The Magic Mirror - List of Magical Mirrors

Since the dawn of modern humanity, mirrors and mirror-like surfaces managed to infuse deeply into our religions, myths, and written texts, art installations, plays and videos of all kinds from small homemade productions to high budget Hollywood films. This deep fascination with the mirrors came not only because of its practical uses and its presence in every home but also because of the deeply ingrained belief that reflection in mirrors can show us much - either something real or something “more”.

Magical Mirror

Mirrors appeared in an incredible amount of fiction, ranging from the most ancient texts of humankind to the modern literary hits. Here are some of the most notable examples of mirrors appearing in written and film fiction:

  • Greek myths tell the tale of Narcissus, a beautiful man who wasted away after spending too much time looking at his reflection in the water. Narcissus became the origin of the modern term “narcissism” (fixation with oneself and one's physical appearance).
  • One of the most famous magical mirrors is off course mirror from the European fairy tale of Snow White. In it, the evil which uses a mirror to converse with a magical being that speaks only truth. The famous passage " Mirror, mirror, on the wall... who's the fairest of them all? " was immortalized in many adaptations of this fairy tale, especially those made by Disney.
  • Lewis Carroll's 1871 book “Through the Looking-Glass” has one of the most beloved magical mirrors in modern literature.
  • Novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray“ by Oscar Wild revolves around the magical mirror that has the form of a picture that reflects only the true aged visage of the forever young protagonist.
  • The series of Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling features several magical mirror devices.
  • Numerous tabletop RPG games have rulesets that enable mirrors to be used for magical effects (such as reflection of spells, conversing with spirits or magical beings and teleportation).
  • J.R.R. Tolkien's 1954 epic fantasy novel “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” features magical mirror in the form of the small pool of water located in the Elven forest of Lothlórien.
  • William Shakespeare's 1595 stage play Richard II popularized the myth that breaking a mirror can bring misfortune.
  • Ever since 1897 novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, the modern fiction has adopted the myth that mirrors do not cast the reflection of vampires. .
  • One of the most famous poems about mirrors “The Lady of Shalott” came from the pen of Lord Tennyson in 1883.
  • Other famous poems about mirrors are "I Look into My Glass" by Thomas Hardy, "Mirror" by Sylvia Plath and "The Mirror" by Paul Muldoon.
  • Examples of magical mirrors in the film can be found in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937), The Matrix (1999), Shrek franchise, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Black Swan (2010), The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) and Oculus (2013).
  • Ordinary (non-magical) mirrors have played an important part in many films. Some of the most notable examples of strong and well-remembered scenes involving mirrors can be found in films such as Dead of Night (1945), The Lady from Shanhai (1947), Butterfield 8 (1960), Enter the Dragon (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The Shining (1980), All of Me (1984) Big Business (1988), Candyman (1992), Jurassic Park (1993) and L.A. Confidential (1997).
Magic Mirror