Wyrd Sisters (1997) - full transcript

Based on the Terry Pratchett novel. On Discworld, (a world carried on four elephants standing on a huge turtle travelling in space), in a small country called Lancre, three witches, the flowery Magrat Garlick, the lively Nanny Ogg and their leader Granny Weatherwax find themselves dragged into royal politics. The king of Lancre, Verence, has been murdered by Duke Felmet and he has taken over control of the country (but he is trapped under the control of his over-powering wife - the Duchess.) However there are two problems, firstly the Duke hates Lancre and the actual kingdom of Lancre is pressing the witches to find a king that would take better care of it. The second and bigger problem is that Verence's baby son has escaped and has fallen into the hands of the witches prompting the Duke's fury towards the witches. The son must be protected but Granny doesn't want to get involved with the situation but it looks like she doesn't have a choice in the matter...


Based on the novel by Terry Pratchett


When shall we three meet again?

Well, I can do next Tuesday.

Tuesday all right for you, Gytha?

What for?

To be abroad.

Oh, I don't like abroad. I don't like the food and you can't trust the water

and the shamans always hog the deckchairs.

No Gytha: is Tuesday all right for you to meet?

Well, I'm babysitting on Tuesday for our Jason's youngest.

I can manage Friday.

Hurry up with the tea, luv. I'm parched.

You said your bit quite well. Just a bit more work on the screeching.

Very useful screeching, I thought. And it's a good squint you've got there, too.

Thank you. I've been practicing.

A squint's only good if you can get your own eyes to stare up your nostrils.

Would anyone care for a scone?

They got bats on.

Yes. I made their eyes out of currants.

- Now, how do...

Hello? I am a king, you know?


That's better. What?


Who are you, fellow?


Which one are you using at present?


- Death? I see. So I'm ...
- YES.

So it was Felmet. My father said I should never let him get behind me.

- Say again?


About what? Dying?


- Who do?


- Oh...

- I'll try not to.

Don't think I will be up to all that business with the white sheets and the chains, though.

- Do I have to walk around moaning and screaming?

- No.


I say? Just hold on there! You can't just leave me like this.

I just walk through, heh?

- Something comes.
- Can you tell by the pricking of your thumbs?

No, by the pricking of my ears.

Hoofbeats? No-one would come up here this time of night.

- What's to be afraid of?
- Us.

It's all right.

- Give that to me.
- No.

- You are whitches?
- Ten out of ten for observation.

- Does the skin of witches turn aside steel?
- Not that I'm aware. You could give it a try.

- With respect, sir, it's not a good idea ...
- Be silent.

Your peasant magic is for fools, mother of the night.

- I can strike you down where you stand.
- Then strike, man.

If your heart tells you, strike as hard as you dare.


Perhaps you weren't aware of what I was aiming at. Mother of the night, indeed!

I didn't become a soldier for this. Not
to go around killing people.

Exactly right. If I was you, I'd become a sailor.

- Wait! You can't leave me like this!

- But...

- Good.

- Won't anyone be able to see me?

I hate cats.


- My son!

- And now will someone tell me what all this is about?
- Perhaps they were bandits.

No, they all wear the same badge. Anyone know what that means?

- It's the badge of King Verence.
- Which king is he then?

- He rules this country.
- Oh. That king.

- What's that then?
- It's a baby.

Noooooooooo! My son!

Where is it? Revenge! I must find my son!

I want revenge! I want my son!

- It's a crown! It's got all spiky bits on it.
- Oh, dear.

I don't hold with looking at the future and now I feel the future is looking at me.

And I don't like its expression at all.

Trapped! Trapped!

- Rotten night.
- They don't come much rottener.

I couldn't help noticing ... Eh ... You can't leave, you see. You have to stay where you were killed.

That's what haunting means. Take it from me, I know.

- You can see me?
- Oh, yes. Quite clearly, in fact.

- Oh, you're a ghost, too.
- Well spotted.

- The head under your arm, that gave me a clue.
- Does it bother you? I can put it back on if it bothers you.

- Say again?
- Pleased to meet you. I'm Champot, King of Lancre.
- Verence. Likewise.

- Don't seem to recall seeing your picture in the Long Gallery ...
- Oh, all that was after my time.

- How long have you been here, then?
- About a thousand years, man and ghost.

A thousand years?

Yes, I built this place, in fact. Just got it nicely decorated when my nephew cut my head off. There, see...

Can't tell you how much that upset me.

- A thousand years?
- Still it's not that bad. Better than being alive, in many ways.

- They must be very strange ways. I liked being alive!
- You'll be all right. You've got a strong morphogenic field.

What's that?

I was never very good with words. I always found it easier to hit people with something.

But I gather it all boils down to how alive you were. Something called animal vitality.

The more you had, the more you stay yourself, as it were. I expect you were one hundred per cent alive, when you were alive.

I tried to keep myself busy.

- Ah, breakfast! How do we go about getting breakfast?
- We don't. We are ghosts.

- But I'm hungry!
- You're not, you know. It's just your imagination.

I told Vincent to have a word with royal physician, and he agreed that Verence died of natural causes.

Indeed, my love.

I told him to say that falling down of flight of the stairs with a dagger in your back was an incurable disease.

- A disease caused by unwise opening of the mouth. Rather good, I thought.
- Yes, my dear.

Though, how you could've been so stupid as to let that fellow get away with the boy?

- That servant was far too loyal, I told you.
- Certainly, my dear.

- I hope you ... What?
- I'll have some cut down and brought in directly, my cherished.

- Have some what cut down?
- Oh, the trees.

- What have trees got to do with it?
- There are such a lot of them.

- Don't change the subject!
- Sorry, my sweet.

You are impossible! And then there's that business with the crown, where is it?

- And stop rubbing your hands!
- Yes, my dear.

Sausages! Bacon! Eggs!
Smoked fish! Black pudding!

- You just think you're hungry.
- I think I'm ravenous!

Monarch of all I survey. And all I survey is trees. No blessed state of matrimony for them, selfish buggers.

Is everything good to your liking, your majesty?

- Who are you?
- The castle cook, your majesty. Is everything to your...?

No, it isn't. Far too much meat for my liking. Take this away and get me oatmeal and a runny boiled egg.

Runny boiled egg? I want some breakfast!

Is mister Brown the baker at home?

- Oatmeal and a runny boiled egg!
- A little more respect might be in order.

It's not proper food, is that? If you can't roast it and it doesn't have an apple in its mouth, I don't want to serve it.

- There's a knoking without.
- Without what?

- Without the door, idiot.
- A knocking without a door?

- This isn't some kind of Zen, is it?
- All right, all right, I'm coming!

What's a Zen?

Oh, a sub-sect of the Turnwise Klatch philosophical system of Sumtin.

An interesting aspect is the asking of apparently nonsensical questions

in order to widen the doors of perception.

How's that again?

I'faith, nuncle, thou art more full of questions than a martlebury is full of mizzensails.

Well, okay.

And another thing, I can't get off the feeling that someone was trying to take tray out of my hands.

Funny, that.

- Who dost knock without?
- Without? Without what?

If you're going to muck about, you can stay without all day.

No! I must see the duke this instant! Witches are abroad!

It's meddling, that's what it is!
And no good will come of it.

You've meddled already. You killed that horrid man.

I never did. I just encouraged ... things to take their course

He didn't have no respect. Once people lose their respect, it means trouble.

That other man brought him out here to save him! He wanted us to keep him safe! It's obvious!

Oh, obvious! I'll grant you it's obvious. Trouble is, just because things are obvious,

doesn't mean they're true.

Yes, but the point is?

The point is that people are going to come looking. Serious people. Serious looking.

Pull-down-the-walls and burn-off-the-thatch looking. And?

Howsa boy, den?

And, Gytha , I'm sure we'll all be a lot happier if you'd stop gurgling like that.

You're not telling me how to look after a child. And me with fifteen of my own?

- I'm just saying that we ought to think about it.
- Well?

First, we've got to take him away from here. A long way away, where no-one knows who he is.

And then there's this ...

Ah, that's easy. I mean, you just hide it under a stone or something. Much easier than babies.

It ain't. The reason being, the country's full of babies and they all look the same

but I don't reckon there's many crowns. They have this way of being found.

They kind of call out to people's minds.

If you bunged it under a stone up here, in a week's time it'd get itself discovered by accident. You mark my words.

It's true, that is. How many times have you thrown a magic ring

into the deepest depths of the ocean

and then, when you get home and have a nice bit of turbot for your tea, there it is?

Never. And nor have you. Anyway, he might want it back.

Kings set a lot of store by crowns.
Really, Gytha, sometimes you say the most...

I'll just make some tea, shall I?

- Whitches?
- Whitches?
- Whitches?

Where I come from, we don't allow witches. And we don't propose to allow them here.

- You will furnish us with their addresses.
- Addresses, ladyship?

Where they live. I trust your tax gatherers know where to find them?

- I trust that they do pay taxes?
- Not exactly pay taxes, my lord.

- Go on, man.
- Well, it's more that they don't pay, you see. We never felt, that is, the old king didn't think... Well, they just don't.

I see. Very well. You may go.

That was how your family used to run a kingdom, was it? You had a positive duty to kill your cousin.

It was clearly in the interests of the species. The weak don't deserve to survive.

Right so, my passion.

She done it up nice, hasn't she? Flowers and everything. What are them things on the walls?

- Sigils. Or some such.
- Fancy.

Modern. When I was a gel, we had a lump of wax and a couple of pins and had to be content.

We had to make our own enchantment in them days.

Ah, well, we've all passed a lot of water since then.

- What's that smell?
- Oh. I'll just go and see if Magrat has any clean rags, shall I?

Jolly well do this.

So that's being a king for you, is it? I wonder why they all want the job?

- Sugar?
- Three spoons.

- You'd have to be a born fool to be a king.
- Sorry?

You can feel it, can you? I said, didn't I? Crowns call out!

- It's horrible. It's trying to get me to try it on.
- It does that, yes.

