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Purple Eyes

Purple Eyes, also known as "violet", "lavender/lilac" or "amethyst" (depending on the shade) are very, very rare in real life, and in fiction generally mean that a character is very special, rare, unique, and/or somehow possessed of strange or mysterious talents or heritage. These connotations mean that it's mostly possessed by characters that are either key to the plot, or need to stand out from the background. It is also a popular Mary Sue eye color for the same reasons.

Albinos in fiction are also likely to have these, though being albino is generally special in its own way as the condition is quite rare. They are possible in real life in people with pigmentation deficiencies. The lack of pigment in the irises creates a translucent blue color through which the underlying blood vessels are visible; the combination of the blue eyes with the red blood creates a purplish tint to the iris. Due to their rarity in real life, purple eyes are a type of Technicolor Eyes.

Compare Graceful Ladies Like Purple, Purple Is Powerful, Supernatural Is Purple.

It should be noted that trope is NOT just for characters who have eyes of this color, but when the color actually indicates the character is special somehow. Please do not add characters who just happen to have eyes of this color without the proper reason behind it.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Certain Code Geass characters, specifically the Royal Family of Britannia has unique variants of purple eyes. The purple eyes are in fact a trait of the Royal Family.
    • Though rare in other individuals, Nina Einstein also has them, as does Leila Malkal in the "Akito the Exiled" OVA. This may or may not be meant to indicate their descent from a cadet branch of the royal family, which would make sense given the staggering number of wives each emperor weds and these characters' status as members of the nobility. However, Marianne vi Britannia is more difficult to explain, as we are told the emperor's marriage to a commoner caused difficulty in court. Despite her noble status coming from marriage and not from birth, she also displays the purple eyes.
  • Shinigami Asato Tsuzuki from Descendants of Darkness. Interestingly not a Variant Visage; they really are purple, with the implication Tsuzuki was shunned in his hometown by supersitious people.
  • Kouta Otoyama, the "chosen one of the Universe", in Stellvia of the Universe.
  • Tama-chan, the quiet, innocent, yet super-skilled kendo girl from Bamboo Blade.
  • Saiyuki:
    • Genjo Sanzo has violet eyes which have been described as both like those of a god and a youkai. Appropriately enough, he was a god, specifically the nephew of the Bosatsu of Mercy in his previous life.
    • Kougaiji also has them, in addition to being a Dark-Skinned Redhead. Understandable, since he is a youkai.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, while all the homunculi except for Gluttony, Sloth, Wrath and Pride have red eyes, in Brotherhood, Envy and Pride have purple eyes; the latter originally has black eyes which turn purple after he eats Gluttony. All of the homunculi in the 2003 anime version (except for Gluttony) have purple eyes.
  • Mai Minase, who shares some mysterious connection with The World in .hack//Liminality.
  • Kamui in the X1999 manga has blueish purple eyes (they are hazel in the anime for some reason) and certainly fits the 'very special and mysteriously Badass' criteria.
  • Florian from the manga Gorgeous Carat has amethyst eyes that are commented on quite frequently, and are pretty much the sole reason so many people lust after him.
  • Nodoka Miyazaki in Mahou Sensei Negima!, in going with her violet motif and hair color, contrasting the lead heroine's lighter blue and green. Having darker and more mysterious eyes may be some metaphor for inner strength or a type of enigmatic, hidden bravery, since she (despite being seen as meek otherwise) often enters such a state when pulling her hair away. After she enters the magical world Nodoka makes it clear she belongs in this trope as of chapter 280. '"I am Nodoka Miyazaki, and from here I begin my counter attack."' Badass.
  • Naruto:
    • Suigetsu and Hidan who are certainly special (one can turn into water, and the other is immortal respectively), but go against the trope by both being rather violent, with the first being something of a Blood Knight and the other flat-out Ax-Crazy.
    • The Rinnegan, the strongest of the eye based powers in the series, are bluish purple. They were possessed by the Sage of the Six Paths, let you use any element, let you use the Six Paths of Pain powers (gravity blasts, energy absorbing, soul ripping, Summon Magic, turn into a cyborg, and heal), can raise the dead, and by combining with the Heretic Statue's chakra receivers can allow you to control anyone, including the Tailed Beasts. Super Power Lottery might be it.
  • When the Pretear manga was made into an anime, Sasame went from having blond hair and brown eyes to white hair and purple eyes. Considering the connotations of both tropes, it was probably an intentional hint that in this version Sasame would betray the knights.
  • Pet Shop of Horrors: Count D's father, and one half of the Count's own. As the Count is the mysterious protagonist descended from a powerful like and runs a unique pet shop that sells supernatural pets, well, he certainly ticks all the boxes.
  • Michiru from Uta Kata has purple eyes, which match her hair, underlining her mysterious aura.
  • Bleach: Yumichika has wisteria-coloured eyes. Zanpakutou represent their shinigami's true nature and his hates the colour of wisteria-purple which itself raises questions about Yumichika's true personality, as his true strength and nature is a mystery. Superficially narcissistic, he's hiding the fact he's sacrificing everything he is to adhere to his division's martial philosophy. The very few times his true abilities have been used, he's won in a single strike, meaning his full strength has never been tested or even acknowledged. And he's working hard to keep it that way.
  • In RG Veda, purple eyes are a sign of demon heritage, which is why Yasha Kujaku doesn't trust him, and he tends to get a bad welcome among people.
  • Shoukei of The Twelve Kingdoms has violet eyes, which go well with her blue hair and suited her when she was a princess. Because these colours are not as rare in her world, her appearance went unremarked when she had to live among peasants.
  • Takashiro-sensei in Bible Black has purple eyes with red hair, and is a magic user with great significance to the backstory.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss has them. Since he's a Kitsune he kind of qualifies as special and mysterious.
  • Chaos from Heaven's Lost Property has distinctly purple eyes and as time goes on she just keeps on becoming more and more alien when compared to the other angeloids. Also another thing to note is that when other angeloids fight seriously their eyes turn red however Chaos' eyes stays the same color and the only thing that change is the pattern on then.
  • In The World God Only Knows, Keima's teacher, Nikaido has them. In the Heart of Jupiter arc, Keima travels back in time and meets a girl named Dokuro, who is the human incarnation of Chief Dokuro of the Runaway Spirit Squad, who also has them. It is later revealed that Nikaido is the adult present day Dokuro.
  • Pandora Hearts has Alice, also known as the Blood-Stained Black Rabbit, who is one of the most powerful Chains in the manga. In the anime, the protagonist's eyes also turn violet when Alice briefly takes over his body after their Magically-Binding Contract. There is also the Will of the Abyss, Alice's twin sister, who combines the trope with Mystical White Hair. She inherited both traits from their father Levi, aka Glen Baskerville, who controls five incredibly powerful Chains and is in charge of protecting the Abyss.
  • Russia from Axis Powers Hetalia.They're connected to his supernatural relationship with General Winter.

