[[quoteright:350:[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Saruman-Two-Towers_copy_8271.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:We're actually talking about the ''[[TheManBehindTheMan eye]]'', not the bearded sorcerer.]]

->''"Mages who sit on thrones always mean trouble, Olive-girl. They take themselves too seriously."''
-->-- '''Olive''', ''Wyvern's Spur'' ([[TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms Finder's Stone Trilogy]])

Take an EvilSorcerer, mix with EvilOverlord, place against one incredibly physical and muscular protagonist and leave to stew in a realm of CreepyCrows, [[SurveillanceAsThePlotDemands palantirs]] and monstrous minions.

The Sorcerous Overlord is probably one of the most common variations of EvilSorcerer due to the strong themes that come out of having a single hero or small RagtagBunchOfMisfits against a ruler whose power comes from a vague, nebulous and potentially ever-pervasive source.

They can always have a number of devices to keep inserting their presence into the plot: {{Magic Mirror}}s, evil animal minions, setting up magical warriors. Every element of the overlord's realm can be a [[FisherKing more direct extension of themselves]] (with inherent AlwaysChaoticEvil) and they can come up with various ways of sending a threat against them.

They also make good foils for the strong hero who fights through mainly physical stabbing-meaty-things-with-pointy-things methods. On the other hand, this can make it hard to explain why there are any limits on the sorcery when fighting the hero.

See also TheMagocracy. If the magical overlord is also a [[OurLichesAreDifferent Lich]] then their realm doubles as TheNecrocracy, a domain ruled by the undead. Contrast BenevolentMageRuler where a magic-user [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin rules benevolently]], and CourtMage, where a magic-user is a ruler's advisor rather than the ruler themselves. Compare EmperorScientist, who has science instead of magic. (However, Sorcerous Overlord and EmperorScientist are known to [[{{SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic}} overlap]] quite often.)



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Di Barrow in ''Manga/TheFiveStarStories'' is a former EvilChancellor who managed to become the sorcerous overlord of a country. And then it turns out he's just a host body for the ancient wizard Bosjathfort, who plans to become overlord of the galaxy.
* High Priest Zagato ''appears'' to be this in the first part of ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth''. When the heroines arrive in the world of Cephiro, he has apparently imprisoned [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Princess Emeraude]], the rightful ruler, and instigated an iron-fisted reign of terror enforced by both his minions and his own tremendous magical ability. It turns out to be a bit more complicated than that. [[spoiler:The short version is that Zagato is in love with Emeraude, who reciprocates, but is distressed because the continued existence of Cephiro requires its ruler's constant singleminded prayers for its peace and stability. When her thoughts start drifting more and more towards Zagato rather than her duty, she imprisons herself and summons the heroines to come and kill her (both because [[ICannotSelfTerminate she is unable to commit suicide]] and because her selfish thoughts will eventually create a SuperPoweredEvilSide that will annihilate the world before it has a chance to select a replacement ruler). Zagato, finding the whole setup extremely unfair (to say the least) amasses power, followers, and a reputation as a SorcerousOverlord on purpose in an attempt to keep the heroines from fulfilling their mission in an attempt to flip the world that denies his love a giant middle finger.]]
* In the light novel, anime and manga ''LightNovel/{{Overlord}}'', VillainProtagonist Ainz is a very, very rare example of a protagonist being this trope.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Kulan Gath from the ''ComicBook/ConanTheBarbarian'' and ''Comicbook/RedSonja'' comics. Most of Conan's foes, actually.
* ComicBook/DoctorDoom is a fusion of this trope and EmperorScientist. He started out relying almost exclusively on science, but over time began utilizing his innate talent for magic as well.
* [[Comicbook/DoctorStrange Dormammu]] is this trope, as he is an EvilSorcerer as well as being a demonic god-tyrant, PureMagicBeing, and DimensionLord. Unlike other examples, he both draws on magical beings for power and ''is'' a magical being whose power is drawn upon. His sister Umar also fits this, though she has fallen victim to ShapeshifterModeLock and appears to be a handsome young woman.
* [[ComicBook/LesLegendaires Darkhell]] was this in the country of [[{{Mordor}} Shiar]], with some EmperorScientist aspects. He lost the place after the Legendaries defeated him for the first time, though, and remains a mere EvilSorcerer in most of his latter appearances.
