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"Few are welcome here, in our world of secrets and darkness. We are a Clan of cunning and cleverness, a Clan well suited to the shadows of the cold north wind. No other Clan can walk the paths of night like we do. Other Clans may be faster or stronger, but we are the most dangerous warriors: fierce, proud, and independent. We are ruthlessly willing to do what it takes to protect our great Clan. There won't be any softhearted alliances here! ShadowClan will always be the dark heart of the forest."
Blackstar about ShadowClan in Secrets of the Clans, page 55

ShadowClan is a group of cats that live in the marshlands and pines of the forest.[1] Their founding leader, Shadowstar, was the first ever leader prior to the group being named. By extension, the prefix "Shadow" was thought to be given to the Clan.[2]


ShadowClan are proud, loyal, defensive, and slightly arrogant. They often seem to be misunderstood and said by the other Clans as battle-hungry, aggressive, ambitious, and greedy for more territory. It was often told when the Clans were in the forest, that the cold north wind of the mountains chilled the ShadowClan warriors' hearts.[1] However, as Rock states in Cats of the Clans, ShadowClan has the smallest amount of territory and prey, which may justify their willingness to add anything to the fresh-kill pile.[3] Even though their fierce warriors and hostile leaders gave ShadowClan its reputation, their leader Dawnstar led Firestar to believe ShadowClan was not always as unfair and cruel as they seem now.[4] Their main prey is reptiles and amphibians, such as lizards and frogs. A secret food source is the carrionplace, though they are careful not to eat crow-food.[1] They also hunt rats from this area when prey is scarce.[5] ShadowClan cats hunt best at night and are better than others at sneaking through undergrowth. In battle, ShadowClan cats use shadows as an advantage to fighting.[1]


In the forest territories

The ShadowClan forest territory is located in an area that Twolegs have no specific name for. The territory also includes Twoleg places such as Windover Road, and the North Allerton Amenity Tip, and the North Allerton Road.[6] Landmarks in this territory include:

  • Camp - A dark, well-concealed hollow hidden deep in shadows. It is surrounded by prickly and fierce brambles.[7]
  • Carrionplace - The cats' name for a landfill, an evil place where numerous rats and diseases lurk.[7]
  • Thunderpath tunnel - ShadowClan cats move freely under the most feared part of the Thunderpath. This has enhanced their reputation for mysterious strength and invincibility.[7] The tunnel goes into ThunderClan and WindClan territory.
  • Burnt sycamore - An ancient tree struck by lightning many moons ago. Apprentices are trained here to hunt at night and stalk through undergrowth.[7]

The forest is quite different on ShadowClan's side of the Thunderpath. Instead of thick trees, there are more pine needles. The camp is protected by brambles, and the entrance is through a tiny path. There is hardly any grass, but the ground is muddy and cool. The leader's den is beneath the roots of a big oak tree. The warriors' den is under a bramble bush. The den looks prickly on the outside, but on the inside, it is lined with pine needles and moss.[8] There is a smooth boulder at the edge of the clearing, known as Clanrock,[9] which serves as a higher place for the leader to address the camp. Propped up next to this large rock is another rock, and it creates a sheltered cave underneath. It is the medicine cat's den. Sick cats can rest in the ferns surrounding the boulder. There is another hollow shielded by a thorn bush. This is the nursery, and the thorn bush provides protection.[10]

In the lake territories

The ShadowClan lake territory is located in an area that Twolegs call the Sadler Woods. The territory also includes Twoleg places such as the Hareview Campsite, the Sanctuary Cottage, and borders called Littlepine Road and the Littlepine Sailing Center.[11] Landmarks in this territory include:

  • Camp - Closer to Twolegs than in the old forest territory, but it is well hidden and difficult for attacking enemies.[12]
  • Twoleg nest - Home to two aggressive kittypets: Susan and Jacques. If they catch Clan cats out alone, they attack immediately.[12]
  • Twoleg path - During greenleaf, Twolegs tramp along these paths all season.[12]
  • Greenleaf Twolegplace - Another place Twolegs inhabit during greenleaf. The Twolegs put up small dens and light terrifying fires. However, they also leave behind food much like the food found at the old Carrionplace.[12]

