The Book of Eli

Question: In the scene where Solara hijacks the car, why does the man who had Eli's sword in him stop her from starting the car, take out the blade, and get out from the car and kneel on the ground? Was he trying to say something to Solara or the leader?

Answer: Most likely, Redridge is giving Solara a chance to escape Carnegie's regime. At this point, he knows he's dying, but perhaps still wants the best for her. Remember, he had a crush on her the whole movie (blocking her while she was getting Eli's canteen filled, bargaining with Carnegie for her before chasing after them, even asking Eli nicely to give up the book after the gunfight in the house). I think it may also have been used as a self-redemption moment for one of the bad guys.

Jason Sieberg

Answer: Due to Eli's previous protections from harm, Redridge is already wondering if there isn't a higher power protecting Eli. When Redridge is impaled and realises he's in his last moments of life, he kneels, looks to heaven, and gives himself over to that higher power, hoping for redemption.

Question: Throughout the movie at different times there were references to people's hands. Like when Eli takes off his gloves to show the engineer his hands and says I'm not one of them. Did anyone see an explanation for this in the movie?

Answer: Kuru, a disease caused by cannibalism, causes victims to shake.

Answer: He was showing them he wasn't a cannibal. He didn't have the shakes they get.

Question: If he is blind how do you explain the accurate shots with the arrow?

Answer: A large study was done after the atomic blasts in Japan in WW2 after the surrender on the effects to victims' eyesight. Over 70% of the people that indirectly looked at the light were not completely blind. They suffered from cataracts, and out of those studied over 50% could see during the day - mostly shades of black and shadows / silhouettes of people and objects. Those that survived became very keen to see movement as long as they were in bright light, also heightened since of smell and feeling vibrations. This would explain why Eli never traveled at night and was not totally blinded by a nuclear flash, if he was completely blind - night would give him a much larger advantage. You notice he always travels when the sun comes up so he can see silhouettes of people and objects moving. Also when Solara interred his room at Carnegie's hall she said "it's bright in here" Eli had all the lights on so he could see anyone entering the room / cell. Also he wears sunglasses because obviously he does not want his cataracts to get worse. If you watch the movie again there are many tells to support that he is only partially blind and had mild to moderate cataracts. You can also see his eyes on the boat to Alcatraz, showing his cataracts.

He was born blind, at the start he smells the hijackers and moves into the dark to level the playing field.

How would he know where the dark is?

He was not born blind. He was blinded during armageddon, but after finding the Bible was given his sight back in order to complete the task given to him by God. Once his task was completed he once again lost his sight.

Nope! He was given his sight back by God in order to complete the task he was given, only to lose it once again after it was completed.

Answer: Believe he is partially blind. You don't need to be completely blind to need to learn braille.

He is not blind. He sees cars coming runs into the house and immediately checks the windows.

Answer: He was blind before the flash. That's how he could read braille, and had a braille bible. Remember, he asked Solaris' mother when she lost her sight - she said before the flash. That's why she also could read braille. He was totally blind. God gave him the ability to do what he did.

Answer: I think everyone missed something that is completely obvious. He is absolutely 100% blind. He always reacts. He never starts at first. During the gunfight he never once fired upon someone unless he was shot at first. During the bridge fight, he did not attack anyone until they screamed or were close enough to where he was feeling them. When he found the body hanging in the closet and he felt it with his hands from head to foot and felt the boots. Same thing with the car with the skeleton. He felt all the way down and realised it did not have boots. Every fight scene and everything he did in this movie was a reaction to somebody else doing something first.

Answer: He is 100% blind and if you pay close attention to the movie, it is proven and shown. He only reacts to his senses, the scene where the man is hanging, Eli smells him; he does not see him. The scene with the hijackers, he goes under the bridge, soo he can hear their movement using echolocation. The shootout scene if you listen very closely when Carnegie is speaking to him, Eli clicks his tongue using echolocation again. The scene with the couple as he is walking up to their home, he makes the clicking noises again and bangs of the door with the gun to listen to the sound. In the shootout scene, Eli only shoots at those who were firing at him; which was in the direction of the gunshot sounds. The scene where he gives up the book and is shot, he stands up and looks around with confusion because he does not know who else is there, and he blindly swings his knife around to try to fight back. He was able to do what he did due to God's protection and guidance.Hence "Walk by Faith not by Sight".

Answer: It's clear from examining his eyes in various shots throughout the film that he is not blind for most of it. He was almost certainly blind before his journey began, then is sight was restored so he could complete the task. There are several scenes where his eyes can be seen. They are brown and when he talks to people, he looks them in the eye. At the end of the film, his eyes go gray, showing he is blind again. good theory, but he just has heightened senses, and I believe isn't 100% blind but is mostly like 80-90%.

