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GoC
2008-05-26, 09:57 PM
I was trying to find a viable opponent for Death's granddaughter for a vs. thread but she's just too powerful!
Anyone got any suggestions for non-demigod entities that might be a match for her?

Artemician
2008-05-26, 10:02 PM
Any one of the top tier characters from Touhou would be a nice match.

Yuyuko, Shikieiki, Eirin, Reimu, Marisa, Alice, Remilia, ExKeine, Youmu etc

Mokou and Kaguya would be terribly annoying for her to kill, seeing as they're immortal.

Yukari would beat her easily.

GoC
2008-05-26, 10:16 PM
Any one of the top tier characters from Touhou would be a nice match.

Yuyuko, Shikieiki, Eirin, Reimu, Marisa, Alice, Remilia, ExKeine, Youmu etc

Mokou and Kaguya would be terribly annoying for her to kill, seeing as they're immortal.

Yukari would beat her easily.

The problem is that she can stop time, ignore the constraints of spacetime (teleporting herself and other objects/people) and make matter not affect her.

Artemician
2008-05-26, 10:28 PM
The problem is that she can stop time, ignore the constraints of spacetime (teleporting herself and other objects/people) and make matter not affect her.

Yukari's power is defined by one word:
Boundaries

It's such an incredibly vague power that she can do just about anything and everything you could name. Time stop? Bending the boundaries between Then and Now. Teleport? Breaking the boundary between Here and There. Enormous danmaku storm coming your way? Divert through the gaps between dimensions into an alternate dimension. In Canon, she bent the boundary between truth and lie.

Remilia has another Dues Ex power:
Fate

Ditto for ExKeine:
History

I'm finding it quite hard to explain just how powerful the others are without the aid of the Wiki, but unfortunately it's down.

endoperez
2008-05-27, 02:28 AM
Doors, locks, walls, barriers and other boundaries, by definition, won't stop death, Death or Susan. Death has only been restrained by the means of summoning him to answer the summoner's questions - and unless Death decides to take a break, it's him and not Susan that would answer the call.

Furthermore, for Susan, Now, Then, Here and There are all optional. Not only for her, but for anyone she happens to take with her. It's not stopping time and teleporting, it's being anywhere she wants, at the same time. When she was a teacher in Thief of Time, she took the whole classroom with her to different times and places, and later when the time ceased to exist, was one of the few beings able to continue functioning outside of time. The others were gods or more powerful than that, or brought their own time with them.

I can't find anything about how the powers based on History and Fate work, but the Discworld's Fate could be a problem. Fate always wins, unless you cheat, and that isn't easy. She might be able to do that, if she's willing to bend the rules, but it's not certain.

She'd have a good chance against someone changing history, though, since she beat Mr Teatime (Hogfather) who almost removed an entity based on belief by making people forget about him. The means were different, but the result is similar to changing history. In addition, she retained her memories of what happened in Soul Music, despite the fact that history was rewritten. I don't think she can remember the future unless she is actually filling in as Death, but that'd limit her actions against Fate.

LBO
2008-05-27, 03:09 AM
1) It's Susan Sto Helit.
2) Seriously, stop now. It's just getting stupid.

Drascin
2008-05-27, 03:28 AM
Yuyuko, Shikieiki, Eirin, Reimu, Marisa, Alice, Remilia, ExKeine, Youmu etc

I am only playing the games as of now and don't know much about the ever-developing fanon which, due to the particularities of Touhou, ends up as canon (this lack of knowledge is mainly due to me not knowing where to look, actually, but the point stands ^^u), but this one interested me. I kinda imagined Marisa, Reimu, Remilia or Yukari were basically off the charts, but is Miss Margatroid really that badass? I kinda liked her already, so that'd make me happy, TBH :smallbiggrin:

Tengu
2008-05-27, 05:51 AM
Suzumiya Haruhi. C'mon, you've seen that coming.

Maybe I'm weird, but Susan is the only Pratchett's main character I can't stand - she reeks of Mary-Sue.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-27, 06:11 AM
Lesse....

From Comics, I think Krona, Jean Grey, Gambit, The Glimmer, and possibly The Living Tribunal are powerful enough, and none of them take extra damage from the Poker of Monster Slaying.

From Movies, there was that guy who would not be harmed, but I can't remember his name.

From anime, I dunno. Even most reality benders cannot exist outside of time.

Artemician
2008-05-27, 07:13 AM
Doors, locks, walls, barriers and other boundaries, by definition, won't stop death, Death or Susan. Death has only been restrained by the means of summoning him to answer the summoner's questions - and unless Death decides to take a break, it's him and not Susan that would answer the call.

Furthermore, for Susan, Now, Then, Here and There are all optional. Not only for her, but for anyone she happens to take with her. It's not stopping time and teleporting, it's being anywhere she wants, at the same time. When she was a teacher in Thief of Time, she took the whole classroom with her to different times and places, and later when the time ceased to exist, was one of the few beings able to continue functioning outside of time. The others were gods or more powerful than that, or brought their own time with them.

