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Keep your eyes open, Fireheart. Keep your ears pricked. Keep looking behind you. Because one day I'll find you, and then you"ll be crow-food.
~ Tigerstar

Tigerstar, formerly known as Tigerclaw, is a major villain in Erin Hunter's Warriors book series. He is the main antagonist of the first five books of the story arc "The Prophecies Begin", and one of the main antagonists of the "Omen of the Stars" story arc.

History

When he was a kitten, his father, Pinestar left ThunderClan to become a kittypet and renamed himself Pine. The shame of that would haunt Tigerkit forever, and without a father in his life, he was left vulnerable to his future mentor's policies. When he was an apprentice, he was mentored by Thistleclaw, a warrior who was well-known for his courage and loyalty, but was also arrogant, aggressive and secretly training in the Place of No Stars with Mapleshade. Tigerpaw learned from that aggression, and one day on patrol, he violently assaulted an innocent kittypet kitten named Tiny, and would have killed him had Bluestar (then Bluefur) not stopped him. That little kittypet would later become Scourge, leader of BloodClan, and then somewhat ironically, Tigerstar's murderer.

He was one of the greatest warriors in ThunderClan when then Firepaw (later Fireheart) first joined. He was believed to be unflinchingly loyal and devoted to the Clan's well-being. However, Ravenpaw had seen him murder ThunderClan's former deputy, Redtail, in hopes of becoming deputy himself. Ravenpaw confessed what he saw to Firepaw, and later escaped ThunderClan to stay safe.

Once made deputy, Tigerclaw decided that he had to hasten his promotion to leader, and laid a trap for Bluestar, ThunderClan's leader at the time, to be hit on the Thunderpath. Fireheart's apprentice Cinderpaw (later Cinderpelt) was caught in it instead, and was permanently crippled.

After that plan failed, an increasingly desperate Tigerclaw plotted with Brokenstar to lead a gang of rogues into ThunderClan camp so that while the Clan was distracted, he could kill Bluestar and blame it on a rogue instead. Fireheart saved Bluestar just in time, and Tigerclaw was sentenced to exile, while Fireheart replaced him as deputy.

For the majority of the next book, Tigerclaw was seen as a rogue, sometimes prowling ThunderClan's territory, and slaughtered one of their Warriors, Runningwind.

Soon, opportunity to become leader presented itself. ShadowClan was left leaderless after their leader Nightstar, and their deputy, Cinderfur, died from a sickness eidemic. He was appointed leader in their place, and then given nine lives at the Moonstone; A life for compassion, given by Littlebird; A life for training young cats wisely, given by Badgerfang; A life given by Pinestar to understand what goes on beyond the border; A life for knowing that size isn't everything, and that he should beware small cats (foreshadowing his death at the claws of Scourge); A life for pride and knowing that a Clan can stand alone, given by Sedgestar; A gift for placing faith in StarClan; A gift for trusting your instincts given by Redscar; A life for mercy given by Mossheart; A life for farsightedness, which was given by Cedarstar.

Now known as Tigerstar, he attempted to get revenge against ThunderClan by luring a pack of wild dogs onto ThunderClan territory. This lead to the apprentice Swiftpaw dying and Brightpaw (later Brightheart) being permanently scarred. He then lay a trail of dead rabbits to ThunderClan camp, that ended with the queen, Brindleface, he slaughtered so that the dogs would get a taste for cat blood. His plan was thwarted when Fireheart broke the trail and then lured the dogs to the gorge. At the gorge, before Fireheart could lead them over, Tigerstar attacked Fireheart so that the dog leader could catch up and kill him.

Bluestar ultimately sacrificed her last life to save Fireheart by cannoning herself into the dog leader's side, thus throwing both herself and the dog over the gorge and into the river. Bluestar was pulled out by the RiverClan warriors Mistyfoot and Stonefur. Tigerstar looked on as Bluestar begged the two RiverClan warriors for forgiveness, revealing that she was their real mother. He watched as Bluestar died, leaving his arch-enemy Fireheart in control of ThunderClan, to become Firestar.

