[[quoteright:256:[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Orthanc_5248.jpg]]]]

->"''Do you ever wonder why the mages built their tower at Lake Calenhad? Do they have an aversion to practicality or something?''"
-->-- '''Alistair''', ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''

Wizards often seem to live in towers. Not all of them, certainly, but enough for the tendency to be noticed.

Sometimes these towers are no larger than is needed for a single individual, while other times, they house an entire [[MagicalSociety community of magicians]], and may possibly serve as a WizardingSchool or the headquarters of a [[TheMagocracy magocracy]]. Sometimes they're free-standing, while at other times, they're tacked on to some larger building, such as a castle (especially if the wizard is a CourtMage).

This trope probably stems from the metaphorical "ivory tower", which refers to academics who remove themselves from the rest of society to study. A high tower conveys a sense of isolation from "normal" people, which those academics (or in this case, magicians) use to study in peace, much the same way that religious gurus are often depicted praying on mountaintops. In another sense, [[TheTower high towers]] are ancient [[TowerOfBabel symbols of arrogance and hubris]]. Or simply extreme isolation.

A subtrope of TheTower, obviously. A tower owned by [[EvilSorcerer a wizard of evil-ish disposition]] will likely be an EvilTowerOfOminousness.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle'': In the Miyazaki adaption, Howl's moving castle is basically a tower on legs. Also, castles are associated with towers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Disney Animated Canon]]
* In ''Disney/TheSwordInTheStone'', Merlin gets given a cold, leaky, run-down tower by Sir Ector.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* Earlier variants of "Maiden in the Tower" -- of which {{Rapnuzel}} is the best known -- often have the maiden have considerably magical ability, which she deploys to let herself and the hero get away from her mother who kept her in the tower, such as
** [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/pentamerone/10parsley1911.html Parsley]]
** Literature/SnowWhiteFireRed
** [[http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fHt6Jqnmkv0C&pg=PA17&dq=Anthousa,+Xanthousa,+Chrisomalousa&ei=0giqS4z2O43oygT2zYCKDg&cd=1#v=onepage&q=Anthousa%2C%20Xanthousa%2C%20Chrisomalousa&f=false Anthousa, Xanthousa, Chrisomalousa]]
** [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/rapunzel/stories/fairang.html The Fair Angiola]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Legends]]
* Merlin, of [[KingArthur Arthurian legend]], is sometimes given one. Stories which have him living in someone's castle tend to put him in one of its towers, for example. In some stories, his eventual fate is to be imprisoned in an invisible tower, though there are certainly other versions (a cave is probably more common).
* OlderThanDirt with Odin's tower of Hlidskjalf in NorseMythology.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'':
** The tower Orthanc in Isengard during its occupation by Saruman.
** Barad-dr and Minas Morgul, occupied by Sauron and the Witch-King respectively, might also be considered examples. Though Sauron is actually a Demon Lord that sometimes uses spells, and the Witch-King is an Undead Magic Knight more than a pure Sorcerer or Lich. Saruman is still the best example.
*** Played straight by Sauron before he revealed his true identity after being slain by Isildur. He was known as The Necromancer, an evil sorcerer, and lived in the tower-fortress of Dol-Guldur on the edge of Mirkwood. The White Council eventually drove him out of Mirkwood, but had delayed long enough for him to restore himself in Mordor. He began re-raising his old tower, Barad-dr, less than a decade later.
** Actually, considering how many characters in the history of the Tolkienverse had some magic-like abilities, and that elves just LOVED towers and high places...point randomly at any map of Arda ever made and there's bound to be a tower that once contained some magical device / wizard / extra-wise man or elf. Granted, only a handful of them could be called "wizard", for various reasons.
* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** The centerpiece of [[WizardingSchool Unseen University]] is the super-tall Tower of Art, which is supposed to be the oldest part of it.
** In the book ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', the existence of a Sourcerer causes the BackgroundMagicField to run unusually high, which does funny things to wizards' minds. They are driven MadWithPower and instinctively compelled to build themselves a tower from which to engage in {{Wizard Duel}}s with anyone who challenges their magical superiority. When a full-scale disc-wide magical war does indeed break out, the two sides have ensconced themselves in recently built towers, directing magical attacks in the same way that you'd direct a nuclear war. Even Rincewind, who is barely a wizard at all, instinctively tries to build his own tower while sleepwalking, piling rocks on top of each other.
** In ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', there's another magic university tower. This one doesn't look much, but is [[BiggerOnTheInside Taller From The Top]].
* ''TheWheelOfTime'' has the Aes Sedai based in the White Tower. Later, the Asha'man proclaim their own base as the Black Tower, because they want to cement their image as the SpearCounterpart to the Aes Sedai. Their plans to actually build a tower are superseded by the need to keep the world from ending, so the Black Tower never physically appears within the series.