The camp has a small pool nearby, so the cats don't have to go all the way to the bottom of the lake to fetch water for elders or the medicine cats.[13] The actual camp is in a tangle of brambles, with low-hanging branches and boulders all around and above it. These brambles and branches help protect against badgers and other big creatures. Many trees surround the camp, enabling cats to climb up them and see the activities of the Twolegs on water. From these trees, the cats can see all the Twolegs and their water-monsters in the water. The entrance of the camp is through a thorn tunnel, and brambles. At the camp entrance is a large boulder, which cats have to slip past to enter the camp clearing. In the middle of the camp, a large patch of fern grows. There is a clear progression of dens from one side of the clearing to the other which are all in bramble thickets. The nursery is first, then the apprentices, then warriors,[14] then the leader, and finally the elders at the end of the circle. This structure enables the kits and elders closest to the low-hanging branches and the warriors facing the entrance, if any kind of trouble.[15] The medicine den is in a far corner, beyond the leader's den. It is a sandy, hollowed-out floor covered in dried pine needles.[16] There, the branches are not so bunched together, letting the medicine cats examine the skies for omens.[15] Above the leader's den, there is a hazel branch that hangs over.[17] This serves as a kind of vantage point for the leader to address their Clan.[15]



ShadowClan's founder and first-ever leader, Shadowstar formed her group in the marshes of the old forest, and was a wise, collected, and determined cat. She was the first leader to ever lose all nine of her lives. Her deputies were her nephew, Sun Shadow, and Raven Pelt. Pebble Heart was her medicine cat.
When Sun Shadow and herself are killed by dogs, leaving her one life left, Shadowstar begins to grow paranoid about the fact that a cat wanted her dead, noting the amber eyes she had seen before dying. Growing distrustful of her Clanmates and the other Clans, she tries to find out who had killed her and her nephew while keeping the sight of the pair of amber eyes a secret. Shadowstar eventually admits her fear of ShadowClan crumbling when she dies permanently. After postponing naming her new deputy, she appoints Raven Pelt as Sun Shadow's successor and discovers it was Quick Water who tried killing her before. She goes to war with SkyClan and she and Quick Water kill each other in a fight. Both she-cats forgive one another in StarClan afterward.
Years later, when ShadowClan is annexed into SkyClan, Shadowstar appears before the other spirits of StarClan, demanding that ShadowClan be saved, and that there must always be five Clans.


Cedarstar is the leader of ShadowClan after Houndstar. His deputies were Stonetooth and Raggedpelt, and his medicine cats were Sagewhisker and Yellowfang.
Cedarstar leads his Clan for many moons. He is more tolerant of outsiders than most, and allows Red and Boulder to join his Clan, proving himself to be a wise leader. He led battles against WindClan and the rats in Carrionplace. He allowed Yellowfang to become a medicine cat, even though he was dubious at first. He also voices concern and disapproval over the personality and character of Brokenkit, purposefully giving him the mentor of Nightpelt to try and balance the aggressive tom's personality.
He is later succeeded by Raggedpelt after he dies of an unknown illness, where he ascends to StarClan and voices displeasure over the leadership of the tyrant Brokenstar.


Raggedstar is the leader of ShadowClan after Cedarstar. His deputies were Foxheart, Cloudpelt, and Brokentail, and his medicine cat was Yellowfang, the cat who he had fallen love with.
Raggedstar was a bold and fierce leader. After his former mate, Yellowfang, gives birth to Hopekit, Wishkit, and Brokenkit, she informs him that the two she-kits, Hopekit and Wishkit, died and that Brokenkit is his son. Raggedstar forces Yellowfang to forget she gave birth to the kits, and gives Brokenkit to Lizardstripe to raise. Raggedstar is very proud and supportive of his son, even when he shows violent and unruly behavior at Gatherings. He makes Brokenpaw a warrior early, and when Cloudpelt dies under mysterious circumstances, he makes Brokentail deputy, even though this breaks the warrior code as Brokentail never trained an apprentice.
This turns out to be Raggedstar’s fatal mistake. Brokentail murders his own father in cold blood, causing him to bleed out all nine of his lives at once. Brokenstar then receives his nine lives and becomes leader.


