Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Completely in spite of the holiday, I’d like to present a theory to you that I’ve been working on for a while now.
Teen Wolf has a plethora of crazy mythology, but when they introduced the concept of blue eyes in Season 3a, I rose an eyebrow. Not necessarily because I didn’t buy it, but because I thought that their reasoning didn’t explain all of it. In the episode “Visionary,” Peter Hale (an unreliable source at best), tells Stiles that when a wolf kills an innocent, his eyes turn from yellow to blue. Okay, fine, but why does this physical change occur?
There could be couple of reasons behind this so-called “innocent life-taking” change. One could be that it is the feelings of guilt that can affect the color of a werewolf’s eyes, like a mood ring. But this explanation has inherent pitfalls of its own. Why only guilt? Wouldn’t other emotions, strong emotions, also effect eye color then? What about fear, or anger? What about happiness or love? The only eye colors we see are yellow for “innocence,” blue for “guilty,” and red for “leader.” There is no evidence that merely their guilt is enough to change their eyes.
Another reason could be a sort of karmic badge. Killing a person costs a heavy karmic debt, and if wolves happen to be susceptible to that sort of thing, could possibly turn a wolf’s eyes blue. But again, what about other karmic debt? What about years of piling smaller karmic infractions onto your soul? Would that not then also change the wolf’s eyes to blue? We don’t see much evidence of this either, as all the wolves that have blue eyes (with perhaps the exception of Derek) has more than earned them one way or another.
A more likely reason is that of a sort of necromancy that changes the werewolf’s eye color. Here’s how I think it happens:
We have ample evidence in the show that wolves can pull power from death. A Beta can take the power of an Alpha by killing him. It is not a mere change of leadership position they are inheriting, but a literal power absorption. Alphas are stronger, faster, better in every way then a Beta, and the fact that a Beta can achieve this by killing an Alpha is telling. Not only that, but when a Beta does manage to slay an Alpha, that Beta’s eyes change physically to the color red, signifying not only the newfound position, but the power as well.
Another piece of evidence that werewolves can pull power from the death of another is from Deucalion’s own mouth. Deucalion says in Season 3a, Episode 4: Unleashed–
“Killing him [his Beta] taught me something I didn’t know Alphas could do. His power was added to mine. I became stronger, faster, more powerful than I’ve ever been. I tested this ability to subsume the power of your own by killing -another one. … I took the great individual parts to become a greater whole.” -Deucalion, Episode 3×4-Unleashed.
This is more than just a psychological effect of culling out a weak member of the pack (inspiring and/or terrifying the surviving members to keep in line), but an actual absorption of power. There is apparently a literal transference of power during the act of slaying one of your own.
This is linked back to the idea of pack. In Season 2, Scott is explaining to Allison about how a werewolf pack works:
Allison: “Stronger in packs, like strength in numbers?”
Scott: “No, like literally stronger, faster, better in every way.” – Episode 2×1: Omega
Later, it’s mentioned that the more Betas an Alpha has, the more powerful that Alpha is–in a very literal sense. Having more bodies subservient t an Alpha actually transfers some sort of power to that Alpha. And it’s not merely a leaching effect. The Betas also benefit from being in a pack with a very real power boosting effect.
Lastly, is the truly necromantic ritual of Peter Hale’s resurrection. Lydia may have been revealed later as a banshee with a connection to the dead, but Peter in Season 2 is the one that pulled all of the strings to his own resurrection. He spoke more to Lydia’s power of being immune than any sort of affinity to the dead on her part that lead him to his ability to come back to life.
“Your immunity makes you the perfect plan B. You wouldn’t turn from the bite and you wouldn’t die, but you would be able to do one very important thing.” -Peter Hale, Episode 2×7: Restraint
The key was the bite. He clearly needed someone he could bite but would remain human–at the very least, not a werewolf. Somehow, by biting Lydia, he was able to transfer a bit of his soul or some other essence through that act of violence into her. And it wasn’t just an act of violence–it was practically a ritual on Peter’s part. Lydia dreams of her attack as a sort of ritualistic sacrifice in Episode 2×8: Party Guessed. She stands in the middle of a stadium dressed in a white dress, amid a cheering crowd. She is savaged brutally while the crowd cheers on.
While this is not exactly how her attack played out in real time, this was how Peter imparted it to her–as much of his other information he imparts to her. The ritual aspect is just as much as real as anything else Lydia dreams up–her conversations with a young Peter in front of the guidance counselor’s office and again in her own backyard. Her slightly coerced makeout session with him in the ruins of the Hale house. These weren’t just hallucinations, they were an actual imparting of real knowledge from Peter to Lydia.
With all these added together, it’s clear that werewolves have this ability to transfer and/or absorb power through violence and blood. They can absorb power by killing other werewolves, but also transfer their power–in part–to humans, either by biting to turn them, or biting to give them a part of themselves for some later purpose (Peter’s resurrection).
I propose that a wolf’s eyes change from yellow to blue no matter if that life they took was innocent or not. Werewolves seem to have a deeply necromantic ability–a power to absorb life force or some other essence through the act of slaying. The death literally bolsters the killing wolf’s power through a permanent transference–the additional power thus changing a wolf’s eyes from yellow to blue. A human may have minimal power, however, meaning the wolf may not feel any sort of improvement in their strength and speed (as wolves are naturally faster and stronger than humans). But there is apparently a life force transference, if it’s enough to affect the wolf’s eye color.
Therefore, the werewolves of Teen Wolf are actually necromancers.