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Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed
It's said that eyes are the window to the soul
, and in fiction, their color is often the first way to hint at a character's true nature. In particular, characters who have gold and yellow-colored eyes tend to have some form of supernatural origin or powers that place them above normal humans.
In the West, this tends to appear on supernatural characters who have feline or lupine traits, so, understandably, they're often accompanied by werewolf-like powers
. In Japan, this probably traces back to legends of kitsune
(foxes) and their naturally golden eyes. It was said that a human possessed by a fox would gain gold eyes, and that a child born to a fox and a human
would possess them as well. Because kitsune
were also shapeshifters, this often shows up when characters change their forms.
It is also found around the world in many other contexts: in tales of genies
, witches, and other mythological beings, where they cannot hide their golden or two tone eye-colors in animal form.
In the sorting algorithm of "Uh-Oh Eyes
", gold eyes fall one step below Red Eyes, Take Warning
, since it's entirely possible for the character to just be a trickster
rather than evil. Gold eyes are also harder to distinguish from "normal" colored-eyes, and hence can add more of an element of surprise if The Reveal
shows a character to be something other than what they initially appear to be.
A subtrope of Technicolor Eyes
and Mark of the Supernatural
. Compare Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness
It should be noted that this trope is NOT just for characters who have eyes of this color, but when the color actually indicates the character is supernatural in nature. Please do not add characters who just happen to have eyes of this color without the proper reason behind it. If there are mundane characters who have this eye colour in the work (that aren't mistaken for supernatural because of it), the work does not use this trope.
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Anime and Manga
- Morgan Le Fay, the shape shifting fairy from the Ah! My Goddess movie, is shown with golden eyes.
- In the manga Hild and Lind can both manifest these as part of their Game Face. It indicates that they are drawing on their full power rather than holding back as they usually do.
- ARIA: Cait Sith qualifies here, being the King of Cats and all that.
- Bleach has a couple of characters that fit the symbolism of golden eyes:
- Yoruichi and Komamura have golden eyes, reflecting their animal-connections. Yoruichi spends a lot of time transformed into the form of a black cat and Komamura is an anthropomorphic wolf.
- Hollows are human spirits who have lost their hearts to gain powers and thus are often ruled by their desires and instincts. If an 'inner hollow' is acting up, the eyes can turn to gold with black scleras.
- Arrancar aren't supposed to have a second resureccion. Ulquiorra does. Not only is why a mystery, but the form changes the nature of his reiatsu so that it feels different to normal reiatsu. Unsurprisingly, his eyes change from green to gold to reflect the added mystery of this second form.
- The Kowloon Children in Black Blood Brothers have gold irises and black scleras, as well as pointy ears and claws, making them seem more feral.
- Chrno/Chrono in Chrono Crusade has golden eyes while in his demon form, although, when he's in his more common, human-like form, they're red. He's not evil, but obviously supernatural, and does have a bad temper when provoked.
- In Claymore, the titular "Silver-Eyed Witches" have them change color (and form Hellish Pupils) when they release a certain amount of their power. On occasion, a Claymore who's really pushing it will combine this with iris-only Glowing Eyes of Doom.
- Likewise, the demons they hunt (and have been implanted with) always have golden eyes.
- Code Geass:
- Darker than Black The aptly named Amber. Her remuneration is getting younger, and she has a limited ability to see the future.
- In Devilman Lady, Jun's eyes changing from brown to gold signal her transformation into a Devilman.
- Il Palazzo has yellow cat's eyes and though he's mostly just played as eccentric and crazy throughout most of the anime, in the manga, he's eventually shown to possess the power of teleportation, among other (far stranger) abilities.
- In the manga version, Doctor Kabapu has the same eyes, which hints at the fact that they're both from a long-lost ancient civilization.
- Tower of God has two golden-eyed main characters, 25th Baam and Rachel. A certain mystical connotation is there, as both are Irregulars, beings that broke into the Tower from outside, and their preceding Irregulars left a less than positive impression.
- InuYasha: the known dog-Youkai of the show all have golden eyes: Inuyasha, Sesshoumaru, and Sesshoumaru's mother.
- In Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer, the Angel, Blanche, has yellow eyes, and her operator's partner's Angel, Shirahime, has red eyes. Both are some of the hardest opponents in the series, and two of three Angels to use Hyper Mode (in the manga, only Blanche can use it).
- In Black Butler, all shinigami have gold/green eyes, to the point seeing this eye color can be used as proof of being a current or former "god of death". All of them are fairly neutral in the anime and manga, but are shown to be very powerful when crossed.
- In the second anime season, demon butler Claude Faustus has them as well.
- Lyrical Nanoha
- Both Mikoto and Reito have these in Mai-HiME, and while it's not too unusual for that world (where the heroine has red hair and purple eyes), later, it turns out that they are a Laser Guided Tyke Bomb and the object of Demonic Possession respectively, as well as serving as an early clue that they're brother and sister.
- Ruri Hoshino in Martian Successor Nadesico has these as part of her implied kinda-sorta Artificial Human background and general Mysterious Waif-iness.
- Similarly, for Coco of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, yellow eyes are just a racial trait, as mermaids are Colour-Coded For Your Convenience and those from different countries tend to have themed hair and eye colours. However, a Double Subversion occurs when this is used as a warning with orange-eyed Man Behind the Man Sara: she's a mermaid princess too.
- Grings Kodai, the villain from the 13th movie Pokémon, has huge golden-yellow eyes, which serve to hint at his Psychic Powers which enable him to see into the future.
