Creekdapple wonders about the future of the warrior code. Minor spoilers for AVOS!
The warrior code is a collection of some of the most important rules for a Clan cat to live by, and those who disobey them will be severely punished… but ever since the New Prophecy, the warrior code is getting broken more and more often, and—here’s the interesting part, which I’m sure most of us have noticed—the punishments for breaking it are getting less severe. I believe this is intentional, and that, in the seventh arc, we will see parts of the warrior code being completely overturned.
The warrior code has held steady from its creation up to the New Prophecy, though some cats have obviously broken it. But many of its rules were created for a time when the Clans were rivals, attacking each other for whatever reasons they could find. As of A Vision of Shadows, the Clans are hardly ever rivals anymore, but cats are still expected to follow rules like not taking a mate from another Clan, or not trespassing on another Clan’s territory.
I think the Great Journey triggered a change in the way cats from different Clans relate to one another. They are no longer natural rivals, destined to spill each other’s blood, but rather, together in solidarity, held apart only by the warrior code telling them to keep their guard up. Even when one Clan isolates themselves, like WindClan under Onestar, it feels… unnatural. Unprecedented. This shift is also evident in Bramblestar’s addition to the code, that states that, when one Clan is in danger, the others must work together to help them. Again, we see another shift towards Clan unity when Tree is appointed as mediator between the Clans, to potentially solve all disputes before they come to violence.
I also feel like introducing the guardian cats in Tigerheart’s Shadow, a peaceful group with no enemies and no sense of territorialism, may be a way to show some of the problems with current Clan ways and foreshadow the Clans’ final stage, even if Tigerheart’s time in the guardian cats ended with them adopting Clan ways, and even if the Clans have less resources available to them than the guardian cats do.
And of course, the arc is called The Broken Code. I think the name possibly represents how the warrior code will be broken, not by any one cat, as that would be too insignificant to warrant a whole arc being named for it, but by mutual agreement between all the Clans to remove the laws that are keeping them apart. I’m not suggesting they abandon the warrior code entirely, but I am suggesting some outdated clauses might hopefully be removed and possibly replaced with other laws for how to handle these changes (e.g. at each gathering, all five Clans must bring any extra fresh-kill they have to share with those who need it, all interClan conflicts should be delegated to the mediator before resorting to violence, etc.) as the Clans grow ever closer to each other.
I’m eager to see how the future of the warrior code really plays out in Raging Storm and The Broken Code. Until then, I’ll just be sitting here rambling about cat politics like a weirdo.