Was Lionblaze an awful cat? by Nightstorm

Nightstorm takes a closer look at Lionblaze’s character.

Art by therealbramblefire

Before you read, this Article is heavily based on Mellowix’s Article called ‘Lionblaze: The Killer that Got Away’. I even follow the same order of events that they came up with. If you haven’t read their article already, I strongly suggest you do so, not because this article will make no sense without it, but just because its a really good read and a well-researched piece. 🙂 –

Lionblaze: The killer that got away by Mellowix

Lionblaze is weirdly one of my favourite characters, despite the fact he did a lot of horrific stuff in his life. I’ll try and break down my thought process behind each of these for anyone who doesn’t understand why I like him as a character. Believe me, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t.

Power of Three:
1.) In regards to his two fights with Ashfur, the first one was a training bout that became far too violent. In my eyes, both are equally to blame, Ashfur possibly slightly more so as he should’ve stopped it (which in fairness he did at the end). For the second fight, firstly it shouldn’t have happened. Both warriors are at fault here but I’d primarily
blame Lionblaze as he should’ve realised it was a bad idea, though to be fair to him he did attempt to shoulder the majority of the blame.

2.) His apprentice rampage in Eclipse was scary to read and really made me question his moral integrity as a character. I’ll break down each of the characters I remember: Mosspelt, Heatherpaw and Crowfeather. Firstly, we see Lionpaw about to probably kill Mosspelt before Firestar stops him. I think this was the Dark Forest in Lionpaw taking over to an extent, as his bloodlust became to much to control. Secondly, Heatherpaw. I don’t blame Lionblaze for being betrayed, as has been observed on many on occasion Lionblaze thinks with his claws first and regrets it later. But quite simply, he was in the wrong here. Despite it being a battle, he borderline tortured her and nearly killed Crowfeather which no warrior needs to do to win. In regards to these 3 scenarios, while I myself can understand why he acted this way, I don’t blame anyone who sees this in a negative light.

3.) His antagonism towards Heatherpaw is something I found heartbreaking. I felt they had such a promising start as friends and quickly became my favourite duo. Lionblaze much like his father, has an ability to hold onto grudges and is not the easiest cat to get along with. His constant staring at her was freaky so I aint going to defend him on that. Lionblaze was just so blinded by his hatred for her and his need to blame someone that he ignored reason and evidence and focused all his rage on her. I would say despite being a hypocrite for using the tunnels, I found that scene very interesting to read. The moral dilemma for him of getting the catmint or his clanmates could/probably would die, but he’s petrified that if he goes and meets Heatherpaw he’ll kill her and he won’t be able to stop himself.

Omen of the Stars

1.) His antagonism towards Heathertail years later, particularly after Hollyleaf’s death, is something I can also understand. He just couldn’t understand that her death was an accident and was beyond anybodys control. I personally feel he and Dawnpelt are in basically the same boat here, both lost a littermate in tragic circumstances and due to their grief had to pin their rage on somebody (Jayfeather in Dawnpelt’s case). Up to the current arc, Lionblaze has never reconciled or apologised but I personally feel thats because he feels he can’t. I think he understands a bit more now the gravity of the actions he took and what he did, and feels theres no apology he could give.

Thats what I like to think anyway, he could just be a very callous and unforgiving character.

2.) With Russetfur’s death that is a very clear cut case to me. She was going to kill Firestar, Lionblaze first tried to detach her without hurting her and when it became evident he had little other choice, he was forced to be more aggressive and she died. While ThunderClan was the aggressor in this battle, it was orchestrated by Tigerstar and Hawkfrost through manipulating Ivypaw.

3.) I have seen a lot of people say he lacked remorse or guilt for killing Russetfur, but I would personally observe that to say Lionblaze lacking remorse is in my opinion incorrect. In the book its outlined how Lionblaze “hung his head” when being comforted by Brambleclaw who said it wasn’t his fault. This in my eyes shows clear remorse and when he first killed her he “stood, frozen, wrapped in horror”. I think he showed a lot of remorse for her death. Moreover he shows a lot of guilt for it happening,

“It shouldn’t have happened!” The words burst from Lionblaze, anger flooding quickly after. He sprang onto the fallen branch and turned on his
Clanmate. “I never meant to kill her!” – from his conversation with Cinderheart.

There was a little inconsistency though, as at the end of Fading Echoes he thinks to himself how the battle never should’ve happened, but in Night Whispers remarks to Jayfeather how the battle was worth it. Wouldn’t necessarily put that down to Lionblaze though.

4.) His argument with Flametail is another thing which I fully understand though find quite complex. On the one hand, it was instigated by Flametail who was grieving to be fair to him. But he goaded the two ThunderClan warriors and played on Lionblaze’s guilt a couple of times (in all fairness not knowing he felt guilty). However, on the other hand Lionblaze said he “wanted to tear Flametail to shreds and feel his life ebb away as Russetfur’s had”. Once again, I think this is the former Dark Forest in Lionblaze talking compounded by his own guilt and anger at himself, and his fear of everything to do with the Dark Forest.

5.) Him goading Breezepelt into a fight was just Lionblaze being arrogant and provocative, which is part of his character to an extent. No defence from me here haha.

6.) The unnecessary battle with ShadowClan I can understand but can’t condone. What he was doing was manipulative, but I think he was just so blinded by pain that he didn’t care what he was doing, he was just desperate to be with Cinderheart. I definitely agree that what he did here was careless and stupid, particularly as they know the Dark Forest is getting ready to fight. However, with reference to making her enter a relationship under false pretences I would compare it to another couple, Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight.