- I shall be strong. Like you.
- So I should think.

It's not as though it looks much like a crown. Just a thin little thing.

You've seen a lot, I expect. You'd be an expert on them, naturally.

Seen a fair few. They've got a lot more jewels on them, and cloth bits in the middle.

- When I was being trained up by Goodie Whemper...
? May she rest in peace

May she rest in peace, she used to take me into Lancre whenever the strolling players were in town. She was very keen on the theatre.

They've got more crowns than you can shake a stick at although, mind, Goodie did say they're made of tin and paper and stuff.

And they look more realler than this one. Don't you think that's strange?

Things that try to look like things often do look more like things than things.

Well-known fact. But I don't hold with encouraging it.

- What do they stroll about playing, then, in these crowns?
- Don't you know about the theatre?

Oh, yes. It's one of them style of things, then, is it?

- Good people, are they, these theatre players?
- I think so.

- And they stroll around the country, you say?
- All over the place. There's a troupe of them in Lancre now, I hear.

Right. Go and tell Gytha to wrap the baby up well. It's a long time since I heard a theatre played properly.

So die all foes of Lancre.

He's killed him! And right up there in front of everyone!

- It's all right. He's not really dead!.
- Are you calling me a liar, my girl? I saw it all!

Look, Granny, it's not really real, d'you see?

It is my brother I have killed!

- What's he on about now?
- He's saying how sorry he is that the other man's dead.

- There's a lot of crowns, isn't there?
- What'd he go and kill him for, then?

- Well, it's a bit complicated.
- I reckon it's all pretendin'. Look, he's still breathing.

And look at his boots, too. A real king'd be ashamed of boots like those.

Of course, there would appear to be many witches. It might be difficult to find the three that were on the moor.

- That doesn't matter.
- Of course not.

- Put matters in hand.
- Yes, my passion.

- I don't know what you're staring at. Get on with it.
- Have a humbug.

Oh, who has slain the prince, my lord?

Oh, who ... Who ... have slain ...

- ... the prince, my lord!
- My lord.

- There's a man over on the side there whispering to them!
- He's a prompter. He tells them what to say.

- Don't they know?
- I think they're forgetting. For some reason.

Oh, me! What foul and nasty deed here lies before us.

And by whom was this brave prince so untimely slain?

- What's this bit?
- That's the king's daughter.

- It never is! It's a man. In a straw wig. Making his voice squeaky.
- Yes, but it's the Theatre, see. All the women are played by men.

- Why?
- They don't allow no women on the stage.

- Madam, will you kindly remove your hat?
- No.

- What's going on now?
- They're talking about him who's dead. I think they're wondering who killed him.

Are they indeed? He done it! We all seed 'im! He done it with a dagger!

- Now we shall see!
- I don't suppose you've seen my body about, have you?

You've made me drop it!

I wonder how they manage to get all them kings and lords to come here and do this? I'd have thought they'd been too busy. Ruling and similar.

- No. I still don't think you quite understand.
- Well, I'm going to get to the bottom of it.

- You! You're dead!
- May I assist you, good ladies?

I know you. You done the murder. Leastways, it looked like it.

So glad. It is always a pleasure to meet a true connoisseur.

Olwyn Vitoller, at your service. Manager of this band of vagabonds

- Yes, well.
- I thought you was very good, too.

The way you shouted all them words so graciously. I could tell you was a king.

I hope we didn't upset things.

My dear lady. Could I begin to tell you how gratifying it is for a mere mummer to learn that his audience

has seen beneath the shell of greasepaint to the spirit below?

I expect you could say anything, Mr Vitoller.

And now, to what do I owe this visit from three such charming ladies?

We'd like to talk to you, Mr Vitoller. Somewhere private.

Dear lady, but of a certain. Currently I have lodgings in yonder esteemed watering hole.

You mean in the pub?

... showing her petticoats and singing 'The Hedgehog Can Never be Wossname at All'.

You see, there is this child. And he needs a home.

- Bring me a witch. In chains if necessary.
- Sir.

I see! Here, body! Over here! Good body!

- Go on, man! Look lively!
- Yes, sir!

Oh, steady. Mind my eye.

- You see, there is this child. And he needs a home.
- Why does he need a home?

He hasn't got one. At least, not one where he would be welcome.

This is no life for a child. Always moving. Always a new town.

And no room for schooling. They say that's very important these days.

- And you are by way of being his...?
- Godmothers.

It look really tatty compared to the others.

- Hallo, my lovely. What are you doing
- Nothing. I mean ... I...

We should be happy to take care of him.

- This should take care of nappies and suchlike. Whatever.
- A hundred times over, I should think.

- Why didn't you mention this before?
- If I'd had to buy you, you wouldn't be worth the price.

There's something else here, isn't there? Something big behind all this?

But it would do us no good at all to know it?

I have other things to see to. Please excuse me.

What's his name?

- Tom.
- John.

Tom John.

Oh, hallo! It was you, wasnt't it ??? that Duke? Fancy a quick quaff?

- Well?
- Where is Nanny Ogg?

- She's quaffing ale.
- Quaffing?

It's like drinking, only you spill more. What about the crown?

I found a box. It had all the crowns and things in. So I put it in, like you said.

- Did anyone see you?
- No, everyone was too busy. But ...

- Out with it, girl.
- A man came up and pinched my bum.

- Did he? And then what?
- I don't know, it had never happened before.

-Goodie Whemper ...
-... may she rest in peace

-... may she rest in peace, she didn't get out and about much, did she?
- It was her leg, you know.

- But she taught you all the midwifery and everything?
- Oh, yes, that. I done lots.

- But she never talked about what you might call the previous?
- Sorry?

- You know. Men and such.
- What about them?

Well ... I think it might be a good idea if you have a quiet word with Nanny Ogg one of these days. Fairly soon.

... the hedgehog can never, the hedgehog can never, the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

Only not just now.

How I wish I could go hunting. Used to live for it, you know.

It's about time you learned how to get sound on this thing.

- Where's Nanny?
- She's lying out on the lawn. She felt a bit poorly.

You know, if we are to be his godmothers,
we ought to give him three gifts.

- It's traditional.
- What are you talking about, girl?

Three good witches are supposed to give the baby three gifts.

You know, like good looks, wisdom and happiness. That's how it used to be done in the old days.

Oh, you mean gingerbread cottages and all that.

Spinning wheels and pumpkins and pricking your fingers on rose thorns and similar.

I could never be having with all that.

Oh, well. If that makes you any happier.

What's it to be? Wealth, beauty?

Well, money isn't everything, and if he takes after his father he'll be handsome enough.

Perfect eyesight? A good singing voice?

Wizard's staff is four foot and a half

and it's got a big knob on the end!

Not important. You've got to think headology, you see?

Not muck about with all this wealth and beauty business.

Wotcher, Esme! What are you two up to then, hey?

- How are you supposed to go about arresting a witch?
- I don't know. I don't think she'd like the idea at all.

No. And I don't like the idea of her not liking the idea.

Three gifts, eh?

Haven't done one of them things since I was a gel. Takes me back. What're you doing?

Oh, we've got to create the right magical ambience.

- What're we going to give him, then?
- We was just discussing it.

I know what he'll want. I'm thinking I'd give him ...

I don't see what use that would be. Wouldn't it be rather uncomfortable?

Something a bit less physical is generally the style of things.

He'll thank us for it when he grows up. Beg pardon.

I think that perhaps it would be a good idea if we all do it in our own way.

You know. Separately. It's been a long day and we're all rather tired.

Good idea. Come, Nanny Ogg. It's been a long day and we're all rather tired.

Speak for yourself! I'm ready for anything!

Ready for the mother and father of a headache tomorrow morning?

- Are you suggesting that I've drunk too much?
- Yes.

Oh well. I suppose I could make a start.

He will make friends easily. Something I've never been able to get the hang of.

Oh when I was a lass and a pretty one too, I've met a young soldier boy who ...

Oh, Greebo, how's it go?

A good memory is what he ought to have. He'll always remember the words.

What now, Sarge?

We ... we spread out. Yes. We spread out. That's what we do.

What? Right. Very good. You've got the general idea.

Now let's spread out again, and this time we spread out separately.

Let him be whoever he thinks he is. That's all anybody could hope for in this world.

Right. Now, what we...

Oh, well, no-one in. Blast.

That's a nasty cough you've got there. You did right in coming to me.

- She did what?
- She gave me a cup of tea, sir.

- And what about your men?
- She gave them one too, sir.

- Sergeant?
- Sir?

- I'm not sure I made your orders clear.
- Sir?

I mean, it is possible I may have confused you.

I meant to say "Bring me a witch, in chains if necessary"

but perhaps what I really said was "Go and have a cup of tea".

- Was this in fact the case?
- No, sir.

- I wonder why, then, you did not in fact do this thing I asked?
- Sir?

I expect she said some magic words, did she? I imagine she offered you visions of unearthly delight?

Did she show you dark fascinations and forbidden raptures, the like of which mortal men should not even think of

and demonic secrets that took you to the depths of man's desires?

- Er... You all right, sir?
- What? Oh, perfectly, perfectly.

Only you've gone all red.

Don't change the subject, man. Admit it! She offered you hedonistic and licentious pleasures known only to those

who dabble in the carnal arts, didn't she?

No, sir. She offered me a bun.

- A bun?
- Yes, sir. It had currants in it.

- And what did your men do about this?
- They had a bun too, sir.

Well, all except Roger, who isn't allowed fruit, sir, on account of his trouble. He had a biscuit, sir.

- You may go, sergeant.
- Sir!

Steady! Steady, I've said.

- Fool?
- Marry, sir...

I am already extremely married. Advise me, my Fool.

- I'faith, nuncle...
- Nor am I thy nuncle. I feel sure I would have remembered.

If you preface your next remark with nuncle, i'faith or marry, it will go hard with you.

- How do you feel about Prithee?
- You come from this parts, don't you?

My... Pri... Yes, ma'am.

