The most well-known shade of purple eyes is violet. Two other shades are lilac and indigo. It is a rare and beautiful eye color, but is relatively common in the Targaryen family, who are descended from the high lords of the ancient Valyrian Freehold. In Westeros, few but the "blood of the dragon" have purple eyes.
The blood of old Valyria is often manifested by eyes in shades of purple, and hair of silver-gold or platinum white. This coloring was typical among Valyrians, and is often held up as proof that Valyrians are not entirely of the same blood as other men.
Striking lilac or indigo or violet eyes are typical Targaryen features, and a famous proclamation of their Valyrian heritage. Their practice of incest was kept in part to preserve their rare coloring.
The famed Targaryen eye color can be revealing when a member of the family is trying to be incognito. Aegon V Targaryen, while serving as a squire to Duncan the Tall under the name "Egg", shaved his head so that his silver-gold hair would not be recognized. But his deep purple eyes could not be disguised, though in dim light they looked black. Daemon II Blackfyre, incognito as the hedge knight "John the Fiddler", wore blue clothing to help make his purple eyes look blue.
Note that not all Targaryens have purple eyes: Queen Alysanne Targaryen's eyes were clear blue, and Prince Valarr Targaryen's eyes were also blue. Children of Targaryen/non-Targaryen marriages may also have eyes of a non-Valyrian color; for example, the brown-eyed Prince Baelor, whose mother was a Martell.
House Blackfyre was founded by Daemon Blackfyre, the legitimized bastard son of King Aegon IV Targaryen. Among the traits passed on to the Blackfyres by the Targaryens were the platinum blond hair and purple eyes.
House Velaryon of Driftmark is an ancient and proud house, with the blood of old Valyria in its veins. Velaryons, like the Targaryens, often have the Valyrian features of silver hair and purple eyes.
The trait for violet eyes runs in House Dayne, even though it is an unusual eye colour for non-Valyrians in Westeros. Ashara Dayne in particular was famous for her haunting violet eyes. Note that GRRM has stated that the Dayne purple eye color is not related to Targaryen ancestry.
The Free Cities
Where the blood of the old Valyrian Freehold runs strong, purple eyes and silver hair can still be found. In Lys, even the smallfolk and prostitutes often have the pale skin, silver-gold hair, and the purple, lilac, and pale blue eyes of the dragonlords. Some Lyseni with purple eyes include Larra Rogare and Lysono Maar.
Characters stated to have purple eyes
- King Aegon I Targaryen
- Queen Visenya Targaryen
- King Aenys I Targaryen
- King Aegon III Targaryen
- Princess Daena Targaryen
- Princess Elaena Targaryen
- Queen Naerys Targaryen
- King Maekar I Targaryen
- Prince Aerion Targaryen
- King Aegon V Targaryen
- King Jaehaerys II Targaryen
- King Aerys II Targaryen
- Prince Rhaegar Targaryen
- King Viserys III Targaryen
- Prince Aegon Targaryen
- Queen Daenerys Targaryen
- Ser Daemon I Blackfyre
- Ser Daemon II Blackfyre
- Ser Aegor Rivers
- Ser Laenor Velaryon
- Lady Larra Rogare
- Lady Ashara Dayne
- Ser Gerold Dayne
- Lord Edric Dayne
- Lysono Maar
Look at her. That silver-gold hair, those purple eyes... she is the blood of old Valyria, no doubt, no doubt...
He had only to close his eyes to see her, with her long dark hair tumbling about her shoulders and those haunting purple eyes.
Egg had big eyes, and somehow his shaven head made them look even larger. In the dimness of the lamplit cellar they looked black, but in better light their true colour could be seen: deep and dark and purple. Valyrian eyes.
References and Notes
- The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Rise of Valyria.
- The Sworn Sword.
- The Mystery Knight.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
- So Spake Martin, Good Queen Alysanne and Rhaenyra, June 18, 2006
- The Hedge Knight.
- So Spake Martin: The Great Bastards, (December 26, 2005)
- The Princess and the Queen.
- So Spake Martin, More Targaryen Descriptions,December 24, 2005
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
- Event Horizon Chat Transcript, March 18, 1999
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: The Quarrelsome Daughters: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 23, Daenerys III.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Qohor.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 68, Daenerys IX.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 34, Arya VI.