I could be wrong but don’t recall it ever being stated in the books whether Brambleclaw actually told Squirrelfight how close he came to murdering her father and his leader Firestar in the Last book of the New Prophecy. What’s more is that he didn’t do it. Despite Lionblaze almost killing Heatherpaw in Eclipse, he didn’t kill her or even seriously injure her (not physically anyway), and when faced with the perfect opportunity to do so he didn’t kill her then (the catmint situation). While that is not a case to defend him, I personally feel that Cinderheart would’ve loved him for the cat he became, not the cat he was. But you never know, a tabby can’t change its stripes.

7.) Him letting Ivypaw spy in the dark forest is unfortunately in my eyes a necessary evil. Despite being one of the three, they don’t know the full extent of his powers and if he dies it means the clans are doomed. Furthermore, the Dark Forest warriors trusted Ivypaw and Lionblaze and Jayfeather even gave her the choice to turn them down and she bravely refused.

The Broken Code

1.) Him murdering Harestar was an accident but that doesn’t excuse it. Lionblaze should’ve been more careful.

2.) Nearly attacking Thornclaw, I mean despite Thornclaw being a pain and generally argumentative, Lionblaze as acting leader should’ve defused the situation not enflamed it. I’ll touch on this a bit more in a moment.

3.) Murdering the imposter was just him being wrong. Plain and simple. His bias against Ashfur blinded his judgement and as deputy it shouldn’t have. I personally feel Lionblaze just shouldn’t have a leadership position, he’s best suited as a warrior. He lets his judgement be clouded far too easily to be a leader and doesn’t possess the necessary qualities, which he appears to have accepted when he abdicated to Graystripe.

4.) His vendetta against Shadowsight is personal, and I understand why he hates him. Lionblaze not only loses his father to the imposter, but also loses his mother as a result of Shadowsight setting him free. In this instance, despite me understanding why he was so fuelled by rage, he once again let his judgement be clouded by his own personal feelings which a leader can’t afford to do.

In conclusion, I hope this aids people in understanding why a few people enjoy Lionblaze as a character. I find his story incredibly complex with many underlying tones and themes. Also, after Harestar’s death, I agree he probably should’ve declined to be deputy and allowed someone less connected to the situation to take over and that he should’ve stepped down after his attempted murder of Shadowsight.

NOTE – This is simply my opinion, I’m not trying to anger anyone or excuse the things Lionblaze did as a character, I just wanted to throw in my opinion on one of my favourite characters. If you wish to correct me please do, this is my first time writing a piece like this and I would welcome any corrections/feedback. I’m not trying to change anyone’s opinion of him, it takes a certain kind of person to enjoy his character lmao.

Thanks for reading my opinion you got this far, and I’ll see you around.

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19 comments

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  • Hi, Nightstorm! Thank you for taking the time for all this insightful analysis. It’s really interesting to see someone’s in-depth opinions according to all of Lionblaze’s scenes.

    Since rereading my old Lionblaze article, from serval months, it’s made me realise the Power of Three sections is underwritten. So if you don’t mind, can I use your comment section to provide extra proof and context for scenes? I think it’ll help fans come to their own conclusions, seeing the books directly.

    “His apprentice rampage in Eclipse, almost killing: A unnamed Windclan warrior, Mosspelt, Heatherpaw and Crowfeather.”

    Unnamed Warrior:

    “His attacker rolled clumsily over him, landing wrong-footed as Lionpaw spun and leaped for his throat. Only just in time, he re-aimed his attack, biting the WindClan warrior sharply behind the ear and rolling him to the ground. I nearly killed you! Lionpaw realized how close he’d come to tearing this warrior’s throat out. “Get out of my camp!” he hissed, hooking the warrior with his forepaws and raking his belly with his hind. Or I will kill you!”

    Mosspelt:

    “He was going to make her sorry she’d ever set paw on his land. She crouched, trembling, in front of him as he padded toward her, rage darkening his vision until all he could see was her round, frightened eyes.

    Firestar: “Lionpaw!”
    Lionpaw: “Now look what you’ve done! I could have finished her off.”
    Firestar: “I think she knew she was beaten.”

    Lionpaw glanced down at his fur, clumped with blood, some fresh, some drying. What had he done? In the heat of battle he wasn’t always sure how he fought. He simply smelled blood and felt flesh tear beneath his claws.”

  • (Continuation from my previous comment, about providing quotes for my underwritten PoT section for my Lionblaze article. It’s just to give the full, context and makes it better for fans to come to their own conclusions about Lionblaze)

    Old Article: ‘To the point, she once had to move at a gathering.’

    Quote:
    “[Jaypaw] flicked his tail in surprise. Lionpaw’s hatred was so strong he was surprised Heatherpaw couldn’t feel it burning her pelt. But the WindClan apprentice certainly sensed something; she was weaving self-consciously among her Clanmates, betraying unease with every step.”

    Old Article: ‘Like blaming her for Hollyleaf’s tunnel death’

    Quote: “A growl rumbled in his throat. If Heathertail hadn’t discovered the tunnels, Hollyleaf might still be alive” – Night Whispers

    Old Article: “Silently accusing her of being murderous like him.”
    Quote: “Now she looked as if she would have killed him for a couple of mousetails; Lionblaze shuddered as he pictured his own body lying in the stream.” […] He spotted Heathertail standing off to one side, her gaze fixed on him. She seemed to be daring him to strike out so that she would have an excuse to jump on him and sink her claws into his fur.” – Sunrise

    Old Article: “despite already attempting to kill Heathertail in the past.”

    Quote: “His dream had dearly come true – he nearly killed her – and Heathertail had known” – Long Shadows

  • I’m so glad someone went more in depth with Lionblaze! This was a fascinating article!