A lengthy series of books by Brian Jacques, about a fantasy world in which all kinds of animals are the equivalents of people: they wear clothes, live in buildings, have humanlike societies, et cetera. Yet they also retain some of their animal natures, which usually manifest as specific skills, such as moles being expert workmen especially at digging, and otters being skilled swimmers and shrimp fishermen.The series centers on Redwall Abbey, a commune devoted to peace, though many who live there are quite capable of defending themselves if attacked. The books take place across a vast time period that may span centuries (it's difficult to tell since the characters measure time in ill-defined "seasons"). Most are complete stand-alone stories, so they can mostly be read in any order. In fact, for a while, Jacques wrote the stories wildly out of chronological order, though in his final years, he has set each book further ahead in time than the last one. Only four books (Redwall and Mattimeo, Mariel of Redwall and The Bellmaker) act as direct sequels featuring most of the same characters. Most others do share a few characters, albeit many seasons apart.Typical stories consist of some villainous horde laying siege to the abbey, while/or some of its inhabitants have to venture somewhere else. Either way, several exciting medieval-style battles ensue until the book's villains are defeated. Despite the lack of an ongoing story, continuity lovers will find much to admire in the consistency of the world surrounding Redwall; each book's inside cover features a map of the territory the story covers, and they all fit together very well (although things may change slightly over the years). Other societies, like the badger lords and hare soldiers of the mountain fortress Salamandastron, or the wandering Guosim shrews, pop up frequently and have a real sense of history to them. As well, some of the most exciting times for fans came with the publications of the books Martin the Warrior and Lord Brocktree, as the eponymous characters are mentioned numerous times in other books as legendary warriors from the past, meaning that with the titles alone Jacques was announcing that we would finally be seeing the real story behind those legends.The books, by order of publication, are:
0% Approval Rating: Dear lord, Gruven. There is not a single character who even remotely likes him. Not even the readers. When he's not being a snobby little brat who runs his mouth, he's being a Smug Snake and insulting anyone at the first opportunity. When he's not running away from his enemies, he's either trying to outsmart them (and typically failing) or he's literally sobbing and begging to be spared. Even Gruven's mother Antigra found the stoat annoying, and only put up with him because he was her son and because she needed him to rule the Juska tribe.
Subverted in Taggerung, where the Genre Savvy leader of the Juska tribe wants to avoid Redwall at all costs.
Averted in some of the earlier books, with a literal aversion in Outcast of Redwall.
Also, given that most books introduce a whole new cast of characters, it is likely that the Abbey gets attacked about once a generation, probably less.
The Abridged Series: A YouTube user named Hethrin is in the middle of an abridged series based on the Redwall TV series, which often parodies the many changes that were made in the show, as well as some tropes that appear in the books.
Abusive Parents: Nimbalo the Slayer's father, whose violent attitude drove his mother away. He then repeatedly beat Nimbalo and treated him extremely poorly until Nimbalo finally had enough one day and ran out. Laser-Guided Karma catches up with him though, but Nimbalo still cries over his body.
In Mossflower, Blacktooth and Splitnose start fighting each other over the food they stole from Martin, Gonff and Dinny. Everything was going fine until Splitnose decided to use his spear...
In Salamandastron, Dingeye and Thura start playing with archery equipment inside the Abbey and aim a bow and arrow at the stairs. Cue Brother Hal.
A karmic example happens in Outcast of Redwall. Just when the Wraith is about to assassinate Lord Sunflash after climbing up to an open window, Porty throws two rockcreams at Folrig and Ruddle (who were hiding behind Sunflash at the time). The badger and two otters duck, and the rocks end up hitting Wraith, causing him to fall to his death—and also to stab himself in the jaw.
Yet another karmic example pops up in Doomwyte. Just when the raven Tarul was about to kidnap a mousebabe, Sister Violet came into the belltower to help the mousebabe ring the bells. She ends up ringing them and crushing the bird in-between them both.
And yet another karmic accidental murder happens in Eulalia! After Orkwil, Maudie, and Rangval free themselves from Saltear, Undril, and Ruglat, Ruglat tries to run away with his spear in paw. Orkwil accidentally trips the weasel, and he falls on his spearpoint.
Aerith and Bob: Martin and Gonff, for example. This is more common in the earlier books when a large number of the characters still had human-ish names.
A Father to His Men: Captain Plugg Firetail is the only villain in the series who doesn't treat his troops like crap, and his troops are the only ones who don't try to seize power, going into Heroic BSOD when he dies.
"Doesn't treat them like crap"? He picks them up and bangs their heads together! Then again, in vermin terms, this probably translates as fatherly love...
And it didn't hurt that the BSOD was also caused by seeing Plugg being taken by a trio of adders.
Plugg is not the only one - Bane from Mossflower is an earlier example of this trope. He seemed content to share plunder with his troops, and they all seemed to respect him, while having nothing but contempt for Tsarmina, who did treat her troops like crap. Unfortunately, none of this helped his character survive the book.
Tramun Clogg is probably the nicest vermin leader in the series who still manages to remain a villain.
Affirmative Action Girl: Triss, after fans asked why there had never been a female bearer of Martin's Sword. Sadly, it backfired a tad (probably because they thought Triss was a Mary Sue). Mariel might also count, but she didn't bear the sword and she's far more popular.
Agony of the Feet: Axtel Sturnclaw gets stabbed in the footpaw with a spear and the spearhead ends up breaking off and getting stuck to said footpaw. And to make things worse, he accidentally bangs his footpaw against a stone, causing him to pass out as it gouged his footpaw even more. And when he wakes back up, he removes it by bashing the spearhead against a stone and pulling it out by paw.
Ublaz. He spent the last moments of his life freaking out and having a Villainous Breakdown as he was forced to watch his glorious empire slowly fall apart in the course of about a day. It's hard not to at least pity the creature when he realizes that everything he's worked so hard to achieve comes crashing down.
Ublaz: "Nobeast was mightier than me...Emperor...I was...Emp..."
The way Ungatt Trunn died is absolutely pitiful. Not even he deserved such a cruel death, especially when you look at some other Redwall villains, like Badrang, Mokkan and ViluDaskar.
It should be noted that the degree of evilness exhibited by vermin varies between books, and even in the same book, there is often a distinction between punch clock vermin, serving primarily as comedic relief, like Flinky and most of his gang in Loamhedge or Lousewort and Sneezewort in Long Patrol; and genuine, murdering villains. Quite a few of the former successfully pull Screw This, I'm Outta Here!, and many of those are implied to give up banditry and such for good.
In the animated adaptation, and in the first book, there were rats and other vermin who were peaceably living in the area, but Cluny ordered them press-ganged into fighting. Given Cluny's orders: "Smash their dens so they don't have homes to worry about! Kill all who resist!", those that didn't fall in line were probably killed.
Averted in the very first novel, where the protagonist encounters a wildcat who conscientiously avoids eating meat, and, bar a few personality quirks, is quite happy to help the heroes.
Not to mention his ancestor and namesake was a goodbeast pretty much from the start, and so was his mate. Given the few examples given, it might be able to safely be said that cats are some of the only animals with a real chance of becoming either good or bad, which makes sense considering there are both good and bad Animal Stereotypes for them. It's just that the evil ones tend to be Big Bad.
Blaggut became good as well.
Deconstructed in Outcast of Redwall. A ferret child was found abandoned and taken in by a resident of Redwall; because he's a ferret, and everyone assumes ferrets areAlways Chaotic Evil, he tends to get the blame for anything that goes wrong, which leads to him becoming a thief and acting out most of the stereotypes placed on him. The only Redwaller that never pointed an accusing finger at him was his adoptive mother; she always argued for his innocence even when it was plain he was guilty and she truly loved him, and he sacrificed himself to save her from a vermin spear.
A deconstruction badly botched in the closing pages, when said Redwaller comes home and gives a speech about how the ferret in question was always evil and she shouldn't have bothered trying to change him.
Always Lawful Good: Just as the vermin are always bad, the woodlanders are always good. Later books subvert this trope, but not before Taggerung took this trope to the ridiculous extreme.
Eulalia has a vole that might have readers cheering when he dies. He threatens to shoot one of the main characters when he's first introduced, then, after the Redwallers take him in and help him after he's nearly killed, decides to steal Martin's sword in exchange for the character he threatened to shoot stealing his dagger. He also kills a Sister when she tries to stop him, though he's killed later on and the sword is stolen by an actual vermin, who manages to get to the end of the book before dying.
Voles are very neutral. There are multiple times where they would screw honest woodlanders over to try and save themselves, Druwp from Martin the Warrior is probably the best example.
And Doomwyte has a Log-a-Log named Tugga Bruster. Unlike the other Log-a-Logs in the series, who were all good chieftains and relatively Badass in one form or another, Tugga was brutal (even killing the chieftain of a vermin gang when he was begging for mercy), harsh to his crew and a total prick to the Redwallers. At first, it's easy to assume he was acting tough as a leader should, but it's made clear that he's a genuine jerk, a coward and a thief.
Possibly subverted in The Sable Quean there is a Hedgehog who kidnaps a group of children pretending to rescue them, to keep them as slaves on his island. Though he may have not count since he's insane, not evil on his own free will.
This is also subverted in the forms of several 'bad' woodlanders, all of them either hedgehogs, voles, or shrews.
Don't forget that in Martin the Warrior we have a tribe of pygmy shrews who are slavers, a tribe of squirrels who make a game of hunting and killing strangers and a hedgehog who is known to poison trespassers.
In short, by the end of almost two dozens of books there are exactly three woodlander species that never had their members portrayed downright negatively: mice, otters and badgers. If we count characters like Rawnblade and Folgrim, that are, by any reasonable standards, bloodthirstypsychopaths, that pass as good guys by virtue of targeting villains and having some Pet the Dog moments, then only mice remain. And, in the backstory, one mouse character had an abusive parent.
A Nazi by Any Other Name: Ungatt Trunn's Blue Hordes. They insist that they're "The Chosen Ones" and that every creature that isn't one of them is a member of "the lower orders". Also, Riftgard can only be ruled by Evil Albino "Pure Ferrets", who all speak with ridiculously broad faux-German accents.
And I Must Scream: Ungatt Trunn is assumed to be dead by the heroes and left on the seashore with a broken back. He's not dead. And the tide is coming in very, very slowly... and then, to make it all worse, a Woobie ex-mook, whose family Ungatt killed years ago, shows up, to speed on his fate.
Angsty Surviving Twin: Happens twice. The first time it occurs in Marlfox, when Elachim is killed during the Marlfoxes' first attack on Redwall; his twin brother Borrakul lives to the end of the story. In Rakkety Tam, Dauncey is abruptly killed by Gulo's archers, but his twin sister Kersey lives to the end too, and even has a son she names after her late brother.
Animal Pincushion: Skalrag is hung from the gates of Marshank and used as target practice for Badrang's archers.
Animal Stereotypes: Obviously. Weirdly, it's averted with the owls; they're almost invariably goodnatured but absent-minded, and almost never "wise", as folklore would have it. Possibly Truth In Literature, as owls aren't terribly smart in real life. Also, the bats are fairly cute and harmless with a silly Verbal Tic (verbal tic, verbal tic...), as opposed to the usual portrayals of them as evil in fiction.
Justified, though, because most of the woodlanders are stated to be excellent marksmen for various reasons, whereas average marauding rats and other bandits are not. Searats are shown to be better marksmen than the average vermin, though.
Anthropomorphic Shift: Overall, the characters in Redwall are far more like actual animals at the beginning of the series than they are in the most recent novels. Even the cover art reflects this, as some of the earlier◊ books◊ show the characters as far less anthropomorphic than some of the later◊ ones◊.
You would think Mattimeo would end between a big showdown with Slagar and Matthias—or even Mattimeo himself. Instead, Slagar runs and falls down a hole. And dies. Yeah.
Triplesubversion in Mariel of Redwall. At first it looks like Rawnblade and Gabool are about to get into a massive swordfight...but then Rawnblade disarms Gabool with little effort. Then, after a small chase, Gabool challenges Rawnblade to a fight using nothing but their paws, only for Rawnblade to fall into Skrabblag's chamber. Just when you think the fight will end with Mariel and her friends taking on Gabool themselves, Rawnblade grabs the scorpion and throws it out the hole onto Gabool, where it promptly stings him in the head and kills him. And then Dandin chops the scorpion in half with ease.
