Talk:Havelock Vetinari

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Assassin's Guild target?

Does the assassin's guild have a fee on his head? I thought he (and Sam Vimes) were the only two people the guild gave up on...--Sanity 23:06, 13 Sep 2005 (CEST)

I'm pretty sure that I read in one of the books that Vetinari had a fee on his head but noone had yet dared (and succeeded) to collect it. Don't remember in which book it could have been tough. Probably one of the guards novels. It would be nice if we could verify this though. Jeltz 23:13, 13 Sep 2005 (CEST)

Men At Arms:

'Everyone knows the Assassins have set his fee at a million dollars,'
said Lady Selachii.'That's how much it would cost to have him killed.'
'One can't help feeling,' said Lord Rust,
'that it would cost a lot more than that to make sure he stayed dead.'

--Death 10:03, 14 Sep 2005 (CEST)

I give you Nightwatch, UK hardback p. 8 from the top:
'You're a bit young to be sent on this contract, aren't you?'
said Vimes.
'Not a contract, sir,' said Jocasta, still paddling.
'Come now, Miss Wiggs. The price on my head is at least---'
'The Guild Council put it in abeyance, sir,' said the dogged
swimmer. 'You're off the register. They're not accepting
contracts on you at present.'

On the next page, when Sam contemplates this:

'Off the register, eg? The only person not on it any more,
it was rumoured, was Lord Vetinari, the Patrician. The Assassins
understood the political game in the city better than anyone,
and if they took you off the register it was because they felt your
departure would not only spoil the game but also smash the
board...'

I'm writing a paper on Havelock Vetinari for my English Composition II class and I need some good reliable sources, especially Terry Pratchett interviews that may bring up his name or books he is featured in prominently. I promise faithfully to share all my information, but I need someone to point me in a good direction!

Name

I read somewhere about Vetinari's name being a satire in itself but I can't remember what of or where i read it - any ideas? 81.77.78.217 21:25, 13 February 2006 (CET)

From http://www.lspace.org/books/apf/sourcery.html: " A sideways pun (via 'veterinary') on the name of the famous de Medici family, who were the enlightened rulers of Renaissance Florence." --10.0.0.1 12:57, 14 February 2006 (CET)

Yes, where a vetinarian is an animal doctor and medicin is the french (and possibly other Romance languages) for 'doctor'--Hapenny 23:45, 24 January 2008 (CET)

in book 37 a drunken footballer directly calls him vetinary

One quick question: I think there was an English medieval king called "Havelock" as well, as far as i remember it seems as if he was regarded as a kind of ideal leader...just an idea though

See Havelok. No obvious connection, though, except as successful overthrower of an evil ruler. --Old Dickens 15:24, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

It was also used as a pun during the Fifth Elephant: when Vimes mentioned Vetinari to the von Uberwalds (werewolves) (putting a little extra stress on the first syllable) the response included a growl. (He got a similar response at the mention of baths - it all rather put's me in mind of Blackadder III dealing with the actors through the use of the word 'Macbeth'). I've also commented on the name 'Havelock' lower down this page (under Vetinari In Concert), sorry - it fitted in with my mention of his Holmesian like character with relation to choice of instruments. --GallifreyanWitch (talk) 16:18, 21 November 2013 (GMT)

Age quibble

Vetinari needs to be well over 50. He's older than Sam, who has to be over 50 by now. (Calculate from Night Watch.) Old Dickens 10:15 EST 17 Aug 2006.

I gathered from Nightwatch that he's slightly older than Sam (how old are Assasin's Guild students?). Sam goes back 30 years in time and sees himself as a 16 or 18yo (can't remember exactly). That would make him nearing 50 and Vetinari a few years older than that. I remember TP saying that Vimes and Vetinari are roughly the same age, too.

BTW, we probably need to replace age with year of birth so it doesn't need to change with each book, and a timeline (just mailed the LSpace people who maintain the DW Timeline whether it's okay to put in on the wiki). --Sanity 16:48, 17 August 2006 (CEST)

Timeline discussion moved here.

