|"You don't think I believe this load of fox dung, do you? Every cat knows that Tallstar practically handed our Clan over to Firestar before he left the forest. He's always felt more loyalty to ThunderClan than they ever deserved. And now Firestar tells us that his friend Onewhisker is to be leader!"|
|— Mudclaw initiates his rebellion in Starlight, page 126|
Mudclaw's rebellion takes place in Starlight just as the Clans find their new home. It was instigated when Tallstar suddenly changed his deputy from Mudclaw to Onewhisker, as he felt Mudclaw was too aggressive. WindClan became divided between loyalty to Onewhisker and Mudclaw, and eventually sparked a civil war within the Clan.
With the Clan split into supporting either Onewhisker or Mudclaw, Firestar and many ThunderClan cats believe Onewhisker is the rightful cat for the role, while many other cats from both ShadowClan and RiverClan support Mudclaw's claim to the role. This initiates a few minor battles between the two sides, and the night before Onewhisker goes to receive his nine lives and leader name, Mudclaw decides to attack him and his loyalists. 
During the battle, ThunderClan comes to Onewhisker's aide, and Brambleclaw convinces Hawkfrost, Mudclaw's acting second in command, to switch sides. This causes Mudclaw to reveal that he promised Hawkfrost deputyship of WindClan and would help him take over RiverClan, although Hawkfrost hastily denies it. Mudclaw flees to the lake, whereas StarClan sends down a lightning bolt, striking a tree, which in turn falls and kills Mudclaw, leaving Onewhisker in charge of WindClan, ending the rebellion once and for all. 
- 1 Summary
- 2 Description
- 3 Characters that took part in the conflict
- 4 Characters
- 5 Aftermath
- 6 Legacy
- 7 Quotes
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes and references
- 10 Notes
- After Deadfoot, the previous deputy, died, Tallstar chose Mudclaw to succeed him. Tallstar wanted to balance out his own calm, collected approach with Mudclaw's more aggressive one. While Mudclaw tended to instigate fights with other Clans, Tallstar was able to keep him under control. Mudclaw respected Tallstar, and had the respect of his Clanmates for being able to speak his mind. Mudclaw served as deputy during the starvation of WindClan, and often tried to assume control, but was usually rebuked by Tallstar. During the great journey, Tallstar's health deteriorates, and Mudclaw begins to take on the leadership role of WindClan. This sparks problems as many cats still regarded Tallstar as the leader and his word held more authority over Mudclaw's. Many believed Firestar was lying to ensure Onewhisker gained leadership, others believed Tallstar's mind had gone, and said something he didn't mean.
- Mudclaw rebels against Onewhisker and his followers, while Mudclaw himself has multiple cats believing his claim to WindClan's leadership was the most legitimate. A civil war erupts in WindClan, and cats from the other clans are forced to choose a side between Onewhisker and Mudclaw. A final battle takes place on WindClan's territory, between the two sides where Hawkfrost betrays Mudclaw for Brambleclaw, and by extension, Onewhisker. Mudclaw runs off, angered, revealing that he had promised Hawkfrost the deputyship of WindClan, to which Hawkfrost denies. Subsequently, Mudclaw is killed by a falling tree, signifying that StarClan regarded Onewhisker as WindClan's true leader, as well as giving the Clans a method of getting to the gathering island.
- Mudclaw had already gained a substantial following before formally announcing his rebellion, with many believing Mudclaw's experience and based on the fact that he was already deputy proved over Onewhisker's claim. With only limited time to usurp the leadership, Mudclaw and his loyalists conspire to attack Onewhisker and his followers the night before he can receive his nine lives. Their plot, however, is discovered by Mistyfoot, who tells Firestar of the plan, and Firestar takes ThunderClan reinforcements to help Onewhisker, only to discover that Mudclaw has already instigated his attack. Mudclaw intends to use brute force using his loyalists, either driving Onewhisker back or killing him, and he attempts to do the latter until Hawkfrost ultimately defects to Onewhisker's side, causing Mudclaw to flee
- Upon reaching their new home by the lake, Tallstar speaks with Firestar and Onewhisker. Firestar is the son of Tallstar's dearest friend, Jake, and Onewhisker is a supportive and loyal warrior. Tallstar explains to them that while Mudclaw does desire the best for WindClan in his heart, he feels the warrior is too aggressive and his leadership will only lead to bloodshed and war. To prevent future battles, Tallstar demotes Mudclaw back to a warrior and names Onewhisker as deputy, who he feels would be better suited to the job. Onewhisker, shocked, attempts to deny it, but Tallstar passes away, leaving Onewhisker in charge of WindClan. Firestar and Brambleclaw are the only other witnesses to Tallstar's decision.