At the end of Taggerung, Deyna, Skipper, and several otters are seconds away from fighting the entire Juskabor tribe, and shit is about to hit the fan. What happens next? Nothing. Lord Russano pops up out of nowhere (with at least one thousand hares backing him up) and confronts Ruggan Bor. The fox surrenders in a short amount of time, and Russano and his hares force the Juska tribe to crawl away from Redwall. A few pages later the book ends.
If you're expecting the fight against Princess Kurda and Triss to be amazing, you're gonna be disappointed. And if you're expecting the fight against King Agarnu and Triss (and the ending to Triss entirely) to be amazing, you're gonna be very disappointed.
Zwilt the Shade goes down after his much-hyped swordfight with Buck goes sour, so he takes a baby hostage and is suddenly stabbed in the back by the wife of one of his victims with Martin's sword.
Anti-Hero: Jukka the Sling and her tribe from Lord Brocktree. Even though they help the protagonists, they were mostly just there so they could steal more weapons from their enemies.
Anti-Villain: Asmodeus is one. Yes, he's a Hero Killer, but he isn't really evil, he just eats rodents like any snake would to survive.
Not to mention the other numerous deaths throughout the series. Generally, at least one important character will die before the end of the book, and he or she is often greatly loved by the other characters and/or readers.
This trope is downplayed after Lord Brocktree. Compared to older Redwall books, the number of deaths on the good guys' side went down significantly, and it was mostly minor characters who were starting to develop that bit the dust. Rakkety Tam, however, went back to Redwall's old roots and put every character in jeopardy.
Archnemesis Dad: This crops up a hell of a lot, usually with the young sons of vermin warlords. Firstly, Swartt Sixclaw, Veil's father. He completely neglects him, doesn't even name him, and abandons him in a ditch during a battle. That's not counting what Swartt does to him the next time they meet. There's also Ferahgo and Klitch in Salamandastron and Riggu Felis and Pitru in High Rhulain. The most prominent female example is Verdauga and Tsarmina, the only time in the series when this trope actually results in the child murdering their father. Also touches of it with Agarnu and Kurda in Triss, but it's nowhere near as significant.
Armour Is Useless: Armour, mostly mail, is occasionally useful, but its weight, hotness, and restrictiveness is shown either realistically or overplayed. Mostly armour is just rare or absent. Unless it's Plot Armour.
Author Vocabulary Calendar: Occasionally, it gets really apparent that Jacques loved to have his characters "salute smartly", preferably with a weapon in their paw. Latter books in the series favored "Chunnering" to a very high degree, the the point that finding a chapter without it was almost startling.
In Rakkety Tam, Freeta wanted both to conquer Redwall and to get revenge on Gulo the Savage on behalf of her mate, Shard. And in the newest Redwall saga The Sable Quean, a weasel Mook teams up with Quean Vilaya to avenge her mate, who Zwilt the Shade knowingly sent to his death.
Babies Ever After: Most of the books' epilogues have the new Abbey Recorder telling about what has happened in the seasons since the books' events, with marriages and babies a common staple.
Backstab Backfire: Almost constantly. Perhaps the best example was Cheesethief, planning to usurp Cluny's position as leader of the horde. He actually went so far as to try on Cluny's armor, and got mistaken for Cluny himself by Constance and ended up impaled with a giant crossbow bolt.
Back-to-Back Badasses: The hares' favored battle tactic when outnumbered. Of course, it's more back to back to back to back...
Badass Adorable: From a human point of view, most of the major cast members.
Badass Boast: Romsca gets the most significant one in the Pearls of Lutra. Hares, badgers, and eagles often get their own every now and again.
Boasting is one of the challenges set by King Bucko Bigbones that all challengers to his throne must face. (Others are Feasting and Fighting.) Dotti wins this one by being almost a Deadpan Snarker, but more cheerful.
And for those Guosim types, Logalogalogalogalogalog!
This is apparently a requirement if you're in a combat situation. Even if you've never fought a day in your life, like Inbar Trueflight from Pearls Of Lutra. He screams "RUDDARIIIIIIING!" (he's from a community of otters who live in a hidden fertile basin) before taking down several corsairs with his arrows.
Beware the Nice Ones: Almost every peaceful Abbey-dweller can be provoked into extreme violence. With hares, it's a defining trait. In Mariel of Redwall, Redwallers have to be reminded that the smiling, well-spoken, joke-cracking Long Patrol squad are "perilous"; and the Long Patrol proves it by going to their deaths smiling and chatting whilst the three of them (plus a vengeful squirrel) kill thirty or forty sea-rats; Hon Rosie survives, and so that's practically annihilating a force when outnumbered ten to one and joking about it.
Zwilt the Shade finds this out the hard way in The Sable Quean.
Also baby Dumble in a way, he's a freaking baby dormouse and yet he still is able to kill crows with a few sticks.
BFS: Martin's sword (duh), and the weapons of Badger Lords (who, being the biggest creatures around, wield weapons too heavy for other animals to lift).
Actually, Martin's sword isn't really all that big. It's definitely awesome and possibly magical, but it's size is such that pretty much any reasonably fit woodlander can use it.
Big Bad: In order: Cluny the Scourge, Tsarmina Greeneyes, Slagar the Cruel, Gabool the Wild, Feragho the Assassin, Badrang the Tyrant, Urgan Nagru, Swartt Sixclaw, Emperor Ublaz Mad Eyes, Damug Warfang, Mokkan, Vilu Daskar, Ungatt Trunn, several major villains (with Vallug Bowbeast the most prominent/evil one), Princess Kurda, Raga Bol, Gulo the Savage, Riggu Felis, Vizka Longtooth, Korvus Skurr, Quean Vilaya, Razzid Wearat.
Bigger Bad: Malkariss acts as this in Mattimeo, as Slagar The Cruel is in fact working for him throughout the novel. And then he turns out to be a misshapen wimp.
Also King Agarnu in Triss. But just like Malkariss he does virtually nothing but sit on his ass all day. And like Malkariss, his death is quite pathetic.
Big Bad Wannabe: Quite a few rather incompetent vermin 'leaders' fit this trope; notably Badredd and Gruven.
Big Damn Heroes: Lots. The biggest one that doesn't come off as an Ass Pull occurs in Eulalia!, when Orkwil abruptly disappears, then reappears a few chapters later with hundreds of Redwall soldiers at his side so they can rescue Gorath, Rangval, Maudie, Salixa, and the Guosim.
Big Eater: Hares. Well, pretty much every character becomes one whenever they're given the opportunity, but the hares are the most obvious.
Veil Sixclaw ravenously devours any food put in front of him. Bella remarks, "Some creatures are always hungering after one thing or another."
Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Hotroot pepper. There is no Real Life British plant known as hotroot, but it seems most likely that the Mossflower variety is a type of particularly strong horseradish.
Blood Knight: Zwilt the Shade (The Sable Quean), the right-hand sable of Vilaya. He goes out of his way to find any warrior with a strong reputation and challenge them one on one; as others have noted, death always follows in Zwilt's wake. Gulo the Savage (Rakkety Tam) is this trope taken to its extreme; even when chasing his enemies with a badly-depleted horde, he will stop the chase and turn around to attack an entire grove of crows just for receiving a few scratches.
Gelltor from Marlfox as well.... well, when compared with his siblings. Raventail from the same book.
Body Horror: Slagar's deformed face is described very well. As is Riggu Felis's. And Ashleg wears a cloak over half of his body; the half that's twisted and maimed.
And three conjoined serpents? Yeah. Technically they're not conjoined, but a vermin's flail wrapped itself around them when young so tightly they can't get loose, growing into it. Their presence is announced by the horrible smell of their exposed flesh.
Boring Return Journey: Applies to a number of the books. For instance, in The Bellmaker the characters run into a fair bit of trouble when sailing to Southsward, but there's no hint of any difficulty getting back to Redwall.
Bowdlerize: In the Animated adaptation, Cluny's tunnel plan is foiled by Redwallers pouring porridge down the hole. In the book, it was boiling water.
This is done with several things in the TV series. See Lighter and Softer for more examples.
Bragging Theme Tune: Taggerung has Nimbalo the Slayer do this. He ends it by telling Tagg "I'm modest, too!"
Romsca delivers a more badass boast in Pearls of Lutra.
Breath Weapon: Jokingly lampshaded in Mariel of Redwall on the subject of Burgo's garlic breath.
British Accents: A wide variety. Moles are somewhat old-fashioned Somerset, with a bit of Liverpool Scouse thrown in (Brian Jacques was from Liverpool, and based the moles off the speak of local sailors and longshoremen). Hares are mostly Upper-Class Twit, except for Rockjaw Grang's Oop North twang. The occasional character speaks the grammatically correct version of Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe. Most vermin are generic uneducated thug with a dash of Talk Like a Pirate, except for Dingeye and Thura in Salamandastron who are noticeably Brummie (especially in the audiobook), and the Big Bad villains tend to use Standard English. Several early books had briefly appearing characters (usually birds) with a Scottish accent, and Rakkety Tam introduced a couple of Highlanders.
Generally any character on either side with an Oop North or Scottish accent is likely to be identified as a "Northlander," at least in the early books where such characters are more common, especially hinted in their names, such as the Laird MacTalon. But not all Northlanders have said accent (nobody in Martin the Warrior displays it, for instance, despite the whole story taking place there.
As it's coming from a Northlander's point of view, it may be because they can't hear their own accents.
Some of the Vermin use pseudo-cockney speech or slang, Random Pseudo-Irish accents pop up amongst both vermin and woodlanders, and the Otters being naturally nautical use either standard English with a hint of Talk Like a Pirate or what looks like Devon or Cornish English which makes sense as the Cornish peninsula is traditionally famed for fishermen, smugglers and sailors.
Dear god, the ending of Outcast. Bryony spends the entire book insisting that Veil is not pure evil, and then when he gives his life to save her, she goes back to the Abbey and says that everyone was right, she was wrong, and the world is better off without Veil... and then they make her the Abbess?
Part 3 of Loamhedge is just as bad. It gives us two broken aesops. The first is that being a Handicapped Badass is useless since you can earn the gift of walking by growing a pair of balls and overcoming your "lack of willpower". The second is that you shouldn't give a damn about two characters who venture across the country and try to cure you of your paralysis, even if their quest turns out to be pointless due to the first broken aesop and they end up sacrificing themselves for reasons that could've easily been prevented.
It must be nice to be a woodlander in the later books. Basically, as long as they don't intentionally kill any of the "goodbeasts", (vermin are fine, as they would have eventually "tortured, bullied, and/or murdered" some "peace loving" creature somewhere) they can do absolutely anything they want. This includes lying, cheating, and stealing. The biggest example would probably be Yoofus Lightpaw in Rakkety Tam, who steals any number of important items, but is never given more than a slap on the wrist and a good natured head-shaking, and is beloved by all the characters. Didn't this series used to be about a religious order of mice who were renowned for offering aid to anyone, even predators?
Some of the broken aesops can be justified towards the end of the series. In High Rhulain, Tiria accidentally kills a rat and naturally freaks out over it. But her father simply tells her that all vermin need to die, and she shouldn't feel guilty. However, at this point in the series, Redwall has been attacked or infiltrated at least six times by vermin armies. By now they're smart enough to know not to trust vermin or even bother negotiating with them. Ofcourse, that just opens a different can of worms.
Calling Your Shots: At a slinging competition in High Rhulain, all the participants must declare what their targets are before slinging at a pinata-like target (the head is worth more than the legs which is worth more than the body). The heroine declares "two eyes and a head" and hits them, a never-before seen feat.
Vermin armies are a mix, usually of rats mixed with foxes and weasels. But don't foxes and weasels eat rats?
The eating habits of the (almost) Always Chaotic Evil vermin? They're carnivores who by nature would eat mice, but in a setting like Redwall, that would be cannibalism. Mostly when they kill for meat, it's wood pigeons or sea gulls.
To add to the confusion, badgers and otters are always good characters, even though they're carnivores. Badgers even eat mice in real life.
And the whole quasi-religious eating of fish by the good guys.
Averted by Gulo the Savage (a wolverine) and his horde of ermine in Rakkety Tam, who gladly chow down on their defeated enemies. However, this is referred to as cannibalism throughout the book.
Cats Are Mean: Surprisingly, averted. Some cats are evil, but others are good.
