Oakpool defends Ashfur.
Many people are entirely against Ashfur, and I understand why. I don’t believe he’s totally misunderstood, I just think people don’t think about what he went through. First, we’ve never really seen couple angst in the books, even if it were about love triangles, no cat did ever lash out at the person they loved. Let’s look at it this way: Are warriors, trained to accustom to death, blood and war, really capable of dealing with an emotional issue between them and another cat? Most of the time, I’m pretty sure most of these warriors ignore it and focus on their tasks. Beside this, think of what romantic relationships are. We’ve all seen (as humans of course) people doing wild things for loved ones, and I’m sure you’ve done at least something crazy to please your crush/lover. Ashfur’s case is just one of many. He was really a cat who loved too much for his own good, which must’ve lead to personal issues, most likely self-esteem and depression. Some people, as I’m sure we’ve all seen, lash out instead of keeping it in. Ashfur really wasn’t insane, he just couldn’t keep himself quiet.
Now, let’s move onto why Squirrelflight leaving him would lead to personal issues. First, I think Ashfur really believed Squirrelflight loved him back, perhaps wanted to be more then friends; but when she left him without warning, it crushed him. It could’ve lead him to think he wasn’t good enough, that he wasn’t worthy of any kind of love. This could weigh on him with the death of his father and mother, most likely thinking he wasn’t able to save them, even if we did not see grief of any kind from him or his sister. All that results in self-esteem, which can go to darker places, like depression, anxiety and much, much more. Also, in the time he most possibly could’ve been experiencing all that I’ve previously anger, he could also be forming a dark rage, which depression can take a straight turn into.
So, yes, Ashfur was not the greatest character and he did not do the best things. Yes, he most likely did have mental problems. But this does not mean you should see him differently then you see Bluestar, for he did have most the reasons Bluestar had to fall into a spiraling depression. All that happened was he took a wrong turn and made a bad choice, while Bluestar dwelled alone.
Image Credit: Fox-Desert, DeviantArt