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"Your luck is going to run out if you go on tempting fate like this."
This article contains major spoilers for the recently released, The Place of No Stars. This also includes the reveal of the identity of the impostor. Please proceed at your own discretion.
"From now on, let us face new threats as StarClan intended—five Clans united."
— Alderheart after all five Clans make peace in The Raging Storm, page 322

Alderheart is a dark ginger tom[1] with a white-tipped tail,[17] and amber eyes.[1]

Alderheart is a ThunderClan medicine cat who has served under Bramblestar's, briefly Tigerstar's, the impostor's, Squirrelflight's, Lionblaze's, and Graystripe's leaderships in the lake territories. He was born as Alderkit to Squirrelflight and Bramblestar, alongside his littermates, Sparkkit, Juniperkit, and Dandelionkit. He was originally apprenticed to Molewhisker; however, he later became a medicine cat apprentice with Jayfeather as his mentor. StarClan sent him on a quest to find SkyClan, but he and his companions were unsuccessful, instead meeting Darktail and his rogues. On the journey back, Alderpaw and Needlepaw found two abandoned kits, Twigkit and Violetkit, and took them to join the Clans.

Alderpaw helped raise Twigkit, even taking her to visit Violetkit, who was claimed by ShadowClan. After completing his training, Alderheart served his Clan with compassion and empathy, and he was overjoyed to see that Needletail made it to StarClan. He strongly believed that SkyClan should have a place beside the other Clans at the lake and later became ThunderClan's sole medicine cat after Jayfeather was exiled by the impostor. After being forced to train Flipclaw as his apprentice, Alderheart was exiled by the imposter for standing up to him, and he stayed in ShadowClan briefly as a refugee. He provided assisted to the rebel group in confronting the impostor, and was welcomed back to ThunderClan after the impostor's exposure, and subsequent capture, during a battle with the rebels and members of all five Clans. After the death of Willowshine, Alderheart went to RiverClan to act as their temporary medicine cat.


Looking for a longer overview? Find one here!

A Vision of Shadows

"We need you in ThunderClan, Alderheart. You're a good medicine cat. You work hard to keep your Clan healthy, and you have a real connection to StarClan. And you're young: you’ll take care of the next generation of ThunderClan cats, just as you looked after Twigpaw. If ThunderClan had to lose you, it would be like a wound that wouldn't heal."
―Jayfeather to Alderheart River of Fire, pages 238-239
Alderkit and Sparkkit are the only surviving kits of Squirrelflight and Bramblestar's litter. Under the pressure of being the son of the leader and deputy, Alderkit is nervous and anxious, but determined. He is given the name Alderpaw and is apprenticed to Molewhisker, but unlike his sister, who shows a natural talent for hunting, Alderpaw struggles through his training. Bramblestar encourages his son to become a medicine cat apprentice after Leafpool and Jayfeather receive a vision, and at the Moonpool, Alderpaw is chosen by Firestar to go on a quest to find SkyClan. He, Sparkpaw, Molewhisker, Cherryfall, Sandstorm, and Needlepaw of ShadowClan go on the journey. At the gorge where SkyClan lived, the group finds Darktail and his rogues instead, who claim to be SkyClan. After learning the truth, they return home unsuccessful.
On the way back, he and Needlepaw find two abandoned kits. They name them Twigkit and Violetkit, and after some disagreement, the kits are taken to ThunderClan. At a Gathering, ShadowClan and ThunderClan fight over the kits, with ShadowClan claiming Violetkit. Alderpaw acts as a fatherly figure toward Twigkit and communicates with Needlepaw so the sisters may meet in secret. When yellowcough weakens ShadowClan, WindClan refuses to share lungwort that was only found on their territory, and Alderpaw speaks against their immorality. Jayfeather is impressed by his apprentice and names him a full medicine cat as Alderheart.
When Darktail and his Kin take over ShadowClan, Alderheart worries for Needletail and Violetpaw, mourning when he hears of Needletail's death. Though Twigpaw brings SkyClan back to the lake, Alderheart's relief doesn't last long, and he grows frustrated with Sparkpelt when she and several other cats oppose SkyClan settling at the lake. Alderheart desperately misses Twigpaw when she chooses to live with her family in SkyClan, but welcomes her when she returns. He falls for a kittypet named Velvet when she seeks shelter in ThunderClan from a fire. However, he assures Jayfeather that he is loyal to ThunderClan despite his feelings for Velvet and says good-bye to the kittypet at the Twolegplace.
Alderheart saves Puddleshine's life when he is caught in barbed wire by using deathberry skins. When Tigerstar discovers Alderheart's unusual methods, Tigerstar makes Alderheart become ShadowClan's temporary medicine cat as Puddleshine recovers. In ShadowClan, Alderheart becomes close to Shadowkit, one of Tigerstar's kits, and notes the kit's future as a medicine cat. Alderheart continues to advocate for SkyClan's place at the lake and is relieved when all five Clans make peace at last.

