The essence of a character, Discworld’s Vimes

Is there one page, line or paragraph, which solidifies the essence of a character for you?  There is always those catchphrase or scenes which stick in the mind, but what about the restrained and the implied moments?  The unsaid or softly spoken words which are stronger that the overt.

When ever I think of this type of character my first thought is Discworlds’s Vimes and one scene in particular.

The scene has Angua confronting Vimes in his office about his drinking and respect for the job, she has a small black book belonging to Vimes.  Inside the book is a list female names she thinks are all the women Vimes has on the side, with money written beside them totaling a large part of Vimes salary.

Calling Colon and Carrot to the office Angua confront Vimes on the book. Looking to Carrot and Colon from support she sees that they have gone silent and stoic.  Vimes then asks Colon does he know who these people are.  He does, they are all the widows and families of the fallen Watchmen Vimes has served with over the years. As there was no such thing as Widows and orphans fund, Vimes has been giving money to the families without anyone knowing.

This simple concept highlights the character Pratchett created and for me shines a light on who and what they are.  Broken, but still willing to do whats right and needed.

Is there such a character you feel the same about?



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