So I've been looking at Wuffles' age, and I think I've found an inconsistancy in the books. Reading Sourcery (with his first appearance), it states:
- ... [Vetinari] did have a small and exceedingly elderly wire-haired terrier called Wuffles that smelled badly1 and wheezed at people. It was said to be the only thing in the entire world he truly cared about.
- ...the dog Wuffles, who had been teleported along with his master, had waddled painfully across the floor and was peering short-sightedly at the wizard's boots.
- Rincewind felt a slight pressure on his foot. Wuffles, who was extremely slow on the uptake, had fastened his toothless gums on the toe of Rincewind's boot and was giving it a vicious suck.
And yet - if my timeline calculations based on the wiki, and the reference to Wuffles being 16 in The Truth are correct, there are 16 years between Sourcery (UU 1974) and The Truth (UU 1990). It would surely, therefore, be impossible for Wuffles to be elderly during Sourcery, even though he's described as such in canon. In fact, he'd be a pup. If he really were elderly during Sourcery, he'd be surely downright ancient in dog years by the time of The Truth (which given the variables in some characters life timers or magical influences etc, might still be possible).
I don't see this mentioned on the wiki page, but thought it should be mentioned somewhere.
(Personally - and this is just my head canon - I link this in as a sort-of indicator for roughly when Vetinari came to power. I'm aware it's commonly said he's meant to be Patrician during CoM, but Sourcery is his first named appearance, and there seems a fair bit going on around that time: Vetinari named and definitely in power (but perhaps in a new and thus potentially more tenuous position), sourcerer afoot, Wuffles likely born and acquired by Vetinari hereabouts ...) --Verity (talk) 00:00, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
- Wuffles being called "exceedingly elderly" in Sourcery, we can't suppose the original lasted anything like another sixteen years, so we have to accept the suggestion (posited here somewhere that I can't find) that he was replaced by a similar beast given the same name. I'm not a pet person myself and even my wife has not cloned her cats, but I believe people do this sort of thing. The Timeline is a regular aggravation; there is no prize for finding an inconsistency. - -Old Dickens (talk) 02:21, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
- Regardless the cause or explanation, there is an inconsistency within canon which the wiki page neither acknowledges nor attempts to address at present.
- By making a discussion page and raising the topic, I hoped to help amend this for those who care to consider the texts, and to create a space where relevant thoughts can be discussed (as the page type suggests). At least in doing so those who take a keen interest in the details of Discworld can be aware of the situation and the subject isn't left ignored.
- Both theories seem viable, and without solid evidence either way they can only ever remain as theories - but do seem to have a place on a page such as this.
- While inconsistencies within canon and timelines are nothing new, knowing where they may be occuring could be of use to readers. Making note of instances helps ensure we offer as much faithfully accurate information to readers as possible. --Verity (talk) 21:14, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
- That would certainly be a brilliant and well veiled but in plain sight joke, and just the sort of thing I can imagine being worked into the books. Plus, we all typically grow somewhat accustomed to our own "normal" smells, so he probably wouldn't notice as much anyway. --Verity (talk) 21:14, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
I've also been checking out the etymology. Might seem basic, but "to wuffle" means to sniff or snort. When it comes to sniffing, that seems a sort of apt name for a dog. And there I was wondering if it was because he made a wuffling sound instead of full on woofing sound at times. (which still might be possible, I guess, since some equate it to the nicker of a horse). The urban dictionary also relates it to acts of affection (non-romantic etc), a casual way to say "love" and "the sound kitties and bunnies make".
All rather sweet really. Makes me wonder if this is an example of the trope "pet the dog" to deliberately subvert Vetinari's darker reputation, or whether it's a genuine example of his softer side which might be more hinted at then fully seen (especially since we later have Mr. Fusspot, who if I remember right is described as a good judge of character, ending up with Vetinari...) --Verity (talk) 00:00, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
- I kind of think everybody in the world has completely missed the entire joke that is Havelock Vetinari. He is the most humane, enlightened and ethical ruler ever invented, and people actually have no reason to fear him the way they do. But they do fear him irrationally because of his title and not his person. To me, that is a funny joke. --Lias Bluestone (talk) 05:14, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
- I don't see it as a joke, exactly, but certainly a brilliant bit of characterisation. I wouldn't say they fear him irrationally (well, certain people seem to have cause to: he does have people assassinated and presumably executed, take part in combat, apparently have an interesting approach to justice, have an "artist" nailed to a piece of wood by the ear, and employ "Information Retrival Technicians", not to mention the situation with the Mimes) but being an efficient and at times ever so practical a ruler doesn't detract from the fact he can still be a decent person.
- Of course, having a loyal and much loved dog isn't entirely support for good morals, ethics and character (an example that springs to mind is Hitler and Blondi), but I do agree with the point you're making re: Vetinari. I wouldn't be surprised if he'd encouraged those perceptions around him that lead to fear, because the idea (even without a solid foundation in reality) still holds power. Guess that's the power of stories at work. --Verity (talk) 21:28, 24 August 2018 (UTC)