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Noimage "Tom? Twolegs called a Tom, Tom?"

Although this article is based on canonical information, the title of this subject is conjecture.

"ThunderClan will honor your courage, Tigerclaw, but we cannot afford to lose any more of our warriors. Bluestar would never expect her warriors to fight against these impossible odds. We will have another chance to avenge this defeat."
— Redtail to Tigerclaw in Into the Wild, prologue

The battle for Sunningrocks was a deadly skirmish involving RiverClan and ThunderClan patrols, neither willing to give up the rocks. While RiverClan initially won the territory by catching an unaware ThunderClan patrol, the latter cats came back to reclaim the rocks, which resulted in the deaths of both Clan deputies, Redtail and Oakheart.[7][8]

Summary

Premise

At one point in time, Sunningrocks was an island in the river, which acted as the border between ThunderClan and RiverClan.[9] However, the river changed course, which resulted in Sunningrocks becoming separated from the river and outside RiverClan's borders. ThunderClan claimed them as their own, which RiverClan rebuked and has since escalated into years of warfare. [9]
Neither ThunderClan nor RiverClan is able to claim Sunningrocks for very long, resulting in many losses and victories for the respective clans.[10][11][12][13] At the start of Oakheart's patrol to reclaim the rocks, ThunderClan has control, which Oakheart, and consecutively Crookedstar and the rest of RiverClan, seek to end. [2]

Overview

The battle for Sunningrocks was a conflict between RiverClan and ThunderClan patrols, neither willing to give up the rocks. While RiverClan initially won the territory by catching an unaware ThunderClan patrol, the latter cats came back to reclaim the rocks, which resulted in the deaths of both Clan deputies, Redtail and Oakheart.[7][8]

Description

RiverClan wins

When a small patrol of ThunderClan cats inspects Sunningrocks, a larger RiverClan patrol ambushes them, and while ThunderClan is briefly able to hold them off,[2] Redtail calls for a retreat, not wanting to risk any casualties.[3] This greatly angers Tigerclaw, who wishes to keep fighting.[14] Redtail eventually forces Tigerclaw to retreat, giving RiverClan the victory. [15]

ThunderClan retaliates

A few days later, Redtail leads a second patrol to reclaim the rocks, consisting of a few ThunderClan cats, Tigerclaw, and his apprentice, Ravenpaw.[5] They catch the RiverClan cats off guard, and seeing their chance to take back the territory, they attack, with the most notable fight being Redtail battling Stonefur.[8] However, this is short lived as Oakheart comes in to defend the young warrior, and claims that Redtail will not harm the warrior.[5] This initially confuses Redtail, but spits an insult at the RiverClan deputy,[5] which results in the two deputies attacking one another. They make their way to Sunningrocks, where Oakheart collides into the rocks, resulting in a rockfall which kills the RiverClan deputy, but leaves Redtail mostly unscathed, and allowing ThunderClan to retake Sunningrocks. [5]

Tigerclaw's betrayal

As Redtail recovers from the fight with Oakheart, Tigerclaw orders Ravenpaw back to ThunderClan while he stays behind to help the deputy. Ravenpaw, however, turns back, and when he does, he sees Tigerclaw turn on Redtail, overpowering the surprised deputy and tearing out his throat.[16][7] Horrified, Ravenpaw runs back to ThunderClan's camp, but is too shaken by Tigerclaw's treachery to admit anything.[7]

The truth revealed

Redtail's death is met with grief from all of ThunderClan, especially from Bluestar and Dustpaw, Redtail's apprentice. Bluestar appoints Lionheart to succeed Redtail. [17] Dustpaw is given Darkstripe as his replacement mentor.[18] Tigerclaw lies, reporting that Oakheart killed Redtail, and he killed Oakheart in revenge.[19]
Tigerclaw, realizing his apprentice witnessed his actions, begins spreading rumors of the young apprentice being a ShadowClan spy, but Ravenpaw admits to Graypaw and Firepaw that he saw Tigerclaw kill Redtail in hopes of getting the promotion to deputy, but instead Lionheart, Graypaw's mentor, gets the position. Firepaw and Graypaw try and investigate, but Tigerclaw and his followers, Darkstripe, Longtail and Dustpaw, bully them, particularly Firepaw due to his kittypet heritage.[20] Lionheart is killed in a battle with ShadowClan,[21] and Tigerclaw achieves his ambition of becoming ThunderClan's deputy in turn. [22]

