And you sang, "Sail to me, sail to me,Sirens are enthralling creatures who lure victims to them through supernatural means. They lure these people to their doom, though not necessarily immediate death. In some versions, their powers only work on men. This detail is somewhat Newer Than They Think (for example, Princess Ariadne is killed by sirens in some versions of the myth.) They have enthralling voices, while their appearance ranges from very attractive, to very attractive after you've been at sea for a long time, to Glamour or Mind Control covering up a very unsavory reality. If they'll actually change their form to something ideally perfect in the eyes of their victims or at least project a vision of the same, they'll either have some form of Glamour or be a Shapeshifting Seducer. The method they typically also use is Mind-Control Music. They are at least humanoid, though the lower half is flexible. In Classical Mythology, sirens were women-faced birds, not split up in a manner remotely similar to a centaur. In most modern depictions of sirens the bird characteristics will be dropped and they'll be just beautiful women with beautiful voices, if they aren't mermaids, as bird-women nowadays are usually harpies.
Let me enfold you,
Here I am, here I am
Waiting to hold you"
Let me enfold you,
Here I am, here I am
Waiting to hold you"
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Anime & Manga
- Cure Honey from Happiness Charge Pretty Cure technically counts as the first Siren-like Cure since she can all lure Choiarks to their doom or strengthen Cure Lovely and Cure Princess as in Episode 9.
- Myuute Luna Sires, a minor character from Gate, is a siren and a mage that looks mostly human with feathers growing out of her.
- Teen Titans have a villain called Siren who is a mermaid with a hypnotic song and is capable of turning her tail into legs.
- In League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Sirens are actually a man-eating descendant of the Phorusrhacos that use mimicry to fool drunken sailors into getting close enough to eat. Like many birds, they can imitate human voices and they have markings on their beaks that look like human faces, plumage like flowing, blonde hair and ornamentation on their chests resembling a woman's breasts.
- Erik: The Vampire Hunter-The Continuing Adventures starts out with sirens, then finds out why they're out here, and then it all goes downhill.
- An Anthem for Sheltered Bays, Eren's singing voice is inhuman, enchanting and always grabs the attention anyone listening. First time, he sings he causes Levi to crazed with lust. Second time, he nearly causes a festival to go to a halt so everyone could listen to him. And back in his village, he's not that talented compared to his peers!
- The Life And Times Of A Winning Pony: A rusalka (a ponified Slavic mermaid), whose singing hypnotizes ponies into dancing with it to alleviate its loneliness, appears in a side story. This dance tends to lead to the ponies’ deaths, either through exhaustion or when the rusalka kills them on a whim.
- Water Areobics For The Aquaphobic: During a poorly-planned Hogwarts field trip to Jusenkyo that resulted in most of the students being cursed into various forms after falling in the enchanted springs, Theodore Nott ended up transformed into a Siren, portrayed as a magical creature resembling a beautiful, very naked woman with sharp teeth and fingernails and a taste for human flesh. When in Siren form, Theodore is less a seductress and more a vicious predator who tries to eat other students, with the seductive appearance being a way to lure humans close enough to strike.
Films — Animation
- In Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas the sirens are water elementals. The crew only survives because the siren's song doesn't work on women or dogs.
- Sirens even appear in Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, as giant prehistoric lungfish with More Teeth than the Osmond Family. They're also Masters of Illusion.
- One of The Twelve Tasks of Asterix is simply cross a particular lake. Halfway across the lake, our heroes are lured to the Isle of Pleasure by the sirens' song, rowing so fast they smash their boat on the shore and dig themselves into the ground. Asterix and Obelix succumb to their charms, until Obelix discovers there's no wild boar on the island and leaves in indignation, dragging Asterix with him.
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, the villains, The Dazzlings. They were originally merhorse (hippocampi) versions of sirens in Equestria before being banished to the human world by Star Swirl the Bearded. They managed to retain some of their magic in the human world, though, final battle aside, they are more-or-less human most of the time. More or less.
Listen to the sound of my voice
Soon you'll find you don't have a choice
Captured in the web of my song
Soon you'll all be singing along...
