Breaking Down The Cat Clans

Discussion in 'ThunderCats (2011)' started by srebak, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. srebak

    srebak Laser Beast

    As the series saw fit to remind us time and again, the Cat species is very diverse (so are the Dogs and the Birds, but that's another discussion). So this thread is meant to break down what we've already come to know about each Cat Clan. If I’ve repeated anything that anyone else said before, it's only because I see their point.

    Okay, here we go, here’s what I’ve got so far-

    The Lions have always been regarded the most highest-ranking of the Cat clans, and I think that's because, out of all the other Cats, the Lions have all the qualities of a good leader. Yes, they do possess the (in my opinion) stereotypical leadership qualities: Strength (say what you want about who can surpass them, the Lions in the show are strong) and Intelligence (Leo, Claudus and Lion-O have all proven to be quite clever and resourceful when they need to be). But more importantly, the Lions have shown that they are also the most open-minded of the Cats. They encourage change, they're not afraid to try something new, even if they get guff for wanting to do so. Examples: Leo was willing to actually break away from Mumm-Ra's control and take command himself (something the other Cats might have thought about doing but never took the initiative to actually do), The Queen (Lion-O and Tygra's mother) was willing to ignore any bad reputation that the Tigers had and took in a baby Tiger simply on the grounds that he needed her, and, finally, Lion-O was willing to try and put an end to years of bad blood between the other animals by befriending them and treating them like equals (something not many of the other Cats have ever did).

    What's more, the Lions always look at the bigger picture, and are only detail-oriented when they have to be (like when they're trying to make a plan work). Granted, this often causes them to believe that the ends justify the means (Leo thought that whatever Mumm-Ra did, it was all worth it so that he could bring order to the universe), but that's actually when they start to show another valuable leadership quality: Responsibility. Whenever they realize that they've made a mistake, the Lions are very quick to admit that they're the ones at fault, they'll even berate themselves at these points, right before they take it upon themselves to set things right. This is actually quite honorable, considering that most other Cats would likely just come up with a bunch of reasons why it's someone else's fault and never their own.

    The Lions are also the most humble of the Cats, they may have their own amount of pride, but for the most part, they all have a very realistic opinion of themselves and know what their limitations are (Leo knew that he couldn't defeat Mumm-Ra with just the Sword of Omens alone, so he had to rally the other animals to make his plan work). Personally, i think that this makes them far more qualified to lead than the Tigers. Finally, the most admirable quality the Lions have is that they are almost completely selfless. To them, all life is precious and nearly everything they do and have ever done was for the benefit of someone else, never themselves (Leo was trying to stop Mumm-Ra because he genuinely didn't want to see Mumm-Ra kill any more innocent people; Claudus might have treated the Lizards badly, but he was only doing it because he wanted keep the Cats safe from any attack; Lion-O has done nothing but help others since day one, we rarely, if ever, see him do something for selfish reasons).

    Add all of that up and you've got one of the most noble Cats of the species (in my opinion at least). Though a large Achilles Heel in the Lion clan is that they frequently allow their emotions to get the better of them and that often has disastrous results on them and those around.

    The Tiger clan does have its good points; they are strong and clever, but as it was mentioned twice in the series, the Tigers main issue is their pride, so let’s try and break that down. Now being proud of what you do is not a bad thing, but it seems to me that the Tigers take so much pride in what they do and the decisions that they make, that they don’t seem to care if any of it comes at the detriment of others (e.g. Tygus and the other Tigers were willing to make a decision that would cause their descendants to suffer because they were too proud to admit that Leo was right about Mumm-Ra’s evil; Caspin and the other Tigers were willing to make a deal with the devil, one that would cost Javan the (possibly) only family he had left, just because they were too proud to ask the Lions for help when they really needed it; Tygra was so proud of his own accomplishments that he didn’t seem to care if he made Lion-O feel inadequate about his own abilities). This makes the Tigers look a little selfish and self-serving in my opinion. True, if Javan’s noble act and Tygra’s occasional actions are any indication, the Tigers are not above doing selfless things. But right afterwards, they seem to forsake any humility and selflessness they had and/or gained and go back to their old ways lickity-split.

    If Javan is any real example, the Tigers are able to be leaders, but only with others of their own kind. Because when it comes to extreme decisions that require you to put the needs and safety of others above your own selfish ego, a Tiger will likely do what they think will ensure victory, but in truth is just a way for them save face. Though, one thing the Tigers have going for them is that they can adapt to any physical environment: they could live in a blazing hot desert or a freezing cold mountain. Most likely, this is because they are too proud to let Mother Nature send them packing.
  2. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    More cat species should've been explored in the show.
  3. MarianaTCdreams

