Mallowpaw shares their opinion on Ashfur.
Hello y’all! Ashfur is a popular character, for he is unique and has a distinct reason for being a villain. So I decided to write an article giving out my thoughts on him.
Ashkit was born to Brindleface and (apparently) Whitestorm, alongside his siblings Ferncloud, Elderkit, and Tulipkit. He was a normal cat until he became obsessed with Squirrelflight in New Prophecy. He acted on these desires far too much, to the point of threatening to kill children, ending the lives of a concerning amount of cats, sending the Clans into extreme distress, possessing cats, and getting an army of zombified spirit cats to destroy all of the Clans, StarClan, and the Dark Forest.
Before I talk about his major appearances in New Prophecy, Power of Three, and Broken Code, his childhood is rather interesting as well. His parents (apparently) broke up when he was a tiny kit, with Whitestorm leaving to mate with Willowpelt and Brindleface left to deal with her litter of four. Two of his siblings, Elderkit and Tulipkit, died of varying causes when he and Ferncloud were very young. Did the deaths of his siblings and the abandonment of his father shape his villainy?
I don’t think so. It was heavily implied in New Prophecy that he was a perfectly good cat until Squirrelflight changed him. So I don’t think his childhood made him an evil cat. But there was one other thing that happened in his childhood that may have shaped his villainy.
He was apprenticed to Dustpelt, and his sister Ferncloud was apprenticed to Darkstripe. Dustpelt, even when Ferncloud was young, tried to romance and flirt with her. He also suggested to Firestar that, after Darkstripe was exiled, he get both siblings as his apprentice, although Firestar ultimately gave Ferncloud to Longtail. Some interpret this as Dustpelt neglecting Ashfur to romance Ferncloud. But I think that, again, his villainy was entirely caused by Squirrelflight, so this is irrelevant.
In New Prophecy, he was portrayed as a good guy, a typical good warrior. His crush on Squirrelflight was hinted at in Dawn when she returned and Ashfur was supposedly the only cat happy to see her. At the end of the arc, he seemed a bit possessive and fast with him and Squirrelflight’s relationship, always offering to sit with her at Gatherings or go on patrol with her. Squirrelflight then decided to mate with Brambleclaw instead of Ashfur, and he seemed a bit sad by this, but we didn’t see that much of him.
Until Long Shadows, in Power of Three. As Squirrelflight and her supposed kits Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf were escaping a burning ThunderClan, Ashfur confronted her. He stood at one end of the fire and blocked the escape, telling her his suffering. He told her that he would let her kits die for what she did to him. This was used as a time to reveal that Squirrelflight was not actually the mother of the three. When she revealed this, Ashfur was so shocked that he let the four cats go on their way. He later threatened to tell everyone at the Gathering that Squirrelflight was not the mother of the three kits. I don’t really understand the logic here. Why in all of StarClan is literally everyone at a Gathering going to care about ThunderClan and WindClan drama? It’s embarrassingly clear main character bias. No one said a thing when Gorsetail and Beechfur became mates! But that’s beside the point. Hollyleaf then killed Ashfur because of this.
Ashfur vaguely appeared in Omen of the Stars when Yellowfang told Jayfeather that he was a good cat inside, and that cats in StarClan can choose to forget bad memories. But this just became another retconned StarClan fact.
Ashfur was absent in Dawn of the Clans and Vision of Shadows. But in Broken Code he went up a whole new level. Because of a short flirtation he had years ago with Squirrelflight, he caused the deaths of fifteen cats, all varying levels of good, and tried to destroy all the Clans. He was shown to still care deeply about Squirrelflight (or, in her words, be obsessed with her), as seen when he moped for days after he thought Squirrelflight was dead. But he appeared to have lost all of his innocence, and was now willing to do literally anything to get Squirrelflight. He then died at the hands of Bristlefrost.
He also appeared in Graystripe’s Vow, in which his personality took on a kind of retcon. He was shown to be violent and mean, when at this time, with Squirrelflight not born yet, he should have been the normal, peaceful cat we saw in most of New Prophecy. I think this is simply a mess up where the authors mixed up his personality in the more recently written Broken Code with the personality he should have had in Graystripe’s Vow.
Overall I think Ashfur was an overreactive and dramatic cat who deserved everything he got. I think he was only evil because of Squirrelflight, but that he could’ve not done all of the things he did. I hoped you liked this article!