In fantasy series it's fairly common for a king or other high-ranking ruler to [[StandardRoyalCourt keep a magic-user]] [[StealthPun on staff]], primarily to provide mystical advice and services, and possibly general wisdom as well. Can also show up in historical fiction or even RealLife, as during time periods when sorcery was widely believed in, having a mage or alchemist on hand was generally seen as a smart idea. The character can be TheGoodChancellor, the EvilChancellor, or anything in-between. Contrast TheMagocracy and SorcerousOverlord for instances where the mage(s) is actually the ruler, rather than an advisor. If the character has high standing among other mages as well as the king, they're also TheArchmage. If this is common and magic is real and powerful, one may have to ask why the [[TheMagocracy wizards don't run things]].
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Madam Suliman in ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle''.
* Fai D. Flowright in ''TsubasaReservoirChronicle''
* [[spoiler:Chanchellor Mogamett, at first,]] in ''Manga/MagiLabyrinthOfMagic''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/ArakSonOfThunder'', Malgigi was the court mage to Carolus Magnus (a.k.a. Charlemagne).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* ''FanFic/TheTaintedGrimoire'' has a few examples.
** Babus Swain is such to Queen Remedi.
** Auggie is such to the Baron of Fluorgis
* Lyndess, kind of, in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached''. Her main job seems to be providing sexual stimulants for Grynun, the Idri-Head. And she really, really doesn't want to be there, but it's the best place for her to be, given that she's cursed to remain in Ketafa.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Creator/JeremyIrons plays one of these (also an EvilChancellor) in the ''Film/DungeonsAndDragons'' movie.
* In the first ''Film/{{Wishmaster}}'' film, the court wizard in service to a ruler who once fell prey to the Djinn's machinations [[SealedEvilInACan sealed]] the [[JackassGenie Djinn]] in a [[CrystalPrison gemstone]] to prevent him from granting a third wish (which would unleash HellOnEarth).
* ''InTheNameOfTheKing: A DungeonSiege Tale'' has JohnRhysDavies play King Konreid's magus named Merick, serving this purpose. Later in the film, he mentions that a magus only has his power as long as serves a king, meaning the magi were always in this role. However, only two ([[spoiler:three if you count Merick's daughter Muriella]]) magi remain: Merick and [[EvilSorcerer Gallian]]. The latter has somehow managed to become extremely powerful and uplift the mindless Krug into a horde, all without serving a king. During their confrontation, Gallian reveals that he found a [[LoopholeAbuse loophole]] - no one says you can't declare yourself king of some group (like the Krug) and serve ''yourself''. Of course, it's implied by Merick's reaction that only a madman like Gallian could justify such twisted logic. By the end, it's implied that [[spoiler:Muriella will now serve this role for Farmer, AKA [[UnexpectedSuccessor Camden Konreid]]]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* [[KingArthur Merlin]], of course. Unquestionably the TropeCodifier.
* Both Gandalf and Saruman from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' have done stints as advisors to various monarchs.
* Binnesman and [[EvilOverlord Raj Ahten's]] flameweavers from ''Literature/TheRunelords''.
* Marwort the Illustrious was this to the Kingpriest in ''{{Dragonlance}}'', despite the latter's well-documented FantasticRacism towards wizards (it only worked out because Marwort swore never to use magic without the Kingpriest's permission, and then never in his presence). Other wizards, of course, considered him a traitor. Later on [[EvilSorcerer Fistandantilus]] took the job for his own ends.
* In ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' most civilizations have a court mage of some kind: the Malazans have Tayschrenn, the Letherii have their Atri-Cedas (High Mages), and so on.
* Skeeve becomes one early in the ''Literature/MythAdventures'' series. His mentor Aahz insists it's a cushy job, where all you have to do is show some parlor tricks and be a status symbol. As it turns out, the king expects Skeeve to single-handedly face down an invading army...
