|"Fireheart is not a true deputy; he was appointed too late, and Lionheart's spirit would never have approved. What can we do? Look at us. We're old, deaf, toothless. We needed a warrior to lead our Clan, a light that would shine forever for all the moons to come. And Bluestar brought us a kittypet."|
|— Patchpelt to the other elders on Fireheart's deputyship in The Elders' Concern|
- Halftail gathers his fellow elders, Dappletail, Patchpelt and Smallear to discuss Fireheart's deputy ceremony. Smallear says when he was an apprentice, he brought back better feathers for their nests than any other apprentice. Dappletail complains that his feathers were black and ugly. Patchpelt asks them if they're even going to sleep, and Halftail replies that they will discuss the late deputy ceremony.
- They debate, mostly on how Bluestar broke the warrior code. Patchpelt points out they couldn't do anything about it. Smallear deems Bluestar shouldn't lead the Clan after she broke the warrior code like that, and ThunderClan would be doomed. They wonder why Fireheart was chosen, saying that he wasn't the best hunter or fighter, and Dappletail says that there must be something special about him that Bluestar isn't telling.
- Dappletail suggests that Bluestar broke the code with making a kittypet Clan deputy, knowing StarClan would object to that as well. Halftail says that if Bluestar broke the code on purpose, then she must not care about what the warrior ancestors thought. Dappletail says that Bluestar can't turn her back on StarClan, but Patchpelt says that she already has, by bringing a kittypet into the Clan and appointing him as deputy after moonhigh.
- Patchpelt assures the elders that Fireheart isn't a real deputy, that he is only a kittypet. Halftail tells them he won't give up on his Clan, and that if they treated Fireheart rightfully, StarClan would forgive Bluestar and accept Fireheart. Smallear shakes off the suggestion and confirms to Halftail that he won't forgive Bluestar. Dappletail and Patchpelt agree. Halftail is left in dismay, wondering what will be in store for ThunderClan.
- Fireheart was said to be the deputy after Lionheart died, even though Tigerclaw became deputy after Lionheart.
Notes and references
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