(REMAKE) Defending Needletail by Ebonypaw

Ebonypaw defends Needletail again, post-Shattered Sky.

Artist unknown

I decided to make another Needletail article. The other one I made felt outdated since it was made before Shattered Sky came out, and I now have a lot more to say about her. So here we go:

Needletail is a very unique and creative character. Not every cat has to follow the warrior code. Some just need either more time to get used to it or maybe it just doesn’t fit them.

Needletail is an obviously flawed character. Sneaking out at night, betraying her clan, leaving on a quest meant for Thunderclan without permission, these all break the warrior code, but are also flaws and makes her awesome.

However what made her more interesting is her backstory. In the Thunder And Shadow Bonus Scene, she’s shown to actually listen to what her mentor Tawnypelt says. What made her change however is when she was kidnapped by an owl. She meets a loner named Tree who helps her back to Shadowclan. When she’s back, she’s told no one tried to search for her. “Needlepaw blinked. “You sat vigil?” She could hardly believe her ears. “Weren’t you searching for me?” Her gaze flashed accusingly to Tawnypelt. “I waited for you to come find me.” “I saw the owl take you!” Tawnypelt’s eyes were still wide. “You were so limp, I thought it had broken your spine.” Needlepaw swallowed back hurt. How had her Clanmates given up on her so easily?” -Thunder And Shadow (Bonus Scene), page 22-23. Shadowclan could’ve sent a patrol to go look for her. There would be a chance Needletail could’ve escaped. She felt like her clan didn’t care for her because they gave up on her. Even Thunderclan sent patrols to look for Snowkit when a hawk kidnapped him. What made her feel even worse is when Tree didn’t join the clan. Tree brought back a lost clanmate, surely Shadowclan could’ve shown a but more gratitude for that. “You’re not exactly making him feel welcome! Needlepaw wanted to wail, but she didn’t speak. She felt too helpless.” -Thunder And Shadow (Bonus Scene), page 25. What made her feel even worse is when she realized Tree actually wanted to join Shadowclan. “Needlepaw saw sadness mist his gaze. I wasn’t imagining it! He did ant to join the Clan.” -Thunder And Shadow (Bonus Scene),page 26. Tree was the closest cat Needlepaw had to a sibling. She didn’t have any littermates growing up, and that made her feel lonely.

The whole reason why Needletail wanted to join Alderheart on his quest is because she wanted to be included in something. Shadowclan never made her feel welcome and she never really had real friends. “Alderpaw’s pelt prickled with irritation at her rudeness, and yet he sensed that Needlepaw was much happier than she was prepared to admit. There’s something sort of … lonely about her, he thought. As the sky began to flush red where the sun would rise, Alderpaw saw Needlepaw’s face more clearly. And he thought he could see in her eyes how pleased she was to be included” -The Apprentice’s Quest, page 152. Thunderclan made her feel more welcome than Shadowclan ever did. So much that she asked to sit vigil with the other cats for Sandstorm. “I know Sandstorm wasn’t my Clanmate,” she murmured; to Alderpaw’s surprise she sounded almost shy. “But I traveled with her long enough to know what a great cat she was. May I keep vigil with you?” -The Apprentice’s Quest, page 184. She even wanted to keep the quest going after the vigil was over. “What?” It was Needlepaw who spoke, her neck fur bristling. “Sandstorm died trying to help us complete this quest. If we stop now, won’t she have died in vain?”-The Apprentice’s Quest, page 186. While not showing it, Needlepaw was depressed to go back to Shadowclan after the quest was over.

The whole reason why she left to join the rogues is because she thought the rogues were nicer than Shadowclan was. They made her feel welcome and think they were nice. She realized how the rogues were worse than she thought they were once Darktail murdered Rain. “Needletail’s neck began to bristle. “I don’t want to catch prey because Darktail says so,” she muttered.” -Shattered Sky, page 63. Rain’s death snapped her out of her loyalty to The Kin and made her realize what she did wrong.

Needletail was also the reason why Twigpaw and Violetpaw didn’t starve to death. She led Alderpaw to the sewers and found them. Needletail and Violetpaw’s friendship is also one of my favorite friendships in this series. They can both relate to each other due to both feeling unwelcome to Shadowclan. “Shadowclan doesn’t want me. No one cares about me there. I’m so lonely!” Needlepaw’s eyes glistened kindly. “I know how that feels, kit.” She ran her tail softly along Violetkit’s spine. Then she puffed out her chest as she thought she’d made an important decision. “But that’s going to change. From now on, I’m going to look out for you. You’re going to be fine.” -Thunder And Shadow, page 50. Needletail also gave up her life to save Violetpaw. She realized all the mistakes she made. “All this that’s happening to me . . . it’s not your fault, Violetpaw. All the mistakes we made were mine.”-Shattered Sky, page 169. “Run! Now! Make this count, Violetpaw!”-Shattered Sky, page 218.

Fan Articles


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  • It makes my eyes tear up when I think of how Needletail gave her life for Violetpaw. It was just HEARTBREAKING. I did NOT like when they made her be alive/dead, i think she has more than deserved her rest. I mean, look how much she suffered! No need to be tortured for the rest of a book for no reason.

  • I wasn’t the biggest fan of her when she was alive but I think she gets way too much unnecessary hate. And she definitely didn’t deserve to die the way that she did I mean her death was extremely gory and traumatic.

  • Thank you so much for defending Needletail! I love her so much and this is why. Also another reason why I loved her is because she gave the small piece of prey she had to the riverclan prisoners and didn’t take any for herself. Her death hit me hard and she’s always gonna be in my top 5 favourites. I wish she could live again.