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"Never come near the moor again. You'll regret it. Your kits will remember you as the cat who killed their mother. They won't follow you next time, and if any of us see you again, we'll shred you."
— Lightning Tail threatening Tom should he come onto the moor again in The First Battle, page 208
Current: ThunderClan[1]
Past: Tall Shadow's Camp,[2] Clear Sky's Camp,[3] Thunder's Camp[4]
Early Settler:
Lightning Tail[2]
Lightning Tail[5]
Foster Brother:
Jackdaw's Cry
Hawk Swoop
Acorn Fur
Deputy Position
Succeeded by: Owleyes[1]
Book Appearances
Living: Thunder Rising, The First Battle, The Blazing Star, A Forest Divided

Lightningtail is a black tom[2] with a broad forehead and shoulders,[5] a torn ear,[6] and green eyes.[7]


In the Dawn of the Clans Arc

Thunder Rising

Lightning Tail, along with Acorn Fur, are two of the youngest members of Tall Shadow's group of cats living on the moor. He and his sister are the kits of Hawk Swoop and Jackdaw's Cry. He, Acorn Fur, and Thunder are rarely ever seen apart, and Gray Wing often watches the three kits play together. With Hawk Swoop's permission, he takes the three young cats out for a hunting lesson, and their mother agrees, provided he doesn't take the kits too far from camp. While out, they turn it into a game, with Lightning Tail playing the part of a hare. Always trying to keep up with Thunder, Lightning Tail boasts that he can stalk just like his adoptive littermate, and copies him every chance he gets.
While Gray Wing is teaching Thunder, Lightning Tail, and Acorn Fur to hunt, they run into an old friend of Gray Wing's, named Turtle Tail, a kittypet who once lived with Gray Wing and his group. Gray Wing introduces the kits to Turtle Tail, and explains that Lightning Tail was given his name since he is always padding around after Thunder, and jokes that Thunder and the smaller kit are their own little storm in the making. Turtle Tail praises the names, and Gray Wing briefly sends the trio of kits away so he can have a moment of peace and quiet with his old friend. Although this peace does not last for long, as Lightning Tail comes barreling into Turtle Tail, causing her to fall onto the ground. Discovering that Turtle Tail is expecting kits, he reprimands the younger kit, telling him to apologize. Dipping his head, Lightning Tail apologizes to the tortoiseshell she-cat, and she accepts his apology, licking his ears.
When Jackdaw's Cry returns to camp after his encounter with the dogs, Lightning Tail and Acorn Fur are listening intently, their jaws gaping in shock at the events that transpired. They seem especially impressed with Gray Wing, and how he acted when he saved Jagged Peak. After the storytelling is over, Gray Wing introduces Lightning Tail, his sister, and his mother, Hawk Swoop, to Wind and Gorse. The two newcomers attempt to fit in with Tall Shadow's group, and before long, they are sharing prey. Turtle Tail points out that Lightning Tail and his sister are healthy and strong, when she notices how they're stuffing themselves with prey. Soon after eating, Hawk Swoop herds her two kits off to bed.
