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Icy Blue Eyes
A man of the north.

Piercing, pale blue eyes, and sometimes gray eyes, that seem to look right through you. As a reflection of character, this variety of blue eyes indicates the coolness (as in Rule of Cool) or even coldness (as in cold and calculating) of the person who has them. Tends to overlap with Elemental Eye Colours if the character is An Ice Person.

Contrast Innocent Blue Eyes. If this is supposed to be scary, it may overlap with Creepy Blue Eyes. If they're supernaturally blue, they may be Occult Blue Eyes.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 

    Fan Fiction 

    Film 
  • In the 1978 film The Boys from Brazil, a number of boys have been cloned and are having their lives socially engineered with the intent that they'll grow up into "Hitlers" and bring about a new Reich. They are described as having the "piercing" variety of blue eyes. Including Indians with (artificially) blue eyes.
  • Steve McQueen also had piercing blue eyes, which makes one wonder if the "blue-eyed, pretty-boy badass" could be considered its own character type.
  • Escape from New York: Snake Plissken may have but one eye, but that eye is of the "piercing, icy" variety and ends up creating quite a striking effect, even leading other characters (notably, the Surgeon General of Beverly Hills in Escape from L.A.) to comment upon it.
  • In Batman Begins, Dr. Crane has the icy, piercing, creepy variety. Tends to be a given with most characters that Cillian Murphy plays.
  • A literal example with Mr. Freeze from Batman & Robin (done with lenses, not only for the ice-like quality but because the actor's are green)
  • A big reason Steven Spielberg hired Paul Freeman to play Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark was because he had "striking (blue) eyes that could see right through Indiana Jones".
  • Word of God says that one of the reasons Daniel Craig got hired for Road to Perdition was that his eyes are as piercing blue as Paul Newman's.
  • The opening titles to Casino Royale end with a desaturated closeup of Daniel Craig's face — desaturated except for those piercing blue eyes...
  • The Hassansins' leader in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
  • Anakin Skywalker's blue eyes, which were inherited by his son and the grandson named after him, tend to be in icy mode more often than innocent mode by the time of the Clone Wars.
  • Gaston, the villain of Beauty and the Beast has pale blue eyes, which appropriately fits his personality as being completely opposite of that of the Beast's, who also has blue eyes, but being the hero, his is darker.
  • X-Men:
    • Magneto's eyes are quite a striking blue.
    • Azazel from X-Men: First Class. Enforced by the contrast with his red skin.
  • Elijah Wood has eyes of an absolutely piercing blue, and they can turn icy at times, such as in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians has these. Makes sense, considering that he has powerful ice and snow powers, and he's essentially winter personified. He also seems to cross over into Innocent Blue Eyes territory. He had brown eyes as a human.
  • Ronin from Epic.
  • Major König in Enemy at the Gates, which suits him as a ruthlessly professional Cold Sniper. According to the director's commectary, the reason Ed Harris was chosen to portray him.
  • Queen Elsa, a literal Ice Queen, in Frozen

