Ebonypaw shares reasons why Raggedstar was a horrible leader. Spoilers ahead, you have been warned!
Raggedstar has got to be one of the worst leaders and mates in Warriors. He cared too much about his social life and guilt tripping Yellowfang than for his Clan. I wouldn’t say he’s the worst (You could argue Brokenstar was worse, personally I think they’re equally bad), but he’s my least favorite leader, mostly because Brokenstar wasn’t a bad villain. Raggedstar really has no redeeming qualities.
Raggedstar was never nice to Yellowfang, even before she became a medicine cat.
“Fox dung! Yellowfang, if that’s the best you can do, you’d better go back to camp.” -Yellowfang’s Secret, page 204.
“Don’t ever say that again! I have no father. Russetpaw is nothing to me. You’re lucky I was there to defend you when he started to attack. You didn’t stand a chance.”-Yellowfang’s Secret, page 205.
Raggedstar bullied Yellowfang when she decided to become a medicine cat.
“Is it because you’re a coward?” he snarled. “Did the fight with WindClan scare you too much?” “Never!” Yellowfang flashed back at him. “I just cannot inflict pain on other cats, not anymore. Sagewhisker says this is my destiny.” “You’ll lose me as well as your life as a warrior,” Raggedpelt reminded her. “I thought you cared! I thought you wanted to spend your life with me. I-I even thought we might have kits one day. “I thought the same,” Yellowfang mewed, feeling her heart break. “I care for you so much! But I don’t have a choice.” “You always have a choice,” Raggedpelt growled, turning his back on her. “And I thought you had chosen me.” -Yellowfang’s Secret, page 238.
I get that he was upset Yellowfang couldn’t be his mate, but come on, get over it. He didn’t have to throw a huge fit and guilt trip her. Yellowfang’s words made it obvious she cared for him, yet he still tries to convince the Shadowclan medicine to break the code. What kind of deputy does that? Rules are rules for a reason, without them, the Clans would fall apart.
Raggedstar and Yellowfang’s relationship caused problems. Cloudpelt, Raggedstar’s apprentice, almost died because of them.
“He…he [Cloudpaw] couldn’t find you,” Rowanberry admitted. “So he asked if he could come on the border patrol to practice his scenting skills before his final assessment.” She hesitated, then added reluctantly, “I let him take the lead. He didn’t pick up the scent of the intruders until it was too late.” -Yellowfang’s Secret, page 284.
Cloudpelt could’ve died because of their foolishness. He was lucky he survived. Surely that was a sign their relationship wouldn’t have worked out?
He choose Foxheart as deputy. I may like Foxheart, but she wasn’t a good choice for deputy. The reasoning for choosing Foxheart as deputy was even stupider. He choose her as deputy just to make Yellowfang jealous. He never even cared for Foxheart at all!
“Foxheart means nothing to me.”-Yellowfang’s Secret, page 297.
You can’t choose someone as deputy that isn’t fit out to later lead, especially if you’re just using them to abuse the one she-cat that didn’t choose you to be their hate.
Things got worse when Brokenstar was born, way worse.
Raggedstar was blind to see how evil his son was. He spoiled him way too much. He was too stubborn and arrogant to see what Brokenstar did wrong.
“You didn’t have to single out Brokenpaw in front of all the Clans like that!” he [Raggedstar] challenged his leader angrily. “Or scold him like that. There were two other apprentices involved! Brokenpaw was only defending ShadowClan’s honor!” “Your son broke the rules of the truce.” Cedarstar’s anger was colder and more controlled. “I cannot let that happen.” Raggedpelt snorted. “Loyalty and courage mean more than rules,” he growled.” -Yellowfang’s Secret, Page 370.
Breaking the warrior code and starting the fight? Yep, that definitely loyalty and courage. Brokenstar needed to get scolded, or else he wouldn’t have learned from his mistakes. Raggedstar needed to stop spoiling Brokenstar and discipline him.
He made Brokenstar a warrior early when he didn’t even finish his final assessment.
“A gasp rose from the Clan as Brokenpaw bounded forward to stand at the base of the Clanrock. Yellowfang shared her Clanmates’ astonishment. He’s only been an apprentice for five moons!” “Raggedstar” Nightpelt meowed, stepping forward, “Brokenpaw hasn’t completed his final assessments yet.”Brokenpaw shot a furious look at his mentor, while Raggedstar flicked his tail dismissively. “I know a cat who is ready to be a warrior when I see one,” he declared.” -Yellowfang’s Secret, pages 381-382.
Brokenstar was not ready, he only recently broke the truce at the gathering. Keep in mind this was the second thing he did once he came back from the Moonstone, meaning he probably would’ve done it sooner if he could. Raggedstar was choosing favoritism over his other Clanmates.
Brokenstar obviously faked the prey. Yellowfang even warned him. “Are you sure that Brokentail was telling the truth?” she [Yellowfang] demanded boldly. “What if he caught the rabbit himself?” Raggedstar bristled. “No son of mine would lie! How dare you question him” He bared his teeth into a snarl. “Now get out of my way.” -Yellowfang’s Secret, page 408.
Raggedstar was still angry at Yellowfang, even though it’s been a while since she became a medicine cat. He just completely ignored his medicine cat, who gives advice to the leader. Medicine cats are important and because of his anger towards Yellowfang, he put his Clan at risk by refusing to believe in her words, not even thinking if she was right or not. He even told her to back off. This battle caused his deputy Cloudpelt to die, and you know what he does after that? Makes Brokenstar his deputy! Yellowfang warns him this is a bad idea.
“Raggedstar bowed his head. “He [Cloudpelt] died the death of the noblest warrior.” “But it was a battle that should have never been fought!” Yellowfang flashed back at him. “Don’t say that!” Raggedstar roared. “You dishonor Cloudpelt’s memory if that’s what you truly believe!” “I would never do that,” Yellowfang assured him, forcing herself to meet her leader’s gaze steadily. “But I think Brokentail looked for this battle. Cloudpelt died unnecessarily.” Raggedstar narrowed his eyes. “What exactly are you saying?” Yellowfang flinched. “I don’t think you should make Brokentail deputy in his place.” “I will not listen to this!” Raggedstar snarled. His amber gaze, alight with anger, rested on her like a flame. “You are my medicine cat, Yellowfang, and your loyalty should only be to me and my warriors. Never question me again!” -Yellowfang’s Secret, page 415. Raggedstar was dishonoring Cloudpelt’s memory by choosing Brokentail as deputy, not Yellowfang. Yes, Yellowfang is the medicine cat, which is why Raggedstar should have listened to her.
When Raggedstar finally started to notice Brokenstar’s actions, he talks to Yellowfang and asks for her help.
“Our son wants to do nothing but lead ShadowClan into battle. I should have never made him deputy! What can we do to stop him?” A flash of rage pulsed through Yellowfang. “He’s our son now, is he?” she snarled. “I have never been allowed to be called his mother! You said you would only keep my secret if I never called him my son. What can I possibly do to change him?” “Brokentail is your problem, Raggedstar.” “But-” The Clan leader tried to interrupt. Yellowfang ignored him. “You have told me too many times that I am nothing more than a medicine cat. I heal my Clan, that’s all. You are responsible for what your warriors do.” -Yellowfang’s Secret, page 433.
Yellowfang let Raggedstar deal with Brokenstar’s problems himself, and I don’t blame her. He abused her and never listened to her all this time, and now he expects her to help him? He deserved what was coming to him.
Raggedstar was not calm, wise, and brave, he was the opposite. He had some potential, but all of that was ruined after the way he treated Yellowfang.