Slatepaw takes another look at the system in Warriors.
WARNING: Like in Part 1, I will be using examples, which means SPOILERS AHEAD. So consider yourself warned, I guess.
If you don’t remember last time, consider reading “Examining The Warrior Cats System: Part I”, which won’t be too far ahead of this one because I’m writing them like a day apart.
And this one will be very long as well.
In the first part, I promised that I would talk about the good parts of the system. So, let’s do that!
To start off: The type of social structure the Clans have is suited to their way of governing. Compared to dictators in the human world, the leaders of the Clans have it much easier. That’s also why humans have a more complex form of government, but my point is that each Clan is never, like, over 50 cats. No, scratch that. Not over 30 cats, I guess, because I don’t recall any Clan at any moment being more than 2 or 3 pages in the allegiances… So the “soft dictatorship” I described in the last article doesn’t have such a large effect on the Clans if one instance fails — and most of the time, the leaders don’t fail. (They’re actually qualified to be a leader — whether identified by a prophecy that was actually meaningful, like Firestar, or just had the real skills I guess, like Tallstar, their ascent was based on merit.) So even if ALL the warriors, including the deputy, hate the leader and think they’re off their rocker, they can either overthrow the leader like as in Brokenstar’s case, or they can just deal with it. (Unless Thunderclan gets nosy again, but I doubt that.)
The warrior code isn’t considered as all-correct or all-mighty in general. Cats like Hollyleaf, who genuinely cared about the code in a really fussy way, often understand that the survival of cats and the Clans will sometimes be more important than the code itself. She killed Ashfur to keep him silent, and while she and her dedication to the code were overridden in her panic, she ended up telling the truth to the Clans anyway. Which is kind of like a “Shoot I should NOT have done that, time to come clean”, I suppose.
Now, going into the details of some of the laws in the warrior code (warrior code copied from Warriors Wiki) with commentary I guess:
1. Defend your Clan, even with your life. You may have friendships with cats from other Clans, but your loyalty must remain to your Clan, as one day you may meet them in battle. [Commentary: No issues, seeing as this is perfectly reasonable and allows friendships to continue. Although often, Clans interpret this as “ONLY your Clan should be close to you” instead of “keep loyal to your own Clan and your Clan only, but you can have friends.”]
2. Do not hunt or trespass on another Clan’s territory. [Commentary: No problems either. Perfectly fine. Can create tensions when Clans are hypersensitive over whose prey it was.]
3. Elders, queens, sick or injured cats, and kits must be fed before apprentices and warriors. Unless they have permission, apprentices may not eat until they have hunted to feed the elders. [Commentary: I have personal issues with this, because why not the warriors? Why can’t the warriors also hunt to feed the elders? But this is also reasonable, as are the first two because elders DO need to be fed.]
4. Prey is killed only to be eaten. Give thanks to StarClan for its life. [Commentary: The closest cats will get to being vegan >:P ]
5. A kit must be at least six moons old to become an apprentice. [Commentary: Obviously, otherwise they can’t handle it. Example: Brokenstar and his kit warriors.]
6. Newly appointed warriors will keep a silent vigil for one night after receiving their warrior name. [Commentary: I’m not sure what the reason for making this rule was, but it helps cement the new warrior’s loyalty, I guess.]
7. A cat cannot be made deputy without having mentored at least one apprentice. [Commentary: otherwise, experience issues with leading cats.]
8. The deputy will become Clan leader when the leader dies, retires, or is exiled. [Commentary: This is just common sense.]
9. After the death, retirement, promotion (to a leader status), or exile of the deputy, the new deputy must be chosen before moonhigh. [Commentary: I read the story for this, and the reason was that once, there was a lot of sickness in a Clan, and the leader was dying. But after they died, their deputy, which was the new leader, died like a day after, having not yet chosen a deputy. And the cats that wanted to be the leader started fighting, creating stupid chaos. Then, this part of the code was made.]
10. A Gathering of all four Clans is held at the full moon during a truce that lasts for the night. There shall be no fighting among Clans at this time. [Commentary: Logical obviously, who doesn’t like peace? A good time to resolve conflicts peacefully.]