That's something interesting that you bring up.. how Death can circumvent doors and other barriers. However, Susan is not Death. She is limited by her human frame.

We can see this in the Hogfather incident, where Susan was unable to circumvent the boundary that lay between the Tooth Fairy's tower and the Disc freely. She couldn't enter freely, nor leave when the situation were disadvantageous. If she were truly able to surpass all barriers, she wouldn't have had this problem.


I can't find anything about how the powers based on History and Fate work, but the Discworld's Fate could be a problem. Fate always wins, unless you cheat, and that isn't easy. She might be able to do that, if she's willing to bend the rules, but it's not certain.

Fate always wins on the Disc, but it doesn't necessarily do so in Gensokyo. The choice of battlefield is therefore very important.


She'd have a good chance against someone changing history, though, since she beat Mr Teatime (Hogfather) who almost removed an entity based on belief by making people forget about him. The means were different, but the result is similar to changing history. In addition, she retained her memories of what happened in Soul Music, despite the fact that history was rewritten. I don't think she can remember the future unless she is actually filling in as Death, but that'd limit her actions against Fate.

I don't really see the Hogfather incident as rewriting history, but the point about Susan keeping her memories in Soul Music is pretty interesting. ExKeine *would* have a problem with people who exist outside time, or who have strong influence on history. Even in her strongest state, she was not able to defeat Reimu/Yukari in Imperishable Night.

Also, on the Disc, the policy with History is that What Happens Stays Happened. This may not be true elsewhere.

Selrahc
2008-05-27, 07:20 AM
We can see this in the Hogfather incident, where Susan was unable to circumvent the boundary that lay between the Tooth Fairy's tower and the Disc freely. She couldn't enter freely, nor leave when the situation were disadvantageous. If she were truly able to surpass all barriers, she wouldn't have had this problem.

All Susans magic is based off her death, which isn't in effect in the realm of the Toothfairy, because kids don't really get the concept, and the tooth fairies realm is made by kids.

So Deaths powers don't work on all boundaries, b ut the boundaries it doesn't work on are highly unusual ones!

Rutee
2008-05-27, 07:26 AM
So Deaths powers don't work on all boundaries, b ut the boundaries it doesn't work on are highly unusual ones!

Destroy the boundary between childlike naievete and adult cynicism.


These sorts of powers are like dealing with a Nobilis Noble, folks. It's not easy to withstand in any sense. :smallbiggrin:

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-27, 07:43 AM
Destroy the boundary between childlike naievete and adult cynicism.


These sorts of powers are like dealing with a Nobilis Noble, folks. It's not easy to withstand in any sense. :smallbiggrin:

G'luck with that, the only thing I can think of that could do that is a Brave New World utopia.

Finn Solomon
2008-05-27, 07:46 AM
Gaiman's Death could make her tap.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-27, 08:31 AM
Gaiman's Death could make her tap.

But Gaiman's death wins anything. She's in another league.

Seriously, making Death a perky goth is brilliant.

Finn Solomon
2008-05-27, 09:13 AM
Mate, I couldn't agree with you more. :smallbiggrin:

bosssmiley
2008-05-27, 09:29 AM
Gaiman's Death could make her tap.

I would pay serious money for that particular pay-per-view. :smallcool:

"Needs more chocolate sauce..." :smalltongue:

Finn Solomon
2008-05-27, 09:35 AM
Sweet Jesus, I love the way you think mate.

Nebo_
2008-05-27, 09:43 AM
1) It's Susan Sto Helit.
2) Seriously, stop now. It's just getting stupid.

+1, on both counts.

Artemician
2008-05-27, 09:59 AM
Obvious trolls are obvious.

Mr.Silver
2008-05-27, 10:18 AM
1) It's Susan Sto Helit.
2) Seriously, stop now. It's just getting stupid.

Agreed, particularly since Susan is the closest thing the Discworld has to a Mary Sue.

bosssmiley
2008-05-27, 10:27 AM
Agreed, particularly since Susan is the closest thing the Discworld has to a Mary Sue.

The Patrician
Granny Weatherwax
Sam Vimes
Moist Von Lipwig
Cohen the Barbarian
Mustrum Ridcully
Lu-Tze
Rincewind
DEATH himself

There are a *lot* of characters that, in the hands of less skilled writers (or in settings not overtly governed by the Laws of Narrative Causality (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheoryOfNarrativeCausality)), might qualify as Mary Sues/Marty Stus. Subtle manipulation of the Rule of Cool (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfCool) (and sheer Big Damn Hero-ness (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BigDamnHeroes)) usually avert this however. :smallcool:

The Discworld series has been typified as a mechanism for setting up as many crowning moments of awesome (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CrowningMomentOfAwesomeLiterature) as possible. I can see it...

