The Eye, sometimes referred to as Beholding, Ceaseless Watcher, and (taking into account the auditory medium) The I, is one of The Entities. It is the manifestation of the fear of being watched, exposed, followed, of having secrets known, but also the drive to know and understand, even if your discoveries might destroy you. It is also the fear that you’re suffering for the sake of something watching.
The Eye is among the chief "characters" of the series. It is the power behind the Magnus Institute, influencing the members and granting them certain powers. It seems to have been responsible for giving Elias the ability to see and know all things, although he does not do this without effort. Its associated ritual is called "The Watcher's Crown."
It is the entity that grants the Head Archivists, currently Jonathan Sims, the ability to ask a question and compel the listener to answer. This power also affects avatars of the other entities as Jude Perry became upset when Sims compelled her.
Other characters and avatars in the world, such as Perry, have criticized Beholding, as an entity of great power that does very little and seems content only with feeding its thirst for knowledge. Perry even states it cannot stop the Desolation from winning and will leave it a burned out blind eye by the end.
Technically every episode deals with the Eye as its influence is felt throughout the Institute and its employees, so this list should be limited to when the contents of the statement itself concern the Eye.
- MAG 12: First Aid
- MAG 23: Schwartzwald
- MAG 53: Crusader
- MAG 60: Observer Effect
- MAG 120: Eye Contact
- MAG 127: Remains to be Seen
- MAG 138: The Architecture of Fear
- MAG 142: Scrutiny
- MAG 148: Extended Surveillance
- MAG 154: Bloody Mary
- MAG 160: The Eye Opens
- MAG 39: Infestation
- MAG 40: Human Remains
- MAG 41: Too Deep
- MAG 79: Hide and Seek
- MAG 80: The Librarian
- MAG 82: The Eyewitnesses
- MAG 89: Twice as Bright
- MAG 92: Nothing Beside Remains
- MAG 102: Nesting Instinct
- MAG 105: Total War
- MAG 106: A Matter Of Perspective
- MAG 111: Family Business
- MAG 117: Testament
- MAG 119: Stranger and Stranger
- MAG 121: Far Away
- MAG 122: Zombie
- MAG 125: Civilian Casualties
- MAG 128: Heavy Goods
- MAG 129: Submerged
| ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!|
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives, and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
The Eye's ritual is called "The Watcher's Crown." Using the Panopticon in Millbank Prison, Jonah Magnus attempted the ritual at some point during the 19th century. The ritual ultimately failed but granted him semi-omniscience in the process.
- The Archivist: an avatar of the Eye that gains powers to take statements, compel answers to questions, and sometimes know things
- Elias Bouchard: head of The Magnus Institute and an avatar of the Eye with powers to deliberately view events and thoughts, and place information into others' minds
- Jonah Magnus, founder of the Magnus Institute
- The archivist's assistants, who do not seem to receive powers but are bound to the Institute and apparently would die if the Head did
- Gerard Keay, whose exact connection is unclear but who has a painting of an eye (MAG 4), eye tattoos that provide some protection against the effects of other powers (MAG 12), and occasionally seems to demonstrate knowledge he should not naturally have (MAG 12, MAG 48). Gertrude also states that he has a connection to the Eye (MAG 137).
- Mary Keay, who states (MAG 62) that she could never be loyal to just one entity. However, she grew up connected to The Magnus Institute through her mother and still appears to enjoy eye symbology (MAG 4).