Moist von Lipwig
is a fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...
from Terry Pratchett
Sir Terence David John "Terry" Pratchett, OBE is an English novelist, known for his frequently comical work in the fantasy genre. He is best known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels...
Discworld is a comic fantasy book series by English author Sir Terry Pratchett, set on the Discworld, a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A'Tuin. The books frequently parody, or at least take inspiration from, J. R. R....
series. He is the protagonist of the novels Going Postal
Going Postal is Terry Pratchett's 33rd Discworld novel, released in the United Kingdom on September 25, 2004. Unlike most of Pratchett's Discworld novels, Going Postal is divided into chapters, a feature previously seen only in Pratchett's children's books and the Science of Discworld series...
and Making Money
Making Money is a Terry Pratchett novel in the Discworld series, first published in the UK on 20 September 2007. It is the second novel featuring Moist von Lipwig, and involves the Ankh-Morpork mint and specifically the introduction of paper money to the city...
Background and execution
Little is known about Moist von Lipwig's past. He originally comes from Überwald, specifically from a town called Lipwig, and lost both his parents at an early age, and was raised by a grandfather who bred dogs. He was raised in the Potato Church, which apparently states that everything will be alright after you die as long as you have a potato. He attended school in Uberwald, and had bad memories of his second year school mistress, Frau Shambers. He was bullied at school but ran away and became a travelling conman. In Making Money
he alluded to living through the chaos of the breakup of the Unholy Empire, and having to do anything at all to survive, though he may have been lying. At some point he met and associated with Cribbins, another criminal who taught him everything he (Cribbins) knew. But their association ended, and later Lipwig developed a dislike for Cribbins, reflecting that the teaching took "about ten minutes, and a year to forget some of it
," and that Cribbins is "the sort that gives criminals a bad name
During his time as a conman, Lipwig took advantage of the fact that he has no notable physical traits and is easily forgettable. According to the numerous descriptions handed in to various watches across the Plains; "He was about twenty, or about thirty. On Watch reports across the continent he was anywhere between, oh, about six feet two inches and five feet nine inches tall, hair all shades from mid-brown to blond, and his lack of distinguishing features included his entire face
." (In Going Postal
he claims his actual age is 26). Lipwig uses his lack of memorability to his advantage in the use of a selection of easily removable distinguishable features, such as fake glasses and even ear
The ear is the organ that detects sound. It not only receives sound, but also aids in balance and body position. The ear is part of the auditory system....
Hair is a filamentous biomaterial, that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Found exclusively in mammals, hair is one of the defining characteristics of the mammalian class....
A wig is a head of hair made from horsehair, human hair, wool, feathers, yak hair, buffalo hair, or synthetic materials which is worn on the head for fashion or various other aesthetic and stylistic reasons, including cultural and religious observance. The word wig is short for periwig and first...
s. He has become an expert forger and uses a wide range of inks and papers that he stores in what he calls "Mr. Robinson's Box
He also used a number of aliases, including Albert Spangler. It was under the name Albert Spangler that he was captured in Ankh-Morpork
Ankh-Morpork is a fictional city-state which prominently features in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of fantasy novels. As cities go, it is on the far side of corrupt and polluted, and is subject to outbreaks of comedic violence and brouhaha on a fairly regular basis...
and was to be hanged, in the beginning of events in Going Postal
In Going Postal
, the Patrician
Havelock Vetinari, Lord Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, is the fictional ruler of the city state of Ankh-Morpork in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, a series of over thirty books describing a parallel universe whose main world has reflections of - even more or less subtle jokes about - our...
of Ankh-Morpork arranged to have Lipwig survive his hanging. When Lipwig woke up, Vetinari offered him a job as Ankh-Morpork's Postmaster General which Lipwig could take or reject of his own free will (the alternative being, essentially, death, again of his own free will). At that time, the city's postal service was failing. The task of restoring it had claimed the lives of four of Vetinari's clerks, and the competing and mercilessly corporate Clacks network, the Grand Trunk Clacks Company, was being run by a conman, Reacher Gilt. Lipwig nonetheless manages to revive the postal service by applying the principles of the con to honest work, introduces the postage stamp
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper that is purchased and displayed on an item of mail as evidence of payment of postage. Typically, stamps are made from special paper, with a national designation and denomination on the face, and a gum adhesive on the reverse side...
and causes the downfall of the Grand Trunk Clacks Company by exposing the fraudulent practices introduced by Gilt. By the beginning of Making Money
, the Clacks network is run by the Ankh-Morpork Postal Service.
Moist, and the Post Office, has a very minor cameo in Thud!
Thud! is Terry Pratchett's 34th Discworld novel, released in the United States of America on September 13, 2005, the United Kingdom on 1 October 2005. Thud! was released in the U.S. three weeks before it was released in Pratchett's native UK, to coincide with a United States signing tour...
. Commander Vimes notices that the Ankh-Morpork Post Office has issued two different sets of stamps commemorating the Battle of Koom Valley, one in which the Dwarfs are winning the battle, the other the Trolls, and he makes an angry remark about "that pea-brain at the Post Office" (probably referring to Stanley, the Head of Stamps Dept, who's known to have been raised by peas). He also mentions the cabbage stamp with the potentially explosive cabbage scented glue, of which Corporal Nobbs has confiscated many examples.
In Making Money
, the Patrician offers Moist the additional job of running the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork and the Royal Mint just behind it. He refuses this offer, but when the chairwoman of the bank dies, she leaves all her shares to her dog Mr Fusspot, and the dog to Moist and alerts the Assassins' Guild to the situation who would kill Lipwig should he refuse the job. Therefore he becomes responsible for the bank. Moist becomes the Master of the Royal Mint then introduces paper money to Ankh-Morpork and revolutionises the bank, whilst keeping it out of the hands of the greedy Lavish family who sit on the board of directors.
Lipwig's next project is likely to be a reform of the Ankh-Morpork tax system in the anticipated future Discworld novel Raising Taxes
Raising Taxes is the working title of a possible third Moist von Lipwig novel in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.Raising Taxes was first alluded to during the promotional tour of Making Money....
Moist von Lipwig meets and begins courting Adora Belle Dearheart in Going Postal
. By Making Money
, the two are engaged. Dearheart plays an important role in Lipwig's life, in that dating her provides him with the dangerous thrill he needs in his life. When she is away, he needs to perform various dangerous activities, such as climbing high buildings and extreme sneezing.
Lipwig is not a follower of a particular god. However, a con he perpetrated in Going Postal
led to a massive increase in the popularity of the goddess Anoia. In Making Money
, he takes up praying to her, on the basis that she "owes" him.
In the Sky TV adaptation
Terry Pratchett's Going Postal is a two-part television adaptation of the book of the same name by Terry Pratchett, adapted by Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle and produced by The Mob, which was first broadcast on Sky1, and in high definition on Sky1 HD, at the end of May 2010.It is the third in a...
, von Lipwig was portrayed by actor Richard Coyle
Richard Coyle is an English actor.-Early life:Coyle was born in Sheffield, England to Irish parents. He began his acting career after a stint working on a ferry entertaining passengers, where he was told by a theatre director that he had a talent and should pursue it further...