[a headshot of Hollyleaf with a stem of holly berries and leaves under her ear]

Comparing Hollyleaf and Mapleshade by Brightwing

Brightwing compares Hollyleaf and Mapleshade’s characters.

Art by NeCroven

Warning: Spoilers for Mapleshade’s Vengeance, Hollyleaf’s Story, Power Of Three, Omen Of The Stars and a bit about Tigerstar’s Fury and Crookedstar’s Promise, but that doesn’t really matter.

Hello BlogClanners! Welcome to an incredibly random article which will hopefully not seem quite so random once you’ve got to the end (if you make it that far).

So, as the title says, I will be comparing Hollyleaf and Mapleshade. You might think waaaaaaaaaaa what in StarClan’s name have they got to do with each other, but I shall explain.


– They were both seen as normal cats before a tragic incident happened – emphasis on seen, meaning what other cats think of them; I’ll come back to this in the differences.

We see a lot of Hollyleaf as she grows up since she has a point of view in Power Of Three, and we know that she is a friendly cat who gets on with others and has a best friend in Cinderheart.

Mapleshade also was just an ordinary queen who might find Frecklewish annoying, but I think that Frecklewish probably sees herself as Mapleshade’s friend. As well as this, from Mapleshade’s horror-filled reaction when her mentor Bloomheart agrees to let Oakstar banish Mapleshade and her kits, they had a close relationship as mentor and apprentice.

– After the tragic incident happened, they became a murderer out of grief and spontaneous decisions.

When Hollyleaf finds out that not only were her parents cross-Clans, their relationship also involved a medicine cat – resulting in what I like to call a ‘double cross da code’. This was a shattering revelation on Hollyleaf’s life because she realized that she had been lied to and betrayed by her foster parents and her true parents, so much that she didn’t know who she was anymore. This lead her to kill Ashfur, partly for accidently revealing the secret and partly because she wanted to prevent him from telling the Clans. However she did tell the Clans herself to make them see the truth and hate Squirrelflight and Leafpool, like she did. So Hollyleaf killed Ashfur because in the moment she felt that it was the best decision, though she probably regretted it after, because of the grief put through her when she learnt the lie about her parents.

Mapleshade’s tragic incident was her kits drowning, although this wouldn’t have happened if Oakstar hadn’t banished her in the first place (boo Oakstar). When her kits drown, she at first denies their death, and then is rejected by another Clan leader (Darkstar) so she has no where to go. She kills Ravenwing, Frecklewish and Appledusk because she wants to get vengeance on the cats that could have stopped her kits dying, and she wants to free in her mind her kits and avenge their deaths. She is obviously suffering from a mental disease that causes her to hear their voices from the grief at her kit’s death.

– They are cared for by another cat not from the Clans.

Hollyleaf is looked after by Fallen Leaves, a spirit of an Ancient, and it is him (or the spirit of what is left of him) that restores Hollyleaf to back to who she was. He heals her leg that was hurt by the rock fall, and starts going on ‘patrols’, which remind Hollyleaf of ThunderClan.

Mapleshade is looked after by Myler, a kind kittypet who’s barn Mapleshade walks into. Myler tries to stop Mapleshade’s bleeding with some moss and offers his company to her. After all she’d been through Mapleshade was too weak to reject Myler, and even ‘longed to call him back’ when Myler leaves her, hinting that maybe Mapleshade didn’t mind his company.


– Their characters and backstory.

Hollyleaf stuck to the warrior code religiously and wanted to be the best cat she could for her Clan. After realizing that the path of a medicine cat was not meant for her, she had ambitions on becoming Clan leader, which I think might have happened if she’d never killed Ashfur or the Great Battle didn’t happen. She was the grand-daughter of the famous Firestar, and was involved (or so she thought) in a prophecy. Hollyleaf was a young, loyal warrior before she became a murderer.

Since there’s only one book that looks only at Mapleshade’s life story, you don’t get a lot of insight into what her backstory was. She is simply a warrior in the allegiances of Mapleshade’s Venegance and all we know is that her mentor was Bloomheart. But the events leading up to her tragic incident were very different to Hollyleaf’s. Mapleshade fell in love with a RiverClan tom, which just happened to be the same tom who killed Oakstar’s son in battle. Unlucky, huh? They mated and she had kits, and then instead of telling the Clan the truth, she let them believe that they were Oakstar’s son’s kits. That was a BAD IDEA. Maybe if she’d told Oakstar as soon as she realized that she was pregnant who the kits’ father was, he wouldn’t have been so harsh on her – or at least she could have found somewhere for them to grow up in away from the river, and they never could have drowned. Maybe she and Myler could have raised the kits together? 😛 Anyway, before Mapleshade became a murderer, she had already broken the code and as good as lied to her Clan. So like I said in the similarities, although other cats saw her as a loyal warrior, she wasn’t.

– Reasons for killing.

Mapleshade killed three cats to avenge her three kits’ death because she saw them as their faults. Hollyleaf killed Ashfur to shut him up. ‘Nuff said.

– What they did after the murder.

After escaping to the tunnels, Hollyleaf eventually went back to ThunderClan and every cat knew the truth about Ashfur’s death. It was very emotional and happy…until she was killed off in the Great Battle 9 Now that was a shame.

After Mapleshade’s final murder, she died, which rather limits what you can do 😛 . She went to the Dark Forest and manipulated the thoughts and dreams of Crookedstar and Tigerstar, and then helped train the Dark Forest trainees in preparation for the Great Battle. So even after her death, Mapleshade continued to do bad.

– Their reaction to the cat that helps them.

While Hollyleaf welcomes Fallen Leaves’ company, Mapleshade mostly rejects it until the end. (of the book and her life)

– StarClan’s judgement of them.

Mapleshade is sent to the Dark Forest, and Hollyleaf goes to StarClan. While some people might argue that this is unfair, I think that that was the right decision since Hollyleaf made it right with her Clan and Mapleshade killed their members and helped try to destroy it using Tigerstar.


So, in conclusion, while they did do the same kind of crime, Hollyleaf and Mapleshade have different attitudes to what they did and why they did it, showing a clear difference of character. In my opinion, out of these two, Hollyleaf is the goodie and Mapleshade is the baddie. What do you people think?

Thanks for reading my article and bye!

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  • I love Mapleshade AND Hollyleaf. In fact, they’re both in my top ten favorite Warriors cats.
    And they’re both GOODIES.

  • I hate Holly, Love Maple. Like, in your article: Mapleshade killed to avenge her kits’ deaths. Hollyleaf killed to shut a cat up. Seriously?

    • Mapleshade killed innocent cats to avenge her kits’ deaths. Even if you can defend Frecklewish and Ravenwing, it wasn’t Appledusk’s fault their kits died. She took them to the river. He told her to keep them away. Killing Appledusk was her own selfish way of avenging how she was hurt and she killed Spottedleaf because she got in the way of killing Sandstorm because she had everything she wanted. That was most definitely not to avenge her kits.

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