The Cavalry: In Martin the Warrior, the Rosehip Players and escaped slaves are ready to do a Last Stand, as Badrang's horde leaves the fortress to attack, when suddenly an entire army brought by Martin and Boldred arrives to attack Marshank.
Circus of Fear: Slagar's gang. They weren't really one, but they posed as a traveling circus.
Character Title: Triss, Mattimeo, Martin the Warrior, Lord Brocktree, Rakkety Tam, Mariel of Redwall... sheesh, it never ends!
Characterization Marches On: In Mariel of Redwall, it was explicitly stated that Rawnblade was the first badger lord to suffer the Bloodwrath since Boar the Fighter. As of Outcast of Redwall, the Bloodwrath abruptly became something that all badgers got every time they fought.
Well, Outcast is set before Mariel—maybe all the badgers with the "berserk gene" hadn't been killed off yet. Or something.
Doesn't work, because Outcast is still set a while after the time of Boar the Fighter.
Outcast is chronologically both during and after the time of Boar. Sunflash the Mace, the badger in Outcast, actually shows up in one of the final scenes of Mossflower, the book Boar dies in. This scene is replayed in Outcast towards the middle of the book.
At various points, it's stated that certain badgers (and sometimes other creatures) have a particularly strong version of the bloodwrath. Presumably, there are plenty of badgers out there who don't suffer from the bloodwrath (Lord Russano comes to mind) — we just don't hear about them because of Rule of Cool.
Cheaters Never Prosper: Played straight in the case of Vermin being the cheaters, as the goodbeasts normally win the upper hand again, with horrible results for their foebeasts. But it is played straight in the case of goodbeasts being the cheaters like in the case of Dotti vs. Bucko Bigbones; She did not win the first contest, Bragging (spoiler-notouchingorfightingallowed-disqualificationmayfollow), by bragging best. She rather was concentrating on provoking her easily angered counterpart, and neutralising his brags by joking about them. She went so far (which was of course calculated on Dotti's behalf), that Bucko went after her and struck her. Guess what... disqualification followed.
There were only 4 left by the end of the third book. Assuming there are 2 males and 2 females, they would eventually be forced to inbreed to keep the sparrows alive. Possibly, this could have caused some screwed up genes, depending on how anthropomorphic the animals are supposed to be.
Another notable Brother Chuck was Mr. Squirrel in Redwall, Jess' husband and Sam's father. He neither appeared nor was mentioned in Mattimeo. Also, Dunwing in Redwall neither appeared nor was mentioned in Mattimeo. Possibly not surprising, considering Mossflower's death rate.
Bagg and Runn in The Bellmaker it would have been interesting to see what they'd be like as teenagers (Or older) but nope, nowhere at all.
Commander Contrarian: The pygmy shrews in Martin the Warrior, to the point that you can get them to do exactly what you want by telling them the opposite: Tell Dinjer to keep hitting Martin, and he'll stop. Tell Queen Ambala to kill the prisoners, and she'll order them to be kept alive.
Continuity Drift: The first book of the series more or less stated that the stories take place in the "real world" - there's a full-sized church near Redwall Abbey, some vermin arrive stowed away in a horse-drawn carriage, and Big Bad Cluny the Scourge is said to come from Portugal. Three or four books down the line, the Redwall world has its own geography, and neither humans nor Portugal has anything to do with it.
Although the cats in High Rhulain imply that their distant ancestors were once pets.
Also Salamadastron. In Mossflower Boar the Fighter uses a metal dragon to scare away any searats/vermin, inducing the legend of the fire lizard. In all the other books Salamandastron is just a military fortress.
Hares also seem to drop in elite badass skills on and on. In Mossflower, only about six of them defend the fortress. Salamandastron, forty defend the fortress, and by Long Patrol, there's an army of 500 of them.
Martin's shield, sheath and belt disappear after Mattimeo.
Cool Sword: The Sword of Martin the Warrior (which was named Ratdeath at the end of Redwall, but Jacques apparently either forgot or decided that wasn't a very good name).
And also Rawnblade's sword, "Verminfate", even though it only appeared in one book. (Unless it was previously owned by Brocktree and Boar, but that's speculation).
Covers Always Lie: The description on the cover of the hardback version of Outcast of Redwall described Redwall coming under attack from Swartt's army and Veil being forced to choose between his home and his father. To be fair both are sort of true. There was a battle between Swartt's force and the Abbey dwellers (that lasted a few pages and was never anywhere near the Abbey) and Veil did have a moment of conflict when Bryony showed up at the cave Swartt was hiding in (and it's left unclear what he decided, if anything).
Covers Always Spoil: The back of Outcast of Redwall spoils Veil getting exiled from Redwall. This doesn't happen until the very end of Part 2 of the book (and the title helps give it away too).
Crap Saccharine World: Redwall and Salamandastron are basically little Sugar Bowls, but apparently everywhere else you're in imminent risk of marauding bandits, predatory birds, pirates, cannibalistic lizards...
Crapsack World: Only and arguably in the later books. Eventually, the world consists of Redwall, Salamandastron...and in between, a wretched hive of Always Chaotic Evil vermin ready to kill or enslave anybeast who steps outside.
Creepy Crossdresser: It probably wasn't meant to be read that way, but the evil Emperor Ublaz Mad Eyes has a weird fixation on silk robes, perfume, nail polish, and pink pearls.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Many characters, mostly hares who aren't on the Long Patrol — Basil Stag Hare, Tarquin L. Woodsorrel and most especially Cleckstarr Lepus Montisle aka. Clecky.
Basil doesn't really count, he's maintaining a Long Patrol outpost in Mossflower during Cluny's attack and is officially retired as of Mattimeo.
Clecky's owl companion Gerul gets a special mention as well for being described by Clecky as "a young duffer" on introduction but turning out to be an absolutely ferocious fighter.
Gerul: Ah well, d'ye see, sir, as me ould mother used t'say, there's not a bit of use shakin' claws with the other feller. If yer goin' t'fight then best get it done with proper so's yer foe don't come back fer more.
Cruel Mercy: At the end of Pearls of Lutra, Martin decides to free Gowja and forces him to swim back to Sampetra so he can rejoin the other surviving corsairs. On the upside, Gowja and the other pirates can fish and have enough clean water and fruit on the island to survive. On the negative side, they're stranded there, seemingly forever. And they can't even build a small boat because Martin and his friends burned all the wood on the island. And there are giant monitor lizards on the island that will probably have no problem eating the corsairs. It doesn't help that the book blatantly stated that they're all probably gonna kill each other in a struggle for power...
Curb-Stomp Battle: Sometimes, the battles are Pendulum War types. Nine times out of ten, however, the heroes will utterly stomp their way through the villains.
Famed to the point where there are cross-fandom jokes about the ability of woodlanders to curbstomp: "How do you know when you are fighting Wood Elves? You walk under some trees, a voice 30 feet above you shouts 'fire!', and you die. How do you know when you are fighting Mossflower squirrels? You walk under some trees, die, and then a voice 30 feet above you shouts 'fire!'"
Cute, but Cacophonic: Dotti in Lord Brocktree. Pretty haremaid, appalling singer, worse with instruments. All Hares seem prone to this.
Darker and Edgier: According to this SPOILER LADENReview of Doomwyte, the series went this way with the later novels.
If any of the later books, Rakkety Tam. The book itself isn't exactly darker or edgier (since the series already has loads of Family-Unfriendly Violence), but the Big Bad is. He and his army are all cannibalistic and (relatively) competent villains. But like every other Redwall book, the amount of Sacrificial Lions only ranges between one and five, and the book still has a rather light-hearted feeling to it.
David Versus Goliath: Matthias vs. the Wearat (Mattimeo), Tam vs. Gulo (Rakkety Tam); arguably Martin vs. Tsarmina (Mossflower)
Dead Guy Junior: Mattimeo's full name is Matthias Methuselah Mortimer. Two out of three are dead at the time of his birth.
Death by Falling Over: Slagar the Cruel, Princess Kurda, Queen Vilaya,... it is amazing how many Redwall Big Bads never seem to look where they going. Especially Tsarmina ("UGH! SLIMY, WET, COLD WATER!").
Subverted in The Long Patrol with Friar Butty, who fell into an underground swamp due to the weight of the treasure he was carrying and was nearly devoured by toads and mudfish. Luckily, he got saved by Shad at the last minute.
Gruntan Kurdly gets special recognition for dying in an attempt to steal a swan's egg.
Death By Newberry Medal: Martin The Warrior is generally considered to be the best book of the series. It is by far the most tragic.
Death Glare: Sister Alkanet gave such "icy glares" to anyone who discredited her, her infamous physicks or her perceptions of how dibbuns have to behave.
Some villains have something like this, almost literally in the case of Ublaz. And it is said that if you stare too long into Farran the Poisoner's eyes, you'll either die or go insane.
Gabool is arguably a Decoy Antagonist. You would think with the book's description, he'd be going around causing as much turmoil as he could. Up until the end of Mariel of Redwall, all he does is sit on his throne going crazy and killing his own searats. The real Big Bad is Greypatch, who not only betrayed him with complete success but did what Gabool probably should've been doing in the story: trying to take over Redwall.
Inverted again in Taggerung. Sawney Rath is killed not even a third of the way into the story.
Bragoon and Saro from Loamhedge. They spend the entire novel looking for something to help Martha walk again, only to find nothing but bones. And on their journey back to Redwall, both of them sacrifice their lives, unaware that Martha had already learned to walk on her own.
And to a lesser degree, Ashleg from Mossflower. After seeing how Tsarmina was beginning to lose her grip on sanity, he decided to get away from and "find new friends under a new sun that knew how to live simply, without dreams of grandeur".
Upon escaping from Big Bad Raga Bol, Flinky and his band seem more than content to find a nice spot to settle down and forget all notions of Abbey conquest.
Deliberate Values Dissonance: Even discounting all the species-related stuff, in Mossflower, small children can drink alcohol and get involved in battle, and thirteen-year-olds can marry.
Word Of God stated in a Q&A that Redwall drinks aren't alcoholic. Though he's been known to contradict himself on occasion.
Denied Food as Punishment: Sometimes done with hares, usually for having eaten too much food in the first place. This rarely ends well. Also seen sometimes with slaves in the series.
This actually nearly got a character killed in Triss. After the hare in question (who had already been in trouble twice for eating food that belonged to other people) eats a trifle that the Dibbuns were supposed to get as a prize for winning a contest, the abbot makes him clean the abbey from top to bottom, with only lettuce and water for food. The hare then loads up a haversack full to bursting with food, and leaves. He then gets caught by the villains and has to be rescued.
Happens in Sable Quean to the slaves.
Depraved Dwarf: the Flitchaye are a tribe of midget weasels who ambush travelers with drugged smoke and plant camouflage.
Determinator: Shows up quite often, mostly with badgers, but most especially with Martin the Warrior at the end of Mossflower. He beats Tsarmina by simply refusing to lie down and die.
Didn't Think This Through: Lampshaded in The Pearls of Lutra, where Ublaz didn't quite realize that his Monitor lizards were a) landlubbers and b) tropical creatures. Half of them are dead before Lask Frildur and Romsca ever reach Mossflower.
Dirty Communists: The shrews. They even have Russian accents. note Only in the Animated Series, Brian's characters in his own words are strictly English
Subverted with Gulo the Savage (Rakkety Tam), who often fought from the front alongside his vermin Mooks. Of course, considering whohe is, aside from a badger lord or another wolverine, there wouldn't be too many threats to his person. And the fact he grows increasingly psychotic doesn't hurt either...
Cluny (original Redwall), Ferahgo (Salamandastron), Vallug Bowbeast (Taggerung) plus six rebel captains and Romsca (Pearls of Lutra) were fairly Bad Ass as well.
Ferahgo was a highly dangerous fighter, but he was still a coward (look at his "duel" with Urthstripe for proof of that).
All of the Marlfoxes were not only smart, but very skilled and stealthy fighters. Gelltor in particular had the balls to take on Janglur by himself. The only coward in the entire family was Mokkan, and Lantur and High Queen Silth (although they don't fight anyone in battle).
And in a less known case (Triss), the Pure Ferret King Sarengo was a major subversion of this, as he attacked and killed a full grown female adder solo. Granted, he was only searching for a way to reach and plunder Redwall, and he died from his wounds (though he wouldn't have if his son hadn't deserted him) but it's still a badass feat few others aside from Matthias could replicate. It's a pity that his genes didn't pass on tohisdescendants...
