Talk:Sam Vimes

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Headline text[edit]

Removed from the article:

(ironically, [Carrot is] also a descendant of the king who Vimes' ancestor did in)

No, he isn't. He's a descendant of an earlier (and, so it is said, much nobler) dynasty that disappeared from the throne of Ankh centuries before the days of Lorenzo the Kind. (See Ankh-Morpork#History.) --Paul A 02:25, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

While that's certainly more narratively satisfying, there's no actual evidence either way (the dates on D'Eath's pictures don't help, because we don't know what dating system he's using). In the absence of such I agree, leave it out. Daibhid C 14.50 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Sam Vimes' Son[edit]

In the article the writer says "He and Sybil have one small son, Sam Jr, born 25th May 1990."

I am not sure this is accurate since the Discworld uses its own calendar. Also, it is the wrong date in our calendar since the book Night Watch, where we read Sam's son is born, was published 2002.

The date sounds right. I've edited to indicate it goes by University Calendar. -takagawa-kun 02:11, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Book list?[edit]

How about a list of books Vimes is in? Some of the other Pratchett characters have these on their Wiki entries.

Random statements/speculation[edit]

"On the other hand, certain details and events point to it having been Vimes all along; also, Lu-Tze is not above manipulating people and possibly told a lie.)" - this mish-mash has evolved from nothing, and certainly has no place here. Going, going... ::Didactylos 19:17, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

"Sam Vimes rage has become a legend in Ankh-Morpork even when he has never been truly angry, the single thing that keeps everyone in the city in line is the fact that "Vimes will go spare"." - this is the view of Sergeant Colon, and is not universal. The whole "rage" section could benefit from a rewrite. ::Didactylos 19:22, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I wasn't sure about that line; I'd always thought it was just Nobby Nobbs, who turnd down a chance to become King of Ankh-Morpork because "Vimes'll go spare!" I don't remember any other character using that phrase. I'll take it down, then if someone comes along and disagrees they can say why. Serendipodous 18:56, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I think Colon thinks that in Fifth Elephant (he believes this will be in reaction to Vimes coming home and see what's happened with Colon at the helm), and Gaspode makes a comment like that in The Truth (in reference to Vimes's reaction to William de Worde dropping a stinkbomb on Angua). So, people who at least somewhat know Vimes should know of his anger, if they don't actually use the exact phrase, but I wouldn't say it's legendary exactly. --Yar Kramer 02:09, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, in the Fifth Elephant, when asked by his clerk Drumknott why did he allow Colon´s blunders and the Watchmen´s strike, the Patrician stated that things would never get too much out of hand since the Watchmen know that Vimes would be back in a few weeks, and they fear Vimes anger too much... (something like that)
Just looked up the above mentioned quote. What Lord vetinari says (and I'm paraphrasing) is that the whole city is lying low, and even those allowed to steal [Thieves' Guild] aren't. This is because they know that when Vimes comes back he will be 'unhappy'. (The actual word used.) And when Vimes is 'unhappy' everyone knows about it. (On a different note is 'Lady Sybill Free Hospital' really with a double l?) 15:42, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Fictional Alcoholics category[edit]

I'm not entirely sure this is accurate, since he only drinks in the first two books he's in (in the rest, he has his cigars). --Yar Kramer 21:24, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

The "Alcoholism" wikipedia article defines alcoholism thusly:
Alcoholism is a dependency on alcoholic beverages characterized by craving (a strong need to drink), loss of control (being unable to stop drinking despite a desire to do so), physical dependence, tolerance (increasing difficulty in becoming drunk), and withdrawal symptoms. It can also be described as an addiction to alcoholic beverages that results in a consumption of alcohol in circumstances that damage one's ability to pursue one's other desires.
As I understand it, one can be an abstaining alcoholic, i.e. addicted to alcohol but actively refraining from drinking (for example, the members of Alcoholics Anonymous identify themselves as alcoholics, yet do not drink). In Guards! Guards! and Men at Arms, it's made pretty clear that Vimes drinks to excess, and craves alcohol. In subsequent books, he constantly longs for alcohol, and in The Fifth Elephant, he more or less confesses to having been an alcoholic. He may no longer be a practicing alcoholic, but I think the suggestion is that he does not drink because he is an alcoholic, and "one drink is too many." It's certainly arguable either way, though. McPhail 13:05, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
All right. Consider the point condeded. Since, y'know, I didn't know much more than stereotypes to begin with. ;) --Yar Kramer 20:26, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

What did Ma Vimes pay for[edit]

At school he was once blackboard monitor for a whole term (An honour his mother paid for, unknown to him at the time).

