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"I'll always be here if you need me. I may not share your faith, but I will always help you fight for what you believe in."
— Mothwing vowing to help Jayfeather in The Last Hope, page 171

Mothwing is a dappled[10] golden tabby she-cat with amber eyes.[3]

Mothwing was a medicine cat of RiverClan that has served under Leopardstar's and Mistystar's leaderships in the forest and lake territories. 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 Mistyfoot as her mentor. She later earned her warrior name of Mothwing, and when Hawkfrost revealed he faked an omen so Mudfur would accept Mothwing as his apprentice, she refused to believe in StarClan because of it.

Mothwing mentored Willowshine, though Leafpool taught her about StarClan and dreams. Despite Mistystar finding out about her not believing in StarClan, she demoted Mothwing as an elder; however, Mothwing retained her position after an omen. After a while, she revealed that she believed StarClan existed, but questioned their guidance and was named by a codebreaker by the impostor, eventually being exiled from RiverClan for her birth. Although she was allowed back into RiverClan, Mothwing chose to remain in exile and took refuge in ShadowClan under Tigerstar.

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

"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 to Mistystar, choosing to remain in exile Veil of Shadows, page 287
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.

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,[15] thick,[16] sleek,[17] and long-furred,[15] dappled,[10] dark[18] golden she-cat.[3] She has rippling tabby stripes,[15] huge,[19] amber eyes,[3] a broad head,[19] and a fluffy tail.[20]

Character pixels

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Official art

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Ceremonies

Mothpaw's apprentice ceremony
Leopardstar: Moth and Hawk, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you have received your warrior names...you will be known as Mothpaw and Hawkpaw. Mothpaw, your mentor will be Mistyfoot. I hope that she will pass on all she knows to you.
Leopardstar: Mistyfoot, come forward. Mistyfoot, you are a fine deputy for RiverClan and taught Feathertail well when you were her mentor. You will be Mothpaw's mentor...and I expect you to pass all your knowledge to her.
Everyone: Mothpaw! Hawkpaw!
Reference: A Shadow in RiverClan, pages 86-89


Mothwing's medicine cat apprentice ceremony
Mudfur: Mothwing, is it your wish to enter into the mysteries of StarClan as a medicine cat?
Mothwing: It is.
Mudfur: Then come forward.
Mudfur: Warriors of StarClan, I present to you this apprentice. She has chosen the path of a medicine cat. Grant her your wisdom and insight so that she may understand your ways and heal her Clan in accordance with your will. Lie down here, and press your nose against the stone.
Reference: Midnight, page 186

Appearances


Quotes

Mothwing: "But does it really matter? I mean, there's nothing to stop us from finding the right herbs and..."
Leafpaw: "Mothwing means we can carry on looking after our Clanmates while we wait for StarClan to speak to us."
Mothwing: "Yes-yes that's right."
—Mothwing talking to the other medicine cats Starlight, page 39


"Stop pretending, Leafpaw. To me, StarClan, our warrior ancestors, these signs we're supposed to interpret--they're nothing but a bunch of stories to keep the Clans happy."
—Mothwing admitting she doesn't believe in StarClan Starlight, page 248


Mothwing: "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."
Leafpool: "I know. But if you don't believe in StarClan, why take any notice of Feathertail's warning?"
Mothwing: "Because I believe in you, Leafpool."
—Mothwing talking to Leafpool Twilight, page 102


"I can't, Leafpool. I've never told Leopardstar about a dream before this, and I probably never will again. It wasn't my dream. I just don't have prophetic dreams from StarClan. I have to find my own way of being a medicine cat, without StarClan. Trust me, Leafpool. I want nothing more than to care for my Clan, but it has to be on my own terms."
—Mothwing to Leafpool Twilight, page 126


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"I can't! I couldn't lie about that. Being a medicine cat means I have to be trustworthy. The way that it happened—that you tricked Mudfur into thinking he'd gotten a sign about me from StarCan—I've always been ashamed of that. I've been afraid of any cat finding out I'm not a proper medicine cat. It's like heavy paws pushing me down sometimes, knowing that the whole Clan would turn on me if they knew. I can't lie again. Being a medicine cat is the most important thing in my life."
—Mothwing to Hawkfrost about not faking a sign to force Stormfur and Brook out of RiverClan Mothwing's Secret, page chapter 5


