Gray Wing.DTC-1.png "Tom? Twolegs called a Tom, Tom?"

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

Bristlefrost.test.png
"I'm just not ready. I'm so glad to step back for a cat who's truly worthy."
This article contains major spoilers for the recently released, Veil of Shadows. Please proceed at your own discretion.
"I’m not going anywhere, and neither is my Clan. If you and the other leaders really want to dishonor StarClan with this attack, fine, go right ahead. But know this: Any warriors that ThunderClan, WindClan, or RiverClan lose in this battle will have died for nothing."
Tigerstar to Bramblestar's impostor in Veil of Shadows, 261

The battle of the rebels was a conflict that took place on ShadowClan territory. Bramblestar's impostor, tired of Tigerstar continually arguing and going against him, decided that ShadowClan as a whole needed to be driven out. However, Leafstar, having feigned alliance with the impostor, warned ShadowClan preemptively.[11] The battle was initially between the five Clans, before the exiled cats joined in on the side of ShadowClan and SkyClan.[6]

During the battle, Harestar lost a life,[12] where he revealed that StarClan was still around, making him, and quickly the other cats, realize that the impostor had been lying to them the whole time, and was in fact, a fraud of the true Bramblestar. After the Clans turned on the impostor, he was deposed as ThunderClan's leader and made a prisoner of ShadowClan.[13]

Summary

Premise

After possessing the corpse of ThunderClan's leader, Bramblestar, the impostor began to lead a tyrannical rule of ThunderClan in his place.[14] Although he managed to fool the Clans initially, several cats began to grow suspicious of the way he acted and treated his Clanmates. The impostor, despite claiming have returned from StarClan and advocating for a hard line against those who did not follow the warrior code, breaks and twists it himself on several occasions.[15][2] It grows to the point where a group of cats from across the Clans meets in secret to discuss his radical change in demeanor.[16] Soon thereafter, the group of cats become aware that the Bramblestar leading ThunderClan is in fact, a fraud. Bristlefrost, one of the impostor's former supporters, feigns alliance to him while Rootspring informs Squirrelflight, ThunderClan's deputy, that her mate Bramblestar is a ghost, and she is currently mates with someone else. Squirrelflight feigns atonement as a codebreaker to go and inform the other Clans, but the impostor realizes her deceit and exiles her from ThunderClan, but Squirrelflight receives sanctuary in ShadowClan.[17]
After the exile of Squirrelflight, the impostor becomes significantly more ruthless in his punishing of the codebreakers. He exiles several ThunderClan cats for minor reasons[18] and harshly demands that the other Clan leaders do the same.[19] An attempt on his life makes the impostor much more paranoid, seeing Bristlefrost as his only ally and appointing her as deputy.[20] He garners support from Harestar and Mistystar, and reluctantly Leafstar, but Tigerstar outright refuses to listen to him, telling "Bramblestar" that he does not lead ShadowClan and he will not be told how to handle discipline in his own Clan.[21] The impostor eventually hears that ShadowClan has a plan to overthrow him, but decides to drive them out first.[22]

Description

Rallying support

"I’ve tried to stay out of this conflict, but I won’t hesitate anymore. We may have had our troubles with Tigerstar in the past, but he was right about this false ThunderClan leader and the Clans’ current problems. Now I have to pick a side, and it’s time to stop Bramblestar!"
―Leafstar deciding to ally with ShadowClan Veil of Shadows, page 257
The impostor comes to SkyClan to demand Leafstar's support to drive out ShadowClan. While there, he sees that Kitescratch, one of the two survivors on the attempt on his life, is watching him. Enraged, he demands Leafstar exile him. Although Kitescratch attempts to lie and say he was injured fighting an owl, Leafstar presses him for the truth, and Kitescratch admits he did try and kill the impostor with the others. Leafstar tells the reddish-brown tom that he knows what he needs to do.[22] Although Kitescratch is confused at first, he realizes she means exile, and the crestfallen tom leaves camp. Sparrowpelt, Tinycloud, and Macgyver are enraged, and many others declare it unfair. Satisfied, Bramblestar presses Leafstar for her answer on the battle. Leafstar responds that he should know that the honor of the Clans is very important to her, and he should know where she stands.[22] The impostor then leaves SkyClan's camp, telling her that they will attack at dawn.
After he leaves, Hawkwing remarks that the ThunderClan leader is out of control, acting like he commands all five Clans. Leafstar agrees, and tells her deputy to go and bring Kitescratch back.[22] Relieved that Leafstar had not genuinely intended to exile him, Hawkwing goes to find the tom. Leafstar announces that no other leader tells her what to do with her warriors, and SkyClan will be fighting in the battle tomorrow. However, she reveals that she intends to fight on the side of ShadowClan and the rebels.[22] She acknowledges that while they have had issues with Tigerstar in the past, he is right in wanting to out the false ThunderClan leader, and yowls that it's time to stop Bramblestar.[11]

Clash of the Clans

Bramblestar's impostor: "Traitor! You think you can get away with this?"
Leafstar: "The only traitor is you, Bramblestar! You are a traitor to StarClan, after all you’ve done."
—The impostor and Leafstar Veil of Shadows, page 264
The alliance of ThunderClan, WindClan, and RiverClan marches onto ShadowClan territory. ThunderClan's deputy, Bristlefrost, is horrified as ThunderClan was supposed to be honorable and upstanding, not sneaking around to drive out another Clan.[7] After SkyClan and Leafstar fail to show, the impostor remarks that their treachery will be dealt with eventually, but continues on with their trek to the ShadowClan camp.[1] As they arrive, they find Tigerstar and ShadowClan standing in the middle of the camp, having been warned.[1] Seeing the alliance of Clans, Tigerstar asks what it is all about. The impostor is briefly shocked that ShadowClan knew they were coming, but quickly recovers from it and tells Tigerstar that StarClan has abandoned all the living cats because of all the codebreaking, and ShadowClan is the only Clan who has resisted his decrees. Tigerstar demands to know how "Bramblestar" thinks he can make decrees for another Clan, and asks if the alliance of three Clans truly wants to drive out ShadowClan.[23] The impostor says yes, and Tigerstar, unimpressed, says that neither he nor ShadowClan will be going anywhere, and if they want to dishonor StarClan, then it's on them. He adds that any cats that die will have died for nothing.[23]
Several of the allied cats shift uneasily, pondering Tigerstar's words.[23] Leafstar then arrives with SkyClan. The impostor remarks that it was better late than never.[23][5] Leafstar crisply mews a greeting to all the leaders, noting that there was no way peace could be obtained between them. The impostor agrees, notably confident that he now has more warriors on his side. Tigerstar asks Leafstar if she's happy with her decision, and Leafstar replies she is. She orders SkyClan to attack, revealing that she was the one who warned Tigerstar and attacks the alliance of ThunderClan, WindClan, and RiverClan. The cats are caught off-guard as SkyClan and ShadowClan instigate the attack.[5]
The secret rebels from WindClan and RiverClan are spotted by Bristlefrost to be fighting on the side of ShadowClan and SkyClan, but finding it difficult to try and hurt their injured clanmates.[24] The impostor makes his way to Leafstar, and declares her a traitor. Leafstar, having pinned down Stormcloud, rebukes him and says he is the traitor to StarClan for all that he's caused.[24] The impostor orders Shellfur and Leafshade to attack the SkyClan leader, but both warriors ignore his orders. The impostor says his order again, and claims that he is their leader, they must do as he commands.[24] The two refuse to adhere to him, and a small gap opens within the cluster of cats, revealing Tigerstar. The impostor growls that it will be Tigerstar's defeat that brings an end to the treachery and shame, and once he is deposed, everything will be set right. Before the leaders can attack one another, the exiles join the fight, led by Squirrelflight and Lionblaze.[6] They begin to assault ThunderClan, WindClan, and RiverClan. Berrynose, the deputy preceding Bristlefrost, goes to the impostor. He is blocked by Tawnypelt. Although the she-cat appears unsure which side Berrynose was on, after the cream-colored tom swipes at her,[6] she ducks under the blow and rips open his stomach and throat, leaving him writhing in the dirt.[12] Lionblaze and Harestar then get into a fight. Although the two seemed evenly matched, Harestar's exhaustion from fighting before Lionblaze gave him a disadvantage.[12] As Harestar misses a blow, Lionblaze clambers onto Harestar's back and claws open his throat. Harestar slumps to the ground, and Lionblaze backs away, obviously not having intended to kill Harestar.[12][10]

