Lady of Black Magic

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Black is the new black.

"I got a black magic woman
Got me so blind I can't see
That she's a black magic woman
She's tryin' to make a devil out of me"
Santana

She's elegant, she's composed, and she's graceful. She's also packing enough magic to level half a city. The Lady of Black Magic is a character type found in fantasy who is primarily an offensive magic user.

Personality-wise, a Lady of Black Magic is elegant and more mature than The Hero. She may be an Ice Queen.

In design, this character will almost always be wearing something feminine, usually a dress of some sort. Unlike the Lady of War, the Lady of Black Magic can be Ms. Fanservice.

Physically, she'll be weaker than the melee type fighters, and will usually be equipped with a rod or ranged weapon. Very rarely she will have a melee weapon, but it will be weaker or less impressive than the hero's. Her primary combat role is to unleash destructive Black Magic, although she will occasionally have secondary healing, buffing, or debuffing abilities, as well. Occasionally, she will be a Magic Knight, in which case she is also a Lady of War.

Ladies of Black Magic are Always Female (Gentleman Wizard is the male counterpart), unlike their counterparts Black Magician Girl and White Magician Girl. She is rarely a Love Interest for The Hero, although if she is it will often be part of a Defrosting Ice Queen plot. Instead, she's usually older than The Hero and fills the role of a bigger sister, often a Cool Big Sis, or maternal figure.

Subtrope of Black Mage. Compare to Black Magician Girl, the other stock character type for offensive mages in fantasy who is often younger and less mature. Contrast White Mage and White Magician Girl, to whom this character type is often a Foil, and Black Magic.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • The RWBY fic The Eye Contact Rule portrays Young!Cinder as one: she's a kind girl who calmly explains magic to the protagonist, and comforts her on their first day at Beacon Academy.
  • Child of the Storm has Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, much like her canon counterpart. This version, however, was trained by Doctor Strange as his apprentice and is therefore a much more accomplished sorceress.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Luster in The Gamers: Dorkness Rising seems to be an attempt at this archetype, but her player isn't very good at the whole "dignity" aspect.
  • Scarlet Witch from Avengers: Age of Ultron. Her magical powers manifest as dark red energy bolts, with hugely destructive effects both physically and psychically. Her combat outfits are also more feminine in appearance compared to fellow Avenger Black Widow's, with a fondness for dresses and fashionable jackets, and she usually carries herself with a calm, contemplative demeanour.
  • Morgana le Fay from The Sorcerer's Apprentice to a T. She's progenitor of all evil sorcerers and very elegant, dressing in a feminine black dress and carrying herself with grace and dignity.

    Literature 
  • Nicci of the The Sword of Truth, a former Sister of the Dark who functions as one of Richard's primary magic experts, and is also the team expert on Subtractive Magic.
  • Dragaera's Sethra Lavode is a 250,000+ year-old undead sorceress, and contrary to the trope description she couldn't just level half a city— she could probably cause The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Melisandre the Red from A Song of Ice and Fire fits the personality aspect (and becomes something of a mentor to Jon Snow during A Dance With Dragons), but as part of a low-magic setting she's usually limited to soothsaying, illusion and giving birth to deadly Living Shadows. Given that she's one of a handful of people to show outright supernatural abilities at all, however, that says something. Her powers increase near the Wall, apparently allowing her to take out an eagle with a fireball.
  • Matilda in The Monk, a beautiful and seductive young lady who helps Ambrosia destroy Antonia with her magic. She's a woman of many talents.
  • Medea from The Icemark Chronicles. She's quiet, cunning, and mysterious, and a princess of the Icemark. Her powers grow in diversity throughout the series, from lightning storms to freezing time.
  • Jadis, the White Witch, from The Chronicles of Narnia. Elegant, merciless, and pure evil, she is an incredibly powerful sorceress who had the magical power to put Narnia in an eternal winter for 100 years and can turn beings into stone with her magic wand.
  • Skuld, the half-elven sorceress from the 13th century Saga of Hrolf Kraki, the title hero's treacherous half-sister and eventual architect of his downfall. In the Battle of Hleidragard, she summons a giant demon-boar and makes her fallen warriors come to life again, so they continue fighting as zombies.
  • Fiona of The Chronicles of Amber. Her personality is a mix between elegant Proper Lady (when it suits her) and Femme Fatale (when it amuses her); and she has Pattern-based powers which could easily destroy a good chunk of the multiverse.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the 1998 Merlin series, Mab fills this role, as well as being the series' Big Bad.
  • In the BBC Merlin, it was Morgause, a powerful sorceress and High Priestess of the Old Religion, until she died. Morgana, an intelligent and beautiful young lady of Royal Blood, steps up to the plate as she trains her raw magical power under Morgause herself. Word of God says she's at least as powerful as Merlin now.
  • In Chinese Paladin, all the descendents of Nu'Wa fit this, both in personality and powers: Zixuan of Chinese Paladin 3 is an Ice Queen priestess who takes on the undefeated Demon King in single combat; her daughter Qing'er, The High Queen, who has similar, though lesser powers; and granddaughter Ling'er is a Lady of War.
  • The kids show Electra Woman And Dyna Girl had the Empress of Evil, with her magical arsenal of gravity-related, electrical, and teleportation powers. Then subverted when it's revealed at the end that she's actually a robot controlled by her fawning "sidekick".

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Hecate from Greek Mythology, the goddess of magic, crossroads, ghosts, and moonlight. She is a virgin goddess, has three appearances or heads, and lives in the Underworld, portraying her as dignified, mysterious, and solitary. She is also usually presented as beautiful and garbed in dark robes, and many stories state that she is extremely powerful. Because of Hecate, this trope is Older Than Feudalism.
  • Isis of Egyptian Mythology is the goddess of magic, as well as healing and motherhood, and is portrayed as elegant, wise, and the representation of the pharaoh's power. She is also known as "She Who Knows All Names", a fearsome title because using names for casting Egyptian magic spells was believed to give one great power, for being the only one who knows Ra's true name.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Liliana Vess of Magic: The Gathering is very much the Lady of Black Magic.
  • Dungeons & Dragons' Forgotten Realms setting has a few:
  • Warhammer has Morathi, the Hag Sorceress, queen mother of the Dark Elves and an ancient and powerful wizard of great renown. Although she is also quite a vicious hand-to-hand fighter too when the mood takes her, wielding a wickedly sharp excoriating spear called Heartrender and an enchanted sword.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy has several examples.
    • Final Fantasy II has Maria, the first of this trope in the series. She's a kind and composed young lady who has the most Intelligence out of the main party, making her most suited for casting offensive spells.
    • Final Fantasy IV: Though she started out as a Black Magician Girl, Rydia's Plot-Relevant Age-Up turned her into one of the original video game Ladies of Black Magic. Unusually for this trope however, she dresses in green.
    • Celes Chere from Final Fantasy VI is one of only two characters who naturally learn magic and one of the best magical attackers in the game. Aloof, cold, and elegant, she's skilled with ice magic, which is very much befitting her being an Ice Queen.
    • While she may not match most examples in height, she more than substitutes with pure might. With ladylike grace and magical fire, Shantotto from Final Fantasy XI is to what this trope aspires to be. Oh Hohohoho!
    • Lulu from Final Fantasy X, of the Ice Queen variety. Also somewhat gothy. She is the most composed of the party members, and figures as a bit of a mother or sister figure to the protagonist, Yuna. She's quiet, fashionable, and of course uses offensive magic.
    • Ultimecia, a cultured, elegant, and all-powerful Sorceress of Time dressed in an opulent red dress, who turns out to be the Big Bad, and Edea, a refined and sophisticated Sorceress with a specialty in ice magic, from Final Fantasy VIII. This trope is pretty much what the Sorceress power is all about, really.
    • Final Fantasy XIV continues the tradition with Lady Iceheart, also known as Ysayle, who is a skilled thaumaturge and can even summon Shiva into her own body.
    • Series wide, the summon Shiva herself generally fits this pretty well.
  • Fatima, the antagonist Witch of Luminous Arc 2, adequately mirrors the cheerful Althea. Icy and stoic, she is arguably the most powerful Witch, with the ability to mercilessly wreak havoc with Shadow Frost magic.
  • Celine from Star Ocean: The Second Story. She's a graceful Blue Blood who uses Power Tattoos to cast offensive elemental symbology.
  • Mitsuru Kirijo in Persona 3, a reserved and elegant Ojou whose specialisation in ice magic makes her one of the best magical attackers in the game. Likewise, Persona 4's Yukiko Amagi, a graceful Yamato Nadeshiko who has enormous magic stats and high-level fire spells, but she also crosses this with White Magician Girl.
  • Dragon Age
  • Jessica from Dragon Quest VIII. Although she's a little more fiery than this trope typically is, she has a rich upbringing, possesses a sharp tongue backed by a British accent, and generally has an overall bearing that's more lady than genki. Also her penchant for fanservice is an actual game mechanic.
  • Millenia from Grandia II. The twist being, she's the Superpowered Evil Side of the White Magician Girl, Elena. Until right before last dungeon, at which point she's split off into an independent being.
  • Femme Fatale Evil Cleric Defector from Decadence Viconia from Baldur's Gate II. Ironically, she technically classifies as a White Mage, given the Cleric's spell-set focuses on healing and augmentation over direct magical destruction.
