Malusclaw takes a closer look at Ashfur.
“Upset? I’m not upset. You have no idea how much pain I’m in. It’s like being cut open every day, bleeding onto the stones. I can’t understand how any of you failed to see the blood… […] Stay there! I can’t believe you didn’t know how much you hurt me. You are the blind one, not Jayfeather. Who do you think sent Firestar the message to go down to the lake, where the fox trap was? I wanted him to die, to take your father away so you’d know the real meaning of pain.”
– Ashfur to Squirrelflight, LONG SHADOWS
Ashfur. Warrior, leader, cold-blooded killer, also known as The Imposter or the Dark Warrior. He goes by many names.
Greetings, BlogClan. MalusClaw here. This is my very first article, and it will be all about why some people immediately deem the entirety Ashfur’s actions in The Broken Code to be ‘evil,’ and why, in my opinion, this is the wrong thing to do.
— ATTENTION: MAJOR SPOILER WARNING FOR ALL ARCS —
Before I begin my argument, I’ll just sum up what’s going on in the Broken Code right now. Bramblestar, the beloved leader of ThunderClan with a troubled past. Right off the bat from the beginning of the Broken Code, he was acting odd, and when Shadowsight, ShadowClan’s young medicine cat, accidentally killed him while trying to cure him. But when Bramblestar rose from the dead like all Clan leaders do, it was a different cat looking out from his amber eyes: whom is later revealed to be none other than Ashfur, a former ThunderClanner and stalker of Squirrelflight who was brutally murdered by Bramblestar’s adopted daughter who then disposed of his body in the river and tried to hide it from the public. She supposedly killed him to hide the fact that she was only half-ThunderClan and not the child of Squirrelflight and Bramblestar, but then Hollyleaf tells every cat at the Gathering exactly what she silenced (murdered) Ashfur for.
…which brings me to one of my main reasons not to judge Ashfur. He was KILLED by a vengeful Hollyleaf, who was later accepted back into ThunderClan as if she had never killed anyone. That would be enough to turn any cat to the dark side, but Ashfur was strong. He seemed to be able to resist it enough to get into StarClan, and for many moons he lived there in peace. And then Bramblestar lost his first life.
Imagine this: You have the chance to be in the body of the person you have envied for your entire life, who is married to the person you love, who’s ‘daughter’ murdered you, and nobody would ever notice that he is gone. You would have another chance at a life you were stolen from too early. The question is not who WOULD do that, as the Clans were trying so hard to deduce, but who WOULDN’T do it. Tigerstar, Mapleshade, and many of the other notorious villains, sure, but also many StarClan cats, I’m sure. Next time you think of Yellowfang, or Russetfur, or Mudclaw, wonder if they would have jumped on such a shining opportunity.
Look, I’m not commending Ashfur’s actions as the Imposter. The exile and banishing of so many innocent people is not acceptable. But Ashfur was already at the breaking point of his sanity. When he was a kit his two close siblings, Tulipkit and Elderkit, die. His mother is killed and fed to a bloodthirsty pack of dogs. He was shoved into Firestar’s war with Scourge when he was a mere apprentice. His love, Squirrelflight, took him entirely for granted and left him for a warrior who treated her like, pardon my French, fox dung. He had an awful life. It’s easy to see how he went down such a dark path. These are my reasons why you should not be so quick to judge this troubled warrior. He went through so much at such a young age, and it’s clear that he was already an unstable cat as early as Power of Three. If he had received the help and care that other cats such as Bramblestar had, maybe he would have made different decisions.
Well, that’s all for today. I hope this article has helped you understand that Ashfur, like all other warriors, should not be judged as purely evil, despite all that he did. See you next time.