Seeing Through Another's Eyes
When a character is able to use a Psychic Link
or similar to see what another character is seeing, particularly when at a distance. Basically, a form of clairvoyance using a host character as an on-site medium.
Control may be with either the owner of the eyes/host, or the observer. Either way, this usually requires the cooperation of the host
, although it is not essential. It is also frequently mentioned by the passive observer to be strange having their view change unexpectedly. Particularly if the observer is in control, the host may experience an Eye Colour Change
This skill can be useful in a variety of situations but is particularly suited to spying
. It means that only one character needs to be in the (presumably dangerous) situation, while the other character – who may have more knowledge but fit in less well – can watch from safety. It is also necessary (among other senses) for remotely operated People Puppets
This skill can sometimes be used as replacement vision by a character who suffers from Temporary (or not so temporary) Blindness
. Even they are not blind, a character may use it for a similar reason if the host has a different type of vision
and can see other things the viewer normally can't
, although this is normally more temporary.
In a more humorous application, when used short-range this can even serve double-duty as a mirror.
This can also occur during Dream Spying
if the POV is that of a character at the location. One of the more common host/viewer pairings is with Mindlink Mates
; in cases where the host is an animal (particularly non-sapient), this is Animal Eye Spy
. It is often closely associated with Telepathy
, particularly in cases where the observer asks permission first.
Contrast Eye Spy
, wherein the viewer uses his/her own detached eye.
- Throughout the whole Ghost in the Shell franchise, Motoko makes common practice out of hacking into the cyberbrains of bystanders so she can see what the situation is through their point of view (If not also taking control of their bodies in the process). Among some of the people she hacked into were terrorists, androids, and even other policewomen.
- Pain from Naruto has 6 bodies, each having a pair of Rinnegan; one of its functions being a "shared link of vision" between them, allowing him to look at many directions at once.
- Variation: One of Shadow Clone Jutsu's ability is to transfer any experience the clone had to the original's. Kakashi demonstrated it by making a clone, then have it look at the right and himself at the left, then deactivates the clone. The result: he'll know what's to the left and right of him.
- In Pokémon Heroes, Latias and Latios are shown to possess the power of "sight-sharing".
- Among the many powers that revenants resurrected by The Crow have is the ability to see through the eyes of the bird.
- Some versions of Aquaman give him the ability to see through the eyes of marine life.
- Little Miss Visual is pretty much based on this. Her hat acts like a camera when she closes her eyes, and she is able to see what it "sees". This only works if she is not wearing her hat.
- Taylor in Intrepid is capable of doing this, much like in her source materials, only her powerset has been made to include any living thing.
- Eragon does this with his dragon Saphira, using magic to be able see through her vision. (He doesn't do this in the book.)
- In The Little Mermaid, Ursula is able to spy on others through her pet eels Floatsam and Jetsam. Each of them has an Eye Beam that beams a stereo image to her Crystal Ball.
- X-Men: Professor X uses his psychic ability to experience Senator Kelly's memory of being exposed to Magneto's machine.
- X-Men: First Class: Charles can "eavesdrop" on a conversation that Emma Frost has with a Soviet general by telepathically inhabiting a nearby soldier.
- X-Men: Days of Future Past: In The Rogue Cut, Future Xavier can view the mansion through Magneto's and Iceman's minds, and he gives them instructions as they walk in hidden passageways towards the Cerebro room.
- Artemis Fowl has a technological version in the Iris Cam, a micro-camera in a contact lens. At different times, we see it used by both Holly and Artemis.
- In The Obernewtyn Chronicles Elspeth is able to link with Mathew and see through his eyes, particularly useful while he is playing bait for the slavers. Once he is taken, she is unable to find anyone else with a suitably compatible mind, relying instead on relayed images.
- In The Sending Elspeth has several dreams where she views scenes through Rushton's eyes, thanks to their golden Mindlink Mates bond.
- This is used several times in the Heralds of Valdemar series, mostly between Heralds and their Companions (horse-shaped, but not actually animals).
- Collegium Chronicles: In a humourous example, Mags and Dallen briefly use this method as a mirror, and also while Dallen is borrowing Mag's body to weave braids as Midwinter gifts. In another instance, Mags is undercover disguised as a blind beggar and navigates and watches for his quarry by skimming the surface thoughts of people passing by.
- Brightly Burning: After he is blinded in an attack, Pol is able to use his Companion's eyes to read maps and help direct the battle.
- Mage Storms: This is reversed at one point with Karal and Florian; Florian looking through Karal's eyes during a function and prompting him to help keep track of who's who among the dignitaries. Also unusual in that Karal is not actually a Herald or Florian's Chosen. Later, after Karal's sight is burned out during the Final Storm, Altra the Firecat lets him see through his eyes.
