Characters with cataracted eyes. Sometimes it's just that — cataracted eyes.
Characters with this specific type of Monochromatic Eyes tend to be Blind Seers or have a blindness-related Disability Superpower. This kind of blindness is "extra psychic" or special, and is also associated with powers other than prescience. It's not uncommon for some characters in a trance to have their eyes turn milky white while concentrating (rather than roll back into the skull).
Zombies and some other undead or monsters also have milky white eyes, though in that case it's that they don't blink for the former, leading to all sorts of crap in your eye. Don't expect this to stop them from actually seeing/smelling their prey with unerring accuracy.
And sometimes, white eyes simply alert the audience that their owner is supernatural or pure evil.
This effect can be useful for blind characters in live-action productions because human beings instinctively follow movement and zero in on important things like faces with their eyes, an instinct that is just about impossible to suppress. Milky white eyes make it impossible to tell which way an actor is looking and makes the effect of a blind, fixed stare more convincing.
- The Hyuuga clan of Naruto inverts this trope. While their clan Kekkei Genkai, the Byakugan, looks the part (it's larger-than-usual pale lavender irises with no pupils), it allows them to see pressure and chakra points on their opponent, theoretically allowing them to inflict maximum damage with every strike. Not to mention 359 degree X-ray telescopic night vision with a solid angle blind spot.
- Seishirou Sakurazuka and Subaru Sumeragi from CLAMP's Tokyo Babylon and X1999 get one blank eye each due to massive trauma (in separated, but related, events). So did Watanuki from ×××HOLiC for a while. In Seishirou's and Subaru's case, it's because their eyes are made of glass.
- In Bleach, although there Tousen and Chojiro have blank white eyes, there's no known reason for it in terms of power or mysticism, although Tousen is known to be blind. He doesn't have any powers from being blind, however. In the case of Tsukishima, however, when his mind-control power kicks into full gear, his eyes take on an all-white cast and become both eerie and evil.
- Akisame Koetsuji from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple
- Shuu in Fist of the North Star, who can still fight with the best of them, despite his blindness. He actually slashed his own eyes out in order to spare a young Kenshiro's life.
- Some rather highly powered characters in the manga version of Get Backers, including Akabane, Kagami and Miroku Natsuhiko. All three are not blind and fall under the "supernatural" category.
- The silver wolves in Hols: Prince of the Sun are the supernatural type, and are directly working for Grunwald, who ironically, is referred to throughout the film as "The devil".
- Galatea from Claymore, after the timeskip. And yes, hers come with a Disability Superpower.
- Fullmetal Alchemist's Roy Mustang after chapter 102.
- Masane in Witchblade temporarily gets these when an X-Con or Cloneblade user is near.
- High School Of The Dead features zombies with the classic "undead eyes" version; they make up for it by hearing unbelievably well, but having other senses dulled (i.e. dumbly walking into a wall, easily being pushed out of the way by someone walking quietly and carrying a wooden sword, walking right past someone who's just staying out of the way, etc.)
- Junji Ito depicts his fiancee "A-ko" with blank eyes and a wide smile in Junji Ito's Cat Diary.
- Jei-san in Usagi Yojimbo has this due to being "divinely blessed" (more likely demonically cursed or possessed), and he also has a small amount of psychic power: he kidnapped Jotaro because he felt there was some connection to Usagi, but didn't know what it was. It turns out Jotaro is actually Usagi's son; not even Usagi knew that. His current "host" Inazuma also gained the white eyes and demonic aura as has his next host, a monk named Hama.
- Whether or not Daredevil has these or is simply unfocused depends largely on the artist. Or perhaps he just has cataracts.
- Superman and Supergirl get blank eyes when an orange sun makes them blind in storyline Krypton No More.
- X-Men's Storm has the "when using powers" version. Since in a few adaptions (the movies in particular) her powers require a lot of concentration, this trope fits. It's been theorized that her eyes might be forming a protective membrane against the elements.
- Watchmen's Doctor Manhattan has completely white eyes with no pupils. Again, his case is an inversion, since he isn't blind.
- The Goon: For a comic about a hulking anti-hero fighting supernatural entities such as ghouls, ghosts, skunk apes obsessed with pie, aliens, demons and mad scientists, it's never made clear why his human sidekick, Franky, is drawn without pupils. He has no supernatural attributes or abilities, and he's certainly not blind (demonstrated by his signature "knife to the eye" technique). It appears to be an artistic preference. Franky's eyes are not so much Prophet Eyes as they are "Blunked Out" — an old-time comic book style (Little Orphan Annie is a prominent example of "Blunked Out" eyes).
- Anderson: Psi-Division: Psi-Judge Shakta's eyes turn a monochromatic white after being blinded. It really emphasizes her seer visage.
- In Lady Death after Hope becomes Lady Death her eyes turn pure white with no pupils.
- Kashekim Nedakh, the King of Atlantis from Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire as opposed to having brown eyes like all of the other Atlanteans (except, oddly enough, his blue-eyed daughter). At the very beginning of the film, his eyes are drawn normally, meaning that he was blinded shortly after Atlantis ended up underwater.
- Vitruvius from The LEGO Movie. In his case, however, it's not a side effect of being a seer, so much as it is a side effect of taking a laser beam to the freakin' face.
- The incredibly aged rat Nicodemus and The Great Owl in The Secret of NIMH.
- The blind mouse in The Tale of Despereaux.
- As noted above, zombies in most horror flicks are depicted as having milky white eyes. The most common explanation for this is the fact that zombies don't typically blink, which not only leaves their eyes vulnerable to the outside environment, but also depletes their eyes of oxygen.
- Lon Chaney, Sr. claimed a number of techniques for portraying this form of blindness on screen. For short shots, he would simply roll his eyes up into his skull. For longer takes, he would either use a mixture of guncotton to form a film over his eyes, or he would spread a thin layer of egg-white over his eyes to obscure them.
- In The Chronicles of Riddick, the eponymous character has silver/white eyes, initially claimed by Riddick to be the result of a forced surgery to let him see in the dark of a prison planet with no natural light. A lie. They shows that he's an Alpha Male Furyan.
- In the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans, Perseus encounters three Stygian witches who cannot see (except through a Crystal Ball). Although they planned to eat him, he gains their assistance by taking the ball from them and only giving it back when he gets the answers he needs.
- The deadites of the Evil Dead films, much to the chagrin of the actors and actresses who had to wear thick white contact lenses over their eyes and be led blindly around the movie set. Interestingly, they're not only undead monsters, they also have the "prophet" angle of this trope covered: the first person to be possessed in the original film announced her transformation by correctly listing a series of hidden playing cards in an increasingly demonic voice, and all of them can read their victim's minds and play on their weaknesses.
- The Made-for-TV Movie of Going Postal has Moist's eyes do this when he "receives a message from the Gods" about where to find the money he needs. It's achieved in-universe through the use of turtle egg shells.
- The film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has Viktor Krum having these eyes when he points his wand at Harry with the Lumos spell during the Third Tournament of the Tri-Wizard Cup. This, along with his action towards Harry, are early hints (both to Harry and the audience) that Krum wasn't himself during the tournament.
- Mrs. Slydes (the scary old lady mistaken for a ghost) in House on Haunted Hill (1959).
- The aliens from I Come in Peace have white eyes.
- The emerald seer in Krull (probably) has this. He rarely opens his eyes though, and his doppelganger has all black eyes.
- There is an old seer with white eyes in The Others, although this is because she is presumably blind.
- Red Heat (1988). Arnold Schwarzenegger is playing Ivan Danko, a Soviet cop in the United States trying to lean on Abdul Elijah, a Black Muslim drug boss.
Danko: You ship drugs to my country, you wake up and find your testicles floating in a glass of water next to your bed.
Elijah: I'm a holy man. I don't need testicles.
Danko: Then I'll settle for your eyes.
Elijah: You don't scare me, white boy. (takes off sunglasses to reveal his milky white eyes)
- Blind Mag in Repo! The Genetic Opera has high-tech camera-eyes of a strange color and pattern, that let her record and project images.
- Darryl Revok gets this in the psychic duel at the end of Scanners.
- A partial example is Halle Berry's version of Storm in the X-Men Film Series. When channeling her power, her eyes go milky white (taken from the comics, when the artists remember). In the first film, this was done with contacts, but she complained, so in the sequels they added the effect digitally in post-production.
- Miss Treason from the Discworld story Wintersmith has eyes like these.
- In Robert Newman's Young Adult novel The Case of the Baker Street Irregular, Sherlock Holmes impersonates a blind man, and uses gutta-percha contacts to make his eyes appear this way.
- Aragog the spider in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has milky white eyes because he is blind.
- A particularly irritating Blind Seer has this quality in the Belgariad. Eddings uses it to good effect — when Polgara destroys her foresight by restoring her vision, he describes it as looking like the milkiness drains out the bottom of her eyes.
- In the sequel series, the Malloreon, The Dragon Naradas has these eyes. It's specified that he isn't blind; they're more of a Red Right Hand.
- Zephyr, an ancient bat with supernatural sonic powers in Silverwing is described as having eyes that are completely white with cataracts due to his advanced age.
- Side effect of becoming a Crone in The Seventh Tower. The Crones do not lose their sight... they only appear as though they have.
- In the second series of The Chronicles of Amber books, Coral winds up with the Jewel of Judgment in place of her missing eye, allowing her to see the Primal Pattern directly.
- Cathan from the Dragonlance Kingpriest Trilogy has these. He isn't blind, however — it's just a cosmetic side-effect of his having been resurrected. Other supernatural beings associated with the same god who brought him back are shown to have similar eyes.
- All Moth- and Butterfly-kinden in Shadows of the Apt. The Moths also have perfect (though presumably monochrome) night vision, as well as tending to be seers and prophets.
- In World War Z, a soldier mentions that zombies have these sorts of eyes, but not for any magical reason: without a need to blink, dust and random debris in the air produce microscopic scratches in the eyes of the undead.
- Adie from the Sword of Truth series. Blind, but capable of seeing with her magic. Becomes a major issue when the Pristinely Ungifted appear, because she can't see them at all since they don't show up in Magical Sight. She does hear and feel and smell them, though, so she knows they're there. She's justifiably creeped out as all getup by that. All the other wizards at least see them normally.
- The old man in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" has an eye like this, which provokes the main character to kill him.
- At the climax of the Ted Dekker book Saint, the title character removes the sunglasses he's wearing and his startled nemesis informs him that his eyes are white.
- In the Warrior Cats series, Blind Seer Jayfeather is often drawn this way in fanart and he appears like this on at least one foreign edition cover, even though in the books he's described as having rather normal eyes. Rock, on the other hand, has "sightless eyes" mentioned in his physical description, so we can assume the only way a cat could tell by sight that another is blind is because the blind cat has eyes that look like this.
- Amanda has eyes like these in Comes The Blind Fury.
- Etheleldra from The Tygrine Cat is a Blind Seer who permanently has her third eyelids covering her eyes, creating this effect.
- The Ancient from Robin Jarvis' The Oaken Throne, a Seer sent to earth in the form of a hare by the Lady of the Moon, has eyes that resemble bright twin moons. Ysabelle draws back in fright when she sees them the first time:
"Why dost thou fear them?" he asked. "Dost thou fear the moon when it shines above thee?"
"Then be not afraid now, for I look on you with the sight of one who has seen the Lady in the splendour of her youth, and in mine eyes that vision is forever mirrored."
- Wights, the primary antagonists in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children have this as their defining feature. Because they hunt the titular Peculiar Children, said children always want to look into the eyes of someone they distrust to check wether they are a Wight or not. Unfortunately, with the recent invention of colored contact lenses, Wights can perfectly hide this abnormality, making them completely unrecognizable from ordinary humans.
- House Of The Stag by Kage Baker opens with a semi-mythological prologue of a Blind Seer who "sang down the stars" and had silver eyes because stars fell into them.
- The far-senser Eyeshimmer from Tailchaser's Song is named for his milky, blue eyes.
- N. K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy: Oree's eyes are completely covered with petal-like layers of grey tissue, which tend to put people off when they realize they're not simple cataracts. Oree herself is blind to everything except magic.
- In Babylon 5, after becoming the Trope Namer for Touched by Vorlons, Lyta's eyes had a tendency to do this when demonstrating her powers.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Vampires started off with blank white eyes in their vampiric forms, as an homage to Evil Dead. However, a combination of Executive Meddling and concerns about making Angel look attractive even in his vamp form led to the design gradually becoming less demonic and more feral. Monsters of the Week such as the Gentlemen, though, are still prone to having them.
- Whenever Willow makes intensive use of magic, her eyes turned pitch-black. When she buffed up Buffy with magic to fight Adam, Buffy's eyes turned gold/yellow. In the series finale, when using the scythe to activate all the potential slayers, her eyes (and hair) turned white, hinting she was using powerful white magic.
