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Within the Warriors universe, the cats live in a highly structured society that is firmly divided into five groups known as Clans.


Clan cats are divided into five Clans: ThunderClan, ShadowClan, RiverClan, WindClan, and SkyClan. Deceased cats who were believers in the religious structure and generally followed the Warrior Code join together as StarClan.[1] If they made mistakes, but believed what they did was right, more likely than not they will join StarClan when they die.[2] Cats that did not follow the warrior code do not join StarClan, but join a place called the Dark Forest (Place of No Stars).[3] SkyClan was the fifth Clan, but they were forced to leave when their territory was destroyed[4] (see below). BloodClan was not so much a Clan as a group of cats banded together for safety and strength in numbers. They had no belief in StarClan, did not follow the warrior code, and had no formal system of training.[5]

The Clans

RiverClan

RiverClan is known for their skill at swimming. RiverClan cats are also known for their unique skill at scooping fish from the river.[6] The very first leader was Riverstar, who was a loner that met the cats that came from the mountain.[7] At the beginning of the Original Arc, RiverClan is led by Crookedstar.[8] RiverClan is currently led by Mistystar[9] with Reedwhisker as deputy.[10]

ShadowClan

ShadowClan, the source of many of the darker cats seen in the series, is sometimes referred to as the "dark heart of the forest." ShadowClan cats are known for their ability to walk quietly and avoid detection. They're also known for their willingness to eat frogs, toads, lizards, rats, and crowfood- foods most Clan cats turn their noses up at.[11] Their first leader was Shadowstar. She was one of the cats to make the journey from the mountain to the forest, and she lead the traveling group at one point in time.[7] At the beginning of the series, ShadowClan was led by Brokenstar,[8] though it is currently led by Rowanstar,[12] with Tigerheart as deputy.[13]

ThunderClan

ThunderClan is heavily featured in the books, being the Clan of origin for many of the protagonists of the arcs. ThunderClan cats are known for their skill at stalking prey through forest and undergrowth.[14] The very first leader was Thunderstar, who was the son of the first SkyClan leader, Skystar. He was born in a monster den to a she-cat named Storm, when the monster den collapsed. She had left Skystar's forest after he was overly protective. Thunder was her only surviving kit.[7] ThunderClan was led by Bluestar in the beginning of the series,[15] and is currently led by Bramblestar[12] with Squirrelflight as deputy.[12]

WindClan

WindClan, who lived closest to the Moonstone,[16] are cats well versed in Twoleg culture (due to the farm they lived so close to). WindClan Cats are known for their swift paws, which lend ease to catching prey such as rabbits on the open moors of their territory.[16] Their very first leader was Windstar, who was also known as Wind Runner. She and her mate, Gorsestar joined the Early Settlers. Before Windstar became the leader of WindClan, Gray Wing and Shadowstar held the leadership.[7] WindClan's leader in the beginning of the series was Tallstar,[17] and is now currently led by Onestar,[12] with Harespring[12] as his deputy.

SkyClan

SkyClan was the fifth Clan of the Forest, and they were introduced in Firestar's Quest. They had to leave the Forest a long time ago when their territory was destroyed, which severed their ties with the other Clans.[4] They were known for their ability to jump considerable heights, and they have hard gray pads that help them walk long distances on rough surfaces.[18] Their first leader was Skystar. When the mountain cats arrived at the forest, Clear Sky established a group. He and his group soon became known as the most ruthless, strong, and well-fed cats in the forest. He is also the brother of Gray Wing, and the father of Thunderstar.[19] SkyClan is currently led by Leafstar,[20] with Hawkwing as her deputy.[21]

BloodClan

BloodClan is an unofficial Clan. Its only known members are Scourge, Ice, Snake, Bone, Jaggedtooth, and Brick. Boulder, Snipe, Barley, and Violet were known members but left BloodClan.[22] The Clan laws differ compared to the official Clans. They do not believe in StarClan. BloodClan does not care for the sick, weak, or elderly and instead throws them out on the borders and makes them fend for themselves.[22] They eat anything they find. The last known leaders were Ice and Snake.[23]

Clan Hierarchy

Each Clan (excluding BloodClan and StarClan) shares the same basic ranking system, consisting of nine distinct ranks.

