Ashfur and why I don’t hate him by Redblaze

Redblaze shares their opinion on Ashfur.

Official art by Wayne McLoughlin

It’s Redblaze here with an….. unpopular opinion. You will probably disagree with me on this one but here’s me trying to explain it.

It seems like 99.9999% of the Warriors fandom hate Ashfur. Me? I don’t think he deserves it.

Let’s start with some background information. Ashfur was born alongside Ferncloud to Brindleface. However, as he was an apprentice, his mother was murdered. He and Ferncloud wanted revenge. Firestar agreed, teaching young children that, yes, revenge is a good way to deal with your problems.

Ashfur didn’t do much for the entire new prophecy until around Twilight (I think? I haven’t read TNP in ages) when he developed a mad love for Squirrelflight. Let’s put his emotions in perspective for a moment. His mother is dead, his father (Whitestorm whom he was also encouraged to revenge by the way) is dead. His sister is too busy with her kits for him. Squirrelflight he believes is his one chance at happiness, a family of his own. He spent everything, all his emotions and hopes and dreams on her. Then she chose Bramblestar. It must have been crushing.

He would probably have been fine and have dealt with all this until a certain cat came along. Hawkfrost manipulated him. Ashfur was in a vulnerable state of mind at that point and Hawkfrost pounced on that. He made Ashfur believe that vengeance is the only way.

After helping Hawkfrost, he didn’t do a lot for the entire Power of Three apart from saving Lionpaw (yes he did do that before they tried to beat each other up). And by the way why, why would Firestar do that? It’s totally insensitive and is just rubbing salt in the wound. Squirrelflight did not help either- she could have at least pretended he existed. But no. Ashfur was left alone after Hawkfrost’s death with all of these complicated feelings and no-one comforting him or talking to him about it. If someone had done just that then we wouldn’t be in the situation we are now. Imagine if you loved someone with all your heart, they left with someone else and you were left with no-one except their child that you’re expected to care for. You wouldn’t feel great, would you?

But then there’s the fire and Ashfur sees his chance. Would he really have killed Holly, Lion and Jay if they had been Squirrelflight’s kits? We’ll never know. The point is if Ashfur has been a truly despicable cat then he would’ve killed them anyway, to be cruel, and then revealed Squirrelflight’s secret. At the first excuse to let them go, he did. Now, I do have no doubt that he would have revealed Squirrelflight’s secret to the clans. After all, that’s what Ravenwing did to Mapleshade and do we blame him?
What I’m trying to put across here is it wasn’t malice that made him do the things he did, it was desperation and grief as well as manipulation on Hawkfrost’s account.

Do I think he was right to do the things he did? No but he deserves a second chance at least.

Do I think he deserved StarClan? Actually no. Ashfur should’ve been made a ghost until StarClan had determined a proper place for him. This would have given him a chance to think about things without the influences of StarClan or the Dark Forest.

Ashfur is not evil or good, he’s Ashfur. I hope I’ve persuaded you not to hate him. For now, Redblaze out.

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MalusClaw
MalusClaw
February 20, 2021 1:47 am

I’m writing an article for my own about how Ashfur shouldn’t be constantly hated on, so if anyone liked reading this interesting article, be sure to check out posts by MalusClaw in a while

Snake that slithers down SPINES (Snaketongue)
Snake that slithers down SPINES (Snaketongue)
February 20, 2021 11:42 am

interesting…

Moon that shines on frosty night (moonpaw/frost))
Moon that shines on frosty night (moonpaw/frost))
February 20, 2021 1:16 pm

good article i usually i hate ashfur but this might have changed my mind

💙 Coldheart 💙
💙 Coldheart 💙
February 22, 2021 1:14 am

Terrific article Aed! I really like Ashfur because I sympathize him.

Jetclaw
Jetclaw
February 22, 2021 1:41 am

I always get a little concerned when I see posts talking about Ashfur, particularly because I feel that warriors really failed in saying Ashfur just ‘loved too much’.

I don’t dislike Ashfur as much as I strongly dislike how he’s misconstrued by both the authors at times and even the fandom. Especially since as these books are geared towards children and I know I read them from 5th grade onwards, there’s a lot of messaging that can be taken from it.

But first let’s break down some of the points. I am really impressed with the thought you put into it so please allow me to write a few rebuttals. Please note this is strongly directed at challenging your points and not at you.

I initially was going to agree with the ‘Taught revenge was a way to deal with grief’ but then I actually stopped and thought about it for a moment. Fireheart encouraged Fernpaw and Ashpaw to channel their grief into running away from a dangerous threat to help their clan. This changes it from really being about revenge as it’s instead dealing with a super dangerous threat. It’s true the plan was to lead the dogs to their deaths, but in this case, the dogs are more like a force of nature the clan needs to work against to avoid destruction.

It’s like kids who lost a parent, taking those emotions to drive them to act for their survival. Using it to push them onwards when they might want to give up.

I don’t recall Firestar at any point encouraging the young cats to try and take revenge against Tigerstar. And in fact the opposite is true, Cloudtail wanted revenge against Tigerstar for Brindle’s death. And Firestar strongly told him to stand down. Mostly for Cloudtail’s safety overall but such thinking wasn’t exactly encouraged.

