Created By: partner555 on February 27, 2017 Last Edited By: partner555 on March 11, 2017
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Muggle Mage Romance

Romance between a Muggle and a magic user

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If we hadn't married Muggles we'd've died out.

A romance, sexual or otherwise, between a Muggle and a magic user.

The Muggle doesn't necessarily have to know about it. If they do, reactions could vary from Understanding Boyfriend to Fantastic Racism.

This kind of romance could be portrayed any number of ways in media. If it is normal for one half of a couple to just have magic and the other to not, it signals to viewers that the setting is Mundane Fantastic. If society loathes this kind of romance, it could lead to Star-Crossed Lovers while signalling to viewers that there is Fantastic Racism in the setting.

The couple may also have to deal with issues that may arise where one half of the couple if just that much more powerful. If the Muggle is rather tolerant and understanding though, the issue could be smoothed over. If the power balance issue could not be resolved adequately, it could lead to an end in the relationship.

Factors that effect how the society views this sort of romance depends on the nature of magical society, mundane society, any sort of Masquerade, how magic is acquired (learned vs. inherent gift), other intrinsic differences between muggles and mages, etc.

Do note that since it is often played the same way, romances between superheroes who are not Badass Normals and ordinary people, Badass Normal or not, can also fall under this trope.

If a relationship of this sort exists within the setting, odds are that there may be an aesop about tolerance.

The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life can negatively impact on this kind of romance. If the Mage also has a longer lifespan, it may also result in a Mayfly-December Romance.

It is the Super Trope to Magical Girlfriend & Muggle-and-Magical Love Triangle, and a Sister Trope to Boy Meets Ghoul.

See also Interspecies Romance, where there is a lot of overlap in terms of themes and portrayals.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Haku from Naruto is the result of one of these. His mother had ninja powers, while his dad hates ninjas. When the dad discovered his wife and son had ninja powers, he killed his wife and tried to kill Haku.
  • Louise and Saito from The Familiar of Zero, a summoner and a normal person respectively, have this sort of relationship, and eventually get married.
  • Raki, an ordinary human, and Claire, a warrior with Yoma-related powers, are heavily implied to have become an Official Couple at the end of Claymore.
  • In Karin, Karin, a vampire, and Kenta, an ordinary human, develop a relationship over the course of the manga.
  • Kiki's Delivery Service has Kiki's parents (her mom is a witch and her dad isn't). Kiki and Tombo have some romantic tension, although it doesn't resolve into anything definite. Witch/muggle relationships are kind of inevitable since witches are a One-Gender Race.

    Comic Books 

    Film 

    Literature 
  • Many examples in Discworld:
    • Carrot, an ordinary human, has a Will They or Won't They? version of this with Angua, a werewolf. Sally, a vampire, also showed interest before backing off due to not wanting to get into a fight with Angua.
    • Not uncommon among witches: Magrat Garlick marries the muggle King of Lancre, while Nanny Ogg has outlived three husbands, dated vastly more, and raised a sprawling extended family.
    • Wizards are contractually required to avoid this, since they have a small chance of fathering the living embodiment of With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. There's mention of retired wizards pursuing romance, albeit quite carefully.
  • In Harry Potter, it is reasonably common for Wizards and Witches to marry Muggles. The resulting children tend to be called Half-Bloods. The Big Bad is the result of one particularly disastrous example.
  • Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files stories had a (ultimately tragic) relationship with tabloid reporter Susan Rodriguez, and has had a star-crossed will-they-or-wont-they with Karrin Murphy for some time.
  • In Bras and Broomsticks, Rachel, a witch, has a human boyfriend named Raf. He turns out to be an Understanding Boyfriend after being told about it.
  • In The Two Princesses of Bamarre, Princess Addie develops a crush on her father's new court sorceror, Rhys. Rhys is friendly and helpful to her (especially after she makes the decision to set out on a quest for the cure) and does things that make her wonder whether the attraction might be reciprocated. It is, and they marry at the end of the book. In this case, it doubles as Interspecies Romance, because sorcerors are a different sort of being from humans.