The Broken Code

Alderheart: "In all the times I have shared dreams with StarClan, our warrior ancestors have never asked any cat to serve a leader without question. Sometimes it's right to question! How much more devastation would Darktail have caused if none of his followers had questioned him?"
Bramblestar's impostor: "The code says you will obey your leader! But since you've made it clear you can't do that, you can leave too! ThunderClan has no use for a faithless medicine cat!"
Alderheart: "What about a faithless leader?"
Bramblestar's impostor: "Get out!"
—Alderheart standing up to the impostor Veil of Shadows, page 188
Like the other medicine cats, Alderheart is worried when StarClan cannot be contacted when the Moonpool freezes over. Bramblestar falls mysteriously ill, and Shadowpaw informs them of a cure for him. Both medicine cats try it, but it initially doesn't work, and Bramblestar dies. Alderheart grieves for his father, but when he revives, he is overjoyed. Rootpaw summons Bramblestar's ghost for the medicine cats and reveals the truth about the impostor. The false Bramblestar exiles Jayfeather for being a codebreaker, leaving Alderheart as the sole medicine cat of ThunderClan The impostor also often yells and berates the dark ginger tom, later forcing Alderheart to reluctantly train Flipclaw as a medicine cat apprentice, much to both cats' dismays. Alderheart is exiled after he stands up to the impostor, leaving Flipclaw as the sole medicine cat with very little training. After the impostor is defeated, Alderheart and Jayfeather return to ThunderClan under the acting leadership of Squirrelflight. After his mother is kidnapped by Ashfur, Alderheart believes that she wouldn't have gone willingly, and is later sent to act as RiverClan's temporary medicine cat by Graystripe.

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Official art


Alderpaw's apprentice ceremony
Bramblestar: From this day forward, this apprentice will be known as Alderpaw. Molewhisker, you will be his mentor. You are loyal, determined, and brave, and I know that you will do your best to pass on these qualities to your apprentice.
Everyone: Alderpaw! Alderpaw!
Reference: The Apprentice's Quest, page 12

Alderpaw's medicine cat apprentice ceremony
Leafpool: Alderpaw, is it your wish to share the deepest knowledge of StarClan as a ThunderClan medicine cat?
Alderpaw: It is.
Leafpool: Warriors of StarClan, I present to you this apprentice. He has chosen the path of a medicine cat. Grant him your wisdom and insight so that he may understand your ways and heal his Clan in accordance with your will.
Reference: The Apprentice's Quest, pages 85-86

Alderheart's medicine cat ceremony
Jayfeather: I, Jayfeather, medicine cat of ThunderClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on this apprentice. He has trained hard to understand the ways of a medicine cat, and with your help he will serve his Clan for many moons. Alderpaw has always had a natural connection with StarClan. You chose him, and you chose well. He is loyal, determined, and smart. He has compassion and strength, a rare combination. He will serve his Clan well. Do you, Alderpaw, promise to uphold the ways of a medicine cat, to stand apart from rivalry, between Clan and Clan, and to protect all cats equally, even at the cost of your life?
Alderpaw: I do.
Jayfeather: Then by the powers of StarClan I give your true name as a medicine cat. Alderpaw, from this moment you shall be known as Alderheart. StarClan honors your devotion and kindness, and we welcome you as a full medicine cat of ThunderClan. Well done.
Everyone: Alderheart! Alderheart!
Reference: Thunder and Shadow, pages 373-374

Personality and Relationships

Alderheart is an anxious and kind-hearted cat who cares deeply for his Clanmates. Despite their occasional differences, he has a close relationship with his family, and is like a brother to his friend, Twigbranch. For more of Alderheart's personality and relationships, click here!


Alderheart's parents are Squirrelflight and Bramblestar. His littermates are Sparkpelt, Dandelionkit, and Juniperkit. For more of Alderheart's family, click here!



Interesting facts

Author statements

  • Kate said that she liked Alderheart better than Sparkpelt because she prefers a worrier.[blog 1]
  • Kate has said that Alderheart does have feelings for Needletail.[blog 2]
  • Kate believes Alderheart to be short-furred.[blog 3]


  • He was mistakenly called Alderpaw before his apprentice ceremony,[20] and called by his apprentice name after receiving his full medicine cat name.[11]


External links

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, allegiances
  2. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 268
  3. 3.0 3.1 Revealed in The Place of No Stars, page 90
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in The Raging Storm, chapter 7
  5. 5.0 5.1 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 286
  6. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 82
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 188
  8. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 8
  9. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 12
  10. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 85
  11. 11.0 11.1 Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 374
  12. Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, allegiances
  13. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 60
  14. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 115
  15. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 27
  16. Revealed in The Raging Storm, chapter 25
  17. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 7
  18. Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 15
  19. Revealed in Firestar's Quest, pages 496-497
  20. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 10

Author references