Okay, okay. Madam Meserole for the headcanon thing then? I bet that you have headcanons about *her.*
Of course I do! She’s my discworld-wife.
Headcanon A: what I think realistically
Well whatever is in canon, basically. Madam is Vetinari’s aunt. Is an escort for upper class gentlemen and uses this position to manipulate political scenes because it amuses her to do so.
She’s cool, calm, and distant with deep affection for her orange monster of a cat.
I think she’s spent time in Genua but is from Ankh-Morpork or its close environs. She appears to have a bit of a maternal instinct but indulges Vetinari’s stroppy eighteen-year-old “I’m too cool for school” attitude.
Headcanon B: what I think is fucking hilarious
Ok, buckle up. Fuck canon. It’s stupid and the Watch books don’t age well so I’m an agent of chaos who don’t give no fucks.
Madam is Vetinari’s mom (an old theory). His dad was a love-able, affable Medici-style banker whom Madam seduced. Vetinari’s dad fell in love, Madam fell in-general-affection for him. Then one day, wee Havelock happened.
Madam is, well, a madam. She runs a series of brothels in the major metropolitan centres across the disc and does the tour around every so often to make sure things are in shape. Though, as she’s gotten older she’s slowly let them go into the control of her various proteges keeping her hand on the Genua one and the one Pseudopolis.
I think she’s deeply intellectual, like insanely intelligent, but you wouldn’t know it based on surface-level interactions.
She loves her stupid son and does a lot of sighing and thinking “oh Havelock, what idiotic situation have you gotten yourself into this time?”
Despite her intellectual streak she’d kill for a good bad romance novel complete with kilt wearing pirates and at least one equivalent of a shirtless Discworld highland adventurer. Her son has inherited this enjoyment of bad novels.
Madam is absolutely a cat-collector. She’s got her main one, the orange monstrosity. But at each of her houses there’s like five more and she has them all named and left them a good portion of her fortune in her will.
She wears purple because someone once told her not to. It was a man. She was sleeping with him and he liked to have very stated opinions on what women looked good in. Upon leaving him, she went and bought a pair of everything he hated out of spite. The colour purple then became a bit of a habit.
She’s a survivor – both in the political sense as well as in the assault sense. As a sex worker she’s either experienced, or seen, the worst (and the best) the disc has on offer when it comes to humanity.
Madam absolutely approves of spite-driven artistic revenge against shit exes. She has a book or two published (anonymously!) where she rips into past partners like the vicious, beautiful Valkyrie-esque figure she is.
Oh! and I absolutely 100% headcanon her as queer.
Also Vetinari definitely is one of those kids who, even if he wasn’t the bastard offspring of a sex worker and a banker, would still have called his parents by their given names rather than “mom” and “dad.” So him always calling her Madam works.
Downey; Why do you call her Madam? Instead of a familial name.
Vetinari: She is Madam.
Downey: Fine. (throws hands up)
Headcanon C: what is heart-crushing and awful but fun to inflict on friends
I’m not sure I have a heart-crushing awful sad thing. Like her life isn’t easy and she’s survived some really fucked up shit but I wouldn’t want to see that as like heart-crushing. Awful, sure, but she’s a fucking survivor. Spine of reinforced steel.
I think she has passed on by the later books. So when I’m happily headcanoning Vetinari and Downey being fucking nerds with each other she’s dead. Which is sad for me and Vetinari. No mom to ask oblique, vague advice to! (how do I human relationship, madam? – a question Vetinari ponders on the regular)
Headcanon D: what would never work with canon but the canon is shit so I believe it anyway
Um…everything I answered for B. But much of the Watch canon sucks now that I’m older so I literally have thrown it mostly out the window. I keep some things but not others.
The mother thing is probably the most unrealistic. Someone would have dug that up by this point and spread it around as some anti-Vetinari dirt.