- Mytho from Princess Tutu has golden eyes. He's not evil, but he is supernatural—he's the Prince from a fairytale.
- Eiko Magami from Project A-Ko has amber-colored eyes. Her weirdness is evident right off the bat.
- Rurouni Kenshin:
- Whenever Kenshin goes into "Battousai Mode", his eyes take on a yellowish hue, in contrast to their usual violet color, and at one point, this tells Kaoru what's going on instantly.
- His rival, Saito Hajime, however, is always shown with these. The historical, real person of Saito had brown eyes, but in Rurouni Kenshin, these are used to tie him to the The Shinsengumi, who were commonly referred to as the "Wolves of Mibu".
- Sailor Moon:
- Sailor Galaxia (Big Bad) has gold eyes to match her theme as the Golden Queen. Like several of the examples here, she's not evil so much as possessed.
- In the opposite direction, Helios (gentle priest) has gold eyes, possibly to represent his position as guardian of the Golden Crystal in the anime version, while Mamoru has it in the manga.
- In the manga, beings with golden eyes are labelled as heretics and are seen as dangerous enough for the Powers That Be to lock them up or, at the very least, shackle them. Son Goku, War Prince Nataku, and War Prince Homura all have golden eyes, though, in the latter's case, only one of them is golden.
- In the manga, Hakkai's youkai form has one golden eye, the other being a false one.
- In the manga, the people Hazel brought back from the dead have yellow eyes. They are perfectly normal and nice people post-resurrection unless you happened to be a youkai.
- Tenchi Muyo!:
- Ryoko has golden eyes, tying into the demonic/supernatural aspect of her character. Her name is even stated to mean "spirit caller" at one point. She's earned the Fan Nickname "Ol' Yellow Eyes" in some circles.
- Ryo-Ohki also has yellow eyes, both in her cabbit and humanoid forms.
- Viral in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Word of God says he's a cat/shark hybrid, so it makes sense.
- When Bu-ling of Tokyo Mew Mew transforms into Mew Pudding, her eyes turn yellow. Like with Ichigo, this doesn't mean she's evil, but she is playful and immature most of the time.
- CLAMP's series Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle
- A vampires' eyes go gold and slitted when they use their powers. One Doujinshi has that world's version of Fuuma comment on this by saying that he and his sort-of-love-interest Kamui "match" now, prompting Kamui to throw him across the room. In the series proper, Fai's remaining eye turns from blue to gold when he becomes a vampire.
- Fai also goes a little further with this trope when he gives up his remaining magic in Nihon to pay for Kurogane's artificial arm and his remaining eye turns from blue to permanent gold. It's his magic-less eye color and indicates his full transformation into a vampire.
- The wolves of Wolfs Rain all have amber/golden eyes in human form—except for Kiba, whose human form has pale blue eyes to denote his Chosen One status.
- Fuuma's eyes in X1999 are gold colored, and it's only after the Wham Episode that we realize what this was hinting at. In the anime series, they're red, because the Spoiler Opening gave away the wham of the Wham Episode right in the first episode.
- Judai (Jaden) in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has golden eyes when his power as Haou/Supreme King awakens.
- Yoko Kurama in YuYu Hakusho is a red-haired, green eyed young man in his human form, but as soon as he turns into his white-haired pretty boy alter ego, his eyes change color. Naturally enough, he's a kitsune.
- Also, you know that Itsuki isn't exactly a human psychic because of this trope and also because of his hair color. He's nowhere near a kitsune, though; he's a shadow demon called a yaminade.
- While possessed by his demon ancestor, Yusuke's eye color changes from their usual brown color to a gold color, at least in the anime.
- The creepy Elder Toguro. Though all his eyes represent is his demonic nature.
- In Pet Shop of Horrors, Count D has one golden eye, and his grandfather has both eyes being golden.
- Tiara's One-Winged Angel form in Shamanic Princess has golden eyes with a black circumference in the middle.
- Naruto himself acquires these later on - when in Sage mode, his eyes turn golden, although they're slitted sideways. However, this has more to do with his affinity for toads, instead of the fox in his belly.
- Also Orochimaru, true to his snake-like appearance and nature.
- The heroine of the anime version of Witchblade gets these (with black scleras) when she accesses the eponymous Artifact of Doom's power.
- Gash Bell himself has wide, saucepan-sized yellow eyes, although, being a demon, it might be excusable.
- It might be more to indicate his affinity, Lightning, as not all the Demons have Golden Eyes. Then again, it could be something else...
- Yukito, Sakura's crush in Cardcaptor Sakura, has golden eyes behind his glasses and silver hair. These eyes are the first indication that there is more to him than he appears. Yue, his true form, has silver eyes. The same applies to his counterpart, Ruby Moon.
- The Natsume family from Natsume Yuujinchou seem to have this; both main character Takashi and his deceased grandmother Reiko had these (they're both very powerful in the seeing Youkai department). At least one, and possibly both of them, were bullied with the name "Kitsune eyes" due to this.
- Dragon Ball Z:
- Zarbon, Frieza's bishonen right-hand man, has gold-colored eyes. He was able to shapeshift into a single second form, which resembled a large, wrinkly, reptilian ogre.
- GT also features Super Saiyan 4, which is preceeded by a transformation into a Super Oozaru form and has golden eyes once it's completed.
- Brandon Heat of Gungrave, while, during his mortal life, he had light brown eyes and black hair, after being murdered and later resurrected as the necrolizer called Grave, he has yellow eyes and silver hair.
