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Glowing Eyes are a character designer's shorthand for power. Want to show that someone is about to unleash a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown? Give them Glowing Eyes of Doom. Has a robotic creature been activated? Better turn on their Glowing Mechanical Eyes. We all know that Power Glows; presumably since eyes are the Windows of the Soul, glowing eyes are a good way to show off someone's Life Energy.
This is a Super-Trope of:
- Eye Lights Out
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Glowing Eyelights of Undeath
- Glowing Mechanical Eyes
- Throat Light
Other related tropes:
- By the Lights of Their Eyes has eyes visible in otherwise complete darkness—presumably because they glow just a little bit?
- Fireball Eyeballs can glow, since fire does anyway.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning often glow ominously for added effect.
- Scary Shiny Glasses aren't actually eyes, but serve much the same purpose.
But not all glowing eyes are necessarily one of these.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist (the animes especially), Alphonse Elric is forced to exist for several years as Animated Armor. The eyes glow to show that he's "in there." During the few instances when his consciousness is separated from the armor, or he is possessed by another force, the eyes cease to glow.
- In the Doctor Who serial Doctor Who, the animals surround the fire with glowing eyes. The eyes go out when the people frighten them off.
- In The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks, the spirit form of Princess Zelda accompanies Link on the adventure and has the ability to possess Phantoms, who are suits of Animated Armor in the service of the Big Bad. When she possesses one, the normally gray suits turn pink, complete with pink Glowing Eyes.
- In Mass Effect 2, when Samara is using her biotics in some cutscenes her eyes will glow blue.
- And, starting from Mass Effect 2, all quarians get glowing eyes that can be seen through their faceplate, though it's possible that they've always had them but you couldn't see them through the opaque faceplates that you saw in the first game.
- World of Warcraft sure loves its glowing eyes. A lot. Lots of races have glowing eyes. (See also Glowing Eyelights of Undeath and Glowing Eyes of Doom.)
- All members of the Draenei race have glowing blue (or white, depending on the artist) eyes. Their fellow Eredar who made a Deal with the Devil to turn into demons have their eyes turn glowing yellow as well as gaining red skin and Spikes of Villainy.
- Male Night Elves have glowing golden eyes and female Night Elves have glowing silver eyes. The Night Elves aren't evil per se, but they are distrustful of other races, are rather prideful, and have made some mistakes in their past.
- In the original cinematic for World of Warcraft, a night elf's eyes reflect light like a cat's, not glow. This makes sense, as the night elves live up to their name by living where it's always night. But it would be difficult to show that in the graphics of the real game, so perhaps the in-game glow simply represents this.
- In the Burning Crusade expansion, Blood Elves had their eyes retconned from ghostly white glowing green eyes that are a side-effect of their addiction to demonic magic. High Elves also had their eyes changed from white to glowing Blue. This was probably related to Color Coded for Your Convenience.
- And, for all races, several headpieces (usually tier set headgear) confers glowing eyes, especially Rogue and Warlock sets, but found in the odd Paladin and Hunter sets too.
- Virtually all the epic mounts in the game have glowing eyes, even the common ones that can be purchased. How did all these beasts of burden get these glowing eyes? No one in-universe seems to notice or care.
- The five (six counting Malygos) Dragon Aspects all have glowing eyes. Once they lose their Titan gifted powers at the end of Cataclysm, after Deathwing's death, the four remaining Aspects lose their eye glows. In a cinematic, too, so it's definitely not a model quirk.
- In the MMORPG RuneScape, there is a whole set of auras that produce the purely cosmetical effect of glowing eyes in your choice of black, orange, white, red, purple, yellow, blue, or green.
- The Glukkons from the Oddworld series have glowing eyes. It's explained that Glukkons developed them after shutting themselves away, so they didn't have to see the moon with the Mudokon pawprint on it. Which opens a whole 'nother can of fish...
- In Impure Blood, normally hidden by Opaque Lenses. They can glow red as well as blue, when she's annoyed.
- The White Spirits of Off White have glowing blue eyes and the Black Spirits have glowing red eyes.
- In Remus, everyone has these as a part of the art style.
- In Endstone, the angel statue.
- In Blue Yonder, Jared's eyes start to glow.
- For Avatar: The Last Airbender, all the avatars when they enter the Avatar State because Power Glows.
- Many of the ghosts' eyes in Danny Phantom have these, and Danny's eyes glow particularly when he's angry or summoning a lot of power.