Snowthunder shares their opinion on Ashfur.
Embix edit: this article missed its publish date! We’re publishing it now!
Hello! It’s Snow here with my second article!
Last time, we discussed my hatred for Star Flower, but this time, I will be defending a hated character, Ashfur.
Before I get started, I want to get one thing straight. I agree with Yellowfang when she said “Ashfur’s only crime was loving too much.”
Sure, taking advantage of the camp being on fire and treating to kill Jayfeather Hollyleaf and Lionblaze was uncalled for, but I don’t think it was an act of evil. Yes, threatening to expose Leafpool and Crowfeather was wrong, but he did not do it for no reason.
During Ashfur’s entire apprenticeship, he is portrayed as Cloudtail’s best friend. For instance, when he was ordered to find out what Cloudtail was up to in Twolegplace, he didn’t because he trusted his friend.
When word did get out that Cloudtail was eating kittypet food, Ashfur bravely defended him, telling others that he was a loyal and good cat.
Later on, Ashfur and Brambleclaw (I’m not going to call him Bramblestar for now) grow close as friends, and they are shown as being very good to each other. Yes, Ashfur was jealous of Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight’s relationship, but the whole crazy fire scene didn’t come for a while yet.
Also during that time, Ashfur was taking care of Ferncloud and Birchfall, trying his best to help his sister after the loss of Shrewpaw.
When Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight part ways for that little while, Ashfur sees this as an opportunity to get close to his kit-hood crush. When she confided in him, Ashfur misunderstood this as her finally loving him too, and when she and Brambleclaw got back together, Ashfur was devastated.
Fast forward to the next series and suddenly Ashfur has become this bitter, envious shell of a cat. He believes that Brambleclaw has taken Squirrelflight from him, and it begins to cloud his judgement.
A bolt of lightning sets the camp alight, and driven mad by grief, Ashfur took advantage of the conditions, cornering Squirrelflight and threatens to kill the kits he thought were hers.
In all truth, Squirrelflight did cause him much pain over the moons. He was high on adrenaline, grief and jealousy, and it was all making his judgement not-so-perfect.
When Hollyleaf ended Ashfur’s life, I cried. Because all Ashfur tried to do was love, and the one person he ever loved essentially betrayed him. All he ever needed was for someone to tell him he wasn’t alone in his suffering.
Do I think Ashfur was right to possess now Bramblestar to have another rshot at Squirrelflight? No, I don’t. But, I can see his reasoning, for the punishment of the code-breakers.
First off, the code breakers. Leafpool’s kits were a result of the Warrior Code being broken, and their very existence caused him enough trauma to last a thousand moons.
Just like he said during the fire scene, he wants for the world to feel all the pain he did.
In short, was Ashfur innocent? No. But was he still a good cat with good intentions? Yes. I believe so. Just as Yellowfang said, and I will say it too, “Ashfur’s only crime was loving too much.”