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And you sang, "Sail to me, sail to me,

Let me enfold you,

Here I am, here I am

Waiting to hold you"
Tim Buckley, "Song to the Siren" (later Covered Up by This Mortal Coil)

Sirens have enthralling voices, ranging from just very attractive when you've been out at sea for some time to a form of Glamour or out and out Mind Control. They are at least humanoid, though the lower half is flexible. They lure someone to their doom, though not necessarily immediate death. In Classical Mythology, sirens were bird-women, split about the same as a centaur; in most modern depictions of sirens, the bird characteristics will be dropped and they'll be just beautiful women with beautiful voices, if they aren't mermaids. In some versions their powers only work on men.

Examples of Enthralling Siren include:


Classical Mythology

  • Odysseus ran into two sirens, who were bird-women who lured sailors with their enchanting voices and music. His men stuff their ears with wax, but, true to form, Odysseus just has them tie him to the mast. Because he wants to hear the songs and be able to say that he's the only man to have heard the song and lived.
  • In general (Greek): They were bird-women, they lured young sailors to their deaths via song that took them into rocky cliffs, there were between two and five, though three was common. Their names were a little... fluid.
  • In The Argonautica, the Argonauts also run into the Sirens. They survive thanks to Orpheus who sang an even more beautiful song that drowned out their call.

Comic Books

  • Teen Titans have a villain called Siren who is a mermaid with a hypnotic song and is capable of turning her tail into legs.
  • In League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Sirens are actually a man-eating descendant of the Phorusrhacos that use mimicry to fool drunken sailors into getting close enough to eat. Like many birds, they can imitate human voices and they have markings on their beaks that look like human faces, plumage like flowing, blonde hair and ornamentation on their chests resembling a woman's breasts.

Fan Fiction

Film

 Kermit: Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors? The voice might be one and the same...

 "Them si-reens done loved Pete up and turned 'im into a -- horny toad!"

Literature

  • A famous German poem by Heinrich Heine describes the Lorelei, a beautiful maiden who sat on a rock in the middle of the Rhine, singing and combing her hair, who lured sailors to their deaths. Set to music by Friedrich Silcher, it has become one of the most beloved German folk-songs.
  • The Percy Jackson and The Olympians series portrays sirens in a tweaked version of their Greek Mythology incarnation, as horrible giant condor-like creatures with long necks and the heads of women, faces dripping with the remains of their victims.
  • The title character of John Everson's Siren is a monster who is mostly similar to the original Greek myth. Her true form is that of a monster with both avian and piscine traits, but her song projects a glamour that makes her look like a beautiful woman in addition to entrancing humans, and she prefers to seduce the human men she preys on before eating them. She also answers to the name of Ligeia, and implies that she is one of the original Greek sirens.
  • The Syren in Septimus Heap uses her call to lure and strand Nicko and the Cerys onto Syren island.
  • In Cat Adams's Blood Singer series the sirens are human-looking semi-immortal women with telepathic abilities that let them control heterosexual men and also have a strong affinity for the ocean and aquatic creatures. It is stated that when calling out to males, some sirens focus their summons through music, but most use telepathy.

Live Action TV

  • The Psirens from Red Dwarf were basically a retelling of the sirens story In Space: they shapeshifted to lure spacecraft onto the asteroids.
  • On the 1960s Batman series, Joan Collins played the Supervillainess Lorelei Circe, AKA The Siren, who was able to put any man under her spell by singing a note of three octaves above high C; she used her ability to entrance Commissioner Gordon into sneaking into the Batcave, to cause Chief O'Hara to jump into a lake, and to induce Bruce Wayne into signing his fortune over to her.
  • One episode of So Weird dealt with a siren who looked like Jewel Staite and sang in a nightclub. Any man who heard her fell under her spell, while women thought her voice was pleasant but couldn't understand the fuss all the men were making over her.
  • The episode "Sirens" of The Legend of Dick and Dom has the sirens as beautiful women with songs that draw in and possibly mind-control men- who promptly start trying to impress them with lies about being rich and fit- but sound like screeching to women. They imprison men and feed them up before eating them. The sirens also seem to have glamour; when they turn it off, they are still beautiful but have fangs and claws.
  • The Charmed episode "Siren Song" features a Siren as the Demon of the Week. According to the Book of Shadows she was a mortal woman who seduced a married man but was burned alive by the townspeople. Now she hypnotises married men with her song, which lures the wives to the scene of the crime where she burns them both alive.
  • H 2 O: Just Add Water has the episode "The Siren Effect" where Cleo touches water at the full moon and gains a hypnotic singing voice that brings in every boy in town. She goes on the radio and wakes up the next morning to find hundreds of boys camped out on the front lawn to hear her sing.

Music

  • Iamamiwhoami's entire premise is built around the concept of the siren song of a mandrake or mandragora. The title of preview video "13.1.14.4.18.1.7.15.18.1.1110" decodes to "mandragora", and the enchanting song aspect is most prominently in "b", "u-1", and "u-2".


