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"Let Tigerstar say what he likes. I'll tell RiverClan myself today. We're not ashamed of out mother. She was a noble leader, and our father was a great deputy."
Stonefur about Tigerstar's threat to reveal his lineage in The Darkest Hour, page 10

Below contains in-depth information for chapter one of The Darkest Hour. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
Chapter Number: 1 (of 30)
Page Numbers: 6-19

Chapter description

Fireheart carries Bluestar's body back to the ThunderClan camp, after she gives up her final life in rescuing Fireheart from the dog pack that had chased ThunderClan, with the help of Mistyfoot and Stonefur. Graystripe returns to Fireheart, reporting that he had scouted the territory and hadn't seen any signs of trouble - except some broken undergrowth. Fireheart tells them to keep going, as he wants to make sure that the camp is safe before they send the Clan back. When he and the RiverClan warriors reach the camp, Fireheart decides to search it to make sure it's safe. Graystripe offers to come with him, but Stonefur tells him that Fireheart should do this alone. Fireheart flashes a grateful glance at Stonefur, and he searches the camp. He feels a prick of unease at the emptiness of the camp. He checks the dens, and when he searches the medicine den, he is reminded of Spottedleaf and Yellowfang, two medicine cats that had faithfully served ThunderClan until their tragic deaths. Fireheart asks them if Bluestar is with them in StarClan.
Fireheart goes back to the top of the hollow, announcing that everything is fine. He orders Graystripe to go back to Sunningrocks to retrieve his Clan, telling him to say that Bluestar is dead, but nothing more. He says that he will explain everything when they get back to camp. When Graystripe runs off, Stonefur comments that it's easy to see where Graystripe's loyalties lie, and Mistyfoot agrees, saying that no cat really thought he would stay in RiverClan. Fireheart lays Bluestar down in her den, and thanks the RiverClan warriors for her help. As they are Bluestar's children, he hesitantly offers them to stay for the vigil. Stonefur replies that that is a generous offer, but they have duties in their own Clan that they must attend to. Mistyfoot asks if his Clan knows that Bluestar was their mother, and Fireheart replies that only Graystripe knows. He informs the two warriors that Tigerstar had heard Bluestar's confession on the riverbank, and that they must be prepared in case he decides to reveal it at the Gathering. Stonefur tells Fireheart to let him, as he is not ashamed who is mother is, as she was a noble leader and their father was a great deputy. He declares that he will tell RiverClan himself today. Stonefur meows sadly that he wishes he had known her more, and Mistyfoot asks if they can say goodbye to her for a few moments. Fireheart allows them to do so, and sees his Clanmates walking back into camp.
He is relieved that his Clanmates are all right, and spots his nephew, Cloudtail. Cloudtail is gently tending to his mate, Lostface. He sees Cinderpelt next, with Bramblepaw and Tawnypaw behind her. Last, he sees Sandstorm with Willowpelt and her three kits. Sandstorm covers Fireheart's face in licks, and Sandstorm confesses that she was so worried for him. She says that she had never seen dogs that big in her life, and that she had been scared for her life. Fireheart tells her that all the time that he had been waiting, he was afraid that the dogs might have caught her. At first, Fireheart thinks Sandstorm is offended, but Sandstorm tells Fireheart that she was running for him and his Clan, and that she felt she had the speed of StarClan. Her expression clouds as she asks about Bluestar, saying that Graystripe told her she was dead. Fireheart confirms that she is, explaining that he tried to save her but the struggle in the river was too much. He tells Sandstorm that Stonefur and Mistyfoot are with her, and Sandstorm is shocked that there are RiverClan cats in their camp. Fireheart briefly explains that Bluestar was their mother, and Sandstorm, still perplexed, tries to ask questions, but Fireheart cuts her off, saying he will explain later. He praises Ashpaw and Fernpaw, whom he had assigned to help lure the dog pack over the gorge. Ashpaw reports that they hid in the hazel thicket, and jumped out as soon as they saw the dogs. Fireheart remembers their mother, Brindleface, who Tigerstar had killed and used as bait for the dog packs, saying that their mother would have been very proud of them. Ashpaw confesses that he was terrified, and Dustpelt tells him that they did brilliantly. It is noted that although he praises his own apprentice equally, the affection in his eyes is all for Fernpaw. Fireheart tells Dustpelt that he did well too, and the Clan thanks all of them.
Fireheart asks how Lostface is, and she replies that she is fine, although she is worried that some of the dogs may have reached camp. Fireheart reassures her that there is no sign of dogs. Cloudtail reports that Lostface was very brave at Sunningrocks, telling Fireheart that she helped him keep watch by a tree. Lostface brightens, saying that she can't see as well as she used to, but she can still listen and scent. Cinderpelt tells Fireheart that they all had done well, and that there was no panic, even when they heard the dogs barking. Fireheart asks if every cat is okay, and Cinderpelt replies that they are, except Mousefur had torn a claw. She brings Mousefur along with her, saying that she'll treat her. Whitestorm asks if he can have a word with Fireheart. Whitestorm is full of anguish, saying that he knew Fireheart had told him to keep watch on Bluestar, but he didn't notice her fleeing from Sunningrocks. He confesses that it was his fault that she was dead. Fireheart tells him that that was ridiculous, reminding him that even if he had noticed Bluestar was gone, he couldn't have made her stay. Whitestorm continues, saying that he didn't dare send another cat after her with the dog pack loose, and all they could do was sit in the tree at Sunningrocks and listen to the pack howling. He is still guilt-stricken, saying that he should've done something about it.
Fireheart tells him that he did everything— that he sat with the Clan and kept them safe. He tells Whitestorm that Bluestar made her own decision in the end, and that it was the will of StarClan that she died to save them. Whitestorm still looks troubled, adding that Bluestar had still lost all faith in StarClan. Fireheart informs Whitestorm that Bluestar had made peace with StarClan right before dying, saying that her mind was clear again and her faith was strong. Whitestorm is brightened, and the rest of the Clan gathers around Fireheart. Brackenfur asks if it is true that Bluestar is dead, and Fireheart confirms so. He tells them about the scene at the gorge, explaining that he was the last cat in the trail to lead the dogs over the edge. He continues, adding that Tigerstar had pinned him down at the edge so that the pack leader was able to catch up to him, and he says that the pack leader would've killed him if it weren't for Bluestar. He reports that Bluestar had leaped at the dog, right at the edge of the gorge, and they both had went over.
Frostfur asks what happened after, and Fireheart continues, saying that he went in but couldn't save her. He tells the Clan about how Stonefur and Mistyfoot had helped rescue her from the river, but it was too late, and that she had already lost her ninth life and had joined StarClan. A yowl of grief comes from the crowd, and Fireheart realizes that losing Bluestar might feel like losing one of the great oaks at Fourtrees. Fireheart tells them that Bluestar isn't gone, but she is watching over them from StarClan. He quietly adds to himself that she might rather be in her den, sharing tongues with Stonefur and Mistyfoot. Speckletail says that she would like to see Bluestar, and goes to her den, with Dappletail and Smallear. Frostfur offers to come with them, and Fireheart is instantly reminded of Stonefur and Mistyfoot, realizing that he promised them as much time as possible with their mother. He tries to stop the elders, but it was too late. Frostfur and Speckletail had already stood at the entrance, and with much hostility, they question the two RiverClan warriors.





Important events


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 7
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 12
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 13
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 14
  6. Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 15
  7. 7.0 7.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 16
  8. 8.0 8.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 19
  9. 9.0 9.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 8
  10. 10.0 10.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 9
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 10
  12. 12.0 12.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 11