The Latest News
Connect with Us

Notable Releases
From the Store
Game of Thrones Martell T-Shirt
Game of Thrones Martell T-Shirt
HBO US
Featured Sites
License Holders

Jump to content


Photo

Why no tigers in westeros?


  • Please log in to reply
32 replies to this topic

#1 The Frosted King

The Frosted King

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,836 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:13 PM

Because it was modeled after ancient Europe?

Or just because such an animal would obviously eclipse the Lannister lion, and challenge the Targaryen dragons?

#2 Mladen

Mladen

    Lady's Ghost

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,359 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:16 PM

Most likely it was mix of both reasons. Lions are known in medieval bestiary, and was used as amusment in Arenas of Ancient Rome. Also, lion is powerful symbol, more common than tiger, and is far better represented in culture and literature than tiger.

Edited by Mladen, 30 June 2013 - 08:16 PM.


#3 The Idiots Lantern

The Idiots Lantern

    Skull of Belarion

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,552 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:20 PM

The Tiger is a pretty powerful symbol, but Western noble families have been using the Lion as a symbol for centuries, even ones that'd never seen a real lion in the flesh. Heck the symbol of the Republic of Venice was "St. Mark's Lion," which does not even really look like a lion.

I thought the actual Lannister lions were actually cougars or pumas, as opposed to African style lions. Maybe the cougars just have manes in Westeros. I donno.

Only GRRM knows why there are no tigers. Though I think of the "Shadowcat" as a kind of inverted tiger/snow leopard hybrid, with white patterns on black base...

#4 Mad Monkey

Mad Monkey

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,695 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:21 PM

I don't think he would have had enough time to include every animal in the world in Westeros, so he had to make some harsh decisions. And let's face it, a tiger is just a lion with less hair in terms of heraldry. He did include the Tiger political party in Volantis.

#5 mindchap

mindchap

    Plumm Crazy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,652 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:22 PM

Tigers are usually solitary creatures, not really a good symbol for a family crest. Or at least that's how I look at it.

#6 The Idiots Lantern

The Idiots Lantern

    Skull of Belarion

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,552 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:24 PM

Tigers are usually solitary creatures, not really a good symbol for a family crest. Or at least that's how I look at it.


I don't think 1000 European nobles knew that much about Lion habits. I think they probably just thought the lion looked cool.

I wonder why no one in Westeros has taken the Shadowcat for their sigil.. Heck, when you've got a mass of CRABS as your proud family banner, I'd think a cool looking black and white cat would be a step up!

#7 mindchap

mindchap

    Plumm Crazy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,652 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:31 PM

Also, searching through the ebooks Tigers seem to be a Essos only specialty.

#8 The Last Lion

The Last Lion

    Sellsword

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 142 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:32 PM

If Tommen lives long enough under his mother's influence, I'm sure he'll bring tigers to Westeros . . .

Super Sir Pounce!!!!!

#9 LuisDantas

LuisDantas

    Morituri Delendi

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,036 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:36 PM

In the Real World ™ lions are only to be found in Africa if I am not mistaken, while Tigers only occur naturally in Asia.

I don't know that there is need of any additional justification beyond geographical availability.

#10 GallowsKnight

GallowsKnight

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,882 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:37 PM

I wonder why no one in Westeros has taken the Shadowcat for their sigil.. Heck, when you've got a mass of CRABS as your proud family banner, I'd think a cool looking black and white cat would be a step up!

Well we don't know every last Lord and landed Knight. There might just be one.

#11 Nictarion

Nictarion

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,803 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:38 PM

I have always wondered this as well. The tiger would be way cooler than some of the house sigilsl. But like mindchap said, there probably only in Essos.

#12 TheRealPrinceThatsPromised

TheRealPrinceThatsPromised

    Commoner

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:43 PM

The coats of arms in westeros are based around the real coats of arms of the european lords, the reason they preferred lions instead of tigers, is that tigers are lone predators, lions are leaders of a pack, they dont pick the lone predator to represent them, its supposed to show everyone what their house is about, being seen as a loner isnt really going to make a good impression, even if you are a strong loner.

#13 Pinkie Baelish

Pinkie Baelish

    Forever Young

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,042 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:49 PM

In the Real World ™ lions are only to be found in Africa if I am not mistaken, while Tigers only occur naturally in Asia.

I don't know that there is need of any additional justification beyond geographical availability.


That's what I was thinking. Don't tigers generally live in a sub-tropical area? Excluding Siberia, of course. Westeros seems to have a geographical setting very similar to Europe, so yeah, we won't see many tigers there. As for lions, I don't think there are any in Westeros. The only place where they could possibly be is Dorne, and even that's a stretch.

#14 TalalOfDorne

TalalOfDorne

    Prince Of Pyke And Lord Reaper Of Sunspear

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,191 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:49 PM

Didnt the "political parties" of Volantis consist of tigers and elephant? I dont think they would know about these animals had they not existed.

Thats why sometimes Volantis reminds me of India.

#15 Yukle

Yukle

    No one

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,054 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 09:15 PM

Probably because they don't live in the habitats described in Westeros, with the possible exception of the North. They live where Asian wolves live. Wolves and tigers compete for prey and since direwolves live in Westeros, it's possible that any tigers that once existed (if they ever did) have been out-competed.

#16 The Broke Howard Hughes

The Broke Howard Hughes

    King of Winter's Hand

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,902 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:15 PM

Just to playfully poke fun.....Tigers? Of all the things to wonder about, Tigers. I'm always amazed at what sticks in people's minds.

Just because nobody talks about Tigers doesn't mean they aren't around. How often do you think about Tigers or talk about them on a daily basis? Maybe they're around, I can see them being in the Dothraki Sea someplace.

#17 Lehnaru

Lehnaru

    Landed Knight

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 381 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:25 PM

Tigers belong in climates like east and south-central Essos (including the Volantis area), Sothoryos, and the Summer Isles, not Westeros. Siberian tiger-like species could perhaps be found in the North, but they would likely have been hunted to extinction by that point. I'd imagine northern tigers could also be found in northern Essos where there's a lot of empty space for them to roam around.

#18 Yukle

Yukle

    No one

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,054 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:41 PM

There's been no mention of guinea pigs, either. But the most plausible reason is: it didn't occur to GRRM to write about them. Sometimes... maybe that's the only answer you need.

#19 mindchap

mindchap

    Plumm Crazy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,652 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:44 PM

There are tigers all through the books just not in Westeros. One of the ships that Illyrio sends to Dany is loaded with tiger skins. The Hound says at one point, painting stripes on a frog doesn't make it a tiger, so there are plenty of references just not on sigils.

#20 Yukle

Yukle

    No one

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,054 posts

Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:46 PM

There are tigers all through the books just not in Westeros. One of the ships that Illyrio sends to Dany is loaded with tiger skins. The Hound says at one point, painting stripes on a frog doesn't make it a tiger, so there are plenty of references just not on sigils.


True enough, but I think the OP was wondering why there don't seem to be extant tigers wandering about the place. Certainly, none of the Westerosi seem worried about bumping into one.