Duskkit shares their opinion on Mapleshade.
I know that this type of article has been done a million times before, but I am here to offer my opinion on the matter. I will make four points here: Appledusk, Frecklewish, Oakstar, and Ravenwing.
Appledusk (and their kits): Mapleshade and Appledusk were mates from different Clans, which was against the Warrior Code. Mapleshade gave birth to three of his kits: Patchkit, Petalkit, and Larchkit. After raising these kits for a bit, she was exiled because Ravenwing found out about their parentage, and Oakstar exiled her. She tried to go to RiverClan, but her kits all drowned in the river, which is weird since there was a bridge to the RiverClan island. When she arrived at RiverClan, Appledusk convinced Darkstar not to let Mapleshade in. Mapleshade later murdered Appledusk. Many think Appledusk deserved this and being sent to the Dark Forest, and this was obviously a selfish move, but he had his reasons, no matter how bad they were. She had just accidently killed their kits, not noticing the bridge or how flooded the river was, and she was exiled, and harboring her might cause trouble with ThunderClan. He might have just wanted the best for his Clan.
Overall opinion: Appledusk was selfish, but Mapleshade was in the wrong to kill him.
Frecklewish: Frecklewish was ecstatic when she erroneously assumed that Birchface was the father of Mapleshade’s kits, and was furious when she found out the truth about their parentage: That Birchface’s killer was the father instead. She got so mad that she hated Mapleshade and her kits for fooling her, and debatably watched the kits die in the river. It is unspecified whether or not she let them die in front of her or didn’t see anything / was too late. But Frecklewish is confirmed to be in the Dark Forest, so it can be assumed that she did watch the kits die. This is breaking the warrior code, which says that a warrior must help a kit, no matter which Clan it is in. When watching the kits die, Frecklewish was not doing the right thing, for the Clan or anyone else. After this happened, Mapleshade soon let an adder kill Frecklewish. Frecklewish, in her dying moments, said that she was innocent, lying to Mapleshade.
Overall Opinion: Frecklewish deserves to be in the Dark Forest, and Mapleshade was right to kill her.
Oakstar: Oakstar was ThunderClan’s leader and Birchface’s father. Mapleshade assumed that he would be okay with Appledusk’s kits living in the Clan. When the truth about their parentage came out, Oakstar sent Mapleshade away from ThunderClan. Mapleshade, prior to this, was a loyal and strong warrior. Just because she fell in love with the wrong cat does not mean that her and her kits entire life of being a Clan cat should be destroyed. Oakstar was likely blinded by the fact that the father of the kits was Appledusk’s killer, which is a selfish move because they were in the midst of battle and it was very likely an accident. This was a blunder on his part. This does not mean that he should be in the Dark Forest, but this shows that he was not the best leader for ThunderClan.
Overall Opinion: Oakstar should not be in the Dark Forest, but also should not be known as ThunderClan’s best leader.
Ravenwing: Usually, when people argue over whether Mapleshade was justified or not, they do not consider Ravenwing very much, and argue instead over Frecklewish and Appledusk. But now Ravenwing is the most important part of my final answer. He was the medicine cat of ThunderClan, and was the one who told Oakstar of the kits’ parentage. He never recommended to Oakstar that Mapleshade be banished, just told him of it. He never was evil or cruel or horrible. He just didn’t like keeping secrets from his leader, which is the right thing for a cat to do. Mapleshade later killed him. That in and of itself is bad, but she also killed him at the Moonstone. And not only that, but he was ThunderClan’s only medicine cat. This forced Cloudberry of RiverClan into ThunderClan, away from her friends and kin. This also interrupted the half moon meeting at the Moonstone. What if StarClan had important things to share at that meeting? But Mapleshade didn’t consider any of this. In killing Ravenwing, she committed cold-blooded murder, overshadowing all of the debatably justifiable things she did. And then she didn’t even respect him after death. She let a hawk eat his body. This is no way for a cat to die, let alone a medicine cat.
Overall Opinion: Mapleshade committed unjustifiable murder in killing Ravenwing, undoubtably giving a reason for her to go to the Dark Forest.
FINAL ANSWER: Although some of the things Mapleshade did could be justified, she killed Ravenwing, ThunderClan’s sole medicine cat, showing her to be a cold-blooded murderer who definitely deserves the Dark Forest.
PS: Mapleshade also killed Spottedleaf’s spirit, and no matter how much you like or dislike Spottedleaf, you cannot argue that she was an overall good cat who deserved a long afterlife, but Mapleshade cut it short. I did not count this into my reasoning because this was done while Mapleshade was dead, when all her time in the Dark Forest had possibly made her more cruel.