The importance of perspective when judging a character by Mountainstorm

Mountainstorm takes a look at how perspective changes our perception of a character.

Art by WarriorCat3042

Hello kits, apprentices, warriors, elders, medicine cats!
Everyone has their hated characters in Warriors! It can be cats like Brokenstar or Tom, or redeemed characters like Clear Sky and Breezepelt, or maybe just characters they find annoying, like Stormfur or Jagged Peak or Jayfeather. Sometimes, it’s not a bad character that’s hated. Sometimes characters like Feathertail, Dovewing, and Spottedleaf appear on hated lists. People can hate these cats for many reasons. But is it really fair to start hating blindly before you take a deeper look into the characters?

Perspective. Perspective is seeing things from different angles. This can refer to seeing a building or a pond, or a mountain from different sides or submits. From above on a peak, a mountain looks dissimilar from what it looks like below.
Or this can refer to trying to see things from a different point of view mentally, like trying to relate to a person and their emotions. It can be hard to listen to someone complain, especially if you think it’s not even that big a deal! But look at it from a different angle, and you’ll see that the person is not you-different emotions and views-or the person has other troubles, or a lot of other things! It’s not as bad as it seems at first glance.

So how does this all track back to Warriors and despised characters?
Well, sometimes it’s good to take a deeper look at a character instead of blindly hating away-the character might not be as bad as you think, and not deserve the hate they get from you.

For example, let’s take a look at Breezepelt, a character greatly hated by most Warriors fans. Try to walk in his paws for a bit. Remember, he was already a character with a genetic tendency to be grumpy and rather snap-ish like his father and half-brother Jayfeather.
But look at his life.
Imagine your father never paid attention to you, only when you did something wrong, or he was in a screaming match with your mother. Imagine growing up like that, with such a father and a mother who’d never let you stray out of the nursery or have a moment alone because she loved you so much and feared you’d get hurt when you knew you’d be okay on your own.
Try reliving his life as if it were you in his place. You who accepted help from the only cats who seemed to love you, the cats you didn’t want to abandon when they “helped” you out in your toughest times.
It can be hard to relate to a specific person or situation, since they’re a different cat who probably wouldn’t make the same choices as you. But that’s important to keep in mind as well!

Another way to get more perspective is by reading about their story from different perspectives. You can’t hate on Spottedleaf before reading Spottedleaf’s Heart, or Feathertail without reading A Shadow in RiverClan. Spottedleaf’s Heart holds a new perspective on a much hated where she’s shown to be rather bossy and naive and not the sweet and perfect she-cat other cats make her out to be in the original arc.

That’s another thing- it’s important to analyze and acknowledge whose point of view is happening when you develop a hatred for a character. Jayfeather would see Daisy much more problematic and whiney than, say, Alderheart. Brambleclaw probably wouldn’t acknowledge Feathertail’s sassy side in the books because he doesn’t care enough to take a deeper dive into his friend’s more complex emotions and personalities.
Each of these characters are painted out differently depending on the cat whose eyes we see the story through judges them! That’s why it’s important to really take a glance at characters through other perspectives…are they really the same?

Another thing important to remember is to let go of biases when judging a character. A Leafpool fan might hate Feathertail because of the whole Feather x Crow vs Leaf x Crow flare, or a Leafpool fan might hate Breezepelt or Hollyleaf, who weren’t the kindest to her. A Breezepelt fan might hold a grudge against Crowfeather, and a Jayfeather fan might hate Rock!
But biases can come in other forms too, like not being able to see the forest from the tree, basically meaning that you’re unwilling to see other people’s point of views from your own loathing of the character.

For example, let’s talk about Jessy. Jessy gets a lot of hate, for stealing Brambleclaw from Squirrelflight and for being too bold and pompas and a rude hypocrite.
But is she really? You might think that from your perspective, but what about other people’s point of view?
Try this: search in “defending Jessy”. And try actually reading an article or listening to a video about it. Sometimes, this can be hard too, because it’s difficult to change your views when you’ve hated it and stood by them for so long. It can hurt to be wrong. But give it a try. Read/listen to it completely. Try not to be biased. Try to see it like you haven’t decided to hate or like this character yet. Give another perspective a chance.

Let’s breeze through a few more examples!

What about Jayfeather? He’s a pretty popular Warriors character, but he still gets some hate. Is the hate fair? What would you do in his place? You’re a perfectly capable fellow with a dream, yet cats treat you like a baby and view you as lower than themselves because you’re different. How would that make you feel? Sad? Angry? Grumpy? Would the constant attitude you get make you hold a grudge against cats? Or if you want to take it a step further, you can really dive into his character and personality. Is Jayfeather shy? Does he desperately want to hide a soft side from other cats, so instead he’ll be rude? Or could it be both these things? Treated like a baby, underestimated, forced away from his dream into a life he desperately didn’t want. Wouldn’t you be a little sour about your life and your friends and family if that happened to you? Could you really judge him and hate him fairly without searching through all this?

And Dovewing? What would you do if you were in her place? Bearing a power you never even wanted, the weight of the Clans and thousands of cats lives resting on your shoulders? Would you never complain, not even once? Can you judge her, then, for being whiney, when you might have complained too? She had so much unwanted pressure on her at such a young age.

What about Silverstream, a Mary Sue at first glance, spoiled by her father and a good life? Is she really a Mary Sue though? Try reading Leopardstar’s Honor, where time and time again actions contradict the popular accusation against her.

Or hop to Goosefeather, a crazy old elder who attacked Oakkit and Stormkit and had thousands of other crimes against him. Why judge without getting the scoop on him in Goosefeather’s Curse, where some aspects of his character are clearly explained. Would it make you feel good if you got attacked by thousands of prophecies all at once, day and night, about blood and death and tragedy you couldn’t prevent no matter how hard you tried? Used as a puppet by StarClan and given a curse he eventually snapped under. Can you hate him knowing that perspective?

How about…Hollyleaf? Mentored under Brackenfur’s wing, a loyal follower of the warrior code. Growing up with a sweet and loving mother and father, Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw.
Could you imagine what it would be like if your brother’s teacher came to your house, burned it, and threatened to kill you because he loved Squirrelflight? And then your mother would say she wasn’t your mother after all? But when you found out, no matter how loyally you followed the code, no matter how much emotional turmoil and panic and depression you’re feeling, could you have murdered? Hopefully not! But you’re not Hollyleaf. You’re you. With different thoughts, feelings, a different personality, and a different perspective.
She left, she escaped from the world- and everyone believed her to be dead.
And in Hollyleaf’s Story, she had time to cool down and think everything over. I really loved how she helped the fox, that was so cute and kind, but, anyway, back on track, she came back, and eventually found the courage to apologize at her dying breath. For me, it’s a toss up between hate and like with her, but I’ll certainly be digging around BlogClan and reading articles on both perspectives to get a better angle and firmly decide which list Hollyleaf will appear on in my book.

So…have you tried all these perspectives? There are so many more hated characters out there that deserve a deeper look before getting judged so harshly.
Remember- try to empathize with them, look deeper into their character, read every book about them, and give other people’s perspectives a chance? Still hate that character? Maybe they do deserve that hate. Some actions are unforgivable. Some characters really do deserve hate. But remember to consider every factor, every perspective, and every opinion before truly letting way to your dislike.

And one last thing relating to perspective and hated characters- remember, when debating or writing a hate article about a character, that other people have emotions too. Don’t tread over them. Be considerate and empathic when meddling with such things, because with a little perspective you might be able to find out how you’d feel in their place if it were a loved character they were attacking so strongly.
The magic of perspective! <3

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