Leader

A Clan leader is charged with the responsibility to watch over and manage an entire Clan, maintaining discipline, order, and protection. Leaders are normally granted nine lives and a new name with the ending "-star" (e.g. Firestar, Bluestar) in a ceremony where nine StarClan cats come to them in a dream at the Moonstone/Moonpool.[24] However, a leader may not receive all nine lives if the previous leader of his or her Clan is still alive; in this instance, a leader will have a life taken off the original total of nine for every life the previous leader still possesses (e.g. Sunstar ).[25] Sometimes StarClan will not accept a leader (e.g. Nightstar ), if this happens then the Clan is usually thrown into turmoil.[26]

Deputy

The deputy is the second-in-command to the leader, and may be considered an apprentice to the art of leading the Clan. They serve in the leader's place in situations where the leader is unable to fulfill their duties.[27] They are in charge of organizing patrols and they are often called on by the leader for advice, but other than that, they retain the normal duties of a warrior.
To become a deputy, a cat must have trained at least one apprentice.[27] However, in the New Prophecy Arc, Brambleclaw became deputy of ThunderClan without an apprentice, but he was granted the promise to train one.[28]
Upon the leader's death, they become the leader and go to the Moonstone or the Moonpool, so StarClan can grant them nine lives. Deputies may also retire and give up their place as deputy if they wish (for example, Tawnyspots).[27]

Medicine Cat

The medicine cat serves the Clan as both their spiritual leader and healer, making them akin to the idea of a 'medicine man' in a tribal society.[29] In addition to their responsibilities to their Clan, they have responsibility to one another and StarClan. They carry out their responsibilities to StarClan once every half-moon, meeting together to discuss matters privately and share dreams with StarClan.[30] Clan leaders often rely on them to carry messages from StarClan, as medicine cats have a link no other cat has to the deceased.[31]
As a healer, they gather herbs and dispense them as an apothecary would. They handle diagnosis and treatment of both illness and injury for all the cats in the Clan.
In their role as spiritual leader, they teach the code, interpret omen and prophecy, and generally serve the Clan as a conduit between the earthly cats and their ghostly counterparts.
As a medicine cat, they are not allowed to have a mate or kits,[32] but this rule has been broken by certain medicine cats (For example, Leafpool, Yellowfang). Medicine cats also exist outside of typical Clan rivalries in order to treat all cats fairly.[33]

Medicine Cat Apprentice

A medicine cat apprentice is the cat that is being trained to follow in the pawsteps of the medicine cat. They learn healing and spiritual lore from the medicine cat. Medicine cat apprentices also accompany their mentors in their visit to the Moonstone/Moonpool every half-moon to receive dreams from StarClan.[source?]
Frequently, a medicine cat apprentice who has full training will be given a warrior name ("-paw" replaced with another ending); however, medicine cat apprentices remain apprentices even when fully trained so long as the current medicine cat is still practicing the arts.
At the time the old medicine cat either dies or steps down, the medicine cat apprentice becomes a full medicine cat, somewhat like the leader/deputy relationship. In the exception with Alderheart, Leafpool, Jayfeather, or Willowshine and Mothwing. When the apprentice becomes the full medicine cat then they can have an apprentice of their own.

Warrior

A warrior is a cat trained in the arts of fighting and hunting. Warriors make up the bulk of a Clan, and provide that Clan with the protection and food supply that keeps it safe and well-fed.[34] Typically, a cat is made a warrior at or over the age of twelve moons. In their oath to become a warrior, they promise to "uphold the warrior code and protect and defend their Clan, even at the cost of their life."[35]
Warrior dens are very often near the front of the Clan, where they can protect the rest of their Clan from attacks.
There are also senior warriors — older, highly respected warriors, typically mentioned to have a good bond with the Clan's leader (e.g. Whitestorm to Firestar).