After Turtle Tail gives birth to her kits, Owl Eyes, Pebble Heart, and Sparrow Fur, Lightning Tail and Acorn Fur admire the kits from afar, being told by Hawk Swoop that the newborn kits are much too young to play with just yet.
When Bumble, a kittypet friend of Turtle Tail, arrives, and asks to join the group, Lightning Tail is present with his sister during the discussion. Tall Shadow suggests that Bumble be extra nice to her Twolegs, and Lightning Tail suggests licking them. Acorn Fur calls her brother a mousebrain, and shoves him, saying that Twolegs don't have fur. Their playful actions earn them a stern glance from Tall Shadow, who returns to addressing Bumble. After the talk, Tall Shadow looks down on her camp, and sees Lightning Tail playing with his sister, while Turtle Tail and Hawk Swoop look on.
After Thunder decides to go with his father, Gray Wing spots him practicing his stalking techniques with Lightning Tail, and the gray cat wonders to himself what Lightning Tail would do if Thunder left, noting that the younger cat greatly adores Thunder and wonders how the kit would cope without his friend. When Gray Wing calls to Thunder, Lightning Tail follows as he often does, although he is turned away by Gray Wing, who wishes to speak with Thunder alone. After Thunder leaves, he often thinks of Lightning Tail and Acorn Fur and wonders what they are doing on the moorland.
Lightning Tail is the one to deliver the suggestion from Cloud Spots to give Wind and Gorse longer names like what the rest of the cats have. He seems excited about this idea, and tries to encourage Gray Wing to go with it. He sits down next to Gray Wing when Cloud Spots and the others suggest names for Wind and Gorse, and confides in Gray Wing that he misses Thunder and he wishes that his friend could be here to see the naming of the rogue cats. Gray Wing continues to speak to Lightning Tail, and the two cats get into an argument, with Lightning Tail snapping at Gray Wing for being ignorant of Clear Sky's motives. Gray Wing says to Acorn Fur, who walks up and asks if they're fighting, that he wouldn't argue with a cat barely out of his nest- this angers Lightning Tail, who storms off. His fur is fluffed up from the argument and he stands besides Jagged Peak and Acorn Fur. His hostile attitude is forgotten moments later, however. After Gray Wing's speech, Lightning Tail promises to follow wherever Gray Wing may lead.
Lightning Tail, Acorn Fur, and the other cats gather around to hear Gray Wing and Turtle Tail's story of encountering the dogs. His skills have become better, Gray Wing notes, although he can barely lift a rabbit, which isn't much better than he is. He and the other cats have also come to respect Wind Runner, to the point of obeying her when she calls a meeting, and Lightning Tail and his sister are some of the first cats to appear to hear the wiry she-cat speak of her incident with Clear Sky.

