|"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!"|
|— The impostor after he is exposed in Veil of Shadows, page 269|
Bramblestar's impostor was a former 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 challenged 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. Eventually, after losing the support of ThunderClan, the impostor instigated a battle with ShadowClan, whereas he lost and was exposed as a fraud publicly, leading to his imprisonment by Tigerstar and was deposed as ThunderClan's leader by Squirrelflight.
In The Broken Code arc
- "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
- 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.
- "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
- 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. He later attacks Shadowsight when the young medicine cat strays off from the other medicine cats in going to the Moonpool.
- "When I do succeed in bringing StarClan back, you’ll all be punished—even worse than you are now!"
- —The impostor after he is exposed to the Clans Veil of Shadows, page 270
- Later on, the impostor calls a Clan meeting to announce that Shadowsight has run away. Bristlefrost, Stemleaf, and Spotfur doubt his claims, but the impostor states they must obey StarClan and deal with their codebreakers. He turns to Lionblaze and Jayfeather, noting that because the brothers are Half-Clan, their very existence angers StarClan. Jayfeather, enraged, rebukes the impostor, reminding that his heritage is the fault of Leafpool and Crowfeather, and asks why the impostor doesn't punish the cats actually responsible. The impostor is left speechless, realizing that Jayfeather had a point. The impostor eventually mumbles that StarClan works in mysterious ways, and don't always explain themselves clearly. Jayfeather begins to openly expose Bramblestar as a fraud, but Bristlefrost interrupts him, stating that she doesn't always understand StarClan's meaning either. After a few ThunderClan cats agree with the statement, the impostor turns his attention to Twigbranch, citing that she swapped between ThunderClan and SkyClan, and got Finleap to switch with her. He intends to exile all three cats, but Twigbranch begs him to let her atone instead. The impostor says she needs to catch twenty pieces of prey within a half-moon. Finished, the impostor exiles Lionblaze and Jayfeather, telling ThunderClan to turn their backs on them, leaving them in the rain. Jayfeather and Lionblaze head away, while Twigbranch starts her atonement. Bristlefrost catches up to her grandfather and great-uncle, where Jayfeather reveals to Lionblaze that the impostor is a fake of the real Bramblestar. Bristlefrost rounds up the three exiled cats and brings them to ShadowClan, where Tigerstar gives them a place to stay.
- The impostor comes to SkyClan, explaining to Leafstar that he has called another emergency gathering to discuss Shadowsight's disappearance. As the impostor begins to reiterate following the warrior code and outing codebreakers, Leafstar interupts him and says that SkyClan has always been loyal to the code and no SkyClan cats were mentioned. The impostor reminds her that tensions were high between ThunderClan and ShadowClan at the last gathering, and Clans will need to choose sides at some point. Leafstar does not respond, and the impostor snarls at her to be at the gathering. At the aforementioned gathering, he pressures the other Clan leaders to exile their codebreakers, leading to Crowfeather and Mothwing being exiled from their respective Clans. Back in ThunderClan, the impostor becomes increasingly despondent over Squirrelflight's exile, believing that she still loves him and should have returned to ThunderClan. After being informed of this, Squirrelflight, with the assistance of Mothwing, fakes her death. Bristlefrost informs the impostor of Squirrelflight's "demise", and he becomes increasingly depressed and even angry towards ThunderClan, putting on weight, not grooming, and snapping at Alderheart when the medicine cat refuses to give the impostor poppy seeds to dull his pain. After hearing of a strange dream from Flipclaw, the impostor declares him to be ThunderClan's new medicine cat, much to the chagrin of Alderheart. Flipclaw remains uncertain and tries to refuse, but the impostor forces him. Soon after, after refusing to let Twigbranch return to ThunderClan, Finleap and Alderheart decide to leave the Clan, where the two are promptly exiled for their alleged disloyalty. They too get refuge with the exiled cats.
- A small group consisting of Stemleaf, Conefoot, Dappletuft, Spotfur, and Kitescratch try to kill the impostor despite being told to wait by Tigerstar. After he and Bristlefrost are ambushed in the forest, the impostor yowls for Bristlefrost to get help, where Berrynose comes shortly thereafter with a patrol. Despite five cats trying to kill him, the impostor survives and Stemleaf, Conefoot, and Dappletuft are killed in the skirmish, leaving Kitescratch and Spotfur as the sole survivors. After returning to camp, the impostor praises Bristlefrost for her loyalty, and reveals he plans to exile Berrynose for not sending help quickly enough. He makes true on his word and exiles the cream-colored tom, promoting Bristlefrost as his new deputy. Much of ThunderClan disagrees with his exile and Bristlefrost's promotion, but the impostor cites that as leader, his word is law. At the following gathering, he announces the attempt on his life and demands that codebreakers be exiled. He reveals Bristlefrost as his deputy, much to the distaste of many Clan cats, believing her to be far too young for the role. The impostor asks if he has the Clans' support to get StarClan back. Mistystar and Harestar readily agree. Leafstar expresses doubt, but does agree. Tigerstar however, refuses, and tells him he has no right telling other Clan cats what to do.
- The impostor continues his cruel treatment of ThunderClan, lashing out at Stormcloud after the gray tabby tries to feed the elders first and briefly banishes him, as well as lashing out at Finchpaw. After spotting the ghost of Shadowsight, the impostor leaves Bramblestar's body and ridicules Shadowsight, where Shadowsight concludes that the impostor is the same cat who gave him his codebreaker vision and tried to kill him. The impostor confirms, revealing that he himself has been to StarClan and come back more powerful than ever, and there are ways to move between the afterlives if one is clever enough. He reveals to Shadowsight that he has dealt with Bramblestar's ghost, and calls Shadowsight a codebreaker before Shadowsight returns to his physical body.