Ozymandias
2008-05-27, 11:30 AM
The Patrician
Granny Weatherwax
Sam Vimes
Moist Von Lipwig
Cohen the Barbarian
Mustrum Ridcully
Lu-Tze
Rincewind
DEATH himself


I think that at least most of those characters would be exempted because they have character flaws - they just seem like Mary/Marty Sue/Stus because Terry Pratchett is, for all his humor, really, really good at drama, so the sense of badassery is that much more palpable.

Carrot, however...

Tengu
2008-05-27, 12:10 PM
Carrot is an Oblivious Guy, which doesn't make him a Marty Stu, as such characters cannot have anything that gives you a laugh. Susan's only vice is her sweet tooth, which shows itself extremely rarely (I can only think of Thief of Time - and curiously, in the scene it happened I actually liked her more).

Drascin
2008-05-27, 12:12 PM
I think that at least most of those characters would be exempted because they have character flaws - they just seem like Mary/Marty Sue/Stus because Terry Pratchett is, for all his humor, really, really good at drama, so the sense of badassery is that much more palpable.

Carrot, however...

Indeed, I see Carrot as pretty much a direct parody of MarySue characters, and probably intentionally. He's good at pretty much everything, a noble and just lost heir seaparated from his true family, everyone likes him at first glance, and he's inherently fit to be a hero... yet he's totally oblivious, and almost never gets the true protagonist mantle, which tends to end up in the (more flawed - but also more badass) hands of Vimes. I personally have always seen Carrot as a bit of a "Mary Sue done right - and funny", or, if not right, at least sympathetically.

Of course, given there are a lot of Discworld books not published in my country, he might get worse, but in the few books I've read, that's my impression.

WalkingTarget
2008-05-27, 01:15 PM
Indeed, I see Carrot as pretty much a direct parody of MarySue characters, and probably intentionally. He's good at pretty much everything, a noble and just lost heir seaparated from his true family, everyone likes him at first glance, and he's inherently fit to be a hero... yet he's totally oblivious, and almost never gets the true protagonist mantle, which tends to end up in the (more flawed - but also more badass) hands of Vimes. I personally have always seen Carrot as a bit of a "Mary Sue done right - and funny", or, if not right, at least sympathetically.

I think it's more of a case of narrative causality at work than any response to MarySue characters in general. The long-lost heir to the throne rides into town and is just as noble and perfect as a storybook would have him be, much to everyone's chagrin as they all feel that there's something inherently wrong with stuff really working out that way.

I don't remember any particular amounts of obliviousness on his part since Guards, Guards! He'd wised up considerably even by Men at Arms. People still perceive him as being stupid because he's incredibly simple (as in "uncomplicated") and end up underestimating him. As for faults, his sense of honor (or fair play or whatever) almost gets him killed when he takes on Wolfgang in The Fifth Elephant. I'm also not sure if his spelling and punctuation have improved by the later books.

Arioch
2008-05-27, 01:20 PM
Susan's flaws... How about a short temper, a sharp tongue, a very impatient nature, and a considering of most other people as inferior?
I always liked Susan. I think she's one of Pratchett's better main characters. He should use her more often.

puppyavenger
2008-05-27, 01:41 PM
Jeremy, Wen, the "Rule number 1 guy who's name I forget", and any other sufficently advance history monk could probably kill her in the time between her noticing them and her stopping time.

endoperez
2008-05-27, 01:59 PM
Ooh, I have a sudden urge to re-read Hogfather. It seems I've forgotten enough of the details to enjoy it again. :) Since I don't remember what happens in the Tooth Fairy's realm, I agree with the other posters in that SOME boundaries can affect her, i.e. she can't win against Yukari.

Also, if she has any faults they haven't been mentioned in the books, but I always wondered what happened to that guy who wasn't ellllllven (from Soul Music, who she stalked throughout his career), or the the god of hangovers (from Hogfather). Maybe I just read too much at it, but her relationships seem quite short-lived for a Pratchett character.

Tengu
2008-05-27, 04:11 PM
Susan's flaws... How about a short temper, a sharp tongue, a very impatient nature, and a considering of most other people as inferior?

You call these flaws?

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-27, 04:16 PM
You call these flaws?

They ARE, though. Even Two P knows there's always someone more powerful out there, so being a **** is not good when you need to make an alliance.

Tengu
2008-05-27, 04:41 PM
Flaws, from a meta-story point of view, are things that make a character less competent and likable. Not things like short temper, sharp tongue, scar on the cheek or having unnatural hair color.

GoC
2008-05-27, 05:16 PM
Jeremy, Wen, the "Rule number 1 guy who's name I forget", and any other sufficently advance history monk could probably kill her in the time between her noticing them and her stopping time.

They can kill her (if that's even possible) but she can kill them even easier.