  • Radiant Historia has Eruca, a reserved literal Rebellious Princess who packs some of the most powerful offensive magic in the game. Raynie is a partial example, having the grace in battle and offensive power of a Lady, but being slightly more rough around the edges than is typical for this trope.
  • Jaina Proudmoore from the Warcraft franchise currently has the title as the most powerful living archmage in Azeroth. She is usually a compassionate and kind lady who will is not afraid to use her magic to both devastate her enemies and protect her people. Only lately that she's been a wee bit too destructive thanks to the mana-bombing of her home Theramore, but her elegance still remains even if it takes a turn to an eerily sinister elegance. She is slowly getting a little better, though.
  • Nine/Konoe A. Mercury from BlazBlue has the skill set but not the personality; rather than composed she has a fiery temper. Rachel Alucard, on the other hand, plays it straight despite looking more like a Black Magician Girl, being a dignified and snobby Ojou Vampire and one of the few members in the cast to wield actual magic.
  • The Sorceress of Dragon's Crown is possessed of powerful magic, allowing her to conjure blizzards, petrify enemies, turn them into toads, and create food to heal her comrades. She's also the bustiest character in the game, if not the bustiest character of any Vanillaware game.
  • From City of Heroes the Lady Grey, supreme commander of Vanguard. Easily the most powerful wizard in the whole game, ever composed, ever graceful and one wicked Dark Defender.
  • Many female anima/dark/light magic users from the Fire Emblem sagas:
    • Fire Emblem Genealogy Of Holy War: Hilda (villainous example, handles Fire Magic due to being of the Fala bloodline), Ishtar (Hilda's daughter alias the "Goddess of Thunder" for having major Tordo blood and thus handling the VERY strong Mjolnir tome). Possibly Aida, too; her class is Magic Knight.
    • Fire Emblem Thracia 776: Miranda (though she's more Hot-Blooded than the standard), Olwen (who uses Thunder Magic and swords).
    • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade: Niime, Druid!Sophia (Dark Magic), Princess Guinevere when you unlock her (Anima Magic). Maybe Cecilia and Valkyrie!Clarine. Sage!Lilina has the skills, but attitude-wise she's more of The Messiah. Bruhnya is an Anti Villainous version.
    • Fire Emblem Elibe: Sonia and Ursula, both villainous examples. Arguably Valkyrie!Priscilla, Bishop!Serra and Sage!Nino are two on your side. In the Back Story, Saint Elimine was said to be one.
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword: Lute, specially if a Sage. Also the promoted L'Arachel, though she's more... expressive than others. Selena follows it wholeheartedly.
    • Fire Emblem Tellius: Callil. Also a well-trained Ilyana.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening:
      • Tharja, an elegant and brooding Ms. Fanservice Dark Mage who enjoys practicing curses and is a Yandere towards the Avatar. There's also Miriel, a skilled Anima mage with scientific leanings. Maribelle, a proud and upper-class lady, would qualify if promoted to a Valkyrie.
      • Celica from Fire Emblem Gaiden becomes this in the DLC, with her "Priestess/Princess" classes changed to Mage/Sage.
      • The Dark Flier class has a foot here and another in Lady of War, as its members can use both Magic tomes and lances. This includes Aversa, the elegant, seductive, and merciless servant of Validar who can even wield Dark Magic thanks to her unique Shadowgift.
    • Fire Emblem Fates: The Nohrian Fortune Teller and Black Mage Nyx has the cool attitude and the Dark Mage skills, and Camilla is a sultry and graceful Malig Knight. The Hoshido Spellcaster Orochi is a noble who speaks in old-fashion and use talismans to cast spells, while Rhajat is basically a teenaged Tharja and mixes this trope with Dark Magical Girl.
  • Rift has Asha Catari. High general of the Defiant and formerly the heir to a long line Ethian mages, she is a top Arcane Warrior, using her blade to cast spells.
  • Aqua from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is a hybrid between this and Lady of War. She's poised in combat by using graceful cartwheels and spins and is the magical powerhouse of the game, using devastating Elemental magic. She's still a talented Keyblade wielder, but is the Squishy Wizard to Ventus's Fragile Speedster and Terra's Mighty Glacier.
