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|“||You betrayed me! You think you've won, but you don't know how powerful I am! You're all going to suffer! And not just you. Your descendants will pay for what you've done to me. And your ancestors! The Clans are going to get a taste of real justice, the kind they've avoided for far too long.||„|
|~ Ashfur after he is exposed|
Ashfur is a major antagonist in the Warriors book series by Erin Hunter.
He served as a minor protagonist in "The Prophecies Begin" arc, super edition "Firestar's Quest" and "Graystripe's Vow", a supporting protagonist in "The New Prophecy" arc, the secondary antagonist of the "Power of Three" arc, a minor character in "Omen of the Stars" arc and the main antagonist in "The Broken Code" arc.
Formerly a Thunderclan warrior and later member of StarClan, prior to his betrayal, Ashfur was a loyal warrior of his clan. However, once he fell in love with Squirrelflight who loved another cat already, Ashfur became obsessed with vengeance against the she-cat, before being killed by Hollyleaf and ascending to StarClan. Despite that, his vengeful plans didn't end there, as he successfully managed to cut StarClan's connection with the living clans, before possessing Bramblestar and bringing chaos upon the lake territories. Although eventually his schemes had been uncovered, prompting him to abduct Squirrelflight and take her into the Place of No Stars. There, he took over the control of the dark place, planning on destroying both afterlives along with the living clans, before ultimately getting defeated for the final time by Bristlefrost, who drowned both of them in the dark lake, making him fade forever.
Ashfur was born into a wild cat group known as ThunderClan. As a kit and an apprentice, he had a standard upbringing. He was close to his family, to the point of hiding how his foster brother, Cloudtail, had been getting food from humans, which is against the Warrior Code. Despite Cloudtail having a separate background as a born housecat, this wasn't shown to bother Ashpaw. As an adolescent, his mother, Brindleface, was killed by the exiled ThunderClan deputy and leader of ShadowClan, Tigerstar, who used her body to lure a pack of dogs to attack ThunderClan. Ashpaw avenged her by helping to trick the pack leader into falling into a river, causing the rest of the dogs to retreat. Shortly afterwards, he showed his vengeful side again by being the only apprentice to celebrate their shared killing of BloodClan's deputy, Bone.
During Firestar and Sandstorm's quest to restore SkyClan, Ashfur is revealed to become arrogant. He protested against Graystripe's position as leader and accused Firestar of returning to his kittypet roots. There, Dustpelt reveals that Ashfur had trouble accepting that he couldn't always get what he wanted since he was an apprentice.
As a grown cat, Ashfur was an average and respected warrior. He became decent friends with Brambleclaw, even though the latter was the son of Tigerstar, the killer of Ashfur's mother. Brambleclaw and an apprentice, Squirrelpaw, would later go missing on a prophesied quest. When they returned, Ashfur showed a surprising amount of relief for Squirrelpaw despite never being interested before the quest. While moving territories and Squirrelflight's becoming a warrior, the two became close friends. Squirrelflight sought Ashfur's comfort after having a falling out with her crush, Brambleclaw. Ashfur assumed Squirrelflight's friendship with him was a sign of love, being overprotective and possessive of the independent she-cat. When his desire to become mates with her became clear, Squirrelflight briefly considered it before asking to remain friends. Instead, she choose to rekindle her relationship with Brambleclaw, as she needed a mate to match her fiery personality, not contain it. Although Squirrelflight turned down Ashfur's romantic pursuits as kindly as she could and politely explained her feelings, he refused to accept her answer, repeatedly stating he loved her. He even attempted to guilt-trip her by bringing up the fact that Brambleclaw was the son of Tigerstar, Brindleface's murderer. Squirrelflight, however, remained firm in her decision. Heartbroken and bitter, Ashfur ignored her completely, even with simple greetings. When Squirrelflight's medicine cat sister, Leafpool received a vision of Brambleclaw's future deputy position, Ashfur accused it of being fake.