Films — Live-Action
- The three young women doing wash in O Brother, Where Art Thou? function as sirens. No surprise, given it's a retelling of The Odyssey.
"Them si-reens done loved Pete up and turned 'im into a — horny toad!"
- In the Soviet film Moscow — Cassiopeia, the evil robots invented The Call, a hypnotizing series of sounds that cause the aliens to lose control and dumbly follow it to their death, or “happiness” as the robots call it. The Call doesn't actually work on humans, though the robots have no way of knowing that.
- A case of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane occurs in The Wicker Man (1973). Willow dances naked in the room next to Howie's, slapping the wall between them and singing to him. The staunchly Christian Howie is literally trembling with desire, but doesn't succumb.
- In the made-for-TV film Mermaids, one of the sisters Venus is also a Siren. She's able to hypnotise men with her eyes rather than her voice though if they know she is a Siren, she has no power over them.
- In Erotic Film Sirens, Sheela and Pru act as these to Estella and Giddy with regards to their sexuality. Giddy references the Sirens themselves and tells Anthony and Estella about them.
- TRON: Legacy: Female-appearing Programs called Sirens serve to equip the doomed CondemnedContestants for the deadly Game Grid. The only named one, Gem, later leads Sam and Quorra into a trap set by her boss, Zues.
- In Si REN, the full-length feature film adaptation of the "Amateur Night" segment of V/H/S, Lily's otherworldly singing has this effect. The human Big Bad Mr. Nyx exploits this to grant paying customers erotic experiences. When Jonah hears it, he hallucinates intense sexual encounters, most of which star his fiancee Eva. Later, Lily sings to Jonah again to make him complacent while she rapes him — though she stops singing in the middle of it, much to his horror. In the climax, she demonstrates another use of this power by forcing Mr. Nyx (who had lost his protective earplugs in a struggle) to kneel helplessly as she skewers his head with her tail. At the end of the movie which takes place about a year later, Lily uses her song to make Jonah think he's making love to his wife Eva instead of her. He only realizes what happened when he goes downstairs for a drink and notices Eva sleeping on the couch.
- The ballad "Loreley" by Heinrich Heine tells of Loreley, a beautiful fairy woman who used to sit on the Loreley rock overlooking the Rhine, and, by singing and combing her hair, would lure skippers on the river to their deaths in the dangerous waters below the rock.
- The Percy Jackson series portrays sirens in a tweaked version of their Greek Mythology incarnation, as horrible giant condor-like creatures with long necks and the heads of women, faces dripping with the remains of their victims.
- The title character of John Everson's Siren is a monster who is mostly similar to the original Greek myth. Her true form is that of a monster with both avian and piscine traits, but her song projects a glamour that makes her look like a beautiful woman in addition to entrancing humans, and she prefers to seduce the human men she preys on before eating them. She also answers to the name of Ligeia, and implies that she is one of the original Greek sirens.
- The Syren in Septimus Heap uses her call to lure and strand Nicko and the Cerys onto Syren island.
- In Cat Adams's Blood Singer series the sirens are human-looking semi-immortal women with telepathic abilities that let them control heterosexual men and also have a strong affinity for the ocean and aquatic creatures. It is stated that when calling out to males, some sirens focus their summons through music, but most use telepathy.
- Piers Anthony's novel The Source of Magic. The Siren is the sister of the Gorgon and has a half-human body. While playing her dulcimer, she can sing an entrancing song that causes males to travel to her location.
- The mermaid Áine from J. Conway Jameson's Dream Girl seduces rapists, abusers, and murderers by sneaking into their rooms at night and singing to them (basically hypnotizing them), then "accidentally" bumping into them on the street and causing them to fall in love with her and her "quirky" ways. Then she kills them and drinks their blood.
- Catherynne M. Valente harkens to old school sirens in The Orphan's Tales with bird-women with beautiful voices — that is, they are birds from the waist up and human from the waist down. They live alone on their craggy island, and have no idea the effect their singing has on sailors — which is, the sailors hear the voices of the women that they love best, and almost always jump overboard to be with "her." When the sirens do learn what their songs have wrought, they vow to be silent forever.
