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Color-Coded Wizardry

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"'...For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!' I looked then and saw that his robes, which had seemed white, were not so, but were woven of all colors, and if he moved they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered. 'I liked white better,' I said."
Gandalf the Grey, The Lord of the Rings

There is an idea (codified by J. R. R. Tolkien) that wizards are identified as X the Color. Sometimes, it indicates rank, sometimes jurisdiction, and every now and then the type of magic being used.

Oftentimes, magic itself will specifically be color-coded, with different types of magic or specific magical orders or traditions being equated with specific colors. White Magic and Black Magic, of course, are the most common examples, representing good and evil magic respectively. "Green Magic" is another recurring type, typically referring to magic dealing with plants, nature or healing. (The magic of evil spellcasters might often have a Sickly Green Glow, but it is rare for what they do to be called Green Magic; it is unrelated to the more benign nature-wizard form.) Magic dealing with Elemental Powers may also be color-coded in this manner — red for fire magic, brown for earth magic, blue for water magic and so on. This may also overlap with Magical Sensory Effect.

In other situations, individual wizards may be personally associated with specific colors for a variety of reasons, such as using one of the aforementioned types of magic, a signature dress style, hair color or any other relevant cause.

A Sub-Trope of Color-Coded for Your Convenience and Technicolor Magic.

A Sister Trope to Color-Coded Elements.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Destroy All Humankind. They Can't Be Regenerated.: The cards of Magic: The Gathering are divided into five different colors, each representing a different type of faction and mana. Most characters are associated with a deck corresponding to one or two of these colors but don't dress the part, except for Hajime since he thinks black is a badass, manly color. Both Hajime and Yakumo are mono-black players while Emi runs a mono-white deck.
  • INVADERS of the ROKUJYOUMA!?: There are seven common domains of magic named and colored for the standard rainbow. Magical Girl names indicate by color which area one has mastered. There is also White and Black, magic which are only very rarely encountered.
  • In Jewelpet, all Jewelpets fall into one of four colour classes, depending on their eye colour — Magical Red, Blue, Green and Black. Magical Red can manipulate fire, Magical Blue can manipulate water and move objects, Magical Green can manipulate plants and use transformation magic, and Magical Black specializes in fortune-telling and the occult. Note that these are the definitions given in the toys' universe and they play no role whatsoever in the anime, where the Jewelpets' powers are given more freedom.
  • Mages in Lyrical Nanoha all have a predetermined color that their magic takes when they cast spells. It's never actually made clear how this color is determined in-universe, since there are several cases of clones having entirely different colors from their genetic donors, though the In-Character Commentary for the first movie does make mention of an (unsubstantiated) theory that they're a personality indicator like with horoscope signs.
  • Slayers: Wizards are given colors like Rezo the Red Priest, for example. The reason it doesn't enter into it much (especially outside the novels) is that Lina's title is "The Pink", which has a reputation in Japanese Culture. In-universe, there's also the fact that Lina utterly hates her title, so she goes out of her way to not draw attention to it.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering is centered entirely around a system of five colors of magic: White (order, purity and light), Green (tradition, destiny, nature and life), Red (fire, emotion and strength), Black (death, undeath, ambition, pragmatism and decay), and Blue (air, water, technology, intelligence, trickery and mental powers). They sometimes dress in those colors, too, but thankfully don't always. Part of the reason for dressing "in-color" is that most card art has a palette that matches the card's color.

