Wee Mad Arthur

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Wee Mad Arthur
Wee mad Arthur.PNG
Name Wee Mad Arthur
Race Pictsie (by birth),
Gnome (by upbringing)
Age
Occupation Rat Catcher, later Watchman
Physical appearance
Residence Gleam Street, Ankh-Morpork
Death
Parents
Relatives
Children
Marital Status
Appearances
Books Feet of Clay, I Shall Wear Midnight, Snuff
Cameos


Wee Mad Athur has been described as an urbanised Nac Mac Feegle, although he was raised as a gnome. Fiendishly strong, and suspiciously Geordie, he kills rats for free (because he can sell them on to the many dwarfish eateries in the city), though he is not a member of the Ratcatchers' Guild.

He lived primarily in the sewers of Ankh-Morpork. After an encounter with Fred Colon Arthur was hired as a special Watchman. His Watch helmet is a converted salt shaker, and he uses a full-size Watchman's badge as a shield.

His association with the Watch persisted all the way up to I Shall Wear Midnight, when Carrot used him as the city's last line of defence against raiding Feegle (who were wrecking a pub). Arthur took on thirty Feegle and won, testament to his fighting ability and suicidal lunacy. He knocked out and arrested Rob Anybody, Daft Wullie, and Big Yan in quick succession.

Raised as a gnome, sadly Arthur was no good at shoe repairs - he later learned that this was because he was actually a Pictsie, just like the wee free men he had arrested. However, being free of the cultural influence left him very well educated and, well, clean. After spending some time with the clan though, he decided to take a leave-of-absence from the Ankh-Morpork City Watch for the present time, and embrace his inner Feegle. This, of course, opens-up the possibility of a new Watch to be founded in the hills of The Chalk...

In Snuff he had returned to the Watch and had been taught Feegle secrets such as the craw-step, which he used to travel to Howandaland to investigate the tobacco plantation there. He uncovered the slavery and death of the Goblin captives and was able to single-handedly subdue the human slavers and free the surviving Goblins. He was congratulated on his actions by Commander Vimes, especially as he had left the slavers alive, with Vimes implying he would have shown less self-control.

It's also mentioned in Snuff that he enjoys the occasional visit to the ballet and can read a menu in Quirmian, the ability to read being significant alone considering it's a seemingly limited trait among the Nac mac Feegles.

Annotation

  • Interesting that WMA should be identified as a Geordie: the animosity between Jocks (Scottish) and Geordies (North Eastern English, Newcastle), across the old Scottish-English border, is historically a fact, and is possibly reflected in WMA's attitude to the Feegle raiding on his turf. A long running comic strip in British children's comic The Dandy was in fact called The Jocks and the Geordies - relating to the eternal cross-border war.
  • We are told that the biggest, hardest, dog in town and one-time leader of the Dogs' Guild (until defeated by Big Fido) was a one-eyed rottweiler called Mad Arthur. Could this be the ultimate origin of the name Wee Mad Arthur for a fighting-mad gnome/Pictsie?

Trivia

  • In Snuff, Wee Mad Arthur's name is translated in Quirmian as "Petit Fou Artour".