Created By: homunq on March 18, 2012

Wizards are Magicians

Magic is known to be real, but someone fakes highly powerful magic by using stage magic

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This is of course the opposite of Magicians are Wizards. For instance, in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality chapter 79, Quirrel "resists" being depolyjuiced by sneezing. Of course, since he wasn't actually polyjuiced in the first place, it's just misdirection. (He then follows it up with a Sarcastic Confession.)

This is frequent in the climactic scene where the heroes scare off the big bad through elaborately-prepared stunts that make it look as if they have some insanely powerful form of magic (which they don't even though it exists.)
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • March 19, 2012
    Damr1990
    • On Avatar The Last Air Bender we have the elemental benders, people who can manipulate one of the four classical elements (and the Avatar who can control all of them and use them forCombat or everyday uses, however not all people are benders, includding sokka, the Badass Normal of the Gaang, who has used some tricks to recreate similar effets to some of them, like bombs as fake firebending or using air preassure(provided by airbending, but the witnesses didn't knew that) to make rocks float on the air and pretted it's earthbending
    • On one episode of Magical Doremi the girls had a magic exam on which they had to defeat on a contest various other witches(who obvously had many years of experience and vast ammount of spells on their arsenals). what did they do to impress them and win the competition? STAGE MAGIC TRICKS of course, and since the witches were so used to use magic they didn't questioned if those were real, they asumed they were and that they were rare tricks even for them(like doremi rotatig her head many times)
  • March 19, 2012
    JobanGrayskull
    What about stories where it's unknown if magic is real, but still considered a possibility (perhaps due to superstition)? I'm thinking of the first Sherlock Holmes movie, where the villain used stage magic that appeared quite real simply because people did not know the science behind it.
  • March 19, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    Willow, when the title character uses a stage trick to momentarily confound the evil queen.
  • March 19, 2012
    Michael
    In The Darksword Trilogy, not being a wizard is punishable by (sorta) death. Joram is taught sleight of hand as a child to escape this.
  • March 19, 2012
    deuxhero
    Dragon introduced a Prestige Class for Dungeons And Dragons called the "Charlatan", which gains various abilities to fake magical powers, either through making spells cast through items appear to be cast by you personally, faking the results with alchemical items, or placebo effect.
  • March 29, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • Zig Zagged in the Land Of Oz. Magic is real, but the Wizard gets by on stage magic until Glinda the Good teaches him some real magic.
    • Discussed in Magicians of Gor. Tarl and his friend Marcus hire a stage magician to steal a Mc Guffin; Marcus, like those of Gor generally, believes in magic and that the stage magician can do real magic. The stage magician assures Marcus that he will use mundane stage magic to steal the Mc Guffin rather than real magic, since it will be more humiliating for those from whom the Mc Guffin is stolen.
  • March 30, 2012
    Arivne
    Wizards Are Stage Magicians, to make it clear that they're faking their magic?
  • March 30, 2012
    BlackDragon
    There was a funny variant on this in the Dragon Lance series... during Raistlin's time-traveling tutelage under the Great Big Bad Evil Wizard Fistandantilus, at one point, he and several other apprentices are asked to demonstrate their magical proficiency in a room heavily warded with anti-magic - allowing them to rattle off the right incantations without actually blowing anything up.

    That is, until Raistlin shows off by producing an actual fireball along with his incantations. Everyone is terribly impressed, since it seems like he's managed to break through wards set up by Fistandantilus himself, but as it turns out, it was all just sleigh of hand - he palmed a small alchemical firecracker and threw it to coincide with his spell. A skill hailing back to before he learned actual magic, when he practiced stage-magic for kicks. (Those skills also turn out to be very, very important later on, but that's another story.)
  • March 31, 2012
    TropeEater
    I don't like this name. It sounds too much like Magicians Are Wizards.

    How about Fake Wizardry?
  • March 31, 2012
    Jordan
    In A Song Of Ice And Fire, the sorceress Melisandre definitely have magical powers, but they are weaker than she lets on, and so to maintain her image, she uses colorful powders, chemicals and the like. Making the stage magician connection is the fact that she literally keeps her "supplements" up her sleeves.

    • In The Prince Of Egypt, Pharaoh's priests rely on magic tricks to simulate magic powers. Obviously, Moses (via God) becomes able to do what they pretend to do and more. I can't find a source for this online, but I remember reading that some stage magic tricks actually do originate from Ancient Egyptian priests.
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