Blaggut's Crowning Moment Of Awesome. After his Captain Slipp kills Ma Mellus, Blaggut strangles him to death, goes back to the Abbey to apologize, and then gets to live happily ever after as a carpenter and shipwright.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: It's called Redwall. Everyone who lives there works together, without monetary reward, for the good of the community as a whole. everyone eats together. On the other hand, the villains and mooks are violent, dirty, uneducated and amoral at best, working for pay and/or the rewards of battle...
Downer Ending: Martin the Warrior. The eponymous character's girlfriend is killed in battle and he goes into exile. This summary doesn't begin to do it justice.
It was kind of a Foregone Conclusion, given that we know Martin helped found the Abbey at some point.
The Dragon: Rare due to the treacherous nature of most vermin. The straightest examples would be Lask Frildur to Ublaz, and Nightshade to Swartt Sixclaw.
Dressing as the Enemy: Midge Manycoats in The Long Patrol is the master of this, to the extent that he managed to trick an entire horde of vermin into believing that he and Tamm - both Hares, who have the single most prominent identifying feature of any species in the series, their ears - were actually a pair of vermin.
In Pearls of Lutra, the rebellion against Ublaz was started by a guy named Barranca. Shortly after the rebellion started Rasconza stepped into the plot, stabbed Barranca and took over as rebellion leader.
At least half of the Big Bads. The biggest ones include Princess Kurda, who tripped and fell on her broken sabre,, Slagar, who tripped and fell down a big hole, and Gruven, who's swiftly beheaded by Ruggan Bor.
Not even the Bigger Bads are immune to this. Malkariss is stoned to death very quickly, and King Agarnu drowned after someone pushed him into a lake.
Despite being a Hero Killer and semi-Big Bad, Vallug Bowbeast gets his head lopped off before he even has the chance to put up a fight.
Antigra, who was Put on a Bus halfway into Taggerung. Towards the end it was revealed that she was killed after trying to overthrow Ruggan Bor. Not even her son seemed to care about her death.
Really, it's just easier to say that everyone who died in Taggerung had a bridge dropped on them.
Lantur in Marlfox. Immediately after she becomes the new ruler of Castle Marl, Mokkan conveniently shows up, approaches her, and slyly pushes her into the lake, where a bunch of pikes eat her.
Redwall features a number of references indicating that the animals live in a world where humans also exist, such as a horse cart, a church, taverns, ports, and a direct mention of Portugal. Also, one of the characters was a beaver. In later books, author Brian Jacques made it clear that only animals existed in the Redwall universe, and only animals native to the British Isles, so there were no future appearances of any more beavers (though beavers WERE native to Britain at one time, but they were killed off due to overhunting). And when animals that aren't native to Britain do appear, like the golden hamster in one book, they speak with foreign accents to indicate that they aren't from Mossflower.
The animal characters also gradually became more human-like, especially badger characters. In the first book, specific note is always made when Constance rears up on her back feet; in later books, even badgers are assumed to be bipedal.
The order of Redwall itself started out as reminiscent of a Catholic monastic order: the members wore habits, they lived somewhat sequestered inside their Abbey, and remained celibate for the entirety of their lives. Cornflower got yelled at for flirting with Matthias, who was a postulant of the order and therefore off-limits; when they got married, Matthias was mentioned to have left the order and lived apart from the monks. In later books, all that's left of this rule is that there is an Abbey. Even Abbesses and Abbots can be married, and not even the habit is required anymore, morphing it into some sort of peaceful commune that's little different from other communities in the forest.
The first book Redwall had more religious/mystical references, including mentions of heaven and hell and a snake named Asmodeus, after a demon in the Catholic/Orthodox bible. Again, these are toned down in establishing Redwall as its own universe. In the first book, it is also ambivalent whether Sela the fox actually had unique powers. Later in the series, any claims of supernatural powers are explicitly presented as a Scooby-Doo Hoax.
What usually happens to the victims of large snakes or large fish. Lantur and Mokkan from Marlfox stand out the most.
Lampshaded in Doomwyte with Aluco, who admitted he had to "hunt" so he wouldn't starve while hiding from the Painted Ones. Whether or not he ate his prey while they were still alive isn't certain though.
Salamandastron is a fortress built into an extinct volcano.
Brockhall, which was dug out under a tree.
Also, Asmodeus' quarry.
Enemy Civil War: This happens repeatedly. Mossflower, Martin the Warrior, etc.
Marlfox does it one better with the Big Bad Band stabbing each other in the back.
The war between Ublaz and Rasconza is a major portion of the plot in Pearls of Lutra.
Speaking of Pearls of Lutra, Romsca's crew vs. Lask Frildur and the Moniters.
Epic Fail: Swartt trying to take over Redwall in Outcast of Redwall goes so horribly wrong and results in so many deaths in his horde that it's practically Black Comedy.
Epic Flail: Ferahgo the Assassin and Vizka Longtooth both use mace-and-chains; the former as a secondary weapon, and the latter as his primary weapon. A few other random villains have used them as well.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Ferahgo openly states that he'd let Klitch live if he was caught plotting rebellion just because Klitch is his son, Vilaya is very distressed by the death of her confidante Dirva, who was said to be something a mother figure, and a few of the minor vermin are clearly upset when their partners or friends are killed. In The Sable Quean, a vermin speaking of her deceased mate actually says — for the first time in the series — the phrase, "I loved him."
Even Evil Has Standards: It is said in Mariel of Redwall that alone out of all villains, sea rats are the only ones verminous enough to use fire as a weapon.
Although it was acknowledged that, being creatures who live on the ocean, they may simply not understand the dangers of starting fires in a forest.
The rats are bigger assholes than even Jacques suspected. Fire is the most dreaded occurance aboard ship, because it is extremely difficult to stop. Flooding can be contained relatively easily if you're quick about it, and abovewater impacts typically won't put the ship at risk. Fire, however, cannot be contained, and with the tools available at that tech level, cannot be fought. If you start a fire aboard ship you're going to be fishfood shortly. The sea rats more than anyone should fear fire as a weapon.
Sawney Rath also refuses to kill a mother nursing a babe. Whether a villain is considered a cannib-eating other speaking animals might also be a clue as to how monstrous they're supposed to be — the threat of Cluny gobbling up beasts is offered as frightening to most inhabitants of Mossflower.
Vizka Longtooth's pirate crew deserted him after he murdered two of his own crew members in cold blood and for no reason whatsoever.
And during the performer's play in Martin the Warrior, when Ballaw asks the vermin spectators if he should "kill" a pretty squirrelmaiden with a (trick) knife, none of them speak up. Except Badrang.
Evil Is Petty: Ublaz's big Evil Plan, for which he slaughtered entire tribes and put in years and years of work? Was all so he could have a pink pearl crown. He didn't even seem to think the pearls were magical, he just thought they were pretty. He must have way too much empty time on his hands. He is a king, so it's likely he does.
This could also apply to Triss. Plugg didn't think King Agarnu would send Prince Bladd and Princess Kurda sailing across the ocean from Riftgard to Mossflower just to find a long-dead skeleton, a gold crown and a pawring; he thought there had to be more to it than that.
Ferahgo spends a full season sending trackers after a pair of Mooks who tried to desert. They weren't even competent Mooks. And he'd probably have been better off leaving them alone, as that way the Abbeydwellers wouldn't have got involved ...
Word of God says that her name came about as a mix of both "tsarina" and "mean".
Eviler than Thou: What tends to result if a book's "A-plot" villian confronts the "B-plot" bad guy (see Enemy Civil War above). A good example is in Loamhedge, when Raga Bol and his searat crew encounters Badredd and his band.
The voices told Cluny the Scourge that after the final battle in Redwall, he would never see the Warrior Mouse again. They never said he'd win.
And in that same battle, when they were in the Belltower, and Matthias had run up the stairs, Cluny found Friar Hugo, who had been ringing the Joseph Bell earlier, and took him hostage. Matthias swore on his honor as a warrior that he'd come down if Cluny let Friar Hugo go. He never said he wouldn't do something like cut the rope holding the Joseph Bell, making it fall on Cluny before coming down.
One of the most horrifying examples took place in The Legend of Luke. Two rats are bullying a seemingly defenseless otter, taunting about how they're going to drown him just because they can. Martin sees this, but Log-a-Log—knowing who this otter is—wisely tells him to keep Trimp and Chugger from seeing what happens next. And for good reason: once one of the rats got too close, the 'defenseless' otter sinks his teeth directly into the vermin's throat. But that wasn't all bad...at least the otter had some company for dinner...
Well given the Write Who You Know, with Word of God stating that the moles are all based on two old men in Somerset that Brian Jacques had to ask for directions once when he was a lorry driver, and with Basil Stag Hare based on a former RAF pilot Brian Jacques worked for once, this is hardly surprising.
Flanderization: It becomes common knowledge that hares have big appetites. This is taken Up to Eleven with Bescarum (who will steal from various hosts when he gets hungry) and Diggs (who simply never talks about anything else.)
Flaying Alive: This seems to be a favored method of execution/torture/punishment of Ferahgo the Assassin. He even keeps some of his victim's pelts for clothing.
Also in High Rhulain, Riggu Felis orders one of his top mooks to do this to one of his son's spies. We never find out if he went through with it, but one of Riggu's soldiers mentioned the spy was chopped to pieces. Which isn't much better.
Food Porn: Lots in every book. Particularly in the first, where a Redwall feast consists of "tender freshwater shrimp garnished with cream and rose leaves, devilled barley pearls in acorn purée, apple and carrot chews, marinated cabbage stalks steeped in creamed white turnip with nutmeg." Later books stick to a more standard rotation of bread, cheese, soup, pasties, salad, sweets, etc.
Jacques said in a meet the author that growing up in a food-rationed era, he was always annoyed by the lack of descriptions of food in the books he read, and would often just read recipe books.
Foreshadowing: Cluny the Scourge has repeated nightmares about being pursued by Martin the Warrior, and is always woken up by the Joseph Bell just before Martin is about to kill him. At the end of the first book, the Joseph Bell crushes Cluny to death.
For the Evulz: While the main motivations that drive typical vermin are power and plunder, sometimes revenge, most of them also engage in meaningless cruelties just for the thrill.
Framing Device: Often used in the books that had their story taking place in the past, where the story is told by someone to an excited group of Dibbuns.
Freudian Excuse: Slagar the Cruel claims to have one during a conversation with the titular mouse in Mattimeo, though Sam Squirrel is quick to correctly educate the young mouse that not only was Slagar's fate his own fault, but that he killed a Redwaller after stealing a large number of things from the abbey as payment for them saving his life.
Funetik Aksent: Used a lot - to the point that the moles' accent is portrayed as indecipherable in the first book, burr aye! Methuselah has to translate mole dialect into ordinary speech for Matthias!
Foregone Conclusion: See the Downer Ending above. Since a previous book starts with Martin already on exile alone, it was practically a given that he would either leave Rose behind or she was going to die.
Foreign Queasine: Taggerung gives us "snakeyfish pie", a pygmy shrew delicacy made from baby elvers. Sort of a strange example in that the protagonists wind up loving it and it's clearly supposed to be delicious — but according to the narrative, it has the consistency of oatmeal and tastes like salt and a few spices.
Granted, during the Middle Ages there was no drinking age and beer was often safer than the water.
Word of God stated in a Q&A that Redwall drinks aren't alcoholic. Though he's been known to contradict himself on occasion.
Furry Confusion: Mostly avoided, though there are still a few oddities; lizards and frogs are either savage but sapient carnivores or cute pets with about the intelligence level of real-world monkeys. Eels appear to be monsters in Taggerung, but in Mossflower an deal is made with a talking eel to free him in exchange for their lives. And the fish.
In the third book, Basil Stag Hare jokes that the magicians be allowed in Redwall "as long as they don't pull rabbits out of hats", which makes one wonder how that trick would work when the rabbits are the size of people.
In Sable Quean, the heroes take care to avoid ground-nesting birds that could give their position away, again implying they're human sized (or that hummingbirds nest on the ground).
Gargle Blaster: The infamous Seaweed Grog favored by pirates and corsairs.
