In fiction, The Tower may appear as:
- Big Fancy Castle
- The Black Tower: Tall, dark, and evil.
- The Evil Skyscraper: The Black Tower's modern incarnation:
home of the Corrupt Corporate Executive or Mega Corp. in a contemporary or futuristic setting.
- Impossibly Tall Tower: or Star Scraper, any structure whose height is beyond imagining.
- The Ominous Megastructure: like the Tower of Babel, A gigantic, unimaginably huge "looms-over-everything" structure.
- The Wizards Tower: or Mage Tower usually contains telescopes, orreries, hidden artifacts, secret passages, tomes of eldritch lore, and dangerous devices Powered by a Forsaken Child in a terribly-cramped footprint.
- The Haunted Castle: Ominous, foreboding and perched on a cliffside, accompanied by lightning and haunted by ghosts and monsters or mad scientists and their assistants.
- The Floating Castle: maybe ominous, maybe not, but always important.
- Lighthouse Point: Exactly what it says on the tin.
- Clock Tower: often the scene of a Cathedral Climax.
- World Tree: The Living, Genius Loci version.
Subtropes and related tropes:
- Big Fancy Castle
- Clock Tower
- Evil Tower of Ominousness
- Evil Skyscrapers (City Noir)
- Girl in the Tower
- Haunted Castle
- It's All Upstairs from Here
- The Lighthouse might come into this.
- Mage Tower
- Ominous Floating Castle
- Star Scraper: an impossibly tall tower.
- Tower of Babel: the literal type.
- World Tree
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Anime and Manga
- Kami's Watch Tower from Dragon Ball
- FLCL: Medica Mechanica is a gigantic building shaped like a steam iron that looms over Naota's hometown and occasionally vents huge clouds of steam.
- The Tower of Retribution from Berserk.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has the stand Super Fly, which is an electrical transmission tower.
- The Lunatic Eclipse Building in Tokyo Ghoul :Re. Not only does Matsuri refer to it as Daedalus's Tower, but it proves to be the site of a Bloodier and Gorier arc where Anyone Can Die. It concludes with Shuu Tsukiyama being thrown from the roof and Kanae leaping off to save him, dying in the process.
Films — Animated
- Shrek: In accordance to fairy tale tradition, Princess Fiona is imprisoned in the "highest room of the tallest tower."
Films — Live-Action
- The "New Tower of Babel" in the silent movie Metropolis.
- The "wizards live in towers" idea is used in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
- I, Robot: The headquarters of US Robotics is the tallest building by far in Chicago. Guess where the Evil AI is situated? If you said "the basement", shame on you.
- The Evil Skyscraper from Freejack is not just the tallest building in Manhattan (strike one) and the office of Anthony Hopkins' character (strike two); it contains the souls of paying customers who are artificially implanted into the eponymous freejack's bodies.
- The big pyramid from Blade Runner
- "Childe Rowland to the Dark Tower came..." is a line from an old ballad quoted in King Lear, retold in the English fairy tale "Childe Rowland", and used as the basis of a famous poem by Robert Browning.
- The Lord of the Rings has a striking number of significant towers — most importantly Sauron's fortress Barad-dûr (meaning "Dark Tower"), Saruman's Orthanc, and the fortresses of Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul, both of which are centered around a tower.
- Volume two even has the title The Two Towers.
- Stephen King's The Dark Tower is based entirely around this motif.
- One of King's other books, The Eye of the Dragon, has Peter imprisoned in a cell at the top of a tower for most of the second half of the book.
- The Ministries in 1984
- Frankenstein, Dracula, and countless others.
- Ulysses: The first episode of the novel is set in the Martello tower at Sandycove.
- Throughout Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Professor Trelawney can be seen going around mumbling about predictions, which no one heeds- particularly about how she keeps dealing the card of 'The Lightning Struck-Tower' foretelling great danger and upheaval. Then comes the chapter by the same name, which takes place in the actual astronomy tower, the highest part of Hogwarts. It's there that Snape kills Dumbledore, fulfilling the prophecy both literally and metaphorically.