- Hilda in Hols: Prince of the Sun, due to her deal with Grunwald. However, she seems to retain them after Grunwald's defeat.
- Divine and Kiryu from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds. A psychic and Dark Signer, respectively. Divine's also a Manipulative Bastard, while Kiryu's just plain nuts.
- Medusa of Soul Eater has these, likely to underline her connection to snakes. Death the Kid's eyes are not this, as in fact it is his hair which indicates his true nature.
- Saralegui from Kyo Kara Maoh. He wears purple-tinted glasses to cover them, because having Gold Eyes means he's part of a very-near extinct race (that was sealed away) with extraordinary powers. His eyes glow blue whenever he's giving someone a 'hint', aka trying to possess them to do his bidding.
- Tasuki of Fushigi Yuugi, who is initially portrayed with more of a wolf motif. The kitsune qualities and shapeshifting are trademarks of his comrade, Chichiri.
- Ceres, the eponymous character of Ayashi no Ceres has gold eyes, and is a Tennyo, a type of Asian fairy. Whereas Aya, her descendant/alter-ego, does not.
- Krad of D.N.Angel is a case of Curtains Match the Window and is most definitely not human or a good guy.
- Miyu from Vampire Princess Miyu originally had Brown Eyes, but once she became a vampire, they became gold. She can still use magic to revert hem to their original brown to mix better with the crowd.
- Guilmon from Digimon Tamers has a right to have yellow eyes, as he's a one-of-a-kind, fan-made Digimon, goes feral when sensing danger, and carries an uber-destructive computer virus inside himself.
- Ayame Sohma from Fruits Basket has gold eyes, but this is justified as he's possessed by the spirit of the snake.
- In Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, golden eyes (and hair) are the trademark of Hypnos and his children, the Dream Gods (except for Oneiros). They're all pretty much supernatural — and evil, with Hypnos serving as one of the primary antagonists of the manga's first half (arguably the Big Bad for good part of it).
- Yuuichi Komura from Hiiro No Kakera has them. Not surprising considering he is descended from a Kitsune.
- The adopted Nightray brothers, Gilbert and Vincent, in Pandora Hearts. Gilbert is a Baskerville, and almost became Glen's next host, while Vincent combines this with Red Eyes, Take Warning due to his heterochromia. Both cause distortions in the world around them, due to having a connection to the power of the Abyss.
- Seine from Hekikai No Aion has greenish-gold eyes and is a 300 year old immortal girl who controls a black snake, who lives within her body called Aion.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Madoka's eyes turn from pink to gold when she ascends to godhood. In this case, it indicates that she's especially supernatural (the other magic-using characters have Curtains Match the Window eye colors).
- In the manga version of Kamisama Kiss Tomoe has these (the anime changed them to purple). Of course, he's a Kitsune so it should come as no surprise he has them.
- The Armored Titan, from Attack on Titan, matches this with Glowing Eyes of Doom, for striking effect. Reiner is notably the only character with amber eyes, easily written off as Brown Eyes since he's the reliable Team Dad. However, it's one of the early hints of his true nature.
- Okabe's gold eyes in Stein's Gate seem to have something to do with his "Reading Steiner," the unique ability to retain his original memories when the past gets rewritten. All other strange events in the show are science-based, but this one thing is left unexplained and is apparently magical.
- Shapeshifter Mystique of the X-Men series is often shown with yellow eyes. So is her son Nightcrawler. Mutant Sabretooth is sometimes drawn with them as well.
- The manipulative and often malevolent personification of Desire from The Sandman is described as having "eyes tawny and sharp as yellow wine."
- The main character of the indie comic book Finder has yellow eyes. He could be considered something of a trickster, being a nomadic "ninja do-gooder" in a largely city-bound world. (He also has an as-of-yet-unexplained Healing Factor.)
- Lioness in ATOM has yellow eyes thanks to her non-human heritage.
- Lucifer in Lucifer has golden eyes, maybe the most justified case conceivable, as he's about as human as every star in creation put together.
- Spider-Man villainess Paper Doll, a Loony Fan of celebrity Bobby Carr, has yellow pupils that are probably there just to make her extra creepy. Her main super-powers are the ability to flatten out her body, blend into her surroundings, "compress" her foes by enveloping them with herself, and administering lethal paper-cuts strong enough to slice through Spidey's webbing.
- Superhero Bart Allen (Impulse/Kid Flash II) of the The DCU has naturally golden eyes; this, along with his wild auburn hair, serves as a character marker. He's a bit of a devil-may-care type (hence the codename), but his heart's undoubtedly in the right place.
- Probably inherited from his psychotic ancestor, Professor Zoom, arch-nemesis of the Flash family. Here's◊ close-ups◊ of both of their eyes - drawn by the same artist, to boot, though roughly 10 years apart. The critical difference in depiction is their personalities (physically, they have the exact same eyes, which is very unsettling, but that's it). Bart's joyful and friendly demeanour makes them bright like sunshine; Thawne is the exact opposite: his eyes burning like a raging wildfire - to the point where they sometimes turn reddish-orange. Bart's eyes can also turn into that fiery-orange color as well, but only under extreme rage or stress - it's a signifier that he isn't playing around anymore.
- His Evil Twin, Inertia. Thad can pull off some stunning impressions of Bart's emotional body language (and that includes the famed Puppy-Dog Eyes as well) when the situation calls for it, but his eyes usually default to a sinister glow, as seen here.
