Mmkay, let's take a few steps back in time where The Last Hope had not yet come out and every was still speculating over who the next leader of ThunderClan would be. A site told me that Vicky said that Brambleclaw would not become leader, but then apparently Vicky never said that. In fact, she even said she never said that, only that the next leader would be unexpected. Sometimes I thought that they were definitely going to make Lionblaze the leader, even though I didn't want him to be. But I honestly don't think the strongest, best, most skillful warrior (or the one that never gets hurt) is always the ideal choice to be leader. Well, you knew that, but I think what does make a suitable leader is quite the controversial topic. So let's see. What kind of leaders are there?

In my opinion, the different types of leaders are placed on a continuum, and too much of either side is a bad thing. Basically, it goes from super lenient to super strict. I tried to gather some examples, but this is just my opinion. So yeah.

Super Lenient- I think we are yet to see a leader that's super flexible but I think we can all agree that Firestar is pretty flexible when it comes to the warrior code. The first reasoning against him would be that he was born outside the warrior code and therefore has little respect for it, as clanborn kits are taught it from the moment they open they're eyes. Before Firestar was made a warrior, he broke the code uncountable times and didn't give a second thought. When he became leader, no one questioned his leadership because he saved the clans and made them stronger through his acts, even while breaking the warrior code. But as most of us know, the recent clans have become a lot more dismissive towards the warrior code, and I think it could be the fault of Firestar's leniency. Back in Mapleshade's time, she was exiled from her clan for having kits with a RiverClan tom. The only true publicized case of forbidden relationship during Firestar's leadership was Leafpool and Crowfeather, in which any punishment Leafpool inflicted on her self. In other words, Firestar did nothing to punish Leafpool. However, if Leafpool had stood by and done nothing to herself, what do you think Firestar's punishment would have been? Leafpool did a lot more than have kits with a cat from another clan. First of all, she's a medicine cat, and second of all, she lied to everyone in the clan by handing the job to Squirrelflight. She did far more than Mapleshade, yet she's still a respected cat in her clan. Kind of broken, but nobody hates her. At least not in her clan. Point being, Firestar is a soft cat and his leniency is not necessarily a good thing.

Super Strict- Okay, I don't think there have been many super strict cats either. But what's wrong with internalizing the idea of "FOLLOW THE WARRIOR CODE NEVER EVER BREAK IT NO BREAKING THE WARRIOR CODE"? That's what you're supposed to do, right? The thing with Tigerstar is that he forced everyone to follow the "warrior code" (NTV- New Tigerstar Version) but honestly didn't even follow it himself. He wanted everyone to be loyal to each other, and he only wanted pure, strong cats. The thing is, he let rogues of no clan decent join the clan (eg. Boulder) and was killing off cats, even though the warrior code discouraged it.

What am I even saying? Tigerstar is a terrible example. He had a different set of values outside the warrior code. *headdesk*

Okay, let's talk about Hollyleaf. I think she had all the leadership qualities in her. She would have made a great leader. But...she was seriously attached to the warrior code, like waaaay attached. Now the big question: Is that a quality of a leader? Being super attached to the rules. A lot of people say that a good clan leader has to know how to bend without breaking. Would Hollyleaf have been able to do that? Or would she have ruled ThunderClan with an iron fist? Hollyleaf had the values of an idealistic clan cat, loyal to StarClan and obedient to the warrior code. But she didn't actually always follow it. Like when she ran off the RiverClan when Firestar didn't let her. BUT once Firestar became leader, when did he break the warrior code? He was too busy manning his clan to do anything rebellious. Hollyleaf has different values than Firestar. I feel like despite her emphasizing the importance of the code, she was worrying about everyone and everything. But I think most cats change once they're leader. Hollyleaf could go either way. Firestar's- that is, lenient and in everyone's business, or that super strict-everyone-must-be-bound-by-the-code way that she's known for.

The more I think about this, the more I'm convinced that Hollyleaf isn't as attached to the code as everyone pictures her to be...

Basically, what I'm saying is that a leniency not actually a good thing. It might appear that the nice leaders get farther, but just because nothing bad happens doesn't mean it's good.

On the other hand, dictatorship isn't great either. Since it's a continuum, there has to be a balance between the two. But my question is, an exact balance, or an uneven balance. In other words, which is better for the clan: strictness or leniency?

Thoughts, opinions, contradictories :)

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