Good old Drumknott. He's rapidly becoming a fixture in the Oblong Office - and like most fixtures, he generally goes unnoticed and underappreciated. When he first appears, in Men At Arms, he is mentioned only briefly as being one of the many clerks in Vetinari's employ. Shortly, however, he was recognized as Lord Vetinari's head clerk, or even (on some occasions) as his personal secretary or even (ahem) overnight clerk. He certainly appears to have earned his position - he can move as silently as the Patrician himself, and is only half a beat behind his master on most occasions, if that much. He's generally very "adept in his understanding of his master's requirements" (The Truth), knowing without being told what information to hand him during meetings, for example (Jingo).
Considering what an interesting fellow he could be, I find it somewhat distressing that he has yet to be given a real description. Indeed, in The Truth he is said to be "one of those people with no discernible character." Sounds like a copout to me! Harumph! I can only hope that Mr. Pratchett will elaborate on poor Drumknott in coming books.
In the meantime, what do we know of him?
I generally envision him as being in his early to mid-twenties, and a sort of younger, shorter version of Vetinari. Somehow, I've always mentally pictured him with brown hair, but that's about it. Casting suggestions are almost impossible, since we know zilch about what he looks like. A pal of mine recently suggested Joaquin Phoenix, which isn't a bad notion. He'll be too old for the part pretty soon, though.
- Name: Rufus Drumknott (The Truth)
- Occupation: Head Clerk/Personal Secretary to Lord Vetinari
- He's fastidious and knows his grammar (Feet of Clay: "'When you say don't nobody move,' said Drumknott carefully, fastidiously taking a piece of plaster off his plate, 'do you in fact mean-' p. 328)
- He's young. (Soul Music)
- Works well for the Patrician, knows what to do and when to do it.
Drumknott's quite a clever chap. One of my favorite Drumknott moments is in Feet of Clay:'But, my lord, you could have sorted it out diplomatically! Instead he went around upsetting things and making a lot of people very angry and afraid-'
'Yes. Dear me. Tsk, tsk.'
'Ah,' said Drumknott.
'Quite so,' said the Patrician.
'May I make an observation, my lord?'
'Of course you may,' said Vetinari, watching Vimes walk through the palace gates.
'The thought occurs, sir, that if Commander Vimes did not exist you would have had to invent him.
'You know, Drumknott, I rather think I did.'
That about sums him up right there. Respectful, but still prone to the occasional youthful outburst, quick on his feet, and quite unobtrusive.
I sincerely hope he plays a bigger part in coming books, however. Not, of course, that I want him to follow in the footsteps of the late, unlamented Lupine Wonse, but it would be nice to learn more about him. He must live in the palace, since he seems to be on-call 'round the clock. Has he got family? A hobby? Where'd he go to school? When and how did he enter Vetinari's service? The Patrician is a character one expects to be mysterious; what about Drumknott?