     Live Action TV 
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: Because it is illegal for wizards to marry non-wizards, Jerry gave up his powers to be with Theresa.
  • In Ghost Whisperer, Melinda can see ghosts, while Jim has no known power whatsoever. They're married.
  • Harvey and Sabrina have this type of relationship in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. At one point, he leaves her, but that was because he learned she was using magic to mess with his life for years. To Harvey, Sabrina being a witch was not by itself a dealbreaker. Sabrina herself is the result of a union between a warlock and an ordinary woman.
  • In H2O: Just Add Water, the main characters are mermaids and over the course of the show, they had relationships with ordinary men. This has caused problems, but one of them at least was a trusted Secret Keeper who was very helpful to them.
  • Bewitched is a sitcom about a muggle-mage marriage between Darrin and Samantha, respectively. It's complicated by Sam's family being a long-lived Witch Species with a general Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers! attitude to modern society, Darrin's superpowered Obnoxious In-Laws, and Darrin himself being a stolid type who Does Not Like Magic and treats his devoted wife's powers as an inconvenience.
  • Comedy series I Dream of Jeannie runs in a vein similar to that of Bewitched: Major Nelson is a normal human American astronaut who encountered an ornate bottle upon returning to Earth. The bottle contains the lovely Jeannie, a Sealed Good in a Can genie, who once loosed, becomes smitten with Major Nelson, whom she calls "Master." Though Nelson appreciates Jeannie and all she can do, his position necessitates maintaining The Masquerade that Jeannie is a normal fiancee, which gets complicated by her unfamiliarity with modern devices and social customs, as well as being a Clingy Jealous Girl.
  • In Medium, Allison, the titular medium, is married to a normal man named Joe.
  • Charmed, the main characters are witches who had many relationships with ordinary men. They weren't always successful, but Paige and Henry are doing fine.

    Tabletop Game 
  • Discouraged in Warhammer 40,000, as the Navigator gene essential for FTL Travel can only be found in the offspring of two-Navigator pairings.

     Video Games 
  • Hawke from Dragon Age II is a child of Leandra Amell, a muggle, and Malcolm Hawke, a renegade mage, who eloped with her to Ferelden. Mage-muggle romances are actually quite common in the Dragon Age series, despite a heavy social stigma on dallying with mages (magic is viewed as evil by the dominant religious groups and children of mages are more likely to develop magical abilities themselves), although most end in a lot more tragedy than Malcolm and Leandra's (he died of natural causes after raising three kids with her).

    Webcomic 
  • El Goonish Shive had, at least for a while, Elliot and Sarah in a relationship. Sarah had no magic, while Elliot can shapeshift and uses martial arts styled after anime and manga.
  • In The Order of the Stick, the Insufferable Genius wizard Vaarsuvius is married to a baker, though the relationship suffers from Vaarsuvius being much more invested in their pursuit of arcane power than in their spouse. Ultimately, the baker files for divorce.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel, The Legend of Korra, there are a lot of romances between benders and non-benders.
    • In the original series, there's Zuko & Mai on the main cast.
    • In the sequel, there's Tenzin and Pema, and as of the finale Korra and Asami.

Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • February 27, 2017
    Snicka
  • February 27, 2017
    Chabal2
    Discouraged in Warhammer 40 K, as the Navigator gene essential for FTL Travel can only be found in rhe offspring of two-Navigator pairings.
  • February 27, 2017
    intastiel
    • In The Order Of The Stick, the Insufferable Genius wizard Vaarsuvius is married to a baker, though the relationship suffers from Vaarsuvius being much more invested in their pursuit of arcane power than in their spouse. Ultimately, the baker files for divorce.
  • February 27, 2017
    Kartoonkid95
    Live Action TV
    • Wizards Of Waverly Place: Because it is illegal for wizards to marry non-wizards, Jerry gave up his powers to be with Theresa.
  • February 27, 2017
    RonnieR15
    Not sure if this counts, but Louise and Satio from The Familiar Of Zero.
  • February 28, 2017
    Lumpenprole
    Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files stories had a (ultimately tragic) relationship with tabloid reporter Susan Rodriguez, and has had a star-crossed will-they-or-wont-they with Karrin Murphy for some time.
  • February 28, 2017
    intastiel
    The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life could be a related trope.
    • More for Discworld:
      • Not uncommon among witches: Magrat Garlick marries the muggle King of Lancre, while Nanny Ogg has outlived three husbands, dated vastly more, and raised a sprawling extended family.
      • Wizards are contractually required to avoid this, since they have a small chance of fathering the living embodiment of With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. There's mention of retired wizards pursuing romance, albeit quite carefully.
  • March 1, 2017
    Getta
    I think care shouls be taken when we're talking about people who can't use magic and people who can.

    Unlike romance between fantastic races, it's only the question of whether some people get to learn magic or not. Strifes that can happen between magical society and muggle ones because of romance between them are rich in story potential, but if the magic users are open, accepted in the society, and just treated like any other person, how would it be different from a romance between a scholar and an average person?
  • March 1, 2017
    partner555
    Because if magic users are accepted as normal and society is ok with romance between a magic user and a non-magic user, it tells people things about the setting the story takes place in.
  • March 1, 2017
    intastiel
    ^^ Getta: that could lend some interesting material to the description, since various settings have some very different ways to handle this. Factors include the nature of magical society, mundane society, any sort of Masquerade, how magic is acquired (learned vs. inherent gift), other intrinsic differences between muggles and mages... any others? For example: If anyone can learn magic and it's socially acceptable, the power disparity could still be notable, but I can't think offhand of an example.
  • March 1, 2017
    Getta
    Starting to think that, if the only difference between Interspecies Romance and this are the people involved, and they both play with The Masquerade (including The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life), then... wouldn't the bigger focus (i.e supertrope) be "masquerade plays in romance"?

