View Full Version : Over the Horizon

Mara Badgermum
November 8th, 2007, 11:49 AM
Well I told you all I was doing my research paper on Mariel and Dandin and I just got the grade back from my Prof so I thought I would share it with you all. It's not exactly fan fiction but I thought it would be getter to post it here than up above. There's lots of spoilers so check the Works Cited if your worried about that.

Works Cited
Jacques, Brian. The Bellmaker. New York: Ace Books, 1994.
---. Loamhedge. New York: Philomel Books, 2003.
---. Mariel of Redwall. New York: Avon Books, 1991.
---. Marlfox. New York: Ace Books, 1998.
---. Martin the Warrior. New York: Firebird, 1993.
---. Mattimeo. New York: Avon Books, 1990.
---. Mossflower. New York: Philomel Books, 1988.
---. Redwall. New York: Philomel Books, 1986.
Anywho, here's part one, enjoy:

Over The Horizon
An Epilogue is often added to the end of a novel to give the reader a bit more information about the outcome of the lives of the characters. This is an excerpt of one such epilogue:

"The little mouse Jerril climbed down from the arm of the chair. 'What 'appened to Mariel an' Dandin?' he asked.
"The old hedgehog answered from the depths of his armchair. 'They stopped at Redwall for a season, then one mornin' Dandin, Mariel, an' Bowly Pintips took the Pearl Queen an' sailed out, to see what was over the horizon they said'” (Bellmaker 395).

This is all the information author, Brian Jacques, gives concerning the future of the relationship between two of his most beloved characters: Dandin the warrior mouse and his friend and fellow warrior, Mariel the mousemaid. The question asked by every fan of the saga, however, is this: did the two mice of opposite gender and similar age eventually get married and settle down, or did they only ever remain friends, questing and fighting evil till the end of their seasons? The question was not suitably answered in the first book written about the pair, Mariel of Redwall published in 1991, so fans clamored for a sequel to tie up the loose ends. They were rewarded in 1994 with The Bellmaker, but were still, as the quote illustrates above, left wanting. So the debate continues with fans taking both sides. The evidence from not only these two books but from the pattern of the whole saga, however points more strongly to the conclusion that the couple were only ever best friends.

The precedent for marriage and romance in the stories was set up in the very first book written by Mr. Jacques. The father Abbot tells Matthias the Warrior and the young female Cornflower, “A warrior needs a good wife. You are the beauty that will grace Redwall and rule the heart of our Matthias”(Redwall 349). This pattern of warrior takes a wife continued in the next book in the series, in which the son of Matthias and Cornflower, Mattimeo, married his friend and traveling companion, Tess Churchmouse (Mattimeo 445). The prequels also have their share of romantic friendship leading to marriage. Gonff the mousethief, friend of the great Martin the Warrior, wedded the lovely Columbine (Mossflower 426), and Martin himself would have unarguably married Rose of Noonvale had she not been tragically killed in battle (Martin 364).

With all these wonderful examples of romance leading to the marriage of the male and female leads in so many of the Redwall stories, one might be wondering if there are any examples to the contrary. Yes, there are. The most notable of these are the relationship of Bragoon and Sarobando from the book Loamhedge and that of Dannflor and Songbreeze from the book Marlfox. Fans of the books, no doubt, will be up in arms at the inclusion of Bragoon and Saro, as one was an otter and the other a squirrel and therefore they could have never actually married. However, they are included here because in all their many seasons of traveling together neither member of this male/female pair ever considered marrying someone else. The friendship that they shared filled any need of companionship that either creature ever felt. “Two old warriors, who had left Redwall Abbey when they were Dibbuns, paw in paw, lay on the rockledge together. They never saw the sunrise that dawn, but they went on to the land of sunny slopes and quiet streams—still holding paws” (Loamhedge 410). They lived and died together as friends.

Mara Badgermum
November 8th, 2007, 11:52 AM
k here's part 2 including the comments from my Prof:

Dann and Song had nothing like this excuse. They were both squirrels of the same age who had a great many things in common. They were both the children of warriors, and they fought along side each other as warriors to return the famous tapestry of Martin the Warrior back to its rightful place at Redwall Abbey. Yet it is a fact that this match seemingly made in heaven did not end in their marriage. Upon returning to the Abbey, Dannflor Reguba was made the Abbey Champion just as Matthias and Mattimeo were in seasons gone by. His friend and traveling companion, Songbreeze Swifteye, was named the Abbess of Redwall, a position which, of course, demands the celibacy of its occupant (Marlfox 359).

