Librarian (Discworld)

Librarian (Discworld)

infobox Discworld character|

name=The Librarian
"(possibly formerly Dr. Horace Worblehat)"
description=A large male orangutan
associations=Unseen University, Rincewind, Honorary member of Ankh-Morpork City Watch
location=The library of Unseen University; L-space
firstseen="The Light Fantastic"
alsoin="Mort (cameo),
"Equal Rites",
"Sourcery",
"Wyrd Sisters (cameo),
"Guards! Guards!",
"Moving Pictures",
"Small Gods",
"Lords and Ladies",
"Men At Arms",
"Jingo",
"Soul Music",
"Interesting Times",
"Maskerade",
"Hogfather",
"The Last Continent",
"The Last Hero",
"Night Watch,"
"Going Postal,"
"Thud!,"
"Discworld (computer game)
notes=Reacts violently if referred to as a "monkey"

The Librarian of Unseen University is a character in Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" series of fantasy novels.

Fictional history

The Librarian first appeared in the first novel of the series, "The Colour of Magic", and was transformed into an orangutan in "The Light Fantastic" as the Octavo fired a beam of magic upwards (a sort of systemwide, in this case universe-wide, update intended to save the Eighth Creation Spell (and thus Rincewind) from falling off the disc). Discovering that being an orangutan has certain advantages for a librarian, he refused to be transformed back into a human, and has remained an orangutan ever since. Most of the grimoires are highly dangerous to people, sometimes consuming them, but the Librarian is no person, and no longer requires a ladder to reach those tricky high-up shelves. He retained his position as librarian despite his condition because "he's the only one who knows where all the books are" and the fact that he could screw a man's head off with his feet. The other wizards have gradually become used to the situation, to the extent that "if someone ever reported that there was an orangutan in the Library, the wizards would probably go and ask the Librarian if he'd seen it." ("Night Watch").

The Librarian is known for his violent reaction whenever he hears anyone refer to him as a "monkey" (orangutans are apes). He speaks an elaborate language whose vocabulary consists of the single word "Ook" (and its antonym "eek" - where "ook" means yes, "eek" tends to mean no). Nonetheless, most people seem to be able to understand him. Both his language and his reaction were used separately and together as jokes in the first Discworld game.

The Librarian's actual name has never been given in any of the books; he is always simply "the Librarian". If the Librarian's true name were known, he could be changed back into a human, and he has carefully excised his name from the records of the University (since he has special access). "The Discworld Companion" hints that he may once have been Dr. Horace Worblehat, which goes a long way to explaining why he's happier as an orangutan than as a human. "The Art of Discworld" confirms that the Librarian was indeed Dr. Horace Worblehat, and that his fears of turning back into human are baseless at most - although with such a name, one could only surmise that he has a past to which he doesn't want to go back. Rincewind is apparently the only wizard who still remembers the Librarian's name, but agreed not to tell anyone.

The Librarian served a brief stint in the City Watch during the reign of terror caused by the dragon of Ankh-Morpork, where he helped to rescue Sam Vimes from the Patrician's cell. He retained an honorary position with the Watch, and is considered to be one of the first members of the 'Specials' - the Ankh-Morpork City Militia ("Thud!"). He also used the Librarianic ability of travelling through L-Space (the extradimensional space that connects all libraries and other large accumulations of books) to save books from the great library of Ephebe in "Small Gods". In "Soul Music", he joined the Band with Rocks In since his large hands and wide reach make him an excellent keyboard player, though he left before they became famous (which could be a reference to the Beatles). He remains the chief organist for the University, and does not consider an organ complete without a vox diabolica-stop, a thunder pedal and a 256-ft Earthquake pipe.

The Librarian is a member of a small elite group of senior librarians, who have the knowledge and ability to travel through L-space. The very strict rules that members of these group are pledged to enforce are:
#Silence.
#Books must be returned no later than the date shown.
#Do not meddle with the nature of causality.

(Of course, the Librarian has been known to break both the first and third rules on occasion, but he is adamant about the second).

He has become a part of Discworld language, in that to go "Librarian-poo" means to go insane (a not-so-subtle reference to the expression "Going ").

In Men at Arms, it is stated that the Librarian likes being the Best Man at weddings, because he is allowed to kiss bridesmaids and they are not allowed to run away. In Lords and Ladies the Librarian was the Best Man for Magrat and Verence.

In the Discworld picture book "Where's My Cow?" it is shown to have won the Ankh-Morpork Librarians award.

In other media

In the 2008 TV adaptation of "The Colour of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic", by Sky One, he appears in both human and orangutan form. His human form is played by Nicolas Tennant, who had previously played Corporal Nobbs in "Terry Pratchett's Hogfather". This adaptation also establishes his name as Horace Worblehat.

External links

* [http://wiki.lspace.org/index.php/Librarian Discworld & Pratchett Wiki]
* [http://www.cmotdibbler.com/orangutan.html Orangutan Foundation support message]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Discworld II: Missing Presumed...!? — PAL PlayStation cover Developer(s) Perfect Entertainment Publisher(s) Psygnosis …   Wikipedia

  • Discworld (игра) — Discworld Разработчик Teeny Wee …   Википедия

  • Discworld — This article is about the novels. For the Discworld itself, see Discworld (world). For the MUD, see Discworld MUD. For the Apple Macintosh themed disk magazine, see Diskworld. Discworld Cover of an early edition of The Colour of Magic; art by… …   Wikipedia

  • Discworld gods — See also: Discworld (world)#Magic Some of the Discworld gods at Dunmanifestin. L R: Sessifet (off left),Offler, Flatulus (behind Offler), Fate, Urika, Blind Io, Libertina, The Lady, Bibulous, Patina (behind Bibulous), Topaxi (in front of… …   Wikipedia

  • Discworld characters — This article contains brief biographies for characters from Terry Pratchett s Discworld series. This list consists of human characters. For biographies of noted members of the Discworld s ethnic minorities (Dwarfs, trolls, undead), see the… …   Wikipedia

  • The Librarian — may refer to: *The Librarian (Discworld), a character from the Discworld novels * The Librarian franchise , a series of made for TV movies staring Noah Wyle:* , a 2004 made for TV movie:* , a 2006 made for TV movie, sequel to Quest for the Spear …   Wikipedia

  • Other dimensions of the Discworld — Discworld, the fictional planet of a fantasy series by Terry Pratchett exists at a point near the very edge of universe s reality spectrum. From here, the fabric of the fictional universe s reality is gossamer and thin, and excessive pushing can… …   Wikipedia

  • Technology of the Discworld — The technology depicted in Terry Pratchett s Discworld novels takes two forms: magical and mechanical. Nearly all technology early in the series is at least partially magical, but in recent books there has been something of an industrial… …   Wikipedia

  • Death (Discworld) — Death Death as illustrated by Paul Kidby in The Art of Discworld. Associations Azrael Mort Ysabell (adoptive daughter) Albert Susan Sto Helit (adoptive granddaughter) Death of Rats …   Wikipedia

  • Minor Discworld concepts — This article details minor Discworld concepts: concepts and ideas from the Discworld of novels by Terry Pratchett which only appear in the background, or are not well fleshed out.AnorankhAn anorankh is a pseudo mystical symbol, consisting of an… …   Wikipedia


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.