Yeah, not dead. Sorry for the wait please don't kill me. Also, I'd like to take a moment to thank my new beta: StarClan's Nightmare!
Also please note: I have not read Night Whispers yet, so please don't tell me anything in a review that might be spoilers.
Chapter 12: AwesomeClan
ThunderClan; Because they are Warriors and you can too!
Because We're Awesome
You know that saying "All roads lead to Rome"? Well, in the world of Warriors, there's a similar saying that can be used to help in times of confusion when a new development in the plotline (or lack thereof) is getting you down.
Just remember people: All plot developments point to ThunderClan!
Don't believe me? Well, I'm not going to argue with you…instead I'm dedicating this entire chapter to downright proving you wrong!
Throughout the Warriors series, even though there are four clans that are supposedly supposed to be equally important, it quickly becomes apparent that ThunderClan exceeds all others in importance.
Sure, in the first arc it was easy to hand wave the fact that everything important happens in ThunderClan because that's where the main character was and that's where the prophecy came from. Also, while ThunderClan certainly was on the receiving end of the majority of the major events that happened, the other clans got their fair share of doom and gloom, and there were truly some awesome characters that originated from them.
However, as the series continued (and continued…and continued… and continues…) we started to see less and less of the other clans, and anything that happened in the other clans that was worth noting was usually directly corresponding with something that happened or would happen to ThunderClan, making the other clans more convenient plot devices than anything at times.
So, why is ThunderClan so great that it gets all the credit? Would it have made much difference if Rusty the kittypet started out in RiverClan, WindClan, or ShadowClan? Would one of those clans have been the more important if our so-totally-not-a-sue Firestar, had started out somewhere else? Only the author overlords know, I guess.
(By the way, if anyone wants to write an awesome story based off of that plot bunny, or is willing to point me to a well written, completely awesome story has been done where Firepaw didn't start out in ThunderClan, I will make it my third greatest life ambition to find you and give you a giant hug and a high-five!)
Anyway, the point is, ThunderClan is always the center of attention, even when it may not appear that way on the outside. If another clan is so much as talked about for more than three consecutive lines of dialog, then odds are something is going to happen that involves them with ThunderClan. Why? Is ThunderClan just a giant magnet for attention? Is it made of so much awesome that anything within a ten mile radius is automatically sucked into the greater plotline that revolves around it like the leeching vortex of hate and horror that it is?
They Are the Champions
You know, I have a feeling that this next question is taboo somehow. But darn it, I'm asking anyway, because it needs to be answered!
When was the last time that there was a main character that wasn't at east related to ThunderClan in some way? Seriously! When? Name one that cannot be connected with ThunderClan in anyway?
And no, Crowfeather doesn't count because he fell in love with a cat who was half ThunderClan and then one that was entirely ThunderClan!
And no, none of the SkyClan cats count either because none of them would be warriors if not for Firestar! Heck, even after SkyClan's Destiney came out they don't count, because, even though I only read some of that book, I already know that Firestar is mentioned about every third page!
None of the antagonists count, though I bet you most of them have connections too.
As for the cats that were on The Great Beaver Hunt of Lolz that was the plotline of The Fourth Apprentice, I would just like to say, Sedgwhisker was one of the kits that Lionpaw, Jaypaw, and Hollypaw saved in Dark River, Tigerheart is Tawnypelt's son, who is actually full blooded ThunderClan, and the others have such small parts that they don't even count as important – they just pretty much disappear once the quest is over.
Seriously! Please, someone give me an example! I'm beating my head against my desk here, and the concussion is making it hard to finish this chapter! Give me a main character that has no connections to ThunderClan –which includes bestest friends, FORBIDDEN LOVE, relation, or anything!
That's okay, I'll wait! I'll wait darn it! Please prove me wrong! Because, frankly, to have a four freaking arc story with all the main characters with basically the same focal point is just annoying! Give us some variety here – I promise, author overlords, we can handle it!
You may be wondering why I'm getting so worked up over this. Well, as an amateur writer, I value characterization on a high level, and enjoy seeing a variety of different kinds of characters in a story. With as many characters as Warriors has, you would think that we would get to see some dynamics.
Now here are the basics of the main characters we've been seeing throughout the Warriors series:
A kind, caring tom who wants to help everyone. Is smart, and quickly rises through the ranks of the clan, gaining acceptance and love. Has to deal with prejudice. Often gets in trouble while helping people. Is the only one to see an evil plot in the works. Saves the clans. Fulfiller of a prophecy.
A laid back, good natured tom who falls in love with an enemy clan cat. Faces prejudice later for his FORBIDDEN LOVE. Side-kick to other main character. Rises to high rank in the clan.
A bold and strong tom who deals with prejudice. Goes on a long journey to save the clans. Rises to high rank in the clan even though he isn't qualified. Apprentice of former main character. Fulfiller of a prophecy.
A spunky, outspoken she-cat who wants to be a good warrior embarks on a dangerous journey and has little purpose except to be annoying. Daughter of former main character.