The First Battle

Lightning Tail is first mentioned by his mother, Hawk Swoop, who remarks that her son and other daughter, Acorn Fur, will be back soon. They do appear soon enough, and both Lightning Tail and his sister are more than delighted to see Thunder return to the moor cats' group. The two cats welcome back Thunder with open paws, and Thunder remarks that he and Acorn Fur are adults cats now, and Lightning Tail is far from the young kit that used to pad around after Thunder as a kit. Lightning Tail asks about Clear Sky, and worries if his friend is doing okay. When Thunder replies that everything was fine, Lightning Tail calls him out on his lie, saying that he no longer needs to protect he and Acorn Fur, as they were no longer kits. Wind Runner calls Lightning Tail and Acorn Fur over not long after, offering to teach them battle moves. Although Lightning Tail is shocked at first, he soon realizes that they could adapt the hunting skills they already possess.
When Gorse Fur and Wind Runner are invited to join the moor cats, Lightning Tail is one of the cats to praise Gorse Fur for his actions and abilities. He thanks Gorse Fur, saying that when they were kits, the gray tabby would take quite a while to try and teach them how to stalk, and his never-ending patience shown when he and Acorn Fur would get bored and stalk Gorse Fur's tail instead.
After Thunder and Jackdaw's Cry leave to speak to Clear Sky, both Lightning Tail and Acorn Fur anxiously await their father's return. When Thunder returns alone, Lightning Tail is the first to question his father's whereabouts. He is joined by Acorn Fur and Tall Shadow, where they wait for Thunder to report what has happened. When Thunder says that Jackdaw's Cry has been taken by Clear Sky, some of the cats suggest going to fetch him. Lightning Tail disagrees, and says that Jackdaw's Cry would never forgive them should they go and rescue him- his pride was too strong for that.
When Turtle Tail's kits go missing, Lightning Tail is sent with Thunder after Jagged Peak returns with the news that Tom has taken Turtle Tail's offspring. Initially assigned with the task of making sure Gray Wing is resting, he is relieved by Tall Shadow, who tells him to go with Thunder. The ginger tom and his black-pelted friend dash off after Turtle Tail, with Thunder promising not to return without Turtle Tail and the kits.
Lightning Tail and Thunder soon encounter Clear Sky, who asks if Lightning Tail and Thunder were looking for the former's father, Jackdaw's Cry. Thunder replies that they're looking for Turtle Tail's kits, and Lightning Tail asks if Clear Sky has seen Turtle Tail. Clear Sky denies seeing the kits or Turtle Tail, and dashes off into the forest, telling his son to stay off his land. The two cats leave, and not long after, Lightning Tail picks up the scent of a rogue she-cat. The she-cat soon appears, introducing herself as Swift. Thunder asks if Swift has seen the kits, and she replies yes. When Swift asks why, Lightning Tail replies that the kits have been stolen. After they find out which direction they went, Lightning Tail asks the directions to Twolegplace, and Swift gives them to the two toms, and vanishes soon after.
Lightning Tail and his friend soon reach the river, and they wonder if Tom had given up the kits, leaving them with Turtle Tail. Lightning Tail asks Thunder if he can swim, and Thunder says no. They make their way down the bank of the river, and soon enough, Lightning Tail picks up the scent of Turtle Tail. Lightning Tail wonders if Turtle Tail would have crossed the river, and asks how the kits would have gotten across. Seconds pass, and Lightning Tail searches the riverside and finds steppingstones that could be used to cross the river.
Trying to cross the stones proves risky, however. Lightning Tail slips and smacks his chin off the rock, knocking him unconscious. Worried, Thunder tries to find a way to help his friend, and his prayers are soon answered. A friendly rogue named River Ripple appears and manages to swim after Lightning Tail, grabbing his pelt and dragging him to safety. After Lightning Tail is safely moved to land, River Ripple begins to pump water from his lungs with his forepaws. This soon proves successful, and he starts to cough up the water. Lightning Tail manages to gain the strength to speak and thanks River Ripple for saving his life.
River Ripple offers to go with Lightning Tail and Thunder to Twolegplace to search for Turtle Tail, Tom, and the kits. Although Thunder offers to let Lightning Tail stay behind and rest, Lightning Tail refuses, telling Thunder they're sticking together. The trio of cats make their way into Twolegplace, and River Ripple says that they're going to have to search every Twoleg nest alongside the Thunderpath. They don't get very far along the Thunderpath before a monster comes rolling after them. River Ripple tells the younger cats to fun, Thunder and Lightning Tail following the older cat and making their way across the black path. Lightning Tail trembles, scared of the Thunderpath and the previous events.
Whispering quietly, Lightning Tail tries to get Thunder's attention. Although slightly disoriented from the encounter with the Thunderpath, he answers his friend. Lightning Tail's eyes are wide with horror, and Thunder soon sees why. Lightning Tail discovers a shape laying on the ground on the side of the Thunderpath, and Lightning Tail creeps forward, trying to awaken the shape. Thunder and Lightning Tail's voices are filled with grief as they realize Turtle Tail is dead.
