Kingdoms wobble, crowns topple and knives flash on the magical Discworld as the statutory three witches meddle in royal politics The wyrd sisters battle against frightful odds to put the rightful king on the throne At least, that's what they think

10 thoughts on “Wyrd Sisters

  1. Mario the lone bookwolf Mario the lone bookwolf says:

    The innuendos to Shapespeares´work are the icing on the cake of the 2nd witch story.

    The normal Pratchett universe is already filled with deeper meanings and hidden treasures of pop culture references, innuendos, and ironic criticism, but if the motive is satirizing one of the most famous writers of all time, tears can be laughed in vast amounts. How the Discworld characters are used in the roles of the classic telling is ingenious and hilarious and the complex character constellations don´t come too short too.

    The very old classics and many of the newer ones from the 19th and 20th century have mostly become targets for and of satire, as the behavior, motives, even not so much the language, seem so bizarre, stubborn, and weird from the point of view of modern thinking (for the few ones who practice it) that the originals are always good for a laugh. It´s very hard to imagine that people really acted like that and that the idealized description was far away from the real life, everything was pretty messed up, and it seems incredible that many idealized the ideologies of these times as good and worthwhile until far into the 20th and 21st century.

    The core of comedy is suffering and most of the classics, written for the wealthy elite, showcase what was seen as normal and appropriate behavior, but is nothing more than absolutely ridiculous. Not all classics, of course, but this problem of subliminal messaging is a plague in these genres, the wealthy and beautiful people liked their literary ivory towers and loss of reality as least as much as the real counterparts.

    Brothers´Grimm and Hamlet are in the house too and show that it´s quite true that close to every story has already been told and that it´s a question of remixing and reinterpreting to make new, even better works using interbreeding them with other genres and plotlines. Pratchett used everything he could find, classics, social criticism, legends, modern topics, and amalgamated them to his immensely dense universe.

    How childrens´ books and stories were written these days comes close to traumatizing compared to the positive psychology of todays´ genre literature standards, that have no nightmare fuel horror elements fueling PTSD anymore. Especially the old, original, not softened versions are pretty hardcore and it says much about the mentality of these days that they were often also used to indoctrinate before they became fictional literature.

    Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:

    This one is added to all Pratchettian reviews:
    The idea of the dissected motifs rocks, highlighting the main real world inspirational elements of fiction and satire is something usually done with so called higher literature, but a much more interesting field in readable literature, as it offers the joy of reading, subtle criticism, and feeling smart all together.

  2. Leslie Leslie says:

    How have I never read Terry Pratchett before? He's like ... Shakespeare and Wodehouse and Monty Python all wrapped into one!

    A student gave me this book while we were studying Macbeth in class. Wyrd Sisters is a sort of parallel story, which manages to poke fun at the play, revere the play, make inside jokes about the play, and ... well, generally turn the play on its head. All the while, you, the reader, get to feel very smart and superior for getting all the jokes and allusions.

    And yet it manages to avoid being gimmicky. It really is a good story with good characters, too. This is no Life of Brian where the story itself matters less than the hilarity of the parody. Wyrd Sisters may draw a good deal of life from Macbeth, but its real liveliness comes from Pratchett's skilled characterizations of a regicidal Duke, his murderess Dutchess, their depressed Fool, and three very colorful witches.

    Oh, it's just genius. My only problem is figuring out what Pratchett novel to read next ... he's dauntingly prolific!

  3. Lyn Lyn says:

    Shakespeare on the Discworld.

    Truth be told, and all due respect to Rincewind, but I am partial to Sir Terry’s Discworld Witches.

    Granny Weatherwax returns from Equal Rites to star in another novel, this time in Pratchett’s 1988 entry into the Discworld universe, Wyrd Sisters, his sixth Discworld novel and the second to feature Weatherwax and her sister witches.

    Nanny Ogg gives her a run for her money though.

    Pratchett provides Granny Weatherwax with a return visit and introduces two of her sisters, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick as the second and third witches to stand in for the three-witch coven triumvirate (maiden, mother, and crone). We also get to visit with Death (a recurring character in many of the Discworld books) and the Unseen University’s orangutan Librarian.

    Pratchett pays loving homage to The Bard with clear references to Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear and an overall theme of wordsmithing to give Discworld fans a touch of Shakespeare. There is even a character named Hwel who does the Discworld services of a traveling playwright.

    But as in all of the Discworld novels, Sir Terry and his flavorful English humor narration is the real protagonist. Reading this, I smiled frequently and laughed out loud at least a couple times.

    A very good read.