- Arrows of the Queen: Talia appears to do this at one point when testing the strength of her bond with Rolan. Noticeable in that their bond is one of the few where communicating with words is difficult.
- Arrows of the Queen: In a non-Companion example, Farseers often use their Talent to act as host and guide to other Heralds, allowing those with Talents such as Fetching and Firestarting to work at a greater distance. Kris and Dirk are particularly good at working together in this way.
- Several times in the second book of Isobelle Carmody's The Legendsong Saga, Glynn has dreams where she is inside Solen's mind, seeing and hearing what he sees and hears. This is due to the feinna bond making them Mindlink Mates.
- In Threshold by David Palmer, the protagonists also use this method as a mirror, while Shapeshifting.
- In the short story The Four-Hour Fugue, the protagonist is blind and "sees" by telepathically accessing the eyes of those around her. She doesn't believe it at first (would you?) but a man she talks to proves it by demonstrating that she's using his own vision, which is colorblind.
- When Granny Weatherwax needs a mirror, she instead uses one of her Borrowing techniques to access the eyes of either Nanny Ogg or a handy animal, and then just having them look at her.
- This also happens to Maurice in The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents when the Ratking tries to locate him, only to fail since Maurice keeps his eyes shut during the chase under the city.
- Skinchangers and wargs in A Song of Ice and Fire can brainjack animals. One in particular frequently uses his ability on birds to scout out territory ahead of his party. When the ability is first used on another human, one states he had thought the feat impossible.
- Dune Messiah. Emperor Paul Atreides' eyes are destroyed by a stone burner, leaving him blind. When the Face Dancer Scytale threatens to murder Paul's two children, Paul is able to see through the eyes of his son Leto (who also has the power of prescience) and throw his crysknife at Scytale, killing him.
- Ray Bradbury's short story The Homecoming. One member of a family of magical creatures (vampires, werewolves, etc.) is Cecy, who has the ability to (among other things) look through the eyes of other people.
- A variant is used in The Darkness On Diamondia by A.E. van Vogt. The planet has a psychic influence on everyone who lives there for more than a short time, allowing them to effectively share another person's body although normally only to the extent of experiencing what the host is experiencing and to communicating with the host. They cannot control the host's body or mind, and the host is always aware of the presence of the other person so it's useless for covert spying. This ability is so common that the concept of holding a person incommunicado never occurs to the planet's natives.
- In Warrior Cats, Jayfeather's powers normally include dream walking, viewing the memories of others, and feeling their emotions. There's one instance, however, where he unintentionally sees through his brother Lionpaw's eyes while he and Breezepaw are having a hunting contest, and the ground collapses under him, burying Lionpaw and Breezepaw alive. Thanks to Jayfeather (then Jaypaw) seeing this, he is able to get help and save their lives.
- The title character in Seraphina can experience visions of seventeen other people through holding their hands in the mental 'garden' she creates when she meditates. In fact, she has to 'visit' her garden regularly or risk passing out from unwanted visions, but otherwise she prefers not to use the power. One of the people in her garden somehow figured out how to look into Seraphina's mind through the mind garden, but was promptly locked up in an imaginary cottage.
- What Rose can do through Lissa as a result of their Psychic Link in Vampire Academy. She can see and experience everything Lissa experiences.
- At one point in Relativity, Ravenswood becomes unwillingly linked mentally with a serial killer. This gives him the ability to see when he's committing murder, but unfortunately, he's incapable of not seeing it.
- Dinah, in The Langoliers, is blind, but is sometimes able to "sight-share", as a former teacher of hers calls it. The teacher did consider it a fantasy, but it's made clear to the reader that Dinah really can see through someone else's eyes at times. Unfortunately for her, she has to deal with how their resident psychotic sees the world.
- In the short story "Pat Moore" by Tim Powers a man meets the ghost of his wife, who, having no eyes of her own, can see only what he can see.
- In the novel Three Days To Never by Tim Powers, Charlotte is blind, but psychic, and can see through the eyes of people near her. The ramifications and limitations are explored in some depth.
- Stargate Atlantis. After Teyla discovers that she has Wraith DNA and can telepathically link with them the expedition attempts to use her to spy on the Wraith. She is able to briefly see through their eyes on the incoming invasion fleet before they notice and take control of her
- The hero of Fortune Hunter uses camera contact lenses and a two-way earpiece to transmit what he sees and ears to his Mission Control. In the French dub, it's mentioned in the Opening Narration and alluded to in the French title, Dans l'Śil de l'Espion (In the Spy's Eye).
