"You were always brave and clever and loyal, and you always helped any cat who needed you. You died saving me, and there's no way I can thank you properly for that."
Thunderstar mourning Lightning Tail in Thunderstar's Echo, chapter 7

Lightning Tail is a black tom[2] with green eyes.[10]

Lightning Tail was the first deputy of ThunderClan under Thunderstar's leadership. Lightning Tail was born to Jackdaw's Cry and Hawk Swoop alongside Acorn Fur with Thunder as his foster brother. The two toms developed a friendship that lasted through their adulthood. Lightning Tail stood by Thunder's side when he left Clear Sky's group to form his own in the forest. Thunder dubbed Lightning Tail his successor, and officially became his deputy. After he was killed protecting his leader from dogs, Lightning Tail promised to watch over his friend from StarClan, and Thunderstar named his daughter, Lightning Stripe, in his honor.


Looking for a longer overview? Find one here!

Dawn of the Clans

"We need to train. Those cats wouldn't have stolen our prey so easily if we'd known what to do. We must practice fighting moves. We must learn new skills so that we're always prepared. We're strong and we're smart. If we practice, we can win even when we're outnumbered. Slash's rogues are just kittypets nobody wants. If we train hard and grow strong and learn fighting moves they've never seen, we will always be ready to defend what is ours."
—Lightning Tail Path of Stars, pages 90-91
Lightning Tail is born in Tall Shadow's group to Jackdaw's Cry and Hawk Swoop, and is named because he is always following his foster brother, Thunder, around. He and his sister, Acorn Fur, gleefully welcome Thunder back to the moor when he returns from his father's camp. He and Thunder track down Tom after he stole Turtle Tail's kits. They discover Turtle Tail's body on the Thunderpath, and Lightning Tail makes sure Tom knew the latter was responsible for her death. He participates in the the great battle, and mourns for the death of his parents.
Thunder begins to pad after Star Flower, and Lightning Tail suspects something off, and expresses his worries to Thunder who dismisses them. When Tall Shadow's group splits off, he chooses to live in Clear Sky's group with his sister and Thunder. Lightning Tail bitterly warns Clear Sky about Star Flower when she joins the group, still hurt after she betrayed Thunder's trust. He and Thunder spy on Clear Sky and discover him meeting with Star Flower and wonder if she was attempting to use his power for herself. Thunder confronts his father and decides to leave and form his own group in the forest, and Lightning Tail immediately joins him.
Leaf discovers a ravine for them to live in, and Lightning Tail helps to make dens and hunt for prey. He helps to rescue Star Flower when she is kidnapped by Slash, and poses as bait for their ambush. When Slash's cats raid their hunting patrols, Lightning Tail decides to organize battle training sessions for everyone, and suggests pairing one kit with each adult to work together. Before Thunder leaves with the others to confront Slash and rescue Black Ear, he names Lightning Tail his successor in case he died.


This section summarizes Lightning Tail's significant Novellas appearances. If you're looking for a full list, find one here!

In Thunderstar's Echo, he is now officially the deputy of ThunderClan and mentors Apple Blossom. Lightning Tail reassures Thunderstar when the latter discovers that Violet Dawn is expecting, and Thunderstar is relieved to have Lightning Tail around. Dogs terrorize the Clan, and he and Thunderstar track them to their camp near the Carrionplace. They are quickly attacked, and the two outrun the dogs and collapse, both dying from their wounds. They both wake up in StarClan and Gray Wing welcomes them, but states Thunderstar must return to ThunderClan. Thunderstar agonizingly mourns for his friend, and returns to his Clan with the grave news. He names Owl Eyes as his successor, and names one of his kits, Lightning Stripe, after Lightning Tail.

