Picture Perfect Illusion: Forgotten Bad Parents in the Warriors Series by Snowpuff

Art by CascadingSerenity

Snowpuff analyzes some of the worst parents in the Warriors series

Disclaimer: This article deals with themes of emotional abuse, neglect, along with enabling actions from others. If these topics bother you, this may be an article to skip out on. If you are currently going through abuse, you are not alone. Contact a helpline, report it, or tell someone you love or trust.

The Warriors series is filled with terrible parents. We all know the select mothers and fathers that failed their children: Rainflower, Spiderleg, Lizardstripe, the list goes on and on. However, there are other parents that others failed to account for. Whether they abused their kits, taught them things they shouldn’t, or didn’t even try to stop ongoing abuse, they are forgotten about. Here are several examples.

Lizardstripe, despite being a minor character, is one of the most famous bad mothers. Only next to Rainflower. However, this is not about her. Rather, her mate. Mudclaw is never mentioned as a bad father, only Lizardstripe. Which, compared to her, he is a saint. But he is still horrible. He knew what his mate and kits were doing to Brokenkit, and he did nothing to stop it. Even when his mate was horrible to his own flesh and blood, he did nothing. He enabled her, and thus created the most twisted leader in Shadowclan. His sheer ineptitude as a father left him on his list.

Leopardfoot had a tragic life. Her mate left her to become a kittypet. Two of her kits died. This left her loving her only kit fiercely. But, ‘how much is too much?’ is a question she should have asked herself. She loved her remaining kit so much, she spoiled him further than rotten. As it would have happened, this spoiling led to Tigerstar becoming one of the most devastating cats to the four clans. Leopardfoot isn’t a bad cat. She only meant well, but her well-meaning heart corrupted the heart of her only surviving son. While definitely the tamest and most justified on the list, it is still worthy to be pointed out.

Brightflower is a cat painted as bad by the Erins, even going as far to have said she was in the Dark Forest in a retconned statement. Even as a kit, Yellowfang had a somewhat rocky relationship with her mother. A loving, yet tough parenting style. She didn’t believe her when she should have. This was always the case. In the minor, such as when Nutkit eats crowfood but Yellowkit didn’t, to the severe. Like when her two kits were murdered, and she immedietly blamed her own daughter who was almost as equally filled with grief. It may have been understandable at first, but the objections of multiple clanmates, including the respected medicine cat Runningnose perhaps could have sparked a light in her head. But it didn’t. Her lack of trust led her to watching her daughter being exiled, not a bit of regret on her face. Certainly not abusive, but spiteful and overreactive.

Dewy Leaf, a minor character with so much personality. For the worse. Arguably one of the most entitled cats in the entire series, when her mate tries to leave for the good of her and their kits because they would starve if they didn’t, she snarles, deflects, and hisses at him multiple times before shouting that their kits would never know their father. Gladly, once they are born, she calms her nerves, but doesn’t get much better in terms of parentage, due to being an enabler to her next mate’s behavior.

On the topic of Dewy Leaf’s mate, Sharp Hail was an unreasonably cruel, along with nepotistic stepfather towards Sun Shadow. Punishing him for petty things, and unreasonably hateful of Moon Shadow being Sun Shadow’s father, Sharp Hail does not treat his kits in a similar fashion. Only Sun Shadow. Gladly, Sun Shadow eventually leaves with Quiet Rain for the established clans, leaving his mother’s incompetance and stepfather’s abuse for good.

It is no surprise that someone as obvious as Rainflower or contemptible as Lizardstripe would be hated, but abuse and terrible parenting is abundant in the Warriors series, if you look behind the picture perfect side of clan relationships. But, this is also an important lesson: abuse is not as showy as we think it is. Rainflower and Lizardstripe were clearly painted as awful cats. But, those that stuck around and did nothing were also to blame. Those who spoil their kit. Those who treat their own kits different from their adoptive ones. As it sadly is in real life, it can happen anywhere.

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16 comments

  • Other questionable fathers are Rippleclaw and Blackclaw:

    An article on the official website mentioned: That it was Oakheart who stepped to aid Greypool in the Nursery, rather than her actual mate, Rippleclaw. Admittedly, Mistykit and Stonekit had been unexpectedly dumped on him, just after his kits’ deaths – But he literally never bonded with them in his life.

