The Gang of Five

It certainly has been a crazy year, hasn’t it?  Well, thankfully, a new year is upon us and here at the Gang of Five forum we have a new year of showcases, prompts, and themes to get the new year started in the right way.  We wish you all a happy new year, and we look forward to what you have in store for us this year!

For the month of January we have a new character showcase.  Please warmly welcome Littlefoot's Mother! :)littlefoot The character showcase topic for this month can be found here.

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Digging Deeper Into the Biggest Series Plot Hole

Caustizer

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Something that I've noticed that nobody else has commented on (at least not that I have seen) is that the creatures of the mysterious beyond call their home "The Mysterious Beyond". Does that not seem odd to you that this is the case? The term was coined in the land before time 2 by the great valley dinosaurs who rarely venture outside their own valley (the GoF excepted) so how would it spread to the denizens who actually live there? Anyway onto the real topic of my post  :smile



While there are many plot holes that can be brought up over the course of all the movies (ie what happened to Ozzy and Strut, Dina and Diana, Cera's Mom, Petries Dad, and Ducky's Dad) I'm going to address the biggest one in the TV series which is undoubtedly about Chomper and Ruby. What are they doing in the great valley? How come the leaf-eater parents find them so easy to accept? Why is Red Claw so specifically mentioned as the Sharptooth villian when there are hundreds of other sharpteeth out there? I've fashioned a pretty long explanation of my own which could be right and could be wrong but is also appropriate enough that it could be in an E rated land before time episode:



I'll start with the heirchy of the Mysterious Beyond because its important to understand how things are where Ruby and Chomper grew up.  The majority of the large herds in the region have retreated to the Great Valley bringing a huge void in the food supply for the sharpteeth in the area, which due to the lack of water and intense heat makes everyday a struggle for survival. Assuming they are as smart as the great valley dinosaurs the Sharpteeth will band together, with the strongest of them all being the leader and having the pick of the kill. There are likely to be very few T-rex sharpteeth in this mix because of the lack of food, but plenty of fast-biters and other small carnivores. The fact that the larger Sharpteeth rule the smaller is demonstrated by Redclaw and his two thuggs (how they found out his name I don't know...but ill get to that point later) which don't get eaten by their larger master but rather are lead on by his ravenous hunger.


So lets talk about Redclaw now, as far as we have seen he is the only large sharptooth around the edges of the great valley and has a huge gash on the left side of his face which could never have been caused by any leaf eating dinosaur. I propose that in some prior time Redclaw was in fact the leader of the sharpteeth in the mysterious beyond (likely around the time of LBT I or II) but was cast out when he was defeated by another, younger and stronger sharptooth of similar size which gave him his scar.  Bitter and resentful about his loss of supreme power and status (he used to have his pick of mates and the kill) he moved west and took up a new territory closer to the great valley which was populated by mostly smaller sharpteeth, who quickly owned up to this new and proficiant predator who gives them their fill of his large kills. Before long he would develop a following amoungst them, setting the stage for the next set of events.

Wow this is turning out to be quite the wall of text...ok next part is about Ruby and her family.

Ruby's parents are all on their own in the mysterious beyond, with no others of their kind to associate with which brings into question many things about them which i couldn't possibly come up with an explaination for right now, but here is my theory about them:

Ruby's kind, refered to as Fast Runners, occupy an odd part in the food chain with their ability to eat meat or plants as the times demand, and this makes them excellant survivors but it also makes them subject to redicule from both the leaf eaters and sharpteeth, who wouldn't see them as belonging in either group. Sharpteeth would despise them for their weakness when eating leaves, while leaf eaters would hate them for stealing eggs, eating fish (or seashells), or picking meat off corpses. Ultimately Ruby and her parents are outcasts, but given what things are like in the mysterious beyond they likely do have a place, but not a favourable one. It's interesting to note that Ruby and her parents know how to speak sharpteeth language (as you can't promise Chomper's parents something if they can't understand you).


...



