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Literature / Mattimeo

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After eight seasons of peace in Mossflower, a sinister masked fox plots to steal something precious to the woodlanders of Redwall Abbey: their children.

Mattimeo is the third book in the series, though chronologically, it follows Redwall and precedes Pearls of Lutra. It was published in 1989 (1990 in the US). It was adapted into the second season of the animated Redwall TV series in 2000 and ran for 13 episodes.

Mattimeo contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Ascended Extra:
    • Tim and Tess Churchmouse are only babies in Redwall, but play a somewhat larger role in Mattimeo.
    • This also applies to Sam in the TV Series, as most of his scenes in the Redwall adaption were Adapted Out.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Slagar pulls this at one point, tricking the heroes into thinking he hid his captives in a cave. Once they are inside, he triggers a cave-in that blocks the exit.
  • Battle Bolas: Slagar the Cruel, The Heavy of the book, uses a bolas as his Weapon of Choice. He uses it both to attack and to intimidate. In the Animated Adaptation, he throws it at a wooden chair, shattering the chair to splinters, just to demonstrate what will happen to his slaves if they don't obey him. He later uses it to attempt a stealth kill on Matthias, though he fails. Subverted in that he's a Dirty Coward, and never uses his weapon in direct combat with anyone, instead running away when the heroes prepare to fight him.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: Happens several times. Perhaps most notably when the sparrows come to the aid of Matthias and Orlando just as they are about to be overwhelmed by a wave of enemies.
  • Bottomless Pits: How Slagar meets his end.
  • Bright Castle: Redwall Abbey. Not necessarily a castle, but close enough. Serves a home for the characters, and one that must be protected against an army of hostile birds later in the story.
  • Butt-Monkey: Vitch. Is treated almost as badly as the slaves that he helped abduct.
  • Character-Magnetic Team: What starts off as a team of three and steadily gains more and more characters until they are a small army.
  • The Chase: A large part of the story revolves around the heroes tracking their missing children across the country.
  • Circus of Fear: Invoked. Slagar and his minions disguise themselves as a travelling circus so they can infiltrate Redwall Abbey. They actually do put on a performance for the Abbeydwellers before giving them all sleeping drugs and kidnapping the children.
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  • Climbing the Cliffs of Insanity: Slagar forces his band and slaves to climb a very steep cliff using only a rope ladder. The heroes soon follow.
  • Cult Colony: The Kingdom of Malkariss. Made up almost entirely of rats with a zealous devotion to their ruler.
  • Death from Above: Given the number of avian characters in this book, it should be expected.
  • Exact Words: After Wedgeback carelessly dropping his dagger allows the children to temporarily escape, Slagar expresses disappointment later and says he would have to "let him go". Wedgeback begs while repeating those words, to which the fox obliges. By the time the poor stoat realizes what his boss meant, he is dropped off a mountaintop to his death.
  • Food Porn: Redwall Abbey is known for its food. All of the different food and drink that is mentioned should be enough to get mouths watering.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Warbeak, after coming to the rescue of Matthias and Orlando.
    • Log-a-log is mortally wounded after intercepting a spear meant for Matthias. He passes his title to his chosen Guosim shrew in his dying breath.
  • It Kind of Looks Like a Face: The Badger and the Bell, giant boulders which resemble a badger's head and a bell.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Reading Mattimeo before Redwall will spoil the plot concerning Slagar/Chickenhound's origin.
  • Piranha Problem: This happens to the heroes when they are forced to Abandon Ship. Fortunately, none of them are actually devoured.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Mangiz, a seer, is unable to use his powers while inside of Redwall. It appears that the spirit of Martin can do more than haunt dreams...
  • Rope Bridge: A very long and very old one over a deep canyon.
  • Scarecrow Solution: Cornflower pretends to be Martin the Warrior's ghost in order to trick and demoralize General Ironbeak's forces.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Friar Hugo, killed by members of Slagar's band while trying to rescue the kidnapped children. The slavers got away anyway.
  • Shown Their Work: Cheek is initially fearful of a large river and is teased by Basil for this. Baby otters are actually initially afraid of water until their mothers teach them how to swim. Cheek learned late because he's an orphan.
  • The Siege: During the second act, while the warriors are away, Redwall Abbey is attacked by General Ironbeak and his army.
  • Underground City: The Kingdom of Malkariss, which rests underneath the ruins of Loamhedge.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Slagar outright threatens to cripple and leave for dead any slave that tries to escape him. At one point, one of his band mentions "finishing off" one slave who was too weak to continue moving. It's also mentioned that none of the non-Redwaller slaves would have had the nerve to try and escape because they'd seen what Slagar did to slaves that tried it. General Ironbeak is also not above threatening to toss a toddler off of a roof. His rooks massacre the baby sparrows left behind by the rest on moving in. None is actually harmed on-page though.


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