Jetclaw takes a look at Ashfur’s character.
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.