[Appledusk and a tearful Mapleshade are arranged revolving around each other]

Who really made all the villains in Warriors? by Jinx

Jinx analyzes the roots behind the villainy of the antagonists of the series.

Art by senely

Hi! Jinx here. I’m here to talk about the Warriors villains (in the books I’ve read) and who directly or non directly started their villain-y.

Let’s start with two cats that pretty much EVERYONE has heard of: Mapleshade and Appledusk.
Most people blame Mapleshade for the Dark Forest’s growing power. And even though I love Mapleshade, I will admit, she isn’t completely innocent. But then again, a lot of people focus on her downfalls (murder, betrayal, kits’ deaths, ect.) and don’t take a good look at her before the… defects, let’s say, in her life. So, really quick, I’m going to describe her personality before her relationship with Appledusk.
She was a loyal warrior, helpful and kind, and was liked by most cats in the Clan. She might have even became deputy if she hadn’t turned down the wrong road. So now, we’re at the part of the story everyone knows. Blah, blah. blah, forbidden love, Blah, blah. blah, has RiverClan cat’s kits, Blah, blah. blah, gets kicked out of Clan. Now, she seeks revenge, kills a few cats, dies of blood loss, and gets booted into the Dark Forest. So then, she invades Tigerstar’s mind, he kills some cats, becomes leader of ShadowClan, recruits Scourge, some more cats die, (including Tigerstar himself), and Scourge dies and his spirit goes no where. Then we’ve got Thistleclaw and Sol (who isn’t techniacally connected with StarClan, but I’ll get to that later), and ShadowClan turning their back on StarClan, and then finally, the Great Battle. So let’s keep going.
Next, I’ll look at Tigerstar. As we see in Tigerclaw’s Fury, Mapleshade is in his mind, controlling him. Tigerclaw in Redtail’s Debt, is a ruthless, ambitious tom who actually murders Redtail. In either the Forest Of Secrets or A Dangerous Path (I can’t remember TBH), he attempts to murder Bluestar, and then he becomes leader of ShadowClan after his exile.
Next: Thistleclaw. This isn’t gonna be a long one, I only know a bit about him from Spottedleaf’s Heart, so all I know is he trained in the Dark Forest. With Mapleshade.
Last, Sol. So, this one is hard to explain here, so I have to do this last.
Anyway, if Appledusk hadn’t betrayed Mapleshade, and if Ravenwing hadn’t told on Mapleshade, Mapleshade wouldn’t have gone nuts, she wouldn’t have murdered all those cats, she wouldn’t have gone to the Dark Forest, wouldn’t have trained Thistleclaw or controlled Tigerstar (claw). So, now here’s Sol’s explanation.
If Mapleshade hadn’t gone to the Dark Forest, the Great Battle wouldn’t have been foretold, Midnight wouldn’t have told Sol about the eclipse or the Battle, Sol wouldn’t have turned ShadowClan against their beliefs, and so on.
So, now you really have to think: Who really started all the betrayals and murders and traitors and killers in the forest? Yes, Mapleshade was partly to blame, but don’t you think it’s partly Appledusk’s or maybe Ravenwing’s, Darkstar’s (RiverClan leader that rejected Mapleshade), or Oakstar (leader that banished Mapleshade) fault? Or maybe a combonation of them. Well, that’s the end of this article! (BTW most of my articles are on villians, I find them really interesting.) If you have a request for an article on a certain cat (preferably villain), I will be sure to read their novel/novella if they have one, and do my best!


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  • Nice article!
    Though Mapleshade’s actions might have “rooted” from those three, it’s not their fault. Mapleshade chose to murder. Mapleshade decided to kill them. Mapleshade felt possessive over Appledusk. Mapleshade was dumb that she couldn’t recognize a flooding river. Mapleshade decided to kill kits to devastate queens, which pretty much, you could say, happened to her. Mapleshade was happy that she went to the DF.

    • That’s true Mapleshades not forgiven from me, you are right she was legit happy to go to the Dark Forest, but there WERE cats there before her…I wonder who…possibly Slate and One eye?

    • I think I might do some bad things if I was rejected five billion times. Mapleshade is a very complicated character.

    • Mapleshade wasn’t a RiverClan cat, she couldn’t have known if the river was going to flood, it’s not like she spent hours staring at the river. And Mapleshade wasn’t being possesive, she was just hurt that Appledusk had already been with Reedshine before the kit’s were drowned, and that he literally left her to fend for herself when she had nowhere to go. He didn’t even try speaking up to her! And I would probably be happy to go to the df too if I still felt that much hatred and grief.

      • Her kits, Petalkit, pointed out that there’s too much water, and Mapleshade pushes her to the river, and promises they’ll be safe. A three-moon year old kit can recognize a flooding river, but why can’t Mapleshade? I mean, not everyone has to live by water to recognize a flooding one.

        She was being possessive; I’m not talking about her being mad about Appledusk. She thought while attacking Reedshine: Appledusk is mine!

