Stormpaw shares their opinion of Needletail’s role.
When Needletail is first seen as Needlepaw in Apprentice’s Quest, we don’t get the best idea of her. She’s annoying, rude, and so full of herself. But… I don’t think she is. Then you think of Violetshine, and why she joined the rouges. And it was because she didn’t think she belonged in Shadowclan, and because Needlepaw was going and Needlepaw was her only friend, right? Well, I think that’s how Needlepaw felt too. Needletail was an only kit, and you would think she got a lot of attention, but I don’t think that’s true. And if you think about it, she never truly had any friends. Sure, she hung-out with Sleekpaw but as you can see Sleekpaw wasn’t a very true friend since she helped kill Needletail. So Violetpaw and Needlepaw were both lonely in their clan and had no friends. There’s a scene in Thunder And Shadow where Needlepaw shows sympathy and understanding:
“ShadowClan doesn’t want me. No one cares about me there. I’m so lonely!” Needlepaw’s eyes glistened kindly. “I know how that feels, kit.” She ran her tail softly along Violetkit’s spine. Then she puffed out her chest as though she’d made an important decision. “But that’s going to change. From now, I’m going to look out for you. You’re going to be fine.”
I think the reason why Needlepaw is so rude and “uncaring” is because she’s let herself become so lonely. But when she becomes friends with Violetkit, you see the nicer and funner side of her. And Needlepaw takes her every single time she goes to meet the rouges (I’m not saying that’s good or anything, but it shows that once Needlepaw and Violetkit become good friends, that Needlepaw doesn’t want to leave her out of anything. And that’s what a true friend would want to do; wanting to include them in everything). Then when Needletail is asking Violetpaw to come back and join the rouges, it seems like she’s begging her, and that she truly misses Violetpaw.
“Where are you going? I thought you’d stay. Please don’t leave me again.” Violetpaw met Needletail’s pleading gaze. Even as her paws tingled with eagerness to leave, the fact that Needletail wanted her to stay warmed a place deep inside her. “You don’t need me. You have plenty of friends here.” Her gaze flashed to Rain. “And you have him.”
“But their not my kin, not like you are.” Needletail stared at her anxiously.
Needletail had been the only cat in ShadowClan who had been kind to her, and she had repaid her by abandoning her without a word. Could she leave her again? Was that fair? “Please stay” Needletail begged.
I think Needletail would have turned out better from the start if she’d had enough love and attention, but at the end it shows that she never really was the villian when she sacrificed herself for Violetpaw. Or maybe I just want to defend her because I love cats that are half villain and half good… but I’ll end this article now since I’m finished explaining.