Brightspark explains why Mapleshade is guilty.
Mapleshade is a very controversial cat in the series. I love her sickly-sweet, manipulative personality, but her novella is very poorly written and overdoes the “tragedy”. Regardless, some people love it and think that Mapleshade is thoroughly innocent and had no part in her rise to evil.
But in reality, she is guilty. Very guilty.
Why, you ask?
Mapleshade started her rise to evil.
By having kits with a RiverClan tom, she was making a mistake. She was betraying her Clanmates. Yet, she forced herself not to acknowledge this, instead believing her kits would make peace and unity between the two Clans, and that they would be a reminder that Appledusk was hers. She wanted to cement that they were together, and no other cat could have him. She chose to be blind.
Later, when she is exiled from ThunderClan, she takes her kits to RiverClan in the middle of a storm, when she could have easily sought a bit of shelter until the storm passed and then taken her kits across the river. She was a warrior, she should have known that flooded rivers are dangerous. Petalkit even points this out, but Mapleshade doesn’t listen. This leads to their deaths.
Now onto my next point. Mapleshade should never have blamed any of the cats she did (Oakstar, Frecklewish, Ravenwing, Appledusk.) She was at fault for her kits’ deaths, not them.
Oakstar – It may not have been right to exile the kits, but he was right about exiling Mapleshade. She was using his deceased son, lying about the father of the kits. Of course, he’d be beyond angry. She was being immature, not even pausing to think what others could be feeling, and immediately being furious with Oakstar. While anger still does not justify exiling young kits in a storm, it certainly justifies exiling the mother.
Ravenwing – His job was to respect his ancestors. Why wouldn’t he report this to his leader, knowing Mapleshade was using Birchface to cover up the fact that her kits were half-Clan?
Frecklewish – While it wasn’t, again, right to call the kits “monsters”, she was still mourning the loss of her brother, and knowing that Mapleshade had lied to and manipulated her while she was still in a vulnerable state must have been a huge blow.
Appledusk – He may not be completely innocent, seeing as he took another mate without telling Mapleshade just for his reputation and called their kits and relationship a mistake in front of her, but he didn’t deserve to die. He had his redeeming qualities, too, sacrificing himself for Reedshine.
And for those of you who say she was an innocent mother trying to avenge her kits: Murder is inexcusable. No matter how much pain you’re in, killing a cat is unjustifiable. Look at other queens in the series. Did they go mad and kill three cats the moment their kits died? No. Goldenflower is a great example. Her brother died, her mate was a cruel murderer, and one of her kits left to join him. She may have been a little paranoid and she may have lashed out, but she never killed anyone.
That concludes this article.