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"Haven't I always been a loyal warrior, living my life by the code and leading my Clan accordingly?"
This article contains major spoilers for the recently released book, River. Please proceed at your own discretion.
"No, Mistystar. I will never feel welcome in a Clan where warriors are exiled unjustly. Icewing and Harelight risked their safety and their lives to oppose the evil presence inside Bramblestar. We should be thanking them, not sending them into exile. Besides, I chose to be a RiverClan cat, and I have served my Clan faithfully, and yet you drove me away because of my birth, which I had no control over. It will be hard for me to forget that."
— Mothwing rejecting Mistystar's offer to rejoin RiverClan in Veil of Shadows, page 287



Mothwing is a dappled[13] golden tabby she-cat with amber eyes.[1]

Mothwing is a medicine cat and a temporary leader for RiverClan alongside her apprentice, Frostpaw. She was born as Moth to Sasha and Tigerstar alongside her brothers, Hawk and Tadpole. After Tadpole died, Sasha brought her kits to RiverClan, and Moth became an apprentice as Mothpaw with the Clan deputy Mistyfoot as her mentor. She later earned her warrior name of Mothwing and grew inspired to become a medicine cat. In order to secure power, Hawkfrost faked an omen so Mudfur would accept Mothwing as his apprentice. Mothwing initially dreamed of StarClan, but when Hawkfrost revealed he faked the omen, she refused to believe in StarClan because of it. After Mudfur's death before the Great Journey, Mothwing became RiverClan's sole medicine cat. She formed a close friendship with the ThunderClan medicine cat Leafpool, and she assisted with training Mothwing's apprentice, Willowshine, about StarClan and dreams. Mothwing was manipulated by Hawkfrost to send away Stormfur and Brook from RiverClan, though was finally free from him after his death though she did grieve for her brother.

Despite Mistystar learning about her not believing in StarClan, she demoted Mothwing as an elder; however, Mothwing retained her position after an omen. Following the Great Battle, Mothwing revealed that she believed StarClan existed, but questioned their guidance. She was named by a codebreaker by the impostor, eventually being exiled from RiverClan for her birth and took refuge in ShadowClan, becoming a medicine cat for the rebels. Although she was allowed back into RiverClan, Mothwing chose to remain in exile and joined ShadowClan under Tigerstar. She later returned to RiverClan following the defeat of the impostor. After returning, Mothwing became the mentor to Frostpaw, and begrudgingly took up leadership of RiverClan following the sudden deaths of Mistystar, Reedwhisker, and Curlfeather. She acknowledged that RiverClan needed help from the other Clans with their current situation seemingly at odds with StarClan.

History

Looking for a longer overview? Find one here!

The New Prophecy

"No, Leafpool. I don't believe the spirits of our warrior ancestors come back to speak with us. Stars are just unseeing specks of light in the night sky, not dead cats looking down on us. We can keep our old friends alive with memories, but if they're not here, they're nowhere. That's what I believe. [...] Because I believe in you, Leafpool."
―Mothwing to Leafpool Twilight, page 102
Mothwing is a RiverClan warrior. Leopardstar announces her as Mudfur's apprentice, much to the other Clans' dismay, since Mothwing is a former rogue. Mudfur is hesitant to train her and waits for a sign from StarClan of their approval, and he later receives a sign of a moth's wing outside of his den. Mothwing is still very nervous about proving herself a worthy medicine cat and freezes when Reedpaw almost drowns, and Leafpaw has to save him.
Mothwing develops a close friendship with ThunderClan's medicine cat apprentice, Leafpaw, and she offers to teach Leafpaw how to fish and often disregards the warrior code for her friend. When Mudfur dies, leaving Mothwing as RiverClan's sole medicine cat, Leafpaw assures her friend that she will do great. Before the Great Journey, her mother, Sasha, arrives and asks for her kits to stay with her and reveals their father was Tigerstar. Hawkfrost and Mothwing gently decline their mother's invitation.
At their new home, Mothwing accidentally poisons the elders with tainted water and tells Leafpaw that she doesn't believe in StarClan. Leafpaw has trouble accepting this revelation, but still acknowledges Mothwing as a brilliant medicine cat. Willowpaw becomes Mothwing's apprentice, and Leafpool walks in Willowpaw's dreams to teach her how to interpret omens and prophecies from StarClan. Hawkfrost threatens Mothwing to make up an omen to drive out Stormfur and Brook and calls his sister useless despite faking the moth's wing omen for her. Her brother is killed by Brambleclaw, freeing Mothwing from his manipulation.

