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Eye Scream: Literature

  • Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing has a particularly gruesome scene involving the Mexican revolutionary. After mouthing off to the German mercenary Wirtz and spitting in his face, Wirtz proceeds to lick up the spittle, swallow it, smile, then sucks out the man's eyeballs with his mouth, leaving them to dangle down his face. The revolutionary talks about how, due to his eyes hanging from his face via a handful of nerves, the world seems to jostle as his eyes sway back and forth on his march back to camp.
  • In 1984, Winston Smith finally betrays Julia when O'Brien locks his face in a cage with rats and tells him that they've been known to chew out people's eyes.
  • In William Shakespeare's King Lear, the Earl of Gloucester finds himself on the receiving end of this trope, his attackers exclaiming, 'Out, vile jelly!' A more reserved production might skimp on the horror and make Nightmare Retardant of it.
  • Eyes, eyes, what eyes? Acheri, from Hell's Children.
  • The StrangeMatter book Fly the Unfriendly Skies involved an evil alien race of hovering balls of black water called Cepheids. Late at night they would enter the homes of people and release drops of themselves into their eyes. These people would over the course of a day slowly transform into Cepheids.
  • Biblical examples:
    • Joshua, in the book of the same name, that if the Israelites clung to the remnant of the nations God had driven out, and made marriages with them, then those nations would figuratively be (among other things) thorns in their eyes.
    • In Judges, the Philistines put out Samson's eyes. He later retaliated in a Taking You with Me fashion.
    • King Zedekiah's eyes were also put out in II Kings.
    • There's a metaphorical (we hope) example in Matthew 18:9, when Jesus tells you to pluck your own eye out if it causes you to sin.
  • On the Eastern side of things, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms has Xiahou Dun, who ends up taking an arrow in the eye - then plucking it out and swallowing it.
    • "Essence of my father, blood of my mother, I cannot throw this away." So badass.
  • In David Wingrove's Chung Kuo series, a man's eyes are removed, and the eyelids are sewn shut with living insects inside.
  • In The Dresden Files novel Small Favor, Mab compels Harry Dresden to do her a favor by freezing the water in his eyes. Not only that, Mab tells him that if he questions her word again, she'll finish the job.
    "Mab's frozen-berry lips lifted in a silent snarl, and the world turned into a curtain of white agony that centered on my eyes. Nothing had ever hurt so much. I fell down, but I wasn't lucky enough to hit my head and knock myself unconscious. I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't scream."
    • Later, in the novel Changes, Harry pulls it off himself, turning his right hand into an icy claw and stabbing it into the eyes of the Red [Evil Overlord] King. And then, for good measure, blasting soulfire through it straight into the inside of his head. This is not enough to kill him.
    • At the very end of the novel Grave Peril, The Nightmare, also known as the ghost of Leonid Kravos, loses his eye by Dresden's thumb in the final encounter. Squick factor slightly lessened in that The Nightmare is a ghost.
  • In Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, Vittoria's father has his eye cut out by an assassin trying to bypass an iris scanner and get into his lab to steal a container full of anti-matter.
    • Vittoria later gets revenge on said assassin when she stabs a red-hot branding iron staight into his eye, she even got to say the "an eye for an eye" line.
  • In Christopher Fowler's Rune, Mrs. Nahree presses a soldering iron into her eyes, trying to blind herself.
  • In Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series, Alaspinian miniature dragons spit a potent and highly corrosive neurotoxin as their primary weapon, and their preferred target is the eyes. This is every bit as horrifying and painful as it sounds, and, courtesy of Pip, we get treated to its effects many, many times throughout the novels. Although her empathic ability allows her to discriminate fairly effectively between good and bad people, it's still a nasty way to die, and those who don't are permanently scarred. The threat of death by minidrag venom also makes a very handy interrogation technique.
  • Coraline. Buttons. That is all. This is a children's book.
    • One by Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman, as in, "gave us The Corinthian" Neil Gaiman.
  • J.F. Gonzalez's Survivor opens with a bondage-themed lesbian tryst between a 1950s housewife and a cheerleader. Once the cheerleader's naked and tied up, the housewife sucks her eye out with her mouth and eats it.
  • At the end of Robert Graves' historical novel Belisarius, the titular character has his eyes burned out by Emperor Justinian. This is actually a later legend and didn't happen to the historical Belisarius.
  • In Barbara Hambly's novel The Ladies of Mandrigyn, there is an Eldritch Abomination that burrows into the brain of its victim by way of the eye, then transforms said victim into a mindless, ravening ghoul. The hero survives the attack of this entity by gouging out his own eyeball.
  • In Thomas Harris's novel Red Dragon and both its film adaptations, the titular Serial Killer puts mirror shards in the eyes of his victims. Luckily, this is after he kills them.
  • In Frank Herbert's Dune Messiah, Paul Atreides' eyes are burned out of his face by looking directly at the explosion of a stone-burner nuke. It's stated that this is a common use for the stone-burner.
    • And "looking" is not mandatory. Just being in the vicinity of a stone-burner explosion will melt your eyes out.
    • Much later, in Heretics of Dune... a minor character's death immediately preceding a major character's capture is described in five words: "Tormsa's eyes exploded in blood." We get a repeat of this scene when said major character reflects upon this last thing he saw before being rendered unconscious. The weapon used is not further described.
  • In Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, one of the antagonists is threatened with the loss of an eye early in the book. Years later, the son of the man who made the threat carries it out.
  • Caine Black Knife gives us the Black Knife Kiss, a.k.a. 'how a vicious yet primitive tribe of ogrilloi neutralizes any spellcasters they capture before they can torture them', a.k.a. 'thanks a fucking lot Matt Stover; I didn't need to read that'.
    • The sanitized version is: An ogrilloi (orc) bites down and sucks the eye out of the spellcaster's head. And there is one ogrilloi per eye.
  • Stephen King is very fond of this trope.
    • In IT, Patrick Hocksetter has the fluid in one of his eyes (along with most of his blood) sucked out by winged leeches.
    • In Under the Dome, a teenage boy attempts to shoot a bullet through the Dome to pop it. The bullet ricochets back and destroys his eye, entering his brain and blinding him in the other eye.
    • In Cycle of the Werewolf, the boy who survived an attack in July recognizes the werewolf in human shape because he'd shot out one of the werewolf's eyes during the attack, an injury which carried over to the werewolf's human form.
    • In The Dark Half during the main character's childhood his foetal twin begins to regrow in his brain including an eyeball and several teeth. A surgeon lances the eyeball and extracts it. Cut to the future where the main character is an author writing crime fiction about a character who — you guessed it — lances someone's eyeball with a paperclip.
    • In "In the Deathroom", a guard's eye is attacked with a cigarette, and a scientist has both his eyes blown out of his skull when he is electrocuted by his own torture device.
    • In Dreamcatcher: a telepathic alien murders a truck driver by taking control of his body and forcing him to drive a pencil through his eye and into his brain.
    • The Green Mile goes into great detail about how Delacroix's eyes ooze out of his sockets after his botched electrocution.
    • In the short story The Jaunt, a boy who stays awake during a teleport claws his own eyes out with madness upon his arrival.
    • In "The Raft", a man is squeezed through a one-inch space by an acidic monster, crushing his eyes and shoving gouts of blood through the sockets.
    • The Stand features a scene where an arrested criminal tries to avenge himself by grinding out a protagonist's eyes with his thumbs. This protagonist, Nick Andros, effectively loses one of his eyes to this: the cornea is so scratched that the world resembles a colorful blur through it.
      • It's a very cringe-worthy scene, since Nick is a deaf mute.
    • The Dark Tower includes a threat of this in The Drawing of the Three, when Roland, who is possessing the body of the man who killed Jake and crippled Odetta, threatens to gouge said killer's eye out with his thumb to keep him quiet, even to the extent of pressing against his eye.
    • The Waste Lands features an old woman, who was blinded with a branding-iron by bandits.
    • In the short story "Sneakers", the ghost haunting the men's room is the spirit of a drug dealer who was killed by one of his customers "making a pencil disappear."
    • The Academy Head in Cell is killed when Harvard telekentically forces him to stab a fountain pen through his right eye and into his brain. Stephen King seems disturbingly fond of psychic bad guys forcing people to take out their own visual organs.
    • In Firestarter a man goes insane from the Psycho Serum given to him, and claws out his own eyes.
    • In Cujo, in which the death blow comes to the titular canine by way of the broken handle of a baseball bat through the eye socket. King does a careful job of detailing the "grotesque" wiggling of the bat handle and the running eye jelly.
    • In Rose Madder, a fleeing character trips and smacks into the back of a door. Which has a coat hook on it. Ouch.
    • There's also a scene in the original The Running Man where a guy gets his eyes poked out and drained. Eww.
  • Dean Koontz examples:
    • Dark Rivers of the Heart: One of the serial killers in the book fantasizes about removing the eyes of another character.
    • Dragon Tears: The villain's mother gouged out her own eyes when he was born. After he grew up to be a Serial Killer, he collected his victims' eyes in jars.
    • False Memory: The villain, who among other things is a Serial Killer, keeps his father's eyes in a jar.
    • From the Corner of His Eye: one of the main characters had a form of cancer as a child that meant that his eyes had to be surgically removed.
    • In the title novella from the collection Strange Highways, the Serial Killer's first victim has had her eyes gouged out and (you may have guessed this) put in a jar.
    • Watchers: the Outsider not only gouges out the eyes of victims but removes the eyes from all pictures, e.g. magazine illustrations.
  • Robert R. McCammon's Pin. The title says it all.
  • A. Merritt's novel The Ship Of Ishtar has a fight scene in which John Kenton does this to one of his opponents, remembering something he saw in another unequal fight on a World War One battlefield.
  • In Tim Powers's Last Call:
    • One of Scott Crane's eyes was destroyed by being hit edge-on with a playing card when he was a child. As an adult, he has to worry about infection.
    • Scott Crane locates two people who once used their Psychic Powers for the Big Bad. The one who read Tarot cards had put out his own eyes.
  • In Tim Powers' The Stress of Her Regard:
    • Josephine puts one of her own eyes out when she catches up with Crawford. When they meet again in Rome, it turns out that she uses her glass eye to ensure that she always has a supply of garlic to ward off nephilim.
    • The Graiae have only one eye between them, which they pass back and forth.
  • Played for laughs in Discworld with Quoth, a talking raven (the man who named him thought he was being clever) and Blind Io. The former acts as a mount for the Death of Rats, and mentions he's in it "for the eyeballs". The latter is the local equivalent of Odin, Zeus, and any other convenient thunder god, who has no eyes in his head, but hundreds floating around his body. He used to employ ravens as his heralds (like Odin), until he got tired of them pecking at his floating eyes.
    • Also, in more of a Fridge Logic sort of way — if Jonathan Teatime's glass eye really is a scrying crystal of some sort... how did he get it? It's not exactly a standard accessory for victims of unfortunate but natural accidents. This has led many fans to believe that he purposely gouged out that eye himself to put the thing in. Possibly at a very young age. Not too bad compared to other examples here, but think about Teatime. It's entirely possible that that's how his judgement goes, even if it would do interesting things for one's depth perception. And, y'know, possibly sanity.
      • And the fact that Teatime was willing to put notoriously unreliable discworld magic INTO HIS OWN HEAD.
    • At the end of Unseen Academicals Pepe attacks Andy. Serious eye injury is heavily implied.
    • Narrowly averted in Night Watch, in which Vimes suffers a facial injury that forces him to wear an eye patch for the duration of his sojourn in the past. Luckily his vision isn't permanently impaired.
  • In the Mass Effect Expanded Universe novel, Ascension, a quarian is tortured brutally. In addition to various cuts and bruises, the torturer cut his eyelids off, so he couldn't blink, dehydrating the eye to a prune. Now that's sadism.
  • In War of the Spider Queen Gromph Baenre took out the eyes of captive drow and transplanted to replace his own damaged eyes when he had no access to adequate magical healing. And then compelled rat to eat out his own eyes. Both without any anesthesia.
  • As stated above, Battle Royale has a rather large description of Chigusa clawing out one of Niida's eyes, with her middle finger and thumb (deciding that this had more strength than her pointer and thumb). This was followed by testicular crushing. But that's another trope.
  • In The Wheel of Time, an Aiel chief scratches out his own eyes after a series of visions revealing that the Aiel were originally pacifists.
    • In Towers of Midnight, let's see: a Darkfriend puts his own eyes out with a quill, a would-be assassin gets a knife in each eye, and Mat gets his left eye torn out by the Eelfinn.
  • In Clark Ashton Smith's short story "The Island of the Torturers", the hero sees the corpses of other victims of the torturers, with their eyelids cut out.
  • Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn books feature the Steel Inquisitors, a religious sect of super-powered enforcers. The most visible feature of a Steel Inquisitor is the steel spikes. Two of them, big, thick ones, pounded into each eye so far that the points come out the back of the Inquisitor's skull. The real scary part is that despite their eyes obviously having been destroyed by having really big pieces of metal driven into them, they see better than most Allomancers, who can already get super-acute vision through their powers. In the 2nd book, Vin stabs out a man's eye with her finger.
  • Keeps happening to demon victims, most notably Kernel Fleck, in Darren Shan's The Demonata series.
  • In Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, pre-Bane Dessel gets into a fight with another miner. The Eye Scream is averted: the miner makes several attempts to gouge out Dessel's eye, but instead gets his thumb bitten off.
  • Darth Bane: Rule of Two. Darth Zannah uses Sith sorcery on one of her kidnappers halfway through the book. The kidnapper goes insane and, among other things, claws her own eyes out before falling into a comatose state.
  • Painwise. Self-inflicted.
    He pushed his thumb and forefinger between his lids and twisted until the eyeball hung wetly on his cheek.
  • Matthew Reilly novels:
    • Ice Station: Shane Schofield had his eyes cut open with a razor blade for being caught flying recon. He had his eyes repaired, but still has the scars and a new callsign "Scarecrow".
      • Fox used the arrow sticking out of her helmet to stab the eye of the French soldier who shot her with it. Described in infra-red.
    • From Five Greatest Warriors: Pooh Bear has his left eyeball (along with his face) cut in half during a fight with his older brother. No word yet on whether he'll get an Eyepatch of Power.
    • In Seven Deadly Wonders Judah got his eye torn out by Horus (the falcon). Optic nerve included. He deserved it, but still, ouch.
    • Among the many unpleasant ways to die in "Scarecrow Returns", the relevant ones involve acid spray/grenade to the face, melting down to the bone including the eyes, and (spoilered for people who want to sleep tonight) rats. Goddamn RATS locked in a box along with the victim's head, that eat through the eyes, into the brain.
  • In Hardboiled Wonderland the narrator is not allowed into The Town until the gatekeeper is allowed to push a knife into each of his eyes for no apparent reason. The action doesn't harm him, instead the creepy factor comes from his agreeing without hesitation.
  • Chun the Unavoidable from Jack Vance's Dying Earth stories and his cape made out of eyeballs.
  • The Graycaps in Jeff VanderMeer's Ambergris stories make a habit of plucking out the eyes of their enemies. In the case of their first known victim, the founder of the titular city, they carefully preserved his eyeballs and left them to be found decades later along with his chronicler's journal. It's implied that they might use human eyeballs to grow some beneficial fungus on them.
  • In the additional Bourne books by Eric Van Lustbader, there seems to be an unusual fixation on the ruination of eyes (and BLT sandwiches, which is, thank God, separate). In The Bourne Legacy, one of the characters burns out someone's eye with a match, and Bourne jabs out the eye of an agent that has come to kill him, with his thumb. In The Bourne Betrayal, one of the characters Martin Lindros, the Deputy Director of the CIA, is kidnapped and tortured, and his eye is removed in a pretty atrocious display of pseudoscience because it still works on retinal scans even after being implanted into someone else. Finally, when he is freed, he finds the doctor who removed his eye and jams his thumbs into the eyes of the doctor, which is described in great detail as his eyes BURST, and then driving his thumbs so deep into the eye sockets that he actually kills the doctor.
  • Warrior Cats: Both Brokenstar and Longtail had their eyes clawed, blinding them permanently and, worst of all, Brightheart had her right eye ripped out.
    • Also Percy in SkyClan's Destiny when his eye gets ripped out?
  • Honor Harrington loses an eye in Honor of the Queen when defending the Protector from goons sent by The Mole, to later be replaced by a prosthetic. Which was then damaged beyond repair a few books later by State Sec. She got better.
  • In Roger Zelazny's The Chronicles of Amber, King Eric has Corwin's eyes burned out as a punishment for opposing him, and to prevent him from escaping. They grow back.
  • In the Jin Yong wuxia novel Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, a selfish, spoiled Yandere becomes blind after being poisoned, but the Butt Monkey harboring an unrequited romance for her donates his eyes to her. Eventually, she decides to give them back...by plucking them out and throwing them at him.
  • In the first Keys to the Kingdom book, the Old One's eyes are destroyed and regrown once every day by a pair of clockwork monsters as part of a punishment inflicted on him by The Architect.
  • In the final scene of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, Fackelmann's eyes are sewn open after he has been given an anti-narcotic, so he will be able to feel and see his gruesome demise.
  • In one of his many books, Mark "Chopper" Read claims to have knocked out an opponent's eye, put it in a glass of beer and ... well, you can guess the rest.
  • In George R. R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire, there's a wildling tribe in the Mountains of the Moon called the Burned Men, who ritually maim themselves upon achieving adulthood. Understandably this unnerves most of the other tribes. It's considered normal to cut off a finger, and rather crazy to cut off an ear. One of the members of this tribe, Timmett, Son of Timmett, ends up serving as one of Tyrion's retinue. He chose to put out his own eye with a hot poker. His own tribe thinks he's nucking futs.
    • So nuts that they make him a chieftain of sorts right then and there, in honor of his sheer crazy.
  • In Jonathan Coe's The House of Sleep, the main antagonist has a bizarre and sinister fetish for resting his fingers on his partner's eyelids and applying steadily increasing pressure.
  • Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles: In The Queen of the Damned Maharet tells of how Akasha commanded that her eyes be cut out and her twin sister's tongue be cut out before sealing them into coffins that she abandoned to drift in the ocean. Later, Maharet learned that she could see by stealing the eyes of her victims and sewing them into her eye sockets...
  • The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski contains the very graphic and detailed scene in which drunken farmer blinds his farmhand. With a spoon.
  • In Mount Dragon, a scientist suddenly stabs himself in the eye with a fork — the first sign of artificially-induced insanity, which the other scientists at Mount Dragon soon start showing symptoms of.
  • In Michael Strogoff: The Courier of the Czar by Jules Verne the titular character gets a heat treatment to destroy his eyes by the enemies of the czar. It turns out the treatment was a failure, because the hero cried like a little boy.
    • "Heat treatment" doesn't do the passage justice. What the Tartars do is they jab a cavalry saber in a fire pit until it's white hot, then put it right next to his eyes to burn them. And it doesn't work because Michael's tears instantly boil, thus forming a sort of insulating gas barrier. Yeah, either way, it's gotta be pleasant, innit?
  • The Redwall book The Long Patrol: Damug Warfang stabs and hacks away at Cregga's face as she kills him, damaging her eyes so badly she's left blind.
  • In The Candy Shop War, the heroes are stalked by a floating eye-like thing. So Lawful Neutral John Dart tells them to shoot at it. They realize afterward, from the splatter of blood and the horrible shriek, that they shot out the Big Bad's actual eye. This causes some dissonance later when the Big Bad is rendered harmless as an amnesiac little girl. She's a cute little lass with a cute little eye patch.
  • A major theme in the Stuart MacBride novel Blind Eye. Numerous victims are very messily blinded off-screen, along with one unsympathetic minor character on-screen (not described in much detail); however, the worst bit is the pathologist describing how the perpetrator would have gone about it.
    "I'd say the eyes were gouged out of the head with a small hooked knife, cutting the muscles. Then the assailant takes the eye in the palm of his hand like this with the optic nerve between the middle two fingers, and yanks like he's trying to start a chainsaw."
  • The Stone Dance of the Chameleon takes place in a world where blinding people is a routine operation. Conjoined Twins have one of the siblings blinded at birth, people of the Kharon caste have one eye plucked out at birth, and common people who see a Master unmasked face blinding - in those cases that they aren't killed outright.
  • In Alan Dean Foster's Star Wars novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye, a mook gets a rolled up recording shoved in his eye.
  • In an early installment of The Destroyer, this is how Remo disposes of one of the villains - by putting a chess piece through his eye.
  • From The Iliad, book sixteen, describing the death of Kebriones, Hektor's charioter: "The sharp stone hit him in the forehead and smashed both brows in on each other, nor could the bone hold the rock, but the eyes fell out into the dust before him there at his feet, so that he valted to the earth like a diver from the carefully wrought chariot, and the life left his bones."
  • From Gaunt's Ghosts, Ghostmaker. While on a completely frozen world, with temperatures well below zero, a trooper puts his eye up to the glass of a scope. It froze in place and the other Ghosts had to pull the gun away from his face. Okay, ouch.
    • At the end of "Only In Death," it is discovered that the Blood Pact's torture of Gaunt included burning out his eyes with a heated iron. The short story "The Iron Star" takes its title from the incident.
  • Before Beyond the Western Sea begins, Mr. Grout has a stake driven into his eye during a prizefight.
  • Averted in The Valley of Fear, in which a blindfolded man who is undergoing a corrupt secret society's initiation-rite feels hard points set against both his eyes, and is ordered to walk forward. The points are withdrawn as soon as he begins to take a step, as it's a ritual test of courage rather than an assault.
  • Invoked in the Psych tie-in novel Mind Over Magic (the "she" in question is a performer whose biggest trick is sticking knives in her eyes):
    Gus: "She didn't even blink."
    Shawn: "Exactly. You mention something about eyeball injury, and that's exactly what people do. They blink. It's like a guy crossing his legs when you mention the concept of castration."
  • Bless Me, Ultima has Ultima's Owl Avatar/familiar pluck Tenorio's eye out with his talons. The books then describes it landing in the dust, and a bloody, red, pulp. Despite the cruel punishment Tenorio deserves it.
  • In the Paladin of Shadows series, Katya talks about gouging out several "bad guy" eyes and injecting the poison weapon she's given in Choosers of the Slain into them, but doesn't actually get to do it until near the end of A Deeper Blue, to the drug smuggler who was working with Islamic terrorists to sneak VX into the US.
  • Subverted in The Legacy, one of the later sequels to the The Icewind Dale Trilogy penned by R.A. Salvatore. Drizzt's friend Bruenor is suffering from Unstoppable Rage when he attacks a pair of the dark elves that kidnapped Drizzt and he thinks killed Wulfgar. When the dark elves fight back, one of them slashes Bruenor across the face and gouges out his eye. It doesn't even faze the grieving dwarf, who proceeds to brutally pay the drow back in spades for what they did to his friends.
  • Prior, from The Regeneration Trilogy, has a breakdown after his trench gets hit by a shell, and he picks up one of his men's disembodied eyeballs while cleaning up the debris.
  • Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn, where the Inquisition remove Urisel Glaw's eyelids as part of the Ninth Action Torture. As a Slaaneshi cultist, he seems to enjoy it.