    Fan Works 
  • A.A. Pessimal's Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons parody When the War Is Over examines, among other things, the logistic difficulty involved in not so much the recruitment as the naming of field agents in Spectrum. You need hundreds of field agents and, well, there really aren't all that many colour terms in the English language, or indeed actual colours, to name them after. Colonel White reflects, at length, on the extraordinary difficulties this posed.
    Oh yes. Colours. Once you get past the basic seven, things start to get a little tricky.
  • The Conversion Bureau: A New Age:
    • All Terran Magic has a signature color: Blue Water, Red Fire, Green Earth, Gold Wind. When the "Mixed" Elements are found, they follow the same pattern: Periwinkle Lightning, Aquamarine Ice, Forest Green Wood, Silver Metal, White Light, and Dark Violet Shadow.
    • Played straight with the Conduits of Terra — Blue Vague (vague is french for waves of water), Red Blaze, Midori Hana (Japanese for Green Flowers, although her element is Earth), and Golden Storm
    • When the Mane Six they find their own Terran Magic, the color matches aren't always ideal — Applejack gripes that the dark green runes of Wood Magic clash violently with her orange coat, and aquamarine doesn't exactly mesh with butter yellow at first blush.
  • The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World: Referenced briefly by the seven towers of the ruling wizards in the city of Daarthayu. Although each tower is a different color, there's no indication as to whether the colors are related in any way to the type of magic practiced by each wizard. Rather, each tower gives the viewer the "feeling" of the type of magic practiced within.
    Ringo (looking at each tower in turn): It's like tunin' a radio.
  • Royal Heights: Although it's called the Darkness, it naturally adapts to the user's Soul and changes color from there. Embry has red magic, Zoe has purple and Yin has pink.
  • Thrower of the Dart: It appears that human magic tends to take the form of gold sparks in contrast to the People's blue sparks. Artemis, as a changeling, has a mix of both.
  • The Very Secret Diaries: In addition to the canonical colored wizards from The Lord of the Rings, Saruman is corresponding with Manfred the Slightly Ecru. He also grumbles about having decided to be the White, as it makes his laundry more difficult.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Flight of Dragons has four wizards assigned to different realms: the Green Wizard Carolinus to the forests and plains, the Blue Wizard Solarius to the oceans and waterways, the Yellow Wizard Lo Tae Zhao to the skies, and the Red Wizard Ommadon to the mountains and volcanoes. This is both the elemental power of a wizard (i.e. their area of expertise) and where they hold actual sovereign power.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Casper Meets Wendy:
    • The magic users each have their own signature colors; Wendy is red while Big Bad Desmond Spellman is pink. Wendy's aunts are orange (Fanny), yellow (Gert), and blue (Gabby). Wendy's wand can also emit rainbow ribbons of magic when executing certain spells.
    • While Casper's ghost uncles are not "magic", Stinky exudes a noxious green cloud from his mouth, and Fatso does the same when breaking wind (though his comes out the back end).
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Masters of Mystical Arts (the Ancient One, Doctor Strange, Wong etc) are Reality Warpers and have orange basic spells, Scarlet Witch has Psychic Powers and has red spells, and Loki and Mysterio are Masters of Illusion and have green spells. Agatha's birth coven (good witches) use light blue while Agatha herself (not good) uses purple. These colors are all also evocative of the Infinity Stones, suggesting that the types of magic are different than those listed: the orange of the Soul Stone for the Masters of the Mystic Arts, the red of the Reality Stone for Wanda and her chaos magic, the blue of Space for the witches (and Monica and Danvers), the purple of Power for Agatha, the green of Time for Loki and the mystic shackles used by the Illuminati in Multiverse of Madness...
  • Wizards of the Lost Kingdom: Overlaps with Good Colors, Evil Colors. The good wizard Wulfrick and his son Simon have bright blue magic, while the evil wizard Shurka casts spells in bright red-orange.

