Why Do Cats Go to the Dark Forest ? Could it finally be solved ? by Mapledrift

Mapledrift wonders what makes a cat go to the Dark Forest. Do you agree with her theory?

Artwork by MossclawArt

Hello there BlogClan !!

Today I am writing a theory I have had for a while about how cats end up in the Dark Forest, which is very debated in the fandom.
A few that I discounted for various reasons are
Cats who have broken the code
Cats who have killed
Cats who were overly ambitious
Cats who did bad things (morally wrong)

So now you may be wondering what this theory is, and how it is any better than the others. WIth these theories I have always found at least one example that falls through, either going to StarClan or the Dark Forest whilst they shouldn’t be there.
Let me introduce you to the theory :
Cats go to the Dark Forest if they are going to have a physical, emotional or mental impact on the health of cats who are currently in and/ or going to join StarClan.

Basically cats go to the Dark Forest if they are going to be a threat to the health of any StarClan cats or to those who may join StarClan one day. StarClan doesn’t ever seem to care too much about the moral rights and wrongs of the cats who join their ranks, so what if instead of looking at deeds, they look at how the cat with impact the safety and stability of StarClan.
To try and prove this theory is correct, I am going to go through every Dark Forest cat who we know the crimes of and every StarClan cat who has been debated by the fandom enough for some people to say they deserve the Dark Forest

Firstly, the current villains and members of the Dark Forest :
Tigerstar is quite an obvious one. As an incredibly ambitious cat, Tigerstar would probably aim to take over StarClan. He would not rest until he had destroyed those who had stood in his way in life, so would be a massive risk to anyone who had opposed him. Quite obviously, he falls under the criteria of a Dark Forest cat.

Next, Mapleshade. Mapleshade’s whole villainy was based around seeking vengeance to get her kits to StarClan, and although you may say that she did that, Mapleshade never forgave or forgot what the clans and the cats she murdered did to her. There is no way she would have forgiven and peacefully lived with them in their afterlife.

I don’t think I really need to talk about this one, but Brokenstar caused a lot of kitten trauma, and it definitely would not be mentally good for the kittens who died because of him to see him again. So not a very safe cat to allow into StarClan, incredibly violent as well.

Thistleclaw is often the reason many of these theories fall through as he hasn’t directly killed anyone (although in many eyes including mine the grooming of Spottedpaw is very clearly just as awful as murder, it’s lucky it didn’t go any further). Now he would fit into the Dark Forest under my theory because if Spottedleaf saw him again it would likely cause great emotional trauma, remembering what she went through as a child. On top of that, Thistleclaw would not be able to let past rivalries go and very likely would attack some RiverClan StarClan members he fought in life.

Whilst Darkstripe hasn’t done anything too awful, he is completely absorbed in Tigerstar’s words (and maybe even in love with him, depending on what your personal head canons are), so it would be no surprise if he tried to continue Tigerstar’s work for him in StarClan. Therefore it would be unsafe for him to stay there.

Hawkfrost would have followed his father’s teachings without a doubt making him an incredibly dangerous cat to be in StarClan.

Antpelt died whilst training in the Dark Forest, and we could see that he was incredibly loyal to them. It wouldn’t have been a stretch for StarClan to assume he would try and rejoin the Dark Forest anyway, or attack StarClan members for the cats who stayed there.

Now onto StarClan cats who seem a little iffy !!!

Ashfur. He may seem an obvious “will pose a threat to someone in the future” but hear me out. Ashfur achieved all that he wanted. Squirrelflight was ruined, Brambleclaw had left her and she couldn’t turn to her adopted kits ,one of which had run away. There was nothing else he wished to do, and in StarClan’s view, it would be safe to allow him to join as he had already made Squirrelflight suffer enough. (obviously we don’t know whether those lost stars theories are true yet soooo)

Although Appledusk was not a great cat, with Mapleshade already sure to be sent to the Dark Forest, there was no reason for him to go to the Dark Forest as well, there was no cat in StarClan who could be hurt by him going there. He didn’t mean to kill Birchface and you can assume there would be no risk of them attacking each other over a fight in the past as from what we know, neither cat is unreasonably violent.

Blackstar did kill someone, but we can be sure that he feels guilty for this and has changed a lot. Stonefur doesn’t seem like the sort of cat to hold a grudge either.

In my mind Rainflower doesn’t care about her son enough for her to even bother talking to him in StarClan, so it wouldn’t affect anything much if she went there.

Mudclaw after dying would have most likely seen it as a sign he was never the rightful leader, so would have been a little resentful but not too angry at either Tallstar or Onestar for him to end up hurting either of them

I think that’s all ! I hope you like this theory ! If there is anyone who stood out to you as not fitting it , tell me in the comments and I will try and fit them into it. If you want to accept this theory as a headcanon that’s awesome and super cool but if you are talking about it, remember not to claim you made it 🙂

Bye !!!

Fan Articles


  • This is a great article Maple, I totally agree with you!!!
    But I don’t think that Brightflower should have been in the dark forest.

    Maggottail, Snowtuft, Sparrowfeather and countless other more cats are also part of the dark forest.