Soon, Ashfur began his life-long obsession with Squirrelflight. His first major attempt at revenge for what he viewed as her betrayal of him was going after her father, Firestar. He teamed up with Brambleclaw's half-brother in RiverClan, Hawkfrost, to do so, though Hawkfrost's motivation was simply to install Brambleclaw as ThunderClan's leader. Tricking his nephew and apprentice, Birchpaw, into sending a false message to Firestar, Ashfur claimed that ShadowClan's leader, Blackstar, was trespassing by the Lake. During the investigation, Firestar was lured into a fox trap, with Hawkfrost overseeing the crime scene. At the same time, Brambleclaw had been invited by Hawkfrost to the beach, unaware of Firestar's ongoing murder.
While Hawkfrost tried to convince his brother to overthrow the ThunderClan leader, Ashfur backstabbed his crime partner. Asking for "help" from Squirrelflight and Leafpool, he exposed Brambleclaw and Hawkfrost standing over a dying Firestar. However, Brambleclaw rejected Hawkfrost's offer and was forced to kill his half-brother in defense of himself and Firestar. To Ashfur's disappointment, he'd accidentally made his rival a hero instead of a traitor, reinforcing Squirrelflight's love for him even more. While being medically treated, Firestar lost one of his nine lives as a Leader, having four left when he was revived. Luckily for Ashfur, his part in the crime remained unexposed.
In light of his failure, Ashfur went through a cool-down phase. Though he became visibly more bitter, he managed to hide the full extent of his emotions from his peers, remaining popular in ThunderClan. The relationship between him, Squirrelflight, and Brambleclaw became strained, but he pretended to tolerate them to avoid suspicion. However, this grew ever more challenging when Squirrelflight had Brambleclaw's litter: Jaykit, Hollykit and Lionkit. Due to their parentage, Ashfur naturally hated them. When their children became apprentices, Ashfur was assigned to be Lionpaw's mentor. To other ThunderClan members, Ashfur was a typical mentor to Lionpaw. However, under the façade, he was actually emotionally distant with Lionpaw, his praise often lacking enthusiasm. On at least two occasions, Ashfur allowed his hidden anger to publicly show, getting into violent fights with his apprentice during training sessions.
When Squirrelflight's three kits were given their warrior names, Ashfur was given another opportunity for revenge after so long. A thunderstorm caused a fire in ThunderClan camp, trapping the three siblings on a ledge. Wounded from a previous battle, Squirrelflight was unable to lower a branch to them. Discovering the scene with no one else around, Ashfur seized his chance. After lowering the branch at Squirrelflight's request, Ashfur suddenly blocked their only escape route, now in full control of who lived and died. Going into a long rant over his built-up feelings where he accused Squirrelflight of being faithless, Ashfur threatened to make her watch her three kits to burn alive. Lionblaze prepared to leap at Ashfur, but he ordered his former apprentice to stay put.
After Hollyleaf almost fell into the flames, Squirrelflight confessed that the three children were adopted, and pretended that she didn't care what happened to them in an effort to get Ashfur to back off. Believing it would be more painful for Squirrelflight to be hated by her children rather than to be a witness to their deaths, Ashfur allowed them to live, though he vowed to expose Squirrelflight's secret to all four Clans at the next Gathering, in hopes of getting her exiled.
Over the next few days, the four family members begged Ashfur not to tell the secret. Yet Ashfur didn't care, despite being warned that ThunderClan's reputation could be ruined after a recent war, and a whole family might be driven out. He even gave Jayfeather, a blind medicine cat, a second death threat for pestering him. With the Gathering just hours away, Hollyleaf saw no other choice but to kill Ashfur while he was out hunting alone. Even in death, however, the situation Ashfur started caused Hollyleaf to have a mental breakdown, committing her own crimes and subsequent self-exile. In a way, Ashfur was still able to succeed, as Squirrelflight was exposed at the Gathering by Hollyleaf. As a result, her mate and adopted children disowned her for years for lying to them. Meanwhile, Hollyleaf went into self-imposed exile, allowing Squirrelflight to believe her daughter had died in a cave-in.