Mr.Silver
2008-05-27, 05:38 PM
Susan's flaws... How about a short temper, a sharp tongue, a very impatient nature, and a considering of most other people as inferior?
Except all of those are all 'justified' by how her story's are written, she really is written as being significantly superior in many respects to most people. I know many other characters are as well (e.g. Granny), but none of them act as superior to others as she does, and she's never been taken to task on it. In fact, I can't recall it ever being suggested that she's wrong to hold such a low opinion of others.

I always liked Susan. I think she's one of Pratchett's better main characters. He should use her more often.
Really? My opinions are the exact opposite. But you'd probably guessed that already:smallwink:


Maybe I just read too much at it, but her relationships seem quite short-lived for a Pratchett character.
The last we saw, she was in the process of hooking-up with Time's son, although what could possibly come of that is a mystery.

chiasaur11
2008-05-27, 08:37 PM
Ooh, I have a sudden urge to re-read Hogfather. It seems I've forgotten enough of the details to enjoy it again. :) Since I don't remember what happens in the Tooth Fairy's realm, I agree with the other posters in that SOME boundaries can affect her, i.e. she can't win against Yukari.

Also, if she has any faults they haven't been mentioned in the books, but I always wondered what happened to that guy who wasn't ellllllven (from Soul Music, who she stalked throughout his career), or the the god of hangovers (from Hogfather). Maybe I just read too much at it, but her relationships seem quite short-lived for a Pratchett character.

Well, the god of hangovers hooked up with a tooth fairy at the end of that one. Don't know about the other guy.

Dervag
2008-05-27, 09:16 PM
You call these flaws?Yes, and with reason. It isn't about power, it's about character. Susan Sto Helit, granddaughter of Death, is a jerk. She cannot deal gracefully with people. The only people she can handle at all well are children, and she can do that in large part because children are accustomed to being ordered around.

She's clever, she's got supernatural powers, yes, yes. That doesn't make her a Mary Sue any more than Neil Gaiman's Sandman was. Not all powerful and clever characters are Mary Sues.


The Patrician
Granny Weatherwax
Sam Vimes
Moist Von Lipwig
Cohen the Barbarian
Mustrum Ridcully
Lu-Tze
Rincewind
DEATH himself

There are a *lot* of characters that, in the hands of less skilled writers (or in settings not overtly governed by the Laws of Narrative Causality (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheoryOfNarrativeCausality)), might qualify as Mary Sues/Marty Stus. Subtle manipulation of the Rule of Cool (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfCool) (and sheer Big Damn Hero-ness (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BigDamnHeroes)) usually avert this however. :smallcool:I think part of the trick is that all those characters have obvious flaws; a true Mary Sue does not have easily perceptible flaws.

The flaws may not be in terms of power, but in terms of personality. Death of the Discworld has enormous, unimaginable power. But his personality can be a bit pathetic- he keeps trying to do characteristically human things and failing. So you get the sense that you're not dealing with a wonderful-person character, but with a god- an entity so large in comparison to humans that it can neither fully understand nor be understood by humans.

Likewise, Rincewind's a coward, Sam Vimes is so angry about the society he lives in that he has to restrain himself from moment to moment, Moist is a con man who's done so much conning that he can't stop, and so on. They aren't perfect people even if they're incredibly successful, and the hallmark of a real Mary Sue is that they are a perfect person. Not just in terms of being powerful, but in terms of their character. That's what makes them annoying and unreal. Good authors can avoid that even when writing stories about beings of godlike power.

Deathcow
2008-05-27, 09:39 PM
OMG a SPACE MAhrEEN could totally pwn hurrr!!!!1

Ubiq
2008-05-28, 12:02 AM
I'm surprised that nobody has bothered to mention Azrael, whose relationship to Death is not unlike Death's relationship to the Death of Rats.

Eco-Mono
2008-05-28, 01:49 AM
Captain Jack Harkness is a secret agent with a very, very low-power and circumstance-dependent time-travel device (can only take him to one location in a relatively narrow time frame). Other than that, he's entirely normal, except for one little detail. See, it seems he is incapable of dying; his existence was accidentally made into one of the universal constants by a being with temporary control of all time and space.

Does this work?

Artemician
2008-05-28, 02:33 AM
Yes, and with reason. It isn't about power, it's about character. Susan Sto Helit, granddaughter of Death, is a jerk. She cannot deal gracefully with people. The only people she can handle at all well are children, and she can do that in large part because children are accustomed to being ordered around.

She's clever, she's got supernatural powers, yes, yes. That doesn't make her a Mary Sue any more than Neil Gaiman's Sandman was. Not all powerful and clever characters are Mary Sues.

I think part of the trick is that all those characters have obvious flaws; a true Mary Sue does not have easily perceptible flaws.

The difference between a genuine flaw in a character and a Sue-Flaw is that a Sue-Flaw only serves as a foil to the character's better qualities. That is, the flaw does not genuinely serve as a handicap and does not create any negative circumstances whatsoever. In some cases, the flaw might create positive circumstances, which can happen due to writing twists.