- A Song of Ice and Fire has Harrenhal. It was built by the Ironborn under Harren the black, who wanted an impenetrable fortress to which he could rule the Riverlands in. But by the time it was finish Aegon Targeryen arrived in Westeros with his dragons, and burned it to the ruin with Harren still in it. Harrenhal was passed over to many houses, all of who were driven to ruin, as Harrenhal was so huge, it could not be maintained so easily. Also the castle is apparently cursed, with everyone who holds Harrenhal undergoing tragedy.
- Revolution: Played straight, and name-checked. We honestly don't know what it actually is called; it has been and may actually be called The Tower. The Tower is first shown in "Ties That Bind", mentioned by name in "The Stand", and shown in "The Love Boat", "Clue", "Children of Men", and "The Dark Tower".
- The first season of The Odyssey is a quest to reach the Tower.
- The entire point, setting and Series Goal of Tower of God. The Tower is a semi-sentient, self-contained Place of Power built god knows when, housing billions of people and creatures on 134 conquered and even more wild floors, each the size of North America and several kilometers high* . It has been said that everything and anything people have ever wished for can be found at the top of the Tower. Therefore, many people wish to climb it, giving up everything they have to obtain their one desire or having only their desires and dreams left. The lucky ones that get chosen to climb, the Regulars, must pass cruel, hard and strongly varying tests, which used to be held by the Guardians, but ever since King Zahard conquered the greatest part of the Tower, the inhabitants of the place took the Guardians' place. The Tower is a fantastical realm, as it contains a force known as Shinsoo, which can be breathed instead of air and enables those who know how wield it properly to do the impossible.
- The Bible: The Tower of Babel is probably one of the more infamous examples of the trope.
- BattleTech has the Mercer Building, built by Clan Steel Viper, and is the tallest structure in Clan Space, standing about 1000 meters. It fell along with Steel Vipers when they were annihilated in the Wars of Reaving.
- Hausser, the capital of the imperial principalitynote of Ilmora, in Anima: Beyond Fantasy is described to be a city full of towers, some of them so high -up to hundreds of meters, and because of the aristocrats who live there competing to see who builds the highest one- that are in the danger of collapsing if they continue to be heightened. Overlap with Mage Tower, since some of them are said to hold forbidden stuff.
- The Master Builder. The main character loses his life when falling from a high tower structure. Which he initially feared to climb.
- The Combine Citadel from Half-Life 2 certainty qualifies.
- The Tattered Spire in Fable II.
- The tower from Super Mario RPG was pretty evil... or is that more of a castle?
- In Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3, the tower is not only represented by a monk character who smokes and drinks at a local night club, but is also present in the form of Dark Hour version of the School.
- The Tower Of Babil from Final Fantasy IV cumulates evilness with impossible height: It starts in the underworld (which itself has enough height for airships to fly in) and even above ground, is still several times higher than mountains!
- The Tower of Zot, however, while it has the evilness, lacks the prestige because its exterior is never seen, anywhere.
- The Tower of Babel in Doom is the name of the level where the Cyberdemon, perhaps the most famous monster from the most popular video game of all time, is first encountered. It is the final level in episode 2. The level title is apt, as the Cyberdemon itself is the ultimate tower of strength in the game, unmatched in brute force (except perhaps by the Spider Mastermind), resistance to injury, not to mention sheer physical height.
- The last dungeon of MOTHER 3 which is, intended or not, somewhat relevant to the Tarot Motif.
- Final Fantasy VII: Shinra Building
- Shadows of the Empire: Xizors skyhook
- Ganondorf's tower from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, game that also has the Tower Of The Gods; Eagle's Tower in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and the Stone Tower in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask; and Agathnim's and Ganon's towers in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
- Final Fantasy VIII's Lunatic Pandora.
- The gigantic supercomputer from Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers is the Ominous Megastructure type. It destroyed the planet's weather and zombified its residents with an army of cyborgs (don't they all?)
- The entire plot of Makai Toshi SaGa revolves around one, with the doors on each floor leading to entirely new worlds.
- In Hellsinker from stage 4 and onward the main characters spend the remaining of the stages to climb up the huge Cardinal Shaft.
- How could we forget Devil May Cry 3, where the majority of the game takes place in a massive demonic tower that just bursts out the ground? In addition, the challenge levels take place in an ever ascending version of the same tower.
- The Tower of Babel from Xenogears, several kilometers high. It's actually part of the hull of the starship Eldridge which somehow managed to land perfectly vertically and remained stable after it broke up in orbit.
- Wild ARMs 1 has Ka Dingel, a tower with a transporter on it's top that sends people to an orbital colony, technically making it a space elevator.
- Dormin's tower in Shadow of the Colossus is by far the largest structure in the Forbidden Land, and can be seen even from distant corners of the land. Right from the start of the game, it is shown to be a place of magic that has the potential to bring people Back from the Dead, and it soon becomes apparent that understanding the tower is the key to understanding the plot of the game.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, Ferelden has two of these. The Mage Tower, Kinloch Hold, is a relatively healthy example of the Circle of Magi. The other tower, Fort Drakon, is the equivalent of the Tower of London and was built by the Tevinter Imperium during its reign. A city formed around it after the Tevinters' defeat, and it's now used to house prisoners.
- There's one at the end of Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn that the heroes have to fight their way to the top of.
- Antichamber: The primary endpoint for successful puzzle completion, and a good indicator of progress. As would be expected, the act of navigating this tower doesn't necessarily involve going up and down, and it's easy to find the various levels of it out-of-order. You start the main game in the middle of level 1. On the other hand, once you have the Yellow gun, enter the tower at level 1 and grab the light blue cube, and it will teleport you to a seemingly random place. However, complete the puzzle where you get dropped off, and you find level 2 of the tower, and so on until you reach the top.
- The big tower (or towers?) of Rod Land, where your mom has been kidnapped.
- Seen in any of the Dark Parables which feature a Girl in the Tower, including Curse of Briar Rose and Ballad of Rapunzel.
- In The Elder Scrolls lore, "Towers" are metaphysical structures built atop the "joint-points" of reality as it was constructed by the et'Ada who took part in creation. The Towers are said to "define reality in [their] Aurbic vicinity". One such tower, the Adamantine Tower (or "Ada-Mantia") on Balferia Island in Iliac Bay, was constructed by the surviving et'Ada (now Aedra) to hold "Convention," during which they decided to punish Lorkhan for his treachery during creation. It is also said to be where linear time first began, before spreading throughout the rest of creation. The Adamantine Tower remains on Balferia, and though the exterior is weathered, the interior remains almost exactly the same - a single great, seamless, impregnable spire of ageless metal which is at least half-embedded in the ground. It is entirely smooth, except for one point known as the "Argent Aperture" which is thought to be a door. This door has a lock of thirteen slowly counter-rotating rings and, despite the best efforts of mages and scholars throughout history, has never been opened. It is powered by the "Zeroth-Stone", which is said to cultivate "creatia" indirectly to alter the "terrestrial domain" around the Tower. During the earliest days following creation, the ancient Aldmer (ancestors of all of the modern races of Mer/Elves) discovered a means to construct their own towers at these "joint-points." By building their own Tower, each group could create their own narrative, distinct but equal to those around it. Details on these constructed Towers:
- The Altmer (High Elves) would construct the Crystal Tower ("Crystal-Like-Law") in the Summerset Isles in direct emulation of the Adamantine Tower. Little is known of the "Stone" of the Crystal Tower, but it is said that it was once a person. During the Oblivion Crisis, the forces of the Daedra managed to destroy the Crystal Tower. At least, in Mundus (the mortal plane). Per the Altmer, the Crystal Tower continues to exist in planes other than Mundus.
- The Chimer (later Dunmer/Dark Elves) would claim Red Mountain in Morrowind where Lorkhan's heart fell (known as Red Tower). After the Dwemer discovered the Heart beneath the mountain and disappeared mysteriously while attempting to use its power, three Chimer would successfully use it to become the Physical Gods known as the Tribunal. Unbeknownst to them, their former ally, Voryn Dagoth, also used the Heart before he was slain and coalesced in the millennia the Tribunal ruled. He returned and cut them off from the Heart, preventing them from recharging their divinity. Following the events of Morrowind, the Dwemer enchantments on the Heart would be severed, killing Dagoth and stripping the Tribunal of their divinity permanently. This also stripped Red Tower of its "Stone," depriving it forever of its reality altering powers. (Later events would see Red Mountain violently erupt, erasing it almost entirely from the world.)