A soft-spoken, calm she-cat who loves to help people. Falls in FORBIDDEN LOVE with an enemy clan cat. Other daughter of former main character.
A soft-spoken, gentle she-cat and her clingy brother who embark on the journey to save the clans. Illegitimate children of former sidekick. Fulfiller of a prophecy(one of them – but she fulfills two prophecies, so whatever).
An irritable tom who hates everyone accept his two true loves. Is slightly emo, and has relationship issues. FORBIDDEN LOVE twice over – both with cats that are directly related to ThunderClan. Fulfiller of a prophecy.
An outspoken, spunky she-cat who embarks on a dangerous journey. Strives to prove her loyalty to her clan. Deals with prejudice. Fulfiller of a prophecy.
A bold, brave tom who wants to be a good warrior. Has an almost FORBIDDEN LOVE affair with an enemy clan cat. Has super powers. Son of two former main characters, grandson of another main character. Has family issues Fulfiller of a prophecy.
An irritable tom who hates everyone accept his stick. More than slightly emo. Has family issues. Has super powers. Son of two former main characters, grandson of another main character. Fulfiller of a prophecy.
An annoying she-cat obsessed with rules. Wants to help everyone. Thinks she has super powers. Daughter of two former main characters, grandson of another main character.
A sweet, smart she-cat who wants to help everyone. Has family issues. Has super powers. Fulfiller of a prophecy.
I ask you, when you don't put the names of the main characters, how many similarities do you see? True, some of them do have notable differences, but these characters are usually not mentioned as much as the others, especially since most of them aren't actually in ThunderClan.
We get it Erin Hunter: ThunderClan produces heroes who, for the most part want to help everyone and have prophecies!
The more and more I think about the main characters, the more I feel like the author overlords are keeping to a trend of cats who either fall under the category of messiah or jerk with a heart of gold. They're either misunderstood, love everyone, have super powers, are in a FORBIDDEN LOVE affair, are incredibly irritable, or all of the above!
Please, Author overlords, mix things up just a little! If you're going to give us only ThunderClan cats, at least give us more cats like Ivypaw and Berrynose! As incredibly annoying as they can be, they're something different, and make dialog more interesting!
In Accordance with the Prophecy
As we all know, nothing gets done in the world of Warriors unless there's a prophecy about it. Nothing. And who is the clan that always gets the prophecies? Yep, you guessed it – ThunderClan!
Once again, this can probably be forgiven in the first arc because, let's face it, most books these days have a prophecy in there somewhere to give the plotline a nudge into action. The only argument I really have for the whole "Fire alone will save our clan" thing, is it was way too obvious. I mean, we all know that the odds of the main character in any given book being the focal point of the prophecy is 99.999 percent (the other .001 belonging to the rebellious stories that are mind blowing on a possibly annoying level).
But, seriously, even Bluestar lamp shaded that Fireheart was the prophecy cat, as if she had some sort of plot seeing glasses! She even went as far as to name him for the prophecy! How embarrassing would it be if the real hero had been Graystripe or Sandstorm or someone?
Well, that would be an awkward conversation in the end:
Bluestar: What do you mean the prophecy wasn't about Firepaw? It's even in his name!
StarClan: Hey, don't look at us honey – you're the one who named him!
Bluestar: His fur looked like it was on fire! I took it as a sign! How was I supposed to know that Sandstorm was the prophecy cat? There were no signs!
StarClan: Well, you see, 'Fire' was meant to be a metaphorical meaning. Prophecies are supposed to be mystic and metaphorical. How were we supposed to know you'd take us literally?
Bluestar: How the heck is fire a metaphor for Sandstorm?
StarClan: Because…you know…she had a fiery personality…Shut up! It sounded like a good idea at the time
Anyway, the first arc aside, am I wrong to assume now that ThunderClan is the only clan that StarClan gives a darn about anymore? Am I? Honestly, ThunderClan gets a sign from them every other chapter these days, and you never hear anything about the other clans hearing anything. Oh sure, there's have been a few omens here and there, and a few medicine cat dreams, but ThunderClan is practically blessed in their eyes! Is it really a wonder that ShadowClan almost goes atheist? I would be kind of fed up too if I was one of the other clans!
What? Does nothing interesting really happen to the other clans? All of the major prophecies in the Warriors - with the acceptation of Brambleclaw's which…no, I'm not going into it; go check out his chapter if you really don't remember my feelings about that fail. Other than that, there's: 'Fire alone will save our clan', 'Before there is peace, blood will spill blood…', 'There will be three, kin of your kin…', 'After the sharp eyed jay and the roaring lion peace will come…', and Bluestar's 'Like fire you will blaze through the forest…' am I missing any others? And, yep, they all were given and apply to ThunderClan.
Sorry other guys, you're just not important enough!
What would a clan be without a great and clear minded leader behind it?
No, that actually isn't a rhetorical question, because the Erin's gave us and answer: ThunderClan!
Now, I'm not going to get into my rant of Firestar again, so if you really are dying to know what evidence I base that statement off of, go back and read chapter one again. However, I would just like to say that, whether you like him or hate him, ThunderClan did show signs of change under Firestar's supreme rule.
