Shadowcats are large felines that are found beyond the Wall, in the Mountains of the Moon, and in the northern Riverlands. There is also a constellation of stars named the Shadowcat.
- See also: Images of Shadowcats
Shadowcats are fearsome predators, but will also scavenge. In size they are somewhere in between real world tigers and mountain lions. Their eyes glow in the dark, and their claws are known to be very sharp.
It's said that shadowcats can smell blood six miles away. They will eat every shred of meat from a kill and will even crack the bones to get at the marrow. Shadowcats tend to not attack living men unless very starved.
A Game of Thrones
Along the high road in the Mountains of the Moon, Catelyn Stark and her party (including the captive Tyrion Lannister) are worried about the shadowcats that live in the passes. The party is attacked by Vale mountain clansmen, led by a man wearing a shadowskin cloak. After the battle with the clansmen, the survivors leave the corpses to be scavenged by shadowcats, despite Catelyn's objections.
The singer Marillion somehow acquires the dead chief's shadowskin cloak, but Tyrion wins the cloak from him at dice. In the Sky Cells of the Eyrie, Mord takes the shadowskin cloak from Tyrion; but once he wins his freedom, Tyrion takes it back. He wears it for warmth while in the mountains.
A Clash of Kings
When Tyrion arrives in King's Landing to take the role of acting Hand of the King, he is still wearing his shadowskin cloak. He wears it for warmth in the underground vaults of the Guildhall of the Alchemists.
While making his way through Skirling Pass with Qhorin Halfhand, Dalbridge, Ebben, and Stonesnake, Jon Snow watches a shadowcat stalk a ram, flowing down the mountainside like liquid smoke until it was ready to pounce. Jon wishes he could move as sure and silent as that shadowcat, and kill as quickly.
After Jon captures Ygritte, she asks if he will burn her body after he kills her; when Jon says he can't light a fire because it might be seen, she says there's worse places to end up than the belly of a shadowcat.
In the pass, Jon hears the scream of a shadowcat and thinks he sees one's glowing eyes. A half-starved shadowcat comes snarling from its lair and spooks Stonesnake's horse; she breaks a leg, and they have to kill her. Ghost eats most of the horse, the men take some of the meat and leave the rest for the shadowcats.
A Storm of Swords
When the wildling camp is attacked by Stannis Baratheon's army, Varamyr's shadowcat prevents Jon from entering Mance Rayder's tent to search for the Horn of Winter. But in the agony of Orell’s eagle’s death, Varamyr Sixskins loses control of his shadowcat, which races into the woods.
A Dance with Dragons
Varamyr Sixskins remembers how when he was a boy, he had seen the wildling skinchanger Briar with her shadowcat and wanted one for himself. He remembers how he wanted to have sex with a woman from the villages near his home, he would send his shadowcat to stalk her, and she would come, often crying. He also recalls how his shadowcat used to fight him violently when he would skinchange into it, but discovers it is even more difficult to take control of a human being.
|“||A low rumbling growl echoed off the rock. Shadowcat, Jon knew at once. As he rose he heard another, closer at hand. He pulled his sword and turned, listening.||”|
References and Notes
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 51, Jon VI.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 31, Tyrion IV.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 65, Arya XII.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 26, Jon III.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 2, Sansa I.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15, Jon II.
- ↑ So Spake Martin: Shadowcats and Clegane Lands, March 07, 2007
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 53, Jon VII.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 54, Tyrion XII.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 68, Jon VIII.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 42, Tyrion VI.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 20, Tyrion V.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 69, Jon IX.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Prologue.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 21, Jon V.