In Night Watch, Vetinari is still a pupil at the Assassins' Guild school. We know from context (Pyramids) that the AG school is set up along the lines of a British public school. In common with other British higher schools, the age-range of pupils would be eleven - eighteen. Downey and his louche chums would be the equivalent of sixth-formers: ie, seventeen-eighteen. Vetinari, from context, can be assumed to be of the same age or slightly younger? While mention is made of a "post-graduate" course in the Assassins' Guild - implying that it offers continuing learning at the equivalent of university level (the Unseen University can hardly be expected to offer degrees in assassination...) the bulk of the Guild's education appears to be focused on young people of accepted school-age, ie 11-18 years old. So you could assume the young Vetinari is, at this time, no lower than the fifth form (15-16) but most probably in the Lower Sixth (16-17)?

In The Truth, we are told he graduated in 1969. This places the events of Night Watch as being no later than 1999/1969, and suggests a birthdate of c.1951 Gothmog Dave 21:54, 29 February 2008 (CET)


In the book The Fifth Elephant, Lady Margolotta (a vampire) says that Vetinari "should be quite old by now". Sam Vimes asks her if she taught Vetinari everything he knows, and she laughs and insinuates that, in fact, he had taught her in her younger days. This indicates to me the possibility that Vetinari's age is far greater than what some of you may be thinking. And although it hasn't been explicitly stated in any of Terry Pratchett's works as far as I know, it also opens up the possibility that Vetinari is a vampire, which would explain how he could look relatively young while in fact being quite old.

Assuming that Vetinari is seventeen during Night Watch, it's impossible (unless he ages in a very strange way) that he could be the Patrician during the events of The Colour of Magic or Mort. Since in Thief of Time Susan is almost certainly in her early- to mid-twenties, I'm assuming that by Night Watch (in the present) she's at least 25. This means that Night Watch takes place around 27 years after Mort, and three years after Vetinari 'killed' Winder, meaning he couldn't possibly be celebrating his 10th anniversary as Patrician, even if he had managed to become Patrician at such a young age. Does anyone else agree? Rachel95

Most people agree, except The Author who has, unfortunately, chosen to die rather than defend his single-Patrician hypothesis. --Old Dickens (talk) 06:16, 18 February 2018 (UTC)


I've created a potential Time Line for Vetinari on my talk/discussion page, based on the assumption he's 17 or 18 in Nights Watch (though I expect it could also be modified to assume he's younger/older at that time) and on the info I can find on the page related to events in specific years (I would provide the link but formatting could be problematic as I'm writing from a tablet). I must admit I think the Time Line I've come up with covers most things and fits in quite well. I've also included current affairs (other rulers, wars, development of technology) and the little info on Wuffles on the timeline to provide context.

Here are some of my assumptions/suggestions based on the Time Line I've made:

It would, if it's accurate, suggest he's around 24/25 at the time of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic - so it would technically be possible for him to be Patrician at that time.

As of THUD! Vetinari has been patrician for at least 17 years (based on Sorcery), possibly 27 Years (if he was patrician during the colour of magic).

There is roughly a 10 year gap between Colour of Magic and Sorcery, presenting the potential he lost weight and showed his true colours as patrician during that time - see point below about overweight Vetinari (even if it took 10 years if he really lost weight during that time I'd love to know what his diet/fitness plan was to achieve such a change).

There could be a gap between 7 and 17 years between Vetinari's final year/s as a student in the guild and his being patrician - during which time the Grand Sneer and his assistance to Lord Snapcase can be assumed to have taken place.

If he is the patrician during the colour of magic it suggests he made use of the post-graduate program during his time as patrician (must admit I find it curious he has no formal qualification in languages despite the fact they'd probably be useful in his current profession). Personally I think the reference in The Truth to graduation in 1969 refers to his latest graduation - i.e. post-graduate course. It messes the dates up quite a bit and doesn't fit in with the suggested date for Night Watch if that were his original graduation aged under 20 otherwise, and probably reduces his apparent age by about 10 years or so I think, which would not fit in with the idea of him being older than he seems or aged in his 50s during the latest books. Potential year of birth - 1939/1940 Possible ages during sorcery - 34/35 Possible age during Guards! Guards! - 45/46 Other key books on virtually a yearly basis after that. Possible age during The Truth - 50/51 Possible age during Goind Postal and THUD! - 51/52 Dates for following books unknown, but presumably also on a yearly basis suggesting he's arounf 54/55 as of Snuff

