[various Dark Forest cats stare out menacingly from the forest's shadows]

The Problem With the Dark Forest by Nightshadows

Nightshadows shares their opinion on the Dark Forest.

Artwork by MossclawArt

Hello! This is my first article here, and I’m quite nervous, but, let’s get to it! Also, this article may contain spoilers for PoT and Mapleshade’s Vengeance!

The Dark Forest. The place where countless villains live a quite uneventful life, in my opinion. It’s dark and gloomy and pretty horrible. It matches the cats living there, right? Well, yes, but that’s the whole problem.

The Dark Forest serves no overall purpose except being a place where villainous cats can sit there and let their rage bubble over. That’s not good, is it? The Clans should be focused on redeeming cats, not giving them a reason to return for vengeance.

Now, here’s something that could benefit the Clans: Make a second StarClan. Absurd, I know, but hear me out.

If the Dark Forest wasn’t, well, dark, then maybe the whole battle with the DF wouldn’t have happened. Instead, if there was a second StarClan, or perhaps several, set aside for cats who might need redeeming, there would be less danger of another great battle.

I’ve noticed that being in the Dark Forest changes cats. Take Antpelt, for example. He was a loyal cat, but after he joined the Dark Forest, he claimed it was his home, better than WindClan. Mapleshade killed off cats because she had nightmares of her kits never going to StarClan, (or any afterlife, for that matter) but in the Dark Forest she just wants vengeance against *all* the Clans for something mainly against ThunderClan and RiverClan.

It’s probably the terrible living conditions, or a cat might blame the Clans and StarClan for their fate, or perhaps they’re simply jealous of the living/StarClan cats.

Now, let’s see how cats would’ve turned out if the Dark Forest wasn’t so horrible. (Some of these are based on opinion)

Good Things:
Spottedleaf would probably be alive (or dead-alive).
Firestar would also probably be alive, because he would’ve had no reason to be near the tree that was struck by lightning, though in theory he could still die if he was hunting or patrolling.
Mapleshade wouldn’t be so focused on revenge against the Clans, maybe just Appledusk’s kin and ThunderClan.
Antpelt would still be alive. (He also wouldn’t be faded)
The whole “Bramblestar’s Impostor” crisis wouldn’t be a thing. (Bramblestar probably wouldn’t even be leader, but Firestar is/was quite old.)
Shredtail would still be alive.
Crookedstar and Mapleshade wouldn’t have met, and if they did, Mapleshade wouldn’t be trying to destroy his psyche. (His family would probably still die, Mapleshade claimed she had nothing to do with their deaths and it was a curse)
Ivypool wouldn’t have her scars.
Dovewing and Tigerstar the second would have less chance of being mates, but still might’ve been, as they could see each other during gatherings. (I hate them together…)
Lots of cats would be alive.

Bad Things:
The Three wouldn’t be a thing.
Ivypool wouldn’t have her scars. (I know it was both in good and bad but her scars are a part of her!)
Probably nobody would have faded.
Lionblaze miiight be dead, because of his recklessness. But then again, he probably wouldn’t be as reckless without powers.
Shadowsight (and his siblings) might not have been born.
Ivypool wouldn’t be the same character, though she still might’ve felt in Dovewing’s shadow because she’s a generally good hunter with or without powers.

So there. It’s not perfectly clear, depending how you weigh everything (like for me the Ivypool stuff is very big). But overall, it seems that the Dark Forest is simply a disaster waiting to happen.

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