Power of Three

Mothwing: "It helps to share ideas."
Jaypaw: "Does StarClan give you good advice, too?"
—Jaypaw pressing Mothwing about her beliefs The Sight, page 278
Jaypaw, Leafpool's apprentice, is puzzled by Mothwing's lack of faith in StarClan, though he notes she is talented at her duties. He begrudgingly thinks that Mothwing enjoys the quick nap she gets at each half-moon meeting. Mothwing continues to chat with Leafpool and eagerly shares her herbs with WindClan when a bout of greencough breaks out. Mothwing makes Willowpaw a full medicine cat with the name of Willlowshine. From that point, Mothwing sends Willowshine to the half-moon meetings in her place.

Omen of the Stars

"They're just dead warriors! Do you think that when they die, they get clever and brave? Don't you realize that some of them may be as foolish and wrong-headed as they were when they were alive?"
―Mothwing to Jayfeather Night Whispers, page 217
After Leopardstar dies, Mothwing accompanies Mistyfoot to the Moonpool to receive her nine lives. Mistystar discovers Mothwing does not believe in StarClan, which causes an icy rift between the two. Despite StarClan's warning to avoid talking to the other medicine cats, Mothwing tries to get Jayfeather to speak to her and insists they should not believe everything from StarClan all the time. When Jayfeather reveals her brother, Hawkfrost, is training Clan cats in the Dark Forest, Mothwing is filled with grief and disowns her brother and his actions. She later shows Jayfeather the burning reed, signifying Firestar as the fourth cat.

A Vision of Shadows

"I admit something happened there. But if StarClan does exist, I still don't believe in their power, or that they know what's best for us. Why do these terrible things happen, if StarClan is on our side? [...] I'm not sure they work like that. They warn us about what will happen, but it's our responsibility to act."
―Mothwing describing her disbelief in StarClan to Willowshine River of Fire, page 12, Bonus scene
She gently teases Jayfeather about his age and grumpiness while on their way to the Moonpool and inquires Leafpool about Puddlepaw's expedited training. She and the rest of RiverClan stays in ThunderClan when Darktail and the Kin commandeer their territory. Mothwing and Alderheart venture to RiverClan's territory to gather some of her herb stocks, and Needletail allows them. She and Alderheart conspire with Violetpaw to free Darktail's prisoners. When RiverClan returns to their territory, Mistystar closes her borders and orders Mothwing and Willowshine to not attend the half-moon meetings. Mothwing is injured trying to save her herbs supply during a fire, and Hawkwing notes that she is a very brave she-cat.

The Broken Code

"I'm so sorry I was hard on you. I was grieving for my place in RiverClan and needed some cat to blame. And I suppose, in a way, you represented my worst fear-that living cats would go against their own instincts to follow dangerous instructions of some long-dead cat. But Ashfur could have used any cat. It wasn't your fault he chose you, and I shouldn't have acted like it was. If he'd chosen me, I might have been fooled too. But I don't think I would have been brave enough to follow him into the Dark Forest. Even when you were injured, you went back there to help defeat him once and for all. How could any cat be angry with you?"
―Mothwing apologizing to Shadowsight A Light in the Mist (book), pages 320-321
When the Moonpool freezes over and the medicine cats cannot communicate with StarClan, Mothwing reveals she acknowledges StarClan and has ever since the Great Battle, much to Jayfeather's ire. However, she does not believe StarClan is all-knowing and questions the legitimacy of their knowledge. She insists they can use other methods to help their Clans. When Shadowpaw reveals that she is a codebreaker, she and Jayfeather, another named codebreaker, become angry as all they've done is help their Clan. Trying to please StarClan and pressured by Bramblestar, Mistystar exiles Mothwing for being a codebreaker. She helps the rebels plot against Bramblestar's impostor and elects to stay in ShadowClan after Mistystar exiles Icewing and Harelight, citing that Mistystar unfairly exiled her on account of her heritage.
Now a medicine cat of ShadowClan, Mothwing comes to believe that Shadowsight needs more training due to his involvement in indirectly killing Bramblestar and allowing Ashfur to possess his body, which is supported by both Tigerstar and Puddleshine, but upsets Shadowsight, who is then forced to take care of Ashfur and frequently comes at odds with the she-cat. After Willowshine is killed by Ashfur while trying to reach the Dark Forest, Mothwing blames herself for letting her former apprentice die, but comes to agree with Shadowsight when he insists he is the cat who needs to travel the Dark Forest to find Squirrelflight, with both medicine cats finding common ground and respect for each other. After the impostor's defeat, Mothwing returns to RiverClan as the Clan's only medicine cat.