    MarianaTCdreams Barbarian

    Great idea, Srebak!
    Open for anyone who wants to ponder this question:
    How would Pumyra, Grune, and Lynx-O's species fit into this breakdown of the clans?
  4. balgus82

    balgus82 Thunderian Legend

    I don't think you're quite right with the Lions. Leo and Lion-O seemed to be the exceptions rather than the rule. Lion leadership over the centuries is what made Thundera such a elitist society in the first place. They're definitely strong, capable leaders, but if bigger pictures and open-mindedness was a general Lion trait, I don't think Thundera would've been like it was at the beginning of the series. As for Leo, it seemed to me like Panthera pushed him into helping. She really seemed to be the brains of the whole rebellion. At least it seemed that way to me.
  5. srebak

    srebak Laser Beast

    I think the Lions had good intentions when they founded Thundera, but somewhere along the lines, their noble vision for peace was likely corrupted by the other Cat clans. Lion-O is most likely the one who will restore the Lions to their former honor. As for Leo, Panthera paved the way his new outlook, but when it comes down to it, it was all Leo’s decision and he chose to do what he knew in his heart was right.

    If Cheetara’s any indication, then I’d say that the Cheetahs are a combination of both the Lions and the Tigers’ good and bad qualities. On one hand, like the Lions, they value the lives and needs of others above their own and always at least try to look at the bigger picture. But, also like the Lions, they too tend to let their feelings cloud their better judgment (New Alliances).

    Like the Tigers, the Cheetahs are also prone to letting their ambitions and egos get the better of them (in “Sight Beyond Sight” Cheetara was just as eager to race as Lion-O and Tygra were). But at the same time, the Cheetahs also possess the Tigers’ admirable amount of perseverance, they don’t give up easily and they’ll go to great lengths to make sure their goals are achieved.

    From what I can tell, unlike the Lions and (to a lesser extent) the Tigers, the Cheetahs appear to be more of a clan of followers than leaders in their own right. Cheetara has always just done what Jaga, Lion-O and Tygra told her to do, true she might have voiced her opinion now and then, but then, mere seconds later, she caves in and just does what she’s told, all while keeping her negative opinions to herself. So, I repeat, the Cheetahs are followers.

    Like the Cheetahs, the Jaguars are more followers by nature than they are leaders in their own right. Unlike the Cheetahs, however, the Jaguars actually can be leaders when they need to be, just not to the same extent as the Lions and Tigers. If anything, the Jaguars are more suited to be field leaders than Lords and Kings (meaning that they can be in charge of a certain number of people to accomplish certain tasks, but they still receive orders from someone higher up the ladder than them).

    The Jaguars also seem to be very enigmatic with the things they do. At first, their tricks and tactics might seem unorthodox and random, but after putting more thought to them, you realize that they made perfect sense (Jaga only pretended to turn Cheetara away to test her and see if she truly had what it takes to be a Cleric; Jaga only pretended to reprimand Lion-O after he failed the Trials to see if he was going to actually do anything about it). Also, if Jaga is any indication, than the Jaguars possess the most longevity of the Cat Clans and that is likely the source of any wisdom that they have (they’ve quite literally seen it all).

    Like the Jaguars, the Panthers can be leaders in their own right, but are more of Field leaders than actual monarchs or nobility. Also, the Panthers seem to be the least ambitious of the Big Cats; they might strive for something greater every once in a while, but when they find themselves in a position where their goals seem out of reach, they’ll simply make the best of what they already have. (Example: Panthro never wanted to rule Thundera, he acknowledged that he was just a soldier and decided to settle for simply rising through the ranks and becoming a high-ranking Cat in the Thunderian Army). However, that is not to say that they won’t speak out against their superiors and comrades when they know what they’re doing is wrong.

    Another fun fact about the Panthers is that they’re not the easy Cats to please or win over. Granted, they’re not as difficult as the Tigers, but it still does take a lot to get into their good graces. However, once you do manage to impress them, you can count on them for anything (Panthera didn’t seem to like Leo at first, but right after he revealed his plan to overthrow Mumm-Ra, she fell in love with him right then and there). The Panthers also seem to be very physically durable; they can be smacked around, dropped from dizzying heights, blasted at with energy bolts and even lose part of their own limbs and they’ll still be able to dust themselves off and come back for more.

    Being one of the lowest Clans in the Cat species, it should come as no surprise that the Wildcats are the most simple of the feline race. Like all the other Cats, they might wish for something grand every once in a while, but when all is said and done, all they really want is something that will help them get through life and make them happy. If they can find all of that within the simple things, they’d still be content. Since they don’t live lives as privileged as, say, the Lions, the Wildcats really don’t have a reason to be racist or bigoted towards other animals (since they’re not really living the high life themselves).

    Because they’ve had to work hard for everything they have, it would stand to reason that the Wildcats have had to build up their wit and cunning in order to get through the day.
  6. Gold Lion

    Gold Lion Great Void Dweller

    The only clans that are clearly established are the Lions and the Tigers. We can assume there must be others, since Jaga asked a young Cheetara if she belonged to one. It does seem odd to me that he wouldn't assume she belonged to the Cheetah clan since she is a Cheetah, which makes me think there may not be one.