- Timmorn Yellow-Eyes has, obviously, yellow eyes, which he got from his father, who was a wolf, his mother being an elfin shapechanger, making him basically a half-elf half-wolf whose form can fluctuate.
- Rayek's is one of the few very magical Sun Folk. He possesses paralyzing and levitation powers and later flight.
- Guilt Hulk, one of Bruce Banner's many alternate personalities, and a purely malevolent one at that.
- The non-Banner Red Hulks as well, partly because it's part of their "demonic" look, and partly because of their association with fire.
- Dark Magical Girl Ashley McFly of Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy has slightly grayish-yellow eyes, which turn bright yellow with slitted cat-ish pupils when she becomes Leather Ashes.
- Subverted in A Soul's Songbook: Out of Print, a fanfic of Soul Eater. As mentioned above, the shinigami of Soul Eater have Eyes of Gold, and, well, if you are a naturally amber-eyed human with dark hair, there are Unfortunate Implications involved in that. One of New London's gangsters (who also falls into a completely different spelling of such) is a former sex slave of such coloring, but is completely human.
- Kainatrol from Futari Wa Pretty Cure Blue Moon. She's got the animalistic connection (her Mind Control powers are based upon the concept of an animal tamer), she likes to be on top of things, and, sympathetic backstory or not, she's the most evil of the Quirky Miniboss Squad. Since everyone on Earth (known as the Land of Legends) has their Curtains Match the Window, naturally, Seira has yellow eyes, too, as does Kore by virtue of being Kainatrol's identical twin; neither is evil or even devious, however.
- In Ultimate Re Imaginings, Joey's eyes turn amber because of his pyro kinesis activating. Or at least that's what he thought. As it is later revealed, he was really born with them and the brown eye color was fake.
- People with golden eyes are extremely rare in Midgard in Warriors of the World and are highly skilled and talented in anything they choose to do. When activated by the person being in utmost danger, they give the person superhuman reflexes and a Healing Factor at the cost of heavy strain on the human body, which may lead to death by overexertion.
- The Faux Affably Evil serpent Damballa in the Horseshoes and Hand Grenades sidestory Month of Sundays sports this in his human form. Damballa also shows hints of him being a Reality Warper due to him transforming the Narumi Detective Agency into a large circus tent, transforms three Kamen Riders into evil dolls and summons a "never-ending box of popcorn" to watch the festivities.
- Creepy Child Aura from Daughter Of The Sun, who possesses a lot of knowledge and has the ability to see the future, is described as having pale gold eyes.
- The Coachman from Pinocchio, who works to turn boys into donkeys, apparently has large, bulging yellow eyes. They're most noticeable during the scene where he says "They'll never come back ...as BOYS!!!"
- Queen Tara, a Mother Nature-like figure who oversees the balance between growth and rot, from Epic.
Film -Live Action
- Any character deeply immersed in the Dark Side of the Force in the Star Wars movies. The irises become yellow-gold lined with red, the whites bloodshot, and their pupils small and reptilian.
- Anakin Skywalker of Star Wars Episode III, coinciding with his descent into evil. In extended works it suggests that even as a cyborg his eyes are this way under his helmet.
- Palpatine/Darth Sidious is always in control of his emotions, so they don't turn yellow unless he either wants them to or is about to kill you anyway.
- Darth Maul was forged to be a weapon of hate and, as such, has sickly yellow eyes all the time.
- Dooku is supposed to be a gentlemanly figure, and tends to avoid fully immersing himself in the Dark Side. As such, he is never shown (in the movies) as having "Sith Eyes".
- In the live-action Death Note movies, characters with Shinigami eyes have their eyes show up yellow when they use this power.
- In the film Wolf, yellow eyes are a sign that a character is turning into a werewolf◊.
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country features a golden-eyed alien that really is a shapeshifter.
- Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean (the first one, anyway; his eyes look normal enough in the next two films, presumably since he's no longer under the curse).
- Mystique and Toad from X-Men. Also, Nightcrawler from the sequel and Beast in the prequel when he uses a "cure" made out of Mystique's genes that gives him blue skin/fur and gold eyes.
- Tintin in the Thunderbirds live-action film has these when she uses her psychic powers. Her evil uncle, who has the same powers, falls under Red Eyes, Take Warning.
- Heimdall, the Asgardian sentry from the live-action Thor film. Justified, seeing as how he's a sufficiently advanced alien and a God.
- When Regan is possessed by Pazuzu in The Exorcist, her eyes become yellow.
- In Daybreakers, gold eyes are one of symptoms of vampirism.
- Appears in the credits sequence of GoldenEye (but not the film itself; the title Kill Sat is so named because the plaque that turns it on has an amber-like stone).
- Godzilla, the massive, radioactive, mutant King of the Monsters, has golden eyes in Godzilla (2014). It also provides some distinct Color Contrast against his charcoal grey hide.
- In the Hamish X trilogy, Hamish actually has said eyes because he is a cyborg.
- The all-powerful Tykebomb in the novel Sourcery had gold eyes. They even started turning brown when he began a Heel-Face Turn.
- In addition, there was Windle Poons as an undead. "His eyes! Like gimlets!"
- The Fool from Robin Hobb's Tawny Man trilogy starts out as an albino, but gradually turns gold. Not just his eyes, his hair and skin as well.
- A. J. Crowley from Good Omens has yellow eyes, which he usually hides behind sunglasses. Crowley's eyes are explicitly intended to be snakelike rather than feline or lupine. This is because Crowley was the snake in the Garden of Eden. Yes, that snake.
