Angua von Überwald

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Angua
Angua caught out of uniform by Kit Cox
Name Delphine Angua von Überwald
Race Werewolf
Age
Occupation Sergeant, Ankh-Morpork City Watch. In I Shall Wear Midnight, has been promoted to Captain.
Physical appearance blonde, attractive
Residence lodges with Mrs. Cake
Death
Parents father, Baron Guye von Überwald (Silvertail); mother, Mme. Serafine Soxe-Bloonberg (Yellowfang) of Genua
Relatives Andrei and Wolfgang von Überwald (deceased), brothers; Elsa (deceased), sister, Uncle Ulf, Aunt Hilda, Magwen, Nancy and Unity (the pack).
Children
Marital Status Long-term relationship with Captain Carrot
Appearances
Books Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Night Watch, Thud!, Snuff
Cameos The Truth, Making Money, Going Postal, Unseen Academicals, I Shall Wear Midnight, Monstrous Regiment.


Delphine Angua von Überwald is the first werewolf in the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, hired under Lord Vetinari's "special hiring procedures", at the same time as Detritus (a troll) and Cuddy (a dwarf). Angua has a romantic connection with Carrot Ironfoundersson although she finds his politeness and ability to see everybody's point of view frustrating. Also, she isn't always sure of his character. Whilst he appears constantly sincere, simple and literal, occasionally a more complex and manipulative character emerges. (see The Fifth Elephant).

Now a captain, Angua has a reliable nose and can track any thief, killer, or miscellaneous miscreants. In wolf form, the sense of smell of a werewolf takes the driving seat and the smells in the environment are mapped onto the mind as a human would perceive different colored lights by the sense of sight. For species that a werewolf is familiar with (humans, dwarfs, wolves, dogs...), a werewolf can also distinguish strong emotions (fear, worry, etc.) and know what gender the person is by smell. Angua, therefore, often goes plainclothes to a crime scene to get a sniff.

Most people who don't know about werewolves and haven't heard of a werewolf in the Watch perceive Angua, when in wolf form, to be a very beautiful dog. Carrot once thought she was a Ramtops wolfhound. This was at a time when he hadn't made the connection between Angua and the purebreed dog who seemed far too grand to be hanging around with something like Gaspode. (Who lives in hope that he may become, er, part of an intimate sniffing arrangement with Angua in her canine form...) At another time, she was taken by the Klatchians to be a pedigree Klatchistan hound. In fact, the size and shape of Angua's wolf form fully indicates a very strong wolf, but city people do not believe there will be wolves within the city walls and, therefore, the very large canine they are seeing must be some kind of a dog, not a wolf. Among the criminal fraternity however, word has circulated that there is a werewolf in the watch. Smart criminals try to escape her by dropping scent bombs.

Angua's family is a noble house in Überwald. Her father is Baron Guye von Überwald and her mother is Lady Serafine from another noble werewolf family in Genua. Angua's siblings are: brother Wolfgang, proper, changing (bimorph) werewolf, power-mad and doesn't know when to give up; sister Elsa, yennork stuck in human shape, dead, with strong indication of Wolfgang's involvement; brother Andrei von Überwald yennork stuck in wolf shape, ran away from home, currently a champion sheepdog in Borogravia.

Angua, too, ran away from home and had been roaming from city to city, never settling down because she could find neither a good job nor a good, accepting boyfriend. When she came to Ankh-Morpork, while very attractive, she decided against joining the Seamstresses' Guild. The Ankh-Morpork City Watch was recruiting members of all species and ethnicities to maintain an image of a cosmopolitan organization embracing diversity and then putting the recruited members in the Night Watch, a division of riffraffs that did nothing and remained unseen by all other citizens. Angua joined. For most of the published books so far she is a sergeant, but by the time of I Shall Wear Midnight, has since been promoted to Captain.

Angua is an intelligent, observant character, which puts her in Vimes's trust in ability and he arguably sees her as something of a daughter, (The Truth). Further, they share the same confusion in Carrot's unfaltering charisma. She is constantly on guard against her animalistic instincts. She strives to be a vegetarian (at least in human form) and pays for the chickens she eats as a wolf, because animals don't. The mix in Werewolves between a human and a wolf produces dog-like characteristics, and this is also something she struggles to control. She has occasional dog-like habits and problems; she finds Mr. Fusspot's squeaky bone toy hard to put down in Making Money, and I Shall Wear Midnight reveals that Mrs. Proust prescribes a remedy for her hard pad each month.

Angua apparently has some kind of lasting bond with Carrot, as she was able to detect that Carrot had been hurt in Men at Arms. It can be said that her relationship with Carrot goes beyond simply being his girlfriend. The exact nature of this relationship is sometimes debatable. After all, what does one call a wolf who is completely loyal to her human?

Probable Sources

Based on clues left throughout the Discworld books, Cpt. Angua has a few probable sources: Gerald of Wales' The History and Topography of Wales (including werewolves from Ossory), Marie de France's "Bisclavret," the anonymous Arthur and Gorlagon, and the anonymous Romance of William of Palerne. The latter three all involving nobleman-werewolves who are all victims of crimes they are required to solve. Playing with the tradition, Pratchett takes Gerald's Irish countryside werewolves and moves them into London. In his usual satirical style, he also changes the gender of his primary werewolf (all Classical, medieval, and early modern werewolves are male). This gender change allows him to introduce pre-lunar tension (PLT) as a stand-in for PMS as well.

Also, don't underestimate feminist author Angela Carter's twentieth- century take on the werewolf mythos, where in both book and film, the Little Red Riding Hood fable is used to establish an explicit association between menarche and the coming of the werewolf. The film version is an extremely atmospheric, genuinely creepy, horror story called The Company of Wolves.

Theoretical Inspiration

A common discussion topic in Britain is the phenomenon of "urban foxes" – ie, smaller feral canines who have escaped the vagaries of rural life by moving into the cities and exploiting a niche, i.e. colonising urban green spaces, foraging for food, ripping open bin-bags, tipping over dustbins, serving a useful purpose by helping keep down lesser vermin (i.e. rats and mice). While Angua would never stoop so low as to knock over a dustbin (she has her pride), she certainly does contribute to keeping 'vermin' off the streets. With a small but growing population of city-dwelling semi-lupines, has Pratchett upped the stakes here by introducing urban wolves to Ankh-Morpork?

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