  • In the Magic: The Gathering novel Rath and Storm, the treacherous and self-serving Starke joins the Weatherlight crew to attack Volrath's fortress and rescue the captive Sisay, on the condition that they free his daughter Takara as well. Near the end of the adventure disaster, they find Sisay and Takara wandering around and Starke rushes over to embrace his daughter. However, both women are under a strong mind-control spell and Takara (who is actually the shapeshifter Volrath in disguise) slashes out both of Starke's eyes with her sword.
  • Belisarius Series: Emperor Justinian has his eyes put out during the Nikas Revolt, thus removing him from eligibility for the throne, under Roman law. In retribution, his wife later has the eyes of one of the conspirators put out, after which she urinates in his now empty eye sockets, as she promised she'd do just after Justinian's eyes were put out.
    • Calopodius later on lost his eyes in a mortar attack.
  • The Lotus Eaters: In the course of escaping the men sent to capture Carrera, his wife tricks one of them into position to use a letter opener to kill him, stabbing the intruder through the eye.
  • Denis Johnson's Vietnam War novel Tree of Smoke features a scene in which a soldier tortures a captured Viet Cong by popping out his eyeballs with a spoon (while leaving the optic nerves attached), and then re-inserting the eyeballs into their sockets in reverse, so that the victim can "take a look at himself."
  • A heroic example happens in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Neville, unable to use spells since his nose has been broken and therefore can't pronounce them properly, resorts to sticking his wand in a Death Eater's eye.
    • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry eventually has to fight a basilisk. Luckily Fawkes the phoenix blinds the snake before Harry has to worry about the basilisk's deadly gaze. And earlier in the same book, Harry asks Ron how a book could possibly be dangerous. One of the examples Ron brings up as a response is a book the Ministry of Magic confiscated: It burns its reader's eyes.
  • Menshikov from The Kane Chronicles had his eyes burned when he tried and failed to awaken Ra.
  • In Martin Caidin's Cyborg novels, Col. Steve Austin's bionic eye had to be physically removed in order to obtain the microfilm stored inside (in the original novels, it was a camera; it didn't provide super-vision). In the first book, during a mission in which Austin's survival is uncertain, he gives a female agent rather squicky instructions on how to remove the eye without having access to the bionics lab. For some reason, this aspect of Austin's bionics was skipped when The Six Million Dollar Man came along.
  • In The Pale King, Revenue Agent Fechner lost an eye in a war. He has a Glass Eye, but he apparently likes to use his empty eye socket as a bottle opener.
  • In The Talisman of Power, Ido loses an eye to Deinoforo. Unlike other examples, he needs to train for several months in order to learn to fight properly with only one eye left.
  • Used with tons of Fridge Logic in the Italian fantasy novel Heroes of the Twilight (think of a more grammatically correct The Eye of Argon in Italian): one of the good guys take out a giant ogre by wounding his eye. Later, as he's about to be discovered and killed by some demons he stabs again deeper his blade in the Ogre's eye, causing him to awaken in a berserk rage (rather than, you know, die because of the pierced brains).
  • Huor in The Silmarillion is killed by a poisoned arrow to the eye. Also, Gwindor's brother Gelmir is blinded by his captors.
  • In a Gil the ARM story by Larry Niven, the hero tries to prevent a gang of organleggers from stealing his corneas by burning one eye with a cigarette so it'll be useless to them. He figures that the eye doesn't have pain receptors, but forgets that the eyelids do. Later on he gets a transplant, presumably from a legitimate donor.
  • Robert Reed's short story, "Mere", has the protagonist carve out their own artificial eyes with a knife. Earlier, their original eyes were cut out for the artificial ones.
  • The Destroyer does this in spades, from poking a French soldier's corneas out in to having the elderly master of Sinanju slap a man in the face so hard that his eyes explode in detail, among many others too graphic to talk about.
  • In the Song of Albion book The Silver Hand, Tegid has his eyes slashed out after saying that he'll never see Meldron as king.
    "So be it."
  • In Kevin G. Bufton's short story "Sentinels" the call-girl Sarah has her eyes gouged out by Michael (with his thumbs no less!).
