Follow TV Tropes

Following

Supernatural Is Purple

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/purple-is-supernatural_3777.jpg
Secondary color, first-class magic.

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.
Advertisement:

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).

One possible reason for this is the fact that very few things in the world (or the universe, for that matter) are naturally purple, so it will stand out against the scenery no matter where on Earth (or off Earth) your story takes place. Purple dye was once expensive and limited to royaltynote , so the color has always had "lofty" connotations.

This is one reason purple is one of the Common Mary Sue Traits (and Graceful Ladies Like Purple).

Advertisement:

Can often overlap with Purple Is Powerful.

A Sister Trope to Gravity Is Purple.

Compare Gold and White Are Divine and Emerald Power.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 
  • Mai Minase has purple eyes and shares some mysterious connection with The World in .hack //Liminality.
  • Many nations in Axis Powers Hetalia have these, some of which are connected to the supernatural or magical:
  • Takashiro-sensei in Bible Black has purple eyes with red hair, and is a magic user with great significance to the backstory.
  • Shinigami Asato Tsuzuki from Descendants of Darkness. Interestingly not a Variant Visage; they really are purple, with the implication Tsuzuki was shunned in his hometown by superstitious people.
  • Chaos from Heaven's Lost Property has distinctly purple eyes; and as time goes on, she just keeps on becoming more and more alien when compared to the other angeloids. Also another thing to note is that when other angeloids fight seriously, their eyes turn red. However, Chaos' eyes stay the same color, and the only thing that changes is the pattern on them.
  • Shiori from Inuyasha is the daughter of a bat youkai and a human. A feature that distinguishes her as a hanyou is that she has violet eyes.
  • 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.
  • Laughing Under the Clouds: Botan is a shikigami conjured for the sole purpose of sealing the Orochi 600 years prior to the story.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: Shouta has purple eyes (along with purple hair), which fits with him being the only major magic user among the human cast. He inherited them from his father.
  • Marii Yukari of Murasakiiro no Qualia has purple eyes and because of this odd feature it makes sense that she sees everyone as a robot. The fact that this seems to also give her insight into other people's personalities and abilities makes it seem more than just a weird quirk though.
  • Saiyuki:
    • Genjo Sanzo has violet eyes which have been described as both like those of a god and a youkai. Appropriately enough, he was a god, specifically the nephew of the Bosatsu of Mercy in his previous life.
    • Word of God is that all kami have purple/violet eyes.
    • Kougaiji also has them, in addition to being a Dark-Skinned Redhead. Understandable, since he is a youkai.
  • The apptly-named Yami no Purple Eyes has any human with the ability to transform into an animal gain purple eyes in said form. Their eyecolor also changes to purple seconds before transforming.
  • Shadow Games in Yu-Gi-Oh! often take place in a purplish-black realm. The abridged series lampshades this.
    Yami: (to Melvin) Y'know, it's really more of a purple realm than a shadow realm... Shadows aren't really known for being purple.
    Melvin: SILENCE!
    Yami: I'm just saying.

    Art 

    Asian Animation 
  • In Happy Heroes, Huo Haha, who has magical powers, wears purple clothes.
  • The main antagonist of the Mole's World animated series, Kula, is a powerful mage with a mostly purple color scheme.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, the magic-using Wizard Wolf wears purple clothing.
Advertisement:

    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman:
    • Garth, the original Aqualad and currently known as Tempest, who has purple eyes that represent his mystical heritage.
    • Hila, Mera's evil sister, has purple hair and is a sorceress just like her sister.
  • Doctor Strange uses magic in many colors, but purple is one of his more common hues (after yellow, blue, and red).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: While on the TV show his eyes were more of an occult blue shade, in the canon comic "Antique" and the non-canon "Spike vs. Dracula" series Dracula's eyes are purple. Dracula, besides being of course the most well-known vampire, is unique amongst Buffyverse vampires. He is able to easily hypnotize people and put them under his thrall, he can shapeshift into various forms (wolf, bat, panther, bees, mist), he can come back from being staked, and he does not have the bumpy face of common vampires but does always have fangs.
  • Raven from Teen Titans has purple eyes and in general has always had a purple motif . Her eyes are one of the signs of her half-demonic heritage.
  • In Violine, Violine's eyes have this color, thanks to her telepathic powers.
  • 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.
  • Wonder Woman: The sorceress Circe is usually depicted as having purple hair, though she changes her appearance frequently, and it is presented as her natural hair color in Vol 2. For Wonder Woman (Rebirth) she switches to red.
  • 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.
  • The girls of W.I.T.C.H. all wore purple as part of their uniforms. Orube is the one member of the group who has the color purple as her power motif, as well as purple hair. Justified in that she's an alien compared to the (human) girls.
  • Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld: Not only do the women of House Amethyst wear purple, the magic of House Amethyst is purple.

    Fan Works 
  • Wei Ming in the Azula Trilogy has dark purple eyes. Like Princess Yue's white hair in the show, the unusual color is the result of having been touched by a spirit. Her natural eye color was green.
  • The Fiersome Chronicles: In this How to Train Your Dragon story, an original character named Zenna has violet eyes. When she turns twenty-two she finds out she's an Elemental, an ancient power she got from her ancestor.
  • For Good:
    • Ricki Sunflare, as a green-skinned alien, possesses prominent violet eyes. She is depicted as the wunderkind of the cadets and performs a Sherlock Scan on the protagonist.
    • The enigmatic Fringe woman Zomega also has one violet eye - her other eye was lost and replaced with a cybernetic red eye. She is half human, but her eye color is actually one of her human traits, as her alien heritage possesses red eyes.
  • The eyes of Kathryn, the main heroine of The Heart Trilogy, became permanently purple when she had her first vision as a Seer. When her link to her magic is broken thanks to her death and resurrection, her eyes lose their purple color until the link is fixed.
  • Aurora from Somnium is a seer with abnormal purple eyes. She gained her powers after she awoke from Maleficent's curse.
  • Lunarstar of Worlds Apart (MLP) is a unique and magical Winged Unicorn with purple eyes.

    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.
  • 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.
  • The Witches portrays the eponymous witches as having eyes that flash purple as an indicator that they are supernatural. The book said that their pupils changed colours, which presumably was harder to do in film.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: En Sabah Nur's consciousness and his teleportation sphere are a luminous purple.
  • Inverted in the first and third films of the Eastrail 177 trilogy, Unbreakable and Glass. All three main characters are Colour-Coded for Your Convenience, with Elijah's color being a rich royal purple. Elijah is specifically the only of the three leads to not have superpowers, to the point of being incredibly fragile and ill most of his life.

    Literature 
  • The Children of Man, purple eyes mark those who use purple magic, which grants teleportation and time-travel talents.
  • 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.* Octarine, the colour of magic in the Discworld novels, is "a sort of greeny-purple."
  • * In Chris D'Lacey's Dragons series, violet eyes show someone isn't all that s/he seems. The Pennykettles normally have green eyes, but they go violet whenever they use magic, and Liz's dragons have violet eyes whenever they aren't in disguise. Other characters' eyes flash violet as they perform magic as well.
  • Audrina Adare of My Sweet Audrina has the same unusual hair color and violet eyes as her deceased sister. Both these traits are said to be a sign of psychic powers in her mother's line, and it appears that Audrina does have the gift of precognition. The real significance is that Audrina has her sister's eyes because Audrina is her "dead" sister.
  • In the Night World series, many members of the Harman family, a prestigious witch clan, (as well as their relatives) are known to have violet eyes or blue/gray eyes with hints of violet. For a few characters who don't realize they're related to the Harmans and that they're actually witches, their eye color can serve as a clue or identifying feature to their true heritage. Lamia Ash Redfern also sometimes has this eye color...among various others.
  • In Paladin of Souls, those with second sight perceive sorcerous attacks as "violet lines of light".
  • 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....
  • 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 with purple hair and eyes.
  • Twilight Eyes by Dean Kuntz. The main character has blue-violet eyes. It is hypothetically connected with its ability to recognize «goblins» in a human mask.
  • A major plot point in the Through Violet Eyes series, where purple eyes are genetically linked to the ability to communicate with the dead. The book-jargon even calls these people "Violets".
  • Tortall Universe:
    • Both Alanna and her brother Thom have distinctive purple eyes. Alanna is The Hero and becomes chosen by the Goddess, while Thom is an extremely powerful sorcerer. Their magical Gifts present as the same color.
    • Pounce/Faithful the Constellation Cat has purple eyes whenever he shows up, indicating his divine nature. Lampshaded by a few characters who are startled to see that eye color in a cat. When he appears in Beka Cooper, the first thing anyone notices about him is the eyes.
  • Every time Yennefer from The Witcher is described, her purple eyes get a mention, highlighting either her being a sorceress of considerable power or the fact the protagonist finds her a Hot Witch. Possibly both. Nobody else (save Geralt himself, whose eyes are also unusual) gets a description of their eyes.
  • The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School features Another Dimension simply called "The Purple". It's an intensely supernatural realm that exists contiguously to the real world and the source of several characters' powers, but is also the home of Eldritch Abominations you really don't want to release. (A sort of Astral Plains of Leng.) And everything in, from, or connected to it is purple.
  • In Discworld, in addition to The Light Fantastic, as seen in the page quote, there is also The Colour of Magic, octarine, which is a sort of greeny-purple colour.
  • The Last Unicorn lives in a lilac wood. A pair of hunters come upon her lilac wood while searching for prey, and the older one explains to the younger that they will find no game in a unicorn's woods, because the unicorn's power keeps the trees green and the animals safe and long-lived.

    Live Action TV 
  • Kilgrave in Jessica Jones (2015) 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.
  • Merlin (2008)
    • Merlin had a purplish shirt for a while, but later it's sometimes different colors. Morgana favors purple dresses in the early parts of the series, but her clothes become darker after 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.

    Magazines 
  • In an issue of InQuest Magazine, there was a joke article speculating if Magic: The Gathering added a sixth color, and it was purple, supposing a place and people even more mystical and mysterious than the places in Canon at the time.

    Music 
  • 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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 Warhammer 40,000, thanks to the proximity of their (former) homeworld to the Eye of Terror, Cadians tend to be born with purple irises.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • In DC Universe Online, the visual effects of the Sorcery powerset are colored lavender.
  • 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.
  • Giraffe And Annika: Lily is a witch who dresses in purple.
  • 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).
  • Void magic in Hytale is colored a pinkish-purple, and some of the creatures and effects that come about from its use or presence are at least partially colored purple.
  • 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.
  • Malediction: Morgan's wizard's robe and hat are purple, and so are his magic powers.
  • 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.
  • Ninja Gaiden: Ayane's most powerful spell is "Art of the Raging Mountain God" which unleashes an explosion of purple energy.
  • 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 villain of the Roco Kingdom franchise, Enzo, is a wizard who wears a purple cloak.
  • 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.
  • In Stellaris, almost everything related to psionics is purple, including the icons for psionic-related traits, the Psionic Shield and Psi Jump Drive technologies, the Mind Over Matter Perk, and Zro.
  • Street Fighter
    • Rose is a fortune teller with purple hair. Her apprentice Menat dresses in purple.
    • Bison's powers manifest a purple aura.
  • Ether magic in The Swords of Ditto is tinted purple. Mormo, the Big Bad, is an Etherweaver and her main colors are purple and pink.
  • The Super Smash Bros. series has Ganondorf, Mewtwo, and Crazy Hand's evil attacks appear with a purple flame effect.
  • In the Telepath RPG serie, the most common psy attack "mind blast" is colored purple.
  • Trick & 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.
  • Taigong Wang from Warriors Orochi has a bewitching pair of purple eyes, as he's a mystic and demi-god. His rival, Da Ji, also has these, with similar origins.
  • Warcraft:
    • 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.
  • Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu from The World Ends with You has purple eyes. He's the "Composer" which makes him a god or some form of divine being.
  • 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.

    Visual Novels 
  • Sakura Matou in Fate/stay night has violet eyes. This is revealed to be because of the "conditioning" imposed upon her by Zouken in order to make her into the successor of the Matou brand of magecraft.
  • Gavin in Sword Daughter has purple eyes, presumably from his innately magical elven blood.

    Webcomics 
  • 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.
  • Blindsprings: Ms. Thorne, who is an orphic witch, has purple eyes. Her daughter Deirdre inherited them.
  • In The Glass Scientists, Jasper's wolfsbane poisoning that causes the instability of his werewolf form manifests as glowing purple foam at his mouth.
  • In Charby the Vampirate King Malachai the last of the full blooded elves of Eldenlon's royal family, who has been drawing from a powerful magical source, is the only character with purple eyes.
  • Homestuck:
  • According to the colored pages/panels the Erlking's Daughter in Roommates has monochromatic purple eyes (and hair, and make up, and clothing). She is one of The Fair Folk so very much supernatural and a graceful lady. Her father and brother have Occult Blue Eyes.
  • Sorcery 101 deconstructs the Mary Sue stereotype of purple eyes when it becomes a plot point: a human with too much magical potential to be normal but not enough to be a mage will have purple eyes, extraordinary focus, and the ability to learn very quickly. This essentially allows them to be The Ace. However, without proper training their magic lashes out at them, causing headaches and seizures; and their talents often lead to arrogance that can verge on an outright god complex.
  • 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.
  • The eyes of Tally from The Weave start out as brown, but they become purple after Tally's contact with fairy magic.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, anything associated with the Dream element tends to be purple, including the speech bubbles and font for Dream language, spell effects, dreamscape backgrounds, and Copycat's eyes.

    Web Original 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report