[Spottedleaf lays among the undergrowth]

Spottedleaf’s Defense by Mistheart

Mistheart defends Spottedleaf’s character.

Art by alisonli (tumblr)

Hello, Mistheart here. In this article, as the title implies, I will be writing down a newer version of my previous (terrible) Spottedleaf article. If you know me well enough, Spottedleaf is my favorite character, though she’s not the easier character to defend.

/spoilers for The Prophecies Begin, Firestar’s Quest, Midnight, Starlight, Spottedleaf’s Heart, and Twilight/

Part 1 | Spottedleaf x Firestar

There’s obviously lots of questions here to Spottedleaf’s development. In this section, I will be going over almost everything to SpottedFire’s development. Let’s start with some quotes! Of course, I won’t be listing down every single quote on Spottedleaf’s appearance, or that would take too long. Instead, I’ll just be writing down some of her major appearances.

“[Spottedleaf] impatiently flicked her tail at Graypaw and Firepaw and pushed her way between them and her patient. Firepaw realized she was serious, despite the lively glimmer in her warm amber eyes.”

– Into the Wild, pg. 46. Spottedleaf is trying to heal Ravenpaw’s wounded shoulder, and tries to help him despite Graypaw and Firepaw’s appearances. This quote shows that Spottedleaf isn’t just a softy medicine cat, but truly cares about her job despite her patience and warmth toward other cats.

“‘I’ve got most of those in my den. I’ll fetch some marigold leaves too. If she dresses her wound with that, it’ll keep off any infection […] Tell Yellowfang to go easy on the poppy seeds. I don’t want her to deaden the pain entirely. A little pain can be useful, as it will help me judge how well she is healing.'”

– Into the Wild, pg. 105.

“‘I’ll get mouse bile now!’ Firepaw offered. He was glad of a chance to get away from the grumpy cat for a while. And it was certainly no hardship to go and see Spottedleaf again.”

– Into the Wild, pg. 110. One of the cutest quotes from Firepaw!!! Although the word “love” is not directly mentioned, the first sign of Firepaw’s affection to Spottedleaf is made, and the first sign of a growing relationship between Spottedleaf and Firepaw.

“‘The moss is soaked in bile. Don’t get any in your mouth, or you’ll have a foul taste for days. Press it onto the ticks and wash your paws — in a stream, not with your tongue!”

– Into the Wild, pg. 112.

“Firepaw headed down the fern tunnel that led to Spottedleaf’s den. As he entered the clearing, he could see Spottedleaf preparing some sweet-smelling herbs […] ‘In a moment,’ replied Spottedleaf, pawing two piles of herbs together and mixing them with one delicately extended claw […] [Firepaw] tasted her warm, sweet breath as he took the bark strip between his teeth”

– Into the Wild, pg. 111-112. Spottedleaf is busy preparing a poultice of two sweet-smelling herbs, before fetching a bark strip with a wad of bile-soaked moss at the end. The first quote that takes note of her sweet scent.

“‘You have come for traveling herbs […] your traveling herbs are ready. Enough for the three of you. The dark green herb will stop your hunger pangs during the journey, and the other will give you strength. Eat them both just before you leave. They’re not as good as fresh prey, but the taste won’t last long […] As [Firepaw] bent his head, Spottedleaf stretched over and gently rubbed his cheek with her nose. Firepaw breathed in her warm, sweet scent, and purred his thanks.”

– Into the Wild, pg. 163-164. One of the (other) cutest SpottedFire quotes! It is shown here that Spottedleaf has been continuously dropped indirect hints of her affection for Firepaw, and right now, the two have one of their best moments. LOL I can just imagine a fan-art with Firepaw ducking his head, and Spottedleaf stretching over to gently rub his cheek with her nose!

“Spottedleaf: ‘The spirits of StarClan are restless. I think they’re trying to tell me something. What can I do for you? […] The pain of losing Lionheart will make [Graypaw’s] injuries feel worse. But he’ll mend in time; don’t worry. In the meantime, you’re right, poppy seeds will help. Just shake out one or two and give them to him.’
Firepaw: ‘Are you sure you’re okay?’
Spottedleaf: ‘Go and see your friend. Wait […] Firepaw, StarClan spoke to me moon ago, before you joined the Clan. I sense they want me to tell you this now. They said that fire alone will save the Clan. Take care, Firepaw.’