Gambit Roulette: Subverted. A plan which includes four thugs sneaking into the abbey, spiking everyone's drinks, make them drink them at the same time by calling out a toast and then kidnap all the young ones fails. However, the antagonists still succeeded in their Evil Plan, as they simply killed nearly everyone who was still awake.
Ublaz and Rasconza's fight for power in Pearls of Lutra.
Gender Bender: In one chapter of the first book, Killconey the ferret becomes female for a while.
Pallum is a boy in the book, but a girl in the show.
Gender Is No Object: In the later books, at least. In the first few books there don't seem to be any female vermin whatsoever, but in the later ones gender seems to be assigned to them at random, and it doesn't really make a lot of difference to their characterisation. As for the good guys, the very first general of the Long Patrol was female, and while only one female has wielded the Sword, females make up a reasonable proportion of the most respected fighters.
Genre Savvy: Sawney Rath (Taggerung); he's heard all the stories about warlords with great armies and vast hordes trying to take Redwall and dying in the process, and he won't have his name added to that list. Thus, he captures baby Deyna without going within a mile of Redwall, and hauls considerable ass once the deed is done. In fact, many vermin leaders have become slightly aware of Redwall's reputation and won't use head-on warfare anymore.
One of the rats in Marlfox was fully aware of what the Big Bad does to subordinates who fail him. After he's captured and starts to get interrogated, he kills himself so the Marlfoxes won't.
Give Chase with Angry Natives: Running through hornet's nests or crow-infested trees while making ungodly noise is a common tactic for Redwallers, and the hapless pursuing vermin fall for it every time.
Good Animals, Evil Animals: Played to a T. Vermin are evil; mice, badgers, moles, and so on are good. There are exceptions on both sides, but not many.
Good Old Fisticuffs: Any hare noted to be a good boxer in the series will normally only utilize their paws for combat, with a sling for distance.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Subverted occasionally; Folgrim has terrible facial scarring and a lost eye, but he turns out good.
Also includes Lonna Bowstripe from Loamhedge; he has a pretty hefty scar across his face from an encounter with Raga Bol's scimitar, but he's a good guy.
Gorn: The description of the pus-oozing, festering wounds on Baliss's face are a bit too enthusiastic. You almost feel sorry for it. Also, the infamous searat ballad "Slaughter of the Crew of the Rusty Chain", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
In the first book, Cluny has a very vivid nightmare/vision involving the shades of his dead captains—and each ghost still bears the marks of their deaths by crushing, falling, poison, boiling alive, etc.
The final duel between Martin and Tsarmina in Mossflower quickly degenerates into a shockingly graphic war of attrition to see who can take the most horrible wounds.
Grim Up North: Allusions to the North being war-torn are made in most of the early books, and the books that take place up there...
Grotesque Cute: The entire series is basically about about cute little fluffy animals wielding bigass weaponry and killing each other in various unpleasant ways. Hell yeah.
Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Played straight in the animated series, possibly subverted in the books as prisoners are occasionally stripped as a form of humiliation.
I was always slightly disturbed that, in the animated series, all of the characters are dressed well enough...except for the otters, who wear NOTHING AT ALL.
A funny note of trivia - this goes back to The Wind in the Willows, where the four main characters Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad were drawn anthropomorphic, but minor character Otter was drawn as a regular old otter.
Half-Human Hybrid: Some artworks go as far as to show them as humans with rodent heads and tails.
Have a Gay Old Time: "Quean" does not mean "queen", nor does it, as Mr Jacques claimed in interviews, mean "wicked woman". According to the online dictionary, it actually means either "promiscuous woman" or "prostitute". Also, the two meanings of the word "mate" in vermin slang can lead to some unintentional Minion Shipping moments.
Headdesk: In Sable Quean, Skipper closes his eyes and puts his head on the battlement when the moles inform him they've finished building their catapult. In the cellar.
Bladeribb from Pearls of Lutra. After he gets captured by the Guosim and Martin's friends, he helps guide them to Ublaz's lair without much coercion, despite knowing he'll probably get killed by either Ublaz or one of Martin's companions. Just when it looked like he might have a change of heart and assist the heroes in slaying Ublaz's army, the author Dropped an Iceberg on Him.
Gripchun from The Sable Quean, one of the few vermin who gleefully told the Redwallers all the information he knew in regards to the Big Bad's operations. Instead of trying to use him against Vilaya's Ravagers, the Redwallers decide to trade him over to them, and he's subsequently slain by his own army's archers.
The Hero Dies: Usually averted. The heroes will most likely die of old age in-between books, and their death will only be briefly mentioned in the chronological sequel. Played tear-jerkingly straight with Urthstripe the Strong, and to a lesser extent Luke the Warrior.
Hero Killer: Several, the most prevalent are Asmodeus from Redwall and Vallug Bowbeast and Eefera from Taggerung.
I Am Not Weasel: Hares hate being called rabbits. Eventually Justified: rabbits are shown to be harmless examples of British Stuffiness antithetical to the one personality most hares share. One vermin soldier in Rakkety Tam gets the crap beaten out of him by a hare that knows boxing, partly for eating several other hares earlier in the book and partly for repeatedly calling him a rabbit.
I Am the Noun: The Warden of Marshwood Hill with his "I am the law!" and a snake that declares "I am death to all beastssssss!"
Idiot Ball: Passed around occasionally in Triss, particularly when Malbun and Crikulus leave Redwall in the middle of the night, alone, with no weapons or means to defend themselves from danger.
Not to mention Badrang, Kurda, Zwilt, Veil, and several others.
Impossibly Delicious Food: Say what you will about Brian Jacques, but anyone who can make food which consists mostly of vegetables sound so delicious to children that there was demand for a book of recipes from the series has to be doing something right.
Infant Immortality: While it's nowhere near as bad as Warrior Cats, the series has averted this trope a few times. Anyone who isn't a Dibbun can die at any moment, even if they're described as being "young" in the novel.
The Insomniac: Gabool the Wild, Tsarmina and Mokkan. Also Mokkan's mother, Queen Silth (Marlfox), Cluny the Scourge (Redwall) and Ungatt Trunn (Lord Brocktree).
Instant Expert: It seems that any good character who wields the Sword of Martin becomes an expert swordsman and all-around warrior...even if they haven't been shown to wield a sword before (Triss, though some may claim she'd be inherantly skilled because her dad was a swordmaster). Even if, in the case of Laird Bosie (Doomwyte), the user has explicitly stated they are bad at using swords because they're unwieldly.
Pakatugg comes off as nothing more than a common Jerkass in Mariel of Redwall. Up until he sacrifices his life to ensure the rescue of a bunch of oarslaves he doesn't even know.
The Guosim zig-zags this trope throughout the series. Sometimes they're rowdy, abrasive beasts who are only helping the heroes because they hate the vermin more. Other times they'll gladly lend a paw whenever Redwall or the main band of heroes are in danger.
Jesus Taboo: The characters live in an Abbey up the road from an abandoned Church and several of the characters are Abbots and other religious personages. And yet there's not a single mention of anything resembling God or Jesus or religious services. This may be to avoid the Fridge Logic of just what kind of church these animals have or where in animal history there was a Jesus.
If the story of Saint Ninian's recounted in one of the books can be believed, then it's not a church at all, just a really big misunderstanding caused by a weathered sign. Even though it's clearly described as having a pulpit and pews.
In Redwall (the original novel), the Abbey inhabitants were expressly stated to be an "order", with robes and prayers and all that. Of course, a lot of what happened in Redwall has been unofficially declared Canon Discontinuity.
'Word of God'' stated over and over that Redwall has no religion, he chose an Abbey solely because he wanted a place of peace, as opposed to a fortress of war.
Karma Houdini: Despite the fact that nearly every major villain in every book dies, there have been a few exceptions...
Juska chieftain Ruggan Bor in Taggerung was humiliated and sent home with his tail between his legs by badger lord Russano the Wise. Possibly justified in that he hadn't actually harmed Redwall yet.
In Loamhedge, Badredd and his cronies ran off into Mossflower after escaping from the clutches of Raga Bol. (But seeing as they were Affably EvilPunch Clock Villains, it is doubtful that any readers would want them dead.)
Cap'n Tramun Clogg was the sole survivor of the final battle in Martin the Warrior, but went insane and spent the rest of his days hanging around Marshank's ruins and talking to corpses.
Also, Agrill in Martin The Warrior. He drugs the protagonists for absolutely no reason other than disliking them, and it's made very clear that, had they not been in the company of Boldred, he would have murdered them. Not only is he not punished for this, no one even seems to care.
Gruntan Kurdly's Brownrats who weren't under Stringle's command. Also, what was left of Vizka Longtooth's Sea Raiders.
Karmic Death: Many of the main villains had very karmic deaths. Examples: Cluny was crushed by the bell that had earlier awakened him from his nightmares; hydrophobic Tsarmina drowned; Gabool was stung to death by his pet scorpion, whom he had used to execute foes previously; Ublaz was bitten by his pet snake; Princess Kurda fell and stabbed herself on her own broken sword; Riggu Felis was killed by the same barbed star that he earlier used to trap Pandion; Vilaya fell on her own poisoned dagger, which she had used to kill numerous characters.
Some of the minor villains or Dragons have karmic deaths too. For instance, Brool and Renn are killed by Veil shortly after they tied him up and stole all his food and gear; the Wraith is accidentally knocked off Salamandastron by Porty; Klitch drinks the water Farran poisoned just when he thinks he's survived the gruesome battle at Salamandastron; Karangool was presumably whipped and killed by Bucko Bigbones, whom he had tortured in the past.
Tugga Bruster is stabbed in the chest by Tala as revenge for killing her husband Chigid. This is a rather interesting case. Unlike all the names listed above, Tugga Bruster wasn't evil or even a vermin. He was just an asshole who made even the Punch Clock Villains look good. Not even the Redwallers missed him.
Kick the Dog: Many villains do it a few times per book, but even good guys aren't immune from time to time.
Baliss devouring Jeg in Doomwyte, mostly because he just wanted food. That's one less annoyingOverlord Jr. Mossflower needs to worry about.
Veil killing Brool and Renn. Considering they were both bandits who probably spent most of their lives robbing food from woodlanders before killing them, Veil did Mossflower a favor getting rid of them.
In the animated series, mainly due to Lost in Translation Cornflower's father was John Churchmouse (Not Mr. Fieldmouse) though Tess was still canonly John's daughter. Take a wild guess who marries his Aunt.
Knife Nut: Ferahgo, in particular. Wraith from Salamandastron, Sawney Rath from Taggerung, Tazzin from Triss, and Rasconza from Pearls of Lutra fit as well. Bucko Bigbones (Lord Brocktree) is shown having at least four knives on his person when taking back Salamandastron.
La Résistance: Unless the enemies are an invading mobilized army, there will be one.
Leeroy Jenkins: Felldoh. His rousing nature and ultimate death nearly cost the life of all the Fur'n'Freedom fighters. Idiot.
Sadly he never learned his lesson, that leading a small, personal war against the main antagonist, whilst all of his friends fight the big, official war against the main antagonist, does not pay off. And yet he's still an Ensemble Dark Horse.
Though granted if Badrang wasn't a complete dirty coward, Felldoh would have actually succeeded in killing him.
Particularly in the case of Skalrag the Fox. The animated series shows him being tickle tortured; in the books, he's just plain put on the torture rack before being hung from the gates and shot full of arrows.
Oddly one of the more violent children's books... what network do they choose to put it on? PBS. The most family friendly network on the planet.
Low Fantasy: There is no magic. The only kinds of supernaturalism are prophetic visions and the appearance of Martin the Warrior to abbeybeasts.
Luminescent Blush: Martin in the animated series, after telling Rose he could listen to her singing forever.
Lying to the Perp: In Outcast of Redwall, someone is poisoning people using wolfsbane, so the herbalist announces the fact that handling the plant stains the perpetrator's hands red, so they will soon be revealed, while also making note of the wash that can remove the stain. Naturally the poisoner tries to clean himself with the wash, and is caught literally red-handed in the act of doing so.
Mama Badger: In Redwall, for example, Constance nearly crushed Cluny and Redtooth with the grand feast table...
And now we've got a Mama Hare in The Sable Quean, Clarinna Kordyne, and a rather awesome display at that. Whether you're some random vermin mook or Zwilt the Shade, you do not threaten a mother hare's kid in front of them. Especially if you're the guy who killed her husband.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: A variety of Plot Coupon artifacts and trinkets, notably Martin's sword and the tapestry depicting him. (Easy answer for those two is that they're mundane by themselves but Martin's spirit uses them to reach out to others.)
