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"This warrior will not stop until every Clan cat has paid for what he believes was stolen from him when he was alive." This article contains major spoilers for the recently released, Darkness Within. This also includes the reveal of the identity of the impostor. Please proceed at your own discretion.
"There is no use in blaming. What is important now is to remember that we came together to drive out the rogues. We would not let them destroy the Clans then, and we must not let them tear us apart now. Together we are strong. If the events of the past moons has taught us anything, they have taught us that."
Brambleclaw became a father to Lionblaze, Jayfeather, and Hollyleaf, but later broke up with Squirrelflight when it was revealed their true parents were Crowfeather and Leafpool. He became leader of ThunderClan as Bramblestar after Firestar died in the Great Battle and appointed Squirrelflight as his deputy. They forgave each other and had four kits of their own: Alderheart, Sparkpelt, Juniperkit, and Dandelionkit. Bramblestar eventually fell ill, and without the guidance of StarClan, he died. However, a spirit possessed his body instead, leaving Bramblestar trapped as a ghost and the spirit posing as the ThunderClan leader. He sought help from Rootpaw who was able to convince multiple cats of Bramblestar's situation. The impostor trapped Bramblestar in the Place of No Stars until he was freed by Shadowsight. Squirrelflight revealed his body is inhabited by Ashfur seeking vengeance on Squirrelflight. However, Bramblestar's spirit remained missing, and the Clans decided to kill Ashfur, but Ashfur escaped with Bramblestar's body into the Moonpool with Squirrelflight.
Bramblekit is born to Goldenflower and Tigerclaw along with his sister, Tawnykit. His father is shortly exiled after his birth after attempting to murder Bluestar. When a fire rages through the ThunderClan camp, Fireheart rescues Bramblekit, who was stranded on the branch of a tree. Fireheart frequently views Bramblekit with distrust since he resembles his father, and he mentors Bramblepaw to keep an eye on him. Bramblepaw completes most of his apprenticeship without Tawnypaw since she runs away after continually being judged for who her father is, which upsets Bramblepaw. When Tigerstar offers Bramblepaw to join his family in TigerClan, Bramblepaw refuses and participates with LionClan in the battle againstBloodClan. He tries his hardest to complete his training, and he eventually earns Firestar's trust.
"Brambleclaw, think, will you? You're an amazing cat already; you're brave and loyal and you have tremendous warrior skills. Why do you need Tigerstar?"
―Tawnypelt to Brambleclaw in the Dark Forest Sunset, page 180
StarClan chooses Brambleclaw, Feathertail, Tawnypelt, and Crowpaw to make the journey to the sun-drown place to hear StarClan's message from Midnight the badger, and Stormfur and Squirrelpaw accompany them. Brambleclaw naturally takes on a leadership role of the journeying cats and they grow to respect him, and he and Squirrelpaw become close. They return to the Clans with terrible news that the Twolegs were going to destroy their home and the Clans have to move to a new place. He helps lead the Clans alongside his friends from the journey to their new home by the lake.
Brambleclaw becomes close to his half-brother, Hawkfrost, after learning that the RiverClan warrior was his kin. Squirrelflight distrusts Hawkfrost, and she and Brambleclaw fight about his relationship with Hawkfrost, and they end up breaking up. He and Hawkfrost train with their father in the Dark Forest, and Tigerstar plots his sons' takeover of the Clans. With Graystripe still missing after being taken by Twolegs, StarClan sends Leafpool a dream approving Brambleclaw as the rightful deputy of ThunderClan; despite having not trained an apprentice, Brambleclaw is named deputy and promised to mentor Berrykit. Hawkfrost, encouraged by their father Tigerstar, sets up a trap for Firestar so that Brambleclaw can kill him and become leader. Brambleclaw realizes his loyalty is to ThunderClan and his leader, and kills Hawkfrost, fulfilling the "blood will spill blood" prophecy. Squirrelflight begins to trust him again and they become mates.
"If you want to be remembered for your strengths, you must work on them. And if that means proving yourself to those who doubt you, then do it. You can't force Hollypaw to believe in you. You have to show her that you are worth believing in."
Brambleclaw becomes a father to Lionkit, Hollykit, and Jaykit. He raises them with pride and love, and he later becomes the uncle to Tawnypelt's kits, Tigerkit, Flamekit, and Dawnkit. He also mentors Berrypaw who was promised to him earlier. Brambleclaw leads the journey to assist the Tribe with his family and becomes temporary leader when Firestar and half the Clan fall ill to greencough. Later, it is revealed that Leafpool and Crowfeather are the true parents of the Lionblaze, Jayfeather, and Hollyleaf. Brambleclaw is angry and hurt, and turns his back on Squirrelflight after learning that she kept that secret from him for so long, and they stop being mates.