Detailed description

Lightning Tail is a wiry,[11] black tom[2] with a broad forehead and shoulders,[7] a torn ear-tip,[12] and bright[13] green eyes.[10]


Interesting facts

  • Lightning Stripe is named after him.[9]

Author statements

  • Kate says Lightning Tail was was named for his speed,[blog 1] although this is contradicted by Thunder Rising, which says that Lightning Tail got his name from always following Thunder around.[14]


  • He has mistakenly been called "Lightning",[15] "Lightening Tail",[16] and "Lighting Tail".[17]
  • Despite being called an adult in the previous book,[7] and being old enough to participate in battle,[18] Lightning Tail is listed as a kit in The Blazing Star.[19]
  • He is mistakenly called a warrior,[13] despite being ThunderClan's deputy at the time.[5]


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

  • In Secrets of the Clans, a 2007 field guide, Lightningtail is the very first ThunderClan deputy, serving under the leadership of Thunderstar. It is unknown what happened to Lightningtail, but he is eventually succeeded by Owleyes, who later becomes Owlstar, the second leader of ThunderClan.[20]

Character pixels

Please do not edit this gallery

Killed victims

This list shows the victims Lightning Tail has killed:

  • One Eye[21] (Along with Thunderstar, Cloud Spots and Gray Wing)


External links

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in Thunderstar's Echo, chapter 6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Revealed in Thunder Rising, allegiances
  3. Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 48
  4. Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 181
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in Thunderstar's Echo, allegiances
  6. Revealed in The First Battle, page 43
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Revealed in The First Battle, page 50
  8. Revealed in Thunderstar's Echo, chapter 1
  9. 9.0 9.1 Revealed in Thunderstar's Echo, chapter 10
  10. 10.0 10.1 Revealed in The Blazing Star, page 10
  11. Revealed in The First Battle, page 164
  12. Revealed in Path of Stars, page 81
  13. 13.0 13.1 Revealed in Thunderstar's Echo, chapter 7
  14. Revealed in Thunder Rising, page 16
  15. Revealed in The First Battle, page 212
  16. Revealed in The Blazing Star, page 161
  17. This happens multiple times throughout Path of Stars, on pages 57, 58, 60, and 73.
  18. Revealed in The First Battle, page 252
  19. Revealed in The Blazing Star, allegiances
  20. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 22
  21. Revealed in The Blazing Star, pages 239-240
Author references
Major Warriors characters
The Prophecies Begin FirestarGraystripeYellowfangCinderpeltSpottedleafSandstormCloudtailBluestarTigerstar
The New Prophecy BrambleclawFeathertailStormfurSquirrelflightCrowfeatherTawnypeltLeafpoolHawkfrostMothwing
Power of Three LionblazeJayfeatherHollyleafBreezepeltRockSolAshfur
Omen of the Stars DovewingIvypoolLionblazeJayfeatherCinderheartHawkfrostTigerstarFirestarFlametail
Dawn of the Clans Gray WingClear SkyThunderTall ShadowWind RunnerRiver RippleTurtle TailJagged PeakStormBright Stream
A Vision of Shadows AlderheartNeedletailTwigbranchVioletshineDarktailTreeRowanclawTigerstarLeafstarFinleap
The Broken Code BristlefrostRootspringShadowsightBramblestarSquirrelflightBramblestar's impostor
Graystripe's Adventure GraystripeMillie
Tigerstar and Sasha SashaKenJeanPineShnukyTigerstar
Ravenpaw's Path RavenpawBarley
SkyClan and the Stranger LeafstarBillystormSol
Super Editions FirestarSandstormLeafstarSkywatcherBluestarThistleclawSnowfurGoosefeatherCrookedstarOakheartRainflowerMapleshadeSharpclawEchosongStickYellowfangSagewhiskerBrokenstarRaggedstarTallstarJakeSparrowBramblestarSquirrelflightJessyMoth FlightMicahHawkwingTigerheartDovewingSpireCrowfeatherBreezepeltNightcloudAshfootSquirrelflightBramblestarMoonlight
Novellas HollyleafFallen LeavesMistystarMothwingCloudstarTigerclawLeafpoolSquirrelflightDovewingBumblestripeMapleshadeGoosefeatherRavenpawPinestarSpottedleafThistleclawThunderstarLightning TailRedtailTawnypeltShadowstarPebbleshineTreeMothwing
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