Talk:The Horseman's Word

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

Isn't "unicorn stallion" redundant? They seem to be the only example of parthenogenesis by a male animal. --Old Dickens 00:09, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Good point, when you look at the unabridged, unabashed, non-nonsense unicorn in the source mythology. I doubt very much if a unicorn mare might be entranced by a human maiden who has not known man, for instance. If she were, this opens up numerous cans containing vermiform life!

I think a lot can be blamed on the slightly more whimsical end of the fantasy fiction bookshelf, such as (for instance) Piers Anthony, who has whole herds of unicorns roaming around Planet Photon. (not to mention the treacle patch of Xanth). While PA's unicorns undoubtedly have magic, they also rigidly conform to the social and heirarchical structure witnessed in herds of feral horses on Earth: only the established Herd Stallion gets to mate with the choice mares, so other lesser stallions in the herd either put up with this, get their jollies illicitly, or leave the Herd to set up a sub-herd of their own - if they can. In such set-ups, you get the full spread of mares and foals, despite what the unabridged mythology tells us. And generations of romantic writers have tried to recast the unicorn as a slightly magickal horse with a pointier nose than normal... --AgProv 02:17, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

But would a female unicorn be amenable to a young stud, untried in the lists of love? There's no tradition there. --Old Dickens 02:24, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Piers Anthony (in the Adept series about Planet Proton) seems to have made a fairly decent stab at working out what happens in Unicorn society. Maybe he's creating the tradition in this respect? The dominant Herd Stallion is the only set of genes in town - any female refusing him is cast out of the Herd and away from its protection. Any lesser male who gets to a female before the Herd Stallion may be called out and killed by him. Any male who voluntarily leaves the Herd may without penalty mate with any female who is similarly outcast - in fact, this is how new Herds bud off. Oh, and in the Piers Anthony universe, all unicorns are were-human: they prefer the equine form but may turn human at will. As to whether a female who has only known the Herd Stallion could be bothered with a necessarily inexperienced lesser male... open question. PA (as I recall) has both states happen in his herds. Must go back and re=read "Adept"... --AgProv 02:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

...taking the view that they are animalia. I might suggest that they're like unto the other manifestations of belief, from Gnomes to gods, created from the fears and fantasies of pubescent girls and requiring no reproductive system. --Old Dickens 03:12, 31 January 2010 (UTC)


Straight cribbing from Wikipedia in the annotation here: not really cricket. --Old Dickens (talk) 01:29, 18 December 2013 (GMT)