Analyzing Feathertail’s Life (Part One of the Feathertail Article Series) by Streampaw

Streampaw takes a look at Feathertail’s life.

Hi, everyone! I’m Streampaw/lark, and right now I’m making an article series all about my favorite Warriors character, Feathertail. In this article, I’ll be examining her life and her actions, and in part two I’ll explain why exactly I love Feathertail so much! If some of my statements contradict your opinion, I’m not trying to be rude. Let’s get started!

Analysis

It wouldn’t be a complete article if I didn’t analyze it, would it?

Part One: Early Life

Feathertail was born along with her brother, Stormfur, to Silverstream and Graystripe in the Forest of Secrets. Poor Silverstream died because of blood loss while she kitted, leaving Featherkit and her brother without a mother. At first, she went to ThunderClan with Graystripe and was nursed by Goldenflower along with Tawnykit and Bramblekit, but after ThunderClan argued with Leopardstar, she and her littermate came to RiverClan. (Because the tradition back then was that half-Clan kits go to their mother’s clan?) Featherpaw was mentored by Mistyfoot, who trained her well and Featherpaw was very close with her. She, Mistyfoot, Stormfur, and his mentor, Stonefur, did almost everything together and had a very tight bond, kind of like an uncle/aunt/niece/nephew relationship. But just moons after she went to RiverClan, Tigerstar had allied with Leopardstar and RiverClan (more like conquering and controlling them, however) and renamed them “TigerClan ”. He wanted every one of his warriors to be completely loyal to him, and he saw loyalty as ‘pure-Clan cats’ (no kittypets, loners, rogues, or cats who had origins outside of the Clans nor half-Clan cats), so he ordered Stonefur, Stormpaw’s mentor, to kill Featherpaw and Stormfur when they were still apprentices. This was very traumatizing to Silverstream’s kits, who heard their Clanmates cheering for their execution, and no cat stood up for them except for noble Stonefur. When Stonefur refused, Blackfoot and Darkstripe fought against him. Stonefur battled valiantly, but he was weak from starvation and he died, sacrificing his life to save the cats he cared for the most. Thankfully, Fireheart and his Clanmates came just in time to rescue Graystripe’s kits and Mistyfoot, but none of the other RiverClan cats except Stonefur were willing to help them. Featherpaw and Stormpaw were struck hard with grief for the cat who had been so close to them and it was a bit hard to fit in with the ThunderClan cats because of their history of leaving one Clan and going to the other, but eventually, they made friends and Cinderpelt helped their family heal and be well-fed again. Featherpaw and Stormpaw trained in ThunderClan for a while before the battle with BloodClan, and they developed some new friendships. (ex. Featherpaw and Fernpaw) Then, they and the other apprentices fought in the battle and killed Bone with all of their combined strength, speed, stealth, and skill. Just as Featherpaw was settling into her new home in ThunderClan (it was just a little while after the battle), Leopardstar spoke with Mistyfoot and asked if the gray she-cat would be her deputy. Mistyfoot agreed and Featherpaw and Stormpaw went back to RiverClan, then were trained a tad more before becoming warriors named Feathertail and Stormfur. One of the only reasons Feathertail went back was because of her close relationship with Stormfur and she didn’t want him to be alone: they have survived horrible things together and had a very nice bond. Still, Feathertail went back to RiverClan and that’s where we leave off in her story.

Part Two: A Warrior In RiverClan

Stormfur could forgive his Clanmates easily, but Feathertail couldn’t. As a young warrior, it was hard for her to let go of the past and because of this, she held grudges. She remembered how the very same Clanmates who were cheering for her at her warrior ceremony had cheered for their execution. She was especially upset with Leopardstar: the exact leader who’d invited them to RiverClan then agreed with the order to kill them just moons later, even if she had apologized. She didn’t think that there was a way for her to forgive them all and isolated herself, causing even more pain inside. She wouldn’t share prey, hunt, or even have a friendly conversation with any of her Clanmates except for Stormfur, as she was still stuck with the trauma from that terrible night. Feathertail is an extrovert (a person/cat who gains energy from being around other people), so this was a real problem. She even defended Ferncloud against RiverClan warriors after she let the she-cat keep her squirrel. (And rightfully so: Ferncloud was a cat that had welcomed Feathertail and Feathertail trusted her. Also, she was pregnant and in need of the squirrel so that she could ensure that her kits would thrive!) This put Feathertail on apprentice duties for a while and she did the tasks begrudgingly – knowing that she had to help her Clan and listened to Leopardstar.

