"Killing Needletail is a better punishment than if I killed you. You're so attached to this treacherous cat, you're more afraid of her death than your own. I want you to know what it’s like to live with the pain and grief of losing the one cat who befriended you and took care of you."
— Darktail to Violetpaw in Shattered Sky, page 214

Darktail is a big,[13] muscular, glossy white tom[11] with black spots breaking up the white,[14] black spots around his blue eyes,[11] huge paws,[12] and a long black tail.[11]

Darktail was a dangerous tyrant who drove SkyClan from the gorge, took control of ShadowClan from Rowanstar, banished RiverClan from their camp, and killed numerous cats who opposed him. He despised the Clans because his father, Onestar, turned him and his mother, Smoke, away when she sought to join him in WindClan back in the forest territories. Ultimately, Darktail was killed by Onestar when the two toms fought and drowned each other in the lake. Although Darktail's death brought peace, his actions left lasting effects on the Clans, such as the Fall of ShadowClan, RiverClan closing their borders, and the ShadowClan-SkyClan conflict.


Looking for a longer overview? Find one here!

A Vision of Shadows

"This cat's word is not to be trusted. Look at what he's done: raided camps, kept prisoners, killed more Clan cats than we can count. He'll clearly do or say anything in his efforts to steal territory..."
—Onestar about Darktail Shattered Sky, page 250
When Alderpaw leads a small group of journeying cats to find SkyClan, they encounter Darktail, who claims to be the leader of SkyClan. However, Alderpaw's group discovers that Darktail had actually driven out SkyClan, and escape overnight after being held captive, but unknowingly leave a trail back to the Clans for Darktail's group to follow.
He and his rogues arrive at the lake territories and attack WindClan, eventually settling near ShadowClan territory, where Darktail's strong leadership appeals to many ShadowClan cats. They convince several apprentices to join them, including Sleekwhisker, Needletail, Violetpaw, and Juniperclaw. Meanwhile, ShadowClan struggles under Rowanstar's weak leadership gives Darktail the opportunity to take over the Clan, naming the combination of ShadowClan cats and rogues the Kin. ThunderClan, WindClan, and RiverClan, along with ShadowClan cats who refused to join the Kin, attempt to drive them out. However, the battle is lost when Onestar suddenly calls for retreat. Later, the Kin drives out RiverClan, killing several warriors, and keeping their injured cats captive, turning the old camp into the second base of the Kin.
Eventually, many former ShadowClan cats regret joining the Kin, escaping to ThunderClan. However, those who are caught are drowned by Darktail and his rogues. Soon the remaining ShadowClan cats and RiverClan prisoners rise up against the Kin and force them out of RiverClan. Having lost one camp, Darktail sets his sights on WindClan. There it is revealed that Onestar is Darktail's father, and with the arrival of SkyClan, the Clans push out the Kin in a final, decisive battle. Darktail is confronted by Onestar, and the father and son both drown one another. With their leader dead, the Kin flees the area and soon disbands without Darktail.

Super Editions

This section summarizes Darktail's significant Super Editions appearances. If you're looking for a full list, find one here!

"Listen. I like you, Hawkwing. You're different from the other SkyClan cats. You're more like me. Surely you realize your best chance of survival will be with me and my rogues? We're going to take the gorge for ourselves. Join us! We’re so good together, Hawkwing. We understand each other. I'll make you my deputy."
—Darktail to Hawkwing after revealing his true intentions Hawkwing's Journey, page 189
In Hawkwing's Journey, Darktail comes across SkyClan at the gorge, and convinces Hawkwing to take him to the camp. He lives with SkyClan briefly and is treated with respect, but also suspicion by some members of the Clan, including Hawkwing. Darktail claims to know the wherabouts of the other Clans, and sends several cats on journies to find them, both ending in failure. After gathering up his rogues and causing damage to SkyClan by raccoon attacks, Darktail leads his band of rogues to take over SkyClan's camp and drive them out of the gorge. The battle is a bloodbath and many of SkyClan's warriors are killed, including the deputy Sharpclaw.