Let's take a look at Vimes. His quickness to jump to conclusions and his temper are his primary flaws. Like proper flaws, they are flaws, Vimes is hindered by them to a large degree, and oftentime he has to work very hard to overcome his flaws in order to succeed. We sympathize with him because he is flawed, and tries his best to overcome it.

But what about Susan? Her flaws - arrogance and a lack of social graces - are not treated as such. Pratchett strives to characterize her as a sympathetic character in spite of her flaws, one who is simply better than everyone else and knows it, hence excusing the arrogance and the unwillingness to give anyone sympathy. She never gets called on her flaws - there's only that one incident with Albert in Soul Music, but it doesn't affect her long-term behaviour in the slightest. Unlike Vimes, who triumphs by overcoming his flaws, Susan never works at overcoming her flaws, and still is rewarded - with a romantic attachment, no less, the one thing that Susan feels she might be lacking.

This is the reason why people call Susan a Mary Sue - because her flaws are no more than token blemishes. She is, as written, flawless.

Selrahc
2008-05-28, 04:03 AM
This is the reason why people call Susan a Mary Sue - because her flaws are no more than token blemishes. She is, as written, flawless.

In every appearance in the books she has been pretty much played as a pawn by Death. She has had to do the stuff he can't do, and been manipulated into doing it quite expertly.

That is pretty much against the trend for Mary Sues, who tend to be rather more in control. Many times shes left in impotent rage, because more powerful characters have shut her out.


Also, I doubt Carrot was a parody of Mary Sues rather than legends of lost kings. For one, he doesn't really bite home as a parody of a mary sue. For another he was made long before the term gained widespread use outside a tiny subsect of Star Trek fans.

Manga Shoggoth
2008-05-28, 06:09 AM
I should point out that Protagonist <> Mary Sue.

And Professional Author <> FanFic Writer.

Artemician
2008-05-28, 06:18 AM
In every appearance in the books she has been pretty much played as a pawn by Death. She has had to do the stuff he can't do, and been manipulated into doing it quite expertly.

That is pretty much against the trend for Mary Sues, who tend to be rather more in control. Many times shes left in impotent rage, because more powerful characters have shut her out.

Did Susan do it because she was manipulated into doing it, or because she felt a duty to do it? The reason Death pushes stuff onto her is - yes, you said it - because he can't do it. However, the stuff he makes her do is, to a fault, vitally important to the survival of the Disc. Death doesn't loop her around his bony thumb, he simply appeals to her sense of duty, and Susan goes along because of that sense of duty. It is in fact, another good point to her character.


I should point out that Protagonist <> Mary Sue.

And Professional Author <> FanFic Writer.

Of course not. But that doesn't address the issue in the slightest.

You're making the unspoken assumptions that we assume Susan to be a Sue because she's the protagonist, and that professional writers can't write Sues.

Both of these are false.

GoC
2008-05-28, 10:03 AM
Has there ever been an occasion when her VOICE has been resisted?

Tengu
2008-05-28, 12:28 PM
I should point out that Protagonist <> Mary Sue.

And Professional Author <> FanFic Writer.

Proof that you're not correct. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CanonSue) By the way, the link in question reminded me of another Canon Sue I can't stand but everyone else seems to like a lot - Mara Jade.

Selrahc
2008-05-28, 03:10 PM
The reason Death pushes stuff onto her is - yes, you said it - because he can't do it. However, the stuff he makes her do is, to a fault, vitally important to the survival of the Disc. Death doesn't loop her around his bony thumb, he simply appeals to her sense of duty, and Susan goes along because of that sense of duty. It is in fact, another good point to her character.


Well no. He does flat out manipulate her. The sense of duty is one of the tools he uses in manipulation, as is her bossiness and nosiness. He tells her a half truth, here and there, and then watches as she acts exactly the way he wanted her to.

Thats not really a mary sue thing. Mary Sue characters tend to be masters of their own actions, beholden to no one.

Dervag
2008-05-28, 06:27 PM
Proof that you're not correct. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CanonSue) By the way, the link in question reminded me of another Canon Sue I can't stand but everyone else seems to like a lot - Mara Jade.You have a point, but the specific example you cite is a bit off. Tvtropes' "Canon Sues" are characters who are not perfect as written but who are exaggerated into unbelievable perfection by the fanfiction. Such as Hermione Granger of Harry Potter (see article for details).

Now, there are examples of characters who are written with improbable levels of perfection that annoy the reader by a real, established, professional author. For example, Lazarus Long in several of Robert Heinlein's later novels (the ones that he wrote after entering his "dirty old man" phase). They can be protagonist characters, too (Long is protagonist of some portions of the novels in question).

You're absolutely right about that, and no mistake.

This is, however, subtly different from the Tvtropes' idea of a "Canon Sue."
_____________________________


This is the reason why people call Susan a Mary Sue - because her flaws are no more than token blemishes. She is, as written, flawless.Hmm.

