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Blind Seer
Vision doesn't always rely on sight.

There are some who believe him to be blind; while others, perhaps with more reason, claim that he has travelled far beyond blindness, that indeed, he can do nothing but see: that he sees the fine traceries the galaxies make as they spiral through the void, that he watches the intricate patterns living things make on their journey through time.
Destiny of the Endless, The Sandman

The Blind Seer is an old archetype. They are blind, and yet they can see more than we can. This seems to be a recurring theme in mythology; Justice is blind, Odin plucked out an eye to gain knowledge, and the Graeae had only had one eye between three of them. Time and time again, the sacrifice of sight is shown to result in greater cosmic knowledge.

This trope is the reason that being born with a caul (common with the Magical Seventh Son) is taken as a sign that a child will have seer-like powers.

A special case of Disability Superpower, often demonstrated with Prophet Eyes. Blindfolds are another favorite.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Princess Hinoto from X/1999 is blind, deaf and crippled as a result of her enormous seeing powers.
  • Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin is so awesomely badass, he can see after being blinded for a while.
    • Kenshin pretty much beat the living hell out of anyone whom he fought while blind, making him actually seem much more effective than he was with his eyesight.
    • Also, Usui the Blind Swordsman, a member of Shishio's Juppongatana was able to use his "Eye of Heart" to continue fighting despite his blindness. However, the secret behind his seemingly superhuman powers is actually that as a result of losing his sight, his other senses were heightened dramatically (And with him being a swordsman, they were probably pretty sharp to begin with). Hearing it from him, the trick with "Eye of Heart" is that his sense of hearing is hyper-developed, allowing him to hear motion and even blood flow.
  • Mel, from the fourth and fifth episodes of Genocyber tries to obtain money through fortune telling with her psychic powers.
  • Shaka of Virgo from the Anime/Manga Saint Seiya augmented his power by closing his eyes and so increasing his other 6 senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing, intuition (or mind) and cosmos (that's the important one)... also to be somewhat prophetic. Or at least that's the explanation that's given to why he's always with his eyes closed... except that this defeats the sense of the affirmation that when he opens his eyes he becomes as powerful as God or somesuch...
    • Regarding Shaka: while he keeps his eyes closed, he's actually meditating. Any thought he gives to his enemy, any action he takes, is just some minor annoyance that doesn't distract him from his trance. Once he opens his eyes, it means he is devoting his entire attention on you. And you do NOT want a Buddha-like mystic giving you his undivided attention when he wants to kill you.
      • Actually, it's both. He negates his sight, so he can increase the rest of his senses, but also meditates, to save all that extra power. Not only when he opens his eyes he is completely focused in you, he is releasing all that cosmo he was keeping.
    • Ikki of Phoenix uses this as well... to an extreme. In order to defeat Shaka after being killed by the Gods-Knows-What-Number-th time by the Gold Saint (and suffering Mind Rape twice from Shaka's part), he lets Shaka disable each of his senses in order to augment his cosmos to the infinite and becoming superior to God. Or something close. Now that I think about it, the whole Saint Seiya manga/anime is pretty much about the Bronze saints measuring theirs on the table against everyone they face.
      • Shiryu lampshades this trope after he loses his sight (the first time, I think).
  • Shuu from Fist of the North Star, who slashed out his own eyes to spare a young Kenshiro from death. He's one of the most powerful fighters in the series and also one of the nicest guys Ken meets, which is saying something considering the nature of Ken's Crapsack World.
  • Galatea from Claymore.
  • Bat from Ginga Densetsu Weed.
  • Though the scene is subject to interpretation, in one episode of Code Geass R2 Lelouch's blind sister Nunally determines someone to be lying by holding her hand while she speaks.
  • In Slayers, Rezo the Red Priest is one of these... but he's blind because part of Shabranigdo's soul is sealed within his eyes.
  • Yin from Darker Than Black was born blind, but is capable of "seeing" using any body of water as a medium.
  • In AKIRA, during the "Akira Kingdom" arch, there were a lot of guys with psychic powers. And the one in charge of keeping an eye over everything always had his eyes blindfolded.