And, Rachel95, I wouldn't put it past Vetinari to age in an odd manner, however I'd of also thought that using Susan's age as a guide might not set things in stone - she is Death's Granddaughter afterall, so it might be that she's the one who ages in an odd way (I've included her potential date of birth based on the lspace wiki time line on the Time Line on my talk page.). I personally don't think he's a Vampire - even though he exhibits similar traits. But I do think he's not simply human. There is a presedence for a human aging oddly: Rincewind - who's life timer is described as looking as if it were created by a glassblower with hiccups - What if the same glassblower was a frequent sufferer of hiccups and made other unusual hourglasses (which just so happen to be for influential people in relation to events on the disc? (Oh dear - Now my mind is racing with potential stories.) --Verity (talk) 22:08, 1 December 2013 (GMT)

Coat of arms

After the success of my Ankh-Morpork coat of arms I thought I'd try my hand at a few more. Vetinari's was the obvious choice because it's more or less blank although I added a bit of a flourish to the motto to liven it up a bit. If you go back and look at when I first added Vetinari's coat of arms you'll see it looked dreadful but I think I've found a way that works, I've made it slightly larger and floated it above the text. I'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions (or criticisms) you may have.--Teletran 00:38, 26 February 2007 (CET)

I can't read the motto.--Old Dickens 02:30, 26 February 2007 (CET)

click on it and it'll get bigger--Teletran 03:53, 26 February 2007 (CET)

Vetinari's Intelligence Files

Do the Patrician's intelligence service files contain at least a partial catalogue of books held by the Library?

--(Originally posted by AgProv to The Summoning of Dragons on 22:10, 19 May 2007 moved here by Fhh98 06:31, 28 February 2008 (CET))

The Patrician's intelligence service files could hardly contain more than a partial list. The UU Library, of course, contains all the books ever written and all the books that will or may ever be written.
--Old Dickens 01:08, 28 February 2008 (CET) (Originally posted to Talk:The Summoning of Dragons moved here by Fhh98 06:31, 28 February 2008 (CET))
It is possible that the UU library may have a list of the books that will never be written. 173.206.76.164 06:39, 23 March 2011 (CET)

Just logic, really: how does a non-wizard such as Lupine Wonse stumble accross the idea, in the first place, that the UU library contains a book which offers the key to taking over the city? (And to know its location on the shelf well enough to direct a hired thief there). Without Wonse's awareness that such a book exists, there'd be no later events to relate in Guards! Guards! - the Summoning would still be gently mouldering unheeded on a shelf somewhere, with its carbonised last few pages flaking into decrepitude. Wonse could ask a Wizard, but then he's openly declared an interest in such a book - leading no doubt to an intelligence report on him ending up on the Patrician's desk. The simplest concept that answered this question - how did he know the book existed in the first place? - is to posit that, as Vetinari's secretary, Wonse had unlimited access to the intelligence files in the Palace in the course of his duties. Nobody would notice, or think to ask, what he was looking up, as it was his job to maintain those archives. And if the Files included partial catalogues of books held in the Guild libraries, including that of UU...--AgProv 16:38, 3 March 2008 (CET)

de Malachite's adventure might well fall into the category of things the Patrician didn't want to see happen again and had notes about. On the other hand Wonse was a clever sod in his own right and might have come across it anywhere. Certainly I would expect the university to give the Palace the courtesy of free access to the library, and it wouldn't seem odd for clerks to be doing research there. This is pretty much why I was astonished when you pointed out that I was wrong in assuming Wonse stole the book himself: that was so much more likely. --Old Dickens 23:57, 3 March 2008 (CET)

Brother Fingers stole the book. Fhh98 03:46, 4 March 2008 (CET)

We know. Agprov's trying to work out how Wonse knew where to look. I say he was a clerk and finding out was what he did. --Old Dickens 23:42, 4 March 2008 (CET)

If the Library contains every book that's ever existed, its going to be hard for any non-magician to find any book. No details have been given on the Library's filing system, but it's bound to be complicated. 92.7.160.39 15:27, 24 February 2011 (CET)

It is. Blit. (ref Unseen Academicals)--AgProv 09:50, 23 March 2011 (CET)

Stealth Exam

When Vetinari returns (camouflaged) from taking out the assassin intending to kill Keel, Lady Roberta remarks "I understand, Havelock, that you scored zero in your examination for stealthy movement." The "correction" mentions only the "missed" classes, which apparently didn't bar him from the exam. --Old Dickens 14:08, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

TV Casting

Remember, in Sky's adaptation of The Colour Of Magic, Vetinari is played by Jeremy Irons. I don't know where in this article this should be mentioned, but it's noteworthy. JaffaCakeLover 16:07, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't know that most of us accept that he was Patrician at the time of The Colour of Magic, although Irons certainly plays him that way, not like the fat hedonist from the book. --Old Dickens 00:25, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Roundworld equivalent