- After bringing up Flipclaw's genuine lack of medicine cat training, Sparkpelt is exiled by the impostor for disloyalty. However, Graystripe intervenes, citing that "Bramblestar" is weak and a leader does not expect blind loyalty. He says that "Bramblestar" never led like this prior to losing a life, and neither did Firestar. As he continues to criticize the impostor, the fake Bramblestar claws Graystripe across the nose. However, the undaunted elder announces that Bramblestar would have never hurt his own warrior, and whoever the impostor is, he is not Bramblestar. An enraged impostor exiles both him and Sparkpelt. Bumblestripe, Blossomfall, Cinderheart, Thriftear, and Finchpaw stand with Graystripe, and leave ThunderClan as exiles. Meanwhile, in the rebel group, cats are divided as to whether outright kill the impostor, or to capture him as so they have a chance of returning Bramblestar to his rightful body. Squirrelflight remains adamant on keeping the impostor alive, and despite the attempt on the impostor's life, she believes they must still try. Rootspring admits that he has not seen Bramblestar's ghost in a while, fearing he may have faded. Tigerstar remains concerned with the impostor, and is convinced by some ex-ThunderClan refugees to at least take him prisoner. However, many believe that Bristlefrost has betrayed them as she fought on the side of the impostor during the assassination attempt. Squirrelflight does not hold any doubts on the she-cat, but others are uneasy of Squirrelflight's certainty.
- After catching wind that the rebels plan to depose of him, he allies with WindClan and RiverClan to drive out ShadowClan before they can. He goes to Leafstar and demands she supports him in the upcoming battle, and forces her to exile Kitescratch for his role in attacking him. Leafstar agrees, and after the impostor leaves, she has Kitescratch brought back and betrays the impostor for ShadowClan, sending a warning to ShadowClan the same night. The next morning, the impostor leads the alliance of the three Clans to eradicate ShadowClan. Although angry SkyClan fails to show, he continues on. After seeing that Tigerstar has been warned of the attack, he calls out the dark tabby on his refusal to adhere to his decrees, but Tigerstar refutes him by asking how he possibly thinks he can make decrees for other Clans. Leafstar arrives with SkyClan, and after noting that there is no chance of peace between them, she instigates the attack by turning on the three Clans, catching them off-guard. During the battle, the impostor calls Leafstar a traitor, but Leafstar turns it around on him and calls him a traitor to StarClan for all he's done. The impostor demands Leafshade and Shellfur to attack her, but both warriors, tired of his tyranny, ignore him, leaving the leader in suspense. Amidst the fighting, Lionblaze kills Harestar and the WindClan leader goes to StarClan. When he returns, Harestar realizes the impostor is a liar and a fraud. The impostor refutes him by calling him a codebreaker. Harestar and WindClan turn on him, with the former hissing that he is no liar. Tigerstar announces that the only liar is the impostor, and the fighting stops as Shadowsight's vision of Bramblestar fighting Tigerstar comes true. Although the impostor manages to subdue Tigerstar, the appearance of Squirrelflight makes him lose focus and Tigerstar gains the advantage, fighting and nearly killing the impostor until Squirrelflight tells him to stop. Tigerstar reluctantly agrees to keep him alive, but refuses to let him walk free. The impostor is deposed as ThunderClan's leader, and imprisoned within ShadowClan.
- As Shadowsight heals the impostor, the spirit chokes out in a delirium to Squirrelflight that he came back for her. Squirrelflight becomes suspicious and tells Shadowsight that whoever the impostor truly is, he seems familiar. When she leaves, the impostor, using his real voice, tells Shadowsight that since he was spared, he will grow more powerful than ever, able to bend any cat to his will, and tells Shadowsight to ask the skinny black cat with yellow eyes, leaving Shadowsight in horror. At the following day, the Clans discuss the impostor, and try to make sense of recent events. They acknowledge him as a liar and a bad cat, although none can make a final verdict. Just as the gathering ends, Squirrelflight calls back all the cats and announces she has figured out the identity of the cat possessing Bramblestar. She adds that if she is right, then the situation is worse than they thought.
- Bramblestar's impostor has dark blue eyes.
- While possessing Bramblestar's corpse, the impostor inherited the leader's physical appearance. He 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.
- The impostor is able to leave Bramblestar's body as he pleases, and is also capable of using his true voice over Bramblestar's, as shown when he was talking to Shadowsight after being deposed of.
Please do not edit this gallery
This list shows the victims Bramblestar's impostor has killed:
- (Indirect mention only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Warrior Cats Hub app only) (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Indirect mention only)
- (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 272
- ↑ Revealed in Lost Stars, page 166
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 3
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 166
- ↑ Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 308
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 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.
- ↑ As shown between pages 245 and 254 of Lost Stars, Squirrelflight took over as de facto leader when Bramblestar was dead for over a night.
- ↑ Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 278
- ↑ Revealed in Lost Stars, page 65
- ↑ Revealed in Twilight, page 192
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 9
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, allegiances
- ↑ Revealed in Lost Stars, page 261
- ↑ Revealed in Sunset, page 62
- ↑ Revealed in Sunset, page 87
- ↑ Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 279
- ↑ Revealed in Lost Stars, page 245