* ''ComicBook/XMen'':
** Azazel, father of Nightcrawler.
** [[ComicBook/IllyanaRasputin Magik]] is Supreme Sorcerer of the [[AnotherDimension Otherplace/Limbo]].
* ''ComicBook/BlackMoonChronicles'': [[BigBad Haazheel Thorn]] is an incredibly powerful and ancient archmage who has built his own dark religion to conquer the Empire of Lynn [[spoiler:and prepare the world for the arrival of the forces of hell.]]

[[folder:Fan Work]]
* ''Fanfic/KingdomHeartsNewEpicTheFirst'' has the malevolent and dangerous Wolfang Richler. Despite initially appearing to be a harmless, wacky trickster, it is made evident even in his introduction that this is ''not'' someone you want interested in you. He has incredibly fearsome magic that is, by all appearance, ''solely OneHitKill moves.'' Including a very literal DeathGlare. Its even mentioned that he once had a lot more power in the worlds than he currently does, and he's looking to get all that back.
* Subverted in ''Fanfic/TheDifferenceOneManCanMake''. Sure, the Witch-King-Beyond-the-Wall ''seems'' to be this: he uses mystic powers, he rules over the cold and dreary [[GrimUpNorth Land beyond the Wall]], the [[BarbarianTribe wildlings]] bow to him and his reaching to Essos and the Seven Kingdoms implies he nurtures the ambition to go south of the Wall as many of his predecessors... Except that the Witch-King is actually [[Franchise/HarryPotter Harry Potter]], NiceGuy to the finest who only seeks to improve the Free Folk's lot and has no wish to involve himself or his people in the game of thrones.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Merlock in ''WesternAnimation/DuckTalesTheMovieTreasureOfTheLostLamp''. It's not stated explicitly what possessions he ruled over, but he's an EvilSorceror who used Genie to spread terror and fear wherever he wanted. His dark floating fortress at the end wouldn't look out of place as [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Sauron]]'s residential palace.
* Maleficent in ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'', who's either an EvilSorceress or one of TheFairFolk. She seems to rule over a dark land adjacent to the human kingdoms from her ominous castle, populated only by her monstrous and incredibly dumb minions.
* The Horned King in ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron'', although his magical powers are fairly limited and require complex rituals to realize. This tyrant is a [[HornedHumanoid horned]], robed member of the undead, probably a [[OurLichesAreDifferent lich]]. He plots to take over the world from his fortress by acquiring an army of skeletal warriors known as the Cauldron Born.
* Jafar in ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' manages to work his way up to the trope full-time for the last act of the film. He is already a talented wizard at the start and hypnotizes the Sultan, being an EvilChancellor, but once he gets the Genie's magic lamp, he wishes himself Sultan, and then wishes himself as the most powerful sorcerer. IN THE WORLD!!! His third wish, however, turns him into a Genie himself after he's goaded by Aladdin, which traps him in a lamp.
* Ommadon in ''WesternAnimation/TheFlightOfDragons'' is one of four wizards, each one of them representing an aspect of the magical world they live in ("water and sky", "light, air, peace, and transcendence", "earth and nature", and evil). He is the evil one out of the bunch, naturally. He reigns over a {{Mordor}}-like desolated kingdom and his powers include MindControl over dragons and various other creatures to serve his deeds, teleportation and summoning dragon heads from his body.
* Blackwolf in ''Film/{{Wizards}}'' turns a bunch of mutants and demons into an [[PuttingOnTheReich expy of Nazi Germany]], intentionally. His good brother Avatar could be a king but seems to be too lazy to be more than just a powerful wizard.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Thulsa Doom in the first ''Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982'' movie. He's obviously magical what with the turning into a snake, the snake arrows, and the MoreThanMindControl, but sometimes you get the feeling that he's really best defined by being the opposition to the sword wielding BarbarianHero.
* [[TheEmperor Palpatine]] and several [[DarkLord Dark Lords of the Sith]] in ''StarWars'' are this trope, only InSpace. Despite the science fiction setting, Palpatine lives and breathes this trope to the point of going around in public wearing a black robe. The [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]] takes this a lot further, often depicting Sith Lords even more explicitly as dark wizards doubling as [[GalacticConqueror galactic conquerors]].
* In ''Film/TheMummyTombOfTheDragonEmperor'', the Dragon Emperor qualifies, not only is he a good fighter, he has control over magic as well, and plans to gain immortality.