OK I know a wiki isn't the right place to post current-event-blog-satire but this picture nails the Roundworld-Vetinari to an accuracy of 225%

[Vlad Putin pic]

Iron Hippo 22:18, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Five years on, it is possible to marvel at the prescience of this comment. Where are the Guild of Assassins when you need them? AgProv (talk) 19:04, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Vetinari In Concert

The Assassins' Guild School is known to require proficiency in some musical instrument, and V. is known to have an ear that prefers his own reading of the score to any imperfect performance of it. I wonder what his instrument was. The violin, like Sherlock Holmes, or the oboe, perhaps, because it's difficult? Maybe an even more unusual Agatean instrument, or the Klatchian asp-pipe? --Old Dickens 00:25, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

I would say the violin would be the most obvious choice, which probably means it's automatically excluded. Maybe something unexpected like a harp, or even bagpipes? Though given V. seems to be proficient in almost everything he can probably play whatever instrument he picks up. --Megahurts 09:05, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

I realise this doesn't mean he actually plays it, but in Going Postal Moist says he has 'pianist's fingers'. --Rachel95 21:32, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

I would have thought the violin a good, if predictable choice (OK, I must admit I see Vetinari as a very Holmesian character considering his build, skills, mind and abilities - if anything he seems a cross between Sherlock and Mycroft and if you want to go into sort of conspiracy-theorizing one might say even the name hints at this link: both 'Have'(in Havelock) and 'My' (in Mycroft) being terms of ownership, while 'lock' being in both 'Sherlock' and 'Havelock' - though perhaps that's just the thoughts of a mind that notices odd, seemingly deliberate coincidences. I remember reading somewhere that a Sherlock like detective probably wouldn't work that well in Ankh-Morpork, but a Sherlock like character would surely still be a possibility).

Anyway - back on topic, on the main Wikipedia page for Vetinari it says

'Vetinari also enjoys reading written music rather than listening to it performed, because the idea of it being performed by people, with all the sweat and saliva involved, strikes him as distasteful.'

Perhaps the thought of 'sweat and saliva' would be somewhat off putting with some instruments - especially wind instruments - though the violin would seem quite inoffensive in these respects as far as I can see.

It's also worth remembering he's a Doctor of Music and, let's face it, a polymath. I expect he'd be proficient in a variety of instruments, and still probably be able to play new instruments quite easily through transferable skills (like his juggling in Klatch during Jingo). I must admit I'm biased as I play the violin (though not well), however the skills/knowledge involved in it have greatly helped me in learning the plucked psaltery and tabor pipe, hence the line of thinking above.

This is, of course, assuming he actually plays music. He may have the skills and played in the past but who knows now? Certainly his view of music means he might just play it with his mind (see Soul Music - or this useful webpage

GallifreyanWitch (talk) 14:45, 21 November 2013 (GMT)

Interesting ideas. I gave one of my Assassins, in fanfic, the tuba, just for the sheer incongruity of it... (there was another more intricate joke involved, but you'd have to read the fic...) So what would Vetinari play? Well, he'd be cunning. In the Assassins' School Orchestra, he might be the piccolo player: he could just slip it into his inside pocket, bid the rest of the orchestra goodnight, and be in bed a long time before the timpanist had dismantled and packed his drums. He might be the man who quietly points out that the Uberwaldean music teacher meant no insult, as few people outside Überwald would know the word " das Faggot" means "bassoon". (weird but true). I suppose he might play the Extremely Muted Trumpet as an extention of his skills in stealth and concealment, arguing that a musical instrument making any sort of sound would betray his position... or else, given the social disruption caued by Music With rocks In, somewhere in the lowest dungeons of the palace, in a sound-proofed triple-locked room, there is The Guitar and a righteous heap of Marshall Stacks, where Vetinari goes to chill and blast out a few riffs. After all, the guitar is dangerous in other hands...AgProv (talk) 22:52, 21 November 2013 (GMT)