- Journey to Chaos: The Rose Forest is home to Venus Fly Traps with a similar ability. Their song creates a bewitching illusion that ensares their victim and dulls their senses. In A Mage's Power, Eric encouters a beautiful wood Nymph playing a harp and is just barely saved from being the plant's next meal.
- The character Seawrack in Gene Wolfe's novel "On Blue's Waters" is referred to as a Siren by Krait. This being a Gene Wolfe novel, and Krait being an in-universe unreliable narrator, it is never clear how well defined this attribution is. However, her singing interferes with normal rational mediation of desire and action and carries sub-audibly over vast distances. As well she is capable of living on and under water indefinitely, so siren seems a fair designation.
- In Watersong, the sirens can captivate men with their voices, luring them to be eaten. Their voices also work on women, though not as well; it merely clouds their minds rather than fully captivating them.
- The Psirens from Red Dwarf were basically a retelling of the sirens story IN SPACE!: they shapeshifted to lure spacecraft onto the asteroids so they could eat the brains of the crew.
- On the 1960s Batman series, Joan Collins played the Supervillainess Lorelei Circe, AKA The Siren, who was able to put any man under her spell by singing a note of three octaves above high C; she used her ability to entrance Commissioner Gordon into sneaking into the Batcave, to cause Chief O'Hara to jump into a lake, and to induce Bruce Wayne into signing his fortune over to her.
- One episode of So Weird dealt with a siren who looked like Jewel Staite and sang in a nightclub. Any man who heard her fell under her spell, while women thought her voice was pleasant but couldn't understand the fuss all the men were making over her.
- The episode "Sirens" of The Legend of Dick and Dom has the sirens as beautiful women with songs that draw in and possibly mind-control men- who promptly start trying to impress them with lies about being rich and fit- but sound like screeching to women. They imprison men and feed them up before eating them. The sirens also seem to have glamour; when they turn it off, they are still beautiful but have fangs and claws.
- The Charmed episode "Siren Song" features a Siren as the Demon of the Week. According to the Book of Shadows she was a mortal woman who seduced a married man but was burned alive by the townspeople. Now she hypnotises married men with her song, which lures the wives to the scene of the crime where she burns them both alive.
- H2O: Just Add Water has the episode "The Siren Effect" where Cleo touches water at the full moon and gains a hypnotic singing voice that brings in every boy in town. She goes on the radio and wakes up the next morning to find hundreds of boys camped out on the front lawn to hear her sing.
- My Babysitter's a Vampire has an episode with a Siren as a Monster of the Week, who uses her voice to make people uncontrollably violent. Interestingly enough, the main characters actually assume that she's a mermaid at first, but it turns out that she isn't one.
- Saturday Night Live, did a spoof of The Odyssey where Odysseus(Jason Sudekis) has his men put beeswax in their ears and tie him to the mast to resist the Sirens(Christina Applegate, Kate Mc Kinnon and Cecily Strong) whose singing enchants sailors to crash against the rocks of their island. However they sing songs by female artists from The '90s like Lisa Loeb, Paula Cole, Shania Twain, Sheryl Crowe and TLC which Odysseus can't help but love and sing along to:
The Sirens: [singing] I don't want to wait, for our lives to be over...
Odysseus: [singing] I want to know right now, what will it be! How do I know the words?! I only know manly sea-chants!
- Once Upon a Time has a siren as the guardian of a lake whose waters can heal any curse. She can change herself to look like anyone else, and drowns anyone that approaches the lake. Prince Charming manages to resist her charms, even after she makes herself look like Snow White, and kills her. Unfortunately, this eventually causes the lake to go dry.
- Supernatural had a gorgeous female siren who worked as a stripper and convinced her clients to kill the woman closest to them, usually their wife or elderly, sick mother. She was revealed to be a hideous, melting fish thing whenever seen in a mirror. Sam starts getting involved with a Hospital Hottie who appears to be the siren, but she's actually a Red Herring; the siren is an attractive male FBI agent who has befriended Dean, in order to get him to kill the most important man in his life (his brother, Sam).
