In A Song of Ice and Fire, there are references to shadowcats north of the Wall and in the Vale of Arryn. Are these supposed to be alternate names for a real feline, such as a puma or a lynx, or are they entirely fictional beasts?
It is a fictional animal and they are supposed to look like tigers or mountain lions, but with black fur.
-Αre shadowcats closer in size to tigers or mountain lions?
-Somewhere in between.
Hmm. Shadowcats? I suspect a creature that appears much like a snow leopard. Long tail. Solitary in nature, generally, until it comes time to mate. Snow leopards are perhaps the most elusive of the large cats. They live high in the Andes mountains and rarely see one another, leave scent markings for one another - just as domestic, feral and any large cats. They have stripes and are nearly as large as tigers. George RR Martin could give the best answer.