Chrysanthemum, otherwise known as I’m in me mum’s cAr, shares their three least favourite characters. Are any of them on your list?
Top 3 least favourite character
Because I’m bored and sitting in bed with a headache, I’m writing this article 😀
If you disagree with me on anything, that’s fine, just don’t resort to attacking me in the comments
Spoilers for the New Prophecy arc, the Power of Three arc, and Mapleshade’s Vengeance
Take everything I say with a pinch of salt 😊
(Even in my writing I tend to sound more emotional than I actually am, oops)
Leafpool is a complete set of problems for the characters and plot of books mainly stemming from her constantly moping about her own decision to break it off with Crowfeather and then acting like her job as a medicine cat was the only thing to ever give her life meaning. It honestly just really aggravates me that the Erins supposedly went out of their way to just outright vilify and demonise Crowfeather’s character in about every book after the New Prophecy. Most of the fandom seems to forget that it was Leafpool who decided to break off her relationship with Crowfeather. LEAFPOOL is the one that decided to hide the fact they had kids. LEAFPOOL is the reason HIS life went to hell. Yet whenever you see the two of them interacting Leafpool constantly acts like her life has been so difficult. And, oh yes, remind me again, exactly how did ThunderClan punish her for running off with Crowfeather and disrespecting the Warrior Code again? Ah yes! That’s right, they didn’t! Yet Crowfeather became a literal pariah within his OWN clan during an essentially aggressive regime change. But the book attempts to convince us that it’s Leafpool we’re supposed to feel sympathy for. But because why? Because Crowfeather decided to enter a political marriage? Because he had a kitten with someone another she-cat than Leafpool? Or was it because he was understandably and justifiably mad at her for throwing away everything they ever had together and ruining his entire life?
Okay, now, I’ll give her that StarClan and especially Spottedleaf manipulated the situation further than they should have, but at the end of the day, Leafpool brought it upon herself to end the relationship between him. And what makes everything worse was that she forced her romantic problems upon Squirrelflight and expected her to solve them all for her. Not only that, but it ended up ruining Squirrelflight’s and Brambleclaw’s relationship.
What a very thoughtful and selfless she-cat you are Leafpool. I tip my hat off to you ma’am.
Oh Ashfur. Good ol’ Ashfur. An even more frustrating read than Leafpool. Not only because of all his raging fanboys and fangirls, but because of him, Ashfur, as a character himself. It’s just incredibly disappointing that he didn’t go to the Dark Forest, not only for moral reasons but for plot reasons as well. There were plenty of interesting ways they could’ve gone with his character, but let’s just address the main two:
A redemption arc- Rather than being simply written as a scum-of-the-earth character, he’s written as cat, still not fully over his mother’s murder, watching the she-cat he loved got into a relationship with someone else. It would have been interesting for Ashfur to have been depression feeling he has no other way to turn other than what is impulses are telling him. And when he dies he recognises what he did was wrong and apologises to his victims. That’s the only way I could see his justification in StarClan working. That’s the only way he could be redeemed.
A full-blown villain- He’s sent to the Dark Forest, and perhaps we get to see how he develops there. Perhaps we could’ve gotten another Darkstripe case, where he regrets his crimes but still has to suffer in the darkness forever. I feel this could’ve been very interesting.
But instead they decide to go with this strange hybrid of the two, a once apparently well-meaning and loyal cat who was sent to StarClan when he really doesn’t deserve it, and only once he’s there are they actually trying to assure us that he’s ‘not that bad’ and coming up with awful excuses for his crimes. It is honestly just unsettling I see his fangirl/boys blaming the innocent victim, Squirrelflight, for what he did and then claiming his actions to be acceptable because he was friend-zoned. I’m fully aware that most of that minority are the younger readers of the books and that they will grow out of it eventually, but it’s still somewhat scary to think about what would happen if this logic was ever applied to real life.
I do not hate Ashfur because of his actions. I hate Ashfur due to the simple fact that he got away with his actions. Tigerstar killed much more cats with much less reasonability, but I don’t hate him mainly because I’m satisfied he got what he deserved by getting sent to the Dark Forest. If Ashfur was treated like the villain that he was, then I probably would be able to find him an interesting and likeable character, a villain driven by emotions rather than ‘ambition’. But his character is just completely and utterly unsatisfying, without any proper conclusion. You can’t have an attempted mass-murderer and then have them instantly killed off and then shoved into Kitty Heaven without redemption and hope that the reader completely forgets about their existence. It literally feels like they had him turn murderous for the sole purpose of having the Power of Three secret uncovered and to kick-start Hollyleaf’s downfall, who would then have Ashfur dead once he had fulfilled his purpose.