- Upon seeing Tallstar pass, Mudclaw begins to announce that he will take the leadership of WindClan. However, Onewhisker awkwardly admits that he is in fact, the new leader, not Mudclaw. Mudclaw, astonished and angered, asks if anyone else bore witness to Tallstar's last command. Firestar affirms he did, and so did Brambleclaw.  Mudclaw, angered, calls Firestar out by claiming that the ThunderClan leader was favoring Onewhisker because he is his friend. Mudclaw goes on to chastise Brambleclaw, asking him if Firestar promised him the deputyship of ThunderClan, which angers Firestar who is still grieving over the disappearance of Graystripe. Mudclaw asks Barkface what he believes, and Barkface, surprised, says that if Tallstar chose Onewhisker instead, then they must honor it. Furious that his uncle and medicine cat won't side with him, Mudclaw taunts Onewhisker. Onewhisker attempts to persuade Mudclaw that he can be his deputy, claiming that he could use his help. Mudclaw, however, furiously stalks away. Ashfoot is instead made deputy by Onewhisker, a choice that WindClan agrees with, along with many other Clan cats due to Ashfoot's experience and calm, collected approach to problems. 
- Mudclaw, furious that he was denied leadership to a less experienced cat, eventually decides to usurp the leadership for himself. Various WindClan cats, such as his brother Tornear and Nightcloud, believe that Mudclaw was the rightful leader, not Onewhisker. Onewhisker admits that Tallstar did not do the proper deputy ceremony, but he still wishes to honor his former leader. He attempts to calm WindClan, but the Clan is divided between loyalty to Onewhisker and Mudclaw. Eventually, WindClan splits into two separate groups, either supporting one of the two cats. ThunderClan supports Onewhisker, as well as the RiverClan deputy Mistyfoot. Various WindClan cats, such as Whitetail, Barkface, and Crowfeather also support him. Other cats including Webfoot, Weaselpaw and Owlpaw support Mudclaw. Hawkfrost from RiverClan is one of Mudclaw's biggest supporters, as well as various RiverClan warriors and ShadowClan warriors.
- Knowing that he only has a limited time to usurp the leadership, Mudclaw and Hawkfrost conspire and decide to attack the night before Onewhisker has a chance to claim his leader name and nine lives. While the other Clans are oblivious to this, Mistyfoot and Brackenfur come to this conclusion. 
Battle for leadership
- Mistyfoot thinks she sees Hawkfrost plotting with Mudclaw to attack WindClan on the lake shore opposite of the RiverClan camp, so she quickly tells ThunderClan because she doesn't think Leopardstar will believe her. At first, Firestar is reluctant to believe her with so little evidence, but Brackenfur points out that Mudclaw would have to attack that night because Onewhisker was going to get his nine lives and leader name the very next day. The rest of the Clan realizes he is right and are alarmed. Firestar gathers a patrol to go intercept the rebellious cats and protect Onewhisker. When they arrive to the WindClan camp, they hear screeches of fighting cats, and realize Mistyfoot was telling the truth. ThunderClan and Onewhisker's followers fight Mudclaw's followers, and at first Onewhisker's followers were losing the fight. The fight turns when more ThunderClan warriors arrive. Realizing they were outnumbered, Mudclaw and his followers flee towards the island. A storm breaks and heavy rain and lightning is unleashed on the fighting cats. When Brambleclaw catches Hawkfrost and Mudclaw, he asks Hawkfrost why he had sided with such a traitor. Mudclaw tries to attack Brambleclaw and Hawkfrost pins him down to the ground to protect his half-brother. Hawkfrost admits that he truly thought Mudclaw was the rightful leader of WindClan and he realizes his mistake now. Mudclaw, furious, exclaims that he had made a deal with Hawkfrost so that both cats could take over WindClan and RiverClan. Hawkfrost appears appalled and calls Mudclaw a liar. Mudclaw escapes from Hawkfrost and flees towards the lake shore.
