Tump House

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One of the four newer all-female houses at the Assassins' Guild school. The House Mistress is Miss Alice Band.

apparently House members are nicknamed the Tumpers.


Something of a puzzler, as in the case of the other female Houses at the A.G. School, their underlying symbolism (to poisonous animals of indeterminate temperament, or just with a general bad reputation) are easily worked out.

Here, the Tump is a long-established feature of the Ankh landscape, formerly a royal castle/palace but which has been allowed to collapse into uninhabited ruin. Symbolic of the fall of dynasties, the collapse of the mighty, and how one little push, let's say of the sort an Assassin is uniquely qualified to give, may bring it all crashing in ruins?

Most recently the Tump has been rebuilt with a mighty tower, a business centre used as the hub of the Grand Trunk clacks network. again, symbolically rather than actually, the actions of one person brought it all crashing down.

In the context of deadly women, could there be a mysterious resonance with Roundworld multi-millionairess Ivana Trump here, who was more than a match for husband Donald (builder of the Trump Tower) when their falling-out happened?

In general, in the British public school system of which the Discworld schools are a reflection, a house name is conferred as a sort of exemplar, which house members are expected to ponder the meaning and significance of and model themselves upon. It can be a person or quality or animal seen to have perceived virtues and graces which the pupils are expected to assimilate. Therefore Tump alumni should not be incorporated as business partners without a great deal of thought and reflection?

Of course, another part of the puzzle is in Terry Pratchett's notes to Kidby's illustrations in The Art of Discworld. In the section on the Assassin's Guild, but nowhere else, Terry himself explicitly refers to the creation of a (Praying) Mantis House as one of the new Houses for girl pupils. He also assigns Alice Band as its housemistress. The Praying Mantis is another of those rather attitudinal females who promptly eat their male just after sex and fertilisation of its eggs. This would fit the pattern for female Houses, of Raven, Black Widow, et c, far better than Tump does. Yet Mantis house is referred to nowhere else in the canon: the authorised list of Houses of Study would appear to be that related in the main entry on the Assassins' Guild. Is this to remain a puzzler until new evidence emerges? --AgProv 09:31, 1 June 2009 (UTC)