[a fluffy full-body design of Mapleshade sitting with unsheathed claws on one paw]

Mapleshade: Malicious or Misunderstood? by Pearlshine

Pearlshine gives their take on the Mapleshade debate.

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Hiya there! I’m Pearlshine. This is my first article ever, so apologies if it doesn’t meet BlogClan standards. And I read Mapleshade’s Vengeance a while ago, so forgive me if it’s a bit inaccurate.

Anyhoo, as you probably saw from the title, I’m gonna be debating whether or not Mapleshade, perhaps one of the best known Dark Forest warriors, is truly evil. Most people say she is, but a few don’t.

So let’s start from the beginning. Mapleshade is in love with this RiverClan warrior named Appledusk. We find out she’s pregnant. No one really knows who the father is, though Frecklewish (WORST CHARACTER EVER!!!!!! Will explain why later) and most of the Clan believe it’s Frecklewish’s own brother, Birchface.

So there’s this battle between RiverClan and ThunderClan. (AGAIN) Birchface and an apprentice named Flowerpaw are killed.

Turns out this medicine cat, Ravenwing, who apparently knows, is like “I cannot let you lie to our Clanmates! And now that I know the truth, I cannot lie either.” So he tells everyone.

And Frecklewish is like, “You have betrayed my brother’s name! You have betrayed us all with your lies and disloyalty. You don’t deserve to be called a warrior and nor do these… half-Clan creatures. Their father killed Birchface and Flowerpaw! Get them out of here!”

And Oakstar is like, ​​”Have you forgotten Appledusk murdered my son and Flowerpaw? Of all cats, why did you have to choose him? You cannot possibly expect my forgiveness. You have betrayed the warrior code and lied to your Clanmates. We will not raise these kits within the walls of our camp, nor the boundaries of our territory. Take them and leave. You are no longer a warrior of ThunderClan.”

Now this is where it gets complicated, so let’s pause for a minute. Yes, Mapleshade broke the code. Yes, maybe Appledusk could have done more to prevent Birchface and Flowerpaw’s deaths. BUT 1) it’s also against the code to endanger kits! AND kits belong in their mother’s Clan. By banishing Mapleshade and her kits, Oakstar indirectly endangered kits. And 2) Appledusk didn’t even KILL them, not really. He could have prevented their deaths, but the warrior code would not have dictated that he had to.

Okay. Back to the story.

Obviously devastated, Mapleshade leaves the Clan. She attempts to cross a raging river with her kits to take them to RiverClan, but they drown. When Appledusk finds her, this mange-faced, scat-sniffing traitorous piece of scum actually blames her! Like, hello? I don’t see YOU doing anything to help the kits! If you were actually a good father you would have done SOMETHING! Stay with them in ThunderClan! Run away WITH them!

But no. He doesn’t even stand up for Mapleshade when Darkstar (leader of RiverClan) questions her. And NO ONE blames him for ANYTHING, even though he did the exact same thing that she did. Oh, oh! And! Turns out this whole time he has a mate (named Reedshine) who we find out later is also going to have kits!!!!!!!!!!

(Deep breaths) Okay. So now, her clan rejected her, her kits are dead, her mate rejected her, Darkstar rejected her, all in, like, what? Two hours?

Fueled by her grief and rage, Mapleshade decides to avenge her kits, which I can’t say I blame her for doing. Call me murderous, but her sorrow must have driven her absolutely insane! She kills a bunch of cats, who all indirectly caused her kits’ deaths, and upon trying to kill Appledusk, she’s fatally wounded by his apprentice.

As we all know, she goes to the Dark Forest. But did she deserve it? No. No. No. She was just a grieving, slightly insane mother who did wrong things but were, as far as the saying ‘an eye for and eye’ goes, fair in her mind.

There is no questioning that in the Dark Forest she was definitely evil. But if she’d been able to join StarClan, who knows? She could have been reunited with her kits. She probably wouldn’t have done all those other horrible things.

So that’s my take on the matter! If you have a different opinion, please let me know!

I leave you know with her words: “Can you imagine what it feels like? To be rejected twice? To be a loner, when all you tried to do was love?”


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  • I think you did a really good job!
    I totally agree about Appledusk!
    but, why is Frecklewish the "worst character ever"?

  • This is so true! Totally agree with you. But I wish the author didn’t make her so evil in the dark forest. She didn’t deserve to go there. All she did was get revenge on the cats who betrayed her!!!

  • I love Mapleshade. Like you said she did all of the evil things because two clans and her friends,family and mate STUPID APPLEDUSK abandoned her and her kits and let them die. If I had made the book all of the cats but mapleshade and her kits would have gone to the darkforest. I mean it is not Mapleshades problem for falling in love. TUNS of other cats have and will. Also everybody does something wrong in their life time so in that case shouldn’t every cat go to the dark forest?

  • Nice article!

    I mostly agree though I think Mapleshade could’ve been a bit more smart about taking her kits across the river.

    Anyways, nice article!

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