        • Mapleshade just wanted to get away from ThunderClan. She wasn’t gonna just stop to watch the river and then have thunderclan kill her cause shes still on their territory. She definitely regretted crossing the river later.
          Also Petalkit is half riverclan. I’m not sure that has anything to do with being able to tell how high the water is. It might be something you have to be taught.

          • Having a swimmer’s blood doesn’t help you identify a flood. My parents are not swimmers, but I’m pretty sure I could identify a river that’s flooding. I can’t swim, and if I marry somebody who can’t either, would my child be unable to identify a flooding river? So the Petalkit problem isn’t really fair. The ThunderClan cats knew the river was flooding, too, and that’s partly why people hate on Oakstar.

            Mapleshade wanted to get away from ThunderClan, yes, but there’s neutral territory, like the Fourtrees, and there is a way to cross the river, not just swimming, like the two bridges.

    • Everything begins when Mapleshade has a forbidden relationship with Appledusk, which I admit is her fault. Then Ravenwing pushed it to a new level when he found out. Mapleshade chose to murder because I think, deep down inside, she knew she was going to die anyway. While she was still alive, she just wanted to avenge every cat that hurt her or her kits, just like I think every cat in her situation would do. Furthermore, I think her mind was starting to give away. When you’re depressed or angry, you can’t just stop. Where was Mapleshade supposed to go while the river was flooded anyway? She couldn’t just stay in the forest, and she probably couldn’t get far with kits that could barely travel. The only safety was across the river, which was unfortunately flooded at the moment.

      • The Fourtrees was neutral territory, and safer than a flooding river.
        There are people who don’t murder or harm people when they’re depressed or angry. And though her situation might explain why she murdered people, it doesn’t really excuse her actions.

  • It’s not fair to blame Appledusk and Ravenwing for a butterfly effect, literally, no one has the foresight to see. It happened decades after their lifetime and it was Mapleshade’s choice to target Tigestar. They can only act on the knowledge they had in the presence.

    Should we blame Birchstar and Redstar for appointing their successors of Darkstar and Oakstar? Why start there? Prehaps we should blame the leaders that came before them? See how far this already going?

  • Thats an interesting perspective on the topic.
    But I don’t think appledusk or ravenwing are to blame for the dark forest. Mapleshade knowingly manipulated all of those cats, and started the dark forest. She did it on her own free will, neither appledusk or ravenwing wanted any cats to suffer the way she did. Appledusk didn’t treat her right, but she choose to make those decisions by herself.

    Nicely written article though, the sol explanation is cool. Maybe do one of darktail next, he’s a really interesting villain<3

  • Very good article! As the biggest Tigerstar fan, I honestly think Firestar is to blame for Tigerstar’s evilness. Tigerstar HATES kittypets, and tbh, he has a good reason why. Pinestar, his own father, ABANDONED him to become a kittypet. Firepaw-heart-star started to get all the attention from all the cats when he wasn’t even a good warrior. It was Tigerstar who needed to get that attention. He felt ignored, and if it wasn’t for Firestar, I think he would have waited. So it was partly Pinestar, partly Thistleclaw, party Mapleshade, and mostly Firestar. GREAT ARTICLE!!!!

    • Tigerstar killed Redtail before Rusty even joined Thunderclan. Plus, Tigerclaw was deputy first, he got more attention than Fireheart and wouldn’t have a reason to feel jealous.

  • I personally think it’s Oakstar’s fault because it was his choice to exile Mapleshade. Darkstar also may be partly to blame but even if she wasn’t rejected by Darkstar and Appledusk are we sure she wouldn’t have still murdered Frecklewish and Ravenwing? Ravenwing was just doing what StarClan wanted him to do (he’s one of the few cats who get visions who actually does something useful and tells someone about it) I mean going all the way back I think it could just be StarClan’s fault for all of this happening for giving Ravenwing the vision about Mapleshade’s kits. But yeah I think personally it’s more Oakstar’s fault then anyone else but I mean I understand that he was super mad about Birchface. And wait if it’s the connection to Birchface that made Oakstar exile Mapleshade then is it Frecklewish’s fault for starting it or is it Mapleshade’s for not correcting it? If Birchface was still alive would any of that have happened? Is it Appledusk’s fault for knocking him into the river? Is it whoever started the border skirmish’s fault? Which means that it goes back to Oakstar and Nightstar again. Ugh this whole thing is soooo complicated.

  • i mean, you could blame a whole lot of cats for mapleshade’s existence. You could blame Appledusk, or Ravenwing, or Oakstar, or Redstar or the leaders before them, or mapleshade’s parents for becoming mates with each other and giving birth to Mapleshade, or appledusk’s second mate, or literally everyone who came before her.

  • Great article!
    I always thought that Mapleshade created all those villains, yes, but she’s driven mad by all sorts of things, like Ravenwing, Frecklewish (actually I think she is driven mad too so anyway,) Oakstar and Appledusk, or maybe also Bloomheart and Reedshine? Those were all totally normal cats so maybe we can’t blame the one who is mad and gone nuts.

  • Nice article! I do think it was a combination of Mapleshade’s decisions and a string of bad luck. Actually I am currently writing an article defending Frecklewish, who Mapleshade defenders usually pile the blame on, so I am in the middle of some research.

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