* In ''{{Dragonlance}}'', the wizard's Conclave is based out of five different Towers of High Sorcery scattered across the continent, each surrounded by an enchanted grove of trees meant to keep out intruders. All five have vastly different and unique designs and layouts, with apartments and laboratories for wizards in residence, vast libraries, cataloged collections of magical artifacts, and other facilities. Even graveyards are present for mages who want to be buried within the Towers. In addition to being the homes and workplaces of the Conclave wizards, the Towers also serve as a magical CosmicKeystone, keeping magic stable and predictable. When two of the Towers were destroyed during the Kingpriest's inquisition, the surrounding areas were devastated for miles around, and if all five were gone, the entire continent would be swept with uncontrolled wild magic.
** The towers were deliberately destroyed to make a show of what releasing that much magic could do. It was a threat to get the rest of the towers left alone, and it worked.
* Telemain the magician from ''TheEnchantedForestChronicles'' has his own [[ClownCarBase rinky-dink]] version.
* Creator/PatriciaAMcKillip's ''Literature/TheRiddleMasterTrilogy'' has a tower with a spiral staircase that cannot be climbed unless the wizard invites you in -- otherwise the top remains just as high above you no mattter how high you think you've climbed.
* In the first book of ''Literature/TheRiftWarCycle'', the CourtMage Kulgan has a tower in the duke's castle.
* Each of the disciples of Aldur have their own tower in the {{Belgariad}}. Its a deliberate and conscious emulation of their patron god Aldur, though the specific styles vary reflecting aspects of the individual sorcerer's personality. [[SingleMindedTwins Belkira and Beltira]] have a bridge linking theirs while the hunchbacked Beldin has a delicate and airy looking tower. Belgarath lampshades it while infiltrating a villain's tower by saying that every sorcerer he's met seems to build one - this particular one is upside down and hangs from the edge of a mountain, apparently just because it can.
* Referenced in ''AMadnessOfAngels'' by Kate Griffin, where the villain's organization that's trying to monopolize all the magic in London is called the Tower.
* In the ''Literature/EarthseaTrilogy'', the Master Namer of Roke, Kurremkarmerruk, lives in a tower some way from the School.
* In ''Literature/TheHeroAndTheCrown'', the bad mage has a very very very tall tower. The good one has a one story longhouse/mansion.
* In MercedesLackey's ''[[HeraldsOfValdemar The Black Gryphon]]'', it's implied that Urtho, the BigGood Mage of Silence, has owned several towers in his career, as he reminisces fondly about his first one. His current incarnation, as portrayed in the chapter 6 illustration, is an elaborate and flowing creation with several interconnected spires.
* ''Literature/TalesOfTheSunderedLands'': The Wizard's Union is in a big old tower on a mountain. The protagonist, who dislikes wizards, lampshades it.
* Elizabeth Bear's Promethean Age: In ''Whiskey & Water'', Jane Andraste has taken the skycraper headquarters of the Promethean order as her tower.
* The Wizard Tower in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'' is a classic example of these.
* The Iron Tower of Carc in ''Literature/TheWormOuroboros'', where King Gorice goes to study black magic and summon the forces of Hell.
* In Creator/RebeccaLickiss's ''Literature/EccentricCircles'', the wizard Larkingtower lives in one. [[spoiler:After reality has been rewritten, Blendingstone lives there -- and has for years.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Manhwa]]
* Enforced by the government in ''Manhwa/CielTheLastAutumnStory'', as Mages(basically magic users far more powerful than average) are put in towers and kept under watch to keep them under control.
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[[folder:Music]]
* In the Rainbow song "Stargazer," a wizard telepathically enslaves hundreds of people to build him a huge tower in the middle of the desert so that he, the wizard, may leap from the top and fly. It doesn't work.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* More ''DungeonsAndDragons'' examples:
** [=DA1=] ''Adventures in Blackmoor''. The powerful mage Robert of Dives lives in a lonely tower.
** ''ForgottenRealms'' is riddled with these, functional or otherwise. With time, some of the abandoned towers became taverns; some are so warded thickly that they stay empty in the middle of a town for a few centuries. Some consist only of a few upper levels [[OminousFloatingCastle remaining in their proper place]].
*** Elminster the Sage has a tower in Shadowdale. A slightly modified abandoned windmill, really.
*** The craziest is Host Tower of the Arcane--the home of Arcane Brotherhood in Luskan. The building hosts a little magical academy--complete with kitchens, laboratories and all. It branches like a candelabra: the central spire and four side spires at the cardinal directions.
*** The Vorpal Tower, called so because "[[DiagonalCut some force cleanly sliced away nearly a third of the entire structure diagonally]] across its top two floors".