  • Apprentice Adept: Most of the adepts are explicitly color-coded and are referred to only by their color. (Protagonist Stile is one of the exceptions.) Later on, in the second trilogy, there are a few adepts that don't bother with the color dynamic at all.
  • The Baroque Cycle, by Neal Stephenson, engages in some Magical Realism by having Enoch Root, who also appears in Cryptonomicon, which is set several centuries later — it's implied that he's a sort of "Wandering Jew" type. His last name is similar to the Dutch or German word for red and, at one point, he's referred to as Enoch the Red and linked to wizardry.
  • The Black Magician Trilogy, by Trudi Canavan, color codes the three different disciplines of magic (Warriors wear red robes, Alchemists wear purple robes, and Healers wear green robes) as well as rank (the heads of each discipline wears a black sash, the King's Advisors wear gold sashes, the Administrators wear blue robes, and the High Lord wears black robes). Also, at the end of The High Lord, Lord Balkan becomes the new high lord and changes the robe color to white, and the black robes are now worn by the Black Magican.
  • In The Children of Man, the light magic was splintered into its six component colors eons ago, and the first six color mages founded six Orders of wizard-monks to prevent anything like the Shattering from happening again. The Orders, and their colors and powers, are as follows:
    • Red magic can heal or kill. The red-aligned order is the Tereskans, who serve as doctors.
    • Orange magic can be used to bind or track or seek out truth, as well as being usable as a weapon. The orange-aligned order is the Daniyelans, who serve as a kind of international police.
    • Yellow magic can manipulate emotions and make things appear to be what they are not. The yellow-aligned order is the Lusicans, who serve as traveling entertainers.
    • Green magic can infuse plants and animals with vitality, or drain the same away, as well as serving as the fuel for other forms of magic. The green-aligned order is the Phadrians, who serve as gardeners and farmers.
    • Blue magic can reveal the future. The blue-aligned order is the Nikelans, who are the mouthpiece of the local form of the Christian God.
    • Purple magic grants the ability to teleport and see the past. The purple-aligned order are the Amserians, who serve as couriers.
  • In The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids, though it's never been highlighted as a point of worldbuilding, there is a running theme of the spellcasters in the series tending to have a 'main' colour to their magic, often also showing up as Technicolor Eyes:
    • Emperor Steer's magic is a light purple. His eyes glow mauve, and his robes are a dark violet hue.
    • Mandragora, being an alchemist, fittingly has a golden theming: his eyes glow gold in whatever body he's occupying, the magical sigils he uses in his Wizard Duel with Steer glow yellow, and his human form even has blond hair.
    • More subtly, Lord Nefarious in The Trial of a Dark Lord seems to have green magic: the magical lightning he uses on Conquest-932 is green, and his eyes (though black) briefly flash green when he's angry.
  • Deryni: The eponymous mages are somewhat color-coded. Deryni with green or silver auras are able to Heal, while the Haldanes have red auras. Since the society is feudal, Deryni nobility tend to have their aura colors included in their coats of arms (Haldane red, Morgan's Corwyn green).
  • Diamond Sword, Wooden Sword: The Magical Orders of the Rainbow are the powerhouse of The Empire who made even the emperor their puppet. The Order of Arc the Red are fire mages and militarists; Garam the Orange are healers and medics; Ugus the Yellow are specialists on sacrifice and necromancy; Kutul the Violet are necromancers too, but their specialty is breeding monsters. What do Flaviz the Green, Liv the Blue and Soley the Indigo exactly do, we are not told.
  • Discworld:
    • The Lord of the Rings' Radagast is parodied with Ridicully the Brown (probably with the intention of making you think of... certain body functionsnote ), who, rather than a Nature Lover, is more of an Egomaniac Hunter.
    • In one book, the wizards' washerwomen mock the cleanliness of those who use "The White" as a title. Mrs Whitlow's line in Equal Rites is probably another LotR parody: "Grampone the White? He'll be Grampone the Grey if he doesn't take better care of his laundry."
    • In Unseen Academicals, Unseen University's late sports instructor was Evans the Striped. Presumably, they were black and white stripes, as per referees.
  • Dragonlance
    • The novel has three Orders of High Sorcery, each with its own color-coded dress code: White Robes (good wizards, specializing in divination and Dispel Magic), Red Robes (neutral wizards, specializing in illusion and transmutation), and Black Robes (evil wizards, specializing in enchantment magic and necromancy). Their robe colors also honor the patron God of Magic whose teachings they most align with; Solinari of the White Moon, Lunitari of the Red Moon, and Nuitari of the Black Moon.
    • In Dragonlance: The New Adventures, Sindri eschews the traditional wizardry color trichotomy, taking a fourth option and theming his outfit around purple and sun symbols.note 
  • The Dresden Files: Dress robes of White Council members include color-coded stoles over black robes: blue stoles for younger members, red for those with over a century of service, or purple for Senior Council members. Various adornments to the stoles signify honoraria or fields of study. Apprentices wear brown robes without stoles, and Wardens wear grey cloaks over their dress robes.
  • The Eye In The Stone, by Allen L. Wold, takes color-coded magic to the extreme, running through the spectrum of magic-associated pigments three times, so even different hues have their own meanings. Purchasing supplies for a ritual circle to invoke a needed spell, the protagonist has to buy an extra-large box of crayons, because the smaller boxes didn't have a dark enough blue!
  • The primary magic-users of The Girl Who Drank the Moon are Xan, whose magic appears mossy green, and Luna, who uses blue with silver highlights.
  • Green Magic, a short story by Jack Vance that can be read in its entirety on the Web, has a system of color-coded cycles of magic of increasing abstraction and removal from the physical world. First are the white and black cycles, the first associated with benevolent creatures such as angels and the latter with malevolent ones such as demons and trolls. Next comes the purple cycle, which is the realm of incarnate symbols, and the eponymous cycle of green magic. This one is particularly abstract, and seems to have little in common with human concepts, beyond its native creatures being ungodly powerful, highly civilized and tending to view humans like humans might view cavemen. At least two cycles are stated to exist beyond that, which the natives of the green associate with the colors they call rawn and pallow, and while still others likely exist they don't know what they might be.
  • In The Grisha Trilogy, the Second Army wears robes called kefta, which are color-coded depending on which class they belong to: Etherealki (blue), Corporalki (red), and Materialki (purple). Servants wear white and grey. The Darkling is technically an Etherealki, but only he can wear the color black.