"Doctor of Music"? --Old Dickens (talk) 23:59, 21 November 2013 (GMT)
Love the ideas for different instruments. The concept of subtlety does seem very in keeping but can't help but grin at the thought of The Guitar.
Re: Doctor of Music, to quote the page for the Assassins Guild:
Lord Havelock Vetinari Holding the Title 'Provost of Assassins' and the following degrees: DMAP [Doctor of Medicine & Applied Pathology], DM [Doctor of Music], DGS [Doctor of God Studies], MA [Master Assassins], MPE [Master of Political Expediency], MASc [Master of Alchemical Science], MIDD [Member of the Institute of Dance & Deportment], BScI [Bachelor of the Science of Inhumation] & DiPE [Diploma in Physical Education]
--Verity (talk) 23:53, 26 November 2013 (GMT)
But where does that come from? Is it in the Handbook? It would suggest that he spent many extra years at the College rather than hiding out on a long Grand Sneer as we suspected and wouldn't he have found many of these courses a great waste of time? --Old Dickens (talk) 00:14, 2 December 2013 (GMT) (From Dromandkass, apparently, so maybe from the Handbook. I'd still like confirmation. If so, I'd have to think of most as honorary degrees.} --Old Dickens (talk) 00:50, 2 December 2013 (GMT)

Ah, I see what you mean. I was relying on what was written on this wiki. I'm not familiar with the handbook. Do you mean Assassins Guild Yearbook - not that I'd know if it were included as I don't have that one. From the looks of it this is the change to the Assassins guild page that mentions it: http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=Assassins%27_Guild&diff=13110&oldid=13096.

Is there some kind of standard referencing system used on this wiki to clear up confusions like this? I've been a keen reader of this wiki for quite a while, but my joining it is quite recent so I don't really know.

EDIT: Having just had a quick look at 'The Library' - can't easily provide the link due to tablet and formatting but a quick google search for 'Havelock Vetinari Library' should show it up - under the page for Assassins it lists his qualifications as based on the Assassins Guild Yearbook.

I would also suspect that, to a mind like Vetinari's, all knowledge is useful. Looking at them I can't really see any that wouldn't be of use in some way. Political Expediancy, science of inhumation and physical education all make sense for an assassin. Master assassin might be to do with the origional qualification granted by the guild or an additional level of teaching (e.g. BSc vs Masters vs Doctrate). The more curious ones are Member of the institute of Dance and Deportment, Doctor of Music, Doctor of God Studies, Doctor of Medicine and Applied Pathology and Master of Alchemical Science, but even then I think most of these can be explained. Dance and Deportment would be useful to someone entering a rather traditional world which values such skills - and Dance would encourage a number of skills of use to an assassin . Medicine and Applied Pathology would probably teach both how to kill and understand killing methods involving quite natural means (or at least means that appear natural) as well as what to do if one encounters problems oneself - and medicine would always be useful for staying alive (especially since the Doctors of Ankh-Morpork don't seem all that great - presents the option for the physician to heal thyself). Alchemical Science would probably be akin to chemistry, and useful in understanding the substances used in the guild (poisons, antidotes, sleeping draughts, etc). Music is perhaps a curious one - but then again it might be the precise nature, the skills involved and mental challenge that would interest him (it would probably encourage nimble fingers and mind - and might be useful to bear in mind he does seem to like puzzles). God studies might be the strangest - but considering how real the Deities of the Disc are it would probably be a good idea to understand them - and it might be worth considering there have been assassins like Teatime who'd considered how to inhume anthropomorphic personifications.

If anything I'm suprised he didn't go on to get a Doctrate in Languages (which he probably has the skills for (and perhaps his understanding of Klatchian hints at this in Jingo) and seems the only potentially relevent qualification left for him to get in my mind).

Perhaps, as he learnt in the guild origionally perhaps a wide variety of skills he might have decided to go on and formalise his knowledge. On the other hand perhaps he's a life long student, constantly seeking a new challenge (which seems quite fitting considering his improvements to the city).

And, based on the age/time line discussion above and the timeline I've been working on, he may have had 7 to 17 years before becoming patrician - and theres at least a gap of 12 years between Night Watch and his assumed graduation according to The Truth - in which time he could have quite easily got quite a few qualifications. I think this would also leave time for the Grand Sneer - which might take only a year or two or three - still leaving plenty of time. Perhaps the Guild even does correspondance/distance learning/modular courses or special shorter courses that are of use to the average noble not going to go on to take the black. If he's patrician during The Colour of Magic then it seems he may have used the post graduate courses during his time as patrician. And perhaps he did extra study while at the guild initially - considering his study of Camouflage during Night Watch he seems a keen and attentive student, and perhaps once he'd reached the point where he could fail/get 100% for camouflage his attentions turned to other subjects. He really does seem an eclectic polymath. And don't forget his attitude to the books brought to him by the rat's during Guards! Guards! - 'Lacemaking through the ages'? (But that's assuming it wasn't a rebound book). The text even says 'he was not a man to ignore fresh knowledge'.

