[from left to right: Leafpool, Crowfeather, and Feathertail sit in line with Nightcloud standing at the far right]

Debate about ships: Part 1- Leafpool vs. Feathertail by Fawnpaw and Mountainpaw

Fawnpaw and Mountainpaw debate over the two main relationships Crowfeather has had.

Art by Cherivinca

Hello everyone! We are Mountainpaw and Fawnpaw, and today we would like to debate about a long-fighted question: Which ship is better: LeafXCrow or FeatherXCrow?

Mountainpaw: Hello everyone, I am Mountainpaw. Today I like to debate on side FeatherXCrow. My opponent is Fawnpaw in side LeafXCrow. I believe that FeatherXCrow is much better than LeafXCrow. My favorite character is Feathertail, so that is a big part of why I prefer this ship. But that isn’t the only reason. Not only are they very sweet together, we could see them slowly develop over the span of a book. It’s not rushed- it’s slow and steady, giving you time to digest the fact that Feathertail and Crowpaw love each other. It doesn’t make it seem like Crowpaw saw how pretty Feathertail was and felt head over heels, it made it seem like the more Crowpaw knew Feathertail and her caring personality, the more his love grew. For the LeafXCrow ship, it seems way too rushed. Crowpaw and Leafpool didn’t know each other at all, and suddenly, they are in love.
Fawnpaw: Actually, LeafXCrow wasn’t rushed. To clarify, the relationship did not come anywhere, it was just that they admitted their affections for each other when Leafpool was hanging on the cliff. When Crowfeather and Leafpool were traveling to find their new territory, Crowfeather had some affections for her and tried to avoid it. However, due to her coming to his camp to treat their sick cats, Crowfeather’s feelings grew attached to her. Leafpool first pitted Crowfeather of losing Feathertail while slowly having a crush on him. It didn’t happen suddenly, it was just that we couldn’t see the development of the ship until Twilight.
Mountainpaw: I agree that it didn’t start suddenly, but Crowfeather didn’t know Leafpool’s personality before he fell in love, and neither did Leafpool. That still gives me the feeling that they fell in love because Crowfeather thought Leafpool was pretty, and Leafpool thought Crowfeather was handsome. I’ll move onto the second reason this is my favorite ship. Feathertail’s unending influence on Crowfeather. Crowpaw was a snappy, ungrateful, angry apprentice, who reluctantly agreed to accompany the journeying cats to the sun-drown place. He felt unwanted in the group of cats, and only Feathertail saw past his angry outer personality. She brought him out of his shell, and not only helped him open up toward the journeying cats, but also cats from other Clans, so when they get back home, he helps not just his Clan, but felines from other Clans too. It seems like Feathertail did all the work and Leafpool just took him from there. But what exactly did Leafpool do for Crowfeather?
Fawnpaw: You made some good points there, but I had to disagree with you. First, you have no evidence on if Crowfeather thought Leafpool was pretty. There were no signs of Leafpool admiring the looks of Crowfeather in the book. Second, Leafpool did not steal Feathertail from Crowfeather. I agree that Feathertail helped him get out of his shell, and she was a good friend to him. Because Feathertail cared about Crowfeather, she wanted him to get out of grief. Then do you mean that he should grieve for the rest of his life? No. In addition, Crowfeather was the one who liked Leafpool first and Feathertail encouraged him to confess about his affections. Leafpool did many things for Crowfeather. She helped him to get out of the grief and later advised him on his family problems. Crowfeather admitted she was the only one to understand him about his hardships. Even though it didn’t work out, they truly understood and loved each other.
Mountainpaw: True, there was no evidence that they liked each other because they were pretty, but there was no evidence that what Feathertail and Crowpaw had between them was a crush. So even though it’s not said openly, it could still seem like it to some people. I wasn’t really saying Leafpool “stole” Crowfeather, but you made a really good rebut for that! And I definitely did not mean Crowfeather should grieve for the rest of his life! This brings me to my third reason FeatherXCrow is my favorite ship. Feathertail loved Crowpaw so much she was willing to put his needs past her own. Even though it must have really hurt, she encouraged Crowfeather to move on, because she didn’t want him to be sad. She watched over Hollyleaf, Lionblaze, Jayfeather, and Breezepelt, like they were her own. So the intensity and love of this ship really touches my heart! But then, true, Leafpool didn’t really want to leave her medicine cat post, but she left because she loved Crowfeather, not because Crowfeather would be happy. Also, keep in mind that Cinderpelt loved Firestar, and she knew him a lot more than Leafpool knew Crowfeather, yet she never left her medicine cat duties to run away to him, or admit her feelings to him. Leafpool met Crowfeather five times, and decided to abandon her medicine cat duties and run away.