- Dar of BeastMaster would often do this whenever he uses his power to communicate with his eagle.
- Early editions of Dungeons & Dragons
- There were a number of spells that allowed the caster to see through the eyes of another creature.
- Living Link and See Through Other Eyes: see through the eyes of any living creature.
- Corpse Link: See through the eyes of a corpse or zombie.
- Nature's Eyes: See through an animal's eyes.
- Spectral Senses: See through the eyes of an undead monster.
- Spidereyes: See through a spider's eyes.
- Each skeleton warrior had its soul trapped in a golden circlet. Anyone who put the circlet on top of their head could see through that skeleton warrior's eyes as long as it was within 240 feet.
- A homonculous is a magical creature created by a magic-user (wizard). The creator can see and hear through the homonculous' eyes and ears.
- Dungeon magazine #50 adventure "Felkovic's Cat". The dark lord of Valachan, Baron von Kharkov, can see through the eyes of any feline in his domain at will.
- This is an option for the Clairsentience power in Champions. If it's the only way you can use the power, you save some points on it.
- In 6th Edition WarhammerFantasy, any Slann in a Lizardmen army could cast spells within range and line-of-sight of any Skink Shamans on the battlefield, with this as the explanation. This compensates for their different varieties of Squishy Wizardness, as Shamans are fast and stealthy but cheap, weak casters, and Slann are ponderous, valuable and need protecting.
- Arduin RPG, The Compleat Arduin Book 2: Resources
- The spell Marlyn's Conjuration of the Mighty, Mystikal Mouse creates a magical mouse. While concentrating, the caster of the spell can see, hear and smell anything the mouse can.
- Perrinites are a crossbreed between Elves and Dryads that can see and hear using the senses of forest birds, allowing the birds to be used as scouts and spies.
- Mythus/Dangerous Journeys RPG
- The Sorcery skill gave its user two abilities which allowed seeing through an animal's eyes up to 6 leagues (18 miles) away. They were Kiteseyes (carrion birds such as crows, ravens, vultures and buzzards) and Ratseyes (rodents like mice and rats).
- In Mythic Masters magazine #2 Gary Gygax presented the Familiar, a minor spirit sent to aid a Witch or Warlock. The Witch/Warlock master can spend Heka (magic) and experience the sensory input of the Familiar as long as it is within 1 league (3 miles) of the master.
- In Psychonauts the Clairvoyance ability allows Raz to see through the eyes of another being and see how they perceive him.
- In Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, during the last bossfight, the player character has to control summoned Deep Ones to flip four switches so Mother Hydra's shield is deactivated.
- Also, at various point of the game, the view switches from the player character's to that of different creatures stalking him, although it's not made clear if he actually sees what they see or if he just feels their presence.
- Ashley in Vagrant Story develops this form of clairvoyance as a result of being exposed to The Dark during his time in Lea Monde, and can occasionally use it to spy on the Crimson Guard through one of their commanders, Samantha. On one occasion, Samantha's partner Guildenstern realises Ashley is doing this and gives Ashley a Poke in the Third Eye.
- Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy has Jov Leonov, the Quirky Miniboss Squad's resident master of mind control. The same accident that gave him his powers also left him blind, and as a result he always has a Meat Puppet by his side to serve as his eyes.
- The Mind Vision spell usable by priests in World of Warcraft switches your point of view to that of your target. You're also allowed to jump from one target to another, allowing you to potentially see things that are several zones away with enough patience and properly placed targets.
- In Freefall, robots' vision feeds are publicly accessible by default. This comes in handy if a group of robots all need a type of extra vision that only one of them has (like backscatter X-ray), but it also means that, among other things, most robots must have built-in Censor Box software just in case.
- In Think Before You Think, part of Brian's telepathy is that he can see images in other people's minds, often what they happen to be looking at or have seen in the past.
- In the Erfworld prose prequel "Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower)", Jack uses his Foolamancy powers to allow a temporarily blinded Jillian to see through his eyes.
- In an episode of Teen Titans, Raven does this to Robin to confirm whether or not he's just hallucinating fighting against Slade, and it affects her in the short moment she did. though he really is hallucinating, Your Mind Makes It Real so it really affects him and whoever is linked to him, just to hammer the point.
- In the Defenders of the Earth episode "The Evil of Doctor Dark", Psychic Warrior Mara has the ability to see whatever her sister, Lillith, sees "no matter where she may be". After joining forces with the Defenders, she uses this power to enable them to track down Dark and his party.
- The mechanical variation on this is the idea behind the real-life concepts of security cameras, spy drones and similar devices.