– Into the Wild, pg. 210-211. Firepaw is dropping in hints of his affection for Spottedleaf, as shown in this quote. In this case, he’s showing concern for the medicine cat, asking if she’s okay and indirectly pressing her when she still has an unsettled expression on her face. Later on, Spottedleaf tells Firepaw the prophecy, and the latter is stunned. Very interesting and downright annoying, since the prophecy clearly does not mean that a cat with fire- as a prefix will save the Clan.

“Firepaw nosed his way forward and saw Tigerclaw standing over a motionless bundle of dappled fur. Spottedleaf! Firepaw stared in disbelief at her lifeless body. Fury rose in him like a dark cloud, and he felt the blood roaring in his ears. Who had done this?”

– Into the Wild, pg. 231. A tragic quote that causes both desperation and pure fury in Firepaw, though his rage also gives him energy to avenge her tragic death in Forest of Secrets.

“Firepaw buried his nose in Spottedleaf’s wet fur and breathed in her scent one last time. ‘Goodbye, my sweet Spottedleaf,’ he murmured.”

– Into the Wild, pg. 236. OMG this quote was so sad! I almost cried when I read this section, and I feel so bad for poor Firepaw who just lost his medicine cat! Yes, notice how Firepaw didn’t even use the word “love” once, and he never referred to Spottedleaf as his future mate or even his crush. Firepaw loved Spottedleaf because she was his medicine cat, and because of her gentle, patient, and openly warm nature that would later give supporting reasons to their upcoming developing relationship.

“Then, [Firepaw’s] tail drooped as he realized he would never find Spottedleaf in her clearing, the sunlight gleaming on her soft fur, her amber eyes shining in welcome.”

– Into the Wild, pg. 268. I feel so so so bad for Firepaw at the moment! His gentle, patient, uniquely and unreplacably understanding young medicine cat just died. It was a tragic death, being killed by Clawface, and Firepaw recalls wistfully that he would never see Spottedleaf again.

Now, onto my defense for SpottedFire! There’s a lot of reasons why people hate SpottedFire, even in this book. First, SpottedFire apparently seems to have a lack of development. However, in my perspective, it has so much development. If you count the beginning of development as the time where characters begin to feel affection for each other, then congratulations. Into the Wild shows the beginning development stage of SpottedFire.

However, speaking technically, SpottedFire’s development never ends. If you count the end of development as the time where the two characters announce themselves as mates or consistently refer to each other as true mates, then SpottedFire’s development never truly ended, because Spottedleaf and Firestar never officially announced themselves as mates in the entire series nor referred to each other as mates. Another reason for SpottedFire hate is that “Firepaw spoke 20 words to Spottedleaf before she died, and then the latter goes lovestruck for Fireheart after she died.”

Actually, I just reread the entire Into the Wild book. No, not 20 words, I promise. Firepaw actually spoke 70 words to Spottedleaf, if I counted correctly (yeah, I’m insane enough to do that). Now, lemme count how many words Spottedleaf spoke back to Firepaw! Hmm… 307, if I counted correctly, which makes 377 words in total. They probably actually spoke a lot more words than just that, since the event where Firepaw received mouse bile/poppy seeds/marigold leaves from Spottedleaf was just one of the many days where he was taking care of Yellowfang.

Anyway, I know what you’re about to say… “I didn’t mean literally 20 words!” or something like that. Yes, I knew that, but I’m just saying that Spottedleaf and Firepaw spent at least 6 moons with Spottedleaf, probably receiving lots of injures or having to take care of Yellowfang during that period, and therefore, they knew each other very well – more than necessary and more than the development of BrackenSorrel, which development over the span of half a book, if I remembered correctly..

You may argue that Spottedleaf didn’t love Firepaw back when she was alive, but she suddenly got lovestruck the moment she died. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that sudden of a love. Don’t you ever wonder if any of the others received this feeling:

“As [Firepaw] bent his head, Spottedleaf stretched over and gently rubbed his cheek with her nose. Firepaw breathed in her warm, sweet scent and purred his thanks.” – Into the Wild, pg. 164. We can see here that Firepaw received a gentle, caring motion from Spottedleaf, and the two have a silent moment of affection. However… this might not happen with other cats, such as Tigerclaw:

“Not so fast, Tigerclaw!” Spottedleaf placed her paw over Tigerclaw’s sharp talon […] “We don’t want [Ravenpaw] opening his wound by jumping about trying to please you. Leave him alone.” […] [Firepaw] guessed that few cats dared to give orders to the warrior like that. The big tabby stiffened…”

– Into the Wild, pg. 46.

Spottedleaf is a medicine cat. Spottedleaf would never give up her duties for her love for Firestar, as stated by Kate Cary in Ask Kate Questions on BlogClan (Kate’s Blog). Also, Spottedleaf is deeply rooted to the medicine cat code and therefore would be looked down upon by the Clan if she openly expressed her love for Firepaw. However, the tortoiseshell drops in hints about her love for Firepaw, as stated in my previous page about the quote in pg. 164 of Into the Wild.

I think it would also be wrong to say that SpottedFire was just a one-sided crush, when we have no idea what Spottedleaf feels about Firepaw as she did not have a point of view in the book. A medicine cat could easily feel attached to another tomcat yet manage to keep all their feelings a secret, shown by Cinderpelt when she was discussing her love for Firestar. The fact that SpottedFire is not a one-sided crush is also greatly supported by Spottedleaf’s visits to Firestar in his dreams. Besides helping him receive valuable prophecies and omens from StarClan, which she was confused about when she was alive (Into the Wild, pg. 211), Spottedleaf supported Firestar’s decisions when she was dead and even rebelled against the rest of StarClan to help Firestar on his quest to save SkyClan, in Firestar’s Quest. This shows how much Spottedleaf loves Firestar and cares for his destiny, and how much it broke her heart to depart from him in Firestar’s Quest so that he could spend an even happier future with Sandstorm.

Part 2 | Why Spottedleaf is Awesome!

1.) Spottedleaf is a medicine cat. She knows all about herbs and healing, and taught the reader so many new remedies as a medicine cat as well as the belief of StarClan and the culture of the Clans. It was a great introduction to the medicine cat role, and some of her mentioned remedies in Into the Wild included mouse bile (pressed onto ticks to make them fall off), poppy seeds (eases pain), marigold leaves (prevents infection), and traveling herbs (stops hunger pangs and gives strength).

2.) Spottedleaf is a really, really good medicine cat. For example, Spottedleaf healed Mousefur’s wound, Ravenpaw’s deep shoulder wound, Graypaw’s battle injuries, etc. She also visited Leafpaw in dreams and even played a part in helping her earn her full medicine cat name! For example, Spottedleaf comforted Leafpaw and guided her when the RiverClan apprentice Reedpaw was half-drowned from the flooding river. She also guided Leafpaw toward the Moonpool, where medicine cats would meet every half-moon. She also gave Leafpaw advice in desperate situations, and though some may have been vague, Spottedleaf never regretted her actions and comforted Leafpool when she made the wrong choices anyway. Also, it helped Leafpool realize where her heart and loyalties lay — not with Crowfeather, but with ThunderClan.

3.) Spottedleaf is an extremely generous and considerate character. She was forced to watch over her living Clanmates in StarClan when they made the wrong choices, yet she had no power to guide their pawsteps. Still, Spottedleaf had the patience to guide Fireheart in his dreams. Also, while Spottedleaf did deeply love Fireheart, with her concern for him increasing as ThunderClan was on the verge of collapsing to constant threats and danger, Spottedleaf still gave up her role as his mate out of consideration for Firestar’s future. For example, while Firestar did love Spottedleaf and vice versa, Spottedleaf pushed her own needs away to make Firestar happy in the best possible way — by stepping out of the door so that Firestar could live a happier life with Sandstorm. It’s heart-breaking, but generous and truly shows Spottedleaf’s generous and compassionate nature.

4.) Spottedleaf is such an awesome character in general. She’s severely flawed due to her uncertain relationship with Firestar, but she still manages to keep her generous, patient, considerate, compassionate, and uniquely warm and open-minded nature. She would’ve been a great mother to Firestar’s kits if she lived, with her skilled and motherly nature toward her Clan, but this could only happen if her faith in the medicine cat code shattered hard enough. Of course, while Spottedleaf does deeply love Firestar and made many ultimate sacrifices to make him happy, she likely never regretted a day in her life, continuing to serve faithfully under the medicine cat code.

Oh, and speaking of flaws, YES Spottedleaf does have flaws. I’m about to end this article so Imma keep this last part short.

1 – She rejected StarClan’s will at first because of her ambitious personality and blind hopes of being a warrior.
2 – She fell off a tree in Spottedleaf’s Heart. Mary Sues NEVER FALL OFF TREES. Trees are really, really dangerous in Warriors, and Mary Sues NEVER FALL OFF TREES.

/warning: the following contains brief info on Spottedleaf x Thistleclaw, which is considered highly abusive. If you do not feel comfortable reading this next section, skip until after the warning ends/

3 – She was blind to Thistleclaw’s abusive nature. Thistleclaw was 100% abusive. He treated her with cruelty, disrespect, a dismissive nature, an on-and-off personality, and etc. etc. etc. I won’t go into detail.

/end of warning/

4.) She fell in love with Firestar. Period. That’s already… breaking the medicine cat code. Yeah, she didn’t have his kits, and the two didn’t refer to each other as mates, but she fell in love, and falling in love is against the medicine cat code.

5.) She refused to let go of her love to Firestar. She continued to fall in love with him even more after death, and refused to let go of him even in his dreams, guiding him and giving him advice and even going against the will of the rest of StarClan to support him in Firestar’s Quest. Later, when Leafpaw was a medicine cat apprentice, Spottedleaf continued to guide Firestar’s daughter and lead her onto the best possible path.

So, whether or not you enjoy reading about Spottedleaf, I hope this article persuaded you that Spottedleaf might not have been as bad as you originally thought. Have an awesome day, and hope you enjoyed!!! ~ Cloudy

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40 comments

    • TOTALLY AGREE!! She is one of the most HATED cats in warrior cats! I LOVE this article sooo much! I thought I was the ONLY one who absolutely LOVES Spottedleaf! My heart was broken when there was a SpottedFire or SandFire article comment that said, ‘Go with Sandstorm! She’s loyal, loving, and determined while Spottedleaf is Firestars dead childhood crush!’ Or something like that i dont really remember but it really broke my heart.
      This article is one of my FAVORITE ARTICLES EVER!

      • I actually don’t like Sandstorm (unlike 99.9% of the fandom) but I don’t think Spottedleaf’s that great either but she is really fun to draw! 😺

  • Great article! I’m mainly neutral on Spottedleaf, but I do think she’s a great and well developed character! Wonderful article, and very well written and convincing! 😀

  • Great article! I’m neutral on Spottedleaf, but I don’t ship FireXSpotted. Most of it’s development happened after Spottedleaf’s death…… So that kind of makes it awkward

  • 🇺🇦Yes, I am running for senior warrior, first kit to be lets gooo! (Daykit/dream)🇺🇦 says:

    Great article! I agree with you- Spottedleaf is amazing! She is tied for my favorite character! Although- I despise SpottedFire. A lot of it took place after Spottedleaf died soo….
    thats a little awkward

  • 🌊Streampaw of MoonClan, apprentice to Blossomtail! Happy Easter, everyone!🌊 (Streampaw/lark, she/her) says:

    Amazing article, Mistheart! This is a very well-written defense article about Spottedleaf and Spotted x Fire! Even though I don’t ship Spotted x Fire, I like it a bit more after reading this article! 🙂 I like Spottedleaf and she’s in my top 30 favorite Warriors characters. You did a great job!

  • I agree on this, poor spottedleaf, she is a super nice cat an yet she get called a mary sue and gets a lot of hate, even tho she didnt do anything bad (like, she made some bad choices, but not intentionaly) also great article!

  • Honestly its hard to feel one way about spottedleaf because we only ever saw her when she was granted starclans wisdom, we didn’t get to see her much prior to her death. Also you forgot to mention this: “In the deserted forest, Firestar crouched beside Spottedleaf’s trembling body. Blood welled at her
    neck, soaking Firestar’s cheek as he pressed against her. “Spottedleaf! Please don’t go.” Dovewing
    heard a sob in his mew. “You promised you’d be there to welcome me.”
    Spottedleaf gave a tiny shake of her head. “That was never going to happen, my love. I cannot
    journey with you anymore. I’m so sorry.”
    Firestar pawed at her. “No! I still need you!””
    -Omen of Stars #6 The Last Hope

    • Oh so you care about age gaps, huh, Graciefern? Well, Sandstorm was still older than Firestar, by like, idk, 4 moons, maybe? So for cats that’s… lets see here… Sandstorm would probably be 14, and Firestar would be 10, so there’s a 4 year difference! Spottedleaf would be 28 years so that would make it an 18 year difference, but SandxFire still has an age gap. But anyways its not against the law to have an age gap. People make such big deals about it!

  • spottedleaf is soooooo overhated, i love her and she was my favourite character while reading TPB, everone thinks she just was a mary sue and loved firestar, BUT HOW DID THEY FORGET ABOUT HOW MUCH SHE HELPED LEAFPAW/POOL, she wasn’t even a mary sue for that matter, love ur article, (so well written), and i hope the spottedleaf hate can stop one day…

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