Warriors: Then and Now by Mudpaw

Mudpaw compares the early books to the more recent ones. Minor spoilers for the entire series!

Official cover art by Owen Richardson

Warriors has changed a lot since the first book. But has it changed for the better?
Here, we’re going to go over how the Warriors series has changed.
*Spoiler Warning*

We’ll start with Into the Wild. If you go back and read, one thing that always stood out to me is how the authors wrote sounds into the story. During Firepaw’s fight with Yellowfang, when Firepaw bites Yellowfang’s leg, she yowls.
‘“Reow-ow-wow!” Yellowfang screamed in agony…’
The authors write Yellowfang’s scream into the story. Every book after this one, we don’t see that. I thought it was a nice little detail.
Next, everything in Into the Wild was organized and structured. Cats like Whitestorm, Tigerclaw, Lionheart, and Goldenflower were respected as senior warriors. No one dared to talk back to them. They were looked up to. It was rare for other cats to be consulted upon by Bluestar. In the newer books, however, it doesn’t matter how long a cat’s been a warrior. Dustpelt was talked back to all the time, and everybody acts so carefree.
Into the Wild was so well paced. It had filler material when it needed to, such as patrolling or hunting. It takes the time to completely flesh out the characters and give them proper personalities and flaws. Tigerclaw was ambitious and short-tempered, but he was a magnificent warrior and served Bluestar well (until he tried to kill her, that is). Whitestorm was shown as a wise, experienced warrior who preferred to talk rather than fight, but he could be a little too hesitant at times.
Into the Wild posed a smaller threat that would be overcome by the end of the book. Each book had a small challenge that Firepaw overcame until Tigerclaw’s big betrayal. This gave the series time to hint at Tigerclaw’s true nature while still keeping the reader entertained.

Let’s move to Midnight. Midnight toggled between Leafpaw’s perspective and Brambleclaw’s perspective. Leafpaw’s POV gave us reason for Firestar’s insistence on separating Brambleclaw and Squirrelpaw. It lets us keep track of what’s happening among the clans while the chosen cats are away. However, Leafpaw doesn’t really ever do anything for herself. While Cinderpelt tells Firestar about the Fire and Tiger prophecy, Leafpaw just stands to the side and listens. She just stands to the side the whole book. She’s a camera.
Brambleclaw’s POV shows us what the chosen cats are doing. It gives us insight to what kinds of cats we’re dealing with. Brambleclaw is the unofficial leader. He makes the final decisions for the group. He’s headstrong and confident, but he doubts that he’s fit to be leader.
Squirrelpaw is the snarky, frisky teenager. She talks back to everyone and stands up for herself, and even if she really does need help, she won’t admit it.
Crowpaw is the angsty teen who argues with everyone just for the sake of it. He’s prickly and snarky, but he does have good ideas, if he’s not too aggressive when he suggests them.
Tawnypelt is confident and strong, and doesn’t have time to waste. She wants to keep moving, and she’s really headstrong. She won’t take any lip.
Feathertail is the softer, more sympathetic of the group. Most of the other cats are prickly and irritated most of the book, so Feathertail is a breath of fresh air. She looks for the best in everyone, although she doesn’t do such a good job defending herself.
Stormfur is the buff bodyguard. He wants to protec Feathertail at all costs and cares for nothing more than her (except maybe Squirrelpaw, but only for a little bit).
Midnight is mostly just walking and cats wondering about the world, and it’s not very exciting compared to Into the Wild.

Power of Three is still very different. Our three main characters are quite bland. Lionblaze is so plain, Hollyleaf seems on edge all the time, and Jayfeather thinks he’s responsible for the fate of ThunderClan. None of the Three ever rely on anyone else to help, not even Firestar. They should have just told Firestar as soon as possible. This series also just gets worse at fleshing out characters.

I don’t even want to talk about Omen of the Stars. Omen of the Stars was so horribly paced, the characters are like pieces of paper, and its plot points are so stupid.

Dawn of the Clans was much better. There weren’t really any standards laid down by a series before it that this series should follow. It’s free to make it’s own rules and do whatever it wants. The plot points weren’t so bad, and though it doesn’t do too well of a job of giving the characters personalities. It’s better than Power of Three and Omen of the Stars, at least.

