Several creatures of Pern are known to have multi-faceted eyes that exhibit the ability to change colour depending on the mood of the creature. This was first observed in the fire lizards, and later the Dragons and Whers who were genetically engineered from them. It is not clear whether all of Pern’s native species - such as Tunnel snakes or Wherries - exhibit this ability, or whether it is exclusive to the recent evolutionary tree of the fire lizards.
Following the rediscovery of fire lizards in the Ninth Pass, Menolly, one of the first people to impress a fire lizard - impressing a colossal nine from the same nest - described the various colours thusly; "…the green is dominant, which means sleeping pleasure. Red means hunger, blue and green are sort of general shades, white means danger, and yellow is fright."
Many different eye colours exist, some more well-known than others. In addition to this, the colours often combine and “whirl” around the creature’s eye at a speed that can vary depending on the emotion. As a result,
- Emotions described: anger see Craigath
The yellow eye colour has generally been used to display anxiety or fear - in a dragon’s case, usually for their rider - although it may also represent excitement; based on
- Emotions described:
- Confusion - flecks of yellow.
Green could be thought of as the default eye colour for the fire lizards and their “relatives”, based on Menolly’s observations that it is the dominant fire lizard eye colour. Considering that dragon ichor is also green, along with many internal body components, this could suggest that the original colour of any dragonet embryo is green.
- Emotions described:
The purple eye colour has, strangely, been depicted more often in combination with another eye colour than by itself. On its own, it has been shown to represent worry - similar to the yellow eye colour. In combination with blue, it is believed to represent “love and devotion”. Fire lizard eyes are described as turning “purple-red” when an egg is nearly ready to hatch. This could suggest that both the yellow and purple eye colours represent agitation; whether through worry or excitement, but that purple represents worry about something affecting a loved one.
Upon the death of her mate, the queen dragon Nemorth had eyes that were “muddy purples shot with orangey yellows of extreme distress”
“Dark Violet” was an eye colour seen once; on the white dragon Ruth, although the exact emotion attached to it was not described.
The grey eye colour can mean either pain or grief. It has been seen exhibited by injured dragons, and also by dragons whose riders have perished - specifically Orlith.
Some fan groups have used the following colours