Foxshadow analyzes plot twists (Yes, very descriptive)
Not to start on a boring, unrelated note, but I often think that articles are best written like fun-sized candies…short and sweet. But with this particular article, I may accidentally cut down more than one tree, considering its topic’s popularity among the many, many, many…..many books in the saga of the warrior cats. How many are there? Well over thirty….and considering that I’m too lazy to count all my books plus the manga books plus the Super Editions plus the guides plus the Novellas plus the…..wow Erin Hunter, you certainly have been busy since these books were first released in—what was it, 2003? Wow. Just….Just a round of applause to you hard working authors.
But now, I’m betting you’re more invested in the topic of this article. Well, if you haven’t read the title thoroughly enough then you’re in luck, because I’m going to tell you now that this particular article is focused on…Illegal Cat Relationships! That’s right, something we’ve seen quite a lot of throughout the years from more simple budding romances like Dovewing’s (or Ivypool, if you’re feeling argumentative) and Tigerheart’s to the biggest of no-no’s between Leafpool and Crowfeather to infinity and beyond. Boy have some of these kitties been naughty.
So, it’s been the go-to plot twist for a while now, hasn’t it? Cat falls in love…Love is against some sort of law…Cat falls in love with other cat anyway and everything gets awful from there. Pretty original? Or has this become an overused cliché? How differently do all these relationships seem to end (you know, since none of them last very long whether torn apart by death or flat-out hatred…ah yes and/or by war)
Since none of this is specifically focused on Inter-Clan relationships (I’m looking at you, Greystripe, Bluestar, Mapleshade, Dovewing, Ivypool and…..yeah I’m not going to try to list all of them), we’ll be focusing on all the “bads” these cats have done. Medicine cats with mates (Like Yellowfang. Thanks for keeping it simple, buddy.), fleeting romances between cats from different clans, turmoil caused over half-clan kits, and anything, really, regarding the concept of forbidden love. Let’s start with the shortest analysis…Medicine cats? Hit it.
Okay so as long as we’re starting simple, let’s talk about Yellowfang. She’s a relatively good example. Always destined to be a medicine cat, the poor she-cat was already head over heels in love with the incredibly handsome ladies’ man Raggedpelt. If only she hadn’t been cursed to have her life ruined by her rational “teen girl”-esque emotions. But let’s cut to the real emotional crisis.
The relationship between her and Raggedpelt was relatively understandable as she was not always a medicine cat and probably wasn’t so crazy about the whole rules thing…and it wasn’t all bad, right? Just some time together hanging out….Being a medicine cat in love couldn’t be that bad, right? Right….? WRONG! Suddenly, she’s got kittens, struggles to hide it from her clan, and slowly the real world for her starts to feel like the dark forest, especially when she kits a young tom who she names- pretty prophetically and conveniently if I do say so myself- Brokenkit! Unbeknownst to her, to save her own skin and the kit’s, she gives him up to possibly the worst foster mother ever and everything just kind of gets even worse somehow. What else did we expect, to be honest? When does anything good come from these kinds of relationships? Honestly, wouldn’t you expect these cats to realize that just because it happens to someone else does NOT lower their chances of the same exact thing happening to them?
Clearly, it’s a matter of bad karma. You break the rule so the Rule (cough StarClan cough) breaks you. But let’s see if we can find a more severe example….Like…an inter-clan relationship gone very wrong…let’s see if I can find a good example….there are just so many but…Aha! Heatherpaw and Lionpaw!! Perfect;
They seemed like a great couple, right? Two little youngsters in love, both ambitious apprentices with bright futures ahead of them as skilled warriors. One, an average she-cat destined to live a normal life…the other, a handsome tom from a prophecy who just happens to be invincible and the kin of the almighty Firestar. They seemed almost destined for each other when they began meeting in those tunnels. Now, kits were always out of the question, weren’t they? They were a little young for—as my History teacher would say— shenanigans. And then StarClan clearly got a little annoyed and decided to give Lionpaw those visions….of him murdering her? Wait what? I mean…I get he’s invincible and a really great fighter and sure he’s been accepting training from Tigerstar the big bad but…why? This was something that kind of went over my head. I tried to catch it, I really did. But I didn’t quite understand the whole…child murder thing they had going on. Yes, he sometimes gets really bad and claws stuff up but you’d think he’d be okay with hanging with Heatherpaw…? No. Because this is the law. You can’t break it. Then, as we all know because of the many awfully carried out relationships before their…everything slowly begins to fall apart and then suddenly they hate each other. Oh boy….
But maybe we should find something else…something more…extreme. Why not move on to someone evil?? What’s that? Yeah, Mapleshade!!!
Here we’ve got a pretty bad case of the ‘Warrior-Code-Don’t-Matter’s. She drops everything after a horrible battle during which her ‘mate’ kills two cats from her clan…including the leader’s son who everyone thinks is the father of her kits. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
In short, she has a RiverClan tom’s kits, everyone freaks out, her kits die, she’s banished, and she becomes the most evil of evils. Pretty much?
Let’s rewind a bit, shall we?
She’s falling over her own paws at the mere thought of this RiverClan tom…Appledusk…Sure we don’t know how they met or why she loves him but hey these things don’t matter anymore! Let’s skip to the juicy details!! She wants to teach her kits how to swim. That’s good right? Survival skills are a necessity for kittens these days…But of course, it’s short-lived and clearly it’s a bad thing for a mother cat to think ahead and make sure her babies are one step ahead of everyone else…and since the clan cats are so experienced with this kind of betrayal…they skip over much of everything else and head straight to the accusations….and everything gets bad for poor Mapleshade…
So yeah…Mapleshade’s story is as bad as it gets…isn’t it?
No….there’s still one last couple…I’ve reached three pages of this document and I’m still going strong…
One couple….One couple alone broke two….or two and a HALF… laws of the Warrior Code….two infamous cats who destroyed the lives of their kits….their families…and…who didn’t seem to care much about that afterwards because nowadays, clan cats are very forgiving (sorry Mapleshade…you and your mate were born into the wrong generation…and storyline.)
Okay so if you haven’t figured out who it is yet, here goes. Leafpool and Crowfeather!! Think about it, not only was she in a relationship with a cat from another clan…but she also had kits with him! And not to mention the fact that she was a medicine cat, too. That’s three strikes, you’re out Leafpool.
The thing was, I never had any clue where their relationship came from. Crowfeather was in love with Feathertail, and she died in the mountains, leaving him alone and heartbroken…and immediately after…BAM!!! LEAFPOOL is now his sudden love interest. He says something along the lines of “I’ve always loved you” or something, saves her life…and then there are kittens. Secret kittens, too. Because medicine cats normally get really fat then drop that weight while their “pregnant” sister gains NO WEIGHT and suddenly has kits…I guess other cats don’t pay attention to that. “Eh, it’s a medicine cat’s job. Ooh look a mouse.”
Of course, that too ended in tragedy, when they both promptly stopped loving each other…
Not as creative or exciting as a war….but still tragic in its own way. Sorry Leafpool, even though you topped the charts in this law breaking trend, you had the least exciting ending to your story…
All in all, the life of a warrior is a very tragic one to say the least. And love is a complicated unfair game when it comes to these books…and this was not so much a discussion as an analysis and comparison. But I’ll leave the rest up to you.
All these cats, all these relationships, one ending; what’s your angle on all this, I’m curious to hear about it!