Talk:Discworld calendar

From Discworld & Terry Pratchett Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Can someone please go through the Discworld calendars and find more special days? Mine are in German. I am also not able to find more references for the names of the years. Apparently 2005 was the year of the prawn. --Jogibaer 21:59, 5 April 2006 (CEST)

Move article?

Maybe it is necessary to move this article to a different spot and introduce a disambiguous page. Why? Because the user could be looking for the discworld calendar books. Opinions? --Jogibaer 22:39, 29 August 2006 (CEST)

On wikipedia they seem to include a line at the top (italicised) saying "If you're actually looking for (similar name), go to that page". As we have the book namespace precisely to keep them out of the other articles, we could adopt a similar approach here. --Sanity 23:17, 29 August 2006 (CEST)
Done. --Jogibaer 20:25, 30 August 2006 (CEST)

Named Centuries

I added the Century of the Three Lice which is when Windle Poons was born so we know it was immediately before the Century of the Fruitbat but I got it from the companion so I don't know what book it's from.--Teletran 20:27, 10 February 2007 (CET)

Current Year

How do we know the the current year? The timeline has been baffling me for some time (and Orin Thomas too, apparently; his update is overdue.) Following the Lspace timeline, the most recent history (Thud!) should be 1990. The new century seems to have begun in 1989, but how long has it been since?--Old Dickens 22:48, 10 February 2007 (CET)

Another problem is that the Discworld (short) year has 400 days and we don't actually know how long a day is, so aligning our calendars may be impossible. I have calculated a twelve-year lag as of the last change of century, but this may not be constant. If we assume equal days, the Discworld year is about a month longer than ours, but the days may be shorter or longer. --Old Dickens 17:33, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Holidays

The description of the calendar in The Colour of Magic indicates that Hogswatch begins the 800 day year and doesn't occur in Spindlewinter. This idea doesn't seem to appear again; Hogfather would suggest that the Hogswatch celebration is necessary to produce another sunrise, why not in Spindlewinter? --Old Dickens 02:37, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Calendar idea

Whoa! Remember how TP loves sneaking the number 57 into everything? If a "century" is 57 Great Years under the AM calendar (114 years UC)- then the turn of the 41st century from the founding of the city (1 AM) is 1996 UC: a much more comfortable date.

After all, Wizards avoid the number, err, "7a." Too many 8's could even lead to the Things breaking through! Actually to celebrate years ending in doubled 8's- well, remember Mr Hong's fish bar? Not only is 57 reassuringly prime, but it's also another prime, 7, away from 8^2=64 - safe as houses, numerically. 8 and 57 have no common multiples at all, save their own.

Or, from another perspective, the animal-year cycle and animal-century cycle could very well predate Albert and UU, and have rolled on uninterrupted from the beginning (much as the traditional Chinese calendar continues despite China's adoption of the Gregorian in modern times).--Solicitr 06:31, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Nope. You don't talk about 7a and no one says it's 1988; circumlocution is highly developed in that area, but eight happens. Eights are quite common, magic being quite common, and it seems like a natural for the change of (animal) centuries, besides working well with the rest of the history. Fifty-seven I find contrived and unlikely. The named centuries apparently originated in Krull and may be older than Ankh-Morpork. I don't know why 1996 would be more comfortable; there would be several years missing. (80*57 - 2564 = 1996 too.) --Old Dickens 17:35, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Calendar Question

Maybe I missed something, but where is it stated that the AM calendar uses 800 days and the University Calender 400? If that's true, there's something very odd going on with Albert's age. In Mort his statue is dated AM 1,222-1,289. This makes him 67 (which is what Ysabell says his age is). But if that's Great Years (as an 800 day AM calendar would imply) he's actually 134 which is more than even Windle Poons managed and he was wheelchair bound and senile. I've checked everywhere else I can and I can't find a reference to different calendars anywhere in the books. So, can anyone point me to where it comes from? LordJuss 13:31, 21 September 2011 (CEST)

