[designs of Sol and Darktail standing side by side smugly]

Sol and Darktail: Compare and Contrast by WhiteWhiskers

WhiteWhiskers compares Sol and Darktail’s paths.

[designs of Sol and Darktail standing side by side smugly]
Art by misterkanman (Twitter)
[designs of Sol and Darktail standing side by side smugly]

(May contain spoilers to some stories, but nothing later than Shattered Sky)

Both have grudges against a particular cat or clan, which result in a desire to destroy all the clans.

Sol is a smooth-talking liar, a “con cat.” He uses tricks like those used by carnival mind readers (where would a cat learn that stuff?) He is not much of a fighter; he prefers to trick other cats into doing his fighting.

Sol’s grudge comes from being banished from SkyClan (see SkyClan and the Stranger). His banishment was entirely deserved. He was a kittypet who wanted to join the clan, but he was completely unsuited to clan life: he was lazy, insolent, disobedient, and egotistical, and did a poor job of learning warrior skills. Nevertheless, he though he deserved warrior status. When this doesn’t happen, he comes up with a harebrained scheme to steal Leafstar’s kits, hide them, and pretend to find them. He is caught in the act and banished.

At this point, a more reflective, self-aware being might have said “I made a series of bad decisions that brought me to this place. Maybe I should reexamine the direction of my life and try to make better choices in the future.” (Perhaps the best choice for Sol would have been to return to his housefolk and resume his life as a kittypet.) That, of course, is not what Sol does. He blames his problems on others, and sets out on a path of revenge, not against SkyClan, who know him too well, but against the other clans, who he has never met and who have done him no harm whatever.

Darktail can be a smooth-talking liar when it serves his purposes (as when he first comes to the SkyClan camp in Hawkwing’s Journey). However, his preferred method of operation is threats, intimidation, and violence. Unlike Sol, Darktail is a powerful and effective fighter. Unlike clan warriors who are bound by the code not to kill unnecessarily, he does not hesitate to kill and seems to take pleasure in it. He surrounds himself with similar cats.

Darktail has a legitimate grudge against one cat—his father, Onestar—who abandoned him and his mother. Like Sol, he expands his grudge to take in all clan cats.

One must ask at this point, what might Onewhisker/Onestar done differently that would of prevented this situation? Of course in our world, fatherhood among cats is not really a thing. Tomcats mate with any female in heat and go on their way. They have no role in raising kits. But the Warrior Cats are, in some sense, humans in fur suits, so we judge them according to human ethical values. My view is that he should have left the clan temporarily and stayed with Smoke until the kits reached apprentice age. Then he could have gone back to the clan with any of the kits who wanted to join. His leader, Tallstar, had himself gone rogue in his youth and was accepted back into the clan. Further, his best friend in the world was a kittypet, Jake. Hence, he would be more likely to accept such a situation than most clan leaders.

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