Lightning Tail is devastated upon seeing Turtle Tail lying by the side of the Thunderpath. It upsets him greatly and he tries to save Turtle Tail himself by warming up her body. He then tries to get Thunder to help him take the body back to Cloud Spots, saying that the elder cat will be able to save her and make her all better. Caught up in his grief, Lightning Tail doesn't even notice the oncoming monster, and has to have Thunder drag him out of the way so he doesn't meet the same fate that Turtle Tail did.
When River Ripple takes Turtle Tail's body and tries to shove it out of sight, Lightning Tail starts to panic an says that she deserves more than being pushed aside. Thunder disagrees, saying that the cats can't bury here here and it's too far to take her all the way back to camp. He also notes that they need to make sure the kits won't see their mother's body alongside the road. Thunder tells Lightning Tail that he needs to save his grief for later, and that the kits need him to be strong.
Lightning Tail soon meets a cat named Flower, who appears to be scared of him and Thunder at first sight. She tries to run away, but Lightning Tail pleads with her not to go, and explains how important it is that they find Tom. They soon find the answers they seek, and they make their way along, and it's not very long before Lightning Tail picks up the scents of kits. Their original plans to kidnap the kits from Tom doesn't go as planned, as Tom's Twolegs appear. They soon rekindle their plans and make their way to where the kits are, only to be confronted by Tom. Dismayed, Lightning Tail says that they'll have to leave the kits with their father, and winking at Thunder, he marches away from the den with the ginger cat padding behind him, and they come up with a new plan.
Lightning Tail reveals that he wants to distract Tom, using his vanity and selfishness against him. While Thunder is worried that it'll make Tom hold onto the kits, Lightning Tail isn't so dismayed, and argues with Thunder, saying the kits might not want to stay with their father. Lightning Tail says that all the kits have ever known is the moorland, and they must feel trapped. The cats make their way back, presumably to say goodbye to Sparrow Fur, Owl Eyes, and Pebble Heart. Tom tells them to stop and glares at the cats, and gets even more anxious when he sees Lightning Tail making his way to Tom's Twoleg nest. Tom snarls at Lightning Tail, telling him to get away from his Twolegs, and that they belonged to him and him alone.
Their plan almost falls apart, however, as Tom's Twolegs attempt to take Lightning Tail inside their house. Thunder takes action, and curls himself around the Twoleg, in an attempt to get them to drop Lightning Tail; it works, and Lightning Tail and Thunder escape with the kits. They are followed by Tom, and Lightning Tail and Thunder are left no choice but to confront him. Lightning Tail tells Tom that the kits belong on the moor with them, and states that the kits are wild, and they'll never willingly choose the life Tom has. He says that they'll find their way back to the moor, just as their mom did. Lightning Tail says that Turtle Tail had the heart of a mountain cat, and his usage of past tense causes Tom to look up and tip his head. He inquires of Turtle Tail, and Thunder reveals that Turtle Tail was killed looking for Tom and the kits. As Tom fires off a remark, Thunder jumps for him, but is stopped by Lightning Tail. He asks Tom if he thinks the kits will thank their father for leading their mother to her death.
Lightning Tail goes on and tells Tom that he is never to come onto the moor again, and he'll regret it if he does. He states that his kits will remember him as the cat who killed their mother, and that they will never follow him willingly. Tom disowns his kits after this, and Lightning Tail leads Thunder back to the kits, where they were staying with River Ripple. Sparrow Fur asks Lightning Tail if they brought Tom, and he replies softly that he wanted to stay with his Twolegs instead of his kits.
Lightning Tail is the cat to tell Gray Wing that they found Turtle Tail's body. He tells an upset and devastated Sparrow Fur that Turtle Tail would have wanted the kits back on the moor with Gray Wing. To add to the pain, news that Emberkit has died reached Lightning Tail, and he presses himself next to Acorn Fur for comfort. Lightning Tail helps Shattered Ice with digging the grave for Emberkit. He joins the others in a final farewell to Turtle Tail and Emberkit.
When Thunder returns to camp for help, Lightning Tail is one of the cats who yowls out to him, but he is ignored as Thunder heads straight for Gray Wing and Pebble Heart. He asks which cats will come with him, and Lightning Tail offers to help fight against Clear Sky. He is joined by Hawk Swoop, Rainswept Flower, and Shattered Ice, alongside many other cats. Lightning Tail joins in the battle with Clear Sky, and defends Thunder, hauling a brown tabby named Snake off of his friend. He is also seen in battle with Thorn, a tom on Clear Sky's side of the battle. He manages to turn himself around and escape from Thorn's grip, sending him howling.
The death of Hawk Swoop shocks Lightning Tail, and he crouches beside the body of his mother, trembling in terror. Upset, he mourns the death of his mother with Acorn Fur, and Gray Wing sends him to where Cloud Spots was stationed, to heal his wounds from battle.

