Reasons why you should not judge Ashfur’s actions in The Broken Code by Malusclaw

Malusclaw takes a closer look at Ashfur.

Art by Skitea

“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.

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21 comments

Leave a Reply to Aspenclaws Cancel reply

  • Nice article, but I disagree.
    Ashfur’s actions are inexcusable. He was about to KILL Firestar. He would’ve, if Bramblestar wouldn’t have saved him. If Firestar had been a warrior, he would’ve died. It doesn’t matter if Firestar has nine lives; it’s still murder.
    He then tried to kill Hollyleaf, Jayfeather, and Lionblaze, just because Squirrelflight rejected him. He did let them go, but he also threatened to revealed the secret. That’s still wrong. The lesser of two wrongs doesn’t make a right. And you could argue it was worse than killing them.
    He had a sister to support him, and I’m sure she would be more than happy to help him. He even could’ve stayed friends with Squirrelflight.
    He also probably didn’t regret trying to kill Squirrelflight’s kits, as when he killed Firestar, he didn’t seem to regret it at all.
    Ashfur was selfish. He didn’t truly love Squirrelflight; if he did, then he would accept Squirrelflight loved Brambleclaw and moved on. Also, he had no experience being a leader, yet he still went into Bramblestar’s body. He also caused the deaths of many, for example, Rosepetal, Stemleaf, and Willowshine.
    I’m not saying Ashfur didn’t suffer, but others suffered more than him. They didn’t go berserk like he did.
    Squirrelflight genuinely considered Ashfur as a love interest, she just loved Brambleclaw more. She didn’t take him for granted.
    Anyway, even though I may not have convinced you, I hope you see my reasons for disliking Ashfur and why I think he’s guilty. 🙂

  • Nice article! I agree that if Ashfur was given more support and kindness his situation would have turned out a lot differently,but I personally don’t think that Squirrelflight was ever in love with him. She needed a friend after breaking up with Brambleclaw (who definitely isn’t a good mate,that’s true),and he took things the wrong way. It’s a grey area,Hollyleaf was accepted back into ThunderClan like nothing happened,and a lot of her other actions are questionable as well,but Ash’s trauma can’t really be used to excuse his obsessive behavior or outright cruelness,either.

    In my opinion,both of them should have gone to some sort of inbetween,not StarClan or the Dark Forest,because you’re right,Ashfur isn’t evil,but he did more than love too much. (that could honestly be used for any cat and it’s 2: 00 am where i live and sleepy me is typing this so don’t take it to heart lol)

  • I get what your saying, but even if you are grieving, (a lot) that’s does not give you a reason to try and burn 3 innocent cats in a fire, and kill them, just so that you make your crush feel pain.

  • Um, no. Just because a person isn´t sane doesnt mean they are excused from their actions. Bluestar temporarily went insane and names Brightheart lostface. Sure, she might not have had the right mind, but it doesnt give her a reason to make anothers life even more miserable. And your point where you asked if you would take the chance to get into your loves lovers body, that isnt true. I know a lot of people who wouldnt be that creepy. Plus, other cats like crookedstar had hard lifes too, and they turned out amazing. You´re also forgetting that Ashfur aided Hawkfrost to kill firestar, and succeeded. He also says that he did this to get revenge for squilf, but expects her to love her? I get you´re not trying to excuse his actions, but ashfur is pretty evil enough and is a step away from being brokenstar.

  • Great article, but I disagree. Saying Ashfur can be excused from his actions is like saying Brokenstar isn’t to blame for all the kits he murdered just because he had a bad kithood. It was Ashfur’s decision to corner Squirrelflight and try to kill her kits; and I assure you, if he had succeeded, he would be in the DF and essentially become the next Mapleshade. Plus, keep in mind that intent to kill is almost as bad as killing, or maybe even worse.

    • Exactly! Which is worse: the attempted murder of three cats, then threatening to reveal the secret which, they fear, may end up costing them their lives anyway when revealed, or accidentally killing one cat, then threatening to kill only one, who refuses, and then gives up trying to make that cat feel any pain?? To quote The Ultimate Guide: “She didn’t mean to kill him- she struck, he slipped, and when he fell into the stream with blood streaming from the wounds in his throat, she knew he was beyond saving. There seemed no point in telling Firestar what had happened. She was being punished enough by her conscience- the warrior code said no cat must kill another- and by her fear that the truth would emerge anyway.” Sure, later in the books, she seems to not regret her actions, but she’s just trying to seem as brave as ever! She was guilty in her heart.

      • To be fair, she DID mean to kill him, the ultimate guide took her fake story, or the one Bramblestar told ThunderClan. In reality, she did mean to kill him

      • Ashfur’s death wasn’t an accident; the ultimate guide uses Bramblestar’s defence of Hollyleaf instead of the real account. In reality, Hollyleaf had clear intentions to murderise Ashfur

  • Good article, but I have to disagree,

    First off, Hollyleaf didn’t dispose of his body in the river, she cut his throat, and while he was dying, he fell into the river. You can’t blame Hollyleaf for that, she was troubled after the discovery of her parentage. She was let back into ThunderClan because unlike many other villains (Ashfur, Mapleshade, Etc.) she actually felt remorse for Ashfur, and his death haunted her conscience up until she died. I’ll admit, many Dark Forest cats would take over a body, but not Russetfur, Yellowfang and Mudclaw (Why would Yellowfang want another chance? She died from smoke inhalation, it makes no sense, her death was not accidental or crazy like Russetfur and Mudclaw’s deaths). Ashfur never knew Tulipkit and Elderkit well, they died as kits. Brindleface was never eaten by dogs, she was killed by Tigerstar to get the dogs to like the taste of cat blood, but they never ate her. Squirrelflight didn’t take him for granted, in “Warriors: The New Prophecy #3: Dawn” she showed heavy feelings for Ashfur, but that was only because Brambleclaw(star) was being very distant to her at the time. I will admit, Bramblestar did not listen to her in Squirrelflights Hope and he yelled at her, but Ashfur tried to kill her, her adopted kits, and her father. All because she broke up with him. Firestar didn’t “force him into battle”. Ashpaw(fur) was willing to fight, as were all the apprentices at the time. You can’t blame a cat’s evil from their childhood. Tree, Violetshine, Twigbranch, Crookedstar, they all had bad childhoods but none of them were evil. Bramblestar had a loving mother, but his childhood was rough too, his father was the most evil cat in the forest at the time, and his sister joined ShadowClan because cats judged them for their parentage. Bramblestar didn’t receive much “help and care” as you say, Ashfur had a lot more, he had a loving sister, mother and father. Bramblestar didn’t

    • I agree. In fact, while Brambleclaw had a troubled early life and struggled a lot, Ashpaw didn’t and was the stereotypical well-behaving apprentice. But Brambleclaw was able to overcome these difficulties and become a (mostly) good warrior. while Ashfur struggled with Squilf’s rejection and turned bad.