[a full-body design of Juniperclaw walking with his colour palette]

My Unpopular Series #1 by Mistheart

Art by Warrior Cat Designs (tumblr)

Mistheart argues that Juniperclaw should be redeemed – what do you think?

Hello, Mistheart here. In this article, I will be going further into Juniperclaw’s actions and arguing why he (seriously) deserves to be redempted. If you disagree or have a strong argument, please let me know in the comments, but try not to add some points that I have already discussed over in this article unless you have a strong reason to disagree.

With that said, let’s get started. First of all, as a minor villain, let’s recap on Juniperclaw’s story. So, his mother was Dawnpelt, a fairly minor character, best known for being the only daughter of Tawnypelt and Rowanclaw, who are her parents. Juniperclaw’s father is Crowfrost, the former deputy of ShadowClan during the A Vision of Shadows arc; we don’t know much about him.

However, Juniperclaw’s best-known relatives are his littermates. His brother is Strikestone, and his sister is the treacherous Sleekwhisker. Yes, the Sleekwhisker who sided with Darktail the whole time, betrayed SkyClan, and threatened to destroy the remnants of ShadowClan.

Like the other ShadowClan apprentices, Juniperclaw was eager to join Darktail’s Kin and immediately received his unofficial warrior name, but his early life events are small potatoes compared to his actions in The Raging Storm, where he becomes known as a villain and is later sent to exile in the Dark Forest.

Here’s the situation: After Tawnypelt steps down as the ShadowClan deputy, Tigerstar appoints Juniperclaw to take her place. Of course, the immature tabby does a terrible job of a deputy, raiding their SkyClan neighbors on purpose and lying to his leader.

Later on, SkyClan’s boundaries were causing much tension within the Clans, and Leafstar decided that she might consider leaving the lake. Juniperclaw is determined to kick them out without a battle, so while two of his fellow comrades distract the SkyClan cats, he silently poisons their prey, causing Sparrowpelt to be extremely sick.

Leafstar, of course, gets enraged at Juniperclaw and leaves the lake territories once and for all. However, after the huge storm appears in The Raging Storm, SkyClan struggles to make it back to the gorge, and after persuasion led by Twigbranch, Leafstar finally decides to return to the Clans.

During this time, it is unknown whether or not Juniperclaw feels remorse for his actions. Nevertheless, he is shown trying to redeem himself by desperately trying to apologize to Tigerstar during the flood and saving Shadowkit, which helped to reconnect the Clans together.

So, let’s wrap Juniperclaw’s story, and get on with the actual article. Here’s the main reasons why Juniperclaw gets accused of being evil:

A.) He poisoned SkyClan’s fresh-kill.
B.) He consistently launched attacks on SkyClan.
C.) He urged SkyClan to move away so that ShadowClan could have their territory back.

Now, before we begin, keep in mind that this is simply a defense article for Juniperclaw, not his redemption arc, so I actually believe that what he did was wrong, but not wrong to the point where he was rejected by StarClan in A Light in the Mist.

First, let’s examine the situation he was in. SkyClan’s new borders caused erupting tensions within the Clans, tensions that not only could be avoided but also weakened Tigerstar’s reputation and his control of his territory. As a deputy, Juniperclaw had the right to step up.

Of course, he probably didn’t need to step up to the point where he poisoned SkyClan’s fresh-kill. But keep in mind that he was only trying to avoid more tension and erupting attacks within the Clans. As a former member of Darktail’s Kin, Juniperclaw was taught that problems should be solved by war, which might not be the best solution in every case.

However, like Darktail did with Sleekwhisker and Needletail, Juniperclaw was inexperienced in this situation and might’ve acted rashly on purpose. These attacks may not have been the best, but this was how Juniperclaw was raised and taught to solve tensions, and he was taught no other way by Darktail’s Kin.

Later on, by the time SkyClan refused to leave, Juniperclaw was a strong supporter that SkyClan needed to leave. There’s nothing wrong with having different opinions; however, what matters is how you act on them. Juniperclaw had already gotten this far to the results, and he obviously had no choice but to keep going, no matter how much more regret he felt about his previous actions along the way.

Now, lemme get to his redemption. Honestly, I feel enraged at the fact that Mudclaw got into StarClan, while Juniperclaw was consistently rejected and sent to be punished in the Dark Forest, when Mudclaw did worse things, had a worse mindset, and had worse intentions than Juniperclaw.

Anyway, let’s keep going. I felt that Juniperclaw deserved to go to StarClan. Yes, he did some horrible actions in his real life, and nothing can back up his terrible choice of poisoning SkyClan’s fresh-kill. However, his actions and his desperate attempts to apologize caused ShadowClan and Tigerstar to realize that SkyClan deserved to be one of the Clans, residing in the lake with the other four.

Meanwhile, Juniperclaw did other things to desperately try to redeem himself, like Mudclaw and unlike Mapleshade. First, he was the first ShadowClan cat to realize that Shadowkit was missing, and he gave up his life to save the son of Tigerstar, showing that he truly wants to be accepted once more.

Then, in A Light in the Mist, Juniperclaw apologizes sincerely to StarClan, and he agrees to guard Ashfur’s tunnel between StarClan and the Dark Forest for the rest of his entire life, as a spirit in the afterworlds. Yet, StarClan still rejected him, which honestly makes me so frustrated, especially with the fact that they accepted Thistleclaw.

So, therefore, I can conclude that, while Juniperclaw’s initial actions while he was still living were cruel and cannot be justified, they are backed up by strong reason from his early life. Meanwhile, he tried to justify himself and apologize to Tigerstar at the last moment, even willing to guard Ashfur’s tunnel and accept the fact that he would never enter StarClan in his spirit life.

Thank you for reading! ~ Cloudy

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