    Literature 
  • Roland Deschain of The Dark Tower has faded blue eyes to go along with a piercing stare (in the series, they're often called 'bombardier' eyes and are described as being "the color of icebergs"). He's still basically a good guy, if a complete and utter badass. Jake's eyes become these. As the story goes on, they're described as being eerily similar to Roland's eyes.
  • Granny Weatherwax, Vetinari, and Susan Sto Helit from Discworld have the piercing kind. (Susan has sort of inherited them from her grandfather, whose "eyes" are pinpoints of blue fire deep in his eyesockets.)
  • Dumbledore (and his brother, Aberforth) from Harry Potter famously have "piercing blue eyes". But they're good guys.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians - Luke Castellan's eyes are described as this.
    • In the sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus, Jason Grace has them. This is due to his parentage (Jupiter), but it also signifies his cool and collected personality. Hazel cites this word-for-word when describing him.
  • The identifying trait of Saint Dane's various forms in The Pendragon Adventure is his icy blue eyes.
  • Vigilante Man Mack Bolan's icy blue eyes are mentioned on numerous occasions in The Executioner series. For many villains, it's the last thing they ever see.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Tycho Celchu in the X-Wing Series gets the 'piercing' variety — an incredibly fast thinker, reserved, calm, and a very good Ace Pilot. Also incorruptible and a Woobie.
      • In the same series, Ysanne Isard has one blue eye (called "Hoth-cold" in one book). Her other eye is red.
    • Anakin Solo is the only blue-eyed child in his family (his eyes are always described as icy, though not cold); his brother, sister, and parents are all dark-eyed.
    • Ben Skywalker has inherited his father Luke's blue eyes, eyes that can swing (often quite suddenly) from innocent to icy at fancy's whim, to the point where it scares Ben himself (to a small extent, anyway).
  • Erast Fandorin. The steely "piercing" type.
  • Leodegarius in Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel The Killing Grounds has the piercing variety. Particularly when he is Mind Probing Uriel and meets his eyes to do it.
  • In Tamora Pierce's Provost's Dog series, Beka's ice-blue eyes are piercing. Other people consider them to be Occult Blue Eyes, particularly when she's angry, and she uses them to intimidate sometimes.
  • St. John Rivers, the noble but often insufferable cousin of Jane Eyre, has piercing blue eyes.
  • Rand Al'Thor in The Wheel of Time is first described to have wide innocent blue eyes. As the books progress, they have changed into the piercing, ice cold type. They switch between gray and blue as well.
  • In Darkness Visible, Lord Lewis has blue eyes. In his case, they're certainly the uncomfortably piercing sort.
  • A Wrinkle in Time: A Swiftly Tilting Planet: for some reason, Charles Wallace, the main character, has the intensely piercing kind (they can summon a unicorn from a star, they're that piercing).
  • Dallas Winston from The Outsiders is specifically mentioned to have blue eyes like "blazing ice, cold with a hatred of the whole world". Darry Curtis, determined and tough, also has "cold" eyes like "two pieces of pale blue-green ice".
  • The fanatic Archbishop Edmund Loris in Deryni, falls under this category. The glares he gives his enemies are at times described as "frigid".
  • Brennen Caldwell from the Firebird Trilogy has eyes which are described as a penetrating, icy blue; this reflects both his telepathic powers and his exceptional ability to control his own emotions (a power related to the telepathy), which gives him an aloof air.
  • Both Scourge and Hawkfrost from Warrior Cats have ice-blue eyes. And they're both villains, the former being a dictator and the latter being a more sympathetic yet ambitious Manipulative Bastard.
  • Cordelia Ransom, from the Honor Harrington series, when her eyes aren't filled with fanatical fervor. This reflects her cold, predatory cunning and more than once saves Thomas Theisman from accidentally slipping and saying something that would set her sights on him. After all, Eyes Never Lie.
  • The Others and the Wights they control in A Song of Ice and Fire are described as having Occult Blue Eyes so intense they burn like fire.
    • Both Roose Bolton and his son Ramsay have eerily pale grey eyes, variously described as "chips of dirty ice" and "paler than stone, darker than milk".
  • The grandmother in L. M. Montgomery's Jane of Lantern Hill. This is explicitly contrasted with her daughter's Innocent Blue Eyes
  • Coira and Arpazia in White as Snow both have what the narrator describes as eyes like cold water, which is neither quite blue nor gray.
  • In the novel Psycho, the private eye Arbogast is described as having eyes that are "ice-blue and ice-cold".
  • Most of the Whistlers of A Brother's Price are blue-eyed, and Eldest in particular is alert and calculating and it shows. Not much gets past her.
