Warrior Cats

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Fandom
Name: Warrior Cats, Warriors
Abbreviation(s): WC
Creator: "Erin Hunter"/Various Authors
Date(s): 2003 – present
Medium: Multiple Novel Series
Country of Origin: United Kindgom & United States
External Links: warriorcats.com
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Warriors, or Warrior Cats is a series of novels written by various authors under the collective pseudonym "Erin Hunter." The series follows the adventures of four groups of feral cats, called Clans — ThunderClan, WindClan, RiverClan, ShadowClan — in their forest and lake territories, as well as their interactions with SkyClan and StarClan. The series follows multiple generations of cats and their adventures, which involves battles between the clans, prophecies, quests, and interactions with the spirits of dead cats in StarClan and the Dark Forest.

The cats in Warrior Cats are considered ferals - non-anthropomorphized animal characters.

This article or section needs expansion.

Canon

Warrior Cats (or simply "Warriors" depending on where you live) is a nearly two-decade old children's fantasy series about "Clans" of dozens of wild cats who live according to a code of honor. Originally just a single six-book plot, its success spawned countless sequels, prequels, and standalone stories. There are over 80 books in the series now, including six full main story arcs of six books each—and they're not slowing down any time soon, with five more books releasing just this year and the seventh arc currently underway. The series was created by author Victoria Holmes, while the books themselves are ghostwritten by two other authors, all collectively sold under the pen name "Erin Hunter." Plots in these books typically revolve around bloody battles between the different Clans, mystical prophecies received from the spirits of cats who have died (known as StarClan), and, of course, mountains upon mountains of romantic drama and love triangles. [1]

The Warrior Cats books are young adult and are aimed at a young teen or preteen audience.

Arcs & Continuity

Characters

Erin Hunter

Fandom

Warrior Cats fandom skews young due to the young target audience of the books. Particularly in the early days of the fandom, it was apparent that people older than teenagers did not have a significant presence in the fandom. Over time, since it has been over a decade since the series began, the age demographics of the fandom are more mixed. The fandom continues to draw new participants while there are also older longtime fans.

Warrior Cat's long run and many arcs have built up an extensive fantasy world, abundant lore, and an extremely large cast. There are many characters, relationships, or events regarded as fan favorites. There is opportunity of almost endless variety and exploration.

Warriors Cats fandom has a significant Furry presence, but the series is not targeted at furries and it is unknown how strong the correlation between liking Warrior Cats and being a furry is. WC is considered a gateway fandom to Furry by some, and personally recalled to be such by many Furries.

Tropes & Fanon

  • Leader Marks: Many works choose to depict Clan leaders as having some sort of special marking on them. Most commonly this marking is a star on the forehead, though the exact form and location of the mark can vary based on headcanons and the tastes of the artist.
  • Naming Systems: Fans have created naming systems based on the canon system for use in Warrior Cats fan works. The two most prominent systems are traditionalism, which introduces structured meanings behind prefixes and suffixes, and lyricism, which emphasises a lack of rules and puts a high value on aesthetics. The two styles have historically come into conflict, as supporters of one style often fail to see the appeal of the other. See also: Fan Naming Styles in Warrior Cats.

Original Characters

It is very common for fans to create OC cats and create fanart of them in much that way that furries do with fursonas. These OCs are generally named following the naming convention within the WC world; however, it is something of an in-joke that many fans will improbably stretch the conventions in order to give their OC an interesting/unique name. As one fan put it, "Kids want to make their own unique cats with names like Darknesstalon and Furyscythe (those names definitely wouldn't fit into the world of the books, if it's unclear)."[2]

Fans also create original Clans to put their OC cats in.

Fanart

Fanart is very popular in Warrior Cats fandom, as it is in general Furry fandom.

Fanart extends to animatic fanvids. Multi Animator Projects (MAPs) and Animashes are genres of vids that rose to prominence or were created in WC fandom.