  • Touhou plays this straight with Mima, a cool and collected spirit who can use her immense magical power to cast a Wave Motion Gun. Played With regarding Byakuren. She's quite collected and graceful, wears a feminine black dress, but instead of casting destructive spells from afar she uses her Black Magic to enhance her physical attacks in combat. She can cast traditional spells though.
  • Miranda from Mass Effect 2 is the sci-fi equivalent, a powerful biotic, a Lady of War and the Illusive Man's top Operative.
  • Rose from Street Fighter is among the closest to this trope in fighting games. She fights with her unique Soul Power, which gives her one of the most elegant fighting styles in the series, and she always fights with an air of grace.
  • From League of Legends there are several elegant Mage Champions.
    • Ahri the Nine-Tailed Fox is a seductive and graceful gumiho dressed in a revealing outfit who can conjure arcane energy orbs and spectral flames to attack. Her voted name Ari (아리) even means "elegant".
    • LeBlanc the Deceiver, an aristocrat and head of the Black Rose, an evil society of ageless illusionists. She fights using illusions and magic orbs and chains.
    • Morgana the Fallen Angel uses powerful black magic and has a feminine and revealing design that uses a lot of purple. Despite having once been an angel she still has the air of grace, and is the Girly Girl to her sister Kayle's Tomboy.
    • Lissandra the Ice Witch has a regal demeanor and crushes and impales foes with black ice spells. Her Noblewoman's Laugh and Evil Brit voice accentuates her being an Ice Queen.
    • Syndra the Dark Sovereign. She wears elegant dark purple clothing and floats, giving her movements a sense of grace. She also has very powerful magic, and fights using strong orbs of dark energy.
  • Katrina of Quest for Glory IV: Stunningly beautiful, seductive, and without question one of the most powerful characters to appear in the series. Even Baba Yaga fears getting on her bad side, she absolutely kicked Ad Avis's ass in a magical duel some century before the game is set, and in Quest for Glory V her magic will tear the Dragon of Doom to shreds. She can have a real temper if you piss her off, but normally presents a very polite and friendly demeanor.
  • Chizuru Kagura from The King of Fighters is an odd blend of this and Lady of War. She relies a lot on her Master of Illusion powers, which hurt, but also on her Dance Battler hand-to-hand fighting style.
  • In Awakening: Moonfell Wood, the Witch of the Woods is a dark-robed witch said to be fearsome and powerful and she held off Dreadmyre's attacks with her magic. She's also loyal to the human kingdom and swore to them to protect the sleeping Princess until the day came that Sophia would wake and save the realm.
  • Astarte, Satan's right-hand assistant, in Tecmo's Deception. She wears a flowing red dress, and commands a fairly vast array of offensive spells. Whether she uses them on you depends on how you play.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has one in the unnamed The Stoic Witch that Neo saves in one level. She wears a short, corset-topped black, red and purple dress. Her main weapon is her banshee wail which can knock people out and tear down walls. Yet, she also proves very good, a few levels later, with a shotgun when she helps Neo defeat some vampires.
  • Cia, The Dark Sorceress, from Hyrule Warriors. Poised and dressing in a seductive outfit, she's a witch who's a Dominatrix and total Yandere for Link, and manages to defeat Ganandorf. Twili Midna also counts, being the Twilight Princess and elegant and composed, much more so than her cursed form.
  • Yennefer, Geralt's love interest from the books, is shown as this in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, where she has no qualms about using black magic, in contrast to Triss, who refrains from it.
  • Viola of Soul Calibur V. She primarily uses magic in battle, a first in the series, to move her Crystal Ball in attacks. Her overall look is a combination of a Fortune Teller and Elegant Gothic Lolita, and she has a cold and ominous demeanor.
  • The titular protagonist of Bayonetta. She's an Umbra Witch who uses her Magic Hair to summon Infernal demons capable of causing great destruction, and acts in a cool and classy manner. She's also very sultry and sensual, from her appearance to her mannerisms.
  • Zelda and Female Robin from Super Smash Bros. are this but from two different fighting approaches. Zelda is very elegant, even moreso than the other Ladies of War, and can use her magic to enhance her unarmed blows or unleash powerful spells from afar. Robin has a composed and quiet demeanor in battle, and can use elemental tomes or the magic-infused Levin Sword.

