How do Leaders Select Mentors? by Ospreymist

Art by Ospreymist of BlogClan

Ospreymist examines how mentorship works in the Clans

Hello! I’m Ospreymist, and recently I’ve been thinking, ‘How do leaders pair mentors and apprentices?’ Lets get stuck in!

I’m only looking at pairings in the main series books plus Bramblestar’s Storm and Crowfeather’s Trial since I’m too lazy to do all of them.

First up –
Are cats more likely to mentor a new apprentice if they’ve been a mentor previously? Of the 183 pairings I looked at, 66 of mentors (in these pairings had previously been a mentor, so for leaders, it seems, they are willing to let other young cats find responsibility, and in the leader’s eyes, mentorship isn’t about forming perfect warriors and having a seamless apprenticeship, but about letting young and loyal cats have experience and giving them a learning opportunity and a chance to gain valuable leadership skills.

What about cats who’ve been queens before, knowing the excitement of eagerness of kits leaving the camp for the first time in their lives? How often are they mentors?
Well, 28 of these 183 mentors in the pairings were previously queens, again making me link back to the thing about experience I mentioned before. For fun, here are the cats who have been queens AND previous mentors –
Mistyfoot (x2)
Mosspelt (x2)
Tawnypelt (x3)

I found 3 mentors who needed to redeem themselves during their mentorship – Darkstripe for following Tigerstar and Ivypool and Harestar for Training in the Dark Forest (Other mentors, such as Tigerheartstar weren’t counted since he was a mentor after the DF trainees had redeemed themselves). Firestar was said to specifically choose Darkstripe so he could prove his loyalty to ThunderClan, and Onestar and Bramblestar were very willing to forgive the Dark Forest Trainees.
So, how did this work out?
For Ivypool (who was mentoring Snowbush) and Harestar (who was mentoring Slightfoot), it worked out pretty well, with both Snowbush and Slightfoot becoming accomplished warriors. Darkstripe, on the other hand, didn’t give Ferncloud his rowdy behaviour, but he was exiled during her apprenticeship, which scared Ferncloud, so it wasn’t the world’s best match.

So, how good are leaders at pairing mentors and apprentices?
Of the pairings I looked at there have been 180 successful pairings.
What does that mean?
There have been 3 failures.

The paintings that I count as failed are –
Darkstripe and Ferncloud
Ashfur and Lionblaze
Tigerstar and Ravenpaw

(I didn’t count pairings such as Tigerstar and Darkstripe, Nightstar and Brokenstar, Thistleclaw and Tigerstar etc because they weren’t mentioned in the allegiances of the main series)

So, what went wrong with these pairings?
I’ve already had a look at Darkstripe and Ferncloud, so I’ll move on to Ashfur and Lionblaze. This was lack of common sense by Firestar, who seemed to think that pairing Squirrelflight’s former love interest and Squirrelflight’s supposed kit was an excellent idea (I haven’t read Outcast to Sunrise to forgive me if I mess up some information here). While they seemed to have a reasonable relationship (apart from lots of fighting), this pairing played an element in the fire, Ashfur’s murder and Ashfur’s actions in the Broken Code.
Ravenpaw and Tigerstar was purely because of Bluestar not knowing Tigerstar’s motives, so she believed that it was an excellent pair, and I can’t blame her for that (but I can still blame her for knowing Ravenpaw ran away because of Tigerstar and not doing anything about it). Ravenpaw’s timid nature (ignoring Redtail’s Debt here) and Tigerstar’s ambitious nature may have seemed like a way to make Ravenpaw more confident, but it flopped, just making Ravenpaw more timid.

Of course, this is only 3 pairings with major consequences, so it seems that most leaders are pretty good at pairing mentors and apprentices (Some good examples include Bluestar and Firestar, Rosepetal and Bristlefrost, Onewhisker and Gorsepaw, Ivypool and Twigbranch (I think) and the list goes on.)

I hope this was an interesting article to read, and I would love to discuss anything about mentors and apprentices! 😀

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