Not only was Ashfur an attempted mass-murderer, he also showed signs of being emotionally-abusive/manipulative. So, if they wanted to tackle this sort of character in children’s story, it must be done with very much care. And it can reach a very harsh but valuable lesson that needs to be learned, that being the ability to tell the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. Ashfur should’ve displayed more possessive and obsessive behaviours, such as stalking, and it should’ve been made very clear that those were abnormal traits for the average person. And when Ashfur commits his crime, it’s made abundantly clear that it should be the innocent victims you sympathise with before you even consider thinking pitying the attempted mass-murderer. Attempting to kill your Clan leader, a blind medicine cat and your own apprentice because they were supposedly related to the innocent she-cat who friend-zoned is the single most pathetic motive yet in the entire series.
I’ve also never understood why Ashfur is treated so differently from other villains by the fandom. Why is he given so much sympathy? I certainly have absolutely none for him. For a feral cat, he actually led a very good life. He lived in a perfectly stable environment in the form of the ThunderClan camp, and was surrounded by his friends and kin, all who he could’ve turned to for support. Age isn’t too much of an issue for these cats as long as both parties are consenting warriors/adults, so he could’ve moved onto another she-cat. All that happened to him was self-inflicted and the reasonings behind his crimes are utterly pathetic. He had no right to hurt innocent cats around him.
To put it short, I think Ashfur is an unlikable character and a poorly-written villain.
Before I reveal number one, here are some dishonourable mentions:
You probably saw this all coming, mainly because I don’t shut up about how I hate her on the Blog. Unless you’re new here and probably didn’t expect this and when you read ‘Spoilers for Mapleshade’s Vengeance’ at the top you most likely guessed Appledusk would be here. (Although the front picture is literally of Mapleshade)
But that’s all irrelevant, let’s just get to point of why I hate this cat with such a burning passion.
Firstly, her personality
She’s so self-absorbed to the point where I find it unbearable and enraging to read about, she’s constantly unwilling to admit to her own mistakes and so she shifts the blame onto others, believing she could be the only cat in the right. She also unfairly dragged innocent cats into her crimes, like Ravenwing and Frecklewish, when they had nothing to do with it. Expecting them to just ‘get over it’ or worse, actually become a liar/traitor themselves just to protect her. And not only that, but she’s shown to be incredibly reckless throughout the entirety of her novella. But the two main parts of the book where this personality trait really begins to shine was:
One- bringing her kits to the river to see Appledusk. Mapleshade took her kits to the RiverClan border and let them swim around in the water, very clearly showing off their RiverClan traits. And back in the ThunderClan camp she constantly mentions her forbidden mate, Appledusk, not being subtle at all: “I wish I could be there to see that too. Make sure you tell them that I’ve had three perfect, strong kits who are going to be great warriors!” she told Frecklewish. “Especially Appledusk. Tell him first” – Chapter 3.
Two- Making her kits swim across dangerous waters. Sure, you can make the argument that while in exile she was in a state of panic, however she still decided to make them swim the flood unaided without an attempt of a safer alternative, such calling for a RiverClan patrol, searching for a safer route, ect. Patchkit (?) even protests against her idea, wailing that there was ‘too much water’. If a kit can quite clearly see these dangers, Mapleshade has no excuse. She had JUST left the camp and they weren’t being actively chased, so was in so such hurry and could’ve at least attempted a better option.
Secondly, an I’m aware how over-dramatic this sounds, I do feel her character justifies murder/revenge quite a bit. Just find anything Mapleshade related on the internet, scroll through the comments and the amount of people saying, ‘Her victims deserved’, ‘She did the right thing’, and, most disturbing of all, ‘I enjoyed reading about her murder them’ (I see this one said eerily commonly) is truly astounding. When an innocent character is being mauled by a snake or a pregnant queen is forced to watch her mate and father of her unborn kits be brutally murdered, the majority of the fandom will instantly be going ‘Aw, poor little mass-murder… Boo victims!’, and it’s just… unsettling. And no, I’m not claiming children are going to go around slitting each other’s throats and leading each other into venomous snakes, but, just like what I said with Ashfur, it’s scary to think about the dangers of applying this logic to real life. And sure, you could make the argument that her victims were NOT innocent, but if you try and look past Mapleshade’s bias point of view, you will see that they were. Ravenwing was young and inexperienced and had no other way to turn other than spilling Mapleshade’s secret, simply because she posed a risk to the Clan. Frecklewish was a ThunderClan cat who couldn’t get involved unless she wanted to worsen the situation, and Appledusk chose loyalty to his Clan over the forbidden mate who killed his kits through her recklessness. I would go further into detail, but I’ve already written a whole article on it which I would link you to, but it hasn’t been published at the time I was writing this.
And that is the end of the article in which I have meltdowns over fictional talking cats. Hope you enjoyed and have a great day! 😀
Art by Flash-the-artist on DeviantArt