Despite splitting up with his mate, Brambleclaw still acts as a fatherly figure for Lionblaze and Jayfeather nonetheless. He defends Hollyleaf's actions when she returns to ThunderClan, proving his undying loyalty to his adopted kits. Brambleclaw later understands that the reason why Squirrelflight lied to him was that she was protecting her sister. He participates in the Great Battle and kills Hawkfrost after he discovered his half-brother killed Hollyleaf. Firestar dies from his wounds after fighting Tigerstar, and Brambleclaw becomes leader of ThunderClan. He appoints Squirrelflight as his deputy because he believes that he can trust her more than any other cat.
"The first time I went hunting with Firestar, I really wanted to impress him. I ran so hard after a squirrel that I slipped on some wet leaves, went nose over paws, and crashed into a tree. Great StarClan, it hurt! And what hurt even more was that I was pretty sure Firestar had to stop himself from laughing."
Squirrelflight and Bramblestar have a litter of four kits, Dandelionkit, Juniperkit, Alderkit, and Sparkkit. Dandelionkit and Juniperkit die during kithood, but Alderkit and Sparkkit go on to be apprentices. He encourages Alderpaw through his fumbled warrior training before switching his path to become a medicine cat. He and Squirrelflight begrudgingly allow their kits to go on a quest to find SkyClan after Alderpaw received a vision. Bramblestar tries to act as a voice of reason when SkyClan returns to the lake, although he is against giving up his territory for them. He is against his nephew Tigerheart claiming the leadership of ShadowClan, fearing he would become like Tigerstar, Bramblestar's own father was many years ago. He also tries to help SkyClan stay at the lake, but ultimately gets distracted when Juniperclaw is accused of poisoning SkyClan, which turns out to be true. He then gives up some of ThunderClan's territory so SkyClan can stay, along with the other four leaders.
"Speak up! Say something! You can't let this happen! Whoever's in my body up there, this is just the start. He's going to destroy the Clans! He'll turn the Clans against one another, and then he'll turn each Clan against itself. Some cat has to speak out!"
During a harsh leaf-bare, Shadowpaw receives an omen from an unnamed spirit cat that Bramblestar will fall seemingly incurably ill. When Bramblestar suddenly falls ill, Shadowpaw, guided by the unnamed spirit, suggests an unorthodox method to cure him but ends up killing Bramblestar. The spirit possess the ThunderClan leader's corpse, stranding Bramblestar in the ghost residence. Bramblestar desperately asks for help from Rootpaw, who is the only cat who can see him. Bramblestar's situation is later realized by several cats from across the Clans, convinced by Rootpaw and Tree. However, the rebels debate whether to murder Bramblestar's body to free the Clans from the impostor's nefarious deeds and thus leaving Bramblestar trapped as a spirit. The impostor traps Bramblestar in the Place of No Stars until Shadowsight frees him.
Squirrelflight reveals the impostor to be Ashfur who used Bramblestar's body to get close to Squirrelflight as revenge for her choosing Bramblestar over himself. While Bramblestar's ghost remains missing, several Clan cats wish to destroy Ashfur to get rid of him, but Squirrelflight holds hope for the return of her mate. After the Sisters fail to summon his spirit, the Clan leaders decide to kill Bramblestar's body, and Squirrelflight grimly accepts his fate. Ashfur, upon learning that the Clans had decided to kill him, forces Bramblestar to possess his body once more to convince Shadowsight to let him escape, though Shadowsight ponders if it was really Bramblestar, or Ashfur putting on the persona once more.
This section summarizes Bramblestar's significant Super Editions appearances. If you're looking for a full list, find one here!
"Close to him, [Firestar] could see that Bramblepaw's serious expression hid an almost unbearable excitement. He realized how much this ceremony meant to his apprentice; had Bramblepaw sometimes doubted that he would ever be accepted into ThunderClan as a full warrior?"