  • Redwall: When Martin the Warrior gets angry, his eyes become "chips of ice".
  • In The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries Eric Northman's defining feature are his ice blue eyes: "Eric pulled away from me and looked down at me with eyes bluer than mine and harder than mine and colder than the Arctic waste." — Club Dead
  • In Orson Scott Card's The Worthing Saga, Icy Blue Eyes are part of a genetic package that includes telepathy and (eventually, after copious inbreeding) various other Psychic Powers.
  • The Vampire Chronicle's resident Anit Hero Lestat's eyes can't really decided wether they are blue, violet or gray. Either way, they are described as piercing and so the trope is played straight...at least partially.
  • In the novel of the same name on which Hannibal is based, the main villain of the story, Mason Verger, is described as having intense, scary, piercing, bright blues eyes—as are his sister and late father(although the sister is a sympathetic character.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dr. House has the "piercing stare" variety.
  • The titular character of Franco Zeffirelli's miniseries Jesus of Nazareth has pure, penetrating blue eyes that never blink.
  • Human Target: both Chance and Guerrero have blue eyes. Even with his Harry Potter-like glasses, Guerrero's eyes are quite piercing.
  • Cain of SyFy's Tin Man, played by Neal McDonough has blue-gray eyes, which go back and forth between piercing and warm (the former to threats, the latter to his True Companions).
  • The Tudors:
    • Anne Boleyn's father convinces her she can seduce Henry when he tells her that her blue eyes are "like dark hooks for the soul". Strange choice of words - dark - but Natalie Dormer does have very arresting pale blue eyes (ironically, the real Anne Boleyn had black eyes that were celebrated as her best feature, making the line an odd example of Truth in Television without being Truth in Television).
    • For that matter, Henry VIII has extremely piercing blue eyes which cause him to look truly menacing from the right angle. This is one of the few physical traits that Jonathan Rhys Meyers actually does share with the historical Henry, who was also blue-eyed.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Ninth Doctor, as played by Christopher Eccleston, has very striking blue eyes that can be either endearingly cheerful or downright scary depending on the circumstances.
    • Doctors Two through Seven also fit this trope. Eighth Doctor Paul McGann also has blue eyes, though for the the TV movie he fits the Innocent Blue Eyes trope better. His performance in the audio series is as befitting this trope as any of the other seven blue eyed Doctors. The Fourth Doctor fits Creepy Blue Eyes better, as they mostly give him a bug-eyed, Uncanny Valley look and don't seem like they fit comfortably in his head.
    • The Twelfth joins the lineup of piercingly blue-eyed Doctors.
  • Supernatural: One of the angel Castiel's signature traits, all the better to do his intense staring with.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Damon has them. They give him a very piercing stare.
    • In 02x10 Katherine lampshaded how pretty his eyes were.
    • And Matt, also lampshaded by Katherine.
  • Sherlock: the titular character's eyes are pale blue, often highlighted, and scary when he gets angry.
  • Justified has Detroit mob lieutenant Robert Quarles (played by Neal McDonough), who has piercing, light blue eyes. In "Measures," an old woman said that Quarles had eyes like a husky.
  • Life: Detective Charlie Crews' piercing blue eyes look almost electric blue in certain types of lighting.
  • Merlin: Mordred, as a child, falls closer to the Creepy Blue Eyes category, but as a teenager, veers into this trope.
  • Vikings: Ragnar Lothbrok has these, which helps on the intimidation side of things as he's not very big.
  • The most prominent physical trait of the eponymous character from Malcolm in the Middle is Frankie Muniz's enormous, piercing, pale blue eyes that are visually very complimentary to Malcolm's genius intellect. The creators were undoubtedly aware of it, as they were often emphasized in promotional materials and photos, and the show's trademark opening titles shot is of his widened eyes peering through his fingers with a Heroic BSOD expression in them.
  • Downton Abbey: The (usually) cold-hearted Thomas, played by the gorgeous Rob James-Collier, has icy blue eyes. Thomas is not a very nice person.
  • John Drake in Danger Man, where his intense blue gaze is lampshaded several times even by Drake himself.
  • The Prisoner, whose intense gaze even psychs out his captors at times.
  • Cases of the 1st Department: The thief and murderess in episode "Hatred" is a peroxide blonde with cold icy blue eyes. She is utterly scary.
  • In The Hollow Crown version of Henry V the titular king has piercingly shrewd, cool and calculating ice-blue eyes; most notably in the scene where he gives his conditions to accept the French surrender. They shift to great big Innocent Blue Eyes when he prays and woos Princess Katherine.

