Viperfrost continues their analysis of Tigerstar’s kin in the sequel to their first article!
It’s Viper, here to talk about Tigerstar’s grandkits in a continuation of that first article! 😊
Second Generation: Alderheart, Sparkpelt, Tigerstar II, Dawnpelt, and Flametail. Roles:
1. For position, Alderheart is one of the medicine cats of Thunderclan. For family, he has no mate and no kits.
2. For position, Sparkpelt is a warrior of Thunderclan. For family, she has no mate (YET…SPARKLARK) and no kits.
3. For position, Tigerstar II is the leader of Shadowclan. For family, he has a mate, Dovewing, and three kits, Shadowkit, Pouncekit, and Lightkit.
4. For position, Dawnpelt was a warrior of Shadowclan. For family, she had a mate, the deputy Crowfrost, and three kits, Sleekwhisker, Juniperclaw (temporary deputy), and Strikestone.
5. For position, Flametail was the medicine cat of Shadowclan. For family, he had no mate and no kits.
First up is Alderheart and Sparkpelt. We get Alderheart’s perspective, and I really like him. He connects with anyone who’s ever been nervous or afraid to fail. Sparkpelt isn’t given a POV, but she’s cool nonetheless. At first, she seemed like a stereotypical “perfect” character with which we were supposed to compare Alderheart, but she shows her own sassy personality that is distinctly reminiscent of her mother Squirrelflight and grandmother Sandstorm (in her younger days). I actually don’t have any problems with these two. They both serve to subvert certain stereotypes (the Warriors medicine cat who falls into forbidden love and the Mary Sue) and have strong characterization. Maybe it’s because they are also the grandkits of Firestar. Maybe it’s because they’re the fully-biological second litter Bramblestar and Squirrelflight raised. There are many options, but it could also just be that over time, the characterizations in Warriors have improved. Anyway, props on these ones. Sparklark FTW! 😛
And then we have Flametail, Dawnpelt, and Tigerstar II/Tigerheartstar. Flametail was the prodigy medicine cat, and then the poor cat who drowned in the lake. Later, he sulks around in Starclan when Jayfeather asks him to tell the Clans that he wasn’t murdered. He also ends up in the Dark Forest at one point and is nearly murdered by Ivypool. I’m neutral on Flametail. We don’t hear a lot from him, but we do get a very small POV and some reasoning behind his actions. He had a minor role, but recurred several times. I don’t have much to say about him.
On the other paw, I’ve got a lot to say about Tigerstar II. Honestly, I have no idea how the Clans didn’t bring up changing his name so he wouldn’t share the same name as the murderous, villainous former leader of the same clan, who was his grandfather and looked just like him . But I’m not here to get into that right now. We’ve heard a lot about Tigerstar II. A lot. In the Power of Three, he was one of the young “cousins” of Lionblaze, Jayfeather, and Hollyleaf. In Omen of the Stars, he was the star-crossed lover of Dovewing. In Tigerheart’s Shadow, he runs away with Dovewing when she becomes pregnant with his kits (Shadowkit, Lightkit, and Pouncekit). In AVoS, he becomes the leader of Shadowclan.
I don’t even like Tigerstar II, but I can tell you all about his entire life, because that’s what we’ve been shown. I’m going to put forth a point that may prove controversial. Please don’t flame me *cowers*. Tigerstar II didn’t earn anything. Think about it. In Omen of the Stars, he is sent as one of the two Shadowclan cats to unblock the dam. Who chose him to do that? He was a young warrior at the time, remember, standing beside the more experienced Toadfoot. The leadership of Shadowclan selected him. And who was that? The leader, Blackstar, the deputy, Rowanclaw (Tigerheart’s father), and the medicine cats Littlecloud and Flametail (Tigerheart’s brother). I can completely understand Blackstar picking an older, more experienced warrior like Toadfoot to go on the quest. It’s a very sensible, logical, Blackstar-esque thing to do. But exactly who thought, of all the cats in Shadowclan, Tigerheart would be a good fit? Was it the cutthroat Blackstar, or Tigerheart’s dear father? I’ll leave you to decide that.
After that, we learn that Tigerheart is training in the Dark Forest (even before Flametail died, so that wasn’t why he was recruited). Why was he there? He didn’t have bitter family resentment like Blossomfall, and wasn’t constantly undervalued the way Ivypaw was around Dovepaw. He was selected specifically by Tigerstar I, just because he was his grandkit and he wanted another prodigy family villain like Hawkfrost.
He breaks the rules constantly, just to have an inter-clan romance with Dovewing. He also breaks the Dark Forest rules constantly (you have to participate in Cat Hell if that’s what you signed up for, and I’m sure someone who wasn’t the leader’s grandkit wouldn’t have gotten off the hook so easily), again just to have an inter-clan romance with Dovewing. In Tigerheart’s Shadow, he has absolutely no problem with ditching his clan and family to run away with Dovewing because she doesn’t want to join Shadowclan. Outside of the Clans, Tigerheart still manages to be annoying by messing up a formerly peaceful society of cats who have now been transformed into a pseudo-Clan with what will likely be a future riddled with unnecessary wars. Then he returns to Shadowclan, somehow getting everything he wants as Dovewing suddenly has a magical change of heart and joins Shadowclan.