<The Sun glowingly sets in the horizon as the dry winds crossing the mysterious beyond begin to subside. Exhausted after a long day of searching for food, Ruby's father returns to the family nest where his wife, Ruby's mother, had just settled in. Suddenly he turns his head quickly at the sound of stomping foodsteps from around the ridge and cowers at the sight of a massive sharptooth gathered with nearly half a dozen fast biters, slowly making their way through the arid winds with their noses in the air, sniffing out the two fast runners>

Ruby's Dad:<To his wife> Hide dear! Redclaw is back!

<she dashes around the corner, but limps as if burdened>

Dad:<in sharptooth> Redclaw? There is no food here and the land is dry, why is it that you have come?

Screech: Lookie its the cowering little morsel at last

Thudd: Barely worth our time

Redclaw: Silence before I skin you both <once more they cower in fear> Now, I am here to deal with one of the many problems in MY land.

Dad: Problem....with what?

Redclaw: You are the problem <roars, Screech and Thudd do the same> You refuse to leave like the rest of your worthless family, I was merciful before for not hunting you like I would any other leaf eater, but you continue to try my patience!

Dad: But Redclaw we are one of your own, we hunted with your packs for generations and even paid our respects to you why are you casting us out like this?

Redclaw: No weak leaf eater is kin of mine. I tolerated your parents, however useful their speed might have been, but times have changed and I will have no more of you! If you are not gone out of my territory by the next rising of the great circle I will send my underlings to...make use of you... as like any other insignificant creature.

Sreech, Thudd, and other Fast Biters: <screeching and licking their lips>

Dad: But Redclaw be reasonable, my wife is about to lay her eggs we cannot go for fear of losing our children...

Redclaw: Then all the bigger feast for my own <scowls and walks away>

<The fast biters surround Ruby's dad screeching their thirst for blood, but a quick growl from their master and they relent, leaving him all alone on the arid sands>

Ruby's Mother:<approaches> What are we to do...It's almost my time I can feel it.

Dad:<look of sorrowful concern> The only thing we can do dear, run.

...

I suspect that there would be some sort of relationship between the sharpteeth and Ruby's parents because they are next of kin, but not completely the same. Likely this relationship was one on speaking terms (as opposed to kill on sight as with predator-prey) for if it wasn't then they never would have spoke to Chomper's parents or even considered bringing him into their family for a brief while while him and Ruby prepared to leave for the great valley. I'll post more analysis on this and possibly some more fan fic if anyone is interested.


raga

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The idea is interesting and seems to be a very possible explanation.  You should definetly consider writting a full fanfic on this story, including on Redclaw's past, since you seem so interested in it.  If you do I look foward to reading it.


