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Small Gods: (Discworld Novel 13) (Discworld Novels)

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And of course there clearly had to be, said Koomi, a Supreme Being. But since the universe was a bit of a mess, it was obvious that the Supreme Being hadn't in fact made it. If he had made it he would, being Supreme, have made a better job of it, with far better thought given, taking an example at random, to things like the design of the common nostril. Or, to put it another way, the existence of a badly put-together watch proved the existence of a blind watchmaker. You only had to look around to see that there was room for improvement practically everywhere. This suggested that the Universe had probably been put together in a bit of a rush by an underling while the Supreme Being wasn't looking, in the same way that Boy Scouts' Association minutes are done on office photocopiers all over the country. Titan god of the ocean. Believed to be the personification of the World Ocean, an enormous river encircling the world. Evil Overlord: Subverted: The ruler of Ephebe is called the "Tyrant"... because, as with the original definition of the word, he didn't inherit his title. Rather, he was democratically elected. A god may become small even if it has a large following. It is well established in the novel Small Gods that while many people call themselves Omnians, only one (Brutha) actually believes. Therefore, while the following is large, the god Om himself is very small, both in size and power.

The God of a Howondalandish tribe which wiped out the nearby N'tuitif tribe at his signal (an unusually large flare from the Moon). Shortly after, this tribe was also wiped out by another tribe who worshipped the goddess Glipzo. Mentioned in The Last Hero. Brutha's zen-like tolerance of all, his quest to bring salvation free of status or dogma, and simple patience calls to mind the Buddha. Of special note is that Om is named after Ohm, an important phrase in Buddhism. Motive Decay: The battle at the end; Brutha goes up to the generals and explains that there's no reason to fight. They look at him like he's an idiot and say that when two sides hate each other enough, sometimes there just has to be war. Any justification will do, even no justification at all. Caligula's Horse: When Vorbis announces his plan to promote Brutha straight to Archbishop, the other clerics are surprised but note that precedents exist, such as... Ossory's ass. One of the twelve Titan Gods, Crios was known as the god of the heavenly constellations and the measure of the year. He was father to Astraeus, Pallas, and Perses.

Dropped a Bridge on Him: General Fri'it, one of the leaders of La Résistance, gets a fair amount of focus in the first quarter of the novel, but then is caught by the Quisition and Killed Offscreen.

This is the second book where someone paraphrases the last recorded words of Lawrence Oates. ("I'm just going out. I may be some time.") The line will reappear again in Soul Music. Vow of Celibacy: Evidently applicable, although never stated outright, for the clergy of Om. This caused Brother Nhumrod great difficulty. The paradoxical God of Evolution appears briefly in The Last Continent, where he is found 'sculpting' animals. Since he hasn't figured out reproduction yet, he makes every animal unique.

Synopsis

Sturgeon's Law: Om says that ninety-nine percent of the Ephebian philosophers' ideas are useless but they are tolerated because that last one percent is a "humdinger". Guardian god of the ancient city Lamark, where wounded heroes could find comfort and heal after battle. He was the son of Aphrodite. Also Vorbis when he is forced to examine himself after death, then Brutha again when he finds him there a century later. Red Herring: The desert lion seems like it'll be important later, but really only exists after the initial encounter to provide a punchline.

Not Quite the Almighty: A major trope for the work given that Brutha has long conversations with the monotheistic god of his god within a world that is explicitly polytheistic while also being a major example of Gods Need Prayer Badly. Coming to terms with this trope is a central part of Om and Brutha's character arcs. When Om does regain a lot of die-hard believers, he's able to beat up Dunmanifestin's chief god Io because nobody believes in thunder gods all that strongly anymore. As the Good Book Says...: At the beginning of the story Brutha often quotes the Septateuch, the holy text of Omnianism, which he knows by memory.It's All About Me: All gods are completely self-centered. Om in particular didn't care at all what his followers did as long as they worshipped him. He gets better over the course of the novel. Lu Tze, the supernaturally wise and vaguely Asian monk, seems to be named in honor of Lao Tzu, the semi-legendary Taoist philosopher.

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