Lightningstrike wonders about Bramblestar in Lost Stars. Spoilers for Lost Stars!
In The Broken Code: Lost Stars, we learn that Bramblestar’s body is possessed by a nonBramblestar entity, and that an apprentice named Shadowpaw is the only cat who can speak to StarClan-except the cat speaking to him isn’t from StarClan. All this has left the fandom on edge, wondering who is possessing Bramblestar, and who is speaking to Shadowpaw.
Most of the fandom believes the cat speaking to Shadowpaw and possessing Bramblestar, is Ashfur, after all, there were several heavy hints given in Lost Stars that point towards that:
1. The cat possessing Bramblestar seems to know Squirrelflight very well, and greets her by saying-”It’s good to see you, again.” Again being the keyword-Ashfur would be very happy to stand beside the cat he loved again.
2. In both of Shadowpaws visions, fire, and ash was used-a possible reference to the fire scene in Power Of Three-plus a few sparks of ash falls, and settles, on Shadowpaws fur-a heavy hint towards Ashfur.
3. I may have been the only one to notice this but, most of the Code Breakers shown to Shadowpaw were kin to either Firestar or Bramblestar-which makes sense if the ghost cat is Ashfur-Ashfur would have a grudge against Firestar’s kin, because Firestar’s daughter left him for Brambestar, and he would hate Bramblestar’s kin because Bramblestar is the cat Squirrelflight left him for, this he would want all of their kin dead.
4. Kate gave us one hint-a a controversial character would return-and Ashfur is the one cat that comes to mind when it comes to a controversial Warriors character. It can’t be Skystar-he’d be no more than a speck of light or stardust, Hollyleaf is a female, and furthermore, she made her peace, and Breezepelt is still alive-that leaves Ashfur.
. The cat apparently thinks that Bramblestar has done something wrong, I quote his words-”Oh the great Bramblestar, he’d never do anything wrong, however, the trouble coming to the Clans will fall on him first.” Stealing Squireelflight from him would be something Bramblestar did wrong, from Ashfur’s perspective.
Despite the compelling evidence, there are a few issues with Ashfur-
1. Why would Ashfur a StarClan cat, do whatever was done to StarClan, and still be able to speak at the Moonpool?
2. Ashfur was a coward as he lived-after all he shied away from killing cats several times-remember he sent his apprentice to trap Firestar, instead of doing the job himself, and when faced with the choice of killing Squirrelflights adopted kits, or telling everyone that they were adopted, he chose option two. Why would he suddenly have the courage to do such a rash thing as end StarClan and possess another cat?
3. Ashfur would never hurt his Clanmates-he merely wanted Squirrelflight to feel the same hurt he did when she dumped him-and, in the end, he got that revenge, when Hollyleaf told the truth at that gathering-So why would he suddenly have a change of motive-destroy all Code Breakers?
Plus the sample from Broken Code: Silent Thaw gave a treasury of Clues that point against Ashfur-
1. Bramblestar is relying on Squirrelflight a lot more than he used to.
2. He doesn’t know the camp too well.
4. He doesn’t like the elders for some reason.
5 It seems that he is bothered/aggravated with Jayfeather and Alderheart.
6. A loss of memory. At the end of the sample, he accidentally calls the warrior Dewnose “Dewtail”.
All those points go against Ashfur-unfamiliarity with camp, not liking the elders, and the memory loss.
The biggest clue we get from those points is the Dewtail slip. It’s possible this was a Clan cat that was banished with a Clanmate called Dewtail. Easy, then, just find a cat called Dewtail, and the cats he/she knew. However, when I checked there was no reference to a cat by the name of Dewtail-there was just Sunnytail, and two WindClan cats, by the name of Gorsetail. That led me to a more interesting conclusion-what if the cat mentioned, never had the name Dewtail, but had some other name with tail in it? Like…Darktail. Maybe the cat possessing Bramblestar was one of Darktails followers and got the name Dewtail, mixed up with Darktail. The problem is, rouges don’t know anything about Clan life, so how would they reach the Clans? Well, even rogue cats have spirits. Remember that little scene from The Darkest Hour, where Firestar is looking at Scourges body, and thinking-Where has his spirit gone? Not so StarClan that’s for sure? Well, I think that could have been a hint that trouble was coming to the Clans from rogue cat spirits, even though that trouble doesn’t actually come until The Broken Code. All of this would seem to mean that one of Darktails followers is possessing Bramblestar. However, the problem is, rogues have sparse knowledge of StarClan, and the ghost cat seemed to know Squirrelflight personally. That checks rogue cats of the list of suspects. That leaves one other possibility-a Dark Forest connection. I think there is a fair amount of evidence, that suggest this-
1. First and foremost, not all of the Dark Forest cats died, during the battle and they may want revenge for the death of Tigerstar, Brokenstar, Hawkfrost, and Shredtail.
2. Whoever this ghost cat is must have had a close connection to Tigerstar-remember the first cat he took over was Bramblestar-and I think that’s a strange choice. Besides doesn’t anyone think it’s too much of a coincidence, that Tigerstar’s son and grandson now lead the two Clans he tried to take over?
3. What if that statement–”Oh the great Bramblestar, he’d never do anything wrong, however, the trouble coming to the Clans will fall on him first” means something else? It could be that the speaker knew about Bramblestar’s visits with Hawkfrost and Tigerstar, and how Bramblestar almost killed Firestar-that could be the wrong thing Bramblestar did.
If you ask me, this is another Dark Fores attempt to destroy the Clans. They learned they couldn’t take on the Clans in hand-to-hand combat, so they decided to tackle the Clans from the inside out. First, they destroyed StarClan-by getting one of StarClan’s own warriors to betray them-and I think that traitor was Ashfur-it makes too much sense, and they further used Ashfur to deliver the message about putting Bramblestar in the mound of snow so one of their own warriors could possess him. And if that Dark Forest warrior was one of Darktail’s deceased followers, and mistook Dewnose, for Darktail, and got their names mixed up, that would pretty much solve the problem of who is possesing Bramblestar