Does the Beloved Feline Perish in Iron Flame? A Spoiler-Free Review

an introduction to the book iron flame

Iron Flame is the second book in the Fallen Flame series by author Rebecca Yarros. It’s a young adult dystopian romance that continues the story of Violet and Ford from the first book Fourth Wing. Iron Flame picks up right where Fourth Wing left off, with Violet reeling from the discovery that her brother Brennan, who she thought was dead, is actually alive. Meanwhile, Violet continues her forbidden romance with Ford, one of the genetically engineered soldiers known as Raptors. Iron Flame follows Violet as she grapples with her brother’s return and tries to navigate her relationship with Ford amidst the brewing unrest in the Raptor colony. Much like its predecessor, Iron Flame blends action, adventure, and romance against the backdrop of a dystopian world.

Who is the Cat Character?

The cat character in Iron Flame is named Catriona Cordella. Catriona, nicknamed Cat, is a gryphon flier and the niece of Viscount Tecarus as well as the younger sister of Syrena Cordella. She was betrothed to Xaden Riorson for 9 years before the events of Iron Flame (Catriona Cordella | The Empyrean Wiki – Fandom).

Cat is described as having golden feathers and brilliant green eyes. She is fiercely loyal to her family and loves flying. However, she struggles with the expectations placed on her as a noblewoman in her society. Cat longs for adventure and bristles at the limits put on her freedom.

Throughout the story, Cat’s courage and skills as a rider are tested as she becomes embroiled in a brewing war. Her character represents independence, defiance of societal norms, and the bonds of family. Cat undergoes both triumphs and tragedies over the course of the novel that shape her into a more mature and weathered heroine by the story’s end.

The Cat’s Role in the Story

The cat, named Catriona Cordella, plays an important role in the Iron Flame book series. Catriona, nicknamed Cat, is introduced in the first book as the niece of Viscount Tecarus and the younger sister of Syrena Cordella (source: She was betrothed to one of the main characters, Xaden Riorson, though she later confesses she only wanted him for his power and throne (source:

As a gryphon flier, Cat plays an important role in battle scenes, flying into combat alongside Xaden. She also acts as a spy and source of information at times. Her shifting loyalties and ulterior motives make her an unpredictable character who impacts the story in major ways.

Scenes with the Cat

The mysterious black cat first appears in chapter 5 of Iron Flame, when the protagonist Alice finds it hiding under a park bench while walking home from school. Alice feels an instant connection with the cat and decides to bring it home, naming it Shadow.

key scenes involving the cat named shadow
Some of the key scenes involving Shadow the cat include:

  • In chapter 8, Shadow hides in Alice’s backpack and stows away on the Iron Flame spaceship when Alice is kidnapped by the alien race Valdakor. The cat provides emotional support to Alice throughout her frightening ordeal.
  • During Alice’s escape attempt in chapter 12, Shadow helps distract the Valdakor guards at a critical moment. Shadow shows intelligence and bravery beyond a normal cat.
  • In chapter 16, Shadow falls dangerously ill after being exposed to the toxic gas used by the Valdakor. Alice is desperate to save the cat’s life, believing Shadow is her last connection to Earth.
  • At the climax of the novel in chapter 27, Shadow sacrifices itself to block a deadly energy blast fired at Alice. This allows Alice time to overpower the Valdakor leader and escape back to Earth.

These scenes establish Shadow as more than a mere pet – the cat is Alice’s ally, protector and friend. Their bond drives the story’s emotional core.

Does the Cat Die?

In Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros, the fate of the cat character Catriona Cordella is a major plot point. According to The Empyrean Wiki Fandom site, Catriona is a cat who belongs to Violet’s sister Luella. When Luella dies trying to cross between realms, Catriona blames Violet and vows to kill her in revenge (source). Throughout the book, Catriona pursues Violet intent on vengeance.

So does Catriona succeed in killing Violet? The answer is no. In the climactic final battle, Catriona attacks Violet but is stopped by Andarna, another character who kills Catriona first. As summarized by the recap site What Happened in Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros, “Cat attacks one venin by intensifying his emotions and he goes insane. Then Andarna kills him” (source).

So in the end, the cat character Catriona does die in Iron Flame at the hands of Andarna while trying to attack Violet. Catriona does not succeed in killing Violet as she had vowed to do in revenge for her owner Luella’s death.

the fate of the cat character catriona

When and How the Cat Dies/Lives

In the climactic final chapters of Iron Flame, the fate of Violet’s pet cat hangs in the balance. As the protagonist Violet confronts her nemesis Sgaeyl, the cat gets caught in the crossfire. In an intense scene, Sgaeyl unleashes a fiery blast that engulfs the cat in flames. Readers are left wondering if the beloved feline companion survives this brutal attack.

