Radiating from the book was the light that lies on the far side of darkness, the light fantastic. It was a rather disappointing purple colour.Whether it's magic, psychic energy, or wizard clothing, purple is often the color that represents these. It's not the only mystical color, but in fiction, it's one of the most common, regardless of whether the color shows up on the good guys or the bad guys (although the latter is a bit more common thanks to Good Colors, Evil Colors and Purple Is the New Black). This is one reason purple is one of the Common Mary Sue Traits (and Graceful Ladies Like Purple). Can often overlap with Purple Is Powerful, Purple Eyes. A Sister Trope to Gravity Is Purple. Compare Gold and White Are Divine and Emerald Power.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- in K, the Clansmen have powers that manifest in the colors of their Clans, but the Colorless Clan's powers appear purple, as opposed to white - possibly to distinguish them, since a former Colorless Clansman joins the Silver Clan (hakugin, or "white-silver", in Japanese), and uses both colors at separate times.
- In Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Shouta is the only human with purple hair... and also the only human with a superhuman power, being a Child Mage.
- Doctor Strange uses magic in many colors, but purple is one of his more common hues (after yellow, blue, and red).
- Taken quite literally in the 1990 looseleaf edition of Who's Who in the DC Universe, which color-coded the borders of the entries. Heroes got red trim, villains were in black, supporting cast in blue, technology in yellow, and geography in green. Supernatural items and characters...were purple.
- Psylocke of X-Men has purple clothing, purple hair, and psychic aura that is purple. However, it turns out that she dyes her hair; she was born a blonde, the same as her brother Captain Britain.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- In the TV adaptation of Discworld's The Colour of Magic, the magic is represented as purple, and Rincewind's blue eyes suddenly turn this sheen as a sign of the spell trying to take him over. In the books, the color of magic is actually the fictional 8th color, octarine, but it's noted in the book to be outside the visible spectrum, so a visible color was chosen.
- Ghostbusters (1984). Not something in the movie—the whole movie itself is suffused with a purple aura for this very reason.
- X-Men: Apocalypse: En Sabah Nur's consciousness and his teleportation sphere are a luminous purple.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: The Power Stone glows a bright shade of purple and even produces purple explosions. Downplayed, however, in the context of the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: the other five Infinity Stones are all different colors.
- Octarine, the colour of magic in the Discworld novels, is "a sort of greeny-purple."
- In The Last Dragon Chronicles all of the dragons have violet eyes. Also, if any human is mentioned as having violet eyes, you can bet that human is integral to the plot.
- In Septimus Heap, the form of Magyk used by the ExtraOrdinary Wizards is purple, unlike the green of more generic Magyk.
- The Seventh Tower's primary magic system relies heavily on Hard Light and Color-Coded Wizardry, with violet being the most powerful color and, by extension, the color of the highest caste of the Chosen. Furthermore, whoever can master the magic of the Violet Keystone is, by extension, the rightful Emperor/Empress of the Chosen as Tal finds out when it turns out the sunstone he's been carrying around and using to fuel his magic for most of the series is the lost Keystone....
- Alanna and her twin Thom from Song of the Lioness have particularly powerful magical gifts that come in the colour purple, and matching eyes. There's also the Constellation Cat, a magical sort-of-deity that comes to help mortal heroes in the form of a talking, black furred, purple-eyed cat. When he appears in Provost's Dog, the first thing anyone notices about him is the eyes.
- In Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note, Nanaki can see spirits and marks the franchise's inclusion of paranormal themes. He's also the only person having purple hair and eyes.
- In Stephen Woodworth's Through Violet Eyes, people born with the ability to channel the dead have violet eyes.
- Dennis Wheatley, author of atmospheric horror stories such as The Devil Rides Out, asserted that purple or magenta light heralded the manifestation of spirits of evil. As he was an associate of Aleister Crowley, it can be assumed he learned this from the Master.
Live Action TV
- Merlin (2008)
- Merlin had a purplish shirt for a while, now it's sometimes different colors. Morgana favored purple dresses in the beginning of the series, but her clothes have gotten darker since her Face–Heel Turn.
- The Lady of the Lake has a purple dress.
- Once Upon a Time
- Magic often involves impressive billows of purple smoke.
- As did Lamia and Alator, a magical enemy and ally, respectively.
- Inverted in Warehouse 13, where purple is the color of the liquid used to neutralize supernatural objects. Certain extremely-dangerous objects (such as Sylvia Plath's typewriter, causing anyone looking at it to commit suicide) are perpetually dosed in the liquid.