- After Mudclaw flees from Brambleclaw and Hawkfrost, he runs to the lake shore. In that instant, StarClan sends a bolt of lightning to strike a tree on the island. It falls heavily and crushes Mudclaw beneath it, providing a bridge from the mainland to the island.  The Clans immediately recognize this as a sign from StarClan that Onewhisker is the rightful leader of WindClan. Brackenfur leaps on the tree and exclaims that the tree can be used to cross to the island so that the Clans may hold Gatherings there, which the other cats agree with.
Characters that took part in the conflict
- Onewhisker was a semi-experienced WindClan warrior during the great journey, and was worried for Tallstar's deteriorating health during the journey. He was also a close friend of Firestar's. On Tallstar's deathbed, the leader admits that he does not want Mudclaw to take over, and instead promotes Onewhisker to the position of deputy. Onewhisker, shocked, attempts to deny any claim to the leadership, but Tallstar passes, leaving himself, Firestar, and Brambleclaw as the sole witnesses. He informs WindClan of the sudden change in leadership, and offers Mudclaw to remain deputy. Mudclaw however, furious, rebels, and manages to gather support from multiple cats in WindClan. Onewhisker however, has supporters believing his claim to WindClan's leadership to be the most legitimate. WindClan is eventually split into two factions, either supporting Onewhisker or Mudclaw. Onewhisker eventually gets the support of ThunderClan, and various cats from RiverClan and ShadowClan as well. However, Onewhisker contemplates whether StarClan will believe his claim to WindClan's leadership.
- During a battle on WindClan's territory, Onewhisker and his loyalists fight against Mudclaw's, and eventually, Mudclaw takes on Onewhisker, taunting him for taking the leadership. However, Firestar intervenes, and claims that Onewhisker is the true leader of WindClan. Eventually, Mudclaw runs away after discovering that Hawkfrost defected to Onewhisker's side, and is evidently killed by a falling tree struck by StarClan to kill him. With Mudclaw dead, Onewhisker forgives Mudclaw's followers for siding against him, and becomes Onestar the very next day, beginning his reign as WindClan's leader.
- Being the deputy and one of WindClan's most senior warriors, Mudclaw took on the leadership of WindClan during The Great Journey as Tallstar was in poor health. However, Tallstar recognized that while Mudclaw wanted what was best for WindClan and would lay down his life for his Clanmates, Mudclaw's arrogance and more aggressive nature would surely lead WindClan into needless battles. Moments before his death, Tallstar demotes Mudclaw back to a warrior, replacing him with Onewhisker. Mudclaw, angered that the leadership was suddenly taken away from him, forms a rebellion with other cats who believed that Mudclaw held the rightful place as WindClan's leader. His rebellion sparks a civil war within WindClan, eventually splitting the Clan into two sides. He eventually promises Hawkfrost, a warrior of RiverClan, the deputyship of WindClan should he help him win, which Hawkfrost obliges to. During a battle, Hawkfrost betrays Mudclaw for Brambleclaw, and angered that his biggest supporter defects to the opposing side, runs off. However, StarClan strikes a tree with lightning, causing it to fall on and kill Mudclaw, ending his rebellion and leaving Onewhisker as WindClan's rightful leader.
- Despite his violence and anger towards Onewhisker, Mudclaw is granted access into StarClan when he dies, with it being noted that Mudclaw believed he was following the warrior code, as the deputy succeeds the leader. Overall, Mudclaw wanted only the best for his Clan, and StarClan realized that his rebellion was somewhat justified.
