Mellowix takes a look at Bluestar’s actions from the series.
The Fandom often praise Bluefur for stopping Tigerpaw attacking Tiny – However what’s not brought up enough, is that Bluestar took the exact same role as Thistleclaw years later, not once but twice, taking place Into the Wild.
What I’m speaking about, is Bluestar standing aside as Rusty is attacked by Greypaw and Longtail. Regardless of the fact, Rusty was almost apprentice-age, he’s still considered a kit and has to be remain unharmed according to the Warrior Code. Lionheart himself called him this: “Bluestar is only offering you training, young kit.”
What’s worse is the fact, it was also Greypaw’s first day as an apprentice – “Tonight is my first night out as an apprentice”. For all intents and purposes, Greypaw is a kit as well. How many mentors would allow an untrained kit to attack another kit? This situation was too dangerous for both young cats – Greypaw had no discipline when it came to his fighting yet – He could of gone too far and seriously hurt his foe. Then Rusty was a kittypet, inexperienced with any violence, so was especially helpless. He’d have to reply solely on his fight or flight response to battle Greypaw, which could of gone wrong as well. There was too much uncertainty to this battle for Bluestar and Lionheart to allow it.
The fight between those two kittens was more violent than any legal training sessions, with claws unsheltered and bleeding wounds: “Twisting and yowling, he tried to throw off the attacker that had fastened itself to his back. It was gripping him with incredibly sharp claws. Rusty could feel spiked teeth pricking at his neck. [….] “The pain from his scratches stung beneath his fur.”
And participants being violently thrown around: “The creature hit him like an explosion and Rusty was thrown sideways into a clump of nettles. […] He heard a“hhuuffff” beneath him as the breath was knocked out of his attacker. Thrashing fiercely, Rusty managed to wriggle free.” […] “Then the kitten crashed into Rusty at full pelt. Taken by surprise by Rusty’s turnabout, it fell back into a dazed heap.”
Other leaders didn’t allow apprentices with little to no training into fights. Though they weren’t technically kits anymore, those Leaders understood they’re close enough in age to need a degree of protection. For example, Pinestar only allowed Bluepaw and Snowpaw to destroy herbs in Windclan camp with an escort in Swiftbreeze. The sisters’ apprentice ceremony literally happened that same day, just like Greypaw. Secondly, Sunstar didn’t want Redtail’s litter, who had serval weeks of training, to take part in a Sunning rocks battle.
Bluestar and Lionheart were capable of preventing the fight between Rusty and Greypaw from happening since the beginning. Rusty spotted Lionheart before Greypaw even appeared: “Rusty stood very still and looked around. He could see thewhite tip of a red bushy tail trailing through a clump of tall ferns up ahead. […] He kept his eyes fixed on the strangered fur up ahead, and continued to creep onward.”
Lionheart could have ordered his apprentice to stop. Then Bluestar admitted to them purposefully doing nothing: “You fight well for a Twoleg pet,” Bluestar meowed. Rusty and Greypaw exchanged confused glances. How could she know?“We have been watching you both. We wondered how you would deal with an intruder, Greypaw. You attacked him bravely. […] “You reacted well to the attack, kittypet. Greypaw is stronger than you, but you used your wits to defend yourself. And youturned to face him when he chased you. I’ve not seen a kittypet do that before.”.
Then, it gets much worse with Longtail, who’s a fully grown warrior. Also taking place in the middle of a crowd, where spectators have to actively get themselves out the way to remain safe. Anyone from an apprentice to an Elder, could have got caught in the crossfire and injured because of it.
Similar to how Thistleclaw encouraged Tigerpaw to attack first, Lionheart did the same for Rusty, “Do you backdown from a challenge?”. This is the same cat who Bluestar chooses as her deputy hours later after Redtail’s death. Bluestar says nothing thought out the fight, not even laying down safety restrictions since it shouldn’t be a real fight.
Carries on to do this, even when: Claws are unsheltered: “Rusty dug his claws deep into the tabby cat’s fur and sank in his teeth. No subtle rituals of swiping and boxing preceded this fight.”
Participants were screaming, almost crashing into bystanders: “The two cats were locked in a screaming, writhing tussle that flipped around the clearing at the heart of the camp. The other cats had to spring out of the way to avoid the screeching whirlwind of fur.”
The Warrior almost strangled the kitten with its collar, generally putting his life in danger: “Longtail had gipped it between his teeth and was tugging, and tugging hard. Rusty felt a terrible pressure at his throat. Unable to breathe, he started to panic. He writhed and twisted, but each movement only made the pressure worse. Retching and gulping for air, hes ummoned up all his strength and tried to pull away from Longtail’s grip.”
Both cats had bleeding wounds: “Clumps of fur hung from their ruffled coats. Rusty could feel a cut stinging above his eye. Longtail’s left ear was badly torn, and blood dripped down his lean shoulders onto the dusty ground.”
Another example of a warrior violently fighting a young cat, is Ashfur and Lionpaw. In that case, the apprentice had serval moons of training, so was somewhat capable of defending himself. However even then, their Clanmates are shown to be unsettled by it: “They’re hurting each other!” Hollypaw turned to Brackenfur. “Can’t you make them stop?” […] “That’s enough.” Brackenfur bounded forward, his voice sharp with shock. “Ashfur, let him up. Lionpaw, sheathe your claws. This bout is over.” […] Cinderpaw and Poppypaw exchanged glances; they both looked too shocked to say anything. Even Hollypaw couldn’t bring herself to congratulate her brother. The way the practice session had turned savage had disturbed her”.
If it considered unethical for Lionpaw to be fighting his mentor in that matter, it should be the same for Rusty, who’s much younger and has no training. Untrained Outsiders have never needed to fight to earn their way into the Clans, specially kits. This isn’t apart of Time period either. When Boulder and Russetfur (Red at the time) joined Shadowclan, older than six moons, Cedarstar didn’t make them fight anyone. Which was years before Rusty was even born. Neither were Millie or Daisy expected to do it either. Proving that Rusty being endangered to fight a fully grown warrior was not even traditional and unnecessary on Bluestar’s part.
Then finally, despite taking down the tyrant Brokenstar, for that very reason, Bluestar apprenticed underaged kits in Cinderkit and Brackenkit. Greystripe even pointed this out in front of her: “But none of Frostfur’s kits are six moons yet!”. What’s worse, is she didn’t do the same with Thornkit and Brightkit – Creating unnecessary favouritism and jealousy among the littermates. Then considering the other two weren’t made apprentices until a Book later, meaning Brackenkit and Cinderkit weren’t even 5 moons, possibly even younger at 4 or 3 moos old.
An extra fact that isn’t brought up enough for Bluestar, is her leaving apprentices without mentors for long periods of time. She never gave Rusty a proper mentor until moons into his training, then never gave Greypaw a replacement mentor after Lionheart’s death.