[in a realistic art style, Skystar lays on a rock]

Skystar & Thistleclaw: A Comparison by Mallowpaw

Mallowpaw draws parallels between Skystar and Thistleclaw.

[in a realistic art style, Skystar lays on a rock]
Official art by Wayne McLoughlin
[in a realistic art style, Skystar lays on a rock]

Hello, Mallowpaw here! In this article I will be discussing the similarities and differences between Thistleclaw and Skystar, and using that as an explanation as to why it doesn’t make sense for Skystar to be in StarClan.

For starters, I’ll discuss Thistleclaw. Thistleclaw was born a normal ThunderClan cat, raised a seemingly normal life and living a mostly normal life. But what I believe to have started the aggressive and ambitious streak that helped earn him a place in the Dark Forest was his mentor- Adderfang. Adderfang was notably one of the more aggressive and rash cats in ThunderClan, shown when he fought Mudfur at Sunningrocks and supported attacking WindClan based on insufficient evidence (Goosefeather receiving a sign from StarClan when he was partially insane). It can be presumed that Adderfang passed on this aggressive personality to his apprentice, and while Adderfang went to StarClan after he died because he didn’t do anything horrible with his aggressive streak, Thistleclaw heavily honed this aggressiveness and became far worse than Adderfang ever was. Examples of when Thistleclaw was overly aggressive was when he ordered his apprentice Tigerclaw to beat and nearly kill the young kittypet Scourge, when he killed a spirit during brutal training in the Dark Forest, and when he always suggested the most violent and aggressive approach when troubles came to ThunderClan. Another thing that led to Thistleclaw going to the Dark Forest was his ambition, and his tendency to do drastic things to fulfill his dreams and ambitions. For example, he trained in the Dark Forest to learn advanced and heavily dangerous battle moves to protect his Clan, despite knowing that the cats who were teaching him were very dangerous. He also seemed eager to become the deputy of ThunderClan, under Sunstar, when the Clan knew that the deputy Tawnyspots was dying. It is possible he got this ambition from Adderfang as well, as Adderfang was temporary deputy once and may have been ambitious to receive that honor as well. The last thing that Thistleclaw did that may have gotten him a spot in the Dark Forest was his treatment of Spottedleaf. In the latter’s novella, Thistleclaw showed romantic interest in Spottedleaf when she was a young kit, and privately declared his love for her when she was an apprentice. Thistleclaw also used fake kindness and friendliness against Spottedleaf, making her love him and even do dangerous things for Thistleclaw, such as climbing up a tree when she wasn’t supposed to and training in the Dark Forest. This kind of behavior is called grooming, and it is a very horrible and unacceptable thing to do to someone. To conclude, as shown by his behavior and actions, Thistleclaw was ambitious and aggressive, and also enforced these traits onto others, and he honed these traits to the point where he descended to the Dark Forest when he died.

Overall, Thistleclaw’s crimes (what I consider crimes) were:

*Ordering an attack on a defenseless kit
*Grooming
*Learning dangerous battle moves that could be used to seriously harm opponents

Thistleclaw also didn’t do anything noticeably prominent to redeem himself, although it can be assumed that he at least thought he was doing the right thing, and wanted to defend his Clan at all costs. But he went too far in the wrong direction and earned a spot in the Dark Forest.

Now I’ll discuss Skystar. Skystar was the brother of Gray Wing, born in the mountains but left on the sun trail to find a new home. He was a protagonist for four books in Dawn of the Clans. Keep this in mind. Skystar was very similar to Thistleclaw: he was aggressive and violent, as well as ambitious. He became the first leader of SkyClan after he split from proto-ShadowClan, and went to live in the forest. Skystar was the first leader to propose borders, and the defense of them, and he was really the only leader okay with it at all. Due to his suggestion of borders, and the eventual acceptance of them due to Skystar pushing the other leaders, future Clan cats were brainwashed by their ancestors into believing that the concept of fighting and wars against Clans due to borders was okay and part of life- and this is still an issue in modern Clans. This is proven by the observable fact that the only cats who don’t see borders as more than invisible lines are cats who were born outside the Clan, and therefore were unable to be brainwashed into believing borders are a good idea.

