After his father abandoned his clan to be a kittypet, his mother taught him to always be a strong and loyal warrior, and not a coward like his father was. When he was made Thistleclaw’s apprentice, they two supported each other and acted like a father/son to the other. Thistleclaw was a strict and militaristic mentor, which Tigerpaw appreciated because he was angry at the others looking down on him because of his father. Thistleclaw shares his ambitions of succeeding Sunstar with a young Tigerclaw, but when Tawnyspots died, he seemed not to react when Bluefur was chosen instead.
Late in his life, Thistleclaw became more pessimistic and paranoid. He believed ThunderClan would be destroyed because they didn’t defend themselves well enough. Tigerclaw trusted his mentor’s insight and the two of them vowed to make the clan strong no matter what. A few moons later, Thistleclaw is killed by a RiverClan patrol. Tigerclaw discovers Oakheart is the killer.
Tigerclaw is hateful towards Redtail for taking the place of his mentor as deputy after Bluestar. He also blames them for all the deaths in ThunderClan after Bluestar rose to power. When Redtail and Oakheart get into a fight, and Redtail saves Oakheart from falling into the gorge, Tigerclaw kills Redtail, causing both to die. Tigerclaw strives to fulfill his mentor’s ambition of being leader.
He is haunted by the spirit of Redtail who, with a bit of reluctance, tries to guide him. Tigerclaw only sees him as a hindrance, and ignores him. As time passed he grows arrogant as he is doing what his mentor could not, he starts seeing himself as above him, and even StarClan as they seem unable to oppose his actions. After Fireheart reveals the truth about Redtail’s death, his spirit goes to StarClan, giving Tigerclaw one last warning to stop before it is too late.