Jonathan Teatime

From Discworld & Terry Pratchett Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mr. Teatime
Name Jonathan Teatime
Race Human
Age In his 20s or early 30s
Occupation Assassin
Physical appearance Boyish, smiling, curly hair. One eye has a pin-hole-sized pupil, the other is glass
Residence Assassins' Guild
Death At the end of Hogfather, which would be around 1988 UC
Parents Not named; died in a tragic accident, though the accident may have been bringing Jonathan into the world.
Relatives
Children
Marital Status
Appearances
Books Hogfather
Cameos


Mr. Jonathan Teatime, (pronounced "Teh-ah-tim-eh,") was a graduate assassin from Ankh-Morpork, who was hired by the Auditors to inhume the Hogfather.

He was taken into the Ankh-Morpork Assassins' Guild as a child because the administration took pity on him after his parents suffered a tragic accident. Lord Downey once reflected that the Guild should have looked into this.

He is boyishly handsome, with curly hair and a ready smile, but these features are ruined by his eyes. One is glass and the other is off-white, with a tiny, pinhole-sized pupil. He is, undoubtedly, a genius, but also sociopathic to an astonishing degree. His mind has been compared at times to both a corkscrew and a shattered mirror (i.e. something brilliant, sharp, and dazzling, but also fundamentally and irrevocably broken). His main problem seems to be that he sees things differently from other people, in that he sees other people as things. This gets him into a spot of trouble early on, as his assassinations often include the brutal murders of not just the target, but also their family, their servants, and very often their pets, all of which is, while not against Guild policy, definitely against the philosophy of the Guild, which is elegance and style in everything.

However, when the Auditors need someone to assassinate the Hogfather, Mr. Teatime is just the man for the job. When questioned, he reveals to his superior, Lord Downey, that he devised methods to inhume, not only the Hogfather, but also the Tooth Fairy and the Soul Cake Duck (Discworld's version of the Easter Bunny), among others (including Death) in his spare time. In the instance of the Hogfather it was while waiting up one Hogswatch eve when most kids are listening for sleigh bells. He commissions the help of a cadre of criminals, ranging from big Banjo Lilywhite to the locksmith Mr.Brown, and sets about putting his ingenious plan into action, which inevitably pits him against Susan Sto Helit and her grandfather, Death.

Most of the time, Mr. Teatime seems a pleasant, albeit odd, young man. He only seems to get irritated when people mispronounce his name. However, he possesses physical abilities which defy physics, and has been known to perform feats such as stabbing through all layers of clothing but stopping before hitting flesh, holding a blade just touching the eye, flipping on thin air, and killing so fast he appears to be a blur, all of which he will do without any notice or provocation. Rumours among his associates (somewhat confirmed in the non-canonical GURPS Discworld sourcebook) imply that the glass eye is in fact a scrying crystal, which might go some way towards explaining his abilities but also means that he had implanted Discworld-magic into his own eye socket. At the end of the events of Hogfather, the glass eye in-question ended-up in the possession of young Gawain Gaiter, who'd found it lying in the Gaiter's nursery-fireplace after Teatime's body had been removed and mistook it for a marble, with which he would never lose a game.

Supporting the premise that Jonathan's parents were killed by Teatime himself is what Susan Sto Helit says about his childhood: "You were the little boy who didn't know the difference between throwing a stone at a cat and setting a cat on fire". She continued to say: "You were the little boy that looked up little dolls dresses"; he denied that remark.

The Assassins' Guild lists him as having vanished without trace since the events in Hogfather, though they have named a "Teatime Prize" in his honour, which is given annually to the student who devises the most creative hypothetical inhumation.

In the Sky One adaption of Hogfather, Mr. Teatime is played by Marc Warren.

Annotation

The name "Teatime" is very likely a tribute to fellow fantasy writer Douglas' Adams work, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. The central premise of the novel is that the gods were created by the human compulsion to personify forces. They never completely die, but rather become more and more powerless as fewer people believe in them, and eventually end up as a sort of divine vagrant. In Adams' novel the gods are quite easily taken advantage of by unscrupulous humans.