  • Harry Potter: Purple seems to be a signature color of Albus Dumbledore.
    • Philosopher's Stone: Dumbledore is dressed in a purple cloak when first appearing on Privet Drive, and when the Great Hall is in an uproar at the news of a troll in the castle, he conjures purple fireworks to restore silence.
    • Prisoner of Azkaban: When Sirius Black is loose in the castle and the students spend the night in the Great Hall for safety, Dumbledore conjures hundreds of purple sleeping bags so they will be more comfortable.
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • All elemental spells are tinged to a color depending on the element of the spell because the mana for the spell is colored by the Worldly Mana Gates. Thus we have brown for earth spells, red for fire spells, green for forest spells etc.
    • Some powers share colors but have something else that distinguishes them. For instance, both fire and bladi magic is red but the shade of red is different. Bladi magic is blood red.
    • Spiritual abilities don't have a color because they are technically not magic and so they come across as "clear". Ordercraft technically doesn't have a color either because it is the absence of chaos, which is the source of all the other kinds of magic. The closest that mortal minds can get to is "silver-grey". Chaoscraft itself is a similar case; it is seen as a "golden-brown" color.
  • The Lord of the Rings has (at the beginning of the book) Saruman the White, Gandalf the Grey and Radagast the Brown. Tolkien's notes also make reference to Alatar and Pallando the Blue Wizards. Saruman reinvents himself as Saruman "of the Many Colors" early in the first book and his robe shines in multiple hues when it moves, because white light is all the colors of the rainbow. Later, in The Two Towers, Gandalf is returned to life as Gandalf the White.
  • Magik Online: There are seven different colors of Flux, each can be used to manipulate a different aspect of reality: Red (energy), Blue (information), Green (life), Yellow (soul), Orange (matter), Violet (space-time) and White (magic). There is also an eighth color: Black, the color of decay and entropy.
  • Modern Healing Mage: At The School apprentices wear color coded robes, based on the discipline they use. Teachers wear black robes with runes stitched in the color of their discipline.
  • The Quest of the Unaligned: Mages are all color-coded by element and rank. Peasant mages wear a white sash and a robe in their element's color (red for aeshes, blue for shamais, silver for ruahks, and green for aretzes). Noble mages wear white robes with trim in their element's color, while the unaligned royal house wears white robes with gold trim.
  • The Saga of Recluce color-codes its order and chaos mages, though, surprisingly, the chaos mages are white and the order mages are black; mages that can do both are still predictably grey.
  • In Septimus Heap, Wizardry is color-coded: Purple is used by the ExtraOrdinary Wizards and their Apprentices, while bright green is associated with other Magyk.
  • The Seventh Tower: Colors are a really big deal, as there's a whole society of Light-magic wielding mages who organize themselves according to the colors of the rainbow, Red being the lowest rank and Violet the highest. On top of that, most magic in this series has to do with manipulating light, and using one's Sunstone to generate light in various colors has uses ranging from battle to music to common courtesy.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has the Red Priests of R'hllor who have impressive magical abilities, supposedly powered by the sacred fire of that god. One of the major characters who belongs to this group is the Evillish Sorceress Mellisandre, who Word Of God has stated to be a similar figure to Gandalf. The other is the much more benevolent Thoros of Myr, who, at one point, is referred to as the Red Wizard.
  • In The Spectra Universe, each of the six types of magic abilities have an associated color:Cole, red; Nome, orange; Lectran, yellow; Sprite, green; Mer, blue; and Muse, purple
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic (2017) uses color-coding to indicate a magician's power level. Each level is named for a similarly-colored gemstone, starting with Quartz (white) and progressing up through Carnelian, Sunstone, Citrine, Emerald, and Sapphire. As a magician's power level increases, the color of their "shroud" (the field of magic that surrounds them) changes accordingly.
  • Tamora Pierce:
    • Circle of Magic color-codes its mages by their elemental affinity.
    • Tortall Universe:
      • The color of a mage's robe signifies his level of expertise — eg, Numair Salmalin in the Immortals quartet is said to be one of only seven Black Robe mages in the world. (... because almost everyone else who tried to reach that level is dead.)
      • Also, each person's "Gift" has a specific color, which tends to run in families (Alanna and her ancestor Lionel both have violet magic). It's mentioned in a couple of books that people with unusually strong Gifts tend to pick up stigma such as matching eyes: Alanna's violet eyes, Neal's green eyes, and Jon's deep blue eyes.
  • In The Wheel of Time, the Aes Sedai are sorted into one of seven colored Ajahs based on interest: Red, dedicated to preventing another Breaking, which mostly means severing male channelers; Blue, active with personal causes; Green, aimed at preparation for Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle; Grey, mediators and diplomacy; Yellow, the healers; Brown, who dedicate themselves to study and knowledge; and White, the philosophers. And Black, the evil ones.
  • The Will Be Done: Priests and monks each have their own particular color of magic, while sorcerers are always red.
  • Wrong Time for Dragons: The four Elemental Clans have their mages wear the colors of their element. For example, the Water Clan wears blue jackets, while the Fire Clan wears orange cloaks. The Totem Clans generally wear the clothes associated with their totem animal. Except for the Panthers, who prefer to remain naked even in human form.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider Wizard: Flame Style is red, Hurricane Style is green, Land Style is yellow, and Water Style is blue. (No, this doesn't match Magiranger's colors.)
  • Mahou Sentai Magiranger: The rangers are called "Magician of the *color*" in the original Magiranger.
  • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg: Fairy magic is typically color-coded based on alignment. Good fairies tend to cast spells in red and/or yellow, while evil ones cast in green. Magic wielded by humans — particularly druids — is more variable (Queen Maeve is the most frequent exception; as her powers largely come from the evil fairy Milder, almost all her spells are also green).
  • Once Upon a Time: The various fairies usually identify by their colors, like the Blue Fairy (Reul Ghorm), Green Fairy (Tinker Bell), Red Fairy (Tiger Lily) and Black Fairy (Fiona, formerly known as the Gold Fairy).
  • WandaVision: Wanda's magic is represented by red light or smoke effects depending on the time period. Her son Billy, who inherited her powers, produces blue effects. Agatha Harkness' powers create purple light while her original coven, as seen in flashbacks, had blue-colored powers similar to Billy's.

