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"And yet I loved Bristlefrost. I tried not to love her. I knew I'd be betraying my Clan. I tried reasoning with myself, but it was impossible. When we got home, I was going to join ThunderClan to be with her. No warrior, no matter how brave and loyal they are, is strong enough to fight love."
— Rootspring to the cats of StarClan in A Light in the Mist, page 303

Rootspring is a fluffy[9] bright[10] yellow tom[1] with a broad head and shoulders,[11] a torn ear,[12] and sky-[13]blue eyes.[14][15]

Rootspring is a SkyClan warrior 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. He earned his warrior name of Rootspring after rescuing Shadowsight and joined the rebels to defeat the impostor's rule, who was revealed to be Ashfur. Rootspring and Bristlefrost admitted their feelings for each other, but relented that they belong in their separate Clans. Rootspring witnessed Ashfur drag Squirrelflight into the depths of the Moonpool, and after being dragged into the Dark Forest by Willowshine, Rootspring and Snowtuft helped Bramblestar and Squirrelflight escape. However, Rootspring was ambushed by the spirits of his former Clanmates, and Bristlefrost and Shadowsight rescued him. During the final fight against Ashfur, Rootspring decided to join ThunderClan to be with Bristlefrost, but she died killing Ashfur. After her death, Rootspring advocated for changes to be made to the warrior code for cats who love another in a different Clan.


Looking for a longer overview? Find one here!

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 impostor. His father teaches Rootpaw how to make ghosts appear for others, and Rootpaw makes peace with his powers.
After his warrior ceremony is delayed, Rootpaw realizes Bramblestar's ghost is missing and grows fearful for Shadowsight following his disappearance. He briefly trains as a medicine cat apprentice because of his powers, but chooses to remain a warrior apprentice. A spirit leads Rootpaw to Shadowsight's injured body, and Dewspring and Rootpaw bring him back to SkyClan to recover. He earns his warrior name of Rootspring for his bravery and works together with the rebels to defeat the impostor, who is revealed to be Ashfur. Rootspring and Bristlefrost admit their feelings for each other, and hope to one day be together. With several spirits still missing, Rootspring, Bristlefrost, Needleclaw and Spotfur venture to find the Sisters to see if they can help with their expertise. Along the way, Rootspring and Bristlefrost struggle to maintain their feelings for each other. The Sisters agree to come help the Clans, and Sunrise teaches Rootspring how to communicate with the earth. He assists the Sisters to summon the spirits, but to their horror, the spirits are aggressive and writhing in pain. Rootspring and Bristlefrost admit they're in love with each other, but both temporary accept they belong in their separate Clans. They comfort Squirrelflight when the Clan leaders attempt to kill Ashfur, and Rootspring follows Squirrelflight to the Moonpool where Ashfur kidnaps her into the Dark Forest.
After informing the Clans of Squirrelflight's abduction, Rootspring is kidnapped into the Dark Forest by the spirit of Willowshine, who was killed by Ashfur while trying to enter the afterlife through her dreams. He and Willowshine reunite with Squirrelflight, who had escaped Ashfur's grasp, but are later recaptured after it was revealed that Willowshine was under Ashfur's control. Rootspring manages to narrowly escape drowning in dangerous dark water, and works with Snowtuft, a Dark Forest cat, to save Squirrelflight and Bramblestar. They manage to reunite Bramblestar with his body, but in their attempt to leave the Dark Forest, Rootspring and Snowtuft are subdued by Ashfur's followers and then made to fight one another. Bristlefrost and Shadowsight rescue them, but Snowtuft is killed. They discover a physical barrier blocking StarClan from the Dark Forest with both afterlives disappearing, but the barrier weakens with hope. Rootspring is captured by Ashfur, but the wandering spirit of Firestar possesses his body and kills Darkstripe. Silverhawk agrees to help Rootspring save the Dark Forest. They reunite with Bristlefrost, Shadowsight, and StarClan, Dark Forest, and living cats, and confront Ashfur. In the final fight, Rootspring decides he's going to join ThunderClan to be with Bristlefrost. However, she sacrifices herself to save Shadowsight from Ashfur by flinging both herself and the dark warrior into the dark water, drowning them both. Both StarClan and the Dark Forest are saved, though Rootspring mourns greatly. When they return to the living, he is named a Light in the Mist for his role in saving the Clans, and advocates for changing to be made to the warrior code for cats who love another in a different Clan, wondering if he and Bristlefrost hadn't been stressing over that rule for moons, they could've gotten together sooner.

