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Nightmare Fuel / Warrior Cats

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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. Though, this is mitigated when Vicky later confirmed that he was allowed to join Starclan, but his death is still horrific.
  • Most of the training in the Dark Forest. Highlights include Mapleshade holding Ivypaw underwater until she almost drowns, Thistleclaw killing Antpelt, Ivypool's final assessment, and Brokenstar testing Ivypaw by urging her to kill Flametail.
    • Elaborating on Ivypool's final assessment, she has to fight Antpelt to the death. She wins the fight by eviscerating him.

    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.
  • 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.
    • Not to mention the river starts flowing with blood.

    Hollyleaf 
  • 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 its body to shreds, reveling in the feeling of ripping the life out of her. When she's done, the remains are described as a red pulp.
  • 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..."

    Other 
  • 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. Death by Childbirth isn't particularly rare in literature, but when Jayfeather was walking in Graystripe's memories, his narrative described her body as being surrounded by blood. 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 Warrior Cats: 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—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 corpse. Frecklewish doesn't get away unscathed, either: Mapleshade lures her to Snakerocks, and an adder spits venom in her eyes.
    • The same book also illustrates the dangers of mob mentality and Misplaced Retribution, with ThunderClan's horrific treatment of Mapleshade's kits after their father is revealed to be Appledusk of RiverClan, who killed two ThunderClan cats. Oakstar sentences them to exile along with their mother. Mapleshade's former mentor Bloomheart coldly agrees that they don't belong in ThunderClan. Frecklewish screeches at them, calling them "half-Clan creatures" and shouting for them to be driven out (especially jarring, considering how much she loved them when she thought they were her brother's kits). Not one cat speaks up for them or their mother. Not one cat realizes that they're just kits, that they shouldn't be held responsible for what their parents did. Blinded with fury, the Clan drives Mapleshade and her kits out—and when the dust has settled and ThunderClan's anger has stilled, possibly enough to come to their senses, it's too late to make amends, because the kits have drowned in the river while trying to cross to RiverClan.
  • Floss waking up to find that the Twolegs, who own the barn where she lives, took her kits while she was asleep. That's bad enough by itself, but her kits were newborns — as in, too young to survive without their mother, which strongly suggests that they took the kits away to have them euthanized.
  • Longtail's blindness in general, but especially during the destruction of the forest. The poor guy could only hear the trees being torn down, feel the ground being ripped open, and smell the fumes from the Monsters. As far as he could tell all hell was breaking loose around him and he had no way of seeing exactly what was happening.
  • Everything about Darktail. He combines Tigerstar's brutality with Sol's cunning and Affably Evil attitude.
    • His execution methods. It's implied that Darktail killed every ShadowClan cat who left the rogues by drowning them.
    • Needletail's fate. Darktail locks her in an unhygienic cave full of prisoners and starves her in a humiliating fashion. Later, he slowly drowns her to punish her best friend, only to change his mind at the very last moment and tries to force her to kill said friend. Needletail's death combines Heroic Sacrifice with Last Stand and perhaps even Karmic Death.
    • The Kin is a terrifyingly realistic depiction of a cult. Members are manipulated into praising Darktail as their leader and doing his biddings, pledging loyalty to the group, and whoever resists or questions the Kin's function is usually killed or held prisoner. Some kittypets are even essentially kidnapped and forced to join, with the Kin promising them a great life only to never let them leave when they want to.
  • Whenever there's an outbreak of illness can be this for anyone Terrified of Germs. Greencough is a major contender; implied to pneumonia or a disease similar to it, it's a proven super-spreader that kills cats if it's not treated properly, especially to younger and older cats such as kits and elders. The descriptions of its symptoms when the infection enters later stages are ANYTHING but pleasant to think about...
    • Yellowcough, the disease that strikes Shadow Clan in Thunder and Shadow, sounds a lot like feline distemper. Distemper is actually pretty friggin' scary, not to mention deadly.
    • There was a passing mention of illnesses called blackcough and redcough. We never find out what they caused, but with names like that, it probably wasn't no simple cold.
    • Also basically any time there's a poisoning. One famous mention goes to when Mousewhisker and Cherryfall ingested highly toxic water hemlock after mistaking it for medicinal yarrow to soothe their upset stomachs. They both have seizures and foam at the mouth and nearly die! This is a real-life problem. Various species of wild carrot (water hemlock's Family) look very similar to yarrow because of the white flowers. This is why Secrets of the Clans has a warning in the "Medicine" chapter to never try the remedies themselves but to trust veterinarians instead. Not to mention that most if not all plants are deadly to cats, and house cats tend to chomp on any plants within range. The only thing that probably won't hurt cats (but often makes them throw up) is normal, non-pesticide grass. It's not just poison to cats of course. Children have been poisoned by using water hemlock stems as pea shooters, and hemlock is the poison that killed Socrates.
  • Pretty much the entirety of Spottedleaf's Heart. Spottedpaw, a young child is sexually groomed by Thistleclaw, a senior warrior with a son her age and a respected member of her community. For those who are unaware, child grooming is a process in which an adult establishes a close relationship with a young child, and often their family, in order to lower a child's inhibitions and make them more compliant with the adult's wishes. Perhaps the most frightening part for any adult reader is when, after a fight over Thistleclaw's brutality, he corners her alone near Sunningrocks, plies her with food, compliments her, and then says that they could have a future together. While she is initially hesitant, she eventually agrees to meet him in the woods. At night. Alone. He ends up taking her to the Dark Forest, but the implications of what could have happened are terrifying.
  • In Crowfeather's Trial, Crowfeather has a nightmare about the Great Battle, wherein Breezepelt blinds him and leaves him helpless. All Crowfeather can do is press up against Hollyleaf's (aka his daughter's) dead body and shake as he waits for the next blow.
    • He later has another nightmare where he sees the cats of the Dark Forest encircle him and call out for him to join them.
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