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#1
Old 12-10-2011, 10:02 PM
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Captain Carrot (Discworld)

Carrot Ironfounderson is, by all accounts, a dwarf. This is not disputed, certainly not by the dwarfs themselves. And it is likewise not disputed that a dwarf must have a beard, and indeed is not truly a dwarf without one (even if a hapless dwarf should find himself unable to grow one, a false beard is to be expected).

And yet, I simply can't picture Carrot with a beard. From a Google Image Search, apparently nobody else can picture him with a beard, either. Even Paul Kidby, whose illustrations in The Last Hero and elsewhere are officially condoned by Pterry himself, apparently can't picture him with a beard, either.

But I can't seem to recall anywhere in the books where this is explained. How, then, to reconcile this barefaced situation?
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#2
Old 12-10-2011, 11:06 PM
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A beard doesn't make a dwarf a dwarf, even though dwarves (other than Carrot) have beards.
#3
Old 12-11-2011, 01:31 AM
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Dwarfism is a state of mind, not a state of hirsuteness. Carrot isn't short and vicious either.
#4
Old 12-11-2011, 01:33 AM
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Carrot also doesn't sing about gold while drinking and singing about gold.
#5
Old 12-11-2011, 01:34 AM
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And I don't remember him ever charging at someone and axing them at the knees.
#6
Old 12-11-2011, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
And I don't remember him ever charging at someone and axing them at the knees.
Maybe if he tripped at the last moment...

Thud! spoiler:
SPOILER:
Carrot is to dwarves what Mr. Shine is to trolls: Their natural king who is unlike most of them in some fundamental ways. I suppose if you're going to have a Chosen One, it makes sense to make them as Chosen as possible
#7
Old 12-11-2011, 01:49 AM
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Carrot doesn't axe, he asks.
#8
Old 12-11-2011, 02:21 AM
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There are several dwarfs who don't have beards, such as Casanunda, and also Mad (from Last Continent).
#9
Old 12-11-2011, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
Maybe if he tripped at the last moment...

Thud! spoiler:
SPOILER:
Carrot is to dwarves what Mr. Shine is to trolls: Their natural king who is unlike most of them in some fundamental ways. I suppose if you're going to have a Chosen One, it makes sense to make them as Chosen as possible
Totally disagree. He is in no way, shape or form ... that thing you said. He is ...that thing ... for a different group. But not...what you said.


ETA - Carrot always struck me as the kind of man who couldn't grow a beard even if he tried. Maybe some hair on the top lip, but that's it.

Last edited by MrDibble; 12-11-2011 at 02:30 AM.
#10
Old 12-11-2011, 03:18 AM
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I'm reasonably sure the dwarves who don't hold his being human against him also don't hold his lack of a beard against him.

Last edited by Bosstone; 12-11-2011 at 03:19 AM.
#11
Old 12-11-2011, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Totally disagree. He is in no way, shape or form ... that thing you said. He is ...that thing ... for a different group. But not...what you said.
If he is, and he is even if he officially isn't, he would be for both groups, at least to a certain extent. Maybe more for one than the other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post
I'm reasonably sure the dwarves who don't hold his being human against him also don't hold his lack of a beard against him.
He's certainly a dwarf now that he's successful. By which I mean likely fairly well-off, given how high he's risen in the force. (Humans are the same way, but I can only imagine dwarves would be open about it.)
#12
Old 12-11-2011, 09:01 AM
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Pratchett has mentioned a few occasions recently that you can convert to being a dwarf. Some people in AM have done so for reasons of business opportunity.
#13
Old 12-11-2011, 10:32 AM
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Carrot was a human who was adopted by Dwarf parents. When he figured out he was human, his father got him the job on the Watch (in Guards! Guards!).

Last edited by goldmund; 12-11-2011 at 10:33 AM.
#14
Old 12-11-2011, 11:02 AM
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Carrot joined the Watch at a fairly young age, and may not have been able to grow a beard yet. Maybe normal Watch regulations require officers to be clean-shaven and Carrot went along with that when he got older. It is clear that later dwarf officers do have beards, but that's possibly an exception to normal rules for reasons of cultural sensitivity and promoting a more diverse Watch. But if forced to choose between following normal Watch rules and dwarfish tradition, I could believe that Carrot went with the former.
#15
Old 12-11-2011, 12:41 PM
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A beard certainly isn't a sufficient condition for dwarfhood, but it appears to be a necessary one. Consider, for instance, when Cheery Littlebottom was introduced, and first started exploring her femininity. She wore dresses and ribbons and such, but kept her beard, because she was, after all, a dwarf. And in Unseen Academicals, the Low King comments on false beards being a great boon to dwarfs unable to grow one of their own.

Cassanunda perhaps isn't the best counterexample, either, since it's made pretty clear that other dwarfs do not, in fact, regard him as one of them. This is doubtless more due to his attitudes about sexuality, but the point remains.

