Famous Literary Swords: The Sword of Martin the Warrior

>> Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Sword of Martin the Warrior
The Redwall series by Brian Jacques

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

It was an ordinary enough sword, with a "red pommel stone...set into the top of the hilt. The handle was of black leather and silver to match the belt and scabbard. Below a heavy silver crosspiece was the blade. Made from the finest steel, its double edges tapered to a ruthlessly sharp tip. Down the center of the blade ran a blood channel..." (Redwall, pg. 293, British edition)
It was first wielded by Luke the Warrior, who gave it to his young son Martin before he left to go avenge the death of his wife. But in his absence a tyrant named Badrang took the young Martin and his grandmother as slaves to work on his fortress of Marshank. He even took the sword of Martin's father.
Though his grandmother did not survive, Martin did, and when a mouse named Rose appeared (perhaps I should have mentioned--they're all animals) Martin and others made thier escape and soon battled Marshank to free the rest of the slaves. It was in this final battle that Martin took back his sword and slew Badrang with it.

Years passed and he made his way to Mossflower country, where another tyrant, the wildcat Tsarmina, took him prisoner. She broke his sword in half and hung it about his neck as a badge of shame. When Martin escaped with newfound friens they set out to find the legendary Boar the Fighter to aid them in thier fight for Mossflower's freedom. Boar forged a new blade for the broken from a "fallen star" and the questers returned to free Mossflower.
Once all were free Martin founded Redwall Abbey and hung up his sword, swearing never to fight again.

Generations later when the warlord Cluny the Scourge threatened Redwall's peace, a young mouse named Matthias set out to find Martin's legendary sword and keep Redwall safe.
The sword wielded by many other warriors throughout, and was sometimes stolen (or attempted to be stolen) by ruthless villains who viewed the weapon as "magic." But as Matthias told his son Mattimeo, "...this is only a sword, Mattimeo. It does not make you a warrior merely because you carry it. Weapons may be carried by creatures who are evil, dishonest, violent or lazy. The true warrior is good, gentle and honest. His bravery comes from within himself; he learns to conquer his own fears and misdeeds."

The illustrations of the sword are very usually the same. The best representation is probaly shown in the American cover of Redwall:

The only time it varied slightly was in one of Fangorn's illustrations for The Legend of Luke, with a pommel fashioned completely from a red stone:

3 Comments:

Faerie Artisan August 25, 2012 at 7:21 PM  

I would love to see this sword brought to life by Weta Workshop.

Celtic Traveler August 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM  

Oh, you just gave me a heart attack:)
That would be too phenomonal for words.

Anonymous August 30, 2012 at 4:10 PM  

Absolutely love the Redwall series!!! And I love how the sword and its history gets passed on thru each of Brian Jacques' wonderful books no matter how much time has elapsed.

I Am An Otter

You're an otter, mate! Another good friend of Redwall, you are a natural swimmer and a deadly fighter especially with a long bow or javellin. Camp Willow is your home, just as Redwall is your second home. You have a good heart and a strong sense of loyalty. You absolutely love Shrimp and Hotroot soup, living by the motto "Ain't nothing 'otter for an Otter!".

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