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

"There's a codebreaker among us! And it pains me to punish her; but if we ever hope to hear from StarClan again, I must. You, my own deputy. My mate! You don't belong in ThunderClan anymore. You don't deserve a place here."
— The impostor exiling Squirrelflight in The Silent Thaw, page 282

Bramblestar's impostor is a tom, whose real identity is currently unknown.[6]

Bramblestar's impostor is the current leader of ThunderClan in the lake territories. He was a spirit that possessed the body of the ThunderClan leader, Bramblestar, having been able to force out Bramblestar's spirit when he lost a life during an unusual attempt to cure him from an illness. Some cats in ThunderClan and the other Clans support his increasing focus on following the warrior code, though others openly challenge him.

During his first moons heading ThunderClan, the impostor gave harsh punishments to those reported doing wrong. However, several cats become aware that he was an impostor of the true Bramblestar, and desired to end his tyrannical rule. While the impostor acted as if Squirrelflight was his mate while impersonating her real partner, they broke off their relationship when she was exiled from ThunderClan.

History

In The Broken Code arc

Lost Stars

"Oh, of course not. The wonderful, respected leader of ThunderClan! However, the trouble will fall on him first."
—The impostor mocking Bramblestar to Shadowpaw Lost Stars, page 166
The spirit informs Shadowpaw of the codebreakers that must be punished in the Clans, and the Clans must suffer for having codebreakers. He gives the young apprentice an unusual method of "curing" Bramblestar's sudden illness. Shadowpaw informs ThunderClan of the method. Having exhausted all other options, the medicine cats Jayfeather and Alderheart go along with Shadowpaw's orders. Bramblestar is placed on the moor between ThunderClan and WindClan's territories, allowing his body to become extremely cold to "force" the sickness out. In doing so, Bramblestar dies and becomes a ghost, and the spirit possesses Bramblestar's body, now acting as ThunderClan's leader. He sticks close to Squirrelflight, almost never leaving her side.
Before possessing Bramblestar's body, Rootpaw, a young SkyClan apprentice, noticed a dark shadow hanging over Bramblestar, suggesting the impostor was stalking the ThunderClan leader beforehand.

The Silent Thaw

"When he lost a life, some other cat's spirit took his body. The real Bramblestar is a ghost. He can't get back into his body and he can't find StarClan."
—Tree The Silent Thaw, page 295
Now in Bramblestar's body, the spirit begins demanding that the other leaders out their "codebreakers", and immediately gets defensive over "his death". Several cats take notice that the way Bramblestar acts is odd. Graystripe notes that whenever Firestar lost one of his lives, he never acted the way Bramblestar was. Bristlefrost, a dedicated follower of the warrior code, becomes manipulated by the impostor into being his "eyes and ears in the Clan", reporting any cat who breaks the code. Bristlefrost becomes obsessively imperative to please her leader, telling him of how Lionblaze and Spotfur crossed the WindClan border. The impostor then punishes them by making no cat talk to Spotfur for a quarter moon and banishing Lionblaze from the camp for the same duration. Many ThunderClan cats are shocked, and Lionblaze accepts defeat from his adopted father and leaves. Stemleaf, Spotfur, Twigbranch, and Finleap grow suspicious of the way the impostor handles punishments, even twisting the code for his benefit. The impostor also makes it so Bristlefrost does the daily patrols, despite her age, and orders Squirrelflight to stay in the camp from now on.
When Bristlefrost tells the impostor that Sparkpelt didn't catch as much prey as she usually does, the impostor sends his "daughter" to the abandoned Twoleg nest, and it is revealed that Sparkpelt nearly escaped death from dogs. While Squirrelflight frets over her daughter, the impostor does not care, leading Bristlefrost to believe it was an attempt on Sparkpelt's life. The she-cat investigates and discovers the nest was soaked in the blood of prey, making Bristlefrost realize that the Bramblestar was an impostor.
A secret meeting is held from cats of all Clans, discussing the sudden change in Bramblestar. The cats decide to get help from Squirrelflight, who, as ThunderClan's deputy and Bramblestar's own mate, is a credible source. After being told by Rootpaw of a moment between Bramblestar and Squirrelflight that only the two know about, Squirrelflight realizes that her mate is a ghost, and the Bramblestar leading ThunderClan is not the real one, but continues to feign affection for him to avoid suspicion.
After Lionblaze returns, the impostor forces him, Jayfeather, and Twigbranch to swear an oath of loyalty to him and ThunderClan so they can atone. Lionblaze and Jayfeather are angry that they are being made to apologize for being born, while Twigbranch is uneasy and doesn't know what code she even broke. The three swear the oath, and Bramblestar says that the punishment for breaking any notion of the code will be exile, much to the shock and disdain of several ThunderClan members. However, when Squirrelflight offers to take the oath, noting that she herself is technically a codebreaker, the impostor surprisingly refuses, saying that she doesn't need to since she was forgiven by StarClan.
Squirrelflight later goes to inform the other four Clans of the impostor under the pretense of "atoning" for codebreaking, which the impostor allows only reluctantly. She is seemingly able to convince Leafstar, but fails to do so for Harestar and Mistystar, and is unable to go to Tigerstar. At a Gathering, the impostor berates and bullies the other Clans, becoming angry when the leaders do not agree to his proposed punishments. He does, however, force exile on Dovewing and Tree to "atone", garnering support from several cats from other Clans. Meanwhile, Shadowsight realizes that the impostor had been manipulating him due to his inexperience as a medicine cat, and feels guilty over the fact.
Shortly afterward, the impostor outs Squirrelflight as a codebreaker, berating her for "betrayal" and calling both her and Leafpool liars and weak, revealing that he sent Bumblestripe, one of his staunch supporters, to follow her, and knows that she went behind his back. Squirrelflight announces to the stunned ThunderClan that her mate is an impostor, but ThunderClan is unsure what to think. The impostor demotes and exiles her, though Thornclaw and Graystripe attempt to persuade him otherwise, but fail. In her place as deputy, the impostor appoints Berrynose, breaking the seventh notion of the code, as Berrynose has never had an apprentice. Squirrelflight goes to ShadowClan, telling Tigerstar of her exile. With ShadowClan doubtful of her claims, Rootpaw is able to make the ghost of the real Bramblestar appear and confirm her story. Tigerstar is convinced and rallies ShadowClan against the impostor, allowing Squirrelflight to stay in ShadowClan for the time being.
Meanwhile, the impostor is continuing to tighten his tyrannical grip on ThunderClan, punishing any warrior for breaking the code in the slightest, and is increasingly annoyed by Berrynose's excessive attempts to please him. He later praises Bristlefrost for her loyalty, but also subtlety threatens her and implies that he knows about the secret meeting. The impostor then dispatches Bristlefrost to track Squirrelflight, and though he says he only wants to make sure the former deputy has left the lake, Bristlefrost suspects that he's actually worried about her, as he looks somewhat distracted and anxious as he gives the order. Bristlefrost visits Rootpaw and voices her suspicion and confusion about the impostor being worried about Squirreflight, but Rootpaw brushes it off, saying they don't have time to wonder about it. When Bristlefrost returns, she lies that she found Squirrelflight passing through the Twolegplace. The impostor uneasily accepts her story, but threatens her again before going to rest in his den.

