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"If we can't trust StarClan, then we are lost."
— Dappletail when ThunderClan doubts Goosefeather's omen in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 99

Dappletail is a broad-shouldered,[9] dappled tortoiseshell[2]-and-white[10] she-cat with white patches,[11] a patchy,[12] thick, shiny pelt,[13] amber eyes,[14] and a muzzle gray with age.[15]

Dappletail was a ThunderClan elder under Bluestar's and Firestar's leaderships in the forest territories, having previously served as a warrior under Pinestar and Sunstar. Dapplekit was born to Windflight and Rainfur alongside Tawnyspots and Thrushpelt. She was apprenticed as Dapplepaw with Windflight as her mentor, and became a warrior as Dappletail, mentoring Goldenflower. She and Stormtail developed feelings for each other, though they never had kits. After living for many moons as an elder, Dappletail died from eating a rabbit that had been poisoned by Twolegs during the destruction of the forest.

History

In The Prophecies Begin arc

Into the Wild

Dappletail is an elder of ThunderClan. When Graypaw takes Firepaw on his tour of the ThunderClan camp and they come to the elders' den, Firepaw meets Dappletail along with the other elders. Dappletail is polite to the newcomer. Smallear then wonders out loud when Bluestar will choose a new deputy, since Redtail was dead. Dappletail and One-eye remember the season that Bluestar herself was made deputy. She also remarks that Bluestar had just lost her kits back then. She attends the Gathering with One-eye and Smallear. They go to talk with elders from other Clans before the leaders start speaking.

Fire and Ice

When ThunderClan is discussing the Gathering back at their camp, Willowpelt asks why ShadowClan and RiverClan would want WindClan's hunting grounds when they have plenty of territory of their own. Dappletail and Frostfur then point out that some RiverClan elders at the Gathering spoke of Twolegs taking over part of their river and frightening the fish away.

Forest of Secrets

"Your kin is very efficient, Fireheart."
—Dappletail to Fireheart about Cloudkit Forest of Secrets, page chapter 9
While Cloudkit is tending to the elders, Dappletail tells Fireheart that he is doing a great job and is very efficient for a young kit. Dappletail seems to enjoy having Cloudkit in the elders' den. Yellowfang later goes and tells Fireheart that Smallear told her that he had aching joints because of the damp bedding Cloudkit was bringing in. When Fireheart goes to ask the elders about it, Dappletail defends Cloudkit by saying that Smallear complains all the time, and by pointing out that Cloudkit was only a kit. Fireheart is surprised that Cloudkit had managed to win the elder's sympathy and respect. Later, when Cloudkit is made an apprentice, she and her fellow elders were the first to congratulate the new apprentice.

Rising Storm

"What will StarClan think of a Clan whose deputy turns against it, and whose new deputy was named after moonhigh? It looks as if we can't keep our cats loyal, or even carry out the proper ceremonies."
—Dappletail about Fireheart being named deputy late Rising Storm, page 17
Dappletail speaks with the other elders about the new deputy, Fireheart, who had been chosen in place of Tigerclaw after he was exiled. One-eye says that she didn't believe StarClan would punish them because they chose their deputy late, since the circumstances were so unusual. Dappletail says that made it worse, and wonders what StarClan would think of a deputy who had been chosen after moonhigh, going against the warrior code, when the previous deputy had turned against the Clan. She says it would look like their cats couldn't be loyal, or perform the proper ceremonies. She and One-eye pad away from the nursery after seeing Willowpelt's newborn kits, their eyes soft with affection and warmth. She later sits with Smallear and One-eye near the fallen oak, sharing tongues with them.

A Dangerous Path

Dappletail: "White cats with blue eyes are often deaf. I remember one of my first litter..."
Fireheart: "What happened to him?"
Dappletail: "No cat knows. He disappeared when he was three moons old. We thought a fox must have gotten him."
—Dappletail about Featherkit A Dangerous Path, pages 81-82
As Cinderpelt diagnoses what is wrong with Snowkit, Speckletail's son, Dappletail walks toward the elders' den, stopping to murmur something into Speckletail's ear. The pale queen snaps something in return, but Dappletail doesn't react, simply sitting down beside Cinderpelt. The young medicine cat tells Speckletail that Snowkit was deaf, but Speckletail retorts she had already known, as she was his mother. Dappletail comments that white kits with blue eyes were often deaf, remembering one in her first litter. Fireheart asks what had happened to her kit, and Dappletail tells him that he wandered off when he was three moons old, and they all assumed a fox had gotten him. Lostface later grooms her for ticks. When Fireheart later realizes that the dog pack will be coming to the camp, he tells the Clan they must evacuate the camp. Dappletail asks where a good place would be that they should go to, to which he replies that they will go to Sunningrocks.

The Darkest Hour

Dappletail flanks Speckletail along with Smallear when they return to the camp after the dogs are defeated. She approaches the Highrock with them to share tongues with Bluestar one final time, as the old leader had died going down with one of the dogs into the gorge. Firestar comes to the elder's den to speak with One-eye about how to change Lostface's name. Smallear complains of not getting any sleep, but Dappletail tells Firestar not to listen to him, and he was always welcome to visit them.

In The New Prophecy arc

Midnight

Dappletail is now the oldest cat in ThunderClan. Brambleclaw sees her curled up asleep in the elders' den as he enters the den to help Squirrelpaw with her duties. Leafpaw is ordered to take her a poppy seed because her teeth were aching her so badly, though she is to warn Dappletail to go easy on it. Squirrelpaw tells Brambleclaw when she is trapped under a patch of gorse that Dappletail wanted a vole to eat, so she thought she had better oblige her, remarking that it seemed like Firestar wanted for her to feed the elders forever.

Moonrise

Dappletail starves, along with the rest of the Clan, when the Twolegs begin to destroy the forest. She sees Leafpaw separating a rabbit from the fresh-kill pile, and says she hoped that was coming to the elders' den. Cinderpelt tells her that the Twolegs were poisoning the rabbits, and some WindClan cats had died from eating them. Dappletail is annoyed, saying she had never heard such nonsense and that WindClan had always been a proud, deceitful Clan. Firestar tells her that Leafpaw was going to bury the rabbit outside camp. However, Dappletail darts forward, and hungrily devours the rabbit, despite Cinderpelt's protests. Firestar forces himself between Dappletail and the rabbit, ordering her not to eat it. Looking into Dappletail's eyes, Leafpaw sees the desperation there, and how thin she had become. Dappletail demands how Firestar could let the whole Clan would starve because of him and sulks back into the elders' den. Leafpaw prays that the rabbit hadn't been poisoned.
Spiderpaw tells the medicine cats that Dappletail was complaining of bellyache. Leafpaw remembers how Barkface says that only the strongest cats made it through the poisoning, and Dappletail was old and weakened by hunger. She goes to fetch more herbs, and when she returns, Cinderpelt tells her that Dappletail was dead. Leafpaw later wonders how long it would be until the rest of the Clan would become desperate enough to eat rabbits, like Dappletail had.

Starlight

"Most of the warriors were unfamiliar to her, but in one of the front rows, she saw Dappletail, the ThunderClan elder who died from eating a rabbit poisoned by the Twolegs. The she-cat looked graceful and beautiful, not thin and desperate as she had been when Leafpaw last saw her."
—Leafpaw observing Dappletail in StarClan Starlight, page 265
Dappletail is among the ranks of StarClan when Leafpaw discovers the Moonpool. Leafpaw sees that Dappletail was graceful and beautiful now, not thin and desperate as she had been when she died. Dappletail's eyes glow with welcome, and nods toward two kits nearby, who are Hollykit and Larchkit, two kits of Ferncloud's who died of starvation before the Clans left the forest.

In the Super Editions

Tallstar's Revenge

On their way to the Moonstone, Tallpaw spots a ThunderClan patrol nearing the moortop. Tallpaw calls them weasel hearts, and Dappletail arches her back, eyes wide. After Tallpaw attacks one of the warriors, Dawnstripe asks Dappletail if Robinpaw and Fuzzypaw were to share tongues with StarClan at the Moonstone. Dappletail lets her fur lie flat, and confirms her guess, thanking her.

Crookedstar's Promise

Dappletail is at Crookedpaw's first Gathering. When Bluepaw is talking to Crookedpaw, she flicks Bluepaw's ear with a paw, and crossly tells her to be quiet.