Malte279

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Something that I've noticed that nobody else has commented on (at least not that I have seen) is that the creatures of the mysterious beyond call their home "The Mysterious Beyond". Does that not seem odd to you that this is the case? The term was coined in the land before time 2 by the great valley dinosaurs who rarely venture outside their own valley (the GoF excepted) so how would it spread to the denizens who actually live there?
How often do characters from outside the Great Valley use the term? I haven't seen all of the series episodes and none of them enough to know the cases by heart.
In LBT 7 the rainbowfaces use the term of course. In any case it may be that the term has become so much part of the "local dialect" that visitors just use it to be easier to understand.
In real life, when you are going abroad you may tell people where you go that you are from abroad even though from your perspectives it would actually them being from abroad. I admit this case is not exactly the same, but I still think it is a good example how we sometimes make concessions to be understandable ;)
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The majority of the large herds in the region have retreated to the Great Valley bringing a huge void in the food supply for the sharpteeth in the area, which due to the lack of water and intense heat makes everyday a struggle for survival. Assuming they are as smart as the great valley dinosaurs the Sharpteeth will band together, with the strongest of them all being the leader and having the pick of the kill. There are likely to be very few T-rex sharpteeth in this mix because of the lack of food, but plenty of fast-biters and other small carnivores. The fact that the larger Sharpteeth rule the smaller is demonstrated by Redclaw and his two thuggs (how they found out his name I don't know...but ill get to that point later) which don't get eaten by their larger master but rather are lead on by his ravenous hunger.
I disagree on some of these points. It is never ever said that a majority of large herds had retreated to the Great Valley. We know about migrating herds like those of the movies 4, 7, and 8 and in LBT 6 there is also a reference to herds (Mr. Threehorn's wondering about Doc being no part of one). Doc states that the Great Valley is nice but that there are other places just as nice and we saw a couple of them. In LBT 9 we have another case of a dinosaur who is not part of a herd (the longneck mother with her hatchlings) not to mention all those LBT 10 longnecks and LBT 13 had the Mysterious Beyond swarm with those Yellow Bellies. While the original movie and possibly LBT 2 and 3 assumed the Great Valley to be unique it has been very much disenchanted in the later sequels and the Mysterious Beyond suddenly seems to be a place with ample prey for the Sharpteeth. The thinking you ascribe to the sharpteeth seems very human to me and is shared by many fanfiction writers, but personally I consider it very unlikely. You are thinking of sharpteeth teaming up in some kind of army to attack the Great Valley and "conquer" in a large "battle" etc. From a Sharptooth's perspective however the Great Valley is not a good place to be. There is food of course, but the food there has teamed up and started to become dangerous to the hunter. In LBT 2 Chomper's parents left the Great Valley right after they had found him and I daresay this was not because they were so very kind but rather because it was a dangerous place for them. We see sharpteeth killed in or nearby the Great Valley repeatedly. And the usual sharptooth does not kill for the fun of it but for food only. And if food is to be found in less dangerous circumstances there is absolutely no point why sharpteeth would want to go into the Great Valley. Also larger herds of sharpteeth would need larger quantities of food. They would not benefit from teaming up in a large group as they would have to hunt down more prey to satisfy everyone. If all the sharpteeth are ganged together at one place rather than scattered as individual or in small groups it would be easy for leafeaters to avoid them. Such a larger herd of sharpteeth is not likely to be able to sustain itself for a long time, for where they are the leafeaters would probably leave soon. The herd would have to follow them (and need more nutrition to make up for the efforts of the long hunt). During such a chase it would be unlikely for them to bring down the amount of prey they need. Conflicts between the sharpteeth would be predictable (not in their nature to be bossed around unless they have a clear advantage of it). Teaming up of sharpteeth may work in small groups (especially in case of smaller raptors who wouldn't need as much food as the larger kinds would), but actual herds of sharpteeth would be doomed to starvation very quickly.

As for Ruby I agree that it is kind of odd that we never ever see any kind of reservations against her on the part of the Great Valley dinosaurs because of her being an omnivore. As for why she can understand sharptooth language I have my own theory on how she acquired that knowledge (and of how Chomper gained command of leafeater language come to that).


Caustizer

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I was actually just guessing about the Sharpteeth to be honest...to try and justify why Ruby's family has no issues with Chomper's parents (who are much bigger and more dangerous then Redclaw based on what we see in the movies) but seems horrified of Redclaw.

Apart from some of the minor points what do you think of the story? If people actually like it I could put up some of the ones I have for Ruby and Chomper's meeting, their introduction to the great valley, and why they don't have a problem with chomper as a sharptooth.


The Friendly Sharptooth

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Something that I've noticed that nobody else has commented on (at least not that I have seen) is that the creatures of the mysterious beyond call their home "The Mysterious Beyond". Does that not seem odd to you that this is the case? The term was coined in the land before time 2 by the great valley dinosaurs who rarely venture outside their own valley (the GoF excepted) so how would it spread to the denizens who actually live there?

Since unfortunately this matter is left to speculation, I cannot prove my guess, but I do believe that it might be possible nonetheless. What if The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure did not coin the phrase “Mysterious Beyond?” What if it’s a universal term that we only happened to see first with Great Valley residents because that is where the movie focused? If someone tells me a joke I’ve never heard, two possibilities go through my head: Did he or she make that up, or is it a common joke I’ve just never heard before?

