Mellowix takes a deeper look at Bluestar.
When Bluestar is debated in Fandom, is always seems to be around her giving up her kits and her actions during her mental breakdown. However, there’s a third issue, that often goes unnoticed. Swiftpaw is the most famous example, however, people don’t often realise, this isn’t a one-off. She’s misused apprenticeships many times before that, even during her prime.
Firestar and Greystripe –
1) This first one will require more explanation, as it’ll trying to make you see two famous scenes in wholely new lights. The famous Rusty v Graypaw or Rusty v Longtail. Do you wonder why it’s never repeated elsewhere in the series? Why ain’t other outsiders expected to fight for their acceptance? Why has no other kit fought a warrior before their apprentice ceremony? That’s because I’ll argue the two fights Bluestar made Rusty go through, are unethical and borderline breaking the code.
During those fight, Rusty and Greypaw were literally kits hours beforehand. Lionheart even calls Rusty a kit after fighting Greypaw: “Bluestar is only offering you training, young kit.”
Then Graypaw admits he’d left the nursery that very day: “Tonight is my first night out as an apprentice.”
Despite having no training or safety measures, Bluestar still made them fight bloody battles. She personally ordered Greypaw to attack Rusty and purposefully remained silent while Rusty was encouraged to fight Longtail. They were kits hours beforehand. Not even outsiders much older than six moons like Russetfur, Boulder or Millie, were expected to fight for acceptance. Their title change is nothing but a superficial detail. Is it ethical to throw an eighteen-year-old out of the house on their birthday? Is it ethical to throw a solider into combat the day they sign up? It’s not like humans or the Warrior characters go through an instant metamorphosis. They grow gradually, therefore need some form of transition phase when in an unfamiliar environment.
In legal training, it’s unacceptable for apprentices and mentors to draw blood and use their claws. When Lionpaw and Ashfur fought, 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”.
At least Lionpaw had serval moons of training to defend himself, while Rusty and Greypaw had none. Both fights were too violent for legal training:
There was claws out 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.”
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.”
It was up to Greypaw himself to voluntarily stop the fight. Bluestar and Lionheart could’ve of stopped this unethical fights beforehand, but choose not to: “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 you turned to face him when he chased you. I’ve not seen a kittypet do that before.”.
It gets worse with Longtail – Rusty is up against a full-grown warrior and it’s in the middle of the crowded camp. Training is meant to take place in the hollow for a reason, the environment is safer and there are no kits/elders in harm’s way.
Claws are out: “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.”
Both cats had bleeding wounds, enough to leave permeant scars in Longtail’s ear: “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.”
2) Bluestar deprived Firepaw and Greypaw of proper mentors for long periods of time. All without good reason, she just couldn’t be bothered to get round to it. Firepaw was two moons into his training, and he was still bouncing between temporary teachers. It was only at this late date, did Bluestar assign herself to him. Then with Greypaw, she didn’t give him a replacement mentor after Lionheart’s death. This lasted 100 pages in book and serval weeks in book. Even if Greypaw was close to becoming a warrior, considering his mentor just died, he needed to be supported at this time. If he wasn’t, he could’ve been distracted and needed his warrior name belayed.
3) Firestar and Greystripe were made warriors way too early, are nine or ten moons. When Brokenstar became a warrior at eleven moons, Shadowclan was in outrage and this was before Bluestar’s time. On top of that, the two were given Cinderpaw and Brackenpaw soon afterwards. This is too much responsibility to place on cats so young. This is even pointed out in the books, as when Fireheart and Greystripe became first-time mentors, Tigerclaw exclaimed they were hardly more than apprentices themselves.
Brackenpaw, Cinderpaw, Thornpaw and Brightpaw –
1) Bluestar straight-up broke the code when she apprenticed Brackenpaw and Cinderpaw under six moons. Greystripe even pointed out to her: “But Frostfur’s kits aren’t six moons old yet!”
This was shortly after Brokenstar was driven out for this every reason, so Bluestar would’ve been more aware of this code than usual. Worse, as their mentors were so young themselves, they didn’t have the extra qualifications needed to train kits safely. While Bluestar wasn’t directly responsible for it, but she contributed to Cinderpaw’s undisciplined behaviour; which eventually led to her disobeying Fireheart’s orders and going to the dangerous Thunderpath.
2) There were four kits in the litter – So Bluestar unfairly apprenticed two and left the others in the Nursery: “Bluestar must be about to preform an apprentice-naming ceremony for Frostfur’s two remaining kits. Their brother and sister Brackenpaw and Cinderpaw, had been named apprentices a few moons ago, and Fireheart could guess that these two must be desperate for their own naming.”
Siblings shouldn’t be apprenticed separately if they’re the same age and in good health, which all Frostfur’s kits were. Bluestar created unnecessary favouritism and jealousy among the littermates, potentially ruining their relationships. Notice how Fireheart used moons, plural, which means Brackenpaw and Cinderpaw weren’t even five moons, but younger.
Sandpaw and Dustpaw –
1) As a consequence with all the blunt favouritism, it humiliates Sandpaw and Dustpaw. They had to watch apprentices moons younger than them, become warriors. It’s not like their appointment soon followed, their ceremony happened a season later. Their training was roughly double the length of Fireheart’s and Greystripe’s.
2) The humiliation continues to mount when they share the apprentice’s den with Cinderpaw and Brackenpaw. This could affect their confidence and negatively effect their training.
Cloudpaw, Ashpaw and Fernpaw –
1) Cloudkit was born serval moons before his foster siblings – Despite being younger, he was apprenticed before them. Another case of Bluestar creating unnecessary jealousy. With other cases of foster siblings: Leopardkit’s siblings willing delayed their names. Or with Twigkit, her foster siblings were apprenticed and she remained in the nursery.
Bluestar mentioned Cloudkit had reached his sixth moon at his ceremony, so either she’s lying or Ashkit and Fernkit remained in the nursery longer then they should have.
2) Cloudpaw became a warrior too early in Dangerous Hour, at roughly ten moons. Fireheart mentioned in the Darkest Hour, how his older foster siblings were too young to be warriors: “In addition,” Firestar continued, “I want to give thanks from the Clan to Fernpaw and Ashpaw. They showed the bravery of warriors in the race against the dogs, and although they are still too young to receive their warrior names, we honor them”.
1) The literal second Bluestar discovers Snowkit is deaf, she immediately declares he can’t be a warrior: “I’m sure you can,” Bluestar mewed, padding over to them. “But I’m afraid he can never be a warrior.” This was one of Bluestar’s good days, Fireheart realized. Her voice was sympathetic but determined, and her eyes were clear. “Why can’t he be a warrior?” Speckletail demanded. “There’s nothing else wrong with him. He’s a good, strong kit. He gets on just fine if you signal what he’s got to do.”
As Thunderclan has no experience training a deaf cat, it will be tricky learning to accommodate him. However, Bluestar gave up on him way too quickly, before he’s even out the Nursery. She didn’t even think about it before she puts a seal on Snowkit’s entire future. Depriving him an education will be more damaging than anything else. Even if Snowkit struggles to keep up with other warriors, a warrior is still a warrior and helps provide for the Clan. If he retires to the elder’s den, it should be his choice when he’s older.
Bluestar had two cats in Speckletail and Brackenfur, willing to put in the effect to support Snowkit, yet she ignores them. Other Leaders with disabled kits at least gave them mentors: Crookedpaw, Deadpaw and Jaypaw.