Purple eyes

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King Aegon I Targaryen, the Conqueror, by Amok ©

Purple eyes of different shades are exhibited by some characters in the world of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.

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 dragonlords 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.[1]


House Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen's violet eyes, by Bella Bergolts ©

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. Prince Aegon Targaryen, while serving as a squire to Ser Duncan the Tall under the name "Egg", shaved his head so that his silver-gold hair would not be recognized. His deep purple eyes could not be disguised, though in dim light they looked black.[2] Daemon II Blackfyre, incognito as the hedge knight "John the Fiddler", wore blue clothing to help make his purple eyes look blue.[3]

Prince Rhaegar Targaryen's eyes were dark indigo,[4] his brother Viserys's eyes were pale lilac,[5] and their sister Daenerys's eyes are violet.[5]

Note that not all Targaryens have purple eyes: Queen Alysanne Targaryen's eyes were clear blue,[6] and Prince Valarr Targaryen's eyes were also blue.[7] Children of Targaryen/non-Targaryen marriages may also have eyes of a non-Valyrian color. For example, Prince Baelor, whose mother was Myriah Martell, had brown eyes.[8]

Aegor Rivers, Bittersteel, by Marc Simonetti ©

Despite their mixed parentage, Targaryen bastards may still have purple eyes, including Ser Aegor Rivers (though his hair was black),[9] the same as some dragonseeds.[10]

House Blackfyre

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.[3][11]

House Velaryon

House Velaryon of Driftmark is an ancient and proud house, with the blood of old Valyria in its veins.[12][13] Velaryons, like the Targaryens, often have the Valyrian features of silver hair and purple eyes.[13]

House Dayne

Ashara Dayne, by Bella Bergolts ©

The trait for violet eyes runs in House Dayne, though it is an unusual eye color for non-Valyrians in Westeros. Ashara Dayne in particular was famous for her haunting violet eyes.[14][15] George R. R. Martin has stated that the Dayne purple eye color is not related to Targaryen ancestry.[16]

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.[17] Some Lyseni with purple eyes include Larra Rogare and Lysono Maar.


The Forest of Qohor contains a species of lemur with silver fur and purple eyes.[18] They are sometimes called Little Valyrians.[19]

Characters stated to have purple eyes

House Targaryen

House Blackfyre

House Velaryon

House Dayne



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 color could be seen: deep and dark and purple. Valyrian eyes.[2]

—thoughts of Duncan the Tall

Look at her. That silver-gold hair, those purple eyes... she is the blood of old Valyria, no doubt, no doubt...[5]

Even after all these years, Ser Barristan could still recall Ashara's smile, the sound of her laughter. He had only to close his eyes to see her, with her long dark hair tumbling about her shoulders and those haunting purple eyes. Daenerys has the same eyes. Sometimes when the queen looked at him, he felt as if he were looking at Ashara's daughter ...[15]

—thoughts of Barristan Selmy

See also


  1. The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Rise of Valyria.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Sworn Sword.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Mystery Knight.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys IV.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
  6. So Spake Martin: Good Queen Alysanne and Rhaenyra, June 18, 2006
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The Hedge Knight.
  8. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron II.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 So Spake Martin: The Great Bastards, December 26, 2005
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
  11. So Spake Martin: More Targaryen Descriptions, December 24, 2005
  12. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
  13. 13.0 13.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
  14. 14.0 14.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
  15. 15.0 15.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
  16. Event Horizon Chat Transcript, March 18, 1999
  17. The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: The Quarrelsome Daughters: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh.
  18. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 23, Daenerys III.
  19. The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Qohor.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings, November 1, 2005
  21. The Rogue Prince.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  23. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.
  24. Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  26. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
  28. 28.0 28.1 So Spake Martin: Three Maidens in the Tower, June 27, 2006
  29. 29.0 29.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys II.
  30. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
  31. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
  32. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 43, Arya VIII.
  33. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
  34. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 68, Daenerys IX.
  35. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 47, Tyrion X.