The series in general / Meta examples
- The death of Brian Jacques, along with its implications, left countless people across the internet weeping, even those who hadn't read the books in years.
- The death of Methuselah, particularly in the TV series.
- There's a subdued one in this book where Martin and company find a dead, elderly searat near his camp on the beach. Their first response is to speak to him respectfully while trying to help him; after they realize he's gone, they give him a proper burial before making use of his shelter and supplies. This is very sad in its own right, but when one takes into account the later books' stock response to a vermin death, "Save your tears, that one won't be hurting anyone else", it's absolutely heartwrenching.
- The scene where baby Rollo tearfully begs his murdered mother to wake up.
- The death of Warbeak.
- Log-a-Log's death, espicially in the animated series.
Mariel of Redwall
- The hares of the Long Patrol have a heroic last stand to help the prisoners they've rescued from sea rats escape. Most of them die. "My running days are over." "Hate to remind you, old thing, but we didn't come here to run."
- Spriggat the hedgehog's death. Especially his last words about going to find a green forest filed with flying insects.
- Urthstripe's entire life story. First his parents are killed and he is separated from his brother at birth, then his stepdaughter runs away leaving him thinking she hated him, then just as he is about to be reunited with his family he kills himself along with the Big Bad Feragho.
- Even more heart-wrenching is the fact that Mara never got the chance to reconcile with him before he died.
- "Whurr be moi ol' nuncle Burrley? Burrhurrhurrhurr..."
- The quote itself is from when Drooney, a baby mole, cries for his Uncle Burrley, who had just passed away. Thurggan comforts the poor thing, saying his uncle had to leave but will return some sunny season. D'awww.
Martin the Warrior
- It wasn't entirely unexpected that Martin the Warrior would feature a Downer Ending, as it was necessary for anything in the preceding books to make sense, but this didn't stop it from being well and truly worthy of inclusion on this page. Rose, the love of Martin's life, is killed in battle and he goes into exile. This summary doesn't begin to do it justice.
Goodbye, my friend, and thank you, thank you, thank you
- Also, think about it: Polleekin knew. She said that a bad fate would befall them if they were to return to Marshank, but she refused to say what in case she was wrong. Still, they left with every intention of going back there, and that makes Rose's last song to Polleekin especially sad.
It makes me sad to leave you upon this summer day.
Don't shed a tear or cry now, goodbye now, goodbye now,
I'm sure I'll see you somehow if I pass by this way.
For the seasons don't fortell
Who must stay or say farewell
And I must find out what lies beyond this place.
But I know deep in my heart
We are never far apart
While I have a memory of your smiling face.
Goodbye, my friend, and thank you, thank you, thank you
Your kindness guides me ever as I go on my way.
- Worse; what if she did know she was right and Rose would definitely die, but also knew the horrors that would happen in Mossflower if Martin never left to found Redwall?
- Felldoh's death. He goes down fighting, beating Badrang up first, and then after Badrang calls upon a dozen of his horde to help, Felldoh takes several with him. After he dies, his friends honor him yet at the same time admit what he did was foolish. Though if Badrang had kept his promise to fight him one-on-one, Felldoh would have easily killed him and ended the book 10 chapters early.
- The orphans on the island, the two youngest still waiting for their caregiver to Please Wake Up.
- Mellus' funeral and Blaggut's return immediately thereafter.
- Finbarr sails off on the calm sea...
Outcast of Redwall
- Veil's mother Bluefen was a physically frail girl whose life consisted of implicitly being terrorized by her abusive warlord father, taken as chattel by an equally violent stranger, and eventually impregnated by said stranger — who cared nothing for her or her child whatsoever, only to die of childbirth after a hard winter. She's buried with practically no ceremony and quickly forgotten.
- Skarlath's death, full stop. For bonus points, there's the build-up as Nightshade prepares to shoot him.
- Shortly after he dies, Sunflash grabs a leaf and blows on it to make the whistling sound that was always their call to meet before dropping it in the river. At that point you just wanna jump in the book and give the guy a big hug...
- Then there's the bit where Sunflash has to explain to his adoptive family that Skarlath won't be coming home.
- Veil's storyline in general is tragic. His mother is dead, his father abandoned him in a ditch, and most at Redwall write him off as a lost cause from the moment he arrives. His reaction to his banishment is especially saddening: "I've got no family, I'm alone. What will I do?" He did bring it on himself, but given his life, he's still pitiable. There's also the way he adopts "the Outcast" as his title, as if it was his destiny.
The Pearls of Lutra
- When Piknim is brutally murdered by jackdaws. Even worse since she wasn't a warrior, just a simple mousemaid, and Jacques spent a lot of time fleshing her character out and making the reader love her, which makes the event itself all the more saddening.
- Romsca finally accepting the Abbott's kindness right before dying.
The Long Patrol
- Rockjaw Grang's death. Especially with Cregga dreaming of it and waking up yelling Eulalia with him as he falls.
Legend of Luke
- Part 2. Possibly the only real tragedy in the series.
- All of this is summed up at the end, when Luke returns home and finds that his clan has been attacked and taken into slavery. The man ran out in a captured boat with no nautical experience in his quest for revenge, and now he's been taken as an oar slave and has lost his entire family without him there to defend them.
- Martin speaking to his deceased father.
- The slaughter of Luke's tribe, including his wife, happens two days after Martin was born. He lost his mother that young.
- The deaths of Fleetscut and Jukka, having finally made up with each other only to abruptly die defending the cellars of Salamandastron. It hits especially hard since Fleetscut had been a main character up to this point.
- When the tapestry is stolen, Rusvul lights into his son Dann and accuses him both of shirking his duty by playing games, and cowardice. Dann, who was already suffering from a pretty bad case of "Well Done, Son!" Guy, is devastated.
- Cregga's death, especially coupled with the dying visions she has of her old Long Patrol and the song of a triumphant, long-gone battle that's being sung at the time.
- Rillflag's death and Deyna's kidnapping. This was just outright tragic. Imagine you just met your baby brother, your father takes him into the woods. Never returns, you assume both are dead (For the equivalent of 15 years) The fact that Mhera and Filorn cried for a week straight. You would have to have a heart made of solid ice not to cry reading those chapters.
- Wild Mass Guessing has it that Madd and Fwirl are mother and daughter; their stories of slaughtered families are identical, and Fwirl mentions she found her mother with a head injury and she wouldn't wake, while Madd woke from a coma some days afterwards. They never meet each other in the book, and Madd has become a psychotic murderer.
- Shogg's death. Made worse by the fact that he died trying to kill an adder that Triss or Sagax could've easily defeated on their own...
- Bragoon and Saro's Heroic Sacrifice. Even more depressing by the fact the quest they died for was completely pointless at the end.
- The passing mention of the map being from the "ancient time" of Matthias. Two books ago, the story of how Matthias killed Cluny was common knowledge. Now, one realizes that Matthias, and by extension, everyone in the every book set prior to it, has faded into legend, and may be almost entirely forgotten.
- Brinty's Dying Moment of Awesome.
The Sable Quean
- Globby's death. Brat or no, he was basically just a messed up, hungry kid. After his failed escape attempt leaves him cornered in the attic, terrified of the Redwallers who've been beating and threatening him, he breaks down and sobs. After dying gruesomely, he goes completely unmourned.