So, to wrap up Garth Nix Appreciation Week on this blog, we are interviewing a much-beloved Garth Nix character. Enjoy!
Today on a Question of Fiction, I’m interviewing the Disreputable Dog (or the Disreputable Bitch if you want to be technical about it). Prodigiously talented magically, sassy and esoteric, and with a penchant for bones, the Dogs origins may be questioned, but her friendship never is. She currently lives with Lirael in the Glacier.
Interviewer: Hi, Dog! We are extremely glad to have you. Can you tell us about your childhood and growing up?
Dog: If you need to ask you ain’t never gonna know.
Interviewer: I see…Well, how do you feel about living in the Glacier?
Dog: I love the Glacier. It has tunnels to bury bones in, lots of corridors to explore and all sorts of secrets. I love secrets. One might say that I’m a secret….and I’m not telling. Ever.
Besides, my lovely friend Lirael lives in the Glacier. She gets me bones and follows me on adventures. I have been around for a long time, and very few people want to get me bones. Adventures are boring on your own.
Interviewer: How long have you been around?
Dog: See answer two sentence d re: not telling. Beyond the Beginning, that’s all I’ll say.
Interviewer: Okay then. Which mages have you admired most through history?
Dog: look, stop asking. I’m not telling you anything about who I’ve met. But many of the Abhorsens I really respected. And so many of them make me laugh. There was this one necromancer, and to cut a long story short, his goat impressions in Death remain unrivalled.
And Lirael is an excellent mage. Better than she knows and for reasons she doesn’t know either.
Interviewer: Look, I’m so sick of the secrets. Can we stop with the secrets?
Dog: No. What other questions do you have? Do you have food?
Interviewer: Look, I’m the one who is supposed to be asking the questions around here…. Fine. What’s your favourite food?
Dog: I like food. Especially bones. They smell good. I have all these hiding places so they last longer. Don’t tell Lirael, but her cupboard proved to be an amazing hiding place…
Interviewer: Okay then. Okay. If you promise to co-operate and answer the rest of these questions I’ll give you a bone.
Dog: Two bones.
Interviewer: Fine, you can have two bones. Where is your home?
Dog: I live in the Glacier. But the greater part of my essence is in the Charter. I like walking. I make Lirael walk with me.
Interviewer: That doesn’t make sense. Moving on, however, what power would you like to have if you had to choose?
Dog: Which power don’t I have?
Interviewer: I don’t know. What powers do you have?
Dog: I can speak, I can do magic, I can change my body to suit my surroundings, I can go without food, I act as a Charter Stone, I am extremely loyal, and the rest are secrets. No telling.
Interviewer: I can’t tell that which I don’t know. What are your political opinions?
Dog: Politics is dangerous. There are horrible things brewing on the horizon, and politics is behind a lot of it. Politics is essentially a motivation for power, and all evil things want power. The things that I’ve seen… [the Dog shudders]However, the Old Kingdom is really well run at the moment, and I really respect the monarchy. Can I have my bone now?
Interviewer: Um not yet… you’re very intimidating up close like this, especially your teeth. Do you like to fight?
Dog: I like to beat Free Magic things, for I am of the Charter totally and absolutely the end. I will fight for anyone who deserves my loyalty and who I’m close to. Right now that is my friend, the lovely Lirael. If someone threatens her, they deserve a lot of sadness. And teeth.
Interviewer: Second last question here. How would you describe yourself?
Dog: Amazing. And fierce, extraordinary, secretive, loving, exuberant, magical and thoughtful. Also hungry. Very hungry.
Interviewer: Finally, How do you feel about the Library?
Dog: Well, since its’ creation I’ve loved to go there and explore its secrets. These days I mostly follow Lirael. But we’ve had many adventures. When she put on the Charter ice-otter skin, I kept wanting to direct her to the tunnel that leads into the most dangerous part of the Old Levels. But she’s not ready for that yet, and she didn’t have her sword, bracelet or whistle.
The Library is amazing, though. You should visit.
Interviewer: Thanks for being interviewed, Dog!
Dog: I want my bones now.