The Blazing Star

Lightning Tail and his sister, Acorn Fur, help Thunder carry the lifeless body of Hawk Swoop. Although Thunder was initially planning on carrying his foster mother's body himself, Lightning Tail and Acorn Fur appear and offer to help. He bids farewell to his mother, saying that he will never forget her.
Lightning Tail expresses shock and horror when Acorn Fur decides to go with Clear Sky's group, instead of going back to the moor with the rest of the cats. Acorn Fur explains that she doesn't think she is able to go back, not emotionally ready to be there without her mother or father. Acorn Fur tells Lightning Tail that he is welcome to come with her, but Lightning Tail shakes his head no. Thunder notes that although he understands, he doesn't look happy about losing his sister.
Soon, Lightning Tail and the others are found by a group of cats consisting of Holly, Mud Paws, and Mouse Ears. Lightning Tail circles Mouse Ears, and comments on his name. He says that Mouse Ears must have his name because of the size of his ears. Holly reassures Lightning Tail and the others, and with a biting remark, Mouse Ears backs away from Lightning Tail.
Gray Wing fondly remembers training Lightning Tail, Thunder, and Acorn Fur, and he knows that the group is safe with younger cats, as he watches Thunder now train the former rogues from their previous encounter at the battleground with four trees. They meet there a moon later, and Lightning Tail happily greets Acorn Fur, and gets bombarded with happy nuzzles and licks from his sister.
During a group meeting, Lightning Tail joins them and sits next to Thunder, Mouse Ears, Owl Eyes, Pebble Heart, and Sparrow Fur. They are soon joined by Cloud Spots and Dappled Pelt. The moor cats question what to do about One Eye, a rogue that has caused problems for Holly and her group in the past., and Lightning Tail offers to help Thunder train anyone who wishes to learn. Joining the training group are the new cats, and Jagged Peak, who hopes Thunder and the others would help train him as well. Holly gladly offers to help train the cats as well, and Thunder leads them out of the hollow.
Lightning Tail and Thunder have a mock battle, where the former hisses at his friend and calls him an invader. Although just teasing, Lightning Tail comments on Thunder's massive paws, and asks how he doesn't trip over them. The black cat lunges at Thunder, and receives a rough blow to the chest. As he tries to get up, Thunder launches himself on top of Lightning Tail, saying that the big-pawed cat can move as fast as any of the others. Their mock fight soon ends, and Lightning Tail shakes the dust and debris from his pelt.
Lightning Tail and Shattered Ice return from a hunting party, and soon after, the group hears Wind Runner's ear-shattering yowl, and they learn that her young kit, Morning Whisker, has the sickness that ravages the groups of cats. She soon dies of the sickness, but Clear Sky, upon hearing the news, believes that the rogue One Eye had known something about it. Clear Sky meows that perhaps One Eye could have helped with the sickness, and Lightning Tail hisses, wanting to know the cost of asking the rogue for help. The black tom angrily says that one cat is dead, and One Eye is responsible for the near-death of another. He questions if One Eye even has any wisdom at all to offer, and Thunder intervenes in the conversation, saying that talking about One Eye is diverting the cats from their real problem.
Thunder takes Lightning Tail and Owl Eyes hunting, and the two younger toms sit on either side of Thunder as he spots a rabbit. He tells Owl Eyes to sit still, and instructs Lightning Tail on what he should do. Thunder tells him to run in between the rabbit and its burrow, forcing it to go in the opposite direction. The plan commences, and Lightning Tail darts off after the rabbit. The rabbit, upon seeing Lightning Tail, darts towards where Owl Eyes is hiding, and the younger cat pops out, scaring it, and sending it right towards Thunder, who promptly kills the rabbit.
Their hunt proves unsuccessful, as the rabbit they'd caught has the sickness that took Morning Whisker's life. Thunder instructs Owl Eyes to stay back, and tells Lightning Tail to fetch leaves to wrap the prey up in. On their way back to camp, Owl Eyes starts to complain about the lack of prey, and Lightning Tail agrees with the younger kit. He tells Owl Eyes that it's hard to hunt, with the sickness spreading from prey to prey. Thunder mentions Gray Wing during this conversation, and this upsets Owl Eyes. After sharing a quick glance with Lightning Tail, Thunder tells Owl Eyes that he misses Gray Wing too.
They are soon joined by Star Flower, and Lightning Tail again continues to stare at the rogue. Star Flower asks Lightning Tail if Thunder is always that talkative, noting his lack of response at her joke, and he says that Thunder doesn't like strangers. He adds on that not many cats do, and to excuse the group of cats so they can head back to their camp. Just like when she had first introduced herself to Thunder, Lightning Tail stares at the she-cat, this time with distrust in his narrow gaze. When Lightning Tail turns to go home, Thunder doesn't follow. The black tom pressures Thunder, saying that they are needed back at home. Thunder dismisses Lightning Tail, authority in his voice, saying that they're not needed. Lightning Tail argues with Thunder, saying that he was one of the cats who made the rule to keep to themselves, and whispers to Thunder that he doesn't trust Star Flower and she makes his fur stand on end. Thunder ignores Lightning Tail's concerns, and sends both he and Owl Eyes back to camp, saying they can manage the rabbit and he'll find something else to contribute.