Interesting facts

  • He is a descendant of Windstar, because his aunt, Ashfoot, is descended from her.[15]
  • He has WindClan blood via Onestar[16] and kittypet blood via Smoke.[17]

Author statements

  • Kate doesn't think he had feelings for Violetpaw; he was just using her as he used all cats.[blog 1]
  • Kate's pretty sure Sleekwhisker had a crush on Darktail, but can't clearly remember.[blog 2]


  • He is shown as white with black markings on his fur and tail, excluding his black tail.[18]

Character pixels

Main images

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Alternate images

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Official art

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Killed victims

This list shows the victims Darktail has killed:



"Leafstar, this is a bad idea. This cat is not one of SkyClan. He doesn't understand what it means to be a Clan cat."
—Hawkwing protesting Leafstar's decision to let Darktail stay in the Clan Hawkwing's Journey, page 103

Darktail: "Listen, all of you! This is our chance. While the dogs are distracted, we can escape."
Hawkwing: "What about Toad?"
Darktail: "There's nothing we can do for Toad now."
—Darktail abandoning Toad during the dog attack Hawkwing's Journey, page 126

Darktail: "Pebblepaw. I've seen you staring at her. Don't try to tell me you don't like her."
Hawkwing: "Uh.."
Darktail: "You need to talk to her more and figure out what your feelings are, you won’t get any closer to doing that by avoiding her!"
Hawkwing: "I'm not avoiding her!"
Darktail: "And hedgehogs fly! Besides, from the way Pebblepaw looks at you, she needs to sort out her feelings, too."
—Darktail persuading Hawkwing to talk to Pebblepaw about their feelings Hawkwing's Journey, page 171
See more
"To Hawkwing's amazement, something flickered in Darktail's eyes and he angled his head aside, as if he were honestly disappointed by Hawkwing's response."
—Hawkwing observing Darktail after he rejects his offer to be his deputy Hawkwing's Journey, page 189

"So they call their leader Darktail. Why not Darkstar? Or is this just another way these weird cats are different from us?"
—Alderpaw's thoughts upon meeting Darktail The Apprentice's Quest, page 199

Darktail: "We have developed our own code. After we left the other Clans, SkyClan realized our members were becoming weak, and we decided to make up some new rules. SkyClan rules reward the strong and aggressive—the cats who will best defend the Clan."
Sparkpaw: "What about sick cats, then, or elders?"
Darktail: "They learn to take care of themselves."
—After the Clan cats witnessing how the rogues compete for prey The Apprentice's Quest, pages 204-205

"It seems you've met one of the dregs of the gorge. Somehow he's still alive! And it sounds like you're plotting against my cats."
—Darktail to Alderpaw after he finds Mistfeather The Apprentice's Quest, page 222

Mistfeather: "You're a filthy rogue who stole territory!"
Darktail: "Territory belongs to those strong enough to defend it—or to take it. If SkyClan couldn't dig their claws into the land they claimed as theirs, they have nothing to complain about. And if you want to stake your claim, Mistfeather, do you want to fight me for the territory right here, right now?"
—Darktail and Mistfeather about territory The Apprentice's Quest, page 222

"Don't lie, flea-pelt! It's obvious you're allies of SkyClan. You've come as spies to unsettle my group, so the weak Clan with their daylight-warriors could come back. But my cats and I claimed this territory honorably, and we mean to keep it. Your plan has fallen apart!"
—Darktail to Alderpaw The Apprentice's Quest, page 226

"This won't be the last you see of us. We have a mission here, and we know more about your so-called Clans than you think."
—Darktail after the battle Thunder and Shadow, page 65

"I know it must have been hard to choose between your littermate and your new Kin. Im proud of you for making the right choice."
—Darktail after Violetpaw attacks Twigpaw Shattered Sky, page 42

External links

Notes and references

  1. Revealed in Shattered Sky, allegiances
  2. Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 356
  3. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 220
  4. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 48
  5. Revealed in Shattered Sky, chapter 19
  6. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 226
  7. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, chapter 5
  8. 8.0 8.1 Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 279
  9. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 110
  10. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, chapter 4
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 198
  12. 12.0 12.1 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 207
  13. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 44
  14. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 43
  15. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 37
  16. Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 3
  17. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 256
  18. 18.0 18.1 Revealed in Tigerheart's Shadow, manga
  19. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 188
  20. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 184
  21. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 224
  22. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 45
  23. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 218
  24. Revealed in Tawnypelt's Clan, chapter 5
Author references
Noimage Kin cats
Leader Darktail
Members RainRavenNettleRoachDragonflyFlameSiltThistle
ShadowClan defectors NeedletailJuniperclawSleekwhiskerVioletshineBerryheartCloverfootBeenoseSparrowtailMistcloudBusterBirchbarkLioneyeSlatefurPuddleshineStrikestoneDawnpeltStonewingGrassheartWhorlpeltSnaketoothFlowerstemSnowbirdScorchfurYarrowleafConefootFrondwhiskerGullswoopRatscarOakfurPinenoseSpikefur
Kittypet recruits MaxZeldaLoki
RiverClan prisoners ReedwhiskerMintfurIcewingBrackenpelt
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