Leafsong argues why Antpelt didn’t deserve a fate in the Dark Forest.
Leafsong here! This is my second article here on BlogClan so I’m kind of nervous but here goes! So today I wanted to talk about Antpelt. Did he really deserve the Dark Forest? Was he really that bad of a cat? Or was he just judged just by training in the Dark Forest—which, let me tell you, isn’t very hard to get into. Those dark warriors are tricky! My opinion on all of this: no, he did not deserve the Dark Forest. Here’s why.
Antpelt was a WindClan warrior. He first met young Ivypaw in the beginning of Night Whispers, where Thistleclaw had arranged a training session. A bit later they also trained together when the Clan cats were learning water battle tactics from the Dark Forest cats. He wasn’t ever as ambitious and vengeful as his Clanmate Breezepelt or as bloodthirsty as his mentor, Thistleclaw. And just think of it—he didn’t have to be. According to when Dovewing casts out her senses to the WindClan camp, he dies next to a she-cat who looks grief-stricken—his mate Swallowtail. He had a mate and was a warrior. But anyway, back to the main point.
We don’t really come into close contact with him until Sign of the Moon when Thistleclaw sets up a training session with just Ivypool and Antpelt (pages 63-68). When Thistleclaw twitches his tail for them to begin, Antpelt leaps at Ivypool with his claws sheathed. Thistleclaw yowls at them and says they are fighting like kits. Then Antpelt attacks Ivypool for real. But when Ivypool slips on some fungus, Antpelt waits for her to recover. Thistleclaw attacks Antpelt, calling him a coward. The Dark Forest warrior rakes claws down his back mercilessly and bites his teeth into Antpelt’s neck. Ivypool is horrified and she goes to help, soothing Antpelt by saying he is back in his WindClan nest. Antpelt lets out a whimper, then fades away. If Antpelt truly was a loyal Dark Forest warrior, he would’ve attacked Ivypool viciously, claws unsheathed, and teeth bared.
Later, in Sign of the Moon, Ivypool encounters Antpelt, all healed but with ugly scars lining his back and neck in the Dark Forest. At first Ivypool is confused, thinking Antpelt has healed. Here’s a long quote that also supports my opinion as well. On page 134 it states “He [Antpelt] gave her a puzzled look. ‘This is my home now,’ He meowed. For a heartbeat Ivypool didn’t understand him; then she felt as though she had fallen into an icy stream. ‘You—you died?’ She gasped. Antpelt shrugged. ‘You can see it that way if you want.’ ‘Did you choose to come here?’ Ivypool asked, trying to keep the shock out of her voice. I liked Antpelt! He doesn’t belong with these evil cats! ‘These are my Clanmates, more than WindClan ever was.’ Antpelt told her with a trace of regret in his voice.” In my opinion, his trace of regret means a lot. Again, if he was a truly bad cat, wouldn’t he say something along the lines of taunting the Clans in some way or using his death as an excuse to become more powerful? Also, in the books afterwards there shows no hint of him training any other Dark Forest apprentices. So, he wasn’t that high in the ranks of the Dark Forest.
He’s basically in the background until The Forgotten Warrior, where he is commanding Ivypool and some other apprentices as they climb trees. When Ivypool drops down from her branch and attacks Antpelt she confronts him. She tells him why he seems to have forgotten how she saved him formed Thistleclaw. Antpelt replies (on page 72), “‘Who cares about the past? This is my Clan now!’ Antpelt hissed, slashing his claws toward her throat.” Wow, that was harsh and evil for a cat who started out good!
My theory is that perhaps the Dark Forest makes cats somehow worst than when they were alive. I mean, think about it. Number one, you’re surrounded by cats who are evil and bloodthirsty. That alone might get to your head. Second, I do have a feeling that the Dark Forest somehow does something to turn the cats who go there just…evil. For example, Thistleclaw. If you’ve read Spottedleaf’s Heart and Bluestar’s Prophecy he does have a very loyal side when it comes to protecting his Clan. And yes, he was bloodthirsty! But somehow in the Dark Forest, he seems worst. Mapleshade as well. She’s so full of anguish and it does state in Warriors: The Ultimate Guide that she wants revenge on the Clans (RiverClan and ThunderClan particularly), but in the Dark Forest she just seems insane. I guess it makes sense for someone to go through so much pain that it gets to their head, but I just feel like all the Dark Forest warriors are a bit rougher than they were in real life. And then there are those cats who I don’t see why they’re in the Dark Forest! Like, come on! What did Brightflower and Lilywhisker ever do? I mean, honestly, Lilywhisker was a normal elder, she was apparently bitter at her injury and she felt like she couldn’t serve her Clan well…but then…Briarlight would be bad? Didn’t she feel bitter about being “useless”? And Brightflower was tricked by Brokenstar! Antpelt was probably tricked by the Dark Forest…perhaps he doesn’t belong there either!
And that’s why I feel like Antpelt’s misunderstood. I feel like he really shouldn’t belong in the Dark Forest. Maybe the Erins should make something about him. So, we could understand his backstory a bit more, and know his true feelings? I think he’s actually a pretty complicated character, but we haven’t really got that much information and backstory on him. Anyway, that’s all for today! Thanks for reading and please comment below on what you think! May StarClan light your path! ~Leafsong