14 Great Blind Characters Who Don't Need Sight To Handle Their Business
The vast majority of action movies feature heroes and villains with their primary senses intact. After all, it wouldn't be believable for someone without the ability to hear to be somehow alerted of a danger they would need to hear. The same is true of sighted characters, but there's a niche in film and television that features blind characters, and many of them are insanely good at what they do.
Where most characters would find themselves incapable of handling themselves, some overcome their lack of sight and prove they don't need it to get the job done. Granted, there aren't many great blind characters who kick butt and take names, but the ones who do exist are often some of the most fascinating characters in popular culture. Below are the best examples of this, so take a look and be sure to upvote your favorites before you go!
- 183 VOTESPhoto: Netflix
Few blind characters are as well known and beloved as Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil. The character was first introduced in the pages of Daredevil #1 back in 1964, and he's remained intensely popular ever since. Matt lost his sight at an early age, but thanks to being hit with a radioactive substance, he gained a new ability to replace the one he lost.
Without his sight, Murdock developed a heightened sort of radar sense, giving him a superhuman ability to “see” his surroundings. With the help and training of another person on this list, Murdock grew up to become the Man Without Fear, Daredevil, and the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.
In the butt-kicking ability department, Daredevil is at the top of the scale. He's an expert tracker, a master acrobat, and proficient in all weapons (including sniper rifles, bows, and anything else he can get his hands on). He's also at peak human ability, a self-taught boxer, and a master of Ninjutsu, Jiu-jitsu, Aiki-Jujutsu, Savate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Judo, Krav Maga, Silat, Karate, Capoeira, Eskrima, Aikido, and Greco-Roman Wrestling.
- 259 VOTESPhoto: Netflix
In Marvel Comics, Stick is the man who trained Matt Murdock. Like his protege, he's blind, but that doesn't make him any less capable. Unlike Murdock, Stick has no superhuman abilities, but he's as skilled, if not more so, than his student, which is saying a lot.
Stick's past isn't known, though it has been revealed that he trained under the Ancient One, the same person who trained Doctor Strange. Most people who meet Stick wouldn't know he's blind, as he can mask this entirely, showing no sign of disability in his mannerisms or movements.
Stick first met Matt Murdock when he was still young, but soon after, he was blinded. Stick taught Murdock to control his radar sense, hone it, and use it as a strength. Stick has a sort of “proximity sense,” which is similar to, but not empowered by, radiation. Regardless, he's swift, knows all manner of martial arts, and is a weapons master.
- 382 VOTES
Chirrut Îmwe was introduced in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as a monk who lived on the moon Jedha. He uses a uneti-wood staff and a handmade lightbow as his primary weapons, and while he's blind, his faith in the Force gives him everything he needs to be able to take on the Empire and anyone who gets in his way.
In several instances, Îmwe (Donnie Yen) is pitted against superior forces - i.e. Stormtroopers wearing armor and carrying blasters - but he manages to beat the ever-living snot out of them with his staff. Îmwe also places his faith in the Force, chanting, “I am one with the Force. The Force is with me,” to give him strength.
He uses this mantra when faced with a barrage of blaster fire, making it possible for him to walk a distance under fire while on Scarif. He somehow manages to avoid every shot that comes his way, making it to a switch and activating it just as an explosion sends him flying.
- 452 VOTESPhoto: Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman / Dalei Studios
The Zatoichi franchise began in 1962, though it is based on a 1948 essay called Zatoichi Monogatari. Zatoichi is one of Japan's longest-running film series, with 29 movies made featuring the character as of 2023. Zatoichi is a blind masseur and nomadic gambler, and most people don't consider him to be much more than he appears.
Of course, there's more to Zatoichi than meets the eye because, while he's blind, he's also a deadly swordsman and is highly proficient in Kyujutsu and sumo wrestling. Zatoichi is one of those characters whose past is barely explored, though it's known that he lost his sight when he was a child, and his father disappeared when he was around 5 years old.
Unlike other talented swordsmen of the late-Edo period, Zatoichi doesn't prefer a katana, instead favoring a shikomi-zue or cane sword. In the movies, he typically wanders to a new area, using his skills to aid the oppressed. He's essentially a nomadic hero who's insanely fast, highly capable, and deadly.
- 578 VOTES
Geordi La Forge, 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'
Geordi La Forge was first introduced in the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation as the ship's helmsman, but over time, he advanced to become Enterprise-D's Chief Engineer. Geordi was blind at birth, and while surgery wasn't a viable option for most of his adult life, he could “see” with the help of a VISOR, Visual Instrument and Sight Organ Replacement.
Geordi's VISOR doesn't give him what we might call “normal" vision; instead, he sees colorful shapes that are converted from the electromagnetic spectrum and transmitted into his brain via implants at his temples. With his VISOR, Geordi can see a person's vital signs and other things invisible to people who see with their eyes.
Geordi eventually gets ocular implants that improve his vision and allow him to put the VISOR down for good. He's a brilliant and capable Starfleet officer who helps save the galaxy countless times over the years. Geordi never lets his inability to see hold him back, and in many ways, he was improved by his determination to overcome his disability.
- Photo: Nickelodeon
Toph Beifong was blind at birth, but she didn't let it get her down. When she discovered badgermoles, earthbending animals that share her disability, she learned to use earthbending herself. She became one of the most powerful earthbending masters of her time and even discovered metalbending.
She became known as “The Blind Bandit" and won underground earthbending tournaments under this name without her parents' knowledge. She eventually became Avatar Aang's earthbending teacher and became a valuable member of the team. She went on to become Republic City's first Chief of Police.