    Although, what you elaborated above convinced me that there are many ways magic (especially talking about the society that uses it) play in romance.
  • March 1, 2017
    intastiel
    ^ There doesn't really seem to be a supertrope to them, but some of the potential related themes can overlap — a Masquerade, prejudice one way or another, cultural differences, sometimes markedly different physical or mental attributes, and so on and so forth. I don't think it would to to conflate the two, but there are definitely comparisons.
  • March 3, 2017
    partner555
    Anyone with more examples? This Needs Examples.
  • March 3, 2017
    Lullabee

    This is probably a sister trope to Boy Meets Ghoul.
  • March 3, 2017
    intastiel
    To elaborate:
  • March 3, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Live Action TV
    • Comedy series I Dream Of Jeannie runs in a vein similar to that of Bewitched: Major Nelson is a normal human American astronaut who encountered an ornate bottle upon returning to Earth. The bottle contains the lovely Jeannie, a Sealed Good In A Can genie, who once loosed, becomes smitten with Major Nelson, whom she calls "Master." Though Nelson appreciates Jeannie and all she can do, his position necessitates maintaining The Masquerade that Jeannie is a normal fiancee, which gets complicated by her unfamiliarity with modern devices and social customs, as well as being a Clingy Jealous Girl.
  • March 4, 2017
    partner555
    Is this a good quote?

    If we hadn't married Muggles we'd've died out.
  • March 4, 2017
    NateTheGreat
    Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Warlock father, human mother.
  • March 6, 2017
    partner555
    Bump
  • March 6, 2017
    Snicka
    Do superhero-muggle romances count as well, as long as the hero is not a Badass Normal but has actual superhuman powers? E.g. Superman and Lois Lane, or Spider-man and Gwen Stacy / Mary Jane Watson?
  • March 6, 2017
    partner555
    To be honest, I'm not sure.

    Everybody else, should we include non-Badass Normal superheroes in the definition of mage?
  • March 6, 2017
    Getta
    ^ They're often played the same way so I guess we should.
  • March 8, 2017
    Koveras
    • Hawke from Dragon Age II is a child of Leandra Amell, a muggle, and Malcolm Hawke, a renegade mage, who eloped with her to Ferelden. Mage-muggle romances are actually quite common in the Dragon Age series, despite a heavy social stigma on dallying with mages (magic is viewed as evil by the dominant religious groups and children of mages are more likely to develop magical abilities themselves), although most end in a lot more tragedy than Malcolm and Leandra's (he died of natural causes after raising three kids with her).
  • March 8, 2017
    Snicka
    If we include superheroes too, that should be mentioned in the description.
  • March 10, 2017
    partner555
    Is there something I'm missing for me to not have five hats yet? I doubt it's the lack of examples.

    Is it the quote?
  • March 10, 2017
    partner555
    Bump
  • March 11, 2017
    intastiel
    Maybe it's just me, but it seems that the description kind of skims over the kind of relationship or societal issues that would set a muggle-mage romance apart from a regular relationship. I mean, you could have a Mundane Fantastic setting where one half of the couple just happens to ride a broomstick to work; a setting where it's one step short of an Interspecies Romance because of how different mages are; one where there's a distinct magical society and Fantastic Racism on one or both sides; one where the imbalance of power between the two is a major feature; and so on. I think it'd strengthen it on the whole to sketch out a couple of those issues, which would also help to tie in some of the related tropes that are cropping up in the examples.
  • March 11, 2017
    partner555
    ^ I have edited the description. Does it address your concerns? I hope to launch this soon.
  • March 11, 2017
    HeroGal2347
    In The Two Princesses Of Bamarre, Princess Addie develops a crush on her father's new court sorceror, Rhys. Rhys is friendly and helpful to her (especially after she makes the decision to set out on a quest for the cure) and does things that make her wonder whether the attraction might be reciprocated. It is, and they marry at the end of the book. In this case, it's Interspecies Romance, because sorcerors are a different sort of being from humans.
  • March 11, 2017
    Getta
    Mr. intastiel basically summed up my concern rom before. :P
  • March 11, 2017
    partner555
    ^Are your concerns satisfactorily addressed?

    If yes, I'll launch this in three hours, at 12 in the afternoon in my timezone.

    If there are any objections, let me know.
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