Hawksight points out two aspects of Mapleshade’s personality.
Hello, my name is Hawksight, and I am a new member of BlogClan. I have been fascinated by the Warriors series, and within it, Mapleshade’s Vengeance especially intrigues me. Therefore, although I am aware that there have been numerous articles about this character, I still decided to put in my thoughts on this particular novella.
I wrote this article originally in my mother tongue, and now I am translating it into English, while adding and deleting materials to improve the quality. The whole article, if faithfully translated, would be about 11 thousand words (though I wrote it in one sitting on March 24-25, 2022), so I have followed the advice and divided it into sections, and this is the first of them. I have to admit, since English is not my mother tongue, that inaccurate expressions might occur, and I would be glad to clarify anything. Any resemblance to other people’s opinions is absolutely coincidental. In fact, I was quite shocked, while watching videos about Mapleshade after completing the article, that my conclusions were so similar to theirs.
The following article(s) is, essentially, a presentation of facts, some of which I think may have escaped certain readers’ attention due to Mapleshade’s deceptive POV. Please note that the discussion is only focused on Mapleshade’s Vengeance, which means that Mapleshade’s actions in Crookedstar’s Promise and other books are not taken into consideration. I will talk about Oakstar, Frecklewish, Ravenwing, Appledusk and possibly other characters in later articles, but here, in this article, I am going to talk about Mapleshade herself.
We have to acknowledge two striking features of Mapleshade’s personality before dissecting her actions. The first one is recklessness. This is shown repeatedly by her actions that seem abnormal to our standards. In chapter 2, Mapleshade specifically instructs Frecklewish to tell Appledusk at the coming gathering that she has borne “three perfect, strong kits who are going to be great warriors”. Only until Frecklewish, bewildered, asks why she would talk to “that mange-fur” who killed her brother, does Mapleshade realize that this is an abnormal request, to which she “hurriedly” adds a whacky excuse. She exhibits recklessness when she asks Frecklewish to do that without thinking how Frecklewish would react to this, which leads to another question: can Mapleshade imagine how Frecklewish would react to this? This question must be brought up, because she makes another very abnormal decision:
“I will raise them as ThunderClan until they have been fully accepted. Then every cat will be able to handle the truth.” ——Mapleshade to Appledusk, ch. 1
If that’s not enough:
“The truth will be revealed at the right time.”—— Mapleshade to Ravenwing, ch.3
She is talking about revealing the true identity of the kits to the entire Clan! She is actively planning to tell everyone that those kits are half-Clan. Any normal cat, in a similar situation, would keep it as a secret ideally for the rest of their life, but Mapleshade doesn’t. Did she consider the feelings of Frecklewish or Oakstar, or any of her Clanmates, or her own kits? I believe there’s no need to elaborate on how ridiculous this decision is. That’s why I ask: is there a possibility, that Mapleshade is unable to imagine how others feel? If that’s true, then it would easily explain her strange decision, as well as why she would illogically ask Frecklewish, out of all the cats, to tell Appledusk about her giving birth. However, no matter the reason, Mapleshade is reckless.
She certainly does other reckless things, for example bringing her kits to play by the river in which two cats, Birchface and Flowerpaw, recently drowned, while her two-moon-old kit knows the rule that kits have to “stay in the camp until we are old enough to be apprentices”(ch.3). Mapleshade knows this rule, too, so she purposefully avoids being discovered by a patrol, just to send her kits into a potentially dangerous environment to play. While the kits are playing, the best swimmer, Patchkit, swims into the deeper part of the river and is too tired to swim back (the narration shows that Patchkit is clearly in trouble). Amazingly, Mapleshade asks Larchkit and Petalkit to swim into that area to help Patchkit, because “she hated the idea of getting her paws wet”. Obviously, for Mapleshade, the wetness of her paws is more important than the safety of her kits. Again, there’s no need to explain how reckless and ridiculous her actions are.
The second striking feature of Mapleshade’s personality is that she always deflects blame. There are quite a few sentences showing Mapleshade refusing to believe anything is her fault, and below I will list some instances:
“It’s not my fault that everyone assumed Birchface was their father.” (ch. 3)
I did nothing wrong, and yet I have lost everything! (ch. 5)
The water was too strong! It was not my fault that my kits died, she reminded herself.(ch. 5)
Ravenwing! This was all his fault…… Because of his actions, Patchkit, Larchkit and Petalkit had died. (ch. 5)
I am ready for you, Ravenwing! You will pay for what you have done! (ch. 5)
I fell in love, that’s all! (ch. 6)
Frecklewish needed to pay for the lost kits, just as Ravenwing had done. (ch. 6)
“You killed our kits, and now you must pay.” (ch.8)
For all eternity, Appledusk’s kin would mourn the day he had destroyed the life of a ThunderClan warrior. (ch. 9)
She shifts the blame so fast that even she can’t decide which cat wronged her the most. Here it’s all Ravenwing’s fault, and there it’s Appledusk’s kin that is doomed. That’s why Appledusk’s bane can be almost pinpointed at the exact sentence in ch. 4:
“It’s your fault that the kits are dead.”
What he says is true (I will explain this in other articles), but Mapleshade cannot handle the fact that she is to blame.
And, by extension, we can also see that she craves gratitude from others, since being thanked is the opposite of being blamed. She constantly emphasizes that ThunderClan should be grateful that she has brought them three kits, both at the Gathering and when she gives birth, also when she is confronted by Ravenwing and Oakstar. Moreover, very laughably, she believes that RiverClan will also be grateful to her (ch. 2).
This article is getting way too long, so I conclude here: these two striking features, combined with other traits either subtle or not (for example her ridiculous optimism about how her kits will grow up to be equally loyal to ThunderClan and RiverClan, a notion that seems more like an AU rather than a possible future), demonstrate a clearly infantile mind, which is absolutely responsible for the tragedy that will befall her three kits. In later articles I will analyze, in detail, the responsibilities that each character should take, but it is imperative that everyone bear in mind the glaring flaws of Mapleshade’s personality.
Thank you for reading this article, and I will continue my analysis of Mapleshade’s Vengeance, I hope.