- Ashfoot, being among one of the most senior warriors of WindClan at the time, was a choice of deputy that WindClan approved of. Her mate was also the former deputy, Deadfoot under Tallstar. Ashfoot, also being the older sister of Onewhisker, proved her loyalty to WindClan by often being the voice of reason within WindClan during the struggle between Mudclaw and Onewhisker, acting as the second in command for Onewhisker's loyalists. Although taking on the leadership role along with Onewhisker, she finds time to spend with her son Crowfeather, often engaging in conversation with him and most likely convinced him to fight for Onewhisker, despite Mudclaw being Crowfeather's mentor. She participates in the final battle between the two sides, and with Onewhisker emerging victorious, reigns as deputy for a long time until her death in the great battle many years later.
- A RiverClan warrior, and the former deputy of RiverClan when Mistyfoot went missing, Hawkfrost was Mudclaw's biggest supporter and acts as his unofficial second in command of Mudclaw's own loyalists. Hawkfrost is also the second son of Tigerstar and the half-brother of Brambleclaw and Tawnypelt. Hawkfrost begins to display characteristics of his father, such as his lust for power and more aggressive tendencies, but maintains a relationship with Brambleclaw due to their shared blood. In the midst of fighting, Brambleclaw convinces Hawkfrost to turn on Mudclaw and join Onewhisker. Hawkfrost admits that he was wrong about Mudclaw's claim to the leadership, and Hawkfrost's defection causes Mudclaw to become infuriated and runs off, where is then killed by a tree caused by StarClan. Afterwards, Hawkfrost acknowledges Onewhisker as WindClan's leader and apologizes for his actions.
- As one of Onewhisker's best friends, and having strong bond with Tallstar, Firestar took an active role in protecting Onewhisker and his claim to WindClan's leadership and leads ThunderClan against Mudclaw's followers. He was one of the three witnesses to Tallstar's last choice as leader, and wished to honor the former leader. Although his insistence on helping Onewhisker is met with prejudice from WindClan and ThunderClan, he convinces his Clan to fight for Onewhisker and upon winning, he is excited to have his friend as leader, but Onewhisker affirms that he no longer needs ThunderClan's help, and ends his friendship with Firestar. The two eventually become rivals, with Onestar outright declaring Firestar his enemy when the two Clans fight against each other, marking the ThunderClan-WindClan war.
- Mistyfoot, being RiverClan's deputy, is forced to deal with Mudclaw's rebellion when she sees Hawkfrost plotting with Mudclaw to overtake Onewhisker's leadership, and is proven true when the two lead an attack against Onewhisker's followers. Mistyfoot sides with Onewhisker during the battle on WindClan's territory. She believes Leopardstar did not care for the war, and herself being the only cat in WindClan with the most authority to do something. If it were not for Mistyfoot, ThunderClan would have not been made aware of Mudclaw's attempt to kill Onewhisker the same night.
- After Mudclaw is killed, the Clans gained a way of entry to the island. Onewhisker, upon becoming Onestar, ends his friendship with Firestar and forms a bitter rivalry with him. With Mudclaw gone and WindClan accepting Onestar as their leader, the Clans settle down by the lake and forgive Mudclaw's followers for denying Onestar's claim to the leadership. Onestar is formally recognized as a leader, and Ashfoot is also formally recognized as WindClan's new deputy. Hawkfrost, upset that he did not become WindClan's deputy like Mudclaw had promised him, is convinced by Tigerstar to take matters into his own paws and take the deputyship of RiverClan, encouraging Brambleclaw to do that same, luring Firestar into a fox trap so Brambleclaw, the new deputy of ThunderClan, could kill him and take the leadership, while Hawkfrost planned to kill Mistyfoot, having still harbored resentment towards the she-cat after retaking her place as deputy from him. Brambleclaw decides his loyalty is to Firestar and ThunderClan, and frees his former mentor, angering Hawkfrost where Brambleclaw kills him in self-defense.
