[image description: a headshot of a dark grey cat with blue eyes with white and red reflective dots in them]

A Question As Old As Time: Who Will Crowfeather Choose in StarClan? by Blossompaw

Art by meow286

Blossompaw analyzes Crowfeather and his relationships

Hello and welcome! My name is Blossompaw and this is my very first article. Today, I am going to present my look on the ancient debate: who will Crowfeather choose in StarClan, or who did he love the most?
I know, I know, you’ve seen hundreds of those. And I’ve already emphasised my opinion on this. But now, without the comment’s word limit bothering me, it’d be easier to present all of the points, and I’m in my mood for some good Crowfeather article. So without further ado, let’s go to the article!

(I decided to make it all about Leafpool and Feathertail and fully cut out Nightcloud because she obviously won’t be the one Crowfeather will pick. She was possessive of him, even hurting him physically once, and none of the two loved the other. Plus she’s alive and in his clan, so if he loved her and she loved him back, they’d be back together by now. They aren’t, because they didn’t love each other and they parted. They even said in his SE that they shouldn’t be mates again.That’s simple)

Who do I think will Crowfeather choose?

I myself strongly believe it will be Leafpool.
Yeah, Crowfeather did truly love Feathertail, I do not deny it, he even chose his name after her, and Kate stated that “he will pick her over Leafpool because first love always wins”. Why do I still think it’s Leafpool? Erins keep stating separate fact disreeing with each other and it can’t really be confirmed that Crowfeather will choose one of them once it isn’t hinted in the books. And is Leafpool becoming the one hinted in the books? Ohhh, yes. Totally yes.
The first story I have for you is from Secrets Of The Clans, a short story called “Crowfeather Speaks: A Forbidden Love”. I managed to search through my whole gallery (the wonderful @MissyDakota sent screens on Polish Warriors Wiki Discord server) and I found it. Here goes a fragment.

“[…] Feathertail understood me, and she listened to me. Her eyes were the clear blue of her river home. She died saving us all from Sharptooth (originally Sharpclaw, but it’s a mistake anyway). After that, I wanted only to serve my clan to the limits of my strength, and then to join Feathertail in StarClan.
But then I met Leafpaw. She was kind and patient. Her voice was like water flowing over pebbles, and her scent had hints of wildflowers in it.
What was happening to me? How could I fall in love with anyone – let alone a ThunderClan cat?”
Crowfeather Speaks: A Forbidden Love

In this story, we see very clearly that Crowfeather didn’t just take Leafpool as a mate to move on, as a replacement for Feathertail. Throughout the plot, he doesn’t want a mate, he wants to dedicate his life to his Clan, and he’s actually ashamed and guilty that he had fallen in love so soon, which shows in his final confession as well:
“Don’t you know how I feel about you? And how much I hate myself for feeling this way about another cat so soon after Feathertail died? I loved her, I really did! How can I love you too?”
Crowfeather definitely loves her. And he loves her enough to start forgetting Feathertail, who in my opinion he sort of idealizes, begins to think of her more as a goddess than a cat. He’s trying to remind himself of Feathertail, trying to remind himself of the fact that him and Leafpool can never happen, but he loves her anyway. That alone gives Leafpool the better hand in the ranking. She’s able to make Crowfeather fall in love so soon after Feathertail dies, even against his own will. “If you love two people, choose the second because if you truly loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen in love with the second”. I don’t think this sentence is always right, but it does turn out true sometimes, and I think it is here.
It’s also a proof that Crowfeather didn’t love her because she resembled Feathertail. He speaks of them as two separate beings, even uses them as a contrast. He’s only comparing them because he blames himself for “betraying” his old love. And they are similar, but people have preferences. Crowfeather just likes a certain type of girls, it doesn’t mean he was looking for another Feathertail. He doesn’t consider them the same. Another fragment is:

“I could see how much she cared for me too. I’d seen the same look in Feathertail’s eyes… but this was different. This was more dangerous, more forbidden”
Crowfeather Speaks: A Forbidden Love

Crowfeather thinks of this feelings being more serious now, now noticing that Feathertail was different, more a gentle, friendly way of loving. And Leafpool is a fiery, wild love he can’t in any way control. When he sees Feathertail hanging on the cliff’s edge, it’s all the hidden emotions and his guilt, not that he only saw her in Leafpool. It was also symbolic, meaning his feelings for Feathertail replaced by a new, stronger and more mature feeling towatds Leafpool, and the fact that Leafpool and him could go further than his old crush on Feathertail ever did.

