Watch For: flowers, roses, mysterious hands, ribbons, pearls, chains, cages, feathers, wings, butterflies, skulls, crowns, crosses, chessboards, curtains, stars, rabbits, mirrors, earrings, colors.

There are a lot of wings and feathers in Pandora Hearts art, of many different colors. In general they are symbolic of freedom, flight, and travel, but each color has its own special flavor.

On Glen's manga cover, he has five feathers, standing for the five feathered chains that he wields: Raven, Griffon, Dodo, Owl, and Jabberwocky. These chains normally have black feathers, and it is said that black-winged chains can create a path to the Abyss, linking them to Abyss power. Yet the feathers here are tinged with the rusty color of blood and the Baskervilles. They match the reddish purple of Leo and the frontground feathers of his chain in the opera picture.

Glen's Five Feathers
Leo with Black and White Feathers

White doves are symbols of peace, but the dove feather Leo was stepping on in chapter 63 seems to have spontaneously turned from white to black. It correlates with Leo's change from a diplomatic to a hostile mood.

Are we supposed to think that the feather on the ground actually changed color, or did Leo move before that and now there's Jabberwocky's instead of dove feathers on the ground? Does it matter if the feather literally changed color so long as the symbolism of the overall feather ambiance changing color remains?

But what are white feathers? Leo was talking about wanting to destroy the Will of the Abyss, and how the Abyss used to be a beautiful Golden World before the Will of the Abyss went haywire when he stomped on the feather. Are white feathers representative of the harmony of the Abyss and Leo stomping on one symbolic of the Will's destruction of it? Or is the white symbolic of the Will herself, and Leo's action showing his desire to destroy it?

Jack is also accompanied by white feathers.

Indeed, white feathers are objects specific (though not exclusive) to the Vessalius dukedom, and were given to Oz by guests in acknowledgement of his coming of age.

And yet the actual crest of the Vessalius dukedom is two golden wings (or possibly a golden-winged bird) around a green gemstone:

Jack and Oz with Feathers
Vessalius Winged Emblem

Jack wears this crest even 100 years ago, before the Sablier tragedy, so it predates the acquisition of the Griffon chain by Vessalius.

Golden wings also appear along the entire rim of Oz's chair in the color insert of volume 1, but the most interesting are the wings at the head of the chair, framing a square into which four lines enter.

This is very similar to the central square of the Pandora Cross, with the four dukedoms' diamond gate symbols linking in to access the central square representing the Abyss.

The difference is that the four lines of the Pandora Cross enter through the sides of the square, whereas the lines on Oz's chair enter diagonally through the square's angles.

Could this square inside golden wings be analogous to the wing-hugged green gem in the Vessalius crest?

The full crest actually has a crown inside the wings, and is sometimes embellished with triumphant laurels, roses, and even pearls ending in teardrops. Why would a "third rate noble house" have a crown?

Yellow and green are colors associated with Vessalius - in their hair, eyes, roses, clothing - but gold is the color of the harmonious Abyss.
Vessalius Wings
Vessalius AmuletPandora Cross
Vessalius Crest
Gilbert and Oz with Feather Boas

In the context of the Abyss, golden wings can represent the angelic wings of light that transport the disembodied soul through the Golden World. It might even be connected to the sword-wielding angels that Oz, Alice, and Gil saw in a memory from 100 years ago.

But what's green? If I were to wildly speculate, I'd say that green is a color of water, along with blue, and the Abyss itself is a very watery place. The Japanese word "aoi" could mean either "blue" or "green." Jack's green coat is often drawn with shades of blue (and even golden yellow), looking overall turquoise. Jack himself has been compared to water.

If the green gem then represents the Abyss, and the golden wings wrap around it, it could indicate that the Vessalius are particularly skilled at navigating the Abyss, like the angelic wings of the disembodied soul. The difference in where the gate lines enter the Abyss square on Oz's chair versus the Pandora Cross could indicate that Vessalius found other paths, or side doors, into the Abyss.

However, this ventures into shinigami (death god) territory, and that is expressly given to the Baskervilles (the "Crimson Shinigami"). And besides, we have no knowledge of the Vessalius dukedom having anything to do with the Abyss prior to the Sablier tragedy, since Glen kept all the Abyss gates to himself. Hrm...

The picture on the left nicely illustrates the white/black feather contrast between Vessalius and Baskerville. Oz's feather boa features the blue, green, and yellow associated with Jack, and part of Gil's feather boa is also turning blue.

Gilbert and Oz with Feather Boas Blue feathers abound in Pandora Hearts art. Blue-feathered wings have appeared in Oz and Gil's hats, and on the left can be seen worn by Echo who, despite being a Baskerville, has white feathers around her, too.

We get the fullest explanation of blue feathers during St. Belligeron's Day: "This festival originated from the legend of the blue-winged angel, Belligeron, who fell in love with a human. In order to let her travel to earth safely, everyone wore clothes with blue feathers on them to help cover the true identity of the angel." Kinda odd to go out of the way to mention that.

It's a day when "you can hide your identity under gorgeous clothes, and spend the day as someone else," and feathers have been linked to masquerade.

On St. Belligeron's Day, it is customary to give a blue feather to someone important to you. As such, blue feathers appear to be linked to love, devotion, and paranormal relationships, as well as secrecy and disguise.

Echo's blue-winged outfit in particular likely symbolizes the relief she felt from setting aside her day-to-day identity and being renewed in the guise of someone else. This sense of freedom is emphasized by the presence of an empty bird cage.

Gil loves his blue feathers. :3
Gil's Blue Feather
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DISCLAIMER: Pandora Hearts and all the characters, story, and art therein is copyright Jun Mochizuki. No copyright infringement is intended, and I hope that this essay inspires more people to read/watch Pandora Hearts! Translations are by Yen Press and Fallen Syndicate. Visit the Thanks page to see who else helped!