Unexpectedly, Ashfur ended up in StarClan, the holy afterlife of the Clans. When Jayfeather spotted him there through his powers, Ashfur angrily glared at his former victim before running away. When Jayfeather expressed confusion as to why Ashfur was in StarClan despite his crimes before his death, the spirit of Yellowfang claimed that Ashfur's only fault was "to love too much." Some time later, after Hollyleaf returned to ThunderClan, Jayfeather attempted to talk to Ashfur to learn the truth about his death, but was stopped by Bluestar, who insisted that he belonged in StarClan despite what he did for a reason.
When StarClan went to war with their evil counterparts, the Dark Forest (Place of No Stars) cats, Ashfur apparently didn't get involved. Even when the Dark forest was leading a genocide against the living Clans and Ashfur's sister, Ferncloud, was killed, he didn't show up. Over three years later, when Squirrelflight and her sister Leafpool were fatally injured in a rockslide and their spirits went to StarClan, Squirrelflight spotted Ashfur among her dead Clanmates. Ashfur didn't say a word to her, greeting her only with a dip of his head. Hollyleaf, now truly dead and a resident of StarClan, explained to a confused and unforgiving Squirrelflight that Ashfur had apologized for his actions, and that she and the other StarClan cats believed he had truly changed and didn't deserve to be in the Dark Forest. Ultimately, however, Squirrelflight didn't join Ashfur in StarClan that day, as her physical body was able to wake up from its coma, reviving her.
It was later revealed that Ashfur's redemption was none other than a ruse. In the The Broken Code arc, Ashfur left StarClan and blocked their connection to the living by blocking up the StarClan-side of the Moonpool with branches. He tricked Shadowpaw (Shadowsight), a medicine cat apprentice from ShadowClan, into believing he was receiving a sign from StarClan to bury the sick Bramblestar in snow. Bramblestar froze to death, and Ashfur was able to possess the ThunderClan leader's body and become leader of ThunderClan and Squirrelflight's mate. Squirrelflight figured out his identity as Bramblestar's impostor at the end of Veil of Shadows.
Not long after he possessed Bramblestar's body, Ashfur began changing how ThunderClan was run, and accusing various cats from ThunderClan, including Squirrelflight, and a few cats from other Clans of being codebreakers, and claimed that it was because of them that StarClan had gone silent. He demanded that they all faced some sort of punishment, except for Squirrelflight. He manipulated the young ThunderClan warrior Bristlefrost (whom he also threatened at various times) into reporting any sort of breaking of the Warrior Code to him. He doled out cruel and unusual punishments to various cats who defied him, such as banning any cat from speaking to one of the warriors, Spotfur, for a quarter moon, after she crossed the WindClan border. Lionblaze, who had also crossed the border, was exiled for the same amount of time. Ashfur also punished Sparkpelt, the daughter of Squirrelflight and Bramblestar, for not catching as much prey as usual by sending her to hunt in an abandoned house. He had smeared the blood of prey animals all over the abandoned house, attracting dogs, which nearly killed Sparkpelt. Though Squirrelflight was distressed over Sparkpelt's near-death, Ashfur showed no semblance of empathy, as he had orchestrated the dog attack for the purpose of killing Sparkpelt.
After Lionblaze returned from exile, Ashfur forced him, Jayfeather, and another warrior named Twigbranch to swear their loyalty to ThunderClan in order to "atone" for codebreaking. Lionblaze and Jayfeather were angry at being forced to atone for being born half-Clan and the kits of a medicine cat, which they had no control over, and Twigbranch was unsure how she broke the code to begin with. Ashfur also announced that the punishment for breaking the Warrior Code was temporary exile. Squirrelflight offered to atone as well, but Ashfur says she was already forgiven by StarClan.
At a Gathering, Ashfur berated the other Clans for not following along with his ideas for the punishment of codebreakers. He then forced Dovewing of ShadowClan and Tree of SkyClan into temporary exile.