"You have your beliefs. I have mine. The cats you see in your dreams guide and protect you in ways I have lived without. I am skilled at healing and caring for my Clanmates, and that has been enough to serve my Clan."
—Mothwing to Mistystar over StarClan Mistystar's Omen, page chapter 4


"I realized that Mothwing didn't believe in StarClan quite quickly. But I never saw any reason to challenge her. I could tell she was going to be a good medicine cat. She was smart and calm, and kinder than I was to cats in pain! Being a medicine cat is first and foremost about serving your Clan, and I knew that Mothwing would do that with every beat of her heart."
—Mudfur about Mothwing Mistystar's Omen, page chapter 10


"I am not my brother. I have always chosen a different path from him. My loyalty is to living Clanmates, not dead littermates."
—Mothwing to Jayfeather The Last Hope, page 32


"I envy your faith. You can always find hope, even in the darkest moments."
—Mothwing to Jayfeather The Last Hope, page 171


Mothwing: "Now that you asked, but with time to reflect on what happened in the Great Battle, and everything that happened with Darktail and the cats we lost...I no longer deny that StarClan exists."
Kestrelflight: "What?"
Jayfeather: "You're serious?"
Mothwing: "Let me finish. I believe StarClan exists, but I don't know that their intentions are good, or that we always benefit from their guidance."
Alderheart: "How can you say that? Their advice about SkyClan returning-"
Mothwing: "Led to Darktail's reign. And how many cats died?"
Jayfeather: "How many more would have died, if they hadn't warned us?"
Mothwing: "That's neither here nor there. We'll never know. Anyway, every cat can believe what he or she wants. I just think we don't need to panic."
—Mothwing revealing her new beliefs to the other medicine cats Lost Stars, pages 77-78


Mothwing: "This is nonsense! This proves what I've always thought. We shouldn't let our ancestors guide us. Why should every cat suffer because a few have made mistakes?"
Willowshine: "We can't turn away from StarClan when we disagree with them. They see everything. They have more knowledge than us."
Shadowsight: "There have been a lot of injuries in ShadowClan recently. If it's StarClan doing, we can't let it go on. We have to make things right."
Mothwing: "Injuries are a part of life. If we believed StarClan was angry with us every time a warrior gets hurt, then we'd have to believe they were angry with us all the time!"
—Mothwing about the codebreakers The Silent Thaw, page 162


Mistystar: "I'm sorry, Mothwing. Your mother was a rogue and your father was the first Tigerstar, who, whatever he was, was not a RiverClan cat. I must send you into exile."
Mothwing: "But—"
Mistystar: "We must try. These heavy newleaf rains have brought flooding and mudslides to RiverClan, and prey has not been running well. I need StarClan's guidance, but StarClan has turned away from us. Perhaps Bramblestar is right; perhaps we have been too lax in following the warrior code, and that's why StarClan is angry with us. I have no choice but to exile you."
Mothwing: "I've been devoted to RiverClan ever since my mother brought me to you. My own mother decided to leave the Clan, but I chose to stay!"
Unknown cat: "You don't even follow StarClan."
Mothwing: "That doesn't matter. I've proven my loyalty to my Clan many times over."
—Mistystar exiling Mothwing Veil of Shadows, pages 65-66

External links


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 288
  2. Revealed in Return to the Clans, page 68
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Revealed in Midnight, allegiances
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Veil of Shadows, pages 65-66
  5. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 121
  6. Revealed in Return to the Clans, page 3
  7. Revealed in Return to the Clans, page 75
  8. Revealed in Midnight, page 48
  9. Revealed in Midnight, page 50
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Revealed in Starlight, allegiances
  11. 11.0 11.1 Revealed in Mistystar's Omen, chapter 6
  12. Revealed in Mothwing's Secret, chapter 1
  13. Revealed in Sunset, allegiances
  14. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 66
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Revealed in Midnight, page 51
  16. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 38
  17. Revealed in Return to the Clans, page 78
  18. Revealed in Starlight, page 44
  19. 19.0 19.1 Revealed in Midnight, page 257
  20. Revealed in Mistystar's Omen, chapter 3
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