Exposing the impostor

Crowfeather: "That’s not what you said when you returned from StarClan. You said you spoke to them."
Bramblestar's impostor: "You weren’t there! I did speak with StarClan. The only reason they’re fading now is because of all of you. You insist on not listening to me, so of course the situation is getting worse. What did you expect? StarClan probably rejected Harestar because he’s just another codebreaker."
Harestar: "I am no codebreaker, and I am no liar."
—Harestar realizing that the impostor is a fraud Veil of Shadows, page 269
The former WindClan deputy, Crowfeather, announces that a Clan leader has lost a life. Hawkwing despondently asks if he is gone forever.[13] Bristlefrost thinks to herself that no leader had died since the real Bramblestar, and if StarClan was truly gone, then Harestar wouldn't return. More of the WindClan warriors huddle close to their dead leader, pushing out Lionblaze as the golden tom watches in horror and guilt. Nightcloud lets out a yowl of anguish, and Hootwhisker pleads for him to return. After a ripple of silence, Harestar's body shudders and he comes back to life.[13] The brown-and-white tom is confused, resting against Crowfeather. He asks if he is really Crowfeather, and Crowfeather confirms he is, and he isn't in StarClan anymore. The cats watch with intent to see Harestar confirm he indeed went to StarClan. After a moment, Harestar touches the now-healed wound which killed him, and rasps that he did in fact, go to StarClan.[13] However, he reveals that he only heard distorted voices and saw hazy figures. He adds that their warrior ancestors were there, but it seemed like they were fading into nothing. Every single warrior turns to the fake Bramblestar, and the ThunderClan leader is staring at Harestar in anger and disbelief, knowing that Harestar had seen the last thing he wanted them to witness.[13] Crowfeather challenges the dark tabby, reminding him that he said he spoke to them. The impostor refutes Crowfeather and says he wasn't there, and the only reason they're fading now is because the Clans insist on not listening to him.[13] He adds that StarClan likely rejected Harestar because he is another codebreaker. Harestar steps forward, and says he is no codebreaker, nor is he a liar.[13]
Tigerstar steps in, and says that the only liar here is Bramblestar. He says that the impostor has taken his body, and the real Bramblestar would have never done the things he has done. A baffled impostor asks if Clan cats siding with a leader who harbors codebreakers. He asks if they want to see StarClan again, but answers his own question, adding that they're ruining their chances.[13] And when he succeeds in bringing StarClan back, they'll all be punished worse than they are now. Tigerstar growls that whether their ancestors are fading or not, he's going to send the impostor to StarClan. Without warning, Tigerstar hurls himself at the dark tabby, and the two leaders engage in a brutal fight.[13] As the warriors watch, they begin to cheer on Tigerstar's name. Bristlefrost watches as she knows she needs to try and protect Bramblestar's body, but Tigerstar will surely kill him. Hearing the cats cheer on Tigerstar gives the impostor the strength to overpower Tigerstar, knocking him to the ground. Bramblestar then pins down the younger leader, preparing to strike a blow that will kill Tigerstar.[13] However, before he can do so, he spots Squirrelflight in the crowd. The dumbfounded impostor chokes out that she's alive. Tigerstar then seizes the opportunity and scrambles underneath his opponent, slashing Bramblestar's neck.[13] Shocked, the impostor misses a clumsy blow against Tigerstar, and the ShadowClan leader headbutts the impostor's side, knocking him to the ground. Tigerstar stands for a few heartbeats, watching the impostor bleed out from the critical neck wound. He then places one of his forepaws on the impostor's neck, and raises his other paw, fully intending to kill him.[13]
Bristlefrost yowls no, racing to the two leaders. Squirrelflight gets there before the pale-gray she-cat and reminds Tigerstar of what they agreed on: to keep the impostor alive.[13] Tigerstar remains silent for a few moments, and concurs that he won't kill him, but he refuses to let him walk free. Squirrelflight agrees with him, and says that when he wakes up, they can question him and figure out what is truly going on.[13] Tigerstar dips his head respectfully to her, and summons Shadowsight to deal with the impostor, referring to him as a lump of crow-food.[13] He leaves, whisking his tail for the other leaders to join him. Bristlefrost looks around, seeing other Clan cats talking to the exiled cats, apologizing for being deceived. Bristlefrost wonders if any new grudges were planted that day, and watches in horror as she sees the multitude of bodies who had perished in the fighting, knowing that although the battle was finished, it didn't feel like a better time, not while the true Bramblestar was still missing.[13]

