Ravenwing Defence by Mellowix

Mellowix shares their opinions of Ravenwing.

Art by Warrior Cats Project (tumblr)

Ravenwing confirmed to have no ill-tent. Simply revealed the secret because he felt forced by his duty as Medicine cat because Starclan themselves told him to and his Clanmates had the fight to know when one of them is traitor by mating with an enemy cat who killed two of their own. Even guilty/remorseful, not truly wanting to do it:

“You have told me plenty,” Ravenwing responded, and there was *sadness in his sky-colored eyes*.
“The truth must come out.”
“Please don’t say anything!” Mapleshade begged. “These are ThunderClan’s kits!”
“They are half RiverClan,” Ravenwing corrected, his voice as hard as ice. “Our Clanmates
deserve to know. I’m sorry, Mapleshade. Sorry for you, but even sorrier for these kits. They will end
up suffering for the lies that you have told.” – Chapter 3 of Mapleshade’s vengeance.

Mapleshade is a massive hypocrite, as reasonable, if not more, for her kits’ deaths as any of her victims: Being banished for her crimes/lies and making them swim in dangerous waters. It was Oakstar who choose to exile innocent kits and endanger them and his alone. Ravenwing shouldn’t be blamed for Oakstar’s or Mapleshade’s crimes. He received an omen from Starclan themselves and simply fulfilled his duty as a Medicine cat , interpreted it and told his leader. It’s even apart of the Medicine cat code: “A medicine cat must be able to interpret signs from StarClan.”. He shouldn’t be punished for not being willing to become a liar/traitor himself, just to protect someone from their own crimes. Especially when he’s Thunderclan only Medicine cat, with everyone relying on him to keep them alive. Medicine cat lying have never ended well: Both Yellowfang and Leafpool’s kits were ‘punished by Starclan’ with Brokenstar’s crimes and Jayfeather’s blindness. Also, Hawkfrost faking an omen and manipulating his Medicine cat sister is one of the reasons he’s in the Dark Forest.

I feel like people have impossible standards for Ravenwing, it’s impossible for him not to either lie/betray or snitch. He has no choice but to choose a side and ‘betray’ the other. Mapleshade was a traitor and danger to the Clan. She could have: Leaked information to Riverclan, Constantly trespassed on enemy territory, etc. All things that could of provoked more attacks from Riverclan, worsening the war and possibly leading to many deaths. Mapleshade could of even attacked/killed a Clanmate herself for all Ravenwing knew.

And she already doing things like that; by taking herself and her kits so close to the Riverclan border and speaking to Appledusk. It was lucky the Riverclan patrol simply escorted them out and only a Medicine cat witnessed it, it could of easily been taken the wrong way and led to a battle.

Ravenwing must choice between one traitor+Unknown gamble with their kits or literally everyone else, including other Queens/Kits, Elders and Apprentices. Ravenwing chooses to protect the majority over the individual. Once again, I’d like to reinforce the fact that Ravenwing had no way of knowing Oakstar would exile the kits. Medicine cats ain’t expected to get to know the Leader personally. Specially since this involved Oakstar’s son, he would of act multiple ways. Another factor, that I think should offer him some leeway, is the fact he’s young and inexperienced, even less reason why he wouldn’t really know his leader. His mentor, Oatspeckle had died just 4 moons before Ravenwing was sent this omen from Starclan themselves and forced to make this very tricky decision. So Ravenwing thought he could rely on his more experienced leader to make a right decision. Unfortunately, Oakstar just so happened to turn out to be a terrible leader, deciding to punish kits for their parents’ crimes. It the reasonability of the Leader/Judge to be fair with their verdicts, not the accuser.

Also take note that Ravenwing never does state the kits should be punished or showed signs of supporting it. The only quote thing that may be interpreted as that is: “They will end up suffering for the lies that you have told.”. However ‘suffering’ is an extremely vauge and broad term, which literally refer to anything. It very specifically meaning Ravenwing will know for sure that the Oakstar would exile the kits, despite it being against the code, is very unbelievable to me.

Also take note, he was referring to Mapleshade’s lies. Of course, they would suffer, they’d discover that their mother lied to them, their father alive and was the Riverclan cat who killed two of their Clanmates.

It could mean anything from: The kits suffering from discovering their mother lied to them or watching their mother get rightfully punished (Having kits is not an excuse to escape her crimes, it wasn’t for Tigerclaw). The was nothing to suggest the kits would actually get punished for someone else’s crimes. Those would of more likely happened: Mapleshade is allowed to stay just under close watch or they are adopted by another Queen while Mapleshade is punished for her crimes. Sure, Thunderclan may react negatively, but to actually do something official to them, is again, was very unlikely and only happened because Oakstar was a terrible leader.