- So you would know all about the native beliefs and so on?
- I suppose so, ma'am.

- Where did you sleep, my Fool?
- In the stables, sir.

From now on you may sleep in the corridor

- outside my room.
- Gosh! Thanks.

Now tell us all about the witches.

Good evening.

Well met by moonlight. Merry meet. A star shines on...

Wotcha! What you done to your hair, girl?

Looks like a window box has fallen on your head.

Yes... Well. Anyway, if we're going to start, we'd better light the candles.

But we got this lovely new lamp our Tracie sent me. And I was going to poke up the fire a bit.

You ain't going to draw on the floor again, neither.

It took our Dreen days to clean up all those wossnames last time.

Runes. Look, just one candle?

All right. If it makes you feel any better. Just the one, mind. And a decent white one. Nothing fancy.

What about this new king, then?

He had some people executed in Lancre the other day for saying as how he killed king Verence.

Spreading malicious lies, he said. He said Verence died of natural causes.

Well, being assassinated is natural causes for a king. He had some houses burned down in Bad Ass, too. Because of taxes.

Old Kind Verence used to do that. Terrible temper he had.

- He used to let people out first, though.
- Oh yes. He could be very gracious like that.

And every Hogswatchnight, a side of venison. Regular.

Oh, yes. Very respectful to witches, he was.

- And then there was that great hairy thing of his.
- Ah. His droit de seigneur.

- Needed a lot of exercise.
- What are you talking about? Did he keep pets?

I think we might have to keep an eye on this new one, though. I think he might be a bit clever.

That's not a good thing, in a king. And I don't think he knows how to show respect.

A man came to see me last week and asked me if I wanted to pay any taxes. I told him no.

He came to see me, too, but our Jason and our Wane

went out and tole him we didn't want to join.

- Small man, bald, black cloak?
- Yes.

He was hanging about in my raspberry bushes. Only, when I went out to see what he wanted, he ran away.

Actually, I gave him tuppence.

He said he was going to be tortured, you see, if he didn't get witches to pay their taxes.


Well, ma'am, you see. I explained about the need to employ a standing army, ekcetra

and I mentioned how taxes help to maintain the King's Peace, ekcetra, ma'am, ekcetra, ...


They said the king should maintain his own peace, ma'am. And then they gave me a look.

- What sort of look?
- It's... it's sort of hard to describe.

- Try.
- Well. It... it... it wasn't nice.

- Not nice.
- No, sir. You're not going to make me go back, are you?

No, no. Just call in at the torturer on your way out. See when he can fit you in.

Yes, sir. At once, sir. Thank you, sir.

- All right. How about The King's Brides?
- Last year.

Then we'll give them Mallo, the Tyrant of Klatch. In blood I came, And by blood rule...

We did it the year before. Anyway, people are fed up with kings. They want a bit of a chuckle.

They are not fed up with my kings. My dear boy, people come to the theatre to Experience, to Learn, to Wonder.

To laugh. Have a look at this one.

See? Look, the comic gravediggers. And I've found the room for the star-crossed lovers too

and you ??? king. It's the cats and the roller skates. There a trouble.

For goodness sake, laddie. It hardly fits. Put it back.

- It's the witches, isn't it? They're out there, aren't they?
- Marry, nuncle...

Portents. Strange omens. Short sharp shower of shrimps. Geese walking backwards. They're putting an Influence on the land, aren't they?

- No, my lord, they've never...
- Who asked you?

- Er, you did, my lord.
- Are you arguing with me?

- No, my lord!
- I thought so.

- You're in league with them, I suppose?
- My lord!

You're all in league, you people! The whole pack of you! You're nothing but a pack of ringleaders! Do you all hear me? I am the king!

I'm the king. Gods, how I hate this kingdom! Is this a dagger I see before me?

No, my lord. It's my handkerchief. You can sort of tell the difference if you look closely. It doesn't have as many sharp edges.

Good Fool. Kneel beside me, Fool.
Are you loyal, Fool? Are you trustworthy?

- I swore to follow my lord until death.
- I didn't want to. She made me do it. I didn't want...

- Leonal!
- Yes, my dear?

- What is the meaning of all this?
- Witches, I suspect.

- I really don't think...
- That is clearly apparent. You are an idiot.

A Fool, my lady.

- So still they defy you?
- How should I fight magic?

- With words, my lord.
- What did you say?

In the Guild we learned that words can be more powerful even than magic.

Clown! Words are just words.

Sticks and stones may break
my bones, but words can never hurt me.

My lord, there are such words that can.
Liar! Usurper! Murderer!

Such words have no truth, but they can spread like fire underground.

- Words can fight even witches.
- What words?

- Crone. Evil eye. Stupid old woman.
- You are not entirely a fool, are you. You refer, of course, to rumour.

Yes, yes. It's the witches. We must tell the world about the witches. They're evil. Evil! Evil!

Who's there? There's something out there. Something forlorn. Something lost.

And to think I had expected it to be small.

- Who are you? What do you want?
- You felt it too?

- I thought it was something small. Small as a vermine.
- Vermine?

Furry creature. A more careful relative of the lemming. Only throws itself over small pebbles. Where's Gytha?

- Do you think we should've brought a bottle.
- Sounds to me as if there's a deal too many bottles in there already.

- Happy Hogswatchnight, missus!
- Mss. Come, Magrat.

What ho, my old boiler. See you turned up, then. Have a drink. Have two. Wotcher, Magrat.

We're not staying. I can see you're busy.

We just wondered whether you might have noticed ? anything. Tonight. A little while ago.

Our Darron's eldest was sick. Been at his dad's beer.

Unless he was extremely ill, I doubt if it was what I was referring to.

Someone tried to dance on the table.

Fell right into our Reet's pumpkin dip. We had a good laugh.

- I was alluding to things of a different nature.
- Something wrong with your eye, Esme?

Extremely worrying developments of a magical tendency are even now afoot.

It might be a good idea if we could go somewhere more private to talk.

It's out there somewhere, in the mountains and the high forests. And it is very big.

I thought it was looking for someone.

It put me in mind of a dog. You know, lost and puzzled.

- Yes. Something like that. A very big dog.
- Worried.

- Searching.
- Getting angry.

Could be a troll. I left the best part of a pint in there, you know?

I know what a troll's mind feels like, Gytha.

They say there's really big trolls up towards the Hub.

And ice giants, and big hairy woss-names that live above the snowline.

- But you don't mean anything like that, do you?
- No.

- We'd better have a look, then.
- What you're gonna do?

I always say you can't go wrong with a good Invocation. Haven't done one for years.

Oh, but you can't. Not here. We need a cauldron, and a magic sword. And an octogram. And spices, and all sorts of stuff.

You don't need none of that. You need headology. You just use whatever you've got.

We conjure and abjure thee by means of this long and terrible wooden spoon.

See how we scatter... rather old washing soda and extremely hard soap flakes in thy honour.

Now you, Gytha.

And I invoke and bind thee with the balding scrubbing brush of Art and the washboard of Protection.

Who dares to invoke WxrtHltl-jwlpklz?

Where were you when the vowels were being handed out? Behind the door?

You are allowed three questions.

- Right. Is there something strange at large in the kingdom?
- You mean stranger than usual?

- Get on with it. My feet are freezing.
- And no lying.

- No. There is nothing strange.
- Is there something in the kingdom that wasn't there before?


What the disk's going on? And no mucking about trying to wriggle out of it, otherwise I'll boil you.

- Oh, I protest at this treatment.
- Yes, well, we haven't got time to bandy legs with you all night.

Word games might be all right for wizards, we've got other fish to fry.

Or boil.

Look, we're not supposed to volunteer information just like that. You know, there are rules.

- There's some old oil in the can on the shelf, Magrat.
- Look, if I simply tell you...

- Yes?
- Won't you let on, will you?

- Not a word.
- Lips are sealed.

There's nothing new in the kingdom, but the land has woken up.

- What do you mean?
- Oh, it's unhappy. It wants a king that cares for it.

You don't mean people, do you? No, I didn't think so. So, the mind of a whole country...

- Can I go now?
- Oh. Yes. Run along.

- I say. You wouldn't mind banishing me, would you?
- What?

Only I'd feel better for being properly banished. "Run along" lacks that certain something.

- Oh. If it gives you pleasure. Magrat!
- Yes?

Do the honours, will you?

Certainly. Right. Um. Begone, foul fiend, unto the blackest pit from whence you came!

Run along.

Apple. App-le. Three years old and still you haven't said a word.

Those witches. I wonder ...

You seem bright enough. You know what things are. You do what you're told.

I just wish you'd speak.

A good memory is what he ought to have. He'll always remember the words.

They say this fruit be like unto the world so sweet.

Or like, say I, the heart of man so red without and yet within, unclue'd.

He's talking! The boy is... He's quoting! You've got to come!

- What is you...
- Your son, Tomjon, has declaimed his first words!

Who's a clever boy, then?

Countries... Well, they ain't even alive, for goodness sake.

Of course... it'd be a mind made up of all the other little minds inside it.

Plant minds, bird minds, bear minds, even the great slow minds of the trees themselves.


I don't know what this spell is, but I'll tell you this for nothing: when it wears off, some of you little buggers had better get moving.

Look, it's no good you coming to me. He's the new lord. This is his kingdom.

I can't go meddling. It's not right to go meddling.

Yes, well, so he killed the old king. Well, that's nature's way, isn't it?

You lot know all about this survival of the wossname.

Greetings from Duke Felmet !

Anyway, the old king wasn't much of a friend to you, was he? All that hunting, and such.

Gods, how I hate this kingdom!

All right, so it's selfish. That's what bein' a witch is all about. Good day to you.

What was it he said?

- Won't anyone be able to see me?

Only one type of person can keep a cat like you. A witch.

Now if a witch isn't psychically inclined, then I'm a puff of wind.

If I could get a witch in the castle... Here, pussy...

Cat! Come up, puss...

