Sunningrocks is a rock formation in the old forest located on the eastern shore of the river.[3] It is often the source of conflict between RiverClan and ThunderClan due to its uses as both a place for cats to bask in the sun,[1] and to hunt prey.[4]


Sunningrocks is located to the east of the river in the forest territories, near RiverClan and ThunderClan territory. Due to its location, Sunningrocks often switches ownership between the two Clans over conflict.[5] Sunningrocks itself is a large, flat, granite rock formation[6] that is in full view of the sun. Sunningrocks has a sheer side that shadows of the river.[7] The flat rocks are a desirable location for cats to sunbathe and rest.[1] Between where Sunningrocks and the forest meet there is said to be an abundance of prey nearby.[4]


Sunningrocks is a highly concentrated area for battles.[5] Most conflicts have spanned since the leaderships of Pinestar and Hailstar,[8] and ended during Firestar and Leopardstar's.[9] However, the conflicts spanning before Firestar joined the Clans,[8][10] were more frequent and constant.[11] It was during Bluestar and Crookedstar's leaderships, though that one battle led to the deaths of the both of their deputies.[12] This brought further conflict that continued for seasons,[13] until ThunderClan would hold their claim on Sunningrocks until the forest begins changing.[14]

Known deaths

This is a list of deaths, ordered chronologically, that took place at Sunningrocks.

Book mentions

In The Prophecies Begin arc

Into the Wild

Led by Redtail, a patrol of ThunderClan cats battle against RiverClan cats led by Oakheart. Tigerclaw challenges the rival Clan's deputy for hunting on ThunderClan territory, but, as he does, more RiverClan warriors arrive, forcing the ThunderClan patrol to retreat, allowing them to gain ownership of Sunningrocks.
In the following days, a ThunderClan patrol returns to Sunningrocks in order to try and reclaim it. There, the patrol fights another RiverClan patrol. Oakheart and Redtail die in the battle, and Tigerclaw claims that he killed Oakheart after Oakheart killed Redtail. When Lionheart and Tigerclaw show Firepaw around ThunderClan territory they identify Sunningrocks as the boundary with RiverClan.

Fire and Ice

Fireheart and Graystripe take their apprentices, Cinderpaw and Brackenpaw out to hunt by Sunningrocks. They rest on the stones that feel comfortingly warm and smooth after the cold forest floor. Fireheart remembers the battle that claimed Redtail's life. After that, they hunt near the frozen river and Graystripe falls through the ice, almost drowning. He is rescued by a young RiverClan she-cat, Silverstream.
Graystripe falls in love with Silverstream despite being from RiverClan and repeatedly sneaks out of the camp to meet her at Sunningrocks. Fireheart finds it out and is angered, disagreeing with their half-Clan relationship. Their scents are detected several times by patrols near Sunningrocks, and ThunderClan and RiverClan accuse each other of their warriors trespassing the border.

Forest of Secrets

The river floods and Sunningrocks is seen as a set of gray islands in the midst of the water. When Fireheart and Graystripe patrol the RiverClan border, they notice twigs and debris floating in the river with two RiverClan kits balancing on them, heading for the almost submerged Sunningrocks. The two warriors wade in the water and rescue the kits, first hauling them up the rocks, then taking them to the shore.
Graystripe still meets with Silverstream. Later, Silverstream dies near Sunningrocks while delivering Graystripe's kits. She is then buried there. Her kits survive and are called Featherkit and Stormkit.

Rising Storm

It is a hot summer and Firestar notices that the plants growing between the cracks at Sunningrocks have shrivelled. He finds two ShadowClan cats nearby, Littlecloud and Whitethroat, who are very ill after catching a rat-borne disease and came to ThunderClan to seek help.
It is mentioned that an owl used to hunt near Sunningrocks. When the stream near the ThunderClan camp dries up, patrols go to the river to fetch water, and Halftail is nervous after hearing about the owl.
When fire strikes the ThunderClan camp, they are told to evacuate to the river, but instead, go to Sunningrocks. They stay at Sunningrocks until Crookedstar says it's okay for ThunderClan to shelter in the RiverClan camp until the fire is out. RiverClan makes no secret that they want something in return, and Fireheart suggests that they might demand Sunningrocks.

A Dangerous Path

After Crookedstar's death, Leopardstar is RiverClan's new leader, and she plans to reclaim Sunningrocks. When a ThunderClan patrol reaches Sunningrocks, they meet Leopardstar who says they are taking back Sunningrocks as a debt after the help RiverClan gave to ThunderClan during the fire. A battle ensues, and more ThunderClan cats arrive to help, managing to keep Sunningrocks in the end. Leopardstar exiles Graystripe, who previously joined RiverClan, and now he rejoins ThunderClan. Mistyfoot and Stonefur learn that Bluestar is their mother.
Later, when the ThunderClan cats try to lure the dogs to the river gorge, the rest of the Clan and Bluestar leave the camp so they won't be killed by the dogs, and go to Sunningrocks where they climb the trees and on top of the rocks for shelter.