―Firestar's thoughts before Bramblepaw's warrior ceremony Firestar's Quest, page 19
In Firestar's Quest, Bramblepaw finishes his warrior training and is named Brambleclaw, his suffix coming from his father's warrior name, Tigerclaw. Firestar feels guilty for still seeing Tigerclaw in his son, but knows Brambleclaw is loyal to ThunderClan and the warrior code. At the Gathering, Brambleclaw discovers that Tawnypelt has also earned her warrior name, and becomes friends with Ashfur.
"Firestar is dead. I am leader of ThunderClan now. And I am proud to uphold his legacy of preserving all the Clans in the forest. No Clan was left behind on the Great Journey to find the lake. No Clan was abandoned to fight alone against the Dark Forest. No Clan will be allowed to fall now, not if the rest of us can protect them."
In Bramblestar's Storm, Bramblestar struggles to find his own path after Firestar's legacy. He leads his Clan through the Great Storm and begins developing feelings for Jessy, a kittypet who is taking shelter in ThunderClan. He helps another refugee, Frankie, come to terms with the loss of his brother, and also realizes his love for Squirrelflight through Jessy, and stays loyal to her in the end. He adds a new addition to the warrior code, each Clan has the right to be proud and independent, but in times of trouble they must forget their boundaries and fight side by side to protect the four. Later, Squirrelflight happily reveals she is expecting his kits.
"Don't talk to your mother like that! I don't care how upset you are. Hurting cats who love you isn't going to help Larksong. It's just going to make everyone as miserable as you are. I'm sorry Larksong is ill, and we'll do everything to make sure he gets well again, but don't accuse your mother of being a mouse-heart. She's one of the bravest warriors I know. And I'm doing everything I can to keep peace among the Clans. I have to stand up to Tigerstar, or he'll push SkyClan around forever. It's hard standing up for what you believe in, and it's even harder when the cats who are supposed to support you undermine you instead. I'm trying to lead a Clan! How can I expect my warriors to follow me if my own kin challenge me at every turn?"
In Squirrelflight's Hope, Bramblestar struggles to maintain the peace between the Clans and isn't as eager to have another litter as Squirrelflight is. The two continually argue when Squirrelflight seems to favor the Sisters over her own Clan, and even questions her legitimacy as his deputy. He and Squirrelflight find some peace spending time with Sparkpelt's kits, Finchkit and Flamekit, after Larksong and Flickerkit die. Squirrelflight convinces Bramblestar to not attack the Sisters, and he mourns for her after she is fatally injured from a cave in. After Squirrelflight returns from StarClan, the two reconcile.
This section summarizes Bramblestar's significant Novellas appearances. If you're looking for a full list, find one here!
"But I promise it won't happen again. Yesterday changed everything. Hawkfrost is dead—dead because of me! And I know where my loyalties lie now. I am the deputy of ThunderClan, and my Clan is the only thing that matters."
―Brambleclaw to Leafpool about training in the Dark Forest Leafpool's Wish, page chapter 2
In Leafpool's Wish, Leafpool doubts Brambleclaw as her sister's choice as a mate. She had previously witnessed Brambleclaw train with his father and Hawkfrost in the Dark Forest and is suspicious of his true intentions. Some of her fears are lifted when he kills Hawkfrost and saves Firestar. Knowing that Leafpool still doesn't trust him, Brambleclaw reassures her that his loyalty is to ThunderClan only. When Leafpool discovers she is expecting kits, Yellowfang assures her and Squirrelflight that Brambleclaw would be a great father to them and, as future leader of ThunderClan, he will need kits. Squirrelflight agrees to lie and raise them with Brambleclaw, and Leafpool worries about Tigerstar haunting them.
"Know this, warriors. The Dark Forest will win if we do not forgive those cats who were once their allies. Forgiveness is far more powerful than hatred and suspicion. United, we are as strong as we ever were. Divided, we will fall. Remember that the Dark Forest is still out there, ready to prey on our dreams. Hostility and distrust among us will give them more force than they deserve."
In Dovewing's Silence, during Bramblestar's first few days as leader, he is too busy to pay attention to the growing divide between his Clanmates and those who trained in the Dark Forest. He meets with the other Clan leaders to discuss what to do with them, despite initially believing each Clan would decide on their own. He agrees to let the former trainees take a new oath of loyalty, but some of his cats are still not happy. Angered by his Clanmates' attempts to lure the trainees with a fox, Bramblestar rallies the Clan to commend Ivypool, Thornclaw, Birchfall, Blossomfall, and Mousewhisker's bravery and unites the Clan.