Roleplay

During the late 2000s and early 2010s, Forum RP was also very common in the Warrior Cats fandom. This is and was often framed as original Clans full of OCs, though sometimes people would also roleplay as parts of the canon Clans. A number of these RP websites were set up using free hosting platforms such as Freewebs (Now renamed Webs) rather than a more typical forum platform, were run through dedicated chat widgets, and had various levels of complexity with some websites having multiple RP sections and activity requirements. Many websites that used to focus on WC roleplay have since then either shut down or shifted their focus as the series faded out of popularity.

The Official Erin Hunter Message Boards

The publishers of the books, Harper Collins, maintained an official forum for fans of the Warriors series, on which fans could discuss the books (including other Erin Hunter series such as Seekers and Survivors), share fanworks, and roleplay. Notably, the Hunters would sometimes visit the forums and share info or answer questions about the books. The official forums were shut down on August 12, 2016, though fans started an unofficial forum in reaction to the shutdown. See also: The Official Erin Hunter Message Boards

Discussion & Controversy

Treatment of Disabled Characters

It has been noted that Warriors has a history of mishandling disabled characters. Notable instances of this that are commonly pointed out include Longtail's early retirement due to blindness, Cinderpelt and Jayfeather going into the non combative medicine cat role because of their disabilities (a lame leg and blindness, respectively), Brightheart, who is half blind, being denied the chance to fully train an apprentice despite being promised the opportunity, and Snowkit getting taken by a hawk he couldn't hear due to being deaf.

Controversial Characters

Several characters, most notably Ashfur and Thistleclaw, have drawn considerable debate over time. Ashfur's actions and treatment in regards to Squirrelflight and his obsession with her is one of the fandom's most consistent and contentious discussion topics.

The primary debate on Thistleclaw comes from his depiction in the novella "Spottedleaf’s Heart," due to the fact that his behaviour towards Spottedpaw can be read as child grooming. Notably, the debate on Thistleclaw has involved fans trying to claim that Spottedleaf’s Heart shouldn’t be canon, or that the Erins shouldn’t have written Thistleclaw that way.

Inconsistencies

Numerous inconsistencies have occured over the course of many books, which vary in severity. They can been understood as a result of Erin Hunter being a group of writers working together who many not always be in clear communication. Addressing inconsistencies may be a subject or inspiration in fanworks.

A fully list of errors can be found in Mistakes in the Warriors Series on the Warrior Wiki.

  • Dovewing’s Eyes: The character Dovewing has suffered from inconsistent descriptions, resulting in her eyes being described as gold, blue, and green. This resulted in debate over what the canon eye color is, along with attempts to explain the inconsistency through various headcanons, such as depicting her as heterochromatic.
  • Rowanclaw's Gender: The character Rowanclaw has been referred to with various pronouns over the course of the series, starting out mostly being referred to with the feminine she/her and being referred to as a she-cat (the term used in canon to describe female cats) before settling on he/him and being referred to as a tom (the term used in canon to refer to male cats) in the later books. While this has been confirmed to be a mistake by the writers,[3] many fans have explained this by headcanoning Rowanclaw as a trans man or as genderfluid.

Example Fanworks

Fan Animations/MAPs

Fan Animated Series

Fanart

Fancomics

Fanfiction

  • Fire and Water by Hissing Willows. An AU in which Rusty joins RiverClan instead of ThunderClan due to Thistleclaw leading ThunderClan in place of Bluestar. Also uploaded to FF.net in the form of (so far) two books.

Roleplay Communities

Meta

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Links & Resources

References

  1. ^ (Warrior Cats) How a decade of teen obsession with an incel created a thrilling horror mystery plot by Duplex_be_great, September 2020
  2. ^ (Warrior Cats) How a decade of teen obsession with an incel created a thrilling horror mystery plot by Duplex_be_great, September 2020
  3. ^ Interview - Meet Erin Hunter on the offical Read Warriors website