I don't quite feel that way, but I can easily see why reasonable people might feel that way.

Perhaps it's because I see Susan's flaw as a somewhat more serious handicap. For instance, it probably made success in the events of "Thief of Time" somewhat more dangerous by impeding her ability to work with Unity and Lobsang. It greatly restricts her career options (not that this is central to the plots we see her in). I suspect she finds it rather frustrating, though obviously not in a weepy "Why can't I just get along with people" way.

To me, this is sufficient. I don't find her character resonant or sympathetic (whereas I find Sam Vimes exceedingly so), but I don't think she's just the anthropomorphic personification of author fantasy.

Kojiro Kakita
2008-05-28, 08:51 PM
Having not read the Discworld Novels, I am not sure about how strong Susan is.

However, using my knowledge of anime, anime that I beleive have super powerful characters, I think I can come up with some characters that can kill her.

The anime: Shingetsutan Tsukihime
Aruceid Brunstead (Basically a Goddess. Her fighting power changes to match her opponents)
Nanya Shiki (able to kill anything at its root source. Reincarnation is prevented, magical attacks can be stopped, etc)
Wizard Marshal Zeltrech (Able to exist in all time limes and alternative Dimensions at one time. Is immortal. Killed a god).

Tengu
2008-05-29, 12:51 AM
You have a point, but the specific example you cite is a bit off. Tvtropes' "Canon Sues" are characters who are not perfect as written but who are exaggerated into unbelievable perfection by the fanfiction. Such as Hermione Granger of Harry Potter (see article for details).


No, read the article carefully - there are two types of Canon Sues.


1. A Fan Fic in which the canonical character with whom the Fanficcer identifies is suddenly made to be uber-competent, extremely beautiful, outshines every other character, gains new and unheard of powers, is revealed to be someone's long lost daughter, and generally speaking acts like a Mary Sue (or a Marty Stu).
2. A professional work in which a canonical character already has the attributes of a Mary Sue. Note that the definition of Mary Sue can vary somewhat, so this can refer to a character who is idealized, who seems to be a wish-fulfillment Author Avatar, or both.

Manga Shoggoth
2008-05-29, 03:39 AM
Did Susan do it because she was manipulated into doing it, or because she felt a duty to do it? The reason Death pushes stuff onto her is - yes, you said it - because he can't do it. However, the stuff he makes her do is, to a fault, vitally important to the survival of the Disc. Death doesn't loop her around his bony thumb, he simply appeals to her sense of duty, and Susan goes along because of that sense of duty. It is in fact, another good point to her character.

In many respects it is a combination of both. For most of her appearances (Hogfather, Thief of Time) Susan desperately wants to live a nomal life, but can't because of her heratage. Once Death has manipulated her sufficiently to get her involved her sense of duty takes over.

This is best shown in Hogfather where... Death - acting as the Hogfather - drops a few hints and then explicitly instructs Susan to stay in her mundane life. Albert later comments that such actions were not the best way to dissuade her. Death's response shows (to the reader) that he was clearly being manipulative.



Of course not. But that doesn't address the issue in the slightest.

You're making the unspoken assumptions that we assume Susan to be a Sue because she's the protagonist, and that professional writers can't write Sues.

Both of these are false.

As are your assumptions about my intentions. (We can probably get quite recursive about this...). I was simply pointing out that a powerful (or skilled or {insert adjective here}) character is not necessarly a Mary Sue, and also reminding people of the fanfiction origins of the phrase.

And you are quite right - some "professional" writers have produced the most god-awful characters. Conversely, some fanfoction writers have produced good characters.



Proof that you're not correct. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CanonSue) By the way, the link in question reminded me of another Canon Sue I can't stand but everyone else seems to like a lot - Mara Jade.

Actually, I liked the Jade/Thwarn characters in the "Heir to the Empire" trilogy. They fitted in well with the story and Zahn had the decency to give Thwarn a suitable ending. Obviously, I can't speak for how they were written afterwards (I have read very few Star Wars books).


To me, this is sufficient. I don't find her character resonant or sympathetic (whereas I find Sam Vimes exceedingly so), but I don't think she's just the anthropomorphic personification of author fantasy.

I have heard it said that if there is one character that speaks with Pratchetts voice it is Granny Weatherwax. (Possibly Vimes, these days - his character has developed an awful lot since Guards, Guards).

Come to think of it - Either Granny Weatherwax or Nanny Ogg would be in a position to defeat Susan. Both are extremely talented witches, and Granny Weatherwax has been known to take on Death (on two occasions that I can recall). Certianly, Death treats her with great respect.

Defeat is not all about blasting people with your powers. Headology is just as effective.

Ecalsneerg
2008-05-29, 06:11 AM
Captain Jack Harkness is a secret agent with a very, very low-power and circumstance-dependent time-travel device (can only take him to one location in a relatively narrow time frame). Other than that, he's entirely normal, except for one little detail. See, it seems he is incapable of dying; his existence was accidentally made into one of the universal constants by a being with temporary control of all time and space.

