Sagekit compares Tigerclaw and Brokentail – who was really more evil?
Greetings, BlogClan. I am Sagekit, and I’m here to discuss the nursery tales you grew up with, and how they change based on perspective. The question is: Who is the bigger villain – Tigerclaw or Brokentail?
Before we go into detail, let’s take a look at what logic would tell us. Tigerclaw killed about 8 cats, although there are probably more due to the battle with BloodClan and other unmentioned battles. Brokentail ‘murdered’ a huge handful of kits and apprentices, and in battle he was a formidable opponent. Though I don’t know the exact number, Brokentail is responsible for a great number of deaths – perhaps even more than Tigerclaw.
What do the books say? Brokentail did have more authority in the Dark Forest, but Tigerclaw isn’t his deputy; more like a second leader, His ruthlessness and strictness to young cats would have made him an evil yet effective mentor and leader. Tigerclaw seemed to have a role to manipulate young cats into joining the Dark Forest, while Yellowfang’s son had more of a general rule over the Place of No Stars.
However, we have yet to learn about the opinion of cats who were present during the terrible times of Tigerclaw and Brokentail. Let’s look at each Clan individually, and how they were affected by these two cats.
We’ll begin with ThunderClan, and go in chronological order. When it comes to Tigerclaw, ThunderClan seems to have suffered the most. Betrayed by a seemingly trustworthy deputy, who had won the hearts of most of the Clan. When, in reality, Tigerclaw was planning a treacherous attack on his own Clan along with Brokentail. Even from a young age, Tigerclaw had earned the respect of the wary Clanmates around him, who seemed to fear him more each moon. He was – according to many sources – partly responsible for the death of noble Firestar, although some cats do think Firestar was killed by a falling tree. Brokentail, on the other hand, only seemed to affect ThunderClan during the end of his lifetime and while he was dead. His existence tormented Yellowfang for a long time, even before she joined ThunderClan. While Brokentail was inside their territory, he plotted with Tigerclaw about overthrowing Bluestar as leader and taking over the whole forest. Even blind, Brokentail was a formidable opponent, as told in the Prophecies Begin.
What about ShadowClan? Between these two cats, they seemed to have suffered the most. However, to ShadowClan, Tigerclaw must have seemed like a gift from StarClan during their leaderless period. Brokentail, however, pushed the Clan to its limits and killed underdeveloped kits and anybody else in his path. His bloodshed was known to all, while many trusted Tigerclaw and even doubted whether they should fight against him. Tigerclaw was a strong leader and his treachery did not change that.
Now for WindClan – and I doubt there is much of an argument here. Tigerclaw never seemed to affect the Clan, on any sort of level. But it seems that Brokentail is a hated name in WindClan. He, along with a band of rogues, forced the Clan out of their territory and left them not wanting to return for fear of being hurt or killed.
RiverClan seems to be the Clan least affected by Tigerclaw or Brokentail’s reign. They lost Stonefur to the paws of Blackfoot, who killed him on Tigerclaw’s orders, and of course they were part of TigerClan for a short while, but none of the cats seemed to be mistreated, even though they lived in less-than-hygienic conditions.
I won’t include SkyClan. They weren’t there to witness the horrors Tigerclaw and Brokentail inflicted upon the four Clans, and they even managed to steer clear of the Great Battle, where the two dead cats returned.
To be honest, I don’t think I could give a clear answer. The two cats have been described as evil in different ways, with Tigerclaw being ‘treacherous’ and Brokentail ‘murderous’. My opinion? Definitely Brokentail. I remember being horrified at the way he lied his way through the ranks, as well as killing kits and even his own father. I felt pity, for the way Brokentail was regarded as crow-food to the ShadowClan queens, but that vanished as he grew up to be a killing machine. Tigerclaw never seemed as truly villainous as Brokentail was. I respected him throughout ‘The Prophecies Begin’ even when Fireheart suspected him of murder. His ambition fuelled his evil – if he had been patient, and led his own Clan when the time came instead of trying to take over all off them, maybe Tigerclaw would be regarded as one of the greatest and most noble leaders the forest had ever seen.
Of course, Tigerclaw having Thistleclaw as a mentor didn’t help.
– May StarClan light your paths,
(Note: I called the two cats ‘Tigerclaw’ and ‘Brokentail’ instead of ‘Tigerstar’ and ‘Brokenstar’. Having the suffix ‘-star’ is a sign of immense respect, and these two will have never earned that. I hope you agree.)