- Speaking of the Dwemer (Deep Elves or Dwarves), they attempted to use the Heart of Lorkhan to construct their own Tower, as well as to become a new god - Anumidium (or "Walk-Brass"), a Humongous Mecha of Reality Warping proportions. They intended to use it to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, but something went awry. Interrupted by an attack from the Chimer (who considered this act blasphemous), Kagrenac, the Dwemer High Craftsman, attempted to tap into the Heart but instead caused the entire Dwemer race to disappear from all known planes of existence in a single instant. The Tribunal would then claim the machine, now know as Numidium, and would later trade it to the Emperor Tiber Septim in exchange for special privileges when Morrowind joined Septim's Empire as a Voluntary Vassal. Septim would use it to complete his conquest of all of Tamriel, famously using it to capture the Altmeri captial city of Alinor in less than an hour of fighting. However, as a result of the events of Daggerfall, the Numidium would be destroyed along with its makeshift Stone, the Mantella (an immensely powerful soul gem said to contain the soul of a Shezarrine).
- The Ayleids (Wild Elves) of Cyrodiil would construct the White-Gold Tower on an island in the heart of their country, using the "Chim-el-Adabal" (said to have been created from the crystallized blood of Lorkhan, collected as it traveled across Tamriel to its resting place in Morrowind) as their "Stone." Following the Alessian Revolt (a Slave Revolt of their human slaves), the tower would be taken by the Nedes (ancestors to most of the modern races of Men in Tamriel). After capturing the Tower, Alessia, leader of the Nedes, would forge a pact with Akatosh, the Top God of the Aedra and Dragon God of Time. Akatosh gave to Alessia and her descendants the Amulet of Kings (whose centerpiece was the Chim-el Adabal), as well as the Dragonfires of the Imperial City. So long as the Empire maintained its worship of Akatosh and his kin, and so long as Alessia's heirs bore the Amulet of Kings, Akatosh and his divine kin would maintain a strong barrier protecting Mundus. This, of course, came to an end during the Oblivion Crisis when Martin Septim, last in Alessia's metaphysical line, shattered the Amulet of Kings and sacrificed himself to end the Crisis. Like Red Tower before it, White-Gold was left without its stone.
- The Bosmer (Wood Elves) grew a tower rather than construct one, known as the Green-Sap, grown from the Perchance Acorn (their Stone). According to the Bosmer, every story of the Green-Sap is true, with none "truer" than any other. The Green-Sap had the ability to "walk" throughout their forest homeland of Valenwood. However, the mage Anumaril used a "fangled" magic staff created in emulation of each Tower to turn the Perchance Acorn into a Definite Acorn, giving the Green-Sap a "true ending" and freezing it in place, never to "walk" again. So, while the ending to the story of Green-Sap is determined, that ending still remains a mystery. The Green-Sap still stands in Valenwood's Elden Grove.
- "Snow Throat" (aka the Throat of the World) is the Tower of Skyrim, and is also the tallest mountain in all of Tamriel. It's stone is said to be "a cave," but beyond that, little is known. It originally attracted the Falmer (Snow Elves) to Skyrim but it would fall into the hands of the Nords after their ancestors (the Atmorans) nearly drove the Falmer to extinction. Despite already being the tallest mountain on Tamriel, Snow Throat's apex is said to only be "half there." Atop the mountain sits High Hrothgar, the monastery home of the Greybeards, who study the Thu'um, the Language of Magic of the dragons. It is also home to the "Time Wound," created when ancient Nord heroes used the power of an Elder Scroll to banish Alduin in an age long past.
- The eighth Tower, Orichalc, also has the least known about it. It is believed to have been in Yokuda, the ancient homeland of the ancestors to the Redguards to the west of Tamriel. There, the ancient Yokudans fought a devastating war against the Sinestral Mer (Left-Handed Elves), who were driven to extinction. With Yokuda believed to have been sank beneath the sea, the Orichalc tower is believed to have sank with it.
- Gargoyles: Xanatos Enterprises