Fawnpaw: No offence, but I totally disagree. Leafpool and Crowfeather love isn’t faded and it only looks like it because their clans will be suspicious of their loyalty if they express their love in public. Crowfeather is now deputy, so he shouldn’t have a bad reputation for the clan. The only reason Crowfeather can express love for Feathertail now is because she is dead. Cats don’t look at Starclan as traitors, so Crowfeather can freely show his love for Feathertail. Also, Leafpool was born with a special destiny. She had to leave him and go back to the clans because of the will of Starclan. However, she tried to help him through problems in multiple books. Don’t say that this ship was bad because it was very shortly developed, as FeatherXCrow developed over 3 books. It is not who developed the longest, it is who loved each other the most. SorrelXBracken, one of the most populous ships in the fandom, was developed for 1 book. Yet they still loved each other deeply, and that is why so many people liked this ship. The point I am trying to make here is that the importance of a ship depends on how much the cats’ loved each other. Keep in mind that Crowfeather couldn’t show his feelings to Leafpool anymore because cats doubted his loyalty. I think Leafpool loved Crowfeather, and he too loved back. Whenever he was with Leafpool, he kind of flirted and showed affections to her. He also fixed his relationships with the kits. When Leafpool died, Crowfeather was devastated in the gathering. Crowfeather loved her with all her heart, and that is the only thing that matters.
Mountainpaw: Please don’t say Crowfeather can only express his love because Feathertail is dead. On the journey, he expressed his love just as much as when Feathertail died, even though Squirrelpaw, Stormfur, Tawnypelt or Brambleclaw could have told the Clans when they got back to the forest. True, SorrelXBracken did develop over one book, but LeafXCrow developed over half a book, which is quite less. But never mind, you defended that accusation well! It would do us no good to keep debating that part.
As for the other parts, Crowfeather did everything he did with Leafpool, except have kits. They would have had kits for sure if Feathertail had survived, it’s stated in the books that they decided that. It’s only said once, so it’s easy to miss, but it’s there! And yes, Crowfeather was devastated at Leafpool’s death, but he was also devastated at Feathertails. Crowfeather loved Feathertail with all his heart, and that’s the truth.
The author’s confirmed that Crowfeather loves Leafpool the same as Feathertail, but then it’s true the other way around too. He loved Feathertail as much as he loved Leafpool.
Feathertail and Crowpaw were not a high school crush. First of all, there is no proof in the books that what they had between them was just a “crush”. Remember what Stormfur felt for Squirrelpaw? That was a crush. Remember what Stormfur felt for Brook? That was love, and it was the same as Feathertail and Crowfeather’s love. And then, Feathertail actually sacrificed herself for Crowpaw, so Crowpaw could live, so Crowpaw could survive. Because she truly loved him, and Crowfeather truly loved her. It was not a crush. As for this ship never would have worked out…. He thought about the future he had dreamed of, where they found a way to be together even though they were from different Clan. And it really looks like they would have done anything to be together if Feathertail would have survived! And I found this on Wiki fandom: Kate has said that in StarClan, she believes that Crowfeather would most likely pick Feathertail over Leafpool, stating that “first love always wins.” Also, then could you please explain to me why Crowfeather said that his love for Leafpool had faded? Thank you!
Fawnpaw: I never said FeatherXCrow did not exist, because it definitely did. You spend your time arguing Feathertail and Crowfeather, and I agree. However, what is exactly the reason why you hate LeafXCrow? Also fact-check, it was in the middle of the book when BrackenXSorrel developed. CrowXLeaf started from the book Starlight and ended in the middle of Sunset. Where exactly did Crowfeather show that he was only thinking of Feathertail when becoming Leafpool’s mate? Also, don’t judge a couple just because your favorite character is Feathertail. What Crowfeather and Leafpool felt for each other was very real. They literally ran away together for each other, in Leafpool’s Wish it’s also very apparent that the two love each other. Also, Crowfeather got over Feathertail. He will always love Leafpool more than any other mate he will have. His relationship with Feathertail was far too short and Feathertail visited Crowfeather in a dream saying to open up your eyes to the real world and stop thinking about her. He will never forget Feathertail, but Leafpool is his one and only.
Mountainpaw: So we are going to start wrapping things up! In conclusion, this is how I see the LeafXCrow ship:
Crowfeather is still grieving for Feathertail, and starts noticing Leafpool, and how caring and kind she is, just like Feathertail. He seeks comfort, something to ease his pain. I know you said Feathertail and Leafpool aren’t alike. But they are.
Feathertail: Kind, caring, intelligent
Leafpool: Kind, caring, intelligent
I think he was seeking comfort, and saw how gentle Leafpaw was. So he started to develop feelings for her. But what about Leafpool? She didn’t notice Crowfeather, or feel any love for him, only pity when he was depressed. Well, Leafpaw, in the past few chapters, started to notice mates, and how happy they are together. I think she started to regret that she gave up never having a love or kits. I think she wanted someone to care for her the way a tom cared for his mate. So when Crowfeather told her about his feelings, she happily accepted. I don’t think Leafpool loved Crowfeather in the beginning. After the meet, she started developing feelings too, but before that I never sensed any love. And then, Crowfeather has PTSD, or Post traumatic syndrome. When you go through something scary, or dangerous, you might have vivid flashbacks of the event, making it feel like you are reliving it. Crowpaw lived through the death of Feathertail, and when he saw Leafpool falling, I think he flashed back to the terrible moment, but now he knew; that he could actually do something this time. When he pulled Leafpool up, he realized who he had saved, and, after coming so close to losing another Feathertail, he confessed his feelings. And Leafpool threw away her promise, and accepted. They met five times, and then ran away, resulting in the death of Cinderpelt. When Leafpool comes back, nobody questions her, or punishes her, while Crowfeather…didn’t have it that good.
