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Essay:Mossflower's Ripfang vs Lord Brocktree's Ripfang

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Articledrive This is an essay. It is not a policy or guideline, it simply reflects some opinions of its authors. Discuss this essay on the talk page or in the comments below.

Though it has been said by Brian Jacques himself that Mossflower 's Ripfang is not the same character as the Ripfang in Lord Brocktree, there are several odd coincidences that cause some to believe that both searats are one and the same.

It is debatable how Lord Brocktree 's Ripfang could outlive Brocktree and be alive when Boar the Fighter is old, but it is true that Mossflower 's Ripfang is stated to be quite old. Also, Brocktree's own age is unspecified in Lord Brocktree, and seeing as Stonepaw, his father, is an ancient badger, Brocktree may very well be middle aged. It is clear that Boar has been born by the time Lord Brocktree takes place, but it is unclear how long Brocktree has been traveling; Boar may be an adult by the time the book takes place, and if Ripfang was a young searat in Lord Brocktree, he may very well have lived to when Boar was old. Still, this is highly unlikely as badgers live much longer than rats, making this argument the least backed by hard evidence.

Both are searats with one long fang protruding from their mouths, and both attack Salamandastron. Ripfang in Lord Brocktree is the only villain besides Groddil and the Grand Fragorl that escapes, and his survival is described much more heavily than the other two survivors combined. It is also known that this Ripfang escapes with a ship filled with soldiers, and proclaims himself captain of this ship. Though the two quarrel constantly, Ripfang does seem to have at least some affection for his brother, Doomeye, as when he tells Ungatt Trunn of seeing Brocktree for the first time, he asks if he and Doomeye are still captains. Doomeye dies thanks to his shooting Brocktree, and revenge for his brother, coupled with the power of holding Salamandastron, may be the motives for Mossflower 's Ripfang. Also, in Mossflower, Boar the Fighter states that Ripfang had been inside Salamandastron previously.

Finally, there is Lord Brocktree 's mention of Ripfang's recurring dream of a badger, clearly stated not to be Brocktree himself. This badger terrifies Ripfang in the same way Brocktree terrifies Ungatt Trunn, and throughout the book prophetic dreams are used for Brocktree to see Trunn and vice-versa. Trunn and Brocktree are arch-enemies, and they see each other in dreams, the former being evil and terrified of the latter. Ripfang is evil, and is terrified of the badger, whose description sounds quite similar to Brocktree. Many fans have speculated that this badger is Boar the Fighter himself; the reference seems very clear and, coupled with the other coincidences including that both share the same name and Jacques' history of developing villains throughout two books (such as using Chickenhound in Redwall as a minor character to mold Slagar the Cruel in Mattimeo as the prime antagonist) seem to indicate that Mossflower 's Ripfang and Lord Brocktree's Ripfang are a single entity.

Still, it must be noted that despite this evidence, Brian Jacques' remark that the naming of the characters is a coincidence debunks any theory that the two Ripfangs are the same. A piece of evidence also backs up Jacques' claim: in Mossflower, Ripfang's fang came from the right side of his jaw, and in Lord Brocktree, the fang came from the center.

It is possible that the two characters could be related, but highly unlikely.

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