Rootpaw (OA) "What does that mean? If you try really hard, do you think you could be a bit more obscure?"

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This page contains Darktail's personality and relationships. It contains conjecture due to being based off of general novel themes, and all statements must be sourced.


Arrogant, cunning and viciously ruthless, Darktail has no mercy, compassion or respect for his enemies or for cats that are weaker than himself. He is extremely cruel and sadistic, and likes to physically and psychologically torture his victims. A prime example of Darktail's sadism is shown when he captured four injured RiverClan cats[1] and tortured them by leaving their wounds to fester, depriving them of food and humiliating them by forcing them to swear an oath of loyalty to him in return for food, and then continuing to starve them anyways. Another example of Darktail's sadism is shown when he attempted to punish Violetpaw for betraying him by drowning her best friend, Needletail, right in front of her. As stated by Darktail himself,[2] he did this because he knew killing Needletail would hurt Violetpaw more than anything else.
However, Darktail is also undeniably intelligent and charismatic; he is a master manipulator. He was able to gather a very large number of rogue cats to him and gain their fanatical loyalty. He is also a highly skilled and capable fighter and tactician, notably defeating Mistfeather,[3] Rowanstar, Reedwhisker and Onestar, all of whom were fully trained warrior cats, in single combat, respectively. However, it should be noted that all these cats were not at the peak of their strength at the time; Mistfeather was half-starved and weakened from living as a loner, Rowanstar was still recovering from an illness, Reedwhisker was already exhausted due to fighting, and Onestar was very old and not quite as strong as he once was. Regardless of this, Darktail is still a formidable opponent.[4]
Darktail is also treacherous and, despite his claims to the contrary, has no personal sense of honor or responsibility; he is a liar and a hypocrite. At one point, he states that he believes sharing is "very important", but this is a downright lie because, as mentally noted by Violetpaw, Darktail only shares when it suits his own personal needs. Furthermore, despite being a strong and capable fighter and tactician,[5][6] he is not above using brutal or underhanded methods to win battles; e.g. ordering his accomplices to attack his opponent while their back is turned or sending the weaker cats onto the battlefield first as fodder.[7] Darktail has no respect for his enemies, and demonstrates this by refusing to bury their bodies or even to let their friends bury them.[8][9]


The Kin

Darktail is an extremist and a Social Darwinist, believing only the strong deserve to survive. As noted by Dragonfly, one of his followers, he isn't only intolerant of sick cats, but actually despises them and outright abuses them,[10] berating them for being sick and even attempting to prevent them from healing themselves, believing they don't deserve to live. While Darktail does value his followers for their loyalty and usefulness, he will abandon them without a second thought if any of them get sick, even if that cat has been one of his most loyal followers.[11]


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."
—Darktail and Mistfeather arguing about Darktail taking over SkyClan The Apprentice's Quest, page 222
Darktail comes to SkyClan posing as a friendly loner with his friend, Rain. He tells SkyClan that he knows where the lake is, giving them hope. Leafstar sends a patrol to try and find ThunderClan according to Darktail’s directions, but they are forced to turn around after Billystorm is killed. Darktail then leads another failed quest to find the lake, then reveals his true intentions by attacking SkyClan in the night with a horde of rogues, killing many SkyClan cats and scattering the rest.[12] He takes over the gorge, and later, is found by Alderpaw and his patrol when they are trying to look for SkyClan. Darktail pretends that he and his rogues are SkyClan, and Alderpaw is very confused at how they do things so differently from the other Clans. Alderpaw eventually finds out the truth when he meets a real SkyClan cat named Mistfeather, who Darktail later kills.[13]


Darktail was able to not only tempt ShadowClan's younger members away from their Clan,[14] but eventually convinced almost the entire Clan to turn against their "weak leader", Rowanstar.[15] Darktail then takes over ShadowClan and uses his newly gained forces to attack RiverClan and conquer them too.[16]


Darktail hated his father for rejecting him, and swore to destroy the Clans as revenge. As stated by Onestar, the reason why Darktail hates and disrespects the warrior life is because he never even got the chance to understand it. At first, Onestar denies that Darktail is his son, but he is eventually forced to reveal the secret. Onestar and Darktail end up drowning together in the lake while trying to kill each other, Onestar losing his final life.[16]


Onestar: "Yes, Smoke came to find me one more time. She had a single kit with her, and she told me that after our last meeting, when she was still on her way home, her kits had come. She didn’t have any help — not from a cat, not even from a Twoleg. All but one of her kits—our kits – had died. Smoke went back to her Twolegs, but only for a short time. As soon as her kit was old enough to leave her, she brought him back to me. She begged me to at least take him into camp, while he was still young enough to learn the ways of the Clans. And I...I refused. I was too worried about how I would have to explain to Tallstar. Smoke turned on me then. She told me that she would raise the kit by herself, and teach him to hate the Clans who had rejected him."
Bramblestar: "Wait. This kit — are you saying that he grew up to be Darktail? That Darktail is your son?"
Onestar: "I tried to tell myself that I was protecting Smoke and her kit. I thought that whatever she said when she was angry, she would take him and go back to being a kittypet, and their lives would be better that way."
—Onestar about Smoke Shattered Sky, pages 256-259
There is a deeper motivation behind Darktail's actions. According to Onestar and Darktail himself, Smoke was Onestar’s secret affair, and when she became pregnant with his kits, she asked him if she could join WindClan. Onestar denied her, and she gave birth to her kits soon after. However, with no one to help her, all but one of her kits died, and she came to WindClan again to ask Onestar if her kit could join the Clan. Onestar rejected her again, and Darktail's dark nature and actions against the Clans are rooted from his father's rejection of him as a kit and his mother, Smoke, subsequently teaching him to hate the Clans for this rejection.[17]

Notes and references

  1. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 126
  2. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 218
  3. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 224
  4. Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 317
  5. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 184
  6. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 188
  7. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 105
  8. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 107
  9. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 108
  10. Revealed in Darkest Night: Bonus Scene, pages 18-19
  11. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 45
  12. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey
  13. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest
  14. Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 205
  15. Revealed in Shattered Sky, allegiances
  16. 16.0 16.1 Revealed in Shattered Sky
  17. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 279
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