Squirrelflight later revealed to ThunderClan that Ashfur was an impostor after he accused her of betraying him, so he demoted her from deputy and exiled her. In her place he appointed Berrynose as deputy, which broke the Warrior Code because Berrynose had never had an apprentice, a prerequisite for becoming deputy.
Ashfur later attacked Shadowsight and threw him into a ravine in an attempt to kill him, though it failed. While Shadowsight lay unconscious in the ravine for days, Ashfur lied to the Clans, telling them that Shadowsight ran away. The false ThunderClan leader continued to enforce punishments, including exile, upon various cats for codebreaking. He also forced the exile of Crowfeather from WindClan and Mothwing from RiverClan. The exiled cats sought refuge in ShadowClan, including Squirrelflight.
Ashfur became despondent over Squirrelflight's exile, convinced that she still loved him and would come back to ThunderClan eventually. Hearing of this, Squirrelflight faked her own death. After learning of Squirrelflight's supposed death, Ashfur became depressed, no longer grooming himself and putting on weight. He also became increasingly short-tempered, snapping at Alderheart, the medicine cat, when he refused to give Ashfur poppy seeds to dull the pain.
Ashfur continued to exile cats. The ThunderClan warriors Stemleaf and Spotfur staged a coup and attempted to kill Ashfur with the help of RiverClan warrior Dappletuft and SkyClan warrior Kitescratch, as well as the ShadowClan warrior Conefoot. They lost badly, and both Dappletuft, Conefoot and Stemleaf were killed by Ashfur. Additionally, Berrynose was exiled for not coming to help defend Ashfur fast enough. Ashfur continued to exile cats on a whim, and some left voluntarily.
Eventually, Ashfur was imprisoned in ShadowClan for his cruelty. In Darkness Within, Squirrelflight tricked Ashfur into revealing his true identity, and he became furious when he realized that he'd been tricked.
Using his ability to leave Bramblestar's body as he pleased, Ashfur somehow gained control over the spirit cats around the lake, causing them great agony. Despite Squirrelflight's deception, he still strongly desired her and was willing to "forgive" her if she became his mate. When the Clan leaders finally resolved to kill Bramblestar's body in order to prevent Ashfur from causing more harm, Ashfur manipulated Shadowsight into helping him escape from them. Ashfur then confronted Squirrelflight, and when she rejected him once again, he furiously dragged her into the Moonpool, bringing her to the Dark Forest, where he had imprisoned the souls of countless dead cats, who were all under his control, on an island guarded by Darkstripe.
Later, Ashfur killed the RiverClan medicine cat, Willowshine, and pretended to be her by puppeting her spirit. He also ind-controlled Bramblestar's spirit into attacking Squirrelflight as punishment for rejecting him, but the two were able to escape when Shadowsight distracted Ashfur. Later, Bramblestar managed to reclaim his body and escape the Dark Forest with Squirrelflight, much to Ashfur's fury and dismay. The deranged grey tom forced Rootspring, a SkyClan warrior, and Snowtuft to fight each other against their wills. However, Bristlefrost and Shadowsight managed to rescue Rootspring while Snowtuft sacrificed himself to delay Ashfur.
Deciding that if he couldn't have what he wanted (Squirrelflight), then no one else could, Ashfur began to destroy StarClan and the Dark Forest by causing a supernatural fog and deadly black water to flood their territories. In the mean time, Ashfur continued to hunt Rootspring, Shadowsight and Bristlefrost with his Dark Forest henchcats and army of mind-controlled ghosts. However, several StarClan cats and Clan cats were able to get into the Dark Forest and battle Ashfur and his minions. During the battle, Ashfur viciously attacked and mortally wounded Graystripe after the older cat relayed a message from Squirrelflight saying she could never love him because of how evil he was. Ashfur then attempted to kill Shadowsight by throwing him into the dark water that was flooding the Dark Forest, but before he could do so, Bristlefrost tackled Ashfur into the dark water, where they both faded from existence forever.