    Visual Novels 
  • Servant Caster from Fate/stay night to a T. As the Caster servant of the present Holy War, she's the one who relies the most on spells rather than weapons, and she's also beautiful and merciless. Even more so this particular Caster used to be Medea from Greek Mythology, a very dangerous Woman Scorned also known as a powerful sorceress.
  • Mei Amanohokosaka, heiress of the Amanohokosaka Clan, from XBlaze. She has a more elegant Wa-lolita design and comes across as haughty and cold, trying to maintain a mature air. As a miko she uses onmyodo to cast spells with the aid of seithr, and in her route she gains the Drive Blood Cain.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Glynda Goodwitch, a stern and proper Huntress and Badass Teacher. A powerful sorceress, she can use telekinesis to send countless debris flying at enemies and control the weather to rain down spikes of ice.
    • Cinder Fall fits this trope to a T. She's a powerful user of fire Dust and ever so composed and elegant, though she is also a more than formidable melee fighter. In the first episode she manages to block Glynda Goodwitch's attacks with ease. She's one of the most powerful magic users in the story thanks to absorbing half of the Fall Maiden's power, and once she absorbs all of it her magical strength increases immensely, with her fire attacks becoming much more grand and destructive.

    Web Comics 
  • Rose Lalonde, from Homestuck becomes this after upgrading her weapons with Eldritch Powers. Made even more obvious in her Alpha universe counterpart, who's an adult.
  • Miranda Io from No Songs For The Dead has great potential in Black Magic, which she genetically inherited from her mother Lilith.
  • Erfworld's Wanda Firebaugh is this to a tee. Interestingly, because of how Erfworld operates, she started life seeing her physical form as a Lady of Black Magic, something she felt she had to live up to.
  • Elia Redscallion of True Villains is an elegant, always perfectly dressed lady from a noble family. She is also an eighty-four-year-old necromancer, held together with black magic and spite, who can paint the town red with undead armies and deadly spells and will literally rip off her own skin for a tactical advantage.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Lady Bane on the Gummi Bears. She is a very powerful witch, on the hunt for Gummi secrets and magic. She first appears in the episode "The Road to Ursalia", ravaging the ruins of the ancient Gummi capital in search of its library.
  • Wuya from Xiaolin Showdown is a 1,500 year old Heylin witch and the true Big Bad of the first season. In contrast to her ghost form she's calm and decisive as a human, and a master of Heylin magic and one of the most powerful beings in the universe.
  • The Nightsister shaman and leader Mother Talzin from Star Wars: The Clone Wars wears a rather elaborate dress, her motivations and goals remained a secret, and while she's also able conjure green force lightning, or use magical Deflector Shields, she mainly uses more "subtle" techniques, such as transforming Savage Opress into a hulking, nigh-unstoppable avatar of primal anger, and torturing Count Dooku from millions of lightyears away with a Voodoo Doll. She also possesses Voice of the Legion.
  • Teen Titans version of Raven. Despite being younger than average for this trope, she is Wise Beyond Her Years, and her aloof personality is more in line with this trope than Black Magician Girl.
  • Queen Chrysalis from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The haughty leader of the Changelings and a bitchy sadist, she's a capable magic caster, able to shapeshift and fire magic beams from her horn. Hell, after draining Shining Armor's love she can overpower Princess Celestia in a Beam-O-War.

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