Brokenstar is the leader of ShadowClan after his father Raggedstar. His deputy was Blackfoot, and his medicine cats were Yellowfang and Runningnose.
Born in secret to Yellowfang and Raggedstar, Brokenstar grew up neglected and abused by his foster mother Lizardstripe, and spoiled by Raggedstar. After becoming his father's deputy, Brokenstar affirmed his leadership by killing Raggedstar, taking all his nine lives away in order to fuel his greed. His reign quickly established him as a tyrant, abusing the warrior code for his benefit. He apprentices kits before their sixth moon, forces WindClan out of their home to seize more territory, steals kits from ThunderClan, exiles the Clan elders, and exiles his medicine cat, Yellowfang. He kills cats and shows no remorse over it. His greed and power had no end in sight until ShadowClan rose up against him with the assistance of ThunderClan, forcing him out with his most devoted followers.
Brokenstar lingers around Clan territory and attacks ThunderClan, which results in him being blinded by Yellowfang. He briefly becomes a ThunderClan elder until Yellowfang poisons him with deathberries. He then goes to the Place of No Stars in his death. He serves as one of its leaders until his spirit is killed for good by Yellowfang.


Nightstar is the leader of ShadowClan after Brokenstar is exiled. His deputies were Cinderfur and Runningnose, and his medicine cat was Runningnose.
Nightstar is a sickly and weak leader. StarClan refuses to grant him nine lives, as Brokentail still lives. Nightstar is constantly coughing, and is too weak to leave his den, so Runningnose takes over most of the leader, deputy, and medicine cat duties. However, he does attack ThunderClan when he learns that they are harboring Brokentail.
Nightstar’s sickness just gets worse and worse, until he eventually dies and ShadowClan is left without a leader.


Tigerstar is the leader of ShadowClan after Nightstar. His deputy was Blackfoot, and his medicine cats were Runningnose and Littlecloud.
After being banished from ThunderClan for trying to murder Bluestar, Tigerclaw sees an opportunity in the weakened and leaderless ShadowClan. He charms them by bringing them prey and helping with deputy duties, until ShadowClan begs for him to become leader. He gladly steps up and receives his nine lives.
Tigerstar’s tactics are brutal and bloody. He introduces many of his rogue followers into ShadowClan, including the followers of Brokentail who were banished. He has cats train for battle constantly, and with claws unsheathed. He forms an alliance with BloodClan, a group of rogues living in Twolegplace and led by Scourge.
Tigerstar yearns for revenge on ThunderClan. He forms TigerClan, a combination of ShadowClan and RiverClan. He orders Half-Clan cats to be killed, and succeeds in killing Stonefur. He builds a pile of prey-bones, breaking the warrior code. He promises Leopardstar that when he conquers all four Clans, they will rule as joint leaders. However, Leopardstar is horrified when Tigerstar kills her own deputy Stonefur, and no longer allies with him.
After gathering his forces and forming alliances, Tigerstar plans to attack ThunderClan and WindClan, who have banded together to form LionClan, with the combined might of ShadowClan and BloodClan. Tigerstar’s plan almost succeeds, but he is betrayed by Scourge, who brutally kills him by ripping out all nine of his lives at once.
Tigerstar goes to the Dark Forest, where he becomes one of its leaders. He haunts the dreams of his descendants, including Brambleclaw, Hawkfrost, Lionblaze, and Tigerheart. He teaches them dirty battle moves, and encourages them to overthrow their leaders and rule the forest. He leads the Dark Forest cats into an attack on the living Clans, where his tyranny is finally ended when he is killed for good by Firestar.


