Rewriting Ashfur by Jetclaw

Jetclaw takes a look at Ashfur’s character.

Official art by Wayne McLoughlin

Ashfur is a character I dislike because he got an outcome I feel was undeserved. As a cat who attempted to murder four cats (Firestar, Hollyleaf, Lionblaze and Jayfeather) he should’ve gone to the Dark Forest. Instead we get a line about him loving too much and that somehow is supposed to fix everything.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve read stories that have of examples of people who are unfortunately similar to Ashfur, not in the ‘I have a crush on you, but you don’t love me, that justifies me killing those around you to make you pay’, more in the, ‘I want you, but you refuse to be with me so I’ll try to make your life a living nightmare’. There’s not a large difference, but the murder is the thing that earns Ashfur The Dark Forest no matter what the books say.
However, if Ashfur were to have been rewritten, and the murder parts removed, Hawkfrost using someone else to get to Firestar, he can still be a giant yandere to Squirrelflight just not a murderous one.
Yandere literally translate to love sick, and in many pop culture stuff is represented by a crazy person who is determined to do everything they can to get the person they love. From manipulating others relationships, to offing people, to bribes they’ll do anything to get the one they desire. Because they’re love sick.
Now we’ve seen some nasty, mean, and callous cats make it to StarClan (Rainflower and Appledusk namely). So if Ashfur didn’t attempt to kill anyone his path to StarClan would be more reasonable with the excuse that he ‘loved too much’
He could still pose a threat to Squirrelflight, just not exactly a life threatening one… as much.
A thought I had was what if he didn’t agree to help Hawkfrost kill Firestar, I have no doubt Hawkfrost would’ve found some other way, but what if instead when Squirrelflight left with Leafpool he followed them and learned the secret then and there.
While yes it was ‘official medicine cat business’ he was willing to bar three cats from escaping a fire and lead his clan leader into a trap, ignoring the official business and following them wouldn’t be too out of character.
He could totally mess up their lives, either from realizing Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw hadn’t had kits yet (opening the door for him) or from going out to Leafpool and Squirrelflight and threatening to reveal their secret and have Leafpool and her kits driven out.
There’s a number of terrible ways it could go, he could force Squirrelflight to claim that they were his and her kits still protecting Leafpool but alienating Brambleclaw and causing great pain to Squirrelflight.
Or he could make small demands of them every now and then while holding the secret hostage.
But it doesn’t have to just be the secret. Ashfur in Sunset showed how he was willing to cast doubt on Leafpools integrity because she was Squirrelflights sister trying to promote Squirrelflights mate.
Ashfur could easily spread some rumors here and there, Leafpools been talking with Crowfeather again, or Lionpaws been passing intel to WindClan in the tunnels (if he discovered him and heatherpaw at the time Lionpaw was occasionally training with Tigerstar and Hawkfrost and developing strange wounds overnight, Ashfur could get curious what the son of the cat he loves is up to and follows him and discovers them meeting). Now Lionpaws in hot water, causing strife for his mother without spilling a drop of blood.
The potential ways Ashfur could muck up Squirrelflights and her kits lives are numerous. What if since he knew Hawkfrost wanted help he agreed to help only to try to expose Brambleclaw as a traitor to the clan. I think that’s what he did want to do, so in this case it’d be him actually succeeding in doing so. Or planning it so rather than Firestar getting trapped he warnedFirestar of Hawkfrost and Brambleclaw treachery or even announces it to the clan in an impromptu announcement like Mousefur did in the book.
What I’m saying is Ashfur could’ve been a terribly cruel and obsessive love sick cat who did everything to both hurt Squirrelflight and drive her to surrender to him. He doesnt necessarily need to be Darkstripe levels of bad, he could be subtle about it. Like if he forced Squirrelflight to claim he was the father of Jaykit, Hollykit and Lionkit, I think he’d be satisfied with the ruse and we’d see Squirrelflight suffering from her lost relationship with Brambleclaw and the kits growing up with a great deal of tension around them. But Ashfur wouldn’t be a mustache twirling villain, he’d be satisfied with the result and go about life as he did, just with seemingly kits of his own, with the she cat he wanted as his mate.
I could see the tensions getting to him eventually as his and Squirrelflights interactions keep forcefully reminding him they’re living a lie. Until he finally explodes at the three at some point revealing the truth and knocking the world out from under their paws. Sorta like how Hollyleaf did in Sunrise.
I could still see him trying to bar their path in the fire to get rid of them, but Squirrelflight or Jayfeather says they won’t look kindly on you if you kill ‘your’ kits.
But since we’re discussing how he could still go to StarClan he can’t do that. He could be recklessly negligent, like run ahead while they’re still trying to get clear and just not be helpful.
I think if Ashfur had taken the less bloody approach and either just acted as a saboteur (keeping a close eye on Squirrelflights family to seek out opportunity to muck up their lives) or mastermind (learning the secret right away and forcing Squirrelflight and Leafpools kits to be ‘his kits’). Him being allowed in StarClan would be somewhat more reasonable. I don’t think we’d be thrilled but hey they’ve let an abusive mother in, a terrible cat who ditched his mate after she lost everything, so a yandere who spilled no blood would be fine.

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  • Wow! I never thought about Ashfur this way. I mean, I dislike him, but I didn’t consider him acting in a different way as written in the books. Great article! 🙂

  • Man, I love this article. The possibilities are endless, without removing Ashfur’s character as a whole. Good job!

  • I feel like death and exile, for Squirrelflight, would be better than being abused, used, and tortured by a cat.