It turns out that he left at exactly the wrong time. Rowanstar, who stepped down to Rowanclaw, ends up dying. His temporary deputy, Tawnypelt, gives up her position to her son immediately. Tigerheart made no effort to earn that, and did not make up at all for betraying his Clan several times. As mentioned in my previous article, Tawnypelt may have had ambition at a younger age. I will admit that perhaps her views simply changed over time, especially after the death of her son Flametail, which would be entirely understandable.
However, that still does not explain Tigerheart’s credentials for this position at all. After becoming leader, Tigerstar II attempts to prove himself by engaging in constant conflict with Skyclan to the point of driving them away from the lake altogether. In the process, he takes a medicine cat (his Thunderclan cousin Alderheart) hostage and promotes his nephew Juniperclaw to the position of deputy, where he poisons Skyclan’s prey. Tigerstar II, to this point in time, has continued to make terrible decisions. I’ll be blunt: Tigerstar II is not the leader Shadowclan needs. He isn’t bringing them together after the Kin fiasco like Blackstar did after the Brokenstar tragedy. That’s likely because, unlike Blackstar, he wasn’t there for the big event. While Darktail was coercing Shadowclan’s young apprentices into his cult, Tigerheart was off with Dovewing.
That’s not really his fault; he was doing it for love and all, which would be fine he wasn’t leader. But that’s exactly my point: he shouldn’t have become leader of Shadowclan. He isn’t qualified. He doesn’t have the dedication to his Clan that he should have. He’s a little too familiar with breaking the rules, and not even for the right reasons (I forgive Firestar for breaking the rules a lot, because he only did so to do what he knew was the right thing). What annoys me so much is that he didn’t even have to be chosen for this. There was Tawnypelt, who could’ve been leader. If she isn’t young enough (yeah, she’s pretty old, but so is Bramblestar), there were others as well; he could’ve stepped down in favor of another cat when they returned to Shadowclan. And that brings me to Dawnpelt.
When I say Dawnpelt, you might struggle to remember her in any major capacity, eventually landing on “that annoying cat from Omen of the Stars who accused Jayfeather of drowning Flametail and got him demoted.” That’s alright, I completely understand. I used to think that way too. Recently, however, I was considering the whole Flametail situation and realized the sheer magnitude of what Dawnpelt achieved. Think about it.
She accused a medicine cat of murder . That isn’t a small charge. When you think about a situation like that, you might think that it would be dismissed and she would have a stern reprimand from her leader, but that wasn’t the case. Dawnpelt campaigned her case so well that she politically divided the Clan cats into two groups (he killed him, he didn’t kill him) that transcended Clan borders; even some Thunderclanners thought that their surly medicine cat was a murderer. Her reach was so powerful that they literally had to bring a cat down from Starclan to disprove her.
The only instances in Warriors even comparable to Dawnpelt v. Jayfeather are the Mudclaw v. Onestar (for the charges levelled) and Hollyleaf v. Leafpool (for the Gathering disruption) cases. Except Mudclaw died at the end, and everyone thought Hollyleaf had as well. Dawnpelt lived, and somehow we all forgot about her. I mean, she was the living, walking, breathing Mudclaw/Hollyleaf of Shadowclan, and it seems like she just…disappeared. To the characters and readers, at least. There was no “Alderpaw, look, that one over there must be Mistystar from Riverclan, and there’s Onestar from Windclan, and…oh, there’s Dawnpelt, the cat who accused our medicine cat of murder!” She was just casually thrown into lists of who was where. Recognition was completely absent for Dawnpelt. She just quietly took a mate, Crowfrost, and had three kits, Sleekwhisker, Juniperclaw, and Strikestone.
Until Violetkit was apprenticed to her, anyway. From what we saw of Dawnpelt, she matured from a brazen young warrior with an accusation to a strong, independent warrior who kept her sense of compassion. She was a good mentor to Violetpaw, and was understanding of Twigpaw’s excursion into Shadowclan’s territory. She defended Crowfrost’s decision to release Twigpaw instead of holding her captive further. She cared deeply for her mate and her kits, and chose to stay with her kits in the Kin rather than leave with her brother and parents. She later made the decision to leave the Kin, and was likely drowned by Darktail.
She changed a lot from what she once did, and it would’ve been nice if she were recognized for it. Her accomplishments and character development, in my opinion, were more valuable than Tigerheart’s, and I wish we could’ve gotten a little more about her and a lot less about him. It saddens me that she died, because if she had made it out of the Kin alive, I would’ve fully supported her in becoming leader and having Tigerstar II step down to hang out with his mate and kits. That’s just my two cents, anyway. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments! 😊