    • Thank you 😀
      Did you know the warrior cats wiki removed her from the Dark Forest list 😀 she’s freeeee
      I really wish I could have talked about those guys, but we don’t know what their past is so we have no idea whether they could fit in with this or not, I love Sparrowfeather so I wish I could have included her

  • Ooh I agree with this completely! 😀 I’m writing a Dark Forest backstories story on Wattpad, making new ones as well as editing old ones, and I’d love to fit your theory in with what I have so far, and use it as a guide. How would you like me to credit you, DeviantArt, something else, or do you have Wattpad?

  • This is a pretty interesting theory, however, I do think it has some flaws. In Mapleshade’s vengeance, pretty much everyone from every clan, wants to end each other’s life. It would not be a stretch to say that Oakstar would personally attack Appledusk for killing his son. I mean, the guy banished a queen just for being his mate! And clan rivalries were so intense, even back in Bluestar’s time, that killing a cat from another clan in a battle was considered the norm. It was really a horrible time. I honestly think it was some sort of effect that turned the Starclan cats into peaceful felines, because they were absolutely bloodthirsty in life! I still don’t know of a 100% fool proof theory, however, this is the most solid one I’ve seen. Good job in the evidence and execution! Keep it up!

    • Is it that far fetched that Oakstar might have gotten over it??? Or possibly realized it was an accident. Or though “Oh, he’s already dead, it’s over now.” and was then at peace with the whole situation??? Just saying 😛

    • Ugh. Oakstar suckkssssss I wish he had gone to the dark forest tbh, he deserved it, and like you said, it was entirely possible that he wouldn’t forgive Appledusk. But, it is also entirely possible that he would be rather content with Appledusk’s death, and feel like he has got what he deserved. Oakstar is a bad dude, and probably wanted revenge, but I don’t think he was vengeful quite to the level of Mapleshade and others, and he really gives me the vibe of a cat who would boast about taking the high ground, so by being content with Appledusk’s fate and not seeking to punish him further, Oakstar would feel like he was a good cat and get an ego boost
      Well, I wouldn’t say that murder in battle was ever the norm, it was an incredibly early code that cats shouldn’t kill in battle, and although you can see more frequent code breaking in the past, I do imagine that however high Clan tensions run, after dying cats would most like accept that they should be at peace, and not spend their entire afterlife hating, even though some cats might be disgruntled. Throughout Bluestar’s book, it is shown that Thistleclaw’s thirst for murder and inability to see beyond the violent part of Clan Relationships was something more uncommon within in the clans
      I feel like when going to StarClan and this is an AU of mine, that all cats are ‘accepted’ into a sort of fake vision StarClan, so StarClan can judge what their actions after death would be. Even ignoring my AU, I take clan relations in StarClan A’s sort of a gathering. Most cats in life are able to hold peace at a gathering, no matter what had happened before, and their attitude in StarClan could be similar, avoid the cats you hate, stick with those you like
      The Dark Forest is such a tricky issue, I’m glad you think my theory is a good one 😀

  • To add on

    Should Ashfur turn out to be possessing Bramblestar, I believe this can still fit in with the theory. StarClan is awful at thinking ahead, they had no reason to believe Squirrelflight would ever be happy again, so Ashfur would always be content in StarClan, but when she begins to recover, and be happy, Ashfur has to hide his growing resentment to prevent him from being shoved into the dark forest

      • Sjsjajnajanajahaksisniaaamakamndjdksmdisnsn thank youuuuu
        It’s funny how irl people telling me I’m smart bugs me because like I feel like sometimes people think that’s my one defining trait and ugh I don’t want that but online I might like so flattered 😛

        • I’m smart when it comes to noticing small details or working out problems 😛 But when it comes to memorizing facts I lose it 😛 History, and remembering all the rules for grammar and math just kill my brain. Once I remember it’s fine but just the process physically hurts 😛 But I think I’m smart in other senses I don’t know how to explain 😛

      • Could just be a red herring to throw us off. Even Hollyleaf of all cats forgives him as if it’s nothing; I don’t trust it at all.

  • I don’t think killing a cat is a reason to go to the Dark Forest, just the reason for killing them. For example, Firestar killed Scourge, but Scourge was a horrible cat who deserved it(fangirls, please don’t attack me). Blackstar didn’t go to the Dark Forest because he redeemed himself later in life and became a better cat overall.

    As for Thistleclaw, his arrogance and bloodthirsty attitude towards outsiders would have been a red flag(though not enough do deserve the Dark Forest). He crossed the line when he forbade Bluefur from seeing Whitekit, her nephew, turned Tigerstar into the cat he became in life, encouraged him to nearly murder Tiny, who was a kit at the time, for crossing the border, and groomed Spottedpaw, an apprentice in order to manipulate her. That, and the fact that he was training in the Dark Forest. Yeah.

  • What abt star clan cats causing’ trauma to df cats like maple shade? And how do we know if a star clan cat has actually forgiven cats they don’t like? And ash fur was in star clan even tho hee had a grudge and came back in broken code

Latest Art

More BlogClan Art