Yes. A witch would certainly come looking for her cat, wouldn't she?

There's plenty of mice and things in here, d'you see

The rain blows in through the broken window and there's all these tapestries to sleep on.

Sorry about that.

I suppose somewhere on the Disc there must be someone more miserable than me.

I didn't ask to be a Fool. It wouldn't have mattered if I had

Hast thou seeneth my mother-in-law? I am not saying she is fat, but when she bendeth over there occureth an eclipse in Lancre.

You'll learn, my lad, in the years to come, that there is nothing more serious than jesting.

- The Fools' Guild will knock some nonsense into you.
- Yes, granddad.

It runs in the family, you know?

I won the honorary cap and bells of the Grand Prix des Idiots Blithering four years in a row,

- and your father was credited with seven official new jokes.
- Yes, granddad.

- Is this the lad?
- Indeed, Your Absurdity.

- What have you got to say for yourself?
- Marry, sire, prithee.

- What do you get when you cross a duck and a robin? A Christmas quacker!

I'm sorry, Your Absurdity.

You will never, never, ever utter a joke that has not been approved by the Guild.

Who are you to decide what is amusing? You have much to learn.

The 383 Guild-approved jokes in the Monster Book of Fun and the glossary which is much much longer.

Come, boy. We'll make a Fool of you yet.

Here's Woolly Fellwort and Treacle Worm-seed, which is for inflammation of the ears.

And Five-leaved False Mandrake, sovereign against fluxes of the bladder.

- Hallo.
- Whoops!
- Don't... Oh, bugger.

Greebo hasn't been home for two days. I can't find him anywhere.

- It's not like him.
- Of course it's like him.

He's a fat, cunning, evil-smelling multiple rapist.

Anyway, cats can look after themselves. Countries can't.

- I have intelligence to report. Light the fire, Magrat.
- Mmm? Oh. Yes.

- Doesn't seem to be her normal self.
- No. Could be an improvement.

- Something on your mind, Esme?
- The kingdom is worried.

Oh yes. All this taxing and killing folk. Felmet hates the Kingdom.

- I didn't mean the people, I meant the kingdom.
- It wants a better king, is that it?

- No! That is, yes. Look. It doesn't have the same kind of likes and dislikes as people, right?
- Well, it wouldn't, would it?

But it expects the king to care for it. Felmet
just want the power. He hates the kingdom.

- What are we going to do about it?
- Nothing. You know we can't meddle.

- You saved that baby.
- That's not meddling!

Have it your way. But maybe one day he'll return. Destiny, you know.

And you said we should hide the crown. It'll all come back, you mark my words.

Compliments of Duke Felmet! ??? taxes!

- Hurry up with that tea, Magrat!
- You know the Fool, who lives up at the castle?

- Little man with runny eyes?
- Not that little. What's his name, do you happen to know?

He's just called Fool. No job for a man, that. Running around with bells on.

His mother was a Beldame, from over Blackglass way.

Bit of a beauty when she was younger. Broke many a heart, she did. Bit of a scandal there, I did hear.

- Why d'you want to know, Magrat?
- Oh ... one of the girls in the village was asking me.

It's a steady job. I'll give you that.

You're a pair of silly old women! And I'm going home!

- Well!
- You haven't been putting ideas in her head, have you?

- What do you mean?
- You know what I mean.

Just like when you were a gel. Stuck-up, you were.

At least I spent most of the time upright. You were the talk of the whole village.

And you were, too! They called you the Ice Maiden.

I wouldn't sully my lips by sayin' what they called you.

Oh yes? Well, let me tell you, my good woman...

Don't you dare talk to me in that tone of voice! I'm not anyone's good woman.

- Right!
- I should have known better than to listen to Magrat.

This coven business is ridiculous. Attracts entirely the wrong sort of people.

I'm very glad we had this little talk. Cleared the air.

Anyway I really don't have time for all this. I have far more important things to do.

- And me!
- Good night to you.
- And you!

Love spells.

First, I've got to find out your name.

"V". Who'd have thought it?

Gather ye ferns in a silk handkerchief at the first light of dawn.

- Morning, Mom.
- Morning, our Shawn.

- What are you doing up here, Mom? If the Duke is...
- I've come for Greebo.

- Greebo? He ain't here, mom.
- Oh yes he is. Smell that?

A witch! Witch is coming to get me!

Somehow when you read these spells you always think of a bright sunny morning in spring.

- Is that you, Mss Magrat? It's mam!
- What's happened to her?

She came to the castle to look for Greebo and the
Duke's locked her up! Said she was coming to poison him!

And I can't get down to the dungeons to see because there's all new guards!

They say she's been put in chains and that means something horrible's going to happen.

- Where were you going?
- To fetch our Jason and our Wane and our Darron and our...

- Wait a moment.
- Oh, Mss Magrat, suppose they try to torture her?

You know how what she's like when she loses her temper, we'll never heard the last of it, Miss.

- Look, just shut up a minute, will you, Shawn?
- When our Jason finds out, he's going to give the duke a real seeing-to, miz.

Don't tell him yet. There could be another way...

I'll go and find Granny Weatherwax, shall I, miz? She'll know what to do, she's a witch. She'll...

- Um. I didn't mean.
- If you happen to see Granny Weatherwax, you can tell her that I will sort it all out.

Now go away before I turn you into a frog.

You look like one anyway.

- Quite comfortable, are we?
- Apart from these stocks, you mean?

I am impervious to your foul blandishments. I scorn your devious wiles.

- You are to be tortured, I'll have you know.
- And then you will be burned.

- Oh, goody.
- Oh, goody?

Well, it's freezing down here. What's that big wardrobe thing with the spikes?

Aha! Now you realise, eh? That, my dear lady, is an Iron Maiden. It's the latest thing.

- Can I have a go in it?
- What?

This gives you a pleasure. But soon you will laugh on the other side of your face!

- It's only got this side.
- We shall see.

And you need not think any others of your people will come to your aid. We alone hold the keys to this dungeon.

You will be an example to all those who have been spreading malicious rumours about me.

Do not protest your innocence! I hear the voices all the time, lying...

- Lying ...
- Enough!
- The faces ...
- Come, Leonal.
- The wicked lies ...

We will let her reflect upon her fate for a while.

I wasn't there, and anyway he fell... My porridge, all salty...

- You've been a good boy.
- Yes'm. M'm?

- Was there something else?
- It's not true what everyone's been saying about our mam, is it, m'm?

- She doesn't go round putting evil curses on folk.
- Well, your mam does upset people sometimes.

Yes, but they've been saing terrible things about you too, m'm, savin' your presence, m'm.

What things?

- Don't like to say, m'm.
- What things?

A lot of things what aren't true, like, old Verence was a bad king

and you helped him on the throne, and you caused that bad winter the other year

and old Norbut's cow dint give no milk after you looked at it.

- Lot of lies, m'm.
- Right.

Who's old Norburt?

All right. I can see you.

- Here, I know you, you're dead.
- I prefer the term "passed over".

- You haven't seen a cat around here, have you?
- Yes. He's in the room upstairs, asleep.

That's all right, then. I was beginning to worry.

I fear, madam, that I may be responsible for your present predicament. I wished to attract a witch.

I suppose you're no good at locks?

I fear they would be beyond my feeble capabilities as yet. But surely to a witch all this is so much ...

Solid iron. You may be able to walk through it, but I can't.

Yes, a good sharp breadknife. That's probably the best friend a girl... a woman could have.

I spy, with my little eye something beginning with P.

- Pliers.
- No.

- Pilliwinks?
- That's a pretty name. What is it?

- It's a kind of thumbscrew. Look.
- No, it's not that.

- Smouldering Boot of Punishment?
- You're a bit too good with the names of these things.

- You sure you didn't use them when you were alive?
- Absolutely, Nanny.

- Boys that tell lies go to a bad place.
- Lady Felmet had most of them installed herself, it's the truth.

- Right, then. It was "pinchers".
- But pinchers is another name for pliers!

There's a witch in the dungeons. And foul tortures, they say!

Nonsense. I expect she's just gone to advise the king, or something.

I suggest you all return home. There has probably been a misunderstanding.

Everyone knows that a witch cannot be held against her will.

I am a harmless old seller of apples. Pray let me past, dearie.

No-one must enter the castle. Orders of the Duke.

I know you, Champett Poldy.

- Don't worry about it. Have an apple.
- So that's witches' magic, is it?

Maybe it frightens these country idiots, woman, but it doesn't frighten me.

You must be one of these new-fangled mercenaries that Duke's brought in.

I imagine it takes a lot to frighten a big strong lad like you.

Old ladies like you, twisting people around. It shouldn't be stood for.

- Just as you like.
- Listen, I said...

We will begin with the Showing of the Implements.

Seen 'em . Leastways, all the ones beginning with P, S, I, T and W.

Then let us see how long you can keep that light conversational tone.

- Light the brazier, Felmet.
- Light the brazier, Fool.

- I don't like doing this, you know.
- Fine. I'll remember that you didn't like it.

- What's that?
- Nothing.

Is this going to take long? I haven't had any breakfast yet.

- Hurry up, man!
- Doesn't seem to want to light.

Infirm of purpose! And weak! Give me the box! Go outside and see that we are not disturbed!

- What?
- I said I've come to sell my lovely apples. Don't you listen?

- You're not a witch, are you?
- Of course not. Do I look like one?

- Right. Pass, apple seller.
- Thank you.

Well, well. Come to keep us company, have you, my pretty?

- I was looking for the dungeons.
- Just fancy. I reckon we can help you there, then.

And now we will commence.

I should warn you. I am not, as I may appear, a simple apple seller.

- Welll, fancy that.
- I am, in fact, a witch.

Fair enough. I've always wondered what it would be like to kiss a witch. Around here they say you gets turned into a frog if you kiss a witch.

I reckon, then, you kissed one years ago.

Now listen, sweetheart. You could be lucky and walk out again if you're nice to us.

- Do yourself a favor.
- Tie her hands and gag her.

