Magical Barefooter

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Magicians, sorcerers, mystics, characters with extrasensoric powers, magical or divine/godlike qualities are frequently depicted as eschewing footwear. There are numerous reasons for this, which often overlap.

First, such characters very often have a connection with nature, and draw their magic from it; in this case, footwear may even interfere with their powers.

Second, if a character has some specific abilities (for instance, is immune to cold, able to levitate, or is a member of the undead), being barefoot may actually prove more comfortable and enjoyable than wearing shoes.

Third, shoes and even clothes are symbolically seen as a boundary in numerous religious and esoteric teachings (this is Older Than Dirt: Adam and Eve were both nude and barefoot before the Fall); and since portraying an "enlightened" or "higher-than-human" character as nude may prove problematic, bare feet can be a good compromise.

Finally, this may be a specific instance of Magical Minority. This usage is due to the fact that in earlier times lack of footwear was often associated with poverty, misery and mental instability, and nowadays it is a common attribute of nonconformism. A common character of this sort is a New-Age Retro Hippie or a Granola Girl who turns out to have genuine supernatural abilities.

Very often overlaps with Barefoot Sage; also compare with Barefoot Loon.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Mayu, the protagonist of Cat God.

    Art 
  • The sorceress from the "Magic Circle" painting by William Waterhouse is depicted doing her spells barefoot; it is implied that her powers are related to nature.
  • The titular character from "Magician invoking the Elementals" painting by Augustus Knapp.

    Comic Books 
  • The evil enchantress Circe from Wonder Woman comics; this, along with her overall appearance, is directly based on her prototype from Greek mythology.
  • The DC villainess Jinx goes barefoot because she needs skin contact with the ground in order to use her magical powers.
  • Jack Hawksmoor in Stormwatch and The Authority. Likewise, he needs to go barefoot because his powers depend on contact with his environment.
  • The Marvel Universe's mystic hero Brother Voodoo is barefoot in his classic look, to go with his Caribbean Voudoun theme.
  • The sorceress ( and also a goddess in human body) Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Caribbean is depicted barefoot in the movie-based comics. This is also a part of her Voudoun image, similarly to the previous example.

    Film 
  • The Hot Witch Gillian Holroyd from Bell, Book and Candle (in her younger years, she even went to classes like that). In full accordance with the trope, when she loses her magical powers, she also loses her penchant for going barefoot.
  • The clairvoyant Marina Lemke from The Butchers Wife goes barefoot almost all the time, which is meant to signify her angel-like nature (especially prominent in the movie's cover image).
  • Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire doesn't wear shoes after his resurrection, implying that he now is an unhuman being who has no need for them. This trope is frequently used for characters who are somehow "above human" (magically gifted, enlightened or godlike), but in his case it indicates that he descended below human condition due to his dark magical practices and the destruction of his soul.

    Literature 
  • Autumn Rain, an eccentric antique shop owner with ESP from the eponymous series by Rachel Ann Nunes goes barefoot whenever possible (including streets, police stations, etc.). This is due to the fact that she likes "direct contact with nature"; wearing shoes even gives her backache.
  • Sunshine Runningwolf from The Dark Hunters series is an eccentric artist and a Granola Girl, and the Word of God states that she has a preference for going barefoot. Coincluding with this image, she has a genuine ability to see auras.
  • The beautiful psychic Catherine Hilliard from the Sanders Brothers series by Barbara Freethy is of the "magical granola girl" type, similarly to previous example.
  • Coriakin from The Chronicles of Narnia never wears shoes, which may be due to him being a magician or the fact that he is a star. Another retired star Ramandu and The Hermit of the Southern March, who has the magical power of foresight (with the use of his water pool), also go barefoot.
  • Wizard Whitebeard from Where's Wally?; his overall image is based on the "wise old hermit wanderer" archetype, which combines this trope with Barefoot Sage.
  • Flute, a mystical child and goddess in The Elenium, always has bare feet. And her feet always have grass stains, even when she's been inside all day, invoking Fertile Feet.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Evil Sorceror Gulnar in Robin of Sherwood is frequently barefoot, although he does wear shoes at one point when he has to escape on foot through the forest.

    Video Games 
  • Voodoo Lady in the two first Monkey Island installments, of the Voodoun type.
  • Pink Panther: Hokus Pokus Pink: the wizard Strangeblood always appears without footwear. At the game's beginning, he is seen making a spell like this, so it may be a consequence of the way his magic works - or just a part of the "old hermit magician" persona.
  • Elika in Prince of Persia (2008) is a Non-Player Companion who handles all things magical for the Prince. Unlike him, she never wears shoes, which is strongly implied to be a consequence of her magic coming from the land itself, as her most powerful ability (to cleanse entire areas of the game of The Corruption) manifests itself as Fertile Feet.
  • Merrill from Dragon Age II is a mage with a strong connection to the earth and nature, and her unique abilities include sinking into the ground, traveling through solid surface, and appearing in an entirely different place—which may have "Never Wear Shoes" as a requirement, since she keeps stalwartly ignoring footwear even as she upgrades her other protective gear.

    Western Animation 
  • The Wise Warlock from "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?" episode in Sabrina: The Animated Series. His whole image (including the fact that Sabrina first sees him meditating in his cave) is a parody of classical "magical wise hermit" type, which is both this trope and Barefoot Sage.
  • Mama Odie, the good voodoo priestess in The Princess and the Frog, is constantly barefoot. This is partly because her powers are related to nature, and partly practicality since she lives in a swamp.
  • Most Earthbenders from Avatar: The Last Airbender don't wear shoes because their powers require direct connection to the earth. Taken Up to Eleven with Toph, who was born blind, so she needs to go barefoot so that she could compensate for her blindness by feeling seismic vibrations.
  • Chikara, the kooky fortune teller from Scooby Doo And Kiss Rock And Roll Mystery, never wears shoes even when she goes outside of her tent. It doesn't seem to be a direct consequence of her magical abilities, but rather a distinctive trait that is meant to signify that she's somehow "different" from others (it may be Barefoot Sage, Barefoot Loon, or this trope - or all three).
  • The wizard Avatar from Ralph Bakshi's Wizards goes around barefoot, being a kind of hippie-elf. Avatar ultimately squares off against his Evil Counterpart brother Blackwolf, who wears cloth shoes or large socks. Also, Avatar's Girl Friday is the fairy Elinore, likewise barefoot, in contrast to Blackwolf's assassin Peace, who wears boots attached to his crimson onesie.
  • Mogul, a villainous alien space sorcerer from Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers.


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