A Starless Clan

"I can't believe that I'll never speak to her again. We lost so much time while I stayed with ShadowClan. Maybe I was too proud."
―Mothwing grieving for her friend Mistystar River (book), page 93
Mothwing is now training Frostpaw, her new apprentice. While Mothwing can be sharp at times, Frostpaw knows that she's still grieving her former apprentice Willowshine. Mistystar suddenly collapses in camp, and despite Mothwing and Frostpaw's best efforts, she dies, and Mothwing heavily grieves for her friend and Clan leader, knowing she'll never speak to her again. After Frostpaw finds a star-shaped dock leaf in her nest, Mothwing agrees with her Clanmates that she and Frostpaw will temporary lead the Clan until Reedwhisker is found. However, after his death, Mothwing is initially skeptical of Frostpaw's interpretations that Curlfeather should be leader, but eventually accepts. After Curlfeather's death, Mothwing decides that RiverClan should break their silence and inform the other Clans of their situation.

Novellas

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

"We can't rely on our ancestors. We can only rely on one another."
―Mothwing's thoughts after the Dark Forest Mothwing's Secret, page chapter 8
In Mothwing's Secret, after Hawkfrost fakes a sign from StarClan, Mothwing becomes Mudfur's medicine cat apprentice. Although she displays natural talent as a healer, Mothwing struggles to accept that StarClan is tangibly real. After her brother repeatedly abuses her position for his own personal gain, Mothwing vows to never lie for him again. During the Great Battle, she witnesses StarClan cats fight alongside the Clans, and Mudfur explains that StarClan doesn't make any mistakes. Mothwing realizes that while StarClan exists, they are not omniscient but vows to use her talent to save her Clanmates.
"I believe in the importance of learning from what has been discovered before. And in how precious health is, and how hard I must work to preserve it in all my Clanmates. The fact that the world of signs, omens, and dreams that have hidden meanings is closed to me doesn't feel like something is missing, Mistystar. I respect what you believe. You must respect what matters to me."
―Mothwing to Mistystar Mistystar's Omen, page chapter 10
In Mistystar's Omen, despite Mothwing's treatments, Leopardstar succumbs to her illness. She encourages Mistyfoot that she is worthy to take the mantle of leadership, and the two friends travel to the Moonpool for Mistyfoot's nine lives. After the ceremony, Mistystar discovers in horror that Mothwing doesn't believe in StarClan. Mistystar questions Willowshine about her education, but Willowshine adamantly defends her mentor. Regardless, Mistystar demotes Mothwing to an elder. She refuses to have Mothwing treat Reedwhisker's critical injury. Stonefur sends Mistystar a moth, signifying StarClan's faith in Mothwing as a medicine cat. Mothwing treats Reedwhisker, and Mistystar recognizes and respects Mothwing's beliefs.

Tigerstar and Sasha

"Moth, keep going! You can make it, I know you can!"
―Tadpole encouraging Moth before he drowns Return to the Clans, page 48
Sasha gives birth to Tigerstar's kits out in the forest with the names of Hawk, Moth, and Tadpole. She is fearful of their father discovering their existence and forbids her kits to wander too far from their den. Her kits decide to look for Sasha's owner, Ken, but Tadpole drowns during a flood. Pine takes Sasha and her kits to a barn with other "friendly" queens, but are chased out.
Sasha realizes the safest place for her kits to grow up is in a Clan, so she takes them to RiverClan and tells them about their father. Hawk and Moth are accepted into the Clan and given apprentice names. Leopardstar tells them about the horrors Tigerstar committed to RiverClan, and Sasha makes her kits promise not to tell anyone the truth about their parentage. Recognizing she will never belong in a Clan, Sasha leaves her kits in RiverClan to grow up as warriors.