Detailed description

While possesing Bramblestar's corpse, the impostor inherited the leader's physical appearance. He is a huge,[7] muscular,[8] dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes.[9] He has glossy fur,[10] broad, muscled shoulders,[8][11] long, curved claws,[12] a wide forehead,[11] and a long scar on his shoulder.[13]

Trivia

Interesting facts

Appearances

Kin

Members

Mate:

Squirrelflight (formerly):[4] Living (As of The Silent Thaw)

Killed victims

This list shows the victims Bramblstar's impostor has killed:

Breaking of the code

Even though the impostor appears adamant about following the warrior code, he has broken and twisted it multiple times:
  • Berating Lionblaze for defying him as a leader, even though he was breaking the code.[17]
  • Stopping the care of elders.[18]
  • Changing the code so he gets first pick from the fresh-kill pile.[19]
    • Also making it so the warriors eat first, over queens and elders.[19]
  • Attempted murder of Sparkpelt.[14]
  • Berating and bullying the other leaders into following his orders.[20]
  • Exiling Squirrelflight after she exposed him as an impostor.[21]
  • Appointing Berrynose as deputy despite him having no apprentice beforehand.[22]

Leader info

Leader info
Deputies
Name From To
Squirrelflight
Berrynose
Lost Stars
The Silent Thaw
The Silent Thaw
Medicine cats
Name From To
Jayfeather
Alderheart
Lost Stars
Lost Stars

External links

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 3
  2. Revealed in Lost Stars, page 166
  3. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 308
  4. 4.0 4.1 Anchoring off of pages 60 and 282 of The Silent Thaw; Bramblestar's impostor possessed Squirrelflight's mate, Bramblestar's body. Prior to realizing the deception, she acted affectionately as a mate to the impostor, and both of them concurred being in a relationship. After her realizing he was an impostor, and being exiled from ThunderClan, this relationship terminated.
  5. As shown on pages 3 and 22 of Lost Stars, Squirrelflight took over as de facto leader when Bramblestar was dead for over a night.
  6. Revealed in Lost Stars, page 65
  7. Revealed in Twilight, page 192
  8. 8.0 8.1 Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 9
  9. Revealed in Firestar's Quest, allegiances
  10. Revealed in Dovewing's Silence, page 26
  11. 11.0 11.1 Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 306
  12. Revealed in Sunrise, page 14
  13. Revealed in Sunset, page 87
  14. 14.0 14.1 Revealed in The Silent Thaw, pages 205-207
  15. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 287
  16. Revealed in Lost Stars, page 245
  17. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, pages 103-104
  18. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, pages 21-22; 102-103
  19. 19.0 19.1 Revealed in The Silent Thaw, pages 102-103
  20. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 262
  21. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, pages 282-287
  22. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 312
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