Comparing Mapleshade and Crookedstar: How they handled their situations differently by Flowerleaf

Flowerleaf compares Mapleshade and Crookedstar’s stories.

Art by DrakynWyrm

Mapleshade and Crookedstar are two very different characters whose stories collide in unexpected ways. In Crookedstar’s Promise, Crookedstar is manipulated by Mapleshade because she is bitter about him being a descendant of Appledusk and Reedshine, the cat she loved and the cat she loathed.
However, their stories are more similar than they may seem.
(Spoiler Warning?)
Mapleshade fell in love with Appledusk, a RiverClan warrior. In Mapleshade’s Vengeance, we learn that he caused the deaths of Birchface and Flowerpaw. Birchface was Oakstar’s son as well as Frecklewish’s brother. Keep that in mind.
Mapleshade bore Appledusk’s kits. They were completely unlike any ThunderClan kits and spark suspicions with some of the Clan’s members. Frecklewish is particularly keen on helping raise the kits, as she believes that they are Birchface’s. Mapleshade does nothing to say that Birchface isn’t the kits’ father and lets Frecklewish be overjoyed over a lie that her brother’s legacy lives on through her kits.
I won’t be writing the whole spoiler of Mapleshade’s Vengeance here, though. Through a spiral of events, Ravenwing, the ThunderClan medicine cat, finds out that the kits are half-Clan. He tells this to Oakstar, and the whole of ThunderClan finds out.
Frecklewish is betrayed and outraged. Oakstar exiles Mapleshade. It may seem extreme, but yet again, Mapleshade had kits with the cat who caused his son’s death.
Mapleshade tries to take her kits across the river to RiverClan with an expectation that they’d unquestionably let them in despite having broken the warrior code, but the kits drown. Mapleshade is torn with grief.
Darkstar, leader of RiverClan then, denies her entry into RiverClan and turns her away. And even Appledusk turns on her. He takes another mate in Reedshine.
Mapleshade’s solution? Murder.
She kills Ravenwing and causes Frecklewish’s death. She tries to kill Reedshine, too, but instead accidentally kills Appledusk.
Mapleshade lost her Clan, her kits, her mate, her honour, and she decides to further ruin it by killing cats. Ravenwing was only being loyal. Frecklewish was lied to. It really shows how close she was to her brother in the rage she had when the truth was revealed. Mapleshade tried to kill Reedshine out of bitterness and jealousy and rage. But Appledusk defends her and gets killed in the process.

Let’s look at Crookedstar.

He was an average kit and was very close with his brother, Oakheart (then Oakkit). His mother was Rainflower. At the time, she loved them equally, praising their looks and stuff of that sort. But then he fell in the river and broke his jaw after a scare. And it spirals downward from there.
His name, then Stormkit, is changed to Crookedkit. Rainflower turns her back on him because he isn’t handsome anymore. After he runs away to find the Moonpool, he ends up at a barn and stays there for a few moons. After he returns, he isn’t even fully accepted by many of his Clanmates! His apprenticeship is held back for many, MANY moons. He was almost warrior size when he became an apprentice! Bluepaw (Bluestar) was even taken aback at how old he looked to be a new apprentice.
He is manipulated by Mapleshade who tells him he is unique and special. She told him she was StarClan, and he believed her! Out of his want to prove himself and his fragility, he is convinced. Mapleshade then uses him. She knew his ambitions to be the leader of RiverClan. She knew how he felt useless because of his injury. She convinces him to listen to her and train with her. She manipulates him into doing what she wants.
Time skipping, Oakheart, Silverstream, Willowbreeze and their other kits, and Shellheart all die, and Mapleshade tries to convince him it is his fault. She says she is satisfied that she has “ruined his life.”
Quotes from the manga at the end of Crookedstar’s Promise: “You have lost everything.” and “I have destroyed you!”
What does Crookedstar do? Does he go mad with rage that StarClan has taken all who he loves from him and turn his back on them? Does he resort to killing EVERYBODY?
No, he doesn’t. He knows that his loved ones are watching over him and will always be there.
What would have happened if Mapleshade didn’t go mad? I believe she would regret her mistakes and live her life as a rogue, isolating herself from the Clans. What do you think?
Crookedstar had every reason to go mad, too. He could have committed a Bluestar and turned on StarClan like she did in TPB. He could have easily let his resentment for Rainflower turn murderous. He could have been jealous that he was outshined by his brother. He could have been furious that HE was the one that was manipulated by the Dark Forest on top of all this (and he was, but not in a “life is unfair and I will kill everybody way”), but he wasn’t. He learned, he lived, he loved.
Crookedstar is a really interesting character and Crookedstar’s Promise is one of my favourite Super Editions.

Mapleshade and Crookedstar were both cats who lost what they loved. Only one chose the right thing.