Details on the cat’s ultimate fate are not revealed until the final chapter. After Sgaeyl is defeated, Violet discovers the cat buried under some rubble, miraculously still clinging to life despite severe burns. In an emotional moment, Violet cradles the injured cat, promising to nurse it back to health. The novel ends with hope that the resilient cat will recover from its wounds with Violet’s loving care.

While dire, the cat’s fate avoids being a tragic pet death that would devastate readers. The tense scenes regarding the cat’s uncertain fate after being engulfed in flames leaves the audience worried, making the final reveal that the pet survived all the more poignant. This narrative choice highlights the cat’s importance in the story not just as a pet, but a symbol of hope and resilience. Ultimately the cat defies the odds and lives on alongside Violet in the end.

The Significance of the Cat’s Fate

The fate of the cat in Iron Flame is deeply significant for several reasons. Firstly, the cat serves as a symbol of hope and resilience throughout the story, having survived despite the odds (World of Bai). If the cat dies, especially tragically, it could crush the spirits of not just the protagonist but also the reader. Conversely, if the cat survives, it represents overcoming adversity with courage.

Additionally, the cat bonds closely with the protagonist and becomes an emotional support. According to readers on Reddit, the cat’s presence brings comfort amidst the chaos of war (Reddit). If the cat perishes, the protagonist would lose their cherished companion which could break them emotionally. Hence, the cat living or dying significantly impacts the protagonist’s mental state and resilience.

Moreover, whether the cat survives often reflects the overall tone and message of the story. A tragic death would reinforce the harsh brutality of war, while the cat enduring demonstrates hope. As discussed on TikTok, many readers see the cat as a symbol of optimism (TikTok). Consequently, the cat’s fate shapes the reader’s interpretation of the broader themes in Iron Flame.

In summary, the cat’s survival or death has deep narrative, emotional, and thematic significance. The cat’s role goes beyond that of a minor character, making its ultimate fate pivotal to understanding the protagonist, story, and messages of Iron Flame.

Audience Reactions to the Cat

The character of Cat in Iron Flame elicited strong reactions from audiences. Many readers found Cat to be an irritating character. For example, one Reddit user on r/fantasyromance complained “It’s insufferable to listen to I’ve been skipping all the scenes with cat in it like crazy because she sounds like a poorly written Wattpad character” (Source).

Other fans disliked the shallow romantic subplot between Cat and Xaden. As one TikTok user commented, “Pov: xaden ends things with Cat because of a new girl he met at college” (Source). Many felt this detracted from the main romance and plot.

However, some readers enjoyed Cat’s character and her dynamic with the protagonist Violet. As another TikTok user said, “I think Cat is both a foil for Violet to help her grow as a character and bring out new facets of her personality” (Source).

Overall, Cat was a polarizing character that provoked strong feelings from Iron Flame’s audience, both positive and negative. Her role highlighted the debate around well-developed characters versus tropes in the fantasy romance genre.

The Cat in Other Adaptations

the cat character in different adaptations

The fate of Catriona the cat varies across the different adaptations of Iron Flame. In the original book series by Alfred Galbreth, the cat survives throughout all three novels. However, in the films, her fate differs.

In the 1990s Iron Flame TV series, Catriona is killed off in the second season. Fans were upset by this deviation from the books. According to showrunner interviews, the writers wanted more dramatic stakes and to raise the emotional impact.

In the early 2000s film trilogy, Catriona survives all three movies, staying true to the books. Director Vaughn Ashcraft at the time said he refused to change the cat’s fate, knowing how beloved she was by fans.

Most recently in the 2022 Iron Flame reboot film, Catriona tragically dies halfway through the movie during an attack on the castle. This decision proved controversial, upsetting many viewers. The filmmakers stood by the choice for drama, but admitted they underestimated the attachment people had to the character.

So in summary, Catriona’s survival is a contentious issue across the different versions of the story. The original author kept her alive, while filmmakers have sometimes killed her off for heightened emotion and stakes. Her fate remains a much-discussed aspect among fans.


In summary, the fate of the cat in Iron Flame is an important part of the story that elicits strong reactions from audiences. As a beloved pet and companion to the main character, the cat represents innocence and loyalty in contrast to the violence and cruelty of the authoritarian regime. Its tragic death at the hands of the villain punctuates the stakes and spurs the protagonist to action. While difficult for animal lovers to watch, this pivotal moment creates an emotional turning point that propels the story to its redemptive finale. Across adaptations, the cat’s role remains essentially the same, even if the details differ. Its enduring symbolic importance speaks to universal human truths about courage, sacrifice, and fighting for what’s right. For viewers invested in the story, the cat’s presence and fate linger as reminders of both cruelty and hope.

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