Aftermath

Squirrelflight: "Wait!"
Tigerstar: "Don’t worry. We won’t hurt Bramblestar’s precious body."
Squirrelflight: "That’s not it. I know."
Jayfeather: "Know what? For StarClan’s sake, come out with it. We’re all tired."
Squirrelflight: "“I know who has taken over Bramblestar’s body! And if I’m right, it’s even worse than we thought."
—Squirrelflight realizing who is possessing Bramblestar's corpse Veil of Shadows, page 289
After the battle, Tigerstar asks Shadowsight how the impostor's wounds are. Shadowsight admits his injuries are not healing as well as he would like them to. Tigerstar remarks that then there is a big decision to make for the leadership of ThunderClan; as their current leader cannot be trusted and their deputy is far too young to lead, making Bristlefrost breathe out a sigh of relief. Tigerstar tells Squirrelflight that she is the obvious choice to take over.[25] Squirrelflight brings up that she was exiled, and was succeeded by Berrynose. Tigerstar reminds her that the former ThunderClan deputy is dead and the impostor had no right to exile her, or any other Clan cat.[25] Mistystar tells the ginger she-cat that she is ThunderClan's true deputy, and every cat trusts her. Squirrelflight agrees, but asserts it is only temporary until the real Bramblestar can be restored to his body. She then demotes Bristlefrost as deputy, citing her young age, and appoints Lionblaze in her stead. Bristlefrost, grateful, tells her that she never deserved to be deputy in the first place. Shadowsight returns to see the impostor awakened in the medicine den. The spirit, using his real voice, tells Shadowsight that since he survived, he has ensured his success. He adds that he will be able to bend any cat to his well, and to ask the skinny black cat with yellow eyes before falling into unconsciousness once again. [25]
At an emergency gathering, Rootspring sees the ghosts of the fallen cats who died in the battle staring forlornly at their living Clanmates.[26] The SkyClan warrior and Shadowsight talk about Bramblestar's ghost, and agree that it is still out there somewhere. The two cut their conversation short as Leafstar starts the gathering. She begins by saying that they have all made mistakes, and now is not the time for revenge or retribution, nor is it the time for punishing cats for wrongdoings.[26] Harestar agrees with her, but adds that it is entirely possible that StarClan left them because of how many times they've broken the code, and Rootspring notes that that the WindClan leader seemed haunted by his brief time in StarClan. Tigerstar speaks up and says that while he respects their warrior ancestors as much as any cat, he asks if anyone can truly say the cats who had done wrong have darkness in their hearts.[26] Crowfeather and Lionblaze immediately object to this, asking if they should just stop following the warrior code altogether. Tigerstar brings up that Shadowsight, as he was freeing Bramblestar from the Place of No Stars, saw stars glittering in a pool there, seemingly cut off from their hunting grounds.[26] Harestar rebukes this by reminding him that he had died and been to StarClan personally, and StarClan was still there. Albeit, the spirits were fading and in distress. Leafstar says that medicine cats' visions aren't always meant to be taken literally. Mistystar says Tigerstar may just be too angry to think clearly given the events his family has gone through.[26]
Squirrelflight speaks up, and agrees with Mistystar. However, the acting leader says that they should first figure out whoever is possessing Bramblestar's body, and how to deal with him. Harestar asks what she thinks, as she would know Bramblestar better than anyone.[26] Squirrelflight ponders, but admits she is unsure on whoever could be using her mate's body. The other leaders break out into an argument, until Tigerstar says the exiled cats can all go home. Mistystar then calls forth Icewing and Harelight, and condemns them for fighting against RiverClan in the battle, exiling them at the same time. Mothwing speaks up in defense of them, but Mistystar cuts her off and tells the golden she-cat that she was wrong to exile her, and offers to let her rejoin RiverClan. Mothwing, infuriated, refuses, citing that Icewing and Harelight were brave to stand up to the impostor, and reminds the half-clan leader that she exiled her on account of her birth, something she had no control over. Mistystar tells the three that they are no longer RiverClan cats then.[26] Icewing admits they may have fought for ShadowClan in the battle, but Mothwing had done nothing wrong. Harelight asks if they can atone somehow, but Mistystar remains firm. Leafstar asks the RiverClan leader if she is sure. Mistystar says that they must bear the consequences of their actions. Tigerstar then offers the three cats a place in ShadowClan, saying that they will always have a home there.[26] Mistystar ends the gathering and rounds up her cats to leave, while the other Clans follow suite. However, Squirrelflight suddenly yowls for them to wait. Tigerstar assures her that ShadowClan won't harm the impostor. Squirrelflight tells him that that isn't it, and that she knows. A disgruntled Jayfeather demands clarification, and Squirrelflight says she knows the identity of the cat possessing Bramblestar's body. After a wave of gasps and surprise, she says that if she's right, the situation is far worse than they thought. [26]

Characters

Bramblestar's impostor

After possessing the corpse of ThunderClan's leader, Bramblestar, the impostor began issuing harsh punishments towards cats who he claimed had broken the notions of the warrior code. Several cats see a noticeable difference in his personality and demeanor. Suspicion grows after the impostor begins exiling cats and the revelation that Rootspring is able to see the true Bramblestar's ghost. Several cats grow tired of his abuse and desire to have him outed from Bramblestar's body.
After the impostor catches wind that the rebels planned to depose of him, he forms an alliance with WindClan and RiverClan, intent on attacking ShadowClan first. Although Leafstar feigns alliance with him, she betrays him and warns Tigerstar preemptively. During the battle, the impostor is exposed as a fake after Harestar comes back from StarClan, and, after being defeated by Tigerstar, is imprisoned within ShadowClan until the Clans decide what to do with him.