They can't do no magic if they can't speak or wave their hands about.

You can take your hands off her!

This is a witch we have here. So you can go and tinkle somewhere else.

- I like a girl with spirit.
- I told you to let her go.

Let go of him! You're wondering whether I really would cut your throat.

I don't know either. Think of the fun we could have finding out.

They've got her in the torture chamber and I don't like the sound of it.

It's going too far, and I couldn't get in and I came to look for someone.

Well, you've found me.

The door's locked. There's all sorts of noises, but the door's locked.

- Well, it's a dungeon, isn't it?
- Yes, but they're not supposed to lock from the inside!

You said you were a witch. Are you really?

You don't look like a witch, you look very... well... that is... Not like a, you know, crone at all, but...

You're beautiful.

You'd better stand back, Verence. I'm not sure how this is going to work.

- How did you know my name?
- Oh, I expect I heard it somewhere.

I shouldn't think so, I never use it. I mean, it's not a popular name with the duke.

It was me mam, you see. They like to name you after kings, I suppose, and...


- I think I gave it rather a lot.
- I reckon you did.

Come on. We'd better see what she's been getting up to.

I wouldn't have done it like that. I'd have tried the stones if it had been me.

- Not that I'm objecting, mind you.
- I can't do stones.

Well, no, rocks is an acquired taste.

You took your time. Let me out of this, will you? I'm getting cramp.

- He's doing well, isn't he?
- Can they see him?

Shouldn't think so.

The dead shouldn't kill the living. It could be a dangerous wossname, precedent.

- We'd all be outnumbered for one thing.
- Guards! Fool! Fetch the guards!

They're busy. We were just leaving anyway. Which one of you is in charge?

It would be better for you if you left this country. Abdicate, or whatever.

In favour of whom? A witch? Did you think a bit of simple conjuring would frighten us?

We rule by right of conquest. If you'll defeat us by magic, magic will rule.

And that which magic rules, magic destroys. It would destroy you, too. You know that.

You could strike us down. And perhaps you could find one to replace us.

But he would have to be a fool indeed, because he'd know he ruled with your permission. And that would make him no king at all.

- Is this not true?
- Yes. It is true. But there is one who could defeat you.

The boy? I have many years to prepare.

Let him come when he is grown.

He is not dead, I say, who lies beneath this stone

for whomsoever lives here in my heart lives still.

By all the gods, I must have been on damn good form when I wrote that.

Your people know all about magic. What do you make of it?

He spends all his time around the stage, master. It's only natural that he should pick things up.

- Do you really believe that?
- Who knows where such things come from?

And who knows what witches may achieve?

He deserves better than this. He shouldn't be standing knee-deep in slush

in the middle of these forsaken fields, with nothing but liberated cabbage for tea.

He deserves more, and he shall have it. By the gods he shall have it.

You could give him boils or something. Haemorrhoids are good.

It won't stop him ruling, it just means he'll have to rule standing up.

I ain't going to give him the pleasure of saying it, but he's got us beaten.

- Can I see you again?
- Well... I don't know.

- How about tonight?
- Oh, no. I'm very busy tonight.

- Tomorrow night, then?
- I think I should be washing my hair.

- I could get Friday night free.
- We do a lot of work at night, you see.

- The afternoon, then?
- Well...

About two o'clock. In the meadow by the pond, all right?

- Well...
- See you there, then. All right?

I've got to go. The meadow, okay? I'll wear something so you recognise me.

- All right?
- All right.

Five copper pieces for a sausage in a bun?

...??? transport, fuel, ??? wages et cetera. I'm cutting me own throat!

- Look, there's our Jason. And Wane and Darron and Kev and Trev and Nev.
- Thank you. I will remember their faces.

- Do you see my archers, on the walls?
- I see 'em.

Then smile and wave, so that the people may know that all is well.

After all, have you not been to see me today on matters of state?

I'm not an unreasonable man, I hope.

Perhaps, if you persuade the people to be calm, I may be prevailed upon to moderate my rule somewhat.

I make no promises, of course.

- Coo-eee!
- Will you shut up, you daft old besom! And pull yourself together!

But there's our Reel and our Sharleen and their babbies. Coo-eee!

People of Lancre, do not be afeared! I will protect you from the witches!

They have agreed to leave you in peace!

I'll now call upon the respected Granny Weatherwax to say a few words.

- You've gone a long way too far.
- I have, haven't I!

Go home. Come, Gytha. Will you stop waving at people!

Get back to your cauldrons, wyrd sisters!

Don't despair. You handled it very well, we thought.

I ain't despairing, I'm thinking. Go away.

Are you all right? They didn't do anything, did they?

Never laid a finger on me. They're not your real royalty.

Old King Gruneweld, for one, he wouldn't have wasted time waving things around and menacing people.

It would've been bang, needles right under the fingernails from the word go, and no messing.

- I see you've got a follower.
- Sorry?

The young fellow with the bells.

Face like a spaniel what's just been kicked.

Oh, him. He just follows me around.

- Can be difficult, can that?
- Besides, he's so small. And he capers all over the place.

- Looked at him carefully, have you?
- Pardon?

You haven't, have you? I thought not. He's a very clever man, that Fool. He ought to have been one of those actor men.

- What do you mean?
- Next time you have a look at him like a witch, not like a woman.

Good bit of work with the door back there. Coming on well, you are. I hope you told him about Greebo.

He said he'd let him out directly, Nanny.

- Hey, guys!
- Man just went past with a cat on his head.

She's very upset, isn't she?

Ah, well. There's the problem, see. The more you get used to magic, the more you don't want to use it.

When you get along in the Craft, you learn that the hardest magic is the sort you don't use at all.

- This isn't some kind of Zen, is it?
- Dunno. Never seen one.

When we were in the dungeons, Granny said something about trying the rocks.

I've never done that, is it hard?

Oh, not really. You just prod their memories.

You know, of the old days. When they were hot and runny.

That reminds me... You can come out now.

Esme, there's someone to see you.

Verence, King of Lancre. Do I have the honour of addressing Granny Weatherwax, doyenne of witches?

- I'm she.
- The esteemed Nanny Ogg assisted me to leave the castle.

I reasoned, if I am anchored to the stones of Lancre, then I can also go where the stones go.

I am afraid I indulged in a little trickery to arrange matters.

- Currently I am haunting her apron.
- Well, it'd not be the first one neither, that's for sure.
- Esme!

I beg you, Granny Weatherwax, to restore my son to the throne.

- It is his destiny to be King of Lancre!
- Yes, well. Destiny is tricky, you know.

You will not help?

It's meddling, you see. But... well, one day, when your lad is a bit older.

Where is he now?

- We saw him safe out of the country.
- Very good family.

What kind of people? Not commoners, I trust?

- Absolutely not. Not common at all. Very uncommon. In fact...
- They were Thespians.

- Oh. Good.
- Were they? They didn't look it.
- Don't show your ignorance, Gytha Ogg.

Sorry about that, your majesty. She don't even know where Thespia is.

Wherever it is, I hope that they know how to school a man in the arts of war.

I know Felmet. In ten years he'll be dug in here like a toad in a stone.

The kingdom will become shoddy and mean. Remember, good sisters, the land and the king are one.

- One what?
- We've got to do something. Rules or no rules!

- It's very vexing.
- Yes, but what are you going to do?

- Reflect on things. Think about it.
- You don't know what to do, do you?

- Nonsense. I...
- There's a cart coming, Granny.

- It was young Nesheley from over Inkcap way.
- He ran us down!

- You could have got out of the way.
- Get out of the way? We're witches! People get out of our way!

Help me get Nanny out of this bush, will you?

That just about does it! We are the witches! I'm not taking another day of this!

- Lock up a witch, would he?
- We'd better step in here.

- I'll show him what a witch can do!
- Yes, yes, very good, very good.

- Wyrd sisters, indeed!
- Hold on to her a minute, Magrat.

Thank you. But I meant it. We'll meet tonight at the standing stone

- and see what must be done.
- Whatever happened to the rule about not meddling?

As you progress in the Craft, you'll learn there is another rule, one that Esme's obeyed all her life.

- What's that?
- When you break rules, break 'em good and hard.

It works. The people mutter against the witches. If it continues like this, Fool, you shall have a knighthood.

Marry, nuncle, if n I had a knighthood (night hood), why, it would keep my ears warm in bed.

It's funny, that.

- It seems that words are extremely powerful.
- Indeed, lady.

Very interesting. I wonder... can your words change the past?

More easily, I think, because the past is what people remember

and memories are but words. Who knows how a king behaved a thousand years ago?

There is only recollection, and stories. And plays, of course.

I saw a play once. Bunch of funny fellows in tights.

So let us assume that there are other matters, subject to controversy. Matters of historical record that may have been... clouded.

I didn't do it, you know? He slipped and fell. That was it. Slipped and fell.

I wasn't even there. He attacked me. It was self-defence. That's it.

He slipped and fell on his own dagger in self-defence.

Be quiet, husband! I know you didn't do it.

I wasn't there with you, you may recall. It was I who didn't hand you the dagger.

- Light the fire, Magrat.
- It's not really cold.

It should be. By rights we should have a storm.

- Remember Hurricane Zelda?
- And Her Amazing Raining Frogs, oh yes.

Light the fire, Magrat, there's a good girl.

I daresay we'll all feel better after a nice cup of tea with something in it.

Alcohol is a deceiver and tarnishes the soul.

Exactly. I never touch the stuff. We should keep a clear head, Gytha.

Just a drop in your tea isn't drinking. It's medicine.

- Let's curse him!
- We ain't going to curse him. We're going to replace him with this son.

- Proper succession.
- We've been through all that. In about eighteen years' time, perhaps, but...

- How about tomorrow night?
- A child on the throne? He wouldn't last 15 minutes.

Not a child. A grown man. Remember Black Aliss Demurrage?

- Esme, you ain't going to try that, are you?
- Who was Black Aliss?

She was before your time. Before mine, really. Lived over Skund way.