  • Hordes of the Things (a BBC radio parody of The Lord of the Rings) has Radox the Green, Badedas the Blue, Fenjal the Pink, and several others based on the names of bubble bath products.
  • In Hello, from the Magic Tavern, each wizard has a color associated with them and domain over a particular area of magic. So Usidore the Blue (and by extension any blue wizard) is the master of Light and Shadow, Spintax the Green is the master of Truth and Lies, Can the Yellow is master of Time and Space. There can only be one wizard of each color at a time, although different wizards assume the role of each color at different points in time.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dark Eye has the three guilds of mages, white (law-abiding and usually following strict ethics and codes when using magic), black (free-thinkers who believe that every type of magic deserves to be researched) and grey (somewhere in between). All other practitioners of magic don't fall into this scheme though.
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons setting of Dragonlance, the division between White, Red and Black Robes serves a two-fold purpose. First, it serves as a declaration of philosophy about the purpose of magic and how it can be usednote . Secondly, it marks the wizard's specialty, as each Tower focuses on mastery of two specific styles of magic. White Robes focus on Abjuration and Divination magic, Red Robes on Illusion and Transmutation magic, and Black Robes on Enchantment magic and Necromancy.
  • Ironclaw: The colors of a practitioner's robe detail their abilities; they don't necessarily need to wear their colors but there are certain Gifts that allow them to recharge spells faster if they wear their associated hue. Cognoscente adepts wear either green or purple, Elementalists wear the color of their chosen school (yellow for air, brown for earth, red for fire, blue for water, and starred for the secret star school), clerics wear white, and thaumaturges wear grey. And necromancers wear black.
  • Sorcerer features eight colors of magic, but the main six are identical to each other, just having non-transitive relationships to each other — Green dominates Yellow dominates Orange dominates Red dominates Purple dominates Blue dominates Green — with White and Black being very rare; White is essentially any of the six main colors it wants to be, and the Black Sorcerer is a Person of Mass Destruction rather than having the array of spells the other colors have.
  • Warhammer:
    • The Imperial Colleges of Magic are each dedicated to a different "wind" of magic, which the human mind perceives as each being of a different colour. These colours, the names of the "wind" associated with each colour, their corresponding aspects, and the common names for those trained in their use are red/orange (Aqshy, fire, bright wizards), gold (Chamon, metal and logic, gold wizards), green (Ghyran, life and fertility, jade wizards), blue (Azyr, air and the heavens, celestial wizards), purple (Shyish, death and fighting the undead, amethyst wizards), brown (Ghur, beasts, amber wizards), white (Hysh, light, knowledge, and fighting daemons, light wizards), and grey (Ulgu, shadows, illusions and trickery, grey wizards).
    • Some wizards in Warhammer use the classic Tolkien-inspired naming convention as well, such as Anurion the Green, Arkhan the Black (whose name derives from his horribly rotten teeth) and (subtly) Balthasar Gelt. Warhammer 40,000 gets in on the act too, with the primarch Magnus the Red (also known as the Crimson King).