I have always read the part about Vimes wondering where his mother got the money from as, not knowing how she afforded sending him to school, not paying for him to be Blackboard monitor, is there another reference I am miss-remembering? Gonzo 09:40, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it was the school tuition she paid for, not the role as BBMON. Katzenjammer 21:35, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
school tuition is an honour? I think you are misreading that situation WookMuff 04:04, 16 October 2006 (UTC)


An article of this length is fairly conspicuously missing a picture. A cropping of this [1] would be my first thought, though I expect it's problematic legally.

Legality aside, I remember reading somewhere (Probably this article) that Prachett has said he prefers Vime's look in "Where's My Cow?" to the one in that picture.--Agent Aquamarine 23:00, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Best if you come up with a verifiable source on that first, though. —Yar Kramer 04:21, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
From the "Where's My Cow?" article:

"In this book Vimes bears a passing resemblance to actor Pete Postlethwaite. Pratchett has before commented that this is who he has always perceived Vimes to look like, rather than the Paul Kidby 'Clint Eastwood' representation."

Tada!--Agent Aquamarine 06:05, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Do we need someone to scan the image of Sam Vimes from the Where's My Cow book, then? --D'Argent 18:39, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

"Old Stone Face" Reference[edit]

Judge Dredd has the nickname "Old Stoneyface", whereas Sam Vimes, and his ancestor "Suffer-Not-Injustice Vimes", have the nickname "Old Stoneface". I think it's possible that Judge Dredd is an inspiration for Vimes and this isn't a coincidence, so Vimes' nickname references Dredd's. Is this worth putting in the Wiki article? --D'Argent 18:39, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Very unlikely that had anything to do with it. Old Stoneface was the nickname given to Oliver Cromwell. Given the author's British and given the Vime's family history of regicide it's much more likely a Cromwell reference then Judge Dredd.--Lepeu1999 15:00, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Umm, so are you saying judge dredd isn't british? and yes, I know he lives in megacity one which is US, but he is a british creation from a british magazine. WookMuff 03:02, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Nope, I say no such thing. Dredd is a British comic, but I've never seen anything from the author (Pratchett) listing Dredd as an influence to Vimes while I HAVE seen a statement linking Cromwell. What we believe is immaterial, WP:verifiability--Lepeu1999 23:01, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Suffer-Not-Injustice is pure Oliver Cromwell. Vimes, however, is closer to your detective character in Film Noir, specifically Dirty Harry. I think the L-Space annotations point out how many detective-movie cliches appear in Guards! Guards! (The flickering glowing-lettered sign, the rain, shooting the lock off a door, and the "Do you feel lucky" speech as adapted for use with a dragon...). Also, I agree with Vimes. "Family history of regicide" makes it sound like it was a habit. Lorenzo *was* only one king...
If you read the later Vimes books regicide is, if not a habit, then far from out of the question with Vimes. He's about as anti-monarch as you can get. Anyway my comment was in answer to the first - that Old Stoneface was very unlikely to be a judge dredd reference. You should sign your posts.--Lepeu1999 22:29, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Dirty Harry was also an inspiration for Judge Dredd, of course. I don't know if this inspired Pratchett to slip in a Dredd reference or not; I think the Cromwell ref is deliberate, but he's not beyond making two references at once... Daibhid C 16:04, 1 July 2007 (UTC)


While I applaud the work done by all of you on this article - it's really very well done - I hate to say it but this entire section (Character) smacks of WP:Original_Research. WP policy is that every statement must be attributable to a reputable source - i.e. our own analysis and interpretation has no place here. This section needs to be footnoted with sources for the material or it needs to go.--Lepeu1999 17:36, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

It's a book character, for Pete's sake. All the information in that section comes from the books. There is no way to use footnotes for such information. Your reasoning is wrong, as books are a primary source for fictional character information and thus enough for WP:V. If you claim OR in the article, you have to specify, which part you think is interpretation or analysis according to WP:OR. I for my part cannot find any such problems, all the character info is from the books and thus does not need footnotes. --SoWhy Talk 12:22, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
I KNOW that. The section's been rather extensivly re-written by the origional author to reflect that since the origional note. In fact, I'm removing it. I would have early but I've been away from Wikipedia. Just because something is about a book character DOESN'T remove the obligation to source a character analysis. Doing one on your own IS OR per WP policy. If you're citing the character's behavior, you need to cite which book it comes from including page number. Just because the info is in a book doesn't remove the need to footnote. Wikipedia allows for the citation of text sources as WELL as online sources.--Lepeu1999 00:38, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
The section needs to be deleted, or sources need to be found and cited. Deletion seems far more likely. Geoff B 18:45, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