Blackstar takes up the mantle of leadership after Tigerstar. His deputies were Russetfur and Rowanclaw, and his medicine cats were Runningnose, Littlecloud, and Flametail.
Blackstar has one of the longest known leaderships, ruling for a little under nine years. He is a proud and independent leader. When a loner named Sol comes to the Clans, he convinces Blackstar to turn his back on StarClan, and the whole of ShadowClan loses faith in their ancestors. Things stay this way until Lionblaze and Hollyleaf fake a sign from StarClan, reigniting Blackstar’s faith. When his deputy, Russetfur, dies in a border skirmish with ThunderClan, he appoints Rowanclaw as his new deputy.
After the events of The Great Battle, Blackstar believes that all the Clans should always work together and never fight. He is surprised when the Clans battle each other, and desperately tries to cling to the unionship the Clans had during the battle with the Dark Forest. Every Gathering, he lists off all the names of the cats who died in the Great Battle, and this quickly becomes annoying for the other leaders to deal with.
During his last days as leader, Blackstar is frail and listless, not willing to do much of anything. He dies in a flood soon after Bramblestar is made leader of ThunderClan, and Rowanclaw becomes leader. Blackstar spends the rest of his days in StarClan, where he is strong and healthy once more.


Rowanstar succeeded Blackstar after the latter’s death. Rowanstar's deputies were Crowfrost, Tigerheart, and Tawnypelt, while his Medicine cats were Littlecloud and Puddleshine, and he reigned for just about two and a half years.
While his leadership started out promising, many of ShadowClan's younger members longed for the days of the older ShadowClan, when the Clan was feared. This allowed Darktail to appeal to them and eventually caused several members to leave ShadowClan in favor of joining his kin. Rowanstar's leadership failing, he struggled to lead his Clan through the yellowcough plague, an epidemic that cost him three cats, including Crowfrost, his deputy. After choosing Tigerheart as his successor, Darktail usurped leadership from Rowanstar, and ShadowClan turned against their leader, forcing him, Tawnypelt and Tigerheart to seek shelter in ThunderClan.
After the Kin were driven out, Rowanstar tried to help ShadowClan rebuild and grow stronger, but he had lost the respect of his clanmates, who turned to Tigerheart for leadership instead. Rowanstar struggled with his leadership to the point of making the ultimate decision of annexing ShadowClan into SkyClan, reverting back to his warrior name and deeming himself a failure, and returning what lives he had to StarClan. When offered the position of ShadowClan's leader again, he turned it down, having lost confidence in himself, and instead vouched for Tawnypelt to become the leader. He is later killed saving Flaxkit and Hopkit, and just before his death, he tells Tawnypelt that their son, Tigerheart, will return for ShadowClan. He appears in StarClan and gives Tigerheart his first life, and is now reunited with Dawnpelt and Flametail, his other deceased children.
While most cats remember him as the leader who allowed his Clan be taken over by rogues, and even gave up his own leadership, he is remembered more fondly by his kin as a kind individual who wanted the best for his birth Clan.


Tigerstar is the leader of ShadowClan after Rowanstar, his father. Tigerstar's deputies were Tawnypelt, Juniperclaw, and currently Cloverfoot, and his medicine cats are Puddleshine and Shadowsight. He shares his name with his maternal grandfather and past leader of ShadowClan, Tigerstar.
He was one of the children of Rowanclaw and Tawnypelt, having served as a warrior for many moons before being appointed the successor to Crowfrost in the aftermath of the yellowcough plague. He followed his parents to seek shelter in ThunderClan, rekindling a past romance he had with Dovewing. He struggled to balance being the leader ShadowClan seemed to think he was, and not trying to undermine his father for leadership. When Dovewing reveals she is pregnant, Tigerheart leaves ShadowClan to go be with her, fathering Shadowsight, Lightleap, and Pouncestep with her. He gains leadership skills from his brief time with the guardian cats, and decides to return to his Clan after a few moons, taking four members from the group to join his Clan. On his journey home, he runs into four ShadowClan warriors that left the Clan during Darktail’s rule; Berryheart, Sparrowtail, Cloverfoot, and Slatefur. They join him on his patrol back to ShadowClan. Tigerheart dies saving a kit from an owl, and briefly goes to StarClan where he is resurrected by them with eight lives to lead and reinstate the fallen ShadowClan.
Now focused on rebuilding his Clan, Tigerstar appoints Tawnypelt his deputy, but she steps down, causing him to appoint his sister's son, Juniperclaw, in her place. He affirms his place as a leader and grows aggressive towards SkyClan, pushing harder and harder to make his Clan strong again. In a last-ditch effort to get rid of SkyClan without a battle, Juniperclaw goes behind his back and poisons SkyClan's prey pile. While Tigerstar denies the claims of Juniperclaw's actions initially, he is shocked when his nephew admits to it and demotes him back to a warrior, appointing Cloverfoot in his place. He apologizes to SkyClan as he was so focused on making his Clan whole again, he forgot there needed to be five Clans at the lake.
When the new borders prove to be ineffective, Tigerstar demands they be readjusted so his Clan can eat properly. When the Sisters come around and maim Strikestone, Tigerstar's nephew, he grows livid and demands they be forced out, becoming much angrier and helping lead the battle to drive them out.
When Bramblestar begins demanding the other Clans to deal with their ‘Codebreakers’, Tigerstar refuses to let a ThunderClan leader tell ShadowClan what to do. He outright opposes Bramblestar, and when he learns that an impostor is possessing Bramblestar’s body, he agrees to help oust the impostor and restore the real Bramblestar, and shelters Squirrelflight in his camp after she is exiled. He, along with Squirrelflight, help lead the rebel group to depose of the impostor. During a battle with the impostor, Tigerstar fights him one-on-one and nearly kills him, but after being convinced by Squirrelflight, he takes the impostor prisoner instead.

