Death is a recurring character in the Discworld series. He refers to himself as being an Anthropomorphic personification and is most notable for always speaking in capital letters.
THE DUTY is what Death refers to as his task of ushering souls in to the next world. While Death will often delegate this task to a lower functionary it is expected that he will always personally attend the death of a wizard, witch or other significant person (such as a king or queen). Though he will harvest 'insignificant' souls, such as that of an insect, from time to time, in order to keep perspective.
Death's scythe is the instrument wielded to harvest most souls of the dead. However, Death also carries a sword, which is used exclusively on those of Royal birth.
Death resides in a large, cheery house (if made somewhat less cheery by being decorated almost entirely in tones of black) called Mon Repos. Death lodges here with his manservant Albert (Alberto Malich, founder of Unseen University), as well as the Death of Rats, and its mount Quoth, a raven. The rooms are significantly larger on the inside, though most mortals don't notice the extra space (as much as a mile) between the center of the rooms and the walls, or even walk through said space. Normal humans in Death's domain note that it has been constructed from an outside perspective, as though everything in it was created by someone with no concept of such things and merely had them described to them. Rooms include:
- Death's study
- The kitchen (where Albert fries things)
- The Hall (where there is a grandfather clock with a scythe blade for a pendulum, counting the passing of seconds)
- The Hall of Lifetimers (may be the same room as the Hall), where the timers that show the passage of peoples' lives are kept
- The Library or Hall of Records, where books on every subject are kept, including those that chronicle peoples' lives, past and present (at least some anthropomorphic personifications are listed here, as seen in the book Hogfather).
The grounds of Death's manor include:
- The stables of Death's steed, Binky.
- A maze (which Death cannot understand, as he always knows where he is, and more importantly, where the maze is)
- A patch of real earth dug as a watermelon pit (needs confirmation) by Albert.
- Opaque ponds on which skeletal fish swim
- A tree that is missing several feet of its trunk (and none of its health) where Death made a swing for Susan
- And surrounding the domain to the mountains at the horizon, a field of golden wheat that is eternally ripe but never harvested (as created following the events of Reaper Man).
Although Death may be an anthropomorphic personification, he is not without family. Death has a daughter named Ysabell (whom he adopted after her parents were killed in the Great Nef desert), a grand-daughter named Susan (who is the daughter of Ysabell) and her husband, Mort.
Although never terribly pleased to do so, Susan will occasionally take over the responsibilities of THE DUTY when Death becomes distracted, whether from becoming overly philosophical, or taking too much of an interest in humans.
Death is the only character to appear in every Discworld book. Though usually the appearance is brief. Below is a list of the books in the series where death is either the central or a major character.