    • Lady Miyako is also one. She's got immense Psychic Powers, but not only she's an old woman with a very feeble body but almost completely blind. She can take over someone else's body with her powers and see through their eyes, however.
  • Yoh's grandmother in Shaman King is said to be one. More exactly, she's an itako or blind shaman. (See below)
    • Subverted by Anna: she's also an itako, but she isn't blind. She is a very powerful psychic, though.
  • Princess Nepis Ilra in Anatolia Story. She's a royal priestess born without sight, but her brother Kail mentions at one point that she can also send Yuri back to Japan if he's not home in time, proving she at least is as powerful a sorceress as he is.
  • Tsubaki Kasugano aka the Sixth from Mirai Nikki claims to be one, or at least to have her eyesight badly damaged because of her position as the Miko for a local cult, which requires her to stay inside the darkened shrine. She's lying.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has Urza, an immensely powerful, immortal wizard, disguise himself as this, shown in the game as the Blind Seer card.
    • Magic has used this trope throughout its existence, from Cyclopean Mummy's flavor text all the way to the blindfolded Skyward Eye Prophets.

    Comics 
  • Probe, a psychic from the new Blue Beetle, literally has no eyes. She wears sunglasses when she's out and about.
  • X-Men villainess Destiny. In many cases, her prophecies came to pass because of people's reactions to her telling them, which is why the X-Men abandoned their search for her fabled diaries and destroyed the copies they had. She didn't come across as the manipulative type, but one could argue that she did this on purpose at least once, such as getting Ms. Marvel out of the way by having Rogue permanently steal her powers and psyche.
    • And she has a counterpart on the team itself: Blindfold. (Her powers aren't quite the same as Destiny's, though... it's complicated.) When Blindfold removed her blindfold for the first time, it was revealed that she actually doesn't have eyes.
  • An issue of Warren Ellis' Dv8 featured a blind precog, Blind Lemon, though in true Ellis fashion, she went blind when her teacher raped her, not when she got her powers. To be fair, she wasn't strictly blind... she was just blind to the present; she saw the future with perfect clarity.
  • The quintessential Comic Book example would be Daredevil, who lost his sight in an accident related to radioactive substances, but gained a radar "vision" and heightened senses in exchange.
    • It's gone past poetic significance to the point where Daredevil can do practically everything a sighted person can do, including reading regular text by sensing the ink on the page, and has to fake his disability when living as his secret identity. Lampshaded in Alias when Jessica Jones makes a habit of waiting outside his apartment and not ringing the doorbell out of spite, because she knows he can sense her but doesn't want to break character.
  • From Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Destiny of the Endless. Everything which occurs is traced by his hand in The Book, which he occasionally allows others to read, yet Destiny himself has Milky White Eyes. Dream/Morpheus has even gone to the point of saying 'Destiny is blind' and later 'Destiny has gone beyond blindness'.
  • Sun-Toucher in ElfQuest is blind but his other senses (and it's implied, ESP) more than compensate. His daughter Leetah happens to be a healer, but he refuses to let her heal his sight...
  • Warlands has Zeph, an archer/mage who has a blindfold on at all times during his apprenticeship, to develop his powers.
  • In the alternate future of the Marvel universe, presented in Earth X, Bruce Banner and the Hulk are split into separate beings. Bruce reverts to a young boy who rides about on the ape-like Hulk's back. Bruce is blind but can see from the Hulk's eyes which presumeably allows him to see into the astral realms (seeing people in astral forms is one of the Hulk's little known powers).
  • Spider-Man's mentor figure Madame Web was one of these. When the Kraven family killed her, she passed her powers onto Julia Carpenter, a.k.a. Spider-Woman II, who became the new Madame Web complete with blindness.
  • Marvel's Batman Expy Shroud was blinded in a ritual at the culmination of his training, by having his eyes burned away with a branding iron in the shape of the goddess Kali. He gained a mystic perception of his surroundings, unhindered by darkness.
  • Madame Xanadu was blinded in Infinite Crisis. However, she was already a powerful psychic.
  • Cassandra from the Gatherers is blind but can see possible futures and predict which are most likely.
  • Happens to The Mighty Thor in the Finale of Thor Vol 2 during Ragnarok. In imitation of his father Odin (see below) he gives both eyes for drinking from the Well of Wisdom, and becomes even wiser than Odin. He's back to normal now.
  • Fox from Pretty Deadly was blinded by Death himself, but he is still a crack shot.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Three Kings: Hunt Serenity is blind but can tell the powers, history and abilities of a person by touching them.
  • A Silent Hill 4 continuation story has Henry captured by the town's cultists, who proceed to pluck his eyes out so he can become one of these.
  • The Cheerymon that watches over the Secret Gardens in the Tamers Forever Series
  • Travels Through Azeroth And Outland has one of these in the form of Velni, a Ralmanni Seeress. She doesn't see the future per se; rather she sees things that are likely to happen.
  • Averted in Under The Northern Lights. Reindeer Sight is dependent on their eyes working. Eira is slowly going blind, and hence losing her clairvoyant ability.
  • Return Of The Primarchs has Magnus the Red and his Thousand Sons become soul-bound, burning their eyes out, but enhancing their warp-senses to the point that they can effectively replace their eyesight.
  • Lord Potter's Own Will features KlytiŽ Dawnsla, who has strong Seer abilities but eyes so weak that direct sunlight made her go blind during childhood.

    Films — Animated 
  • Mama Odie from The Princess and the Frog.
    "Y'all want to be human, but ya blind to what ya need!"
  • Mrs. Potato Head in Toy Story 3 is missing an eye for most of the movie. However, all of her limbs are detachable, so she sees Andy's room if she covers her other eye (since that was where her missing eye was).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Matrix: Neo gains a mysterious "flaming truth vision" after being blinded, allowing him to see machines or computer programs via his connection to the "Source" (exactly what he's seeing, and what the Source is, in a physical and metaphysical sense, is rather obscure).
  • The old blind man in O Brother, Where Art Thou?? who, being that the story was loosly based on Homer's Odyssey, was basically Tiresias.
  • Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman slightly subverted in that the title character isn't actually blind; he just keeps his eyes closed so that the people he fights will not regard him as a threat, and to maintain a bit of challenge.
    • Actually, this is not entirely true; at one point he opens his eyes and claims to be sighted in order to throw off his opponent for a second. Moments later Zatoichi, walking slowly on the road, trips over a stone... revealing that he is blind after all.
  • Muir, the dwarf played by Bob Hoskins in Snow White & the Huntsman
  • In A Christmas Carol The Musical, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is represented in the real world by a blind elderly beggar woman, who warns him "None so blind as those who will not see".
  • In Cube 2: Hypercube, the blind character Sasha can sense the hypercube environment's threats coming long before any of the others. Subverted later on when it's revealed that she actually helped to design the cube, so she knows vaguely what kind of threats there are. She probably just acted as though it were supernatural feelings that caused her to "sense" it, instead of letting people know who she was and why she knows the dangers.

    Literature 
  • Dune: After Paul loses his sight in an assassination attempt he discovers that his ability to have visions and see into the future is so great that he can still see using "vision sight". He knew this would happen and chose it.
  • Parodied with Mother Dismass in Terry Pratchett's Discworld. She has been fortune telling for so long she has a "detached retina in her second sight", resulting in strange phenomena like her footsteps sounding a few minutes before she makes them, or responding to something you said several years ago. Discworld also has Miss Treason from Wintersmith, a blind and deaf witch who compensates by seeing and hearing through animals. Desiderata Hollow from Witches Abroad compensates for her blindness by training her second sight to see in the present.
    • There's also the leader of the gods, Blind Io, who has empty sockets but thousands of eyes which fly around and can supposedly see everywhere.
  • Every seer in David Eddings's Belgariad series is blind; they basically trade first sight for second. Those among the Dals who develop the ability to see the future simply wear blindfolds; others are physically blind. At one point Polgara "cures" a particularly irritating seeress by restoring her eyesight magically, destroying her foresight.
  • The Langoliers, both the film and the Stephen King short story, feature Dinah, who not only detects something horrible approaching, but uses Psychic Powers to divert a psychotic passenger into their path.
  • By the time he wrote Paradise Lost, John Milton had gone blind in Real Life. As the narrator of the epic, he occasionally suggests that he's taking on the role of the Blind Seer himself.
  • After Atara in Ea Cycle becomes blind she still finds out that she can use her second sight to see around him and remain a deadly archer... when her second sight feels like it. The rest of the time she's blind for real.
  • Firekeeper has a Talking Animal wolf called Blind Seer. The wolves thought he was blind because of his blue eyes, when he grew up they that realized he could see. Also, this might be a Meaningful Name in another way, as he is unusually curious and quite perceptive for a wolf.
  • Redwall is fond of this trope. Cregga Rose Eyes from The Long Patrol and Taggerung, as well as Simeon from Mariel of Redwall are both blind, yet can maneuver about the Abbey and know who's at their door. Possibly justified because they're animals, and therefore their senses of smell and hearing would possibly be better than a humans' anyway. Brian Jacques introduced these characters to pay homage to the students of a school for the blind that he used to visit when he would make deliveries to them during his days as a truck driver. He would tell stories to the children every time he'd come by their school, which eventually led to him becoming an author. For what it's worth, during a Q&A session he states that Simon and Cregga's almost supernatural abilities with their senses were lifted almost directly from things he observed the blind students accomplishing.
  • Iggy, from the Maximum Ride novels, lost his sight to evil scientists when he was young. This doesn't stop him from being able to hear acutely, tell members of his Flock apart by touch or footstep, fly, fight, cook, pick locks, and build various explosives. His blindness may also have contributed to his skill of sensing colors by touch.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: The Miraluka, like Jerec, Visas Marr and Q'Anilia, have no eyes, seeing instead through the Force (which gives them better vision than normal humans... usually). It tends to make some of them very good at predicting the future.
    • Kreia too. Although blind by choice.
  • Jayfeather from Warrior Cats. Blind from birth, also one of three cats who "hold the power of the stars in their paws". In Jayfeather's case, he's empathic and mildly telepathic, able to appear in other cats' dreams, a power previously the exclusive domain of StarClan (the spirits of their ancestors). Not to mention, being a cat, his senses of hearing and smell are powerful enough that he has little trouble moving about in the forest.
    • It's rumored that blind cats grow thicker, longer whiskers than other cats, which help them sense and avoid obstacles.
  • Subverted in The Seventh Tower: the Crones are described as having bizarrely colored eyes (at first bright blue, then turning to milky white as they age) such that they appear blind. But they don't seem to have any trouble seeing at all.
  • Played with a lot in Oedipus Rex. Tiresias is the blind soothsayer, while Oedipus is blind to the events around the horrible prophecy. Eventually when he finds out the truth (that he had indeed married his mother and killed his father,) he now sees the truth and in his agony sticks pins in his eyes, becoming blind.
  • From the Night World series: Aradia, blind since age one and the main source of the prophesies that drive the action of the final four books.
  • Blind Hari Krooguh in Robert Adams' Horseclans novels.
  • Tsinga the fortune-telling wolf from David Clement-Davies' The Sight.
  • Apollonius of Tyana from the novel The Circus of Doctor Lao.
  • In the picture book King Crow, the hero, King Cormac, utilizes this trope. In reality, he's relying on a crow which tells him things.
  • Toc the Younger from Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series, a one eyed youth who originally believes the legend that the loss of an eye or eyes can result in clairvoyance. He eventually starts to have visions in Gardens of the Moon, shortly before being lost in a warren.
  • There was this one fantasy novel where a mind-reading blind character could use his magic to read a book through the eyes of a sighted person...
  • In The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, a man born without eyes has spent his life as an armchair military strategist. When pulled into the magical land, he gains the power to see without eyes, and becomes the world's greatest general.
  • Used interestingly in Star Trek: Mere Anarchy, where it's suggested the alien Payav also have this trope; one of the characters attempts to evoke it. Sinister Minister Odra maVolan was originally blind, but has since made use of new technologies to restore his vision. However, he long used his blindness as a symbol for his purity and commitment, and so kept his recovery secret. He continues to act as though he's blind in public.
  • Invoked in Wise Blood. The preacher Asa Hawks deliberately blinds himself as a very public demonstration of his faith in God, or rather, he pretended to. He's a complete charlatan who's only faking his blindness. Later, Hazel Motes has an epiphany and proceeds to blind himself in the same manner for real.
  • In the Dragonlance novels, Crysania loses her eyesight after the torture she endured in Takhisis' realm and realizes that she was blinded by staring into the light, and now can only trying see after losing her sight. The blindness doesn't make her psychic, however, but as seen in later works, she does end up becoming the High Priestess of Paladine and therefore does have some powers of perception.
  • Munin in the second book of the Craw Trilogy, Fenrir, is this. She had her eyes eaten by ravens to help develop her powers and she knows the future of what is destined to happen to her because she is the incarnation of one of the three pieces of Odin.
  • In The Lost Years of Merlin and related series, Merlin loses his eyesight in a fire when he's young but develops "second sight," which here is defined as a sort of magical vision. It also means that he can occasionally see things that others cannot, like invisible writing.
  • Mlle Tarot the Dust Witch in Something Wicked This Way Comes has her eyes sewn shut, but all her other senses are hyperdeveloped.
  • Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire was this after she was temporarily blinded during her stay at Braavos.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lodz in Carnivŗle made a Deal with the Devil, telling Henry Scudder he'd "give anything to possess even a fraction of the power you possess". Scudder takes Lodz at his word, granting him clairvoyance and other psychic powers in exchange for his sight. Lodz does get back at Scudder, though, in the season one finale, where Management returns Lodz's sight for killing Ruthie so that Ben is forced to use his healing powers to resurrect her. Unfortunately, it doesn't last too long.
  • Angel had a blind martial artist sent to kill three blind children who were all "seers": obviously quite good ones, as one was playing with a Rubik's Cube.
  • Chiana from Farscape gains the ability to see into the future at the cost of longer and longer periods of blindness the more she uses it.
  • Done with Technology! Lt Cmdr Geordi LaForge from Star Trek: The Next Generation is blind (no pupils) but wears a VISOR that provides him with better than normal vision (infra-red vision anyone?).
    • By the time of the TNG movies, he switches out the VISOR for ocular implants. The implants look unusual compared to real eyes, and the idea of seeing him like this after seven seasons with his VISOR is a little jarring.
  • The fourth season of Supernatural features a seer (and dirty-minded biker chick) named Pam whose psychic abilities actually lead to her blindness: while conducting a seance for Sam and Dean, she accidentally gazes on the true form of Castiel, an angel, and the sight of it burns out her eyeballs. She appears in a later episode with milky white glass eyes, deliberately invoking this trope for fun and profit.
  • When Hercules: The Legendary Journeys first started and the series followed a revolving cast of supporting characters (ie, Herc'd bump into one of his buddies every week, and they'd hang. Also Zeus was more of a dirty old man and less of a "Scary muthafucka with a beard", one of his pals was a blind prophet.
  • Christopher Wey in The Dead Zone, a character from a post-apocalyptic future who woke up blind but possessing powers like Johnny.
  • Parodied in the MADtv character "The Blind Kung Fu Master." He only believes that his blindness is a Disability Superpower, which makes him even less able to function than an actual blind person.
  • Smallville featured one of these. At the end she looks into Lex Luthor's future, which kills her.
  • The Dochraid from Merlin.
  • Jenna from Pretty Little Liars was accidentally blinded by the Liars prior to the start of the series in a deadly prank, but despite her lack of sight remains one of the most insightful, genre-savvy and enigmatic characters in the series... it's no wonder she's one of the prime suspects for being A.
  • Once Upon a Time had a blind seer in the season 2 episode "Manhattan", who gave Rumplestiltskin his ability to see the future. Although she did have eyes on the palms of her hands.
  • The Lost World had a blind child living in a cave who predicted the future. Challenger finds out the kid is lying, since if they leave the caves, he won't be in charge anymore.
    Challenger: You'd just be a blind child in a world of light.

    Music 
  • The protagonist in the first Ayreon album, "The Final Experiment," is a blind minstrel who can see visions sent from the future.
  • Blind Guardian. Guardian is a type of seer, at any rate, and their songs deal with the same subject matter as the typical Blind Seer.
  • "Spider Web," Joan Osborne's dream of Ray Charles, gives a twist to the trope, because in her dream Ray can see just fine. "Then he took his glasses off, and I could look inside his head / Flashing like a thunderstorm, I saw a shining spider web." Then he takes her flying in the air and gives her some sage advice.

    Mythology 
  • Tiresias the blind prophet (pictured above) makes this Older Than Feudalism. How he got that way is an interesting story (in a nutshell, Zeus and Hera experimented on him to settle a bet; they made him live as a woman for several years, and then asked him his opinion on whether a man or a woman enjoyed sex more. Tiresias sided with Zeus (claiming that women did, actually), so Hera cursed him with blindness, but Zeus consoled him by giving him prophecy.)
    • According to an alternate telling, he stumbled upon Athena while she was bathing. Her immediate reaction was to blind him, but after realizing it was an accident she granted him foresight as an apology.
  • Justice wasn't actually blind, but she was constantly blindfolded.
  • Odin went halfway, trading one eye for a drink from the well of wisdom.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, most any PC can take the feat "Blind Fight" which, although not granting prophetic visions, allows for them to fight when blinded or without light just as well as if it where clear as day.
    • Many powerful monsters, especially those that dwell underground, have "blind fight" or "tremorsense," which allow them to effectively fight in the dark.
    • Tiresias, a pre-rolled PC in the BD&D Immortals level adventure IM3 The Best of Intentions. He was clearly based on the mythological Tiresias.
  • GURPS allows characters with the Blindness disadvantage to take improved hearing and taste/smell for half cost, as partial compensation. They also get reduced penalties to fighting blind, since they are blind all the time, and (naturally) darkness doesn't affect their skills. But the obvious downsides hold: they can never learn skills like Forgery, and a lot of other tasks are harder or just plain impossible for them.
  • Pathfinder has "Clouded Vision" as one of several potential oracle's curses. (And iconic character Alahazra has the Prophet Eyes to prove it.)
  • In Mordheim, the millenarian spin-off to Warhammer, the Augurs of the Sisterhood of Sigmar are blind female seers. Warhammer also has Kairos Fateweaver, the daemonic Oracle of Tzeentch. One of Kairos's heads sees into the past, the other sees into the future, but both are blind to the present.
    • The blind Priests of Vaul, smith god of the Elves, are something very similar. While their ritually administered blindness does not give them visions of the future, it does allow them to see the winds of magic and composition of metals with great clarity, such that they can forge powerful magic items in their forges.
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 Universe, the sanctioning process for human astrotelepaths (usually shortened to "Astropaths") renders most of them blind.
    • Most of them are not seers, they are more like a interstellar email system, with Daemonic incursions instead of Spam. Notably, the Imperium is probably the only place where Blind Seers are produced on industrial scale.
    • Also inflicted on other psykers, such as Soric in Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts series. Even before the Black Ships took him, Soric sometimes thought he saw better with his good eye closed.
      His eye was dead, and so he reckoned it saw things only the dead could see.
    • In Graham McNeill's Storm of Iron, the Chaos forces' sorcerer has his eyes sewn shut. This does not prevent him from staring into a fire to scry.
    • The one-eyed primarch Magnus the Red has prophetic dreams; in Graham McNeill's Horus Heresy novel False Gods, he remembers having them for as long as he can remember.
    • Also from the Warhammerverse is Kairos Fateweaver, a two-headed daemon who can see the past and future, but not the present.
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken gives us the Beshilu, who can (in their Rokhan form) acquire an ability called Prophet's Eyes. This causes them to grow so many tumors that their visual cortex gives up and commits suicide; however, they gain the ability to see the future in exchange. Oddly enough, they have to look into something (pools of blood, entrails, etc.) to see said future. The sourcebook explicitly notes that nobody's sure how they see what they're divining with.

    Video Games 
  • Ys Seven plays it straight with Mishera.
  • Fable: The Hero's sister loses her sight in the bandit attack, but her natural prophetic skill only gets stronger as a result.
    • In Fable the Journey Gabriel takes up this mantle in the finale.
  • Matoya from Final Fantasy I.