Getting back to Qualifications (having so greatly deviated from the original topic of musical instruments - perhaps this should be copied to a new thread) now we have a potential refernece for the qualifications might it be worth listing them on Vetinari's page (so we don't have to keep swapping to the Assassins Guild page to learn what he qualified in)?

--Verity (talk) 01:15, 3 December 2013 (GMT)


Just been wondering across Youtube in search of tips on how to play irish fiddle music and due to the interconnectedness of all things stumbled upon this:

Jeremy Irons learning to play the fiddle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvTxPz5L2tU

Considering he played the Patrician in The Colour of Magic in a very Vetinari like way it reminded me of this thread. Can now mentally see Vetinari playing the fiddle, and not necessarily classical.

--Verity (talk) 10:09, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Glorious Revolution

Any ideas on re-wording this to be bit better? I understood young Samuel Vimes was present, but the older self had gone back. As well, the Patrician fought in the event on the side of the Watchmen, though at a period Vimes was not present. --82.130.29.57 00:38, 24 February 2011 (CET)

Past Havelock knows Vimes is Vimes...

Having recently heard the audio book version of Night Watch, something stuck out to me about halfway through. When Vimes (posing as Keel) goes to visit Vetinari's aunt, it is revealed once Vimes/Keel leaves that Havelock knows he is called Vimes. I don't understand where he came by this information or if this is a typo or simply needs to be chalked up to Vetinari being omniscient, even in the past. Thoughts?

In the book (Corgi PB, p.256), V. refers to him as Keel. A little brain-cramp in the audiobook script, maybe? --Old Dickens (talk) 22:13, 8 April 2013 (GMT)
Ah, must be, must be. Thanks for the info.

An Explanation for Overweight Vetinari

This was just my two cents that I didn't know where-else I could post, but seeing as there were two explanations given to the massive discrepancy in weight and nature between Lord Vetinari between the initial Discworld books and subsequent tales;

When beginning his career as Patrician, Lord Vetinari perhaps felt it appropriate to maintain the image of 'here comes the old boss, same as the new boss' as in appearing somewhat plump, cold and foreboding, without weakness yet exuberant and overindulging with a penchant for candied jellyfish (a vice that could be taken advantage of come need to dispose of him).

The moment the masses perceived him to be just like the former patricians as a whole (a promising start only to lead to a spectacularly terrible finish) he could then lose the weight and vices, whipping the rug out from under the populace with such speed and skill, the majority (poor) didn't notice the change (or if they did, they didn't care), and the minority (wealthy) were in no position to point it out. --IronDino (talk) 17:16, 17 October 2013 (GMT)

A most amusing bit of trivia

I really don't know if Terry meant to do this deliberately or indeed if he was even aware of it. But in my Web meanderings, I have discovered that the American Sign Language gesture for "vagina", often used by deaf people talking among themselves to communicate displeasure at the personality, attitudes or general demotic-vagina-ness of a nearby hearing person, involves holding your hands flat, fingers together, thumbs extended, and the tips of the thumbs and forefingers touching.

In other words, steepling the fingers.

How many times does Vetinari do this in conversation with people he finds irksome, stupid or annoying? Is it a private joke? We are told Vetinari is multi-lingual, and elsewhere that Assassins have a sign-language and finger code they use among their own.... the question is, does he consciously refrain from this mannerism if he ever needs to discuss issues with the Ankh-Morpork Society For The Deaf? (unless he finds their representatives to be irksome or annoying...). I must work this into fanfic now I know of it...AgProv (talk) 12:12, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Reminds me of The Da Vinci Code film, now you point it out, although there the symbolism was the other way up to represent the feminine (i.e. a 'V' shape). Along similar lines of thought (if increasingly tenuous to the discussion re: Discworld books etc)the symbolism for the natural elements of Air (Intellect) and Fire (Spirit) (masculine elements)incorporate triangles pointing upwards - which I guess could be thought similar to steepled fingers. It certainly is an interesting idea it being code (whether private joke or designed to be interpreted/understood by someone - regardless of the meaning/symbolism - in which case, is there any consistency in the occurrence?). Then again, it could be one of those interesting 'coincidences' Narrativia has thrown in Terry's path, which he's sort of mentioned happening before. --Verity (talk) 19:20, 28 January 2014 (UTC) OK - just done a bit more googling and also found that the shape of steepled fingers could also correlate to the symbols for 'action' or 'shelter' in 'Bliss language' (Not the same Bliss referred to in The Science of Discworld IV: Judgment Day but an interesting coincidence nonetheless)--Verity (talk) 19:45, 28 January 2014 (UTC) Very sorry to post again, but rereading your post I couldn't help but wonder where it says Vetinari's multilingual. Personally I think he is, but I don't recall any direct mention in the books (except or the hint when he understands but claims not to have spoken - which is different to not being able to speak - Klatchian in Jingo ) and based on his list of qualifications there's no mention of him being a Doctor of Languages (which seems odd considering everything else he's got and the relevance of such a qualification to his occupation). --Verity (talk) 19:52, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

