Darkfang discusses whether or not Thistleclaw deserved to go to the Dark Forest
Hi guys, Darkfang here with my first article. This seems like a popular topic so I wanted to add some thoughts. I know I wasn’t the only one who, when reading Omen of the Stars, thought, “why is Thistleclaw in the Dark Forest?” Thistleclaw was the the antagonist in Bluestar’s Prophecy but, in my opinion, had never committed any huge crime, certainly nothing like Tigerstar or Brokenstar had. This got me thinking and thus, this article was born!
So, let’s start with possible reasons why Thistleclaw would go to the Dark Forest.
1. He was trained in the Dark Forest
In Crookedstar’s Promise we see Thistleclaw being trained in the Dark Forest and surely any cat that gets excited about learning how to kill deserves to be in the Dark Forest? Perhaps, however, not all cats who train in the Dark Forest go there with ill intentions. In Omen of the Stars we see plenty of Warriors training vicious moves in the Dark Forest with the hopes of becoming better Warriors. Whose to say that Thistleclaw isn’t doing the same thing?
2. He is a vicious Warrior
There are several occasions where we see an aggressive side to Thistleclaw. One that immediately comes to my head is the treatment of Tiny when the kit sets foot upon ThunderClan territory. There is no doubt that he was a little harsh, especially on a cat that posed little threat to the clan. Furthermore, Thistleclaw attacked Oakheart when he was found trespassing on ThunderClawn territory and caused some nasty wounds.
However, there are plenty of other cats throughout the Warriors series who protect their boundaries fiercely and do not end up in the Dark Forest. Many cats are injured or even killed in border skirmishes or battles, yet the killers never go to the Dark Forest. An example of this can be seen in Fading Echoes, when Russetfur takes one of Firestar’s lives in a battle over territory. Russetfur is then killed in that same battle by Lionblaze. Another example is when Hawkheart of WindClan kills Moonflower of ThunderClan in a battle. These cats all went to Starclan despite having killed a cat from another clan when defending territory.
3. Goosefeather’s Prophecy
One of the main reasons we dislike Thistleclaw is because Goosefeather tells Bluefur essentially that he cannot be trusted: “Beware a cat with blood on his paws.” Bluefur sees a vision of Thistleclaw with blood on his paws which turns out in reality to just be muddy water. Prophecy’s tend to always come true in Warriors so who are we to doubt this means bad things?
But, on the other hand, have Goosefeather’s prophecy’s always been that reliable? He was, after all, the one who caused a battle with WindClan which turned out to be unnecessary. Perhaps this is just another unreliable prophecy that he misread.
Reasons why Thistleclaw shouldn’t be in the Dark Forest.
1. He was a loyal Warrior
Thistleclaw undoubtedly didn’t like Bluestar. He made that very clear. Yet, when she became deputy and then leader, Thistleclaw remained loyal to ThunderClan and in fact died on a border control, defending ThunderClan territory. Although we don’t see much of him when Bluestar is leader, we would have likely heard if he tried to murder her or anyone else.
There have been many instances of disloyal warriors going to Starclan. The obvious example is Hollyleaf who killed a clanmate and then tried to get her own mother to eat deathberries. Furthermore, there was Ashfur who was involved in a plot which successfully took one of his leader’s lives. He then tried to murder four other clanmates. Then there was Mudclaw who tried to kill his own leader, Onestar, when he was demoted from being leader at the last minute.
In truth, we don’t really know what went on with Thistleclaw after Bluestar became deputy, so it is possible that he did do something dreadful.
2. He was a good father
Thistleclaw clearly loved Snowfur and was devastated when she died. He also made a massive effort to be in his son’s life, especially after Whitekit’s mother died. Thistleclaw looked after Whitekit when Bluefur was neglecting him, even though they were likely both experiencing grief for Snowfur. Thistleclaw continued to make an effort to be in his son’s life as he grew older.
Now Thistleclaw could be seen as a little harsh with his son’s training, like training him early in deadly battle moves. However, this could be because Thistleclaw wants Whitekit to be safe and to be able to defend himself. Also, if Thistleclaw sees these skills as essential in being a warrior – which he clearly does – it’s only natural for him to want to pass on these skills to his son so that he can be the best warrior he can.
3. He wasn’t a ‘bad’ cat
He wasn’t really a bad cat – not that we saw anyway. He didn’t kill anyone, even from another clan. He also thoroughly committed himself into warrior life and being a part of Thunderclan.
So, should Thistleclaw have gone to the Dark Forest? You can probably guess my answer already – no. I think he was a loyal warrior who never really did anything dreadful. We only ever saw the story from Bluestar’s point of view and because she didn’t like Thistleclaw, we, as the readers, automatically don’t like Thistleclaw. But, when I look at the facts, I struggle to know why he deserved to go to the Dark Forest. Anyway, what do you think? I’d love to know whether you think he belongs there or not! 🙂