Is Lord Vetinari good or bad? (Discworldcentric)

I can never quite figure out Lord Vetinari. I know he used to be an assasin (the best), but he is sort of a friend of Vimes, and seems like a good guy when he makes decisions and talks to people. Yet, I have only recently seen what he looks like, and he looks evil.
Which Discworld book has the most Vetinari in it? (or which book is about him?)

Vimes is still my favourite by far, and probably always will be, but Vetinari intrigues me.

Shi…damn! I meant to post this in Cafe Society:smack:

Lord Vetinari does what he thinks is best for Ankh-Morpork. Of course, he considers himself to be the personification of Ankh-Morpork, so it all works out in the end.

For himself, anyway.

A vote for good, here. He’s made the place what it is, and that can only be a good thing. :slight_smile:

He is good as opposed to bad, not good as opposed to evil.

He keeps the wheels well oiled, and doesn’t like anything that gets in the way of his smoothly running city.

Ruthless, but decent. And dare I say it, fair in the true impartial sense of the word.

He does a good job of running the city and he handles the job with style and aplomb and that goes a long way. Plus he juggles, and that’s just neat.

  • Jingo * devotes a lot of time Vetinari and is also where we see him juggle, btw.

He is the perfect benign dictator (as searched for recently in other threads here).

We never see him kill, oppress the populace or anything. Although he may be said to rule by fear, I always get the impression that it’s due to reputation (spin) not any actual acts.

As mentioned often throughout the books, he’s much better than any other ruler in history.

He is that oxymoron - a good politician.
I’d vote for him :wink:

I’ll move this to Cafe Society for you.

Guards, Guards is a great Vetinari-Vimes book. I just LOVE the way Vetinari and Vimes interact in the books.

No, you can’t really say that Vetinari is a baddie. The reference to him juggling fits what he does – he juggles the Guilds, making sure not one can gain ascendency over the others, and therefore lead Ankh-Morpork into the depths it was when Vimes was just starting out in the Watch.

It’s kind of like saying that the winner of a well-played chess game is neither good nor evil – just a very good strategist.

Chaotic neutral :stuck_out_tongue:
He does what needs to be done with the justification that all means validate the end result of the continuity of A-M.

Vetinari is very, very EFFICIENT. He’s against unnecessary cruelty, though he will be cruel if the task requires. But consider how he treats Leonardo di Quirm…Leo has everything he wants and needs, and Vetinari is protecting a priceless natural resource.

I’m just reading “Sourcery” for the nth time, and Vetinari is an arsehole at the beginning of it. I haven’t finished it yet, so I can’t remember if being turned into a lizard changes him…

I’m with lee though. He’s just good at what he does. Like Death.

That might be a good place not to go – I get the feeling that after Sourcery Pratchett went with Discworld V 2.0. A lot of the characters stuck around but they’re allmost all changed. Plus the heroine of the book is never even referenced again (I can’t even remember her name now).

No way is he chaotic. Vetinari is lawful if anyone is. He has legislated crime, for god’s sake!

The ultimate manifestation of realpolitik.

Vetinari’s not good nor evil so much as a mix of both. As lee put it, he’s good as opposed to bad. He doesn’t go to great lengths to safeguard the welfare of the citizens, but he wants the city to run smoothly (by Ankh-Morpork standards, which are very loose standards). While he can be ruthless when he needs to be, he isn’t ruthless just for the hell of it. While his taxes suffice to maintain him in a reasonably opulent palace, he’s not running a kleptocracy. If you were an Ankh-Morpork resident, there would be far worse people to have in charge of the city than Lord Vetinari.

One rule of thumb I use is: what the rich folk want is evil, so going against them is the side of good. Vetinari is quite loathed by the rich and powerful in Ankh-Morpork. Lot’s of scheming on their part to put a “decent person” in charge. (I think “The Truth” was basically about this??) That makes him a good guy in my book. Or in short:

Enlightened despot.

He’s good for Ankh-Morpork and we see in Jingo that he has morals (he doesn’t use Leonard to make warmachines), but all in all, I wouldn’t say he’s good or bad. He just is.