Characters

Redtail

ThunderClan's deputy under Bluestar, Redtail led the first defense when RiverClan sought to reclaim Sunningrocks. However, once he realizes that RiverClan's patrol outnumbers them, he orders ThunderClan to retreat, despite this decision being met with anger from Tigerclaw, who wishes to keep fighting. Redtail orders for Tigerclaw to retreat, which in turn allows RiverClan to subsequently win Sunningrocks. Redtail leads a second patrol to reclaim them, and attacks the young warrior Stonefur, before being attacked by Oakheart, who, unbeknowst to him, is Stonefur's father. Redtail and Oakheart fight their way to Sunningrocks, where a rockfall kills Oakheart and leaves Redtail mostly unscathed. However, when he leaves the area, he is caught by Tigerclaw, who proceeds to take the opportunity to kill the ThunderClan deputy, while his own apprentice, Ravenpaw, watches in horror.

Oakheart

RiverClan's deputy, and the brother of RiverClan's leader, Crookedstar, and secretly, the forbidden mate of Bluestar and the father of Mistyfoot and Stonefur. He led this attack to reclaim Sunningrocks, and won. When Redtail came back with a second patrol to reclaim their territory, Oakheart defends Stonefur from Redtail, knowing the young tom is his son. Redtail however, unaware, is confused, but attacks the deputy, and the two second-in-commands fight their way to the rocks, where their movement causes a rockfall, resulting in the death of Oakheart while Redtail manages to escape.

Tigerclaw

Ambitious and hungry for battle, Tigerclaw held a bitter resentment against Redtail for being made deputy and for his cautious, peace-loving ways. During the battle for Sunningrocks, Tigerclaw seizes his chance to get rid of Redtail and murders him in cold blood. This decision put Tigerclaw on a dark path that nearly led to the destruction of all the Clans.

Ravenpaw

A timid young apprentice of ThunderClan, he was given Tigerclaw as a mentor in hopes of helping his nervous nature, but this in fact rather terrified him. He took part in Redtail's patrol to go and reclaim Sunningrocks, and when Redtail escaped from the rockfall that killed Oakheart, Tigerclaw orders him to go back to camp. Ravenpaw obliges, but turns back as he wanted to know if Redtail was okay. He witnesses Tigerclaw subdue Redtail and kill him, traumatizing the apprentice and he is unable to admit to anything out of fear of Tigerclaw. While initially describing the battle as Redtail being killed by Oakheart, he slips that Redtail was in fact the one to kill Oakheart, which puts Firepaw on the path to find out what actually happened. Ravenpaw plays a key part in this, as he was the sole witness of Redtail's murder and helps Fireheart find out the truth, and is moved to live with Barley when Tigerclaw realizes his apprentice knows of his murder, where Ravenpaw happily lives and dies peacefully.

Aftermath

Fireheart goes undercover to discover the truth of Redtail's death, going so far as to ask Mistyfoot, Graypool, and Ravenpaw for confirmation. Graypool confirms Oakheart's body was crushed by a rockfall, and with Ravenpaw reaffirms his story of Tigerclaw murdering Redtail.
Tigerclaw eventually conspires with Brokentail, the blinded, former ShadowClan leader to kill Bluestar and become ThunderClan's leader, but this foiled by Fireheart, and Tigerclaw is exiled for his actions,[23] and is resented by Dustpelt, Longtail and Darkstripe for treason and murder.[23]
ThunderClan holds onto Sunningrocks for many moons, until Leopardstar demands that they give it back as debt for sheltering ThunderClan during a fire. Bluestar denies, and a second battle takes place, which results in the indirect revelation of Bluestar mothering Mistyfoot and Stonefur,[24] and when ThunderClan reinforcements arrive, RiverClan retreats.[1]

