Mudclaw

Why to love and hate Mudclaw by Mountainstorm

Mudclaw
Art by hibiscuit–rose on DeviantArt

Mountainstorm analyses Mudclaw

Bonjour, kits, apprentices, elders, medicine cats! Nope, totally not running out of ways to say hi
Nightpaw/wind made a great article a few months ago, “Why to love and hate Bluestar”. It seemed like a clever way to express your feelings about a cat who you have neutral feelings on. Well, here I am; writing an article about the cat I feel most neutral on; the ex-WindClan deputy. I used to hate Mudclaw- he seemed mean and cruel and blood-thirsty. He seemed self-centered and unwilling to let go of the past that haunted him and drove him to rebel against his leader, Tallstar’s dying wish. But the brand new Warriors manga, Winds of Change, a stand-alone adventure about Mudclaw, changed my perspective on this character! While I’m still not ready to say I like Mudclaw, but my opinion on him has shifted as much as to make me neutral on his character.
Neutral character + Need to write article = Why to hate and love Mudclaw
Let’s start! 🙂 Enjoy!

Bad 3#: Mudclaw was aggressive and NOT peace-loving
While I think Mudclaw wouldn’t have made a really bad leader, or at least not as bad as Onestar, Mudclaw probably wouldn’t have been the ruler with the best temper or most peace-loving.
Mudclaw jumped at every small insult, accusation, and basically everything else he found offensive. Which is nearly everything. And he never hesitated to cross into another Clan’s border to hunt; so while it wasn’t okay if another Clan set a single paw in his Clan’s territory, it was completely okay if he was the one walking on their grounds and taking their prey.
Mudclaw probably wanted to start a lot of battles, quickly jumping to conclusions, and if not for Tallstar there to calm him down, who knows what he might have done.

Good 3#: Mudclaw was pretty caring
While Mudclaw is shown to be aggressive, he is also shown to have a great soft spot, and even be kind sometimes. In the manga, Ravepaw’s Path, Mudclaw’s patrol surrounds Ravenpaw and Barley while they are walking to ThunderClan. As soon as Mudclaw realises who they are, he greets them friendlily, and tells his patrol to calm down because they aren’t their enemies.

Mudclaw to Ravenpaw and Barley: Hey! I know you. Ravenpaw! Right? And it’s Barley, isn’t it? We met last greenleaf. I’m Mudclaw.
Mudclaw to his patrol: These cats are not our enemies. Ravenpaw here used to be in ThunderClan.
Cat on patrol: Hmph. Sounds like an enemy to me.
-Ravepaw’s Path, page 97 and 98

(Yup, that’s me, trying to put a quote from a graphic novel into an article 😛)
When Crowkit, later Crowfeather, goes missing, Mudclaw is extremely worried, and when Crowkit turns up, he dashed over to the little tom, nuzzles him, and cries out in relief. I was able to find a picture of this part:
https://images.app.goo.gl/jfkKcNe747d3jQQy8
The moment is pretty cute, and it shows not only that Mudclaw can be empathic and kind, it also shows he is not always that angry, aggressive cat who’d maul any trespassing cat not part of his own Clan.
Not to mention how kind he is in his manag, to Tallstar, his leader, comforting and reassuring him in a time when he’s weak and afraid.

Bad 2#: Mudclaw nearly let a fox kill Onewhisker
That was taking his jealousy a little too far. A fox crept into the WindClan camp one sunny day and snuck up behind Onewhisker, ready to kill his unsuspecting victim. Mudclaw saw all this and was frozen, wanting to yell to save his leader but also knowing that this way he could become leader. He didn’t yell….and the fox would have killed Onewhisker if Mudclaw’s brother Tornear hadn’t spotted it and yowled an alarm instead.
While it’s understandable that Mudclaw would be angry and sad, I feel like that was taking it a little too far.

Good 2#: Mudclaw was pretty smart and had overall good leadership skills
I believe Mudclaw wouldn’t have been an all that bad leader. When they arrived at the lake, Mudclaw made sure every cat was okay before starting to plan where to make their home. He analyzed every territory clearly, and it was nice how much he cared about his Clan having a safe and good home so every cat would be happy. He truly cared. And cats listened to him. They looked up to him. They knew he cared too.

Bad 1#: Mudclaw didn’t know right from wrong.
Yuup. Mudclaw definitely didn’t think this through. While he was deeply wounded mentally, and while we all know how good Hawkfrost is at manipulating unsuspecting victims, Mudclaw should have realised that attacking his Clanmates and injuring Onewhisker was NOT the way to gain their respect or become their leader.
He made a terribly wrong choice, and while he thought he was doing what was right, that was most certainly not true, and to me, that was awfully clear, while to him, he couldn’t see the forest from the tree.

Good 1#: He redeemed himself
The best thing about Mudclaw is how he realised his mistakes and felt deep remorse for his actions. He even gave Onewhisker a life, and apologized to him, asking for his forgiveness and explaining what he felt and why he did what he did, knowing now that was the wrong path to walk down. I value good redemptions, and Mudclaw has one of the, if not the, best one. 🙂
Feeling sad and guilty for his terrible actions is not something most Warrior cats feel. But he swallowed all his pride and ignored it completely! He just went up and said sorry, which is the reason I love him, and admire him.

That’s it! I’m still pretty neutral on Mudclaw. I love him and hate him at the same time, but listening to these reasons did help me realise that I might just like him more than I hate. While he definitely isn’t on my list of favorite characters, I don’t think he’s overall that bad a cat, something his manga, and Ravenpaw’s Path helped me realise.
What are your thoughts on Mudclaw? Do you think he deserved to be in StarClan? What are some cats you love and hate at the same time?
Thanks for reading, see you in the next article! Have a magnificent day! 😀
-🏔️🐾

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