[image description: Mapleshade holds up Petalkit with Larchkit and Patchkit at her paws]

Analyzing Mapleshade by Goldenbrook

[image description: Mapleshade holds up Petalkit with Larchkit and Patchkit at her paws]
Art by Cristop
[image description: Mapleshade holds up Petalkit with Larchkit and Patchkit at her paws]
Goldenbrook discusses Mapleshade

I love Mapleshade’s character. It’s so interesting to me to read a book where the protagonist’s point of view cannot be trusted. So last night I reread Mapleshade’s Vengeance, and now I’m going to talk about her.
Spoilers ahead for Mapleshade’s Vengeance, Crookedstar’s Promise, Goosefeather’s Curse, Tigerclaw’s Fury, OOTS, and a minor spoiler for NP.
First I want to touch up on what I mean when I say that Mapleshade’s point of view can’t be trusted. And this is why: she feels that she is always in the right. She thinks multiple times in the books, that StarClan is giving a blessing. Both when she finds Frecklewish, and Appledusk, she thinks “StarClan has led my prey right to me.” This is very arrogant, to think that StarClan would help her murder somebody.
Additionally, when she first thinks of the wonderful idea of killing Ravenwing, she thinks, “He jumped to conclusions, shattered the Clan’s trust in her, forced her Clanmates to judge her for something beyond her control.” There are several things wrong with this. Ravenwing had received an omen from StarClan, so at most it was an educated guess, for him to think that Mapleshade’s kits were half-clan. And when he confronted her, his theory was proven correct, and only then did he tell the Clan. And he was sad about it to! He didn’t want to ruin their lives, he was just doing his job. And he didn’t force her Clanmates to do anything. He just shared information, and they reacted to the news the way anybody would: with shock, horror, and anger.
Not only this, but Mapleshade also thinks that it was “beyond her control.” This is blatantly false. Mapleshade chose to meet with Appledusk, and have kits with him! She could have walked away at any time, but she didn’t. But she refuses to think that she did anything wrong.
Another thing about Mapleshade is that practically every time we see her after her death, she’s trying to recruit some cat about her cause. She trained Goosefeather briefly, but Goosefeather cut it off, and we never saw her again after that in that book. But then, in Crookedstar’s Promise, she trains him as well. He leaves after realizing that she was a Dark Forest warrior, but as an added bonus, Mapleshade got to destroy his life to punish him for being related to Appledusk. Now whether or not she contributed to Willowbreeze’s greencough, we’ll probably never know. It could have been natural, or Mapleshade might have done it. But that’s not the focus here.
Mapleshade even goes as far to train Tigerstar, when he was exiled. She taught him in his dreams, her preferred method, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that she took an interest in Tigerclaw. In OOTS, she is one of the leaders of the Dark Forest, training Clan cats to kill their kin and destroy the Clans, helping her enact her unfinished revenge. One thing I find interesting about all this, is that after her death, she decides that she would rally the Dark Forest warriors, training them and gathering them to destroy all Clans.
So this raises an interesting question: who started the sort of Dark Forest rebellion in OOTS? Was it Mapleshade, or Tigerstar? I personally think that it was both. I think that when Tigerstar died, at first he walked alone, which is what he says is the way of the Dark Forest to Darkstripe somewhere in NP. This is also what we see at the end of Mapleshade’s Vengeance. So what changed? I think that maybe Mapleshade and Tigerstar met sometime in the Dark Forest, and started to formulate a plan. Mapleshade had been trying for years to start a rebellion, but with Tigerstar, she could get even more done.
So, that’s my take on Mapleshade. She is arrogant, self-righteous, with a gift of persuasion, whether she uses that gift on herself or others. Sorry if this was a little long!

Fan Articles


Latest Art

More BlogClan Art