Leafpool realizes she is carrying Crowfeather’s kits. She is so mad at him she yells at him and pushes him away. It is not Crowfeather’s fault, yet he pays. When Leafpool gives birth, she gives her kits to Squirrelflight. Now, this part is very annoying for me. When everyone finds out what Leafpool did, she punishes herself, becomes a warrior for a while, then goes back to being a medicine cat. While Squirrelflight pays a much bigger price, even though it wasn’t really her fault! This ship ruined so many lives. Squirrelflight, Brambleclaw, Jayfeather, Hollyleaf, Lionblaze, Breezepelt, Nightcloud, Crowfeather, etc.
Not to mention Leafpool and Crowfeather fight a lot.
And after that, this ship kinda fades.
This ship is not good. For young readers, it tells them that you can turn away from your problems, and you won’t even pay. That you can hide, but don’t face your problems head on like you should. You’ll make it through, but you can ruin other people. This discourages empathy in later life. It tells them that important promises aren’t important, and even if you break them there are hardly any consequences. And trust, or the ability to keep a secret or promise is a very good quality. For young people who read about this ship, they will have less empathy and sympathy. For older readers, who can realize these, might make it through, but young readers…not so much. The ship might seem harmless- but it isn’t. I think this ship is a pretty bad influence for smaller kids.
Now this is how I see the FeatherXCrow ship:
Crowpaw never really felt at home, even though he was nearing the end of his apprenticeship. His father, Deadfoot, was a deputy, and could never spend much time with him. His mother wasn’t always nice with him, and he didn’t have many friends. His mentor was Mudclaw, which probably didn’t help much with his already snappy personality. Then he had a sign from StarClan, and cats from enemy Clans came to him, telling him to leave the forest with them. Crowpaw didn’t know these cats. These cats constantly argued with him. And he was just about to become a warrior of WindClan…
But he decided to go. And when the rest of the cats turned their back on him, there was one cat who did the opposite. Quite wise, kind, and gentle, Feathertail brought Crowpaw out of his shell, taught him to fish, and stood by his side. And her kindness repaid. They soon fell in love with each other. When Feathertail taught Crowpaw to fish- that melted my heart it was so sweet! Their obvious affection, (they weren’t afraid to hide it!) and their deep love was so heart-warming. Crowpaw started to argue with Feathertail lots of times, but he always stopped fast, deciding his relationship with Feathertail was worth more to him. (Unlike with Leafpool, who he always argued with) Their relationship grew constantly stronger. And their relationship made Crowfeather a loyal, hardworking warrior. And when Feathertail died, it was for Crowpaw. She gave her life so he could go on living. And Crowpaw named himself after her!
This ship is a very good influence on young readers. It shows them that if you are kind, it will always bring good results. Feathertail was kind to Crowfeather. She got his love in return. It shows them that arguing is not the answer. If you truly love someone, you should stop yourself before the argument gets too heated, because the person you love is not someone you want to push away. Not only is FeatherXCrow heart-warming, sweet, and a very good influence on young readers, it shows you what true love is. One where you stop yourself before you argue, one where you are selfless, and kind, and tells you to stand by and defend those you love, family, friends, or loves. FeatherXCrow is a very underrated ship. It shouldn’t be. Make FeatherXCrow sail again! Whose with me?!? 😀
Leafpool wasn’t Feathertail 2.0. She doesn’t even look similar to her and even her personality is similar, she was very loyal as a medicine cat. We cannot see Crowfeather admiring the loyalty of Feathertail in the books. Leafpool always put her needs below her clan’s needs, which is the reason why Crowfeather loved her. She was the only one who understood him in the toughest times. He admits this in Crowfeather’s trial. Also, we can see that their relationship was gradually developed. When Leafpool was about to fall, Crowfeather saw the chance to start over – to love a cat with all the love he had in his heart, the love that he didn’t get the chance to spend with Feathertail. How I see it is that Leafpool didn’t love Crowfeather – she loved the idea of being with someone. Did he love Leafpool? Did he ever like Leafpool for Leafpool, or did he love her for being Feathertail 2.0? I guess the reason why the two of them clicked is because Leafpool wanted him for the opportunities he’d give her and Crowfeather loved her for her personality. I think Leafpool at this point really loved him and wanted to be with him but she was stuck since ThunderClan needed her more than ever. In Leafpool’s Wish and After Sunset: We Need To Talk, we learn that Leafpool is having kits. In Leafpool’s Wish, despite being the one to propose ending their relationship, Crowfeather finds Leafpool near their Clan border. He still flirts with her, but Leafpool is carrying a burden of having kits. As a result, she yells at Crowfeather. Mountainpaw, don’t blame her for yelling at Crowfeather. She was stressed and in a burden. She was the only medicine cat at that time, and she did not want kits. What do you expect? Imagine; do you want to be a teenage mother? No! It was the same scenario for Leafpool as well. Her burden was that her clan would never accept these kits, her clan having a bad reputation,and the rest of her family hating for what she did. See, she put all of her needs below the clan. You are also saying that this ship ruined many