Boisterous hares Tarquin and Lorquin, after Greek gods who liked to party.
Martin is from the Latin for "warrior."
Gonff is from "goniff," Yiddish for "thief."
Colin is Gaelic for "child." He's a childish brat.
Keyla is Greek for "pure of heart." She's friendly and selfless.
Salamandastron may be after the mythical version of the salamander, since that creature can live in fire and it's an extinct volcano.
At the time Veil, the son of a warlord, is taken into the Abbey as an infant, Bella says she named him that because there's a veil over his life - they know nothing about him. Later, it's revealed that her other reason for the name is that it anagrams to "vile" and "evil":
Give him a name and leave him awhile, Veil may live to be evil and vile. Though I hope my prediction will fail, and evil so vile will not live in Veil.
Word of God says that Cluny's name was meant to rhyme with "loony", and that he was unaware of Cluny Abbey at the time.
Tsarmina, after the Tsars of Russia.
Gabool the Wild ruled over Terramort. Terra= land, mort= death. He ruled over the Land of Death / Deathland. Way to be subtle there, Mr Jacques...
It's most probably not meant to be subtle, and more like a typical nickname which was given to this pirate base. Just look at Tortuga.
The Latin (taxonomic) name for wolverines is Gulo gulo. So ... the wolverine Big Bad is just named "Wolverine"!
Likewise, the otter clan Holt Lutra was named after the taxonomical name of the European river otter: Lutra lutra.
Mellus is from Meles Meles, the Eurasian badger, and Brocktree is from an Old English word for badger.
Plumpen is Dutch for "dormouse."
Tammbeak and Rocangus are both falcons with Scottish accents.
Russa Nodrey is a red squirrel with no home ("drey" is a word for a squirrel's nest).
Verdaugua is Latin for "green eyes."
Simeon is Hebrew for "he who hears." He's blind, so relies on his hearing.
Interestingly, the first book is set in the Summer of the Late Rose.
Medieval Stasis: The time period never changes, and the weapons never improve. Not even rudimentary gunpowder weapons (which were used in the late Middle Ages) are seen.
That might partially be due to their measurement of time by non-numbered seasons rather than years. For all we know only a couple centuries have passed.
Also by the fact that they don't have countries, so no prolonged wars with traditional land-based enemies which would inspire an arms race. The only established permanent residence with warlike tendencies is Salamandastron, and they're not exactly filled to the brim with inventive types, just straight-up soldiers.
The Mole: Druwp. Before you ask, he's a bankvole, not an actual mole.
The Movie: Averted. Literally half a dozen times! Most of the projects failed primarily due to Brian Jacques' general distaste of movie adaptions. The ones who didn't suffer from this actually made it into pre-phase before it was discovered they lacked the rights. Those who had rights and made it into pre-phase turned out to be mere practical jokes or misunderstandings. Currently, however, a Deviant ARTgroup is working on a feature-length adaption of Mossflower, the second book of the series. Not to be confused with another so-called "movie" that was brought out (which was just a re-edited version of the animated series with the Filler episodes removed).
Mook Promotion: Tends to happen a lot, especially when The Dragon or one of the Co-Dragons is killed halfway through the novel and the Big Bad needs a replacement. But more than likely, said mook will not handle his or her new promotion well and will either get demoted or killed off even faster than said dragon. Just ask Zurgat, Lousewort, Graywort, or Hogspit, to name a few.
Mouse World: Redwall (the novel) seemed to take place in one of these, what with bits like an entire army of rats hitching a ride on a horse-drawn cart and mentions of piglets, town dogs, and Portugal (Part of Cluny's introduction including speculation that he was a "Portuguese rat.") By the second novel, however, all aspects of humanity had been removed.
There is a vague hint of humanity or a higher life form of some sort in High Rhulain, where Riggu Felis speaks of his ancestors (the Wildcats) liberating the Feral Cats from some unnamed group that had domesticated them.
The third book also mentions some "huge, unearthly looking creatures" in the underground kingdom, but doesn't say what they are.
Multiple Demographic Appeal: Children like the books because the plots and characters are quite clear-cut; this becomes a liability with adult readers, most of whom like the books rather because of Jacques's clever use of language.
Happens twice in Salamandastron, with both cases regarding Ferahgo. First, Lord Urthstripe fires an arrow at him, only for Goffa to step in front of him and coincidentally get hit. Later, Forgrin and Raptail kill Sickear because they thought he was a wounded Ferahgo lying on a rock. And then Ferahgo shows up behind both of them...
Martin the Warrior also has two cases. First, Badrang conspires with Gurrad to poison Cap'n Clogg, whilst Clogg simultaneously conspires with Oilbeak to have Badrang knifed. So naturally, Oilbeak accidentally chucks his knife at Gurrad's throat, and then proceeds to steal the tainted drink from Gurrad's body, which he later drinks from. Later, Badrang's archers fire arrows at a small group of animals they thought were Fur and Freedom Fighters. They turn out to be Hisk and his four trackers.
During Swartt Sixclaw's failed attempt at taking over Redwall in Outcast of Redwall, a rat captain named Scraw gets shot full of arrows after Swartt's archers mistook him for woodlanders hiding in the bushes.
In Loamhedge, Lonna picks up Raga Bol's body and uses it as a shield. The Searats chuck a few spears at Lonna, but hit Bol instead.
Mutual Kill: There is quite a large amount of these in the series, between both hero-and-villain, and villain-and-villain. Some notable ones are Urthstripe and Ferahgo, Romsca and Lask Frildur, Sagitar and Rasconza (this makes two occasions in one book), and Argulor and Bane.
Myopic Architecture: The main gate of Redwall Abbey is large and thick, impervious to even the most dedicated of sieges. Basically, not one invading vermin horde has ever gotten through it. The tiny wicker side-gate, on the other hand, has been breached by countless invading hordes over the seasons, probably accounting for every successful invasion of the abbey. This is presumably intentional, since it would be easy to station three well-armed, armoured guards there during a siege to hack up any single file intruders who tried to get in. Unfortunately, being peaceful monk and villagers, the Redwall inhabitants never think of that.
My God, What Have I Done?: Some of the Redwallers who haven't experienced war have this reaction after killing someone. Burlop from Rakkety Tam breaks down and starts crying before he decides to head back to Redwall after killing one of Gulo's soldiers.
My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Moles are all hardworking, salt-of-the-earth types except maybe three: a scholar, a wanderer, and the first warrior mole ever, Axtel Sturnclaw. However, the other moles don't make any fuss about it.
Naked People Are Funny: When Badrang's in need of a piece of rope, he cuts a random minion's belt, causing said minion's kilt to drop off and everybeast to start laughing at him.
Never Trust A Book Cover: Plenty of covers. But the by far most blatant ones, were made by a German cover artist. The Redwall◊ one, for instance shows all animals nude. And further shows all Redwallers, including Constance and Basil, cowering behind in fear, while Matthias seems to be the only one brave enough to stand up against Cluny. The one for Mossflower◊, however, is worse. It shows nude Martin and his cronies riding the Salamandastron hares like on horses (apart from the fact that there are only two hares present). And... wait a minute... who is that third mouse?! What do you mean, it's supposed to be a shrew?! And why are the other two mice blue? Artist, are you blind? Or illiterate? Or high? Or everything at the same time? Anyway, it apparently took the publishers three of such covers, before they finally fired that cover artist. For his cover for Mattimeo◊, he finally managed to draw a creature with clothes on, but apparently still does not know the difference between a ''combat axe'' and a ''spike club''. Especially, when the axebearer is explicitly called Orlando the Axe! And Mattimeo was not a baby at that time anymore. And lastly, none of the scenes portrayed on these covers happened (or at least happened that way) in the books.
Good job burning down Riggu's fortress, Lady Kaltag.
No Hugging, No Kissing: The word "love" is rarely used, and even Rose and Martin hardly even hold paws onscreen, but their relationship is still very clear and a firm favourite with a lot of the fans, possibly because it's subtly handled. Justified Trope in that the target audience seems to consist mostly of ten-year-old boys. There are also no references to any kind of sexuality: no female characters are shown pregnant or nursing for example.
Antigra was nursing Gruven at the start of The Taggerung
In The Legend Of Luke, a late summer song about fruit harvesting has a reference to sweetness being lost "like a faithless lover's kiss." It's one of the most overtly risque moments in the series, which says a lot.
A few couples (Matthias and Cornflower, Gonff and Columbine, Tarquin and Rosie) officially marry and have kids. This only happens to characters who are featured in more than one book, so that kids just sort of appear in the sequel.
No One Could Survive That: Stated outright by Log-a-Log when Gulo the Savage went over the waterfall in Rakkety Tam. In the first book, Cluny the Scourge took a tumble from the very top of the Abbey wall, suffering cracked ribs, a smashed claw and countless other brutal injuries; Abbot Mortimer started to invoke this, but Constance told him Cluny would be back.
Nobody Poops: You'd think this trope would be averted all the time considering how much the Redwallers eat...
Not to mention a scene from Eulalia! involving Gorath. He's forced to drink tons of rainwater since Vizka's crew was ordered not to feed him anything. Vizka also told his crew not to undo his chains for any reason or go anywhere near him since Gorath could easily kill one of them. You do the math.
Not Drawn to Scale: There are frequent problems with this. In several stories a badger or hare climbs the same flight of stairs as a mouse, or using the same tools. Jacques has HandWaved this by saying that the characters are whatever size you think they are.
Not Helping Your Case: Veil is treated like a delinquent even when he didn't do anything, so he turns to thievery and eventual attempted murder.
Not Quite Dead: Skipper from The Long Patrol. He gets sucked down a well with a yellow eel wrapped around him and presumably drowns/gets eaten. A couple chapters later, he's found inside a Mossflower stream safe and sound. Plus he managed to kill the eel.
Stukkfur, a water rat from Marlfox, survived being slammed into the Abbey wall after a failed attempt at breaching Redwall. But not without getting a massive bruise and losing all his teeth.
Gruven tricks a stoat named Rawback into falling into a swamp and supposedly drowning after his plan to kill Deyna goes horribly awry. An insane Rawback shows up a few chapters later, much to Gruven's dismay.
In Taggerung, Deyna gets shot in the chest with an arrow before killing the main villains. He's not found until sometime later with the arrow still inside him. Luckily, Skipper gets him to the "Otterfixer" to get him healed and he makes a full recovery.
Open Shirt Taunt: In Salamandastron, Klitch strips off his shirt and dares Urthstripe to shoot him, pointing out that the prisoners Sapwood and Oxeye will die if Klitch or Ferahgo are harmed. In Lord Brocktree, Fleetscut opens his shirt during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jukka, shouting that if she kills him instead of coming back to help defend Salamandastron her home will be invaded next.
Orcus on His Throne: Gabool and King Agarnu. At least the former managed to do something while he was locked away in his fort.
Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The closest the series gets to this trope is with Axtel Sturnclaw, a sledgehammer-wielding mole berserker with all the digging skill of his peaceful comrades. Some mace-wielding moles also show up in Bellmaker.
As does Laird Bosie Mc Scutta of Bowlaynee (Doomwyte) and now, Subaltern Meliton Gubthorpe Digglethwaite (The Sable Quean).
Bellscut Oglecrop Obrathon Ragglewaithe Audube Baggscut (Boorab the fool)
Papa Wolf: Matthias is an all around nice person throughout the series, but mess with Cornflower, Mattimeo or Redwall abbey in general and you'll meet the end of his blade. Just ask Cluny, Asmodeus and Slagar to name a few.
Pendulum War: Almost every military engagement in the series that isn't a Curb-Stomp Battle. Let's say, that whenever there is a big battle in the end, vermin usually have an upper hand at the beginning, until heroes manage to close the gap in numbers/invent a better plan. However, smaller skirmishes against named heroes usually are curb stomps in said heroes favor (even if villains manage to bury one or two of them under their own dead). Conservation of Ninjutsu?
Particularly the final battle of The Long Patrol, which also served as the single largest engagement in the series. Damug spends the first 2/3 of the battle attempting to advance upon the combined Redwall army on top the hill and eventually succeeds in surrounding them and threatening to annihilate them. Cue Cregga Rose Eyes and the Salamandastron army.
