There's been something bugging me again about Warriors. Something that has, in fact, been bugging me ever since Night Whispers came out.

That would be the death of Flametail.

Oh, don't be confused or jump to conclusions: I had no qualms with this cat dying. It was about time the Erins killed off a major character. At this point, they'd never killed off a narrating character in the main series (save for Bluestar and Crookedstar in the the Super Editions, but the SE's are far enough outside the main series that I won't count them) and they hadn't killed off a major, plot-important character since Ashfur in Long Shadows.

What I had a problem with was the way Flametail died.

Playing hockey.

When I read that he was doing this, before I even got to the moment of Flametail's death, I had to stare at the page in shock for a moment. Never before had I seen the Erins stoop so low with the scenarios they'd thought up to make the plot move in Warriors. They were playing hockey with stones.

This scenario, one I'm sure was only thought up to give Flametail a reason to be on the ice in the first place, is insulting to the intellegence of the fans of Warriors.

I can tolerate them portraying cats playing with balls of moss or kits inventing games, cats can be playful at times. But to make them play hockey just to get Flametail on the ice was so... so idiotic and contrived, I wanted to throw my book at the wall and forget about whatever else might come in the story.

There are so many other reasons for Flametail to have been on the ice. An apprentice or kit could have wandered out onto the ice. A piece of prey or an herb could have been accidentally dropped and rolled out onto the ice. Or (something that could have been interesting and would have made more sense, especially considering what happens to Flametail in the afterlife) Dark Forest cats could have lured Flametail out onto the ice somehow. Or, hey, he could have died in some fashion besides drowning. He could have been crushed by a tree, killed in a battle (would have made the drama between the Clans even worse seeing as killing a medicine cat would probably be one of the worst things a warrior could do), died of the same disease that Littlecloud had at the time, been outright killed in his sleep by a DF cat as a preliminary attack on the Clans, or any other way one could imagine. Drowning just seemed hokey and forced in the long run.

I know this might not spark much conversation, but I felt so personally insulted by the way the Erins chose to kill Flametail that I felt I had to write about it. Anyone care to discuss anyway?