Bluestar's Prophecy

Dapplepaw overhears Patchkit telling Leopardkit, Bluekit, and Snowkit that he was looking forward to sleeping in the apprentices' den, because then Swiftbreeze would not get to tell him when to go to sleep. Yawning, Dapplepaw walks out of the den, remarking that he would be glad to get some sleep once he began his training. Dapplepaw tells Patchkit and Leopardkit to show Snowkit and Bluekit where the dirtplace is, remembering how her best friend, Whitepaw, had been complaining about cleaning out the nursery that morning. Bluekit declares that she and Snowkit can keep their own nests clean now, to Dapplepaw's amusement.
She takes an interest in Leopardkit and Patchkit and gives them advice on their hunting crouches. Patchkit later reminds her that she had said she would take him and his sister to the sandy hollow. Dapplepaw protests that she had never promised, but agrees in a lower voice to take them to the edge of the ravine. Also, she and Whitepaw make nests for them in the apprentices' den, and are the first to greet them after their ceremony.
Now a young warrior known as Dappletail, she stands beside Stonepelt, listening as Goosefeather, the medicine cat, interprets a dead vole to be a sign from StarClan warning them that WindClan would destroy them if they did not act. Among the cats who are eager to attack, Dappletail says that WindClan did not know they had been warned, and that they must use this advantage they had been given. Adderfang challenges Pinestar when the leader is reluctant to make a decision, asking whether it was Goosefeather he doubted or StarClan. Dappletail mutters that if they could not trust StarClan, they were lost.
Pinestar decides to carry out the attack at dawn. Stormtail, one of the senior warriors, gives Dappletail some fighting pointers beforehand, showing her how to roll and then jump with her forepaws ready to attack. Stormtail seems pleased overall, but says she needed to be quicker, because even though they were stronger, WindClan cats were faster, and any slowness on their part would be taken advantage of. During the battle, Dappletail is attacked by two cats at once, but Stormtail hears her wailing, and comes to her aid. Moonflower goes into the medicine cats' den to destroy the supplies, but Hawkheart attacks her; Stormtail is too busy defending Dappletail to rescue his mate, and Moonflower is killed shortly afterward. When ThunderClan retreats, she has to lean on Stormtail to make it back to camp for treatment.
Dappletail receives Goldenpaw as her first apprentice. At her first Gathering, Goldenpaw murmurs that she had not realized there would be so many cats. Dappletail comfortingly tells her that the truce would hold as long as the full moon shone. While the leaders are speaking, she is annoyed by Bluepaw and Crookedpaw talking over them, and reprimands them twice. With the help of Stormtail, Dappletail clears snow away from the entrance. When RiverClan tries to take back Sunningrocks, Pinestar plans two attack patrols, and chooses Stormtail to lead the second one. He is ordered to take Dappletail, along with Smallear, Sweetpaw, White-eye, and Tawnyspots. She also sits beside Stormtail when Bluefur and Snowfur are made warriors.
When she hears that Leopardfoot had begun her kitting so soon, she is surprised and asks if Goosefeather was with her, but Bluefur replies that Featherwhisker was instead. Dappletail demands to know where Goosefeather was, to which Stormtail replies he had seen him staring at the sky, muttering about clouds. After Sweetpaw's death, Dappletail tells Featherwhisker the Clan was lucky to have a medicine cat as talented as him. She continues to comfort Poppydawn, murmuring that she would help her prepare Sweetpaw's body for the vigil. They sit together beside the dead apprentice shortly before Pinestar returns to camp, only to tell the Clan that he was leaving the Clan to become a kittypet.
Dappletail has to stay in camp with Featherwhisker after she gets a seed in her eye, so Thrushpelt takes her apprentice out for training instead. Goldenpaw exclaims that Dappletail would never have let her climb up a tree as high as Thrushpelt did, and says she was going to ask Sunstar if he could be her mentor forever. Embarrassed, he says that Goldenpaw seemed so certain, he had assumed that Dappletail had let her do it before. Purring, Bluefur promises not to tell Dappletail.
She sits with Stormtail at their usual spot beside the nettle patch; they spend so much time together, the Clan was waiting for them to announce they were having kits, but Poppydawn told Swiftbreeze that some queens never had kits, no matter how badly they wanted them. She listens to Sunstar's plan about walking to RiverClan's camp to tell them that they were the rightful owners of Sunningrocks, and they would shred any RiverClan cat who dare set paw on it again. However, blinking at him, she explains that it would be suicide, but Tigerclaw growls that it wouldn't be if they sent a strong enough patrol.
When Thrushpelt was late to be sorted into a patrol, she teases him by saying that he would have made Weedwhisker proud. She also mutters that she had not gotten a good night's sleep in days because Tawnyspots would walk in and out of the den all night, coming and going from the dirtplace. Many seasons later, Dappletail has retired to the elders' den, along with One-eye, Patchpelt, Halftail, and Smallear.

Firestar's Quest

After Willowpelt is killed by a badger, Dappletail smoothens the deceased warrior's fur in preparation for her vigil, noting that she was far too young to die. Later, when Firestar announces he will be leaving on a journey to find SkyClan, Dappletail and One-eye whisper together suspiciously.

In the Novellas

Pinestar's Choice

Dappletail fights side by side with Stormtail against three WindClan cats.