A Vision of Shadows is probably the worst. It exposes ShadowClan as this weak, barely held together group of cats who have no respect for anyone and come and go as they please. They’re not even a clan, as far as I’m concerned, even in the beginning of The Apprentice’s Quest. It also feels like they just threw in a bunch of different cats without explaining who their parents were or even giving them personalities. Even reading the books between aVoS and OotS, it feels like there’s something missing.
But I have to give this series some credit, though. Alderheart is a character unlike any we’ve ever seen. He’s hesitant, and doubts himself, while most other characters just do things with confidence. Alderheart failed his quest to find SkyClan, too. This is the first time we’ve really ever had a main character fail at something really big and important.

All in all, I think the series has drastically changed over the years, and I believe it’s for the worse. Leave your comments below and tell me what you think!

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Stormy (Stormberry)
Stormy (Stormberry)
July 19, 2018 12:07 am

I believe that the series did change but not for the worst. Some books aren’t that great but they aren’t horrible

Snowbreeze
Snowbreeze
July 19, 2018 12:18 am

Huh, I agree for the most part. OOTS I’m fine with not reading again, but AVOS, ( May be spoilers 😛 ) I felt like, was unlike any other arc. Needletail stuck out to me – a character with a personality sort of like Crowfeather’s and all those other cats – yet at the same time she feels different, unlike any character I’ve seen, and refreshing. Maybe it’s just me though, and I am not doing a good job of explaining it. 😛 Great article! 🙂

🌈owlfeather-owly🌈
🌈owlfeather-owly🌈
July 19, 2018 1:15 am

I agree with your points, but I don’t think some of the things you said were that bad. I mean, I agree about how the fleshing our of characters has gotten worse over the series, but I kind of, in a way, like how the clans have gotten disorganized, it shows how bad things have gotten, kind of 😛
But nice article!!! 😃

Foxtail (Foxie)
Foxtail (Foxie)
July 19, 2018 1:32 am

I agree and disagree. I agree that the first series was the best and how the others were kind of boring for me but mainly because I had so many spoilers. AVoS I’m excited for cause the plot seems really interesting (I haven’t read it yet). I disagree that Warriors got worse. My family says it keeps getting better and I agree because even though I had many spoilers, just re-reading the series with/to them refreshed my memory and opened my eyes to all I had missed before. Even though some parts were boring, for me it was mainly because of the spoilers. But when I actually thought of the whole plot line I agreed that it got very juicy 😁 When I first read OotS I found it extremely boring. But when I re-read it with my fam….like..wow. It was actually better.

I also agree that the characters have lost some of their personality. That’s a bit of a disappointment but I still think the whole plot is good.

Keep writing, Erins! We love you! (just please give more personality to our characters!)

Aster is Meowing for Chinese New Year!!! (Asterstorm/ Meowing Aster/ Astie)
Aster is Meowing for Chinese New Year!!! (Asterstorm/ Meowing Aster/ Astie)
July 19, 2018 1:54 am

Great job! You analyzed the whole series really well 😆! For me, DOTC and TPB are the best as they are more vivid and have less characters that seems to be “useless” 😉. I don’t think AVOS is that bad though, since it has some new style characters like Alderheart and Needletail.

Sky
Sky
July 19, 2018 2:39 am

Nice job! I don’t agree with what you said about Midnight, PoT, and OotS, but…

Alright, I actually enjoyed all of the series so so much… until AVOS. Yes, it’s fast-paced and nice and all but I agree with you. I feel almost no attachment to any of the background characters and I miss the original cats so so much. I was attached in some way to all of them, I knew them in some way, even the “background” characters. And then AVoS hits me in the face, where cats openly disrespect their leader at every twist and turn, very different from the ORIGINAL books where cats actually paid attention, I do not know anything about 90% of the cats, and all the cats that I actually do know about are the originals, who are thrust into the shadows (Brightheart, Cloudtail, etc.) Yes, I know that it’s time for a new generation but the only few cats I feel like I semi know are the featured ones. And Leafstar is nothing like she was in SkyClan’s Destiny, where I actually really really liked her.

The next series had better improve this, because I can’t feel invested in books where the Clans are literally becoming teenage gangs who throw around an adult voice of reason and where the characters are basically faceless cats who just check off the character box.