Well, the later relationship in Twilight is not going to play a major part here. They ran away, they met Midnight, Leafpool wants to come back. They say goodbye to each other. Crowfeather suffers. He reaches out to her once again in Leafpool’s Wish, saying he misses her. Then he starts to grow bitter and hides his sadness behind being cold, emotionless and hateful. He denies having feelings for her, or ever being mates. Yet, he loves Leafpool, and this shows all the time. There is a lot of easter eggs of their love in Power Of Three, and some scenes in OOTS. Jayfeather sees his memories with her pop up in his head after he is informed that he has kits with her. In The Last Hope, he says he doesn’t regret anything. But there’s another scene I’d like to show.

“Leafpool’s high pitched shriek shattered the freezing air as she plunged through the bracken with Cinderpaw and Dovepaw behind her. “How can you watch your sons fight?” she screeched at Crowfeather.
[…] Breezepelt crouched down. Lionblaze could see his muscles bunching beneath his pelt, ready for another attack.
“Stop!” Leafpool shot between them.
Breezepelt’s lunge hit her square in the side. His claws tore his pelt as he dragged her to the ground. Another jet of blood sprayed the snow. Lionblaze stared in shock. Before he could reach for Breezepelt, Crowfeather had crossed the ditch and hauled his son off Leafpool.”
Night Whispers

Crowfeather is able to control his emotions and just calmly stare as his sons fight, but when Leafpool is in danger, he immediately jumps to help. After the Three drama, when his relationship with Nightcloud and Breezepelt is so intense, and so is his life in the Clan which he needs to convince that he’s a loyal warrior, all because of his runaway with Leafpool, he feels obligated to protect her, even from his own kit, because he still loves her, though he tries his hardest not to show it by the famous “You chose your Clan, remember?”, also the pain still shows in the little dialogue they have after he pushes Breezepelt away.

And finally. Our most important scene. Squirrelflight’s Hope.
When Leafpool gets stuck in a cave, Crowfeather is desperate to find her, and Squirrelflight thinks that “their feelings never completely went away” in Chapter 30, this fragment appears:

“Beside her, Crowfeather was staring ahead, grimly silent, as though fighting back emotion. She saw his pelt ripple and felt a twinge of pity. Had he loved Leafpool all the time?”
Squirrelflight’s Hope

Yeah. That scene put in the book that reminds us of the lack of borders in StarClan is definitely an easter egg. But I want to focus on another thing. Crowfeather and Leafpool have led separate loves for seasons now. They have split, they have had hundreds of fights, they have went through jealousy, crissises, intense scenes, they have had the Three drama and had to prove their loyalty, and they still love each other. This is an act of real, absolute and undeniable LOVE. FeatherCrow can’t be really compared to it, it was a gentle, cute first crush.

NOTE: Feathertail also seems to have nothing against Crowfeather’s feelings towards Leafpool. She gives the she-cat her own blessing, basically ordering her to tell Crowfeather “come on, be with her, you can’t grieve forever”. She watches over LeafCrow’s kits as her own, as revealed in The Fourth Apprentice. She gives him advice to “follow his heart” in his own SE, and he decides to go to Leafpool. In my opinion she may just resign of being with him. Feathertail most likely wouldn’t be his mate anyway, even if alive. She knew very well how dangerous a cross-clan romance is – I’d be surprised if she didn’t – and she had just found a place when she belonged, she wouldn’t be very eager to be with him when push comes to shove. She’s walking on two skies now, in the afterlife, too, and her relationship with her mate, if she took one, would be very loose. And it’s been years since she died. Crowfeather wasn’t the same cat anymore, he had a mate and family, even two, many things changed. The fiery love that led him as Crowpaw could just melt into a sweet feeling of “loving and being loved once”. She probably knows it.

But then there is Crowfeather’s Trial, and the famous “love has faded”. I haven’t read it, so I searched through the Internet and I found this quote.

“Leafpool hadn’t loved him for seasons, and if he was honest, his love for her faded, too. If anything, he missed the way he felt when he had loved her – how young and foolish and hopeful they had been.”

He also, after wondering if he still loves Leafpool, says that he feels no ache now when he sees her, but only admiration and hope that she’s happy. The thing is throughout the Super Edition, he’s thinking about Leafpool many times. He feels his pads “tingle with excitement” at the thought of meeting her, he thinks about how she understood him and how he trusts her, and even (I sadly couldn’t find the scene’s context) thinks of Leafpool being able to help immediately when Feathertail comes to him in a dream and says to be “true to himself” when it comes to some issue, even though there’s the Feathertail he missed & loved in front of him, Leafpool’s still his first thought. In fact, the way he thinks about Leafpool being “love that faded” sounds quite defensive. He’s also alone preparing himself to meet Leafpool then, at least when he thinks about the “no ache” thing, and it seems like the good old trying to convince yourself of something reasonable. It doesn’t really change a thing. And Crowfeather seriously thinks of her and their possible life “if they could” quite often, at least from what I saw. Overall, I still believe it is Leafpool.

