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Good Vermin and Bad Woodlanders
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Thread: Good Vermin and Bad Woodlanders

  1. #1
    Dibbun
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    Good Vermin and Bad Woodlanders

    I’m sure this has been discussed a lot but it isn’t being at the moment and I see no harm in bringing it up.

    The question is rather simple, would you like to see more good vermin and/or bad woodlanders?

    Some background:

    On the official Redwall site in the Ask Brain section he is quoted as saying “No! The goodies are good and the baddies are BAD, no grey areas,” in response to the question of good vermin and bad woodlanders. On the other hand he blatantly ignores this ideal in many of his books.

    Here’s a list
    Bad “goodies”
    Gawtrybe – A tribe of squirrels who were incredibly evil in a most disturbing way. Rather than evil like Cluny that has direction and restraints this was evil of an almost childish nature. While they seemed to enjoy causing pain and death more than any of the vermin in any of the books they radiated a twisted innocence; it was all a game – they weren’t doing anything wrong, just playing.
    Spoiler!

    Aggril – A hedgehog, poisons those who come near a cherry grove he has claimed as his own, only spared the lives of Martin and company because there were under the protection of an owl. While it is not shown in the book it is clearly stated that he is a murder.
    Druwp – A bankvole, slave of Marshank, betrays his fellow prisoners repeatedly for food.

    Good “baddies”
    Blaggut - A very simple-minded sea rat who was good to the core. As soon as he was in a place where he saw what being good meant he couldn’t go back and even did the most unthinkable thing, in his mind, because it was just.
    Graylunk –A weasel, while he started out evil he repented and left the only (real) friend he ever had in an effort to protect her and others.
    Romsca – A ferret who befriended and saved the abbot of Redwall. There is little doubt that she did her share of bad, she was corsair, all that is shown in the book is neutral and good.

    Gray areas
    Veil – A ferret, the ultimate gray area. Veil is without question evil, anyone who says otherwise should seek psychiatric help. Veil is without a doubt good, anyone who disagrees should read the ending again.
    Spoiler!
    The fact that evil and good, the highest forms of the two no less, could coexist in one animal eliminates any chance of the black and white picture Brian says exists.
    The tribe of Amballa – Pygmy shrews who though good in most respects keep slaves.
    The tribe of Jukka – A tribe of squirrels. While Jukka had definite leanings in the direction of good the tribe as a whole were amoralists. They made it quite clear that they would love to let Ungatt Trunn rule over all if it meant that they didn’t have to walk. In this case, while they were not bad, the “goodies” were NOT good.
    Wildcats – A species (obviously.) Julian was good, Tsarmina was evil, Gingervere was good, Ungatt Trunn was evil. Verdauga we are unsure of, we only see one decision made by him which Martin the Warrior himself says is just. He does not seem to command the hate of those under his rule, and indeed after it was established they chose of their free will to remain. On the other hand he was a conquerer and did fight a war to get his power killing many in the process. However he does not do anything (that we know of) that is actually evil so at worst he is simply bad. In that case we see that Wildcats occupy both ends of the spectrum, good and evil, and even the intermediary of “bad”.
    The gray rats of the Marlfoxes – Some were evil, no doubt, but the majority were portrayed as too simple minded to be good or evil. They simply followed orders. The moment there wasn’t someone telling them to do bad things they surrendered. They didn’t mind being disarmed and stranded, they made a game out of it.

  2. #2
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    Never mind, disregard this post.
    Last edited by Jodan; September 9th, 2004 at 04:20 PM.

  3. #3
    Patroller Aleisou Swiftpounce's Avatar
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    That was rat, and he was already mentioned: it was Blaggut.

    And you should put
    Spoiler!
    in spoilers
    I personally find that the world limit in a signature is far too short for my liking; I have so many wonderful ideas that I could put in here, yet there is not enough space! In the previous few days, I have tried to copy and paste several interesting essays into this miniscule space, but none have worked. I feel imprisoned by these ridiculous restrictions and would like a word with the administrator! There is absolutely no reason for this save for the conservation of bandwith, which admittedly

  4. #4
    Patroller: General Ferahgo the Assassin's Avatar
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    I remember reading that statement where BJ said the goodies are good and the baddies are bad, and I always wondered why he ignored this so much in some the books.

    I like it when vermin turn good and woodlanders turn bad. It adds some unexpectedness to a series where usually good and evil has strict boundaries. (It could be argued that the Redwall books are very racist because of this, haha.)

    I would, however, like to see a vermin turn good by its own decision rather than being forced. (Most of the good vermin seemed forced in one way or another.) Or a vermin that chose to be good its whole life, was brought up good, had good parents, etc. etc. But I dunno, maybe that would be too boring ...
    "Luck, good or bad, is not the hand of God. Luck is the way the wind swirls and dust settles eons after God has passed by." - Winston Niles Rumsfoord, The Sirens of Titan

  5. #5
    Patroller: General LadyBeelze's Avatar
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    I was so disappointed when i read The Taggerung since i thought Denya being raised by vermin would be bad and vile like them. But he was not, he was a good ol woodlander and all. -.- But yes i'd like to see bad woodlanders, good vermin. Both would be a intresting aspect to a future redwall book.
    ~ YdAl EzLeEb

  6. #6
    Patroller Felldoh's Avatar
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    Yeah... I've mentioned before that Brian pretty much contradicts himself on the issue of good/bad/grey characters, and I've also mentioned a few times that'd I love a vermin good guy (namely a ferret). You sure put alot of thought into the topic and made it nicely organized. Good job.
    He's pouring his heart out to me and all I can think is, "I really want that burrito in the fridge. I'm glad I got sour cream today."

