From Discworld & Terry Pratchett Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Race human
Age indeterminate: middle thirties to late fifties?
Occupation Royal Falconer of the Kingdom of Lancre
Physical appearance One-eared, much-scarred, bandaged, trickling blood. Always has a vicious-looking bird of prey on his wrist, unless it's a Lancre Wowhawk.
Residence Lancre Castle Mews
Death by degrees: possibly The Death of a Thousand Beaks
Marital Status single: married to his job
Books Lords and Ladies, Carpe Jugulum

Introduced in Lords and Ladies as a distant scream, Hodgesaargh is the resident falconer at Lancre Castle. He is modelled on the Roundworld person Dave Hodges.

His unusual name is due to the fact that if distracted for a moment, let us say by somebody asking his name, the bird of prey sitting on the very thick leather glove at his wrist will gratefully take the opportunity to nick another beak-shaped lump out of his ear, or nose, or face, or any other part of "Hodges - Aaargh!" that it can reach.

When first encountered, he is the proud possessor of a Lancre Crowhawk, with which he optimistically plans to get into the Falconers' Hall of Fame, as this red-eyed avian maniac has never been tamed before. Until now. The crowhawk has other plans, involving Hodgesaargh's nose and its beak.

Hodgesaargh loves his birds of prey and spends every waking moment with them. The fact they do not reciprocate this unconditional love is the tragedy of his life. They, after all, are birds of prey. That they view their keeper as prey is part of the natural set-up of things.

When the Elves invade Lancre in Lords and Ladies, one of them tries to take control of one of Hodgesaargh's eagles to attack him (a wholly unnecessary action), only to be viciously pecked and clawed at himself by said eagle.

In Carpe Jugulum, Hodgesaargh sets out on a hunt for a hitherto mythical Phoenix or Firebird, working out details of its biology through his understanding of birds rather than by attention to written legend. When he produces a pile of shell fragments, Mightily Oats objects that no one had ever claimed to to have found phoenix eggshell before. Hodgesaargh replies, "Didn't know that, sir. Otherwise I wouldn't have looked."


On vicious birds getting a peck in when not watched...

There is a village in Lancashire called Goosnargh. In Matthew Fort's Rhubarb and Black Pudding (a celebration of Lancashire and its food culture) Fort notes that Goosnargh is famous for its poultry, including geese. While the approved pronunciation is "Guze'ar", the thought is there that many years ago, a goose-herd could have been distracted for just long enough, say by a visitor asking the name of the town, for one or two of the notoriously bad-tempered birds to get a good peck in... "Goose..AAARGH!"