The Darkest Hour

After the dogs scatter, Graystripe goes to Sunningrocks and tells the Clan that everything is safe and they can go back to the camp. The day before the final battle with BloodClan, Firestar heads for Sunningrocks to rest, looking down on the river, and wondering if StarClan will save them. He falls asleep on the rock and has a dream about Bluestar's spirit telling him that even if StarClan do not interfere in the life of the forest cats, they watch over them, and Firestar's faith can be decisive in the upcoming battle.

In the The New Prophecy arc


Sunningrocks is mentioned when Brambleclaw suggests that they should hunt over there; however, Squirrelpaw states that in the hot weather the prey will be hiding, and Brambleclaw reluctantly admits that she is right. Later, when they patrol the RiverClan border, Squirrelpaw catches a vole at Sunningrocks.


When Leafpaw gathers herbs near Sunningrocks, she meets Mothwing, who teaches her how to fish. It is mentioned that chickweed grows near Sunningrocks.


ThunderClan shelter at Sunningrocks after their camp has been destroyed, as it was the only safe place left in their territory, and use it as a camp until the Clans set out for the journey to the lake. ShadowClan soon joins them, as Twolegs have destroyed their entire territory including their camp, and they can no longer live there.

In the Power of Three arc


Mousefur mentions Sunningrocks, telling that the rocks they use for basking in the ThunderClan camp are similar to Sunningrocks in the old forest.

In the Super Editions

Crookedstar's Promise

At the start of the book, ThunderClan intrude on Sunningrocks - which is RiverClan land, but however, Hailstar refuses to fight back, as a flood had recently savaged RiverClan's camp, weakened the cats, and the medicine cat, Brambleberry, has a herb supply that is dangerously low, due to the flood damaging herbs that are good for treating battle wounds. However, a patrol confronts the sunning ThunderClan cats, informing them that the rocks are theirs for a day, but no more, as RiverClan will fight for them, just not now.
RiverClan fights for Sunningrocks once more, but their patrol is confronted by two ThunderClan patrols, who end up being victorious. The battle leaves RiverClan with deep wounds, and worst of all, it causes Hailstar to lose one of his nine lives. Echomist, Hailstar's mate, reveals that he is on his ninth life. Once more, they decide to take back Sunningrocks from ThunderClan, but the patrol loses, leaving the rocks to ThunderClan's power.
Hailstar announces that they will take back Sunningrocks, but his patrol only consists of a handful of warriors. They go to Sunningrocks, which, thankfully, is free of the ThunderClan cats, possibly because of the scorching heat. After they scent-mark the rocks, they encounter a ThunderClan patrol, led by Adderfang. Mudfur, still grieving from the loss of his mate, Brightsky, and her three kits, challenges Adderfang to battle him solo, leaving the rest of their patrols watching. As they battle one-on-one, Mudfur ends up winning after Adderfang surrenders, leaving RiverClan to have the rocks once more.

Bluestar's Prophecy

At this point in time, ThunderClan holds Sunningrocks as its territory. A RiverClan patrol led by Hailstar invades, swarming onto the rocks and claiming them as their own. The ThunderClan leader Pinestar leads a patrol to battle them, and a second patrol led by Stormtail causes the RiverClan cats to flee. No cat is seriously hurt and ThunderClan keep Sunningrocks as their own.
Some moons pass, and it is revealed that Pinestar has let RiverClan move the border and reclaim Sunningrocks, having no wish to continue a feud over a piece of territory ThunderClan does not need. Some ThunderClan cats are unhappy with this decision, though some see the logic behind it. The deputy, Sunfall, always sends strong patrols along the border where Sunningrocks is to make sure RiverClan does not take more. This caution pays off, as a RiverClan patrol led by its deputy Shellheart cross the border. After a quick and fierce battle with Sunfall's and Thrushpelt's patrols, the RiverClan patrol flees, but they still hold Sunningrocks.
Shortly before leaf-bare, the new ThunderClan leader Sunstar announces that ThunderClan will take back Sunningrocks, saying ThunderClan needs all its territory. He takes a patrol to the RiverClan camp and tells them that ThunderClan is taking back Sunningrocks, and they are being fairly warned that any opposition will be met with battle. The next day at dusk, a patrol goes out and sets a new border, reclaiming Sunningrocks as ThunderClan territory. RiverClan do not attack the patrol, and the border is made peacefully.
Bluefur, in order to become deputy and eventually leader of her Clan, must give up her newborn kits. She takes them to Sunningrocks and meets her mate, and the father of her kits, Oakheart there, who takes them to RiverClan. Mosskit dies on the way there.
RiverClan takes back Sunningrocks shortly after Bluestar becomes leader, and ThunderClan warriors fail to take it back. They are sent back to camp discouraged and wounded.

Firestar's Quest

Firestar feels restless after his vision of the wailing SkyClan cats and goes for a walk with Sandstorm, ending up at Sunningrocks. They lie on the warm stones, discussing about the Clan, but Firestar does not mention his visions.
When Firestar and Sandstorm set out for their journey, they pass Sunningrocks when following the river. Later, when they arrive at the SkyClan gorge, the sun-heated stones they use for resting remind them of Sunningrocks.