There are plenty of examples on ether side of the argument concerning other characters but this still does not settle whether Dandin and Mariel specifically would or would not have married. Dandin is not Matthias or Bragoon and Mariel is not Cornflower or Saro. They are unique personalities and therefore must be examined as such. So the question is: do Dandin and Mariel have the romantic characteristics necessary to lead them into a marriage relationship? Dandin, for one, does seem to have with in him the ability to love. We find this out before he ever meets Mariel. Dandin and his friend Saxtus practically fall over themselves fawning over a young squirrelmaid named Treerose (Mariel 38). This would not be terribly significant except for the fact that Sister Sage compares them to she and Brother Hubert when they were young and “in love”(Mariel 40). Mariel on the other hand scoffs at romantic expression. She makes the mistake of mentioning to the hare, Tarquin Woodsorrel, that she has met his beloved Hon Rosie. Then rather than sleep or talk about weapons “ . . . she had to lie there listening to Tarquin composing dreadful love songs and plunking odd chords on his harolina”(Mariel 73-74).

When Mariel first arrives at Redwall Abbey, she is “ragged” and “filthy” (Mariel 79). She is told to go right up and get a bath and new clothes but she refuses. “Dandin saw something in the mousemaid's face, something which reminded him of himself. . . . 'If she says she's alright, then she is. Let her be'”(Mariel 80). From the beginning he sticks up for her because he sees her as an equal. Mariel is told that she looks very pretty, when she does get cleaned up a bit, and Dandin is certainly impressed by the change as well, but Mariel says, “'Pretty? What's that supposed to mean? I feel stupid with this dress on and half the hide scrubbed off me. . .'” (Mariel 85 & 86). Dandin even starts to show off for Mariel, but rather than sit and be impressed she takes it as a challenge and joins in with him (Mariel 93).

Their relationship continues on much in the same manor, with Dandin as the affectionate one and Mariel as the competitive tom-boy. She strives, throughout their quest, to be counted as one of the guys. A rat captain, once made the mistake of calling her pretty. “'Should have whacked you over the ears: it would have cleared some of the muck from them. I never asked for complements . . .'” she told him(Bellmaker 53). And Dandin is right there fighting along side her, teasing her (Bellmaker 11), holding her paw (Mariel 86), and even “ . . .cradling her head in his lap . . .” when she is injured and they are in prison (Bellmaker 124). It seems that he could have at some point fallen in love with her, but Mariel was far too venturesome to return his affections.

The most convincing argument, however, for a life long friendship between Mariel and Dandin is the word of Redwall Abbey's greatest authority, Martin the Warrior. “Martin is the champion and founder of Redwall Abbey, a great warrior mouse who lived countless seasons ago. His guidance is peerless, and his words, though often shrouded in mystery, always carry a message of hope and truth” (Bellmaker 38). So what does Martin have to say about the relationship of these two mice? Before Mariel leaves on her first quest, when the Abbeybeasts are telling Dandin that it is not his place to go along with her, Martin appears in the dream of the blind herbalist, and tells him, “Simeon, friend, Dandin must go. Mariel needs him. . . . The blood of Gonff flows in Dandin. Mariel needs a friend as I once did” (Mariel 129). Not only does Martin say they are to be friends, he compares the two of them to himself and his friend Gonff. He doesn't compare them to himself and Rose or to Gonff and Columbine. Martin once needed a friend, when he was cold and alone and had recently lost the love of his life(Mossflower 38). Martin put the idea of romantic love behind him after Rose died and chose to put his passions into fighting for the truth and justice of all creatures (Martin 371). So too, Mariel had been torn away from her father by a tyrannical pirate, and she chose not to run into loving arms for comfort, but instead, to take up the struggle against that tyranny (Mariel 128). She needed a friend, like Martin did, and Dandin, like his ancestor Gonff before him, took on that role and was a friend to her. He was a life long friend to her, as Gonff was to Martin. Even though he may have been tempted at times to a life of love and home and family, he stayed by her side. "A wave of longing for his old home swept over him. What was he doing here, four seasons away from the Abbey he had been brought up in, going off to fight some other beast's war? Then he thought of Mariel, the truest mousemaid he had ever stood alongside, through thick and thin over many adventures, trekking, eating, thinking, and fighting together in all manor of strange places, making new friends and fighting many enemies. . . . This was the life; he would not have had it any other way” (Bellmaker 71).

As romantic as it would be to believe that these two mice got married and lived happily ever after, the evidence of the pattern in the saga, the personalities of the characters, and the authority of the guiding spirit of the Abbey all point to the conclusion that they did not. Mariel and Dandin may have found many great adventures over the horizon, but they surely did not find wedded bliss.

This is a very unusual research paper, but I can see why you think it would stand as an argumentative paper. It is most imaginative. You have all your documentation correct, which is the big point of this paper. This one really was interesting to read. You have only the one documentation error, so that is very good. 190/200 A