We first meet Sam Vimes as a miserable Night Watch captain in Guards! Guards!, when he’s scrambling to keep his sanity as a lowly copper, when all he has are the scraps that remain after the guilds and nobles have divided up the wealth and decided what law and order will look like. As you’d expect, it’s been beaten into a shape that best suits them. He’s often drunk, unable to do his job, haunted by the deeds of his ancestors, but if you stick with Vimes, you see that he knows the streets of his city like few others, he understands the workings and motives of the Ankh-Morpork guilds and aristocracy like an insider, although he will never be one. Above all, he’s just a good guy who has never had it easy, but who has taken the opportunity to learn something at every turn, from his humble beginnings to his marriage to the most powerful woman in the city. We can always rely on old Vimes. We can rely on his solid moral core, and even the need to “go spare” when it’s necessary. That’s Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, Duke of Ankh–also known by the lofty title, Blackboard Monitor. He’s another one of my favorite Terry Pratchett characters–he may be my favorite, although I’m very fond of Granny Weatherwax. This time I’ve painted the mountain pass scene in The Fifth Elephant, when Sam, Sybil, and party are waylaid by bandits. Vimes has other plans, and he has three tools he can use: the one-shot assassin’s weapon he confiscated from Inigo Skimmer, a cigar, and a match to light it.
I’m working my way through some of my favorites in the Watch: