Oooh, Dream Weaver,
I believe you can get me through the night!
Oooh, Dream Weaver,
I believe we can reach the morning light!
— Gary Wright,"Dream Weaver"
Sometimes there's someone who can shape his dreams into whatever he wants - or shape your
dreams, for that matter. They can send you into Your Worst Nightmare
. They can trap you in a Dream Within a Dream
, or help you resolve something in a Vision Quest
. They can be villains or heroes, but dreams are their domain. They are a Dream Weaver.
Sometimes they can give prophetic dreams
. Sometimes a means of communication
. Those who bring their dreams into the physical world are either Masters Of Illusion
or Reality Warpers
, depending on whether they actually change things or just make it look like so.
Compare Dream Walker
, contrast Dream Stealer
Not to be confused with the web development application by Adobe Systems.
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Anime and Manga
- Paprika revolves around the rogue use of Dream Weaver powers.
- In Slayers: Perfect, when Lina travels to an island she's greeted in her dream and later contacted this way again by one of its magic-using inhabitants who has a request for her.
- CLAMP seems to have quite the Author Appeal for these charas. Here is a list:
- The Dream card from the anime of Cardcaptor Sakura.
- The dream seers of X/1999: Kakyou, Hinoto, Kanoe (only in the TV series, in the rest she's more of a Dream Walker), and Kotori
- Also, it's revealed that the deceased Hokuto Sumeragi possessed a similar hability, though at a much lower degree; it's hinted that she can only pull this when she's asleep (the others can do it when awake too), and she can enter others's dreams but her influence on them is quite limited. This allows her and Kakyou to meet and fall in love, despite never seeing each other in the real world. It ends in tears.
- Actually, Hokuto's twin brother Subaru already showed this skill in Tokyo Babylon. While his speciality was travelling to the subconscious of a cathatonic person like he did to "wake up" Kamui after Fuuma's Face-Heel Turn and Kotori's horrifying murder, in the original TB series he pulled a dream weaver stunt to aid Midori, a girl who had been traumatised due to being raped and later harrassed, thus she fell into a deep sleep to protect herself. And she was his Forgotten Childhood Friend.
- The main character from Yumegari, Tatsumi Hojyou. It's actually her family tradition, inherited from her dead parents: her work is to watch over the dreams of other people, and intervene if they're dangerous to the dreamers themselves. Once her mom and dad kick it, Tatsumi sets out to seek for her "destined person" and partner, a man named Kyousuke Kaga who also fits in this trope and lives in Tokyo...
- Several characters in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, most prominently Tomoyo.
- The dolls of Rozen Maiden are capable of entering people's dreams. Suiseiseki is particularly skilled at it, and plays a large part in helping Jun sort out his unconscious thoughts and emotions. Her artificial spirit is even called Sui Dream to reflect that.
- One of the few powers that the youkai Kagura properly retains in Ayakashi Koi Emaki is this. He uses it to go into the dreams of Miko, his Kid with the Leash.
- Dream/Morpheus from The Sandman, of course. The Norse gods even call him by this particular title.
- John Dee, aka Doctor Destiny, an enemy of the Justice League of America. The device that allowed him to manipulate dreams, the Materioptikon, was later shown to have been based on Dream's ruby. He was also the first major Arc Villain in The Sandman, serving as the Evil Counterpart to the title character.
- Nightmask from The New Universe and newuniversal. In the former, he's a psychotherapist who uses his power to assist people; in the latter, she's a Japanese-American girl who can now manipulate the "Superflow," the space everyone goes to while dreaming.
- Nightmare from Marvel Comics. Morpheus was even partially based on him, visually. The one being he fears above all others, even Doctor Strange, is Gulgol, a monster that never sleeps.
- Hack/Slash has an arc about a Creepy Child who kills people in his dreams.
- The movie Dreamscape, which involves a villain that can kill people with their own nightmares and the hero, who eventually does the same thing to the villain.
- The Golden Child. Sardo Numspa and his minions enter Chandler Jarrell's dream and Numspa controls it to give Jarrell a scary time, including burning his arm so he'll remember the experience.
- This is the daily trade of the Extractors in Inception. They create a custom dream for their target which hopefully gets them to spill some closely guarded secret. When the dreamer wakes up, the whole dream will fade, but the extractors remember everything they saw and learned.
- Particularly Ariadne, whose job was to build intricate mazes and settings into the dream in order to confuse Fischer's subconscious.
- Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street, who was inspired by the Gary Wright song "Dream Weaver."
- Twice Upon a Time revolves around a plot by the head of the Murkworks (the land of bad dreams) to trick two citizens from Frivoli (the land of pleasant dreams) to helping him bring about endless nightmares for the folks in the Land of Din (our world).
- In Hellraiser: Bloodline, demoness Angelique visits John Merchant's dreams as a mysterious dame to tempt him, going so far as to make out with him at one point.
Live Action TV
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Nightmares," a little kid in a coma can bring nightmares to life. In "Restless," the First Slayer manages to trap most of the Scoobies in their nightmares.
