett talked abt it
"This is where people have learned to do what they’re told…The Empire’s got something worse than whips all right. It’s got obedience. Whips in the soul. They obey anyone who tells them what to do. Freedom just means being told what to do by someone different…"
fyeah its a dark WATCH fic , just as it is a bright WATCHMEN fic —just as GUARDS! GUARDS! was a bright WATCHMEN fixfic , & so too is INTERESTING TIMES , agn w a too-clever ambitious junior faking an overwhelming enemy — dragon , or rebellion , or invasion — that turns out to be realer than planned—
bc there IS hope in LABERINTO , the lawless lawman realizing that he is defeated & choosing not to destroy the future w him , surrendering his son & accepting his own execution & so the possibility of a new world to come in time
& the ending scn , w his scarred face , the dread captain embodies that SAM-AS-BATMAN-AND-GORDON-BUT-ALSO-JOKER-AND-TWOFACE paradox that is the darkness within vimes which he fights & recognizes in his worst adversaries, which was strongly brought out w carcer in NIGHT WATCH & even moreso w the gleeful willing killer of the protofascist House of Rust
but the tying of vimes to the dangers of fascism isnt something that guillermo came up w & terry only retconned in OH HELLS NO
in FEET OF CLAY we are told that the coat of arms of old stoneface vimes —the ankh morpork incarnation of the regicide cromwell & there is yr stuart connection w prince nuadha as bonnie prince charlie in HELLBOY 2 —is a combo of grapevines ( close enf of a pun for heraldry ) & a marble bust for his nickname SEE ALSO : PALE MAN goes w the transformation of lord damaskinos to apparent marble and the dead king balor to crumbling literal stone
“But the King did not even get a trial.”
“No willing judge could be found,” said Vimes.
“Except you…that is, your ancestor…”
“Well? Someone had to do it. Some monsters should not walk under the living sky.”
Dragon found the page he had been looking for and turned the book around. “This was his escutcheon,” he said.
Vimes looked down at the familiar sign of the morpork owl perched on an ankh. It was atop a shield divided into four quarters, with a symbol in each quarter. “What’s this crown with a dagger through it?”
“Oh, a traditional symbol, ah-ha. Indicates his role as defender of the crown.”
“Really? And the bunch of rods with an axe in it?” He pointed.
“A fasces. Symbolizes that he is…was an officer of the law. And the axe was an interesting harbinger of things to come, yes? But axes, I’m afraid, solve nothing.”
Vimes stared at the third quarter. It contained a painting of what seemed to be a marble bust.
“Symbolizing his nickname, ‘Old Stoneface’,” said Dragon helpfully. “He asked that some reference be made. Sometimes heraldry is nothing more than the art of punning.”
“And this last one? A bunch of grapes? Bit of a boozer, was he?” said Vimes sourly.
but in SNUFF vimes himself becomes — temporarily — a king
king over the water in fact
( which means that all my meta links & mirrorversions & conjectures are locking firmly into place & selfwelding like the links of the golden army control crown , bc not only do we get the stuart & thus tudor & plantagenet links to the del toro verse via discworld , but also that PR is a “take that’ to THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND too )
& yes sir terry has deliberately & overtly identified sam vimes w Death there , to the obv point that even the lspace wiki has noticed the parallels w REAPER MAN
in fact vimes IS the avatar of the bearer of the scythe WHICH IS ALSO AN ATTRIBUTE OF PAPA LEGBA who makes no other appearance in it & i m pretty sure that is the first time its true of a DW book —
Death isnt there in the 1st tiffany aching book either
tiffany aching , who guards the crossroads of timespace in her backyard
tiffany aching who must become a hive-mind demonic entity in her second quest , to save it as much as the world
by teaching it mortality (also abt evolution )
and who must become (for a time) a goddess in her third ordeal , to teach the god of winter how to be human - which means dying as well , at least for a time
yes — the darkhaired darkeyed shepherdess cheesemaker BLESSED BE apprentice witch in the sensible boots & hardwearing blue who doesnt like smug blond princes who swan abt expecting everything handed to them just for showing up —
& INTERESTING TIMES flat out says that retcon is how myth works , @ least in the discworld universe — that the future changes the past , in cyclical history
& the first great agatean ruler , w the helmet-&-glove-&-boot controlled golem army , who unified the empire , whose name was ONE SUN MIRROR