Tabletop RPG

  • Dungeons and Dragons.
    • The harpy is the Greek Mythology version (bird/woman) with an alluring voice that draws victims to its location.
    • The sirine is a humanoid female with a voice that can charm all hostile creatures.

Theatre

  • The Golden Apple, another loose Americanization of The Odyssey, represents the sirens as a group of singers in a waterfront dive who sing "Goona-Goona." In this tale, Ulysses doesn't think to plug his men's ears, and most of them end up shanghaied.


Video Games

  • Referenced in the game Forbidden Siren, no actual "Siren" creature is featured but there's certainly a sound that lures the inhabitants of a town to their doom...
  • In God of War, sirens are floating women monsters that use sound attacks.
  • Siren sometimes appears in the Final Fantasy series, usually as a summon which causes a status ailment.
    • In Final Fantasy V, she is a boss monster who nearly enthralls the party with images of their family members.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, she is a summon that randomly silences all enemies or does minor damage with an ability called Lunatic Voice.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, she is a summon who deals non-elemental damage and silences all enemies.
    • In Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings, Siren is the water summon. She can also cause the stop status ailment.
    • Siren makes a cameo in Final Fantasy XIII during the Pompa Sancta in Nautilus Park.
  • In Touhou, Mystia Lorelei isn't explicitly a siren but she's a bird-person who lures unsuspecting travelers to their deaths with a magic singing voice, so she's pretty obviously a siren. Although nowadays she's more likely to sell them food instead of eating them.

Web Original

  • Trials in Tainted Space has two species characterized as "sirens":
    • Suulas are a race of winged humanoid sharks with hypnotically alluring voices, even being called "sirens" outright in-game.
    • Slyverens are a race of genetically enhanced serpent-women who use a combination of aphrodisiac venom, exaggeratedly huge breasts, and mind-controlling telepathic powers to lure "men" (read: anyone with a functioning penis and set of testes) into their clutches, because they feed on semen. Many Slyverens engage in a "catch and release" approach to victims, but some go much further--the race is well represented in the ranks of the sex slave trade, and it's not as slaves.

Western Animation

  • Three sirens pop up in "The Scotsman Saves Jack", an episode of Samurai Jack The Scotsman doesn't demonstrate any particular willpower, he just doesn't like the music. They aren't bird-women or fish-people, they're fully human-looking...except for the glow. And then we find out that they're a Scaled Up three-headed...thing. Still called sirens, though.
  • On The Simpsons "Tales from the Public Domain" when Homer was Odysseus he was lured to the Island of Sirens, only to discover that the Sirens in question were Patty and Selma. He got out of there pretty quick.
  • DuckTales has some sirens in an episode that takes Huey, Dewey, Louie and Scrooge back to Odysseus' times. They look odd, but on the other hand, how would you do bird-women when your cast is already made of ducks?
    • Make them the top of some kind of sea monster that lurches out when boats get close enough.
  • In the Hanna Barbera Godzilla, the Calico washes up on the shore of a cursed island ruled by a siren named Morphea and her two sisters. In addition to Mind Control powers, they also have a pet giant Chimera for Godzilla to fight.
  • One episode of American Dragon Jake Long features a mind-controlling siren as a villain, but she doesn't spend any time in or near the ocean. It also subverts expectations because the siren is a dowdy, geeky girl, not one of the hot cheerleaders that the characters had suspected.
  • Star Trek the Animated Series episode "The Lorelei Signal". A group of alien women send out a song over subspace radio once every 27 years to lure a starship to their planet. They must do this so they can drain the male crew members of their Life Force in order to survive.
  • An episode of Martin Mystery had the gang encounter a siren who attacks a nearby town out of anger after a relationship with a sailor turns sour. Unlike the myths, the siren could change between a beautiful lady and a bird monster at will.
  • The Bad Powers, Bad People trope is surprisingly averted by the Siren in Extreme Ghostbusters as she's one of the very few ghosts that actually care about the mortals she seduces with her singing voice. Her sister Banshee forces her into stealing the youth of her listeners to sustain her strength. She finally develops a backbone and rejects her sister when she coerces her to steal the remaining life force of her agefied audience (including Roland, who fell under her spell) and willingly allows herself and her sister to be captured and put into containment by the team.
  • In The Backyardigans episode "Sinbad Sails Alone", Tyrone and Pablo encounter Siren Uniqua when they travel to her island to get water. They then play a game of "Siren Says" with a mambo song to match.

 "When I say 'Siren Says' you do

Exactly whatever I told you to

But if you do something Siren didn't say

You gotta go back--that's how we play"

  • In an episode of Lloyd in Space there was an exchange student from the centre of the universe named Sirenia who was able to hypnotise all the boys, though with her eyes instead of her voice. The only way to break the spell was to get a boy from the same place to hypnotise her.
  • The Music Meister in Batman the Brave And The Bold, mostly as an excuse for a Musical Episode. His voice could hit a certain pitch that hypnotically controlled anyone who heard it.
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