- Perrin in The Wheel of Time series got yellow eyes after unlocking his crazy wolf powers. He came to be known as Goldeneyes in honor of this trait, and it's taken as a good luck sign by his followers, and as a mark of evil by his enemies.
- Naturally enough, possessed by Gold-Eye from Garth Nix's Shade's Children. In his case, they only indicate his supernatural ability — precognitive power — rather than any sinister nature.
- The Sword of Truth novels featured a creature called a screeling; hideously efficient killing machines, they were all but invincible unless you happened to have very dangerous magic on hand. They had golden eyes, so prominent that there was, in fact, a poem about them.
- In the Saga of Recluce series of books, humans had many physical markers that hinted at particular power. Extremely powerful chaos mages (mostly fire-users) had gold eyes.
- The Cullens and all vegetarian vampires in the series have gold-colored eyes when they've recently eaten and black when they are hungry. Less finicky vampires don't.
- In Breaking Dawn, it is said that 'true' werewolves (called Children of the Moon) are distinguishable from the shape-shifters by having "yellow" eyes.
- In Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore, Coyote, Anubis, and their 'children' (Sam and Minty Fresh, respectively) all have golden eyes to denote their supernaturality.
- The alien children in The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham.
- The villain in Dennis Wheatley's The Haunting of Toby Jugg is a satanist with yellow eyes.
- Raistlin Majere from the Dragonlance series has gold eyes with hourglass-shaped pupils. They're a curse applied to him by the Wizards' Conclave because they thought he lacked sympathy; they cause him to see the effects of time on everything and everyone.
- Major characters in two of Caitlin R. Kiernan's novels have eyes of gold. Though to be perfectly accurate, they are both described as having yellow eyes and not gold.
- Narcissa Snow in Low Red Moon, as well as the child she helped to birth (or is she?), Emmie Silvey.
- Emmie appears in the related follow-up novel, Daughter of Hounds, which also describes the ghul as occasionally possessing this eyecolor (which is not unreasonable, as they are fairly canine in appearance).
- In Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson universe, when a werewolf starts to change from human to wolf, the eyes are one of the first body parts to change. Watching their eyes is one way to tell who's in control in there. Since most wolves have yellow eyes, most of the werewolves' eyes will brighten to gold. One character has blue eyes in wolf form, and her eyes turn from brown to blue when her wolf starts to come out.
- In Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword and its prequels, the eyes of people with kelar turn gold when they get angry or use their magic (the two occasions are often related). Also, when they fall in love. And it's dangerous to look in their eyes when they're gold, unless you have the kelar yourself. Kinda awkward for lovers without it.
- In Lee Lightner's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Wolf's Honour, having your eyes turn golden is the first physical sign that you are turning into a wolf-like creature, the wulfen.
- In Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
- Luke's irises turn gold after his body is possessed by Kronos.
- Hyperion, Titan of Light and the East, also has golden eyes, but his burn bright "like miniature suns".
- In Sequel Series The Heroes of Olympus, Hazel has gold eyes to reflect the fact she represents the "power of wealth and riches" side of her father Pluto's powers.
- Jason's eyes temporarily turn gold when he almost dies from observing Hera's true form.
- And Percy's, Jason's, and Leo's eyes turn gold when being possessed by the eidolons.
- In Lois McMaster Bujold's latest series, The Sharing Knife, the Lakewalkers have metallic eye colors running the gamut between silver and gold. This is a marker of their magical heritage, their descent from the sorcerer-kings who first loosed malices on the world.
- Shapeshifters in the Kate Daniels universe have their eyes change from human to animal when they're upset or losing control. Kate often refers to Curran's eyes as molten gold or fiery yellow when he's angry.
- In the world of Black Jewels, the three long-lived races have gold eyes. Most often described are those of Daemon Sadi, who is described from the start as resembling felines.
- In Master of the Five Magics by Lyndon Hardy, the "sorcerer's eye" is a mysterious magical item in the form of a crystal sphere, in which a single closed eye is seen to float unsupported. When in use, the eye within the sphere opens, revealing its golden iris.
- In The Child Thief, staying on Avalon long enough to absorb the magic in the food etc. would cause one's eyes to turn golden.
- Lizzy of the web-novel Domina has this. In this book, it's not an impossible eye color, but it is noted as odd, and no one is quite sure if it comes from the toy maker. Although she does have supernatural powers (though it hasn't been revealed exactly what powers), she does subvert the "predatory" aspect.
- Within the The Destroyer novels, golden eyes are used almost universally to hint that someone is Korean (almost always narrated with a note that Koreans are the only Asian race with golden eyes), usually right before it's revealed they have some connection to the mystic art of Sinanju.
- In Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom novel Magic to the Bone, Zayvion has Brown Eyes with flecks of gold — until he leaves the magic grid, whereupon they are brown. When he drives back, his eyes turn pure gold with only flecks of brown.
- Ultimately subverted in Doctrine of Labyrinths. Felix starts the story as the only person he or anyone else knows with a yellow eye, and he's such a powerful wizard that most superstitious people are afraid of his eyes (the other being blue of either the creepy or occult variety). Turns out where his mother comes from, people just have yellow eyes.
- In Sarah A. Hoyt's Draw One in the Dark, the yellow eyes show that the police officer is the same as the shape-shifting lions that aided their escape.
- In Warm Bodies, Julie's eyes turn from blue to gold after she and R cure his zombieism though The Power of Love.