    Comic Books 
  • Tempest, the former Aqualad, young partner of DC Comics' Aquaman. His eye color was actually a plot point for a while, since it hints at his genetic ancestry, and it was considered a bad omen around that same time.
  • In Sword of Sorcery featuring Amethyst, Princess Amaya's blonde hair and purple eyes indicate that she is Royal Blood of House Amethyst.

    Fan Fiction 
  • For Good:
    • Ricki Sunflare as a green-skinned alien, possesses prominent violet eyes. She is depicted as the wunderkind of the cadets and performs a Sherlock Scan on the protagonist.
    • The enigmatic Fringe woman Zomega also has one violet eye - her other eye was lost and replaced with a cybernetic red eye. She is half human, but her eye color is actually one of her human traits, as her alien heritage possesses red eyes.
  • Wei Ming in the Azula Trilogy has dark purple eyes. Like Princess Yue's white hair in the show, the unusual color is the result of having been touched by a spirit. Her natural eye-color was green.
  • Zack is often given violet eyes in fanfics, most likely due to the non-canon OVA Last Order. He fits, in that he's The Ace and one of the strongest people in the world without having been the product of prenatal experiment, but his canon eye color is blue. His theme on the Crisis Core soundtrack is even called Sky Blue Eyes.

    Literature 
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Purple eyes are a sign of Valyrian ancestry in general and associated with the royal Targaryen family. The Targaryens go so far as resort to Brother-Sister Incest to preserve this trait. Word of God has stated that purple Valyrian eyes resemble Elizabeth Taylor's.
    • House Dayne has also got this trait. The most notable member being Ashara Dayne, the rumoured lover of Ned Stark.
  • Emily Starr by L.M. Montgomery in the cycle of Emily books has purplish-grey eyes and she's more than a little odd.
  • Anne of Green Gables books by L. M. Montgomery have an in-universe example: Anne writes a story in which one of the ridiculously beautiful heroines has purple eyes; she says she never heard of anyone actually having them but wanted something out-of-the ordinary.
  • Members of House l'Envers in Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy novels, particularly Queen Ysandre. Something of a twist in that every member of House l'Envers comes under suspicion at some point, whether deserved or not.
  • In Roald Dahl's The Witches movie, all Witches have violet eyes. In the book, it was the witches' pupils that were unusual, with rainbow-like colors appearing in them.
  • The Underland Chronicles: Underland humans are basically a race of albinos, so this trope is justified here.
  • Purple eyes have very dark connotations in House of Many Ways. Offspring between a lubbock (an evil, magical creature that can change its size and is purple with the body of a man, fuzzy wings and the grotesque head of an insect, which either tears people apart or lays its eggs inside them depending on the season) and a female human are distinguishable often only by their purple eyes and violent tempers.
  • A young man known only as 'Red' in the Philip Marlowe novel Farewell, My Lovely has violet eyes. Marlowe describes them as 'the eyes you never see, that you only read about'.
  • Tortall Universe
    • Both Alanna and her brother Thom have distinctive purple eyes. Alanna is The Hero and becomes a chosen to the Goddess while Thom is an extremely powerful sorcerer. Their magical Gifts present as the same color.
    • Pounce/Faithful the Cat in the has purple eyes whenever he shows up, indicating his divine nature. Lamp Shaded by a few characters who are startled to see that eye color in a cat.
  • In Chris D'Lacey's Dragons series, violet eyes show someone isn't all that they seem. The Pennykettles normally have green eyes, but they go violet whenever they use magic, and Liz's dragons have violet eyes whenever they aren't in disguise. Other characters ' eyes flash violet as they perform magic as well.
  • The people of the Human Empire capital world of Mithra (including the Villain Protagonist, among others) in Yulia Latynina's Inhuman tend to have violet eyes, because of their incredibly bright sun; apparently it greatly reduces light sensitivity, which allows the character to carry out an over-the-top version of Perp Sweating.
  • A major plot point in the Through Violet Eyes series, where purple eyes are genetically linked to the ability to communicate with the dead. The book-jargon even calls these people "Violets".
