Rainshadow reveals her top picks for the 5 best Warriors prophecies and omens. Spoiler alert!
One of the features of the Warriors series that I love is the prophecies. Foretelling and foreshadowing can be wonderful tools to build suspense and to keep readers on our toes, and it’s always interesting to me to see how StarClan’s prophecies work out in the end. Sometimes, the results are pretty obvious, but there are also prophecies that genuinely surprised me in the way they were ultimately fulfilled. I’ve created a list of my top five Warriors prophecies and omens based on four criteria: presentation, fulfillment, accuracy, and ultimate satisfaction with their conclusion.
5. “The end of the stars draws near. Three must become four to battle the darkness that lasts forever.”
Definite spoiler warning here for those of you who have not read ‘The Last Hope.’ This prophecy is given to Jayfeather in ‘Sign of the Moon’ by the Tribe of Endless Hunting. Its presentation is rather subtle compared to some of the others, as its delivery is not flashy, but it comes from a source outside of StarClan, which feels appropriate since the original “There will be three” prophecy came from SkyClan’s ancestors rather than StarClan as a whole. What I find compelling is not so much the delivery, but rather the idea of it. Here we are, nearing the end of the second series dealing with this prophecy of the Three, and they go and slap a fourth onto the end of it like “oh no big deal.” Not only that, but it’s a cat who has been close to them all along.
Now, at first I was pretty peeved at this twist, just as I was when it was revealed Hollyleaf wasn’t a member of the Three. The prophecy kept changing and I felt like it didn’t fit well with what was happening. Ultimately, though, I was surprised and rather pleased to find that the prophecy referenced Firestar. Most of the Three were young cats with powers we recognized as extraordinary, and here comes the semi-elderly Firestar, who we learn has had powers all along in his own, much subtler way. The surprise I felt is what put this prophecy on my list. It definitely led to an impressive finale and an appropriate ending for Firestar that brought him back into relevance before we said goodbye to him, and the Three losing their powers at the end of ‘The Last Hope’ (or sometime afterward) brought extra weight to the “end of the stars” part of the prophecy.
4. “Embrace what you find in the shadows, for only they can clear the sky.”
There isn’t much to spoil yet for this prophecy, since we have yet to see it come to its full conclusion, but very mild spoilers are imminent for Hawkwing’s Journey and A Vision of Shadows all the same. Now, you may ask yourself, why include this prophecy if you can’t judge it based on its fulfillment or accuracy? My answer is that it is a prophecy that has intrigued me from the get-go and it continues to pull at my curiosity strings, which is not all that easy to do after I’ve read every single book in the Warriors series more than once over the last eleven years and have mostly gotten the sense of how the prophecies work at this point. Of course, there was never much confusion about SkyClan’s involvement (ironic that the words “clear” and “sky” appear together), but what I find particularly interesting is the idea that both ThunderClan and SkyClan have been given this prophecy. This adds a very interesting dynamic into the mix, as we no longer know if Needletail was right and that Violetpaw and Twigpaw are both part of the prophecy, or conversely it’s something in ShadowClan (maybe Violetpaw, maybe not) that is part of this prophecy. Considering Darktail’s involvement in driving SkyClan from their home, ShadowClan’s definitely going to play a big role in the upcoming books, and I’m really looking really looking forward to seeing the prophecy’s fulfillment.
3. The three stars in the sky.
Now, while the accuracy of this prophecy may be called into question for obvious reasons, I still would rank it as one of my favorite omens. Here we are, lollygagging with some cats in StarClan we know and love, and Leafpool receives a vision of three stars shining in the sky. Now, I was mightily confused when I finished Sunset and found that the stars were never quite explained or involved in the story at all. Then, when I saw the title for Power of Three, I realized that this strange but meaningful omen was going to be important after all.
One thing I like about this prophecy is that very fact that it feels so out of place at the time of its presentation. There isn’t a catchy prophecy line about the Three, only a hint that warns Leafpool of what’s to come. And for those like me who are big conspiracy theorist types, the fact that Leafpool is mother to the Three comes as no surprise, since most of us paranoid types entered into Power of Three already looking for a connection between Leafpool and the Three (and that snowy scene of Jayfeather following his mother through the snow kind of gave it away).