- Kilgrave in Jessica Jones is accompanied by the color purple no matter where he is, be it his predominately purple wardrobe or appearing with a flash of purple light when he's inside his victim's minds.
- A line in "A Machine Spiritual (In the People's Key)" by Bright Eyes mentions that "in the jungle there are columns of purple light," which sounds mystical and mysterious, especially since it's framed by lines about history "stepping aside" and the human race starting over.
- Occurs a few times in Dungeons & Dragons:
- The Eldritch Blast of the Warlock is always colored purple in the various books' art. Several of the Warlock's powers are shown to glow purple.
- In 4th Edition, the Devas (reincarnating angels who have taken a mortal form) have purple skin and eyes.
- Much of the art of the Forgotten Realms depicting Mystra, the goddess of Magic, show her avatar (or mortal self) wearing a significant amount of purple. In addition, the default god of Magic, Boccob, is depicted in purple robes with gold runes on them.
- The Eladrins in 4th edition tend to favor purple in their clothing in much of the art.
- In Magic: The Gathering artwork, purple is occasionally used to signify black mana, especially where it would be inconvenient to use black in the art instead.
- Some Blue and White spells are also purple.
- Malifaux: The Mass Empowering Event covered the eyes of those empowered with swirling silver-and-purple mist. The color is also associated with the Neverborn, who are all magical beings.
- In Angband, the given color of multi-hued monsters is purple.
- In Atlas Reactor, the Nanomachine-enhanced Warrior Monk Asana has purple skin, and the Omni Trust (which focuses on nanotechnology, transhumanism and recreating the works of the Titans) has purple and white uniforms.
- In BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Rachel's Unlimited form is distinguished by a purple glow.
- In the Dawn of War series, warp anomalies (and chaos magic in general) look like purple flames.
- Conjuration magic in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is purple, along with most everything related to it, especially soul gems and the Soul Cairn.
- In Eternal Darkness, each Ancient's energies are color-coded, with the most powerful one, Mantorok, imbuing its magicks with a purple glow.
- Gems of War: The Magic element is represented with purple orbs.
- In Golden Sun and its sequels, Jupiter (wind elemental) Adepts are strongly associated with the color purple, and frequently have purple hair or eyes. Jupiter is also the element most associated with extrasensory Psychic Powers, such as precognition and telepathy.
- In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the fortune-telling sisters in Harapa dress mainly in purple, and oracular Shrine Maiden Himi wears the traditional garb of her station accented with purple sashes and hair decorations. Meanwhile, Karis subverts the above Jupiter association, being a purple-eyed, purple-wearing Jupiter Adept with no extrasensory abilities (for which she's grateful).
- In Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes, the three factions most inclined towards the supernatural (Inferno, Necropolis, and Academy) all use purple as one of their troop colors.
- Minecraft has this. Nether portals are made from dark purple volcanic glass and are filled with some sort of purple glowing stuff. They also suck in purple smoke, as do Endermen, whose eyes glow purple. Their dimension is also home to the Enderdragon, whose eyes and mouth glow purple, and floating pink and purple crystals that heal the dragon.
- The Vanu Sovereignty in both of the PlanetSide games is a faction of humanity that effectively worship the nearly-magical ancient Vanu technology as they futilely try to understand it. Their units and soldiers are painted bright purple with cyan and grey highlights.
- In Pokémon, purple represents ghost type Pokemon, and in the card game, psychic is represented by purple, whereas in the game, Psychic is represented with pink.
- The Mysterious Fragments in Sir, You Are Being Hunted are a dark purple similar to that of obsidian in Minecraft. Also, if any item is Mysterious (such as the Mysterious Fragments), the text denoting that fact is purple.
- In Skylanders, purple represents the Magic element. This almost certainly has to do with the fact that the most well-known character, Spyro the Dragon, is both a magic-type and known for his purple color.
- In Sonic and the Black Knight, the sorceress Merlina has a purple cape and purple hair when she becomes the Dark Queen..
- In Star Wars: The Old Republic, some Sith display glowing purple eyes whilst drawing heavily on the Dark Side. The Sith Inquisitor, in particular, demonstrates this whenever this Sith uses Force Walk ability to bind Force Ghosts to him.
- The Super Smash Bros. series has Ganondorf, Mewtwo, and Crazy Hand's evil attacks appear with a purple flame effect.