  • Aurelia Cotta, mother of Caesar, is described in the Masters of Rome series as having not dark blue eyes but purple making her a "living, breathing omen". Like maybe the woman destined to be the mother of the greatest Roman of all time?
  • Female protag Arianna from the Stravaganza book series has violet eyes, as does the Duchessa of Bellezza. For a while Lucien believes it must be a common trait in Talia.
  • The book Violet Eyes is named for the eyes of the protagonists, Angel Eastland and Michael Vallant.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, in its dissertation on colour-coding in Fantasyland eye colour, says people with violet eyes may be royalty, or just destined to lead "uncomfortably interesting lives".
  • The ruling Queens in the Septimus Heap series mostly have violet eyes. It is very distressing to Princess Jenna that her eyes never turn green to match her (adopted) brothers'.
  • The Black Jewels trilogy has a brief mention of Alexandra Angelline's eyes being the color of Purple Dusk Jewels. Unusually, such an eye color does not mark her as anything special or heroic.
  • The title character in The Legend of Drizzt by R. A. Salvatore has lavender eyes, which represents the fact that he's a living subversion of his entire race.
  • In Death series: Innocent In Death has a little girl named Rayleen Straffo, who is noted to have these kind of eyes a few times. This turns out to be Foreshadowing for the fact that she's the murderer the police are looking for.
  • It's a Good Life: This is one of the only clear features mentioned about Anthony Fremont, thought it really describes his as having a "wet, purple gaze" so make of that what you will.
  • Twilight Eyes by Dean Kuntz. The main character has blue-violet eyes. It is hypothetically connected with its ability to recognize «goblins» in a human mask.
  • Stardust: The woman at the fair (Also known as Princess Una) has violet eyes and furry ears to show that she's from Fairy. Oddly, none of her brothers seem to have these traits.
  • In My Ántonia, a Scandinavian beauty and Dude Magnet Lena Lingard has deep violet eyes. She's one of the four immigrant hired girls who work in town and who are considered great beauties. Jim the narrator is of the opinion that the eldest daughters in the first generation of settlers like Ántonia Shimerda or Lena were extraordinary and actually the most interesting people of the family, even though their families often favoured younger daughters. Later in the story, Jim and Lena are in an implied sexual relationship.
  • In The Children Of Man, purple eyes mark those who use purple magic, which grants teleportation and time-travel talents.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Tin Man, the Queen's lavender eyes are her best-known feature. So much to the point that when the Mystic Man mentioned that DG's mother had "lavender eyes", both Cain and Glitch are left with their jaws on the floor.
  • The Vorta of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, complete with the vision problems associated with Real Life albinism. As the Vorta are genetically engineered Henchmen Race, this was by design.

    Animated Movies 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Drizzt from the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons has purple eyes - and even the drow, whose eyes are usually a sinister red, think it's a strange color.
  • Given a dark twist in Warhammer 40,000, where violet eyes are seen as a minor mutation, casting a shroud of suspicion over any purple-eyed character. In addition, the planet Cadia, a planet where the entire population takes to The Spartan Way, is known for a large percentage of its population having violet eyes. In spite of this, Cadia and its military forces are recognized around the Imperium as consummate examples of the Imperial Guard. It turns out the purple eyes of the Cadians is a side effect of living on a planet right next to the Eye of Terror, a Negative Space Wedgie from which the forces of Chaos launch attacks against the physical universe.
  • In the primary world of Pathfinder, Golarion, the Azlanti were a now-extinct race of humans with distinctive dark purple eyes. The Azlanti were in every way superior to average humans - mechanically, this means they got a bonus to every stat, as opposed to the standard bonus to one stat normal humans get. In addition, they constructed a magnificent empire and made great advances in both mechanical and magical invention, though they did have a little help.

