"Even when the spirits of dead cats can't speak to those they love…They can still see us. They surround us all the time. How would they feel if they saw us turn on one another in their name?"
— Rootpaw at a Gathering in The Silent Thaw, page 268

Rootpaw is a yellow tom[1] with blue eyes.[3]

Rootpaw is an apprentice of SkyClan under the leadership of Leafstar in the lake territories. He was born as Rootkit to Violetshine and Tree, along with his sister Needlekit. Upon becoming an apprentice named Rootpaw, Dewspring was assigned as his mentor. Rootpaw developed a crush on the ThunderClan warrior Bristlefrost after she rescued him from the lake, and discovered he could see ghosts after seeing the spirit of Bramblestar begging for help. Using his ability, Rootpaw informed the Clans that the cat leading ThunderClan was an impostor of Bramblestar.


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The Broken Code

"Why should I care? Let Tree think what he likes. It doesn't matter to me. […] He tells me to be my own cat, but here he is, living under rules he doesn't believe in. Which of us is being more true to himself? I know it's wrong, but sometimes I wish I had a different cat for a father."
—Rootpaw's thoughts about Tree Lost Stars, page 60
Rootkit is the son of Tree and Violetshine, and his sister is Needlekit. He is apprenticed to Dewspring, and struggles to break free of his father's reputation, terrified he'll turn out like Tree. After being cajoled into the lake by Kitepaw and Turtlepaw, Rootpaw is rescued by the ThunderClan warrior Bristlefrost, whom he grows to admire. After Bramblestar is revived, Rootpaw discovers his spirit in the woods and runs away in fear as the ghost calls for help. Rootpaw discovers only he can see Bramblestar's spirit much to his displeasure. With the help of the ghost and Tree, Rootpaw convinces Squirrelflight, Bristlefrost, and ShadowClan that the cat ruling ThunderClan is an imposter. His father teaches Rootpaw how to make ghosts appear for others, though Tree covers for him. Rootpaw makes peace with his powers as long as no one else knows about them.


Interesting facts

  • Rootpaw has Sister blood through Tree[4] and kittypet ancestry through his great-grandparents.[5][6]
  • Rootpaw will receive his warrior name in Veil of Shadows.[7] The choice for Rootpaw's warrior name was left in the hands of the fans through a poll with the options Rootspirit, Rootspring, Rootfall, and Rootwing.[3] Rootspring was the winning name.[7]
  • Similar to his kin, he has the ability to see the spirits of dead cats.[8] However, it is made apparent that only Rootpaw himself is able to see the Bramblestar's ghost on his own.[9]
  • Rootpaw is said to look like a tiny version of Tree.[10]

Author statements

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Official art

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Rootpaw's apprentice ceremony
Leafstar: From this day forward, this apprentice will be known as Rootpaw. Dewspring, you are an efficient and loyal cat. You'll be Rootpaw's mentor, and I know you'll pass your excellent qualities onto him.
Everyone: Rootpaw! Rootpaw!
Reference: Lost Stars, pages 17-18



Rootpaw: "It's just…I just…I wish cats would take me a bit more seriously, that's all. Because our father's not a warrior or a medicine cat, just some weirdo who talks to dead cats—"
Needlepaw: "And the mediator for all five Clans. That's important."
Rootpaw: "Except there's been nothing to mediate lately. And the Clans have never had a mediator before. It's just one more way that Tree doesn't fit into regular Clan life, and another reason the other apprentices don't see us as true members of SkyClan."
Needlepaw: "Now, that is mouse-brained. Why would they think that?"
Rootpaw: "I can sort of understand it. When Tree is settling disputes, he's supposed to be impartial, and that means sometimes he'll rule against SkyClan. It's so frustrating! If other cats feel our father isn't a real Clan cat, it means I have to work twice as hard to convince them that I'm a loyal member of SkyClan. That's what set me off before, charging at Kitepaw and Turtlepaw."
Needlepaw: "I have the same father. But I just tell the other apprentices to keep their paws out of my business, and they leave me alone. They only tease you because you let them see it bothers you. […] You should try not to worry what your Clanmates think. If you're true to yourself, you'll prove them all wrong. I'm sure of it."
—Rootpaw and Needlepaw about their father and Clan gossip Lost Stars, page 65

Rootpaw: "Do you think I can do something about it? Because I can't. I'm not a medicine cat. I'm not even a warrior yet. I don't even know why you keep following me. There must be another cat who can help you."
Bramblestar's ghost: "I've tried to find one. But you're the only cat who can see me."
Rootpaw: "Why me?"
Bramblestar's ghost: "Perhaps you're the only one who can help me."
—Rootpaw speaking with Bramblestar's ghost The Silent Thaw, page 95

Squirrelflight: "Quick. I don't have long. Were you telling the truth about Bramblestar's message? Tell me!"
Rootpaw: "Y-Yes!"
Squirrelflight: "Why should I believe you?"
Bramblestar's ghost: "Tell her that after the battle with the Sisters, we sat here in this clearing, looking up at the stars, wondering which one was Leafpool. She said it didn't matter, because Leafpool would always be watching over ThunderClan."
Squirrelflight: "Don't just stare into space! Tell me why I should believe you!"
Rootpaw: "After the battle you...You were here with Bramblestar and you were looking at the stars, wondering which one was Leafpool, but it didn't matter because she would always be watching over you."
Squirrelflight: "He's really a ghost?"
Rootpaw: "He's here now. He can't get back into his body because some other spirit is there."
—Squirrelflight confronting Rootpaw about Bramblestar's ghost The Silent Thaw, pages 186-187

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"Of course I won't. It's hopeless. I'd never break the code, nor would Bristlefrost. But it doesn't stop me liking her. She's the bravest, most loyal warrior I know."
—Rootpaw about his feelings for Bristlefrost The Silent Thaw, page 274

Rootpaw: "What if I can't make it appear this time?"
Tree: "You'll be fine. Just do what I told you…"
Rootpaw: "What if I'm not strong enough?"
Tree: "You're stronger than you think. And it'll be easier this time. He's your ghost, and he wants to come. You just have to open the way."
—Tree encouraging Rootpaw to use his powers The Silent Thaw, pages 305-306

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Notes and references

Author references

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