HollyleafTheGreat compares Ashfur and Mapleshade.
Okay, I know the title sounds unbelievable and you all wanna rush to the comments, but please read the article first. I think I have a case.
First off, I don’t think Mapleshade was in the right. She wasn’t. I have written an article on why it’s her fault that she lost her kits. But I think Ashfur might have been MORE evil while he was alive.
Second, I haven’t read far into AVoS, so please don’t bring up The Impostor from Broken Code or any spoilers because I haven’t read that yet :p
So here’s my case, in TL;DR form: Ashfur was more evil than Mapleshade because of how easily he was pushed to near murder.
For a quick recap (Spoilers for Mapleshade’s Vengeance, The New Prophecy, and The Power of Three), Mapleshade had kits with Appledusk, and allowed her Clan to come to the (reasonable) conclusion that Birchface, a warrior that was killed by Appledusk and was Oakstar’s son, was the father. When they found out, Frecklewish and Oakstar were the angriest as their kin was used to cover up Mapleshade’s code-breaking. The rest of the Clan was upset too, as Mapleshade the real father had killed their Clanmate. And Mapleshade defended him! Exiled, Mapleshade took her kits to the stepping stones, the most dangerous way to cross the river, and they drowned. Appledusk was exposed, and he said that Mapleshade and her kits were a mistake in front of her. She was not allowed to stay in RiverClan, and her kits weren’t buried with RiverClan’s own. Disrespected and heartbroken, Mapleshade ran away to the barn. At night, she was haunted by the death of her kits. Her grief-induced delusions made Mapleshade believe she needed to kill. She killed Ravenwing for telling her secret, Frecklewish for not being able to swim and thinking the present RiverClan patrol had it under control, and therefore didn’t jump in the river to help save the kits and Mapleshade, and Appledusk when he protected pregnant Reedshine. She was sent to the Dark Forest and was pleased. Mapleshade was at-fault but I can understand why people sympathize with her since she went through a lot of hurt.
Onto Ashfur: what hurt did he face? A simple “I don’t feel the same, I like someone else. I’m sorry.” Squirrelflight didn’t love him back. And that happens. She doesn’t belong to him. He had no reason to think he was ever entitled to her affection. And when she chose Brambleclaw and later had Holly, Lion and Jay, he still couldn’t get over himself. When she first said no, shortly after we see Hawkfrost has trapped Firestar. We learn later that this was with Ashfur’s help. Firestar lost a life. This seems like an impulsive decision made while he was hurt (albeit not hurt badly), but the iconic Fire Scene gets me. It has been seasons. And he’s still bitter and angry about a rejection.