Eventually, she made friends with a rogue and her kits, Sasha, Moth, and Hawk. All of that concealed sorrow and frustration inside Feathertail seemed to fade away as she found friendship again. She and Sasha were good friends and Feathertail helped her come into the Clan since she knew how it felt like to be an ‘outsider’. She saved Hawkkit from drowning when he fell into the river, and I think that she was feeling happy to be in RiverClan again! But, she learned that Sasha was Tigerstar’s mate – the mate of the very tom that had caused all the trauma in her youth – her relationship with the once-rogue was tense. Feathertail was angry that Sasha hadn’t told her and went back to isolation. Stormfur was worrying about her and tried to help, but Feathertail was too shocked. That is until Sasha left. Feathertail couldn’t quite forgive Sasha at that moment, but she promised herself that she would still protect Hawkpaw and Mothpaw as if they were her kits. But Feathertail still couldn’t let go of the past and treated Hawkpaw and Mothpaw rather unfairly, by ignoring them and not saying anything too kind when Hawkpaw had a good catch. (Note that Feathertail might seem hypocritical here for judging kits based on their parents, but at least I think she made it up with Hawkpaw and Mothpaw at the end of a Shadow In RiverClan? This might not be true but I think of Feathertail as the kind of cat to apologize for her unfair actions and ignoring Hawkpaw and Mothpaw were definitely some of them)

There was a battle against a fox (either before or after the last five-ish sentences, I forget) and Feathertail fought very hard against it to protect her brother and Sasha’s kits. Even though she had complex feelings about RiverClan and Hawkpaw and Mothpaw, she still fought to protect them! That takes courage. Then Leopardstar decided to get rid of that fox, once and for all, and she took Feathertail, Stormfur, and Hawkpaw to fight it. At this time, Feathertail was still quite unforgiving towards Leopardstar and she was beginning to grow suspicious of Hawkpaw, who not only looked but sometimes acted like his father. (This is unfair of her, but later she learns from her mistakes, which is part of why I love Feathertail so much!) But the fight against the fox was damaging, and Leopardstar was badly injured. She cried at Feathertail and her brother to leave, but Feathertail was not so easily willing to give up on her Clanmate, even if she had hurt her before. She set aside her feelings to save Leopardstar, and in the conversation afterward, Feathertail found room in her heart to forgive the golden she-cat.

She realized that her grudges were unkind and that her Clanmates truly did care for her and Stormfur. After that, Feathertail reflected that sometimes, one had to let go of the past to be able to have the best future she could have and to learn from her mistakes and her unfair treatment towards most of RiverClan. She started opening up to the other RiverClan cats again, even if it took some time, apologizing for staying away. She knew that she was loyal to her Clan now and told Graystripe at a Gathering that she’d found her way as a RiverClan warrior. She tried hard to be kind and compassionate to all of her Clanmates; making up for her ignoring them and pushing them away. She realized that she was being unfair when she’d held her grudges and acknowledged her mistakes, vowing to put them right. Seasons after this, Oakheart visited Feathertail in her dreams, telling her that she was chosen to go on a fateful quest to save the Clans. Feathertail wasn’t sure if she wanted to go. She didn’t want to lose the place that she had just earned in her Clan. But then she realized that she could just begin a new adventure and keep the cats she loved most safe, so she accepted it bravely. (Another note here: while it might seem like Feathertail’s character completely changed, it didn’t change completely, it developed. Feathertail’s empathy wasn’t sudden, she had become more compassionate in the seasons after a Shadow In RiverClan.)

