From Discworld & Terry Pratchett Wiki
(Redirected from Hades)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HELL! Pandemonium! Circles of Darkness! Infernal Place of Damnation! The Pit! Suffering, Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth!

Or - a place where demons work just like the next joe, where the spawn of the bowels of Hades don't torture souls endlessly, for where would the point of that be? Souls are necessarily disembodied, so how can they feel pain? Torture doesn't work, so hell has actually been designed along lines we can all identify with: the grey-faced nightmare of interminable and infernal red tape and the mindless bureaucracy that suffocates every last hopeful thought and replaces eternity with an infinite miserable wait for nothing to happen. Souls are being forced - not to roll rocks up hills (a la Roundworld's Sisyphus) or be bereft of food and water (as Tantalus was) - but to sit through every last codicil and sub-paragraph of the rules pertaining to Health and Safety. All 40,000 volumes of them... There's even a new sign for Hell's door: You don't have to be damned to work here, but it helps!!! The door's thoughts on this matter are, so far, unknown.

The archdemonic mind that has created this vision is one Astfgl, who would rather not have empires of corpses burned to no good end, but to put in place legions of bureaucratic taxation that would turn the innumerable human minds of those empires to slag. This is one of TP's better visions, as the kind of mind-numbing torpor induced by petty officialdom and rules that chase each other (in triplicate) from Pink Form A143E to Grey Form C34002Zii and from helpdesk to bureau to helpdesk is one that we all can recognise. No doubt, like Pipeworth's Bank, Hell has a Human Resources Department, staffed by demons too officious, ineffectual or stupid to do anything else, to reduce every last detail of a demon or damned soul's career as part of a never-ending paper chase...

Astfgl has enemies, however, led by Duke Vassenego. For more on the events that lead to Rincewind and Eric escaping from Hell, see Eric.

Incidentally, souls on the Disc only go to Hell if they truly believe they deserve to go there, as noted in Eric. For where the rest go, see here.