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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Great Fictional Characters: Granny Weatherwax

Continuing with the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2015

G is for Granny Weatherwax- who else?

"Witches are not by nature gregarious, at least with other witches, and they certainly don't have leaders. Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn't have."

Granny is just awesome. Imagine the meanest school nurse and the kindest aunty and the teacher who just "got" you and you'd only be halfway there to how cool she is.

Considered by many (including herself) to be the most powerful witch on the Disc, Granny Weatherwax rarely resorts to actual magic, preferring "Headology" to sort out most problems. That's not to say she can't wield magic when necessary, though. In order to save Lancre from the murderous (and frankly bonkers) Duke Felmet, she moved the entire kingdom forward in time by fifteen years, so as to give the rightful heir time to grow up and claim the throne. But turning someone into a frog is so much more effort than making them think they are a frog, which is also a whole lot more effective (and amusing). Granny's dry sense of humour makes Jack Dee look like Ken Dodd.

Artist credit

Yes, Granny has a wicked side.

But she deals with it: knowing the darkness within herself, she keeps it on a tight leash and only lets herself go when really necessary.

The trouble is, you see, that if you do know Right from Wrong you can’t choose Wrong. You just can’t do it and live... I could leave him with a mind like a scrambled egg, listening to colours and hearing smells… if I was bad. Oh, yes. But I can’t do none of that stuff. That wouldn’t be right.”

Right isn't always easy, though- and it takes a will of iron to control all that power. Granny has all the hallmarks of a "bad witch" (except for the warts- her skin remains annoyingly clear and smooth): a quick temper and sharp tongue, a competitive and prideful nature, an abundance of confidence and the unshaking conviction of her own superiority. It's a good job she's so determined to be Good.

"If I’d been as bad as you, I’d have been a whole lot worse. Better at it than you’ve ever dreamed of.”

Granny's own brand of tough love has been dealt out through at least seven Discworld novels (my personal favourite being Wyrd Sisters- mainly for the scenes at the theatre) and she's probably the character I identify most with from the Disc. Should that be worrying? I think not. Behind the steely-blue gaze that causes logs to combust out of embarrassment lies a golden heart that knows the best way to look after her community is to give them what they need, not what they want.

“Heartless it may be, but headless it ain’t. I’ve never claimed to be nice, just to be sensible.”


  1. I am enjoying your A t0 Z Blogs. I had never heard of the challenge before, and found out about it the day before it started, so I have no theme and no idea what I'm going to write each day, so I'm scattered. But I LOVE the characters you are choosing--many are new to me, but Dorothy and Christine are among my favorites from my reading history. (When I read "Chrisitne" there was a car similar in color and style parked near my entrance to work one day (it had never been there before, and I never saw it there again)--I skirted it nervously.)

    1. Thank you! What a lovely thing to say (about my a to z- not being stalked by Christine!) Blogging sometimes feels like shouting into the void so it's wonderful when something I blog connects with someone. I'm really enjoying this theme too, although I have too many S and Ts and no Q, U, V or Z... Any suggestions? And don't worry about being scattered- it can be very freeing! Good luck! xxx


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