He took a neutral stance during the whole situation, only focused on getting Mapleshade to admit the truth. It wasn’t his place to advice on Clan Politics without being asked by the leader first, it was up the rest of Thunderclan to decide what they did with the information. He had no way of knowing how the Clan would react, there were many possibilities: Only Mapleshade was banished while the kits were adopted by another Queen, allowed to stay but kept a close eye, etc. The fact the worst case scenario happened was nothing more then bad luck on Ravenwing’s part, that he ended up with a terrible leader and a storm that day.

To fault or even blame Ravenwing for not foresight such ridiculous unlikely event, I find unfair. Especially, when literally everyone else in the Clan said nothing, including the deputy Beetail and Mapleshade’s mentor, Bloomheart. I always had the mentality you punish no one or you punish everyone.

Even then, being exiled isn’t an anatomical death sentence for the kits. Many kits have travelled long distances without dying. Also, most rouges/loners are able to raise their kits without the support of territory or Clanmates. When Oakstar exiled the kits, it was obvious to the whole Clan, Mapleshade would take them to Riverclan. It was only a short trip. Even earlier in the book, Mapleshade had managed to take them to the border with no trouble. A storm happening on that day was completely unpredictable and nothing more than a coincidence.

And to Ravenwing himself, had seen how they’d probably be better off in Riverclan anyway. From what he heard from Rabbitfur, they could barely function on land, not even able to pounce properly yet saw himself they were very good swimmers, even without training. Everyone would also be safer. The kits wouldn’t be judged or in danger from any revengeful Clanmates like Frecklewish, due to their father being reasonable for two Thunderclan cats’ deaths. It also worked the other way around, just in case the Omen was warning about the kits being future evil, they’d be far less dangerous if they weren’t in Thunderclan itself. Even better, everyone including the kits and Frecklewish/Oakstar would know the truth of their ‘kin’, knowing how they were had lied to. It would be painful at first, but better to know the truth then lies. In Riverclan, the family wouldn’t be forced to live separately and they know their true father is alive and be with him. Mapleshade’s kits also wouldn’t be as harshly judged and just generally be in a better environment for them.

I think it’s safe to say why Ravenwing didn’t stop the kits’ exile, it was best for them and everyone else, that they were in Riverclan. The only ‘risk’ factor Ravenwing took: was simply to reply on Mapleshade, a fully grown warrior, to be able to transport three kits a reasonably short distance without getting them killed, in a territory she knows extremely well. Something many have none in the past, even she herself did earlier that day. Which personally for me anyway, I say is pretty reasonable expectation of Mapleshade.

This is actually situation Fireheart was in. They were both dealing with: a tom who had, at least tried or succeed, in killing 2 of their clanmates (At the time at least) but was also the father of young kits. Who’s victims were personally connected to the Leader, which may of risked bias in their verdict (Birchface=Oakstar and Redtail/Herself=Bluestar).

And Ravenwing/Firestar had the choose expose the traitors or not – If they exposed them; it would mean they’d be less of a danger to the Clan and be punished for their crimes however there may be unforeseen consequences for their friends/families. Or leave the traitor unexposed by becoming a liar themselves (Ravenwing/Fireheart), allow the traitor to carry on being a danger to the Clan, but it would it mean nothing could happen to the friends/families.

The only thing separating Fireheart and Ravenwing, is luck. Fireheart was lucky enough to have a decent leader. If it was another leader, they could of easily lashed out at murderer’s mate and kits. Then we could just have a repeat of Mapleshade, if Goldenflower and Tigerstar’s kits died after they were exiled/left willingly with Tigerclaw, would that justify one of them killing Fireheart later on? As for what happened in the canon, Tigerclaw’s friends and kin’s lives were still deeply affected by Fireheart exposing his crimes: All of them mistrusted/judged by their Clanmates including a Queen/kits, insulted and even yelled at for it, pressuring them to go into exile, which eventually led to Tawnypaw to actually defect to Shadowclan.

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  • Great article! I was pretty neautral in Ravenwing tbh and I’ve always seen both sides of the equation. 🙂 I love Mapleshade as a villain even though her choices were not the best. And I understand that Ravenwing was only following his duty. It was Oakstar’s decision to exile Mapleshade and her kits, not Ravenwing. And like you said, sure he could have stopped it but he didn’t because he knew it was for the best. And Ravenwing was faced with the choice of protecting an individual cat or protecting his Clan (which is many cats). Of course we see all this through Mapleshade’s eyes so it really did feel awful to be exiled by your own Clanmates. So yeah like I stated before, I see and somehow agree with both sides of this. Mapleshade is an awesome DF cat, just not a great “cat” in general. The victims only did what they thought was right, and so did Mapleshade. But in conclusion, they all were in the wrong one way or another. Every cat makes mistakes. It’s up to us whether we (want to) see past them or not.

