Brian Jacques, author of the Redwall series, died over the weekend of an aortic aneurysm. He was 71 years old. Jacques, who also wrote short stories and the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series, holds a special places in the heart of a certain type of nerd who grew up reading the Redwall books. We count ourselves very much among that group, having made it all the way through 2002's Triss before we started to feel like we'd already read this story. A 23rd and final installment in the series will come out in May. In honor of the man who created one of the more awesome fantasy worlds of the past twenty-odd years, we present the top ten Redwall characters.
10. Tansy Species: Hedgehog Appears in: Pearls of Lutra, The Long Patrol Reminds us of: Mary Poppins Why she's on the list: One of the better good-natured matronly characters in the series.
9. Grath Longfletch Species: Otter Appears in: The Pearls of Lutra Reminds us of: Matt Damon's character in the Bourne series. Why she's on the list: The revenge-bent loner was our favorite Redwall character trope, and Grath was particularly badass. This was the best of the non-core story books.
8. Basil Stag Hare Species: Hare Appears in: Redwall Reminds us of: Winston Churchill Why he's on the list: The rabbits seem like the species you'd want to get a beer with, and Basil most of all.
7. Cluny the Scourge Species: Rat Appears in: Redwall Reminds us of: Napoleon Why he's on the list: First villain written, and Jacques never topped him.
6. Bella of Brockhall Species: Badger Appears in: Mossflower, The Legend of Luke, Outcast of Redwall Reminds us of: Shaq Why she's on the list: The badgers are the most kick-ass species in the world of Redwall, and Bella's probably the most likeable of the bunch.
5. Samkin Species: Squirrel Appears in: Salamandastron Reminds us of: Frodo Why he's on the list: There are tons and tons of scrappy underdog heroes in these books, but we thought Samkin was the most believable and relatable.
4. Mariel of Redwall Species: Mouse Appears in: Mariel of Redwall, The Bellmaker Reminds us of: Joan of Arc Why she's on the list: People accuse this series of being repetitive. So maybe Mariel is just Martin with a different gender and a few new backstory details. Whatever -- we were something like ten years old at the time.
3. Finbarr Galedeep Species: Otter Appears in: The Bellmaker Reminds us of: Jeff Bridges/John Wayne's character in True Grit Why he's on the list: Every good warrior quest needs a reluctant yet indispensable old-timer.
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2. Sunflash the Mace Species: Badger Appears in: The Outcast of Redwall Reminds us of: Henry Rollins Why he's on the list: He's an intellectual character who kills bad guys with a goddamn tree. How do you not love that?
1. Martin The Warrior Species: Mouse Appears in: Nearly every single book, in one way or another Reminds us of: Jesus Christ and/or Mohammad (duh) Why he's on the list: If you've read any of the books, this should be self-evident
This is all completely subjective, of course. Tell us your favorites in the comments.