- A blind assassin on Angel, as well as three children.
- Cordelia also has them while she's having a vision (or just using her new powers), after being changed into a half-demon. Before that, her eyes remained normal, but she felt excruciating pain until the vision ended.
- Doctor Who: In "Oxygen", the Doctor has eyes like this after being temporarily blinded. It turns out, however, that he's still blind after his eyes are restored to their normal appearance.
- Played somewhat straight by Chiana of Farscape in Season 3 where after possession by an energy rider she is able to have flashes of the future, followed by blindness of increasing severity as the series wore on. The ability changed in Season 4 from future flashes to time slowing down, resulting in permanent blindness. In the miniseries these were replaced with eyes that were probably bionic, which removed any prophetic abilities but gave her X-ray vision.
- Game of Thrones: Wargs, when they take on their Bond Creature's skin.
- As the picture suggests, Isaac Mendez, along with Peter(who acquires Isaac's power through empathic mimicry), Sylar (who acquires it by killing Isaac), Usutu and Matt, in Heroes.
- Cassandra Carver, the Blind Seer in Smallville.
- Geordi from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Then in the movies he gets bionic eyes that look more (or less) like regular ones. Before this, he used a VISOR which gave him a variety of visual abilities ranging from infra-red to seeing the "auras" of electromagnetic machines — but not the ability to see things such as sunsets, in any form except on their composite level. Apparently seeing a sunset as a series of infrared and ultraviolet rays really sucks the beauty out of it. The implants have the same visual range, but are more advanced and allow Geordi to control which parts of the electromagnetic spectrum he sees at any given time.
Justified (though the writers probably didn't know it), inasmuch as perceived colors have relatively little to do with actual physical properties. There any many different ways a given color can be made with light, and Geordi might have trouble associating combinations of measured frequencies with colors. Also, the VISOR would not be able to duplicate the opponent process of human color vision and still convey all the information Geordi can apparently see.
- Lilith (the new demon army leader of the third and fourth seasons, and the boss of crossroads demons and Hell-aligned witches) and Alastair (implied to be the boss of the torture pit downstairs who oversees demons torturing their victims and trains them) have a special demon eye color — milky-white. The official The Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester guidebook says that they are the chiefs-of-staff in Hell's hierarchy, which would make them the top servants of the King of Hell himself, i.e. Lucifer, and also implies that they have white eyes because they are the very first demons Lucifer made.
- Psychic Pamela Barnes fits this trope to a tee. After she got her eyes burned out of her skull by seeing the unseeable during a séance, she got a pair of plastic eyeballs that look like this, on purpose. She hangs a lampshade on it the episode she returns with the new look, saying that the fake eyes make her "look extra psychic."
- The guys in Testees after being temporarily blinded by pineapple shampoo.
- The various Black Lodge dopplegangers in Twin Peaks have white eyes to distinguish them from those they are imitating. This is used to highlight their supernatural natures and to be very freaky.
- Dota 2's Nerif the Oracle has these, but bright green.
- Red Capes in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army have eyes like this, and they're sunken-in, too.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
- Raiden, Fujin, and a few others from Mortal Kombat. The bio in the manual lists Raiden's eye color as "None".
- Agatha in Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy.
Fist Fighter: Hm? My eyes are white? It's because I don't want to look at you!
- Fubuki in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories has these, though it's a bit hard to tell.
- The Fist Fighter class in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice has them, as well. He brings them up if you bug him in the classroom.
- In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, Kreia has eyes like this. She says to the Exile that they atrophied from disuse, and as a result she sees through the Force, instead of seeing light. As a result, if you switch to her and go into first person mode, every glows the color of their alignment, and the background goes black and white. Also of note, she states that she could heal them with the Force quite easily if she wanted to, but prefers her Force vision. When she reveals herself as a Sith Lord, her eyes become pitch black.
- Dr. Bertruger in Doom 3, albeit in only one eye.
- Blind Seer Onin from the Jak and Daxter series has these.
- The Grey Warden in Dragon Age: Origins briefly gets these during the Joining. They come with a vision of the Big Bad.
