Why Hollyleaf is innocent by Prowlclaw

Prowlclaw discusses the actions of Hollyleaf.

Artwork by Corridorit

We all probably know the controversial emerald-eyed feline, famous for killing one of the most dramatic characters in the book. I dare say she may be the one of the most talked about cats other than mapleshade in accordance to innocence. So, why is Hollyleaf such an easy subject to come across? Well to answer that, let us start off with why people like and hate Hollyleaf.

Hollyleaf is liked by many for her productiveness. She gets the job done and is a natural born leader along with having flaws that seem natural. This is what makes her relatable to the targeted age group. To be honest, she was the most modest out of the three, wanting nothing more than to help her clan and being useful. Hollyleaf had a best friend that actually seemed like a best friend and she was overall a well-developed character.

Now let’s get into why people don’t like Hollyleaf. She was very strict of the warrior code, and even exposed her own brother because he was meeting with Heathertail of WindClan. To some people, this really annoyed them because they were so used to cats breaking the code, and seeing Hollyleaf get angry over it was pretty frustrating to them. She also murdered Ashfur, which was not a minor mistake on her part. However, suppose that was actually the right choice and not just a mistake…

Everyone knows the infamous fire scene, where the beans spill that Squirrelflight is not the three’s mother, but in fact, its medicine cat Leafpool. Ashfur lets them go, but is planning to tell everyone at the next gathering what he had learned. Pause, for a second, and let’s go back to Ashfur’s history with harm. Ashfur got away with the murder of the leader and attempted murder of three innocent cats. He was certainly not the best cat in the clans, but also not one of the worst. Now, let’s go back to the present, where Ashfur is by the river during midnight hours, may or may not be plotting or regretting his next decision. In the bushes behind Ashfur is where Hollyleaf lies in wait, getting ready to strike. This is where Hollyleaf’s pro-activeness has gotten the best of her, and she decides to end Ashfur with a blow to the neck. Ashfur’s corpse is left beside the river and Hollyleaf cleans off the blood from her pelt. She then heads back to camp where they find Ashfur’s corpse and the camp goes wild. Cats accuse Hollyleaf of murdering Ashfur, but Brambleclaw jumps to her defense, saying he was there and Ashfur’s death was an accident even though he wasn’t there. So you may ask, why is Hollyleaf innocent? She was a clear villain, and murdered another cat! Well if you look deeper, you may see why she could have done this.

Most people think it was out of pure hatred and selfishness that she did this, but if you thought about her personality, it might just add up. For one, she hated it when people broke the warrior code. So why did she kill her own clan-mate? Well, if we look at warrior code number 14, it states that, “An honorable warrior does not need to kill other cats to win their battles, unless they are outside of the warrior code or if it is necessary for self-defense.” The last segment states that if the cat was threatened or going to die, they could kill another cat, even clan-mates. Well, Ashfur threatened her and he told their foster mother he was going to kill her and her siblings, so that part would make sense. She probably knew this and knew the warrior code couldn’t punish her for doing something wrong. A second theory is that she was trying to protect her clan from a psychopath that could kill them all if he wasn’t silenced. It would add up with her wanting to do anything to help her clan.

So then, why the heck would she tell everyone at the gathering that Squirrelflight wasn’t her mother? Well, that’s actually quite simple. She wanted to abide by the warrior code and do the right thing by telling everyone. Killing Ashfur had nothing to do with the fact that he would tell everyone.

Last topic I wanted to cover was why she almost killed Leafpool. As you may remember, Hollyleaf tried to make Leafpool eat death berries. How can you explain that? Well, Hollyleaf knew that cats who had mates from another clan were usually banished and left to die. So she knew Firestar wouldn’t punish Leafpool because he was her father and he had a friend that had a mate from another clan. But when Leafpool told her she would suffer more by living, Hollyleaf decided to let her live.

One more thing to point out, is that even if Hollyleaf just wanted to murder Ashfur because she wanted to shut him up, she still regretted it in the end and made up for it by giving her life for Ivypool.
So in conclusion, that is why I believe Hollyleaf is actually innocent and she shouldn’t get hate she doesn’t deserve.

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