An Analysis of Needletail + Her possible parents by Ebonypaw

Ebonypaw theorizes about the behavior and parentage of Needletail.

Artwork by Caroline Singeo

Needletail is one of most hated characters in Warriors. She is seen as an angsty teenage stereotype who thinks she can do whatever she wants. However, what about her backstory?

In the Thunder and Shadow bonus scene (Barnes and Noble exclusive), she is seen as a timid Shadowclan apprentice who follows orders. She is a little upset over Tawnypelt’s bossiness but isn’t too mad about it. An owl later grabs and swoops her off the ground. Tawnypelt tries to free Needlepaw, but she fails. Needlepaw later attacks the owl, which drops her. Needlepaw meets with a rogue named Tree, who is her first friend. Tree later helps her find her way. When the duo later finds Shadowclan, Her mother Berryheart later reveals that they didn’t even try to look for her and just sat vigil. On top of that, Tree is kicked out!

Just imagine having your only friend rejected by your clan. Tree helped her return! Not only that, but they didn’t even check to see if the owl dropped Needlepaw! In A Dangerous Path, Thunderclan looked for Snowkit, a deaf kit, despite being kidnapped by a hawk! This is why Needlepaw doesn’t feel like she belongs. She’s bullied by her clan!

Many people complain about her manipulating Violetpaw. When you really think about it, they both relate to each other. They’re both bullied by Shadowclan, and they both feel like they don’t belong. They would much rather hang out with murderers than Shadowclan, that’s how bad Shadowclan is! Not to mention she’s the reason Twigpaw and Violetpaw are still alive.

Now for the theory part.

As we all know, Berryheart and Sparrowtail are her parents, or at least this is what she thinks. Violetpaw isn’t Clanborn and she’s bullied for that as Shadowclan isn’t good with rogues. Needletail is also bullied and forgotten. What if she isn’t part Shadowclan? Neither Berryheart nor Sparrowtail look like her. Now let’s look at Skyclan.

Looking at all the gray cats in Skyclan, there’s Echosong, Waspwhisker, Plumwillow, Harrybrook, Stormheart, Mistfeather, and Mintfur. Any of these could be Needletail’s actual parent, could they? No. First of all, Echosong is eliminated because she’s a medicine cat, and there’s no reason why she should break the medicine cat code. It can’t be Waspwhisker, as all three of his kits are revealed. Same with Plumwillow. Harrybrook doesn’t have a mate, Stormheart and Mistfeather are dead, and that leaves us with Mintfur.

Mintfur was a queen at the beginning of Hawkwing’s Journey. Her kits were already born by the battle but were very young. Their names were never mentioned. Mintfur stayed at the gorge with Nettlesplash, but it was mentioned that Mintfur and one kit of her’s would return. Needletail acts similarly to young Nettlesplash. Mintfur’s gray pelt is the same shade as Needletail’s. This might sound crazy, but it could be possible. Share your opinion below! Thanks for reading!


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  • Good article! 😀 I feel like, even just in The Apprentice’s Quest, we see much character development in Needletail. She is shown as a bossy, independent apprentice who does and says what she wants! But her sacrifice for Violetpaw in Shattered Sky made it all up.

    Now for the parent thing, I have to say that I do believe that Needletail’s parents are Berryheart and Sparrowtail, as we see Mintfur and her kits in Hawkwing’s Journey, which takes place right before and at the same time as The Apprentice’s Quest and Thunder and Shadow. It is possible that she has parents from outside of ShadowClan, but not SkyClan. SkyClan lived far away, and a kit couldn’t travel so far as an almost newborn without their mother. Besides, gray is a dilution of black, and Berryheart is black and white, therefore Needletail can definitely be gray and white.
    (^Learned that from Amberstorm’s article 😛 )

  • This is a really interesting theory! Great article

  • Nice threory! I sorta believe it but sorta don’t. We’ll just have to wait and see! 😉
    I LOVE Needletail.

  • That art was done by our very own Darkfeather. Her art style is very distinct.

  • As for the parent theory thing, this article was done before Kate confirmed her actual parents were Berryheart and Sparrowtail.
    Also this article was before Shattered Sky for those who are wondering. Yeah I always liked Needletail!

  • I love Needletail! She’s such a complex character. I hope she’s not dead, and unless the writers say for 100% sure that she’s dead, I’m definitely believing that she escaped by the subtext of SS. There’s no way she’s dead.

  • Okay that actually makes sense =) I haven’t read Hawkwing’s Journey but Needletail never seemed like she was Shadowclan, if you know what I mean. I was like WHAT THE HECK when she joined the Kin, that so wasn’t like her… but she did stand up for Violetpaw, which was cool. When I read The Apprentice’s Quest, I was thinking ALDERTAIL/NEEDLEHEART YES because I totally shipped Alderpaw&Needlepaw/Alderheart&Needletail, but then she DIED. Well, they think she died. I kinda hope that she comes back and her and Alderheart have illegitimate kits together =D

    • I feel the exact same, Bluefire! I kind of have mixed feelings on Needletail. She was okay during the journey in the Apprentice’s Quest, but became more irritating when she joined the Kin and fell for Rain. But her standing up for Violetpaw was a good thing that I liked about Needletail.

      I felt like THE ONLY ONE who shipped Needle x Alder! Finally! Somebody else loves this ship!! 😀

      • Lol I thought that too! and kinda wished, but Needlepaw/Needletail was too proud for him. So i think it was ok not to NeedleXAlder but I could feel his heart break. MEDICINE CATS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO HAVE KITS it is just cruel. Kind of like being nun or monk, but i guess it makes romantic accidents more exciting like with LeafpoolXCrowfeather

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