- Titania in Terra Mirum Chronicles, fitting a queen of the Fae.
- Earl Shackleford, the effective head of Monster Hunter International, normally has blue eyes, but the emergence of his werewolf form changes them to gold.
- In Smallville, the super strong and highly bloodthirsty Phantom Zone escapee Aldar has gold eyes.
- In the Hallmark miniseries The 10th Kingdom, Wolf's eyes change to a feral yellowish-gold when his animalistic side comes out.
- In The X-Files season 1, the liver-eating mutant Eugene Victor Tooms' eyes sometimes were a bright yellow-green. (The color of bile, appropriately.)
- In the Doctor Who serial Survival, people under the malign influence of the Cheetah Planet acquired golden, cat-like eyes. This included the Master and Ace. The Master's subsequent incarnation (in the TV Movie) had golden Glowing Eyes of Doom, which may have been related to this, or his being a CGI snake for a while, or something else.
- The appropriately named Big Bad, "Yellow Eyes", otherwise known as Azazel or the Demon.
- In certain light, Gabriel's eyes are a light golden/amber color as well. Being that he's an all-powerful Archangel and spent time as the trickster god Loki, Richard Speight Jr.'s natural eye color worked wonderfully.
- The titular character of Merlin has blue eyes, but they glow gold when he does magic, as does anyone who uses magic, including Morgana, Morgause, Gaius, Alice and creatures such as the Manticore and the Dragon.
- In Kamen Rider Den-O, every time Ryotaro is possessed by Kintaros, his eyes become yellow.
- All vampires in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel have gold eyes when in Game Face.
- Buffy herself has (quite different) gold eyes when the gang use an enjoining spell to infuse her with all their combined abilities.
- In Sanctuary, Henry's eyes turning yellow is one of the first indications that his transformation into a werewolf has been triggered and are usually the very last to disappear when he changes back. On one occasion, he manages to tap into his werewolf side and use its strength to escape a holding cell. He remains completely human throughout this, except for a glowing pair of these.
- The Fades has the Fade Polus and his followers. This signifies both that they have powers beyond those of normal Fades and that the characters have pronounced animalistic sides, as the source of these powers is eating human flesh.
- Wolfblood: When any Wolfblood gets close to transforming into a wolf their eyes turn yellow and their veins turn black.
- Once Upon a Time: Red Riding Hood gains gold eyes when in or transforming into wolf form.
- When Yuki gives a Revealing Hug to Alex on MythQuest, she reveals her identity as the Japanese snow demon Yuki-Onna by showing these.
- In Teen Wolf, the eye color of a non-alpha werewolf may either be this or blue when they transform. Main character Scott is an example of the gold eyes version.
Myth and Legend
- Shape-shifters in legend, especially Genies, witches, and the like, are frequently tipped off by golden (or two-tone) eyes, which they cannot hide even in animal form. Mythical creatures with Deadly Gaze may have golden eyes as well. Shapeshifter Mystique from X-Men probably got her golden eyes from this variant of the tradition, making this Trope possibly Older Than Print.
- The Celtic Púca/Pooka stands out as a notable example. A shapeshifting hobgoblin, one of the Fair Folk - Pookas can take on any number of animal forms, but their eyes are always a telltale colour, typically goat-yellow. Far less commonly, they are said to have otherworldly red, green, or blue eyes instead of yellow.
- In Greek Mythology, Circe and her niece Medea had Golden Eyes. They were the daughter and granddaughter, respectively, of the Greek god of the Sun, Helios. His children were often associated with sorcery, and apparently, they all inherited his flashing eyes.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- 3.5 edition, or at least the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, mentions yellow eyes as a sign of celestial (angelic) descent, which usually corresponds to good alignments.
- 4E extends gold eyes (along with red ones) to the Dragonborn and Tiefling player races, with no indication of their Character Alignment (although Tieflings are generally considered a "dark" race)
- Warhammer 40,000: As a Space Wolf inches closer to being overtaken by the Wulfen, the feral monster that lives inside of him, his eyes turn a shade of gold.
- Harmonious Jade picked up a set after taking the Second Breath as a Solar. (Before then, she had some absolutely gorgeous shining blue eyes.)
- Also, all Sidereal Exalted Chosen of Journeys get yellow eyes as a sign of their station. With starry sky inside the iris, stars themselves tinted yellow as well.
- Magic: The Gathering: Vampires of Innistrad's Markov line have, in a variation, golden sclera and black everything else.
- Fire Emblem:
- Micaiah from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has gold eyes. She is known for her ability to predict future events, and later turns out to be descended from the Heron Tribe and the true Apostle of the Begnion Empire. And the avatar of a goddess of chaos.
- In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, every morph Nergal created has gold eyes, indicateing that they are magical constructs and not really human
- In Kingdom Hearts, golden or bright orange eyes are associated with The Heartless and, by extension, the power of darkness - the only Heartless not to have yellow eyes are the small number that don't have visible faces. Every incarnation of Xehanort has them, as well as Saix, Xigbar, DiZ and Vanitas. Terra's eyes turn yellow with rage at the end of the Birth by Sleep trailer, foreshadowing what happens to him in the game. In Saix and Xigbar's case, the eyes are a sign that they've been infected with Xehanort's own darkness, turning them into yet more hosts.
- It's never directly commented on, but Alvin and Jude are the only two characters in Tales of Xillia with gold eyes. This makes it an inversion of the trope, as both Jude and Alvin are of Elympian descent, meaning they don't have mana lobes and can't channel spirits.
