Pop Culture's 9 Best Blind Characters
It's a commonly held belief that when we lose one of our senses (such as sight), that our other senses are heightened to accommodate. Of course, pop culture took this idea and turned it up to eleven. Some characters lose their sight in freak accidents, others sacrifice their vision for greater power, while some are simply born without it in the first place. Here are nine characters from TV, anime, film, and video games that prove blindness is no impairment.
1. Matt Murdock/Daredevil - Daredevil
With the popularity of Netflix's Daredevil series, you can't ignore Matt Murdock. After losing his vision in a chemical explosion, Matt becomes a defense lawyer by day and vigilante by night. With hearing sharp enough to hear a heartbeat from hundreds of yards away, he more than makes up for his lack of depth perception. We're really looking forward to how he'll interact with other heroes once The Defenders launches.
2. Toph Beifong - Avatar: The Last Airbender
The sole heir to a rich family of earthbenders (people who can telepathically manipulate stone, sand, and dirt), Toph was born without eyes. To make up for it, she reads her surroundings by sensing vibrations in the ground, kind of like a certain subterranean worm monster. She also fully accepts being blind. A great deal of comic relief in the show comes from her messing with her friends who honestly forget about it. Oh, and she invented metalbending on her own. Pretty badass.
3. Illidan Stormrage - Warcraft
In the Warcraft universe, demon hunters burn out their eyes with hellfire so that they can read the 'auras' of those around them. Illidan was the first demon hunter, sacrificing his humanity (elf-anity?) in order to save the world. Some unfortunate life decisions later, Illidan was cast out from Night Elf society and started his own cool kids' club for people who like demon energy and arm…blade…things. You can play as a demon hunter in World of Warcraft's newest expansion, Legion.
4. Scott Summers/Cyclops - X-Men
While he's not blind in the traditional sense since he can still see, Cyclops has two choices when he loses his visor: close his eyes and find it or obliterate everything in the immediate vicinity. While I'm sure murder-vision is something we all crave from time to time, Cyclops is a fairly good example of the downsides of having it permanently. Plus, he makes for a pretty convincing blind person when he's not parading around in blue spandex.
5. Ichi - Zatoichi
We're going classic now. Zatoichi is a huge part of Japanese film culture, with 26 movies, a 100 episode-long TV series, and a stage play all based on the character. The main character is a masseur who moonlights as a swordmaster. Sword cane in hand, he travels from village to village working out muscle knots and cutting yakuza gangsters down to size. He's also very good at gambling, able to hear whether dice are loaded or whether they land on an odd or even number.
6. Lee Sin - League of Legends
Originally a canceled champion for the widely popular MOBA League of Legends, Lee Sin the Blind Monk was created due to popular demand. Able to track enemies via sonic waves, save allies at crucial times, and roundhouse kick enemies Chuck Norris-style, Lee Sin is an iconic character. A good Lee Sin player is proof that "blindness is no impairment against a smelly enemy."
7. Uzu Sanageyama - Kill la Kill
Probably one of the best action anime from 2013/2014, Kill la Kill's premise was basically this: a girl named Ryuko Matoi goes looking for her father's killer. She arrives at Honnouji Academy, a school ruled by an oppressive student council. Oh, and clothes give you superpowers. It gets weirder from there.
Sanageyama is the head of the Athletics Committee for Honnouji Academy. After being defeated by Ryuko he asks to get his eyes sewn shut, believing that he relied too greatly on seeing in order to win. It doesn't make much sense, but neither does the rest of the show. Watch it if you haven't already.
8. The Twin Assassins - Kung Fu Hustle
Easily one of my favorite kung fu movies of all time, Kung Fu Hustle is a comedy action film that pays homage to other films in its genre. The notorious Axe Gang wants to clear out the residents of Pig Sty Alley, most of whom are secretly martial arts masters. The Gang hires assassins, two very high-level bards with a deadly guqin (7-stringed instrument) that fires projectiles made of sound. Being blind is hardly a disadvantage when your enemy can't see what you're doing either.
9. Geordi La Forge - Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Born without vision, but thanks to his handy Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement, or VISOR, Geordi can see better than the average human. While he's not as apt to get into the action as other people on this list, the suffering that actor LeVar Burton went through is quite admirable. The visor actually had to be affixed to his head using screws with flanges, which resulted in headaches every 15 to 20 minutes. On top of that, Burton's vision was seriously lessened while wearing the visor, ironically.
10. Hundred Eyes - Netflix's Marco Polo
Hundred Eyes is a blind Kung Fu master. Sure, it's a trope by now but actor Tom Wu effortlessly perfects the cliche. Hundred Eyes is a monk who Genghis Khan captured and put into his service. He's encharged with training all of the clan Kublai Khan officers, including Marco Polo, in the art of Kung Fu. Hundred Eyes' fight sequences are choreographed better than any other on the show – which are all usually fantastic. The most memorable one takes place during the final epic battle of season one.