Parallel Paths: Bluestar and Mapleshade by Viperfrost

Viperfrost compares Bluestar and Mapleshade, two unfortunate mothers from the series.

Art by ClimbToTheStars

Hello, fellow BlogClanners! I’m Viperfrost, a new member (though I’ve been a Warriors fan for years), and this is my first article. Please note that I have read up to Book Four of AVoS, and therefore may include facts as far as that. I’ll be making a series of articles where I’ll be discussing instances where you can draw parallels between certain cats’ experiences, personalities, or reactions to similar events, and their differences that led them down their particular paths. I hope you find this topic as interesting as I do! 😊

First up, we have Bluestar and Mapleshade. There are many ways in which they are similar, including that they were both ambitious “career” cats that sought the leadership of Thunderclan, they both fell in love with/had kits with a tom from Riverclan (in fact, Bluestar’s mate Oakheart was the descendent of Mapleshade’s mate Appledusk!), and they both faced situations that required them to take the kits to Riverclan. Their differences arise because of other cats, not Bluestar and Mapleshade directly. Let me show you what I mean.
Bluestar’s Experience:
1. Bluefur’s temporary mate, while I don’t personally like his personality, was unquestionably a good caretaker of the kits. Oakheart was a kind, caring father that took the kits into Riverclan when Bluefur needed him to.
2. Featherwhisker (Bluestar’s medicine cat before Spottedleaf came along, if I remember correctly) said nothing about the kits’ father, even though it is implied in both Bluestar’s Prophecy and Spottedleaf’s Heart that he suspected something.
3. There was even a cat, Thrushpelt, who was willing to pretend to be the kits’ father, if she wanted him to.
4. The leader at the time, Sunstar, was wise and compassionate, and he might not have sent Bluefur into exile even if he knew that the kits were fathered by a Riverclan cat.
All of these factors worked in her favor, and enabled her to bring Mistystar and Stonefur to Riverclan, though poor Mosskit tragically died on the way there. Bluefur ascended to the deputy position, and eventually became Bluestar as she had hoped. After her nine lives, she made it into Starclan.

Mapleshade’s Experience:
Bluestar’s experience was in sharp contrast to Mapleshade’s.
1. Mapleshade’s temporary mate, Appledusk, was not a very good mate or father, in my opinion. When Mapleshade tried to cross the river, as Bluefur did with her kits, the kits were washed away by the river during a storm. They drowned, because Frecklewish, who was watching the whole thing, didn’t intervene to save their lives. Mapleshade persevered and went to Riverclan, where Appledusk rejected her, blamed her for her kits’ deaths, and revealed that he had taken another mate (Reedshine) in Riverclan. He even called for his leader to deny her a night’s stay in Riverclan.
2. The Thunderclan medicine cat at the time, Ravenwing, sold her secret out to the clan leader, Oakstar, almost immediately after finding out.
3. Oakstar’s son Birchface had recently died at the paws of Appledusk during a battle. Interestingly enough, most of the clan (including Oakstar and his daughter Frecklewish) assumed that Mapleshade’s kits were Birchface’s, perhaps hinting at a close friendship (or perceived relationship) between the two. Mapleshade, in lack of a better solution, doesn’t deny it, though she doesn’t confirm it either.
4. Oakstar, after discovering that the kits he had thought were his grandkits were actually the kits of his son’s murderer, acted impulsively by banishing Mapleshade and her kits during a deadly storm.
These factors worked against her, and led to the death of her kits. Driven by hallucinations of her kits’ voices pleading for her to save them, she killed Frecklewish, Ravenwing, and Appledusk in order to set her kits free. Weakened by her trials, she was killed by Appledusk’s apprentice, whose name I cannot recall.

Questions for BlogClanners:
1. Oakstar’s younger son, Pinestar, was born after the whole Mapleshade fiasco and his viewpoint regarding how all the warriors were dying so unnecessarily may have influenced early on because of how his brother died. Therefore, Mapleshade’s story might have influenced Pinestar’s decision to abandon his clan and his son Tigerkit. This actually brings up an interesting question. Mapleshade seems to have a reasonable enough (for the DF, anyway) working relationship with Tigerstar and Hawkfrost. If she followed her ex-mate Appledusk’s descendants in order to cause them pain, why wouldn’t she follow the descendants of Oakstar, who drove her and her kits out? Is that why she was talking about how Tigerstar was meant to end up in the DF in Tigerstar’s Fury?
2. As I’ve established, many of the factors that influenced Bluestar’s rise and Mapleshade’s fall were due to the cats around them. Do you think that this means that we could have had, under different circumstances, a noble and wise Maplestar that went to Starclan or a vicious Bluefur that ended up in the Dark Forest?

Alright, that sums up my article! I hope you liked it, and be sure to put your thoughts in the comments. 😊
(Art Credit to ClimbToTheStars on DeviantArt)

  20 Replies to “Parallel Paths: Bluestar and Mapleshade by Viperfrost”

  1. Willowbrook
    November 21, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    its beautiful. great article!


  2. Lilacs That Wave in the November Breeze
    November 22, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Nice article! I have never thought about this!

    Live. Laugh. Love. Blog.

  3. Maplefrost
    December 26, 2018 at 6:15 am

    Great article!

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