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"Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream
—Chordettes "Mr. Sandman"
A dream is a wish your heart makes; this is real life. But sometimes real life spills over into Dream Land. Sometimes there's someone who can shape his dreams into whatever he wants - or shape your dreams, for that matter. They can send you into Your Worst Nightmare. They can trap you in a Dream Within a Dream, or help you resolve something in a Vision Quest. They can be villains or heroes, but dreams are their domain. They are a Dream Weaver.
Sometimes can give prophetic dreams. Sometimes a means of communication. Those who bring their dreams into the physical world are either Masters Of Illusion or Reality Warpers, depending on whether they actually change things or just make it look like so.
Anime and Manga
- The protagonist of Dream Hunter Rem, Rem Ayanokouji is an Action Girl and Private Detective who has this power and uses it to solve her cases.
- Paprika revolves around the rogue use of Dream Weaver powers.
- Pictured above: The Dream Card from Cardcaptor Sakura. She's able to make people dream their greatest desires or tell them their fortune. She also provides prophecy for her master, showing them the future to come in their sleep.
- In Slayers: Perfect when Lina travels to an island she was greeted in her dream and later contacted this way again by one of its magic-using inhabitants who has a request for her.
- The dream seers of X 1999: Kakyou Kuzuki, Hinoto, Kanoe (more in the TV series), and Kotori Monou. These persons are powerful psychics associated with one or another side in the war for the world, and their skills include entering other people's dreams and seeing the future as they sleep. Three of them believe that Earth is destined to be destroyed... but Kotori, the youngest of the quartet, is convinced that the future is undecided, meaning she thinks there's still a chance for humanity.
- To a smaller degree, there's Hokuto Sumeragi who can enter other people's dreams, but only in certain circumstances.
- Dream/Morpheus from The Sandman, of course. The Norse gods even call him by this particular title.
- John Dee, aka Doctor Destiny, an enemy of the Justice League of America. The device that allowed him to manipulate dreams, the Materioptikon, was later shown to have been based on Dream's ruby.
- Nightmask from The New Universe and newuniversal. In the former, he's a psychotherapist who uses his power to assist people; in the latter, she's a Japanese-American girl who can now manipulate the "Superflow," the space everyone goes to while dreaming.
- Nightmare from Marvel Comics. Morpheus was even partially based on him, visually. The one being he fears above all others, even Doctor Strange, is Gulgol, a monster that never sleeps.
- Hack Slash has an arc about a Creepy Child who kills people in his dreams.
- Does Roxy Richter trying to kill Scott Pilgrim in his dreams count?
- Several My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfics portray Luna as this, including Progress and The Night Fluttershy Exploded.
- Inner Demons has Twilight become one of these after her Face Heel Turn — by projecting into another pony's mind while they're sleeping, she's able to shape their dreams in order to manipulate them. First, she does this to Trixie in order win her over, and then she does it Fluttershy as part of a particularly cruel Kick the Dog moment.
- Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street, who was inspired by the Gary Wright song "Dream Weaver."
- The movie Dreamscape, which involves a villain that can kill people with their own nightmares and the hero, who eventually does the same thing to the villain.
- This is the daily trade of the Extractors in Inception. They create a custom dream for their target which hopefully gets them to spill some closely guarded secret. When the dreamer wakes up, the whole dream will fade, but the extractors remember everything they saw and learned.
- Particularly Ariadne, whose job was to build intricate mazes and settings into the dream in order to confuse Fischer's subconscious.
- The Golden Child. Sardo Numspa and his minions enter Chandler Jarrell's dream and Numspa controls it to give Jarrell a scary time, including burning his arm so he'll remember the experience.
- The Dromes of Discworld are like spiders in that they spin dreams instead of webs. If you eat the food in the dream you are trapped until your death, when you will be eaten. They have wait some tme since they have no teeth.
- A number of people in The Wheel of Time do this; in fact, there's an entire Dream Land known as Tel'aran'rhiod where dreamers interact with each other.
- The title of a class of people in The Age of Five trilogy is "Dreamweaver." Interestingly, while they have the power to influence dreams, their primary function is healing.
- In Lawrence Watt-Evans' Ethshar series, some wizards can, for a fee, organize dream messages.
- Charles Render in Roger Zelazny's "He Who Shapes"/The Dream Master is a psychotherapist whose therapy consists of influencing his patients' dreams.
- In Anne Bishop's Epherema Duology, it's implied that Incubus and Succubus can manipulate the dreams of others, mainly the Erotic Dreams, but anything with a strong emotional impact will do.
- Taen of Janny Wurts' The Cycle of Fire trilogy is actually called a "dreamweaver", but she has a myriad of psychic powers that extend beyond dreams.
- In The Shamer Chronicles by Danish author Lene Kaaberbøl, this ability is called "the Serpent's gift".
- Widespread in Labyrinths of Echo. One sequel tells about "Masters of the Perfect Dreams" for a modest price making limited-use pillows with the specific dream wanted by the client. It was legal in Echo even during the strictest limitations on magic and there's a whole guild. The protagonist was visited by a few mages this way. Starting with acquaintance while still living in his (and presumably ours) world and then hiring by his chief. Who as a Professional Killer personally slain about a half of King's enemies during the civil war and later reminisced royal habit of giving such secret decrees, er, friendly requests in dream visits:
Though the old King always paid for the work in waking life. One have to give him credit.
- Telepaths in The Whole Man, by John Brunner, can set up shared dreams in a small group. They're called catapathic groupings (a Portmanteau of "cataleptic" and "telepathy"), because nobody involved, including the telepath, is aware of what's going on in the real world, and
it can't be broken from the insidenobody wants to leave. Treatment involves another telepath forcing his way into the grouping and mucking it up so badly that the telepath has no choice but to wake everyone up.
- Wicked Lovely: Rae can do this; she's referred to as a dreamwalker but it's esencially the same thing. She has been guiding Ani through dreams since childhood, almost destroys faerie by giving Sorcha a dream in which she can see her son, Seth -which causes her to make Rae ensure she never wakes, and it is through her visiting Devlin's dream that him and Ani are able to save Sorcha and thus faerie, and form the 'shadow court' to balance Sorcha's high court.
- Devlin and/or Ani also has this ability to a far lesser extent, as they make out in a dreamscape so that she doesn't drain his energy the way she would in reality.
- Rae also 'wove' Niall and Irial's dream selves together, which given Irial's eventual death from Bananach's stabbing him means that he might geth this ability as well, and so in a way cheating death, but that could just be the fandom's deNIALL kicking in.
- The title character in Roald Dahl's The BFG essentially cooks dreams, stores them in jars, then uses a sort of trumpet to blow them into children's ears at night. As opposed to other giants, who simply eat the children.
- The mages in Mirror Dreams can create worlds that respond to their mind - dreams or nightmares. However it takes a lot of resources, time and paperwork.
- The Silmarillion describes the Vala Irmo (also often called Lorien, after the gardens where he lives) is said to be the master of dreams and visions. The fact that he is the brother of Mandos (the Vala who is almost perfectly able to see the future) is probably the source of prophetic dreams in Arda.
- In Jasper Fforde's Well of Lost Plots, Aornis.
- Wild Cards. The Ace named Revenant could send dreams to a sleeping person or even enter their dreams.
Live Action TV
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Nightmares," a little kid in a coma can bring nightmares to life. In "Restless," the First Slayer manages to trap most of the Scoobies in their nightmares.
- Heroes featured Sanjog, a mysterious boy who could travel through Mohinder's dreams and gave him cryptic messages.
- Technically, the boy's power was that people in distress would astrally project themselves via their dreams to him and ask him for advice. What kind of a lame power is that?!
- Imagine if he was a therapist though. The ability to be on the scene and in a person's head when they're in distress? That power's not lame, it's just limited. That boy could easily grow up to be a one hell of a Manipulative Bastard by taking advantage of people with his power.
- Matt's father Maury (and, it is implied, Matt, if he learns to harness it) can induce waking dreams, hallucinations, whatever you want to call them, and Molly accordingly dubs him The Nightmare Man.
- Technically, the boy's power was that people in distress would astrally project themselves via their dreams to him and ask him for advice. What kind of a lame power is that?!
- An episode of the TV series version of Honey I Shrunk The Kids had the daughter use her father's dream portal to enter a dream dimension and help her get over school anxieties that were manifesting as her nightmares. Morpheus gets pissy about mortals messing with dreams and attempts to trap the entire family in an endless nightmare. The daughter responds by dreaming up a giant magic alarm clock, taking it back into the real world, and waking up everyone on earth all at once, grievously wounding Morpheus and freeing her family.
- The Supernatural episode "Dream a Little Dream of Me" has a substance that allows one to do this.
- One warlock in Charmed kills people in their dreams, and Your Mind Makes It Real made this actually lethal.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Amy's Choice", the Doctor, Amy, and Rory are trapped in a dream. The man keeping them there introduces himself thus: "If you're the Time Lord, then you can call me the...Dream Lord." Of course, both the dream and the 'real world' are All Just a Dream, and it was simply a manifestation of the Doctor's darker side, but it looks like this for the first half.
- Kamen Rider Double gives us the Nightmare Dopant, one of the show's Monsters of the Week.
- The dark fae Mares from Lost Girl have the power to inflict nightmares on people in order to feed off their fear.
- A major arc of the 1966-1971 Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows was The Dream Curse. The witch Angelique, in an effort to return the curse of vampirism to her recently cured lover-turned-nemesis Barnabas Collins, cast a spell which caused various people in Collinsport to have a nightmare. The first person to have the dream would be compelled to tell the next person in the chain about said nightmare. The person told would then have the same dream with an added twist, so on and so on, until the curse reached Barnabas and caused him to once more become a vampire.
- Besides the actual Sandman, there are various gods of dreams, including the Oneiroi, which included Morpheus, Phobetor, and Phantasmos.
- In Changeling: The Lost, all changelings have the ability to willingly enter their own dreams or the dreams of others they have a pact with, perceive the dream with perfect clarity, and even alter its contents. The True Fae also have this quality, and... well, it's not pretty.
- Dungeons and Dragons has the arcane spell Dream and its variant Nightmare--first allows to send a message the recipient will remember upon waking, second causes restless sleep and some damage.
- The psionic power Dream Travel, the epic spell Lord of Nightmares (no relation), and similar abilities.
- The Ravenloft setting has The Nightmare Court, a group of unique beings who like to enter people's dreams and feast on their fears
- In Planescape, the Wall of Color between Deep Ethereal and Border Ethereal is also known (less widely) as the Veil of Sleep: those who instead of passing through the Veil find a way to enter into it visit the dreamscapes of whatever plane it envelops. Not that a lot of people care to bodily wander in strangers' dreams. That's where effects like Dream Travel or Nightmare work. It lies between Prime or other specific plane and protomatter-laden mist of Ethereal plane, that is "what may become". The kicker is that it works both ways — sometimes dreamscapes rupture, spilling contents on Ethereal side where anything the dreamer imagined works like magical illusions. Including a chance to become real, no matter how crazy its properties are.
- In Nomine. When humans dream they create dreamscapes in the Marches on the Ethereal Plane. Angels and demons can enter these dreamscapes and affect them (and the human inside them).
- Diabolos, Terrestrial Avatar and Ruler of Dreams in Final Fantasy XI, who created an entire dreamland to escape The End of the World as We Know It. It's name? Dynamis. Didn't exactly turn out well: the people trapped in this world eventually lost their sanity and will attack anyone who approaches them on sight, and yhe only people who managed to stay sane were absorbed into their empathic weapons. On top of all of that, the drop rates are terrible even after being upped, meaning that even normal players can go insane if they do enough Dynamis. (Square apparently takes their tropes seriously.)
- Len, the mage-familiar/dream demon of Tsukihime, who is the one who creates the Erotic Dream (any of them) Shiki receives as thanks from Arcueid. In addition, in the sequel Kagetsu Tohya, Len is the one responsible for the endlessly repeating dream Shiki is trapped in.
- The Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion Mask of the Betrayer features Gann of Dreams, who can walk in and influence the dreams of others. The player can gain this power themselves later in the game.