* In ''ComicBook/BlackMoonChronicles'', Ghorgor Bey's sworn enemy keeps a mage by his side. Quite hilariously, when Ghorgor slaughters the entire castle guard and advances on the two, the lord orders the mage to kill him, at which point he says "I'd love to, your lordship, but I've got a teleport on the boil!" and teleports away.
* Many [[WitchSpecies Qirsi]] have this as a profession in ''The Winds of the Forelands''.
* Flagg from Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheEyesOfTheDragon'' is the King's magician and also an EvilChancellor.
* In ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn'', Schmendrick becomes one of these for King Haggard, displacing his former court wizard Mabruk.
* Played with in ''Discworld/{{Mort}}''. When Princess Kelli becomes all but unnoticable to non-wizards, she appoints the mage Cutwell, to be her Royal Recognizer. He also fills this trope, albeit incompetently.
* Rulers in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' commonly have an Aes Sedai adviser. Most of the time its kept secret, however, due to the FantasticRacism against them.
* Cimorene, from ''Literature/TheEnchantedForestChronicles'', learned some magic from her father's court mage before she was told that magic wasn't a proper pursuit for princesses.
* Several examples in TamoraPierce's books, with probably the straightest being Ishabal Ladyhammer of ''[[Literature/CircleOfMagic The Will of the Empress]]''. The plot of the book is the four leads trying to escape becoming this themselves.
* The Imperial Saik from the ''PrinceOfNothing'' books are an entire order of [[CourtMage Court Mages]].
* The King's Sorcerer, Suliman, in ''Literature/HowlsMovingCastle''.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' Melisandre serves as a combination of court mage/religious adviser/oracle to Stannis. In later books, [[spoiler: Qyburn]] becomes this to [[spoiler: Cersei]], and [[spoiler: Moqorro]] to [[spoiler: Victarion]]. Danaerys briefly has Mirri Maz Duur, but it ends badly for both of them.
** Generally in [=ASoIaF=]-verse, this position is filled by court ''scientists'' (or whatever passes for such in a medieval world) called maesters. Some of which secretly study magic.
* A popular profession among the titular Magisters of the ''Literature/MagisterTrilogy''. Kings consider these immortal, nigh omnipotent sorcerers indispensable to their reigns.
* Serving a term as a CourtMage for a minor lord is a standard step in a magician's career in {{the Witcher}}world. High-ranking magicians are independent, but often advise kings and other rulers.
* Pug's first master in ''[[Literature/TheRiftwarCycle Magician]]'' served as this for Duke Boric of Crydee. On the Tsurani side the Warlord had a pair of Great Ones who supported his political ambitions functioning very much like this, though the Tsurani Great Ones normally stand outside the political intrigues that a part of life in the Empire.
* We meet several in Mercedes Lackey's ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Vows & Honor]]''; somewhat averted is that one of the rules of Kethry's order, the White Winds, is that they DON'T accept permanent posts.
* Morgred in the ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'' book ''A Night in Terror Tower''. He served the previous king, [[spoiler:and cast a spell on Prince and Princess Eddie/Edward and Sue/Susannah of York to protect them from their wicked uncle, the usurper. It fails because the High Executioner interrupted his ritual and stole one of Morgred's magic orbs to chase the children into the future, causing the new memories Morgred gave them to be incomplete.]]
* In ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'', Doctor Morgenes is officially employed as a scholar and physician by High King John, he's also a wizard of not-inconsiderable talent, albeit one who prefers to use his powers sparingly and not flaunt them. After John dies, his son [[AntiVillain Elias]] makes [[EvilSorcerer Pryrates]] his chief counselor. Subverted later in the series with the Duke of Nabban's advisor, the astrologer Xanassavin, who is presented as a quack, albeit one who occasionally gets lucky.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* Surprisingly averted in the episode of ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' where the heroes find a world where magic is real. However, played straight in another episode where they slide into a world where a significant percentage of the human population has PsychicPowers. After one of them foresees and warns UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln of his impending assassination, the President creates an official Cabinet position of Prime Oracle, which appears to be a lifetime appointment. Not only that, but the next Prime Oracle is chosen by the previous one, not by the current President. Presumably, he or she picks someone who will not be corrupted by this position.
