Mellowix shares a theory about Lilywhisker and Badgerfang.
For those who don’t know, awhile ago, a friend of Vicky Homes, called Su Susann was allowed to answer fan questions. Amoung those answers were new Dark Forest residences like: Brightflower, Tangleburr, Blizzardwing etc. One of those being Lilywhisker, a former Tunneler and elder in Tallstar’s revenge. She was forced to retire early due to a cave-in, which crippled her leg and killed another tunneler called Leafshine. We don’t get to see much of Lilywhisker, seemly just your typical elders. Since so much of her life and character is uncounted for, it’s impossable to say the reasons why Su thought she may deserve the Dark Forest.
Su claims that Lilywhisker went to the Dark Forest because ‘she couldn’t accept her fate after her hind leg was broken’.
However, I like to think this isn’t actually the reason but simply the motivation, on what later caused her to do the horrible things that sent her to the Dark Forest.
And there’s even some evidence supporting it. Here’s the opening of Badgerfang’s story in the “Code of the Clans” and only appearance of his killer: “The Windclan warrior sprang with his claws unsheathed, and the little black-and-white cat fell to the ground without making a sound. A trickle of blood crept from his ear, which was crumpled in the dust. Flintfang shook off the warrior trying to sink her teeth into his tail and bounded over to his unmoving Clanmate.”
What we know about Badgerfang’s killer:
It’s a she-cat.
It’s a Windclan cat.
It’s also very likely this cat is also in the Dark Forest. It’s shown that simply training in the Dark Forest (Redwillow and Antpelt) or being loyal to the wrong cat (Tangleburr and Stumpytail), is enough to get you into the Dark Forest. So killing a kit would be more than enough to land you in the Dark Forest. Out of the three Windclan Dark Forests cats, we know of; Houndleap, Lilywhisker and Antpelt, it had to be Lilywhisker who killed Badgerfang. As she’s the only she-cat and lived in the right time frame to be alive when Shadowclan drove out Windclan.
Antpelt wasn’t even born yet and Houndleap was already in the Dark Forest when Spottledleaf was an apprentice, meaning Badgerfang wouldn’t of even born yet.
“She would have of been too old by that point to be alive.”. – At this point in time, Tallstar was still alive, with still serval years left in him (Not dying until Starlight). And when Lilywhisker was around the age of a young warrior (retired very early), Tallstar was a kit. So it’s not too much of a stretch to think Lilywhisker could an alive at this point. Probably being around the age of a senior warrior or actual proper to age to become an Elder.
“It’s said a warrior killed Badgerfang, not an elder.”. – Remember the story told from the point of view of 3/4 moon old kit. So it won’t be surprising that Bangerfang mistook most grown-up cats for warriors. And if Lilywhisker was fighting, that gives him, even more, of a reason to think she was a warrior. Also, remember what I said earlier, Lilywhisker very retired early, so she might have still been the age where she could be a warrior if her leg was never injured.
“It was during a battle, so it wouldn’t of been enough for her to be sent to the Dark Forest.” – I’d like to point to Clawface, he was sent to the Dark Forest for killing a Medicine cat from another Clan during a battle. And I’d say killing another clan’s kit during an attack can do the same thing. And I’d say it’s a lot worse. Badgerfang was clearly too young to be fighting and didn’t pose any threat, the warrior could have simply knocked him away with a single paw. But despite that, the warrior still lunged at him with unsheltered claws and continued to attack him after Badgerfang had been knocked to the floor. Acting way too ruthlessly. Murdering him was completely unnecessary. It beyond the excuse of ‘self-defense’.
“She didn’t know he was kit” – Anyone could have easily seen he was a kit. For example, during the battle when Moonflower died, Bluepaw and Snowpaw had been made apprentices slightly early, probably about 5.5 moons and Hawkheart was instantly able to tell she was a kit. For another example, during Brokenstar’s exile, Firepaw was attacked by Littlekit/paw, he was also able to instantly see he was a kit, sheltering his claws and knocking him away, saying ‘this is not your fight’. So if: Bluepaw was able to recognize as a kit at 5.5 moons and Firepaw could identify a kit, despite being one himself not too long ago, then Badgerfang as 3 moons olds could easily be recognized as a kit.
Even his official description of “very tiny, fluffy black-and-white tom. His face is striped like a badger’s.”, just screams with the topical kits traits of being tiny and having fluffy fur.
“Elders don’t fight.” – If you look back at the battles during the series, especially in the first arc, they’ll see elders do indeed fight. For example, Rosetail was killed by Blackfoot while defending the Nusary. While it’s not recommended/their duty anymore, elders can still fight if they want to. Usually doing this when cats directly attack their camp.
“Her crippled leg means she couldn’t fight” – An injured leg isn’t the end to be all. In Lilywhisker’s very own time, Deadfoot was able to fight and even become deputy despite having a twisted front paw. Cinderpelt was also able to brawl with badgers, despite having barely any warrior training at all. So Lilywhisker would of definitely been able to fight to some degree, especially against a kit, who are easily killed and not much of a threat.
Some of you might say that Lilywhisker wouldn’t have the motive/guts to do something so horrible. However, I would remind you, the last time we saw her, was all the way back in Tallstar’s revenge. Which was a long time ago and a lot can happen in that amount of time. Her broken leg may not be the reason she went to the Dark Forest, but it was a cause of a chain of events that lead her down that path.
Just remember what she had to go through; being forced into the Elder’s den too early, having no duties, having apprentices give you prey, clear out your bedding and check your pelt for ticks as if you were helpless. Just made worse as Deadfoot, a cat with a similar condition is allowed to become a warrior while she can’t. Then the tunnelers tradition, something her whole life was built around, was ended forever. The thing that gave her so much pride. This quote from Tallstar’s revenge, “I used to be able to hear a cavern halfway across the moor, just by the echo of my paw steps.”, proves she struggles to let go of the past and is quite prideful.
So after years of this, she becomes more and more bitter, desperately wanting to be useful to her clan. Then the perfect moment arrives, when Shadowclan attacks. This isn’t like most fights. Shadowclan isn’t satisfied with just scaring Windclan, they’re trying to chase them off for good. Lilywhisker can allow herself to do nothing, so throws herself into battle. The rage that had been building inside her for years is suddenly freed. Nothing would ruin her moment of glory. She becomes bloodthirstily in her battle rage and ends up going too far, killing an innocent kit (Possibly others). Sadly, Lilywhisker is never able to redeem herself in time before she dies, sending her to the Dark Forest.