I think that it might be possible that every location in The Land Before Time universe that has not been specified is simply known as the Mysterious Beyond. Examples of specified places would be The Great Valley, The Land/Valley of Mists, Berry Valley (lotta valleys, aye? :p) The Smoking Mountains, Saurus Rock, and so forth. What if every place that hasn’t been identified is part of the Mysterious Beyond, as, when something isn’t identified, is it not mysterious?

I see many western shows and movies (as in, cowboys and whatnot) where they use terms like “The Great Unknown” and “Uncharted Territory.” Could the Mysterious Beyond not be such an equivalent? There is another reason why I think it was not coined by Great Valley residents. In The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends, we meet three yellowbellies who have just arrived at the Great Valley for the first time. We can know this because they had no idea what the place was called. Judging by the questions they asked the children, I think it is safe to assume that Littlefoot and company were the first ones they encountered, and none of the kids ever used the term “Mysterious Beyond.” However, as the yellowbellies returned outside of the valley, they called the area the Mysterious Beyond. (Of course, they mixed up the GV and MB due to their simplemindedness, though Phoebe, upon hearing them use the phrase MB, turned them to the real thing. In conclusion, my stance is that it is a general term used by pretty much everyone to describe areas not named or really known about.

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While there are many plot holes that can be brought up over the course of all the movies (ie what happened to Ozzy and Strut, Dina and Diana, Cera's Mom, Petries Dad, and Ducky's Dad) I'm going to address the biggest one in the TV series which is undoubtedly about Chomper and Ruby. What are they doing in the great valley?

As for why they are in the Great Valley, one episode explains that. Ruby was sent on a mission by her parents to see how those who live in the GV do things in hopes that it would benefit those living outside of the GV. Chomper being with her was explained as his parents asking her to look after him.

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How come the leaf-eater parents find them so easy to accept?

As to why the residents accept Chomper, I think it is safe to assume that Littlefoot and maybe his friends as well vouched for him. I can think of no other explanation. None of the adults knew him on a personal level, and I doubt they would immediately trust the word of a newcomer such as Ruby. So my belief is that Littlefoot told the GV what Chomper is really like, perhaps even retelling their history (movie II and V.)

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Why is Red Claw so specifically mentioned as the Sharptooth villian when there are hundreds of other sharpteeth out there?

I think that Redclaw was more named due to two circumstances: One, his traveling companions. That might explain what makes him stand out, as two different sharpteeth kinds working together to hunt is rather unusual, being the only case of this we ever see outside of this is Dil and Ichy. (Again, thank you LBTDiclonius for pointing out to me that those two are sharpteeth.) So maybe he was more feared for his powerful team and not so much his individuality. Secondly, I think he is also the only one mentioned because he has the most distinguished feature of any sharptooth we see: a large red scar from his eye to his claw. So maybe there were other baddies around, but only he is mentioned because leaf-eaters could not think of names for other ones since nothing about them stood out.

If I saw five people walk by me, and only one had a large tattoo, he would stand out to me, as I had nothing special to go on for the other four’s appearances. Though slightly off topic, I would assume that Redclaw is not his real name, being as it seems unlikely he was born with that feature, just a nickname given by leaf-eaters and meat-eaters based off of that feature. Maybe even those two fastbiters call him Redclaw because he himself picked that nickname from the feature as well for his underlings to use from not liking his real one, thinking this one sounded more fierce, or something along those lines, and so possibly, not even Screech and Thud know his real one. On the other hand, I think Screech and Thud are their real names, given they have no characteristics to warrant such nicknames that I can see, and GV residents knew their names because Chomper can understand them and therefore likely heard their names mentioned by them.

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It's interesting to note that Ruby and her parents know how to speak sharpteeth language (as you can't promise Chomper's parents something if they can't understand you).

It is true, no doubt, that there was communication between them, but there is another way to be understood even when you don’t know the language of the other, and that is translating, something Chomper has done for the gang on more than one occasion.

That’s all I can think of about the inquiries here. This was a very insightful thread, Caustizer  :idea. You brought up very excellent points and had interesting and logical ideas to share about them :yes. Thank you for this.