is presented to us via rincewind as an ARTHURIAN figure in an ensorcelled funeral boat on a hidden lake , a ruler quondam et futuram —et aeternam as well
& there is a little girl , a war orphan , in INTERESTING TIMES , who loses her stuffed rabbit — but is protected by valiant older sisters-by-found-family
& there is a highly symbolic cute dog which is also a weapon
which yes fits into why BLUE hair to symbolize a spider , or an assassin ( & yes that is in SNUFF & in the process ties DISCWORLD to the MCU — and to australia yet agn , which along w valkyries & the venerable bede (x) appeared back in INTERESTING TIMES … . the history monks working overtime to keep it all aligned ! )
bc its not just any blue
it is very def a DELPHINIUM blue —& that is another tale for the telling & ties american atrocity & monsters to hapsburg ones in history , as surely as riverboat pilots & downriver to a city that is also paris just as much as ankh morpork ever was , but also thus as much new orleans as genua is
( this is another post of its own but i can tell you it is no coincidence that anguas 1st given name is what it is , nor the name that she chooses to go by , & it is connected to the jaeger armor design on which i have spent a fair amt of pixels discussing / speculating as well — bc the universal horror canon is as much part of the bedrock of the disc as the cthulhu mythos )
bc everything was discworld all along after all , & it is all laid out for us in the very first page of the book
which guillermo read far more attentively than any other of us fans of both authors —
This is where the gods play games with the lives of men, on a board which is at one and the same time a simple playing area and the whole world.
And Fate always wins.
Fate always wins. Most of the gods throw dice but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out until too late that he’s been using two queens all along.
Fate wins. At least, so it is claimed. Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been Fate.
Gods can take any form, but the one aspect of themselves they cannot change is their eyes, which show their nature. The eyes of Fate are hardly eyes at all—just dark holes into an infinity speckled with what may be stars or, there again, may be other things.
He blinked them, smiled at his fellow players in the smug way winners do just before they become winners, and said:
“I accuse the High Priest of the Green Robe in the library with the double-handed axe.”
And he won.
He beamed at them.
“No one likeh a poor winner,” grumbled Offler the Crocodile God, through his fangs.
“It seems that I am favoring myself today,” said Fate. “Anyone fancy something else?”
The gods shrugged.
“Mad Kings?” said Fate pleasantly. “Star-Crossed Lovers?”
“I think we’ve lost the rules for that one,” said Blind Io, chief of the gods.
“Or Tempest-Wrecked Mariners?”
“You always win,” said Io.
“Floods and Droughts?” said Fate. “That’s an easy one.”
A shadow fell across the gaming table. The gods looked up.
“Ah,” said Fate.
“Let a game begin,” said the Lady.
There was always an argument about whether the newcomer was a goddess at all. Certainly no one ever got anywhere by worshipping her, and she tended to turn up only where she was least expected, such as now. And people who trusted in her seldom survived. Any temples built to her would surely be struck by lightning. Better to juggle axes on a tightrope than say her name. Just call her the waitress in the Last Chance saloon.
She was generally referred to as the Lady, and her eyes were green; not as the eyes of humans are green, but emerald green from edge to edge. It was said to be her favorite color.
“Ah,” said Fate again. “And what game will it be?”
She sat down opposite him. The watching gods looked sidelong at one another. This looked interesting. These two were ancient enemies.
“How about…” she paused, “…Mighty Empires?”
“Oh, I hate that one,” said Offler, breaking the sudden silence. “Everyone dief at the end.”
“Yes,” said Fate, “I believe they do.” He nodded at the Lady, and in much the same voice as professional gamblers say “Aces high?” said, “The Fall of Great Houses? Destinies of Nations Hanging by a Thread?”
“Certainly,” she said.
“Oh, good.” Fate waved a hand across the board. The Discworld appeared.
“And where shall we play?” he said.
“The Counterweight Continent,” said the Lady. “Where five noble families have fought one another for centuries.”
“Really? Which families are these?” said Io. He had little involvement with individual humans. He generally looked after thunder and lightning, so from his point of view the only purpose of humanity was to get wet or, in occasional cases, charred.
