Mapleshade: Misguided or Truly Evil? by Birdtail

Birdtail discusses Mapleshade’s character.

Art by Warrior-Junie

Okay, so here’s the way I see it.
Mapleshade is not truly evil.
It all started when Ravenwing revealed that her kits were actually Appledusk’s. Then, she was banished from the Clan. If you consider her evil for loving a RiverClan warrior, think again. She is not evil just because she had kits with a RiverClan warrior. Graystripe and Silverstream had another relationship like that.
The next thing that happened is that she tried to swim the river. She lost ALL THREE of her kits that way. That’s heartbreaking. Getting dumped by Appledusk right after probably broke her heart even more. The next thing she knew, she had been banished by TWO Clans, all in the same day.
She heard her kits’ voices in her mind. “Mama, help me!” “Mama! Mama!” Etc. So she wanted to get her revenge.
The most obvious choice was her first target, Ravenwing. He was the one who got the Clans into this mess. So she snuck into the Moonstone, killed him, etc. Uncovering his body was a little much, but she was probably still blinded by grief and stuff. Maybe anger that nobody helped her kits. Either way, she set one of her kits free.
The second target was Frecklewish. She had learned from Nettlepaw, a ThunderClan apprentice, that Frecklewish had watched her kits die. So of course she went and decided to kill her. That would set another one of her kits free! She unblocked the adder nest at Snakerocks, and lured Frecklewish there. Then a snake bit Frecklewish. She went blind and died. But she set one of her kits free. And it was still pretty recent after her kits’ deaths, so she could’ve just been driven by her anger and grief that they were dead.
The third target was Appledusk himself. She kidnapped his apprentice, Perchpaw, and blamed him for killing their kits. He blamed her back. She ended up trying to kill Reedshine and Reedshine’s unborn kits, probably to show Appledusk what she was feeling. Sure, that may be a little overkill, but strong emotions like grief and anger blind you and make you make some pretty bad decisions. Unfortunately she killed Appledusk instead.
Then, she was fatally injured and died. She may have arrived at the Dark Forest, but maybe she just changed in the midst of all this.
Overall, I think Mapleshade may have just been blinded by anger at RiverClan (especially Appledusk) and grief for her kits. This may have led to a change in personality. She only killed to avenge her kits. Would you do that if you were in her situation? What’s your opinion? Do you think she was just misguided or that she is truly evil?

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  • I honestly have to say, I think Mapleshade is truly evil. She became my least favorite character the moment she was introduced. It was her fault her kits died, and that’s no excuse for her to become an insane murderer. Other characters had to suffer through loss of their kits, and they never went this mad! She tried to destroy poor Crookedstar and almost killed Sandstorm because of jealousy! I’m not gonna keep going because I wrote an article on this topic XD. It probably won’t be published for a while. But anyway, I’ve never really liked Mapleshade(that’s my opinion so please respect that). 🙂

    • (I do respect your opinion. Really.) I feel like she’s somewhat in between. The other characters who suffered from the loss of their kits weren’t exiled from their Clan OR abandoned by their mate. So she is quite misguided as well. And Crookedstar’s life was not caused by Mapleshade, she already knew it was going to happen anyway. But I agree with you about the Sandstorm part. After all, why wouldn’t she be jealous? Sandstorm’s had everything she ever wanted.

    • I understand where you’re coming from, bu I think this article is trying to say that Mapleshade was blinded by grief and was hallucinating, then when she got sent to the place of no stars she saw starclan didn’t care for her. she had asked starclan o stop her if she was wrong but they didn’t. In the dark forest she grew hatred and then turned truly evil, no longer grieving. Yes, she IS evil, but she was also blinded with grief. I hope I hope I don’t sound rude qwq

    • I highly respect your opinion, but how can you ignore her past? If you say a cat is “good” what makes the cat so good? Well, they were taught to be fair and respect the code, and were influenced to do the right thing. Mapleshade is a “bad” cat because she was influenced to do bad things. Her kits died, but she could have steered to a path of non-destruction if Appledusk and everyone else helped and supported her after her lose. Instead, they turned against her, and this influenced her to be a “bad” person. She didn’t just become the “bad person” from losing her kits. It is because everyone turned against her and cast her out. The story of Mapleshade shows how easily people can be influenced to do horrible things by other people that are no better than themselves.

    • my opinion on the matter-

      mapleshade is not “evil”. to be fair, all the cats who mapleshade killed had kitten blood on their paws. because of ravenwing, mapleshade and the crew where exiled and made homeless- thats not bad? mapleshade asked ravenwing to not tell any warriors about appledusk (if i recalled my memory correctly) yet he publicly exposed her anyways because ravenwing is an asshole. you can’t sit here and tell me that mapleshade’s kits drowning was her fault? mapleshade had been exiled- she couldn’t stay in thunderclan legally anymore. i mean listen, if some dude got me pregnant then got me kicked out guess who i’m going to? the dude who got me pregnant. and besides, what thunderclan did mapleshade was wrong on so many levels. she had to go to a different clan, so why not the clan where the father was? after all, hes partially responsible for the kits as well. not only did appledusk publically humiliate mapleshade, he also cheated on her and rejected her. even after he found out his kittens with her had died. darkstars exile was extremely unjust and cruel considering everything mapleshade was going thru. now on to frecklewish. frecklewish was introduced early in the novella and we understand how upset she is when she finds out mapleshade got pregnant from appledusk. but frecklewish also sat there and watched her kits drown. how is that not in the slightest bit evil? these three cats deserved what happened to them. they all broke the warrior code by exiling a queen and her kits. they’re all responsible for what happened to her kits. mapleshade did become evil after starclan rejected her, but who wouldn’t? mapleshade was completely justified in what she did. she wanted an eye for an eye, and she did everything she could to do it. mapleshade was also broken hearted, in mourning, and pissed off. and if you wanna call mapleshade evil from the beginning then fine- but so long as you acknowledge that ravenwing, appledusk, and frecklewish are “evil” too.


