Wyrd Sisters

Wyrd Sisters

infobox Discworld|id=6th novel – 2nd Witches story
characters=Granny Weatherwax
Nanny Ogg
Magrat Garlick
Verence the Fool
motifs=Shakespeare, especially Macbeth and Hamlet
publisher=Victor Gollancz
ISBNH=ISBN 0-575-04363-6
ISBNP=ISBN 0-552-13460-0
notes=Came 135th in the Big Read.
One of two books made into an animated film.
Adapted as a play by Stephen Briggs.

"Wyrd Sisters" is Terry Pratchett's sixth "Discworld" novel, published in 1988, and re-introduces Granny Weatherwax of "Equal Rites".

Plot summary

"Wyrd Sisters" features three witches: Granny Weatherwax; Nanny Ogg, matriarch of a large tribe of Oggs, who owns the most evil cat in the world, (Greebo); and Magrat Garlick, the junior witch, who firmly believes in occult jewellery, covens and bubbling cauldrons, much to the annoyance of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg.

King Verence I of Lancre is murdered by his cousin, Duke Felmet, and the King's crown and a baby are given by an escaping servant to the three witches. The witches hand the crown and the child to a troupe of travelling actors, acknowledging that destiny will eventually take its course and Tomjon will grow up to defeat Duke Felmet.

However, the kingdom is angry and doesn't want to wait 15 years so the witches move it forward in time. Meanwhile, the duke has decided to get a play written and performed that is favourable to him so he sends the jester to Ankh-Morpork to recruit the same travelling (now stationary) company that Tomjon is in.

The only problem is that Tomjon does not want to be king. Luckily, the jester turns out to be his brother and he becomes king instead.

Ideas and Themes

The plot of "Wyrd Sisters" is largely a homage to William Shakespeare's tragedy "Macbeth". The book's first line of dialogue is the first line of the play, in similar circumstances ("When shall we three meet again?", spoken by one of three witches on a stormy night). Further references include Duke Felmet's desperate attempts to wash the blood from his hand.

The book also contains references and allusions to Shakespeare's other works, and to Shakespeare's own life. Olwyn Vitoller's acting company builds a theater they name "The Dysk" (after the Globe Theatre), and the company's plays include lines that allude to or are outright borrowed from Shakespeare's works.

The overall theme of "Wyrd Sisters" concerns the effect words can have on reality. [ [http://www.rambles.net/pratchett_wyrd.html Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters ] ] This idea is explicitly stated by the Fool, who says that "the past is what people remember, and memories are words. Who knows how a king behaved a thousand years ago? There is only recollection, and stories." Duke and Lady Felmet then commission a play to serve as propaganda, portraying the witches of Lancre and the former king as evil, and the duke as virtuous.


The sequel to Equal Rites.


There has been an animated version and a 4-part BBC Radio 4 dramatisation, as well as a play adaptation by Stephen Briggs, who has written a new adaptation to mark Discworld's 25th Anniversary. [http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/currentplans.html]


ee also

* Wyrd

External links

* [http://www.lspace.org/books/apf/wyrd-sisters.html Annotations for "Wyrd Sisters"]
* [http://www.lspace.org/books/pqf/wyrd-sisters.html Quotes from "Wyrd Sisters"]
* [http://www.lspace.org/books/synopses/wyrd-sisters.html Synopsis of "Wyrd Sisters"]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wyrd Sisters (band) — The Wyrd Sisters are a Canadian folk music group.The band formed in 1991 in Winnipeg, Manitoba as a duo consisting of singer songwriters Kim Baryluk and Nancy Reinhold. Reinhold left the country in January 2003, and Baryluk continued as the… …   Wikipedia

  • Wyrd Sisters (TV series) — Infobox Television show name = Wyrd Sisters caption = format = Fantasy, comedy, animation camera = picture format = runtime = 140 min. creator = Terry Pratchett Jimmy Hibbert developer = executive producer = starring = Jane Horrocks June… …   Wikipedia

  • Wyrd — For other uses, see Wyrd (disambiguation). Wyrd is a concept in Anglo Saxon culture roughly corresponding to fate or personal destiny. The word is ancestral to Modern English weird, which retains its original meaning only dialectally. The cognate …   Wikipedia

  • Wyrd — noun fate personified; any one of the three Weird Sisters • Syn: ↑Weird • Hypernyms: ↑Anglo Saxon deity * * * wyrd(e obs. variant of weird n …   Useful english dictionary

  • Three Weird Sisters (band) — Infobox musical artist Name = Three Weird Sisters Img capt = Img size = Landscape = Background = group or band Origin = Atlanta, Georgia Genre = Filk Years active = Label = [http://www.bedlamhouse.com/ Bedlam House] Associated acts = URL =… …   Wikipedia

  • Weird Sisters (disambiguation) — Weird Sisters may refer to:* Three Weird Sisters (band), a filk band based in Atlanta, Georgia * The Weird Sisters (Harry Potter), a fictional rock band in the Harry Potter series * The Three Witches in William Shakespeare s play Macbeth ee also* …   Wikipedia

  • Lancre — (pronounced Lank rer) is a fictional country from Terry Pratchett s Discworld novels. It is situated in the Ramtop mountains, about 500 miles Hubwards of the city of Ankh Morpork. It is the best known of hundreds of tiny countries in the Ramtops …   Wikipedia

  • Legal disputes over the Harry Potter series — Since first coming to wide notice in the late 1990s, the Harry Potter book series by J. K. Rowling has engendered a number of legal disputes. Rowling, her various publishers and Time Warner, the owner of the rights to the Harry Potter films, have …   Wikipedia

  • Witches (Discworld) — See also: Discworld magic A major subset of the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett involves the witches of Lancre. They are closely based on witches in British folklore and a slightly tongue in cheek reinterpretation of the Triple Goddess. Witch …   Wikipedia

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (banda sonora) — Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Banda sonora Publicación 15 de noviembre de 2005 Género(s) Banda sonora Duración 75:57 Discográfica Warner …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.