Agnes Nitt is the "maiden" in the coven of Lancre.
|Physical appearance||Short, fat, rosy complexion, good hair, great personality|
|Residence||Mad Stoat, Lancre|
|Parents||Terminal Thomas; mother|
|Relatives||unnamed brother, Aunt May in Creel Springs, uncles Primal and Decimal|
|Books||Lords and Ladies, Maskerade, Carpe Jugulum, The Shepherd's Crown|
Agnes is the daughter of Terminal Thomas 'Threepenny' Nitt. As a child, Agnes had always blamed "the other little girl" for the wrong things that she did. This may have been the beginning of Agnes' second persona Perdita.
At the age of 17 Agnes was a member of an amateur coven led by Lucy Tockley. Lucy renamed herself Diamanda to sound more occult, and this inspired Agnes to create the alias of Perdita. At the time Agnes was short with a naturally rosy complexion, a great personality, and good hair. At some point in her upbringing Agnes was trained in singing - very informally and after a fashion - by Nanny Ogg. Agnes eventually traveled to Ankh-Morpork to find a more exciting life. She was able to support herself for a time singing in taverns and eventually auditioned to join the Ankh Morpork Opera. Before moving to live in at the Opera House, Agnes lodged at 4 Treacle Mine Road. Her audition piece - a Morporkian rendition of the heartfelt Brindisian ballad, la Canzone di Riccio(1) - as taught to her by her mentor Dame Ogg - won her a place as a singer. Her career at the Opera House consisted largely of 'ghosting' roles for a less competent singer, Christine. Agnes eventually left the Opera House at the conclusion of the events in Maskerade.
Agnes currently tours as a singer with a theatrical company and practising witch from her base in Quirm, as of the events in The Shepherd's Crown.
Perdita X. Dream
The pseudonym 'Perdita X Dream' which Agnes created during her time in Lucy Tockley's coven, and used as her stage name while an Opera singer, eventually developed into a full blown second personality. During the events recorded in Lords and Ladies, Agnes plays only a small part and Perdita is not yet much beyond an alternative personality; in Maskerade she shows much more independence, but still seems like a unusually well-formed 'voice on the shoulder', thinking naughty thoughts. It is only in Carpe Jugulum that Agnes and Perdita appear as fully separate personalities. She is almost unique among the witches in having a second personality - this granted her a partial immunity to mind influence by vampires.
The Agnes/Perdita split, like Agnes's singing voice, may be an artifact of Agnes's latent magical abilities. Agnes describes Perdita as the voice inside her which wants to do all the fun things that she wouldn't normally do. Agnes gave this inner personality a separate name. The reason for this, at least according to those who are inclined to casual cruelty, is that: "Inside a fat girl there is a thin girl and a lot of chocolate. Agnes's thin girl was Perdita." Agnes regards Perdita as vain, selfish and vicious. Perdita regards Agnes as a "fat, pathetic, weak-willed blob that people would walk all over were she not so steep." Perdita does not seem to ever have made any attempts to leave Agnes's body however, and merely remains inside and dreams ridiculous daydreams.
While it seems to be a one-time mention, it is said in Maskerade that the Lancrastian natives refer to Perdita as 'Perditax,' combining the first name and middle initial. Granny even does this at one point, though she is corrected by Nanny Ogg, who feels as if people ought to call themselves what they want.
According to Agnes, the 'X' stands for "someone who has a cool and exciting middle initial," something she sticks to throughout the events of Maskerade, though when she auditions she thinks that she is "probably stuck with the 'Nitt.'"
Agnes has lots of hair. Good, big hair in fact. Well not so much big hair as enormous hair, as if it is trying to counterbalance her body. It is glossy, never splits, and is extremely well-behaved, except for a tendency to eat combs.
Easily swayed by her more imaginative friends, young Agnes wore black, had a black hat with a veil and even a black hanky (considered by Nanny Ogg to be "good for hiding the bogeys"), giving the effect of a small, low-riding thunderstorm. Even after she parted ways with Diamanda and the others, Perdita retained her liking for black, considering it "cool". Agnes however, now "thought that black was not a good colour for the circumferentially-challenged, and that 'cool' was a dumb word used only by people whose brains couldn't fit a spoon".
Despite her love of black, she still had two shelves of soft, cuddly toys at home with her mother.
Agnes, unlike most of her friends in the coven, did actually possess some magical talent, and as so often happens, magical talent given no exercise finds an outlet in other forms of expression. In Agnes's case it focused on her incredible singing voice, giving her the somewhat disquieting ability to reproduce practically any pitch and even to sing in harmony with herself ("Perdita had rather a reedy voice, but insisted on joining in").
As a Witch
After realising that without Magrat available to be bossed around and make tea for them, what with her being Queen and all, Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax decided that Agnes would be an ideal choice for a new third witch. Unfortunately for them, however, Agnes had just left for the Ankh-Morpork Opera House to pursue her unnatural talent. After the events of Maskerade transpired, Agnes began to realise that one has little choice when magic calls, and also that when choosing between someone with amazing talent, a great personality and good hair, and someone who merely looks stunning, the world doesn't hesitate either. She then took over the cottage and steading in Mad Stoat and the role of "maiden" in the Lancre coven. Recently, as noted in The Shepherd's Crown, Agnes balances her witchcraft role with her full-time job as a singer.