Wafflecone shares their opinion on Thistleclaw.
Before reading Spottedleaf’s Heart, I thought of him as a mediocre villain. Like a character with no development whatsoever, only seen alive from Bluestar’s perspective. Now, of course Bluepaw/fur/star would be annoyed with him, he was always arrogant, he “stole” her sister and had kits with her, and he was her biggest challenge in her role as leader. But clearly, this is not enough to send him to the Dark Forest. Yes, he was aggressive and longing for battle. But nothing more than Adderfang or Stormtail! You don’t see them cruising in the Dark Forest! And for that sake, Bluefur was just as hungry for power as he was! Sure, she was just trying to “protect the Clan from Thistleclaw’s leadership” but really, was sacrificing her kits the right price to pay? Many Bluestar-fans use it as an excuse that “Ooh poor baby Bluefur, her family keeps dying all around her!” I disagree with that being a valid excuse for Bluestar’s actions. Because Thistleclaw’s sister, Sweetpaw, died right before his mate, Snowfur. And Bluefur’s mother, Moonflower, died almost a year before her sister, Snowfur. They both have a connection to Snowfur, who recently died, but Thistleclaw has a closer death in his family than Bluefur, so is he more eligible of acting the way he does because of that? Sure, Mosskit died to, but to be honest, she didn’t have to die! If Bluefur had gotten her stuff together and let Thistleclaw become deputy, he sure would’ve been killed, but if not, a Thistlestar didn’t sound so bad after all, did it?
Now, in Crookedstar’s Promise, things get a little spicier. We learn that he is training in the Dark Forest with Shredtail, Mapleshade, and a mysterious cat named Silverhawk. He even tells Shredtail that it should’ve been Bluefur on the Thunderpath killing Snowfur, his mate and mother of his son, proving that he wishes death to the blue-gray she-cat. He also doesn’t seem to feel bad for going to the Dark Forest at night, almost like Breezepelt. This gives him more of a reason to end up in the Dark Forest.
In Spottedleaf’s Heart, it is clear where Thistleclaw belongs. I don’t want to go too in on this, as it kind of disgusts me, but Thistleclaw is like a child predator in this book, asking Spottedpaw, a child who /trusts/ him, to meet him at nighttime without telling anyone, and luring her into the Dark Forest. Spottedleaf’s Heart actually became one of my favorite books, just because it gave me a new view of Thistleclaw. As an evil character who belonged in the Dark Forest. (The only thing that pulls this book down is the whole “Spottedkit is determined to become the greatest warrior of ThunderClan, until she realizes that she is destined to become a medicine cat”-thing. But that’s not my point.
We first meet Thistleclaw as an aggressive, arrogant warrior hungry for battle and power. We then see him in literally cat hell, wishing death upon his Clanmates. And in the end we see him as a disgusting child predator, making it obvious where he belongs after his death.
PS: Let me make this clear, Thistleclaw going to StarClan, and then being chased over to the Dark Forest by Bluestar is NOT canon, Vicky has confirmed that he went straight to the Dark Forest. The whole Thistleclaw-belongs-in-StarClan-thing was only like a head-canon from the authors. There, I said it.