Later, Tigerstar announced his plan to unite the forest under his rule as one Clan, saying that it was "StarClan's will." This was received negatively, except by Leopardstar, leader of RiverClan, who had already allied with him to create "TigerClan." He led an era of terror, ruthlessly eliminating any cat who disagreed with him and persecuting half-Clan cats. This persecution led to the death of the half RiverClan, half ThunderClan, Stonefur, who was Leopardstar's loyal deputy. He was slaughtered by Tigerstar's deputy, Blackfoot, helped by Darkstripe, while defending the half-Clan apprentices Stormpaw and Featherpaw. Firestar, Graystripe, and Ravenpaw (Tigerstar's former apprentice), saved the three remaining three prisoners, Stormpaw, Featherpaw and Mistyfoot and allowed them to stay in ThunderClan.

Tigerstar tried to get WindClan and ThunderClan to join him under TigerClan, and so he launched an attack on the WindClan camp to instill fear, knowing that Firestar would come to help, and left a message to meet him at Fourtrees the next day.

Tigerstar met with Firestar and Tallstar, WindClan's leader, to hear their answer on whether or not they would join TigerClan, which they both refused. He then offered a position especially to Bramblepaw, his son, and Firestar's apprentice. Even though Bramblepaw's sister, Tawnypaw, left ThunderClan to join TigerClan on her free own will, Bramblepaw declared that he would rather die than join his father. In response, Tigerstar revealed BloodClan, a large group of unruly cats from Twolegplace who were led by a small, but deadly black tom named Scourge. Firestar attempted to convince all the Cats present of Tigerstar's treachery, telling them of Tigerstar's brutal past and warning Scourge that he could never be trusted to divide power. Tigerstar told them to disregard this and ordered an attack, but as BloodClan only took orders from Scourge, they refused. Seemingly intrigued by what Firestar had said, Scourge decided that there would be no battle that day. Enraged, Tigerstar accused Scourge of being a traitor and launched himself at him in an attempt to kill him. However, Scourge outmanevured him easily and ripped Tigerstar's throat, chest and belly wide open with his dog-teeth reinforced claws. This wound was so terrible that Tigerstar lost all of his nine lives at once, putting what seemed to be the end of the most dangerous cat in the whole forest.

Tigerstar's hatred lived beyond death, though. In the next arc, he waked in the Place of No Stars, also known as the Dark Forest, plotting "revenge" against Firestar. He discovered that he could dwell in the dreams of others, and began training his sons Brambleclaw and Hawkfrost in their sleep. Later on, Hawkfrost set a trap to kill Firestar, but Brambleclaw saved his leader and killed his brother instead. Once dead, Hawkfrost resumed training with his father, eventually training more Dark Forest cats to one day wage war against the Clans.

Tigerstar then began to influence Lionblaze, whom he believed was Brambleclaw's son. Lionblaze turned on Tigerstar when he learned that Tigerstar only wanted revenge against ThunderClan, instead of making Lionblaze a better warrior like he promised.

In the final book of Omen of the Stars, the Last Hope, Tigerstar unleashed the Dark Forest Cats he had been training to attack the Clans. Near the end of the war, Tigerstar faced off against Firestar. They consecutively killed each other, sending Firestar to StarClan, and destroying Tigerstar's spirit for good.

Physical appearance

Tigerstar is a huge, muscular, broad-shouldered, dark brown tabby tomcat with unusually long front claws and wide, pale amber eyes. He is battle-scarred, with a "V"-shaped cut in his ear, a gash across his muzzle, and his body crisscrossed with long slashes.

Personality

In his youth, Tigerstar, then known as Tigerkit, was a playful and energetic, albeit aggressive and competitive kitten. He was deeply shocked and angered by his father, Pinestar's decision to leave their Clan to take refuge in the life of a kittypet. The shame of this abandonment would stay with Tigerkit for the rest of his life and he was determined to prove his own worth. His father's abandonment, combined with the brutal training he received under his mentor Thistleclaw, hardened Tigerclaw into a ruthless and insatisably ambitious warrior who was willing to do whatever it took achieve victory. His aggression was to the point where he attacked and nearly killed an innocent kittypet kit when he just stepped onto the border of ThunderClan's territory and even maimed a nursing queen.

