When a character is able to use a Psychic Link
or similar to see what another character is seeing, particularly when at a distance. Basically, a form of clairvoyance using a host character as an on-site medium.
Control may be with either the owner of the eyes/host, or the observer. Either way, this usually requires the cooperation of the host
, although it is not essential. It is also frequently mentioned by the passive observer to be strange having their view change unexpectedly. Particularly if the observer is in control, the host may experience an Eye Colour Change
This skill can be useful in a variety of situations but is particularly suited to spying. It means that only one character needs to be in the (presumably dangerous) situation, while the other character – who may have more knowledge but fit in less well – can watch from safety. It is also necessary (among other senses) for remotely operated People Puppets
This skill can sometimes be used as replacement vision by a character who suffers from Temporary (or not so temporary) Blindness
. Even they are not blind, a character may use it for a similar reason if the host has a different type of vision
and can see other things the viewer normally can't
, although this is normally more temporary.
In a more humorous application, when used short-range this can even serve double-duty as a mirror.
This can also occur during Dream Spying
if the POV is that of a character at the location. One of the more common host/viewer pairings is with Mindlink Mates
; in cases where the host is an animal (particularly non-sapient), this is Animal Eye Spy
Contrast Eye Spy
where it is the viewer's own detached eye, and Body and Host
- Throughout the whole Ghost in the Shell franchise, Motoko makes common practice out of hacking into the cyberbrains of bystanders so she can see what the situation is through their point of view (If not also taking control of their bodies in the process). Among some of the people she hacked into were terrorists, androids, and even other policewomen.
- Pain from Franchise/Naruto has 6 bodies, each having a pair of Rinnegan; one of its functions being a "shared link of vision" between them, allowing him to look at many directions at once.
- Variation: One of Shadow Clone Jutsu's ability is to transfer any experience the clone had to the original's. Kakashi demonstrated it by making a clone, then have it look at the right and himself at the left, then deactivates the clone. The result: he'll know what's to the left and right of him.
- Artemis Fowl has a technological version in the Iris Cam, a micro-camera in a contact lens. At different times, we see it used by both Holly and Artemis.
- In The Obernewtyn Chronicles Elspeth is able to link with Mathew and see through his eyes, particularly useful while he is playing bait for the slavers. Once he is taken, she is unable to find anyone else with a suitably compatible mind, relying instead on relayed images.
- In The Sending Elspeth has several dreams where she views scenes through Rushton's eyes, thanks to their golden Minklink Mates bond.
- This is used several times in the Heralds of Valdemar series, mostly between Heralds and their Companions (horse-shaped, but not actually animals).
- Collegium Chronicles. In a humourous example, Mags and Dallen briefly use this method as a mirror; also while Dallen is borrowing Mag's body to weave braids as Midwinter gifts. In another instance, Mags is undercover disguised as a blind beggar and navigates and watches for his quarry by skimming the surface thoughts of people passing by.
- Brightly Burning: After he is blinded in an attack, Pol is able to use his Companion's eyes to read maps and help direct the battle.
- Mage Storms: This is reversed at one point with Karel and Florian; Florian looking through Karel's eyes during a function and prompting him to help keep track of who's who among the dignitaries. Also unusual in that Karel is not actually a Herald or Florian's Chosen.
- Also, after Karal's sight is burned out during the Final Storm, Altra lets him see through his eyes.
- Arrows of the Queen: Talia appears to do this at one point when testing the strength of her bond with Rolan. Noticeable in that their bond is one of the few where communicating with words is difficult.
- Arrows of the Queen: In a non-Companion example, Farseers often use their Talent to act as host and guide to other Heralds, allowing those with Talents such as Fetching and Firestarting to work at a greater distance. Kris and Dirk are particularly good at working together in this way.
- Several times in the second book of Isobelle Carmody's The Legendsong Saga, Glynn has dreams where she is inside Solen's mind, seeing and hearing what he sees and hears. This is due to the feinna bond making them Mindlink Mates.
- In Threshold by David Palmer, the protagonists also use this method as a mirror, while Shapeshifting.
- In the short story The Four-Hour Fugue, the protagonist is blind and "sees" by telepathically accessing the eyes of those around her. She doesn't believe it at first (would you?) but a man she talks to proves it by demonstrating that she's using his own vision, which is colorblind.
- When Granny Weatherwax from Discworld needs a mirror, she instead uses one of her Borrowing techniques to access the eyes of either Nanny Ogg or a handy animal, and then just having them look at her.
- Skinchangers and wargs in A Song of Ice and Fire can brainjack animals. One in particular frequently uses his ability on birds to scout out territory ahead of his party. When the ability is first used on another human, one states he had thought the feat impossible.
- Dune Messiah. Emperor Paul Atreides' eyes are destroyed by a stone burner, leaving him blind. When the Face Dancer Scytale threatens to murder Paul's two children, Paul is able to see through the eyes of his son Leto (who also has the power of prescience) and throw his crysknife at Scytale, killing him.
- Ray Bradbury's short story The Homecoming. One member of a family of magical creatures (vampires, werewolves, etc.) is Cecy, who has the ability to (among other things) look through the eyes of other people.
- A variant is used in The Darkness On Diamondia by A.E. van Vogt. The planet has a psychic influence on everyone who lives there for more than a short time, allowing them to effectively share another person's body although normally only to the extent of experiencing what the host is experiencing and to communicating with the host. They cannot control the host's body or mind, and the host is always aware of the presence of the other person so it's useless for covert spying. This ability is so common that the concept of holding a person incommunicado never occurs to the planet's natives.
- Stargate Atlantis. After Teyla discovers that she has Wraith DNA and can telepathically link with them the expedition attempts to use her to spy on the Wraith. She is able to briefly see through their eyes on the incoming invasion fleet before they notice and take control of her
- Early editions of Dungeons & Dragons had a number of spells that allowed the caster to see through the eyes of another creature.
- Living Link and See Through Other Eyes: see through the eyes of any living creature.
- Corpse Link: See through the eyes of a corpse or zombie.
- Nature's Eyes: See through an animal's eyes.
- Spectral Senses: See through the eyes of an undead monster.
- Spidereyes: See through a spider's eyes.
- This is an option for the Clairsentience power in Champions. If it's the only way you can use the power, you save some points on it.
- In Psychonauts the Clairvoyance ability allows Raz to see through the eyes of another being and see how they perceive him.
- In Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth, during the last bossfight, the player character has to control summoned Deep Ones to flip four switches so Mother Hydra's shield is deactivated.
- Also, at various point of the game, the view switches from the player character's to that of different creatures stalking him, although it's not made clear if he actually sees what they see or if he just feels their presence.
- In Freefall, robots' vision feeds are publicly accessible by default. This comes in handy if a group of robots all need a type of extra vision that only one of them has (like backscatter X-ray), but it also means that, among other things, most robots must have built-in Censor Box software just in case.
- In an episode of Teen Titans, Raven does this to Robin to confirm whether or not he's just hallucinating fighting against Slade, and it affects her in the short moment she did. though he really is hallucinating, Your Mind Makes It Real so it really affects him and whoever is linked to him, just to hammer the point.
- The mechanical variation on this is the idea behind the real-life concepts of security cameras, spy drones and similar devices.