Y’know, it’s funny. I’ve always identified with Tiffany Aching-a girl with brown hair and brown eyes, who read everything she could get her hands on, who decided that since there was no other role she could play, she would be the witch.
And as I’ve grown and read, I see more and more of myself in characters like Granny Weatherwax and Sam Vimes-people who are deeply, profoundly angry, who are not good people but who act good because to do otherwise would be…not unthinkable. Because it would be wrong. People who are mean and scared but refuse to show it, because that would mean admitting weakness. People who do what is right not because they are good people, but because they are not.
And yet, I always go back to Tiffany.
Tiffany, too, is angry. She has no place in the story, so she will make herself one and the power that goes with. And she is selfish. She fights the Queen, not because she particularly cares about Wentworth, or the village, but because they are hers, and how dare the Queen hurt something that belongs to her. It’s always been one of my favorite quotes, the lines where she realizes that that selfishness, that protectiveness, is a strength.
“All witches are selfish, the Queen had said. But Tiffany’s Third Thoughts said: Then turn selfishness into a weapon! Make all things yours! Make other lives and dreams and hopes yours! Protect them! Save them! Bring them into the sheepfold! Walk the gale for them! Keep away the wolf! My dreams! My brother! My family! My land! My world! How dare you try to take these things, because they are mine!
I have a duty!”
I think that’s why I see myself in Tiffany so much. My people are mine, and how dare anyone try to hurt them. I will fight and I will stand, and I will be the shepherd and the sheepdogs.
Because I have a duty.