Of course Hollyleaf not being part of the three is something that does take away from the cool, foreshadowing factor of this prophecy, since at least one of those three stars wasn’t technically Leafpool’s kit, but nonetheless it is a very interesting prophecy. I think the imagery is very striking as well. There’s something about the subtlety of the hint, that image of the stars in the sky, that gives a sense of mystery and intrigue I preferred over the blatantly obvious “There will be three” prophecy. While the fulfillment of the prophecy was nothing unexpected (barring Hollyleaf’s exclusion), I love being given a glimpse into the future that ties everything together, so this omen is definitely one of my favorites.
2. “Fire alone can save our Clan.”
You had to know it was coming. This prophecy has to be the most famous in the Warriors series, and for good reason. It sets up Firestar’s whole journey and gives us a reason to believe in him like Bluestar does. Her actions certainly wouldn’t make sense if she didn’t believe he could be the key to saving ThunderClan. The presentation of this prophecy definitely was a perfect set-up for the series. Reading the prologue to Into the Wild gave me chills, and the moment where Spottedleaf watched the falling star and spoke those words for the first time was very impactful.
In my mind, this prophecy loses a few points for being very predictable, but there’s still that ever-present question of just how Firestar is going to save the Clans. He proves time and time again that Bluestar’s faith in him is not misplaced, but when Scourge struck down Tigerstar, I felt a bit like the mat was wrenched out from under me. Wasn’t Tigerstar and TigerClan the threat that Firestar was supposed to stop, I wondered. But ultimately he had to defeat BoneClan by uniting TigerClan and LionClan, and you know, that’s cool. That makes sense. It wasn’t the finale I wanted, but it fit the prophecy and left me feeling fulfilled in that sense.
Imagine my surprise, of course, when quite a few books later (18 or so to be exact) Firestar reemerges as the fourth cat involved in the Power of Three series. This was basically the finale I was looking for, and Firestar went out with a bang that certainly felt appropriate to the original prophecy. I would argue that Firestar’s defeat of Tigerstar’s ghost and the ThunderClan leader’s death was the ultimate fulfillment of his prophecy, and it definitely left me feeling that this was possibly the most epic of all the Warriors prophecies.
1. “Before there is peace, blood will spill blood, and the lake will run red.”
Okay, I can hear the protests already. “But if ‘Fire alone’ is the most recognizable and epic prophecy, shouldn’t it be number one?” you ask me. Probably. Any other fan of Warriors probably would have put it as number one I’m sure, but I’m coming from the unique position of having read the second series first. I have a particular attachment to that series and its characters, so to me, Firestar’s prophecy was cool but not my personal favorite. There was also always a level of predictability in Firestar’s prophecy that I didn’t like. Sure, it worked out interestingly in the end and left me feeling satisfied, but nothing about it surprised me in the way it was fulfilled (except maybe that his final confrontation in Darkest Hour was with Scourge and not Tigerstar).
For me, the “Blood will spill blood” prophecy of The New Prophecy’s later books is the best prophecy of the Warriors series. It came at a difficult time when readers were likely feeling a bit aimless, what with the Clans just settling into their new territories and no epic showdown between the Clans to give the series the sense of resolution the first one had. Brambleclaw’s appointment as Clan deputy and Hawkfrost’s own rise to plotting (not so much power) made for a really interesting and definitely subtler ending to the series than we saw with Firestar’s arch, but it felt appropriate and it was played out in a way I never quite saw coming. I suppose looking back it must seem obvious, but at the time I was envisioning something on a grand scale. I never looked for the smaller, more intimate ending that I got, and personally I love to be surprised by the fulfillment of a prophecy rather than validated in my suspicions. That’s probably not the biggest reason that this prophecy is my favorite, however.
The best part of this prophecy, for me, is the presentation. Most of the other visions and prophecies have interesting presentations, to be sure, but this one was quite visceral for me in places and had a much more haunting effect over the course of the later New Prophecy books. It was a prophecy that got stuck in the back of my mind and refused to leave. And when it was over, I felt very satisfied with the way it played out. It left me with a lot of emotions, good and bad, and gave the second series an ending that to me felt somehow more fulfilling than that of the first.
So there they are, my top five picks for the best prophecies and omens in the Warriors series. Are there any you think I missed out on? Any placements you’d like to argue or entries you didn’t agree with? I’d love to hear your thoughts!