[Mapleshade stalks through sunlit tall grass]

The Final Verdict by Hawkstream

Hawkstream shares their thoughts on Mapleshade’s Vengeance.

[Mapleshade stalks through sunlit tall grass]
Official Polish cover art by Anna Podedworna
[Mapleshade stalks through sunlit tall grass]


Hi, I’m Hawkstream, this is my first article even though I’ve been on Blogclan for a while, and I’m going to start by saying that I like Mapleshade, she is a great female villain, has a good personality, and overall, I just really liked her story. However, I have read many articles on why/why not Mapleshade or Frecklewish deserves the Dark Forest, and who is to blame, I just wanted to add my take to these debates, by being as unbiased as possible.

Summary of Mapleshade’s Vengeance:
“Mapleshade is a warrior of ThunderClan who has a forbidden relationship with a RiverClan tom named Appledusk. Oakstar’s son Birchface and his apprentice, Flowerpaw, have recently drowned in a battle for Sunningrocks, and Oakstar believes Appledusk to be responsible. Mapleshade realizes she is expecting Appledusk’s kits, and lets the Clan believe that they are Birchface’s kits. However, after the kits are born, Ravenwing sees them swimming in the river and figures out that they are Appledusk’s. He tells the Clan, and Oakstar banishes Mapleshade and her kits. Mapleshade tries to cross the river to get to RiverClan, but it is stormy and flooded, and her kits drown in the torrent. RiverClan rejects Mapleshade, and she goes mad with grief. She sees hallucinations of her dead kits telling her to avenge them. First, she kills Ravenwing by ambushing him at the Moonstone. Then, she kills Frecklewish, who had watched her kits drown, by tricking her into being bitten by a snake. Finally, she murders Appledusk, but his new mate, Reedshine, tells her that Appledusk will live on in his descendants. Fatally wounded by Appledusk’s apprentice, Perchpaw, Mapleshade dies and goes to the Dark Forest.” (Copied and pasted from the Warriors wiki.)

My thoughts on Mapleshade and the Dark Forest:
Mapleshade should go to the Dark Forest.
Being in the DF is one of the reasons I like her, it gives her character and sets her apart from all the other female villains (Wait…there are barely any! To be discussed in a future thing). So, why should Mapleshade go to the DF? She killed 3 cats! In brutal ways too, might I add. Ravenwing, she killed by slicing his throat, and then, when the other medicine cats buried him by covering him with rocks, she moved those rocks and left his body to be eaten by scavengers. Frecklewish, whom she blinded with snake venom and who ‘died a few sunrises later’ when the venom took hold of her from the inside. Appledusk, in which she slit his throat.
There are many other bad decisions made by this evil queen, but the other main one that I believe should warrant her a place in the DF is kit endangerment. Yes, she did just get kicked out of Thunderclan, and yes, she may not have had anywhere else to go, but she definitely shouldn’t have taken three two-moon-old kits to cross a flooded river! I realize there were many other bad decisions, such as thinking that Riverclan would accept all four of them and not saying anything when Frecklewish assumed the father was Birchface, but these events surely aren’t DF-worthy. Another thing, some people say that she should have gone to Starclan, that she surely wanted to go to Starclan and be with her kits. But no, in the last moments of the book, in Mapleshade’s perspective, she was thrilled to be in the DF.

My thoughts on Frecklewish and the Dark Forest:
I believe that Frecklewish…did not deserve the Dark Forest!
Why do I think this? First, let me say a few things, Thunderclan cats are shown to dislike or at least not be able to swim, as a user from amino says, “Most ThunderClan cats have thick fur, and the water would make their thick fur heavier and thus, make it harder for them to swim. With such heavy fur, they would react badly; trying to get their head up to the surface, thrashing around, calling for help, etc. They aren’t used to it and it is quite unfamiliar to them.” Remember this, because I am going to be talking about how Frecklewish didn’t give her life to maybe save three kits in a flooded river when she most likely couldn’t even swim!
First of all, imagine you are following someone you hate and her kids. Imagine you hear her telling her kids to cross a flooded river that they can’t even touch the bottom of. Imagine you can hear the roaring water, and feel the pelting rain. You can barely see a few feet ahead of you when you see one of the figures out on the water disappear. You don’t know if they fell or you just can’t see them. As you stand there, frozen from indecision, fear, and hatred, even, when the rest vanish. Would you jump into a raging river during a storm? Even if it’s part of the warrior code, would you risk your life for the three children of someone you hate? Even if you know that you might not save them, or yourself? Even if you can’t swim and would just be risking yourself and the children? All of that is most likely what Frecklewish thought and felt while watching the kits drown, even if she could see them properly.

Oakstar and his decisions:
Now let us talk about the infamous Oakstar.
He should not have exiled the kits with Mapleshade. Yes, they had a Riverclan father, but they didn’t get to choose their parents. Plus, the warrior code said that “No warrior can neglect a kit in pain or danger, even if the kit is from a different Clan.” Now, as no exception is made for half-clan kits, we can say that Oakstar shouldn’t have kicked them out and put them in danger. A kit is a kit, no matter what blood runs through their veins.
What Oakstar probably should have done is exile Mapleshade (Though he didn’t need to exile her, I understand that he was angry she had lied about such a big thing), but keep the kits.

At the time of the book, Ravenwing was a young Medicine cat and therefore made bad choices. I’m doing my best to not make excuses for any of these characters, but in Ravenwing’s case, I feel that he did the right thing by telling his leader about the sign he had. He, however, did the wrong thing by ratting Mapleshade and the kits out to Oakstar. Yes, he may not have known they would be exiled, but that doesn’t make his actions justifiable.

The sign.
We all know it.
A stream appears in the Thunderclan medicine den, carrying with it three pieces of water reed.
But did Starclan even send this sign? We all know that the DF can send signs, so did they? Or maybe it was Starclan, just an older Starclan before all of the Firestars and Bluestars invaded.
We may never know.

Thank you for reading all the way to the end, I hope you enjoyed my view of the Mapleshade debate. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to ask in the comments.

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