* Matai Shang in ''[[Film/JohnCarter John Carter]]'', a Sorcerous Overlord [[RecycledInSpace IN SPACE!]].
* Queen Ravenna from ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman'' is a powerful VainSorceress who has usurped the throne.
** Her sister Freya in the [[Film/TheHuntsmanWintersWar sequel]].
* In ''Film/InTheNameOfTheKing'', this is how Gallian is able to retain his magical abilities, while not actually serving a king (this appears to be a requirement for all magi). He explains that he uplifted the mindless Krug and made himself their king. Thus, by serving himself, he became this trope. His eventual goal is to crush all opposition and rule the world. Of course, it's stated that only Gallian's twisted mind could make this work. Naturally, he is primarily opposed by {{Muggles}}, specifically [[Creator/JasonStatham Farmer]], who has no powers of his own but still kicks plenty of ass. His good counterpart is Merick, the magus serving the King of Ehb.
* ''Film/KullTheConqueror'': Queen Akivasha is an ancient witch queen who once ruled over Valusia and is resurrected by the bad guys to remove Kull the Barbarian from the throne. Though her plan is apparently to bring HellOnEarth, the way she came to power by marrying Kull and then arranging his death (he escaped) means she can't really be upfront that she's evil to her subjects and has to be a VillainWithGoodPublicity.
* ''{{Film/Willow}}'': Queen Bavmorda, who's not only a conquering ruler but also a powerful sorceress.
* ''Film/KingArthurLegendOfTheSword'': Vortigern becomes this after seizing power due to a pact with some eldritch creatures.
* ''Film/HowlingIIStirbaWerewolfBitch'': Stirba operates like this in Transylvania. She rules over a cult of werewolves from her castle, while possessing explicit magical powers. Yes, a werewolf witch-queen.

* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'':
** Sauron is probably the TropeCodifier, having vast supernatural abilities beyond being a nigh-unstoppable warrior in his TinTyrant shape, as he's essentially [[FallenAngel an angelic being who was corrupted]] by his cruelty and lust for power.
** [[TheDragon The Witch-King of Angmar]] often acted as this, ruling his own independent realms with little direct oversight from Sauron.
** Saruman the White, who along with Gandalf is actually a lesser angelic being somewhat similar to Sauron, tried to establish his own dominion by allying with Sauron, but it didn't work out for him...
** But way before them was [[SatanicArchetype Melkor/]][[GodOfEvil Morgoth]]. While most of the other [[EvilOverlord Evil Overlords]] of Middle-Earth are mortals or Fallen Maia, Melkor is a Valar of great might. Maia are extraordinarily powerful. Vala are more powerful than Maia. Melkor was more powerful than ''[[UpToEleven all of the other Vala combined.]]''He demonstrates this by using his magical powers to destroy and twist matter into his liking, [[MindRape mind raping people]], and being a generally ManipulativeBastard.
*** Here's how powerful Melkor is/was: Sauron poured his essence into the One Ring to stay alive. Melkor poured his essence into Arda itself. That's right. Nothing short of TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt can kill him.
* In ''Literature/{{Masques}}'', the ae'Magi is one of those. He has entire towns of people do his bidding, because he has charmed them to love and admire him so much that even saying something negative about him will get you beheaded by the next random passer-by.
* Creator/ClarkAshtonSmith liked this one:
** Maal Dweb, by virtue of his magic, is the absolute ruler of a solar system with six planets. He spends most of his time [[OrcusOnHisThrone alone in his fortress]] with a harem of [[TakenForGranite petrified]] women, collecting tributes and getting [[LonelyAtTheTop rather bored]].
** Malygris is the preeminent {{Necromancer}} on a remnant of {{Atlantis}}. Although he isn't a formal leader, he's so [[TheDreaded feared]] that he's offered a tithe of the island's trade as a matter of course, as the "overlord of all kings and sorcerers." [[spoiler:Being dead has barely slowed him down.]]
** Ossaru was this for the realm of Zothique, ruling half the continent with the blessing of a GodOfEvil even before an EldritchAbomination arrived to tutor him in the arcane. He's introduced as a [[ShroudedInMyth legend]] in "The Tomb-Spawn" [[spoiler:and has merged with said abomination to form the titular beast.]].
* Galbatorix from the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle''.
* The Shadow Lord from Emily Rodda's Literature/DeltoraQuest series. He arrived as a mere EvilSorcerer, now he rules the shadowlands [[spoiler:formerly known as Piria]] with designs on adding it neighboring land of Deltora to his domain, which has the ports he can use to spead his evil to other lands.
* The Warlock Lord, Brona, from ''The Sword of Literature/{{Shannara}}''.
* Emperor Ariakas from ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' was a MagicKnight flavor of this: challenge him, and he can best you in a duel, char you to a crisp, or some combination thereof.
* Emperor Otha of Zemoch from Literature/TheElenium, also head of the local ReligionOfEvil. He's also completely sedentary and dumb as a post, but he makes up for it with his magical power and being the head of the single most powerful nation in the world. He's still answerable to [[GodOfEvil his god]]...
* ''Literature/TheBlackCompany'' series by Creator/GlenCook is chock full of these guys and gals, with the most prominent being the Lady (in the present day) and the Dominator (in the backstory). There're also some former Sorcerous Overlords--specifically, most of the Taken seem to be this--who were enslaved by the more powerful ones. AlwaysABiggerFish, indeed.
* Emperor Ma'elKoth from ''Literature/TheActsOfCaine'' books fits this to a tee.
* [[Literature/TheElricSaga Elric of Melnibone]]. He's ''somewhat'' less evil than is usual for the trope.
* The Shadowlord from Creator/TanyaHuff's ''Literature/SmokeAndShadows''.
* Ozorne, the title character of ''[[Literature/TortallUniverse Emperor Mage]]''. He has a [[TheGoodKing good counterpart]] in Jonathan, the king of Tortall.
* The White Witch in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' pulled this off twice. In ''Literature/TheMagiciansNephew'', she is found in [[HumanPopsicle suspended animation]] on the dying world of Charn, where she murdered the planet's population with a FantasticNuke rather than allow her rival sister to defeat her. She escapes to Narnia, where she is able to rule for a century of EndlessWinter and wanton [[TakenForGranite petrifications]] before getting eaten by CrystalDragonJesus in ''Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe''.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Voldemort's long-term goal was to become one of these, being an immortal dark wizard who would rule over a fascist magocracy. However, for most of the series he's more of an underground terrorist against the current rulers. Even after usurping control of the Ministry of Magic in the last book, he elected to control it behind the scenes through a puppet minister, as basically crowning himself would have been too blatant a move for the wizarding world to ignore.
* ''Literature/TheElminsterSeries'':
** In ''Elminster: The Making of a Mage'', a country was taken over by a [[EvilSorcerer cruel]] [[TheArchmage archmage]]. He's known as "[[TheCaligula the Mad Mage]]" because torturing people is his pastime. Elminster tries to defeat him, but almost gets killed and has to be rescued by Mystra.
*** Elminster himself consciously averts this at the end of the same novel: after overthrowing the Magelords, he ''could'' legitimately claim the throne for himself by right of descent (and having the witnesses to confirm that he really is who he says, too), but decides that he's not really rulership material and that the kingdom likely has had its fill of being governed by wizards for a good long while.
** One of Elminster's friends is a more ambiguous version: she's a very powerful mage and also queen of her country. Though not cruel, she's feared by her subjects due to being reckless and unstable.
* ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'': Darken Rahl, lord of the D'Haran Empire. Later Emperor Jagang, head of the Imperial Order. [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Some might also see]] Richard as this later on, despite him officially being the [[DesignatedHero hero]].
* ''Literature/TheSilerianTrilogy'': Kiloran wants to be this for all of Sileria. He takes over one of its cities to begin once the Valdani depart.
* The ''Literature/FightingFantasy'' game books have no shortage of these. Chief among them are the Demonic Three, {{Card Carrying Villain}}s who studied the black arts together before going their separate ways to pursue world domination:
** Zagor, ruler of monsters in the [[ElaborateUndergroundBase vast cavern network]] beneath Firetop Mountain, who first [[CameBackWrong Comes Back Wrong]] to terrorize the countryside, then [[CameBackStrong returns again from death as a powerful demon]] to threaten the entire world.
** Balthus Dire, formidable MagicKnight, third in a line of thoroughly [[AristocratsAreEvil malevolent warlords]] ruling the local {{Mordor}}; evil enough to have a debilitating [[WeakenedByTheLight sunlight allergy]] normally only suffered by TheUndead.
** Zharradan Marr, master of inflicting PowerUpgradingDeformation; began his career with relatively PragmaticVillainy, developing gold mines to recruit his forces and expand his territory, then unleashed them on the world to pursue lost secrets of arcane power.