With Ashfur's permanent demise, the enslaved ghosts were freed, the fog and water destroying the Dark Forest vanished, and the barrier disconnecting StarClan from the living world disappeared. However, Ashfur's evil actions left lasting effects on the Clans, who began to question the warrior code due to Ashfur's abuse of it, as well as StarClan's guidance due to them accepting Ashfur into their ranks. Due to Bristlefrost sacrificing herself to stop Ashfur, Rootspring, who was in love with her, was left heartbroken. Furthermore, Ashfur's actions apparently traumatized Bramblestar permanentely, causing the ThunderClan leader to become depressed and unsure of himself and his Clanmates, who still somewhat feared him because of what Ashfur did with his body.
In his natural form, Ashfur is a muscular tomcat who has dark blue eyes, a torn ear, and a short, thick pale gray coat with darker flecks.
In Bramblestar's body, he is a huge and muscular dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes, a scar across his throat, and long, curved claws.
Ashfur was once a loyal, sensible, helpful, and courageous warrior who cared deeply for his kin, friends and allies. He was devastated by his mother's death and bravely took part in the plan to avenge her, and fought fiercely in battle to help his Clanmates. Ashfur also had love and respect his adopted brother, Cloudtail, as he was concerned when he went missing and kept the fact that he ate human food a secret to protect him from the Clan's wrath.
However, despite these commendable/sympathetic traits, Ashfur also had a form of arrogance and sense of entitlement that annoyed, frustrated and somewhat disturbed, other cats. He had a tendency to argue about and question everything, even if there was no good reason to do so, and he seemed incapable of understanding that he couldn't always get what he wanted. Despite his good relationship with Cloudtail, Ashfur had a disdain for non-Clan born cats in general, as he scoffed at BloodClan because they had collars, and was doubtful that Daisy and her kits would fit into ThunderClan.
After his love interest, Squirrelflight, refused to become his mate, Ashfur allowed the pain, anger and bitterness he felt at this rejection, as well as his arrogace and sense of entitlement, to consume and change him entirely. He became spiteful, determined, obsessive, bitter, lonely, short-tempered, cruel, vindictive, evil and crazy. His feelings towards Squirrelflight seem very complicated. He is affectionate and protective of her while also trying to hurt her. Sometimes he is very bitter towards Squirrelflight. At other times he used to be quite respectful towards her. This is evidenced when he dips his head when he sees her in StarClan. But he never listens to her when she rejects his affections.
In The Broken Code, Ashfur leaves StarClan and pretends to help Shadowpaw by manipulating him to kill his grand-uncle, Bramblestar, so Ashfur can steal his rival's body and usurp him as leader of ThunderClan and Squirrelflight's mate. This shows that Ashfur is skilled at manipulating other cats into doing his bidding and is just a vindictive as ever. He is also shown to resent Alderheart and Sparkpelt due to the fact that they are Squirrelflight's kits with Bramblestar. Ashfur is also unwilling to take responsibility for his actions as shown when Squirrelflight feigned feelings for him in order to get him to reveal his true identity as her mate's doppelgänger, he is furious and blames Squrreilflight when he discovers that she had tricked him. He subsequently threatens to destroy Squirrelflight's ancestors and descendants as punishment for her deception.
However, Ashfur later deludes himself into believing that Squirrelflight was forced to deceive him, and continues to desire her. After escaping ShadowClan, he practically begs her to be his mate, but when she rejects him yet again, he angrily drags her into the Place of No Stars, to force her to be his mate. However, Squirrelflight still refuses to submit and manages to escape with the real Bramblestar much to Ashfur's fury and dismay.
Ashfur is also shown to be sadistic, as he takes a disturbing amount of pleasure in tormenting Shadowsight, turning the Clans against each other, torturing his enslaved ghosts, and forcing Rootspring and Snowtuft to fight each other. Most notably, when Ashfur and his allies confront the Light in the Mists, Ashfur outright admits that he will enjoy making Squirrelflight suffer.