Does this work?

On the other hand, the most that ability could do is force a stalemate. He can't kill her, she can't kill him. And Susan strikes me as the type he cant' seduce. I think the Doctor, despite being mortal (and running out of regenerations), would have a much better chance of taking out Susan.

If Teatime could figure out a way to kill Death, I reckon the Doctor could do it and succeed, were it not for his whole pesky 'everything has its time' policy which kinda means he acknowledges the need for Death. So why would he kill his grand-daughter?

EvilDMMk3
2008-05-29, 08:23 AM
Well, Susan's powers are drawn from death, so those that cannot die or exist where death cannot are untouchable. Aside from that, well the Auditors would have probably if she didn't have help, the same goes for all other cosmic horror level powers. Remember that whilst doing her immortal thing Susan is borrowing power from one of the four horsemen (four horsemen and charioteer) of the apocalypse. The only opponents are those who could rival such laws of existence.

I mean be fair here. High power level character needs high power level foes.

My list goes like this:

Cuthulu
The Auditors
Doctor Who's Eternals, possibly the Carrionites too, also the timelords.
Also, a surprisingly low power entrant, Vandal Savage
Several Discworld characters, mostly the borderline Marry/Martu Sues.

and others along similar lines. Like all of PTerry's borderline Marry Sues Terry is careful not to overuse her, or rather in her case, to use her at her power level. I quite like her, but she is not my favorite character.

Drascin
2008-05-29, 09:11 AM
However, using my knowledge of anime, anime that I beleive have super powerful characters, I think I can come up with some characters that can kill her.

The anime: Shingetsutan Tsukihime
Aruceid Brunstead (Basically a Goddess. Her fighting power changes to match her opponents)
Nanya Shiki (able to kill anything at its root source. Reincarnation is prevented, magical attacks can be stopped, etc)
Wizard Marshal Zeltrech (Able to exist in all time limes and alternative Dimensions at one time. Is immortal. Killed a god).

Tsukihime anime? What are you talking about? What Tsukihime anime? *waves hand in front of Kojiro's face* There is no Tsukihime anime.

But yeah, Arc can certainly take her, even in her restricted state - and basically mop the floor with her and an army of sourcerers too if she goes berserk even for a fraction of a second. True Ancestors are, just by being who they are, already basically off the charts, and Arc was bred to be a living weapon and kill Dead Apostles and True Ancestors who went rogue - so she's enormously above what is normal even for a True Ancestor. Not to mention she has the Brunestud surname with all that implies. To put it simply - Nasuverse is massively overpowered, and according to author, Arcueid is massively overpowered even in comparison with almost everything else on the rest of the Nasuverse. That's a lot of overpower together in one single girl :smalltongue:.

Shiki is more doubtful. If he gets the drop on Susan, he probably wins - this is a guy who has been able to kill concepts, after all, so he could probably kill even Death himself if necessary, not just Susan. But she gets the power to sidestep the time flow, and getting the drop on someone like that could prove tricky. If she sees him coming, he's toast, because she uses Time Stop (okay, so it's not the D&D Time stop, but close enough for our purposes) and stabs him, and he doesn't get Arc's reality-altering powers to ignore it. Not to mention the fact that Shiki is not exactly uber in most senses of the term - he just gets a cheatcode for reality :smalltongue:, and also a bit of assassin training, but nothing most higher-ups of the Assasin's Guild can't replicate in their sleep. But even in cheating, there's Ryogi, who, even though I'm not as acquainted with Kyoukai as with Tsukihime (yet), I seem to keep hearing is able to use the same cheatcode much better than he does, and without the chance to fry his own brain while doing it that Shiki has, and is also generally faster and more skilled at actually getting said drop on people :smalltongue:.

Anyway, I lost myself rambling there. Bottom line - whoever manages to surprise the other wins, as both pack the power of "Death" and so a single hit is all that's needed. But Susan's other powers give her a very substantial edge in actually getting that surprise. So this one I'd give to her.

GoC
2008-05-29, 09:41 AM
Nanya Shiki (able to kill anything at its root source. Reincarnation is prevented, magical attacks can be stopped, etc)

As Susan's "source" is Death this might not work.

Has there ever been an occasion when her VOICE has been resisted?

Smeik
2008-05-29, 11:50 AM
I would say the Saint of Killers owuld easily defeat her...*goes away, whistling*

endoperez
2008-05-29, 12:12 PM
Well, Susan's powers are drawn from death, so those that cannot die or exist where death cannot are untouchable. Aside from that, well the Auditors would have probably if she didn't have help, the same goes for all other cosmic horror level powers. Remember that whilst doing her immortal thing Susan is borrowing power from one of the four horsemen (four horsemen and charioteer) of the apocalypse. The only opponents are those who could rival such laws of existence.