Skystar also did very drastic things due to the borders. For example, Skystar killed Misty over borders. This can be justified- Misty was hostile when he approached her. But what can’t be justified is his treatment of Bumble. Skystar killed, or let die to a fox (it was never made clear) Bumble to a fox because she trespassed on his border. This is absolutely unacceptable, especially because Bumble was a kittypet and therefore didn’t know anything about the borders. Skystar was also ableistic, and exiled two cats on different occasions (Jagged Peak, his own loyal brother, and Frost, his own loyal Clanmate) because they were injured. He was cruel and merciless, and held no regret over any of this. Skystar was also cruel and awful to cats he loved or was close to. For example, he tried to keep his mate Storm at home and enforce his toxic beliefs onto her. This escalated to the point where Storm sacrificed safety to get away from Skystar. He was that bad. Skystar also exiled his own injured brother, and denied taking care of his own kit, Thunderstar, whose mother and siblings Skystar indirectly killed. He even clawed his ever-loyal Clanmate, Falling Feather, in the muzzle, making her bleed, solely because she (rightfully) disagreed with his toxic and horrible beliefs. All of Skystar’s horrible treatment of everyone escalated into a massive battle that killed several cats, including Frost, Falling Feather, and many others. He also killed Rainswept Flower, who helped raise him alongside Quiet Rain, knowingly. This wasn’t accidental in battle. He saw Rainswept Flower, who was a close friend and helped raise him, and ran over and killed her. And after the dust had settled, after a total of ten (yes I counted, and not including Misty) innocent cats had been killed by him in some way, he apologized. And everyone accepted this as an adequate redemption. The only cat in their right mind was Quiet Rain. She arrived several books later at the forest territories and disowned Skystar. He deserved this, of course, but he deserved so much worse for the heinous crimes he committed.

But through the next few books, Skystar repeatedly did things that were good to other cats. One example is when he saved Dew Nose from a tree, all by himself. But all of this potential redemption was ruined and thrown in the garbage in Moth Flight’s Vision. In that book, Willow Tail of WindClan and Red Claw of SkyClan were repeatedly poking at each other because Willow Tail thought that Red Claw was the one responsible for bringing dogs to Slash’s group, who killed several cats including Willow Tail’s brother, Frog. Which he was, but accidentally. This could’ve been solved eventually with a conversation, but no. Instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, Skystar and to a lesser extent Windstar escalated it even more and made everything way worse than it ever needed to be, eventually starting a war between the two Clans over an issue between two cats. This resulted in the deaths of Willow Tail herself, Skystar’s kit Tiny Branch, who died when Windstar intentionally delayed help to the kit, and Micah, SkyClan’s medicine cat, whose death was directly caused by Skystar himself, when he ordered Red Claw to attack Micah. He showed no remorse for this, of course. And then when the battle was over, Skystar never acted like he even made a mistake and got away Scot free with his actions in the war, and his actions throughout his prior life.

Overall, Skystar committed a large selection of heinous crimes, which include:
*Extreme ableism
*Horrible treatment of his brothers and mate
*First-degree murder
*Horrible treatment of those loyal to him
*Started an ever-lasting trend of over-complicating borders, resulting in the deaths of countless cats years and years after he died
*Felt no true remorse for many of his actions
*Started two wars over nothing that mattered, resulting in the combined deaths of seven cats
*Was responsible for killing his own medicine cat, who had just healed his sick kit

Skystar hardly had a redemption arc, and the little that he did to redeem himself was quickly thrown away and replaced with his former self, showing that he truly never changed, and is and always has been his horrible, cruel, selfish self.

Now I’ll look at similarities between Thistleclaw and Skystar. They were both ambitious, and wanted to be leaders, with Skystar being successful and Thistleclaw being unsuccessful. They were both ambitious and violent and consistently chose violence and killing over any form of peace. They both treated those who loved them horribly, with Thistleclaw mistreating Spottedleaf and Skystar mistreating everyone he knew, basically. They both share a lot of similarities other than these, which leads me to an interesting conclusion. The only major difference between these two horrible cats is that Skystar was generally more successful in his messed-up conquests. Due to this, I think Skystar represents what Thistleclaw could’ve been, had he ultimately been made deputy. They both seem to respond similarly to events and have similar personalities.

Now, there is one question that remains. Why. On Earth. Is Skystar in StarClan?

Because StarClan logic sucks. I hope you liked this article!

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