- Shin Megami Tensei has a few examples
- In Persona 2, Big Bad Nyarlathotep tends to go for gold eyes and a slit pupils when he's in human form. The Shadow selves of the main protagonists also sport yellow eyes, a sign of their supernatural origins.
- The Velvet Room assistants: Elizabeth, Theodore, and Margaret (non-evil, but enigmatic and obviously supernatural). Also, Takaya (evil) in Persona 3.
- In Persona 4, all Shadow beings have eyes of gold in their human form. Those possessed by their own Shadows also exhibit this.
- Additionally, all of the Investigation Team's Personae with visible eyes have gold eyes. Even then, Jiraiya has gold stars/shuriken over what appear to be its eyes.
- In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, the Demi-Fiend's eyes change from grayish to gold when he's given demonic powers, and they begin to glow (and his body darken) when he unleashes powerful physical attacks (most likely, this would happen with spells as well, but they all use the same generic casting animation, so...). His eyes get bumped up a rank to red if the player makes it all the way through the Labyrinth of Amala and has the Old Man in the Wheelchair unlock the full extent of his demonic power at the cost of his human soul.
- Vampires in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim also have golden eyes; also applicable to the promotional pictures for Dawnguard. Its implied in-game that the Dragonborn, being a mortal with a dragon's soul, is the only one who can see these golden eyes.
- The universe features the night elves who normally have completely silver eyes (entirely silver, as they have no visible pupils). Those who had golden eyes were considered to be destined for great things, the most notable being Illidan Stormrage and Queen Azshara. Ironically enough, both of them ended up as villains.
- Nonetheless, in World of Warcraft, it's divided along gender lines: male Night Elves have golden eyes, female Night Elves have silver eyes, and that's that. The encyclopedia on the World of Warcraft website mentions that, in truth, supernatural gold eyes are merely a sign of druidic potential, and as the druids only recently opened their ranks to women, they are more common in males...which really makes no sense when you think about it.
- And then there's druids. Malfurion Stormrage, the twin brother of Illidan, was born with silver eyes, but while practicing druidism over many centuries, his eyes turned gold, as seen here.
- Dark Jedi in the Knights of the Old Republic series, especially Darth Revan, have yellow eyes (see the Star Wars example under Film, above). The player character can have them as well, if she/he goes over to the Dark Side. There's an awesome, but understated, moment where you get a close-up of them while you and Bastilla are tricking the Republic.
- This was influenced by Emperor Palpatine, who also gained them when his face became corrupted by the Dark Side (in some continuities).
- Lands of Lore has a scene where the shapeshifting main villain masquerades as one of the player's allies. The only way to detect her (except trial and error) is by her eyes, which stay yellow regardless of form.
- Both Morrigan and her mother, "The Witch of the Wilds", Flemeth have gold eyes in Dragon Age: Origins. Morrigan being a powerful mage like her mother and Flemeth heavily implied to not even be human. They also both happen to be shapeshifters with Flemeth able to take the form of a high dragon.
- Ultimecia in Final Fantasy VIII has gold eyes in addition to her various Power Tattoos and other physical signs of being a Sorceress. Edea, who inherits Ultimecia's powers and is possessed by her, also has gold eyes while in possession of her Sorceress Powers. Does not happen to Rinoa when controlled by Adel or Ultimecia, however.
- Shamir Shamazzle in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow has golden eyes, in all of his many forms. This helps the player identify him... just in case the various strangers encouraging the protagonist to do strange/dangerous/crazy things weren't obvious enough.
- Adelle from Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has yellow/golden eyes, and she was part of "The Gifted, a group of people with extraordinary powers such as living for a long time. It is unknown if her yellow eyes have to do with the Gifted or not.
- Sho Minamimoto from The World Ends with You, fitting the bill of the trope as a delightfully power-hungry sociopath who shapeshifts into a lion.
- In The Sims 2, werewolves have yellow eyes; interestingly, so do plant-sims.
- Vampires in Gaia Online have yellow eyes when they're about to do something badass; otherwise, they're pale gray with Hellish Pupils. Psycho for Hire Zhivago apparently has this effect going constantly.
- The character Slayer from Guilty Gear XX has golden eyes. This makes sense, since he is a vampire.
- In Quest for Glory IV, all vampires have pupilless golden eyes.
- In Xeno Gears, Artificial Human Emeralda Kasim has green hair and gold eyes. Kind of a dead giveaway that she's not normal..
- Gulcasa and Emilia in Yggdra Union and its spinoffs have golden and bright yellow eyes respectively. They're the descendants of a demon god.
- In the original Doom games, whenever you pick up an invulnerability sphere or use the god mode cheat, the Marine's eyes turn solid gold.
- In contrast to most other demons in the Disgaea series, Fenrich the werewolf has gold eyes.
- Diablo III:
- The Demon Hunter sports a glowing pair of these when she has a hood on, signifiying someone who has stared into the soul of a demon without going mad.
- The mortal Tyrael sports a pair of these, signifying his former angelic status.
- Leah also sports a very creepy pair of these after her body is taken over by Diablo as the Prime Evil.
- Ahri the Nine-Tailed Fox from League of Legends has golden eyes and is... well... a Nine-Tailed Fox (a Korean-styled gumiho to be precise).
- Final Fantasy XIII-2: Combines this with Prophet Eyes; whenever Yeul and/or Serah have a vision, their eyes glow gold with the symbol of Etro over the pupil for the duration.