Powers and Abilities
Combat skills: Ashfur is a formidable fighter. When he was alive, he was regarded as one of ThunderClan's strongest and best-skilled warriors. Under his mentorship, Lionblaze became one of the most powerful fighters the Clans had ever seen. Notable examples of Ashfur's fighting skills are him always besting Lionblaze, no matter how strong he became, overpowering the WindClan warrior Weaselfur with ease, and temporarily holding his ground against a full-grown badger.
Even after spending several years in StarClan, Ashfur's fighting skills did not rust. While possessing Bramblestar's body, he was able to survive being ambushed by five adult warrior cats with only minor injuries, killing two of his attempted assilants, and later soundly defeated Bramblestar's nephew, Tigerstar (Tigerheart), an extremely skilled fighter who similarly survived a battle with three adult cats, on two separate occasions. He also defeated Squirrelflight and Rootspring at the same time, though far from easily.
Spirit powers: As a StarClan spirit cat, Ashfur possesses untold mystical powers. He can possess another cat's corpse and mind-control other spirit cats into obeying his every command.
Intelligence and guile: Ashfur is highly intelligent, and very skilled at manipulation and persuasion. He is particularly adept at taking advantage of the inexperience of younger cats, such as tricking his own apprentice Birchpaw into giving Firestar a fake message, appealing to the medicine cat apprentice Shadowsight to use an unusual method to kill Bramblestar in order to steal the latter's body, and molding the young warrior Bristlefrost into his "eyes and ears" in ThunderClan. However, the greatest example of Ashfur's manipulation skills is him deceiving StarClan, who are considered all-knowing, into believing he had repented from his crimes.
- Brindleface (mother)
- Ferncloud (sister)
- Tulipkit (brother)
- Elderkit (brother)
- Cloudtail (adoptive brother)
- Squirrelflight (ex-mate)
|“||I have no quarrel with Brambleclaw. I couldn't care less about Brambleclaw. It's not his fault he fell for a faithless she-cat. I know you think I've never forgiven Brambleclaw for stealing you from me, but you're wrong, and so is every cat that thinks so. My quarrel is with you, Squirrelflight. It always has been.[...] I can't believe you didn't know how much you hurt me. You are the blind one, not Jayfeather. Who do you think sent Firestar the message to go down to the lake, where the fox trap was? I wanted him to die, to take your father away so you'd know the real meaning of pain.||„|
|~ Ashfur threatening Squirrelflight during the fire|
|“||She could still see in her mind the blaze of rage in Ashfur's eyes, as if he'd forgotten he was fighting his own apprentice.||„|
|~ Ashfur attacking Lionpaw|
|“||I don't have to listen to any cat, let alone a scrawny excuse for a medicine cat. Besides, I already know what you're going to say. You're going to beg me not to say anything at the next Gathering. Well, you can save your breath. I'll say what I want. That lying she-cat will be driven out of ThunderClan for good, and no other Clan will want her, either.||„|
|~ Ashfur not caring about the effects of his crimes|
|“||Birchpaw told me... Blackstar waiting on territory... Had to come alone...||„|
|~ Ashfur attempting to frame Birchpaw and Blackstar|
|“||Well, I can! Doesn't any cat think it's odd that Squirrelflight is Brambleclaw's mate, and our medicine cat is Squirrelflight's sister? It’s very convenient that she had a sign about Brambleclaw just now, isn't it?||„|
|~ Ashfur accusing Leafpool of lying|
|“||I won't be thwarted. You saved my life, and because of that, you have ensured my success. Because once I'm back to full health, I'll be able to bend any cat to my will.... Just ask that skinny black cat with the yellow eyes.||„|
|~ Ashfur taunting Shadowsight|
|“||Do you think your precious patrol didn't see you back there in the battle? Do you think they didn't notice you hiding in a tree while they were risking their lives? Do you think they don't mind having to rescue you over and over again? You're no help to them, you're a liability.||„|
|~ Ashfur belittling Shadowsight|
|“||We'll see about that.||„|
|~ Ashfur to Shadowsight after the latter defies his previous statement, before preparing to shove him into the Dark Forest water. His last words.|
Ashfur on the Warriors Wiki
The Dark Forest