- Unfortunately, WindClan eventually does the very thing Tallstar did not want: sparking wars with other Clans. Onestar starts this in Eclipse, where he, along with RiverClan, attack ThunderClan. Mudclaw himself is granted entry into StarClan due to his belief that he was cheated out of leadership and truly did want what was best for WindClan. 
- "Before I go to StarClan, there is something I must do. Firestar, Onewhisker, listen. Mudclaw is a brave warrior. but he is not the right cat to lead WindClan. In these last moons we have learned that the future of our Clans lies in friendship. I want no rivalry between WindClan and ThunderClan after I am gone. We must have no enemies. But this will not happen if Mudclaw rules the Clan. I can still choose the cat who will lead WindClan after me. From this moment Mudclaw is no longer deputy of WindClan."
- ―Tallstar demoting Mudclaw Starlight, pages 118-119
- "Mudclaw, you're our leader now. We will all grieve for Tallstar, but we need you to help us settle into our new home."
- ―Webfoot after Tallstar's death, but before Onewhisker is announced deputy Starlight, page 125
- "This is as much of a shock to me as it is to you. And I would like you to carry on being WindClan's deputy. I'll need your support and experience every pawstep of the way."
- ―Onewhisker offering for Mudclaw to remain deputy of WindClan Starlight, page 126
- "Are you just going to sit here and accept this? Do we let ThunderClan choose our leader for us? How many of our warriors do you think will follow you, you sniveling, crow-food eating traitor?"
- ―Mudclaw to Onewhisker Starlight, page 128
- "Mudclaw was furious- and can you blame him, really? He'd done nothing wrong. But as a warrior, he should have respected his leader's decision and supported Onestar. Instead, he plotted to take over WindClan by force, and visited all the other Clans in secret, gaining allies. They struck one night, Mudclaw and a RiverClan warrior named Hawkfrost leading the attack. The rest of us fought on Onestar's behalf, and Onestar won- helped by StarClan. Do you see that island down there? With the tall trees? If you look closely, you can make out a fallen tree joining the island to the shore, with its roots on the island side. StarClan sent a bolt of lightning to strike that tree and make it fall on top of Mudclaw, killing him instantly, and showing that Onestar was the true leader of WindClan."
- ―Tawnypelt about Mudclaw Battles of the Clans, page 86
- "Mudclaw was chosen to be deputy because Tallstar recognized the need for a warrior who was not afraid to show his claws to balance out his own gentler, peace-loving leadership. Mudclaw was fearless, fiercely loyal to his Clan, and determined to be a strong leader without having the bloodthirsty ambition that had polluted the paths of leaders in other Clans. When Tallstar dismissed him and appointed Onestar in his place, Mudclaw felt utterly betrayed. He saw no reason behind Tallstar's decision, except that the old cat had lost his mind just before losing his ninth life. A challenge to Onestar's leadership seemed entirely logical, and Mudclaw was encouraged by a significant number of cats who shared his disbelief-not just from his own Clan, but ShadowClan and RiverClan too."
- ―Narrator on Mudclaw The Ultimate Guide, page 106
Notes and references
- Revealed in Starlight, chapter 21
- Revealed in Starlight, page 119
- Revealed in Twilight, page 27
- Revealed in Starlight, page 131
- Revealed in Eclipse, page 176
- Revealed in Starlight, chapter 7
- Revealed in Starlight, chapter 22
- Revealed in Battles of the Clans, page 86
- Revealed in Starlight, page 317
- Revealed in Starlight, page 312
- Revealed in Firestar's Quest, allegiances
- Revealed in Starlight, page 118
- Revealed in Starlight, page 125
- Revealed in Starlight, page 127
- Revealed in Starlight, page 316
- Revealed in Starlight, page 124
- Revealed in Starlight, pages 314-315
- Revealed in The Ultimate Guide, page 13
- Revealed in Starlight, page 121
- Revealed in Starlight, page 122
- Revealed in Starlight, page 315
- Revealed in Starlight, page 318
- Revealed in Starlight, page 319
- Revealed in Eclipse, page 207
- Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 5
- Hawkfrost eventually defects to Onewhisker's side.