- She was a very powerful witch.
- If you listen to rumour.

The biggest thing she ever did was to send a whole palace to sleep for a hundred years until ...

Can't remember. Was there rose bushes involved, or was it spinning wheels?

I think some princess had to finger... no, there was a prince.

- Finger a prince?
- Very romantic, Black Aliss was.

She liked nothing better than Girl meets Frog. It was on account of romance that she sent the castle to sleep.

She never sent the castle to sleep. That's just an old wives' tale. She just stirred up time a little bit.

18 years. That means the lad will be 21 at the finish.

We just do the spell, he can manifest his destiny, and everything will be nice and neat.

Could work out nice. A bit of peace and quiet for 18 years.

If I recall the spell, after you say it you have to fly around the castle before morning.

I wasn't thinking about that. Felmet would still be king all that time.

The kingdom would still be destroyed. No, what I was thinking of doing was moving the whole kingdom.

- The whole of Lancre?
- Yes.

- Eighteen years into the future?
- Yes.

You'll never do it. Not on that. Not around the whole kingdom.

- You just couldn't carry enough magic.
- I've thought of that. You are going to help.

I was saying that perhaps there are matters that should be properly recorded.

- Marry, that you were not there at the time?
- Not where?

- Anywhere.
- But everyone has to be somewhere.

I mean, you were everywhere but at the top of the stairs.

- Which stairs?
- Any stairs. I distinctly remember not seeing you!

It was a very good play, the play that I saw. There were fights, and no-one really died. Some very good speeches, I thought.

Can you write a play? A play that will be remembered long after rumour has died?

No, lady. It is a special talent.

- But can you find someone who has it?
- There are such people, lady.

Find one. Find the best. The truth will out.

Like unto thee Staje of a Theater ys the World, whereon alle Persons strut as Players.

Thys ys amain Dainty Messe youe have got me into, Stanleigh. No, that's not right either.

- Oh dear. I hope she hasn't happened to anyone.
- Stop dreaming, girl!

Not before time. I don't reckon this one's got more'n a few minutes flight left. Come on, get a move on.

- Leave me a bit. I've got to get down!
- Shouldn't be difficult.

I mean get down safely!

- You!
- You!

Did I hurt you?

Well, I've got one or two bells that won't be the same again.

Well, let's have the power. I'm running out of up.

- Did you bring something to drink?
- Certainly. You said.

- Well?
- Well, I drank it, didn't I. Sitting around there at my age.

I wish you'd stop working for the duke.

You know what he's like. Torturing people and setting fire to their cottages and everything.

But I'm his Fool. A Fool has to be loyal to his master. Right up until he dies.

- It's tradition.
- But you don't even like being a Fool.

I hate it. But if I've got to be a Fool, I'll do it properly.

- That's really stupid.
- I prefer "foolish".

Ice! It's iced up!

I told you it was daft! You went through all that wet mist and then up into the cold air, you daft besom!

- What the disc are you doing?
- I can follow the river. Don't you worry!

You come aboard, d'you hear? It's all over!

- I can't pull you up!
- Well, I can't climb up, can I? Act your age, Gytha!

- Don't you ever do that again, Gytha Ogg.
- I promise.

- Now, we're heading for Lancre Bridge.
- There's still miles to go.

- Don't fuss. There's plenty of night left.
- Not enough, I'm thinking.

Gytha, a witch doesn't know the meaning of the word "failure".

- Esme?
- What?

It means "lack of success". Look! Lancre bridge!

Esme, you'll go down in history for this, you know.

- You think I will?
- Mark my words.

But you've still got to complete the spell, mind.

- If .. if I kiss you, will I turn into a frog?
- We shall have to see.

- Did you feel the disc move?
- I think she's done it.

- Done what?
- Oh. Nothing.

I feeled like we kissed through all eternity.

- Well, through 18 years at least.
- Shall we have another try? I don't think we got it quite right that time.

Trees! You trees! Stop spying on me! I hate this kingdom!

Very well done. It was superb! Being in the ethereal plane, of course, I was in a position to observe closely.

Anyway, we've got to find the boy now. That's the next step.

He'll be in Ankh-Morpork. Mark my words. Everyone ends up there.

Ankh-Morpork? You'll be away for ages!

- The duke's given me special instructions. He trusts me.
- But you don't have to go! You don't want to go!

No, but I still have to do it. I gave my word.

Just when we were getting to know each other! You're pathetic!

I'd only be pathetic if I broke my word.

I'm sorry. I'll be back in a few weeks.

- I couldn't see you again before I go, could I?
- I shall be washing my hair.

It was a very good play, the play that I saw. Let him come when he is grown.

- I hate this kingdom!
- Be quiet, husband.

I said I'll do it, laddie, and I have. All those years ago, when first you trod the boards.

But I don't know. Maybe it's against nature - capturing the spirit of the theatre and putting it in a cage.

And I'm going to find it hard settling down at my time of life.

It's not doing you any good. You're not getting any younger.

You'll do better to stay put here, and let the people come to us.

And they will, too. You know the crowds we're getting now. Hwel's plays are famous.

Damn thing hasn't even got a name. I should call it the Gold Mine, that's what it's costing me.

It needs a name that means everything. Because there's everything inside it.

The whole world on the stage, do you see? How about "The Dysk"?

Night, Hwel.

First clown.

This is my little study. Hey, with a little study you could go a long way.

And I wish you'd start now. If you can't leave in a cab then leave in a huff.

If that's too soon, then leave in a minute and a huff.

- Second clown.
- Atsa right, Boss.

Third Clown: [business with a bladder on stick] Honk. Honk.

Yes, it's funnny, but is it right?

All the Disc is but an Theater. Ande alle men and wymmen are but Players.

Except Those who selle popcorn.

All hail!

- Verence?
- No, that was the old king.

- And Jingle Bells.
- Who?

Your young fellow. Him with the bells and the eyes like a ???.

- We'll just keep on calling him Tomjon.
- Oh, have it your way, Esme.

I will, thank you very much. All hail Tomjon!

- Who shall be king hereafter.
- Here after what?

Just hereafter, girl, it's what you're supposed to say.

- You might try and make an effort.
- He can't hear us, can he?

He's tossing and turning a bit.

- You know I've never been able to get sound on this thing, Esme.
- You should have got yourself a proper one.

- What about you, you ain't got one at all
- Please don't let's start ...

What's up, lad? Nightmares?

God! It was terrible. It was like... I was sort of inside something, like a bowl

and there were these three faces peering in at me.

- Funny old things, dreams.
- Not much funny about that one.

- What's the time?
- It's after midnight.

And you know what your father said about going to bed late.

I'm not. I'm getting up early. Getting up early is very healthy.

I'm going out for a drink. You can come too to keep an eye on me.

You also know what your father says about going out drinking.

Yes. He said he used to do it all the time when he was a lad.

He said he'd think nothing of quaffing ale all night and coming home at 5 a.m..

All right. Just the one, though. Somewhere decent.

I promise. By the way, exactly how does one quaff?

- I reckon they're roistering in here, don't you?
- It looks like it.

- What a swamp!
- In a swamp the alligators don't pick your pockets first.

Two pints of your finest ale, landlord.

What have we got here? A flipping lawn ornament. Where's your fishing rod?

- One pint. And one half pint.
- Calm down.

I ain't drinking here again. That's bad enough they let monkeys drink here.

I don't think you meant that, did you? Not about monkeys, eh? You didn't really, did you?

A monkey's a monkey. But lawn ornaments...

- Is this real roistering, do you suppose, or merely rollicking?
- It's going to be bloody murder in a minute, my lad!

He will make friends easily.

Brothers! Please, pray, silence!

Brothers! Yea, brothers, I may call all men brother
and clasp them hardly to my heart.

Oh, who against his brother would his hand in anger raise? Not I. Nor you.

For anger is the eben worm whose fell and poison jaws devour us all.

Yes, evil to the very soul.

Cast out this demon anger and in his stead play host to amity, to friendship and to love.

Come away now, before it wears off.

- Right. Where shall we go next?
- Next?

A troll tavern. I'd like to see a troll tavern.

They're for trolls only, boy. Molten lava to drink and rock music

and cheese'n'chutney flavoured pebbles.

Perhaps you're right.

But, my good man, if I could just explain...

- Listen up, little...
- Vitoller.

Whatever. I ain't no man. And I ???

I lent you the money in good faith and now I want it back.

- You'll have to give me time.
- I'll give you time.

- Thank you, thank you...
- Till tomorrow.

Tomorrow? But I...

I ain't one of no charity. Tomorrow.

- What about a dwarf bar?
- You'd hate it. Besides, you'd run out of headroom.

- Low dives, are they?
- Look at it like this: how long do you think you could sing about gold?

It's yellow and chinks and you buy things with it. About 4 seconds, I think.

- Right. It gets a bit repetitive after five hours.
- Did you hear something?

- Oi, they're mugging a clown!
- What's going on here?

J. H. 'Flannelfoot' Boggis and Nephews, Bespoke Thieves.

Let us quote you for our family rate.

- They're from the Thieves Guild.
- That's right.

Only don't expect us to do you now, 'cos we're on our way home.

- But you were kicking him!
- Well, not a lot. Not what you'd call actual kicking.

- More foot nudging, sort of thing.
- How much did you steal?

Well, let's have a look... Oh, ??? me.

There must be a hundred silver dollars in here. I can't handle that sort of money.

You've got to be in the League of Lawyers to steal that much.

- Give it back to him then.
- But I done him a receipt!

Look after him. I'll sort this out.

My client feels that the situation could be resolved if you give the money back.

Ye-es. But it's the receipt, see? We have to fill it up, time and place, signed and everything.

My client feels that possibly you could rob him of, let us say, five copper pieces.

- No, I don't!
- That represents two copper pieces as the going rate, plus expenses of three copper pieces for time, call-out fees...

- Wear and tear on the cosh.
- Exactly.

