Created By: MacronNotes on May 7, 2013 Last Edited By: MacronNotes on June 12, 2013
Troped

Mark Of The Supernatural

A physical trait labels a character as supernatural or abnormal

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
This is part of an effort to split tropes off of Mismatched Eyes.
A unique physical trait a character possesses marks them as being magical or supernatural in some way like being an alien or a shapeshifter. This could range from having mismatched eyes, unusual hair or eye colours, and any other odd features. These traits can be part of a Glamour Failure if they give away a character's true form.

Related to Distinguishing Mark.

If the trait is supposed to denote evilness, it's a Red Right Hand.

Supertrope to White-Haired Pretty Girl and Supernatural Gold Eyes.


Examples

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
  • In Descendants of Darkness , gate keepers can be identified by their different colored eyes. Wakaba has an orange right eye and a brown left eye.
  • Neko from K has a green right eye and blue left eye in her human form, which makes her look far from normal. She's not, of course, and is quickly identified as a Strain, an individual with supernatural powers that were not given by a King. Her specialty is creating illusions and modifying the memories of the people around her with her presence.
  • In the manga Enchanter by Izumi Kawachi, if you become an enchanter, one of your eyes changes, turning deep red with a pinpoint pupil. Oddly, long-time friends don't seem to notice the change.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Lordgenome has spiral eyes, to signify his status as a user of Spiral power. Kittan also develops these eye spirals just before he dies, and Simon has just one in the Distant Finale.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]

  • The principal rival to Josie James in Archie Comics' She's Josie series is Alexandra Cabot, who is an unremarkable bobbed brunette with witchcraft powers. When the characters were adapted by Hanna-Barbera Studios into Josie And The Pussy Cats in 1970, Alexandra was remodeled into a raven ponytail with a distinctive white Skunk Stripe; however, the cartoon Alexandra has no magical powers. The success of the cartoon show compelled Archie Comics to Retcon their Josie characters, resulting in the current Alexandra having the distinctive Skunk Stripe and witchcraft powers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
  • In 28 Weeks Later, the mother and her son have heterochromia. When she becomes a vector for The Virus, it serves as a clue to her and her son's shared biological resistance to the virus, and an indicator of when they become exposed but remain unturned: one eye becomes bloodshot like a normal zombie's infected would, the other remains clear.
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[[folder:Literature]]
  • In Kristin Cashore's Graceling, all "Gracelings" have this as a distinguishing characteristic. It becomes important to the plot when you find out that one of the kings is missing an eye, and it later turns out that he is Graced with a very effective version of Charm Person, as it can work even second- and third-hand, via rumors.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Euron "Crow's Eye" Greyjoy hides a black eye behind an eye patch. His other one, called his smiling eye, is blue. There's an implied connection between his eyes and his magic.
    • Minor character Shiera Seastar has one blue eye and one green eye, supposedly due, in part, to her rumoured black magic.
  • In the Roger Zelazny book This Immortal, protagonist narrator Conrad Nomikos has heterochromia, among other odd features. But then he is probably a mutant and is definitely hundreds of years old. His unique appearance is an important plot point.

[[folder:Radio]]
  • In the world of Marus, as depicted in Adventures in Odyssey's Passages tie-in episode, different-colored eyes are recognized as a sign of prophecy. Interworldly interloper Alice physically goes from having brown eyes to blue and green, then loses them again when her time as The Unseen One's messenger is up.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
  • Dungeons & Dragons: According to the 3E splat Races of Faerun, aasimar, humans with a good-aligned outsider (anything from an angel to a couatl to a god) somewhere in their ancestry, can range from being quite human-looking to obviously supernatural, but even the humanlike ones generally have at least one identifying mark that belies this. An aasimar descended from a solar frequently has vestigial feather patches at the shoulder blades, and one descended from a celestial serving a deity may have a birthmark in the shape of that god's holy symbol.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
  • In the Command & Conquer Tiberian series, people who have survived Tiberium exposure and have become mutated have green Tiberium crystals embedded in their bodies. They are often referred to as "shiners" because of the way the crystals glow.
  • MapleStory's Luminous starts his story off with two blue eyes, then one of his eyes turns red when he absorbs the Black Mage's energy.
  • In the Soul Series, Zasalamel has one normal-colored eye and one golden eye, possibly as a result of his immortality curse.
  • In Ragnarok Online, the pope of Arunafeltz and her twin brother has opposite-color heterochromia. Apparently, this was one of the reasons she was chosen as pope. The other reasons was her hair and skin color.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
  • Among the Cubi of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , one reclusive, mysterious clan all have different-coloured eyes, along with wings that are both feathered and leathery. The trait can appear in other clans, and is regarded as a good omen. Since Cubi can shapeshift, this applies only to their default forms. Abel, a central character, has both traits, and his father considers them important to his plans.
  • In Doomsday My Dear the main character has one blue and one green eye because this is a trait of a carrier of the Blood Plague. Several other characters turn out to have this undesirable trait as the comic progresses
  • All the Ravens (servants of the Raven) in Archipelago are inflicted with a left eye with a black sclera and a glowing red pupil, regardless of species. At least some of them can hide this to pass in normal society.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • On Futurama the only outward physical difference between alien Leela and all the humans is she only has one eye. Subverted later though, as we learn that she's not an alien - she's just a mutant. Since mutants are an opressed minority and aliens aren't, her parents left her as a Doorstop Baby at an orphanarium, leaving a note saying she was alien in order for her to have a better life.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: After Zhao kills the Moon Spirit, Tui, Yue becomes despondent believing there was no longer any hope for her people. However, Iroh takes note of her hair color and recognized its significance.
    Iroh: (in realization) "You...! You have been touched by the Moon Spirit!"
  • The main character of Ann Downer's Spellkey Trilogy has one green eye and one blue (which is a sign of magical power in that world).
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • May 7, 2013
    Koveras
    I think this is a universal trope and would have too many examples if all were listed.