I mean, come on! Bluestar spent a lot of the first arc defending the honor of the clan and sometimes even threatening war if insults started flying hard enough! And she was freaking awesome at times! You know, despite going clinically insane.
Once Firestar came along…meh. Sure, he still made an effort to put the clan first, but I, and I have a feeling quite a few other people, started getting the feeling that he was trying to step up the clan's role from 'semi-awesome focus of plotline' to more of a Gandhi or 'let's help EVERYBODY!' sort of mediator.
I mean, let's face it, when the other clans are fighting, whose the most concerned? It's usually ThunderClan. Who usually ends up getting involved? Yeah, ThunderClan.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think the whole of that falls on the shoulders of ThunderClan's leader. No, because StarClan forbid that would actually mean he'd have to do something on a regular basis these days –
No, Firestar hardly has to raise a paw these days – his influence has already spread deep into the very roots of ThunderClan, like a weed, sucking the life out of its unwary prey!
Don't believe me? Here's a revised version of the allegiances for ThunderClan
Deputy: Brambleclaw – Firestar's former apprentice
Medicine cat: Jayfeather – Firestar's grandson
Most powerful warrior: Lionblaze – Firestar's other grandson
Graystripe- Firestar's best friend
Cloudtail – Firestar's nephew
Sandstorm – Firestar's mate
Dustpelt –who cares, he's a pedophile
Brackenfur- Firestar's former part-time apprentice
Brightheart- mate of Firestar's nephew
Some others that I probably forgot but who cares because they're hardly ever mentioned these days anyway and are just waiting to be killed off in plot devices
Don't matter because they hold little value except plot devices and meat shields
Dovepaw- semi-distant relative of Firestar
Ivypaw- also semi-distant relative of Firestar
Come on! Every single influential role in ThunderClan is filled by someone directly related to Firestar! It took, what, two and a half arcs for that to happen! It was a takeover! Darn you Erin Hunter, darn you!
FORBIDDEN LOVE FOREVER BUDDIES!
Leadership and roles of importance aside, I've noticed another trend within ThunderClan. Can you guess dear readers? I think you can! I believe that you are smart enough to look at the subheading above and note with fear that this subsection is going in that direction.
Remember the saying from subsection one? All roads lead to Rome! All plot developments point to ThunderClan, which, unfortunately, my dear readers, includes most if not all cases of FORBIDDEN LOVE!
Now, to illustrate this (and because I'm possibly OCD and charts and lists make me feel warm and fuzzy inside) here's a list of cases of FORBIDDEN LOVE that involve ThunderClan in some way:
Bluestar X Oakheart
Graystripe X Silverstream
Crowpaw X Feathertail (debatably since she's half ThunderClan)
Crowfeather X Leafpool (*bangs head against brick wall*)
Tawnypelt X Rowanclaw (I don't care what the allegiances say after Starlight – this is WRONG! WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! And she was born in ThunderClan, so, yeah, it counts)
Yellowfang X Raggedstar (The relationship lead to the birth of Brokenstar, who forced Yellowfang to later move to ThunderClan, so, whatever)
Lionpaw X Heatherpaw
Firepaw X Spottedleaf (again, see chapter one)
Tigerheart X Dovepaw (Not confirmed – though I haven't read Night Whispers yet so I may be wrong- but we all know it's coming.)
And that's not to mention all of the fan made pairings out there! Oh ThunderClan, you truly have spread your influence far outside of your boundaries, for ThunderClan blood can be traced to almost all other clans!
So, what is it about ThunderClan that just attracts other cats? Don't get me wrong, ThunderClan has some good qualities, and radiates awesome due to the blessing of the author overlords. But it lacks the mysterious quality of ShadowClan, the divine grace of RiverClan, and WindClan's…WindClan's rabbit-like instinct that allows them the breed at rapid increments! (*cough* Crowfeather*cough*)
Well, I'll let you be the ultimate judge of that, dear readers. Honestly, the only logical answer I can come up with is that ThunderClan has become so flooded with Firestar's kin that warriors must look elsewhere for mates to prevent inbreeding.
Legacies Leading to the Apocalypse
So, is the popularity around ThunderClan all hype? Are the other clans just jealous? What is it that makes other clan cats fall in love with them? Does StarClan love them or just hate the other clans with a burning passion? Why am I asking you all these questions when clearly no mortal soul could know the answer?
Well, all in all, I must say that ThunderClan does have its plusses, as well as its downsides.
On one hand, ThunderClan has produced some pretty good characters in its time (and I'm trusting you to use good judgment on deciding which ones are worth mentioning.)
On the other hand, if anything, we've learned that after a while, all those traits start to blend together, and in another two generations we might be faced with a clan filled with mindless clones of each other, which will develop cannibalistic habits and then a taste for human flesh that will later lead to our ultimate down fall.
*Shudder* Oh well, at least now when an army of mindless, completely identical cats take over the world, we'll know who to blame, right Erin Hunter?
Up next: Allegiances!