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23rd novel – 6th Witches story
In Carpe Jugulum, Terry Pratchett pastiches the traditions of vampire literature, playing with the mythic archetypes and featuring a tongue-in-cheek reversal of 'vampyre' subculture with young vampires who wear bright clothes, drink wine, and stay up until noon.
Count Magpyr and family are invited to the naming of Magrat and King Verence's daughter, to be conducted by the Omnian priest, Mightily Oats. During the ceremony, Verence informs Nanny Ogg and Agnes Nitt that the Count has informed him that the Magpyr family intend to move into Lancre Castle and take over. Due to a type of hypnotism, everyone seems to consider this plan to be perfectly acceptable. Only the youngest witch, Agnes, and the Omnian priest, Mightily Oats, seem able to resist this charm, due to their dual personalities. The Magpyr son, Vlad, is attracted to Agnes because she is able to resist him.
Meanwhile, Granny Weatherwax has left her cottage empty and seems to be working towards a life in a cave, almost like a hermit. After they have left the hypnotic influence of the Vampires, Agnes, Nanny Ogg and Magrat attempt to convince her to help them save Lancre, but apparently without success.
The Magpyr family have made themselves much more formidable enemies by building up tolerance to the normal methods used to defeat vampires, such as garlic, bright light, and religious symbols. This has been done with a series of self help procedures, including exposing the younger vampires to low levels of vampire repellents.
There is an Igor who is the servant of the Magpyrs. He is a traditionalist who spends his spare time breeding and distributing spiders for the dark corners of the castle. The Magpyrs are very rude to him, and make fun of his attempts to keep their residence looking like a 'proper' vampire's castle. Igors' impression of the current Count Magpyr is that he is too modern, whereas Igor prefers "tradithionalitht" methods of Vampirism (all Igors have a lisp on the Discworld—although some only have them when they remember).
Finally, Nanny, Magrat and Agnes confront the Magpyrs, but look to be defeated when Granny Weatherwax comes in (stumbling and tired in a very un-Granny like fashion). She also appears to fail against the Magpyrs and she is bitten in the neck and seems destined to become a Vampire. She resists, though not without extreme physical strain.
Nanny, Magrat and Magrat's infant daughter Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre escape with the help of the rebelling Igor, who appears to have a crush towards Nanny), but are forced to detour to Überwald and end up in the Magpyrs' castle. Agnes is kidnapped by the Magpyrs and their clan, who give chase by flying.
While Magrat and her daughter hide in Igor's dungeon quarters Nanny and Igor begin fighting against the Magpyrs, using the considerable stock of Holy water and other religious symbols that were originally collected by old Count Magpyr (who is described as having been "a sportsman"). Surprisingly (for the Magpyr family, at least) the old-fashioned ways to defeat vampires that they thought themselves protected against start to work again. They don't understand what the problem is, although they start to have bizarre cravings for "hot, sweet tea and biscuits", a combination that has them feeling quite upset (it not being their usual craving for blood.)
All is revealed when Granny (who has helped Mightily Oats to Überwald by a process of being carried by him) tells them that - far from turning her into a Vampire, they have, instead, been 'Weatherwaxed', caused by the sharing of their blood with her. The Magpyrs find themselves unable to harm Magrat's daughter or do anything else that Granny herself is unable to do (e.g. fly). They are even more horrified when they find out that Igor has re-awakened the old Count Magpyr (having gone into his crypt and spilled a drop of blood on the old Count's cremation ashes) and that the people of Überwald would prefer the old Count to their new, modern type of vampirism. The Magpyrs are attacked (and presumably killed—though probably not permanently) by the citizens of Überwald and the witches return to Lancre.
- OMFGcata (September 16, 2011). "Fan Friday! : Friday Q&A: Totalbiscuit Edition". YouTube. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
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|Reading order guide|
The Last Continent
|23rd Discworld Novel||Succeeded by
The Fifth Elephant
|6th Witches Story
Published in 1998
"The Sea and Little Fishes"