Tigerstar and Leafstar

Tigerstar and Leafstar were the leaders most reluctant to do what Bramblestar's impostor demanded them to do. Both refused to exile their cats, and both were later told by Squirrelflight that he was indeed an impostor of the real Bramblestar. When Squirrelflight is exiled from ThunderClan, Tigerstar gives her refuge in ShadowClan. Although Tigerstar wished to take action against the impostor, Leafstar was hesitant as no SkyClan cat was named as a codebreaker. Tigerstar continued to take in cats exiled by the impostor, and helped lead the rebel group alongside Squirrelflight.
After the impostor learns of the rebels' plan to depose of him, he aims to attack ShadowClan before they can. He asks Leafstar for her support in the battle, to which Leafstar agrees. However, when he leaves, Leafstar reveals that she lied and intends to help ShadowClan instead. During the battle, the alliance of ShadowClan and SkyClan hold their own against the other three Clans, and Leafstar condemns the impostor as a traitor to StarClan. After the impostor is exposed as a fake to the rest of the Clans, he and Tigerstar fight, with Tigerstar emerging victorious and imprisoning the impostor.

Harestar and Mistystar

Harestar and Mistystar readily agreed to the impostor's punishments for the codebreakers, both exiling Crowfeather and Mothwing from their respective Clans, as they believed "Bramblestar", who had been the last leader to die, knew the most about how to bring back StarClan. During the battle, Harestar and Mistystar allied with the impostor to attack ShadowClan. However, during the battle, Harestar lost a life, and when he returned, he revealed that StarClan had not abandoned them as "Bramblestar" claimed. This made both WindClan and RiverClan turn against the impostor, realizing he was a fraud.

The rebels

The rebels consisted of ShadowClan, SkyClan, and several exiled cats as well as spies from ThunderClan, RiverClan, and WindClan. Although they initially took refuge in ShadowClan's camp, Tigerstar gave them SkyClan's old camp to avoid a crowded camp and to establish a home for the exiled cats. The rebels planned to depose of the impostor before he could do more harm than he already had. However, the impostor learns of their ploy and decides to attack ShadowClan first. During the battle, the rebels join in on the side of ShadowClan and SkyClan, led by Squirrelflight. Afterwards, the rebel group is disbanded as the exiles are accepted back into their Clans.

Quotes

"How do you get to make decrees for another Clan? This alliance of three Clans is going to drive out all of ShadowClan to please the spirits of our warrior ancestors?"
―Tigerstar to the impostor Veil of Shadows, pages 260-261


Tigerstar: "The only liar here is you. You’re not Bramblestar. You’ve taken his body, but the real Bramblestar never would have done the things you have."
Bramblestar's impostor: "I don’t believe what I’m seeing! Are Clan cats really siding with a leader who harbors codebreakers? Don’t you want to see StarClan again? Well, you’re ruining your chances! When I do succeed in bringing StarClan back, you’ll all be punished—even worse than you are now!"
Tigerstar: "Whether they’re fading or not, I’m going to send you to StarClan right now!"
—Tigerstar and the impostor face off Veil of Shadows, page 269

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 260
  2. 2.0 2.1 Revealed in Veil of Shadows
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 272
  4. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 278
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 262
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 265
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 259
  8. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 258
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 276
  10. 10.0 10.1 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 267
  11. 11.0 11.1 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 257
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 266
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 13.15 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, chapter 21
  14. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 3
  15. Revealed in The Silent Thaw
  16. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 225
  17. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 310
  18. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 27,188,299
  19. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, pages 65-66
  20. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 199
  21. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, chapter 18
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, chapter 20
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 261
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 264
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, chapter 22
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 26.6 26.7 26.8 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, chapter 23
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
Dawn of the Clans The first battleFollowing the sun trail
A Vision of Shadows Alderpaw's questYellowcough epidemicThe Kin's campaignShadowClan's downfallWatermint shortageFireBattle for the stolen kitsShadowClan versus SkyClan
The Broken Code Clash of the Clans
Super Editions Talltail and Jake's excellent adventureSkyClan's revivalA storm of epic proportionsBlood, water, and badgersBattle of the gorgeBattle against the SistersBloodClan's revenge
Novellas A predicted starvationRavenpaw's travels
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