Very fair. Very fair. And how about something with the weekends, sir? We've got a special on GBH this season. Practically painless.

- Hardly breaks the skin.
- Plus you get a choice of limb.

- Thank you. No.
- Right you are then. No problem.

Which merely leaves the question of my legal fees.

Three silver dollars and eighteen copper pieces in profit.

That was amazing! I mean, the way they volunteered to go home and get some more money as well.

And the youngest one started to cry. Amazing!

Well, I'm very grateful. I'd really like to show my gratitude.

Tell you what. Let me treat you to a drink. It's the least I can do.

- After you.
- No, after you.

No, trick of the light.

Gold, gold, gold, gold, gold, gold.

I reckon... I reckon I could do with another drink. My shout this time. My squeak.

S'all right. He don't mean it. Don't know many dwarfs.

Bit short of them where I come from..

I think you ought to tell him be a bit less funny.

Otherwise he'll be amusing the demons in the Dungeon Dimensions.

Here, I know you. You got a cosmetics mill down Hobfast Street.

- I bought a lot of greasepaint off you last week.
- Shut up.

Very good stuff. Especially your No. 19, Corpse Green, my father swears by his...

- Here, you're not with the theatre?
- Tha's us.

Strolling players.Standing-still players now. Slidin'-down players.

I went last week. Oh, was that good.

There was this girl and this fellow, but he was married, and there was this other fellow,

and they said he'd died, and she pined away and took poison

but then it turned out this man was the other man really and everyone died in the end.

Very tragic. I cried all the way home.

- You two are with a theatre?
- S'right.

Then I've come five hundred miles to find you.

Where did you say he'd come from?

The Ramtops. Some little kingdom no-one's ever heard of.

- Lancre.
- Sounds like a chest infection.

That's where I was born. When you did a tour of the mountains.

Tomjon, laddie, it's a long long way.

I could take some of the younger lads. We could be back by Soulcake Day.

- In time for the Grand Opening.
- I've got to write the damn thing first.

There's more where I'd come from for you two. Another 100 silver pieces, her ladyship said.

It sounds interesting: wicked king ruling with the help of evil witches.

Storms. Ghastly forests.

True Heir to Throne in Life-and-Death Struggle.

Flash of Dagger. Screams, alarums.

Evil king dies. Good triumphs. Bells ring out.

But my dear boy, are you sure you really want to do it?

On the other hand, what harm could it do? The pay's... the play is the thing.

- And I do have some debts.
- Chrysoprase. He's the one that has people's limbs torn off.

- How much you owe him?
- An arm and a leg.

- So, you got the money?
- How much does he owe you?

- Let's see now... A hundred silver pieces.
- A hundred? I only borrowed...

And there's interest. So we say... Another hundred? After all you wouldn't want anyting to happen to your theater?

Not to mention, I'm not a vindictive troll. I'll give you two months. Should be enough times to get there and back.

- How could have you been so stupid?
- I did it for you two.

You deserve a better stage, a proper home.

It's no life out on the road, giving two performances

to a bunch of farmers who throw potatoes on the stage.

I said, blow the cost. I just wanted you to have...

All right! Looks like I'll have to write it.

- And I'll act it.
- Thank you both.

He's on his way. In a cart.

- A fiery white charger would have been favourite.
- Has he got a magic sword?

We could make him one out of thunderbolt iron. I've got a spell for that.

You take some thunderbolt iron... and then you make a sword out of it.

You're a disgrace, the pair of you. Magic chargers, fiery swords.

- I can't be having with that old stuff.
- It's a long road. There's many a slip twixt dress and drawers. There could be bandits.

- We shall watch over him.
- That's not right. He ought to be able to fight his own battles.

We don't want him to go wasting his strength. We want him good and fresh for when he gets here.

- And then we'll leave him to fight his battles in his own way.
- Provided he looks like winning.

1ST WITCHE: He's late.
2ND WITCHE: He said he would come.

3RD WITCHE: This is my last newt. I saved it for him. And he hasn't come.

I think you ought to slow down a bit. No-one said it had to sparkle.

But it could, you know. If I could just get it right.

I think we're lost.

- Well now. What have we here?
- We've got a receipt somewhere...

They don't look like Guild thieves. They look lake freelancers to me.

- Could I just say something?
- You're going to beg for mercy, right?

That's right. The point I'd like to make is that "The worth of man lies not in feats of arms, Or the fiery..."

- Pass me that milk jug, Magrat.
- That was a present from my aunt.

"Become a man, this jewel of jewels, this crown of crowns."

- Is that it?
- Well, yes.

It was a good speech, but I don't see what it's got to do with me. Hand over your valuables.

- I don't think he was very impressed with my performance.
- A born critic.

You can't get jugs like that any more.

I mean, if you'd have said what was on your mind, there was a flatiron on the shelf.

A week ago she said she wouldn't interfere.

A week's a long time in thaumatugrics. 18 years for one thing.

They're wandering all over the place. They may be good at the theatre, but they've got something to learn about the travelling.

- You've got us lost, haven't you?
- Certainly not.

- Where are we, then?
- It's the mountains. Perfectly clear on any atlas.

- We ought to stop and ask someone.
- Who did you have in mind?

That old woman in the funny hat. I've been watching her.

She keeps ducking down behind a bush when she thinks I'm looking.

- Ho there, good mother!
- Who are you calling mother?

- Just a figure of speech, Mrs... Miss...
- Mistress.

And I'm a poor old woman gathering wood.

Lawks! You did give me a fright, young master. My poor old heart.

- I'm sorry?
- What?

- Your poor old heart what?
- What about my poor old heart?

- It's just that you mentioned it.
- Well, it isn't important.

Lawks. I expect you're looking for Lancre.

- Well, yes.
- You've come too far.

Go back about two miles, and take the track on the right, past the stand of pines.

Would you care to share our lunch, good mo ... old wo ... ma'am?

- What is it?
- Salt pork.

Gives me wind.

- She could have given more explicit instructions.
- What, like ask at the next crone. Look, over there.

Ho there, old... good...

- Wood gatherer.
- Would you care to share our lunch, old... good wo... miss?

- It's only salt pork, I'm afraid.
- Meat is extremely bad for the digestive system.

If you could see inside your colon you'd be horrified. I am just a humble ...

I mean, lawks, I am just a humble wood gatherer.

Lawks, collecting a few sticks and mayhap directing lost travellers on the road to Lancre.

- I thought we'd get to that.
- You fork left up ahead and turn right

at the big stone with the crack in it, you can't miss it. Lawks, lawks.

- What are we doing?
- Waiting.

- It'll be getting dark soon.
- We won't be here long.

It's salt pork, take it or leave it. Now ? which way's Lancre?

Keep on left at the ravine, then you pick up the track that leads to a bridge, you can't miss it.

- You forgot about the lawks.
- Oh yes, sorry. Lawks.

And you're a humble old wood gatherer, I expect?

Dead right, and I wouldn't say no to a lift. Move over.

You mentioned salt pork. There wouldn't be any mustard, would there?

- No.
- Can't abide salt pork without condiments, but pass it over, anyway.

- What's in that leather bottle?
- Beer.
- Water.

Pretty weak stuff. Anyone got a light? Good boy.

Now, anyone got any baccy?

- Perfect.
- Thank you.

They've got it absolutely spot on. They might almost have been there.

- Exactly right. This is exactly, exactly, exactly how it was.
- Will have been.

You're in this too. Amazing. It's word for word how it will be remembered.

- I see it's got Death in it.
- Always popular. People expect him.

How soon will they be here?

What's all this about a play?

My lord wants something to convince the people that he is the rightful King of Lancre.

- It's disgusting.
- I suppose you'd prefer the duchess's approach? She just thinks they ought to kill everyone.

- When's this play going to be, then?
- I'm not allowed to tell you.

The duke said to me, he said, don't tell the witches.

- I shouldn't, then.
- He said, not to say that it's at eight o'clock.

But meet for sherry beforehand at seven-thirty, i'faith. The duke will be expecting you.

- Can I see you after the show?
- I think I might be washing my hair again.

I brought you this present.

If he wants us to be here, I don't want to go. He's got some plan. He's using headology on us.

There's something up. He had his men set fire to three cottages in our village last night.

- He always does that when he's in a good mood.
- Come on, all the sherry'll be gone.

- Wotcha, jinglebells!
- There's not going to be any trouble, is there? Please.

I'm sure I don't know what you mean.

I hope you haven't been keeping our girl here up late o'nights!

- Nanny!
- I know where we can get a lovely view from one of the gate towers.

And there's a cistern of water and a fireplace that the guards use sometimes.

In case you want to wash your hair.

- Walnut?
- No, thank you. They go right through me, you know.

Hello! Do your own business?

People of Lancre! You are here tonight to be a witness to a remarkable performance.

One that I hope will lay many ghosts to rest.

The things that you are about to see actially happened. The rest, as they say, is history. Thank you.

Pray, gentles all, list to our tale...

- What's a gentle?
- Type of maggot.

These walnuts are damn tough. I'm going to have to take my shoe off to this one.

Actors! As if the world weren't full of enough history without inventing more.

I want the world the way it is. The way it was. The past used to be a lot better than it is now.

- What hath befell the land?
- 'Tis a terror by the name of king...

- Come on. Soldiers of the king, at the double!
- And the witches ? where are the blasted witches?

- I've lost my wart!
- The cauldron's all full of yuk!

- There's something living in this wig!
- Calm down, calm down. It'll all be all right on the night!

- Come on, may I say now.
- Halt there, old crone!

- We come with orders from the king.
- Your house and all that it contains are forfeit.

No, this cannot be. Hold your tongues all by my face, I'll... I'll now...

- Avenge the terror of my daughter's death.
- Avenge the terror of my daughter's death.

Now. What are you? You're scheming, evil, secret, black and midnight hags.

- Tell me what you are?
- We're scheming evil secret black and midnight...

Hwel, there's no crown. I've got to wear a crown.

Of course there's a crown. The big one with the red glass we used it in that place with the big square.