* An episode of ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'' has [[AWizardDidIt Zedd]] accidentally rewriting history with a spell and making Richard the ruler of not only [[TheEmpire D'Hara]] but also all of the known world. Apparently, Zedd is his court wizard. Interestingly, while Darken Rahl himself had a powerful wizard and hundreds of sorcerers in his employ, they don't really fit, as they were never present in his court. Rahl himself could cast some spells.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* Literature/TheBible ascribes court magicians to Pharaoh (Exodus 7 and 8) and to the King of Babylon (Daniel 1, 2, 4, and 5).
** Confirmed at least for Egypt in historical sources: a Pharaoh always had a court mage and a physician on the payroll - the latter was expected to perform mystical healing arts as well as mundane, thus overlapping the role somewhat. It's believed that the death of at least one Pharaoh was indirectly caused by a treacherous court mage removing the divine protection from him, and getting caught in the act - placebo can work in both ways. (The negative effect is actually called "nocebo")
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck holds this position at Disney Castle in ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''.
* Delfador in ''BattleForWesnoth''.
* EvilChancellor and MadScientist Lord Yuna serves this role to Emperor Soniel in ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV''.
* In ''VideoGame/TheKingOfDragons'', atleast according to the [[AllThereInTheManual SNES manual]], the king of Malus has an advisor in the wizard Guindon.
* Merlin reprises his usual role in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheRound''.
* Minwu the [[WhiteMage White Wizard]] from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' served as the court magician for the royal family of the kingdom of Fynn.
* Kefka Palazzo, the MonsterClown BigBad of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', serves this role to Emperor Gestahl.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' sees several court mages; every major hold (IE: with walled-in city as its seat) has a court mage, and two of the four lesser holds have one. They serve as local vendors for various magical paraphernalia and their quarters/laboratories have alchemy and enchanting stations in them.
** Though most of the court mages mostly serve as sidequest-givers and vendors for magic, the court mage for Whiterun, Farengar Secret-Fire, factors into the main questline, being a dragon researcher. He also tries to take a sample of blood and scales from [[spoiler: Odahviing when he's captured in Dragonsreach]], but that doesn't end well. Farengar is also the only one (aside from the Jarl himself) who [[spoiler: is aware of the ancient daedric artifact they've got sealed in the basement of Dragonsreach.]]
** The Imperial Battlemage is this for the Emperor. The first known, Zurin Arctus, [[EvilChancellor betrayed]] or [[TheGoodChancellor was betrayed]] by his Emperor, while the second known, Jagar Tharn, [[EvilChancellor used magic to exile the Emperor]] [[SorcerousOverlord and assume his appearance and rule]]. High Chancellor Ocato may have been this, or may have been a leading advisor that just happened to be an Imperial Battlemage[[note]]the term 'Imperial Battlemage' has multiple meanings in Franchise/TheElderScrolls[[/note]] as well.
* Rone from ''{{Avernum}}'' counts for the titular kingdom of that game, whereas Garzhad is the court mage for the Empire.
* The King of Enrich from ''Videogame/ShiningTheHolyArk'' has two. His old trusted [[TheGoodChancellor Good Chancellor]]; Sabato, and an [[EvilChancellor evil old hag]] that turned up a few months ago ([[PuppetKing in which time the King has gone a bit strange]]); Rilix.
* A number of characters from ''VideoGame/TheWitcher2AssassinsOfKings'', including Dethmold, Sile de Tancarville and Triss Merigold.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', the Mage Warden can become this as well as TheGoodChancellor, for the new King or Queen of Ferelden. Another [[MultipleEndings ending]] can similarly have them share this responsibility with [[TheObiWan Wynne]].