- Hale from Lost Girl as a very rare male example. His abilities range from knocking someone out and mind control down to fixing a hangover headache.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Played with in "Wild At Heart". Nightclub singer Veruca appears to have this affect on the male Scoobies, particularly Willow's boyfriend Oz. However it turns out that Veruca is a werewolf like Oz, and that's what is drawing them together.
- iamamiwhoami's entire premise is built around the concept of the siren song of a mandrake or mandragora. The title of preview video "126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.18.1.1110" decodes to "mandragora", and the enchanting song aspect is most prominently in "b", "u-1", and "u-2".
- The eponymous island in Running Wild's "Bloody Island" attracts sailors with tales of riches and treasure. It's ruled by a Siren, whose calling ultimately leads them to their doom.
Silver and diamonds
Greed takes you straight by the heart
Call of the Siren
Its temptation tears you apart
- Genesis, "Firth Of Fifth".
Undinal songs urge the sailors on
Till lured by the Sirens' cry
- Cormorant's song "Daughter of Void" has a Qualupalik, which lures a curious child to their watery grave.
Myths & Religion
- Classical Mythology:
- Odysseus ran into two sirens, who were bird-women who lured sailors with their enchanting voices and music. His men stuff their ears with wax, but, true to form, Odysseus just has them tie him to the mast. Because he wants to hear the songs and be able to say that he's the only man to have heard the song and lived.
- In general (Greek): They were bird-women, they lured young sailors to their deaths via song that took them into rocky cliffs, there were between two and five, though three was common. Their names were a little... fluid.
- In The Argonautica and it's film adaptation Jason and the Argonauts, the Argonauts also run into the Sirens. They survive thanks to Orpheus who sang an even more beautiful song that drowned out their call. Some versions of this one say that the Sirens were so heartbroken at being defeated that they cried out in anguish and threw themselves off of their island.
- A little known fact about the Sirens; they used to be friends with Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. After she was kidnapped by Hades to be his wife, the unfortunate handmaidens were transformed into bird women by Persephone's vengeful mother, Demeter for failing to find her.
- Merrow in Irish Mythology were similar; they were beautiful sea mermaids who enchanted men into following them under the sea... where they would use their magic keep them alive and live Happily Ever After with them. Apparently, male humans were more attractive than male merrow.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Pathfinder has both harpies and sirens, who are both depicted as bird-women which have beautiful singing voices that can hypnotise listeners, though. Harpies have a more humanoid appearance, but are vicious, cruel predators with a Usually Chaotic Evil Character Alignment and absolutely appalling hygiene. Sirens, meanwhile, are more monstrous (human-sized female hawks, owls or eagles with the faces of beautiful women), but also more benevolent (Usually Chaotic Neutral). The best illustration of the difference is how they treat their lovers since, as a One-Gender Race, they need to mate with humanoid men to procreate: harpies usually eat their lovers when they're finished, and this is so ingrained in their twisted "culture" that it's actually considered shameful to let a lover live, whilst sirens dote on their lovers (or those they want to claim as their lovers) to the point they are known to commit suicide, or straight-up die of heartbreak, if those lovers run away.
- Magic: The Gathering has Sirens as a monster race of Theros. Blue primary, black tertiary, bird wings, breasts, and legs, hypnotic voices, run the gamut from beautiful to hideous, collect everything from jewels to bones, and feed only on sapient species. Shipwrecked humans are their primary prey.
- The Golden Apple, another loose Americanization of The Odyssey, represents the sirens as a group of singers in a waterfront dive who sing "Goona-Goona." In this tale, Ulysses doesn't think to plug his men's ears, and most of them end up shanghaied.
- In the stage version of The Little Mermaid, Eric's shipmates warn him at the end of the song "Fathoms Below" that the song of the mermaid he is pursuing will lead them to ruin.
- In Dragon's Dogma, the Siren is a variant of Harpies found in Bitterblack Isles, their song can heal the nearby enemies.
- Forbidden Siren:
- Black & White 2: The Siren wonder is Exactly What It Says on the Tin- casting it upon an enemy civilization will summon an enthralling vision of the Siren, who uses her charms to turn everybody in her radius into your willing followers.