* ''{{Literature/Discworld}}'': Sourcerers essentially become these by virtue of being sources of magic, which is why wizards are forbidden to have children. Their power is so potent that they enhance the powers of the wizards around them and multiply their ambition to rule over everyone else. In fact, sourcerers were around during the early days of the disc and began the "Mage Wars" which nearly led to its destruction, due to the [[RealityWarper reality-warping]] nature of unleashing [[FantasticNuke raw weaponized magic]] which devastates everything.
* In ''Literature/{{Imajica}}'', the Autarch of Yzordderrex rules three AlternateUniverse[=s=], mainly by virtue of his unmatched magical prowess and utter ruthlessness.
* ''Literature/TheCrimsonShadow'': King Greensparrow, who rules Avon, Eriador and the islands nearby.
* ''{{Literature/Tigana}}'': The Peninsula of the Palm is ruled by not one but '''two''' sorcerer conquerors, Alberico and Brandin.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'': Darken Rahl. Richard also becomes this briefly when possessed of the power of Orden in an alternate reality.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': The Night King is a thousands-year old undead necromancer and the leader of the army of the dead that is preparing to invade the Seven Kingdoms.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* Queen Himiko in Myth/JapaneseMythology had a dash of this. She was a shaman-queen of Yamataikoku, the land that would become Japan. Legend says she ruled her people with magical mind-control, or something to that effect.
* King Manassah of Judah is said to have practiced sorcery, and Literature/TheBible quite simply states "he did evil in the eyes of the Lord."

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Manshoon used to be the leader and creator of the Zhentarim in the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' until he was DemotedToDragon by his lieutenant Fzoul Chembryl (who isn't technically a wizard, but an incredibly powerful priest of the dark god Bane).
** Also the Red Wizards of Thay, an order of mages who rule a country that suspiciously sounds like Mordor sometimes.
** Every single city-state in [[TabletopGame/DarkSun Athas]] is ruled by a Sorcerous Overlord. And they are horribly evil, every single one of them[[note]]with, in some editions, ''[[TheAtoner one]]'' exception, and even he has to keep up the façade of still being one to avoid the others ganging up on him and his people.[[/note]]: they got to be where they are now because they sucked all magic out of the world in the past to fuel their bloody campaigns, turning it into a blasted wasteland. Indeed, each has ascended into a dragon-like monstrous entity by virtue of committing ''genocide'' and consuming the souls of ''entire species''. This is why Athas has no trolls, orcs, gnomes, pixies…
** Vecna from the ''TabletopGames/{{Greyhawk}}'' setting was one.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' the dark elves are ruled over by Malekith the Witch-King, a TinTyrant who requires a magical suit of armor to give him strength after an encounter with holy fire.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Sons Legion, who crafts complex plans from the Planet of Sorcerers. Ironically, Magnus was the [[EvilCounterpart ''good'' counterpart]] of this trope, being a peerless scholar and warrior-magus who [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure lead his Legion respectably]], albeit indulging them and himself in some studies in the dark arts. He would have gone on this way, until betrayal and desperation lead him to [[DealWithTheDevil making a pact with the Chaos God Tzeentch]] in order to save the Thousand Sons from total destruction.
** Any Tzeentch-aligned Chaos Lord also counts, though any Chaos warbands, worlds, or other entities lead by a Sorceror counts as well.
** [[GodOfEvil Tzeentch]], deity of sorcery and ambition, runs on this trope as well as [[MindScrew weirder stuff]].
** In any other setting, The God-Emperor of Mankind would have been one back when he could actually move. He was the greatest psyker in human history, led a Grand Crusade to conquer the scattered lost colonies of man, eradicated multiple species and religions, and trillions have died over the millennia as a result of his actions. But in the [[CrapsackWorld Grim Darkness of the Far Future]], he qualified as a BenevolentMageRuler.
* The Lich-King of ''TabletopGame/ThirteenthAge'' was like this back when he was simply the Wizard King. Following his death and resurrection, he wants to start doing it again, but as one of possibly the least popular figures in the world with the other power players, it's not going to be an easy row to hoe.
