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One of the most controversial acts of the entire series is, in some opinions, the killing of Laterose, the daughter of Noonvale Chieftain Urran Voh, in the book Martin the Warrior. The book shows these two young mice, Martin the Warrior and Laterose, in a light that suggests a blossoming relationship. Throughout their adventures, from the Mirdops to the Gawtrybe, from Noonvale itself to the final confrontation, Martin is great friends with Laterose to the point of young love. In fact, the first time Martin sees Laterose (Rose), he is "thunderstruck." (pg 67) Adding to that mental image is the next description. "He stared silently into the most gentle hazel eyes that ever reflected starlight, lost for words as a quiet smile spread over the mousemaid's serene features." (pg 67) As witnessed, Martin is obviously stricken from the first moment he sees Rose. This initial reaction slowly dwindles from open gaping of the first moment to inconspicuous love when Martin tells Aryah, Urran Voh's wife, "I will take far greater care protecting her life than I will my own." (pg 310) But, alas, his vow is in vain. During the final battle, Rose charges Aryah|Badrang, and he hits her so hard that she flies into the walls of Marshank and breaks her neck. This crushes Martin, and he takes his feelings out on Badrang. After the battle, he is portrayed as a silent, grieving mouse. Finally, he breaks his silence and heads to Mossflower, where he is captured by Verdauga Greeneyes' troops. There begins the book Mossflower.
Now, the question arises: Why did Brian Jacques kill off Martin the Warrior's potential love? The answer lies in the rest of the series.
- If Rose had survived, Martin would have most likely stayed in Noonvale.
- If Martin had stayed in Noonvale, he would not have arrived in Mossflower.
- If he had not arrived in Mossflower, the woodlanders would not have thrown off the yoke of Kotir.
- In short, the entire series would cease to exist.
Now, this doesn't mean we have to be happy about this. In fact, we can protest as much as we want. But it won't change anything. The series probably could have worked out if Jacques had wanted it to. For example, Rose and Martin get together. They travel to Mossflower, and Rose escapes when Martin is captures by the Kotir patrol. Then, when Martin escapes from Kotir, Rose is waiting at Brockhall for him. Happy ending. But, it didn't work that way. So, we will have to be content with imagination and the book itself.