- I think we left it there.
- Just find another one, then.

In the props box. You're the Evil King, you've got to have a crown.

Get on with it, lad, you're on in a few minutes.

What are you hanging around here for? Get out there and curse them!

- Sister, where thou?
- A sailor?s wife had chestnuts in her lap, and munch?d, and munch?d...

That's us! Round that silly cauldron.

- That's meant to be us, Gytha.
- ... killing babes...

Did you hear that? One of them said we put babb ies in the cauldron!

They've done a slander on us.

Words. That's all that's left. Words. But the words won't be forgotten. They've got a power to them.

- I?ll give thee a wind.
- Thou?rt kind.

Green blusher? I don't look like that, do I?

- Absolutely not.
- And the hair!

It looks like straw. Not very clean, either. Not like yours. Oh. You've gone.

There's got to be a crown. Oh, well, you'll have to do.

- Come.
- What?

A drum! A drum! The king have come!

How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags!

- What is't you do?
- A deed without a name.

Such deeds indeed have I performed upon thy saying.

- That's him, isn't it? That's my son?
- I think he's meant to be you.

I never walked like that! What's happened to his leg?

That's my crown he's wearing!

And fiery is my thirst for blood, for hearts from chests to pluck and roast

upon the stick. I am in blood stepped insofar that

should I ??? no more ???

- Come, Gytha
- Murder old crones!

??? boil your heads in your cauldron!

- You must admit, my treasure, that the experiment seems to be working.
- It would appear so.

Cower now, brief mortals, for I am Death 'gainst whom no...

Oh, good grief, Dafe. "Gainst whom no lock will hold nor fasten'd portal bar".

Not that way up, you idiots!

Try a bit more hollowness. Like this. I HAVE COME TO GET YOU, YOU TERRIBLE ACTOR.

I don't know how you do it. I'll never be as good as you.

Call the captain of the guard and tell him to find the witches and arrest them.

- Divers alarums and excursions.
- That means lots of terrible happenings.

- Alarums and what?
- Excursions.

- The seaside would be nice.
- We can't let this happen.

Witches just aren't like that. We live in harmony with the great cycles of Nature.

And do no harm to anyone, and it's wicked of them to say we don't.

We ought to fill their bones with hot lead.

I don't think that would be appropriate. It could give people the wrong idea.

- But not for long.
- Why don't we just change the words?

When they come back on stage we could just put the 'fluence on them so they forget what they're saying,

- And give them some new words.
- They'd have to be the proper sort, otherwise people would suspect.

Shouldn't be too difficult. You just go tumpty-tumpty-tumpty.

Anyway, half of them are forgetting their lines as it is. It'll be easy.

Agreed. I suppose it's worth a try.

- We're not really witches!
- Tie their hands, lads.

- But if you'd just listen, we're with the theatre.
- Shall we gag them as well, captain?

And clap them in chains.

The witches. Where are the...? oh, at last! What are you three playing at? We've been looking for you everywhere!

- Us? But we're not in...
- Yes you are, remember, we put it in last week.

I must say, you look as nasty a bunch of hags as a body might hope to clap their eyes on. Now run along. Curtain up in ten seconds.

- Break a leg.
- Break your own leg.

Let's do the show right here.

What man dare, I dare. Approach thou like the rugged...

It's just a tin one, this. And it's full of yuk.

And the fire is just paper. Look, you can poke it.

I wouldn't be seen dead with a cauldron like this. Two days' work with a scourer and a bucket of sand, is this.

- ...tyranny...
- And calls me forth for vengeance.

- How do they make it flicker?
- Be quiet, you two. You're upsetting people.

Go ahead, young man. Don't mind us.

Aha, this calls you forth for vengeance, does it? And the heavens cry revenge, too, I expect.

It's them. What are they doing in my play?

Aha, thou callst me an evil king, though thou wisperest it so that none save I might hear it.

- Hwel says what the hell's going on?
- What was that? Did I hear you say 'I come, my lord'?

- Get these people off, he says!
- Thou babblest, man.

See how I dodge thy tortoise spear.

Ghosts of the mind and all device away, I bid the Truth to have its

tumpty-tumpty day.

Do you fear him now? And he so mazed with drink?

Take this dagger, husband ? you are a blade's width from the kingdom.

- I dare not.
- Who will know? See, there is only eyeless night.

Take the dagger now, take the kingdom tomorrow. Have a stab at it, man.

Cower now, brief mortals. I am Death, 'gainst who...

- Oh, thank you.

- 'Gainst whom no lock may hold...

- Hwel will have my... guts...

- Is this a dagger I see before me?
- Of course it's a dagger. Come on, do it now.

The weak deserve no mercy. We'll say he fell down the stairs.

I cannot. He has been kindness itself to me.

And you can be Death itself to him.


- ...lock will hold.

- ...lock will hold, nor fasten'd portal...

- ...bar.
- BAR.

No, no, I cannot do it! Down there in the hall, someone watches!

Dithering idiot! Must I put it in for you? See, his foot is upon the top stair!

No! No! It was not like that! You cannot say it was like that! You were not there!

- You traitor!
- I know it was you. I saw you at the top of the stairs, sucking your thumb.

I'd kill you now, except for the thought of having to spend eternity listening to your whining.

- I, Verence, formerly King of...
- Arrest them!

- No!
- What did you say?

I saw it all. I was in the Great Hall that night. You killed the king, my lord.

I did not! You were not there! I did not see you there! I order you not to be there!

- You swore loyalty unto death.
- Yes, my lord. I'm sorry.

- You're dead!
- Thank goodness it's all over.

I didn't do it. You all saw that I didn't do it. You'are all lying. Telling lies is naughty.

It was her. She did it. You can't get me now.

I've never looked a bosom squarely in the face before.

Oh, cruel world, to save the experience until after I was dead.

- Are you dead?
- I must be. I think I'm in paradise.

- I think you are alive.
- Everyone's alive. Look, it's a trick dagger.

Actors probably can't be trusted with real ones.

That's right, they can't even keep a cauldron clean.

Whether everyone is alive or not is a matter for me to decide. Clearly my husband has lost his wits. And now I decree...

Be silent, woman! The true King of Lancre stands before you!

- Who, me?
- Ridiculous.

He is the true king. We can prove it.

Oh, no. We're not having that. There'll be no mysterious returned heirs in this kingdom.

- Guards! Take them.
- She's a witch, isn't she?

- Certainly.
- We seen where they turn people into newts.

- And then shipwreck them.
- I'll show you the power of these witches.

So, it comes to this, does it?

- What have you done to her?
- Headology.

No-one becomes like she is without building walls inside their head. I've just knocked them down.

Everyone wants to know their true self. Now, she does.

- Guards! I told you to take them!
- What?

- But I just showed you your true self.
- I'm supposed to be upset by that, am I?

I've seen exactly what I am, and I'm proud of it!

I'd do it all again, only hotter and longer!

I enjoyed it. There's not one of you who doesn't fear me.

- She does go on, doesn't she?
- Take her away and put her in a cell somewhere.

Now, my lad, you're the new King of Lancre.

- But I don't know how to be a king!
- We all seed you! You had it down just right.

- Including the shouting.
- But that's just acting!

Act, then.

I say, there's been some laughable mistake, look, the wigs come right off.


I shall rattle my bones at night, and knock on tables,

and drip ectoplasm on anyone I don't like.


- I'm going to float through walls.

I don't want to be king.

Let him be whoever he thinks he is.

- Everyone says I take after my dad.
- Funny thing, all this taking after people.

I mean, if I took after my dad, I'd be a hundred feet underground digging rocks.

Besides, I've got to get back. There's Chrysoprase. If we don't get the money to him in time

he'll come looking for us.

An arm and a leg, remember?

It might be a good idea to hold the coronation tomorrow.

- It's not good for a kingdom to be without a ruler. It doesn't like it.
- I told you, I don't want to be king.

- You were right. They really are brothers, aren't they?
- Oh yes. Definitely. I saw to his mother when your...

...when he was born. And to the queen when young Tomjon was born.

- And Her Majesty told me who his father was.
- But Verence was her husband, wasn't he? So...

You know what they say. Fool's rushing when the king's away. Or something like that.

But we'll keep to to ourselves.

- Well, then, if I am not a ghost, why are you here?

Wait forever, bone face! I shall hover in the twilight world, I shall find some chains to shake, I shall...

I shall haunt their corridors and whisper under the doors on still nights.


I'll be back. And I won't burden myself with a husband next time, either.

Weak! No courage in him to be as bad as he knew he was, inside.

- It was a good banquet, I thought.
- Yes, I was nearly sick.

And my Shirl helped out in the kitchen and brought me home some scraps.

I heard halfa pig and three bottles of fizzy wine went missing, they say.

We were a bit surprised you weren't there, Magrat.

We thought you'd be up at the top of the table, kind of thing.

- I wasn't invited.
- I don't know about invited. We weren't invited.

People don't invite witches, they just know we'll turn up if we want to.

Well, he's been very busy. Sorting everything out, you know.

I daresay he'll get around to everything, sooner or later.

- It's very demanding, being a king.
- Yes.

Here, your hair looks a bit grubby. Have you washed it lately?

- Well, laddie. You did it again.
- I know. How's the play going?

- What play?
- You know. That one. The Lancre King.

Oh. Coming along. I'll get right to finish it one of these days.

- Open in the name of the king!
- All right, you don't have to shout like that.

- Sorry, sire.
- Try the latch.

Don't like the sound of that, sire. Could be dangerous. If you want my advice, sire, I'd set fire to the thatch.

Set fire? I don't think that would be appropriate, sergeant.

- Well, couldn't I just set fire to the privy?
- Absolutely not!

- That chicken house over there looks as if it would go up like...
- Sergeant, go back to the castle.

- What, and leave you all alone, sire?
- There are times when even a king needs to be alone.

- It concerns a lady.
- Ah. Point taken, sire.

If you have any trouble getting her alight, you know where I live.