August 21st, 2005
So. hi. I've been a member of the ROC for almost a year now. As you can infer from the title of this editorial, my primary alias on Redwall fan sites is Sawney Rath - I use this name on Terrouge, the RedVenture 2 forums, and Cal's Redwall. On the Redwall Vermin Alliance, I am known as Ripfang. I have never registered on this site's forums, but I have occasionally lurked here. I enjoy the Redwall series very much and have been reading avidly since shortly before Loamhedge came out (no decline for me).
Just thought I should do that personal history. Now, onto the editorial. I have some strong disagreements with the editorial entitled "Who's the Mightiest Warrior" (found here) which Badrang3 posted. I'm going to lay them out here as a sort of challenge/duel thing, if you catch my drift.
I'm going to start by saying that I think you're focusing too much on what we see of each character in the book. That really isn't fair to the character because their role in the book they feature in may not necessarily be the role they play outside of the plot they are in. In reading comprehension it's very important to make certain assumptions about the characters, as a good writer will not tell you everything about a character right out. That's called Showing vs. Telling, but I won't go there as it's not my focus.
For example, take your assessment of Dannflor. You gave him 10 points for experience, which I agree with. Although I read Marlfox a very long time ago, I recall most of his experience was in the area of learning to live off the land, not fighting. I very much think that your style rating (5 points) is both unfair and unfounded. Dann is rarely shown fighting in the book, but he becomes Abbey Champion, so I believe that he must have had some sort of style. It's fairer to give him the half mark (12.5 points) than to give Dann a 5 merely because you don't know for sure that he wasn't just a generic warrior. Aggression is okay (since I haven't read Marlfox in a long time, I wouldn't remember specifics like that, and I don't want to mess up). Self-dependence, however, is another one that glares out at me. He may be with Song, Dippler, and Burble throughout the whole book, but I return to my argument that because he became Champion he likely developed more self-dependence than "8". The Abbey Champion is supposed to support those who are weak, and that requires more than anything else confidence in oneself. All in all, I think Dannflor deserves a higher grade than what you gave him.
While I'm on this track, I disagree with your views on Tagg as well. He certainly gained a great deal of experience (it is, after all, a 400-something page book). But, on the subject of style, remember that Tagg didn't kill creatures needlessly (he was not cheery about killing at all). His style was just the typical Redwall one, and he lucked out more than anything else. On the same path, Tagg isn't hugely aggressive until he takes the arrow near the end of the book. It's understandable that he would gain bloodwrath at being hit like he was and run out after the vermin. His self-dependence deserves to be pretty high, though, since he was after all trained to become the Taggerung. However, one could easily take the opposite view and say that once he was taken away from the Juskarath, Tagg could have learned to become more dependent on others (two are better than one, etc.). It's very unlikely that he would win a battle against seventeen other powerful creatures.
From that review of Tagg I'm going to lead into another gripe of mine: you can't really judge what a battle between all Redwall's great warriors would be like by reviewing the kind of attributes you chose to assess. The most important factor in any battle is luck, as evidenced by Tam in Rakkety Tam and Urgan Nagru in The Bellmaker. Someone as nondescript as Triss or someone as inexperienced as Sister Setiva could win a fight if luck was on their side. Also, I think careful consideration needs to be taken on the badgers' part. They get bloodwrath easily and are approximately twenty times bigger than your average mouse. I would certainly change your rankings to say that the winner would be a tie between Cregga, Lonna, and Sunflash, despite the fact that the last was not ranked.
So, in conclusion, I have several reasons why I disagree with you on the chances of these warriors beating one another. Firstly, you seem to be focusing entirely on the circumstances the plot of each book required and are not thinking outside of the box, wondering what would happen if Cregga Rose Eyes was thrown into Mariel's place. Secondly, statistics are nice to look at, but it's not impossible that the Cardinals could beat the Yankees in this year's World Series. Thirdly, badgers really are in a class of their own, and to put them together with mice and such is really unfair. If you're going to include badgers, give them an extra twenty points or so just because they're badgers.
I hope I haven't hurt you too much, and I look forward to a reply!