Monicapaw takes a look at Clear Sky’s actions throughout his life.
Hello! Monicapaw (Monicastorm/Monpea) here, and I’m here to talk about Clear Sky (I just had to pick quite a… heated debate, didn’t I?)
Also, one thing! Just because I am on Clear Sky’s “side” does not mean I agree with his actions, or think they are “morally good”. This is just me trying to shed some light on the situation.
(Sorry if I’m a little rusty on some events of DotC I haven’t read it for a while)
Firstly, Bright Stream (and Fluttering Bird, too). She is usually the first topic I see for DotC articles, and I may as well join in. So some people say that Clear Sky blamed Gray Wing for the death of Bright Stream as he couldn’t save her in time, and she was taken away by a hawk. But put yourself in Clear Sky’s paws for a second. He is mad with grief; she is his first mate, so losing her was pretty hard to bear, especially since his sister Fluttering Bird has just died before then. I’m pretty sure he even wanted to have kits with Bright Stream and really wanted their future to be bright, so her death really impacted him.
Also, a lot of books and content have characters or people in general have blamed themselves for someone else’s death, so so Clear Sky isn’t really blaming Gray Wing, he’s blaming himself because he feels responsible. He even admits it later on the book as far as I can remember. So blaming Gray Wing wasn’t the best choice but you really think he was in his right mind? And yes, Gray Wing did love Bright Stream but that doesn’t mean that Clear Sky “stole her from him“, she had a choice to make and she chose Clear Sky.
Secondly, Storm. So yes, you could say that Gray Wing was in love with Storm first, what we actually don’t know for sure. Clear Sky could have actually met Storm before Gray Wing did, and like Bright Stream, Storm did make a choice. And yet again the choice is Clear Sky.
And then Thunder is born, Storm is killed and so are Thunder’s two littermates. So naturally you would think the Clear Sky would take Thunder in as his own. By now he’s already established borders, and he feels like he needs to be responsible for everything. He needs to stay safe, protected. He’s really being quite neurotic here, and now another responsibility is upon him. And yes, you could say that he’s been cowardly because he’s running away from responsibility. But think of it this way: every time you try to protect all the ones you love, they turn away from you and then get themselves killed, or it seems like it’s your fault that they died. Are you seeing a pattern here?
In Clear Sky’s mind it feels like protection is the right option. He needs to be detached from everything around him to be safe. At least that’s what he tells himself. So now if anything happens to Thunder and Clear Sky had taken him in, Clear Sky will feel responsible. So Thunder is given to Gray Wing, and Clear Sky does not see his son.
And here comes Jagged Peak. So for this one, I have quite a few mixed opinions. One is that Clear Sky didn’t do the best thing but considering what we’ve already said about Thunder, that kind of makes sense why he’s acting this way.
So Clear Sky takes Jagged Peak out hunting as far as I remember. He also may have actually asked him to go hunting too, although I do think Clear Sky was there. And then Clear Sky pushes Jagged Peak – not literally – to climb higher. Then Jagged Peak falls – I think he was chasing a squirrel – and injures his leg. So this is kind of Clear Sky’s worst nightmare. Also it’s his brother. You know, that Quiet Rain, his mother, asked him to take care of. (Actually, that might’ve been Gray Wing, but still). And now get another cat Clear Sky cares about is injured under his responsibility.
What happens now I do you not agree with, let me make myself clear. So Clear Sky send Jagged Peak away with someone else – Frost, I think – to die. Yeah I can’t really justify this, but I can explain his thought process. So he may not have the Bear Grylls” survival of the fittest“ kind of ideals but it is quite similar – he doesn’t want cats are die and his explanation is: “You can’t hunt so you’re not going to be bad”. Which isn’t great. But this is his worst nightmare; every cat around him dies.
Jagged Peak lives, though, and joins Gray Wings’ group, which is fine in itself, but after that he decides to HOLD IT AGAINST CLEAR SKY FOREVER. I am not being melodramatic! I know that what Clear Sky did cannot be justified, but seriously! Even after Clear Sky redeems himself many times over, and I’m sure he apologises, Jagged Peak still snarks about Clear Sky, and drives other cats against Clear Sky. For the whole series! Jagged Peak can be mad, but all those little comments drove me insane when reading! And that is Jagged Peaks personality! Getting one up on Clear Sky!
Talking about getting one up one others, here is the manipulation of Thunder, and just that general period in DotC book 2 (I’ve forgotten the name).
So Gray Wing has just saved Clear Sky* (I’m pretty sure) from the fire in the forest, and Clear Sky’s group is camping out in the moors with Gray Wing’s group.
*Clear Sky is in debt to Gray Wing, which is pretty important for this bit* Thunder, around kit-apprentice kind of age, is inquisitive about Clear Sky, naturally. I mean, Clear Sky is a direct relation (uncles aren’t that direct). The only direction relation Thunder has, for that matter.
So Clear Sky blatantly manipulates Thunder – but wait! This is from Gray Wing’s perspective, and no matter how “wholesome” a character can be, they’re only human (well, only feline), so will be naturally biased, especially since Clear Sky has snagged the best gals on the street. And is asking Thunder to live with him.