    This is something that could have been elaborated on, but I have some ideas. There may be some sort of Cheetah lineage that posses super speed, but there may be few of them left. Another idea I had is that there isn't a Cheetah clan, but rather a Leopard clan made of up any cat with yellow fur and spots. Now, this should include Jaguars, but Jaga, the only cat we can assume is a jaguar, does really look like one s far as we can tell. Maybe he has spots under there.

    My theory has been that, while the Thundercat's species has many similarities and analogues to real life Earth Cats, they are not literally those cats. For instance, panthers aren't a species of black cats, they can be either jaguars or leopards with black fur, but in the show Panthro and Panthera are never indicated to be anything else but Panthers. So, my assumption is that in the TC universe, the Panther lineage really is it's own thing.

    You have to keep in mind that all the Thundercats are part of the same species, but in real life cats come in many, many different species. Some cats can interbreed, like Lions and Tigers making Lifers, but they are still different species. In TC, they are not different species, they're really just different ethnicities.

    Now with that out of the way, I think it's likely there is a clan of spotted cats, but Cheetara may just not have been a part of it. It would be nice to know more about her life before joining the clerics. The clans are likely houses of nobility like in the original series, though with the class system it's hard to tell which ones would have been what. There could be an official Panther clan, a Sabretooth clan, but I don't think there's a clan for every single cat species.

    I think that it's more a case of several cat species being rolled into one clan or ethnicity, and within those clans are even more divisions. For instance, the leaopard clan could include cheetahs, who would really just be the few leopards who are born with super speed. Maybe even Jaguars are a part of the Leopard clan, or just any cat with spots, and I'll just go with my theory that Jaga's spots are hidden under his clothes, and he's really more like a snow leopard. Because he does not resemble a jaguar.

    I guess you could say that the Lions and the Tigers are the purest clans, as they don't seem to have any deviations, as far as general traits go. All the lions we see have generally the same hair, fur, and eye color, and the same goes for Tigers. I don't believe that Wildcats or house cats are part of any real clan. You could say the entire general populace of the Cats that don't fall under a clan are analogous to wildcats, which aren't far off from normal house cats, just undomesticated.

    I do think that there is a Lynx clan, which Lynx-O is a part of. I'm not sure that there's a Puma clan that Pumyra would be a part of, but it's possible. I think this because Pumyra doesn't look like she held a very high social status. Her clothing and weapons both seem very primitive compared to even Kit and Kat's family. I would assume that an established clan and its members would some high social standing.

    This comes to my next possible theory; there are low class clans that stay together out of pride and necessity. There may indeed be a Puma clan, but it doesn't hold a lot of power, and is more or less just a recognized ethnicity and little else. They are a clan, but they are not nobility. I think the same could apply to the Sabretooths. They're obviously distinct enough to be recognized as an ethnicity, but not considered a house of nobility with government power. I think this because I get the feeling Grune may have come from poverty, and living like that may have shaped his behavior and attitude.

    Other than that, I can't really say much else. The only clan that really gets traits established is the Tiger clan, being labeled as very prideful. We really don't know much about the Lions, honestly, and I can only assume that Claudus was the "typical" Lion; commanding and assertive, a natural born leader who can rally the people.

    Even then, those kinds of labels can't apply to every member of any clan or ethnicity. Here is how I think the clans stand in Thunderan society.

    Lions - They're at the top, descended from Leo, the savior of the Cats who defeated Mumm-Ra.

    Tigers- If the tigers had sided with Leo, I think they would have been pretty high up, right under Lions, but they fall outside the social class system in this case.

    Jaguars/Leopards/Cheetahs/Whatever spotted cats - These cats seem to have a natural inclination towards magic. They might be related to the blacksmiths that forged the Sword of Omens, even if those weren't leopards.

    Panthers - Leo more than likely had his children with Panthera. She was Leo's partner who inspired him to free their people, so I think the Panthers gained a lot of respect because of her. Lion-O himself more than likely has a little panther in his blood somewhere, but that's just my theory.

    Lynxes - Lynx-O became a general. Kind of hard to place since we know so little about him though, but I think they hold an above average position in society.

    Sabretooths - Considered one of the lower clans because of being more animalistic, but still given some respect because of their sheer size and strength.

    Pumas - Little distinguishes them from the normal populace, but they do have a recognizable appearance that makes them stand out, and their own little subculture. That's just pure fan theory on my part though.

    Wildcats - Not really a clan, just a part of the general populace that doesn't fall under those clans listed. Kit and Kat have some distinguishing features that could categorize them as being part of a wildcat lineage, but other than that they're pretty much generic. The rest of the population is likely a big melting pot of the clans. Everyone else is kind of a mix of everything.
  7. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    There should definitely be even more cat clans in Thunderian society, like ocelots.
  8. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    I agree here. Claudus wasn't anything as you have described the Lions. He was selfish, close-minded, prejudiced and kinda arrogant.

    I'd have liked to see the other cat clans.

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