When magic spells call for blood, where do you cut? Right across your palm, of course. Because there certainly aren't any sensitive muscles or tendons there. Plus it heals super fast, and you rarely use your hand anyway, right? Especially in the upcoming boss battle.
The out-of-character reason for this trope is that it's easier to stage blood seeping from a palm than, say, a fingertip: there's more space to hide the tubing or packet for the fake blood, and it doesn't need as tight a close-up for the audience to see what happens, so less-detailed latex appliances can be used to conceal the mechanics of the special effect.
Often used when two people become Blood Brothers
. Also see Impaled Palm
See sister tropes Blood Magic
and Paper Cutting
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Anime And Manga
- In Naruto, people who needs their own blood to cast jutsu will often cut/bite their fingertips instead.
- In Princess Tutu, Fakir revives Mytho's Cool Sword by cutting his hand, and pouring the blood from the wound into a fountain, and reciting a spell in Gratuitous German while dipping the blade into the bloody water.
- In Attack on Titan, Eren does this by biting into his palm, in order to transform into a titan. This is eventually further expounded later on in the story.
- The Sandman: In Death: The Time Of Your Life, blood from a cut palm is used to power a spell to send the characters to the land of the dead and come back alive.
- Subverted in Runaways. Nico's spell casting is done through The Staff Of One, which only emerges from her soul when blood is shed. The first time she actively attempts to summon it, she tries this. And she hates it. She would go on to come up with creative ways to shed blood that didn't involve cutting, from averting No Periods, Period to brushing her teeth until her gums bled.
- Done at least twice in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, when blood is needed to break the curse.
- At the beginning of Rob Roy Rob Roy is challenged to a friendly duel to the first cut but doesn't feel like participating, so he purposely slices his palm on the other guy's sword in order to lose. This becomes a Chekhov's Gun when in the climactic duel he grabs the other guy's sword with his bare hand in order to take it out of play.
- In Practical Magic, Sally and Gillian slice their palms and clasp hands to cure Gillian's Demonic Possession. It also conveniently works as a Curse Escape Clause.
- In Hellraiser, Larry cuts his hand on a nail and drips blood on the attic floor. Underneath lie the hidden remnants of Frank's body which the blood partially restores back to life and consciousness.
- In the extended version of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers a human swears fealty to Saruman. When asked to pove it, he slices his palm open and says that they will die for Saruman.
- In the film The Brother From Another Planet, the protagonist uses a shard of glass to cut his palm in order to use his blood to write a message on a graffiti-covered wall. However, it's no big deal to him, as he is an alien who heals easily and quickly.
- The Client does this to both himself and Jay in Kill List while Jay is signing a contract.
- In National Treasure, Ben cuts his palm then presses it to the handle of the carved pipe they've found, so they can press the bloody pipe on a piece of paper and see what the words on it are. He couldn't find ink in the arctic.
- Casting spells with Wild Magic in The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory requires a blood sacrifice, usually done by a simple nick on the hand. However, in When Darkness Falls Idalia slashes her palm open with a dagger to summon the Starry Hunt to help battle the demons.
- Averted in Sword of Truth. Richard goes for the inside of his elbow instead.
- In Game of Thrones, Xaro Xhoan Daxos cuts his hand and shows the blood as part of his oath to stand for Daenerys and her people.
- In Andre Norton's Dread Companion, Kilda has to bleed to get the grass that can act as a guide. She even has to pull it by the bleeding hand.
- Subverted in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Harry and Dumbledore encounter a door that requires a blood sacrifice. Upon entering, Dumbledore cuts his hand - but it happens to be the hand that is dead from a curse, so it's not as inconvenient as it normally would've been. When they leave again, Harry uses blood from the palm of his hand, but he didn't cut it intentionally; he had accidentally scraped it on a rock.
- In The Bishop's Heir, Kelson recalls the day he and Dhugal became foster brothers. Each of them used the other's dagger to slice open a palm, then they clasped their wounded hands together and Dhugal bound them with a handkerchief before they swore their oaths. Years later, they both retain faint scars across their palms.
- This is the means Tenskwa-Tawa uses to produce blood — and pain — to work large magics in The Tales of Alvin Maker, and Alvin learns to do the same; for added messianic symbolism, when large quantities of blood are needed, like Tenskwa-Tawa walking onto Lake Michigan to raise a crystal tower inside a tornado, they pierce their feet too.
- Justified in On Stranger Tides, in which Shandy has to draw blood from his sword-hand's palm to maintain the mystical connection between his blade and his bloodstream.
- In Aztec, Chimali's signature is the slap of his bloodied hand. This appears as a recurring theme throughout the novel. It's fitting, because Chimali becomes Mixtli's sworn enemy, and whenever he's done evil to Mixtli's loved ones, he leaves a handprint where Mixtli can find it.
Live Action TV
- The Blue Öyster Cult song Unknown Tongues is about a Catholic schoolgirl called Margaret, who lies in bed at night contemplating the mysteries of Glossolalia and the Holy Stigmata (ie, the voices in her head tell her to self-harm with a razor blade):
And then she took/Her father's razor;
And watched it cut into her palm;
She put her hand up to her mouth
To taste the blood, so holy and warm....
- Call of Cthulhu campaign Spawn of Azathoth. During a Cthulhu Mythos ritual each participant must cut the palm of his hand and smear the blood over a severed hand, which animates and acts like the planchette of a Ouija board to point out symbols and provide a message.
- GURPS Illuminati. The sidebar titled "Blood Samples" describes Illuminati initiation procedures that require using the applicant's blood, such as signing a contract, filling a chalice etc. The accompanying illustration shows a knife cutting the palm of a person's hand.
- Dungeons & Dragons. In module CM1 "Test of the Warlords", the PC's can participate in the ritual of blood sharing with a barbarian chief. They do so by cutting their palms and clasping hands, thus mixing their blood.
- The Road to El Dorado: The wicked high priest Tzekel-Kan slices his palm to smear blood upon a stone relief of one of the two founding gods of El Dorado. He does this to emphasize that he has seen through Tulio and Miguel's masquerade. "Gods. Don't. Bleed."