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Rootpaw (OA) "What does that mean? If you try really hard, do you think you could be a bit more obscure?"

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This page contains Tree's personality and relationships. It contains conjecture due to being based off of general novel themes, and all statements must be sourced.

Personality

Tree is a laid-back and somewhat odd tom. He has strange strategies for hunting, such as crouching still for long periods of time pretending he is a bush.[1] He can see ghosts, which is very off-putting to Clan cats;[2] and, by his own admission, he does not really care for the warrior way of life and would rather do his own thing.[2] However, he cares deeply for his family, always helping and comforting them when they are in need.[3][1] He also has a sarcastic sense of humor.[4][5]
Tree is highly intelligent, perceptive and insightful, as he often notices things that other cats don't and is very good at solving problems. This is shown when he came up with a solution to Sleekwhisker and Yarrowleaf[6], and the fact he was the first cat to recognize the danger inherent in the fake Bramblestar's accusations of codebreakers,[3]. He was also the first to recognize that the impostor was merely using StarClan's silence as a way to turn the Clans against each other.[1]
Despite being generally laid-back and good at staying calm when insulted or under pressure, Tree does have his limits and is not incapable of losing his temper or patience, or holding grudges. A prime example of this is his relationship with his mother Moonlight, against whom he holds a powerful grudge for abandoning him as a kit. When reuniting with Moonlight, Tree is uncharacteristically cold, angry and bitter.[7] When he later attempts to negotiate with her, he initially stays calm, answering her questions patiently, but eventually loses his temper and starts shouting at her after she repeatedly refuses to take his words seriously and insults him.[8] Other notable examples of Tree's vulnerable side are shown when he was visibly hurt and frustrated by SkyClan and ShadowClan's refusal to listen to his attempts to help them compromise, and when he angrily reprimanded Finleap for accusing him of trying to "steal" Twigbranch.[9]

Relationships

Violetshine

When Tree joined SkyClan, he and Violetshine quickly became close. Violetshine helped Tree learn the ways of a Clan, and Tree was a comforting presence for Violetshine after Needletail’s death.[6] She and Tree eventually become mates, and have kits together.[3]

Needleclaw and Rootspring

Tree loves his kits, and Needleclaw is okay with his weird ways. Rootspring, however, is ashamed of his father, and doesn’t want to be like him. When Bramblestar’s ghost comes to Rootspring, Tree can’t see the ghost, but still helps Rootspring with fulfilling its wishes.[1] Tree pretends to be the one summoning and communicating with Bramblestar’s ghost, so that Rootpring won’t have to reveal that he can see ghosts.[1]

Moonlight

Tree has a strained relationship with his mother, Moonlight. When Tree was a kit called Earth, he loved his mother and believed the things she taught him, but was slightly resentful of her neglecting him in order to focus on leading the Sisters.[10] His resentment was intensified by Moonlight's refusal to sing for his dead friend Stream [11] and by the realization that she did not love him (Earth) as much as she loved his sisters[12]. Despite this, Earth did not wish to leave the Sisters and begged to be allowed to stay, or at least leave in his own time. Moonlight dismissed her son's feelings and pleas, and once Earth reached his sixth moon, she cast him out without a second thought.[13] As a result, Tree developed a bitter grudge against Moonlight and the Sisters, vowing to never forgive them for casting him out.[14]
When they reunite many moons later, Tree is hostile towards Moonlight, angrily condemning her for abandoning him as soon as he could hunt and for letting the stars decide his fate. Moonlight is surprised by Tree's anger and nonchalantly defends her actions, showing herself to be unapologetic and unremorseful about hurting her son's feelings.[7]
Tree initially refused to attempt convince Moonlight and the Sisters to leave, wanting nothing to do with them,[15] but later reluctantly agreed for the sake of peace. When Tree arrived in the Sister's camp, Moonlight initially ignored him because he was a tom and was amused when Squirrelflight revealed he had been chosen to speak for the Clans. When she finally acknowledged him, she greeted him warmly by his birth name, only for Tree to coldly remind her of his new name. As Tree attempts to reason with her, the two quickly get into a heated argument, with Moonlight accusing Tree of threatening her and of "forgetting" his "duty" as a tom to wander and protect the land, while Tree accuses Moonlight of caring more for her beliefs than her kits. Ultimately, Tree's attempt to reason with Moonlight fails and mother and son part on bad terms.[8]
Even after Moonlight's death, Tree remains bitter towards her and has no desire to see her ghost, arguing that since she abandoned him in life, he shouldn't have to put up with her in death. Nevertheless, he expresses a degree of sadness over her death, though mainly on behalf of her orphaned kits.[16]

Root

Unlike his relationship with his mother, Moonlight, Tree’s relationship with his father isn't estranged. They were very close when Root was still alive.[17]
Root knew that Moonlight was expecting his litter when the gray she-cat broke up with him to continue her life with the Sisters. This caused Root to despise Moonlight for leaving him so coldly and for not giving him a chance to know his own kits. When Tree revealed how Moonlight banished him when he wasn't fully ready to hunt and fend for himself, Root was furious that his former mate abandoned their son as well especially after Tree (then Earth) nearly got killed by a pack of dogs due to his inexperience.[18] Root then agrees to take care of Earth until his son is fully ready to care of himself. Root also suggests that Earth should change his original name since the Sisters didn't want them anymore. Earth then changes his name to "Tree" since he and Root slept in an Oak Tree the night before.[14]
Root then teaches his son to care for himself during the next two moons. Root taught his son how to scavenge for food in Twoleg trash and the unattended bowls of kittypets. Tree mentally notes how difficult his life would've been without his father to guide him. Tree is devastated and guilt-ridden when Root sacrifices himself to save him from a fox, and resolves to wander alone from then on.[17] However, Root's ghost later comes to Tree and encourages him to let other cats into his life, advise Tree heeds.[19]


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Revealed in The Silent Thaw
  2. 2.0 2.1 Revealed in A Vision of Shadows
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in Lost Stars
  4. Revealed in Thunder and Shadow: Bonus Scene, chapter 2
  5. Revealed in Darkest Night
  6. 6.0 6.1 Revealed in River of Fire
  7. 7.0 7.1 Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, page 94
  8. 8.0 8.1 Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, chapter 20
  9. Revealed in The Raging Storm
  10. Revealed in Tree's Roots, chapter 1
  11. Revealed in Tree's Roots, chapter 2
  12. Revealed in Tree's Roots, chapter 3
  13. Revealed in Tree's Roots, chapter 4
  14. 14.0 14.1 Revealed in Tree's Roots, chapter 7
  15. Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, chapter 10
  16. Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, chapter 29
  17. 17.0 17.1 Revealed in Tree's Roots, chapter 8
  18. Revealed in Tree's Roots, page 114
  19. Revealed in Tree's Roots, chapter 10
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