If you disagree, then please present evidence to refute my theory, rather than simply stating an opinion. Do you disagree that his eyes are brown throughout the film, then go gray at the end? Do you disagree that he looks people directly in the eye? Do you disagree that he is able to aim and shoot at distances a blind person wouldn't be able to?

The idea is that he was blind to begin with. The fact they didn't show his eyes grey is that it would reveal that fact and make the movie look stupid. The way they approach it is the surprise at the end that it turns out he is blind, not that he had gone blind again. If wasn't blind during the movie there would have been no point in showing him blind at the end, nor would it be logical he has a braille bible that he knows by heart.


We'll just have to disagree. My take was that he was blind previously (hence his ability to read braille and his use of his other senses) but was given sight to complete his task, then lost his sight just before death.

Question: Why, when he gets shot, does he put duct tape on his abdomen over his shirt? Shouldn't it be under?

Answer: Not really, imagine how painful the duct tape would be to remove from the bare skin around a wound. Putting it over the shirt still applies the pressure needed but with out the adhesive skin contact which would cause more problems later on.

Mad Ade

Question: SPOILER: Is Eli blind or just visually impaired? There are many signs that he's not in fact blind. For example, in the first house he finds, he wakes up just as the sun hits his face. He also knows his way around unfamiliar territory all too well for a blind man - well for a sighted man, in fact. He's able to follow the road without a cane. He's also able to tell the difference between day and night. If he were completely blind he could travel at night and need less water, etc.

Answer: No. Eli is not blind. There are moments where you could construe he was blind only after you decided he was. In the first house Eli holes up in, he looks at the mouse, he roots through his bag, while moving his head to see better into the bag. He looks out the window the next day, moving his eyes to and fro to take in the situation. He can see the Pawn Shop owner's finger on the trigger. He is able to find the Pawn Shop in the first place, even though he's never been there. Eli has several conversations with people while looking right at them. No one reacts as if he is blind. Eli closes his eyes every time he reads the Bible in order to more focus his sense of touch and cut off the visual stimuli. He can see that the pawn shop owner hasn't detached the battery leads. He and Solara exchange a "What the...?" look when invited to tea by the old cannibals. The man can see, at least to a certain extent.

He has normal vision throughout the film. He looks directly at people on several occasions, and his eyes are normal. The point of the story is that he WAS blind (hence his ability to read braille, heightened senses, ability to fight in the dark, etc.), but was given his sight back so that he could complete his task. By the end of the film, he's completed his task and is dying, and so he returns to being blind, and his eyes are cloudy.

He wakes up in the morning because he feels the sun on his skin and it's warm. Not because it's bright. He found the pawn shop because when he open the door we see and hear the bell ring. Your eyes moving are involuntary reflex. You notice he does not look at the mouse until he hears the mouse.

He is blind. God gave him his sight until he completed his task.

Answer: He can see, but not by light. He walks by faith, and not by sight.

It's a correlation to the bible. Making the blind see. He walks by faith, blind faith.

Answer: He is blind or at least partially blind. He mentions he can smell the salt in the air and mentions that Solara's mother's perfume smells nice when he was a foot away from her; when you lose one sense, such as sight others become stronger. If he could see, he would write the bible that he has memorized, himself instead of making the old man write it for him. He literally quotes "we walk by faith, not by sight" which is definitely some obvious foreshadowing. Also he doesn't see the 'no trespassing' sign at the cannibal's house because he literally can't see. There are many other indicators in the movie that prove he has visual problems if not fully blind.

Answer: He is only blind at the end, where he is channeling the words to be written.

I agree he can see. He looks at his reflection in a bowl of water then disturbs the water as if not liking his reflection. Not to mention the constant eye contact.

Answer: I believe he is physically blind, but he "sees" through faith. His faith helped him to find a "way" to achieve his mission. Eli found a "way" to compensate for his blindness by immensely heightening his other senses, predominately hearing. Other evidence of blind behavior I observed during the film include his occasional bump into a table or other obstacle here and there; and most significant to me, his light kick to locate the step at the entrance to the cannibals house.

Question: In the beginning of the film, Eli kills the cat with the arrow. He has donned a full gas mask and protective clothing. If the air was bad enough that he was not able to breathe it for fear of toxic fallout, how could he have eaten the cat and not gotten radioactive poisoning anyway?


Chosen answer: I believe Eli was donning such protective gear, not as a means to protect himself from fall-out or any other such dangers but rather, as a means to mask his scent from the wild animals he was hunting. He would have been 'sniffed out' otherwise and nothing would have even come close.