* The Sorcerer-Kings in ''TabletopGame/DarkSun''. Its right there in the name! They are magic-wielding tyrants that long time ago used defiling magic that turned their world into a desert wasteland and used the lives of several demi-human races as fuel, with some species going completely extinct. As result, they became immortal and while they aren't truly gods themselves, they do [[AGodAmI have the attitude]] and [[PhysicalGod power to back it up]] with very few individuals in this setting being able to challenge them.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'':
** The VillainProtagonist, eventually. You start off as an [[TinTyrant armour plated warrior]] but to advance and gain more power and to fit more stereotypically into the EvilOverlord mode you can gain magic powers.
** [[spoiler:The Old Overlord, possessing the Gandalf stereotype wizard who killed him,]] is a more straight example.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'':
** Arthas Menethil, the Lich King. Combination of one of the most powerful necromancers and death knights? The world is screwed (if he can get up from his throne, that is...).
** Queen Azshara, once queen of the night elves, described as the most powerful mortal mage to ever live. [[VillainWithGoodPublicity Her people loved her]], but the only person she considered worthy of her was the leader of the Burning Legion whom she attempted to bring to Azeroth. Now she rules over the naga, plotting her revenge.
* Magus from ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', [[spoiler:until his HeelFaceTurn.]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** TheEmperor from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' is a textbook example.
** Final Fantasy in general loves this. Out-and-out examples include [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV Golbez]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyV Exdeath]] (both of whom mix it with TinTyrant), and Ultimecia, with other characters depending on your definition of an empire.
** BigBad Sorceress Ultimecia of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' rules over an uncertain future, can possess sorceresses in the past (which is when the game takes place), can create monsters and corrupt [=GFs=], and said GF is one of eight monster guardians in her castle whose job it is to stop the opposing [=SeeDs=] from being able to put up much of a fight against her in the FinalBoss fight of the game. Oh, and she can create [=GFs=] and spells herself. Her goal: compress time into a single singularity, though it's never clearly stated why she wants this.
* Shao Kahn from ''MortalKombat'', to the point of being the EvilCounterpart to [[BigGood Raiden]], who is a ''god''. Shinnok also has shades of this, though he is a fallen Elder God who just seems to have a bit of a sorcerous theme going on. [[TheStarscream Shang Tsung]] also falls into this when he's ruling the titular tournament as an old, decrepit man, and is a textbook example since his personal nemesis both in this form and later is Liu Kang, a Wushu practitioner who was one of the main protagonists for most of the series.
* The Magic Emperor in ''VideoGame/LunarTheSilverStar'' and its sequels.
* Evil Lord Drokmar from ''MagicSword''.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' features Ganon, whose magic abilities, which mostly derive from the Triforce of Power, are more or less ''divine''. There's also [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures Va]][[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap ati]]; while his overall power, as pertains to both magic and dominion, pales in comparison to Ganon's, he makes up for it by making greater actual usage of magic in combat.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'' has King Godwyn, ruler of the Gittish Empire. [[spoiler:He experimented with draining the magic power of Celestrians as power]], and he is an extremely competent mage. Even his normal attack seems to have at least some sort of magical element to it.
* Manannan from ''VideoGame/KingsQuestIII'' rules over Llewdor, but more like a bully than a king who rules outright, keeping the population in fear and maintaining a watchful (and paranoid!) eye over them from his telescope.
* In ''Videogame/SouthParkTheStickOfTruth'', Cartman plays the role of the [[MeaningfulName Grand Wizard]] of the King of Kupa Keep and leader of the human faction. He's not an actual wizard however, just playing the role of one.
* ''VideoGame/DisneysMagicalQuest'': Emperor Pete, the BigBad, is a Dark Lord with vast magical powers ruling from an imposing fortress.
* A 4X video game called ''VideoGame/MasterOfMagic'' involves 14 wizards with various affinities towards particular magics (Life, Nature, Sorcery, Chaos and Death).
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorldPiranhaIsland'': The Piranha Wizard is the evil ruler of Piranha Island. He possesses immense magical power and can send many types of projectiles at Mario in both of his boss battles. His castle, Piranha Castle, is even an elaborate PipeMaze filled with his Piranha Plant minions. He also has a fleet of tanks, which is used to guard his castle from intruders.