* Octavius of Tyrvo from ''{{GURPS}}: Banestorm'' has a carefully detailed tower.
* This is {{Lampshaded}} in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'', with suggestions on how to adopt it to modern settings (i.e. by making your Sanctum inside a penthouse).
** It's actually justified in-universe. Hallows (places where Mana naturally collects) tend to form on high places. Thus Mages that build high towers are more likely to attract a power source.
* No such justification exists in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'', where nodes can form anywhere of significance. Therefore the Order of Hermes splatbook questions whether the tendency of wizards to isolate themselves from the general populace in towers might not be a serious problem that keeps causing their downfall.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''Franchise/DragonAge'', the Circle of Magi is based in a tower located in the middle of a large lake. At one point, when he considers all the stairs he's about to face climbing to get to the bottom of the tower, First Enchanter Irving [[LampshadeHanging grumbles]] about the inconvenience that this trope causes the older mages (including him) and curses whoever's bright idea it was that decided to enforce it.
** Also lampshaded by [[DeadpanSnarker Morrigan]], who wonders what it is with the Circle mages and large phallic symbols.
** The "Circle Tower" actually predates the Circle of Magi and was built as the ancient fortress known as the Kinloch Hold. It's mentioned that such towers are commonly used because they can double as Mage prisons and are built to withstand just about ''anything''. Ferleden's ''other'' tower, the one actually built by (evil) mages, is now a general prison.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' has a few examples.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', the Telvanni wizards live in towers, often without any stairs - they use magic to get to whatever level they want, and anybody who can't follow probably isn't worth talking to.
*** In the same game, the wizards are also fond of living in domes.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' with the right DLC the player can get one of their own.
** The modding community has a fascination with towers, and often holds the official DLC tower in very little regard. Result: [[http://www.tesnexus.com/downloads/search.php?name=tower&scid=20&author=&mname=&desc=&size1=&size2=&downloads1=&downloads2=&udate1_day=0&udate1_month=0&udate1_year=0&udate2_day=0&udate2_month=0&udate2_year=0&ldate1_day=0&ldate1_month=0&ldate1_year=0&ldate2_day=0&ldate2_month=0&ldate2_year=0&endorsements=&images=&readme=&adultonly=&page=1&orderby=name&order=ASC dozens of mods]] that add mage towers all over the place.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', Calcelmo the wizard lives in a tower in Markarth guarded by Dwemer traps. The Hearthfire DLC lets the player character become a DeterminedHomesteader, and wizard's towers are some of the optional add-ons to one's homestead.
*** The ''Dragonborn'' DLC reintroduces the Telvanni tower: Master Neloth makes a reappearance from ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' bringing the iconic mushroom tower with him.
* Warlic and Cysero share one in ''VideoGame/DragonFable''. Warlic's half is as you might expect, Cysero's half...not so much.
* The wizard/mage unit-production building in all ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'' incarnations is some sort of tower. The third installation even had the wizard city type called "Tower".
** When we get to visit Bracada (the Wizards' country on Antagarich, the continent that Heroes III takes place on) in ''[[VideoGame/MightAndMagic Might and Magic VII]]'', the region we see turns out to be ''full'' of towers, to the point that the only two buildings in the Bracada Desert that aren't towers is the Stable and the School of Sorcery (well, unless one counts '[[FloatingContinent floating really high above]]' as 'in', in which case there is an entire city without towers as well).
** Too many to list in ''[[VideoGame/MightAndMagic World of Xeen]]''.
* The Wizards' Guild building in ''{{Majesty}}'' is a nest of towers, and wizards are also able to build ancillary "Wizards' Towers" as glorified Guard Towers which they can garrison and which allow the player to cast spells within their line of sight.
* ''WorldOfWarcraft'': Whenever a mage or group of mages are based somewhere, you are guaranteed to find one of these.
** The most notable by far being Karazhan, formerly owned by the wizard [[DemonicPossession Medivh]] (one of the most prominent figures in the Warcraft and Warcraft 3 eras), which featured both as a mission in the original Warcraft and also as one of the first Raid instances in [[ExpansionPackWorld Outland]].
** The mages tower in Stormwind is probably the second most notable examples, as it's design is unique (All the other mage towers have the same model, more or less). Only one mage is actually in the tower, though. To access the others, you have to pass through a portal leading to a small room (the Portal and teleportation spells also leads to it). ''Where'' said room is, no one knows.
* The Mysidia Tower/Magician's Tower in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII''.
* Fork Tower from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' sorta counts. As its name suggests, it has two sides -- one side devoted to physical combat, and one devoted to magic.
* The Fanatics' Tower from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''.