- In the Mass Effect games, one can identify Harbinger, the first, biggest, and most powerful Reaper by the fact that his "eyes" are gold instead of red. In addition, the Collectors he controls erupt with glowing golden eyes, along with taking on a skin texture resembling golden magma, when he possesses them.
- In a cross of this and Electronic Eyes, the title character of Goldeneye Rogue Agent has a cybernetic yellow eye.
- In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, yellow eyes are apparently normal in Lemuria, a city-state of Adepts with extraordinary longevity. One of the NPCs in Madra talks about Piers's eyes during his imprisonment there.
- This trope is far more pronounced at the very end of Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. Matthew's eyes glow golden while he and Sveta are Sharing a Body, and after the Apollo Lens goes off all of the beastmen in the blast zone have Supernatural Gold Everything.
- Avalon, the Big Bad of Legaia II: Duel Saga, has these. Originally known as simply "Gold Eyes" in his first appearance, you later learn that he is a Star Shaper, a being who can manipulate the Source Forge, the beacon of creation. He is also a Mystic, and wields the Origin Igohl, the Supreme Origin said to be of (nearly) infinite power.
- Everything from Gears of War when infected by Imulsion. When something is completely black, has golden eyes and explodes after death, you know that something is wrong...
- Lilith in Borderlands and Borderlands 2 has golden irises which glow when she triggers her Siren powers. It's not clear if the golden eyes are precisely due to being a Siren, though, as Maya, Commandant Steele, and Angel all have blue eyes.
- Fate/stay night: in the "Heaven's Feel" route of the game, when Saber is possessed by Sakura, she gains these as part of her Superpowered Evil Side.
- In Fate/Zero novels, it is hinted that because she just went through extreme despair and duress defeating Berserker/Lancelot, it is her dragon blood coming up to the surface because of her raw desire to get the grail when she is meters away from her goal like here◊. It seems Saber could litterally go Alter on her own in the right situation.
- Junipers Knot: The girl has golden eyes and green hair to signify her nature as a powerful demon, in contrast to the human boy who is rather plain and has hair and eyes found in ordinary humans.
- The vampire Arcueid in Tsukihime has red eyes, but she's more of a ditsy good guy than anything else. When they turn gold, however, it's time to run. When her irises turn gold and the scleras of her eyes turn red, you're already dead. And, just for yet another level of Oh Crap, there's when her eyes return to being merely gold, her hair grows out, and her attitude turns cold and haughty, to indicate that she's not really Arcueid at all, anymore; someone else has taken over.
- Dlanor A. Knox from Umineko no Naku Koro ni has these. She's the High Inquisitor of the Eiserne Jungfrau, the 7th District Repentance Agency of the Great Court of Heaven, whose job it is to hunt down "heretics". She uses two swords, the Red Key and the Blue Key, which allows her to use Red and Blue truths.
- Poet from Pop N Music has bright yellow eyes (golden orange in her alternate colors). This is rather unusual, as her, ah, supernatural origin would be pretty obvious without it.
- Nageki from Hatoful Boyfriend has bright yellow eyes in his human portrait, unlike his actual form as a dark-eyed mourning dove. He turns out to be a ghost.
- In Inverloch, Lei'ella, Kayn'dar, and other "Severed" elves have white hair and golden eyes. This is an inversion: instead of being powerful or tricksters, Severed elves are mortal and can't use magic, essentially being Brought Down to Normal.
- Werewolves in Sorcery 101 have yellow eyes. It is also suspected to be the case in Strange Someone.
- In Pandect, Aces (animals who have been given human bodies and minds) have yellow eyes if their animal species has them. The protagonist, Prince Fleance, is a melanistic leopard and has gold eyes with slit pupils in human form.
- Richard from Looking for Group has yellow/gold eyes and is probably one of the most powerful, destructive, and evil warlocks/beings/forces in the comic's entire world and/or universe. He's also insane. And undead. And hundreds of years old.
- The four main characters' of Cry Havoc eyes change to golden when they transform into werewolves. Their eyes also fluctuate between their natural color and yellow when in human form and stressed or excited.
- Miho and later Yuki is shown to have them in MegaTokyo, so supernatural that they can even occasionally override the fact that MegaTokyo is a black-and-white comic. They indicate Magical Girl status.
- Laurin Shattersmith in The Order of the Stick usually has black eyes, like everyone else in the comic, but they turn bright gold when she uses her Psychic Powers.
- Takanuva, Toa of Light has yellow eyes in BIONICLE: Mask of Light, representing his light-based powers. His first toy also came with yellow eyes, though later incarnations changed them to lime green.
- Timber Wolf from the Legion Of Superheroes cartoon series has these eyes (gold sclera, red pupils) as a result of his father's experiments on him that turned him into a werewolf-like being. They turn red when he's using his enhanced senses but start running when they become bloodshot. His eye colour when he was human remains unknown.
- Sunil Nevla the mongoose, of Littlest Pet Shop (2012) has these; He can even hypnotise people with them.
- In Angels Friends Sulfus and Kabale have these and are notorious trickster devils.
- In Transformers Prime, almost every Transformer has either blue or red eyes, depending on their faction, though they can change if they're under the influence of a special fuel. The exception seems to Predaking, who has golden eyes. Seeing how he's a miracle of science, a being cloned from the ancient remains of Predacon bones, he may fall under this trope.
- There's also Nemesis Prime, another miracle of Science, this one built by humans using a few salvaged Transformer parts and energon.