- An almost literal example of this trope in Fable II is Theresa. She is an interesting example: in the first Fable, which takes place 500 years earlier, she gets her eyes cut out by bandits as a child and so spends the rest of the game with a blindfold. She has the white eyes going on in Fable II, but that just adds to the enigma of her character. Oddly enough, in Fable 3 she has black eyes, and in the upcoming Fable: The Journey she is again blindfolded.
- Legacy of Kain: They are a side effect of possession, in a Deconstruction of Glowing Eyes of Doom. Not all characters with eyes like that are known to have gotten them this way, though.
- Meta Knight from Kirby actually has white eyes when he takes off the mask. When the mask is on he has gold eyes.
- Something strange happens to Romeo Guildenstein's eyes in Vagrant Story after his body absorbs the power of The Dark Side.
- Final Fantasy VI: Kefka Palazzo's field sprite as well as one character artwork of him is depicted as having completely white eyes. And no, the red dots on the former are not his eyes, that's makeup. This is made especially clear in sprites where he winks.
- Blind Seer Mama Murphy in Fallout 4.
- Warhammer gives us an example of this trope in the beastmen of Khorne, known as Khorngor. Rather than being psychic or insightful in any way, they're Blood Knights and some of them are even Anti-Magic. These eyes are a trait they share with many of Khorne's Daemons as well.
- Blind Seer Alahazra, Pathfinder's iconic oracle.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- The 3.5th edition Dungeon Master's Guide II introduces unique abilities for NPCs, among which is "Prophet", identified by solid white eyes with no pupils (yet still able to see).
- Members of the Changeling race also have completely white eyes (and hair, and skin...) in their true form. Presumably serves as a kind of baseline state, like a blank piece of paper before anything is drawn on it.
- The Regional Fairies from Gunnerkrigg Court.
- The Geisterdamen in Girl Genius. They are implied to be extradimensional beings of some sort.
- The title character in Kurenai Mashin is an elven assassin who is blind. While he can't see physical things, he can see spells the other characters cast.
- Dead people all have blank white eyes, whether as ghosts manifesting in the real world, or in the afterlife. For added symbolism, Aradia, the first ghost in the comic, also has foreknowledge of the future. Oddly, some of these ghosts are of a species whose sclera are normally yellow-orange.
- Terezi is a different case; she's alive, but had her eyes burned out into blank red. She is also a Blind Seer.
- Sollux is yet another different case; he's alive, but he has one solid blue eye and one solid red eye as part of his "vision twofold". This seems to be a common (but not universal trait) amongst Gold-Blooded Trolls. He later goes blind and both eyes turn pitch black, followed by half-dying and gaining one white eye and one black eye.
- Unintentionally Pretentious:
- Used in Commander Kitty to differentiate between "Evil" Zenith and "Good" Zenith. Or simply to show that she's really, really angry.
- Claudia, the mute librarian from Crossed Claws, and featureless white eyes with heavy outlining, in contrast to the other characters with more expressive eyes.
- In Lucid Spring, there are sapient creatures and animalistic creatures. All animalistic creatures have blank white eyes.
- Victor's eye that was blinded in a werewolf attack looks like this in Charby the Vampirate.
- Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic's fangirl Sonette had these eyes, probably to emphasize her nature.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- The blind Earthbending master Toph Beifong's eyes are a very light, milky blue. At one point, Aang has a horrific dream showing the end of the world. A part of it features Toph gazing soulessly at him with white eyes before she's dragged into the ground. Creepy.
- Also, the Avatar's eyes glow bright white when they enter the Avatar State, or go into the Spirit World.
- Star Wars Rebels:
- Inquisitor the Fifth Brother has eyes like this, and he's a Blind Weaponmaster. When and how he became blind is a mystery.
- Six months after being blinded by a lightsaber to the face, Kanan Jarrus' eyes look like this.
- The dragon Grougaloragran in Wakfu has milky white eyes (very pale pupils can be discerned on close-ups). It is implied that he can only see by sensing the Life Energy, or Wakfu, of everything around him.
- Corneal opacity can indeed result from congenital/hereditary defects, some diseases (e.g. river blindness, trachoma), or injury (e.g. chemical burn), sometimes resembling this trope.
- Some blind people have their eyes more or less permanently rolled up, which can give an impression of whiteness. Usually the eyes are half-closed, though, and/or there's a bit of iris showing at the top.
- Particularly severe/special cases of cataracts look something like this, though, this is more the case if the person has light colored (like blue or grey) eyes.