History of ranks

Name Gained rank in... Left rank in... Deputies...
Shadowstar Path of Stars Shadowstar's Life Sun Shadow, Raven Pelt
Raven Pelt Shadowstar's Life Before "The Beginning of the Warrior Code" Unknown
Hollystar Before "The Beginning of the Warrior Code" Before "Finders Keepers" Unknown
Brindlestar Before "Finders Keepers" Before "Mouse Games" Lakestorm
Lilystar Before "Mouse Games" Before "The Queens Unite" Sunnytail
Blizzardstar Before "The Queens Unite" Before "A Sign from StarClan" Unknown
Snowstar Before "A Sign from StarClan" Before "A Sign from StarClan" Brightwhisker
Brightwhisker Before "A Sign from StarClan" "A Sign from StarClan" None
Flowerstar "A Sign from StarClan" Before "The Vanishing Moon" Unknown
Ripplestar Before "The Vanishing Moon" "The Vanishing Moon" Marshscar
Marshscar "The Vanishing Moon" Before "Darkstar's Law" Unknown
Yellowstar Before "Darkstar's Law" Before "The Leader Who Sought Peace" Unknown
Sedgestar Before "The Leader Who Sought Peace" Before Cloudstar's Journey Unknown
Dawnstar Before Cloudstar's Journey Before Goosefeather's Curse Snaketail
Houndstar Before Goosefeather's Curse Before Yellowfang's Secret Cedarpelt
Cedarstar Before Yellowfang's Secret Yellowfang's Secret Stonetooth, Raggedpelt
Raggedstar Yellowfang's Secret Yellowfang's Secret Foxheart, Cloudpelt, Brokentail
Brokenstar Yellowfang's Secret Into the Wild Blackfoot
Nightstar Fire and Ice Tigerclaw's Fury Cinderfur
Runningnose (temporary) Tigerclaw's Fury Tigerclaw's Fury Himself
Tigerstar Tigerclaw's Fury The Darkest Hour Blackfoot
Blackstar The Darkest Hour Bramblestar's Storm Russetfur, Rowanclaw
Rowanstar Bramblestar's Storm Darkest Night Crowfrost, Tigerheart, Tawnypelt
Tigerstar Tigerheart's Shadow - Tawnypelt, Juniperclaw, Cloverfoot

Official art


Interesting facts

Author statements

  • Although Vicky doesn't think that ShadowClan has a particular regional accent, she imagines several of them to sound like the British actor Alan Rickman.[19]
  • Kate says the general size of ShadowClan cats are medium and large.[20]

See also

External links

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 55
  2. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 6
  3. Revealed in Cats of the Clans, page 30
  4. Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 493
  5. Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, chapter 8
  6. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, pages 82-83
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 56
  8. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 57
  9. Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, chapter 2
  10. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 58
  11. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 86
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 59
  13. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 60
  14. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 61
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 62
  16. Revealed in Night Whispers, page 59
  17. Revealed in Night Whispers, page 64
  18. Revealed in Path of Stars, page 304
  19. Revealed on Vicky's Facebook
  20. Revealed on Kate's Blog