Rainshine shares a theory about Alderheart and Spottedleaf. Spoilers for AVOS ahead!
Heyy peoples so I have this headcanon/theory that I would like to share with y’all!
So we know that after a cat fades from StarClan, they become reincarnated.
First of all, it states (somewhere) that cats fade from StarClan when nobody in the living world remembers them. Well, cats like Half Moon should have already faded since there was a point in time when nobody remembers her (before Jayfeather is born/before Jaypaw meets the ancients). Perhaps, instead, it is when the cats feel that they should be reincarnated. This way it is entirely plausible for the ancients to be waiting for the return (?) of Jayfeather/Jay’s Wing.
Another way cats are reincarnated are when they die in the living world. For instance, Spottedleaf would be reincarnated. Perhaps cats like Mapleshade will also be reincarnated, and become the villain in the new arc.
Now, my theory is that after Spottedleaf dies, she gets reincarnated into Alderheart. The gender doesn’t match, but the soul probably doesn’t have a definite physical gender (also maybe they could be genderqueer, who knows). The two cats are both very successful medicine cats, good with herbs, and have a good connection with StarClan. The two have both fallen in love with someone they shouldn’t have, twice. Spottedleaf fell in love with a Dark Forest apprentice. Alderheart has been confirmed to have had feelings for Needletail, which is bad because of the clan difference and the medicine cat code. Then both them fell in love with a kittypet, simultaneously breaking the medicine cat code and the warrior code. (Spottedleaf wasn’t a medicine cat when she fell in love with Thistleclaw). Neither of them chose their kittypet love over their duties. Both of them had a very short time with their kittypet friend. Spottedleaf still loved Firestar very much, so it makes sense that she reincarnates as someone who would be close to Firestar. Squirrelflight’s son, and Firestar’s grandson, Alderheart.
To convince you further, they are both in ThunderClan, and both have amber eyes. Both of them train as warrior apprentices before becoming a medicine cat apprentice. Both of their mentor’s feel disappointed, but know it’s for the best (but this may be because it’s the most reasonable reaction). Both of the cats that they fell in love with a cat that joined something that they shouldn’t have, Thistleclaw and the Dark Forest, and Needletail and Darktail’s Kin. Spottedleaf’s parents had two litters, one of three and one of four. Bramblestar and Squirrelflight also had two litters, even though one of the litters were adopted, but Bramblestar and Squirrelflight were definitely better parents than Crowfeather and Leafpool, so it counts. Both are descended from Spottedpelt, Alderheart through Tigerstar the First. Spottedleaf is even said to heavily resemblance the tortoiseshell.
This is one of my favourite headcanons, I hope you enjoyed!