[a full-body design of Ravenwing uneasily looking over her shoulder alongside her colour palette]

Why Ravenwing Deserves the Dark Forest by Snapflight

Snapflight shares their thoughts on Ravenwing’s fate.

[a full-body design of Ravenwing uneasily looking over her shoulder alongside her colour palette]
Art by Warrior Cat Designs (tumblr)
[a full-body design of Ravenwing uneasily looking over her shoulder alongside her colour palette]

There’s one cat who’s mostly defended by those who’ve read Mapleshade’s Vengeance. That would be Ravenwing, the young medicine cat of ThunderClan. Many claim that he was only doing his job, instead placing the blame on Oakstar. However, I believe that Ravenwing shouldn’t be let off the hook so easily. Which brings us to my opinion, that Ravenwing deserves to go to the Dark Forest.

I’ll first do a quick summary of what happened during Mapleshade’s Vengeance. Anyways, the ThunderClan she-cat had a secret, one that couldn’t be revealed to her Clanmates. She had a forbidden relationship with Appledusk, a RiverClan tom. To make things much worse, the latter had accidentally killed Birchface, Oakstar’s son, during a skirmish over Sunningrocks, with a blow that sent the ThunderClan warrior tumbling off the rocks into the churning river. Birchface’s apprentice, Flowerpaw, leaped in after him, bravely but recklessly trying to save her mentor. Both cats ended up drowning.

Fast forward a bit, Mapleshade was expecting Appledusk’s kits. When asked by the deputy Beetail who the father was, she told him resolutely that she would be raising them alone. This led to Birchface’s sister, Frecklewish, wondering if her brother was the father of Mapleshade’s kits. Upon being questioned, Mapleshade remained silent, which Frecklewish took delightfully as that the kits were truly Birchface’s. In a few moons, Mapleshade had given birth to three healthy, cute kits: Petalkit, Patchkit, and Larchkit.

None of Mapleshade’s Clanmates suspected her of lying about the kits’ father until the kits were about three moons old. An elder, Rabbitfur, wanted to see how far they could jump, since their supposed father, Birchface, was good at that. Unfortunately, Petalkit and Larchkit did not show the same great jumping ability as Birchface, causing Rabbitfur to disapprove. Annoyed at Rabbitfur, Mapleshade decided to take her kits out of camp for a walk, where they soon arrived at the river. The kits, with their RiverClan roots, swam gracefully like fish. But they were very young, barely halfway to apprentice age, and Patchkit grew tired. Lucky for him, a few RiverClan cats saved him. Things went badly for Mapleshade, though: Ravenwing had witnessed what had happened. Confronting the queen, he told her of the omen he’d received, and guessed that their father was Appledusk. Even while Mapleshade begged him not to tell, he mercilessly told her that he would report this to Oakstar. He may have had sadness in his eyes, though it is clear that he prized his position as medicine cat and reputation over innocent kits.

Furthermore, I’d like to add that he could likely guess Oakstar’s reaction. I don’t expect him to know that Oakstar would exile them, but he definitely knew that the ThunderClan leader would want Mapleshade and her kits to suffer. Ravenwing was aware that the kits were Appledusk’s- the murderer of Oakstar’s son Birchface. And that Mapleshade had been lying to her Clan. She would obviously be punished. Her kits might even be dragged into the consequences of their mother’s actions. Ravenwing never stopped to consider that.

Many people justify what Ravenwing did, simply because he was ‘doing his job’. I think I’ll enforce the fact that a medicine cat does not need to tell their leader everything. It’s just that they may do that. And he’s not lying to his Clan- nobody asked him to investigate; he’s merely keeping a secret. If he really wanted to snitch, Ravenwing should have waited until the kits were older and able to take care of themselves before revealing their father’s true identity. Other cats have kept secrets, too. Cinderpelt knew about Leafpool and Crowfeather’s relationship, but she never told other cats about it. Fireheart was conscious of Graystripe’s meetings with Silverstream. Did he tell this to Bluestar or Tigerclaw? Even when asked where Graystripe was, he lied to protect his friend. While Ravenwing and Mapleshade weren’t particularly close, the latter was a queen who was taking care of kits, and making sure the she-cat and her children were safe is very important. Though having kits is not an excuse to escape crimes, Mapleshade did not commit anything that terrible. She only had a forbidden relationship. That doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be punished at all, but while she has very young kits, Oakstar’s decision could risk their lives greatly.

I want to say that the kits were no danger to the Clan. They could easily have been fine, loyal members of ThunderClan. Petalkit, Patchkit, and Larchkit, once grown up, are three more cats for ThunderClan- and make the Clan stronger. Some people may say that they were much more suited to water, but any cat can adapt to disadvantages- take Brightheart as an example, or Jayfeather. Both cats had disabilities- most notably Jayfeather. He’s blind, yet he is useful to ThunderClan as a medicine cat.

He may have not had any ill-tent, however, he did nothing to stop Oakstar exiling a queen and young kits, despite it being his fault that it even came to this. As a medicine cat, he should understand this the most. Ravenwing’s duty is to protect those weaker than him, and ensure the safety of them. Did he do that? No. It was mentioned that he was glaring at Mapleshade icily. He doesn’t show any sympathy in spite of everything she’s going through. Ravenwing did not speak up for the kits at all. It’s not traitorous to stand up to his leader during an unfair banishment.

To expect that Petalkit and her siblings, and her mother would be going to RiverClan, crossing the river Patchkit had almost drowned in, and that they’d be accepted, is like Frecklewish’s assumption that the RiverClan warriors could save the kits without any trouble. The storm was, okay, a coincidence. Which is why you don’t let your leader throw out young kits when foxes and badgers could be lurking in the forest. We’ll take Dovewing’s return, for instance. Her kits were much older than Patchkit, Petalkit, and Larchkit, and she’d willingly left her Clan, but Bramblestar still gave her an escort to ShadowClan, because he feared there would be dangers in the forest.

To wrap this up, I’ll state my opinion again. Ravenwing chose to let his Clan know a truth that didn’t benefit any cat by coming out, and endangered the lives of kits in the process. Which is why I firmly believe that he should belong in the Dark Forest.

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