Mapleshade and the Five Stages of Grief by Ravenflight

Ravenflight analyzes Mapleshade’s actions.

Art by GrayPillow

I am not going to deny that Mapleshade is a villian. And one of the best villians in Warriors series, actually. She is the mastermind behind many schemes, including the battle with the Dark Forest cats, ruining Crookedstar’s life, helping Tigerstar, training Goosefeather, and many, many more.

You may have noticed, however, that she did all of these things from the Dark Forest, after her death. Now, you might have a differing opinion, but I think Mapleshade only became evil AFTER death.

You’re probabaly screaming in your head, “But Ravenflight, did you forget that she KILLED THREE INNOCENT CATS???” To that I say, think about it. She was a grieving mother, she had been banished from the only home she’d ever known, AND she had been hearing whispers of her dead kits telling her to avenge then. Also, even though she ouwardly denies it, I think in the back of her mind, she did think it was her fault that her kits died.

Which brings me to my point.
Ok, before I present you with my theory, you’re going to have to learn about the five stages of grief. The five stages of grief are the basic emotions someone goes through while dealing with loss. Of course, this is not true for everyone. People go through lots of different emotions when experiencing grief, and it’s not the same for everyone. These are just the basic five emotions, and the common order people experience them in.
They are, in order:
Denial – Denying your loss, telling yourself it’s not true.
Anger – Lashing out at people, blaming people, generally being mad.
Bargaining – Trying to trade your loss with something else, or trying to tell yourself you have something else, so it will be okay.
Depression – Being sad, giving up, acting like everything is terrible.
Acceptance – Finally accepting that’s what’s gone is gone, and moving on with your life.
(A helpful way to rememeber these is to remember the acronym DABDA.)
Anyways, back to Mapleshade. I think she went through denial pretty quickly, but then ran into some problems. She got stuck somewhere between anger and bargaining. (I guess you could argue she might’ve only gotten stuck on bargaining, but I think she was pretty angry.)
Instead of healthily moving through the stages, she got bitter, and started to bargain for her kits’ lives by killing of the cats she blamed. I think, if she hadn’t been killed when she had been, she would’ve moved through the other stages, and finally gotten to acceptance. The message I’m really trying to communicate here is that Mapleshade’s actions were justified. I’m NOT saying it’s okay to kill people when you’re sad, but I’m saying she had her reasons. I’m saying she wasn’t evil. When she died, though, she wasn’t given the chance to move through the stages. The cats in the Dark Forest were waiting, ready to make her bitterness and anger fester and grow, causing her to turn into the villian we know today. If they had let her go to StarClan, then she would’ve been able to reach acceptance, and forgiven herself and others for her kits’ death.

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