    PS – I’m fairly neutral on some controversial cats, namely Rainflower and Mudclaw, but I think that it’s really unfair that warriors classify cats, when they die, as black or white, and sometimes those two get mixed up. For a mixed up example, Appledusk deserves to go to the Dark Forest just like Mapleshade deserves StarClan – as the Dark Forest tortures and StarClan is a place of healing. But, all in all, I think that, before they go to StarClan or the Dark Forest, every cat in that gray area should get a chance of explanation.

  • You are hurting my brain 😛 Interesting article, Jetty! Ashfur is quite the character.

    • But she did avenge herself. Plus she was only following the warrior code, “An honorable warrior does not need to kill other cats to win their battles, unless they are outside the warrior code or if it is necessary for self-defense.” Since it was self-defense.

  • Wow! This is a great article! For me, it really opened up Ashfur’s character. I personally don’t see Ashfur as a blood thirsty Yandere, I believe that he was greatly influenced by Hawkfrost. (Because he was already weakened by the loss of Squirrelflight it would have been easier to give in to Hawkfrost’s convincing ways.

    Don’t get me wrong, if Mapleshade and Brightflower (mapleshade I kind of understand, but Brightflower??? Seriously???) are in the dark forest than Ashfur definitely deserves to be there but there’s still this little part of me that thinks that Ashfur should be in StarClan.

  • I completely agree! I’ve never really liked Ashfur, and just because Squirrelflight didn’t like him as a mate back didn’t mean he could attempt murder. He should’ve gone to the Dark Forest.
    Yes, I’ve heard of a lot of stories of people like the ones you described in this article. Those are the kind of people everyone should try to stay away from. However, it’s sometimes impossible to tell. Like how Ashfur seemed like a normal, sweet cat at first, until Squirrelflight fell in love with Brambleclaw. Then he goes insane! I think some people who have dated people who try to make their lives a nightmare because they didn’t like them can relate to this. I can only imagine how it would feel, but I imagine it would hurt a lot. Sometimes it could hurt so much it seems like the person might as well be trying to attempt murder. But Ashfur literally did. But would Ashfur have ever done that without the influence of Hawkfrost? Would he have handled it normally without Hawkfrost constantly influencing him? It would be interesting if we could get a novella or something hearing Ashfur’s side of the story, and what drove him to go so insane. Even though I hate him, I feel like that would be a really interesting to learn his story, and maybe it will help me, including others, to understand more why he was allowed to go to StarClan and why Yellowfang said his only fault was ‘love too much.’

    But…I mean…I love Yellowfang, but seriously Yellowfang? Ashfur tried to murder the Power of Three and Firestar! I thought you really liked Firestar because you said you wished he was your son before you died. Hmm…any suggestions Jetty? 😉

    • From real life stories I’ve heard about people like Ashfur, it’s hard to tell. And it’s rough when the carpet gets yanked out from under you and you realize how crazy, possessive and demanding a person who claims to love you can act. To the point they can’t stand you not being theirs. And it’s scary what they’ll do to you and those around you if you try to get away from them.

      As for hawkfrost influencing him, we have no proof of that. Not to mention that Hawkfrost wasn’t around when Ashfur tried to kill the three. Ashfur I feel was following the path many crazy possessive people get with someone. And Hawkfrost and the fire presented him an opportunity to get revenge on Squirrelflight for rejecting him.

      I wouldn’t mind a novella, as long as the Erins didn’t try to push a story of him loving too much. After what we saw in Spottedleafs heart how no one really addressed how Thistleclaw was grooming a child to become his mate, and since we already have the ‘loved too much’ line which was the biggest error ever.

      A novella should show Ashfurs actions as the evil they are, of a crazy, possessive cat who refused to let go of his desire to possess Squirrelflight. They can show how Hawkfrost egged him on, and how he maybe struggled with his madness and desire to get back at Squirrelflight.

      How his harsher treatment of Lionpaw was him taking his frustration out on him. And what lead up to him blocking the way out for the three.

      What I’m worried they’d include is some form of victim blaming, that because Squirrelflight shunned him or didn’t want to spend time with him after his outburst against leafpool in sunset somehow makes her deserving of what happened.

      That Ashfur will like try to win her over with stuff like prey and Squirrelflight would be in the wrong for declining to eat with him or something.

      At the end of the day while id like an explanation, Id also it to not paint Ashfur as the victim. He doesn’t need to be a monster, but it’s be nice to show that how he wants to act on his feelings and his desire to punish Squirrelflight for not returning them is wrong.

      As for Yellowfang letting him slide, I remember maybe it was your article about Raggedstar that he was not the kindest mate to her and Yellowfang loved him. Perhaps it could be seen that Yellowfang after being in an abusive relationship and not having anyone there to point it out to her that it’s abusive. She just sees such abuse as loving too much.

      And that she justifies her thoughts by the fact that since Firestar didn’t die it’s okay.

      • Wow, I never thought of it like that! Especially about Yellowfang feelings sympathy for him because of Raggedstar. That would totally make sense.

        Ashfur admitted he had plotted with Hawkfrost to kill Firestar in Long Shadows. You can tell if you read between the lines. How else would he have known Firestar was supposed to die when he went there? If it was just luck, then that is one LUCKY cat. And still, no one should cause pain or attempt murder for any reason.

        And ya, I can see where a novella written about him could go wrong. But I don’t think the Erins could do that with a novella like this. Ashfur’s reasoning for trapping them in the fire and plotting with Hawkfrost would make for the perfect plot. All the feelings, conflicts, anger, tension, etc. And yes I wouldn’t like to see much of the ‘love too much’ either. Victim blaming could be a little problem, too.

        And actually, the article you mentioned was by Ebonygaze, not me. I like Raggedstar 🙂

  • Cool. I agree. Even though I wrote an article on Ashfur is good awhile ago, but my opinion totally changed. I remember I was also defending Hollyleaf, and it was so much easier to come up with reasons about why she’s good.