Nightmare Fuel: Warrior Cats
Warrior Cats, despite generally being listed in the children's section of most bookstores, is not really meant for kids, as stated by Word of God from Erin Hunter. Nightmare Fuel just doesn't always cover it. For Nightmare Fuel from Dawn of the Clans, see below.
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The Dark Forest
- The nightmares Tigerstar sends Lionblaze of himself slaughtering Heathertail over, and over again during Power of Three. One features a river running with her blood, and in another he slices open her throat and blood comes pouring out until he is completely drenched in it. In another one, it sounds almost like he tore her open.
- The way the Dark Forest cats train themselves in death blows: violently killing each other in front of an audience, repeatedly . In one particularly jarring scene from Omen of the Stars, the chapter suddenly cuts off with Jayfeather gagging as he hears one of these unlucky cats screaming in agony when his belly is slit open.
- Jayfeather's vision of Dark Forest cats massacring all of ThunderClan but Ivypaw.
- In the manga at the end of Crookedstar's Promise, the Slasher Smile Mapleshade has makes her look like a demon.
- Beetlewhisker's fate in The Last Hope. It involves Brokenstar lifting him up from the ground by his throat while the poor cat cries for help, until his neck snaps. The worst part is, Starclan can't get to him, since he died in the Dark Forest, and the Dark Forest doesn't want him. Basically, his soul is trapped inside his body, to forever live in the pain of dying. The best possible fate he can hope for is to be completely forgotten by all living cats so he can fade into oblivion.
Rock and The Ancients
- Rock. Just... Rock. He's a hideous bald cat with bulging blind eyes and curled up, untrimmed claws. Not to mention the fact that he oversees a test which involves navigating through a complex underground maze in complete darkness. Oh yeah, and if it rains, the tunnels flood and you drown. Good luck.
- He has revealed that he is doomed to live forever, aware of every bad thing that will happen, but completely powerless to change things. Yeesh.
- In Night Whispers, Rock is the last thing that Flametail sees before he dies. Sweet dreams.
- In one part of The Last Hope, Rock gathers up all the Ancients to ask the Three why they have been abandoned. If the perpetually sweet Half Moon screaming like a maniac isn't enough to terrify you, Rock starts trying to bury the Three alive.
- In Dark River, Lionblaze has a dream where Hollyleaf transforms into a fox and brutally murders him.
- In one scene, Hollyleaf imagines a mouse as Leafpool and violently tears her body to shreds, reveling in the feeling of ripping the life out of her.
- In Sunrise, Jayfeather looks into Hollyleaf's mind and sees her murder of Ashfur. She treats him like a piece of prey to be killed for her Clan.
- The ending of Sunrise. A combination of Hollyleaf's insanity, including trying to murder her own mother, Leafpool being pretty much suicidal, Sol in general, or the feeling of despair that emanates from it makes it pretty unnerving.
- When the entrance to the tunnel opens up in Sign of the Moon, Lionblaze imagines Dovewing and Icecloud falling to the ground and finding Hollyleaf's decaying corpse.
- Jayfeather's dream about Hollyleaf in Sign of the Moon.
Starclan and Visions
- Fireheart's vision of a faceless queen in Forest of Secrets.
- The Bonehill. The. Freaking. Bonehill. Does anyone blame Firestar for freezing in terror when he sees the thing? Not to mention the scene that follows...
- Also note that The Bonehill in Firestar's dream apparently had some cat bones in it. Now think about that for a second, where did they get them? They couldn't have raided the graves of long-dead cats because they don't mark where they bury other cats, and if they were buried underground, they would have turned brown, and the book described them as "sun-bleached", meaning that they were left above ground and either picked clean by cats or eaten by other creatures.
- "Before there is peace, blood will spill blood and the lake will run red..." Out of all the Nightmare Dreams in the series, this one is probably the most bloody and traumatizing, and it keeps repeating itself.
- Also, whenever StarClan says they're going to give up, like in Eclipse, and the end of The Fourth Apprentice, when there's going to be a freaking war between two groups of dead cats.
- The story in Code of the Clans about how Code #14 (a warrior does not need to kill to win battles) came to be. The medicine cat is visited in her dream by a very young apprentice, essentially a child, who was killed in battle the day before. It's eerie enough with him reminding her that he's dead, and speaking with a wisdom beyond his age. But then he fades away (his eyes being the last thing to disappear), giving us this line as he fades: "That WindClan warrior didn't need to kill me. I knew I was beaten. If he'd let go of me, I'd have run away. He didn't have to keep biting me, harder and harder..."
- This really comes through in the (multiple) sections of the books featuring High-Pressure Blood, most notably Tigerstar getting ripped open and writhing in agony as he bleeds to death nine times in a row, Brightheart and Swiftpaw being brutally mauled by a pack of dogs, Sharptooth slaughtering and eating Tribe cats, Firestar's nine lives ceremony, and every battle involving Lionblaze.
- Brokenstar training Shadowclan kits at too young of an age leads to some heartbreaking and terrifying results.
- Silverstream's death. I know that Death by Childbirth isn't particularly rare in literature, but I remember that when Jayfeather was walking in Graystripe's memories, his narrative described her body as being surrounded by blood. I think in Long Shadows the words were, "Her lifeblood gushing onto stones as she gave birth to a pair of tiny kits." High-Pressure Blood and Death by Childbirth isn't a pleasant combination...
- At the end of Rise of Scourge, the picture of Tigerstar there and Scourge crawling all over his body.
- This is comparatively small next to the others, but in Skyclan's Destiny, in the prologue, the cats couldn't carry back the dead bodies of two warriors back to the gorge for the fear of being killed themselves. One of the elders gets upset at this, and responds by hobbling off towards a cliff face. Spiderstar stops him and says, "We've lost enough warriors tonight." This implies that the elder was going to commit suicide.
- Hawkfrost's death in The New Prophecy. He sets up a trap where Firestar's neck is caught in a fox trap and Brambleclaw is torn between following his beloved brother and killing Firestar and becoming leader, or betraying the brother he became so close with and nearly lost a mate over. He chooses the latter and is forced to kill Hawkfrost by impaling him with the metal spike that holds the fox trap in the ground. The next scene describes blood pouring quickly out of Hawkfrost's wound, so much so that it becomes a large pool on the ground and flows down to the lakeshore. He speaks cryptic warnings to Brambleclaw that this isn't over, which causes the blood to pour even faster, while also coughing up blood clots.
- Mapleshade's Vengeance in particular is a bit darker than the average Warriors book. After she and her kits are exiled, she struggles to save her kits as the river floods, and they end up drowning with her powerless to save them. It's also revealed that Frecklewish was watching and did nothing to help. Mapleshade decides to get revenge by murdering three cats, one for each kit. The medicine cat Ravenwing's is particularly dark: she murders him at the Moonstone - which is like the equivalent of killing a priest at church - and after the other medicine cats bury him, she exhumes him so that the hawks can feast on his body.