The Character Assassin: Rincewind

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We’ve looked at a wizard and a princess, and so in our third edition of the much vaunted The Character Assassin, we take a look at something completely new. A wizard.



World's Worst Wizard

Star Of: An ongoing and lengthy series of novels (off and on), as well as spin-off media.
First Appearance: The Colour of Magic (novel)
Likes: Staying alive, running away, potatoes
Dislikes: Tourism, Death, adventure
Bio: The single luckiest, single most ill-fated man in the whole of the Disc, where he may very well also be the most sane human being alive.

1. Social Security

First and foremost, Rincewind is a wizard who dislikes hard, or dangerous work. Point of fact, he would much prefer to live a boring, simple life.

This isn’t just a manifestation of Rincewind’s cowardice (see blow), but a full-blown desire to be successful with the minimum amount of work possible. If Discworld had reality TV, Rincewind would very likely be doing his damnedest to pitch the next hit show Lazy Wizard at Work.

This is due mainly to contentment. Rincewind is perfectly happy living a quiet, mediocre life with no success if it means he didn’t have to exert himself or stick his neck out.

Put simply, if Rincewind knew that he could get money from the government for not working… well, he’d be the very first person in line, and would be laughing to the bank.

2. National Defense

Rincewind is a man with a very simple philosophy when it comes to conflict; “Run Away!”

Indeed, for Rincewind, the act of fleeing from a problem is less a mind-set and more of a religion. At one point he actively describes it as a means of ensuring the continuation of life – specifically his life.

Now, this is a pretty telling opinion for our lackluster wizard, as his first instinct in any situation is to cut-and-run when the going gets tough. From a national defense perspective that doesn’t bode well for support to our men and women in uniform. Rincewind would much rather take what he would see as the practical approach and have them come home in defeat – assuming said defeat also ensures they return alive.

3. Human Rights

When it comes to racism, Rincewind is actually a fairly forward thinking and open minded man – surprising when you consider that he’s a paranoid cynic.

Specifically, Rincewind believes that there are only two types of people in the world; those who are trying to kill him, and those who are not trying to kill him. Semantics like skin colour tend to fall to the wayside. I mean, honestly, who would you trust?


I’m just saying that Carl Winslow is less likely to shoot you in the face, and that would make him alright in Rincewind’s books.

4. Education

A major part of Rincewind’s life has been spent as an academic at the Unseen University, a major institution of magical study on the Disc.

Now, in this capacity Rincewind has an almost ass-backward appreciation of the education system because it has at once totally failed and utterly helped Rincewind it two diametrically opposed ways.

Rincewind is an abject failure as a wizard, and the education system did nothing to help him in a post-secondary capacity. On the other hand, he’s now a tenured professor – albeit it’s a token position that means little. Still, he’s fed, clothed and housed on university coin which is a situation he’s very content with.

He’s certainly not going to complain about the fairly liberal state of Canada’s university system.



Fundamentally, Rincewind is a social leech. He wants an easy life, and if that comes on the back of society, so be it. Coupled with a fundamental desire to avoid conflict, which would translate as much on a national stage as a personal one, and it’s pretty clear that Rincewind isn’t going to be voting blue. Nope, he’d mark his NDP candidate on the ballot, and then probably trip over a dragon on his way out of the voting station.

If you have an idea for a fictional victim for The Character Assassin, e-mail Scott, or send him a tweet with your suggestion.

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