    Video Games 
  • Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu from The World Ends with You. Looking at his status, the specialness of violet eyes is probably justified.
  • A certain character in Xenogears has purple eyes. This is an important plot point. Whoever is being 'possessed' by Miang tends to get purple hair and eyes.
  • Taigong Wang from Warriors Orochi has a bewitching pair. As he's a mystic and demi-god, it's probably justified.
    • His rival, Da Ji, also has these, with similar justifications.
  • Rose, the heroine of Sword of Mana, is the only character in the game with eyes this color. She's The Chosen One.
  • Damas from Jak and Daxter has purple eyes. While appearing only in Jak 3, he had a major role and he ruled Haven before Baron Praxis. And he's Jak's long-lost father.
  • Persona 2: Maya Amano has these, to some extent. They appear to be more pink than purple. This is likely symbolism for the fact that everyone on the party thinks of her like a 'goddess' and the portrayed Maia is purple.
  • Golden Sun associates the color purple and extrasensory powers with the wind element, so Jupiter Adepts tend to have purple eyes (or purple hair). Ivan, his sister Hama, and his daughter Karis all have them. Sheba has purple eyes in game, but they're green in official artwork.
  • Final Fantasy II has main antagonist The Emperor, with very pretty purple eyes (he's always had them, but considering the graphical format of the game, it's been hard to tell until Dissidia). In both games he is a very powerful sorcerer and chessmaster, so it fits the trope...but it's also likely to have been chosen simply because of how well it goes with the rest of his mostly-golden-with-purple-accents character design.
  • Charme the Thief in Recettear combines this with Curtains Match the Window (and possibly You Gotta Have Blue Hair). In keeping with other examples she's royalty.
  • In Tales of Graces, people possessed by the Big Bad Energy Being usually have one red eye. When Asbel is possessed, his eye turns purple instead, signifying that Lambda has become dormant, and is on the way to a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Karliah from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has purple eyes, whereas all other dunmer in the game have red eyes. Her ancestry might be the reason, as she's the granddaughter of Queen Barenziah.
  • In Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, there's even a guy named Purple Eyes. He turns out to be the real leader of the Pokémon Pinchers, a backstabbing traitor, and there's a fan speculation on a different page that he could be the last living descendent of Sabios, the Big Bad of the past missions, which might explain why he says the Golden Armor chose him and he knows how to use it...

    Visual Novels 
  • Sakura Matou in Fate/stay night. This is revealed to be because of the "conditioning" imposed upon her by Zouken in order to make her into the successor of the Matou brand of magecraft.
  • Several characters in Hakuōki have purple eyes, most notably Hijikata Toshizo, for whom purple is a signature color. Other examples include Yamazaki Susumu (who is a ninja, or at least styled after one), Shiranui Kyo (who is an oni), and Kimigiku (who is both).

    Webcomics 
  • Sorcery 101 deconstructs the Mary Sue stereotype when it becomes a plot point by making purple eyes a sign of magic potential. A human with too much power to be normal but not enough to be a mage will have purple eyes, giving them extraordinary focus and the ability to learn very quickly. This essentially allows them to be good at everything. However, without proper training their magic lashes out at them, causing headaches and seizures, and their talents often lead to arrogance ranging from just being stuck up to an outright god complex.
  • This trope is taken to a whole other level in FreakAngels where not only do the twelve Midwich Cuckoos style psychic main characters have purple eyes, but about half of them also have purple hair (including one who had purple hair before going bald, thanks to a little drugfest one time...
  • In El Goonish Shive, Nioi has them and by extension so does Kaoli. Nioi is the only character seen to travel between universes and pulled off a Deus ex Machina with her saving of Grace.
  • In Avas Demon, the two assassins have violet eyes.
  • Homestuck's Rose has violet eyes, and a general Supernatural Is Purple theme going on.
  • GastroPhobia uses purple eyes to indicate Amazonian ancestry along with brown skin. Three of the main characters have them, Phobia, Gastro, and Philia.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

Puppy-Dog EyesEye TropesQuivering Eyes
Graceful Ladies Like PurplePurple Is the New TropePurple Is Powerful
Product PlacementImageSource/Anime & MangaSanctuary of Solitude
Sesquipedalian LoquaciousnessImageSource/InternetFurry Fandom

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