The Colour of Magic

I have recently watched the entertaining Television adaptation of the Colour of Magic again. It is based on the first two Discworld novels, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett. It follows the exploits of, a cowardly, incompetent and cynical wizard named Rincewind (David Jason) who is expelled from Unseen University after spending 40 years failing to learn even the most basic magic. Rincewind is then coerced by the Patrician (Jeremy Irons) to act as a local guide for Twoflower, (Sean Astin) a property insurance salesman and the Discworld’s first tourist, who is visiting Ankh-Morpork, in order to see The Discworld’s many wonders including the Wyrmburg and The Temple of Bel Shamharoth. Twoflower is traveling with his luggage, which is made from sapient pearwood and can run on its own legs. However Rincewind and Twoflower are forced to flee Ankh Morpork after the owner of the Broken Drum inn, burns it to the ground following a misunderstanding.

Twoflower is captured and taken to the Wyrmburg where he encounters Liessa, Greicha and Lio!rt and many dragons. Rincewind finds Kring, a sentient sword which belongs to Hrun the Barbarian and is also taken to the Wyrmburg where he later fights Lio!rt, one of Greicha’s sons. Luckily the pair manage to escape the Wyrmburg but soon find themselves in even greater peril when they are washed rimwards to the kingdom of Krull, which lies on the very rim of the disc, and are taken prisoner. They discover that the astronomers and “astrozoologists” of Krull have been trying to determine the sex of Great A’Tuin, and are on the verge of launching a space vehicle to carry a pair of “cosmochelonians” on a new mission over the rim of the disc. Unaware of this, Rincewind and Twoflower disguise themselves as two cosmonauts and ‘escape’ to the spacecraft, and launch, it off the rim.

Elsewhere The power-hungry wizard Ymper Trymon (Tim Curry) assassinates several faculty members of the Unseen University in a bid to become Archchancellor. However he is thwarted by the incumbent Archchancellor, Galder Weatherwax. Meanwhile the Octavo, is growing increasingly restless as Rincewind moves away from Ankh-Morpork and into greater danger. This prompts the Archchancellor to use the Rite of AshkEnte to consult Death about the Octavo. Unfortunately Trymon then throws Weatherwax from the Tower of Art and becomes Archchancellor in his place.

As The red star grows steadily larger, the worried people of Ankh-Morpork mob the Wizards in the Unseen University. Trymon learns from Death that all eight spells of the Octavo must be said together at the solstice to save the disc from destruction. However this cannot happen because one of the eight spells is in Rincewind’s head. So he dispatches a group of mercenaries, led by Herrena, to capture Rincewind and retrieve the eighth spell. Luckily Rincewind and Twoflower encounter Cohen the Barbarian, who rescues Rincewind, Twoflower and Bethan, a human sacrifice in a druid ritual. A subsequent battle between the wizards and Rincewind leaves Twoflower in a coma; however Rincewind rescues him from Death’s door, and Cohen in turn rescues Rincewind and Twoflower from Herrena and the mercenaries.

They return to Ankh-Morpork, to find the populace panicking and rioting because the star is now larger than the disc’s own sun. So Trymon assembles the senior wizards of the University, and orders them to unchain the Octavo. However Trymon steals it and imprisons the wizards.  Luckily Rincewind intervenes and confronts the evil Trymon whilst trying to save Discworld with the eight spells from the Octavo.

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