Character pixels

Official art

Killed victims

This list shows the victims Rootspring has killed:


Personality and Relationships

Rootspring is sensitive, determined, and strives to prove himself of his father's unorthodox reputation. He develops a crush on Bristlefrost after she saved him from the lake, and is the only cat who can see Bramblestar's apparition. For more of Rootspring's personality and relationships, click here!


Rootspring's parents are Tree and Violetshine, and his sister is Needleclaw. For more of Rootspring's family, click here!



Interesting facts

  • Rootspring has Sister blood through Tree.[18]
  • His warrior name was decided by fans through a poll with the options Rootspirit, Rootspring, Rootfall, and Rootwing.[19] Rootspring was the winning name.[20]
  • Similar to his kin, he has the ability to see the spirits of dead cats[21] and communicate with the earth.[22]
  • Rootspring is said to look like a tiny version of Tree.[23]

Author statements

  • Out of the Lost Stars protagonists, Rootspring is Cherith Baldry's favorite, citing his difficulties with his father and his potential to become "an outstanding cat."[24] Rootspring is also Kate Cary's favorite protagonist,[blog 1] and describes him as "a dear ❤".[blog 2]
  • Kate says that it is most likely Tree named Rootspring after Root.[blog 3]
  • Kate believes Rootspring to be short-furred.[blog 4]


  • He was mistakenly described with green eyes.[25]


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

See more
"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 The Silent Thaw, page 268

"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

"[Shadowsight] didn't run away. Some cat tried to kill him. Now do you think challenging Bramblestar is worth the risk?"
―Rootpaw to Leafstar Veil of Shadows, page 144

Rootspring: "I'm sorry for doubting you. But I didn't know what to think. If I didn't like you so much, I wouldn't have felt so angry when it looked like you had turned on me and the others."
Bristlefrost: "You like me? Even after...?"
Rootspring: "I can't help it."
Bristlefrost: "You know why that could never happen, right? This whole terrible situation the Clans are in is because of codebreaking—and that includes cats from different Clans getting together. That's always been against the warrior code."
Rootspring: "Yes, I know. That's why I would never had said anything...Does that mean you...you like me, too?"
Bristlefrost: "Yes...yes, I do have feelings for you. But what can we do about it? Nothing. There's no way it can go anywhere."
—Rootspring and Bristlefrost admitting their feelings for each other Veil of Shadows, pages 250-251

"Being important is overrated, if you ask me. [...] Am I ever going to get to be just a normal warrior?"
―Rootspring's thoughts Veil of Shadows, pages 280-281

"Sitting guard last night with Bristlefrost had made his fur tingle. It tingled now, despite the rain that slicked his pelt against his body. He reminded himself that they were just friends, but that didn't stop his heart leaping and racing like a playful kit. Far from the Clans, alone with the moon, the moment with Bristlefrost had seemed perfect."
―Rootspring's thoughts Darkness Within, page 143

Needleclaw: "You're thinking about her, aren't you? [...] I knew it! You have to get over her. You two can never happen."
Rootspring: "We're just friends."
Needleclaw: "Friends don't keep staring at each other like moonstruck rabbits. I should never have let you stand guard together last night. Did anything happen?"
Rootspring: "No. I told you, we're just friends."
Needleclaw: "When we get home, find a friend in your own Clan. If you keep trying to hang out with Bristlefrost, you'll both end up in trouble."
Rootspring: "But there's no cat like her. She's so strong, and she's been through so much. Beside, the warrior code might change. The Clans are working together more and more now. You never know, one day—"
Needleclaw: "You're fooling yourself and her if you think the Clans are ever going to allow you and Bristlefrost to be together."
—Needleclaw and Rootspring arguing about his friendship with Bristlefrost Darkness Within, pages 143-144

"Pressing harder, he closed his eyes, letting the scent of the earth reach through the stench of the weeds until it was all he could smell. He waited and wait, wondering. What was he supposed to be seeing? How was he going to figure out what he should do? He pressed down on the earth more firmly, and then felt his head being tugged to the left, as though gentle paws were pulling him by the ears. When he opened his eyes again, he was staring right at a small mound in the earth. Something was buried there, not far beneath the ground."
―Rootspring as he listens to the earth Darkness Within, page 227

