Viperfrost has a look at Tigerstar and his descendants.
We all know Tigerstar, the proud, ambitious warrior of Thunderclan who led to the deaths of so many. The clones of Tigerstar are also well-known among the fandom. Bramblestar, Hawkfrost, Tigerstar II…the list goes on. We’ve read about the struggles of the sons of Tigerstar as they tried so hard to resist the call of the Dark Forest. Some turned their backs on the DF, obtaining power in a good way, while others embraced it, becoming villainous. The series has shown us so much character development for these toms who seem destined to be recruited by darkness. And then, on the other paw, we have…their sisters.
Hello, everyone! It’s Viper, feeling suddenly inspired, here to talk about the kin of Tigerstar I and the disparity between the sons and daughters. By this, I mean that the male descendants always seem to get more recognition and rewards than the female descendants. This is especially interesting (to me, anyway :P), since Firestar’s descendants (the other major source of power positions and protagonists) are more equal in distribution of power among the descendants’ genders.
Don’t get me wrong. Kate (and everyone else on the team) is awesome, and I always look forward to the next installment of my favorite series. I’m merely examining a pattern that seems to show up often with Tigerstar’s descendants.
By rewards, I mean leadership positions. By recognition, I mean how much book-time is devoted to them, their issues, and their characters in general. We’re just going to look at the first generation of his descendants for this article.
First Generation: Bramblestar, Tawnypelt, Hawkfrost, and Mothwing. Rewards:
1. For position, Bramblestar was the Thunderclan emissary for the Sun-Drown-Place Quest, the apprentice of the great Firestar, and is currently (written 3/5/18, in case he dies in TBC) the leader of Thunderclan. For family, he is the mate of the deputy of Thunderclan (Squirrelflight), foster-father that raised two of the Three that saved the Clans from the Dark Forest, the foster-father of one of the Clan’s medicine cats, and the biological father of another of the Clan’s medicine cats.
2. For position, Tawnypelt was the Shadowclan emissary for the Sun-Drown-Place Quest. She was the Shadowclan deputy for approximately five seconds before ceding it to her inexperienced son. For family, she is the mate of the late Rowanstar and the mother of Tigerstar II, leader of Shadowclan, and Flametail, deceased medicine cat of Shadowclan.
3. For position, Hawkfrost was the temporary deputy of Riverclan while Mistyfoot was elsewhere and a senior warrior of the Dark Forest. For family, Hawkfrost had no mate and no kits.
4. For position, Mothwing is the atheist medicine cat of Riverclan. For family, she has no mate and no kits.
Let’s start off with Hawkfrost and Mothwing. Contrary to popular opinion, Mothwing was actually influential. Mothwing is one of the only two atheists in the Clans. She stands up for her beliefs, even when Mistystar threatens to make her retire in Mistystar’s Omen. Mothwing developed from a nervous, meek cat we knew in the New Prophecy to the strong, resilient cat we know today.
Despite being surrounded by cats who wouldn’t understand her beliefs and feeling alone in a crowd, she still fully committed to her medicine cat duties. She has taught Willowshine to the best of her abilities, even though she couldn’t pass on the knowledge of Starclan.
She doesn’t waver in her desire to serve her Clan, even though she doesn’t have any kin there and everyone around her worships THEIR ancestors. She was a moral for everyone; being different doesn’t make you bad or wrong, and you can still achieve what you want. And if that wasn’t enough to make you reconsider your stance on Mothwing, I’d like you to remember Mistystar’s Omen.
Mistystar flips out because Mothwing ordered a warrior to release a fish they caught back into the water during a time when fish were scarce. Mothwing calmly informs her that it was a big fish, and they needed to release it so that it would breed and have larger offspring that they could catch. That’s right, everybody. Mothwing understands science.
But for all that she represents, Mothwing still gets the short end of the stick. She will probably die with most of her Clan not understanding her. Mistystar has an entire novella devoted to being cruel to Mothwing before finally realizing in the end that Mothwing’s expertise is necessary for the Clan to survive, but that doesn’t mean she really accepts her. Frankly, when Mistystar eventually dies I’ll be curious to see how Reedstar fares with Mothwing. Unless, of course, she dies first. At which point she will apparently go to Starclan, where she can live among her warrior ancestors! Except…she doesn’t have warrior ancestors up there. Sasha was a rogue, and her father and brother were in the Dark Forest but are now…somewhere? Forever? So she gets to live among everyone else’s warrior ancestors, to whom she has no connection…yay? At least Hawkfrost felt accepted by his peers and got to be a leader up until his death.
And then there’s Bramblestar and Tawnypelt. They have the same qualifications for leadership. They are the same age and went on the same quest. They went through the same journey to prove themselves to their clans, though Tawnypelt probably did additional work to convince everyone she was past her Thunderclan roots. Yet Bramblestar is a leader and Tawnypelt is still a mere warrior. But, you might say, Tawnypelt said that she doesn’t actually want to be leader! She told Tigerstar II that, remember? Yes, I do. But was that the original plan for her?
If I remember correctly, there is a scene in Sunset where Brambleclaw is walking through the Dark Forest when he stumbles upon Tigerstar talking to Tawnypelt. He is trying to recruit his daughter, but she tells him that she will gain all of what he offers by herself, on her own terms, not his. So she might’ve sought power at one point, but by her own plans instead of her father’s. She was a strong, independent character that really demonstrated that you could go on to accomplish greater things without having to follow the orders of someone who promises it to you. You could do it by yourself.
But what did she get for this? She was given to Rowanclaw for a mate just because his gender was mixed up so often, even though he was one of the very cats who insulted her for her Thunderclan heritage and questioned her loyalty earlier in the series. Eventually, she was merely used to illustrate how Tigerstar II didn’t want leadership but needed to step up for the good of his Clan (despite his mother being far more qualified for the job). While Bramblestar eventually achieved his ambitions without the Dark Forest’s aid, Tawnypelt (who never signed on with the Dark Forest in the first place) was simply relegated to a life of being surrounded by power without receiving it.
Her father was a leader, her mate was a leader, her son is a leader, but she will likely never be. Tawnypelt could have been a great leader, and I mourn the loss of her ‘star potential. However, that does not change how awesome she is. She’ll be the coolest elder in Shadowclan, just wait and see. And maybe she can wrangle her son into being a professional leader who doesn’t hold medicine cats hostage. Who knows? Anything’s possible. 😛
Alright, so this has gotten a little long and there’s still so many cats to go, so I’ll break it off here. I’ll likely do two more installments, one for Tigerstar I’s grandchildren and one for his great-grandchildren. I hope you liked the article, even if I might’ve rambled on in some parts. 😊