On Thistleclaw: Antagonist, or Plain Arrogant? by Ashenpaw

ThistleclawHow responsible was Thistleclaw for what Tigerstar became?*Note: This art used does not belong to me.*

Thistleclaw is, at the surface, the primary antagonist of Bluestar’s Prophecy. Bluefur sees him as battle-hungry, arrogant cat, who will do nothing but lead ThunderClan into battle and bloodshed. With Bluefur being the protagonist, we were expected to follow her opinions, but I found her treatment of Thistleclaw VERY hasty on her part. Is Thistleclaw an antagonist, really? I’m here to analyze most of his appearances and make a decision based on how he acted.

First, StarClan’s view on Thistleclaw. An excerpt from page 78 of Enter the Clans follows: “But we can guess,” Owlstar murmured. “If Bluefur stays in the nursery with her kits, Thistleclaw will become deputy instead. He is an ambitious, violent cat, and we know it. He would lead his warriors to attack other Clans— the last thing this forest needs right now. Would you rather see more warriors coming to join us because of his bloody leadership?”
“So a kit’s life is the price to be paid for the warriors whom Thistleclaw MIGHT lead into death,” Moonflower growled. “I know the Bluefur believes Thistleclaw would be the wrong leader for ThunderClan. But how do we know being deputy wouldn’t make him a better cat?
“We don’t know,” Brambleberry meowed. “And neither does Bluefur. She must make her choices based on what she thinks might happen. i don’t agree with what she’s doing… I would never endanger innocent kits… but I can see why she’s doing it.” (Whew. Typed all that out by hand.)

So what can we gather from that? StarClan had no way of knowing Thistleclaw would do bad deeds, and no prophecy or omen that he would, either. So it’d be entirely possible that Thistleclaw would do NOTHING. Remember the other villains, and their omens? “Four will become two, lion and tiger will meet in battle, and blood will rule the forest.” “Before there is peace, blood will spill blood, and the lake will run red.” These prophecies CLEARLY meant a villain would rise, but Thistleclaw never got one. Also, Goosefeather didn’t react much either; is Thistleclaw was going to have a blood-soaked future, why wasn’t Goosefeather up and terrified by him like he was to Tigerkit(star)?

See Thistleclaw without Bluestar’s view, or from Snowfur’s: He is arrogant, and he likes to show his worth to other clans. He showed great ambition for his Clan, and always focused on keeping it safe.” Use that point of view, instead of Bluefur’s, when looking at the less fine points: rise of Scourge, page 31, Thistleclaw: I think the kittypet should be taught a lesson. One he’ll remember.” Thistleclaw didn’t, contrary to popular belief, say “ermegerd kill him”, nor did he even specify to attack. He simpy told his apprentice what do to do, and watched. While it was violent, and shouldn’t have happened, was Thistleclaw 100% responsible for turning Tigerpaw evil? No. Was Thistleclaw 100% responsible for turning Scourge into Scourge. NO.

Reread Bluestar’s Prophecy, without the special brand of Bluefur bias. You’ll see what I mean. And, for a parting word, my gift: Sunstar wasn’t going to make Thistleclaw deputy anyway. I hope you enjoyed my first article!



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  • I enjoyed your article. Your argument was so well researched and and hooking. I can now see why Thistleclaw isn’t the reason cats turned evil. Amazing job!

  • Interesting article! I always thought of Thistleclaw as one of the reasons that Tigerstar was evil, but I agree that he was not 100% responsible for it.

  • Good article! Really nice use of sources. I was just reading that excerpt from the Secrets of the Clans book and thought this would be an interesting argument to make. I personally think there isn’t enough evidence to show that Thistleclaw would have been the disaster Bluefur thought he would be. Also the fact that Sunstar saw him as plan 1b to Bluefur should be telling. Are we really not going to trust his judgement on one of his fellow warriors? Really just goes to show what a great job Erin Hunter did to make this a very gray conflict, one with no clear right or wrong.

  • Thank you, everyone! I was super stoked to see all the comments on my first article. 😀

  • But there was a omen, on page 472, in bluestars prophecy, thistleclaws pelt oozed blood, and only bluefur and goosefeather could see. Other than that, great article and sources!

    • Yeah. I guess so. But I do remember Thistleclaw dying in a mysterious pool of blood, and I thought that had to do with the omen. Lol, I don’t know XD

  • Just saying, I don’t like Thistleclaw(is that how u spell his name?) very much so I might be a little biased when I say he was at least partially to blame for Tigerstar becoming evil….😕

    • Agreed. Thistleclaw, had he stopped Tigerpaw from almost KILLING Scourge(who, at the time, was named Tiny), would have:

      -convinced Bluefur that he was a good cat,
      -Bluefur would have relaxed in the nursery with her new kits,
      -given Mosskit a chance to live,
      -caused Tigerpaw to realize that he was being really mean, and
      -pretty much change the course of all the series