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Shadowed Face, Glowing Eyes

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Wizard, Mage, Knight, or Shade, you know the look when you see it... assuming they don't see you first.

An odd sort of combination of By the Lights of Their Eyes, The Faceless, and maybe Living Shadow, depending on the character, this is when someone is depicted to have a dark head (and sometimes whole body) with contrasting glowing eyes.

The exact cause of this can vary. Sometimes the character's face and body is hidden behind robes that make it difficult to tell what they look like under the hat/helmet/whatever. Other times the character really does have jet black skin with glowing eyes. Whether or not we ever get to see what the character actually looks like depends on the work.

This serves a purpose of making a character seem more mysterious or unusual compared to other characters who have their face be visible. If the're on the side of the heroes, they can be portrayed as cute but powerful characters who posses abilities their partners may not fully understand, but nonetheless are cherished for their abilities and personality. By contrast, if they're one of the villains, expect some similarities to the Grim Reaper, unless they're Adorable Evil Minions. Unlike their heroic counterparts, villainous examples tend to be taller.


Upon death, these characters may have their Eye Lights Out.

Compare Glowing Eyelights of Undeath, where these eyes are inside the eye sockets of a skull, and Fade Around the Eyes, which temporarily induces a similar visual effect during a fade-to-black. Black Bead Eyes are the inverse of this trope. Not to be confused with eiher Conspicuous Trenchcoat, which sometimes invokes this trope, or Face Framed in Shadow.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Wiseman from Sailor Moon is a cloaked figure with two eerie eyes peaking out from it. Later revealed to be a skeleton-like creature and spawn of Chaos.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman: While Ares can manifest however he pleases if he so desires starting in Wonder Woman (1987) his standard is to appear in dark blued armor with his face entirely shadowed save for his glowing red eyes. His sons use this appearance to imitate him in Wonder Woman (Rebirth).

    Fan Fiction 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Red eyes that glow are characteristic of Dungeon Keepers, and their faces may be shadowed for multiple reasons. Here are two, from the titular character...
    • In "Dark Messenger", Ami is shadowed due to mundane shadows of her throne blocking light:
      Ami was sitting on the massive piece of furniture, wrapped in shadows so deep that not much aside from her glowing red eyes was visible,
    • From "The Upper City", Ami's dark-colored evil magic Battle Aura, is covering her due to her massive amounts of magic "fighting against the wards [in the area]", so that those eyes are the only thing that can be seen, and the rest of her is a dark figure.

  • The Jawas in A New Hope are little dwarf creatures that run around in cloaks and have squeaky voices.


    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Blackadder episode "Witchsmeller Pursuivant", the Witchsmeller first appears wearing a hood under which only two glowing red eyes can be seen. In-universe, this seems to be part of his costume, as when he takes the hood off his eyes are entirely normal.

    Video Games 
  • Professor Codex in Bookworm Adventures, who is tall, has a red cloak, and towers over the other characters, cementing his appearance as an antagonist.
  • Some characters in Bug Fables have faces that are obscured by their exoskeleton, leaving only their eyes visible underneath. Notably, beetle characters usually only have one eye visible, but it's confirmed that they all have both eyes and that they function correctly.
  • Chantelise: What are presumably ghosts, given their Intangibility ability, are flying cloaks with patches of darkness for faces, given they have dots of yellow that seem to serve as eyes.
  • Eternal Senia: Hydrangea After The Rain
    • Bushies. Piles of leaves with a black patch that contains two glowing yellow dots for eyes.
    • Cloakies. Floating cloaks with darkness inside them and yellow eyes being the only visible feature.
  • Final Fantasy
    • The Black Mages are the trope codifier, at least for Video Games. They wear blue robes with a yellow hat, which leaves their face obscured. This design was likely due to the sprite limitations of the NES.
    • Dwarves in Final Fantasy IV also have the same appearance of a dark shadowy face with glowing eyes, but lack the traditional wizard attire. They even have visible hair on their heads but their faces are still darkened in this fashion.
  • The main character in Journey wears red robes and has glowing white eyes underneath them.
  • The Heartless in Kingdom Hearts. The most basic mooks wear no clothes, showing them to be living shadows, but some varieties wear robes that invoke the "black mage" look or something similar. Either way, they're also Adorable Evil Minions.
  • Kirby
    • Meta Knight in wears a face mask that covers his face. Only his eyes glow underneath. When his mask is removed he is revealed to look very similar to Kirby.
    • Hyness from Kirby Star Allies wears a white robe with a hood and has glowing yellow eyes underneath. When his hood falls off during his main boss battle, he's revealed to be the creepy kind.
  • Wizzrobes from The Legend of Zelda tend to be robed sorcerers who hide their faces under a Robe and Wizard Hat. However, sometimes they look completely different, like in Wind Waker which makes them toucan people.
  • Sigma's first form in Mega Man X4 has a pretty clear parallel to the grim reaper by invoking this trope with glowing yellow eyes from a face hidden by a dark cloak, while also floating and carrying around a huge scythe. Luckily for X & Zero, that robe is flammable, and they have Rising Fire and Ryuenjin respectively.
  • The Endermen from Minecraft, whose bodies are entirely black, aside from their glowing, purple eyes. Their creepy appearance adds to the ominous, mysterious feeling their presence gives off.
  • Recettear: Ghosts are flying cloaks with patches of darkness for faces, and dots of yellow as eyes.
  • Soundtrack Attack: The player character's superior is rendered in silhouette, sole feature visible being her glowing red eyes, done to make her more menacing and hide her using the same model as the player character.
  • The knights in Spiral Knights, which all have different colored eyes and wear different equipment. Some of them wear more obscuring gear than others.
  • The dwarf in Stardew Valley always wears a metal helmet and as a result the player can only see the dwarf's two glowing eyes.

    Web Animation 
  • The titular Nomad of Nowhere has his face be obscured by red scarves, with only his white eyes visible underneath. He's actually an enchanted scarecrow.
  • Trick Moon: Exaggerated; Big Bad Dr. Bleak's entire body is coated in shadow, with his yellow eyes visibly glowing out of the darkness.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick: The members of the Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission, whose robe hoods shadow their faces except for their glowing eyes.
  • Rusty and Co.: Calamitus, a sorcerer in a hooded robe, covering his face in darkness, and eyes are represented as yellow dots. Seen in multiple pages, first appearance is "Level 1: #32".

    Western Animation 
  • The Huntsman from American Dragon: Jake Long is portrayed this way in the first season, with the only thing besides total darkness underneath his dragon skull helmet being glowing red eyes. This is changed due to the animation style change in season two, where he seems to be wearing a balaclava underneath the helmet and has normal human eyes.
  • Orko from Masters of the Universe is a Trollan, a race of magical humanoid creatures who wear robes that conceal their faces. However, his yellow eyes are always visible.
  • The Bugs Bunny cartoon "Water Water Every Hare" has a Mad Scientist construct a giant robot with oversize jaw and lightbulbs for eyes. Its eyes remains dim, because the robot has no brain ... yet. The mad scientist intends to obtain a brain from a passing bunny. Understandably, the rabbit defers.
    Bugs Bunny: Sorry, doc, I need what little I've got.
  • Clone High: In the musical episode, Raisin The Stakes, The Pusher, a mysterious drug dealer who turns out to be Jack Black makes his first and last appearance wearing a gray hoodie with his face obscured except his glowing eyes and mouth.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In the episode G.I.R.L. Squad, Dee Dee and her friends get inspired by the school assembly on "neighborhood crime fighting" and form their own watch group. They take this too far when they start imagining that there's a sinister shadowed figure with glowing white eyes, prowling in their own neighborhood and they try to catch the suspect. it turns out that it was just the friendly neighborhood gardener making his rounds.
  • Over the Garden Wall: Exaggerated, then subverted. The Beast is normally seen as a totally black silhouette with only two glowing eyes visible. However, one quick shot near the end of the series shows that the Beast actually does have a more detailed, fleshy-colored body. It seems he was just hiding in shadow the rest of the time.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: The villainess Shadow Weaver's entire face is obscured by shadow and her hood, with only her yellow eyes visible. It is said she was horribly deformed by the same Horde Gem that she used to gain her enhanced magical powers.
  • A Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode has the Mystery Inc. gang visit the Funland carnival that powers up in the middle of night, only to power down shortly thereafter. It's the work of a maintenance robot running amok. This 'bot has a generic face with glowing eyes, the better to see what it's doing in the dead of night. This face is one of the many "monsters" seen in the show's opening montage.
  • Time Squad: The beginning of the episode "Whitehouse Weirdness" has Tuddrussel and Otto sitting around a camp fire when they spot a pair of evil looking blue eyes hovering in the dark among the trees, and they scream at the sight. It's revealed that it was only a very grumpy Larry 3000, who came out to yell at them.

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