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Benevolent Mage Ruler

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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 is a fair and just ruler. This type of sorcerer king (or queen) will usually rule over Fantasy settings. Often in charge of one of two warring factions; his kingdom and an evil empire.

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.


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    Anime & 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.
  • 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.
  • The Pharaoh was like this in Yu-Gi-Oh!. The ability to summon your spirit creature is rare. The ability to summon your own, and seal and release other people's, was a power only he and his court possessed. An the Pharaoh himself was the only one able to call out the gods themselves.
  • Lord Ainz from Overlord2012 is somewhere between this and Sorcerous Overlord- while he is an Ob(liv)viously Evil undead lich king who plans to Take Over the World, he is actually quite benevolent as evil overlords go, and the kingdom under his rule actually seems to be better off than it was under the "rightful" king. He also took on the actual title of Sorcerer King, after rejecting other titles like the Wise King or the Handsome King. He has stated that his goal is to create a peaceful kingdom where all races can live together side by side. Unfortunately, all but three of his underlings are completely evil, and are persuaded that Ainz is far craftier and eviller than any of them by far, and that any show of benevolence towards Puny Humans is just to better trap them. The fact that he's trying to run his company like an ideal Japanese corporation (Ainz was a lowly salaryman 20 Minutes into the Future in his previous life) in a Medieval European Fantasy doesn't help either.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: Rimuru Tempest is both the King of Tempest and renowned as the Great Demon Lord, who possesses all manner of magical abilities that let him destroy nations on his own, nevermind having dozens of subordinates who could and would do the same at but his word. He is shown to be very benevolent to his citizens and uses his abilities to increase the prosperity of his nation, which further endears him to them. One of the nation's first advantages is that Rimuru can provide them with the most advanced healing potion in the world, which they can either use themselves or sell, giving them an economic advantage over neighboring nations right off the bat. Humorously, Rimuru had no intentions of becoming a ruler, originally just wanting to save a small goblin village from being destroyed, but his growing influence thanks to his power and the number and quality of his subordinates (many of whom grow to become as strong as Demon Lords who rule their own nations), eventually results in the birth of a grand nation with himself at its head.

    Comic Books 
  • Elyon eventually becomes a Sorceress Princess to the Kingdom of Meridian in W.I.T.C.H. and its cartoon adaptation; 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.
  • Papa Smurf in all versions of The Smurfs is the benevolent ruler of Smurf Village and one of the most powerful wizards of his time.
  • In Doctor Strange, Strange's Love Interest Clea is this during the times when she rules the Dark Dimension.

    Fan Works 
  • At the end of A Warm Blizzard, a Frozen fanfic, Prince Hans is revealed to be a pyrokinetic as a counterbalance to Elsa's cryokinesis, and uses it to thaw her out after a witch cast a spell on her. When he was a child, a magical binding was put in place so he won't be able to use his fire powers, but a magical scissor removes this binding. He and Elsa later become Arendelle's magical Ruling Couple.
  • Harry Potter in The Difference One Man Can Make. Appearing in the middle of north of the Wall with only what he carried with himself at the time, Harry slowly managed to gain power among the Free Folk tribes, to the point he ends up becoming pretty much the Wizard-King-beyond-the-Wall, although Harry is only such because the Free Folk, for the most part, agree that he is a great leader. Plus, he uses his magical abilities to kickstart a working economy and help produce all sorts of foodstuffs at a faster rate than what should be possible, benefitting the entire society. Unfortunately, many that live south of the Wall think of him as a Sorcerous Overlord, and some (among them King Robert) are considering possibly attacking the Free Folk because of the threat they appear to be.

    Films — Animation 

    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.

  • 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 Star Wars Legends, 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 Powers 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 Yarhdans 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 (an old wizard who is a just, kind man), after he becomes king of Eriador.
  • Shakespeare's The Tempest has Prospero, a magician who was the Duke of Milan before he was deposed by his scheming brother. In a case of an Unbuilt Trope, Prospero was indeed a good ruler of Milan until his devotion to his studies of magic caused him to neglect his duties (hence the revolt). In exile, he acts more like a Sorcerous Overlord of his tiny island.
  • In the Deptford Mice books, the Starwife is a squirrel queen who possesses incredible magical powers. While she is known for her fiery temper, she is well-meaning and everything she does is for the good of all.
  • Villains by Necessity: Mizzamir, a kindly elven mage, serves as one to Natodik, which he apparently rules.
  • Worlds of Shadow: Pel, a good man, becomes one after gaining magic in the world of Faerie.
  • Second Apocalpyse: Kellhus becomes a cross between this and a Sorcerous Overlord. His rule is brutal, but it's entirely devoted to saving the world from an Ancient Conspiracy.
  • Night World has Hecate Witch-Queen and her daughter Hellewise Hearth-Woman (Hecate's other daughter and Hellewise's twin, not so much).
    • Hecate was the Queen of the Witches; her title is even right there in her name. By all accounts, she was a good and wise ruler, who is revered by witches to this very day. She notably fought against the dragon shapeshifters to free both witches and humans, the latter of whom the dragons had enslaved. She spared the youngest dragon princess, who was only a toddler, instead raising her amongst the witches in the hopes she would be kinder than her brethren.
    • Hellewise served as the ruler of the witches after her mother's passing, though it's unclear if she inherited Hecate's title of queen along with her position, as she's never exactly addressed this way. She is depicted as a caring, compassionate leader who gave her own life to protect her people; she also created a law preventing witches from harming humans with their powers, encouraging the two species to live in harmony.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: One of the Good Queens is a magic user who's very concerned with what's right and swiftly joins the heroes after they alert her to bad things going on in her country.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Fantasy Island: Played with. Mr. Roarke is the Chief Magistrate of the island (aka Chief Justice) but several episodes show an ordinary police force under him. Some episodes mention an elected island council. Once there's an election for the position of Honorary Lord Mayor, which Mr. Rorke wins in a unanimous vote against Tattoo. In spite of Mr. Roarke's powers (or maybe because of them), the various permanent residents seem to live in a free and democratic country.
  • In the finale of Game of Thrones, Bran is crowned King Bran the Broken, ruler of the Six Kingdoms. Bran shows little interest in the mundane management, leaving it to his royal advisors primarily, and seems content to simply practice his Greensight magic for the good of the realm. This presumably makes him The Good King.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible: 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, be 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.
  • Princess: The Hopeful has eight Queens six of whom fill this trope. Each has their own style of governing and magic.

    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: The 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.
    • Tellius has Empress Sanaki of Begnion. She's seen in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance but in Fire Emblem: 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 successor (Princess Camilla), plus Princess Elise's Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses can have Edelgard become this for the Adestrian Empire, as she has a budding talent in Reason that can be leveled to make her a decent magic user on top of her physical abilities. Byleth can also potentially become this for all of Fodlan in some route endings due to having a budding talent in Faith.
  • 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.
  • Toyosatomimi no Miko from Touhou Project (who happens to be based on Prince Shoutoku) likes to style herself as this.
  • 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. In fact, Breath of the Wild establishes that the divine magic passed down her line is so vital for protecting Hyrule from Ganon that the current Zelda's inability to awaken that magic is noted to be a very dire set of circumstances.
  • Princess Peach also has some magical powers, as shown in Super Princess Peach and the Super Smash Bros. series. In the original storyline this is the reason Bowser kidnaps her in the first place, since her magic was powerful enough to frustrate his attempts to invade her kingdom, but this aspect of her character has been downplayed greatly over the years.
  • The Elder Scrolls:

    Web Comics 
  • 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.

    Web Original 

     Web Animation 
  • In RWBY, the King of Vale was said to possess fantastical powers and brought about 80 years of peace and prosperity following the conclusion of the Great War. Though offered the opportunity to Take Over the World, the King instead established democratic ruling Councils in each kingdom and ended the monarchy. Historians question the accuracy of the stories about his powers, because there's no evidence to suggest magic actually exists. The truth is more complicated: The King was a previous incarnation of Big Good Ozpin, an ancient Wizard cursed with Resurrective Immortality. In his first reincarnation, he had attempted to rule mankind as this trope but failed because his wife, Salem, favored the role of the Sorcerous Overlord. Their opposing ideals eventually lead to tragedy, and they became enemies that have secretly fought over the fate of humanity for thousands of years.

    Western Animation 

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


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