  • Illidan in the Warcraft series is blind, even after being transformed into a demon, and perpetually wears a blindfold.
    • Although the novels reveal that he lost his eyes due to a demon "gift" that essentially replaced his normal vision. Another character in the novels has replaced his normal eyes with magical ones that are even better, allowing him to see magic energy. He mostly wears the blindfold because the empty eyesockets filled with strange smoke is a rather unnerving sight. Not that it helped him after he grew demon wings...
      • Demon hunters in general tend to be blind, as part of the ritual that they use to bind a demon's essence to themselves involves stabbing their eyes out with an enchanted blade to seal the essence within their bodies. It doesn't hinder them much as they gain magical vision in return (which works like thermal imaging exept with magic instead of heat).
    • The orc Farseers such as Drek'thar are also blind, and able to make predictions.
  • A bit of a stretch, but it's worth noting that in Final Fantasy X, the same events that cost Auron his eye and his life revealed to him the true threat to the world that nobody else knew, save for a handful of collaborators. Through the whole course of the game, Auron is consistently the one character who's always aware of what's really going on.
    • By that logic, the same can be said of Guts, who lost an eye during the Eclipse, and is the only one to have seen firsthand what Griffith is capable of.
  • Onin from Jak 2. She's also apparently mute, and communicates through gestures interpreted by her wisecracking monkey-parrot companion Pecker.
  • In Nethack, the player can do this to himself through intrinsic sight and a blindfold (or by being blinded). It's useful for avoiding gaze attacks (eg, a medusa's petrifying stare).
    • One of the more difficult self-imposed challenges is to play as a blind samurai. Obtaining clarvoyance is one of the most important early steps.
  • In the Adventure Game Adaptation Expansion of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, a young Jewish man is being experimented on in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The doctors have removed his eyes, and attached his raw optic nerves to what are probably his original eyeballs with wires. He can't see the real world, but he can offer prophecy when he isn't in unending pain.
  • A side quest in Baldur's Gate II involved the Cult of the Unseeing Eye, who plucked out their "cursed orbs" in the belief that it would grant them divine favour. There appears to be something to it, given that they act as if they're not blind (Blindess is a Standard Status Effect that disables AI and makes targeting anything at a range greater than melee impossible; the unseeing eye cultists do not have this penalty. Oddly enough, they can be targeted by Blindness spells and gain the normal blindness penalties when under the effects. Better not think too long about that).
  • Leknaat from Suikoden.
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has Kreia. For most of the game, she is the only one who really knows what is going on. Then, since the game was rushed, the ending consists entirely of her looking into the future and telling you what's going to happen.
    • Although it's made clear that Kreia's blindness is voluntary; her eyes atrophied because she didn't use them to see anymore, instead relying on the Force and marathon meditations to percieve the galaxy.
    • Also it has Visas Marr who is a Miraluka: a race of beings who see through the Force.
    • It doesn't stop there; in The Force Unleashed, there's General Kota; as an ironic twist of the trope, he looses his powers in going blind.
  • Subverted with Nessiah of Yggdra Union. He's very much blind and is known as "The Prophet" in the Imperial Army, but he's not actually a seer—he's just very much aware of everything that's going on across the continent and is ridiculously good at Xanatos Speed Chess. It probably helps that he's Really 700 Years Old, so there's the whole been-there-done-that thing, too.
  • Mithras the blind seer from Sacrifice.
  • Partial example from Kingdom Hearts: Riku gains this ability sometime between Chain of Memories and KH2. His normal eyesight still works fine when he takes his blindfold off, but he seems to prefer using the darkness-sensing abilities he picked up in CoM.
  • Armed And Dangerous gives us Rexus, a smelly old man who although blind manages with his sixth sense.
  • Con Smith from killer7. Can aim a gun fine — his first-person mode is the same as everyone else's — despite being blind and wearing a bandana that completely covers his eyes. His heightened sense of hearing also gives him a Disability Superpower that comes in handy in a few levels.
  • Seers in the SSI strategy game Dark Legions (for the PC) have completely white eyes and are defined by the game as being blind in their description.
