Mapleshade: Is She Redeemable? by Sharptail

Sharptail analyzes the morality of Mapleshade’s actions.

Artwork by Lithestep

Ah, Mapleshade. Plenty hate her, plenty love her. I can’t wait to read the flame war of comments on this article. Before we properly get to the titular question, let’s establish three things first:

– What she did was wrong. Murder is wrong in all instances other than self-defense, as is stated by most western legal systems (not a lawyer nor have academically studied Law, so correct me if I’m wrong). I’m not saying that she’s a bad cat, but that one of her actions was objectively evil.
– The motivation behind her killing Ravenwing, Frecklewish, and Appledusk was her grief and anger over her dead kits.
– Previous to her exile, she had been a loyal ThunderClan cat.

Now, let’s ask the question. Was/is she redeemable? By redeemable, I mean two things:
– Could she have become a good cat in the right circumstances post-death?
– Could she be viewed as a good cat overall?

What we know is that, when she’s sent to the Dark Forest (as is canon), she becomes bitter and driven insane. She becomes murderous and seeks revenge upon the Clans.

So what if StarClan had said, on the day she died, “Hey, she was a grieving mother and she had been exiled from her Clan. What could she have done?” What if she went to StarClan? What if she had been reunited with her dead kits who assured her that they were fine?

If we look at Ashfur, a very morally objectionable cat, he went to StarClan and he seemed to suddenly turn good. Obviously morality doesn’t work like that, but you get what I’m trying to say. He didn’t fight for the Dark Forest in TLH, that’s for sure. So what if he did go to the Place of No Stars? From his character pre-mortem, I’d say that he’d definitely be headed down Mapleshade’s path. See this excellent video by spinosaurus rex for a great insight into Ashfur’s psychology.

So why are we talking about Ashfur, I hear you ask? Isn’t this article about Mapleshade? Well, if we think about it, Ashfur’s post-mortem happenings just so happen to mirror Mapleshade’s. He’s the anti-Mapleshade, in a way. Of course, they’re two fundamentally different characters, but there are parallels, particularly in their vengeful psyches.

So I’d imagine that, given the chance to go to StarClan, Mapleshade would likely turn out a lot like our Ashfur.

Hmm. Well, that was a little anti-climactic. Eh.

I mean to leave this open-ended for you guys! What’s your opinion? Should Mapleshade have gone to StarClan in order to see redemption? And I never answered the second question because I wanted for everyone to come to their own conclusions as this is probably the most subjective topic in the fandom: could she be viewed as a good cat overall? Because remember, morality is defined by what you want, not what you do. What I mean is say that a homeless mother steals some bread from a store to feed her starving children. This is a lot more morally grey than a rich millionaire stealing bread just because they feel like it, even though they both did the same thing: steal bread. The former is trying to feed her children, and the latter is trying to get a cheap thrill out of stealing. Just keep that in mind when answering that!

Anyway, this has been Sharptail, over and out.

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  • I really, really hate Frecklewish! she’s the worst cat ever! She should go to DK. When Mapleshade is chased out, she just watches Mapleshade’s kits drown and does nothing but stand there, watching. If she had done something, the kits wouldn’t have drowned!!!

    • I disagree. She would have been completely useless in the water, and she thought the kits survived. All the “should have done something” comes from Mapleshade madness.

  • I think there are some things Mapleshade could’ve done differently, such as maybe NOT go to RiverClan. Take the kits into the even wilder wild! Don’t trust Appledusk! Ever! I think that, if she had thought about what she had done and had some regrets, maybe she’d get accepted into StarClan? You’re opening an old wound by not letting her see her kits. Maybe if she was let into StarClan to see the kits that caused the problem, she’d have regrets and all. Ravenwing exposed her, so yes, he deserved to be ended. But maybe not as brutal. Frecklewish deserved it all. She broke the warrior code by standing there when Mapleshade’s kits were DROWNING! And Appledusk also deserved it. Give Mapleshade some support! She just lost everything!