Mirrors in Fiction

A list of some mirrors in fiction

We will expand the descriptions and add to this as stories, new and old come to light.

Through the Looking Glass

Obviously, I need a big section about Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. It's one of the most famous examples of mirrors in fiction and the mirror stays in almost every adaptation (of which there are hundreds) even though MANY of these adaptations differ in other ways. No matter how many liberties you take with Lewis Carroll's story, almost everybody needs to keep the mirror in there.

There's a sort of magic in the reflective nature of a looking glass where everything is the same except the left-right axis seems reversed. It's that topsy-turvy mirror universe image that is evoked so often in Alice's adventures that has inspired countless story tellers before and after Lewis Carroll to inoke mirrors in their own tales.

Red Pill v. Blue Pill

A lot of people are familiar with The Matrix which alludes to Through the Looking Glass very frequently. When Neo finally makes the decision to follow the white rabbit, he perceives a mirror turn to quicksilver and engulf him entirely.

Snow White

The evil witch and the whole "Mirror, Mirror on the wall" deal

Narcissus

Narcissus looks at his own reflection in the river and that's the end of the game.

MirrorMask

Neil Gaiman's 2005 movie has a lot of important mirror imagery that helps portray the reflected dual nature of good and evil, fantasy and reality, and who you are and what you seem like you are.

Sandman

Neil Gaiman's comic book anthology, Sandman, features seven Endless beings and a lot of mirror imagery.

The Mirror of Matsuyama

A Japanese folk tale in which a young girl looks into a mirror and thinks that she sees her mother's young and smiling face. The mirror is her only consolement in the face of life with her father and wicked stepmother. The father finds out what his daughter thinks and they all find solace in the belief that the mirror shows her birth mother's happy past.

Bloody Mary

Urban Legend that if you say the name Bloody Mary three times straight in the dark in front of a mirror, the dead girl will be summoned.

The Laughing Mirror

A 33 minute film from 1985 about a mirror with the power to make all who look into it laugh.

Tale of the Mystical Mirror

Are You Afraid of the Dark was an old Nickelodeon show.

In this episode, Cindy gets a job at a lil' boutique from which people are mysteriously disappearing. It turns out Mrs. Valenti, the evil boss, is using a mirror to capture the youth of her employees to stay young forever!!

The Chinese Mirror

A Korean man brings a mirror back from his voyage in China and nobody understands exactly how it works. The people who look into the mirror fail to recognize their own faces and each gaze leads to an interesting story that looks into the nature of self-reflection.

The Chinese Mirror

Harry Potter's Mirror

A person standing in front of the Mirror of Erised sees everything they desire in its reflection.

Medusa

Medusa was a gorgon with hair made of snakes and a mean evil eye. Anybody who laid eyes on Medusa would turn to stone. Perseus was granted a highly polished mirrored shield by the Goddess Athena and a curved sword. He used the shield's reflection to find Medusa without laying eyes on her directly and he decapitated her with the curved sword.

Pi song

Mirrors versus wizardry

At 3:27, a child reflects the wizard's spell by holding up a small framed mirror. This is such a cliché, it doesn't even have to be explained.

Quest for Glory: So You Want to be a Hero

Many fantasy worlds tap into the mirror's reflective properties as a way to reflect evil spells. In Quest for Glory: So You Want to be a Hero, the protagonist faces off against Baba Yaga (a traditional Eastern European witch). There is a point in the game where she tries to turn you into a toad. If you hold up a mirror at just the right point, you cast the spell back at her and SHE turns into a toad. (But she doesn't fall for the same trick when she returns in Quest for Glory IV).

Archimedes Death Ray

According to Legend, Archimedes used an array of mirrors to focus the sun's light and set fire to ships carrying Persian forces. A recent episode of MythBusters shows that it is possible to do this with modern mirrors but excessively difficult with polished bronze (the only mirrors we believe the Greeks would have had in ample supply) and the amount of time it would take makes the process impractical in the heat of battle. So this is probably a fiction, but a cool one nonetheless!

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Comments 11 comments

Bozyslawa profile image

Bozyslawa 8 years ago

Man, you are GREAT! thanks for for such a broad sprad of goodies, and please continue your work on them, give me your points of view, opinions, feelings, associations, REFLECTIONS, anything! Thanks again!


Bozyslawa profile image

Bozyslawa 8 years ago

please remember Medusa!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

Very good Hub with a variety of stories. Thumbs up!


Keny Luger profile image

Keny Luger 8 years ago

This hub is soo cool. Thanks for all the great mirror stories.


kpfingaz profile image

kpfingaz 8 years ago from ~~~

Got one for ya. Ever seen that movie "Constantine" with Keanu Reeves? When they wanted to do an exorcism on the possessed girl and they tied her down on the bed and placed the mirror in the roof - I think it trapped the demons or something in it and they broke the mirror to get rid of the demons...something like that. Should be a nice addition to this hub.


mroconnell profile image

mroconnell 8 years ago from France Author

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions so far.

Kpfingaz, I'll be sure to add that section. That's an awesome scene you're referring to, and the character of John Constantine actually originates from Neil Gaiman's work (I believe in Sandman) or at least that was the appearance that inspired his own spin off comic.


Marco 7 years ago

awesome dude, ty for all the stories, the medusa pic freaked me out tho AHH! xD


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors

Read in the voice of Leonard Nemoy "Fascinating!"


Danielle Farrow profile image

Danielle Farrow 6 years ago from Scotland, UK

Great stuff - thanks!

There's also Terry Pratchett's Witches Abroad, where Granny Weatherwax is not confounded by the mirrors and knows exactly who she is, but the wicked Godmother becomes trapped.

Incidentally, John Constantine existed in graphic novels before appearing in The Sandman - Neil Gaiman used a few such existent DC characters, particularly in the early issues (including the original Sandman).

Thanks again for a great idea!


Bethany Bieber 5 years ago

could u explain more about the whole Alice and wonderland thing?


T Wharton 4 years ago

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