Of course it's a Well-Known Fact and confirmed in The Celebrated Discworld Almanak, for example, but you know, I can't recall the source either. The statue dates look like what we call a mistake, but perhaps we could assume that Wizards were longer-lived in those days and that they use full years in Death's Domain. --Old Dickens 00:45, 22 September 2011 (CEST)
Or, more simple, things weren't written in stone. I mean, going by the books pre wyrd sisters/reaper man Rincewind had a more or less fulfilling sexlife, for example.--LilMaibe 01:01, 22 September 2011 (CEST)
Actually, I expect the statue dates were written in stone, but off the topic, you should fill in Rincewind's sex life in his article; I don't remember much of that either. --Old Dickens 01:24, 22 September 2011 (CEST)
It's mainly in CoM and TLF. Only hinted. In a rather obvious way. Remember the line after Rinso managed to cast magic in the weird town? The line that was something like -Of course he knew what an orgasm was-?--LilMaibe 02:22, 22 September 2011 (CEST)
In all fairness it then went on to point out that sometimes he had had one in company. I'm not certain that counts as a fulfilling sex life. I always took it as a reference to occasional meetings with seamstresses. As regards the great years thing, I had a feeling it was somewhere like that (what I would call beta-canon). I only have the novels, so I only work from them and my suspicion is that there's no such reference in the books themselves. Still there's no reason to disbelieve it so that's fine. Thanks for letting me know. LordJuss 11:10, 22 September 2011 (CEST)
Actually, while I think about it, can you give me the exact quote from the Almanack? I've love to know precisely what it says. Cheers. LordJuss 16:30, 22 September 2011 (CEST)
Everything about the Almanak, actually. It starts with the foreword "...being known as the Common Year 2005, Scholar's Year 1657 & The Year of the Prawn. The Sun Rises Left as I face the Hub".
It goes on to describe a 400-day year in detail. --Old Dickens 00:02, 23 September 2011 (CEST)

Brilliant! Thanks for the quote. I must try and track down a copy. It sounds absolutely clear that the 400 day year is used in general. What about the principle that AM years are 800 rather than 400? Also, I don't suppose it happens to state whether the year of the Prawn is the fifth or sixth year of the Century of the Anchovy? LordJuss 11:09, 23 September 2011 (CEST)