* They serve a dual purpose in ''AgeOfWonders 2''. Wizards who sit in a tower will have their domain (spell range) extended, and can cast adjacent to allied heroes. Even more importantly, if a wizard dies, he or she will be resurrected at a tower on their next turn. And if there's no tower to resurrect at...
* Geffen Tower in ''RagnarokOnline''. That's where mages change into wizards. Interestingly, it sits on top of a dungeon, which is accessible in the tower basement.
* Abraxas' Tower in the first ''VampiresDawn'' game might count. He certainly has a wide variety of magic available and one level of the tower even has magic darkness spread out that not even this game's [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Vampires]]' special vision can overcome. Played completely straight in the sequel, with some witch residing in a tower.
* The Naughty Sorceress from ''KingdomOfLoathing'' lives at the top of a tower, which you have to fight through to get to her. Next to it is the ruins of Fernswarthy's tower, who counted before he died.
* The aptly-named Mysterious Tower from the ''KingdomHearts'' series, home of [[Disney/{{Fantasia}} Yen Sid]]. It's located on a piece of turf floating in the middle of nowhere (though you can reach it via ghost train from Twilight Town), and contains a lot of floating staircases and portals.
* In ''MasterOfMagic'', your capital city contains a mage tower.
* The Tower of Magi from the ''VideoGame/{{Exile}}'' series.
** Same for its remake ''VideoGame/{{Avernum}}''. Beside the Tower of Magi nearly every powerful mage either holed himself in some deep cave or has a personal tower. Although [[GameplayAndStorySegregation most towers have only one level, very wide and flat]].
* The Wizards Tower in ''RuneScape''. There is also an evil Wizards tower, and the Mage's guild is set in an even bigger tower. There's even a wizard living in a tower out in the middle of nowhere. The Mage's guild even contains portals that let you teleport to any of the previously mentioned towers.
* In the iOS game VideoGame/{{Highborn}}, you can capture towers to be able to control the Wizard living in it.
** There is also a tower where the Wizard's Council meets. They're rather afraid to come out because of the dragon trying to eat them, so Enzo has to go up to the tower himself to talk to them. He grumbles about having to do it a second time in the second chapter.
* In ''TheSimsMedieval'', the Wizard sim lives in a tower. [[DownplayedTrope It's three stories high]].
* ''VideoGame/NetHack''
** The Wizard of Yendor lives in a tower in Gehennom.
** The wizard role's quest starts in "the Lonely Tower", home of quest leader Neferet the Green.
* In ''VideoGame/EmeraldCityConfidential'', Glinda's tower and MagicalLibrary are in disrepair after her death.
* The Mage Towers in ''VideoGame/{{Thief}} Gold'' are a large castle complex with four towers at the corners, and a central tower higher than the rest. Only mages of specific orders are permitted into the towers above the ground floor, and only a handful of individuals have access to the central tower.
* In DwarfFortress, anyone who learns necromancy is inexplicably compelled to use zombie slaves to build an enormous tower where they sit and write books.
* Wizards and other mage-type classes in ''DesktopDungeons'' reside in the Mage Tower, which actually hovers a few feet above ground, so only mages and the occasional birds can get inside.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/cpam/felicia/series.php Felicia, the Sorceress of Katara]] has one just outside of the nearby town.
* In ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'', Julie's group (sans Rocky) visit one where a powerful halfling Psion lives and works. The psion isn't a ''magician'' but has powerful PsychicPowers.
* ''TowerOfGod'': TheTower contains a lot of people. Probably more than currently [[StarScraper live]] [[BiggerOnTheInside on earth]]. And the entire inner section of the Tower is devoted to people who have the innate capability to [[FunctionalMagic utilize]] [[AppliedPhlebotinum Shinsoo]], which is about a hundred million.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Fumblemore from ''YogscastMinecraftSeries Shadow of Israphel'' lives in one.
* In Literature/TheLayOfPaulTwister, a lot of powerful wizards have their own Wizards' Tower, to the point where it's considered a bit surprising when a powerful archmage doesn't have one. There's also a tower at Stark Academy, which functions as a research center. Exactly what purpose the towers serve is never quite explained.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Ice King from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' lives in a hollowed-out mountain peak that's functionally identical to a tower.
* Before being sent out to Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' lived in a very ivory-esque iteration of such a tower. Canterlot's landscape in general is dotted with a good number of these, which is appropriate as it is populated primarily by unicorns.
** Even afterwards, Twilight lives in a giant tree (that also serves as the town library.) Only Rainbow Dash's house is higher, and that's only because it floats in the sky.
* In ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'', the Cloudtower school for witches is a tall tower. It can change its own structure, and the presence of dark magic in it makes Cloudtower bad for fairies to stay in for a long time.
[[/folder]]

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