A Forest Divided

When Clear Sky arrives in camp to visit Jagged Peak, Holly, and their new kits— Eagle Feather, Storm Pelt, and Dew Nose— Lightning Tail is seen sitting no more than a tail-length away from the group, sharing a mouse with Mud Paws. Clear Sky notes that he can see the bones jutting from their pelt, most likely from the lack of food during the colder times.
Jagged Peak remarks that Lightning Tail and Shattered Ice have gone out to look for moss to line the den where Holly and the kits are in an attempt to create a better shelter for the young kits, as snow is starting to fall and the weather is getting cold. Lightning Tail and Shattered Ice return as soon as Jagged Peak starts a group meeting, telling the black tom that the cats need to decide for themselves where they will live. Lightning Tail comes up with the idea to grab heather sprigs and place them in their respective circles— no heather meaning Clear Sky's camp, one sprig meaning the pine forest, and two meaning the moorland.
When Dappled Pelt asks about the river, Lightning Tail replies that the territory by the river belongs to River Ripple. Gray Wing tells Lightning Tail that he should be included in their choices, as the spirit cats chose to share their words with River Ripple as well. When it comes Lightning Tail's turn to pick where he wishes to live, he glances at Thunder, as if he expected Thunder to help him make his decision. Looking away, Thunder thinks to himself that he cannot help Lightning Tail decide, and he must make this choice on his own. Soon, his stone is placed in Clear Sky's circle, and Thunder recalls that his sister, Acorn Fur, also lives with Clear Sky; now that Hawk Swoop and Jackdaw's Cry are dead, Lightning Tail has no kin left in Tall Shadow's group. Lightning Tail teases Dappled Pelt when she picks River Ripple's camp, saying that he always knew she was mousebrained.
Lightning Tail is joined by Clear Sky, Owl Eyes, and Sparrow Fur, and he gazes wistfully at the entrance of the moor camp before they leave. After bidding goodbye to Gray Wing, Thunder joins them, and the group of cats make their way out of camp. The cats settle into their new home, and when Acorn Tail is training Owl Eyes to hunt, Thunder remarks that she learned quick, and Acorn Fur says that she learned quicker than Thunder— the ginger tom also says that she learned quicker than Lightning Tail. The black tom was supposed to join them in their training, but Lightning Tail soon finds out that Acorn Fur left without him. He asks Clear Sky where Acorn Fur is, and the older cat snorts, belittling Lightning Tail's sense of smell. Lightning Tail says that all he can smell is wet leaves, and wonders how Clear Sky finds any prey at all.
Thunder tells Lightning Tail that he'll get used to the smell of wet leaves and forestland, and Lightning Tail asks Thunder if he wants to join he and Acorn Fur with their training. Thunder declines and says that he wants to explore, and invites Clear Sky to go with him. Clear Sky gets aggravated, and acts like Thunder had forced him to step on a thorn. Lightning Tail asks if Clear Sky is always argumentative, and Thunder nods. Lightning Tail praises Thunder's patience, and says that Thunder has more than he does. Thunder says he'll see Lightning Tail later, and walks out of camp.
Lightning Tail is part of a small hunting group with Blossom, one of Clear Sky's newer arrivals. Clear Sky wonders where he and Blossom had gotten to, as Leaf, Sparrow Fur, and Owl Eyes had been sent out later than Blossom and Lightning Tail and still returned early. Clear Sky suspected that two hunting patrols would bring back more prey; Milkweed and her kits, Clover and Thistle, had also joined Clear Sky's group.
After the arrival of Star Flower, Lightning Tail is furious, and joins Leaf when he confronts Clear Sky. Lightning Tail is still very bitter towards Star Flower for her betrayal of Thunder, and tells Clear Sky that she lied once, and she'll do it again. Clear Sky confronts Lightning Tail, saying that she has no one else to be loyal to, now that One Eye is dead, but Lightning Tail refuses to listen to Clear Sky. The black tom vows to keep a close eye on Star Flower, especially when she is around Thunder, as the cat is fully aware of what Star Flower is capable of doing, and clearly hasn't forgiven her for what she did to his friend. He keeps his word, and watches Star Flower like a hawk whenever she engages in conversation with Thunder.
Lightning Tail and Leaf return to camp after looking for moss, saying that they've carried enough back to line two nests. The two cats drop what they have, and Leaf says that they should start to spread out the moss so it dries. Lightning Tail suggests placing the moss near the holly, saying that it'll dry in no time at all if the clouds clear up and the sun catches it.
After Clear Sky leaves camp to go on border patrol, Thunder approaches Lightning Tail and asks him to keep an eye on camp. When Lightning Tail asks why, Thunder says that he was ordered to stay in camp, but wants to follow Clear Sky. Lightning Tail teases his friend, saying that he's just being nosy, but Thunder denies it. Lightning Tail straightens himself up, and says that he's going with Thunder, and the two find Leaf and leave him in charge while they pursue Clear Sky. Lightning Tail picks up his scent and says that Clear Sky headed towards the river, but once they get there, they can't find him. They deduce that Clear Sky went towards the flat rocks, and they track him there.