- In God of War, sirens are floating women monsters that use sound attacks.
- Siren sometimes appears in the Final Fantasy series, usually as a summon which causes a status ailment.
- In Final Fantasy V, she is a boss monster who nearly enthralls the party with images of their family members. Galuf's amnesia saves him, as he doesn't recognize the image shown to him.
- In Final Fantasy VI, she is a summon that randomly silences all enemies or does minor damage with an ability called Lunatic Voice.
- In Final Fantasy VIII, she is a summon who deals non-elemental damage and silences all enemies.
- In Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Siren is the water summon. She can also cause the stop status ailment.
- Siren makes a cameo in Final Fantasy XIII during the Pompa Sancta in Nautilus Park.
- In Touhou, Mystia Lorelei isn't explicitly a siren but she's a bird-person who lures unsuspecting travelers to their deaths with a magic singing voice, so she's pretty obviously a siren. Although nowadays she's more likely to sell them food instead of eating them.
- Uniquely, her song also causes night blindness. Anyone who hears it has no choice but to follow the sound of Mystia's voice or else wander in complete darkness. Mystia tells the unfortunate one that the night blindness can be cured by the food she sells, but in reality she just lifts the curse while the 'customer' eats. Mystia scams people like this very frequently.
- The Demon of Song in Dark Souls II mimics the song of the Milfanito to lure in unsuspecting prey.
- The Lemme Fatale in Lemmings Chronicles uses an Compelling Voice to captivate any nearby Lemmings and drive them to kill themselves.
- The Call of the Old Gods in Dragon Age draws the Darkspawn to them, at which point the Taint infects the Old God and turns it into an Archdemon, leading to a Blight. The Song is supposedly the most beautiful music one could ever know, so beautiful that one Warden whose Taint had progressed far enough to hear the Song in clear detail couldn't stop gushing about how wonderful it was, despite knowing what being able to hear it meant. In a similar vein, Red Lyrium also "sings" to people, driving them mad. Since Red Lyrium is Tainted lyrium, Red Lyrium's music and the Call of the Old Gods may be one and the same.
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has Sirens of the mermaid type with large wings as a monster commonly found around Skellige. This model type is shared with a stronger variation called an Ekhidna which actually bares pretty close resemblance to its namesake.
- Darkest Dungeon features a Siren as one of the Cove's bosses. She resembles a horrid-looking mermaid and she has the ability to entrall one of your team members to fight at her side for a few turns.
- In Gems of War, the Siren unit — here depicted as a winged, purple-ish humanoid — has Lure as its special ability, damaging a selected target.
- Path of Exile: The Act 1 final boss, Merveil, is one of these, who causes shipwrecks and captures male sailors to produce monstrous "children" for her. Her first form is that of a beautiful sorceress, but hurt her enough and she reverts into a squid-like monster. Her den is also brimming with treasure from shipwrecks she caused, though ironically the player can't take any of it because the gold and jewels of her hoard are worthless in Wraeclast.
- Siren appears in the Final Fantasy VIII Machinima adaptation The Sorceress War as Selphie's summon. Selphie summons her to fight the Elvoret in Dollet (the monster from whom she is Drawn in the game) and she seems to have powers more like a banshee as her voice deafens the monster long enough for Squall to kill it.
- The Free Spirit comic "Song of the Siren" alludes to these. When Winnie discovers that her singing can hypnotize mortals, Jessie reminds her about the Sirens of Classical Mythology, whose singing caused sailors to crash their boats against jagged rocks. Later, Winnie's singing unintentionally causes two instances of vehicles almost crashing, the second of which involves a boat and jagged rocks.
- Sister Claire: Gabrielle is revealed one, explaining in this story, that this is what Selkies become if their pelt is destroyed which instantly turns them evil and actively hunt for humans to devour. Gabrielle is a special case though because her friends managed to partially heal her before the transformation was completed, allowing her to keep her rightful mind but at the cost of limited time on the surface lest the transformation continues into it's completion.
- Walking In The Dark: One story arc deals with a siren that's prowling near a lighthouse luring anyone unfortunate enough to hear it's song toward the sea.