Plus, what about characters like Bumblestripe and Ashfur, especially the latter, who both manipulative Dovewing and Squirrelflight respectively. Now some say that was intentional manipulation, but it could have (mainly in Bumblestripe’s case) been unintentional just as easily, and that doesn’t clear away his mistakes, but makes more sense. Whilst Clear Sky probably was doing this on purpose, it has not been confirmed.
Continuing on, Thunder is naive and accepts, and that’s when sparks start to fly even more…
Clear Sky and Thunder are almost toxic. They argue often, (right?) and there’s a ton of ups and downs. Clear Sky’s anxieties are building, and ritualistically expanding the borders. He needs to be safe. He needs to protect his cats. Thunder is a threat, it seems, but Thunder is also a bit of a trophy. Clear Sky would have a son. After Bright Stream and Storm died, he probably felt like he couldn’t love again, and someone who fights back that he can love is a kind of two-in-one.
So…. yeah, okay, Clear Sky really screwed up here. But if you think of all of the things building up to this moment, his out of control actions, whilst inexcusable, are clearer. And Clear Sky’s not the only one who killed! Falling Feather and Jackdaw’s Cry, siblings, fight, and Falling Feather (I think) dies. But Clear Sky, whilst killing multiple cats, did (finally) show come mercy to Gray Wing.
Gray Wing’s personality and Clear Sky’s, as mentioned in a Bright Guardian Akira video (I don’t know which one) are kind of mirrored, as both have similar anxieties. But Clear Sky reacts differently, naturally, so comparing the two doesn’t really work, but I do think that they do have complementary personalities, if that’s a thing. Although there were rivalries, they do find it in their hearts to be friendlier.
UNLIKE JACKDAW’S CRY AND FALLING FEATHER!
Look, I know they were defending their groups. And regretted their actions. However, it is interesting to compare the two, in my eyes, as Jackdaw’s Cry and Falling Feather weren’t particularly important characters, for the most part. Supporting characters.. maybe..?
But then the newly formed StarClan decide to yell at everyone about being “one” as if they didn’t mess up whilst they were alive. (StarClan annoys me). So everyone blames Clear Sky, and for good reason, although I do think some hate was a bit OTT.
A few examples of some redeeming events to consider:
Clear Sky saved Gray Wings kits on the Thunderpath
Tried to be nicer to Thunder, although Thunder held a grudge.
Tried to be nicer in general, honestly.
Defended the groups against One Eye and Slash
Cared for Star Flower and her kits
So… Star Flower. This is pretty controversial topic, and I do get the argument about Thunder being her age, but this is never confirmed. Also, just because you are in love with someone does not mean they return the feelings, or don’t also have feelings for someone else. There isn’t just one person/cat/insert name of something in your life, there’s multiple. And they can make a decision! Both Bumblestripe and Ashfur are examples of not understanding that. And yes, it was an odd pairing, frankly. Both of them. Thunder X Star Flower kind of felt like something is HSM, but that is never going to work out. A fling? Maybe.
Thunder’s just seemed a bit crazy over Star Flower for.. looks? Clear Sky and Star Flower, from what I remember, seemed to have quite a bit of chemistry, and Star Flower knows about Clear Sky’s.. quirks? Clear Sky-i-ness?
It did feel awkward, and like Clear Sky had too many love interests, but so did Gray Wing. (He literally had four, although some are just crushes – Bright Stream, Storm, Turtle Tail, and Slate. That’s more than Clear Sky).
Then Quiet Rain comes. (Yay.)
She’s judgemental about Jagged Peak, and I get she’s exhausted and shocked, but she could be more understanding or just ask for some space. If she’s not ready to talk to them, she could just say instead of causing tension and rivalry between the three, if unintentional, that still doesn’t excuse her behaviour.
Same for the whole scene about Rainswept Flower… yeah. Her shock is understandable, in a way, as she hasn’t really seen much violence, living in a tribe which are alone, for the most part. But basically disowning him.. even Jagged Peak was shocked. It hurt Clear Sky, and before this he was trying to make his actions better, so having that happen must’ve been very demoralising. He understands his faults, too, in the later half of the series, and him and Thunder acknowledge they don’t work well together, and Clear Sky is sad about messing up his relationship. Yes, he blew his chance, but used it to be a better father (if very overprotective) to Star Flower’s kits.
MOTH FLIGHT’S VISION
For this I really don’t have anything more to say than the authors forgot about his redemption arc and that it wasn’t intentional for him to be mean and rude to Moth Flight. The death that is caused I personally am leaving out (mainly) because of that, and also that his character arc is most important and relevant during DotC.
I can’t remember much about this novella, really, but Clear Sky does see reason, although naturally is adamant that his cats aren’t wrong. He trusts in them and believes in them, and will accept that they are wrong.. after evidence, which is reasonable enough. I mean, you wouldn’t want to believe that your best friend was a criminal, would you?
So, all things considered, Clear Sky’s actions, whilst questionable and not always right, but he does have good intentions when he gets those intentions in place, and really thinks about what is necessary. He went through a lot, and do a lot of things, but in the end he redeemed himself and went on to start SkyClan, and be a better cat.
That’s my opinion, but what’s yours?
I hope you enjoyed reading 🙂