Part Three: The Sun-Drown Quest

Now we begin the second half of her story. Feathertail was very kind and welcoming to the others in her group, and she spoke freely to them about her concerns and thoughts about the prophecy. She was especially considerate to Crowpaw, the WindClan cat since he knew none of the others. Throughout the journey, she continued to include him and talk to him even as the others argued. She showed everyone how to fish and used her intelligence and memory of herbs to get Squirrelpaw out from under the fence along with Tawnypelt. When a dog was chasing them, Feathertail was too scared to move from her place hidden in the bushes, but she calmed down and listened to Brambleclaw’s advice to flee to the trees. She was almost always gentle and nice towards Purdy, helping him along and defending him, except for the time that she was so angry that she yelled at him. Thankfully, her close friend Crowpaw calmed her. Before this, however, she was picked up by a Twoleg. Not wanting to hurt it, she stayed in its arms until Squirrelpaw and everyone else could rub against it to get her free. Throughout their journey, Feathertail and Crowpaw became very close friends and went hunting with each other offscreen several times. They were side by side for almost all of their trip away from the forest, talking, having fun, planning, and just enjoying the company. But Feathertail wasn’t just kind to Crowpaw; she was compassionate to Squirrelpaw, nice to Tawnypelt, empathetic to Brambleclaw, and of course, caring to Stormfur. When Tawnypelt was hurt, Feathertail helped lick her shoulder, even when she was tired and wanted to rest. She let her big, golden heart shine through, but there were still some traces of her younger self! She was sassy a lot of times, and yelled at Purdy once, proving that she couldn’t completely let go of those traits. However, I like her better than them! Her sassiness is fun to read about since she never really insults anyone. After a while of travel, Feathertail and her companions found Midnight, the stargazing badger, in the sun-drown place. After Tawnypelt’s shoulder wound was treated and the questing cats found out about the destruction of their home, they decided to venture through the mountains to head home.

At this time, Feathertail started to admire Crowpaw differently, complimenting him when he hunted. As they made their way over the mountains, Feathertail found the safest steps and paths (according to the Guides) for them to go on. She comforted Crowpaw and Crowpaw comforted her when they were both feeling nervous or scared. They had a very healthy, happy relationship: aware of each other’s emotions and soothing. Feathertail and Crowpaw weren’t just friends though – they were in love. They knew it and didn’t try to hide it or mask it or anything like that. That’s what I love about Feather x Crow other than the compassion they showed each other – they don’t care what anyone else thinks, not even about them breaking the code! They even talked about becoming mates once they got home and leaving/joining another Clan so that they could be together after Feathertail taught Crowpaw to fish, and they loved each other immensely. (They even had their inside joke about nine lives!) As they lived with the Tribe, Feathertail was also supporting Stormfur (who everyone thought was the prophesied cat) and Tawnypelt (whose injury was still bad and Feathertail cared for her a lot). When she, Crowpaw, Squirrelpaw, Brambleclaw, and Tawnypelt was kicked out of the territory, Feathertail was very persistent and said that she would never leave her brother. She thought that Crowpaw was going to argue with her (she was irritable after the Tribe kept her brother) but Crowpaw agreed with her, saying that he’d be there for her, and the cats went back in to rescue him. But then they noticed the calamities that Sharptooth had caused to the Tribe and Feathertail reasoned that they must save them. They talked to the outcasts, the cats who had failed to kill Sharptooth, and gathered information about him before they made their plan. Then, the prophecy cats took a rabbit and put deathberries into it, hoping to bait Sharptooth. Sadly, their plan didn’t work, and Sharptooth went on a rampage, easily defeating any cat he crossed paths with. He nearly killed Crowpaw, who had hidden in a nook too shallow to escape the lion-cat, and he was about to before Feathertail stepped in.

Feathertail knew that fighting would be useless. Instead, she realized what the voices were telling her to do, and she launched herself up towards a stalactite and dug her claws in until she caused it to plummet and land on Sharptooth’s neck. She fell to the ground, not being able to withstand the force of gravity. Her last words were to the cats she loved most: Stormfur and Crowpaw. She told Stormfur to be brave and help RiverClan, and she told Crowpaw their inside joke again and that she would always be with them. Her death is one of the saddest, in my opinion: it’s heartbreaking how devastated Crowpaw is after it and her last words to him are so sweet, yet so sad! (Stormfur saw enough love in her eyes to counter the rivalry of the Clans) Just after her death, Stormfur thinks he can see her spirit rising and joining Silverstream, his mother.

Well, that’s the end of my article! I’m doing another counterpart to this one titled ‘Analyzing Feathertail’s Afterlife’ about her time in the Tribe of Rushing Water/StarClan. There will be a lot of Feathertail articles to come, so watch for the next ones! I hope you liked this article!

-Streampaw/lark, 03/01/22

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