* ''VideoGame/StarcraftI'': Sarah Kerrigan was originally a Ghost (psionic humans trained to use their powers for assassinations) before being captured and remolded by the Zerg into the Queen of Blades. At that point, she was still more of a melee MagicKnight even after taking over the Swarm (her powers limited to cloaking, summoning electricity and eating her troops to regain energy), the "sorcerous" part comes across further in the expansion, where she [[spoiler:mind-controls a Dark Protoss matriarch across several light-years]] and manipulates her enemies into attacking each other. Then in ''Videogame/HeartOfTheSwarm'', she's [[spoiler:briefly depowered before being re-powered by the Primal Zerg]], giving her a lot more psionic abilities (including the equivalent of a Terran nuke) to give her the power she needs to fight [[spoiler:the rogue Xel'naga in ''VideoGame/LegacyOfTheVoid'' by turning into a burning, flying angelic figure]], eventually [[spoiler:AscendingToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ([[EarnYourHappyEnding and taking Jim Raynor with her]])]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[CardCarryingVillain Xykon]] in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' can be considered this as he's an EvilSorcerer, leads a horde of goblins and, after the former get slaughtered, an army of hobgoblins and started the strip holed up in an impressive cavern system containing one of the lynchpins of the universe. He became a more classical overlord when he conquered Azure City, though he's loath to just sit there and rule it in typical overlord fashion, since what he's actually after are [[SealedEvilInACan The Gates]], not to mention the fact that the nitty-gritty of statesmanship bores him. His [[TheDragon Dragon]], [[BadassPreacher Redcloak]], on the other hand...

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Razikale of ''Roleplay/ToRule'' is patron both the magics and the sciences.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Queen of the Crown in ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers''.
* Mozenrath in ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries'' is the perfect example of this. He is the ruler of the land of the black sand, he has powerful magic, and his schemes usually involve conquest or becoming more powerful in some way to facilitate said conquest. Aladdin fits the role of the muscle bound protagonist with his, as Iago put it, "two fisted ways." In this particular example, the sorcerous overlord and the musclebound protagonist sort of form a yin yang. Mozenrath is not completely incapable of defending himself in a physical confrontation, and Aladdin has the Genie and his magic to help him. The reason for this might be due to WordOfGod stating that the original plot of the third Aladdin movie was to reveal that Mozenrath was Aladdin's brother.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** [[RealityWarper Discord]] served as this during [[TheDarkTimes Equestria's early history]] before [[BigGood Princesses]] [[TheHighQueen Celestia]] and [[TheSacredDarkness Luna]] [[SealedEvilInACan defeated him]]. The Royal Sisters in question both serve as the unambiguously ''good'' version this for Equestria most of the time, using their magic to [[PaintingTheFrostOnWindows raise the sun and moon]], and generally make life good for their subjects.
** Shortly prior to [[FallenAngel Luna's fall into darkness]], [[EvilOverlord King Sombra]] imposed [[TheDarkTimes an evil reign]] upon [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas the Crystal]] [[ShiningCity Empire]], based around [[SlaveRace the enslavement]] [[SugarApocalypse of its entire population]], by becoming immensely powerful through the use of BlackMagic. The traps in [[OrcusOnHisThrone the castle he once occupied]] still hold great potency one thousand years later, and when he attempts to return, his evil magic has so consumed his nature that he takes the form of an [[AdvancingWallOfDoom advancing, disembodied force]] [[MadeOfEvil of malevolence]].
* ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'': Skeletor, similar setup to Thulsa Doom: big guy with loincloth and sword fights weird villain with powers that vary DependingOnTheWriter.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Fire Lord Ozai, as well as the Fire Lords before him since Sozin. Firebending isn't unique to the royal family, but it does show up with unusual consistency when it's usually completely random, and they're often much stronger than average.
** Just for reference, it's entirely possible for one of a pair of identical twins to be a bender while the other is not, and even being the offspring of the Avatar and one of the most powerful waterbenders ever won't guarantee you bending powers, yet every prince and princess of the Fire Nation is throwing fireballs before puberty.
* Aku from ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' is a shapeshifting EldritchAbomination who conquered the world after flinging the titular samurai far into the future. Aku rules Earth and a few planets beyond with an iron fist, and is more than eager to smite any fool that dares rise up against him.
* Every villain in ''WesternAnimation/ThundarrTheBarbarian''. As if a character with [[BarbarianHero that]] epithet was going to face anything else.
* Prince Phobos from WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}. Unlike many of these examples, though, his primary opponents are ''also'' magic-users.
* Master Cyclonis from ''WesternAnimation/StormHawks''.
* The [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Demon Sorcerer clan]] from ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', mixes with DemonLordsAndArchdevils, and a textbook example of the trope.