Detailed description

Mothwing is a triangular-faced,[22] thick,[23] sleek,[24] and long-furred,[22] dappled,[13] golden she-cat.[1] She has rippling tabby stripes,[22] huge,[25] amber eyes,[1] a broad head,[25] and a fluffy tail.[26]

Character pixels

Official art

Ceremonies


Personality

Coming Soon

Relationships

Hawkfrost

"Our father was a great warrior. Our mother is proud and strong. They shared only one flaw: that their only loyalty was to themselves above all other cats. We're not like that. We understand what it means to be loyal to our Clan. We have the courage to live by the warrior code. And because of that we'll be the most powerful cats in RiverClan one day, and our Clanmates will have to respect us then."
―Hawkfrost to Mothwing Dawn, page 169
Coming Soon

Leafpool

Mothwing first encounters Leafpool when the latter is a medicine cat apprentice, and they first meet at the Moonstone. The golden tabby she-cat returns Leafpaw's greeting with a simple acknowledgement, causing Leafpaw to second-guess Mothwing's intentions, thinking that the younger RiverClan medicine cat is trying to put her in her place as an apprentice.[27] When prying about why Mothwing was asking like she was not a proper medicine cat, Leafpaw finds out that Mudfur never received a sign, which disturbed her.[28] The golden tabby she-cat recalls how she thought that StarClan had rejected her, but Mudfur told her to be patient. Leafpaw expresses her sympathy, but Mothwing brings up how her brother Hawkfrost encouraged her to wait for the sign, and how he reminded her not to try to prove herself to other cats. She adds that the sign came two days ago, when Mudfur found a moth's wing outside of his den. Leafpaw is about to question if Leopardstar believed the sign, but is cut off by Mudfur, who ends their conversation abruptly.[29]
Mothwing and Leafpool are good friends. Mothwing is not afraid to break the warrior code for Leafpool, and they often help each other in hard times.[30]
More Coming Soon

Bramblestar

"Distrust welled up inside her: Brambleclaw and Hawkfrost had planned to rule the territories together one day. Had their plan fallen apart? Had Brambleclaw decided to eliminate his rival for power instead of working with him? As she stared at Brambleclaw, the tabby tom’s shoulders slumped and he gazed past her, his eyes dark with horror. No, Mothwing decided. The ThunderClan tom did not look like a triumphant victor."
―Mothwing's thoughts about Brambleclaw after Hawkfrost's death Mothwing's Secret, page chapter 10
Mothwing and Bramblestar are half-siblings, but didn't know each other's existence until later life. While Brambleclaw wanted to know his half-siblings, Mothwing wasn't interested, Though their mutual connection with Hawkfrost made her observe Brambleclaw out of curiosity. As Mothwing worried for her littermate's descent into cruelty, she projected those same fears onto Brambleclaw without knowing him. When Hawkfrost turned up dead, Mothwing first assumed the worst of Brambleclaw, but had to miserably admit her littermate was the only guilty one.[31]
Afterwards, Mothwing doesn't interact with him outside of official duties. Though Bramblestar respects her capability as a medicine cat to care for RiverClan, denying Leafpool's request to help.[32] When Bramblestar acts out of character and starts a tyrannical agenda against codebreakers, Mothwing doesn't hesitate to protest it. When she discovers her half-brother is possessed, she still joins the rebels to overthrow the impostor. Despite it risking damage to his body, she does it to protect the Clans.[33]

Tawnypelt

"Tawnypelt, Tigerstar’s daughter, was a respected ShadowClan warrior. Of course, they were born in the Clans, she thought. Their mother was a ThunderClan cat. Things are different for them."
―Mothwing's thoughts on Tawnypelt Mothwing's Secret, page chapter 10
Mothwing didn't know about her half-sister until after she joined RiverClan. She considered Tawnypelt better off when it came to living in their father's shadow, as her mother was Clan-born, not a rogue. Unlike Brambleclaw, Hawkfrost didn't get close to their half-sister, meaning Mothwing didn't have a reason to take extra notice.[34] Though they don't act like sisters, they share certain values, such as them both joining the rebels to keep the Clans safe from a possessed Bramblestar.[33]

Family

Mothwing's parents are Tigerstar and Sasha, and her brothers are Hawkfrost and Tadpole. For more of Mothwing's family, click here!

Appearances


Trivia

Interesting facts

  • Mothwing has ThunderClan blood through Tigerstar[35] and kittypet blood through Sasha.[36]

Author statements

  • Cherith and Kate said that Mothwing will go to StarClan, although she would be very surprised.[37]
    • Kate thinks that after the battle with the Dark Forest, Mothwing would believe in StarClan, because it's difficult to deny something you've seen with your own eyes.[blog 1]
    • Vicky also strongly believes she will go to StarClan because "she is a Clan cat through and through."[38]
    • However, in Thunder and Shadow, it is said Mothwing doesn't truly believe they were their own ancestors, and thinks of them as rogues from beyond the territories.[39]
    • In Lost Stars, Mothwing states she believes StarClan exists, but questions their guidance.[40]
  • In a chat, Kate and Vicky think that if Hawkfrost hadn't sent the false sign of a moth's wing for Mudfur, StarClan wouldn't have sent him a sign to choose her as a medicine cat. However, Cherith contradicts them by saying that she thinks that they would have done it most likely because Mothwing has great talent in the medicinal field.[37]
  • Kate views Leafpool and Mothwing as "besties" instead of being closer than friends.[blog 2]