Perhaps because of his father's decision to abandon his family and Clan to be a kittypet, Tigerstar harboured a strong hatred for kittypets and all other non-forest born cats, such as rogues and loners. When he first met Firepaw, a former kittypet who had been allowed to join the Clan, Tigerstar disliked him instantly, even though the younger tom initially respected him. Tigerstar also despised half-Clan cats (cats whose parents where from different Clans), believing their "impure blood" made them unpredictable and untrustworthy, and was willing to kill them in order to "purify" the Clans. When he gained control of RiverClan, one of his first actions was to imprison and persecute all cats with mixed heritage.

Tigerstar was almost unspeakably ruthless, as he was willing to do absolutely anything to get what he wanted. He murdered Redtail, a cat he had known since kithood and his own uncle, just to obtain the position of deputy. He attempted to murder Bluestar, a cat he had known since he was young and his Clan leader, twice, first by leading her to the Thunderpath, though Cinderpelt fell into it instead, and again in her own den. He also killed Brindleface, a cat he had trained with and had been friends with, just to give the dog pack a taste for cat blood. Furthermore, he publicly executed Gorsepaw, a defenseless apprentice, just to prove his strength and in an attempt to intimidate WindClan into joining TigerClan.

Tigerstar was a cunning planner and a devious manipulator, being able to hide the true extent of his ambition from his Clanmates for years, even from Bluestar, who was a highly intelligent and perceptive cat in her own right. He was able to come up with impressive, but montrous plans such as luring a pack of dogs

Tigerstar possessed a high amount of hypocrisy. For example, he hated traitors and outright stated on more than one occasion that treachery was punishable by death, but ironically he became a traitor himself by betraying his own Clan, kin and allies in his guest for power. He also often criticized and condemed those who broke the warior code, but bent, broke and even twisted it many times himself in his efforts to fulfill his own selfish ambitions. Furthermore, despite his obvious hatred for half-Clan cats and non-forest born cats, he himself mated with a rogue named Sasha, accepted Tawnypelt when she defected from ThunderClan, and even trained his son Hawkfrost and grandson Tigerheart, despite them both being half-Clan. He also occasionally forged alliance with rogues or recruited them as minions in order to achieve his goals.

However, despite his intelligence and fighting skills, (or rather because of them) Tigerstar was extremely arrogant and prone to underestimating others. As an apprentice, he would often bully the other apprentices just to 'remind' them that their skills were inferior to his. Even in his youth, he was somewhat delusional, as he justified his attack on a defenceless kittypet kit (who would grow up to become Scourge) as simply defending his Clan's territory and was even proud of it, even though there was no honor in "fighting" a helpless kitten. His arrogance and delusions would only increase as he grew older and he became prone to twisting things, even within his own mind, just to make it appear as if he was in the right. Due to his own arrogance and Scourge's small size, he severely underestimated Scourge, who unbeknownest to him was the young kittypet he'd beaten up as an apprentice. As a result, Tigerstar's plan to take over the whole forest and then betray BloodClan backfired when Scourge refused to obey Tigerstar's order to fight his enemies and Firestar took the opportunity to tarnish Tigerstar's reputation by revealing his past crimes. Tigerstar was so enraged by the failure of his plan that he attacked Scourge, but this was another mistake as Scourge outfought him easily, resulting in Tigerstar dying a slow and gruesome death.

However, for all his faults, Tigerstar was still courageous, intelligent, proud and strong. Even Firestar, his greatest rival, could not deny that he had possessed the potential to be truly great, and believed that if Tigerstar had chosen loyalty over ambition and just waited for power to come to him, then he would've become the greatest leader the Clans had ever known.

Trivia

  • Tigerstar's death is extremely similar to that of Claudandus: Both are cats who have their stomachs ripped open in a fight, the only difference being Tigerstar was slain by a villain.
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