Matthias is walking down Great Hall when he stumbles and trips in front of the Tapestry of Martin the Warrior. Clumsily picking up the nuts he spilled, he reflects on the attitude of Martin, and staring at the tapestry flashes back to ten years before.
Matthias' poor village is invaded by the rats of Cluny the Scourge. His sister Myrtle manages to escape a fire with him, and begins a long trek away. Later, they are passing through a meadow and encounter Asmodeus. They flee through a thicket, but Myrtle trips and both of them tumble down a steep hill just outside Redwall Abbey. Abbot Mortimer and Constance find them and bring them inside. Matthias survives, but Myrtle dies from exhaustion.
After his sister's death, Matthias becomes very withdrawn and does not speak to any of the Redwallers. Eventually, a young mouse named Cornflower gets him to talk. Matthias then becomes friends with many of the Redwallers, especially Brother Methuselah.
Matthias' flashback ends with the Abbot helping Matthias with the nuts. He then sends Matthias off to catch a fish for an upcoming feast with Brother Alf. They catch a huge grayling, falling overboard in the process. Meanwhile, Cluny's army is approaching Redwall in a horse-drawn cart.
Later, after the feast, Abbot Mortimer instructs Matthias to take Cornflower and her family home in a small cart pulled by Constance. When they near Saint Ninian's Church, they hear a loud rumbling, and Constance quickly pulls the cart into the bushes. Cluny and his horde speed by, having missed the turn to Redwall. Matthias recognizes his enemy, and they quickly return to Redwall.
Back at the Abbey, Matthias and Constance relate what they saw to a worried crowd of Redwallers. Matthias says that Cluny is coming to conquer the Abbey, and gives a dramatic speech about how they will stand and fight, but Abbot Mortimer, who will hear no talk of fighting, interrupts and announces that a council will decide what to do.
At that moment, Cluny and his two captains, Redtooth and Darkclaw, knock on the gate of the Abbey under the guise of weary travelers. The Abbot allows them to enter to parley if they leave their weapons behind. Cluny hides his tail-spike under his cloak, and Darkclaw conceals a dagger in his boot. Upon entering, Cluny demands surrender, and Darkclaw begins to read the Articles of Surrender. Matthias hears Martin's voice, and tears the articles with his staff. Enraged, Darkclaw attacks Matthias, but is knocked to the floor by Constance. Cluny notices Martin's picture on the tapestry, and asks Abbot Mortimer its singificance. Constance then forces both rats to leave by threatening them with a table. Before exiting, Cluny vows to the Redwallers that he will have his revenge. Outside, he orders Shadow to climb the walls and steal it.
Meanwhile, Matthias is berating himself for believing Martin spoke to him and wanted him to save the Abbey. The episode ends with Cornflower restoring his self-confidence and giving him her headband, which he wears for the rest of the series.
Matthias the mouse is orphaned when the vile rat Cluny the Scourge destroys his township. Adopted by the generous creatures of Redwall Abbey, he grows up to admire their legendary protector, Martin the Warrior. But his dreamily peaceful young life is shattered when the Abbey is attacked by rats and Matthias meets their warlord-- none other than Cluny! Matthias resolves to fight the tyrant that once again threatens his life-- and new family.
Differences from Redwall
- In the book, Cluny does not know of Redwall when he first comes to Mossflower, while in the series, Redwall is why he came to Mossflower in the first place.
- Matthias' entire back story, including his sister Myrtle, was not in the book.
- Martin does not call out to Matthias in the book.
- Time is measured in years instead of seasons, as Abbot Mortimer describes Matthias as having resided at the Abbey for 10 years, and being age 13.
- Cornflower and Matthias have known each other for some time in the TV series, while in the book, they first met at the feast.
- Cornflower is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fieldmouse in the book, but in the TV series, her parents are Mr. and Mrs. Churchmouse.
- Skullface does not appear in the TV series, and is replaced by a random, unnamed rat. However, in A Favour Returned, Cluny mentions him as one of the dead captains.
- Cluny pretends to be a weary traveler in order to first enter the Abbey, and is only accompanied by Redtooth and Darkclaw. In the book, he is backed by his horde and blatantly introduces himself to the Redwallers as Cluny the Scourge.
- Darkclaw enters the Abbey with Cluny instead of Redtooth.
- Cluny summons Shadow to him before he first enters Redwall, while in the book, he calls for Shadow after Cluny returns to his camp.
- "What is a hero?"
- "Character Spotlight: Matthias"
- "My favorite hero"
- "Redwall Trivia"
- "Ask the Author: Brian Jacques"
|The Redwall TV Series, Season 1|
01 Cluny the Scourge - part I | 02 Cluny the Scourge - part II | 03 Treachery | 04 Sparra's Kingdom | 05 Cluny's Clowns | 06 High Standards | 07 Captain Snow (Redwall Season 1) | 08 Battle Plans | 09 The Visitor | 10 A Favour Returned | 11 Asmodeus (Redwall Season 1) | 12 Underground | 13 The Final Conflict