     Music 

    Video Games 
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, advertising images of Joshua Graham portray him as having piercing, pale blue eyes. Since his eyes are the only part of his face you can actually see, it's very striking.
  • Prototype: blue eyes run in the Mercer family, but only Alex has ones that almost glow, both highly reflective and eerie. There may or may not be a supernatural explanation for them being that way, but they certainly make him glaring from under his hoodie more intimidating when coupled with the probability that he's making up his mind whether or not to kill and eat you.
  • inFAMOUS: Cole's eyes are pale blue and glow with electricity when he's mad. Future!Cole/Kessler's eyes have a permanent blue shine, likely due to his advanced age and powers. Lucy Kuo gains literally icy blue eyes with she gets her ice powers.
  • Garrus Vakarian of Mass Effect has icy blue eyes, matching his initial Cold Sniper characterization.
  • Her hair color has gone from green to brown to blonde over the years, but one thing that hasn't changed about Metroid's Samus Aran is her eyes - every time they've been depicted, they've been a light, icy blue.
  • Uesugi Kenshin from Sengoku Basara, who is cool and aloof, and An Ice Person. Plus the eyes match his outfit.
  • Vergil of Devil May Cry has this in accordance with his (usually) cold and distant persona. Interestingly, he and series protagonist Dante are identical, yet Dante's eyes seem to be of a brighter blue while Vergil's are pale-blue.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Vamp in Metal Gear Solid 2 has these. But not in the fourth game, where he has red eyes.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4, Snake's eyes are a very arresting pale blue (described in-game as 'blue-grey') that are given prominent focus on the box art - suggesting his determined and cold personality as well as hinting at his unnatural origin, being the same colour as the genetically modified blue roses that appear throughout the game (with Snake even describing himself as 'a blue rose' at one point). They are notably not the same colour as Big Boss's eyes.
  • Chell from Portal has a pair of shocking blue-gray eyes that seem to fit with her steely (pardon the pun) determination.
  • The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable games has Stern the Destructor, Nanoha's (not-so) Evil Twin. Unlike the cheerful, purple-eyed original, Stern is more of The Stoic who relies mostly on logic and comes with a pair of icy blue eyes to go with her personality.
  • Darkrai from Pokémon. Appropriate, since he is often associated with nightmares.
  • Eifer from RosenkreuzStilette has these to match her seemingly emotionless personality, even though her emotions and mood actually violently fluctuate.
  • Captain Martin Walker from Spec Ops: The Line. It's not just in the official artwork, the effect is the same in-game. Without an actual change to his eyes (rather the rest of his face and the way his character grows through the plot) they become Creepy Blue Eyes later.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, Squall Leonhart and Quistis Trepe both have light blue eyes and are more distanced from the rest of the characters.
  • Sejuani, the Winter's Wrath from League of Legends has eyes like hard chips of blue ice. Unsurprisingly.
  • Both Tear and Van Grants in Tales of the Abyss.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, eyes like this are a sign of exposure to Mako energy and usually come along with superpowers.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II has everyone you meet in the Polar Academy—all the characters there have a visual motif of snow, cold, and ice. First there's Atris, whose attitude towards the Jedi Exile can most charitably be described as "frosty". She willingly isolates herself there and operates through cold calculation in her one-woman war on the dark side. Which becomes her downfall, by the way. Her Handmaiden servants also have very pale blue eyes and are similarly frosty in their attitude towards the Exile. The one who joins the Exile is a bit of a Defrosting Ice Queen.

    Webcomics 
  • Sil'lice Val'Sharen from Drowtales is definitely supposed to invoke the "icy" part of the trope since she's an ice sorceress.
  • A definitive trait of the hated part-dragon Blue Princes (and Ashton, unfortunately for him) in Winters in Lavelle.
    Kari: I just don't get it. Lots of people have blue eyes. Why make such a big deal out of his [Ashton's]?
    Rio: Many have blue eyes, yes. None but the Royal Family have the cold, dead eyes of a Dragon.

    Web Original 
  • RWBY Weiss Schnee, along with her name meaning "white snow", she's a major tsundere with white hair and icy blue eyes

    Western Animation 


Innocent Blue EyesBlue EyesCreepy Blue Eyes
Significant Green-Eyed RedheadCommon Eye ColorsInnocent Blue Eyes
Hollywood DarknessBlue TropesInnocent Blue Eyes
Hypnotic EyesEye TropesInnocent Blue Eyes
VikingsImageSource/Live-Action TVThe Walking Dead
I Banged Your MomAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Identical Stranger

alternative title(s): Cold Grey Eyes
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