Rainflower’s Relationship with Crookedstar: Why it’s worse than you think by Ghostwhisper

Ghostwhisper talks about Rainflower’s relationship with her son, Crookedstar.

Art by PureSpiritFlower

Everyone who’s read Crookedstar’s Promise knows about how much Rainflower’s neglect and hurtful words towards him shaped his path into training with a Dark Forest cat-even though he did so unknowingly. For those who are unfamiliar with his story, I will sum it up.
Stormkit was born along with his brother, Oakkit, in the middle of a thunderstorm in a hollow oak tree. One day, they are both playing at Sunningrocks when Goosefeather comes up to them and gives Stormkit a scare. He slips, hits his jaw on a rock, and Mudfur carries him back to the camp. A moon later, he notices Rainflower doesn’t even look at him anymore when she comes to visit. Stormkit is allowed to go back to the nursery, but he has his own nest where Oakkit shares with Rainflower. This causes an argument between Shellheart, his father, and Rainflower. Later, Stormkit is renamed to Crookedkit, and Crookedkit looks in a puddle and sees his deformed jaw. Crookedkit runs away a little while later in search of the Moonstone, but returns when Mapleshade, a Dark Forest cat who Crookedkit believes is a StarClan warrior, tells him that he can’t stay away from his Clan for any longer. A little while after that, Crookedkit is made into Crookedpaw. His mentor is Cederpelt. While an apprentice, he saves Willopaw’s life, he is made into a warrior a day later. His new name is Crookedjaw. When his father, the deputy, retires, Mapleshade sends a sign that Crookedjaw should be deputy through a squirrel with a crooked jaw. When Hailstar, the leader, dies, he recieves his nine lives and breaks contact with Mapleshade.
So now, we get to the point of this article, Rainflower. In the beginning of the story, she was a perfect mother. She cared about her kits, calling them things like “little warrior”. There didn’t seem to be any competition over the brothers about who would be the favorite before Stormkit’s accident. But, when Stormkit broke his jaw, that all changed. Rainflower now had the ugliest kit in the whole Clan-possibly the world. What had happened to her handsome little warrior? Many people try to defend Rainflower as just being in grieving because one of her kits is now deformed. Being in grieving is, in my opinion, no excuse for her behavior towards her son. Take Millie, for example. Millie is the direct opposite of Rainflower. When her daughter, Briarlight, was crushed by a falling tree and her hind legs rendered useless, she gave all her love to her injured kit, pushing away her healthy ones. It is almost impossible for Millie to have not been in grieving, since in a cat world, being paralyzed is probably a death sentence. Briarlight’s injury was much worse than Stormkit’s. Rainflower became borderline verbally abusive to her son, and heavily favored Oakkit from the accident onwards. Take this quote from the book for example.
“Rainflower pressed against her warrior kit. ‘I’m so proud of you.’
Oakheart caught Crookedpaw’s eye. ‘It’s your turn next.’ he purred.
Rainflower flicked her ears. ‘Does that matter right now?’ she murmured. ‘He’ll never be as good as you.’
From this excerpt only, I think it’s safe to say Rainflower preferred her non-injured kit better. I have more, though. Crookedkit always felt guilty he couldn’t please his mother. He would do anything to make her proud. Right after a Sunningrocks battle, Rainflower says, “Well done, Crookedpaw.” He was thrilled when his mother said that. Crookedkit trained in the Dark Forest because he thought it was StarClan. He wanted to fight, be the best warrior ever, and make his family proud of him. We know as readers that Mapleshade is a Dark Forest cat and Crookedkit made the wrong decision to train with her. I want to ask you something. Would Crookedkit have trained in the Dark Forest if it weren’t for Rainflower? What if she had been loving and accepting of the accident and treated her poor son with kindness? Maybe instead of Crookedstar, we would have had a Stormstar. A stable leader who wouldn’t dream of training with wicked cats. Thanks for reading my Crookedstar and Rainflower article. What do you think of Rainflower? Tell me in the comments!

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  • I see a ton of valid points here in the comments and the article really touches into their character. I think that they’re relationship is much worse than you think because the verbal and emotional abuse she used. Degrading Crookedstar and trying to break him for a facial deformity, favouring Oakheart, being so bitter she can’t even be proud when he becomes leader and try to redeem herself and take Duskwaters place in giving Crookedstar the life of mothers love, being so strongly opinionated over her sons deformity that she fights with everyone who wants to connect with him (I.e Shellheart and brambleberry), not being relieved when her son returns from running away but instead annoyed, forcing the leader to change his name! I could go on and on about how selfish and cruel she was just because she couldn’t keep an eye on her sons to keep them in camp! I have no sympathy for Rainflower whatsoever because she doesn’t deserve it. No mother should emotionally abuse their child into lying awake each night yearning to be better and wondering what is wrong with them. The Erins went into great depth with this relationship and touched on a subject that actually happens in real life. Favouritism is real and it degrades kids worldwide. I cannot believe people justify her actions for grief when in reality It was all because she couldn’t deal with the reputation of having an ugly kit.

  • Those are some good points. I don’t think Crookedstar would have trained with Mapleshade, bc he only did it bc he thought he had to prove himself to his clan and his mother since neither of them accepted him (well, a few of his clanmates) I actually bought Crookedstar’s Promise before I read it, and although I like the plot and think it’s interesting, giving a little more background to his and Oakheart’s life (along with Leapordstar’s) I didn’t very much like his personality. He was oblivious, like with Mapleshade. And selfish, cocky, prideful, not very smart… do I have to say more? I think Oakheart would have made a whole lot better leader than Crookedstar
    -And I hate Rainflower for shunning her son just bc he looked ugly to her bc of his jaw

  • no offence but I dislike like the picture on this article as Rainflower looks more like a lion than a cat 😐

  • I think she was a bad mother to start with. An even worse mate. I love her name, but she’s kind of a jerk.

  • in the book rainflower is rude to poor stormkit rainflower said at the battle for sunningrocks she said “i made sure that oakheart to keep an close eye on you” very hurtful