** In the ExpandedUniverse novel ''The Stolen Throne'', Severan serves as this to the Usurper King Meghren. Since Meghren is [[TheCaligula completely insane]], this means that he gets to run the country behind the scenes.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', a Mage Hawke serves unofficially in this role, becoming a legend throughout Thedas as the Apostate who rose from a simple refugee to become "The Champion of Kirkwall". Due to the fact that the "[[CityOfAdventure City of Chains]]" is known worldwide as a ''[[KnightTemplar Templar]]'' stronghold, Knight-Commander Meredith was '''not''' happy that the people chose to embrace a ''Mage'' as their protector.
* In the backstory of ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'', the Court Conjurer of Stormwind, Nielas Aran, was such a powerful and talented mage that the Guardian Aegwynn believed he would be the [[StalkerWithATestTube perfect father for her successor Medivh]]. Aegwynn left their son for Nielas to raise. Things went pear-shaped when Nielas was slain by the backlash of Sargeras' and the Guardian's power awakening within Medivh. Medivh then took on his father's role, all the while [[EvilChancellor working to destroy Azeroth]] [[DemonicPossession under the influence of Sargeras]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Osric from the ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' StoryArc "[[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/19990704 The Storm Breaker Saga]]."
* ''Webcomic/{{Aikonia}}'': There was one, until the king killed him out of paranoia against mages.
* ''{{Erfworld}}'' shows many examples of this trope with the side's casters. In [[RPGMechanicsverse Erf]], casters are the units able to use magic and owners of special sense related to their discipline. They are popped randomly by a side and, although the respect they get is widely dependent on the side they popped in and their especific discipline, are generally considered a very useful asset. In sides with many casters there's even a position called: [[TheArchmage Chief Caster]], which is a high rank position but still below Chief Warlord.
* Erik plays this role in the ''Kings War'' arc of ''{{Webcomic/Roommates}}'', despite not having any magical abilities himself, because James who got promoted to Goblin Regent temporarily and also got the magic with it had [[HowDoIShotWeb absolutely no clue how the spellcasting thing works]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Waterbending Master Pakku could be seen as ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'''s version of this in the Northern Water Tribe, while the Earth Kingdom's Long Feng is a more malevolent version.
* The Magus to Princess Katherine in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}''. [[EvilSorcerer The Archmage]] previously held this position to her father, but was banished for attempting to usurp the throne with his powers.
* Hotep and Huy from ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'', though it's unclear if they really have powers beyond clever sleight-of-hand.
* Ixis Naugus was originally this in ''WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM''. He was one of the few beings War Minister Julian feared (because Julian's technology couldn't do jack against him), so when he decided to explore the Void Julian took the opportunity to leave him stuck there.
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats 2011}} [=ThunderCats (2011)=]]]'' Apart from being head of an [[TheOrder order]] of ChurchMilitant {{Praetorian Guard}}s, Jaga holds this position in the court of Thundera's King Claudus, which means that all his subordinates are ''also'' KungFuWizard {{Magic Knight}}s.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' have Mordain serving King Argon in "The Good, The Bad, And The Smurfy", and Morlock serving Prince Theodore in "The Prince And The Hopper". Both are evil mages who seek to take over their kingdoms, and both were deposed from their positions with the help of the Smurfs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Thrasyllus, Sr. and Jr. -- court astrologers of Tiberius and Nero
* Angelo Catto -- court astrologer of Louis XI of France
* Guido Bonatti -- official astrologer of the city of Florence
* Michel de Notredame (Nostradamus) -- court astrologer of Catherine de Medicis
* Lucas Gauricus -- court astrologer of Popes Leo X and Clement VII
* Dr Faustus is often associated with the court of Charles V
* Dr. John Dee -- magician associated with the courts of Elizabeth I of England, Stephen of Poland, and Ruldolph II of the Holy Roman Empire (also associated with Rabbi Loew, the creator of the Golem)
* Joan Quigley -- astrologer whom Nancy Reagan consulted to help plan her husband's schedule while he was President of the United States.
* RasputinTheMadMonk -- He had a truly unhealthy influence on the Tsar and his family.
[[/folder]]

----