“The Hongs, the Sungs, the Tangs, the McSweeneys and the Fangs.”
“Them? I didn’t know they were noble,” said Io.
“They’re all very rich and have had millions of people butchered or tortured to death merely for reasons of expediency and pride,” said the Lady.
The watching gods nodded solemnly. That was certainly noble behavior. That was exactly what they would have done.
“McFweeneyf?” said Offler.
“Very old established family,” said Fate.
“And they wrestle one another for the Empire,” said Fate. “Very good. Which will you be?”
The Lady looked at the history stretched out in front of them.
“The Hongs are the most powerful. Even as we speak, they have taken yet more cities,” she said. “I see they are fated to win.”
“So, no doubt, you’ll pick a weaker family.”
Fate waved his hand again. The playing pieces appeared, and started to move around the board as if they had a life of their own, which was of course the case.
“But,” he said, “we shall play without dice. I don’t trust you with dice. You throw them where I can’t see them. We will play with steel, and tactics, and politics, and war.”
The Lady nodded.
Fate looked across at his opponent.
“And your move?” he said.
She smiled. “I’ve already made it.”
He looked down. “But I don’t see your pieces on the board.”
“They’re not on the board yet,” she said.
She opened her hand.
There was something black and yellow on her palm. She blew on it, and it unfolded its wings.
It was a butterfly.
Fate always wins…
At least, when people stick to the rules.
FLOODS & DROUGHTS PPL FLOODS & DROUGHTS REMEMBER WHAT I SAID ABT THE HORSE-SACRIFICES OF JAPAN & HOW THEY DIFFER FROM THE INDO-EUROPEAN ONES AS DESCRIBED IN CELTIC HISTORIES & THE GOLDEN BOUGH & MARY RENAULT???
A WHITE HORSE OR A BLACK HORSE , DEPENDING ON WHICH PATTERN NEEDED TO BE BROKEN TO SAVE THE HARVEST —
( it goes w the whole kaiju-as-personifications-of-natural-disaster thing & global climate change … . )
asdfjkl; also SHIPWRECKED MARINERS STAR-CROSSED LOVERS MAD KINGS its all the freaking shakespeare themes tog when you incl the FALL OF MIGHTY EMPIRES argh ok & there is the ‘westerns’ theme slipped in there
later we will def get a discworld homage to DARK CRYSTAL & thats where the complicated chain that runs from lord hongs barking dog to the golden army-as-garthim to lord shens cannon in KFP2 to the failed drift test by way of a double-back to Torrecastro ( also no coincidence that SNUFF is full of jane austen refs as much as TEMERAIRE ones ) and IT ISNT A RANDOM HODGEPODGE OR MISHMASH OF SYMBOLS
bc what these bards are trying to tell us , all the travelling players of la resistance , is simply this
ALL EMPIRES ARE ONE , IN THE END
WE ARE FIGHTING THE SAME BLOODSUCKING ENEMY WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FIGHTING
& THE ENEMY , AS ALWAYS , IS US ( NOT “THEM” , IT NEVER WAS “THEM” BC THEYRE US TOO )
& thus the kite in the lightning to power the golems ( hang singly if we dont hang together ! ! ! )
but the story is the true weapon
as granny weatherwax knew all along , & tiffany aching figured out on her own , the narratives are the greatest weapons bc they motivate the armies no less than the mobs w the pitchforks
convince ppl that theyre not just cannon fodder regarded as interchangeable clones by their masters but ELITE SUPERSOLDIERS
or else convince them that freedom , & change , & a new universe
are possible things
& worth fighting for
even if it SEEMS like a death
& means symbolically dying if yr identity is entirely wound up in yr past
but still that is better than literally dying in the revolution — oh & there is a bastille in INTERESTING TIMES too btw , back to DEVILS BACKBONE & the COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO no less than dickens — also a fave of sir terry no less than guillermo
also im pretty sure that ramin djawadi that other heretic wizard sneaked in a Variation on the HILL STREET BLUES theme in the opening chords of the main title & that is why the offcenter rest in the underlying beat has been driving me crazy long after i figured out THE INVISIBLE TRAINS in the soundtrack which HELL YES THEY ARE HUGE IN DISCWORLD but i cant even any more bc too much
( how far can we push the barricades ? ? ? )