- Wapsi Square character Atsali is a human-looking half-siren teenager (complete with wings), whose singing is capable of causing uncontrollable desire in both males and females, and both human and supernatural creatures. A subversion, since she also believes that this is a terrible thing to do, akin to rape, and spends a good deal of time trying to fight against the assumptions that others at her school make about her, as a result of her lineage. The fact that she's a tall blonde beauty with Gag Boobs doesn't help the matter.
- Three sirens pop up in "The Scotsman Saves Jack", an episode of Samurai Jack. The Scotsman doesn't demonstrate any particular willpower, he just doesn't like the music, and he drowns their singing out with his preferred tunes. They aren't bird-women or fish-people, they're fully human-looking...except for the glow. And then we find out that they're a Scaled Up three-headed...thing. Still called sirens, though. Apparently hydras and sirens decided to mingle over the years...
- On The Simpsons "Tales from the Public Domain" when Homer was Odysseus he was lured to the Island of Sirens, only to discover that the Sirens in question were Patty and Selma. He got out of there pretty quick.
- DuckTales has some sirens in an episode that takes Huey, Dewey, Louie and Scrooge back to Odysseus' times. They look odd, but on the other hand, how would you do bird-women when your cast is already made of ducks?
- In the Hanna Barbera Godzilla, the Calico washes up on the shore of a cursed island ruled by a siren named Morphea and her two sisters. In addition to Mind Control powers, they also have a pet giant Chimera for Godzilla to fight.
- One episode of American Dragon: Jake Long features a mind-controlling siren as a villain, but she doesn't spend any time in or near the ocean. It also subverts expectations because the siren is a dowdy, geeky girl, not one of the hot cheerleaders that the characters had suspected.
- Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Lorelei Signal". A group of alien women send out a song over subspace radio once every 27 years to lure a starship to their planet. They must do this so they can drain the male crew members of their Life Force in order to survive.
- An episode of Martin Mystery had the gang encounter a siren who attacks a nearby town out of anger after a relationship with a sailor turns sour. Unlike the myths, the siren could change between a beautiful lady and a bird monster at will.
- The Bad Powers, Bad People trope is surprisingly averted by the Siren in Extreme Ghostbusters as she's one of the very few ghosts that actually care about the mortals she seduces with her singing voice. Her sister Banshee forces her into stealing the youth of her listeners to sustain her strength. She finally develops a backbone and rejects her sister when she coerces her to steal the remaining life force of her agefied audience (including Roland, who fell under her spell) and willingly allows herself and her sister to be captured and put into containment by the team.
- In The Backyardigans episode "Sinbad Sails Alone", Tyrone and Pablo encounter Siren Uniqua when they travel to her island to get water. They then play a game of "Siren Says" with a mambo song to match.
When I say "Siren Says" you do
Exactly whatever I told you to
But if you do something Siren didn't say
You gotta go back — that's how we play
- In an episode of Lloyd in Space there was an exchange student from the centre of the universe named Sirenia who was able to hypnotise all the boys, though with her eyes instead of her voice. The only way to break the spell was to get a boy from the same place to hypnotise her.
- Arthur includes Sirens in DW's retelling of The Odyssey. Unlike in the original story, they look like beautiful women who lack the attributes of birds, and they try to lure the sailors by playing DW's favorite song-the Ear Worm "Crazy Bus."
- Courage the Cowardly Dog: "Queen of the Black Puddle" had the titular character of the episode kind of being one, targeting Eustace as her victim and turning into a monstrous creature when she lured him to her lair to devour him. Unlike most Sirens though, she enchanted him by throwing magic water in his face.
- A number of insect-predators make use of Enthralling Siren tactics (Batesian-Wallacian mimicry) to lure prey. Examples include female Photuris fireflies imitating the light-flash patterns of other firefly species' mating displays, and Mastophora spiders' release of pheromones that mimic the sexual attractants of moths. The katydid Chlorobalius leucoviridis even uses a Compelling Voice for this purpose, by generating the clicking sounds of courting cicadas in order to attract its lunch.