The Pigpen: The natural state of vermin. Flinky actually sings a song about how bathing is dangerous.
There's some Truth in Television/Fridge Brilliance to this. Ferrets, weasels, and stoats, along with foxes, do produce a stronger odor than, say, mice or squirrels. It's completely natural and expected of them. So it stands to reason that vermin consider frequent baths and flowery soaps to be unnatural and unattractive.
Well, you also should remember logistical problems associated with attempts to bathe semi-regularly for nomadic raiders and corsairs on long sea voyages in temperate climates. Vermin lack of hygiene is not simply a comical bad guy trait, but underlines their savagery and lack of civilization, and fairly believably at that.
This is why Simeon (who is blind) knows when Blaggut is coming: the searat is a stranger to bathwater (but he has a good heart, so that's forgivable)
Pirates: Lots of the vermin are pirates - who definitely dodo anything. They're often some of the worst of the villains.
Planet of Hats: Or rather, species of hats. For example, hares have two staple personalities: "old veteran" and "cocky youngster" (which might or might not intersect with "annoying moron"). Besides them, there are Flat Character soldiers.
Plot Armor: As the series goes on, it gets stronger and stronger, and covers more and more of the heroes. Earlier in the series Anyone Can Die.
Taken to extremes in Taggerung. With the exception of Rillflag and Cregga Rose Eyes, the only good guys who die in the novel are nameless Red Shirts or characters who were forgotten shortly after their death.
Plot Tumor: Salamandastron becomes progressively far more important.
Poisoned Weapons: A few of the nastier villains. Swartt, especially, had a poisoned chalice he used several times. Wraith used a poisoned dagger so lethal it could kill in seconds with the poison alone, without even letting the victim cry out. In The Sable Quean, Vilaya is shown using a tiny poison dagger against her enemies. Also, the adders fall under this heading by default.
Protagonist-Centered Morality: Very much so in some of the later books. While the heroes don't exactly do anything as despicable as the villains, some of them commit acts that would brand them as Anti-Heroes when compared to earlier Redwall books, yet no one calls them out on it. At one point in High Rhulain, Tiria, who killed a rat by complete accident, gets yelled at by her father for not slaying all the other water rats she found, and the book makes it seem as though killing vermin just because they're vermin is perfectly acceptable.
Also apparent in Loamhedge. Bragoon and Sarobando walk up to a band of vermin, insult them, steal the fish they're cooking, and create a scuffle that inadvertently gets one of them killed. Note that they didn't do this because they were on the cusp of starving to death, and the band hadn't yet been seen to do anything more villainous than sit around cooking fish.
Psychopathic Manchild: The Gawtrybe are an entire tribe of Chaotic Neutral squirrels, who do whatever seems like the most fun at the time. Also, Prince Bladd has hints of this, though Vague Age means he may in fact be fairly young.
King Bull Sparra.
Gruntan Kurdly is probably the best example. He's just a fat rat who obsesses over hard-boiled eggs and has an "what I say is always right!" attitude.
Punch Clock Villain: Most of the vermin, if they're not pirates or bandits, just want to live a peaceful life where they don't go hungry.
Put on a Bus: Some of the vermin characters run away rather than being killed, and are never seen again.
Pyrrhic Victory: Martin certainly gets one in Martin the Warrior—as if the ending wasn't already depressing. After everything he goes through, the only thing Martin earns is his freedom and his sword. By the end of the book, he probably would've preferred death so he could spend the afterlife with his late girlfriend Rose. And his sword? It got snapped in half early on in Mossflower.
Mellus' death. She gets stabbed in the chest by Captain Slipp with a knife. Beingabadger, one would expect her to remove the knife from her chest, and then use the very same knife to kill Slipp. Instead, the blade punctures her heart, and she dies almost instantly.
Having suffered a head wound (and having killed vermin for the first time in his life), Tammo abruptly goes into shock, starts shaking uncontrollably, and then passes out a couple minutes later.
Towards the end of The Long Patrol, once all the fighting is finished and the final battle has been won, Tammo joins his fellow hares in celebration of their victory, right? Wrong. He breaks down sobbing, devastated at the fact that many of his friends have been slain and appalled that he himself had killed several other beasts. War Is Hell indeed.
The reason why most of the climactic battles between the Big Bads and the protagonists ends up being short (and sometimes blatantly anticlimactic) is because a majority of them aren't really skilled in combat. Swartt Sixclaw, Slagar, Badrang, and Princess Kurda are just a few of several Smug Snakes who only got to where they were through backstabbing, bargaining, fighting dirty, or by having their much more competent lieutenants fight their battles for them. So it really shouldn't be that surprising when Big Bads like these go down rather abruptly.
Vizka gets one as well towards the end of Eulalia!, from one of his own Sea Raiders.
Recognizable By Sound: Hon Rosie has a very loud, distinctive laugh that the others always recognize her by. "Whoohahahahahoohah!"
Redemption Equals Death: Zig-Zagged with Veil, sort of. Subverted because he's still considered a bad guy after Taking the Bullet for Bryony, and inverted because even though he spent practically every one of his scenes being a horrid little bastard, Bryony thought he was good but misunderstood, only "realizing" he was evil after said Taking the Bullet.
But played straight with Romsca.
Subverted with Blaggut: his Heel-Face Turn causes him to strangle Captain Slipp to death.
Reforged Blade: In Mossflower, Martin the Warrior's sword, which belonged to his father, is broken in his travels. It is then reforged by the great lord of Salamandastron, using a "fallen star" (a meteorite, rather) to rebuild it into a purely unbreakable sword, which also begins its legendary status. All during one book of the series. Martin wears the broken hilt around his neck through most of the book, until he finally gets it reforged and proceeds to kick much ass.
Reincarnation: Matthias is established to be a reincarnation of Martin, and it's possible that so are all the other Swordbearers. Cornflower might be Rose's reincarnation, but it's not spelled out.
Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Practically every reptile and amphibian in the series is evil. Frequently, they are depicted as being far worse than the vermin. Nearly all are cannibalistic. Exceptions made for the ones which have occasionally been seen as pets — see Furry Confusion. Some come across a little more as True Neutral, however.
Not to mention Cluny the Scourge, described as " the largest rat the Redwallers had seen."
Also, some fanon suggests that— to solve issues with scale and such— most of the animals are human-sized or thereabouts and objects are scaled to in a similar manner, with badgers and such things being around ten feet tall. This doesn't apply to the first book, due to Canon Displacement.
Rule of Cool: Salamandastron is a hollowed out volcano fortress ruled by berserker and often seer badgers all of whom Took A Level In Bad Ass with a standing army of posh hares whose job primarily consists of stopping Pirates and Mook Hordes from taking over the world! and they have a catchphrase: Eulaliaaaa!
Tutty from Outcast sure does love to threaten to cut somebeast's tail off.
Aunt Blench's shawl in Lord Brocktree Dotti was to give it to her upon arriving at Salamandastron, yet throughout the adventure it gradually becomes more and more destroyed. (Shredded, patched, torn, tattered, soaked with cider and inexpertly repaired) heck the third part's alternative title is called "A shawl for Aunt Blench"
Pearls of Lutra is a Shaggy Dog Story about a Big Bad who wants pearls and will torment the Redwallers in any way to get them. Doomwyte is a Shaggy Dog Story about a Big Bad who wants his jewels back and will torment the Redwallers in any way to get them.
Bascially there's at least one in every book. And that's being generous.
Scary Scorpion: Skrabblag, Gabool's giant (in proportion to the characters) black scorpion that acts as a pet/executioner.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Lousewort and Sneezewort, Fragorl, Ripfang, Greypatch, Wulpp, Ullig, Wilce, etc. Dingeye and Thura started a book's plotline by trying (and failing) to do this, whereas most characters who do this do so at the end.
Urgan Nagru made his name like this on purpose, so that his enemies would know he could come at them from all directions.
Series Continuity Error: In Taggerung, Sawney Rath has a nicer moment of genre savviness when he swears he won't be one of the many dead vermin lords who've attacked Redwall...except that one of the names he drops is Ferahgo, who never went near Redwall.
To be fair, Veil grew up in Redwall, which is the main reason for his Heel-Face Turn at the end leading to him making a Heroic Sacrifice. However, there is another one that's not so easily explained. In Mossflower, Bella the badger says that only male badgers make the journey to Salamandastron, but in Lord Brocktree, which chronologically took place before Mossflower, when Lord Brocktree is looking at carvings of previous badgers who ruled Salamandastron, one of the names mentioned is Spearlady Gorse. This is a much more obvious example of Series Continuity Error.
That may just be the fact that Spearlady Gorse was long long long long time ago. Never said how long. Bella no doubt studied Salamandastron history but how far back she studied can be questioned. Wordof God even states that many events in Redwall's history (In particular, Rufe Brush climbing to the top of Abbey to put the sword there) have been long forgotten.
Senseless Sacrifice: Averted and played straight with Bragoon and Saro. Sure, they committed a Heroic Sacrifice in order to save Horty, Springald and Fenna, but if you get past a moment of Fridge Brilliance, you'll realize they wouldn't have had to sacrifice themselves if they just stayed away from Loamhedge, since Martha wound up walking on her own.
Sequel Escalation: In the early books, the vermin armies keep getting bigger and the Big Bads' titles more impressive, up to "Emperor" Ublaz (whose domain was actually just an island). In both cases this process stopped when it couldn't go any further.
"So, what happens when the bally precipitation ceases?"
"Sorry, I mean what happens when the rain stops?"
In The Long Patrol, Perigord refers to trees as "Arboreal Verdance". Rockjaw and Morio then wonder why he didn't just say "trees", the answer being "Why should he when he knows how to say words like arboreal verdance?"
The whole search for the pearls in The Pearls of Lutra.
Bragoon and Saro's quest to find something at Loamhedge that'll make Martha walk again. But Martha ends up walking anyway without their help so...subverted?
The search for the Doomwyte jewels in Doomwyte, which ended ironically for the very same reason as the pearls.
Shameful Strip: On two occasions, in Lord Brocktree and Loamhedge respectively.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Bryony's journey to find Veil Sixclaw ends with him dying right in front of her. Despite the fact he died for the sake of saving her, Bryony and all the other Redwallers just shrug it off, saying he was always evil to begin with. The readers, however, would disagree.
Shout-Out: A possible one to Judge Dredd of all people: The self-proclaimed Warden of a marsh with a tendency to use the phrase "I AM THE LAAAAAAAAW!"
It seems unlikely that Brian Jacques, as refined and old fashioned as he is (And a known technophobe) would have seen Judge Dredd.
Ublaz, again. He's possibly the most pathetic Big Bad the series ever had, spending almost the entire book under siege in his castle by his own rebellious pirate crews (constantly outfoxed by their leader Rasconza) before dying when he steps on his own pet snake.
Vilu Daskar too. He always acted as though he was the most intelligent creature around (which was true for the most part), and that everything was under his control.
Klitch, who tried too hard to be like his father and always smart-mouthed him whenever he could.
Zigu. He's an excellent swordsbeast, a Deadpan Snarker, and (arguably) the smartest bad guy in Outcast. Yet when he gets into a swordsfight with Sabretache and realize he's losing, he starts using dirty tactics and turns out to be nothing more than a Dirty Coward.
Mokkan is the most smug Marlfox out of his entire family, which is saying a lot.
Gruven. He makes all the vermin listed above look as tough as Cluny. Even Ublaz had the balls to at least get into a short sword fight with Martin.
Pitru is more or less a feline version of Klitch.
Tugga Bruster. Despite being one of the burliest shrews in the series (and, y'know, being a shrew) he's just a cowardly and despicable as the vermin. He can't even insult someone right.
Slagar the Cruel, albeit a high-functioning one, was one even as Chickenhound.
Badrang is VERY proud of being the lord of a very small territory.
Also Major Cuthbert Frunk from High Rhulain. His anti-vermin song was quite bloodthirsty.
Sole Survivor: Tramun Clogg is the last one left alive in Marshank. He always wanted to rule it, but true to poetic justice, it's destroyed and he's utterly insane, talking to corpses and likely to soon die of exposure.
Subverted in Salamandastron when Klitch survives the final battle and is in the middle of escaping, when he comes across some of the poisoned stores, thoughtlessly drinks some of it, and ends up dying anyway.