Legacy

For moons, ThunderClan believed that Tigerclaw avenged Redtail, such as Cinderpaw telling Fireheart that Sunningrocks was the place where Redtail was killed by Oakheart.[25] Fireheart knows Ravenpaw's side of the story, but agrees with Cinderpaw's claim.[25] When the truth was revealed, Tigerclaw was resented by all of ThunderClan and exiled, and his kits, Bramblekit and Tawnykit were the victims of many assumptions that they would turn out just like their father.
Redtail's death started Tigerclaw's lust for power, and an investigation that eventually nearly led to Tigerclaw taking up ThunderClan's leadership.[26] The revelation that Tigerclaw killed Redtail, and tried to kill her, causes Bluestar to descend into madness,[27] not willing to trust any cat save for Whitestorm.

Quotes

Tigerclaw: "Oakheart! How dare you hunt in our territory? The Sunningrocks belong to ThunderClan!"
Oakheart: "After tonight, Tigerclaw, this will just be another RiverClan hunting ground!"
—Oakheart to Tigerclaw, fighting at Sunningrocks Into the Wild, page 1


"Redtail spat at Oakheart. He asked him if RiverClan warriors were unable to fight their own battles. Redtail was brave. The RiverClan deputy was twice his size. And then...then Oakheart said a strange thing. He told Redtail, ‘No ThunderClan cat will ever harm that warrior.’"
—Ravenpaw to Fireheart and Graystripe Forest of Secrets, page chapter 3


Ravenpaw: "Fur was flying everywhere. Blood spattered the leaves of the bramble bushes, bright red against green. I’d just fought off a huge warrior and sent him squealing into the bushes when the ground shook, and I heard a warrior scream. It was Oakheart! Redtail raced past me, his mouth dripping blood and his fur torn. ‘Oakheart is dead!’ he howled. Then he rushed off to help Tigerclaw as he fought another warrior."
Firepaw: "If Redtail killed Oakheart, who killed Redtail?"
—Ravenpaw telling the "story" to various apprentices Into the Wild, page 12


"Redtail warned Oakheart to keep his hunting parties out of ThunderClan territory. He said the next RiverClan warrior to be caught in ThunderClan territory would be killed, but Oak...Oakheart would not back down. He said his Cl-Clan had to be fed, whatever we threatened."
—Ravenpaw to ThunderClan Into the Wild, page chapter 4


"He died with honor, struck down by Oakheart. I couldn’t save him, but I managed to take Oakheart’s life while he was still gloating over his victory. Redtail’s death was not in vain, for I doubt we’ll see RiverClan hunters in our territory again."
—Tigerclaw lying to ThunderClan Into the Wild, page chapter 4

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in A Dangerous Path, chapter 16
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 1
  3. 3.0 3.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 1
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Revealed in Forest of Secrets, chapter 3
  6. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, chapter 2
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 241
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 57
  9. 9.0 9.1 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 31
  10. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, pages 20-21
  11. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 298
  12. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 370
  13. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 185
  14. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 3
  15. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 4
  16. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 40
  17. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 51
  18. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 52
  19. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 53
  20. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 9
  21. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 197
  22. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 199
  23. 23.0 23.1 Revealed in Tigerclaw's Fury, chapter 1
  24. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, chapter 15
  25. 25.0 25.1 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page Chapter 11
  26. Revealed in Rising Storm, page 184
  27. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 297
Events in the Warriors series
The Prophecies Begin Battle for SunningrocksBrokenstar's TyrannyPlan to divert the dogsBloodClan's invasion
The New Prophecy Finding MidnightA new homeWindClan civil warAmbush of the badgers
Power of Three A Tribe in needAssault on ThunderClanFireTracking a killer
Omen of the Stars Saving the lakeDrought in the lake territoriesFight for the borderWar with the Dark Forest
A Vision of Shadows Alderpaw's questYellowcough epidemicThe Kin's campaignShadowClan's downfallWatermint shortageFireBattle for the stolen kitsShadowClan versus SkyClan
Dawn of the Clans The first battleFollowing the sun trail
Super Editions Talltail and Jake's excellent adventureSkyClan's revivalA storm of epic proportionsBlood, water, and badgersBattle of the gorge
Novellas A predicted starvationRavenpaw's travels
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