In The Ultimate Guide, Brambleclaw journeys to the Moonpool with Jayfeather to receive his nine lives. Firestar welcomes him and grants him a life for courage. Goldenflower gives him a life for understanding the love of a mother. Bluestar apologizes for her prejudice against him and gives him a life for clear judgment. Mousefur gives him a life to listen to the elders, Lionheart grants him pride, and Ferncloud bestows understanding the role of everyone in the Clan. Cinderpelt gives him a life for second chances and Feathertail for exploring beyond the Clans' borders. His final life comes from Ravenpaw who wishes him to speak out against injustice.
Bramblestar is a huge and muscular dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes. He has sleek fur, long, curved claws, and a long scar on his shoulder.
Now that Cloudtail is a warrior, you are free to take on another apprentice. You will be mentor to Bramblepaw. Fireheart, you have shown yourself to be a warrior of rare courage and quick thinking. I'm sure that you will pass on all you know to this young apprentice.
I, Firestar, leader of ThunderClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on this apprentice. He has trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend him to you as a warrior in his turn. Bramblepaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?
Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Bramblepaw, from this moment you will be known as Brambleclaw. StarClan honors your courage and your loyalty, and we welcome you as a full warrior of ThunderClan.
The time has come to name ThunderClan's new deputy. I say these words before the spirits of our ancestors, and Graystripe's spirit, wherever it may be, may hear and approve my choice. Brambleclaw will be the new deputy of ThunderClan.
I give you a life with the courage to make the hardest decisions, not just for ThunderClan but for all the Clans. The lake needs four Clans; with this life, serve them all well.
Goldenflower. Is it really you?
Yes, my son, it is. I am so proud of you, my love. And so honored to give you this life. I give you a life for understanding the love of a mother. But then, you have already known what it is to love as a father. Keep that knowledge, feel its power, and use it to keep all of your Clanmates safe.
Brambleclaw, you have walked a long and difficult path to reach this point. But you have proven your loyalty to ThunderClan more times than I can count. I am proud to see my Clan pass into your care. I give you a life for clear judgment of character, for the ability to see the value of some cats, and the threat posed by others.
I give you a life for listening to your elders, for taking advice when it is not expected. The oldest cats have seen the most, and there is precious little that is new, even beside the lake. Trust their wisdom, learn from their mistakes, and remember that without them, you would have no Clan to lead.
I give you a life to have the greatest pride in your Clan, to honor the legacy that has been left by the leaders who have walked this path before and to have the courage to lay down your paw print over theirs. This is your chance to shape ThunderClan's destiny. Use it wisely and make us proud.
My life is for understanding that it is not only warriors who play a part in protecting the Clan. She-cats who choose to live in the nursery do just as much as those who patrol borders and stock the fresh-kill pile. We raise every new apprentice, feed every small mouth, and teach every kit the importance of the warrior code. Without us, the Clan would be as rootless as an upturned tree. Honor the mother-cats, Brambleclaw, for we give you all life.
I give you a life for offering second chances. If a plan fails, if a Clanmate disappoints you, if destiny seems the wrong way around, never despair. Have the faith to try again, learn from what happened before, and success may come. The best things come to those who wait, Brambleclaw. Trust me.
I give you a life for exploring beyond the borders of your Clan, for seeing the possibilities that lie in unexpected places, and the untrodden paths that wait to be discovered. You are not trapped by your invisible boundaries. If you cannot find the answers within them, then look farther off. There is always hope somewhere.
I give you a life for speaking out against injustice, for pursuing the truth above all else. Lies bring shadows in which darker things can hide. Never fear the truth, Brambleclaw, however binding it may be.
It is over. You have done well. Welcome, Bramblestar!
Thank you all. I will do my best to live each of these lives according to the gifts you have made. Firestar, your Clan will never forget you. And if I can be half the leader you were, I will be proud.
Courage to make the hardest decisions Understanding the love of a mother Clear judgement of character Listening to elders Greatest pride in ThunderClan Understanding that not only warriors play a role in protecting the Clan Offering second chances Exploring beyond the borders of the Clan Speaking out against injustice, pursuing the truth above all else.
Bramblestar is determined to prove himself free of his father's shadow. While he and his mate experienced some tensions, they are devout parents to their children. For more of Bramblestar's personality and relationships, click here!
Bramblestar's parents are Goldenflower and Tigerstar. His former mate is Squirrelflight, and Alderheart, Sparkpelt, Juniperkit, and Dandelionkit are their children. He was also the adopted father to Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf. For more of Bramblestar's family, click here!