Upon arriving, Thunder and Lightning Tail are shocked at what they see— Clear Sky is meeting Star Flower in private, despite Lightning Tail's warnings. Thunder is furious, saying that Star Flower never cared for him. Lightning Tail looks at Thunder, saying at least Thunder didn't tell her that he loved her. After pausing, Lightning Tail asks if Thunder told Star Flower that much. Thunder says no, and that he's not that stupid. Lightning glances to where Clear Sky and Star Flower are, and replies that his father must be, then.
Thunder says that Star Flower is using Clear Sky, and Lightning Tail asks what for. Thunder hisses that she can do that because she's Star Flower, and because Clear Sky is leader; if she became mates with the leader, she would have much more power and influence over the cats. Lightning Tail replies that Clear Sky knows what she's done and how dangerous she is, and adds that his concern was getting the cats together, not finding a mate. Thunder, in pain, tells Lightning Tail that he needs to be alone, and watches as his friend pads away.
Lightning Tail shares stories of being on the moorland with Birch and Alder while sharing tongues with Acorn Fur, and the two younger cats constantly bombard him with questions. He confesses that although he hunted in tunnels, he much preferred to be out in the open and above ground. He flashes a warning glance to Thunder when he snaps at his father, not wanting to confront him about Star Flower.
After a training session with Owl Eyes, Lightning Tail rushes to meet Thunder, and Thunder asks him where Clear Sky is. Lightning Tail says that he's out with Star Flower, and Thunder's fur starts to bristle in anger. Lightning Tail tells Thunder that Clear Sky said that he would be back later, and he soon returns.
During the confrontation with Clear Sky, Lightning Tail exchanges a look with his sister, and watches as Thunder finally deals with Clear Sky and his actions. When Thunder decides to leave Clear Sky's group, he is joined by Lightning Tail, Cloud Spots, Owl Eyes, Pink Eyes, and Leaf. Lightning Tail falls in beside Thunder, and asks why Thunder never told Lightning Tail he was planning on leaving Clear Sky's group. Thunder says that it was a spur of the moment decision, and he has no idea where they are going. The group is soon joined by Milkweed and her kits, who Thunder happily accepts. When Thunder says he thought he was going to spend the night by himself in the forest, Lightning Tail tells him too bad, and Thunder is relived that his friend is joining him.
Soon, Leaf finds a new place for them to live, and when Lightning Tail catches up with them, he looks pleased, saying that there is plenty of shelter for them. He helps Cloud Spots, Leaf, Milkweed, and the kits down the cliff and into the clearing, where he finds a place that provides the perfect shelter for them inside a thick clump of bracken. Lightning Tail hollows out a den for the group of cats, and tells everyone to rest. Thunder settles in beside Lightning Tail, and the black tom asks if one of them should keep guard. Thunder says no, and they all go take a nice, long, peaceful rest.
After Pink Eyes scents snow on the way, Lightning Tail and the others hunt for most of the day, and Thunder is impressed at the size of their fresh-kill pile. When Thunder notices Leaf taking prey to Milkweed and her kits, Thunder looks oddly at Lightning Tail, who explains that Leaf probably felt bad for saying that the queen couldn't hunt, as she brought back just as much prey as Leaf did.
Lightning Tail joins Thunder as they attempt to travel to Clear Sky's camp with news of Quiet Rain, Gray Wing, Jagged Peak, and Clear Sky's mother. She is sick and Thunder and Lightning Tail try to fetch Clear Sky to deliver the news. They want to make it quick, but are met with opposition in the form of Clear Sky's cats, who are still bitter and hostile towards Thunder and Lightning Tail. Acorn Fur looks hopefully at Lightning Tail, asking if he plans on coming back. Softly, Lightning Tail says that he's not coming back to Clear Sky's group, and that they only came to get Clear Sky. Star Flower tries to join them, and Thunder attempts to stop her. They are pushed by Lightning Tail, who says they're wasting time and that they need to get going. They arrive in Tall Shadow's camp, and they are offered prey. Thunder says that as soon as Lightning Tail eats, they will be on their way back to camp. He soon changes his mind, and sends Lightning Tail back by himself, worried about Leaf and the other cats in his care.
After Thunder returns to his camp, he is greeted by Lightning Tail, who almost considered sending out a search party for his friend. When Thunder asks where the others are, Lightning Tail says that they're in their nests, and takes Thunder to where his and Lightning Tail's nests are. He offers to give Thunder his nest for the night until they can fix up Thunder's, and Lightning Tail says the location is prime for keeping an eye on their cats and who comes in and out of their camp. Thunder is happy, and says that tomorrow, he will roam the forest with Lightning Tail and help care for his friends.