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  7. #7
    Dibbun
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyBeelzebumon
    I was so disappointed when i read The Taggerung since i thought Denya being raised by vermin would be bad and vile like them. But he was not, he was a good ol woodlander and all.
    Same here but it did make some sense.

    Denya, who a usually call Tagg, wasn’t raised like we expect a normal vermin to be. For one thing he had a position of honor and whenever someone disrespected him they were punished. While it is presumably normal vermin tradition to pick on those weaker or younger than yourself. As such he never learned how to hate.

    Similarly he was never in a conflict. His entire upbringing was during an unusual peace. If we assume that searats come from where searats are (good assumption I think) then they must be in a place where the almost constantly see killing, it isn’t right or wrong, it’s a way of life. Their entire town might be killed by their own father or mother.

    Similar things go for other types of vermin, if they are raised in a marauding band then what they see must effect them.

    Tagg never once was forced to kill, and if he wasn’t forced to at least once, and he never learned how to hate, why would he want to kill? By the time his adopted father tried to force him it was too late.

    The only other one we see raised at the time and place of Tagg is under a very different set of circumstances. He is constantly indoctrinated with hate by his mother, so of course he grew up to be hateful.

    -

    That line of reasoning made me think that maybe we shouldn’t assume that good and evil falls by species in Redwall. When I look back at Veil I doubt that he was born evil. After all doesn’t it tell us that he is constantly demeaned and belittled, doesn’t it say he is always blamed for everything whether he did it or not? If you were raised like that how could you not turn out bad?

    It stands to reason that he would come to hate the Redwallers and be distrustful of all, even the one who loved him. The only way he had to strike back was to do what they accused him of. Then they just accused him of it more. He became the names they called him, so when they started calling him evil that’s what he became.

    How many times do you have to tell a child that they’re evil before they believe it themselves? Veil was never taught right from wrong because he was always told he was wrong, no matter what he did. While you can’t forgive him for what he did, or tried to do, you can understand it. You can also say that the Redwallers are probably as responsible as he was. If you teach a child hate and surround them by their enemies it’s only natural that they strike out.

    If he were raised in another place he may well have turned out all right. He proved that he was the kind of animal that would act, he would take things to the extreme. It only makes sense that if they had taught him to be good he would have taken good to the extreme, in fact he did it anyway.

    -

    Yes I think about this far too much. I've just finished reading all of the books again in publication order and am about halfway through them in chronological order

  8. #8
    Patroller: General Cheesethief's Avatar
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    nice topic, well presented chris.
    i would like to see bad woodlanders. recently here have been good bad guys, and although they still number but a few, it is probably better that way to be honest.
    but i would really like to see a good crow etc. we havent had that yet and, well, heres hoping.
    Hey, buds. I haven't been here in, well, a good while. Last visited January 9th...Well, I'm sorry to have forgotten you guys. Some of you (Most, I hope) will remember me, and others will, I'm sure, have been told about me, and warned to lock up their daughters and wives. Heh. Anyway, I'm posting a thread about my future here, so...get over there. Read it.

  9. #9
    Patroller Senav's Avatar
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    Tagg may not have been in any major battles, but he was raised in a society where violence solves everything. It's doubtful he was ever taught proper manners, yet throughout the book he saying please, thank you, and referring to ladies as ma'am. Never once did he show sign of ill will.
    Spoiler!
    Another thing I noticed was that he had no accent. No shortening "and" to "an'" (something I do). He didn't even say "matey", and he's a bloody OTTER, the most nautical species of all.
    Pacific Ocean spotted off East Coast!

  10. #10
    Patroller Cinnabarr Rivershell's Avatar
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    I liked Tagg, but I was also dissapointed that he was all
    Spoiler!
    "You are who you associate with." It's a fact of life, but not dear Taggety Tagg.
    -Cinnabarr Rivershell

    I run therefore I am

  11. #11
    Patroller Barrag Barr's Avatar
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    What about that fat old prince from Triss the one hat was killed by very hot breakfast....Bladd or whater he was called,was he good bad grey or just stupid
    Thats what metal gears about 3/4 hour philsophical disscusions before fights

  12. #12
    Dibbun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrag Barr
    What about that fat old prince from Triss the one hat was killed by very hot breakfast....Bladd or whater he was called,was he good bad grey or just stupid
    I left him out for a reason, no idea what it was. It obviously wasn't a good one.

  13. #13
    Dibbun
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    I'd like to see some bad woodlanders.

    Spoiler!
    When in trouble,
    When in doubt,
    Run in cricles,
    Sceam and shout!
    Yah Slags!
    ~ A fan of STCP since 2.0 ~

  14. #14
    Patroller Lonna Bowstripe's Avatar
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    How about those 2 rats who come to Redwall and build a boat for the Dibbuns? I forget which book it's in.
    -LB

  15. #15
    Patroller Cornflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrag Barr
    What about that fat old prince from Triss the one hat was killed by very hot breakfast....Bladd or whater he was called,was he good bad grey or just stupid
    I personally like to consider Bladd as a good character. From what I can recall he never really did anything bad. It made me upset when he died, as I didn't think he really deserved to.

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