Eaglepaw (EagleJay)
Eaglepaw (EagleJay)
July 19, 2018 9:37 am

I think BC will make a big change, It’s sounds good. And it better be!

Lilacpaw/frost - Li
Lilacpaw/frost - Li
July 19, 2018 5:06 pm

Interesting article! I liked PoT and OotS a lot, but I agree on pretty much everything else. A change that seemed big to me was how much respect each cat got. In the first arc, senior warriors like Whitestorm and Lionheart were respected because they had lived a long time in service of their clan. As you said, no cat talked back to them. In the later series, it doesn’t matter how long you have proved that you’re dedicated to your clan, and it bugged me a lot. None of my friends really noticed it, but I really liked how Clan hierarchy worked and was disappointed when no cat seemed to care anymore. However, I would not say that the series has become worse. Lionblaze was a typical warrior and kinda boring. Hollyleaf thought about everything before she took any action and kept an open mind, which was interesting because Lionblaze rushed headfirst into everything and Jayfeather was stubborn about everything. Jayfeather had good reason to think that he controlled every cats’ destiny because he was told that he had the Power of the Stars in his paws, and having that power made him think that he could protect every cat. OotS isn’t my favorite arc, but it isn’t bad. IT ALSO REALLY BOTHERS ME THAT LEAFPOOL IS A SIDE CAMERA FOR THE FIRST THREE BOOKS IN TNP.

Emberpaw Is So So So Happy For Ivy!!!
Emberpaw Is So So So Happy For Ivy!!!
July 19, 2018 7:25 pm

My favorite series was OotS. It had a lot of things happening at once, which I thought was cool, plus it had a lot of drama. 😛

Adiere de primăvară
Adiere de primăvară
July 20, 2018 3:37 pm

My favorite arc is TPB. In the moment I started to read Midnight I was very excited, but after a few chapters I was already bored. In the meantime, I’m used to, but I think the shift from one arc to another was too sudden for me.

Fernlilly
Fernlilly
July 20, 2018 3:41 pm

The thing about Alderheart is there really is no point to him being in the VoS series. I LOVED him in the apprentice’s quest and I was excited to see his character grow. But then he was overshadowed by Twigbranch and Violetshine (not that they aren’t good characters too) and there really seemed like there was no point to Alderheart’s story because Twig and Violet were the ones driving the story. I liked Alderheart at first because he was a different character from what we’re used to, but now I find myself not liking him as much as I could because I really feel like Alderheart was a waste of character and could’ve been used when he was actually important to the story overall. Now, he just fills like a filler POV that’s only there to make the book longer.

Redleaf
Redleaf
July 20, 2018 8:45 pm

Yes! Thank you! Someone else who shares my view. I fell like we’ve lost so much between Into the Wild and where we are now, and I can’t even pinpoint what it is. The Prophecies Begin was fantastic and The New Prophecy was great. I enjoyed The Power of Three. Omen of the Stars was boring in some places, but The Forgotten Warrior and The Last Hope made up for it. But AVOS… I feel like the series ended so well after The Last Hope, and even the fact that they made another series kind of bothers me. Most of the plotlines are recycled from other books, and the books confused me, with three different points of view all telling different stories. I just wish the authors had stopped after they finished Omen of the Stars. Now it just feels like they’re writing Warriors books for the sake of writing Warriors books, instead of because there’s another story to tell.

🎄 Not-So-Sane Hot Cocoa Rain 🎄
🎄 Not-So-Sane Hot Cocoa Rain 🎄
July 23, 2018 4:17 am

No, no, there is still more to go. SkyClan doesn’t just come and fit in right away. There’s more to it than that. I love the Warriors series, and I’m beyond overjoyed that the Erins are making more. There are ALWAYS more stories to tell. Nothing ends here. And to me, the Warriors series has evolved in a good way. Everything is more dramatic and fast-flowing, and aVoS gives a whole new feel to it. Rogues and such. Needletail and Alderheart were great additions, along with quirky Twigbranch and worrier-warrior Violetshine. Alderheart is like Firestar, Twigbranch like Dovewing, Violetshine like Hollyleaf, and Needletail like Squirrelflight. Ish. Great job, Erin Hunter (s).

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