In episode four, vaudevillian Elly Squires – aka Clara Cupcakes – joins us to discuss one of her first Discworld books, and the start of the witches series proper: Wyrd Sisters! Terry Pratchett’s sixth Discworld novel, published in 1988, it’s the second book to feature Granny Weatherwax – but the first to introduce her fellow witches, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick.
Seasoned witches Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are adjusting to life in a coven with recently graduated apprentice Magrat Garlick when the king of their tiny kingdom Lancre is murdered. The old king’s baby son escapes – right into the witch’s arms. They send him off to be raised by a troupe of travelling actors, while the usurper Duke Felmet is crowned king, aided in his tyrranical rule by his equally cruel wife. Granny, Nanny and Magrat must contend with rumour, theatre and their own clashing personalities if they are to change their kingdom’s story…
The witches are one of Pratchett’s most beloved groups of characters, and pre-date both the City Watch and the modern faculty of Unseen University – so it’s surprising to see them spring so fully-formed from their first novel! We loved meeting them all over again. We’d love to hear what you think of Wyrd Sisters – if you’re joining this episode’s discussion on social media, please use the hashtag #Pratchat4 so we can all find each other’s thoughts! (Big thanks to listener Jodie for this brilliant idea.)
Elly Squires can be found on Twitter as her alter-ego @claracupcakes. She’s touring her hit 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, The Worst, to various festivals around Australia and the world, including Fringe World in Perth and the Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland. Keep an eye out for her tour dates on Facebook or (if you’re not afraid of Russian hackers) at claracupcakes.com.
You can read the full show notes and errata for this episode on our web site.
Our next book, discussed in our March 8th episode, will be 1989’s standalone Discworld novel, Pyramids – and joining us to talk about assassins, gods and a very different tiny kingdom will be comedian Richard McKenzie! We’ll be recording on February 19th, so get your questions in before then if you’d like us to answer them on the podcast! You can use the hashtag #Pratchat5 to ask them via social media.