Snowy (French: Milou) is Tintin's Wire Fox Terrier dog and a protagonist of the series. The bond between the two is significantly strong, as they have saved each other's lives numerous times throughout the series. Snowy seldom "speaks", but is instead seen thinking. When we are in Snowy's mind, it generally consists of a debate between a "good" and "bad" version of Snowy's conscience. This usually ends up in catastrophe for Snowy, as usually the "wrong" choice is made. Finally, note the interesting evolution of the character over the albums, lost the gift of thought expressed in words to images and content become virtually silent. Snowy is clearly able to communicate with Tintin in the series. Like Captain Haddock, Snowy is quite fond of Loch Lomond brand whisky. Snowy rarely leaves Tintin's side intentionally, only doing so when the two have been forcefully separated. Unfailingly, the pair are always reunited at the end of the adventure.
From the very beginning, Snowy is the inseparable companion of Tintin and follows him everywhere, against all odds, through many ups and downs faced by his master. Although Snowy is a dog, he has a surprisingly lively and alert character, thinks and feels, but communicates by speaking with people in Tintin in America. He is rather boastful, mocking, quite likely, superstitious and very sensitive. He is sometimes faced with problems of moral order, racked between duty and his old demons (including alcohol and bones). Over the adventures he shows more homebody [?]. Snowy has a good general knowledge and always answers to his master. Snowy is a quadruped land mammal. In this sense, he has a keen flair and a great intuition. Often, he urges against dangerous situations where his master will get involved, but he is always there to come to the rescue. He also knows when there is unseen danger and tries to alert Tintin. As a dog, Snowy loves bones. However, he takes this to the extreme, which is to say to the greediness which will impose difficult choices in certain situations. He is also fond of all kinds of meats and sausages, especially chicken. Snowy has a taste for alcohol, especially the whisky "Loch Lomond." He does not disdain either rum or champagne. Snowy has little contact with people other than Tintin and his friends. On many occasions, the opponents of Tintin try to eliminate Snowy, often trying to chloroform him, but to no avail. However, he maintains much more friendly relationships with children such as the Crown Prince of Gaipajama, Zorrino and Lobsang. His relationships with other animals are equally as difficult. Attacked from all sides by boa, buffalo, goat, condor, crab, crocodile, gorilla, eel, hedgehog, cow, parrots and other wild beasts, Snowy seems far removed from its congeners. He also demonstrated arachnophobia, a fear of spiders. In Marlinspike Hall, Snowy at first had a tense relationship with the resident cat, until befriending it over time.
Originally Snowy was the sole source of dry and cynical commentary of Hergé's work, to try and balance out Tintin's more positive and optimistic outlook. Snowy's original French name, Milou was named after Hergé's first girlfriend Malou (a contraction of the name Marie-Louise), although Snowy is referred to as a male throughout the series.
Snowy's character has evolved over the course of The Adventures of Tintin series, particularly after the introduction of Captain Haddock's character in The Crab with the Golden Claws. Before Haddock's first appearance Snowy was the chief source of cynicism and alternate viewpoints. Snowy's part then slowly changed into a more light-hearted role of comic relief, examples being how he chases the cat at Marlinspike Hall (until they become friendly at the end of The Calculus Affair) and drinks the Captain's whiskey.
- Main article: List of trauma events to Snowy's tail
Snowy's tail is subjected to various injuries all through The Adventures of Tintin series. These injuries range from being pulled, bitten, shot, and burnt. These traumatic events were used mainly as comic relief and became less numerous as the series continued, due to the introduction of other accident-prone characters such as Thompson and Thomson, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus, which add to the comedic tone the series is known for.
- Exclusive to the 1939 Portuguese edition of Tintin in the Congo, renamed as Tintin em Angola, Snowy was coloured yellow, referred to as female and renamed Rom-Rom.