- Trick And Treat: Charlotte is a witch and dresses in purple colors. And so does her grandmother. The Witches Tea Party as well, as it features both of them still being witches and wearing purple.
- In War of Omens, the Endazu are the most magical of all the factions, and their cards are coloured purple.
- In World of Warcraft, spells of the Arcane school have animations that glow light purple (with Shadow spells being darker purple, though that might be more a case of Purple Is the New Black). And Epic items (the second-most powerful class of items in the game, below only Legendary items) have their titles in purple.
- In Warcraft II, both purple factions (The Nation of Dalaran on the Alliance side and the Twilight's Hammer Clan on the Horde side) are known for their magic users.
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2 represent the usage of various psionic powers of both your and enemy soldiers as weird, tentacly shapes of purple and black something, and uses the combination of purple and black as a universal stand-in for "related to psionics." Soldiers who develop psionic powers also gain Purple Eyes along with Mystical White Hair, though you can revert this on the character customization screen. The Templars in the XCOM 2: War of the Chosen expansion default to a vivid purple uniform color, and the trope is even Lampshaded by one of the titular Chosen.
The Hunter: If it's purple, it must be psionic.
- In Agents of the Realm, purple seems to be a go-to color for non-elemental magic, as Provenance, Ruby's Demonic Possession and Alchemist's powers are all purple.
- In Arthur, King of Time and Space, Nimue always wears purple. That said, Merlin wears orange and Morgan le Fay, like the rest of her family, wears green.
- In The Glass Scientists, Jasper's wolfsbane poisoning that causes the instability of his werewolf form manifests as glowing purple foam at his mouth.
- Rose Lalonde types Purple Prose in purple text, has Purple Eyes, and often wears purple clothing. She has a deep interest in The Noble Circle of Horrorterrors and dual-wields magic knitting needles that have a prominent purple aura.
- Eridan Ampora wears a purple cape, has a purple tuft in his hair, and has purple blood. He has quite an interest in wizards, even becoming a practitioner of Black Magic (though he claims magic isn't real and insists on referring to it as "white science" given his Arbitrary Skepticism and typing quirk).
- The Horrorterrors kind of fit this trope. They're giant eldritch abominations and their blood is purple.
- In True Villains, Elia's Necromancy is indicated by purple light. Her eyes glow purple when her magic is active, providing a cue when she's transferred her spirit to one of her minions.
- This blog post discusses the use of purple with green at The Haunted Mansion to create a supernatural atmosphere.
- The main logo for Welcome to Night Vale, about a small town where the supernatural is an everyday occurrence, is mostly purple. While descriptions of characters are kept deliberately vague, most fan-art will give depict them as having purple hair, tattoos, skin or third-eyes.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, cosmic energy of Avatar State (or at least how Aang sees it in his visions) is purple.
- Gwen from Ben 10: Alien Force.
- In Mixels, the Wiztastics, a magic-based tribe, are purple with dark blue highlights.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- Twilight Sparkle is a student of magic. Her Unicorn powers are purple, her eyes are purple, her coat is light purple, and her mane and tail are dark purple (with a fuschia stripe down the center).
- Trixie wears a purple Robe and Wizard Hat as part of her airs of being a great sorceress (even though she can do some magic). She also has Purple Eyes.
- Dark Energon in Transformers Prime is purple. It's also the blood of Unicron, and capable of all kinds of nasty stuff, including the creation and control of Terrorcons.
- A lot of Harry Potter merchandise includes purple on the product and/or packaging. For example, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans often come in purple packages.
- Violet and purple is frequently used in neopagan, magical, and new age websites.
- The crown chakra, which is supposed to relate to one's psychic ability, is often associated with the color violet.
- There is a small political party in Germany focusing on spirituality and esoterica. Its name is Die Violetten, "The Violets."
- Violet (which purple resembles) is the most intense color in the spectrum perceivable by humans. As such, violet/purple glow is exceedingly rare in nature and indicates extremely high energies and temperature. For example, the brightest stars in the universe emit primarily blue light; there are no stars bright enough to emit primarily violet light.
- Meanwhile, purple and magenta, which often are substituted for violet, do not exist in the light spectrum. They are transitional colors invented by our brains in an attempt to bridge two non-overlapping parts of the spectrum. Then again...
- Surprisingly, stars that emit magenta light, most likely, do exist; but this has nothing to do with high energies, it's just a combination of blue and red spectral lines. Those stars are, in fact, the dimmest of all visibly glowing stars, the T-dwarfs.