Mallowpaw wonders who would be the best deputy to accompany Squirrelflight.
Heavy spoilers for the end of Shadow.
Don’t read on if you haven’t got there.
Hello, Sorrelpaw (formerly Duskpaw) here, in this article I will discuss and sort-of rank the possible choices for Squirrelstar’s deputy. This article might come out after the release of Thunder, making it irrelevant, but it is early enough that maybe it won’t. So I guess I’ll jump right in (sounding like a YouTuber urggghhhh)
As of now, Ivypool is definitely the most popular choice for Squirrelstar’s deputy. But let’s look at why. She has experienced tragedy and hardship (The Dark Forest), learned and thought about cross-Clan mingling (DovewingXTigerstar2), which would make for a relevant and wise leader and deputy, proven her loyalty to her Clan countless times, and been around long enough to experience many things that would make her a wise cat, but is still young enough to lead for countless moons. This makes her a very desirable choice, and her knowledge of half-Clan relationships makes her very relevant in the current conflict of the story. I believe it is very likely that Squirrelstar’s will choose Ivypool as deputy.
Fernsong is a fan-favorite character because of his unique attitude toward kits (for a tom) and his wonderful background relationship with Ivypool. He is a very minor character excluding a few scenes in early Vision of Shadows, but the fans love him. Despite this, he has no real experience or wisdom with true hardship or relevance in the current arc. The only hardship he really experienced was losing his daughter Bristlefrost, which is from Broken Code. Due to his lack of relevance, minor character personality, and (I hate to say it), lack of importance, however much I don’t like it, Fernsong is a very unlikely choice for Squirrelstar’s deputy.
Cinderheart is a fan favorite character because, very uniquely, she is the reincarnation of Cinderpelt. In Omen of the Stars, she had a whole character arc about that, and thought about being a medicine cat. But that was a long time ago. I’m not even sure Cinderheart has even been mentioned in the last three books, let alone actually done anything important. She is what I like to call a one-arc wonder, where a cat is important for one arc and completely fades from existence in the next. Other examples are Hawkwing (minus his SE), Molewhisker, Cherryfall, Morningflower, and Heathertail. One-arc wonders never really become important after their designated arc. On the other hand, Cinderheart knows about complex relationships, like hers and Lionblaze’s. But she doesn’t know about cross-Clan relationships, which are relevant in the current arc. Therefore, I think it is highly unlikely that Cinderheart is the next deputy for ThunderClan.
Whitewing or Birchfall:
With Brambleclaw’s retirement, Whitewing, Birchfall, and Squirrelstar are the oldest non-elder cats in ThunderClan. Whitewing and Birchfall are the oldest non-leader, non-elder cats in ThunderClan. They are loyal and brave, and are good parents. I have a theory that Squirrelstar and Whitewing/Birchfall might become like Crookedstar and Timberfur, where Crookedstar appoints Timberfur deputy not because of any leadership skills, but to respect the time he served his Clan. My full theory is that Whitewing/Birchfall will be made deputy, but then be killed by the Faction (Splashtail+Duskfur+Berryheart+Whorlpelt+Yarrowleaf+Shimmerpelt+Maybe Brackenpelt+Maybe Mallownose) for some reason. But that’s just a theory. Although Squirrelstar might pick Whitewing/Birchfall because of their time as a Warrior, it doesn’t seem like something she would do. So Whitewing/Birchfall is kinda ‘meh’ on being ThunderClan’s next deputy.
Blossomfall is one of the one-arc wonders, in that she was only important in Omen of the Stars. She was feisty, impulsive, and was a bit jealous of Briarlight for getting Millie’s attention. She trained in the Dark Forest but fought for the Clans in the Great Battle. She learned a lot from that and is rather old, so she is experienced and loyal. But, like Cinderheart, her character fizzled out after Omen of the Stars and she has barely said a word ever since. She is also completely irrelevant to the current arc, and has no experience with complex relationships or cross-Clan mingling. Overall, she is very unlikely to be ThunderClan’s next deputy.
No just no. What I mean by that is he literally sided with Ashfur for a good portion of his reign last arc, has zero relevance to Starless Clan, has -1 leadership skills, tried to ask Dovewing out on a date at an elders funeral, is old, defensive, and grouchy, and is just a completely absurd, almost comical choice for ThunderClan’s next deputy.
Poppyfrost was rather important in Power of Three and Omen of the Stars as a little side character. But she pretty much died after that. She, like many others, has no relevance to Starless Clan and is just too contaminated with Berrynoseitis (the disease she, Molewhisker, and Cherryfall have that makes them defensive, hotheaded cats) to be a good deputy to ThunderClan. So Poppyfrost is an unlikely choice for the next TC deputy.
I’m just going to make a list of characters who have no chance of being ThunderClan’s deputy. (Unless my Whitewing/Birchfall theory happens to one of them instead)
Not part of ThunderClan yet:
Bayshine is Nightheart’s friend (despite revealing his secret ShadowClan mission to Squirrelstar) and was upset when Nightheart left and happy when he came back. He seems to be a good warrior, but is too young and not major enough to take deputy position.
Lilyheart was Nightheart’s mentor, and was kind but strict. She was happy and for the most part supportive to Nightheart in Starless Clan, and did the best she could for him, although sometimes she didn’t respect his opinion enough. She is kind of low-middle in age of the warriors of ThunderClan, and is relevant in Starless Clan as Nightheart’s mentor. Despite this, she doesn’t know anything about cross-Clan relationships, and could very well fade into the background. I think there’s more of a chance for her becoming deputy than, say, Poppyfrost, but I think it’s kind of a low chance, but not zero.
