The Long Patrol Links Interviews Forums Brian Jacques Releases The Bookshelf Editorials Features

Religion in Redwall?
-Lord Trawnbull Thickstripe
January 22nd, 2005

According to "Ask Brian" Volume 2 located at, Brian Jacques states there is no religion in Redwall. However, I feel this is untrue. I believe BJ does not want to get into semantics regarding religion, and chooses not to disclose details about it. I firmly believe Redwall has *some* sort of religion. Let's look at the facts:

1. The central location IS AN ABBEY.

What's an Abbey? An abbey is a religious building that is part of a monastery or convent.

2. The leader is an Abbot or Abbess.

An Abbot generally belongs to a class of bishops and oversees abbeys. An Abbess is a nun who leads a convent (or an abbey).

3. Adults are referreed to as "Brothers", "Sisters", and "Friars".

"Brothers" are males involved with a religious order. "Sisters" are nuns or females involved with a religious order. "Friars" were Roman Catholic monks.

4. Afterlife

"Dark Forest" is referenced many times in the Redwall series. Vermin have been known to swear, saying "Hellsgates"! This is the afterlife, where dead characters go. When a character is on the verge of death, he or she sometimes runs into relatives or important people from their life "at the gates".

Atheists or unreligious types do not believe in the afterlife. The afterlife, Heaven and Hell, are all religious concepts.

5. Spirits

We are all familiar with the spirit of Martin the Warrior; he is the universal character in every book. Ghosts and spirits of other characters also turn up. Spirits generally come from the afterlife to speak to others, thus confirming again that the afterlife exists.

One could compare these "spirits", in a way, to angels.

6. Medieval times

The series is set in the Middle Ages, this is undeniable. The Middle Ages was the Christianization of the Roman Empire. Christianity was spread throughout Europe.

I believe this is some underlying symbolism for the time period and the setting.

7. Marriage We know marriage occurs in Redwall. We don't see these weddings, but there are married couples within the series. Marriage is a religious concept, especially considering the time period of the setting.

If believe these 7 points prove religion DOES exist in Redwall. If there wasn't a religion, said roles and references wouldn't have been made. You're free to disagree, but the above holds solidly.

-Lord Trawnbull Thickstripe

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