This page contains Rootpaw's personality and relationships. It contains conjecture due to being based off of general novel themes, and all statements must be sourced.
Rootpaw is a very sensitive cat; he often feels embarrassed about his past mistakes and wishes he wasn't so easily affected by other cat's opinions of him. Because of his father's unorthodox nature, Rootpaw feels he has to prove his place in SkyClan as a true warrior, and is overjoyed whenever earning the respect of his Clan.
"But you're one of the greatest cats I've ever met. You saved my life when my own Clanmates were too scared even to try [...] you'll be one of the warriors who gets your Clan back on its paws. I'm sure of it."
—Rootpaw encouraging Bristlefrost Lost Stars, pages 185-186
Rootpaw and Bristlefrost first met when the ThunderClan she-cat, then an apprentice named Bristlepaw, saved him from drowning in the lake. He was nursed back to health in ThunderClan, visited often by Bristlepaw. He admired her bravery, feeling her strength and courage inspiring him to recover. Wishing to repay her, Rootpaw was granted permission from Leafstar to bring Bristlepaw a vole. However, she was embarrassed by his gesture and tried to refuse, ultimately accepting it for the elders. Afterward, Rootpaw feared his Clan had lost respect for him and knew of his feelings for her. When the two met again, Bristlefrost, now a warrior, apologized for her negative reaction and asked for his forgiveness. They reconciled, and Rootpaw praised her for being a wonderful warrior, comforting the she-cat after her failed romance with Stemleaf. When Rootpaw begins to show more interest in Bristlefrost and even sneaks into ThunderClan to see her, Bristlefrost is annoyed at him for tarnishing her reputation. Unbeknownst to her, Rootpaw was using seeing her as an excuse to deliver a message to Squirrelflight from Bramblestar's ghost. When Bristlefrost discovers that her leader is an imposter, she decides her help Rootpaw in reinstating Bramblestar as leader of ThunderClan and outing the imposter.
"You should try not to worry what your Clanmates think. If you're true to yourself, you'll prove them all wrong."
—Needlepaw comforting Rootpaw Lost Stars, pages 64-65
Needlepaw is Rootpaw's sister, and the two have a positive relationship; he is playful with her during training sessions, but feels shameful when his sister learns quicker than him. She encourages her brother and urges him not to listen to Kitepaw and Turtlepaw's teasing. Needlepaw compelled her brother to confide in her when Kitepaw teased him about being Tree's son, reminding him that their father held a special job as mediator. While Rootpaw knew she was right in saying not to care about what their Clanmates think and stay true to himself, he doubts his problems will go away that simply. When Rootpaw begins to act weird and seems to be talking to someone who isn’t there, Needlepaw tries to get her brother to confide in her, but Rootpaw does not tell her about Bramblestar’s ghost for her own protection.
"This is why you should be your own cat. Like it or not, you have a different ancestry from most other young cats in SkyClan. The way of the warrior is not the only way, and you should be grateful for the chance to see that. There's more to life than fighting and showing yourself off as a strong cat. It's not always about who is the biggest and bravest."
—Tree giving advice to Rootpaw Lost Stars, page 60
Tree is Rootpaw's father, but his foreignness to Clan customs often embarrasses Rootpaw, who feels Tree is content not to belong. Tree wishes his son would be his own cat and not be too obedient towards his mentor, leading Rootpaw to wonder why, with his strong opinions on Clan life, Tree had stayed with the Clans for so long. Though Rootpaw feels guilty about it, he sometimes wishes he had a different cat for a father. He worries that other cats think he'll turn out strange like his father; however, he is impressed by his father's strange method of pretending to be a bush to catch prey. When Rootpaw begins to be visited by Bramblestar’s ghost, he seeks help from Tree, who helps Rootpaw by pretending to be the one talking to and summoning the ghost so that Rootpaw does not have to reveal that he can see it.
Since Rootpaw is the only one who can see Bramblestar’s ghost, Bramblestar often begs Rootpaw to help him get back to his body. Rootpaw is frightened by the ghost, and tries to avoid it. However, when it does not go away, Rootpaw realizes that he has to do something to help it. He agrees to take a message to Squirrelflight, and is helped by Tree in revealing the ghost to Tigerstar and ShadowClan. Rootpaw and Tree are now trying to reinstate Bramblestar as ThunderClan’s leader and oust the imposter.
"Violetshine was pretty normal, he supposed, always calm and collected — except over Needletail."
—Rootpaw thinking about his mother Lost Stars, page 276
Violetshine is Rootpaw's mother. She was proud when her kits were apprenticed and acted lovingly towards her son when he showed skill as a hunter. Rootpaw considers his mom normal, but notes that she refuses to tell them about Needletail.
Dewspring was appointed as Rootpaw's mentor, though because the apprentice did not start his training on a high note, Rootpaw feared Dewspring would always be disappointed in him. Dewspring believed Rootpaw was smarter than to fall for Kitepaw and Turtlepaw's teasing, and was further frustrated with his apprentice when Rootpaw fails to recite simple aspects of the warrior code. However, he praised his apprentice when he began to excel as a hunter, and watched happily when Rootpaw learned from his past mistakes in battle training. When Rootpaw’s interest in Bristlefrost and his constant distraction by Bramblestar’s ghost begins to interfere with his training, Dewspring is confused and disappointed that he has to delay his apprentice’s warrior ceremony because of this. He tries to convince Rootpaw not to be interested in Bristlefrost, and even talks to Leafstar about these recent developments in Rootpaw’s training.
When Rootpaw was first apprenticed, Kitepaw and Turtlepaw often teased him about his father, and on one occasion, caused the apprentice fall into the lake. While Bristlepaw insisted that he shouldn't listen to their teasing, Rootpaw feelt guilty that the two apprentices had been punished, blaming himself in part for the accident. Kitepaw was angry when confronted about by Rootpaw, calling him foolish and comparing him to his father, but Turtlepaw tried to be pleasant. Rootpaw offered to share his catch with them in an attempt to make amends, which they accepted. Turtlepaw comforted Rootpaw's fears about disappointing Dewspring, and Kitepaw admitted to Rootpaw that he was impressed when Rootpaw stood up to their teasing.