- In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, one of the Secret Projects you can build is the Dream Twister.
- Spyro the Dragon had a hub world that was the homeland of the Dream Weaver branch of dragons. According to the manual (it's never directly addressed in the game), these dragons fly through dreams and help people with their nightmares. The world in question was bizarre enough to make one wonder if Spyro simply fell asleep towards the end of the game.
- Feynriel in Dragon Age II: As a dreamer, or "somniari," he can enter the Fade without Lyrium and exercise a certain degree of control over it — to the point that he can potentially kill people in their dreams. This is an extremely rare power, and makes him an irresistible target for demons looking to posses him. Hawke can choose between letting the boy be possessed by a particular demon (he becomes the DA version of Freddy Krueger and starts driving people insane); or encourage to master his powers which will make him use his gifts to help people (at one point making a bunch of would-be rapists kill each other. While they were still awake. From a different continent). They can also kill Feyniriel in the Fade, making him "Tranquil" in the real world.
- The premise of Dragon Quest VI where you correct problems in the real world and the dream world.
- Dreamweaving is a skillset available to mages in Lusternia. In the histories, Emperor Ladantine was an accomplished Dream Weaver, and used the skill for purposes of espionage and reconnaissance following his Face Heel Turn.
- In Fire Emblem: Heroes, the members of the Nifl Royal Family have this power. The most skilled user is Princess Gunnthrá, who uses it to introduce herself to the Summoner and give them advice.
- Wayward Sons: Morfeaz's power. He can also erase and plant memories in people's minds, but only while they're asleep.
- Ninth Elsewhere: Several characters; only natural as the setting for the series is a Mental World.
- El Goonish Shive had one sorceress who made Ellen and another participant replay lives of their Alternate Universe counterparts in dreams to make them "live through" years of personal experience quickly, and slapped a message of her own on the end.
- Dream Catcher from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe could manipulate dreams and bring them out of a person's head and into reality.
- The Tong of the Black Madonna in the Whateley Universe used this trope to attack the Handmaid of the Tao, since they figured she was too dangerous to attack directly.
- Freddy Krueger was parodied in The Simpsons "Treehouse of Terror" episode with a dead Groundskeeper Willy.
- Doctor Destiny appeared in the Justice League episode "Only A Dream."
- In Futurama, technological advances make it possible for advertising companies to insert product placement into dreams.
- In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Power-noia," Him manipulates the girls dreams.
- Nerissa in WITCH uses this power to try and kill the girls with insomnia.
- 80's show/toyline The Moon Dreamers is essential about the people responsible for giving good dreams.
- Danny Phantom had a few characters with these kind of powers. The Fright Knight was, as his name suggested, a medieval warrior who had the power to transport one into a dream-like realm based on their worst fears. There was also Nocturne, the Ghost Of Sleep, who fed on the energy of sleepers. With enough power, he had the ability to control what happened in any dream, including allowing Danny to escape his own. Finally, there was Nightmerica, a female movie monster version of Freddy Krugar that was made real by ghost magic. Though she only played a cameo, if she's indeed like the villain she's based off of (and her name gives any indication to her powers), then Danny and his friends are probably lucky to have only fought her once.
- In The Dreamstone, the title Dreamstone protects the Land of Dreams from the nightmares sent by Big Bad Zordrak, while the Dreammaker uses it to send out pleasant dreams to the Noops.
- The X-Men: Evolution incarnation of Danielle "Mirage" Moonstar has these powers, among others. She's been Buried Alive and comatose for a while in-story, after she suffered an accident while hiking and was presumed to have died; when the cave she's trapped in starts filling with water, she uses her powers to contact Kitty Pryde (who ahd been near the cave itself) and ask her for help. With the help of the X-Men, she's rescued.
- Anyone can do this while dreaming if they practice a set of skills commonly known as "Lucid Dreaming." It does require a great deal of time, effort, and personal development to master. And - it stops working when you wake up. That doesn't mean it isn't fun while it lasts, though. Dream views is the largest community of people interested in lucid dreaming, if you're interested.