It's not like that. In Thief of Time, Death was unable to see what was more-or-less Time's son (when the Time Monk's storage space went crazy), because he wasn't subject to death or something close enough. Susan, on the other hand, had no problem seeing him.

Furthermore, Susan doesn't borrow her power, but has inherited it, and IMO that means it's her and from her. She has commented how "genetics doesn't work that way", but this is Discworld: she also inherited the slap that Death gave his father before she was born (explained in Soul Music).

Kojiro Kakita
2008-05-29, 01:28 PM
Tsukihime anime? What are you talking about? What Tsukihime anime? *waves hand in front of Kojiro's face* There is no Tsukihime anime.



Well there is the horrible anime which made me cried tears of anger when I saw it. However, on another note they are remaking the Tsukhime Visual Novel and adding a new path (Will Satsuki finally get a break? or suffer for eternity).

EvilDMMk3
2008-05-29, 01:36 PM
(explained in Soul Music).

And yet in Soul Music Death finds that he cannot do all that he ought to because Susan has some of his power.

The_JJ
2008-05-29, 06:42 PM
1. I do not consider Susan Death a Mary Sue
2. She is definatly near the bottom of my favorite Discworld charactors.
3. I believe her to be incredibly powerful, undercertain circumstances. But definatly not immortal.

Case in point, Teatime would have, should have, killed her in Hogfather. She was saved by the grace of Death's sword not working. Later, she was saved when Teatime inexplicably (well, explicably to him, but inexplicably to us genre savvys) decided to take a hostage and then monolouge. Did I mention that the hostage was very thin and skinny?

I think there are plenty of people who could kill Susan. But she's dating Time and is related to Death sooo... hard to kill, on the Disc.

GoC
2008-05-29, 10:16 PM
Case in point, Teatime would have, should have, killed her in Hogfather. She was saved by the grace of Death's sword not working. Later, she was saved when Teatime inexplicably (well, explicably to him, but inexplicably to us genre savvys) decided to take a hostage and then monolouge. Did I mention that the hostage was very thin and skinny?

I think there are plenty of people who could kill Susan. But she's dating Time and is related to Death sooo... hard to kill, on the Disc.

The first case was when she was in a realm made out of the imagination of children who have no concept of death.
As for the second well...
I was about to post about that asking if anyone else thought it was the most "WTF?!" moment in the entire discworld series (even more than the shopping mall seeds!:smallfurious:). I read over that part three times to make sure I hadn't misread, only the fact that the rest of the book was so good saved it for me.
I mean think about it! Susan can stop time, warp space (teleporting Mr. Teatime somewhere else or transporting themselves) or simply make herself undetectable and Death has numerous other powers including all Susan's powers, knowing the future and knowing Mr. Teatime's and Susan's date of death (and also knowing he himself will not cease to exist until the universe does so).
Oh yeah, and Death's sword is merely an extension of his own being.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that either of them can simply order Mr. Teatime to desist and leave.

puppyavenger
2008-05-30, 06:32 AM
(even more than the shopping mall seeds!:smallfurious:).

heh, I thought I dreamed trhat, what book was it in again?

EvilDMMk3
2008-05-30, 07:10 AM
heh, I thought I dreamed trhat, what book was it in again?

It is the side-plot in Reaper Man.

Eldan
2008-05-30, 05:47 PM
Back to the original topic: I'm pretty sure Dr McNinja can. he has tons of awesome and beat his universes' version of Death.

Artemician
2008-05-31, 09:55 AM
Back to the original topic: I'm pretty sure Dr McNinja can. he has tons of awesome and beat his universes' version of Death.

Indeed. Where the good Doctor's Ninja abilities fail him, his medical prowess takes over. It's an unbeatable combination! :smalltongue:

*

On another note, I've recently found the time to browse the Touhou Wiki once more, and I stand by my original stance that top tier Touhou characters can take Susan. Yuyuko versus Susan would be especially interesting, I suppose, with Yuyuko having control over the domain of Death. Combined with the fundemental personality clash, that could lead to some interesting conversations.

R.O.A.
2008-05-31, 02:22 PM
Has there ever been an occasion when her VOICE has been resisted?

Yes. It doesn't wok on Albert I believe. I'm not sure without looking it up whether it worked on Nanny Ogg either.

ElfLad
2008-06-02, 01:46 PM
The Patrician
Granny Weatherwax
Sam Vimes
Moist Von Lipwig
Cohen the Barbarian
Mustrum Ridcully
Lu-Tze
Rincewind
DEATH himself

You forgot The Librarian.

And maybe I'm the only one, but I always felt that Angua was more of a Mary-Sue than Susan. Susan's too cranky and bitter to be a real Mary Sue.

Surrealistik
2009-12-12, 12:00 PM
Pun Pun.

/endofthread

Roland St. Jude
2009-12-12, 12:53 PM
Sheriff: Year and half old thread is too old. Please see Forum Rules on Thread Necromancy.