  4. Adrian Adrian says:

    A definite candidate for “book of the month “, review to follow later, football allowing 😬

    Well in the end it wasn't the football that delayed me, I was delayed by only my second ever migraine, so apologies if this is a bit of a mushy/nonsensical review as my brain still feels like cotton wool 🤕

    Right, lets see, witty, well written, amusing anecdotes, Shakespeare/real life parody, DEATH, witches it has to be Terry Pratchett. I know I read this book many years ago , but I didn't remember any of it, and in my personal challenge of reading a Discworld novel every month, this has to be my favourite so far (I think I said that last month ha ha).
    But it was my fave; Granny W, Nanny O and Magrat are all on top form, Granny Weatherwax is at her most imperious and is the epitome of witch headology. In addition the 3 witches also practice some (for them rare, but) real magic to affect the outcome of a kingdom.
    Regicide of a tough but fair King sends the kingdom of Lancre into chaos. The rightful heir meanwhile is spirited away whilst a baby to save him with the band of travelling players.
    Chaos then ensues in the kingdom as the murdering Duke and his wife try to take control of the land. Suffice to say the witches won't allow this and by performing some real magic, the heir to the kingdom is brought back as a (almost) grown man by the wandering thespians.
    During the madness that follows, a fool falls in love with a witch, the witches end up playing themselves in the performers play, the ghost king tries to stab the Duke who killed him and DEATH is confused by a retractable dagger.
    All in all a normal day on the Discworld.
    ( a very disjointed review but that's my head at the moment 😬 )

  5. Joey Woolfardis Joey Woolfardis says:

    [First Read: 7th March, 2013. 3 stars.
    Second Read: 5th October, 2018. 3 stars.]

    Wyrd Sisters is the second of the Witch mini-series, in the ever popular Discworld series. Equal Rites was the first and we were introduced to one of the greatest characters of all-time: Granny Weatherwax.

    Wyrd Sisters brings two more witches-and mentions of many others-in to fray: Nanny Ogg, Granny's best friend, and Magrat Garlick, a new-wave witch who thinks jangling jewellery and occult symbols makes you a better witch.

    Adding two new witches alongside Granny just emphasises how cantankerous, stubborn and bloody brilliant she is. Even they can't deny that she's the best. She is tolerated most of the time, but there's always an underlying current of total respect, in the same way you respect your grandparents because they lived through the war, even if they do still say does anyone want to get a Chinky?

    The plot is Shakespearean-Macbeth in particular-and takes many plot points from that, as well as a lot of the quotes. It's a wonderful juxtaposition of Discworld nonsense and Shakespearean tragedy that is twisted with unique Pratchett humour.

    It is written much the same way all the early Discworld books were. Very well, hardly any technical faults and smatterings of Pratchett humour. Despite the wonderful Granny, the amusing Nanny and the Straightforward but naive Magrat, and my love for all the Discworld witches, I couldn't enjoy this as much as I wanted.

    It was funny in a tittering kind of way, and the plot was interesting, but it never quite held my attention. I never felt like I wanted to read it all the time, or try and finish reading it. It took me quite a while to get through it (for other reasons I won't go in to) but it never really held me enough to want it.

    Still a better love story than Twilight.

  6. Melki Melki says:

    I know the wizards have their fans, but for my money, NOBODY beats the Discworld witches.

    Granny Weatherwax and her cronies try to dethrone an undesirable king in this adventure. To do it they'll need to mess around with time and even consort with...actors - gasp!

    Here the gals summon a demon, with predictably Pratchett-like results:

    The waters seethed a little, became very still and then, with a sudden movement and a little popping noise, mounded up into a head.
    Well? it said.
    Who're you? said Granny, bluntly.
    The head revolved to face her.
    My name is unpronounceable in your tongue, woman, it said.
    I'll be the judge of that, warned Granny, and added, Don't you call me woman.
    Very well. My name is WxrtHltl-jwlpklz, said the demon smugly.
    Where were you when the vowels were handed out? Behind the door? said Nanny Ogg.

    Nanny Ogg is my new role model. A boozy, incorrigible old flirt who uses her cauldron as a beer cooler...what's not to love?

    She's also an expert when it comes to child rearing:

    The water under the lid was inky black and, according to rumor, bottomless; the Ogg grandchildren were encouraged to believe that monsters from the dawn of time dwelt in its depths, since Nanny believed that a bit of thrilling and pointless terror was an essential ingredient of the magic of childhood.

    So, forget about piano lessons and soccer camp. Instead, scare the crap out of your kids. They'll thank you for it!