- Heroes featured Sanjog, a mysterious boy who could travel through Mohinder's dreams and gave him cryptic messages.
- Technically, the boy's power was that people in distress would astrally project themselves via their dreams to him and ask him for advice. What kind of a lame power is that?!
- Imagine if he was a therapist though. The ability to be on the scene and in a person's head when they're in distress? That power's not lame, it's just limited. That boy could easily grow up to be a one hell of a Manipulative Bastard by taking advantage of people with his power.
- Matt's father Maury (and, it is implied, Matt, if he learns to harness it) can induce waking dreams, hallucinations, whatever you want to call them, and Molly accordingly dubs him The Nightmare Man.
- Matt HAS harnasssed this power by Volume 4. He creates a hallucination of he and Daphne being killed to fool a random Mook, as well as trap Sylar in a dream and force him to believe he is Nathan Petrelli.
- An episode of the TV series version of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids had the daughter use her father's dream portal to enter a dream dimension and help her get over school anxieties that were manifesting as her nightmares. Morpheus gets pissy about mortals messing with dreams and attempts to trap the entire family in an endless nightmare. The daughter responds by dreaming up a giant magic alarm clock, taking it back into the real world, and waking up everyone on earth all at once, grievously wounding Morpheus and freeing her family.
- The Supernatural episode "Dream a Little Dream of Me" has a substance that allows one to do this.
- One warlock in Charmed kills people in their dreams, and Your Mind Makes It Real made this actually lethal.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Amy's Choice", the Doctor, Amy, and Rory are trapped in a dream. The man keeping them there introduces himself thus: "If you're the Time Lord, then you can call me the...Dream Lord." Of course, both the dream and the 'real world' are All Just a Dream, and it was simply a manifestation of the Doctor's darker side, but it looks like this for the first half. And several years later, the 2014 Christmas special included a species of aliens that weave a Lotus-Eater Machine for their victims as they eat their brains.
- Kamen Rider Double gives us the Nightmare Dopant, one of the show's Monsters of the Week.
- The dark fae Mares from Lost Girl have the power to inflict nightmares on people in order to feed off their fear.
- A major arc of the 1966-1971 Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows was The Dream Curse. The witch Angelique, in an effort to return the curse of vampirism to her recently cured lover-turned-nemesis Barnabas Collins, cast a spell which caused various people in Collinsport to have a nightmare. The first person to have the dream would be compelled to tell the next person in the chain about said nightmare. The person told would then have the same dream with an added twist, so on and so on, until the curse reached Barnabas and caused him to once more become a vampire.
- The title character of Garth Marenghis Darkplace describes himself as this in the opening sequence.
- In Changeling: The Lost, all changelings have the ability to willingly enter their own dreams or the dreams of others they have a pact with, perceive the dream with perfect clarity, and even alter its contents. The True Fae also have this quality, and... well, it's not pretty.
- Dungeons & Dragons has the arcane spell Dream and its variant Nightmare—the first allows to send a message the recipient will remember upon waking, second causes restless sleep and some damage.
- The psionic power Dream Travel, the epic spell Lord of Nightmares (no relation), and similar abilities.
- The Ravenloft setting has The Nightmare Court, a group of unique beings who like to enter people's dreams and feast on their fears
- In Planescape, the Wall of Color between the Deep Ethereal and Border Ethereal is also known (less widely) as the Veil of Sleep: those who instead of passing through the Veil find a way to enter into it visit the dreamscapes of whatever plane it envelops. Not that a lot of people care to bodily wander in strangers' dreams. That's where effects like Dream Travel or Nightmare work. It lies between the Prime or other specific plane and the protomatter-laden mist of Ethereal plane, that is "what may become". The kicker is that it works both ways — sometimes dreamscapes rupture, spilling the contents on the Ethereal side where anything the dreamer imagined works like magical illusions. Including a chance to become real, no matter how crazy its properties are.
- The quori, nightmare spirits from the Eberron setting's Dream Land, can do this. Along with their broader repertoire of Psychic Powers, it's one of their most powerful tools for manipulating mortals.
- In Nomine. When humans dream they create dreamscapes in the Marches on the Ethereal Plane. Angels and demons can enter these dreamscapes and affect them (and the human inside them).
- Both Wraith The Oblivion and Orpheus have Phantasm, a set of abilities which, among other skills, makes it possible for ghosts to interact with, reshape, or travel through dreams.
- The Dreamer, one of the Villains from the "Shattered Timelines" expansion for the co-op card game Sentinels Of The Multiverse, is actually a younger version of one of the hero characters (Visionary) whose psychic powers started going haywire, causing her nightmares to come to life.
- Diabolos, Terrestrial Avatar and Ruler of Dreams in Final Fantasy XI, who created an entire dreamland to escape The End of the World as We Know It. It's name? Dynamis. Didn't exactly turn out well.
- Did not turn out well indeed. The people trapped in this world eventually lost their sanity and will attack anyone who approaches them on sight. The only people who managed to stay sane were absorbed into their empathic weapons. On top of all of that, the drop rates are terrible even after being upped, meaning that even normal players can go insane if they do enough Dynamis. (Square apparently takes their tropes seriously.)