  • Also, there’s a fan theory going around that Ravenwing lied about/faked the vision he received. Here are some quotes to disprove those:

    Ravenwing: He only started to suspect something was when Rabbitfur, an elder, challenged the kits to a pouncing game, which they failed at due to their Riverclan blood. Causing Mapleshade to leave camp.

    Rabbitfur had to dodge out of the way to avoid being squashed. “Watch out!” He gave his chest
    fur a couple of licks. “Birchface managed to pounce without flattening any cats,” he grunted.
    Mapleshade couldn’t listen to any more. She jumped out, dislodging Patchkit, who rolled over
    with a squawk, and trotted into the clearing. “Perhaps they take after me, Rabbitfur,” she meowed. “I
    can’t pounce, either.”
    The old tom narrowed his eyes. “You’re not that bad,” he rasped. “I can’t believe any kit of
    Birchface would be heavy-footed as a badger.” He glanced at Petalkit, who was licking the paw that
    had caught on the stick.
    The blood was roaring in Mapleshade’s ears now. “I will not have my kits judged before they
    have even begun their warrior training!” she hissed. “Patchkit, come here! We’re going for a walk in
    the forest!”

    – Chapter 3.

    Mapleshade takes the kits to the Riverclan border, where they swim around and talk to Appledusk. Which is where Ravenwing see this encounter.

    Suddenly a dark shape blocked the path. Mapleshade looked up and met Ravenwing’s searching
    blue gaze. The medicine cat glanced down at the kits. “What were they doing in the river?” he asked.
    Mapleshade’s paws started to tingle. “Did . . . did you see them?” she whispered.
    Ravenwing nodded. “I saw everything. What’s going on, Mapleshade?”
    -Chapter 3.
    Where he then reveals the Omen:

    Ravenwing didn’t move out of the way. “I’ve seen an omen, Mapleshade,” he murmured. “I
    wonder if you know anything about it?”
    There was something in his voice that made Mapleshade’s fur prick. “Why would I know anything
    about an omen? I’m not a medicine cat.”
    Ravenwing stared at her without blinking. “A tiny stream appeared in my den, in a place where no
    stream has run before. It carried with it three pieces of water reed.” He swept his paw over the
    ground as if he was tracing the path of the rivulet. “Water reed doesn’t grow in ThunderClan
    territory,” he went on. “It doesn’t belong inside our boundaries. Do you understand?”
    -Chapter 3.

    “Birchface is not the father of these kits, is he?
    Rabbitfur told me what happened today, how they showed no signs of being able to stalk or pounce
    like him. And don’t tell me that they take after you instead,” he added, cutting Mapleshade off as she
    opened her mouth. “You tread as lightly as any ThunderClan warrior.” He looked past her, at the
    river splashing beyond the shade of the trees. “I watched your kits swim in that river as if they were
    fish. I think these kits were fathered by a RiverClan cat. Appledusk, I’d guess, judging by the color of
    their fur and by the way he spoke to you when he brought Patchkit back.”
    -Chapter 3.

    While Mapleshade was out, Rabbitfur had literally just told Ravenwing what happened. Up until now, Ravenwing had no reason to suspect Mapleshade’s kits. However when only he hears from Rabbitfur that very day and seeing for himself did he figure it out. So Ravenwing making the Omen up doesn’t make any sense. Ravenwing had literally just been told this information a few hours ago at most, maybe not even that. And while he was having the conversation with Mapleshade, he was still figuring out the detils.
    Ravenwing simply didn’t have to time to make up this entire fake Omen.

    “You have told me plenty,” Ravenwing responded, and there was sadness in his sky-colored eyes.
    “The truth must come out.”
    “Please don’t say anything!” Mapleshade begged. “These are ThunderClan’s kits!”
    “They are half RiverClan,” Ravenwing corrected, his voice as hard as ice. “Our Clanmates
    deserve to know. I’m sorry, Mapleshade. Sorry for you, but even sorrier for these kits. They will end
    up suffering for the lies that you have told.”
    – Ravenwing wasn’t doing it out of any ill-tent. He didn’t want to fully do it, even sympathy/guilty. But he had to preform his duty because Starclan had given him the Omen. If he’d been lying about the omen in order to get the purposefully in trouble, he wouldn’t feel sad.

    • YES. it wasn’t his business to enforce the warrior code! he’s a MEDICINE CAT! he gives advice, not changes lives, unless he’s saving them!

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