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Pike Peril

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Pike used as the freshwater equivalent of the Threatening Shark.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Chabal2 on Aug 9th 2018 at 4:42:40 AM
Last Edited By:
Chabal2 on Aug 14th 2018 at 4:55:21 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/9914d2df07f4116106d9b62c1d47a5e5.jpg

Pike are a species of carnivorous freshwater fish found in Europe and North America. As an aggressive species prone to cannibalism, they're often used as a rivergoing threat in animal-centered works.

Compare The Catfish (where the fish's size makes it a Worthy Opponent to fishermen), Piranha Problem for the tropical equivalent, and Threatening Shark for saltwater dangers.

See Blade on a Stick for a differently-dangerous kind of pike (both come from a word meaning "pointy").


Examples:

Comic Books

  • Garulfo: One of the main reasons Garulfo wants to be a human is that as a frog, he's at the mercy of fish much bigger than him, and sees a human hooking and pulling a pike out of the water as proof that they're the Superior Species, planning to eat a pike every day in revenge.

Film- Animated

Literature

  • Redwall: Pike are a recurring obstacle to river travel, though they end up eating uncautious vermin more often than heroes.
    • An otterclan managed to capture an enormous pike which they call Stormfin, and use it to great effect to defend their homes (they beat a drum to announce it's being let out so the otters know to get the hell out of the water). Stormfin has associated its holding pen with regular food, so it will return eventually.
    • A shoal of hungry pike known as the Teeth of the Deeps lives in the lake where Marlfox Island is situated, making escape impossible and approach difficult. The Marlfoxes feed dissident beasts to the pike, so naturally karma (and the pikes) bites them when Lantur is pushed into the lake by her brother Mokkan, who is later knocked into the lake while trying to escape and ripped apart by the ravenous pikes.
  • In Watership Down a story is told about El-ahrairah outsmarting a hungry pike: "Once, so they say, he had to get home by swimming across a river in which there was a large and hungry pike. El-ahrairah combed himself until he had enough fur to cover a clay rabbit, which he pushed into the water. The pike rushed at it, bit it and left it in disgust. After a little, it drifted to the bank and El-ahrairah dragged it out and waited a while before pushing it in again. After an hour of this, the pike left it alone, and when it had done so for the fifth time, El-ahrairah swam across himself and went home."
  • The Once and Future King: In the first book, Merlyn transforms young Arthur into a fish after the boy wishes for it, leading to an encounter with an enormous pike who rules the castle's moat and argues that might makes right and that power is the only thing worth respecting, before trying to eat Arthur. Merlyn intends this excursion as a lesson against absolute monarchy, and how it leads to tyrants like the pike.
    Power is of the individual mind, but the mind's power is not enough. Power of the body decides everything in the end, and only Might is Right.

Poetry

  • Ted Hughes describes pikes as almost supernaturally fearsome, cannibalistic and voracious in his poem "Pike", and describes at the end a pond home to such ancient and enormous pike that he did not dare fish there after nightfall.
    Pike, three inches long, perfect
    Pike in all parts, green tigering the gold.
    Killers from the egg: the malevolent aged grin.
    They dance on the surface among the flies.

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons & Dragons: The giant pike is, well, a giant pike that can eat goats, deer and humans. They're around nine feet long but can reach lengths of twenty feet (real pike are usually less than two feet long).
  • Pathfinder describes giant pike as aggressive predators that will attack any living thing they encounter. Like those from its parent game, they vary between nine and twenty feet in length.

Video Games

  • In The Elder Scrolls Slaughterfish are basically pikes in all but name, being small, aggressive freshwater fish. The thieves guild quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion even features a giant one.
  • The player briefly encounters Pikefishes as one of the common enemies after piranhas during the fourth level in The Ocean Hunter.

Feedback: 12 replies

Aug 9th 2018 at 11:17:50 AM

Never actually realized this was a trend, but I guess it might be. I don't know if this is good yet, but I'm hatting to balance the bomb, since I don't know if it's deserved.

Aug 9th 2018 at 1:55:22 PM

In Watership Down a story is told about El-ahrairah outsmarting a hungry pike: "Once, so they say, he had to get home by swimming across a river in which there was a large and hungry pike. El-ahrairah combed himself until he had enough fur to cover a clay rabbit, which he pushed into the water. The pike rushed at it, bit it and left it in disgust. After a little, it drifted to the bank and El-ahrairah dragged it out and waited a while before pushing it in again. After an hour of this, the pike left it alone, and when it had done so for the fifth time, El-ahrairah swam across himself and went home."

Aug 9th 2018 at 1:57:58 PM

Aug 9th 2018 at 5:23:26 PM

Poetry

  • Ted Huges describes pikes as almost supernaturally fearsome, cannibalistic and voracious in his poem "Pike", and describes at the end a pond home to such ancient and enormous pike that he did not dare fish there after nightfall.
    Pike, three inches long, perfect Pike in all parts, green tigering the gold. Killers from the egg: the malevolent aged grin. They dance on the surface among the flies.

Tabletop Games

  • Pathfinder describes giant pike as aggressive predators that will attack any living thing they encounter. Like those from its parent game, they vary between nine and twenty feet in length.

Aug 9th 2018 at 9:06:05 PM

This isn't about a kind of spear?

Aug 9th 2018 at 10:36:50 PM

According to The Other Wiki, the name comes from a word meaning "pointy".

Aug 10th 2018 at 2:24:19 AM

  • Briefly during the fourth level in The Ocean Hunter, the player encounters Pikefishes as one of the common enemies after piranhas.

Aug 10th 2018 at 12:39:26 PM

Not sure if this counts, but...

Comic Books:

  • Invoked with Pike, an enemy of the Wild CATS, a mercenary that usually worked with Helspont against Kherubines and also against WildCATS, appearing since the first number of the series. Apart of being based on that fish, one of his weapons is a Blade On A Stick, also invoking his name.

Aug 10th 2018 at 4:36:24 PM

Compare with Piranha Problem, another freshwater fish with a (greatly exaggerated) reputation as a voracious predator.

Aug 10th 2018 at 11:47:34 PM

^^^ How is he based on the fish? He looks like a Deadpool ripoff to me.

Aug 13th 2018 at 9:41:51 AM

Literature

  • The Once And Future King: In the first book, Merlyn transforms young Arthur into a fish after the boy wishes for it, leading to an encounter with an enormous pike who rules the castle's moat and argues that might makes right and that power is the only thing worth respecting, before trying to eat Arthur. Merlyn intends this excursion as a lesson against absolute monarchy, and how it leads to tyrants like the pike.
    Power is of the individual mind, but the mindís power is not enough. Power of the body decides everything in the end, and only Might is Right.

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