[a thin-furred design of hollyleaf]

Hollyleaf: What It Takes to Be a Hero by Amberpaw

Amberpaw takes a closer look at Hollyleaf’s life.

[a thin-furred design of hollyleaf]
Art by toboe5tails
[a thin-furred design of hollyleaf]

(Warning: Spoilers from the entire Power of Three and Omen of the Stars.)

Hello there! I’m Amberpaw/flight, and this is my third article. From today on, I am beginning a new series where I explain the life of several warriors. I’m going to start by discussing one of my favorite characters: Hollyleaf. She was the daughter of Leafpool and Crowfeather and lived with her brothers Lionblaze and Jayfeather in ThunderClan.

Lionblaze, the oldest of the three, was an athletic hunter, and his power was to possess infinite strength and the ability to heal. He used this power in preparation for the Great Battle at the end of Omen of the Stars. Jayfeather, the youngest of the three, was also the most thoughtful. Although he was blind, he possessed the power to read minds, and his skills stretch beyond that of a typical medicine cat. This helped him uncover the secrets of the ancient cats and made him the center of both arcs. He was also one of my favorite characters in Warriors.

So we get back to Hollyleaf. As a young apprentice she had the dream to become leader one day, and she believed in the warrior code by her heart. She always treated things with seriousness, logic, and rationality, although this might have made her a bit too stubborn about the warrior code. I haven’t read Hollyleaf’s Story yet, so instead we are going to look at a few important events in her life from the two arcs to try to analyze her complete personality. Major spoilers ahead!

1. Her strict advice against Lionpaw’s secret meetings with Heatherpaw

When Hollypaw found out that Lionpaw was meeting with Heatherpaw at night, she made him promise never to break the warrior code again. In my opinion, part of Hollypaw’s decision was made out of concern for her brother. Lionpaw was blinded by love, so Hollypaw acted as his rational advisor and reminded him of the consequences if Firestar found out about the secret meetings. Although she gives us the impression of stubbornness, she also has feelings and will do what’s best for her littermates as much as she believes in following the warrior code.

2. Killing Ashfur

This was the turning point in Hollyleaf’s life and was one of the most shocking things in the entire arc, not to mention the uncovering of the three’s real parents that took place along with it. I believed Hollyleaf did what she thought was right as the warrior code no longer prevailed. For her stubborn personality, it must have been courageous to make her decision to kill Ashfur. There was no time to hesitate, and it must have been especially hard even for her to think clearly, but Hollyleaf deserved our respect by doing what’s right for the Clan. She always did.

3. Away From ThunderClan

We have arrived at the peak of the entire Power of Three. The secret was uncovered, Hollyleaf was “dead,” and the third cat was one of Whitewing’s daughters!? Everything happened so suddenly that it brought me into the book, and that book was probably my favorite in all of Warriors. I remember I was so shocked when I finished it that I didn’t even have time to grief for Hollyleaf and everything was so messed-up. Objectively it was a great way to end the arc!

4. Back to Hollyleaf

And then we discovered that Hollyleaf isn’t dead – YESSSS – but is instead trapped in the dark tunnels – NOOOO. Lionblaze and Jayfeather try to get her out while she was having fun with Fallen Leaves. But that part of her life was clearly not entirely cheerful. It was shocking that she missed so much down there and all she could see was darkness and occasionally water. If the drought hadn’t took place and there were plenty of floods, maybe she would even have been persuaded to come out of the tunnels. But constant fear of having to explain her actions made her stay, and her mind was continuously in the hesitation between coming out or staying in the tunnels forever. I would have chose to die instead, but once again her stubbornness saved herself and she had the determination to stay just a bit longer. I could go on about the infinite number of hardships she faced in her life because of her acts of righteousness, but you get the idea – she did not deserve her miserable life.

5. The Final Moments

At the end of Omen of the Stars, she returned to the story so it could be tied together peacefully. This was the most courageous moment of her life. Out of her trust in the warrior code and her urge to help her Clammates, she had the courage to return to her Clan and fight for the lives of other cats. She adapted to daylight and lived among the Clan immediately after she returned, but unfortunately, Hollyleaf became a different cat. Nevertheleess, she always had a determined heart and the spirit of saving her Clanmates from Hawkfrost, but all she got was injuries, and eventually death. For me it was one of the saddest deaths in Warriors – she was back again just to give up her life for her Clanmates. She lived the last moments of her life with the warrior code, just as she’s always did, and she never got the chance to become deputy and eventually leader of ThunderClan.

And this teaches us a lesson: rules are important, but what’s more important is the righteousness of our hearts. Sometimes rules have to be broken for the greater good, and sometimes you have to sacrifice them to become a leader. At the end of the day, our own decisions are what matters the most, and living a life that satisfies yourself is the only thing that will make you feel proud and heroic at the end. Hollyleaf was one of those characters who were underrated by almost every character, and no one really got the chance to understand her personality. She had the spirits of Firestar in her heart, and she was a true hero.

Woah, that was deep. What are your opinions? Did I miss something important or misunderstand a part of the story? Share your perspectives in the comments; I will be glad to hear them.

Amberpaw…out!

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