Queen

A queen is a she-cat nursing or expecting kits. Their primary task during this time is the raising of their kits.
Some queens stay in the nursery after they have kits (e.g. Daisy, Goldenflower, and Ferncloud). They are thought to do this because they feel they can help the nursing queens.[36] Some queens, such as Daisy, do not feel suited for Clan life aside from helping the other queens. They most often help other queens when no milk is available, or when the mother is ill or deceased (e.g. Squirrelflight to Leafpool)
Kits are protected from attacks and the nursery is often situated at the back of the camp, away from the entrance.[37]

Elder

An elder is a retired warrior, deputy, queen, medicine cat, or leader who is too old or not in suitable shape to continue with their duties.[38] Elders are taken care of by the whole Clan, and are given respect for the time they have served as part of the clan. They are responsible for taking the body of a dead cat out to be buried.[39]
Some cats don't become an elder only because of old age; if there is ever a condition which prevents the cat from fulfilling their duties to their Clan, it usually leads to the cat's decision of retiring (e.g. Longtail,[40] Heavystep[41])

Apprentice

An apprentice is a cat in training to become a warrior. Their names end in the word "-paw" (e.g. Tawnypaw,[42] Bramblepaw,[42] Firepaw,[43] etc) to signify the "path their paws are now on."[44] One exception to this is Boulder who opted to keep his loner name upon joining ShadowClan, and becoming an apprentice[45], and Egg, who kept his name upon joining SkyClan[46], becoming Sharpclaw's apprentice. Most usually are at or over the age of six moons. They have a mentor appointed to them at their ceremony and most days are taken out battle training or hunting. They are also given the task of cleaning out bedding and removing Elders' ticks and fleas.[47] Apprentices are not allowed to have a mate or kits, likely because of their young age or not to interrupt their training.[48]

Kit

A kit is a cat who has not been made an apprentice yet. Their names always end in "-kit" (e.g. Dovekit,[49] Lionkit,[40] Blossomkit[50]).[51] Most often, they are under the age of six moons, though sometimes they are held back from being an apprentice for a certain amount of time, sometimes due to injury or misbehaving. (Crookedkit,[52] Deadpaw[53])
They stay in the camp and are forbidden to leave it, unless accompanied by an older cat, such as a warrior, a medicine cat, or any kind of apprentice.[54]

See Also

For more details on the Clans, see:

For more details on the individual territories and cats, see:

For more details on the religious beliefs of the Clan cats, see:

References and Citations

  1. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 43
  2. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 72
  3. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 392
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 54
  5. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 137
  6. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 40
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, pages 4-6
  8. 8.0 8.1 Revealed in Into the Wild, page 161
  9. Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 30
  10. Revealed in Battles of the Clans, page 38
  11. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 55
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Revealed in the allegiances of Fading Echoes
  13. Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, chapter 22
  14. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 9
  15. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 31
  16. 16.0 16.1 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 27
  17. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 162
  18. Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 207
  19. Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 2
  20. Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 499
  21. Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 501
  22. 22.0 22.1 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 138
  23. Revealed in A Clan in Need, page 72
  24. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 103
  25. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 496
  26. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page Nightstar did not receive nine lives
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 107
  28. Revealed in Sunset, page 258
  29. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, pages 130-131
  30. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 92
  31. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, pages 130-132
  32. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 131
  33. Revealed in Bramblestar's Storm, chapter 3
  34. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 110
  35. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 301
  36. Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 27
  37. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 62
  38. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 115
  39. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 116
  40. 40.0 40.1 Revealed in The Sight, allegiances
  41. Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 4
  42. 42.0 42.1 Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 235
  43. Revealed in Into the Wild, allegiances
  44. All apprentices, save for a small group, have had "-paw" in their apprentice name.
  45. Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 150
  46. Revealed in SkyClan's Destiny, page 311
  47. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 108
  48. No known apprentice has taken a mate in the series
  49. Revealed in Sunrise, page 317
  50. Revealed in Eclipse, page 158
  51. There has never been a Clan kit who's name hasn't ended in -kit
  52. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 55
  53. Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 490
  54. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 49


Hierarchy and Groups in the Warriors World
Clan Hierarchy KitsApprenticesWarriorsDeputiesLeadersQueensEldersMedicine Cats
Ceremonies VigilApprenticeWarriorDeputyLeaderElderMedicine CatName Changing
Tribe Hierarchy To-BesCave-GuardsPrey Hunters‎Kit MothersHealer/Stoneteller
Miscellaneous General Clan InformationGeneral Tribe InformationCat Names
Other Groups LonersRoguesBloodClanCats of the ParkThe Early SettlersClear Sky's GroupTall Shadow's Group

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