To jump in here, even though the text makes reference to the book the examples were taken from, they still need to be footnoted - at least with the book information if not the specific page numbers.--Lepeu1999 19:14, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree: the article is well written and manages to convey a good description of Vimes for both fans of TP and complete strangers. However, footnotes are still necessary, even if they refer to a book.The Nouv (talk) 14:53, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

removal of 'pov' edits[edit]

Some of the things removed are actually direct quotes or paraphrasing from the books don't want to just revert but labelling it all as 'not a neutral point of view' is inaccurate if its Vimes POV --Nate 09:08, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Vimes' POV is not NPOV, so defining it as such is accurate. However, my assertion of POV is nothing to do with that, and has more to do with the often unencyclopaedic language used, the attempts at character interpretation, and so on. It offends me as a Wikipedian and as an avid reader of Pratchett. Geoff B 10:08, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Some of the edits are good which is the only thing stopping me doing a complete revert! Please skip the straw men, you have said that various description of Vimes attitudes are POV, but they are Facts, NPOV is about the style of the article not about how Pratchett portrays & describes his character, also you are removing wiki links when you add refs & not, at the very least, including the ISBN, you are making the article worse. --Nate 13:47, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm making the article worse? What a fucking joke. And as for straw men, look at yourself. I pointed out what I was talking about when I said POV, not the various descriptions of Vimes' attitudes as you state. The ISBN could easily be included, but hey, no-one else is bothering, or has bothered, to add references, so I'll have to do it. Uncited info can be removed at any time, and that's what I'll do. Geoff B 14:19, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I never said Vimes POV was neutral (the straw man) but, it is inherently relevant to include it in the article if acknowledged as his pov. Replacing a wiki link to the relevant book & removing info about the character ismaking the article worse in my opinion.
Please do not resort to swearing I am quiet angry right now but don't see the need for profanity. --Nate 15:01, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

All of the "citation needed" tags[edit]

I'm not too clear on the rules for citations, so I'll look into them before making any changes, but this page is full of the tags. I don't know if there've been many third-party, notable works on Discworld characters, so I'm guessing that the only sources available are the books themselves.

Just how much needs to be cited, though? This block, for example:

Vimes is a very conflicted character.[citation needed] An incorruptible idealist with deep beliefs in justice and an abiding love of his city, he is also a committed cynic whose knowledge of human nature constantly reminds him how far off those ideals are.[citation needed] A member of the upper classes, he still has an innate dislike of hereditary wealth and a horror of social inequality.[citation needed]

Some of it can really only be seen through multiple interactions, but is undeniably there. I guess there's a fine line to walk between what's written and how we interpret it - with all interpretations being considered original research - but looking at all the tags, it's tempting just to stick the list of books in the references section and sweep the tags away. Raistlin11325 03:45, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Lorenzo the Kind...pedophile or Hitler?[edit]

I take issue with this line, Lorenzo the Kind, the last king of the city, a sadistic torturer described as very fond of children. . The article links the 'very fond of children' part to the article on pedophilia. My personal reading of this line was an allusion to Adolf Hitlers well known fondness of children contrasting with his reputation as the most evil man who ever lived. Does anyone agree? Can we have a consensus? -Doktor Waterhouse 13:55, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I doubt the Hitler allusion, because Lorenzo was believed to be a tyrant against everyone until Suffer-No-Injustice Vimes and his Ironmen discovered his "fondness" of children after killing him. I think the pedophilia allusion is correct. --SoWhy Talk 15:03, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
From comments in the books (I believe Vimes in the art gallery) the 'fondness' was viewed as a bad thing. --Nate1481( t/c) 15:44, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
From Feet of Clay (HarperTorch paperback, p. 39):
"Because my ancestor killed a-" He (i.e. Vimes) paused.
"No, it wasn't even an execution," he said.
"You execute a human being. You slaughter an animal."
"He was the king," said Dragon mildly.
"Oh, yes. And it turned out that down in the dungeons he had machines for-"
"Commander," said the vampire, holding up his hands,
"I feel you don't understand me. Whatever else he was, he was the king."
"Well someone had to do it. Some monsters should not walk under the living sky."
I think it is not very clear from these lines but pedophile might be the most likely choice. I posted the question to a.f.pratchett here to see if we get better answers there. --SoWhy Talk 13:03, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The allusion to Hilter makes better sense especially when one considers the context of the character. Lorenzo can be placed in a character class that we would describe variously as tyrant/dictator. The best known member of this class would be Hitler. Hitler's love of children has been noted as an ironic element of his character. Pratchett, as a satirist, often draws on real world examples to illustrate the ironies of his characters class. The 'evil man with a soft spot' seems to fit Pratchett's style. Doktor Waterhouse 12:34, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
So would the use of sarcasm and irony. Especially because the "fondness" or other describing elements of his character are usually set in italics or "". Like in the above quote, Whatever else he was to see as a description that he was a tyrant is kind of far-fetched because a bunch of kings before him were tyrants, too.
'He, er, doesn't appear much in the history books,' said Vimes. 'Sometimes there has to be a civil
war, and sometimes, afterwards, it's best to pretend something didn't happen. Sometimes people
have to do a job, and then they have to be forgotten. He wielded the axe, you know. No-one
else'd do it. It was a king's neck, after all. Kings are,' he spat the word, 'special. Even after they'd
seen the . . . private rooms, and cleaned up the . . . bits. Even then. No-one'd clean up the world.
But he took the axe and cursed them all and did it.'
'What king was it?' said Carrot.
'Lorenzo the Kind,' said Vimes, distantly.
'I've seen his picture in the palace museum,' said Carrot. A fat old man. Surrounded by lots of
'Oh yes,' said Vimes, carefully. 'He was very fond of children.'
From "Men at Arms". I would think the description does not fit Hitler, and it says that Vimes says the last part "carefully"... --SoWhy Talk 14:28, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the pedophile interpretation but the Hitler one is an interesting take.--Lepeu1999 15:19, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