  • For raising the stolen Orb of Aldur in anger in desperation to save his people, Torak lost his left eye and a bit more of the left half of his face to the otherworldly flame of the Orb. And since he is a God, the wounds never heal, the flame that replaces his eye always burns, and Torak still suffers…and this is over 5,000 years before the beginning of the story proper.
  • The Machine Gunners: the dead rear-gunner in the downed Heinkel bomber took a bullet in the eye. When Chas finds the corpse, the socket's full of blood and flies.
  • My Name Is Red: Famed Islamic miniaturists would rather blind themselves than paint in the European style at the behest of their masters. Master Osman does the same on-page, for much the same reasons, and we get a description of how the vision of his pierced eyes dims slowly.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontė: Mr. Rochester loses one eye and the second one is wounded in a fire caused by the Madwoman in the Attic. He gets blind, but later his eye starts to heal.
  • From the Agent Pendergast series:
    • During the climax of Cemetery Dance, the novel's Big Bad Alexander Esteban winds up getting his eye ripped out. However it's still stuck to the root, causing it to hang from his face and bounce off him a couple times.
    • In the end of Corrie's subplot in Two Graves she discovers that Foote was the one who framed her father for robbery, but gets taken hostage by him. Despite being shot, Corrie's father takes one look at his daughter in danger and snaps, leading him to take advantage of an opening and eventually gouge Foote's eye out with a penknife, with a pretty graphic description of everything that oozes out.
  • The GONE series has a boy who claws out his own eyes (and veins) in FEAR. And then there's whatever is left of Cigar's eyes after Lana tries to regrow them.
  • In Louisa May Alcott's Jack and Jill, Jill tells Jack about a guy who threw his fork at his brother's face during a fight and accidentally tore said bro's eye out. The brother ultimately forgave him.
    • Similarly, in Eight Cousins Mackenzie aka Mac subjects himself to this via carelessly reading for long hours in the sun among other things, which heavily damages his eyesight. Rose has to help him go through his treatment.
  • Adventure Hunters: Part of the torture Marcus inflicts on Golon to force Regina into helping him with the golems is taping the victim's eye with a chisel as the first step in gouging it out if his second victim does not cooperate.
  • In some versions of "Tam Lin", after Janet rescues Tam Lin the Faerie Queen says that if she'd known what he was doing, she would have plucked out his eyes and put wooden ones in their place.
  • In the last Maximum Ride book, Angel (and the readers) are shown a video of an attempt at improving night vision years ago. The test subject is Iggy. In case you were wondering, he was awake the entire time. And then the scientists do it on Angel.
  • In Edmondo D'amici's Heart, main character Enrico and his classmates begin a snowball fight. Unfortunately, one of them (Garoffi) throws a 'ball carelessly and hits an old man in the eye, crashing his glasses as well and causing him a serious injury. This also marks Garoffi's Character Development: he is emotionally broken due to his careless actions and works hard to earn his inner peace, despite having been forgiven by the old man and his family.
  • In Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian, Percy stabs the Lydian Drakon in the eye with Riptide. Gory, no?
  • In Glory in the Thunder, the God of Sight Rashk can permanently blind people at will. But he never does this, because he considers it the worst thing you can do to someone.
  • In The Fire Ascending. When Hilde orders a raven to peck an eye from a dead man's socket so as to bring vengeance to his murderer. And again, only pages later, the same bird shows up with BOTH eyes gouged out as a warning from Voss. What a charming guy, right?
  • A crow in David Sedaris' collection chats up a ewe and pecks out her lamb's eyes while the mother isn't looking.
  • In Mollie Hunter's A Stranger Came Ashore, this is how Yarl and Robbie defeat Finn Larson aka The Great Selkie.
  • Damien very nearly loses an eye in Spider Circus, while paralysed and conscious.
  • In The Stormlight Archive, if a Shardblade passes through a vital part of your body, your eyes shrivel up as if burned and you instantly die.
  • Amyrst in Phenomena is this as a character! To shorten the story look at the book part sketch here. Worse still Phenomena is a book series rated 9+...
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