Goosefeather's Curse

Dapplekit is born along with her brothers, Tawnykit and Thrushkit, to her mother Rainfur. Cloudberry deals with the births on her own as she doesn't want Goosefeather to have visions of the kit's futures. During a great starvation, Cloudberry shares worms with Rainfur and her kits to eat. After Harepounce's death, Rainfur takes in Specklekit and Whitekit as her kits' foster siblings. She suckles all five kits and she and all the kits survive despite the lack of prey. Rainfur brings out all the kits to watch a warrior ceremony.

In the Field Guides

Code of the Clans

Dappletail and White-eye are young warriors of ThunderClan. They decide to steal fish from RiverClan because White-eye wanted to know what fish tasted like and why RiverClan was so superior about it. At the riverbank, White-eye tries to position herself for fishing, but Dappletail remarks that she looked like she was about to fall in. White-eye falls into the river, and Dappletail begins to panic, yowling for help. When she doesn't see anyone coming, Dappletail jumps into the river to pull White-eye out herself, but she finds she's unable to swim. A RiverClan warrior, Owlfur, demands to know what they were doing. He is ordered by his leader, Hailstar, to pull Dappletail out while he rescues White-eye. Dappletail tells Owlfur that they were going to steal their fish, and apologizes.
Pinestar and Sunfall find them shortly afterward. Hailstar says, referring to the two she-cats, that he and Owlfur had caught some unusual prey that night. Pinestar chastises the two for breaking so many rules, but Owlfur interrupts, saying that since they were so determined to be RiverClan cats, they might as well taste the fish, pointing out that White-eye had caught one. Dappletail, surprised, takes a bite out of it, but is immediately disgusted and barely swallows it. Pinestar sternly tells them that the warrior code existed for a reason. Hailstar says that nearly drowning was enough of a lesson for now, and orders them to go and leave the fishing to his Clan. White-eye and Dappletail agree, promising never to fish again.

In the Short stories and plays

The Elders' Concern

Dappletail fusses with Halftail, Smallear, and Patchpelt about Bluestar announcing Fireheart's deputy position after moonhigh. Dappletail makes sure One-eye is asleep so she and the other elders don't have to hear her complain about not being able to hear them. She says that Fireheart had only been in the Clan for half a moon and it rarely happened in her days. She agrees that Fireheart should not have been named deputy. She thinks that there is something Bluestar knows about Fireheart she is not telling them about. She suggests that Bluestar purposefully did that because she knew StarClan would reject the decision anyway. She shivers at the thought of Bluestar turning her back on StarClan. Like Smallear and Patchpelt, she does not believe that Fireheart is the true deputy of ThunderClan.

Trivia

Interesting facts

  • In A Dangerous Path, Dappletail claims to have mothered a litter of kits,[7] but in Bluestar's Prophecy, it was largely suspected that she was unable to have kits.[16]
  • She has WindClan blood through Eaglestorm.[17]
  • Her mentor was her father despite kin not usually mentoring kin.[18]

Author statements

Mistakes

  • In Tallstar's Revenge, she is seen leading Fuzzypaw and Robinpaw to the Moonstone,[20] despite them being warriors when she is an apprentice.[5]
  • She is mistakenly listed as a warrior in the allegiances of Pinestar's Choice, despite not being alive at the start of the book.[21]
  • Despite being littermates, Tawnyspots is shown as an older warrior, Thrushpelt as a new warrior, and Dappletail as an apprentice in Bluestar's Prophecy.[5][3]

Continuity

The following information is from sources considered non-canon or retconned.

  • In Secrets of the Clans, while Sandstorm is giving a tour of ThunderClan's camp, she looks into the elders' den, annoying Dappletail. Sandstorm asks her if she didn't have an apprentice to torment, then leaves.[22]
  • On the Warriors website family tree, Runningwind is listed as her mate and their kits as Featherkit and Cricketkit.[23]

Character pixels

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Official art

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Appearances


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Starlight, page 265
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in Into the Wild, allegiances
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in Goosefeather's Curse, chapter 8
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Moonrise, page 211
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, allegiances
  6. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 96
  7. 7.0 7.1 Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 81
  8. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 335
  9. Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 165
  10. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 117
  11. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, chapter 8
  12. Revealed in Midnight, page 36
  13. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 15
  14. Revealed in Redtail's Debt, chapter 5
  15. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 49
  16. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 392
  17. Revealed on Vicky's Facebook
  18. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, allegiances
  19. Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 7
  20. Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 166
  21. Revealed in Pinestar's Choice, allegiances
  22. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans
  23. Revealed on the Warriors website family tree
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