Benevolent Mage Ruler
aka: Sorcerer King

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/elsa_royal_sorceress.jpg

When a sorcerer gains enough knowledge of magic, Alchemy, Elemental Powers, or the innermost workings of magic, he may use his powers to Take Over the World. This is not that trope.

The Benevolent Mage Ruler (referred to for the rest of the article as a Sorcerer King) is a fair and just ruler.

The Sorcerer King will usually rule over Fantasy settings. Often in charge of one of two warring factions; his kingdom and an evil empire.

Note that female examples also exist, they are the Sorceress Queens.

This sometimes overlaps with Emperor Scientist, especially where Clarke's Third Law, Alchemy Is Magic, and/or Magitek is in this setting. But this trope is different as while the Emperor Scientist focuses on the sciences (and is usually evil or Mad). This character type is more in tune with the art of magic (and is usually good). This also overlaps with The Philosopher King, The Good King, The High Queen, The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask, Princesses Rule and She Is the King.

Compare Emperor Scientist and Magocracy, the sci-fi and Vast Bureaucracy counterparts, and Authority Equals Asskicking or Asskicking Equals Authority depending on how he became King or Queen in the first place. Contrast Sorcerous Overlord.


Examples

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    Anime And Manga 
  • Clow Reed from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle was the world's most powerful sorcerer who ruled over Clow Country. As it turns out, though, he wasn't the original ruler due to time-travel mess-ups.
  • Magical Girl anime generally has a Sorceress Queen as the ultimate Big Good. She is the boss of the fairies who give power to the main characters. An example is Suite Pretty Cure ♪. And if it's a classic Magical Girl anime, then the main character(s) is expected to grow into this trope in the future. An example is Magical Princess Minky Momo.
  • The 'benevolent' part is completely absent in Dai Mahou Touge. But then a lot of things are absent from it, such as a kindhearted main character.
  • Most of the Kage from Naruto, although some fit the "benevolent" part better than others.
  • The Magic Kingdom Levianta in the Evillious Chronicles was ruled by a female prophet named Maria Moonlit before going on a search to select another Benevolent Mage Ruler, a powerful sorceress who could help save the country. The selection process didn't end well.

    Comic Books 
  • Elyon eventually becomes a Sorceress Princess to the Kingdom of Meridian in W.I.T.C.H. and its cartoon adaption; this is in stark contrast to her brother Phobos, who ruled for many years as a Sorcerous Overlord.
  • Believe it or not, Doctor Doom is actually a benevolent ruler towards his own people, and he is an extremely powerful mage as well.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Glinda in Oz: The Great and Powerful after Oscar wins her kingdom back. Her father was also a powerful wizard. Oscar is not, but he uses his technical knowledge and stage magic to create this impression.
  • The White Queen from Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Alice Through the Looking Glass has trace amounts of this, especially when she magically clears away the chains and cobwebs surrounding the grandfather-clock which doubles as a portal to Time's realm.

    Literature 
  • Paul Atreides and his son Leto II in Dune. Though how "good" they are is debatable, considering how many billions died during the jihads of Paul's Fremen and how Leto played tyrant in order to get people to leave the stagnant core worlds and scatter throughout the universe. They have the ability of prescience and conscious control over their bodies to an improbable level. And of course Leto II merged with a sandworm and became the Trope Namer for God Emperor.
  • Jonathan IV of Conte becomes king of Tortall in the fourth book of Song of the Lioness, Lioness Rampant. Jon was born with magic and uses it throughout the series, most notable when Duke Roger threatens the kingdom, Jonathan uses the Dominion Jewel, brought to him by Alanna, to counteract Roger's spells.
  • The Raven King of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, a.k.a. John Uskglass, the Black King of the North, who ruled Northern England along with a large Faerie Kingdom and a land on the far side of Hell for several centuries and had magical power on par with Lucifer. Even three centuries after his departure, he is still well loved in Northern England, with Childermass declaring loyalty to the King at the end of the novel for which, it is hinted, the Raven King heals his cheek, and he is suggested to have left in order to protect England from threats to her magical borders.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, several Supreme Chancellors of the Galactic Republic were also Jedi Knights. In fact, there was a 400 year period when the Republic was ruled by only Jedi chancellors. All of them were this trope, and the Republic lived another thousand years because of their leadership.
  • Princess Ozma is a good and magical ruler of a fairyland. Glinda of Quadling Country and Locasta/Tattypoo of Gillikin Country (the Good Witches of South and North) are also examples. But there are just as many examples of wicked magic users as good ones, such as the East and West witches, Princess Langwidere, and Coo-Eh-Oh. The only thing they have in common is that women tend to be more effective rulers in Baum's canon.
  • The Dragon Knight is a baron who's also a magician (albeit a low-level one, since being a feudal lord means he can't dedicate his life to magecraft).
  • The Farseer dynasty in Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings saga are psychically gifted with a variety of powers. Whether they fall here or under Sorcerous Overlord depends on the monarch: Kings Shrewd and Verity are definite examples of The Good King, while Regal is a prejudiced asshole and part of the first trilogy's Big Bad Ensemble.
  • Heralds of Valdemar:
    • The backstory, detailed in the Mage Wars trilogy, features the conflict between reluctant leader Urtho, the Mage of Silence, and would-be world conqueror Ma'ar... along with its world-shattering aftermath.
    • The founder of Valdemar, the eponymous King Valdemar, also counts. (His Queen was a sorceress as well.) To ensure that all future rulers would also be benevolent, he wove a magic spell and combined it with a prayer to every god he'd every heard from, resulting in the Companions and the creation of the titular Heralds.
  • Belgarion of Riva is Rivan King, Overlord of the West, and a powerful sorcerer. And a good guy.
  • Subverted with King Kethel and Queen Tathilya in The Quest of the Unaligned. They're the rightful rulers of the realm of Caederan, the most powerful mages in the Realm, and benevolent enough to make fine rulers. The problem is that they are too "airheaded" to realize that by favoring wind over the other three elements, they've thrown the whole kingdom out of whack.
    • Played completely straight with their son and daughter-in-law, Crown Prince Alaric and Princess Laeshana.
  • In the Web Serial Flight of the Godkin Griffin Shraeven, a newly conquered province of the Godkindred Kingdom that still considers itself a country, has nobility who are chosen by the gods instead of by bloodline, indicated by markings on their body and wielding of Elemental Magic as gods are the sole source of magic in this setting. Angharad, the new governor of Shraeven looks like she is being set up to make Shraeven independent and be their new queen as god after god marks her. But after destroying the physical form of the Godkindred's God Emperor she gives rulership of Shraeven to her "native guide" (and lover) Ragna, and becomes Priest-Sorcerer-Queen of the Godkindred instead.
  • The Riddle Master Trilogy: Most of the land-rulers (all of them, if you count the land-rule itself as a magical ability) have some sort of power, a variety of shapeshifting. None of them, however, are wizards, as that's a whole different class of people. The High One, who is the highest authority in the realm, is perhaps a more straight example of the trope, given that he has a far vaster array of powers, though even then he mostly concerns himself with matters of land-rule.
  • Vond the warlock from Lawrence Watt-Evans' novel The Unwilling Warlord. Vond gains access to tremendous magical power and easily conquers several small kingdoms, creating an empire. But Vond is not a bad ruler: for example, he helps peasants to grow crops with his magic. He mostly plays with his warlockry, spends time with his harem (assembled without any coercion), and delegates the "boring stuff" to the ruling council. And then it gets kinda doubly subverted, when the Calling - every warlock's bane - catches up with him...
  • In "The Sixty-Two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd", Caliph Arenschadd is a wizard. His rule is mostly benevolent apart from his tendency to put curses on people when he loses his temper, and even that is generally regarded as better than, say, chopping people's heads off, since none of the curses are lethal and most are more annoying than really harmful.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: The fire mage Jarhdans used to be this for Sileria. Elalar's son is prophesied to be the next one, with both fire and water magic, uniting the Guardians and water lords.
  • The Crimson Shadow: Brind'Amour, after he becomes king of Eriador.

    Live-Action Television 
  • Many of the spellcasters from Once Upon a Time possess varying levels of authority, usually as queens.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • King Solomon of Judah is frequently depicted as The Archmage, oftentimes to the point of it being said that he either invented magic or was the person to make it accessible to mortals. Numerous mystical texts, particularly on the subject of demonology, are attributed to Solomon and between the three monotheistic religions he's been told to perform such feats as the binding of hundreds of thousands of demons, journeying the breadth of heaven and hell, commanding the winds and the flames, and speaking to animals. In fact, the famous "Seal of Solomon" (two intertwined triangles) has become one of the symbols most strongly associated with Western mysticism - it being said that Solomon's command of spirits was so vast that even millennia after his death the mere invocation of his signature strikes fear in their hearts. Interestingly, he's never explicitly mentioned to be a magician in the bible (although he is in the Koran, and his magical abilities are readily acknowledged by Jews, Christians and Muslims). More interesting yet is the fact that in all three religions, magic is largely thought to be evil and forbidden (with the exception of mystical Judaism, which permits "White Magic"). Solomon gets a special exception from the rule as he was acknowledged by God Himself as the wisest and most benevolent of all mortals and his most beloved, meaning whatever Solomon did could not, practically by definition, by bad.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: The God Emperor of Mankind, among other things, was considered the greatest psyker (the franchise's term for psychics and sorcerers) of all time, capable of bending the fabric of reality and destroying much. His power was considered godlike, despite his insistence otherwise. As usual we have to note here that in any other setting he'd be a Sorcerous Overlord, as billions lie dead from his direct actions, never mind those of his followers. Did we mention that 40k is GRIMDARK yet?
  • Warhammer has several examples among its more magical races, though they are almost unheard of in the human realms. The High Elves are ruled by a Phoenix King, elected from the male nobility of Ulthuan, and an Everqueen - who is always the eldest daughter of the previous Everqueen, conceived after a year-long ritual marriage to the Phoenix King. All Everqueens are powerful sorceresses by birthright, and some of the Phoenix Kings have also been powerful wizards (Bel-Korhadris the Scholar-King and Bel-Hathor the Sage most prominently). Likewise the Wood Elves of the Loren Forest have Queen Ariel, who is a great wizard. The Slann Mage-Priests, rulers of the Lizardmen, might also count, although their morality is starkly alien and so it is a matter of uncertainty as to whether they're Benevolent Mage Rulers or Evil Sorcerous Overlords. Both at the same time probably.
    • Kislev is ruled by a Tzar who are ice mage/rulers who can bring forth a blizzard on their enemies, this is very handy when their northern neighbors are Chaos worshiping vikings who Rape, Pillage, and Burn for a living.
  • Forgotten Realms:
    • King Gareth Dragonsbane of Damara is an epic-level paladin and cleric of Ilmater. His magics are divinely given and tied to him remaining Lawful Good, and in the course of gaining the throne he helped drive out an occupying army from neighboring Vaasa's Sorcerous Overlord.
    • Also, three of the Seven Sisters, all of whom are Chosen of Mystra and powerful sorceresses, ruled realms as these. Alustriel Silverhand (Chaotic Good) spent 134 years as the High Lady of Silverymoon before stepping down, then was chosen as ruler of the Confederation of the Silver Marches two years later, and in both cases her rule proved a boon to the whole region. Meanwhile her sister Alassra is Chaotic Neutral but ruled as the Witch-Queen of Aglarond for decades, fighting hard to keep the country from being conquered by neighboring Thay. Meanwhile Laeral Silverhand is the wife of Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun of Waterdeep and though she doesn't actually rule the town (it has a council of lords rather than a single ruler), she is heavily involved in its running.

