Lady of Black Magic

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

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.

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.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Sistah Spooky from Empowered, a powerful gothy superhero who made a hellpact with a demon to use black magic.
  • The Scarlet Witch has this role in The Avengers. She's usually dressed in elegant red costumes, and her chaos magic is powerful enough to make her a Reality Warper.
  • Storm from the X-Men is the queen of Wakanda and Physical Goddess, and her mutant powers give her control over the elements, which she commands with a regal air.
  • Illyana Rasputin, AKA Magik of the X-Men, serves as a cross between this and Magic Knight by fighting with her sorcery and Soulsword.
  • Magica De Spell from the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, who was designed by Carl Barks this way in order to subvert the Wicked Witch trope. Depending on the Writer, she either can only cast her spells with the help of magical artifacts, or has inherent magical powers. In any case, her favorite offensive weapons are her foof bombs.
  • Nico Minoru of the Runaways usually works like this, wearing elegant and elaborate Gothic clothing and casting magic through the Staff of One. Though, being still a teenager, she can slip into Black Magician Girl sometimes, but also being the Team Mom makes her more of this trope than the former.

    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 
  • Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty has a dark and elegant appearance, having beautiful features and wearing a black robe lined with purple, and is a very powerful sorceress of dark magic. She calls herself "Mistress of all Evil" for a reason.
  • The Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a regal sorceress of Black Magic. However, she loses her grace and beauty when she turns herself into an old hag.
  • Elsa from Frozen. Calm, reserved, a queen, and dressed in a silky blue gown, she has ice magic so strong that she accidentally puts Arendelle in eternal winter. Interestingly, she doesn't want her magical powers until she undergoes Character Development.

    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.

  • 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.
  • Melissandre 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.
  • 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 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, until she died and Morgana stepped up to the plate. 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.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • 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 

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy:
    • 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.
    • While she may not match most examples in height, she more then substitutes with pure might. With ladylike grace and magical fire, Shantotto is to what this trope aspires! 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.
    • Edea, Ultimecia, Adel, and some other unnamed Sorceresses from Final Fantasy VIII. Pretty much what the Sorceress power is all about, really.
  • Mitsuru Kirijo in Persona 3, who is one of the best magical attackers in the game. Likewise, Persona 4's Yukiko Amagi, 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.
  • 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:
    • Seisen no Keifu: 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.
    • Thracia 776: Miranda (though she's more Hot-Blooded than the standard), Olwen (who uses Thunder Magic and swords),.
    • Fuuin no Tsurugi: 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.
    • Rekka no Ken: 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.
    • Sacred Stones: Lute, specially if a Sage. Also the promoted L'Arachel, though she's more... expressive than others. Selena follows it wholeheartedly.
    • Path of Radiance - Radiant Dawn: Callil. Also a well-trained Ilyana.
    • Awakening: Tharja, a Cute and Psycho Miss Fanservice and Dark Mage who enjoys practicing curses and is a Yandere towards the Avatar. There's also Miriel, a skilled Anima mage with scientific leanings. Also, probably any lady reclassed/promoted into the Mage/Sage, Dark Mage/Sorcerer and/or Valkyrie classes.
    • 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.
  • Rift has Asha Catari.
  • 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.
  • Aqua from Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep is a hybrid between this and Lady of War. She's still a talented Keyblade wielder, but she is the Squishy Wizard to Ventus's Fragile Speedster and Terra's Mighty Glacier.
  • Touhou has Mima and Byakuren. Byakuren, however, fits a a different personality type.
  • 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 that you'll find in fighting games. She fights with her unique Soul Power, which gives her one of the most elegant fighting styles in the series and always fights with an air of elegance and grace.
    • There is also Chizuru Kagura from The King of Fighters, who has a feet here and another in Lady of War since she uses both physical skill and her Master of Illusion powers when fighting. And these illusions she casts can certainly hit you very well....
  • From League of Legends there are several elegant Mage Champions.
    • 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 she's 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 relays a lot in her Master of Illusion powers, 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.

    Web Animation 
  • Cinder Fall from RWBY fits this trope to a T, as she's dark, composed, elegant and a powerful user of fire Dust, though she is also a more than formidable melee fighter. In the first episode she manages to block Glynda Goodwitch's attacks with ease.

    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.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation