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Why couldn't Merlin have just turned Arthur into an alligator, instead?
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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. They aren't usually depicted as a threat to humans, but they will often be shown as a Super-Persistent Predator towards smaller animals.

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").


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Examples:

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    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.

    Films — Animation 

    Literature 
  • The Box Of Delights: On one of Kay's trips into the box, he is shown the natural world by Herne the Hunter, transforming into different animals each time they encounter a threat. When they are swimming in a stream as fish, the threat is a pike.
  • In Little Grey Men, the gnomes are terrorized by a monstrous pike.
  • 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.
  • Redwall: Pike are a recurring obstacle to river travel, though they end up eating uncautious vermin more often than heroes.
    • One of Cluny the Scourge's feats includes getting into a fight with a pike. He lost an eye. The pike lost its life.
    • 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). Most notably, they release Stormfin against a monstrous, mad water rat called the Gloomer that the wildcat queen Tsarmina sent against them, and which the pike brutally kills. 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."
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    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 
  • Pikes are relatively uncommon fish in the Animal Crossing series, only found in rivers during the Winter.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, Slaughterfish are basically pikes in all but name; being relatively small, aggressive, freshwater fish. A certain Thieves' Guild quest in Oblivion even features a giant one.
  • The Ocean Hunter: The player briefly encounters Pikefishes as one of the common enemies in the fourth level, after piranhas.

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