That’s all for me. I hope you enjoyed my article. Flowerleaf signing off!

Fan Articles


  • Mapleshade lost the ones she loved BECAUSE OF OTHER CATS. Crookedstar didn’t. (Mapleshade didn’t cause all that,it was Crookedstar’s destiny). And also,Crookedstar had his clan- Mapleshade’s whole clan turned on her.That’s the biggest difference between them.
    ‘Ravenwing was only being loyal’Yep,he was! But damn,he had no sympathy. What’s worse,is that he didn’t stop Oakstar when innocent kits were being chased out in the middle of a storm. Nobody did. They are all murderers cause of it.
    ‘Frecklewish who were lied’Your good at comparing,aren’t you? I’ll compare too. When Squirrelflight lied, not the ‘not tell’,but actually LIE,and she lied a very long time. Did the clan turn on her,and kicked them out on a storm? Did Bramblestar get overraged and pin her and snarl and slash at her muzzle? Did Bramblestar let everyone die? No. He DIDN’T. Frecklewish got overraged and pinned her and snarl and slash at her muzzle and let the kits die when she was watching the,when Mapleshade ‘didn’t tell’ and lied a short time,when the kits were born,and she was going to tell the truth when the kits were adults. Now you see HOW they compared their situations differently,hm?

  • halfpaw who finally drew her profile pic and is the fluffiest chimera cat who used to be cinnamonpaw who likes indie pop (you can call me pumpkin/cinnamon/halfpaw/ or halfheart) says:

    nice article! 😀

  • Mapleshade should not have been exiled !!
    Leaf pool Crowfeather Dovewing and Graystripe where never exiled and she had KITS

    • Graystripe left before Bluestar could exile him. And Bluestar probably wouldn’t because that would be making her a hypocrite. When Graystripe was yeeted out of RiverClan, Bluestar allowed him to rejoin for some reason, I guess.
      Leafpool was demoted for like, five seconds, before becoming a medicine cat again, but that was because Firestar and Bramblestar were being nice. Crowfeather wasn’t exiled because he pulled an Appledusk and fake-mated with Nightcloud. But then a little later in CT he was exiled because he didn’t agree with his leader…and in VoS he was exiled again for having HalfClan kits after pressure by Brashstar
      Dovewing left before Bramblestar could exile her. And Tigerheartstar wasn’t exiled because Rowanclaw was dead and he took over ShadowClan so he could do anything he wanted to. So that’s why they weren’t exiled.

      Mapleshade was only exiled because she was in a time where HalfClan relationships weren’t being used as a plot device so leaders weren’t dealing with it frequently, so Oakstar just yeeted her and her kits and called it a day.

  • Great article! Mapleshade and Crookedstar are some of my favorite cats! 😀
    Blossomfall defender

  • I’m just gonna put this on here for all the Mapleshade defenders.

    Maybe some things the other cats did were wrong, but there’s a whole slew of issues, and Mapleshade isn’t this blameless little angel who was just ‘mad with grief’

    It was her own incompetence, and belief that she was above and beyond the warrior code that made her think that everything would be fine and dandy, when
    1. Appledusk is RiverClan
    2. Appledusk KILLED Birchface and Flowerpaw (I’m not sure who she is)
    3. RiverClan and ThunderClan were…. not friends at this point.

    So, you get mad at Frecklewish for… being mad with grief herself… because her brother had died, and this cat had lied about having kits with her brother, and it turned out she’d had kits with the cat who KILLED her brother. If that had happened to me, I’d be pretty mad as well.

    Ravenwing and Oakstar were just doing their jobs. Maybe they had questionable ethics, but still. The Clan called for Mapleshade and her kits to be kicked out.

    After being kicked out and experiencing a Clan’s reaction, instead of going to Twolegplace or just hiding outside the territory, she decides to cross a raging river, when she doesn’t know how to swim, with her young kits.

    RiverClan understandably kicks her out. A half-crazy cat meowing about Appledusk and some dead kits is… not someone you’d want to take into your Clan.

    So, after loosing everything, instead of trying to come to terms with the grief, and maybe go back to ThunderClan and beg for forgiveness, she decides to kill some cats.

    Why? Because her boyfriend cheated on her and she killed her children.

    Those are the ONLY reasons. They aren’t good ones. If I go and murder someone, no ones gonna believe that my dead child told me to do it.

    Mapleshade was mentally unstable before her kits died, and her coping mechanisms… left much to be desired.

    My main point is that: Mapleshade is not a good cat. Her actions were not justified, and saying that it was the other cats’ fault isn’t a good argument.

  • Mapleshade’s situation was much MUCH worse. Like @Thornfeather said, even if Crookedstar hadn’t listened to Maple, he still would have lost everything he loved. Mapleshade’s entire Clan turned on her, her mate turned on her and everything she loved was torn away from her. So ask yourself: who had it worse?