  • City of Heroes has an enemy group ALSO called "Seers". They supposedly can see, but they have face-plates over their eyes. In addition, their arms and feet are bound so they can't even MOVE without the assistance of a anti-gravity jetpack, taking this trope to something of an extreme.
  • Lee Sin, the Blind Monk in League of Legends is blind. He can fight just fine.
  • Geon the troglodyte warlock in Heroes of Might and Magic III. All troglodytes are blind, but Geon is able to 'see' magical energy and read the minds of his enemies. In game-mechanics terms, this gives his a bonus to his Eagle Eye skill, allowing him to learn new spells by studying his enemies in battle.
    • Heroes of Might and Magic V's background features order of Blind Brothers.
  • The obscure 3DO game Blade Force had a villainous version of this trope in Reverend Beeyotch.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, the titular scrolls allow a person to glimpse the past or a possible future, at the cost of temporary blindness. Each use of the scroll results in both a clearer vision and a longer period of blindness, until the final use strikes the reader completely blind.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied on Clone High. Magical Negro Toots tried to accomplish this, if not literally, then at least by understanding everyone's secret feelings. Yet despite his catchphrase of "Now I may be blind, but I can still see that..." he is arguably the most out-of-it character on the show, remaining completely unaware the entire Love Triangle scenario, and mostly just supplying the viewer with lots of hilarious blind jokes.
  • Fasir from the Aladdin: The Series. His blindfold is actually masking the fact that he is a cyclops. With sight presumably.
  • In an episode of Animaniacs, Yakko parodies the concept of Justice being blind, standing by a statue of her and saying, "Justice isn't blind... She's cross-eyed." (And then taking her blindfold off to prove it.)
  • Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender can sense the vibrations of the Earth, and is able to sense underground, behind walls and pretty much everything that a normal person can see. She can also tell whether someone is lying by sensing their heart rates. Incidentally, she is perhaps the greatest earthbender in the world of Avatar, having learned earthbending from its original source, the blind badgermoles that are able to move earth, and likewise earthbends in a style inspired by a different martial art than most earthbenders do, a martial art which was coincidentally invented by a blind woman, or so the folklore states.
  • In a notable episode of SpongeBob SquarePants Mrs.Puff is deemed incompetent and fired. She is replaced with a driving instructor that is determined to teach SpongeBob to drive via very Unorthodox methods. He first makes him crawl the course blindfolded, then walk the course blindfolded and drive the course blindfolded. When the moment of truth arrives he removes the blindfold and instructs SpongeBob to drive only to discover that in lieu of turning him into an expert driver he has turned blindness into a Disability Superpower for SpongeBob. He can drive perfectly while blindfolded but not at all otherwise. He's arguably worse at driving with sight now than he was when Mrs. Puff was his teacher.

    Real Life 
  • In a primitive society with low technology and scarce resources, it would be natural for the handicapped (who cannot fight or gather food) to earn their keep by mastering an arcane skill as say a healer, a craftsman or a bard. Some of those tales may reflect the memory of this.
  • Something like this, according to Slate, is why a disproportionate number of revered Muslim clerics are blind. Also, one of the original job requirements for muezzins (men who chant the adhan to call the faithful to prayer) was blindness. As their job required them to stand on top of minarets all day, a sighted man might be tempted to peek into people's yards.
  • Some fortune tellers pretend to be blind so that they can show their talent by "guessing" their customers' characteristics without seeing them.
  • An Itako is a type of Always Female Japanese shamans, said to be able to speak to the dead and exorcise spirits. All of them are blind women who subject themselves to Training from Hell before becoming this.


    Fate and Prophecy TropesThe Chosen One
Big FunArchetypal CharacterBlue-Collar Warlock
Blessed with SuckOlder Than FeudalismBlood Bath
Disability SuperpowerLiminal BeingFlying Dutchman
AstrologerSeersProphet Eyes
Blind MusicianDisability TropesBlind Weaponmaster
Disability SuperpowerMagic and PowersDiscard and Draw
Artificial LimbsDisability SuperpowerBlindfolded Vision
Blind ObedienceImageSource/Tabletop GamesCircus of Fear
Blessed with SuckPower at a PriceBribing Your Way to Victory

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