Sound Off: Several of the ever-present songs are marching or working tunes.
Sssssnaketalk: Sssssnakes and, in Pearls of Lutra, monitor lizardz.
Straight for the Commander: In the first Redwall novel, Constance the badger tries to end the siege of Redwall Abbey by sniping enemy commander Cluny the Scourge. It fails due to a rather accidental Decoy Leader situation. Later on, when Cluny falls in battle, the enemy army falls into disarray, and many of the invaders surrender immediately.
Strictly Formula: There are basically four Redwall plots: the siege, the kidnapping, the land quest, and the sea/river quest. And then there's the "solve the puzzle/rhyme/prophecy." All with lots and lots of Food Porn.
Subverted in the latest book; only one relatively minor prophecy, no great siege and no sea quest.
Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Friar Hugo is killed off not even halfway through Part 1 of Mattimeo. Later on, Warbeak and Log-a-Log also bite the dust.
Lampshaded in the very first book: ClunyThe Scourge ponders the fact that his underlings generally are dumb as bricks and decides that their inability to think for themselves (and resulting obedience) outweighs their incompetence.
In the animated series, Badrang screams this from the wall of his fortress after another failure. His minions are indeed phenomenally stupid; the dumbest in the whole show.
Badrang:FOOLS! I'm surrounded by FOOLS!
Stay in the Kitchen: High Rhulain both subverts this and plays it straight. Tiria is barred from becoming Skipper on account of her sex, and her choice to wield a sling draws derision from male characters — all of whom wind up eating their words. On the other hand, many of those same male characters also hand-hold her through her quest, treating her attempts to make her own decisions with condescending amusement. When she insists on accompanying her warriors to battle, Kolun outright compares her to his wife.
Terrible Ticking: Tsarmina hears water running constantly. It's real, as the heroes are diverting the lake under her castle; her minions just don't want to go down there to check as they're lazy and it's scary.
Theme Naming: Most of the mice in the original novel had names beginning with "M".
And a lot of female mice in subsequent novels have been named after flowers.
In Salamandastron, all of the badgers save one have names beginning with Urth-
Also, several badgers have "stripe" in their names.
The squirrel warriors as well, "Reguba" is a common bloodline, and last name.
And many Big Bads have names like "Verminname the somethingevilsounding," "Verminname Combinationofonesyllableevilsoundingwords," "Verminname Punbasedonactualtraithad" and "Two-syllables one-syllable".
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Do NOT fuck with badgers, especially Lonna Bowstripe. He uses Raga Bol's body as a shield, and he's promptly impaled by a few spears. Afterwards, Lonna uses Raga's carcass as a flail to kill the other Searats. And then he chucks his grotesque body at a tree.
Ungatt Trunn, the Big Bad of Lord Brocktree. He has the single biggest army in the series, and he attempts to feed them by sending out only a few small foraging parties — with predictable results.
Ovus and Bluddbeak, two very old birds—one of whom is borderline blind—try to kill a trio of adders. By themselves. Guess who dies?
During her Villainous Breakdown, Lady Kaltag makes a fire inside her husband's fortress just to burn Leatho Shellhound out of the room he's hiding in. Although it's only briefly mentioned, her clothing catches on fire, and she ends up burning the whole fortress down (with her presumably still in it). Idiot.
Scratch, Splitnose and Blacktooth takes this even further. They also find a swan's nest with an egg, they notice the swan. What do they do? Try to scare it off by throwing weapons at it. Scratch then goes right up to it in attempts to stab it. Too bad its mate was also in the water.
Matthias, occurring literally as he gets his hands on Martin's sword. All of a sudden, he has the strength, stamina, and fighting experience to go toe-to-toe with Cluny, a powerful and experienced rat warlord.
Viola from Pearls of Lutra. She starts out being nothing more than a tattletale vole, and she's easily frightened by the monitor lizards after she's captured by Lask's forces. But after she's rescued, she willingly joins Martin and his crew to go find Abbot Durral (who was still held captive by the corsairs), and she was more than happy to bonk a few vermin heads with an oar when several pirates tried to retake the Freebooter.
Dann too. He spends the first part of Marlfox being a "disappointment" to his father, and he even calls himself a coward when he and Song run away from Raventail (who had captured Dippler and Burble). He immediately decides to rescue his two friends, and when he encounters Raventail a second time, he beats the shit out of him. From that moment on his badassery just got better and better.
Martha and Horty Braebuck from Loamhedge. They're quite possibly the only two non-warrior Redwallers to do this without touching Martin's sword.
Spectacularly subverted in The Rogue Crew with Uggo Wiltud. At the end of the story, Uggo is granted the Sword of Martin, and you'd expect him to become an Instant Expert. Instead, he's just a nervous, scared hedgehog who can barely wield the sword. When he finally encounters Razzid Wearat and Badtooth, he kills Badtooth completely by mistake, his carcass falls on Uggo, and the sword is knocked away. If it hadn't been for Posy picking up the sword and impaling Razzid, the wearat would've killed Uggo.
In Sable Quean, Clarrina. She's just a simple haremother/widow. But she ends up killing Zwilt the Shade in revenge for her husband's murder with Martin's sword no less.
Cynthia Bankvole through entire story of Mattimeo does nothing but whine and complain (Which is understandable, suddenly being taken from your comfy home and family into a life of slavery), but in the animated series, during the final battle, she joins in trying to kick ass.
Mattimeo: Cynthia? What happened to you?
Cynthia: I got angry.
Trademark Favorite Food: For the otters, it's hotroot soup. For the moles, it's Deeper-N'-Ever-Turnip-N'-Tater-N'-Beetroot-Pie. For seafaring beasts (good and bad alike), it's Skilly n' Duff. For the hares, it's pretty much anything.
Tragic Bromance: Between Sunflash and Skarlath, the latter of whom dies towards the end of Outcast of Redwall.
Two fans named Samantha Kim and Laura were featured - with slight modifications - as "Samkim" and "Arula" in Salamandastron. Oddly enough, the character Samkim is a boy.
Gauchee in Martin the Warrior is named for Patricia Lee Gauch, an editor of the books and friend of Brian Jacques, to whom the book is also dedicated.
Loamhedge features two characters named after people that Jacques mentions in the dedication: Lonna Bowstripe is named after a person named Nolan Wallace, and Martha Braebuck is inspired by Brian Jacques' friend Martha Buckley.
Turtle Power: The "Walking Stone", a pet tortoise, is the symbol of kingship among wolverines. How such a creature (native to deserts and tropical climes) survives in the wolverines' icy homeland is not explained.
Two-Faced: Slagar the Cruel of Mattimeo, under his mask.
Two Lines, No Waiting: Along with the usual reasons, this structure takes advantage of previous supporting cast (such as the Guosim shrews or the hares and badgers of Salamandstron) while still allowing for a new and unique party of adventurers to explore a new setting.
Uncertain Doom: Despite Word of God saying that Ripfang from Lord Brocktree (who pulled a Karma Houdini) is not the same Ripfang from Mossflower (who ended up getting crushed to death by Boar the Fighter), a lot of fans still believe otherwise (since the events in Lord Brocktree happen before Mossflower, not to mention that they're both searats). Even the Redwall Wiki thoroughly explains why both of them may be the same character.
Ungrateful Bastard: A lot of major villains, thanks to running on It's All About Me, exhibit utter lack of gratitude or obligation to those who just helped them. Vilaya is probably the biggest example, killing a Mook who saved her life and still was on her side more or less just because said Mook refused to grovel before her.
Korvus Skurr. At the start of Doomwyte, he actually comes across as a competent and frightening Big Bad. But as the novel progresses, he slowly starts to lose control over his own army (due to his reckless decision to hire a blind adder as an instrument for fear against the Redwallers), and eventually he devolves into a Smug Snake.
Vizka Longtooth. His decay started shortly after his brother Codj was killed by Gorath. As time passed, he slowly began to lose control over his crew, all his plans to conquer Redwall failed thanks to the Brownrats, and many of the Sea Raiders were getting killed left and right. By the end of Eulalia!, Vizka's crew is down to only four, and they all desert him after Vizka killed two of his Raiders simply because they annoyed him.
Gruntan Kurdly as well. He already started out as a lazy leader of a group of rats who were only there to make Maudie's subplot more exciting. By the time Part 3 of Eulalia! came, Gruntan did nothing but obsess over hard-boiled eggs, and he turned into the laziest antagonist in the entire book, if not the whole series. And if that's not bad enough, he dies trying to acquire a swan egg.
Villainous Breakdown: Several examples. Gabool the Wild in Mariel of Redwall does it most obviously and impressively. He goes from being evil but reasonably lucid to a gibbering insomniac who can't tell his followers from his sworn enemies and starts to believe that a plundered bell understands what he's saying and rings itself to mock him.
Slagar the Cruel in Mattimeo is already crazy at the start, blaming Matthias and the Redwallers for the horrible scarring on his face. By the end, he's pretty much raving, frantically reassuring himself that however events turn out, he will "win" somehow. He even plans to steal Matthias' sword, now convinced that it is magic and grants victory to whoever wields it.
Gulo starts out as being creepy, scary, and menacing, but after he survives falling down the waterfall, he becomes Ax-Crazy, starts Laughing Mad, rambles about his dead brother and talks to himself—and inanimate objects, making him even scarier and creepier. Needless to say, his soldiers were scared out of their wits of him.
Tsarmina in Mossflower also does this. Granted she's being driven insane by a constant dripping noise and the fact that everything she tries to destroy the resistance fails.
Cap'n Clogg's really the only character who had a justified reason for his breakdown. After all, he did suffer a head injury.(Though who KNOWS what happened when Gulo fell down the waterfall - he could have hit his head as well.)
Justified with Baliss too, who was already blind and not-so-sane to begin with. After he gets a bunch of hedgehog spikes in his head, he spends the rest of the novel literally losing his mind and thrashing around killing anything in sight and trying to soothe his wounds.
Wacky Wayside Tribe: Used constantly. The Legend of Luke would only be one-third the length without it.
The Flitchaye could certainly count for this in ''Mariel of Redwall'. Their temporary capturing of Mariel and her friends serve little to no purpose but to add a couple of chapters extra padding. And after it's over, the travellers never mention them again.
Well, near the end of the book it does mention that the scattered survivors of Greypatch's pirate crew were fleeing towards Flitchaye territory, with the implication that it would be the end of them. They also appear in Sable Quean.
Weapons Kitchen Sink: One of the major examples in child's fiction. Let's see, finely crafted light fencing rapiers? Pattern-welded meteoric iron broadswords? Giant axes? Tree trunks!? Just running at your enemy with teeth and claws!?!?!
Mundane Made Awesome: The Duel of Insults in Marlfox. The characters shout insults at each other and react as if actually wounded. Sesstra, Zassaliss and Harssacss basically got a Hydra into this, as well.
Welcoming Song: The novel Taggerung has a song about welcoming a son home. Here it is sung in the audiobook.
What happened to Tazzin and Scummy? Were they killed by Triss, Sagax, and their army of Redwallers, or did they escape to safety?
They never did mention what happened to Weilmark Scaut...
Ungatt Trunn suffers a case of this when one of his commanders decides to pull a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! and deserts with around 300 of his troops in tow. Said contingent of fully armed, train vermin marches away and right out of the plot, never to appear again.
The kingdom that Rakkety Tamm served was said to be menaced constantly by vermin. However, when Tamm - who was arguably the only thing keeping them away - up and leaves, nobody ever mentions it again.
What about the twelve guards that were guarding the Vole family in Cluny's camp? After Matthias rescued the voles, the guards as punishment were imprisoned without food and water until further notice. Never mentioned again... either "When Cluny recovered he personally executed them, which was implied he would have done in the first place" "They were pardoned" or "They starved to death"
Yank the Dog's Chain: So Martin's gathered up thousands of warriors, Marshank is slowly being overrun, Badrang is running away from his fortress in shame, and the Fur and Freedom Fighters have been saved. And after Badrang's gone, Martin and Rose will surely fall in love and live a peaceful life. What could possibly go wrong? ...Cue Badrang abruptly killing Rose.
Special mention goes to Lask Frildur and his monitor lizards. Throughout Pearls of Lutra the author mentions multiple times that they all have foul breath. Ublaz had to turn away from Lask in the very first scene they were in just because it smelled so bad.