You know something’s up when a stubborn, but loyal warrior end up in cat hell, while a love-sick murdering loon gets off, scot-free. Or is there? How does placement of the afterlife work in the world of Warriors? Well let’s examine what we know shall we?
Firstly, the Place of No Stars is said to be a place for cats who “where rogues in life and are rogues now”. We liken it to a hell, but is there really any suffering going on? There’s no prey or sunlight, but the cats there don’t seem to go hungry, and I imagine the ShadowClan cats would feel very much at home. At first Tigerstar doesn’t seem to like it, and it implies he even feels loneliness, but he manages to find a way around that, and Mapleshade had found a way long before that.
Except for getting prophecies, there really doesn’t seem to be anything Dark Forest warriors can’t do that StarClan can. And, as the end of Omen of the Stars showed, it wasn’t impossible for the to leave altogether. So if it isn’t the place for the souls of the damned, then what is it?
The place for the vengeful and dissatisfied? Maybe cats can chose to go there willingly. Cats who wanted don’t want forgiveness, cats who want more, cats who never got what they wanted in life. Thistleclaw never had the chance to achieve his life’s ambitious and seeing as he trained in the Dark Forest in life, it wouldn’t be surprising if he chose to go after death.
How about Ashfur? He was a good cat who got possessive and became a villainous murderer, but our personal hatred for him aside, he probably didn’t see himself as belonging with the others of the forest, he probably saw himself as in innocent middle man who never had his voice heard. At least from prospective of the narrative.
Honestly, it is hard for me to talk about it, because it’s not written well at all, but if you care to understand, read his page in Cats of the Clans. It says something along the lines of, “he has his own story to tell”. Meaning that, in terms of the series’s narrative, he thinks of himself as a good guy. He wanted to go to StarClan and he saw himself as a StarClan cat. Ergo, StarClan he goes.