    Would X Marks The Hero be a subtrope?
  • May 7, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Would phrase it as "May be a supertrope to"; there's reasonably mundane heroes in there like Himura Kenshin.

    Tabletop Games:
    • Dungeons And Dragons: According to the 3E splat Races of Faerun, aasimar, humans with a good-aligned outsider (anything from an angel to a couatl to a god) somewhere in their ancestry, can range from being quite human-looking to obviously supernatural, but even the humanlike ones generally have at least one identifying mark that belies this. An aasimar descended from a solar frequently has vestigial feather patches at the shoulder blades, and one descended from a celestial serving a deity may have a birthmark in the shape of that god's holy symbol.
  • May 7, 2013
    SharleeD
    This sounds like it needs a more descriptive name, like Mark Of The Supernatural. Otherwise it sounds like it's a form of Special Snowflake Syndrome, in which the "unusual mark" may just designate the character as being important to the story.
  • May 8, 2013
    StarSword
  • May 8, 2013
    ChunkyDaddy
    Harry Potter got the lightning bolt scar on his forehead after he was accidently turned into a horcrux when Voldemort killed his mother. Because he was turned into a horcrux, Voldemort couldn't kill him, and killed the part of Voldemort's sould that was living inside Harry instead. The scar also forms a link between himself and Voldemort, and he is able to see visions that show him what Voldemort is seeing
  • May 8, 2013
    DracMonster
  • May 9, 2013
    SharleeD
    ^ Some of the examples seem to be acquired during one's lifetime, however.
  • May 9, 2013
    StarSword
    Mark Of Plot Importance? Or is that too broad?
  • May 9, 2013
    MissKitten
    Mark Of The Supernatural seems to be the best bet.
  • May 9, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    This counts as a double subversion that ultimately becomes Played Straight.

    Comic Books
    • The principal rival to Josie James in Archie Comics' She's Josie series is Alexandra Cabot, who is an unremarkable bobbed brunette with witchcraft powers. When the characters were adapted by Hanna-Barbera Studios into Josie And The Pussy Cats in 1970, Alexandra was remodeled into a raven ponytail with a distinctive white Skunk Stripe; however, the cartoon Alexandra has no magical powers. The success of the cartoon show compelled Archie Comics to Ret Con their Josie characters, resulting in the current Alexandra having the distinctive Skunk Stripe and witchcraft powers.
  • May 10, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    Super Trope to White Haired Pretty Girl (which is where white hair denotes magical power)
  • May 10, 2013
    AmyGdala
    I agree with Mark Of The Supernatural. Otherwise, it's just "unusual things mark characters as unusual."
  • May 10, 2013
    MacronNotes
    Alright I will change the name to that.
  • May 10, 2013
    StarSword
    Cool. Have a hat.
  • May 11, 2013
    Jericho
    in full metal alchemist all homuncli had a mark ironn man has a thing in his chest either this isnt a common trope or i need to watch and read more
  • May 11, 2013
    randomsurfer
    On Futurama the only outward physical difference between alien Leela and all the humans is she only has one eye. Subverted later though, as we learn that she's not an alien - she's just a mutant. Since mutants are an opressed minority and aliens aren't, her parents left her as a Doorstop Baby at an orphanarium, leaving a note saying she was alien in order for her to have a better life.
  • May 12, 2013
    MiinU

    Western animation

    • Avatar: The Last Airbender: After Zhao kills the Moon Spirit, Twi, Yue becomes despondent believing there was no longer any hope for her people. However, Iroh takes note of her hair color and recognized its significance.
      Iroh: (in realization) "You...! You have been touched by the Moon Spirit!"
  • May 12, 2013
    Floria
    Literature: Heavy magic use in Heralds Of Valdemar turns the mage's hair white.
  • May 12, 2013
    wanderlustwarrior
    I don't think Harry's scar would be an example of this trope. This trope would be like something identifying all wizards from muggles, like how the Ouroborus identifies Homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • May 12, 2013
    MacronNotes
    ^Looking over the example again, I agree that it doesn't fit, so it's removed.
  • May 13, 2013
    Melkior
    Possibly the first example in Anime/Manga should be:
    • Green eyes are commonly used in Anime and Manga to indicate that a person either has a magical origin or has magic powers.
  • May 20, 2013
    chicagomel
    The Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie had Merrick saying that Buffy had a mole on her neck marking her as a slayer,though she removed it. (The series dropped that plot point completely)
  • May 29, 2013
    StarSword
  • May 31, 2013
    Generality
    ^^^ If true, that's covered by Green Eyes. No need to shoehorn it in here.
  • June 6, 2013
    AGuy
    In the Command And Conquer Tiberian series, people who have survived Tiberium exposure and have become mutated have green Tiberium crystals embedded in their bodies. They are often referred to as "shiners" because of the way the crystals glow.

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