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[[quoteright:300:[[Series/StargateSG1 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/anubis.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[-There's a reason Anubis doesn't let you see his face. [[EnergyBeings He doesn't]] [[TheBlank have one]].-] ]]
->''"And as years passed and there were fewer in the city (and none beyond it) who remembered my face, the wildest stories got about as to what that veil hid."''
-->-- '''Orual''', ''Literature/TillWeHaveFaces''

A variant of HeWhoMustNotBeSeen: The audience never gets a good look at this character's face. Specific variants include characters which are (almost) always...
* shot or drawn using an UnrevealAngle
** shown from behind
** shown behind something else
** shown with the frame cropping out their face
* shot or drawn with POVCam, where we can only see what they see
* standing in shadow, have their FaceFramedInShadow, or be [[SinisterSilhouettes silhouetted]]
* wearing a [[CoolMask mask]], OneWayVisor, [[InTheHood hood]], or otherwise NeverBareheaded

Closely related are:
* those with EyesAlwaysShut or always HiddenEyes
* those who always wear ScaryShinyGlasses
* TheGhost, who is never seen ''at all''
* TheBlank, who ''literally'' doesn't have a face

There are several reasons for writing a faceless character, depending on their role in the plot. For a recurring character, hiding their face lends an air of ambiguity to the character and their motives. If said character is a villain, this additionally serves to make them seem more threatening. Often the villainous Faceless are a DiabolicalMastermind, TheManBehindTheMan, or even an UltimateEvil.

Non-recurring faceless characters tend to be CannonFodder FacelessGoons, whose facelessness removes their individuality, their humanity, and -- [[MoralDissonance hopefully]] -- the audience's squeamishness about their deaths. [[InvisiblePresident Real-world famous people/roles may not be shown]], to prevent the work from becoming dated.

Occasionally, a faceless character will be dramatically [[TheReveal revealed]]. This generally happens at the end of the story, or at least the character's tenure in it. The reveal may try to surprise the audience by showing a NerdInEvilsHelmet, TheMole, or even [[NoFaceUnderTheMask no face at all]]. Perhaps we will see a NightmareFace -- common for [[EvilMakesYouUgly villains]] -- or perhaps they were BeautifulAllAlong.

The Faceless exist to increase [[RuleOfDrama drama]] or [[RuleOfCool impress]] people. Contrast this with the FacelessMasses, which is done for [[LazyArtist the artist's convenience]], while the SceneryCensor hides ''other'' body parts, to please MoralGuardians.

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!!Examples
[[index]]
* TheFaceless/{{Advertising}}
* TheFaceless/AnimeAndManga
* TheFaceless/ComicBooks
* TheFaceless/FanWorks
* TheFaceless/{{Film}}
* TheFaceless/{{Literature}}
* TheFaceless/LiveActionTV
* TheFaceless/{{Machinima}}
* TheFaceless/{{Manhua}}
* TheFaceless/{{Manhwa}}
* TheFaceless/{{Music}}
* TheFaceless/NewspaperComics
* TheFaceless/{{Pinball}}
* TheFaceless/TabletopGames
* TheFaceless/{{Theater}}
* TheFaceless/VideoGames
* TheFaceless/WebComics
* TheFaceless/WebOriginal
* TheFaceless/WesternAnimation
* TheFaceless/RealLife
[[/index]]

[[folder:Art]]
* The Art/SistineChapel's altar painting only depicts {{God}}'s lower torso and feet. While it's standard practice to avoid showing the full form of God [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm for the viewer's sanity]], this is an odd choice since several full-body paintings of God, face and all, lie on the ceiling above the altar.
[[/folder]]
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