Bramblefire contributes to the debate about Ashfur’s placement in StarClan. Warning: This article contains sensitive topics, such as murder and emotional abuse.
Bramble’s warning: This article contains descriptions of emotional abuse. You have been warned.
The controversy surrounding Ashfur and whether or not he deserves a position in StarClan is one of the most controversial of all. Many people defend him by saying Squirrelflight was in the wrong, he was a good warrior once, or completely ignoring what Ashfur did in the first place. However, it is difficult to excuse Ashfur that easily, after all, in real life, how many people would honestly defend someone who attempts murder on four people – three of them teenagers – because their crush didn’t return their feelings? It’d be madness. Ashfur doesn’t deserve a position in StarClan as he is an emotionally abusive cat, he attempted murder, and he never regretted his mistakes.
Ashfur felt entitled to Squirrelflight and her affections and never considered her feelings unless it directly benefited him. He felt like she had to be with him and that she was wrong for being in love with someone else. He openly blamed her for never seeing him as more than a friend and Squirrelflight wanted to be his friend even though she laid it out pretty clear for him. It wasn’t him misinterpreting it. He literally wanted her to suffer for something she couldn’t be blamed for. As stated in the list of emotional/psychological abuse examples, guilt-tripping, humiliation, ignoring, constant put downs, being controlling, and being unreasonably jealous are all examples of abuse. Ashfur is obviously doing some of these to Squirrelflight. He blames her and Brambleclaw for his own problems and guilt trips her on numerous occasions. He tries to control her and he’s downright awful to her after she explains that she wants to be friends. He fought aggressively with Lionblaze and was often less than pleasant with Squirrelflight. Of course, he doesn’t have to like her being with Brambleclaw, but it doesn’t give him a right to be a hateful jerk. When he confronts Squirrelflight in the infamous fire scene, he accuses her of everything and attempts to guilt trip her, stating that he is in pain from the choice she’s allowed to make. Ashfur states in the same scene of Long Shadows (pg 274) that he “can’t believe (Squirrelflight) didn’t know how much (she) hurt (him).” Later he explains that he wanted Firestar to die so she would know the true feeling of pain (more discussion in second paragraph). Also when he claims “But I love you! We’d be great together, Squirrelflight. I know we would,” its obvious Ashfur is attempting to entice and guilt Squirrelflight into a relationship. This is a warning sign of a bad relationship. Ashfur takes this a step further when he outright says his quarrel is with Squirrelflight. Of course, it’s not Squirrelflight’s fault any of this is happening. She should be able to choose what cat she wants to be with. Ashfur has no right to interfere. In fact, Ashfur obviously doesn’t care about Squirrelflight at this point either. He’s just obsessed with the idea of her. He’d do anything to maintain that image and would attempt murder for that idea. This doesn’t equate a good cat, in fact, he’s an extreme abuser and there’s nothing I can see that defends him doing this out of love or that he wouldn’t do this if they were in a relationship with her. Ashfur was an emotionally abusive cat that doesn’t deserve StarClan.
StarClan is also a place for benevolent non-violent cats who were loyal cats. A common argument made for Ashfur and his place in StarClan is that he was a loyal warrior. That is a true statement in the beginning at least. In A Dangerous Path, he is seen leading the dogs away towards the next runner with his sister and he was originally a good cat that was once good friends with Brambleclaw. This all changed when he became obsessed with Squirrelflight. He wanted to be with her and only her. He only wanted her for himself and entangled with his stubborn and violent tendencies. In Sunset, Ashfur is openly hostile to Brambleclaw, never congratulating him at being deputy and openly displays his mistrust of Brambleclaw. He accuses Leafpool of lying about the sign about Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight angrily attacks him. It’s obvious he was trying to start something and make Brambleclaw look bad. Ashfur also ignores Squirrelflight when she tries to be his friend and he grows more hostile in The Power of Three. When given Lionpaw as an apprentice, he is openly displeased and it is observed that he never forms a bond with Lionpaw as most mentors and apprentices do. In Dark River, Ashfur is hostile with Lionpaw when he can’t hunt a vole, this only gets worse in Outcast when the two cats fight, both of them fighting viciously. Later in Outcast, Ashfur rebukes him, stating that he’s like his father. It appears to be a compliment, but Ashfur obviously doesn’t mean it as such. Ashfur continues to be a cruel bitter cat until Long Shadows, where things take a dark turn. Ashfur attempts to murder his former apprentice and his siblings in front of Squirrelflight just to hurt her. His actions are hardly justifiable and they are obviously evil. As discussed in the previous paragraph, Ashfur asks Squirrelflight who she thought sent Firestar the message to go down to the lake where the fox trap was. He claims that he wanted his leader and her father to die so she’d understand his pain. Not only is this outlandish, Ashfur openly breaks the warrior code. In an attempt to kill Firestar, which he does lose a life, Ashfur betrays his leader and breaks the 14th rule forbidding murder. Ashfur knew this and it is difficult to claim he was doing this for the good of the Clans. He wanted revenge for something he had no control or no place in. Ashfur broke the code and deserves the Place of No Stars for his crimes.
Ashfur was not justified in his behavior and he was nothing but a murderer and abuser. If StarClan is a place for the ‘good’ it isn’t a place for Ashfur. As far as shown, Ashfur never openly regretted his actions, he said nothing. He caused more pain than he was worth and he destroyed lives. Whether or not he deserved to be murdered is an article for another day, but he certainty didn’t deserve the afterlife he received. Ashfur deserves to think about what he did for an eternity, an eternity in the Dark Forest where he can wander alone in his own thoughts.