Mistakes

Continuity

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

  • In The Clans Decide, Mothwing, Jayfeather, Barkface, and Littlecloud measures the length of the line of stones used for voting on each side of the stick. They come to the conclusion that the majority of cats voted for Firestar to lead all four Clans temporarily.[46]

Quotes

External links

  • Codebreakers: Brainstorming The Broken Code on the Warriors official website (Mentioned only) (backup link)
  • The Journey So Far: Lost Stars on the Warriors official website (Indirect mention only) (backup link)
  • The Silent Thaw on the Warriors official website (Indirect mention only) (backup link)
  • Exclusive! Veil of Shadows: Excerpt on the Warriors official website (backup link)
  • The Journey So Far: The Silent Thaw on the Warriors official website (Indirect mention only) (backup link)
  • Veil of Shadows and A Warrior's Spirit on the Warriors official website (Mentioned only) (backup link)
  • Exclusive! Graystripe's Vow: Excerpt on the Warriors official website (Indirect mention only) (backup link)
  • Exclusive! Darkness Within: Excerpt on the Warriors official website (backup link)
  • Exclusive! The Place of No Stars Except on the Warriors official website (Mentioned only) (backup link)
  • Exclusive! A Warrior's Choice Excerpt on the Warriors official website (Indirect mention only) (backup link)
  • The Place of No Stars: A look at the most popular fan theories on the Warriors official website (Indirect mention only) (backup link)
  • The Journey So Far: Darkness Within on the Warriors official website (Mentioned only) (backup link)
  • Exclusive! A Light in the Mist: Excerpt on the Warriors official website (Allegiance only) (backup link)
  • A Light in the Mist: A look at the most popular fan theories on the Warriors official website (Indirect mention only) (backup link)
  • The Journey So Far: The Place of No Stars on the Warriors official website (Mentioned only) (backup link)
  • Exclusive! River: Excerpt on the Warriors official website (backup link)

  • Notes and references

    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Revealed in Midnight, allegiances
    2. Revealed in A Light in the Mist, page 316
    3. Revealed in Return to the Clans, page 68
    4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, pages 65-66
    5. 5.0 5.1 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 121
    6. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 288
    7. Revealed in Into the Woods, page 1
    8. Revealed in Return to the Clans, page 3
    9. Revealed in Return to the Clans, page 75
    10. Revealed in Midnight, page 48
    11. 11.0 11.1 Revealed in River, page 127
    12. Revealed in Midnight, page 50
    13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Revealed in Starlight, allegiances
    14. Revealed in Graystripe's Vow, allegiances
    15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Revealed in Mistystar's Omen, chapter 6
    16. Revealed in Mothwing's Secret, chapter 1
    17. Revealed in Sunset, allegiances
    18. Revealed in River, allegiances
    19. Revealed in The Place of No Stars, page 90
    20. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 66
    21. Revealed in River, page 240
    22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Revealed in Midnight, page 51
    23. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 38
    24. Revealed in Return to the Clans, page 78
    25. 25.0 25.1 Revealed in Midnight, page 257
    26. Revealed in Mistystar's Omen, chapter 3
    27. Revealed in Midnight, page 178
    28. Revealed in Midnight, page 179
    29. Revealed in Midnight, page 180
    30. Revealed in Moonrise, chapter 4
    31. Revealed in Mothwing's Secret, chapter 7
    32. Revealed in Shattered Sky, page 109
    33. 33.0 33.1 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 287
    34. Revealed in Mothwing's Secret, chapter 4
    35. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 266
    36. Revealed in Return to the Clans, page 4
    37. 37.0 37.1 Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 4
    38. Revealed on Vicky's Facebook (screenshot)
    39. Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, chapter 7
    40. Revealed in Lost Stars, page 78
    41. Revealed in Starlight, page 107
    42. Revealed in Twilight, page 100
    43. Revealed in Twilight, page 167
    44. Revealed in Mistystar's Omen, chapter 7
    45. Revealed in Mistystar's Omen, chapter 10
    46. Revealed in The Clans Decide

    Author references




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