lives. You said about Squirrelflight, and the Hollyleaf’s anger about half-clan. However, Squirrelflight already knew that if she accepted Leafpool’s kits there are many consequences. She knew that if the secret was discovered, she would be in big trouble. It wasn’t Yellowfang’s advice that made her think about having a second chance to have the kits, she encouraged her to do it. She wasn’t forcing her to choose. Yet she did, because it was her dear sister kit. Really, there wasn’t an option here. Leafpool was the only medicine cat around and Brightheart had a mate. This isn’t the scenario like Barkface, which had a mate and two kits that died. It was allowed because there was no Riverclan medicine cat apprentice and Barkface had no mate. When Hollyleaf announced in the gathering, Crowfeather shouted at Leafpool. Yes, Crowfeather was angry that he had kits with another clan’s cat, but really he was scared of what will bring to his family and his clan. The author confirmed that the reason he hated Breezepelt at first was because he was a kit that Crowfeather didn’t have with Leafpool. We can see in later books Crowfeather regretting the fact he shouted at Leafpool, and mending relationships with Leafpool. He gains his clan’s trust, and becomes deputy. Now, he can’t sneak off to meet Leafpool, but he can still get advice and talk to her. Leafpool becomes his mentor-kind-of-thing. This is what mateship is. There can be problems and conflict, but the result is a happy ending. Even though they can’t see each other, they are close friends and care for each other. I agree that this seems so bad for young kids, but warrior cats are like that. Divorce, incest, betrayals: they all happen in the book! Following your logic, that means all books give bad influence. Also, it is not likely that young kids will read this because the level is 10- 12 over. For mature readers, the ship gives good influence. It tells them a moral that relationships are never perfect, the only thing matters is to be happy in the present. Wow, such a good moral!
Let’s move on to Feathertail:
Okay, I am going to admit she is not my favorite character. She was a good cat, but she is too underrated and that cat is in everyone’s favorite list. However, I don’t like her because she is too meh. I will explain why, but I am not going to put my opinion. Anyway, let’s look at how they developed. Crowfeather and Feathertail’s relationship started on the Great Journey, even though he was only an apprentice. They seemed to have crushes on each other. Crowpaw was very sad when Feathertail died to save him and the rest of the Tribe. Crowpaw, when he was getting his warrior name, asked Tallstar to name him Crowfeather after Feathertail. The Erin Hunters stated that his relationship with Feathertail was more like a high school crush, though he did truly love her and that his love for Leafpool was the same. Yes, you are right. Feathertail brings him out of the shell, teaches fishing, and cares for him. Everyone says this is cute, but then there’s a hidden meaning behind it. Let me explain. First, relationships cannot be perfect: sometimes you fight and disagree with each other. What we see is that in the books, they rarely fight which Mountainpaw pointed out that they were perfect for each other. Well, I think the relationship was too forced. So, at the start of New Prophecy, Crowfeather is chosen to represent Windclan. Through the journey, Feathertail and Crowpaw were close. Crowpaw started to argue with Feathertail lots of times, but he always stopped fast, deciding his relationship with Feathertail was worth more to him. You said it is because it was worth it for Crowpaw, but it is not true. It was obvious that Crowpaw is going to have a relationship with Feathertail if you look at how they talk. Maybe Erins just want what’s best for them, or they “know they can do better.” But they are taking your own perfectionism out on them. This approach can create severe issues in a relationship if a partner always feels criticized or controlled. Which Crowfeather had to do this, because nobody trusted him except for Feathertail. Like you said. If this is not true, it means that Erins were making up random ships and underatting it. That is not likely either. Second, FeatherXCrow will ruin many lives too. Many AntiLeafxCrow shippers argue that because Leafpool broke two rules of the warrior code. Instead, Crowfeather should be with Feathertail. However, if we look at the same perceptive, Feathertail and Crowfeather can break the code to run off together because they love each other deeply. This was the same situation for Leafpool, as she was on the brink of leaving her clan. That means FeatherXCrow will run away together, have kits, and etc. This will cause a problem to Riverclan and Windclan, and their family will face a bad reputation. This means Stormfur (the reason he went to the tribe was because Feathertail died), Mistyfoot (Feathertail’s mentor and deputy), Leopardstar (Feathertail’s leader), Onestar (Crowfeather’s leader), and more! Why do you blame Leafpool and Crowfeather from ruining many lives when FeatherXCrow is likely to do it as well. In addition, they did not choose to love each other. What I mean by that is that they did not want to break the warrior code and run away from the clans. Love is a feeling that comes very naturally to us, and we can not stop us from experiencing that feeling. In conclusion, this ship does not give a bad moral, but rather gives an unrealistic idea about relationships. Kind people always get good results is a rather unrealistic moral; good luck always goes with bad luck and vice versa. The ship makes it seem like Leafpool is a bad character, but she is a kind medicine cat who puts her needs below her clan’s needs. For these reasons, I am very proud to stand in LeafXCrow side. Who is with me?
Image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/149111437646568459/

