|"I say these words before the body of Redtail, so that his spirit may hear and approve my choice. Lionheart will be the new deputy of ThunderClan."|
|— Bluestar proclaiming the new deputy in Into the Wild, page 51|
A deputy is a warrior who is second in command to the leader, aiding them in their tasks and replacing them immediately after their death or retirement. Also, when the leader is ill, injured, or unable to perform their duties for another reason, the deputy will take the leader's place until they recover, and they will take their place at Gatherings if the leader is absent and cannot attend.
Deputies are second in command of a Clan. A deputy is chosen by the leader to be their successor. Deputies sleep in the warriors' den; they do not have their own den like leaders do. Deputies are responsible for organizing daily patrols for the Clan, such as hunting patrols and border patrols. If a Clan leader is unable to lead a Clan temporarily due to sickness, being away from the Clan, etc., then the deputy would take over for that time. If a deputy is sick or injured, then a warrior will temporarily take their place, or senior warriors will distribute the tasks among themselves. If the leader dies, the deputy would travel to Moonstone, or Moonpool with the medicine cat to share tongues with StarClan and receive their nine lives. If a deputy dies, the leader must appoint a new deputy before moonhigh. The deputy will still keep their warrior name, at least until they become leader.
- Must be a warrior.
- Trained at least one apprentice (part of the warrior code).
- Must be chosen by the Clan leader.
The leader of a Clan must decide on a new deputy before moonhigh on the night that the old deputy has died, retired, been banished, or become leader, and also must state their name before the body of the old deputy (if the previous deputy was deceased - if not, they say the new deputy's name before StarClan) so the spirit of the old deputy or other regular spirits will hear and approve of the leader's choice of the new deputy. One exception to this rule is Fireheart, as Bluestar did not follow through with the ceremony right away, making him deputy after moonhigh. This lead to widespread rumors that Fireheart was unfit to be deputy.
When the leader dies or retires, the current deputy will become the new leader, unless a rebellion starts (like the one Mudclaw started) or the leader changes the deputy before death (Ex: Tallstar making Onewhisker deputy instead of Mudclaw, the current deputy).
A warrior may not become deputy unless they have mentored at least one apprentice. This is not always followed, as StarClan may give the leader or medicine cat an omen to choose a warrior who has not had an apprentice, such as Leafpool having a dream from StarClan that caused Firestar to appoint Bramblestar, although he had not ever been a mentor at the time. The main law's condition of being a mentor first was added to the warrior code after Acorntail of WindClan was appointed deputy under Featherstar. However, he was convinced he was the wrong cat and Featherstar suggested that he should mentor an apprentice to get used to giving orders and having authority. She later proposed this to add to the warrior code and the rest of the Clans gave their agreement.
Usually, when a leader appoints a new deputy, it is because of the death of their previous deputy. If this is the case, this is how the ceremony words usually go:
Leader: "I say these words before the body of (name of former deputy), that the spirits of our warrior ancestors may hear and approve of my choice. The new deputy of (name of Clan) will be (warrior's name)!"
A deputy can resign from their position if they wish to do so, for instance to retire as an elder (depending on age), or an injury that doesn't heal well (Ex: Tawnyspots of ThunderClan, who retired from constant bouts of sickness). They can also be deposed by the leader if considered unfit for the position. In either of the cases, a new deputy will be named before moonhigh. A deputy can also be banished (Ex: Tigerclaw, who was banished from ThunderClan after an attempt to take Bluestar's life).
Tasks of a Clan deputy include:
- Assisting the leader in their tasks; they are a sort of "apprentice leader".
- Assigning border patrols, listening to their reports and assigning hunting patrols.
- Organizing warrior trainings to keep up their skills (like Brambleclaw did in Twilight).
- Making reports to the Clan leader.
- Substituting for the Clan leader at Gatherings and in battles if they are unavailable (like Fireheart did for Bluestar after the fire that blazed through the forest in Rising Storm).
- As a deputy is also a warrior, they are expected to carry out warrior tasks as well (patrolling, hunting, mentoring etc.). They do not have a den of their own, but sleep with the other warriors.
If the deputy is unavailable for a span of time, the senior warriors will distribute the deputy's tasks between them (like the ThunderClan senior warriors did when Graystripe was captured or when Tawnyspots was sick during Bluestar's Prophecy).
History of ranks
- Before the eighth rule of the warrior code came into existence, Clan leaders were originally chosen by their blood relation to the previous leader and not the deputy.
- However, before this was even established, Thunderstar had picked Owl Eyes to be his deputy and Shadowstar had picked Raven Pelt despite neither pairs having no blood relation. Though it can be argued that Thunderstar's kin were too young to fill the role, and Shadowstar had no family in ShadowClan with the death of Sun Shadow.
Notes and references
- Revealed in Rising Storm, page 75
- Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 311
- Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 112
- Revealed in Into the Wild, page 51
- Revealed in Into the Wild, page 272
- Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 270
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 387
- Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 68
- Revealed in Starlight, page 119
- Revealed in Sunset, page 257
- Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 75
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 494
- Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 287
- Revealed in Twilight, page 53
- Revealed in Into the Wild, page 133
- Revealed in Rising Storm, page 303
- Revealed in Code of the Clans, pages 76-77
- Revealed in Thunderstar's Echo, chapter 10
- Revealed in Shadowstar's Life, chapter 5
|Hierarchy and positions in the Warriors world|
|Clan hierarchy||Kits • Apprentices • Warriors • Deputies • Leaders • Queens • Elders • Medicine cats • Mediators|
|Ceremonies||Vigil • Apprentice • Warrior • Deputy • Leader • Elder • Medicine cat • Name changing|
|Tribe hierarchy||To-bes • Cave-guards • Prey hunters • Kit mothers • Healer/Stoneteller|
|Miscellaneous||General Clan information • General Tribe information • Cat names|
|Other groups||Loners • Rogues • Kittypets|