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Reality Ensues / Redwall

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Even as a series aimed at children, Redwall often pulled no punches about depicting more realistic outcomes to situations.

  • In the original novel, the Anti-Villain Sela the Vixen comes to sell intelligence to the Redwall Abbot outside the castle walls. She is instead met by his aide-de-camp, Constance the Badger. The transaction is over right then and there, with Constance nonchalantly knocking Sela out and taking the papers with her.
  • In Mattimeo, a gang of slave traders disguise themselves as entertainers to sneak into Redwall Abbey and abduct the children (for underground mining labour). At an ensuing festival inside the abbey grounds, they manage to spike all of the partygoers' drinks, and get them to drink them at the same time by calling out a toast. All seems to be working according to plan. However:
    • It turns out that the cooks and kitchen aides naturally didn't drink anything, and they try to stop the slavers by themselves.
    • The slavers, on the other hand, simply beat them up or slaughter them, and then calmly proceed to load the unconscious onto their cart.
    • When Matthias and his friends get pinned down by Stonefleck's horde, Warbeak pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment and throws herself and her fighters straight into the enemy. This does turn the tide for the heroes, but it's because Warbeak and her army are taking the brunt of the damage for them, flying into a hail of arrows armed with only their natural defenses. This results in Warbeak being slain along with nearly her entire force. Also, in the middle of a frenzied battle, Warbeak isn't going to have time to properly re-unite with Matthias, and is killed before she can.
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  • Mellus' death. She gets stabbed in the chest by Captain Slipp with a knife. Being a badger, one would expect her to remove the knife from her chest, and then use the very same knife to kill Slipp. Instead, the blade punctured her heart, and as a result she dies almost instantly.
  • Similarly, Lady Cregga Rose Eyes' death. She only gets shot with one arrow (which are measly twigs when it comes to badgers), but due to her age and health, she succumbs to the wound.
  • 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 breaks down sobbing, devastated by the fact that many of his friends have been slain and appalled that he himself had killed several other beasts. War Is Hell, indeed.
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  • 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.
  • Two cases occur in Martin the Warrior:
    • Rose gets slammed into a wall by Badrang when she tries to jump him. Does it knock her out until the fight's over? Nope, it kills her.
    • Likewise, when Martin disarms Badrang, he wastes no further time on him and kills him while he is still on the ground.
  • In Triss, there's the Trope Naming incident for Perilous Old Fool: Bluddbeak the redkite and Ovus the owl try to slay a fearsome trio of snake siblings, but since both birds are extremely elderly and in no condition to fight (Bluddbeak is blind), the battle ends very, very poorly for them.
  • Ungatt Trunn's hordes in Lord Brocktree are numerous, terrifying, and nearly impossible to feed. One of the most important subplots concerns Trunn's attempts to keep his vermin from starving. Shortly before the final battle, the constant lack of food leads his second-in-command to desert along with a third of his entire force. It's also pointed out several times that the main reason the heroes have a chance against Trunn is because his army is malnourished and nowhere close to their fighting best. Some even faint due to hunger.
    • Verdauga Greeneyes faces a similar problem in Mossflower. He feeds his army by taxing a percentage of food from the creatures living and farming on his lands. As creatures begin to run from his tyrannical rule, the taxes grow higher as there are fewer woodlanders to take from. More creatures leave and the taxes grow even higher, creating a vicious circle until there is literally no one left. By then, everyone knows the fortress will have to capture woodlanders to farm for it, or starve come winter.


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