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Hogfather the movie vs Hogfather the book

Updated on January 27, 2014

Ho, Ho, Hogfather!

Attention, Pratchett fans! Hogswatch is coming and it is time to answer the ultimate question (one of the ultimate questions, anyway):

Which is better: Hogfather the movie or Hogfather the book?

Your opinion is badly needed.

If you don't know who the Hogfather is, don't worry. You'll get to know him soon enough.

Meet the Hogfather

Who's this Hogfather, anyway?

He's big. He's jolly. Also known as 'the Fat Man'. One night a year, he travels around the world and gives stuff away. Not just any stuff, mind you, and not just to anyone.

First, you have to write an application. Ok, fine, a letter will do. Traditionally, it should be written in crayon (tip: if you use a green one on pink paper with a mouse in the corner, the Hogfather will think you are sweet), and addressed to... well, we'll get to that.

Second, you have to get the decor right. A chimney, with a fireplace (NOT lit on the night of the visit, unless you want the Hogfather to suffer third degree burns). Holly. Greeting cards. Mandatory stocking hung on the mantlepiece.

Third, there's the question to answer. A very important one, with an ancient pedigree:

Have you been naughty or nice?

In fact, the Hogfather very much resembles one of the most famous fairy characters on Earth. We, Roundworld dwellers, call him Santa Claus.

A sneak peek at the Hogfather's file

A sneak peek at the Hogfather's file
A sneak peek at the Hogfather's file

When does the Hogfather arrive?

It is called Hogswatchnight. A mid-winter solar festival, surprisingly (or maybe not?) similar to our Christmas.

The Hogfather creates his own time - this is why he's able to visit all the children in the world during one night. Ordinary mortals celebrate Hogswatchnight by feasting and general merrymaking.

To learn more about the Hogswatchnight, let's give some space to Sir Terry Pratchett himself:

It's supposed to be jolly, with mistletoe and holly, and - and other things ending in olly!

The Hogfather has enemies...

Who's the villain in Hogfather?

They are called Auditors, but instead of accounts, they audit the reality itself. They are enemies of anything creative, vibrant, alive. They crave absolute order and since humanity is messy, they would very much like to see it eliminated.

They know that once the Hogfather is gone, the Sun will not rise.

That's why, just before the Hogswatchnight, Lord Downey from Ankh-Morpork Assassin's Guild receives an unusual order from a mysterious visitor:

The Fat Man is to be brought to an end

To find out what happened next, read Hogfather the book...

...or watch Hogfather the movie

Hogfather - the official trailer

Hogfather battle

Inevitably, this duel is only for those who have read the book and have seen the movie. If you don't belong to this exclusive club yet, you know what to do...

Which one is better:

Hogfather - personal review

First and foremost - I worship Terry Pratchett. I discovered him years ago and I'm still not bored. Each night I fall asleep to the sound of one of his audiobooks and by now I pretty much know them by heart. I'm still laughing at the jokes and I'm constantly finding some new meanings in the Discworld tales (which, really, tells you a lot about quality of Pratchett's prose).

Hogfather was one of the first Pratchett's books I got and as such it's always been close to my heart. The funny thing is - I don't even like Christmas very much. I detest Christmas-themed decorations, run away at the faintest sound of carols and generally try to stay indoors come Yuletide for fear of Christmas terrorists. The fact that with such attitude I consider Hogfather one of the best fiction books ever written is the ultimate tribute to Pratchett's genius.

I believe that in most cases movie adaptations don't just kill books, they torture and maim them before the execution. Hogfather the movie is a glorious exception to this rule. They actually did a good job! Perhaps that's because Sir Terry himself helped (eee... 'mucked about') with the screenplay. He also appears in a tiny cameo role at the very end of the movie - a treat for any true Pratchett fan!

Terry Pratchett about Hogfather

Hogfather is not the only Discworld movie


Did you like my presentation of Hogfather? - Or maybe you have a Hogfather story to share?

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    • TrishaCornelius1 profile image

      Trisha Cornelius 5 years ago from Gauteng, South Africa

      I am also rather inclined to Grinch tendencies at Christmas and, as a resident of the Southern hemisphere, get particularly irked when people go on about Yuletide cheer.

      I love the scene in the Hogfather (novel) about how no-one realized that the Hogswatch carols contained offensive bits until they were removed.