Finchlight is Nightheart’s sister, who always acted kind but was extremely unkind when Nightheart left ThunderClan for ShadowClan. She was kind when she got her way and Nightheart came back, though. Personally I hate her, but I’ll consider the facts for this. She is very young and inexperienced, but she did leave ThunderClan when Ashfur took control, which counts for something. I still think, however, that she is too young and lacking of skill to take deputy position, however.
Sparkpelt is Nightheart and Finchlight’s mother, and left ThunderClan when Ashfur came around and lost her mate Larksong when they were young. She has experienced loss and hardship, but is bubbly, hotheaded, and defensive, which is exactly what ThunderClan doesn’t need because someone needs to counter Squirrelstar’s personality. She is not that young, but just doesn’t make sense for ThunderClan’s next deputy.
Twigbranch is a former SkyClan cat who unintentionally left SkyClan for ThunderClan, left ThunderClan for SkyClan and changed her mind and left SkyClan for ThunderClan again. As if she wasn’t enough, she also brought Finleap, who then proceeded to become a one-arc wonder. Neither of them ever helped ThunderClan ever. They just brought dumb names to the ThunderClan allegiances and, in The Broken Code, Finleap spent his time grumbling at Bristlefrost while Twigbranch refused to help the rebellion, instead staying selfishly at ThunderClan. Twigbranch is a fan-favorite for some reason because of her bubbly and annoying personality. She, like Sparkpelt, would not in any way counter Squirrelstar’s personality and, anyway, isn’t important in Starless Clan, though she does know a bit about complex relationships. Overall, she has little chance for becoming deputy.
Finleap is more calm than Twigbranch, but still bubbly and annoying. He is also a former SkyClan cat, was a one-arc wonder, is not in any way important to Starless Clan, and is young and inexperienced other than traveling to the lake. Some people support him, but I think he is a very unlikely candidate for deputy.
Myrtlebloom was a friend of Nightheart, and is young, has never had an apprentice, and was a jerk to Nightheart, telling him that standing up to Firestar’s dominance was bad. Overall she has pretty much no chance of becoming deputy.
Shellfur or Fernstripe:
Both would definitely be choices if Squirrelstar wanted to make a statement about Clan-swapping. But both are regrettably minor characters. I doubt Fernstripe has said anything in the entire series, and Shellfur has maybe said one line. I have absolutely no idea why either exist at all, with Spireclaw and Fringewhisker taking the role of more major formerly-forbidden mates. So it is unlikely either of them will be picked.
Thriftear was Bristlefrost’s sister, and seemed rather kind and supporting, especially compared to Flipclaw or Finleap. She never really did anything, but did have to experience the loss of Bristlefrost. She also never had an apprentice. I highly doubt she will become ThunderClan’s deputy.
Flipclaw was Bristlefrost’s brother, and went with Graystripe when he questioned becoming a loner to the mountains. He was bright and enthusiastic, and has a crush on Flywhisker. He also briefly trained as a medicine cat. I think if he was a bit of a more major character and had an apprentice, he could take the role of deputy. But that is not the case, so Flipclaw will likely not become deputy.
Stormcloud was majorly a Bramblestar’s Storm character, in which he was a kittypet who joined ThunderClan. You would think that a character who came from a vastly different background from his Clanmates would actually do something, but no. He just faded into the background. He also hasn’t had an apprentice, so I think it is unlikely that he becomes ThunderClan’s deputy.
Nightheart is one of the main characters of Starless Clan, and he has had a conflict with Squirrelstar because he left ThunderClan after his Clanmates expected him to be a clone of Firestar. And he also never had an apprentice, and just got back from trying to join ShadowClan. In other words, I think it is very unlikely that he will become deputy.
You’re probably wondering why Eaglewing wasn’t on the minor character list. The reason is because at the end of Shadow, Eaglewing found Nightheart and seemed pretty sympathetic of his issue. She was also given an apprentice really early on in her life, showing her to be responsible or mature in some way. I really hope and doubt that that was foreshadowing for Eaglewing actually doing something in the story. But I still think she is an unlikely candidate for deputy.
Mousewhisker is an old warrior who has literally never done anything with his life. But the only reason I put him as a candidate was because he did have an apprentice crush: Minnowtail. And I’m thinking, Minnowtail was from RiverClan. RiverClan is really important in Starless Clan. So what if Mousewhisker switches Clans to join RiverClan, and becomes leader? It seems like a big ripple for just a bit of a hint of infatuation, but then again, isn’t attempting to destroy all Clans and their afterlives a bit of a big ripple for an unrequited crush? And it would create some drama for the ThunderClan deputy to join RiverClan. Overall, that is just a theory, and the actual chance of Mousewhisker being chosen as ThunderClan’s deputy is about the same as Whitewing or Birchfall, for he is also an old warrior who might be respected by being made deputy.
That was a lot of cats! But now, let’s be honest with ourselves. Squirrelflight has gotten the opportunity to choose a deputy before. And did she choose any of these candidates? No. She chose Lionblaze. And do you really think that she would randomly change her deputy choice to curve to the fandom’s expectations? No, because the authors like Lionblaze, and he is a powerful warrior. To be honest, I would be surprised if there is a single person in the fandom who would enjoy Lionblaze as deputy. But he is honestly the most likely choice.
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed the article, because it was a lot to write. Tell me if you agree or disagree in the comments!