- Len, the mage-familiar/dream demon of Tsukihime, who is the one who creates the Erotic Dream (any of them) Shiki receives as thanks from Arcueid. In addition, in the sequel Kagetsu Tohya, Len is the one responsible for the endlessly repeating dream Shiki is trapped in.
- The Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion Mask of the Betrayer features Gann of Dreams, who can walk in and influence the dreams of others. The player can gain this power themselves later in the game.
- In Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, one of the Secret Projects you can build is the Dream Twister.
- Spyro the Dragon had a hub world that was the homeland of the Dream Weaver branch of dragons. According to the manual (it's never directly addressed in the game), these dragons fly through dreams and help people with their nightmares. The world in question was bizarre enough to make one wonder if Spyro simply fell asleep towards the end of the game.
- Feynriel in Dragon Age II: As a dreamer, or "somniari," he can enter the Fade without Lyrium and exercise a certain degree of control over it — to the point that he can kill people in their dreams. This is an extremely rare power, and makes him an irresistible target for demons looking to posses him. If you let him get possessed, he becomes Freddy Krueger and starts driving people insane. If you encourage him to master his powers, he uses his gifts to help people, at one point making a bunch of would-be rapists kill each other. While they were still awake. From the other side of the continent.
- The premise of Dragon Quest VI where you correct problems in the real world and the dream world.
- Dreamweaving is a skillset available to mages in Lusternia. In the histories, Emperor Ladantine was an accomplished Dream Weaver, and used the skill for purposes of espionage and reconnaissance following his Face-Heel Turn.
- El Goonish Shive had one sorceress who made Ellen and another participant replay lives of their Alternate Universe counterparts in dreams to make them "live through" years of personal experience quickly, and slapped a message of her own on the end.
- Homestuck has Feferi. As a Witch of Life, it's her job to bring the past back to life ("and who to do that but a witch!"). She accomplishes this by using her connection with the Noble Circle of Horrorterrors to establish the dreambubbles, large spheres in space that "catch" anyone who has died in either the A or B universe. This means that not only there are thousands of versions of the trolls, including her, but also their genetic descendants and previous players of the session. Combined with another Life player, Jane's power - literal and figurative healing and the ability to reverse death, but only once per person - this could be a very potent Game Breaker.
- 9th Elsewhere: Several characters; only natural as the setting for the series is a Mental World.
- Wayward Sons: Morfeaz's power. He can also erase and plant memories in people's minds, but only while they're asleep.
- Many of The Fair Folk in Roommates and its 'verse. Most proficient seem to be Jareth the Monster Roommate, and his father the Erlkönig (this guy locked the whole cast in a Lotus-Eater Machine once). The really scary part is that dream manipulation is their lesser (or perhaps Required Secondary) power Jareth is firstly and foremostly Time and Space Master in the widest sense (even people's personal time/space perception), while the Erlkönig is a manipulator of Darkness, literally and metaphorically.
- Dream Catcher from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe could manipulate dreams and bring them out of a person's head and into reality.
- The Tong of the Black Madonna in the Whateley Universe used this trope to attack the Handmaid of the Tao, since they figured she was too dangerous to attack directly.
- Freddy Krueger was parodied in The Simpsons "Treehouse of Terror" episode with a dead Groundskeeper Willy.
- Doctor Destiny appeared in the Justice League episode "Only A Dream."
- In Futurama, technological advances make it possible for advertising companies to insert product placement into dreams.
- In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Power-noia," Him manipulates the girls dreams.
- Nerissa in W.I.T.C.H. uses this power to try and kill the girls with insomnia.
- "Moon Dreamers" from My Little Pony And Friends is essentially about the people responsible for giving good dreams.
- Danny Phantom had a few characters with these kind of powers. The Fright Knight was, as his name suggested, a medieval warrior who had the power to transport one into a dream-like realm based on their worst fears. There was also Nocturne, the Ghost Of Sleep, who fed on the energy of sleepers. With enough power, he had the ability to control what happened in any dream, including allowing Danny to escape his own. Finally, there was Nightmerica, a female movie monster version of Freddy Krugar that was made real by ghost magic. Though she only played a cameo, if she's indeed like the villain she's based off of (and her name gives any indication to her powers), then Danny and his friends are probably lucky to have only fought her once.
- In The Dreamstone, the title Dreamstone protects the Land of Dreams from the nightmares sent by Big Bad Zordrak, while the Dreammaker uses it to send out pleasant dreams to the Noops.
- In the Transformers Generation One episode "Nightmare Planet", the Quintessons hook a sleeping Daniel up to a machine that brings the characters and settings from his nightmares into the real world, then set them against the Autobots. The monsters were immune to real-world weapons, but Daniel manages to lucid dream and assist his friends.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils", Dream Walker Princess Luna guides Sweetie Belle's dream to show her the possible consequences of her actions of the previous day.
...Ooh, Dream Weaver, I believe you can get me through the night...