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White Wolves Are Special

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Fierce, but pure.
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For much of Western human history, wolves were portrayed as bloodthirsty monsters or as big bad villains. Gradually, over time, this view point became challenged as wolves became less common and people less cautious of them, with more positive depictions of wolves as noble, but untamed creatures eventually arising. But how do you make characters who have been portrayed for so long as evil look good? Simple, make them white.

White is often associated with light and goodness and by making a wolf white, audiences are given the indication that this wolf represents the qualities of their fur coat. Some white wolf heroes are normal wolves who are the main heroes of their work, other times they are are deities of wolves or of nature.

Real life white wolves are no different from wolves of any other color, but they are a dazzle to behold. They can usually be found in Canada, Alaska, and sometimes Minnesota. Unless you're Too Dumb to Live, do not go up to a white wolf and treat it like a dog.

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Subtrope of Noble Wolf and Light Is Good.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon Frontier: Koji's evolutionary line is lupine and has a lot of indigo and white going on. He's one of the first good guys therein to get his spirit.
  • One Piece: Subverted with the white wolves in Impel Down, very vicious beasts who roam the 5th level ("Freezing Hell"), looking for prisoners trying to escape. They used to be in the 2nd level ("Beast Hell"), but they are so ferocious that they preyed on the other beasts there.
  • Wolf's Rain has Kiba, a white wolf when in wolf form. Interestingly, he's the only one who doesn't follow the show's convention of wolves' human illusions having the same hair color as their fur and the same eye color in each form. When in human form he has dark brown hair, and blue eyes instead of his wolf form's yellow eyes.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Whiter Wolf stands out from the other wolves not just because he has white fur, but also because he's one of the only wolves on the show who has successfully captured goats on a regular basis.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Sacred Wolf, unlike the predominantly black, grey and brown wolves in other cards, has a pure white coat.
    "I raised my bow, and the wolf stared at me. Under its gaze, my finger would not release the string." — Aref the Hunter
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    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The Jungle Book (2016), Raksha, Mowgli's adoptive mother has very light, almost white fur. This makes her both easier to tell apart from the rest of the pack, and signify her as the kindest, gentlest one.
  • Mowgli: Bhoot's albino-white fur matches his pure-hearted personality. He's also "special" in the sense of being weak and physically challenged.

    Literature 
  • Child of the Wolves: Snowdrift is a white wolf who adopts the husky protagonist, Granite. She's the alpha female of her pack.
  • In Moonflowers, the Asian-American Ned Song has been cursed by The Wild Hunt into the form of a white wolf as they plot to murder him, his family, and four unknown future victims in a ritual hunt called the Fairy Raid. Thanks to said curse, everyone thinks Ned is just a huge wolfdog except for gods, the mage Ogma O'Luain, and his own recently-cursed wife Lucy, and he's been unknowingly adopted by his own daughter Alima. Ned, being a Good Parent, is both a literal and figurative Papa Wolf who swears a Blood Oath to kill the Wild Hunt's leader before ANY of the victims die.
  • The Sight: Larka is a white wolf who possesses the power of the Sight and must use it to prevent Wolfbane from returning. Fittingly, one of the dragons of the book, Fell, is a black wolf and is Larka's brother. He is redeemed though.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Ghost, Jon Snow's white direwolf — a deadly but Noble Wolf — who is part of his family while being a bit different from the rest, reflecting Jon. Ghost grows to become the biggest of his siblings and is a fierce and loyal ally to Jon, his friends and family. Bastards in Westeros are allowed to use their father's coat of arms with the colors resersed, so in Jon's case this would be a white dire wolf on a silver field. This establishes a link between him and Ghost immediately.
  • This Is Not A Werewolf Story: Raul's mother is Shapeshifter Mode Locked as a white wolf, and it's eventually revealed that white shapeshifters are a special class called "spirit animals." Oddly, Raul often refers to her as if "White Wolf" was her name, while she's otherwise an Unnamed Parent.
  • The Wolven series features both werewolves and Wolvens, the latter of which are shapeshifters from birth and have wolves are their default forms. While werewolves run the gamut of colors and moral alignments, Wolvens are Always Lawful Good and also always white.
  • In The Yukon Wolf, Lusa, a white wolf, is a kind and motherly figure to the two main characters, Tulok and Arnaaluk.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones portrays Jon's direwolf Ghost much the same as he is in the books — a deadly but a Noble Wolf who is a fierce and loyal ally to Jon, his friends and family. After Jon leads House Stark to victory in liberating Winterfell, Jon is proclaimed King in the North and nicknamed "The White Wolf", because of Ghost.
  • Due South: Deifenbecker, Constable Fraser's deaf husky/wolf hybrid, is mostly white and a heroic Handicapped Badass.

    Videogames 
  • Bayonetta 2. Father Balder has the power to take the form of animals, including wolves. Being a Lumen Sage, all of the forms are white.
  • In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, Alucard's Wolf Man form as part of him being a vampire formed under a full moon is white-furred. In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, he is also heavily associated with white wolves.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Averted with the Wolfos enemies, pure white, red-eyed wolves that can dive into snow to ambush you. The Hero's Shade, who tutors you in Difficult But Awesome sword moves, takes the form of a gold-and-white wolf while in Hyrule.
  • MapleStory: Aran's mount, Ryko, starts as a basic brown wolf but grows and evolves alongside Aran, eventually becoming a massive white wolf with burning paws when Aran reaches level 200.
  • Nancy Drew: In Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek, the eponymous white wolf is Isis, who is abnormally friendly to humans because she was raised by one. Aside from adding to the sense of uniqueness and mystery around her, Isis' fur color is important to the plot: she is identifiable from other wolves, so people notice that she's the only wolf acting strangely, and spread rumors about her.
    McQuade: Isis is by far the smartest animal I have ever seen.
  • Ōkami, the titular character is the sun goddess Amaterasu who takes the form of a white wolf with red markings and Reality Warper powers, and goes around Nippon helping people, beating up evil demons and generally making the world bright and beautiful. While technically she is a goddess and not a real wolf, she behaves very much like a friendly, playful (and occasionally naughty) dog.
  • Sdorica: The white-and-tan Koll is one of the last remaining Glimmer Wolves, semi-mythical creatures of great power.

    Webcomics 
  • Off-White: Played with. There are entirely mundane white wolves in the setting, but a white wolf with blue eyes is always Skoll, the white soul of the wolves, reincarnated. Othala is appropriately freaked out when she realizes one of her territory's visitors fits that criteria.

    Western Animation 
  • In Samurai Jack, a lone white wolf survives a brutal fight against several giant alien creatures. The wolf later befriends Jack, who had also survived an intense battle of his own.
  • Star Wars Rebels has a pack of Force-connected loth-wolves, with a white wolf as their leader. While the rest of the wolves act like wild animals except when prodded otherwise by their leader, the white wolf is abnormally intelligent, has a spiritual connection with the Jedi and its planet, and can speak with a deep, alien voice. They help Ezra and his rebel friends liberate Lothal from The Empire.

 
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Aisling

Aside from her fairy nature, Aisling distinguishes herself from the rest of her pack, with her white fur, signifying her unearthly nature compared to them and the rest of the characters.

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