  • I feel that it’s all Appledusk’s fault that lead to Mapleshade’s fury because Appledusk put it Clan over Mapleshade, and I guess he can explain that to Dovewing in StarClan, and he made ShadowClan refuse to take her in! Is it all his fault?!!

  • I personally think Mapleshade was, while certainly a villain, also a victim of circumstance. I hear everyone all like “The chain of evil (referring to all the main Clan villains who were influenced by the Dark Forest cats in some way) started with Mapleshade, or if you want to be more shortsighted with Thistleclaw… some of the more hardcore Mapleshade apologists might go with Appledusk, or Ravenwing, or…. anyway, I think we can trace the problem back quite a bit farther than that. In DotC, Clear Sky was originally the one to set borders and defend them, seeing anyone outside of his group as an enemy. Does this sound familiar yet? Even after his “reformation” and his push for the abolishment of borders, the other cats considered it to be too late, and separated into the five Clans, which would continue Clear Sky’s legacy of territorialism. Now, I’m not opposed to cats living in different camps under different leaderships if that’s what they want, and I’m certainly not criticizing Clear Sky for an idea that he himself rejected, but I think that without him and his territorialism, the Clans, even if they did separate, would still be more or less one group, thus falling in love outside of your own Clan wouldn’t be such a problem, and Mapleshade, seeing as she was perfectly fine before all that happened to her, would probably never become evil. If she was the one who organized the Dark Forest and created the chain of evil, then it was only because of the system that had been set in place many, many seasons ago. And then Darktail had the decency to challenge such a divisive system, but then I don’t see why he has any reason to, or at least not the reasons he professed, which seem to be “these cats don’t automatically deserve this land, it belongs to all of us and we should share it!” When his normal ideology seems to be “you deserve whatever you can get, and it’s honorable to take whatever you can from whoever you want, and it is advantageous to disadvantage others…” yet that doesn’t even make any sense, because then he’s like “yet, despite this competitiveness I’m creating, you are all still bound to each other. You must hunt for the group, yet what I really mean is you must hunt for whichever cats manage to be strong enough to fight for the fresh-kill and win.”

  • There is no way that Mapleshade is evil even after being sent to “The Place of No Stars” she acts like a StarClan cat and teaches Crookedstar (Crookedkit at the time) how to always be loyal to your clan no matter what to me she is a StarClan cat and should have never have died in the first place and have to learn the hard by looking at what she has done and staying exiled for the crimes but then try to see if she could gain the kindness or friendship of the other clans and try to see if the could let her in again and forgive what she has done I have great remorse for her and hope she will have a better time and get into a better place than the one she is in also by the way meessed up on that last part so sorry don’t take it wrong way.

    #ScrewAppleduskandRavenwing #Mapleshadegoodluck

  • I accidentally taped the cat button and I don’t think maple was ever evil. Those cats deserved to die because they blamed her for the cause of her kits deaths when they never helped her.

  • I personally agree with you! Mapleshade is tied in my favorite spot (With Ashfur) And I just love when people make actually good and/or valid points about widely disliked characters. It’s nice to see that you respect Mapleshade enough that you think she could change, but personally (Again) I think that her staying as evil is a lot more interesting, also the erins made her an entire novel! Why don’t they use her more?

  • I say she was misguided. She was just setting her kits free. Imagine all of that, and in the end Appledusk has been cheating with REEDSHINE and had KITS with her and said he never loved her.

  • Blame the monster behind the monster. About every dark forest cat was born and influenced to act badly because of something. Mapleshade is no exception. I do not think she should get away scot-free, but you should at least punish the monster that leads to her being evil, which is Appledusk. He should also be punished for his actions. In the end, I think Mapleshade was misguided and a victim to unfairness and cruelty. This made her do horrible things and turn to the dark side

  • I like Mapleshade, but she’s still evil. Frecklewish and Appledusk are jerks, but they’re not evil.
    Technically, StarClan sent Ravenwing that sign, so of course Ravenwing had to tell Oakstar. He did not expected Oakstar to overreact and kick out the kits.
    Frecklewish was only sent by Oakstar to make sure Mapleshade and her kits leave RiverClan territory. I’m not sure if she knew that the Mapleshade-babies were there, and a RiverClan patrol was nearby anyway so she just left. She’s innocent, but she’s still a jerk.
    Now, for Appledusk. Appledusk. Some people just don’t get that jerk doesn’t = evil. Appledusk is a jerk, but he isn’t evil. Although Appledusk “is behind Mapleshade turning evil”, he didn’t intend Mapleshade to go ahead and murder everyone after dumping her for Reedshine. Still a selfish jerk, not evil.
    And Mapleshade. Yes, she was driven by grief, but she let her emotions control her and murder everyone. Her motives are understandable, but not justifiable. And when she arrived in the DF she was happy to be there.
    In any circumstance, murder is not okay unless they are outside of the warrior code, and Maple’s victims, Ravenwing and Frecklewish, still technically followed the code, and Appledusk did break the code by becoming Shaplemade’s mate but then dumped her for RiverClan and Reedshine, so Darkstar and StarClan redeems him.

  • I honestly think she was misguided. Like, if Silverstream was alive, her kits dead and Graystripe regretted falling in love with her. And Thunderclan wouldn’t accept her, would she have become evil? Of course not. I believe Mapleshade was very vulnerable and had a weak heart so she went out to get vegeance.

  • She’s misguided. I feel so sorry for her. She felt pain in losing her kits, and decided to kill because of it. It’s not her fault.

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