Fan Articles


  • CrowxLeaf is superior. It’s a cute and adorable ship of two young cats in love who want to run away together to start a family in a new and exciting place, only to be torn apart by family, personal, and outer issues. If the badger attack never happened, Leafpool wouldn’t have had to cut the relationship to go back to the Clan to be their medicine cat again, as the badgers killed Cinderpelt. Their leaving might have saddened and shocked both Clans, but cats from all Clans have left and it doesn’t make a major lasting difference, like Pinestar’s leaving, and Stormfur’s leaving, too, and it would soon go back to normal, and LeafxCrow would have found a nice place away from the Clans to raise their cute family like a true cheesy love story.

    • CrowxLeaf real love and featherxcrow was crowpaws teenage crush. Crowfeather did get over feathertail dieing. Leafpool and Crowfeather could have had more kits and it would’ve saved squirrelflight a lot of pain. Plus lionblaze jayfeather and hollyleaf

  • Wow, this article is AMAZING! One of the best I’ve ever read! And Mountainpaw, wow! Both of you are good at debating, but you are incredible. I was neutral, supporting both Feather x Crow and Leaf x Crow before this, but after reading this article, I definitely like Feather x Crow 1000 times more! And Fawnpaw, you also made some really good points. This was AMAZING!

  • That was amazing! Both of you are awesome writers! I am a FeatherXCrow supporter but I still liked Fawnpaw’s arguments. And Mountainpaw, I love how you wrote in a way that clearly showed what you believed but also showed unbiased facts. FeatherXCrow 4EVER!!

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