I'll happily bow to the professional judgement of a fellow researcher who is professionally studying the myths and legends associated with the Werewolf.
My original edit of the article included the following:-
If only fire and silver can kill a werewolf, it raises an interesting question about the method used by Samuel Vimes to despatch a rogue werewolf. Vimes used a signal rocket, effectively a large firework, knowing the canine instinct cannot resist chasing and catching however intelligent the mind otherwise is. Silver salts are sometimes used in fireworks. This could be viewed as just making sure, perhaps. (Are the chemical compounds of silver as effective - or even more efficacious - as the pure metal in warding off werewolves?)
While I would still consider this presents an interesting line of inquiry (surely in keeping with the spirit of the Discworld, which encourages its students to think outside the box?), I'll go with Dweren's opinion that this may not be valid here. I would consider it should persist here on the discussion pages, though, as other things occur to me on a related theme.
Could a Werewolf ever use a camera, for instance, or handle film-stock, as monochrome film depends on a high silver nitrate content to work effectively? A Werewolf version of Otto Schriek would also have a disadvantage with using a camera, but the peril here is presented by the nature of ther film and not by the flash.
After all, the folk legend that silver is one of only two things that hurts werewolves derives from an age before the modern study of chemistry. In the alchemical days of the middle ages, I'd hazard a bet that only the pure elemental form of silver was known, and not much was known about its chemical compounds, if anything?
It could perhaps be argued that the mediaeval mindset that knew beech bark was good for headaches also knew that pure silver was bad for werewolves. But just as it would take a few hundred years to realise that salicyclic acid derived from birch bark was even better for a headache, could a mediaeval mindset be yet to realise that, for eg, silver nitrate might be even more potent at clobbering a lycanthrope? (Regard the difference between the element - pure chlorine gas - which kills in hours. The next refinement is the simple chlorine compound phosgene/mustard gas - which kills in minutes; and then the complex chlorine compounds found in nerve gas - which kills in seconds. It is not unreasonable to wonder if there may be a similar progression from elemental silver to a complex compound which would be equally deadly to werewolves.)
And put the two together, ie a firework containing silver salts, then as Vimes discovered (or reasoned beforehand), you have some thing that really spoils a werewolf's day...--AgProv 10:58, 31 July 2007 (CEST)
"a.k.a. Ruston" - what have I missed here?
Offspring of Humans and Werewolves
In Feet of Clay, Dragon King of Arms states that the genetics (how do they know about them on the Discworld?!) of werevolves aren't straightforward. Thus, he is very mindful that Carrot and Angua could have "puppies" and a future king would might really called "Rex". I wonder: Is he referring to yennorks in the shape of wolves, or one step further, yennorks in the form of dogs? --EinFritz (talk) 12:40, 17 October 2013 (GMT)
Something along those lines, probably, although I doubt that he quite understands it. As for genetics, it was once stated that the wizards started researching genetics but never got far (I don't remember where). What confuses me is yennorks going to wolf clans. I thought that wolves could tell werewolves apart from other wolves and, apart from a few exceptions, hated werewolves. --Confusion (talk) 06:15, 26 December 2013 (GMT)