Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rosie's Riveters: Ana & Granny Weatherwax

Rosie's Riveters is a weekly posting written by Booklust readers about riveting females in literature. Many readers have strong reactions to the women in the books they read- either very positive or very negative. These are the characters we find riveting, for good reasons or bad ones, and they form the population of Rosie's Riveters. Through this weekly post, we can discuss females we love to hate, or love to love. And maybe, just maybe- we can determine why we react so strongly to them.

If you are interested in participating, please comment on this post, e-mail me, or just fill out the template below and send it to me. Participants are always welcomed and encouraged!

This week's guest poster writes under Nymeth at her excellent blog things mean a lot. Ana has been blogging for a while and is one of those people that all book bloggers just seem to "know." She writes really beautiful, thoughtful reviews of all sorts of books, but I personally love her fantasy reviews. She is also co-hosting the 24 hour read-a-thon this weekend, for those of you taking part! For those of you who haven't been to her blog, I highly recommend a visit. Ana's really a very kind person and has become a good blogging friend and now she even does vlogs... I don't know if she'll continue doing them, but she's done one, at least :-)

Who is your Riveter?
Granny Weatherwax

What book does she feature in?
Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. She has cameos in many books, but
she's mainly featured in the Witches of Lancre sub-series. She also
appears in the Tiffany Aching books, though she's mainly in the
background there.

Do you love her or hate her?

I LOVE her!

Describe her personality- how would you describe her to a friend?

This is actually quite difficult, but I shall do my best: Granny
Weatherwax is the oldest member of the small group of Lancre Witches.
The townspeople are a bit scared of her, probably due to the fact that
she's not really a friendly or pleasant person. But she is
kind. She has a very strong sense of ethics, and even though she doesn't let many people become close to her - the only one she's truly close to is probably Nanny Ogg - she never treats anyone like they're beneath her. She respects people in a quiet and genuine sort of way. She's a very no-nonsense person, not to mention incredibly
smart. She's also a very complex, multi-faceted character, so I'm leaving lots of things out!

Can you compare her to a celebrity?
Ha, I don't think so, no. I don't think there's anyone quite
like Granny Weatherwax.

What makes her riveting?

Her intelligence, her ethics, and the fact that she's truly kind in her own way. Nobody has any reason to fear her UNLESS they've been hurting other people. She's very just, and also very powerful - but she never lets herself forget that with power comes responsibility.

What do you most admire/despise about her?
I love the fact that even though she could very easily be arrogant and
even tyrannical, she really isn't. She knows that she's more powerful,
and in many ways stronger, smarter and more knowledgeable, than most
of the people who surround her. But she also knows that this doesn't
make her better than them in any way, nor does it give her the right
to interfere in their lives. She's always willing to help anyone who
comes to her (interestingly, while Nanny Ogg is there at the beginning
as a very competent midwife, Granny Weatherwax is the one they call at
the end), but she doesn't think she Knows Best. One of my favourite
Discworld books, Witches Abroad, is exactly about what happens
when a powerful witch becomes convinced that she knows what's best for
people, and can therefore run their lives. We get a glimpse of what
Granny Weatherwax could have become if not for her deep respect for
people's right to make their own decisions, be they stupid or wise.

Would you recommend reading the book in which the Riveter features?

Yes, definitely! The first book she's featured in is Equal
, but Terry Pratchett himself has said that's more of a
character study than a first appearance of the Granny Weatherwax we
see later in the series. It's still a fantastic book, though, and I
would recommend it as a starting point. Just bear in mind that she
gets even more interesting!

Do you have a quote by or about your Riveter that you'd like to share?

"She hated everything that predestinated people, that fooled them,
that made them slightly less then human.
'You can't go around building a better world for people. Only people
can build a better world for people. Otherwise it is just a cage...'"

From Witches Abroad.


  1. I love Granny Weatherwax. We called our bunny Esme, she is mean tempered and anti social. Perhaps we should have named her for Nanny Ogg.

  2. haha good one :)
    Sadly I can't remember him since they only one I remember from those books is death

  3. I love her, too, but I haven't seen a lot of her yet! Great post, Ana!

  4. Fabulous riveter, Ana! I love Granny Weatherwax too.

  5. Hagelrat, that is fabulous. Maybe if you get another pet :-)

    Blodeudd, I strongly believe Death as personified by Pratchett is the best Death there is. He could, after all, murder a curry.

  6. Thank you so much for having me, Aarti!

    Death is probably my favourite Discworld character, but Granny Weatherwax is a VERY close second!

    And a bunny named Esme - I love it :D

  7. I definitely need to go back and read the Discworld books now (especially since it has been a few years since my Discworld phase and new books have been added).

    My favourite character has always been Death too (or perhaps the GrimSqueeker) but the witches were awesome too.

    Thank you for a great character study

    And thanks to Aarti for such a great feature. I've added this blog to my must reads.

  8. ahh, i have to continue with this series. i've only read book one but don't remember this character. looking forward to meeting in the the rest of discworld.

  9. I have never read a Discworld book, but every time someone reviews one, I start thinking that these would be perfect for me. After reading this Riveter's post I am feeling that way again! Great post!

  10. Nymeth, this is such a fantastic choice for a riveter!

    Death is my absolute favourite character from this series. I really must read more from Pratchett and soon! A couple of years ago I thought about starting from the beginning and reading my way through them.

    Maybe there should be a Terry Pratchett reading challenge!

  11. Anonymous10/24/2009

    Granny rocks! (And not just in Soul Music) - a Terry Pratchett reading challenge sounds great, especially since I am now reading Unseen Academicals.


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