Discworld and Female Wizards

So, I’ve recently started reading Pratchett for the first time, and am currently on his third Discworld book, Equal Rites. One of the major premises, of course, is that young Eskarina Smith is the first female wizard on Discworld…

Except she’s not. In the very first book, we are introduced to Marchesa, a 15-year old “wizard of the fifth level” and Hydrophobe, from Krull. And, of course, she’s female.

Based on this Discworld timeline, the events of The Color of Magic are concurrent with Eskarina’s apprenticeship to Granny Weatherwax in Equal Rites. So it wasn’t a case of Equal Rites being set prior to The Color of Magic.

Was this apparent discrepancy ever resolved? Kind of a lame thing to get hung up on, perhaps, but there ya go.

What discrepency? The past is mutable on Discworld, and “The Colour of Magic” is barely in continuity as it is.

If you get hung up on this sort of thing, reading Pratchett is not going to be very satisfying for you.

I figure Pratchett probably wrote The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic as a standalone and then the whole Discworld thing mushroomed in ways that were utterly unexpected. I wouldn’t be surprised if he forgot about such a minor character by the time he got to Equal Rites.

I find that the first two books are kind of ignored with respect to continuity. Has Krull been referred to again the books?

Many aspects of the first books are ignored or changed later on, for example there’s a patrician in Sourcery, I think, who doesn’t fit with the later timeline.
Unless you argue that the events of Thief of Time were the cause of all that.

But don’t get hung up on that, you have all the best books still before you!

I don’t think so, and there’s a bunch of other stuff that I don’t think reappeared again (hydrophobes in general, the stone circle druids, the dragon riders)

It all has to do with quantum and the Trousers of Time.

Nearly the entire Rincewind series seems far apart from the other books, with the set of wizards at UU after Sourcery as a slight connection.

I usually mentally divide Discworld into two eras: Post-Sourcery, when most things are consistent within continuity, and pre-Sourcery, when most things aren’t. Then I just assume that when Coin reset the world at the end of Sourcery, he messed some things up.

Concur about continuity not being strict in the first books.

Also, my take is that there being no female wizards is not necessarily a law of (super)nature but rather a convention collectively enforced by wizarddom and witchdom. Marchesa would have studied not at UU but at a Krullian school.

Yes. Death goes there in Mort to see how he enjoys fly-fishing.

Wasn’t there something about stone-circle druids in Soul Music? Something like, Imp’s family were druids, and so the troll didn’t trust him at first because of the things druids did with stone?

Fair enough, I suppose, on the lack of continuity. It just struck me as odd, is all, since the adventures of Rincewind and Friends were still fresh in my mind when I started Equal Rites.

Not coincidentally, there was a small, wrinkly, bald smiling man calmly sweeping the steps as Marchesa passed.

Those dang monks.

People kept noticing all kinds of continuity errors like that one. So PTerry wrote a novel specifically designed to resolve all of them. The premise is that someone has been messing around with the timeline, which sometimes causes later events to happen before earlier events. It’s called The Thief Of Time, and it comes a lot later in the series. It isn’t something he planned when he wrote the earlier books.

IIRC Sourcery introduces Vetinari as the Patrician (prior to that I’m not even sure Patricians had a name except their title. Anyone remember another Patrician’s name outside of Vetinari?). Doesnt Vetinari get polymorphed to a frog or newt in Sourcery? Been a while since I last reread it.

I don’t think Havelock is the Patrician in Sourcery. If he is, it’s down the other trouser leg.

The Vetinari in Sourcery is pretty much the Vetinari of the rest of the series, complete with Wuffles. But I do think there’s an out-of-character Vetinari who’s having a birthday party at one point in another book. Death joins a conga-line winding through the palace. Vetinari’s mentioned, but not shown.

Other Patricians include Mad Lord Snapcase, Homicidal Lord Winder, Deranged Lord Harmoni and Laughing Lord Scapula. Snapcase and Winder make appearances in Night Watch.