Tawnysight shares their thoughts on Ashfur’s depiction.
Hello! This is Tawnysight, and I’d like to bring up something I’ve always had a problem with: Ashfur. Yes, I realize that many people have made this point, but I’d like to add to what they’re saying.
This is an article on why Ashfur is a toxic and potentially psychopathic cat, and why I believe that this situation was handled incredibly poorly by the authors
Ashfur willingly put his clanmates in danger on multiple occasions, not just the infamous fire scene. One example of this is during battle training, in which Lionpaw noted that Ashfur was being much rougher than most mentors, actually drawing blood. He’s actively hurting someone who looks up to him, simply because he still clings to his grudge against Squirrelflight. He willfully harms innocent adolescents after being rejected and shows no remorse for it. This has been romanticized on multiple occasions throughout many fandoms, and that’s the most frustrating part. Imagine this: A teacher, a man in a place of trust and power, harms a student because the student’s mother rejected him.
And perhaps Ashfur could be excused because they’re animals, not humans. That’s what animals do, isn’t it? But the thing is, these aren’t regular cats. They have a religion, organized groups, and laws. These cats are capable of next-level thinking, of intelligence equivalent to that of a human. How, then, can we claim that these are not simply humans in cat bodies? Ashfur’s actions show a classic abuse of power, one that is blatantly ignored by both the authors and StarClan.
I don’t mean to be snobbish, and in no way am I an expert. But, the authors handled this terribly. What of the younger age groups, reading this and thinking that this is how you react to rejection? Believe me, in no way am I saying that children are incapable of telling the difference between right and wrong, but still! Children are highly influenced by these things. Perhaps I’d feel differently if Ashfur were properly punished, but this isn’t the case. Instead, he’s murdered innocent cats and still manages to get into StarClan. He is pitied for his feelings and is excused for willfully putting cats in danger while cats like Antpelt and Frecklewish are stuck in the Dark Forest either by default or on flimsy evidence that many have correctly argued as incorrect.
Moving right along, let’s discuss his relationship with Squirrelflight. They were seen as close friends on many occasions. That is until Ashfur discovered her relationship with Squirrelflight. He became distant from her, and this distance combined with jealousy and bottled-up feelings was the most likely cause of my next point, the fire scene.
The fire was caused by lightning striking a tree, setting off a chain reaction that set the ThunderClan camp on fire. The barrier to the camp catches on fire shortly after, trapping Hollyleaf, Jayfeather, and Lionblaze in. Squirrelflight returns for them, trying to lead them out of the camp. The four of them become trapped, and begin losing hope before Ashfur appears, bursting through the smoke to stand next to Squirrelflight. He traps them in, threatening to kill Hollyleaf, Jayfeather, and Lionblaze in revenge for Squirrelflight not loving him. It is then that it becomes clear that Ashfur has serious issues. I theorize that even if Squirrelflight had gotten with Ashfur, it would have ended in disaster. Ashfur is possessive and would go to great lengths to get revenge. It is here that I would like to introduce my theory to you: Ashfur, in my opinion, shows psychopathic tendencies. I’m not a professional psychiatrist, though, so I can’t definitively say if he is one, but he doesn’t seem to have much empathy or remorse, he can be seen as manipulative towards Squirrelflight, and he disregards the safety of his clanmates in favor of his own feelings. I realize it may be different for cats, but as I said before, these are basically humans in cat bodies.
And this concludes my article! Keep in mind, I am no expert! I apologize if it’s a little messy, as I wrote this quite quickly. Also know that this may be a bit wordy and confusing, which I apologize for. I dream of being an author, so I suppose I enjoy writing such things. Please comment your thoughts, opinions, suggestions, and constructive criticism below!