A hint that is designed to mislead the audience is referred to as a red herring. A similar device is the flashforward (also known as prolepsis). However, foreshadowing only hints at a possible outcome within the confinement of a narrative, while a flashforward is an interrupted scene that takes the narrative forward in time from the current point of the story in literature, film, television, and other media.
An example of foreshadowing from the novel The Lord of the Rings:
- Frodo: 'What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature [Gollum – an uncivilized being], when he had a chance!'
- Gandalf: 'Pity? It was pity that stayed his hand. [...] Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. [...] My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before the end; and when that comes, the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many - yours not least.' 
This conversation foreshadows the fact that later in the story Frodo himself pities Gollum and is unable to kill him.
Foreshadowing can be carried out by characters predicting the future. For example, a woman might predict that her son will come to a bad end if he doesn't change his ways or a character, such as Cassandra in The Iliad, has the explicit ability to foresee the future and makes a prophecy about a specific event.[which?] Similarly, omens, such as breaking a mirror, can be used to foreshadow bad luck.
- Mogensen (2009). Along Literary Lines. Gyldendal. p. 55. ISBN 8702056178.
- J.R.R. Tokien, The Fellowship of the Ring, p 68, ISBN 0-261-10231-1
- Philip Martin, The Writer's Guide to Fantasy Literature: From Dragon's Lair to Hero's Quest, p 146, ISBN 0-87116-195-8