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Great White Feline

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Panthera Awesome with a white color variant.

There's something visually incredible about a large member of the cat family with white fur. Given white often represents purity and innocence, a feline creature with fur can be seen as majestic and divine. Often, these cats have a mystical origin.

White tigers and lions are the most recurring example of this trope in fiction. White lions and tigers also exist in real life as do snow leopards who have white-gray fur. Big white cats are also pretty rare in real life, especially those that are mutations as with the aforementioned white lions and tigers. Lionesses prefer males with darker mane, and white tigers cannot camouflage themselves effectively, leading to them not even existing in the wild and only in domesticity.

This trope can also apply to characters who use a white panther Animal Motif.

The Great White Feline can be seen as a symbol of power, uniqueness, mysticism, magic, authority etc.

Given the frequency to associate such creatures in media with the supernatural, this trope could be seen as the big cat equivalent of Mystical White Hair.

Expect this trope to come up in the form of the White Tiger of the West when the Four Gods of Chinese Mythology are featured in a work.

Generally this trope applies to heroic characters, but rare villainous examples do exist, perhaps overlapping with Albinos Are Freaks.

Sister Trope to White Wolves Are Special and White Stallion. White Bunny also involves a white animal, but has innocent connotations instead.

Note: Mega Neko with white fur do not qualify as this. This trope applies to large sized (not domestic) cats with white fur. A Mega Neko is a giant domestic cat (or other cat species that is normally small in size).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Shirogane is a six-legged white cat approximately the size of a rhinoceros, whose power made him King of the Ayakashi and in the past lead humans to worship him as a god. His body structure is a loose mix of numerous types of big cats. His Sleep-Mode Size simply looks like a white domestic cat.
  • Bakugan: Tigrerra is a Haos attribute Bakugan and the Guardian of Runo Misaki. She is a large white tiger and gains a bipedal form when she evolves into Blade Tigrerra.
  • Beast Wars II: Lio Convoy is the leader of the Maximals. His alt mode is a white lion with a golden mane.
  • Bleach: Grimmjow is one of the Espada, the most powerful of Arrancar Hollows. Before he became an Arrancar, he was a white, panther-like Adjuchas-class Menos and his One-Winged Angel form is a white, feline-esque appearance. While not a hero, Grimmjow is one of the more honorable villains in the series when it comes to battle and even aids the heroes in the final arc so he can have a rematch with Ichigo, his main rival.
  • Bungo Stray Dogs: Atsushi's Ability, "Beast Beneath the Moonlight", allows him to become a massive white tiger with a Healing Factor. The tiger itself is usually depicted as a wild animal separate from Atsushi, and the transformations happen without his consent, which combined with his existing trauma makes him wary and frightened of the tiger. However, after Fukuzawa gives him control over his power, Atsushi begins to make amends with the beast.
  • Digimon:
  • Hayate the Combat Butler: Nagi has a pet white tiger named Tama. He is capable of standing on his hind legs and mimicking human voices.
  • Inuyasha:
  • Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato: The Hero wears armor based on a white lion.
  • Onmyou Taisenki: Kogenta is based on the Byakko and is the Shikigami of the main protagonist, Riku Tachibana.
  • Kimba the White Lion: The eponymous character is a white lion and the king of the jungle. In Journey into Time, he is bullied by other lions for having white fur.
  • Ronin Warriors: White Blaze is a white tiger who serves as the Team Pet to the heroes. He is a thousand years old and used to travel with the Ancient One.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: After Tania is defeated by Jaden, she transforms into a white tiger which appears to be her true form.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • Invincible: Thokk aka Battle Beast is a lion-like alien with white fur. He is one of the most powerful beings in the comic, having nearly killed Invincible and fought Thragg in a battle that lasted days before being killed by him.
  • The Jaguar: Zoologist Ralph Hardy was on a dig in Peru when a giant serpent-like dinosaur attacked them. While trying to escape the creature, Hardy followed a white jaguar to a temple where he discovered a mystical belt which transformed him into the superhero known as The Jaguar.
  • Red Sonja: Issue #50 of the original Dynamite run has Sonja accompanying an Egomaniac Hunter known as Lord Kinzara on a hunt for a mythical beast known as the Cloud Tiger which takes the form of a large, terrifying white tiger. Sonja convinces him to journey to the top of a mountain with just her and leave his hunting party behind. When they are confronted by the Cloud Tiger, it is revealed that Kinzara was the leader of the bandits who murdered Sonja's family and raped her when she was a child. Sonja has spent years tracking him down and used his obsession with hunting to lure him to his doom. Sonja leaves Kinzara to be killed by the Cloud Tiger and avenges her family.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Black Panther: Bast, the patron god of the Panther cult, often appears as an enormous white panther, though she may also appear as a white or black cat person.
    • White Tiger:
      • Hector Ayala is the original White Tiger, a superhero whose costumed alias was modeled after a white tiger. He gains his powers from the Jade Tiger amulet. The identity has been wielded by other characters, namely Kasper Cole, Angela del Toro and Ava Ayala, Hector's youngest sister.
      • The Tiger God that resides within the Tiger Amulets has occasionally taken the form of a white tiger though it has also been depicted as green.
      • The second White Tiger was an actual white Bengal tigress evolved into a woman of East Indian descent by the High Evolutionary. She was part of the short-lived Heroes for Hire revival in the 1990s.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Primal: One of the main antagonists is a 400 lb. white jaguar let loose belowdecks. It intervenes at several crucial moments during the film. Great White Hunter Frank Walsh is determined to Bring It Back Alive because it is worth a fortune.

