Talk:Zlorf Flannelfoot

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

Of course, the other reasons why public schools, &c, offer limited scholarships to the exceptionally gifted but dirt-poor and socially unconnected can be summed up as follows:-

  • A few seriously bright kids will do the exam results no harm and offset the damage caused by the rich, socially connected, fully-paid-up but unfortunately thick students who are the school's bread and butter; to extend the metaphor, this is the jam that disguises the stale bread... this offers the illusion of academic excellence.
  • It makes for good PR and we can display them prominently, to prove we really are concerned about social divisions and lack of upward mobility in our society, this is our contribution to social justice but alas, we can only do so much;
  • The rest of the underclass (The ones who have read Enid Blyton's Malory Towers, Frank Richard's Billy Bunter and J.K. Rowling's opus, and who have been conditioned by this to believe there is something special and romantic about a boarding school education they will never have) can hope, as they hope to one day win the Lottery. This staves off social unrest from people who are deflected from seeing that life for the vast majority of them will remain unchanged;
  • If said underclass produces such bright buggers from time to time, they're potentially dangerous, so we'd better keep them where we can see them and make absolutely sure they aren't left to their own devices, where they might start asking questions, or going into the wrong sort of politics, or worse, become revolutionaries. (This is traditionally the way in which the British ruling establishment has managed threats from the British non-establishment: by inviting them in and re-educating them. This has two useful consequences: potential enemies become part of the elite and it becomes against their interests to fight against it. The British Establishment is also periodically refreshed by an influx of carefully selected new brains and talent and its gene pool thrives as a result).--AgProv 20:55, 30 October 2007 (CET) being cynical.

Continuity and timeline

How far back before the "present" does The Colour of Magic go? A very tenuous argument can be made to support Word of God - Terry's repeated assertion that Vetinari was indeed the Patrician at this time. (Indeed, I've tried to resolve this in a fanfic The Beginning).

But if Vetinari is - as a general consensus - in his middle fifties now, the events of The Colour of Magic cannot reasonably be much further than thirty years in the "past". We know at this time, Patrician Winder gave way to Patrician Snapcase, as per events in Night Watch.

And it is clearly stated that at this time, the Master of Assassins was Doctor Follett. Who was Master at the time of the Glorious Revolution. And the Guild here is definitely an upmarket, socially exclusive and prestigious, organisation unlikely to allow a gutter scholarship boy to make it to the very top. Again I suppose we're arguing with incomplete evidence, but theres' a suspicion that two seperate timelines are mingling, a leg of the Trousers of Time is inside out, and we have two seperate Guild Masters both of whom were in office at the same time.. the only way around it, if we go with Terry and accept the Patrician was vetinari, is to postulate that Flannelfoot suceeded Follett and the Guild went down-market for a while - maybe it just needed ruthlessness at that time.

If the Patrician of The Colour of Magic turns out not to be Vetinari, we can set the action back for another ten-fifteen years into the time of Winder or maybe even his predecessor, and have Flannelfoot precede Follet - until the Guild got sick of his earthy ways and nominated a successor more in keeping with its social mores...--AgProv 12:38, 29 July 2011 (CEST)

The Discworld Timeline has Night Watch occuring seven years before The Colour of Magic, which is interesting, as gut feeling would put them the other way about. There is a reference in Night Watchto "these Wizards are not the fat and friendly bumblers you know. They are powerful and dangerous" or similar, which fits the pre-Ridcully vibe of UU. So by this timelline, Follet is eventually succeeded as Master, within seven years, by the downmarket Zlorf Flannelfoot, which as above, seems strange...--AgProv 12:45, 29 July 2011 (CEST)