Guards! Guards!: Analysing Vimesy (pt 1)

Sam Vimes stands in the middle of a foggy street. Looking at the viewer, he points a small dragon at them in a manner akin to a shotgun.

While Sam Vimes later rises to second most important person in Ankh-Morpork, the strength seen here will not be apparent until Guards! Guards! is over.

You don’t need me to tell you Terry Pratchett is a good author: the man’s books not only sell like hotcakes, but he’s near-universally critically acclaimed. And there was the whole knighthood thing, which I’m sure gave him no small amount of glee.

But you might want to know that I am a big fan of the Discworld series, in this case big meaning “my baby toe makes the Great Wall of China look like a half-eaten pea”. And, while I liked the previous books enough to keep reading, it was Guards! that finally hooked me on them. And in Guards! itself, it was a certain Samuel Vimes that intrigued me most.

But what’s so great about Sam Vimes? Or, rather, what’s interesting about him? Guards! Guards! has a lot of themes, such as whether man is truly good, bad, or something more nuanced – how does he relate to them?

While ultimately I don’t think Vimes’s development is the best shown in this novel, he’s one of Discworld‘s more nuanced and complex characters, and a lot of themes he embodies can also be seen in Granny Weatherwax, of the Witches subseries. He is likely more closer to his “real” self in later books, but it’s worth beginning from the start in almost all things. So, let’s… begin. Continue reading