It was camouflage.

Question: How does Eli exit the room in Carnegie's tavern? The guard said he was there all night and didn't see or hear anything.

Answer: It seems to imply a miracle escape like Paul and Silas from prison in the bible.

Answer: The Guard must have fallen asleep. You see he even looks tired when approved.

Answer: Did you miss the scene where the guard was lured away from the door, causing him to lie about being there all night?


What scene was that?

Question: In the scene where Carnegie and his men were looking for Eli and Solara while they were sleeping, Solara tried looking through Eli's bag to see the book. When she opens the bag you could see the book with the name "The Book of Eli" on it. Later when Carnegie steals the book from Eli there is just a cross on the book, not the book Solara saw in his bag. Why wasn't it the same book?


Chosen answer: It was a name tag and was attached to his backpack, not part of the book.

When he opened the backpack there was a patch saying "Hello, my name is Eli" which made me wonder if he was blind and had been a braille student or teacher. Also, he seems to always check where the sun is for direction but a totally blind person could easily lose the ability to discern west from east or day from night. I simply can't believe that a blind man could fight like he can. I love the movie and have watched it several times and each time I'm looking for hints.

Question: If Eli was blind, why did he get startled by the hanging dead body?

Answer: As he opens the doors one of the doors falls off, that startled him. Next to that the body probably smells extremely bad.


Question: In the scene right after Carnegie discovers Eli escaped his room and we see him doing something with the old shopkeeper, it looked like he was stealing the battery he needed for his MP3. Does anyone else have a different take? Maybe he bought it? (00:49:03)

Answer: He wasn't stealing the battery, the shopkeeper was purposely trying to stall him. That is what why Eli said "tell them I made you do it". Because he was being forced to stall him against his will.

Question: Since there was no vegetation to support grazing or browsing animals and apparently not enough water to support aquatic life what did the people eat if they weren't cannibals? Eli ate a cat, but what did the cat eat? Eli fed the mouse cat meat, but until then what did it eat?

Answer: In real life feral cats will eat just about anything they can catch: bugs, lizards, rodents etc. Wild mice will also eat about any scraps, grains or small creatures they can find - including each other. You are right though that in the movie it is not clear how large animals like humans will eat enough.

Question: Why didn't Eli want the hijacker leader to touch him?

Answer: Anyone experienced with hand to hand combat knows not to allow an opponent to lay hands on him. That almost always leads to escalation.

I thought he was simply defending himself since the hijacker leader, along with the other hijackers were probably dangerous men.

He probably considered the hijacker leader an opponent due to the way he was threatening him.

Answer: The hijacker messed up because he let Eli know exactly where he was and how close he was.

Question: When Eli pushes his sword into the main hijacker in the road (the one whose hand he cut off), it looks like he whispers something into his ear. The hijacker had just asked Eli who he was. Anyone have any ideas?

Answer: He prays for him.

Answer: Because he realised it was in braille.

Answer: He found it very hard to believe Eli was blind/able to read a book written in braille.

Question: Why does Eli run into the house and look out of the window where the old lady and man are just before the fight with Carnegie and his men? Surely if he was blind he would not look out of the window, he would at least put his ear to it.

Answer: Because he isn't blind. He was blind but his sight was returned so that he could complete his task. He doesn't become blind again until the end of the film, as shown by his eyes going gray.

Question: Eli locks Solara in the spring after he dupes her to go back in to find his glasses. How does she escape?

Answer: She could have picked the lock. It was an old door, she could have used one of her weapons to open it. Plus, there was most likely a second hidden emergency escape hatch.

It was a known location by a few for obtaining water so eventually someone was bound to come by and open the door.

Question: At the end when the Bible is placed in the book shelf, you can read Holy Bible, New King James Version, Alcatraz. But next to Alcatraz there is something written that I can't pick up. Any ideas?

Answer: Press. Alcatraz Press would be the fictional publishing company of the Bible.


Factual error: Eli uses an apparently moist KFC wetnap to clean himself in an early scene, yet it's been at least 30 years since the apocalyptic event happened. Unopened KFC wetnaps will dry out in a matter of months under normal conditions.


More mistakes in The Book of Eli

Eli: People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now.

More quotes from The Book of Eli

Trivia: When Eli and Solara are in his room for the night there is a movie poster on the wall behind them for a similar post apocalyptic movie. "A Boy and His Dog". In Eli the survivors protect themselves from the sun's rays and in "A Boy and His Dog" they flee underground to hide from the sun.


More trivia for The Book of Eli

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