11. Boundaries must be checked and marked daily. Challenge all trespassing cats. [Commentary: Since this is Line 11, I suppose it was made more recently than the first bits. I don’t remember what it was that prompted the creation of this line, but it can create some really tension-filled disputes on over-hyped and over-sensitive borders.]
12. No warrior can neglect a kit in pain or danger, even if the kit is from a different Clan. [Commentary: I know I read the story for this, but I don’t remember and I’m too lazy to search it up. This one is good because it protects new life. Disputes can happen, however, over what or who is counted as a kit. Usually, a cat is a kit if they are not yet an apprentice.]
13. The word of the Clan leader is the warrior code. [Commentary: Rather stupid. Created, I think, during a Gathering, where a deputy openly disputed their leader’s decision.]
14. An honorable warrior does not need to kill other cats to win their battles, unless they are outside the warrior code or if it is necessary for self-defense. [Commentary: My only complaint is that it’s #14. How long did it take cats to realize this?]
15. A warrior rejects the soft life of a kittypet. [Commentary: Pinestar went to become a kittypet, which the Clans were like, “No, what the heck?” and created this line.]
16. Each Clan has the right to be proud and independent, but in times of trouble they must forget their boundaries and fight side by side to protect the four. Each Clan must help the others so that no Clan will fall. [Commentary: This was created more recently, I believe, that was ACTUALLY in the span of the main arcs. Probably — I’m too lazy to check — created after the events in The Last Hope.]
I know I glossed over some backstories, and I would appreciate it if some of you readers told me what they were in the comments!
I have some additional observations. There’s the first line in the warrior code, which states that loyalty must remain to your own Clan. This is reasonable, but Clans took this to mean that no mates between Clans are allowed. And that probably is what they meant when creating the code. However, although inter-Clan marriages/mates are looked down upon and seen as violating the code, HalfClan kits usually turn out to be strong and loyal to the Clan they were born in. Here are some examples.
1. Stonefur & Mistyfoot/star. They were the offspring of Oakheart (RiverClan) and Bluefur/star (ThunderClan), and although Stonefur was killed as deputy for being HalfClan, Mistyfoot escaped this fate and went on to become leader. They were both dedicated to RiverClan, and didn’t even know of their HalfClan status until it was revealed late in the first arc.
2. Power of Three original trio: Jayfeather, Lionblaze, Hollyleaf. They had always thought that Squirrelflight was their mother, and really got confused and felt betrayed when it was revealed that Leafpool — a medicine cat! — was their mother, and their father was Crowfeather of WindClan. That meant that their existence, according to Hollyleaf, violated so many rules that they shouldn’t exist at all. But although this confusion was considerable, and Hollyleaf left, they still remained loyal to ThunderClan. Hollyleaf came back in late Omen of the Stars to fight for the Clans.
3. Dovewing and Tigerheart’s kits: Shadowsight, Pouncestep, and Lightleap. This is not a strictly HalfClan situation, because Dovewing went to ShadowClan fully, but that didn’t affect the three’s loyalty to ShadowClan one bit — both because their mother was technically a ShadowClan member, and because their father was a #veryimportant Clan leader.
There should be more, but that just straight-out disproves the feeling in the Clans that a half-Clan relationship and kits would be divided loyalties. It’s hard for the parents, which makes tension and divided loyalty, but there is nothing wrong with the kits. It is never the kits’ faults that their parents ended up meeting, loving, and having them.
I know this is getting very long, but bear with me here. Just one more thing.
It’s not specifically written in the code that medicine cats cannot have kits, according to the Warriors Wiki. It’s a general rule that all cats follow, so why do they act like medicine cats can NEVER have kits? It creates a lot of stress for the medicine cat, that’s all. This general rule was created very early on, when the Clans were first established. I guess it’s just a social norm that is reasonable, like many others, but is taken over-sensitively and is treated like a piece of the warrior code when it’s not.
Anyway, thank you fellow BlogClanners for reading my long two-part rant and commentary about the Warrior Cat system and the warrior code! Feel free to put any comments down below (man I sound like a YouTuber now) and have a nice day.
P.S. I may write another one, a Part III. You know, whenever I feel like writing one. But I think I’ve run out of rant for a while…