'The Watch': What were Terry Pratchett's last words?

In December 2007, Pratchett announced that he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He died at his home, surrounded by his family, 'with his cat sleeping on his bed', on the morning of March 12, 2015


                            'The Watch':  What were Terry Pratchett's  last words?
Terry Pratchett (Getty Images)

BBC America’s newest fantasy/procedural show, ‘The Watch’, is a loose adaptation of the works of one of the greatest fantasy authors of the 20th century -- Sir Terry Pratchett.

The eight-part first season of the show will follow an unlikely group of misfits, The City Watch, who are forced to find the guts to save the world, surprising even themselves in the process. The comedic yet thrilling series will pit trolls, werewolves, wizards, and other improbable heroes against an evil plot to resurrect a great dragon that would lead to the destruction of life as they know it. 

The series is inspired by the characters created by Pratchett in his famous ‘Discworld’ series, which spans 41 novels! Pratchett, who sold more than 85 million books worldwide in 37 languages, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1998 and was knighted for services to literature in 2009. 

In December 2007, Pratchett announced that he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He died at his home, surrounded by his family, "with his cat sleeping on his bed", on the morning of March 12, 2015, from Alzheimer's. But, his last words appeared on Twitter after his death. What were they? And how did he tweet from the beyond?

His Twitter account, on March 12, read: “AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.” This was followed by, “Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.” The last tweet was painfully final. It read, “The End.”



 



 



 

Sadly, unlike the stories he wrote, Pratchett’s mystical final words did not appear magically. The BBC reported that they were posted by Pratchett's assistant Rob Wilkins shortly after his death. 

In ‘Terry Pratchett: Back in Black’, a BBC2 docudrama on the life of the British author and satirist, Wilkins recalled the day in autumn 2007 when he and Pratchett realized something strange had happened. He said Pratchett came into his office saying: “The ‘S’ on my keyboard has gone … Come on, what have you done with it?”

But it was more than seven years later, in late 2014, when Pratchett realized he was not the same writer he used to be. Wilkins said in the docudrama, “We had a good day working on the biography and he said to me: ‘Rob, Terry Pratchett is dead.’ Completely out of the blue. I said: ‘Terry look at the words you have written today. It is fantastic.’ And he said: ‘No, no. Terry Pratchett is dead.’”

Wilkins also said that towards the end of his life, Pratchett became increasingly angered by his disease. “He could see how it was affecting him, how it was tripping him up and I knew we were up against it for time,” said Wilkins. “We had to get the words down and with that white heat, with that white anger driving him to write seven whole novels through the haze of Alzheimer’s.”

A few months after his death, his daughter Rhianna Pratchett revealed that the family's mantra, "Mind How You Go", were the last words she had said to her father before he died. She said, “For those reading The Shepherd's Crown, 'Mind how you go' are considered to be the Pratchett magic words. We'd always say them to someone traveling somewhere. They were also the last words I said to my grandfather and my father.”

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