In the film, the Noise appears like opalescent trailing smoke around a person's head when moving or an opalescent fog around a person's head when staying still. There is also black Noise in the film. Mayor Prentiss' "I am the Circle and the Circle is me" appears as blue circles in the film and Aaron's Bible verses appear as opalescent with spikes of orange.
The color key of the Noise is single colored (a color per emotion) in the books and orange (posters) and opalescent (film) in the film adaptation.
Human settlers believed the Noise was caused by the native humanoids, the Spackle, which lead to the slaughter of many of these creatures. However, the Noise germ was already in the atmosphere when the settler ships landed.
Before the series started, the men of New Elizabeth (now know as Prentisstown) started to become suspicious of the women of their town as they had no Noise. The women had realized by then that something horrible was going to happen and tried to escape through the swamp, but many were caught by David Prentiss (later Mayor Prentiss) and were killed.
Mayor Prentiss had found a way to utilise the Noise as an asset and use it as a weapon against people in many different ways, mostly doing so through mental exercises and repeating phrases such "I AM THE CIRCLE AND THE CIRCLE IS ME".
David rewards his male citizens with Haven's Noise cure for good work. He also all the elites have the cure. rendering them Noiseless, and all classes under the elites have Noise.
David begins to use the Noise as a weapon, making him undefeatable in a plausible Noise battle.
After The Burden were killed, David destroyed the Noise cure.
It is revealed that the Noise cure was not destroyed by David, but instead given to David's top generals. David continues teaching Todd how to use the Noise as a weapon, and throughout the novel Todd utilizes David's techniques on his own. In the finale, Todd uses the Noise against the Mayor to free Haven.
Todd is first shown with the Noise when walking around the forest with Manchee (who is female in the film). When Aaron approaches him, Todd repeatedly thinks "I am Todd Hewitt I am Todd Hewitt" frantically to hide his real thoughts. Aaron then slaps Todd after Todd reveals his real thoughts. Later in Prentisstown, Todd then scares Davy by thinking "Snake" repeatedly and a large snake from Todd's thoughts throws Davy off of his horse.
In the books, the Noise is colored based on an individuals' emotions.
- Anger - red/black
- Calm - blue/green
- Pride - purple
- Hate - black
- Embarrassment - yellow
David Prentiss, Sr. has developed exercises and phrases which can be heard at the start of The Knife of Never Letting Go and other various areas throughout the trilogy. There are also techniques used by other characters to control their Noise or to be used as weapons.
I am the Circle and the Circle is Me.
This technique was created to center a man with Noise and prevents all their thoughts from being displayed all the time. It is also used to subdue individuals, make those who heard it be part of a collective voice, and to control those with Noise.
It was used to subdue Prentisstown in The Knife of Never Letting Go and to subdue Todd in The Ask and the Answer. The technique was used by Todd per advice from David throughout The Ask and the Answer. In Monsters of Men, this was used by Todd to make his Noise quiet throughout the novel. It was also used by Todd to manipulate people.
In the film, this technique is shown as a light blue ring surrounding a person's head and all thoughts are collectively heard as one.
I am Todd Hewitt I am Todd Hewitt.
This technique was given as advice to Todd by Ben. It was used to center Todd whenever his thoughts got out of hand.
It was used extensively in The Knife of Never Letting Go. In the film, this was used whenever Todd hid crucial information, whenever he didn't want people to see his thoughts, and to stop his Noise from being uncontrollable.
In the film, the primary Noise technique was illusions. This was shown to be helpful multiple times throughout the film, like Ben helping Todd and Viola escape and Todd using an illusion of his mother when confronting David in the finale.
Although spoken by David Prentiss, Sr. in Monsters of Men before his speech after Nicola's suicide bombing, this technique quiets all men with Noise.
This technique was first used by David Prentiss, Sr. in Monsters of Men, when he found Todd picking up a piece of concrete to beat David to death with in the finale.
This technique paralyzes a man with Noise and reminds them of all their failures. It is shown as a blinding flash to those who are targeted by the technique.
This technique was primarily used by David to paralyze and arrest Todd after he snuck out to find Viola in The Ask and the Answer and was also used by David again to paralyze Todd's soliders during his plan to overthrow David and reestablish Haven in The Ask and the Answer. The technique was used by David in the finale of Monsters of Men when he fought Todd at an abandoned fishing settlement.
This technique was created by Todd out of his love for Viola, as she is the person who is simultaneously his weakness and his strength. It is the first Noise weapon Todd performs in The Ask and the Answer. The effect of it is similar to beating a person up, but without touching them. The more fierce the person think's Viola's name, the more powerful the blow is to a man with Noise. In Monsters of Men, Todd uses this technique to fight David at an abandoned fishing settlement.
Although probably not a weapon, this technique was first used by David Prentiss, Sr. during his "Noise-fight" with Todd in Monsters of Men. It was used a directive by David and a weapon by Todd.
- The Spackle, the natives of New World, have evolved with the Noise.
- In the film, it is stated that Aaron thought that Noise would be a decent education enough and that's why books are forbidden in Prentisstown, and the reason why Todd cannot read or write.