  • Dark Heavens: Bai Hu the White Tiger is one of the leaders of Heaven. He is characterized as a guy whose favorite things in life are (in no particular order) fighting, eating and screwing.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: There is a species of white lion called hrakkar that roam the Dothraki sea of grass. Khal Drogo hunts one and makes a cloak of its skin for his wife, Daenerys. After his death, she continues to wear the cloak as a Tragic Keepsake.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: Suphia is a white tiger Lycanthrope and is a warrior of high rank. She also fits literally, transforming into a full-on white tiger after her first engagement with Tempest.
  • The White Tiger: A consistent motif throughout the story. In the book's Title Drop, Balram is compared to the titular animal because his intelligence and potential to rise above his station is as rare and valuable as the white tiger. When he visits a zoo and sees a white tiger in a cage, he sees himself in the animal and kills his boss, giving himself freedom.

    Live-Action TV 

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Baihu (the "White Tiger of the West") of Chinese Mythology is the Trope Codifier for white tigers of importance or mysticism. It is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellation alongside the Azure Dragon of the East, the Vermilion Bird of the South, the White Tiger of the West, and the Black Tortoise (also called "Black Warrior") of the North.
  • Some African tribes such as the Zulu view white lions as divine messengers. There is an oral story about how white lions first appeared in the region now known as Timbaviti when it was ruled by Queen Numbi. According to the myth, a shining star fell from the sky and consumed Queen Numbi in a strange light which restored her youth. The fallen star remained in that area for some days before rising back into the sky. Animals with strange deformities were born in that region including two-headed cattle, white impala and green-eyed white leopards and lions.
  • In Buddhist symbology, the snow lion (a large white lion with a turquoise mane) sometimes features as a supporter of the Buddha. To this day it is an important part of Tibetan folklore and iconography.

    Video Games 
  • Far Cry 4: Player Character Ajay Ghale experiences Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane visions of Kalinag, a famous ancient hero of Kyrat, exploring Shangri La whenever he picks up a mystic thangka painting. In his exploits, Kalinag befriends a majestic white tiger with golden armour who assists him in purging Shangri-La of the murderous Rakshasas who have taken it over.
  • League of Legends: Rengar is a Vastaya resembling an anthropomorphic white lion.
  • Marvel Future Fight: The game features a team of heroes called the Warriors of the Sky whose Animal Motifs are based on the Four Symbols. One of them is War Tiger, a large, muscular man from Thailand whose Sinister Scythe has a white tiger head decoration.
  • Ni Oh 2: Subverted with the White Tiger which just looks more like a white Mega Neko.
  • Pokémon: Solgaleo is a Legendary Pokemon whose physical appearance is that of a white lion. It is one of the two final stages of Cosmog and is one of three Legendary Pokemon of Pokémon Sun and Moon.
    • Somewhat similarly, Incineroar's shiny form resembles that of a bipedal white tiger.
  • Red Dead Redemption II: In Online mode, one of the Legendary animals that can be found is a pure white panther that roams the swamps near Lagras, called the Ghost Panther. It is very dangerous, and if killed, a coat can be made from its pelt.
    • One of the optional loan sharking missions in the single player game sees Arthur forced to venture into the cave of a white cougar.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Byakko/Bai Hu is a demon and Persona in the series, based on the White Tiger of the West from the Chinese Constellations.
  • Warcraft III: The Night Elves ride panthers into battle, with the Priestess of the Moon Hero Unit riding a white-furred tiger.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has Dromarch, Nia's blade, who takes the appearance of a white tiger.

    Western Animation 
  • Beast Wars: Tigatron's alt mode is a white tiger. He is much more in touch with his animal instincts than the other Maximals and is more at home in the wild than on the Axalon. He was also friends with a normal white tiger named Snowstalker who was killed during the conflict between the Maximals and Predacons.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: The "Justice Friends" shorts extended cast includes a Captain Ersatz of Black Panther named White Tiger, though he acts more like a house cat than than a tiger-themed human superhero.
  • El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera: Rodolfo's superhero persona is called "White Pantera", fitting the Rivera family's cat superhero motif while highlighting that he's the unambiguous hero of the family. He wears a white suit and a luchador mask with cat ears, as well as superpowered boots that give him incredible running speed and superpowered kicks and can make anybody who touches them tell the truth.
  • Father of the Pride: The main family in the show is a family of rare white lions.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: The first season dealt with the 12 Talismans, a set of MacGuffins modeled after the Chinese zodiac, each granting a different power. The Tiger Talisman is modeled after a white tiger and has the power to split beings into their good and evil halves. When the talismans are destroyed in season 3, the energies inhabiting them are transferred into the animals they represent. The Tiger Talisman's power is absorbed by a circus white tiger named Sasha.
  • Jana of the Jungle has a white jaguar named Ghost.
  • ThunderCats (1985): Bengali is based on a white tiger. He is one of three new ThunderCats discovered in Season 2. His skills as a blacksmith prove useful when the Sword of Omens is broken again. He is also physically one of the strongest Thundercats next to Panthro.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: In the appropriately titled episode "The White Lion", Allura and Lotor venture into Oriande and meet a mysterious guardian spirit who takes the form of a white lion. Said creature tests them to see whether they are worthy of learning the secrets of Altean alchemy. It is implied to be the inspiration for the (multicolored) lions that form Voltron.