Rootspring: "We need to make a choice. I can join ThunderClan, or you can join SkyClan. As long as we're together, I don't care which."
Bristlefrost: "You do care. I know you do. You know exactly which of us you think should leave our Clan. You're hoping I will leave ThunderClan."
Rootspring: "It's only natural that I'd prefer if if you joined SkyClan. My kin are here."
Bristlefrost: "My kin are in ThunderClan."
Rootspring: "But SkyClan is stronger. Stronger than it's ever been. ThunderClan has been torn apart by what happened with Ashfur. Your warriors are leaving. Your leader doesn't even have nine lives. What if ThunderClan never recovers from this?"
Bristlefrost: "That's not a reason to leave. It's a reason to stay. Do you really think I could abandon my Clan when it's in trouble? If Bramblestar is really gone and the Clans kill his body, Squirrelflight will be grieving. How can I leave her to hold ThunderClan together all by herself? And I promised Spotfur I'd help raise her kits. You saw how scared she was. She'll need me. Don't you see? I need to stay in ThunderClan. So? The question is, would you be willing to leave SkyClan to join me?"
Rootspring: "I'll have to think about it."
Bristlefrost: "I understand. It's a big decision. Take as much time as you need."
—Rootspring and Bristlefrost discussing whether or not to leave their Clans Darkness Within, pages 273-274

Unknown: "There's going to be a fight!"
Rootspring: "I can't fight them! I'm outnumbered."
Unknown: "It's okay. I'll fight them. I've been a warrior for far longer than you. I can win this. Let me take over your body and I'll get us out of here. Trust me, I'm not Ashfur. I want to get you to safety so you can save Bristlefrost."
Rootspring: "How do I know you're not lying?"
Unknown: "Why would I lie to the cat who saved my daughter and her mate?"
Rootspring: "Firestar?"
Firestar: "Yes. Have you heard of me? I won't let any harm come to you. But you have to trust me. I want to save you, and Bristlefrost, and all the other cats threatened by Ashfur."
Rootspring: "You can take over my body...just for a little while."
—Rootspring and the voice in his head A Light in the Mist, pages 150-151

"Rootspring dropped onto his belly and pressed his muzzle to the ground. He would listen to the earth. It would tell him where she was. If he reached deep enough, he could find her. He'd done it before beside the lake. The Sisters had taught him to sense, through the deepest energy of the earth, any cat connected to him. Closing his eyes, he felt for her. The warmth of her spirit must be somewhere, and he'd find it. He had to. But the ground betrayed nothing except the coldness of the Dark Forest. Rootspring felt the emptiness like unendurable pain. Bristlefrost hadn't only lost her life; she'd lost her chance to live on in StarClan. He would never see her again. She was gone from his life, and his only wish now was that his own spirit would seep into the earth and join her."
―Rootspring after Bristlefrost's death A Light in the Mist (book), page 271

"I loved Bristlefrost. I was going to join ThunderClan to be with her. But I never got a chance to tell her that. She died believing that I'd chosen by Clan over her, and I will never see her again or have a chance to let her know she was more important to me than even by own Clan. I don't need your pity. I just want things to change. If I hadn't spent so long trying to choose between by Clan and Bristlefrost, we could have spent what little time we had left together. Instead we spent it torturing ourselves over where our true loyalties lay. My loyalty would always have been with her, and if it meant moving to her Clan, then my loyalty would have been with her Clan, because what was important to her was important to me."
―Rootspring about Bristlefrost A Light in the Mist (book), page 330

External links

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Lost Stars, allegiances
  2. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 74
  3. Revealed in A Light in the Mist, page 328
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Lost Stars, page 17
  5. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 173
  6. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 49
  7. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, pages 68-71
  8. Revealed in Veil of Shadows, page 48
  9. Revealed in A Light in the Mist, page 151
  10. Revealed in A Light in the Mist, page 209
  11. Revealed in Darkness Within, page 125
  12. Revealed in A Light in the Mist, page 31
  13. Revealed in A Light in the Mist, page 265
  14. Revealed in The Place of No Stars, page 192
  15. Revealed in A Light in the Mist, page 15
  16. Revealed in A Light in the Mist, page 157
  17. Revealed in A Light in the Mist, page 240
  18. Revealed in Thunder and Shadow: Bonus Scene, page 11
  19. Warriors Fan Vote on the Warriors official website (backup link)
  20. Warriors Fan Vote Results on the Warriors official website (backup link)
  21. Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, page 170
  22. Revealed in Darkness Within, page 227
  23. Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, page 43
  24. Writing Lost Stars on the Warriors official website (backup link)
  25. Revealed in Darkness Within, page 208

Author references