    Then with Blackclaw – This is more in realms of speculation: But his relationship with Reedwhisker seemed to sour in later life. In Leopardstar’s honour, he was shown to be a decent father. But after three kits died and Mistyfoot became deputy: Blackclaw started constantly arguing with her. When someone constantly snaps at your mother, even if it’s your father, usually the child will be affected negatively. Yet Blackclaw wouldn’t hold his tongue, not even for his son’s sake.

    Additionally, in one of the field guides, Blackclaw was encouraging a Shadowclan warrior to be killed in the Eclipse battle. Reedwhisker was shown to agree him with, implying Blackclaw was putting bad morals onto his son.

    both parents are at odds, it often knocks the relationship with the children as well.

  • I agree with everything except Brightflower: She wasn’t that bad. The Nutkit thing was pretty reasonable, and I don’t remember her flipping out about Yellowfang’s choices in Yellowfang’s Secret. No offense. 🙂

    • I agree ^^ If memory serves correct, Brokenstar had already told everyone, or at least heavily implied, that Yellowfang had killed the kits, so it makes sense for Brightflower, a grieving mother, to immediately jump to blame her. While frustrating, it’s the logic of heartbroken shock.

  • The article’s great, but I don’t think Yellowfang’s relationship with her mother was ever “rocky” until Mintkit and Marigoldkit’s deaths happened. She is only seen scolding her kit once, and her not believing that she didn’t eat the dead sparrow is no proof of her being spiteful (though I agree that she does show signs of being too nervous and very emotional when put under stress). Children tend to lie in order to avoid punishments, and after Nutkit admitted to eating the bird, most of people would think that his sister who also had a stomachache probably shared the prey with him – because what other thing could be the case? Two kits had the very same symptoms, and Yellowkit, even being a rather good kit, could easily lie just so her mother won’t be angry. After all, nobody would think of her being ‘special’ (except Sagewhisker, but this is a medicine cat). And Brightflower was heavily worried about her kittens when she found out they’re sick.
    Yellowfang always spoke greatly about her mother, even being proud of having a muzzle similar to hers and seeing her and Brackenfoot as a perfect couple. Her bond with her mother is lifelong, and they (or at least Brightflower, Yellowfang had too many secrets she couldn’t tell anyone) confided in each other, seeing each other as not only a mother and daughter, but also friends. As the books go on, Brightflower compliments Yellowkit and then Yellowfang multiple times, stating that she’d be a great mother, she also worries when one morning she is nowhere in the camp.

    • The Wild, Brokenstar was painted as a great public speaker. Yellowfang even says that if you gave him enough time, he’d be able to convince you that a mouse is a rabbit. While it was not written very well in the books, I thought this was the intent, that cats often believed him because of those skills. And there aren’t really many cats that defend Yellowfang, the ones that do are cats especially close to her – her siblings and apprentice… and Newtspeck, but Newspeck was an angel. Even Brackenfoot asks Yellowfang if she did it. And Brightflower was the most bewildered and heartbroken cat in the group, so she was the easiest to manipulate. The scene isn’t well-written, but these perhaps were the intentions. Brightflower was a great mother, a common and realistic, but loving and a supportive one, and I don’t think she should be labeled as bad just because of two scenes that can paint her in the bad light when there are so many others that paint her in a good one

  • Wow. I hadn’t thought about this before… Thanks, Snowpuff! Fantastic article!! 😍
    Another bad parent is Crowfeather. He never loved his mate, Nightcloud, so he didn’t love his son Breezepelt either. Also, Stormtail wasn’t the greatest father, and Onewhisker caused a future war with his son Darktail and the Kin. 😮

    Please, PLEASE make more articles! Thanks!

  • I hate both Dewy Leaf and Sharp Hail. No one seems to care much about these two minor characters but I have a special place for them in my heart.
    A place that is full of hatred.

  • Umm… when you said that thing about flesh and blood… wasn’t BrokenKit (Brokenstar) born to Raggedstar and Yellowfang??? No offense I am just confused :/

    • ‘Flesh and blood’ is referring to Mudclaw’s kits, (Runningkit/nose, Deerkit/foot, Tanglekit/burr), not Brokenkit.

  • you forgot somebody! Palebird wasn’t on here. just read Tallstar’s Revenge. She literally forgot about her son when he had left for a few days!!

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