  7. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2), Terry Pratchett
    Wyrd Sisters is Terry Pratchett's sixth Discworld novel, published in 1988, and re-introduces Granny Weatherwax of Equal Rites. Wyrd Sisters features three witches: Granny Weatherwax; Nanny Ogg, matriarch of a large tribe of Oggs and owner of the most evil cat in the world; and Magrat Garlick, the junior witch, who firmly believes in occult jewelry, covens, and bubbling cauldrons, much to the annoyance of the other two. King Verence I of Lancre is murdered by his cousin, Duke Felmet, after his ambitious wife persuades him to do so. The King's crown and child are given by an escaping servant to the three witches. The witches hand the child to a troupe of travelling actors, and hide the crown in the props-box. They acknowledge that destiny will eventually take its course and that the child, Tomjon, will grow up to defeat Duke Felmet and take his rightful place as king.
    تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و دوم ماه می سال 2016 میلادی
    عنوان: مجموعه جهان صفحه - کتاب 06 - خواهران سرنوشت؛ نویسنده: تری پرتچت (پراچت)؛ مترجم: محمد حسینی مقدم؛ تهران، ویدا، 1393؛ در 460 ص؛ شابک: 9786002911315؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده ی 20 م
    جهان صفحه؛ آمیزه ای ست از اسطوره شناسی، و داستانهای فولکلور، با این تفاوت که «پراچت»، روی همه اینها لایه ای از طنز و هزل کشیده، طنزی که باعث شده، منتقدین مجله ی آکسفورد تایمز، ایشان را بامزه ترین نویسنده ی سده ی بیستم میلادی، بنامند، و یا نشریه ی داستانهای علمی تخیلی نیویورک، ایشان را، خنده دار تربن هزل نویس دوره ی اخیر لقب بدهد. در این کتاب که ششمین جلد، از سری «جهان صفحه» است. «پراچت» داستان جادوگرهای سخت کوشی را، بازگو میکند، که علیرغم میل درونی خویش، درگیر جاروجنجالهای دربار میشوند، دوک، و همسر شیطان صفتش، میخواهند: پادشاهی «جهان صفحه» را، غصب کنند، و جادوگرها، باید مانع از اینکار شوند. آیا آنها موفق خواهند شد؟ ا. شربیانی

  8. Charlotte May Charlotte May says:

    When you break rules, break 'em good and hard.

    Hm. I must admit I wasn't as taken with this one as I was with Mort.
    Terry Pratchett's insatiable wit was still there, but I just wasn't as invested in this story.
    Three witches - Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and young Magrat keep to their own little coven and rarely meddle in other affairs.
    But when three knights appear carrying a baby off into the woods they become suspicious, and decide to get involved.

    I reckon responsible behaviour is something to get when you grow older. Like varicose veins.

    Turns out King Verence had been murdered in his own bed by his closest confidante. Leaving behind an unknown heir.
    So begins a tale full of magic, mummers and general madness.

    Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.

    I did enjoy it, but it just wasn't as funny as the characters of Death and Mort for me. 3 stars.

  9. Trish Trish says:

    What a funny coincidence that my group started the Discworld buddy-read at a time that meant this 6th installment would be read in October of all months. How utterly appropriate.

    And I have a confession to make: I think I have a new favourite. O.O
    So far, my absolute favourite was Mort and it still is fantastic, but this book is at least equally great. There might not be deep messages about mortality, but the plot in Wyrd Sisters has a lot of other important topics to offer.

    The story is that of how Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg (two old witches from the Discworld) and Magrat (a young witch) have started meeting regularly (the word coven shall not be uttered unless you want to get one of Granny's frowns) and how they come across / save a baby that turns out to be a royal heir. The king of Lancre has just died in an accident been self-defenced to death been assassinated died under certain circumstances that shall not be discussed further so the witches make sure the heir is taken away by a theatre company. However, the land itself is not very happy about the developments so against all supposed rules, the witches need to intervene.

    There is magic (I vastly prefer the witches' magic to the wizards' one), there is intrigue, there is a bit of swashbuckling, there is almost Shakespearean mummery, there is DEATH, there is an assortment of animals, ghosts - and many plot concepts that get turned on their heads in the most hilarious way.
    Best of all, on top of getting my beloved Granny Weatherwax, we are also getting her friend Nanny Gytha Ogg (the two are a great pair) AND my beloved Greebo!
    (If you don't know who Greebo is, just look at the quotes I liked; he's truly unique. :D)

    There were so many instances here where I didn't only have to chuckle but laugh out loud. Just look at the incredible amount of quotes I highlighted (I had to stop at some point or I would have quoted the entire book). And the entire book was full of fast-paced fun what with the plan the witches come up with to help destiny on its way (though cudos to Terry Pratchett for not making it too easy just because they CAN do magic, that was a nice twist all on its own).

    Like I said, my new favourite, also helped by another impeccable performance by the narrator who just nails Granny.

  10. Bradley Bradley says:

    There have been many great reviews on this old favorite of Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld, and I won't wax eloquent, (or otherwise), save to mention that it's full of Headology and Shakespeare references, between murdered kings and lost heirs and crowns and a mummer's farce and a showdown between Witches and the King, but even so, it's all fun as hell.

    I think this is the first novel of the Discworld series that truly comes into its own... or the first one that Pratchett uses as the template for all the ones to come. Since this is a second read of the whole series, I found this one to be an awfully familiar and warming experience.

    I still think that there are better Discworld novels out there, but not by very much. :) All in all, it's a fun read.

    I can't quite tell whether I like Ogg or Weatherwax more. :) I never really connected with Magrat.