Yeah, this is the end! We finally made it!
Before leaving, I want to credit Bright Guardian Akira, who made a video about this issue, and a rant by warriorcatlover345 that I found searching for Crowfeather’s Trial information and it turned out they had similar points to this article. This rant is a wonderful source of fragments from this Super Edition, really.
Ah, and also. I am not really a FeatherMoth shipper, I just like Ursiday’s art so that’s why it’s on my profile pic. But I AM a FeatherTawny stan, so you can now say this was all biased, I allow you to do so.
Sorry for any possible mistakes and have a nice day!

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  • I completely agree with this article, like CrowXFeather was cute and all but CrowXLeaf seemed more realistic because even though Crowfeather and Feathertail had really did loved each other, Crowfeather had probably loved Leafpool more, they even had kits in the first place. Though both the ships didn’t last very long, Crowfeather was missing Leafpool more than Feathertail, though he could still see her during Gatherings.

  • Great article! I like Feather x Tawny better than Feather x Crow or Tawny x Rowan, and I agree that Crowfeather is going to choose Leafpool in Starclan

    • I can defend FeatherCrow and I will now.
      1. The age gap. Feathertail is 1 year or less older than Crowpaw! And look at the gaps with the ships PinestarXLeopardfoot and ThornclawXBlossomfall. That’s 10 and 6 years! FeatherCrow really isn’t that much of a gap.
      2. High school crush. Um… no! Again, in Moonrise, “Her eyes focused on Crowpaw, and Stormfur saw in them a lifetime of love for the difficult young apprentice, enough to sweep their Clans’ rivalry away forever.” And to those who say that Stormfur didn’t know what he saw, why would he lie? And even if you don’t believe THAT, we see FeatherXCrow in Feathertail’s chapters, and we see that their love is REAL.
      3. Yes, FeatherCrow wasn’t in the company of the Clans, but based on their love, the two of them were planning to join RiverClan to deal with it. They don’t care what the prejudiced Clans think about their romance, even if it’s forbidden. Leafpool and Crowfeather didn’t want ANYONE to see their romance.
      Good article in all, just defending!

      • Good points, but I’d disagree anyway.

        You’re right about the age gap. I dislike it when people say that she’s too old for him, because she wasn’t that old, and loving couples with age gaps happen.

        While Feathertail clearly loved him in the books, and they did plan to be together after they reach the lake territories, it was then. For the moment. Sometimes the strongest, the most fierce love burns out with time, or after the partners try to be together, they realise they aren’t a great match for each other and split. It happens with people who are adults with relationship experience, meanwhile at the moment of Feathertail’s death, Crowpaw was, in human years, 18-19 and she was about 25, and it was their first ever crush. I use this one too often when talking about FeatherCrow, but they were a pair of young people fiercely in love with each other, not knowing much about relationships and being alone on a journey. We don’t know how would their romance go if she lived. Maybe Feathertail in the end wouldn’t let her heart rule her head and choose the clan she, after all, loved and had friends in, even if Stormfur would stay in the Tribe, while Crowfeather would either choose loyalty to the clan he had to guide during the journey or simply… fall out of love and start liking Leafpool. This is another problem with their love – it kind of “froze” when she died. We never get to see if the feelings were strong enough to last when there were so many things they could lose, and even Crowfeather says that they weren’t as strong as his and Leafpool’s.

        • About the ‘frozen’ relationship, Crowfeather said “I’m not frightened of joining Starclan! The forest is dying anyway. At least in Starclan, Feathertail will be waiting for me!” And the Erin Hunters said that to Crowfeather, Leafpool was more of a echo of Feathertail so I don’t think that Crowfeather will fall out of love.

        • I politely disagree 🙂
          Leaf x Crow is more of an infatuation. Leafpool and Crowfeather suddenly feel head over heels out of nowhere, and became VERY deeply in love with each other. They met together for a moon before they ran away together and broke up. And then later Crowfeather comfirms in Crowfeather’s Trial that his love for Leafpool has faded, and another time in the same book he says his feelings for her have changed over time. Leaf x Crow was much like a sudden outburst of flame that died out really soon. They were SO SO SO in love and then they weren’t.