So I don’t think we can really say he was taught from a young age, ‘revenge’ is the only option.

Next we move on to the discussion about Ashfur being so alone… except he had his sister. While Ferncloud was definitely dealing with a lot of grief on her own after losing three children over the course of new prophecy, he still could reach out to her to lean on if he needed that support.

After all that’s what Brambleclaw did when he went to Goldenflower, something I love so much because we just, do not see such things enough I feel. Warriors focuses super hard on romance these days and I really wish we’d get some strong friendships and family ties, but they’re kind of watered down by the massive cast.

But that’s neither here nor there. Ultimately while yes Ashfur’s been through some trauma, that doesn’t mean he’s entitled to Squirrelflight’s affection. And that I think is something a lot of people miss.

Just because one has feelings for someone, does not mean they’re required to love them back. It’s not Squirrelflight’s responsibility to give Ashfur love and happiness, especially if she does not feel the same way. In fact that’s damaging to her and would be damaging to a relationship if she tried to force it. IT would ultimately lead to an even more miserable time for the both of them.

Also there is a certain level of responsibility one needs to have. I’m going to cite Brambleclaw again, he sought out Goldenflower. When he needed her support. Goldenflower did not magically know her son needed her. She let Brambleclaw come to her and supported him. Brambleclaw took responsibility for his own hurt and reached out.

Ashfur could easily have reached out to Ferncloud, and considering how willing she was to help Squirrelflight with her kits, I feel like Ferncloud would be willing to be there for her brother had he let her in. Granted we don’t know for sure because it wasn’t shown to us. We can only assume.

However, I don’t fully agree with this being all Hawkfrost’s machinations. You don’t simply commit treason on a whim after all. Ashfur was definitely very jealous, not just hurting but honest jealousy.

I don’t agree with Ashfur being this innocent victim or taken advantage of. And I don’t see Firestar as giving him Lionpaw out of any malicious intent.

Because Ashfur internalized his anger. Ashfur did not reach out to anyone and instead let Hawkfrost come in. That means, that he never voiced his true feelings. The fire scene even supports this given Squirrelflight’s surprise.

Perhaps Firestar could’ve recalled Squirrelflight’s outburst when Ashfur argued against Brambleclaw’s promotion to deputy in sunset. But Firestar also lost a life and nearly died thanks to Hawkfrost’s machinations. I don’t think his daughter getting angry at a jilted lover would really stick out in his mind.

And it’s not really raising a cat. That’s like saying a teacher is equivalent to a parent. And while in some cases the bond between teacher and student can fell reminiscient or develop into almost having another parent. Lionpaw was a member of the greater whole meaning the clan as a whole raised him.

Plus Firestar may have been thinking he wanted to ensure he wasn’t showing favor. Ashfur had already mentored Birchpaw and this was back when ThunderClan didn’t have a monstrous amount of warriors. Why wouldn’t he pick Ashfur to mentor one of his grandchildren?

In fact looking at the allegiances from the sight the warriors that could take an apprentice were: Firestar, Brackenfur, Ashfur, Brightheart, Sorreltail, Brook, Stormfur, Whitewing and Birchfall.

Whitewing and Birchfall were brand new warriors. Brook and Stormfur were visitors. Firestar is their kin so that leaves Brackenfur, Ashfur, Brightheart and Sorreltail.

Brightheart was the obvious pick for Jaypaw who wanted to be a warrior so his choices were between Brackenfur, Sorreltail and Ashfur. And Ashfur had recently trained an apprentice, it doesn’t feel like Firestar picked him just to stick it to him. Besides given how wily his grandkits were he likely wanted Ashfur’s recent experience with training an apprentice.

It ultimately is true we don’t know for sure if he would’ve killed Leafpool’s kits if Squirrelflight hadn’t revealed they weren’t hers. But he was already willing to attack and set her father up to his potential death so I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility.

But ultimately, I agree with your point on him being a ghost rather than in starclan or the Dark Forest. I don’t think he was truly evil enough to go to the dark forest, but that was more because he was foiled.

I also believe that Ashfur’s actions were born out of jealousy and being unwilling to accept Squirrelflight rejecting him. He could’ve easily reached out to his remaining family in Ferncloud at any point. On the flip side to that, why wasn’t he there to support Ferncloud as she lost her children more? It was a difficult situation sure but I don’t recall a standout moment when Ashfur went to help his sister.

Ultimately Ashfur’s fate is on him. Hawkfrost may have presented an opportunity to hurt Squirrelflight and he took it. Just as the fire gave him that opportunity in the power of three.

I did enjoy reading your article as it brought up points that I enjoyed taking time to consider. And ultimately we do agree on his fate being better suited as a ghost, though I do lean more towards the DF given his attempted murder of firestar and three innocent cats.

Thank you for writing this article and I hope you’ll consider the points I’ve made. 🙂

Blossompaw/rose (Rose that Blossoms at Dawn)
Blossompaw/rose (Rose that Blossoms at Dawn)
February 22, 2021 4:29 pm

I actually defended ashfur over and over again and

This is a spoiler if you haven’t read Darkness Within or the book before it (i cant remember) I suggest you don’t read this
Ashfur is evil and now I’m mad also I’m very sorry if this doesn’t work I didn’t mean to spoil if it doesn’t work

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