I remember the mention of languages as his academic "major" at the College. I can't say where it was, of course. --Old Dickens (talk) 22:57, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't know whether this is the reference your thinking of, but I've just found a mention to him studying languages at the Assassins Guild in Jingo - no mention of it being a major just 'studied' - I'd of thought if he'd majored in it it would add some letters behind his name (But then again, for all we know the list of qualifications in the Yearbook might not be exhaustive) and languages would, perhaps, be a normal (if smaller if not followed up by the pupil) part of the Guilds teachings.
--Verity (talk) 06:43, 21 February 2014 (UTC)


Sexuality

I know that there are hints that Vetinari is in some kind of relationship with Lady Margolotta, but there is a hint in Unseen Academicals that he might be gay, Glenda at one point muses that 'no one knew which side of the bed he got out of, or if he got out of bed at all', suggesting that, at least in the realm of Ankh Morpork rumour, he could be gay or a-sexual. Just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this idea? --(unsigned comment by User: Jarona 15 August 2014‎)

While I personally don't follow the idea that he's gay (ok, I'll admit it, I'm also more than a bit Havelocked so I'm not exactly inclined to think that way - though it would be typical: all the best men are gay, taken, fictional or dead, after all) perhaps this reference/rumor is a nod towards the fanfiction archives: it's hard at times to go scrolling through AO3 without seeing his Lordship embroiled in some affair or other - often enough with Vimes. As of today there are 330 works listed as featuring Vetinari, 91 of which feature a relationship (beyond normal work, if you see what I mean) with Commander Vimes, 30 of which feature a relationship with Drumknott, 2 with Von Lipwig and even one with Carrot. And that's only on AO3 - I know there's other archives out there (Fanfiction.net springs to mind). That's quite a contrast to the 9 where he's involved with Sybil Ramkin and 8 where he's involved with Margolotta. Then there's those who suggest he's bi-sexual: there's 16 works on AO3 where he's involved with Sam AND Sybil. And then there's those with Original Characters - but thats another story (literally)
What I find funny is how there's even a few fanfictions out there that play on the idea of the rumors. It's hardly surprising really: a tyrants love life is bound to attract some attention from the gossip-hungry public (and political opponents, of course).
You can even see characters in canon speculating a bit. I'd completely forgotten (or probably naively taken as read) the quote you mentioned,but there's also a bit in The Truth, for example:
"Mrs Arcanum patted her hair. 'I've always thought Lord Vetinari was a most handsome man,' she said, and then looked flustered when they all stared at her. 'I meant, I'm just a little surprised there isn't a Lady Vetinari. As it were. Ahem.'!
I think part of it is that some people don't buy to the Vetinari/Margolotta relationship - I actually remember finding a page one time that listed reasons this canon-mentioned relationship might not be active during most the canon, and thus why people might not believe in it. Even before finding that I was having my doubts: there's so much potential interference with politics to start with, and the distance might not help, but it's a useful political tool both benefit from by maintaining the illusion - You can see that in Raising Steam when certain suggestions are made a train to Uberwald would ease "political" relations - which it does, in a way, but with the Dwarves mainly.
As a result (I think), since people are still looking for someone to pair him up with (Modern Jane Austen style), Vimes and a love/hate relationship seems to be the popular option.
And there goes a chunk of what I was hoping to write as a paper one day on the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork (because studying a single fictional character of the Disc is a ton more fun than revising Phytochemistry and other Herbalism related subjects that I need to do).
--Verity (talk) 17:37, 30 March 2015 (UTC)