In the Novellas

Mapleshade's Vengeance

Mapleshade recalls the lastest fight over Sunningrocks between ThunderClan and RiverClan and how Birchface had slipped from the rocks into the river, only to be followed by his apprentice, Flowerpaw. The two cats drown in the river as a result of the skirmish. She speaks to Appledusk of the same incident when she reveals to him that she's expecting his kits. Mapleshade believes her kits will be the answer to forgetting the feud over Sunningrocks due to their half-Clan heritage.

Pinestar's Choice

Pinepaw and a patrol consisting of Doefeather, Harepounce, and a few other ThunderClan warriors head out towards Sunningrocks on their way to Twolegplace to fight against kittypets.
Later on, Pineheart promises Doestar that he would defend their Clan's borders fiercely, especially Sunningrocks, after the she-cat notes that his father had a strong distrust for RiverClan cats. In the following moons, Pineheart earns his leader name and Doestar visits him in a dream. She apologises to him for not leaving him the Clan in peace, but, Pinestar assures her that none of the battles were her fault. He states that everything would be easier if RiverClan gave up their claim to Sunningrocks.
After visiting Shanty, Pinestar feels reassured he was doing the right thing by not retaliating against RiverClan for their latest attack for Sunningrocks. Later on, Sunfall reports to him that he and his patrol had managed to chase RiverClan back off of Sunningrocks, averting a battle for another day.

Goosefeather's Curse

When Swiftpaw goes missing, Goosekit is told by a brown tabby tom that she was carrying herbs near Sunningrocks, in the reeds. The young kit tells his Clanmates this and quickly, Larksong takes Mumblefoot and Hollypelt to Sunningrocks to search for the apprentice.
Later, Goosepaw is collecting herbs while talking to his sister, Moonpaw. He sees Stormtail emerge from the reeds by Sunningrocks, looking for her. Returning back to camp after, Goosepaw recounts to Cloudberry a vision he had seen while returning from Sunningrocks.

Spottedleaf's Heart

Coming Soon

Redtail's Debt

Coming Soon

Mistystar's Omen

Following Leopardstar's death, Mistyfoot mentions a sandy slope in RiverClan to be a basking spot for elders, similar to Sunningrocks in the old forest. She visits the spot to speak with elders to find a place to bury their deceased leader.

In the Field Guides

Code of the Clans

Sunningrocks is mentioned in the story about the third rule in the Warrior Code. In a battle over the stones, ThunderClan attempts to take Sunningrocks into their territory. Most of RiverClan goes on the attack, but they are driven back.
Darkstar, the leader of RiverClan, gives an encouraging speech to her Clan, and tells them the battle is not over until they stop fighting. They attack again fiercely, catching ThunderClan by surprise. The RiverClan warrior Splashheart sees a warrior of StarClan fighting alongside him and guiding him, and he learns that it is a RiverClan ancestor called Aspentail continuing to fight to keep Sunningrocks. RiverClan send their rivals fleeing into the woods. Darkstar later dedicates the battle to the Clan's elders and kits.

Battles of the Clans

While giving the reader a tour of the forest territories, Tigerstar stops at Sunningrocks and mentions that the whole forest can be viewed from on top of them. He mentions that the rocks have been the place of numerous battles between RiverClan and ThunderClan. He claims that battles here were predictable, and that if a cat had the higher place on a rock, he would win.
Tigerstar takes the reader down into a gully between the stones, and tells them it was here that he watched Redtail kill Oakheart, and then he in turn killed Redtail so he had a chance at becoming deputy. The gully between the stones was very narrow, and Tigerstar believed no cat could see what was occurring.


Interesting facts

  • In StarClan, there is a place called Warm-Rocks, which may be the counterpart to Sunningrocks.[17]


  • Sunningrocks has been misspelled as Sunning-rocks.[18]


The following information is from sources considered non-canon or retconned.

  • In Secrets of the Clans, a 2007 field guide, Sunningrocks is said to have been an island that only RiverClan cats could reach.[19] It is also mentioned in the legend, "How LeopardClan Won the River" which tells the story of how LeopardClan got control of the river in the forest.[20]

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 123
  2. Revealed in Into the Wild, page prologue
  3. As revealed in maps where the story takes place at the forest.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 58
  5. 5.0 5.1 In Crookedstar's Promise, Bluestar's Prophecy, Redtail's Debt, and, Into the Wild, battles over Sunningrocks are mentioned several times and are shown to happen regularly.
  6. Revealed in Redtail's Debt, chapter 3
  7. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 9
  8. 8.0 8.1 Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy
  9. Revealed in Midnight
  10. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise
  11. Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 1
  12. Revealed in The Prophecies Begin, chapter 4
  13. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, chapter 16
  14. Revealed in Dawn
  15. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 57
  16. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 241
  17. Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 219
  18. Revealed in Rising Storm, page 254
  19. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 11
  20. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 161
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