I don't think there's any help on the centuries, but I still maintain the century started at Hogswatch, 1989 (making it the seventeenth year). --Old Dickens 15:19, 23 September 2011 (CEST)
That’s a position I held myself until recently. Here’s where I try to persuade you out of it. In Feet of Clay, Dragon King of Arms says the following “Old Stoneface, indeed, as he was called. Commander of the City Watch in 1688. And a regicide.” Nobby later points out that it will be three hundred years since the King’s execution the following year. This implies that Feet of Clay takes place in 1987 and the ’88 century change is a natural result. However, the following line appears in Making Money “We have been badly buffeted in recent years. The Crash of '88, the Crash of '93, the Crash of '98”. This states pretty clearly that ’93 and ’98 are recent years which cannot be true if the century change takes place in ’88 (’93 and ’98 wouldn’t yet have happened).
Taken at face value these statements seem to be mutually incompatible. However, I think there is an interpretation of the first which allows us to move Feet of Clay later. Dragon King of Arms never says that the aforementioned regicide took place in 1688, only that Vimes was Commander in that year. Given that he is talking about personal family history it is not inconceivable that he meant that Stoneface was raised to Commander in 1688 and then killed the king sometime during his tenure.
This interpretation is useful in several areas. The century change can now be moved to its normal numerical location and Feet of Clay can take place in 1997. As a result Carpe Jugulum, The Fifth Elephant and The Truth all take place in 1999, which matches with the statement made in all three that they take place in the Century of the Fruitbat. In the ’88 interpretation, they take place in 1989 which means all three seem to be in the wrong century (or there was a mysterious extra winter in the middle of 1988). This allows Thief of Time, Night Watch and Monstrous Regiment to take place in 2000 (which has the correct millennial feel) and Going Postal, the first mention of the Century of the Anchovy, to fall in 2001. It also means that the date of Lord Winder’s fall lines up with the date given for Vetinari’s graduation (1968 given in The Truth) which matches his approximate age as described in Night Watch and means one doesn’t have to invoke further study or a time away from the Guild. Even Susan’s age works.
To my mind when the results are so perfect, taking an unorthodox (but viable) interpretation of Dragon King of Arms comments seems a small price to pay. So, have I convinced you? LordJuss 14:30, 26 September 2011 (CEST)
Lobsang screwed up putting time back together again. No, seriously... Ever since the events of ToT and NW things got rather awry. Maybe all these holes are on purpose. This. Or look at the Night Kitchen. With it in existence at the time of TLC the events of the book would have never taken place, what would actually have lead to Bugarup etc not existing (long story). We could go and say Lobsang made one fatal mistake: thinking he knows better how events should have occured and how time is to be put back together again...--LilMaibe 17:03, 26 September 2011 (CEST)
I’ll happily admit that’s also a fair interpretation :-). One does wonder whether Sir Pterry has deliberately buggered things up to wind up timeline enthusiasts! However if history is that badly broken there’s almost no way of putting together a viable timeline, so I’ve tried to soldier on regardless and only invoke Lobsang’s doings when every other possible alley is closed. Other’s may differ and that’s their prerogative. LordJuss 17:16, 26 September 2011 (CEST)
Here's something to ponder about: Pterry requested someone to lend a hand with tibetian several months back. Now, if that was for Snuff, couldn't it be that it was for the TimeMonks and that they are to fix what was messed up? After all, they had to repair those...forgot the name, the things they control time with. And there are six years between NW and Snuff. What if they only now finished? And therefore only now can set things straight again? Maybe they aren't happy with Lobsang's idea of events should have occured, but were bound to it...for a time...--LilMaibe 17:44, 26 September 2011 (CEST)
I remain unconvinced (as a big fan of Brother Thomas of Ockham). 1993 may have happened, but 1998 is a problem; I also suspect The Author of serial bloody-mindedness. --Old Dickens 23:51, 26 September 2011 (CEST)
Any suggestions on solving the '98 problem? I'd be equally happy with a way of keeping the 1688 reference and explaining away the '98 one. Although that would still leave some work to be done on the positioning of CJ, tFE and tT with respect to the Century of the Fruitbat. As an Ockham's razor fan I'd recommend you check out Crabtree's Bludgeon - a philosophical principle that's especially useful for this sort of game. LordJuss 10:28, 29 September 2011 (CEST)
How's bout this: Rememeber the sorting machine in the post office? The one that gave out letters not yet written? What if it produced letters or possible newspapers from a different timeline mentioning the crash of '98?--LilMaibe 17:04, 29 September 2011 (CEST)
Crabtree also states the obvious, but less usefully. Certainly the bludgeon has been swung around here plenty. Re Carpe Jugulum and The Fifth Elephant, CJ states that it's the end of the C. of the Fruitbat and I don't agree with Solicitr's spreading out the events there just because he felt they were too closely-spaced. They are too closely-spaced, but you can't ignore the evidence. On the other hand, how can you get from Jingo in 1988 to Carpe Jugulum in 2000? As for 1998, what if V. were just projecting and suggesting that these might go on and on? --Old Dickens 00:38, 30 September 2011 (CEST)

Eve/Day of Small Gods

I think the Day of Small Gods is not the same as the Eve of Small Gods (what is suggested). It would be logical if the eve was the day before the Day of Small Gods. --Pkap90 04:16, 29 July 2012 (CEST)

People's Ages

On another track entirely: Discworld characters routinely start their careers at age sixteen. If their years have four hundred days, however, this is equivalent to about seventeen and a half or near eighteen Roundworld years. This goes some way toward explaining the maturity of juvenile characters from Carrot Ironfoundersson to Tiffany Aching. --Old Dickens (talk) 01:21, 9 September 2013 (GMT)