This is the quote I was thinking of, definite undertones implying paedophilia. It's also worth considering the two are not mutauly exclusive, this is fictions elements could come from both. --Nate1481( t/c) 15:28, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I kinda get a whole psychotic version of Santa - A fat man, who happened to be kind to kids, with a tendancy for casual torture.Where is WikiResearch? (talk) 13:15, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Vetinari's Successor?[edit]

Please remind me, at the end of Thud does Vetinari hint at grooming Vimes as his successor? If so, should this be mentioned in either or both their entries?--Tricksterson (talk) 18:28, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I personally don't remember anything even remotely like that (which could be just my atrocious observation skills again), but if it's ambiguous, we probably shouldn't invoke the wrath of original research and speculation. —Yar Kramer (talk) 01:22, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I just read Thud! again a few weeks ago and I cannot recall such a reference. Maybe you should tell us, which reference you mean (page, context, etc). As Yar Kramer points out, if it's not clear, it would probably be WP:OR anyway. As a Pratchett fan, I don't think Vetinari would hint such things. He knows full well that Vimes could never run a city like A-M, because he lacks the skills to not kill bastards when it's inappropriate ;-) --SoWhy Talk 19:54, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Possibly my imagination, will have to reread.--Tricksterson (talk) 14:23, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Background - Vime's Age[edit]

The last paragraph of the background is absolute garbage writing. It reads like a couple of fanboys arguing over a Star Trek episode. I would suggest dropping it altogether, or replacing it with "The chronology given in Night Watch places Vimes' age at 46 for this novel." and dropping the rationalization altogether. Wcudmore (talk) 21:44, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Not so much garbage writing as confusing ideas, I'd say. It is a bit on the quibbly side - the problem is that someone misread the sentence about Sally. It reads "She could have passed for sixteen; it was certainly hard to believe that she was not a lot younger than Vimes." The writer of the paragraph read it as "...that she WAS not-a-lot-younger than Vimes", where it was meant to be read as "...that she was NOT a-lot-younger than Vimes". Get it? I'm going to go edit it. -- (talk) 18:12, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Recent developments[edit]

It is stated that Terry Pratchett said that "Morpork books are becoming almost impossible to write without making them watch books"(parap). This really needs citation as the last four main books: Going Postal, Thud, Making Money & Unseen Academicals have all been set in Ankh-Morpork with the exception being the Watch book - Thud, which was partially set outside. If true, he's done very well (although this does not surprise).Where is WikiResearch? (talk) 13:08, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Unnecessary internal references?[edit]

Many words in the intro are internal links, more than I think is strictly necessary (what are these things even called?). The article about 'Terrier' describes a kind of dog, not its use in English language as 'tool'. Do we need a separate link that discusses the exact definition of what a wife is? More to the points: most of those links are thrown about, even though they do not bear relevance to the article (for example, 'wife' may be linked internally in an article about marriage, but not when the word is used in its normal sense). They are really just used as if they link to a dictionary, which wikipedia is not. Anyone agrees? (talk) 21:46, 4 October 2013 (UTC)