Path of Stars

Coming Soon

In the Field Guide Arc

Secrets of the Clans

Lightningtail is the one of the oldest ancient ThunderClan cats. He is the very first ThunderClan deputy, serving under the leadership of Thunderstar. It is unknown what happened to Lightningtail, but he is eventually succeeded by Owleyes, who later becomes Owlstar, the second leader of ThunderClan.


  • Vicky has said on her Facebook that Lightning Tail and Lightningtail are the same cat.[8]
  • When returning to the moor with Thunder and Turtle Tail's kits, his name is written as "Lightning", without the "Tail" part.[9]
  • Despite being called an adult in the previous book,[5] and being old enough to participate in battle,[10] Lightning Tail is listed as a kit in The Blazing Star.[11]
  • He is mistakenly referred to as "Lightening Tail".[12]
  • Lightning Tail was was named for his speed,[13] however in Thunder Rising, it was mentioned that he got his name from always hanging around with Thunder.[14]

Character Pixels

Please do not edit this gallery




Jackdaw's Cry:[15] Deceased, Verified StarClan member


Hawk Swoop:[15] Deceased, Verified StarClan member


Acorn Fur:[15] Living (As of Path of Stars)

Foster Brother:

Thunder:[16] Deceased, Verified StarClan member


Falling Feather:[17] Deceased, Verified StarClan member


Hawk Swoop
Jackdaw's Cry
Falling Feather
Acorn Fur

    = Male

    = Female

    = Gender Unknown


"Lightning Tail got his name because he's always hanging around with Thunder. They're our own little storm in the making!"
—Gray Wing on how Lightning Tail was named Thunder Rising, pages 16-17

Lightning Tail: "I wish Thunder could be here to see this. At least now there are new cats here in the hollow who will help to lead the group."
Gray Wing: "Lead? I thought that was my job now."
Lightning Tail: "I didn't mean—"
Gray Wing: "Then what did you mean? Gorse Fur and Wind Runner aren't even part of our group yet, and you talk about them leading?"
Lightning Tail: "I only meant... Well, the more strong cats we have, the better, right?"
Gray Wing: "What do you mean by strong?"
Lightning Tail: "Look, there's Acorn Fur! I have to talk to her."
Gray Wing: "You haven't answered my question. What do you mean by strong?"
Lightning Tail: "I mean cats who can stand up to Clear Sky! There, I've said it! I can't believe Thunder went away with him, after all the stories we've heard. Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. Every cat knows that Clear Sky is trying to push other cats around."
—Lightning Tail and Gray Wing arguing over Clear Sky and Thunder Thunder Rising, pages 205-206

Gray Wing: "This is what it's about. This is true strength."
Lightning Tail: "Where you lead, we will all follow."
—Lightning Tail vowing to follow Gray Wing's leadership Thunder Rising, page 209

Lightning Tail: "I'm the best stalker on the moor."
Acorn Fur: "He can stalk a hare from the moortop to the gorge without it scenting him."
—Lightning Tail bragging of his hunting skills The First Battle, pages 50-52

Lightning Tail: "Come on, Turtle Tail!"
Thunder: "She's dead, Lightning Tail."
Lightning Tail: "No! She's hurt, that's all. Cloud Spots will be able to make her better. If we get her home, she'll be okay."
—Lightning Tail, devastated over the death of Turtle Tail The First Battle, pages 170-171

Clear Sky: "I know, but if One Eye were still here, he might be able to advise us. He—"
Lightning Tail: "Yes, but at what cost? He's killed one cat and nearly killed another. How many more would have to die, just so that we could listen to his words of wisdom— if he has any wisdom to offer?"
—Clear Sky and Lightning Tail's opinions on One Eye The Blazing Star, pages 132-133

"I just don't trust her. There's something about her that makes my fur stand on end. She's just... not real. I can't explain it but..."
—Lightning Tail's opinions on Star Flower The Blazing Star, page 161

Leaf: "She's a traitor."
Lightning Tail: "She lied to Thunder last time. She'll do it again."
Clear Sky: "Thunder's no fool. And what would she lie about? There's no cat left for her to betray us to. One Eye is dead. She has no one else. Would you have left her to fend for herself all leaf-bare?"
Lightning Tail: "Yes."
Clear Sky: "Don't you think I have a reason for taking her in? Having her close means we can keep an eye on her. That way, if she is our enemy, we'll know it before she can harm us."
Leaf: "I guess."
Lightning Tail: "I'm watching her every move. Especially around Thunder."
—Lightning Tail and Leaf confronting Clear Sky about Star Flower A Forest Divided, pages 140-141

"Lightning Tail is in charge for now. He's the strongest cat in the group, and I trust him completely. Do whatever he tells you. [...] If I don't return, you must be leader. I trust you to take care of our campmates. Keep the group together. The future lies in your paws."
—Thunder before he leaves to find Slash's group Path of Stars, page chapter 21

References and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 22
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in Thunder Rising, allegiances
  3. Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 48
  4. Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 181
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in The First Battle, page 50
  6. Revealed in Path of Stars, page 81
  7. Revealed in The Blazing Star, page 10
  8. Revealed on Vicky's facebook
  9. Revealed in The First Battle, page 212
  10. Revealed in The First Battle, page 252
  11. Revealed in The Blazing Star, allegiances
  12. Revealed in The Blazing Star, page 161
  13. Revealed on Kate's blog
  14. Revealed to be 16 in an unknown book, page 2
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Revealed in Thunder Rising, page 5
  16. Revealed in The Sun Trail, page 311
  17. Revealed in The Sun Trail, page 93

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