Oh, and Carrot has, in fact, charged at someone with an axe (towards the end of Guards, Guards, when he was as yet ignorant of the multiple meanings of the word "charge"), and he does, in fact, sing about gold when in the company of other dwarfs.
#16
Old 12-11-2011, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
If he is, and he is even if he officially isn't, he would be for both groups, at least to a certain extent.
No. The Dwarfish King is the Low King, and Carrot is not it, and doesn't even approach it.
#17
Old 12-11-2011, 04:23 PM
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I'm sure that in the Guards!Guards novel when we meet Carrot the first time, he's mentioned as clean-shaven enough that he gleams (along with his brightly polished breast plate), because naive eagerness is part of his personality. So it's not that Carrot is too young by Dwarf standards (Mitzi, whom he was interested in, was IIRC about 50 years old, since Dwarves live longer than humans), or as human unable to grow a beard (he's by now at least 20 years or more), it's most likely that somewhere in that thick book about rules and regulations of Ankh-Morpork it says that a copper should be clean shaven instead of scruffy.

In addition, the person he learned most of coppering from is Mr. Vimes, who shaves everday (with a concave mirror showing a lot of roof, because of the assassins). Nobby is an exception, and Dwarves have long beards for cultural reasons, but a human cop with a 3day growth just wouldn't look right.

As far as dwarf rules - in one of the novels (5th elefant?), Vimes asks Carrot about how he's getting along with the Dwarves, and Carrot mentions certain rituals he follows, some of which he isn't allowed to talk about with non-Dwarves. But nothing about beards. Considering that to the Drudaks, going about in sunlight is already deviant, but most Dwarves don't mind, I don't see why lack of beard should be a problem.
#18
Old 12-11-2011, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Nobby is an exception, and Dwarves have long beards for cultural reasons, but a human cop with a 3day growth just wouldn't look right.
Nobby is not an exception. He does not, in fact, look right. For a wide variety of reasons, most of them unrelated to stubble.
#19
Old 12-12-2011, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
No. The Dwarfish King is the Low King, and Carrot is not it, and doesn't even approach it.
Ankh-Morpork is the largest dwarf city. He'd be it to a not insignificant number of dwarves.

Last edited by Derleth; 12-12-2011 at 02:21 AM.
#20
Old 12-12-2011, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Nobby is not an exception. He does not, in fact, look right. For a wide variety of reasons, most of them unrelated to stubble.
Nobby is not right, period. But he IS an exception to just about every rule.
#21
Old 12-12-2011, 04:40 AM
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Carrot isn't hirsute, his girlfriend has enough hair for the both of them (5 days a month).

Wasn't Carrot shaving in the moonlight the first time he realised Angua ... changed.

And I agree, Carrot is respected by the Ank Morpork dwarves, being a dwarf and tall and earnest and all, but he would only be who he truly is to the humans of Ank Morpork. Remember, everyone likes Carrot.

Si
#22
Old 12-12-2011, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
Ankh-Morpork is the largest dwarf city. He'd be it to a not insignificant number of dwarves.
Carrot is the natural king of the city of A-M, sure, and it has a lot of dwarfs, but that wasn't what you initially said. He'd be their King if he was King of A-M, sure, but he would not be "their" King, the way Mr Shine is King of the trolls. Like I said, that king-shaped hole in dwarf heads is filled by the Low King.

Remember, these are people whose word for King actually better translates as "senior engineer of the mine"

Last edited by MrDibble; 12-12-2011 at 06:54 AM.
#23
Old 12-12-2011, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Nobby is not an exception. He does not, in fact, look right. For a wide variety of reasons, most of them unrelated to stubble.
Um, yes, that's what I meant. If there is a rule in the book that says "Watch officers must be clean shaven", nobody would bother to bug Nobby about it, because Nobby has a dozen other problems with him being a copper. It's like polishing the armor - the other officers are required to, but Nobby simply emits a field of scruffiness that rusts armor in less than one hour, so nobody bothers. Vimes ignores Nobby's casual stealing of the tea money, but would come down hard on anybody else trying this.
#24
Old 12-12-2011, 10:35 AM
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Don't forget that being a dwarf isn't about height or beards (though almost all dwarfs would consider a beard nearly essential). His own father kept Carrot's hair close cropped (for Reasons of Hygiene).

Carrot can ha'lk his g'rakha correctly. And knows the secrets of h'ragna. And such. Though Thud! was about how some of the more traditional Uberwald dwarfs didn't think this was enough (though they also thought the Ankh-Morpork dwarfs were also nearly non-dwarfs).

And since they're relatively anarchistic, it's not like the Low King is much of a King, for most purposes. Dwarfs apparently like arguing amongst themselves and apparently really only need a Low King to deal with issues between dwarf clans or with other species.

Last edited by Great Antibob; 12-12-2011 at 10:35 AM.
#25
Old 12-12-2011, 11:10 AM
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I'm sure one of the novels mentions that the Watch rule book requires all officers to be clean-shaven. Carrot knows the rule book off by heart and follows it to the letter -- but no-one else bothers, because the rules are centuries out of date.
#26
Old 12-12-2011, 04:15 PM
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Carrot can ha'lk his g'rakha correctly. And knows the secrets of h'ragna. And such.
I've always assumed that some of that "and such" does concern beards, and that we just can't tell because we don't know what "ha'lk", "g'rakha", and "h'ragna" mean.

And the way the Low King is described, he's really more of a Supreme Court than a King. Each dwarf's authority is absolute, within his own mine; the overall lowerarchy (culminating in the Low King) is just for settling questions like just whose mine a tunnel is part of, and other things that transcend individual mines.
#27
Old 12-12-2011, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Great Antibob View Post
Don't forget that being a dwarf isn't about height or beards (though almost all dwarfs would consider a beard nearly essential). His own father kept Carrot's hair close cropped (for Reasons of Hygiene).
Or perhaps Lowgiene.
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