          Crowfeather felt a tingle of excitement in his pads at the thought of seeing Leafpool again. While his feelings for her had changed over time, he knew he could count on her to understand the urgency of what he had come to say.
          – Crowfeather’s trial, page 203

          We know Leaf x Crow was the type of relationship that really loved each other for a while then fell out of love. But Feathertail died on the journey and we don’t know what she would have done with Crowfeather, while we have solid fact and proof that Leaf x Crow was an infatuation.
          We shouldn’t assume things we don’t know; we don’t know if Crowfeather and Feathertail would have fallen out of love, so why assume when there is no proof at all for that?
          When did Crowfeather say he loved Leafpool more? May I please have a quote?
          And of COURSE we don’t know how strong Crowpaw and Feathertail’s feelings were for each other because it was a side ship. A background one. While Leaf x Crow was a really big main one.

          • Crowfeather’s story, “Secrets Of the Clans”
            “I’d seen the same look in Feathertail’s eyes… but this was different. This was more dangerous, more forbidden. There was a feeling like lightning prickling along my fur everytime I looked at Leafpaw.”

            Your other points are valid and I understand. I could’ve gotten a bit too far with “what-ifs”, I admit. However, I stand my ground in one case – there IS proof that LeafCrow’s love was more than infatuation, and FeatherCrow… well, nobody knows. Leafpool actually stayed around for a while and this ‘while’ was enought to show that the love, or at least a part of it, remained in Crowfeather’s heart.
            While he does say that he does not love her and is just fond of her because of what they had once (Now I haven’t read his SE and based it off the research done for the article), there is also a problem with this quote. First, in Squirrelflight’s Hope, which was written later, there are hints that he may still love her. Second, during their interactions he thinks and reminds himself that he doesn’t love her anymore, but his emotions and feelings such as the ‘tingles in paws’ say otherwise, so he might as well be trying to convince himself.
            Thank you for sharing your opinion, I didn’t notice it until now.

      • I agree with the age gap thing. I don’t like it when people say that she was “old” or that FeatherCrow was pedophilia, because the age gap wasn’t that big, and Crowpaw was pretty much an adult at the time, he was going to have a warrior ceremony, but he went on the journey instead.

        However, their real love was there, at the time. Two young people with no relationship experience, far from homes and passionately in love with each other. It is hard to judge how strong the feelings were based on the choices they swore to make far from any factors that could possibly affect their decision. Even if Feathertail risked her relationship with her brother, still she was yet to choose: Crowpaw or the Clan, and with love clouding her judgement. Maybe in the end she would have let her head rule her heart, or the feeling would’ve burn out with time. Also was it ever said that Crowpaw wanted to join RC? I only know that he asked Feathertail to be with him when they find a new home. But your opinion is valid and thanks for sharing this!

    • Exactly! I ship LeafXSorrel WAAAAAAAAAY more than LeafXCrow. They just seemed more comfortable together, you know? And the pairing took time and they were great friends… (My second choice for Leafpool would be Mothwing, they were a fairly cute couple).

  • It’s there!!!
    Thank you for all the comments, the positive and the ones whose authors disagree with me!

    • I realised that I wrote some things twice. It is because after commenting first, I accidentally closed the website and was scared that the comments will disappear, for some reason. I apologise.

  • This is a little late, but I would like it if Crowfeather chose both Leafpool and Feathertail or neither, because I feel like he’s just the type to be concerned with romance, particularly later into the books.

  • CrowxFeather is better i think. Leafpool and Crowfeather literally got divorced.
    In fact whenever Leafpool sees Crowfeather in one of the books she says: that doesn’t mean I didn’t love u.
    I didn’t
    Past tense, implying she no longer has romantic feelings for him. Yeah she might be sad over it, but their love kinda dies. So yeah even IF FeatherxCrow was just a high chill crush, their love didn’t die. And it probably wouldn’t have and I’m saying that because he named himself after Feathertail, saw her in Leafpool and that’s part of why he liked her in the first place

  • I think crow will pick Leaf. I think this because, spoilers ahead for TBC, when crow meets leaf in Starclan, he completely forgets that clan cats are watching and he goes and twines tails with leaf and they stay with each other for a while until he has to go back to the clans.

  • i’d also like to add as of the broken code, crowfeather visits starclan and meets leafpool and it’s clear they are still in love and will be together in starclan. feathertail sees this from a little way away and is jealous, as her mother silverstream is of greystripe and millie.

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