  • BIONICLE: The Toa are color-coded based on powers, as are all of the Matoran and Turaga. Red is fire, blue is water, green is air, white is (unusually) ice, brown is stone, and black is earth. Rust colors are often associated with the Makuta. Starts to dissolve in the last couple of seasons.

    Video Games 
  • In Battle for Wesnoth, brown is for apprentice magi, red for master (fire) magi, white for holy magi, silver for teleporting magi, and black for dark (necromantic) magi.
  • Botania: While not a rule, the colors of flowers frequently hint towards their uses. For example, the Daybloom is yellow and makes power from sunlight, the Nightshade is black-and-purple and generates power from moonlight and the Agricarnation is floral green and fertilizes flowers.
  • Disgaea: Wizards in the series color-code the first four levels by the element used (fire, wind, ice, and Non-Elemental), and the next two by being able to use multiple elements. The system was revamped in D2, however, as now mages select an element from the base three they want to specialize in when you first recruit them and the levels now work like with other classes, with higher levels getting access to Star spells naturally.
  • DragonFable: Warlic will, when asked, inform the player why his nickname is "the Blue Mage".
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion follows this trope implicitly, every school of magic has an associated sigil and color and the type of mage in random and most non-random encounters can be identified by the color of their robes (Conjurers wear turquoise, Hedge Mages wear grey, Necromancers wear black with a Worm Sigil). It's also true within the Mages' Guild itself; you move from no robe at the lowest rank, to a green robe at intermediate ranks, then a turquoise robe at higher ranks, and finally a royal-blue robe as Arch Mage. Of course, you don't actually have to wear the robes you're given, but they usually have the added incentive of enchantments.
  • In Eternal Darkness, Red, Blue, Green, Purple and Yellow Magick each correspond to a specific Ancient; offensive Magicks cast gain an alignment advantage while defensive magicks grant an alignment-specific bonus. (Red grants Health, Green restores Sanity, Blue restores as much Mana as you've spent casting it and Purple grants Health, Sanity, embues your weapons with Poison and turns your character invisible. Yellow Magick is never available to the protagonists, but apparently belongs to some other, unseen being...
  • Everybody Edits: The wizard smileys have colored headgear depending on the element they represent, though being Digital Avatars we don't get to see their wizardry in action.
  • Final Fantasy: Practitioners of magic are often aligned with colors, although it color-codes according to type of magic rather than specific mages:
    • White Mages wear white, and focus on healing and status buffs.
    • Black Mages tend to wear blue instead of black, but, like Jawas, have their faces impossibly overshadowed to the point that their eyes actually glow in the shadow cast by the brim of their Sunday hats. (Lulu from Final Fantasy X is an exception: she does not hide her face and wears black.) They have Elemental Powers and focus on offensive magic.
    • Red Mages wear red. They can cast both white and black magic, but usually stop gaining new spells from either around the midpoint of the game.
    • Blue Mages actually wear blue, and learn new spells by observing the techniques of enemies. They usually get a nice mix of offensive, defensive, healing, status buffs, and general oddball effects.
    • Time Mages are usually associated with purple, but varies from title to title. In addition to the obvious Haste and Slow spells, they typically get the ability to cause various other status buffs and debuffs.
    • Summoners are usually associated with green, but varies, especially when Summoning is triggered by some kind of magicite or the summoner also fulfills one of the other mage classes (such as Yuna in Final Fantasy X). Their summons usually also revolve around dealing elemental damage and can be summed up as "like Black Magic, but more expensive and flashier," although they sometimes double as White Mages, e.g. Rydia from Final Fantasy IV and Garnet from Final Fantasy IX.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has Green Mages that wear green and focus on buffs and debuffs.
  • In Gems of War, there are six gem/mana colours, and each seems to link to a certain theme (not quite Elemental Powers, but similar). Roughly speaking: red for fire; brown for earth; yellow for light and sky; green for nature; blue for water; and purple for darkness and maybe magic. Troops have an affinity to color which is appropriate to them, used for charging their Limit Break.
  • In Guild Wars, most spells and other skills have the color of their casting animation determined by the class and attribute the skill belongs to.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: The heroes Ventus, Aqua, and Terra are color-coded to their preferred elemental magic: Ventus wears green for wind, Aqua wears blue for water and ice, and Terra dresses in red and brown as representations of fire and earth. Additionally, Master Eraqus dresses in white to represent his use of Light magic, whereas Master Xehanort and Vanitas, who specialize in Dark magic, wear black.