    Video Games 
  • Lord British in the Ultima series is an extremely powerful (if aging) magician and a benevolent ruler of the land named after him, Britannia.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: Binding Blade, if the Lady of Black Magic in training Lilina makes it to the end, she's said to have become the very wise and powerful Duchess of Ostia, who manages to lead the Lycian League into becoming the Kingdom of Lycia. As a plus, if she marries Roy via an A support, they grow into a Ruling Couple and lead Lycia together.
      • Since Princess Guinevere of Bern is in the magic-using Sage class (the same Lilina can promote into), she'll probably become this when she takes over the throne of Bern at the end of the game.
    • Fire Emblem Tellius has Empress Sanaki of Begnion. She's seen in Path of Radiance but in Radiant Dawn she is a mage type class capable of using all classes of magic, and quite the wise ruler despite her age.
      • The Light Priestess Micaiah also counts after Radiant Dawn, once she becomes queen of Deain. She's also Sanaki's elder sister and the true heir of the Begnion, but decides against taking it since Sanaki is already doing a good enough job.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has the Black Mage Leo in the Birthright path, who becomes King of Nohr after the death of the actual Crown Prince (Xander) and the abdication of the rightful succesor (Princess Camilla), plus Princess Elise's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Jieun of Dandelion grows into this in the Happily Ever After "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. In the game proper, he's merely a Sorcerer Wise Prince.
  • WarCraft:
    • The High Elves of Quel'Thalas were ruled by the Sunstrider dynasty, all powerful mages, until Kael'Thas went off the deep end.
    • Jaina Proudmoore while she was the ruler of Theramore.
  • With the minor exception of his title (he used Grand Vizier instead. He was still openly and legally the one in charge, note), Gavin Magnus of Bracada of Might and Magic and Heroes of Might and Magic was this trope (understandable, as the ruler of the Wizards' nation of Bracada). Then the world blew up, and he went off the deep end.
  • Alexander of King's Quest is a reasonably competent magic user by the time he returns to Daventry and becomes a prince. When he goes to the Land of the Green Isles to seek Princess Cassima, he ends up being crowned king. Granted, his spell casting tends to be limited to Utility Magic, but that doesn't mean he can't be deadly with it.
  • Half the characters in Age of Wonders are this. The other half are the other trope. Which one you are depends on your choices.
  • When the titular Princess from The Legend of Zelda is an adult, she's always this trope.
  • Princess Peach also has some magical powers, as shown in Super Princess Peach and the Super Smash Bros. series.

    Webcomics 
  • In Mario & Luigi: Cleanup Crew, Princess Peach starts using her magic powers after she learns trouble's afoot.
  • Our Little Adventure has two mentioned so far. The first one is Queen Trilanna, the ruler of Everwood. The second is King Tegretol, ruler of Silverfronds. They both rule their lands justly and fairly (though a little chaotically) and they're working together to prevent the Souballo Empire from taking over Silverfronds.

    Western Animation 


Alternative Title(s): Sorcerer Queen, Sorceress King, Sorceress Queen, Sorcerer King, Sorceror King, Sorcerer Monarch

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BenevolentMageRuler?from=Main.SorcererKing