  • In Last Scenario, magic is cast from spellcards that are divided into 5 colour-coded categories based on their primary function: red spellcards are for dealing elemental damage, green are for restoring health and curing status ailments, grey are for executing physical attacks with elemental bonus, purple are for Status Effects both positive and negative, and light-blue are for utility like enemy scanning or stealing items.
  • Nodiatis: There are six colors of magic: white, black, red, blue, grey, and green. They tend to focus on different areas, such as damage, healing, debuffs, or energy/mana.
  • Paper Mario:
    • Paper Mario 64: The Magikoopas in the first game come in various colors that denote the sort of magic they use. Red ones use attack boosts, green ones use defense boosts, gray ones use invisibility, white ones heal, and yellow ones electrify. The classic blue ones, however, use everything the others do.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Magikoopas are condensed a bit, with the red ones providing generalized stat boosts and the green ones using protective buffs like invisibility and electrification.
  • RuneScape: Before the destruction of the old Wizard's Tower, there were four orders of Wizard; Blue, Red, Green and Grey, aligned with Saradomin, Zamorak, Guthix and lesser gods respectively. Each order of wizard had their own set of values; unfortunately, those values clashed, and in the end, the wizards started an argument during a ritual, causing an explosion which killed all but the Blue and Red apprentices. The Blue apprentice founded the new tower, which is why most modern wizards wear blue and tend to be at least superficially Saradominist.
  • In The Sims 2, the garments that witches and wizards wear correspond to the alignment of magic they use. Good witches wear white and blue, neutral ones wear grey and green, and evil ones wear black and purple.
  • Wizard101: The spellcasting animation has your character drawing a sigil of their spell school in midair. The various sigils are color-coded.
  • Wizardry: The spheres of magic in the final trilogy are color-coded. Red: Fire, Blue: Water, Purple: Air, Green: Earth, Cyan: Mental, Yellow: Pure Magic/Divine.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Each of the playable classes has a color associated with it, so a character's class can be discerned at a glance, e.g. on a listing of raid members. Warrior = Brown, Paladin = Pink, Death Knight = Red, Shaman = Bluenote , Hunter = Green, Druid = Orange, Rogue = Yellow, Priest = White, Mage = Light Blue, Warlock = Light Purple, Demon Hunter = Dark Purple and Monk = Spring Green.
    • World of Warcraft: Chronicle introduces the concept of "cosmic" forces to the Warcraft universe, each of which is associated with a different kind of magic and its own colours:
      • The Light, the benevolent (usually) magic used by paladins and priests, employs golds and whites, with the occasional Heavenly Blue thrown in the mix.
      • The Void, the mind- and reality-twisting magic of the Voidwalkers, the Old Gods and the playable shadow priest specialisation, is generally dark purple and black.
      • The Arcane, the magic of order that Titans and mages employ, is generally purple, or, more rarely, blue.
      • The Fel, the chaotic and destructive magic of demons and warlocks, is generally bright green, to symbolise its unnatural character. Interestingly, however, the fel magic used by playable warlocks does not use as much green (although there's a questchain in Mists of Pandaria to change that), and is generally purple or red instead.
      • The magic of Life is also green, but unlike the toxic green characteristic of Fel magic, it uses softer, more muted tones: a darker forest green tinge for druids (who use the Life magic of their surrounding nature) and a lighter, bluish jade green for monks (who manipulate their own inner Life magic).
      • Death magic is the most associated with the colour blue, but, interestingly, different factions associated with it have their own slight spins on it. For example, the magic of the Scourge, the malevolent undead army from the cold continent of Northrend, has an icy blue colour to it (which is why all death knight characters are stuck with glowing eyes of that colour). Meanwhile, the kyrians, angelic beings who carry the souls of the dead to the afterlife, are more fond of Heavenly Blue, while the troll death god Bwonsamdi is associated with a kind of greenish cyan, befitting a deity who is concerned about the balance between life and death.
      • The elemental magic used by shamans (and mages, although in their case it's still tied to the Arcane) is generaly colored the way their respective element would: red and orange for fire, blue for water, brown for earth and white for air. Those shaman abilities who are not associated with any specific element (like their Spirit Wolves) are generally blue, although that may be because, being connected to their ancestors, they are tapping into Death magic instead.
      • The colour red occupies a very interesting position on the magical colour spectrum in that it's shared by every magic type that can be considered evil. On the Void's side, it's used by the blood god G'huun, as well as the corrupted forest creatures of the Emerald Nightmare. For Fel, it's the colour of the Burning Legion's highermost elites — the Titan keepers that were corrupted by the Fel alongside their master, the Titan Sargeras. For Death, it's the vampiric venthyr and Blood death knights. It's kind of confusing as a result.

  • Aurora (2019): The six forms of elemental magic all have specific colors that appear in glow effects associated with active magic, lacrimas, and Glowing Eyes during magic use. These are green for life, yellow for lightning, orange for fire, purple for wind, blue for water and white for stone.
  • In Crimson Knights people with magical abilities have their powers shine in a certain personal color, such as purple or blue. Members of the Brotherhood of the Snake, however, have their demon-channeling magic manifest exclusively in light green.
  • Frederick the Great: Dimensions are color-coded: Length is red, Area is blue, Space is green, Time is turquoise, Possibility is magenta, the Eigenpower is gold, and Funk is mauve.
  • Gaia: The world of Gaia has bluestream and redstream magic, which are, of course, blue and red.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Every spellcaster has their own color-coded magic aura, usually based on or complimentary to their clothing colors. Sometimes it is based on eye color: the heterochromatic cleric/sorcerer Tsukiko casts arcane and divine magic in different colors. Vaarsuvius the evoker is pink, Durkon the cleric of Thor is white, Miko the paladin is light blue (most of the Sapphire Guard and people living in the area use blue, actually), etc.
    • In Book 6, it's revealed that each of the divine pantheons has its own "quiddity" or magical nature. These are color-coded and referred to by color. The fact that The Dark One has his own color is key to the nature of the Snarl.
  • In Trigger Star, Breadbun explains to Avocado that Mages are color-coded depending on what their spell specialty is. Breadbun herself is a Panda Mage, which means she uses both holy and dark magic.
    Breadbun: ...And then there are rainbow mages.
    Avocado: They practice everything?
    Breadbun: No, they're homosexuals. Their magic makes everything fabulous.
    Avocado: Zounds!
  • Unsounded: Different spellwrights cast in different colors; of the major characters Duane casts in green, Quigley in blue, Elka in teal, and Anadyne purple. This helps keep track of who is doing what during fights.
  • Zebra Girl: The magicians earn a "the [Color]" after their first ascension. The color tends to be something they wore before their near death experience, though. Jack became Jack The Plaid, for example, with a major boost in power, a tendency to have some rather nice plaid-oriented spells, and a shapeshifting robe that's a pocket into a plaid dimension. He was also able to turn his opponent's striped scarf against him.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the element a person can bend is related to their nation. Since the four nations tend to each favor certain colors in their dress, this means waterbenders will usually wear blues and purples, earthbenders greens and browns, airbenders oranges and yellows, and firebenders reds and black. Eye colour also enters the equation, with the people from the Water Tribe having blue eyes, Earth Kingdom natives having green eyes, Fire Nation citizens having amber eyes, and Air Nomads having grey eyes. By The Legend of Korra, set 70 years after the first series, this trope has become less pervasive due to greater intermingling between nations.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Unicorn, alicorn and Kirin magic glows with specific colors, often the same color as the caster's eyes, cutie mark, or mane. Twilight Sparkle and her brother Shining Armor have a pink-purple color to their magic, Rarity's is a light blue, Celestia's is bright yellow, Luna's is deep blue, the Flim Flam brothers' are green, Cadance's a light blue, and so on.
    • Evil magic is almost always conspicuously lime green — Queen Chrysalis' magic field is this color, as is that of all other changelings before their collective Heel–Face Turn. Rarity's magic also shifts to this color after she's affected by the eponymous spell in "Inspiration Manifestation", as do her eyes. In a break from this trend, while Trixie's magic is normally purple, it turns red when she's using the Alicorn Amulet, and so do her eyes for brief periods.
    • In the Season 4 finale, even after the magic of Celestia, Luna, and Cadance is combined and transferred to Twilight, you can still see all of their individual colors when she preps and unloads her Wave-Motion Gun during the climactic battle. When Discord's chaos magic is visible while being consumed by Tirek, it's shown as a shifting, chaotic mess of purple, green and thin red lines.
  • The Owl House: Students at Hexside wear uniforms with the unitards colored differently depending on what type of magic they're associated with:
  • Steven Universe: A Gem's magic seems to match the color of their gem, though sometimes it's only a hint in a mostly-white glow. They keep their basic color scheme when they shapeshift and their magically-generated weapons follow it too. The only exception of this so far is Pearl, with a white gem and sky blue magic.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Colour Coded Wizardry, Color Coded Magic, Colour Coded Magic


Wanda Maximoff [Red]

Wanda Maximoff's power is indicated by an intense red, later revealed to be involved in her destiny as the Scarlet Witch.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / ColorCodedWizardry

Media sources: