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Evil Sorcerer
aka: Evil Sorceror

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Abra Ka-dead!
"Within the navel of this hideous wood,
Immured in cypress shades, a sorcerer dwells,
Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus,
Deep skilled in all his mother's witcheries,
And here to every thirsty wanderer
By sly enticement gives his baneful cup,
With many murmurs mixed, whose pleasing poison
The visage quite transforms of him that drinks,
And the inglorious likeness of a beast
Fixes instead, unmoulding reason's mintage
Charactered in the face."

The Evil Sorcerer is the living (or occasionally undead) proof of the maxim that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

They're the mage who has delved too deeply into Things Man Was Not Meant to Know and mastered The Dark Arts. They've achieved great power, but at the expense of their soul. They deal in Black Magic and might well have made a Deal with the Devil. Evil Sorcerers are very dangerous foes, as they are creative as well as clever. From them, one can expect anything: hordes of demonic (or undead) Mooks as the bluntest tool, More than Mind Control as the subtlest one, and anything between those two and beyond. They will probably be a Sorcerous Overlord, dwelling in an Evil Tower of Ominousness and ruling the land with an iron — but also magical — fist, though they may also show up as an Evil Chancellor, using their powers to subvert the throne more subtly.

The Evil Sorcerer nearly always gets top billing as a villain, as one of their most common traits is pride. Where they're a second-stringer, they're likely to only be one-upped by a demonic bargain gone wrong — probably because they cheated. This makes them prone to learning the painful lesson that Evil Is Not a Toy. They might also be upstaged by a God of Evil — but then, the most powerful Evil Sorcerers often have delusions of godhood themselves. In a villainous hierarchy, they'll most likely be the Big Bad, The Dragon, or the Evil Genius (though they could also be The Man Behind the Man or, if they're little loyalty to any particular faction, the Wild Card). Killing the Evil Sorcerer is one way to stop their Keystone Army.

The Evil Sorcerer can be at several levels of the Super Weight scale (depending on how strong magic is in a given setting) but he'll almost always be far more powerful than the heroes (unless they manage to get physical with them), and will probably be at least superficially stronger than their good counterparts (owing to possessing powers that the good can't or won't use). If they're an Evil Archmage, everybody should watch out.

It's likely that every sorcerer will be this if Magic Is Evil. Compare the Wicked Witch and (for the more modern descendant) Mad Scientist, although some overlap isn't unheard of. Female versions are likely to also be a Vain Sorceress or Lady of Black Magic. An undead Evil Sorcerer will probably be called a Lich.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Arabian Nights: Adventures of Sinbad: Sinbad encounters quite a few of these. Three of them, a Wicked Witch named Tabasa and her two sons Balba and Satajit, are even recurring villains.
  • Berserk has a rare subversion with Daiba who is literally a turban wearing yogi, and initially starts off fighting Guts and his party under the command of the Evil Emperor Ganishka who he serves as adviser. But after his defeat he decides to help out Gut's friend Rickert and proves to be a highly valuable ally.
  • The first movie of Cardcaptor Sakura had Clow Reed's former student Madoushi, particularly in the dub (where she was also his girlfriend at one point).
  • Delicious in Dungeon has the appropriately named Lunatic Magician, who created the titular dungeon and is the true Big Bad of the whole series.
  • Dragon Ball chock full of these!
  • Deltora Quest:
    • Thaegan is a very vain and evil Sorceress who hates all things beautiful and free (especially birds and people). Though thanks to her powers she's beautiful despite hundreds of years old. Thaegan's redeeming qualities are the fact she's victim of the Shadow Lord and her genuine care for her hell spawn children which was apparent even in the books.
    • Filler Villain Oacus is nothing less than a evil mysterious Sorcerer who loves watching stuff burn and has a creepy fondness for young girls. Like Thaegan he is more just a byproduct of the Shadow Lord's evil, and wasn't born into it.
  • Zeref, the Big Bad of Fairy Tail, is a deconstruction. He was just an ordinary young man who was cursed by a Jerkass God for his curiosity and dedication to resurrecting someone important to him, turning him into a Walking Wasteland with Complete Immortality who stole life the more he valued it. Many of his inventions, which could easily be used for evil in the wrong hands, were made to reunite him with said cherished person, and the legion of demons he created were designed to help him end his own life. His actual Start of Darkness began after he accidentally "killed" the love of his life and came to believe that Humans Are Bastards thanks to the unique perspective his immortality provides on the more unfortunate side of human nature, leading him to embrace his image as the ultimat evil.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: While the users of the local variant of Functional Magic are known as Jujutsu Sorcerers, those who break the laws of Jujutsu society in some way –- usually, but not always, for nefarious reasons –- earn the moniker of Curse Users. The distinction is largely "legal", since both categories have the same types of powers and are bound by the same supernatural rules, and Sorcerers can and do become Curse Users from time to time. Among these, there are a few noteworthy examples:
    • From the Volume 0 prequel, Suguru Geto serves as the main antagonist, being a Special Grade Curse User who used to be a Sorcerer. He has an ideology revolving around Fantastic Racism which proclaims non-sorcerers (normal humans) ought to be exterminated and/or enslaved to allow for the superior men (Sorcerers) to evolve and become the natural next step in human evolution. To do this, he gathered a small cabal of loyal Curse Users and an absolutely massive army of Cursed Spirits enslaved through his Technique, Cursed Spirit Manipulation.
    • Ryomen Sukuna, the secondary Big Bad of the main series, was the most powerful Curse User a millennium ago, at the height of Jujutsu sorcery during the Heian era, earning the title of "the King of Curses". Eventually, he died and rose again as an Imaginary Vengeful Spirit, before being defeated and his power and soul sealed into his twenty fingers. Unlike Geto, who is a Manipulative Bastard with ultimately noble (if extreme) intentions, Sukuna lives only for violence, bloodshed and his own amusement stemming from such, having led a lonely life of wanton slaughter and cannibalism prior to his sealing. He even prefers Good Old Fisticuffs to using his supremely powerful Techniques in combat, though in terms of Jujutsu talent and understanding, he remains near-unrivalled.
    • Kenjaku, the Sorcerer currently inhabiting Suguru Geto’s body, serves as the series’ main antagonist and the Man Behind the Man for most other villains and events. In fact, he fits this trope so well that, during one of his lifetimes, he earned himself the title of “the evilest Sorcerer in history”. Being at least a millennium old, he survived the centuries by body-snatching corpses with his Innate Technique, which allows him to transplant his brain into others and access the bodies’ memories, Cursed Energy and Innate Techniques. He also just so happens to be a Mad Scientist and Evilutionary Biologist with a rather amoral approach to his experiments. Combining his supreme insight into Jujutsu with a powerful cheat technique and penchant for manipulation make Kenjaku one of the most classic examples of the trope
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (2005), the evil wizard Agahnim reprises his role as the main villain. However, instead of being merely a disguise of Ganon, this time he's a former friend of Link's father who swore allegiance to Ganon in exchange for powerful magic.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Precia Testarossa also has Mad Scientist leanings thanks to the Magitek setting. She's also an abusive mother to Fate.
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic: Many members of Al-Thamen qualify, but the most notable example is Judar.
  • The Mage of Beginnings/Lifemaker from Negima! Magister Negi Magi, the Greater-Scope Villain who was the Big Bad during the days of Nagi's Ala Rubra and creator of Cosmo Entelecheia. The Mage dies but eventually comes back and becomes the Big Bad again.
    • In-story, most mages think Evangeline is like this, but those who have actually met her know that she's really not so bad.
  • Wagnard from Record of Lodoss War. He starts off as a normal man who's just a little too eager to gain arcane knowledge, but decades of dealing with the forces of darkness eventually turn him into a fiendish figure with pointed ears and claws. The wizard Groder edges on this trope since he ostensibly serves Wagnard, but he's more of a sympathetic Anti-Villain due to his loyalty to Ashram. Two minor characters, the evil cleric Gaberra and dark elf shaman Astar, also fit the bill.

    Audio Play 

    Comic Books 
  • Astro City: Infidel, the Arch-Enemy of Samaritan, is fully capable of using magic to create Artificial Humans, conquer time and space, and create his own realities. He is equally comfortable with both magic and technology, but prefers spells when given a choice.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: Haazheel Thorn is an archmage who leads a Religion of Evil, though his priests (or at least, the ones with magical powers) qualify too.
  • Morgan le Fay in Camelot 3000.
  • Kulan Gath, foe of Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja.
  • In The DCU:
    • Dark Opal and Fire Jade from Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld.
    • Blackbriar Thorn (actually an evil druid), a minor Batman foe from the '80s. Would later return to battle the JSA.
    • Wotan, arch-foe of Doctor Fate.
    • The Warlock of Ys and Myrwhydden, enemies of Green Lantern.
    • Felix Faust, enemy of the Justice League of America, who also appeared in the animated Justice League series (original and Unlimited).
    • The Wizard, arch-foe of the Justice Society of America.
    • Mordru — arch-foe variable (but originally Legion of Super-Heroes). He and Blackbriar Thorn both became enemies of the Justice Society of America.
    • Tala and Tannarak, foes of The Phantom Stranger; Tala also appeared in Justice League Unlimited.
    • "Warlock's Daughter", a Robin villain that Shadowpact tried to reform.
    • Dr Gotham, enemy of the Shadowpact.
    • Superman's enemy Lord Satanis is an extremely powerful, power-hungry and evil sorcerer. In Two for the Death of One, he makes a pact with the Devil himself, kills innocent people because they were kind to him, enslaves a whole village just because he can, and duels with his wife Syrene -another mighty and despicable sorceress herself- over a source of magic power which would let him gain omnipotence and become humankind's supreme ruler.
      Lord Satanis: "Like the gullible fools they are, the people of this village nursed me back to health when they should have killed me as the agent of the Anti-God that I had sworn to become. Only these fools had seen me weak and helpless, and so I paid them back for their kindness... by summoning forth the great poisonous serpents which were mine to control."
    • Karmang, the Big Bad of the Superman vs. Shazam! crossover, is a very old and very mad sorcerer who intends to destroy two parallel Earths. He is powerful enough to crush Black Adam easily, and his fire spells almost burn Supergirl and Mary Marvel to ashes.
    • "The Super-Steed of Steel":
      • When Maldor's attempt to poison Circe with a magic potion is thwarted by Biron, he causes to Biron be transformed into a horse. He then uses a magic spell to exile Biron to the constellation Sagittarius forever.
      • Nomed uses a spell to prevent an innocent pegasus from flying in order to usurp the throne and tricks people whom he hates into drinking potions which turn them into gold statues.
    • The Warlord: Deimos, arch-enemy of the main character. Also Ashiya, sometimes The Dragon to Deimos, and Motalla. Both of them also qualify as Hot Witches and Vain Sorceresses.
    • Circe, one of Wonder Woman's enemies who has raised dead Amazons to force them to fight their still living sisters and teleported their whole island into a Hellscape, as well as being fond of turning people into part-animal minions known as Bestiamorphs.
    • White Magician, a Wonder Woman (1987) foe whose Deal with the Devil didn't work out to his advantage.
    • Zatanna:
      • Zee's Arch-Enemy is Brother Night: a Serial Killer turned necromancer who controls San Francisco's underworld.
      • Nimue Ravensong is a low-level magician and an annoying thorn in Zatanna's side. she cannot cast spells without making a sacrifice to power it.
  • The Fox Hunt has Dream Demon, though she considers herself more "misunderstood" than out right evil, an opinion that Paul is shown to share.
  • Rasputin in Hellboy.
  • Sulimon Canto from Ironwood.
  • Judge Dredd:
  • Lands of Arran: The Dark Elf Lah'Saa is a powerful necromancer who becomes the Big Bad of the Elfes series and leads an army of ghouls to lay waste to the world of Arran.
  • Darkhell and his rival Skroa from Les Légendaires. Interestingly, Skroa is also a demon.
  • In the Marvel Universe:
    • Master Pandemonium, enemy of The Avengers.
    • Doctor Doom. A rare example of one who is also a Mad Scientist.
    • Baron Mordo, arch-rival of Doctor Strange.
      • His daughter Astrid Mordo, who tried to kill both her father and Strange.
      • Kaluu, another foe/occasional ally of Doctor Strange (as Sorcerer Supreme he tends to attract these).
      • Dormammu, Strange's archenemy and Mordo's sometime master, is a demon who is also an evil sorcerer.
    • Gravemoss, foe of Excalibur.
    • Nicholas Scratch, enemy of the Fantastic Four.
      • And, arguably, their other enemy Diablo, who is an evil immortal alchemist.
    • Master Khan, enemy of Iron Fist and Namor.
    • Belasco, foe of Ka-Zar and the X-Men.
    • Amora the Enchantress is somewhere between Wicked Witch and Vain Sorceress having magical prowess to match the likes of Loki and Doctor Strange.
    • Formerly, Loki, God of Mischief and archenemy of his brother Thor, is perhaps the most powerful sorcerer in all of Asgard, rivaled only by evil (mostly) sorceress Karnilla. Now, both occupy a position of amiable neutrality.
      • Hela, Loki’s alleged daughter (although they and Marvel don’t like to talk about it) is an extremely powerful necro-sorceress with magical might that can often surpasses her father and allows her go toe to toe with Thor on occasion.
    • Gorr the God Butcher thanks to his Cool Sword All-Black (which belonged to God of Evil Symbiote creator Knull) has a variety of dark magical powers including being a Mook Maker. He’s also able to slay countless gods and give even Thor himself an extremely hard time.
  • Mr. Gone started off as this in The Maxx, but later claimed that his magic powers were limited to knowing a few "loopholes". And then later it turned out that he had no power at all and was just an ordinary dude who everyone else consensually hallucinated was an evil sorcerer. Or something.
  • Matthew Patel has this role among the 7 Evil Exes in Scott Pilgrim.
  • Konjuro from Swordquest, The Dragon to Big Bad King Tyrannus.
  • Malesur, the mad boy-wizard who seeks Jarek's destruction in Tellos.
  • Boneyard from the Mantra series in The Ultraverse.
  • Magica de Spell from the Uncle Scrooge comics, who also appeared in DuckTales. Magica is also an interesting case as, at least in early appearance, she depended on magical artifacts and theatrics, having no real innate powers of her own.
  • Natch from the XXXenophile story "Heart of Stone".
  • The Phantom Blot takes on this role in Wizards of Mickey.

    Comic Strips 
  • In SnarfQuest, Snarf's principal adversary is Suthaze; a bald, bearded, evil wizard. He possessed a "magic time jumping glass" –- an hourglass that could transport the user into the future for 72 hours –- with which he would plunder the future for fantastic treasures.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has a number:
    • The most prominent examples are Voldemort and Gravemoss, the latter a specialist Necromancer and terrifyingly dangerous even before he got hold of the Darkhold. Pretty much anyone else who uses Dark Magic is this, owing to its corruptive nature.
    • Grindelwald — who apparently did a number of deals to amp himself to power levels generally described (by Loki, who would know) as 'god-like'. Strange stripped him of most of this power, flattening most of Berlin in the process, and left him and Dumbledore to fight on more even terms.
    • Kemmler, a mortal wandless Necromancer of immense power and evil who returned from the grave so often his coffin should have had a revolving lid. He engineered World War I to get raw material for his work, then popped up again during World War II, reanimating mass graves under Grindelwald's command. He was finally destroyed in 1962, triggering the Buin Zahra earthquake as a side-effect, killing over 12,000 people.
    • Baron Mordo, in this canon a wayward apprentice of Doctor Strange, and one of considerable power.
    • Doctor Doom might be this — no one's quite sure if he actually uses dark magic or not, but the aforementioned Mordo is his teacher...
  • Mordru from Hellsister Trilogy is an elderly sorcerer of immense power who gathers an army of super-villains in order to annihilate the Legion of Super-Heroes and destroy several worlds who did or might oppose him as he attempts to make himself one with his universe's essence of evil.
  • In Keepers of the Elements, Radcliffe is one of these.
  • Hago from The Lion King Adventures is one, complete with a cobra-headed staff and deep, rich voice.
  • Titan from My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic.
  • Though not the Big Bad, Shamuhaza from The Night Unfurls is still the Arc Villain of the two story arcs that marks this fanfic's Serial Escalation. He ticks off most of, if not all, the boxes of this trope. Has a legion of mutated Elite Mooks with Body Horror? Check. Tampers with Things Man Was Not Meant to Know (or in this case, the Eldritch Truth)? Check. Strives to gain great power at the expense of his sanity and soul? Check. Oh, and he also ends up turning into an Eldritch Abomination himself.
  • Queen of All Oni: In addition to the canonical Daolon Wong, there's also Lung, Blankman, and Monsieur Verde. Jade is also well on her way to becoming one, thanks to the Teachings of Eternal Shadow.
  • Darth Vulcan from The Rise of Darth Vulcan. Gaining the Alicorn Amulet certainly helped.
  • There and Back Again: Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers, the Three-Eyed Raven, is depicted as one of these thanks to his extensive warging powers and ability to siphon Blood Magic. He sabotages Jon Snow by transferring the magic in his blood into Daenerys Targaryen and Bran Stark, sapping much of his intelligence. He also took over Bran Stark's body, either assimilating his consciousness or leaving it to die in his cave when it was attacked. From that point, Bloodraven (as Bran) engineered the Long Night and the Destruction of King's Landing so that Jon Snow would be exiled as he was, while Bloodraven would rule as an Immortal Ruler.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Cast a Deadly Spell: Amos Hacksaw, a sorcerer intent on sacrificing his daughter to summon the Old Ones so he can become a god.
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011): Khalar Zym and Marique, his daughter, both practice evil magic as did Marique's dead mother Maliva.
  • In Conquest, Ocron is an evil sorceress so powerful that she has created centred around herself; despite worshipping the spirit Zora herself.
  • In Crossworlds, the Big Bad Ferris is a warlord from an Alternate Universe, whose goal is to break down the barriers in The Multiverse and create a Merged Reality he can rule. He has many Reality Warper powers, as well as Mind over Matter and Hand Blast. He also speaks with a British accent.
  • Mestema of The Dungeonmaster uses his powers to bring the hero and his girlfriend from Earth to his dimension.
  • Profion from the Dungeons & Dragons (2000) movie. He is an evil Mage, as well as a tyrant who greatly opposed Commoners. Both his and his followers' evil nature and their hatred against Commoners whom they see as slaves were the reason why some people, including protagonist Ridley, initially greatly despise Mages in the first place.
  • In The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein's arch-rival is the immortal sorcerer Cagliostro. Cagliostro murders Frankenstein and usurps control of his monster.
  • A Field in England is about an evil alchemist forcing a group of deserters from the English Civil War to hunt for treasure in a field.
  • From Beyond the Grave: The eponymous door in "The Door" was created by the evil occultist Sir Michael Sinclair as a means to trap those who entered through it, so that Sinclair can take their souls and live forever.
  • Ghostbusters II: Seventeenth century mass murdering tyrant Vigo the Carpathian, who "dabbled in all the black arts", was, at the age of one hundred and five, "poisoned, stabbed, shot, hung, stretched, disemboweled, drawn and quartered." Spiritually preserved in a self-portrait, he later draws strength from New York's underground river of anger-infused psycho-magnatheric Mood Slime. Having bent to his will Dr Janosz Poha, Vigo tries to transfer himself to Dana Barrett's baby son Oscar.
  • Sardo Numspa in The Golden Child. He is a demon who is the leader of a secret Tibetan cult of devil worshippers.
  • Lord Voldemort of the Harry Potter films and books. Before his rise, there was Gellert Grindelwald, who was powerful enough to fight a dozen American Aurors at once and nearly win in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
  • Rasputin in the film adaptation of Hellboy. Rasputin was seen working with the Nazis in the film and demonstrated great occult abilities linked with the underworld. Rasputin was depicted as being nearly immortal; every time he died, he was resurrected with a part of his god within his body.
  • Gallian in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. Interestingly, the king's own magus Merick is surprised that Gallian has any magic at all, as a magus's power comes from serving a king. However, Gallian has managed to find a loophole. He has named himself the king of the beastly Krug (after magically uplifting them) and, thus, serves himself. It's implied that only a twisted mind like Gallian's could have accepted this enough to allow this to work.
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: Mordred and later Vortigern.
    • Mordred, is an iron-fisted warlock, and his armies lay siege to Camelot, seeking to establish the dominance of mages over humankind.
    • Vortigern is Uther's brother, Elsa's husband, Catia's father, Arthur's uncle and the tyrannical and ruthless king of Britain. He is able to transform himself into a demonic knight.
  • In Lord of Illusions, Nix was an evil wizard who had actual magical powers and deemed himself a god. He sees it as his mission to turn the world into a graveyard. He becomes a lich after his cultists revive him.
  • Jeremiah Sand in Mandy (2018) is a modern-day version of this. He is the leader of a hippie cult who may or may not have magical powers, based heavily on Charles Manson in how he manipulates his followers to do his bidding. Naturally, he serves as the Big Bad in the film's Heroic Fantasy take on Fantasy Americana, kidnapping and murdering the protagonist's titular girlfriend.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Blackbeard is one of these, presented as a master practitioner of Hollywood Voodoo capable of creating zombies, exercising Mind over Matter power over ships, shrinking captured ships to keep in bottles as trophies, and creating voodoo dolls.
  • The Shadow has Shiwan Khan, the last descendant of Genghis Khan, who was taught by the same teacher (whom Shiwan then killed) as Lamont. In fact, Shiwan is strong enough to cloud the minds of all New Yorkers by making them not see a huge building in the middle of the city. In the end, Lamont proves himself more than a match for Shiwan and has a surgeon friend of his removes Shiwan's Psychic Powers through brain surgery.
  • Subverted in Sherlock Holmes (2009); Lord Blackwood is a practicing occultist, highly ranked member of an Ancient Conspiracy, and has designs on the British crown, but all his "powers" are just smoke and mirrors.
  • Films based off Sinbad the Sailor usually have one, especially those produced by (and Starring Special Effects of) Ray Harryhausen.
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice has the Morganians, who are an entire group of sorcerer's who follow Morgana's teachings. The key among them, besides Morgana herself, is Maxim Horvath, who is one of Merlin's apprentices until he chose to serve Morgana. Morganians are opposed by Merlinians, the followers of Merlin's teachings that magic is to be used to serve humanity. The film only shows three of them (Balthazar, Veronica, and Dave) and no indication is made that more are (or were) present.
  • Sorceress: Traigon, so much that he planned to sacrifice his own child for power.
  • Star Wars: Given that the movies are Heroic Fantasy in a Space Opera setting, Emperor Palpatine could be described as one of these. This is a major temptation for Anakin Skywalker as well. Essentially, the Sith come in two flavors: those who are the Evil Counterpart of the Jedi, with an emphasis on lightsaber fighting and visceral use of the Force, and those who are evil sorcerers, who tend more to the "create horrible twisted mockeries of nature" end of the Dark Side spectrum (Palpatine combines the two).
  • The title character from the Warlock series of movies is a servant of Satan, tries to destroy the world, and kills and mutilates innocent people for fun.
  • Queen Bavmorda from Willow is one and has a few others in her service, helping her with evil rituals and the like.


By Author:

  • H. P. Lovecraft:
    • Joseph Curwen from The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, who murders his descendant Ward after Ward has resurrected him and usurps his identity. Curwen never hesitates to stoop to murder, torture or blackmail to achieve his ends; he also uses –- and kills –- vast numbers of living slaves as subjects for his magical experiments.
    • Old Man Whateley from The Dunwich Horror. Lavinia Whateley's "aged and half-insane father, about whom the most frightful tales of magic had been whispered in his youth". He has a large collection of "rotting ancient books and parts of books" which he uses to "instructs and catechise" his grandson Wilbur.
  • James Herbert:
    • The Magic Cottage: In a remote mansion retreat, Eldritch P Mycroft, head of seemingly peaceful mystical cult the Synergists, covets nearby cottage Gramarye, for the boundless spring of "ethereal vitality" on which it stands. Already attuned to such vitality, Mycroft can influence nature; manipulate others' senses, and conjure glimpses from deep space.
    • Once: Nell Quick, by occult ritual, gives protagonist Tom Kindred a stroke; conjures horrifying phantasms and manipulates nature, all to acquire the Bracken estate.

By Work:

  • The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi: The villain is a vicious ex-mercenary with an obsession with the occult. He somehow learned real magic from his investigations and is happy to enslave and sacrifice people for more power. He uses it to empower and control his minions and to dominate a marid.
  • Pretty much any of the Fallen Mages in the Ahriman Trilogy, though most would expand that to include even the rank and file members of the Order of Ahriman.
  • Barnabus from The Barbarian and the Sorceress. A crazy, evil old man who's mastered The Dark Arts and worships an Eldritch Abomination, even attempting to summon it to destroy and remake the world.
  • Bazil Broketail: The Masters of Padmasa, five ancient malevolent wizards, lead the Enemy. Many other lesser wizards also serve them with the same character, practicing magic based on blood, pain and death to create monsters which they can take over the world by using in their armies.
  • The Belgariad has Zedar, Ctuchik, Urvon, Zandramas, Asharak, and every single Morindim magician.
  • In Lord Dunsany's The Charwoman's Shadow, the magician does not tell the hero what taking his shadow entails and describes, elegantly, how honored great magicians are in Hell.
  • Arunis Wytterscorm, the BloodMage of Gurishal, chief advisor to the Shaggat Ness and true power behind his throne, millennia-old body snatcher and most prominent of the several Big Bads of The Chathrand Voyages. Generally a real nasty piece of work. The third and fourth books of the series introduce Macadra the White Raven, head of the Raven Society and de facto ruler of Bali Adro. She's Arunis's contemporary in age, power, and wickedness, and his on-and-off ally and perpetual rival. She's also his sister.
  • In Children of the Black Sun, the Big(gest) Bad is a very evil and very powerful mage. The evilness and the power are linked — he draws magic from inflicting pain (not that he needs the extra encouragement).
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: C. S. Lewis refers to them as "witches", but both Jadis — aka "The White Queen"— and "The Lady of the Green Kirtle" are the supreme magic-users of their worlds and times; both are very fond of their own faces and figures; and both are evil — Faux Affably Evil sometimes, but still evil.
  • The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander:
    • Arawn Deathlord and Queen Achren.
    • Morda in Taran Wanderer also fits the trope clearly. In fact, he's in some ways a forerunner of Lord Voldemort: "Scornful of humanity", using Soul Jars, barely human anymore...
  • Kasreyn of the Gyre in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Doubles as an Evil Chancellor.
  • Many of the Canim Ritualists from Codex Alera, most notably Sarl. The Ritualists as a whole are considered to be this (even by most of their own people) until they get fleshed out more in the last book, which reveals how they were once incredibly respected before gradually becoming corrupt over several generations; Master Marok, a sympathetic old-school Ritualist, is also introduced.
  • The evil magician is the go-to antagonist for the titular protagonist of the Conan the Barbarian stories by Robert E. Howard. It serves to contrast with Conan, who is the Trope Codifier for Barbarian Hero and a Badass Normal who triumphs through both mental and physical mastery.
  • The Crimson Shadow: Greensparrow and all his minions, save one who's just misguided, are mages who use their powers solely for evil.
  • All hail the Crimson King from The Dark Tower, who orders his servants to drink rat poison so he can watch them die. And could just as easily force them to.
  • The Death Gate Cycle is full of magic-using characters, but while several of them are villains, most are given sympathetic backstories and motivation. There are, however, two definite examples of this trope- Sinistrad and Kleitus.
  • Discworld:
    • Parodied with Dr Hix of the Unseen University's Department of Post-Mortem Communication (and certainly not necromancy), who is officially the University's Bad Person, and is therefore permitted to perform mild acts of "evil", such as practical jokes or saying what everyone else is thinking. The thinking is that, PMC being what it is, it's better to have someone sensible playing a rolenote  than run the risk of an actual Evil Sorcerer taking the position.
    • Played straight with Ipslore the Red, Big Bad of Sourcery who cheerfully abandons all sympathetic qualities with the death of his wife and becomes The Man Behind the Man to his son, the sourcerer in question (so called because his place in the birth order, Coin is capable of generating magical energy-which makes him a Physical God). He exists only in a Soul Jar, but how he was able to sneak that one past Death cements his place here; he made it so that reaping his soul will kill Coin. Subverted with Coin himself, however; while he at first makes a terrifying impression, killing several people, he turns out to be acting under his father's orders and is a remarkably sweet kid for someone with such a terrible role model.
    • Also in Sourcery, the Grand Vizier of Klatch is also an Evil Sorcerer, who was thrown out of Unseen University for being insane. Rincewind is genuinely surprised at this, because while he's evil, it's more because he's expected to be, and he's actually saner than many UU wizards Rincewind has met.
  • Dracula is said to have been adept in the dark arts due to being trained as a Solomonari, a dark wizard from Eastern European folklore. It's heavily implied that he rose as a vampire in the first place through magic rather than being bitten like all of his victims, and his more famous powers like turning into mist, bats, wolves or summoning storms are likely product of his black magic rather than inherent vampire powers.
  • Dragaera: Sethra Lavode is considered by many to be an Evil Sorceress. On the one hand, everything we've seen of her from Vlad's first-person Point of View indicates she's not that bad a person. On the other hand, every once in a while a member of the House of Dzur will go off to slay her, and none of these people are ever heard from again...
    • Loraan, Baron of Smallcliff, was a powerful Athyra wizard and necromancer, and also an undead.
  • * In The Dragon Hoard the appropriately named Awful. There's also Stamp-Weed, several unnamed-sorcerers and plenty of evil sorceresses.
  • Raistlin of the Dragonlance series is a red-robed magic user, which means he's of a neutral alignment. He eventually pulls a Face–Heel Turn and becomes an evil black-robed magic user. The sequel trilogy to the original trilogy has him as the main villain.
  • All literal Sorcerers in The Dresden Files, as the term means a spellcaster whose magical abilities are limited to mostly destructive uses, lacking the subtlety of a true Wizard, making them Unskilled, but Strong at best. Most of their abilities also involve breaking one or more of the Laws of Wizardry, each of which carries a death penalty. Stronger Law-breakers are known as Warlocks (technically all are, but the title of Warlock only tends to be given to White Council level dark wizards).
    • Notable examples of the former include Victor Sells from the first book, Kravos from the third — though the former was Unskilled, but Strong (which Dresden used against him), and the latter was little more than a two-bit sorcerer before he killed himself to become the Nightmare, a psychotic super-ghost.
    • Two full Wizards who also fit this trope are Harry's former mentor Justin DuMorne and Cowl, a recurring enemy.
    • Additionally, Denarians (human hosts to Fallen Angels in thirty silver coins. Yes, those thirty silver coins) with natural magic abilities become this, even if they weren't to begin with — practitioners get Stronger with Age and practise, and as Bob the Skull points out, after a few centuries, "even modest talents can grow teeth." Quintus Cassius, both as a Denarian and after (though he's not very powerful), Thorned Namshiel (who's both powerful and very skilled), and Tessa (who makes a habit of chucking lightning bolts around) all qualify.
  • Theleb K'aarna, Yyrkoon and Jagreen Lern in Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné stories.
    • Theleb K'aarna is a Pan Tangian sorcerer and an archenemy of Elric of Melniboné., having clashed with him multiple times.
    • Yyrkoon is Elric's cousin and The Evil Prince who twice attempts to usurp Elric's throne. Though Elric cared little for his throne, Yyrkoon also attempted to usurp his lover Cymoril both times by placing her into a sorcerous sleep.
    • Jagreen Lern, the Theocrat of Pan Tang, is the final, ultimate enemy of Elric of Melniboné and a champion of Chaos.
  • The main character of Everybody Loves Large Chests is a warlock who uses demons to help it eat people.
  • The Immortals, a trio of evil immortal sorcerers in The Extraordinaires. The Immortals need to inhabit the bodies of children to live the longest, and create their minions, the Spawn, from their own body parts that they cut off.
  • Forest Kingdom: Subverted in book 1 (Blue Moon Rising). The High Warlock was set up to be one of these, but he turned out to be more of a crabby-but-mostly-harmless old drunk instead.
  • Hurog: In Dragon Bones, Oreg's father. Turning Oreg in the child in a castle Powered by a Forsaken Child, and, despite Oreg being a powerful mage himself, making it so that Oreg is enslaved to whoever wears a certain ring and can't break this curse ... no mean feat. That evil sorcerer is long dead when the story begins, but there are others, such as Bastilla who is a very powerful, very sadistic mage and the antagonist of the protagonists for much of the plot.
  • Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter novels. Bellatrix Lestrange also counts. Or anyone who regularly uses the Dark Arts.
  • In Heart's Blood Nechtan, Anluan’s great-grandfather, summons The Host (an army of spirits from purgatory).
  • Normal people in The Licanius Trilogy tend to see Augurs as this due to their history as dictators. While some of them (like Jakarris and Rohin) prove them right, most other Augurs are inherently good people who happen to be extremely powerful wizards.
  • Many in the works of John Bellairs, starting with Isaac and Selena Izzard in The House With a Clock in Its Walls, who create the eponymous clock which is intended to drag the world into the proper temporal position to bring on doomsday.
  • Talon, Screech and Fang from Jackie and Craig are teenage witches who preserve their immortality through cannibalism and the avoidance of sunlight. They suffer realistic effects of scurvy as a result of this, in a book essentially geared towards preteens no less.
  • In Johannes Cabal the Necromancer Cabal deals with Rufus Maleficarus, an example of a wizard who doesn't have stereotypical smarts: as Cabal put it, all the dark knowledge he learned took up space in his brain already used by his sanity. The result is a big man with wild hair and delusions of grandeur who, nonetheless, nearly brought about the apocalypse, was able to escape from a mental institution by using finger paint to summon a Hound of Tindalos, and transports Cabal into a pocket dimension.
  • Journey to Chaos boasts of...
    • Mr.15, who spends his days in a lair of fog and monsters, performing the Dark Arts and conducting magical experiments on unwilling suspects. The locals think he's a fiend or a demon.
    • Dengel enslaved a community to his final lair in Ceiha using magic that bound their souls to their flesh. He forced them to serve him while he researched greater and stronger magic in order to take revenge on his enemies.
  • Meeks from the Magic Kingdom of Landover series. Meeks is the half-brother of Questor, and the one responsible for selling Ben the magic kingdom. He appears as a grizzled old man missing his right arm, and is in fact a very powerful wizard. Meeks came into possession of the medallion that identifies the kings of Landover and developed a scheme to repeatedly sell the kingdom with it. A buyer would purchase the medallion for access to Landover, and then when the victim either abandoned the kingship as too difficult or was killed, Meeks would retrieve the medallion and re-sell the kingdom
  • Pryrates from the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn books, who gets to be a trifecta: evil priest, Evil Sorcerer, and Evil Chancellor.
  • Nightmare Hour: Margolin from "The Most Evil Sorcerer" obviously is one, as he has great knowledge of Black Magic. The main character is his cunning apprentice who seeks a way to overthrow him.
  • Partly averted in Sergey Lukyanenko's Night Watch (Series). While Zabulon is The Archmage, a Magnificent Bastard, and The Chessmaster, he never does anything For the Evulz. Everything he does tends to be part of some bigger plan to advance the cause of the Darkness. Since Dark Is Not Evil, there are even a number of times he cooperates with his Light counterpart Gesar against a bigger threat. It's stated that many Dark sorcerers were evil in centuries past, this sort of behavior is now frowned upon by all Others, both Light and Dark, as both sides are interested in maintaining the masquerade, and the treaty provides checks and balances for the actions of both sides. In fact, if a Dark Other starts to openly use magic, the Day Watch (the official Dark institution that polices the Light Others) is likely to be the first on the scene to stop him or her. After all, if the Night Watch does it instead, the Light ones may demand that the Inquisition grant them the right to a high-level intervention to compensate for the damage. There were many Dark Ones in the past (before the treaty), who fit this trope, though. One story deals with the possible attempt by one faction to resurrect an ancient Dark mage named Fafnir, who would likely end up going on a rampage across Europe before being stopped by advanced human military technology.
  • Almost every wielder of Free Magic or necromancy in the Old Kingdom, as while Free Magic isn't "evil", exactly, it's a very chaotic and destructive power that tends to induce unpleasant effects such as madness in its wielders; the necromancer Hedge is the most prominent Free Magic sorcerer in the books (and perhaps incidentally, wielders of this kind of magic are almost always called sorcerers, in contrast to those who use Charter Magic, who are usually called mages). This trope also applies to the magic-using Greater Dead, such as Kerrigor or Chlorr of the Mask.
  • In Ruslan and Ludmila, the evil wizard Chernomor kidnaps Ludmila, the daughter of Prince Vladimir of Kiev, on her wedding night.
  • Drimus El Doctrinador, in The Saga of the Borderlands of the argentine writer Liliana Bodoc. Almost all the wizards of the Brotherhood of the Precinct can qualify (with the exception of a few who secretly fight against Misaianes) but Drimus is the most powerful and cruel of all.
  • A theme in The Saga of Hrolf Kraki, where three of the four main villains are evil sorcerers: the wicked stepmother-witch Queen Hvit, the devious King Adils, and the half-elven necromancer Skuld.
  • Several villains from The Saga of the Noble Dead practice sorcery, notably Chane, a vampiric Psycho for Hire and Magic Knight, and his partner Welstiel, who specializes in crafting magical items. The character from the series who most fits the stereotypes, though, is Ubad- Necromancer, old, Black Cloak, pact with the dark forces, etc. Not a guy to cross.
  • Every necromancer in the Schooled in Magic series has been utterly corrupted and driven insane by the necromantic power that they wield.
  • In The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, the evil formerly-human immortals (the ones who weren't human fall into Physical God or Eldritch Abomination) are basically evil sorcerers. John Dee and Niccolo Machiavelli are the best examples. (Yes, those are the actual historical figures.)
  • Shannara:
    • The Warlock Lord, Brona, from Terry Brooks' The Sword of Shannara and its prequel First King of Shannara. He is actually described by Bremen to be things like "no longer a man" and "a dark creature." He is said to no longer have human thoughts, but to act completely on instinct. He has given himself to the darkness so completely, when he's in his tent, Risca tries to sneak inside and finish him off only to realize that... he's not there. He's become the darkness around him, and it gets to the point that it seems that even taking the form of a vague cloaked figure is somewhat of an annoyance to him and not actually necessary. He IS sorcery.
    • Given that a recurring theme in Brooks' writing is that the abuse of magic twists and warps the user, it isn't surprising that he uses this one a lot. The Dagda Mor from The Elfstones of Shannara, the Mord Wraiths in Wishsong, the Shadowen from The Heritage of Shannara, and the Morgawr from The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara are all prime examples.
  • Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Was Not: In "The Investigation into The Dawning Od: A Sherlock Holmes and Dr Arthur Conan Doyle Mystery", Otto Von Reichenbach is a practitioner of the dark arts who desires power over the Od. During the Boer Wars, Von Reichenbach has an army of British soldiers positioned in South Africa poisoned, turning them into monsters under his control who slaughter their loved ones upon returning home. Unleashing them on Britain, Von Reichenbach harvests the power created from their carnage, intending to use to it open a portal using the Od to release an army on the world to brutally put it under his foot.
  • Numerous backwoods examples appear in Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John stories; one of them plays an evil fiddle in contrast to John's silver-strung guitar.
  • The sinister and power-hungry Euron Greyjoy in A Song of Ice and Fire, whose secret arcane knowledge and ominous presence frighten his enemies and subjects alike. The priestess Melisandre, who assassinates her enemies with spirit children that live inside her womb, is another, possibly more frightening example.
  • Sweet & Bitter Magic: Dark witches have created mystical plagues multiple times which killed thousands, causing witches generally to become feared by muggles.
  • The Big Bad Riesenkampf from Sword with No Name is one. He killed the rightful king and rules the land from his floating palace. He also keeps the queen locked up to preserve an illusion of legitimacy. He's actually a Magnificent Bastard and a Sharp-Dressed Man, wearing modern-day suits instead of something more befitting his Medieval European Fantasy setting.
  • Vadim Maur from the Tairen Soul series is a standard example of this trope, and manages to be quite frightening despite (or rather because) he is such an Obviously Evil Card-Carrying Villain.
  • Berys/Malior of Tales of Kolmar is one of these, a powerful demon master.
  • Talion: Revenant: Chi'gandir, who used magic to change people's shapes and then extorts them for reversing it.
  • Third Time Lucky: And Other Stories of the Most Powerful Wizard in the World: In "Mirror, Mirror on the Lam" the Tarzabad-har governor turns out to be one, performing a ritual to summon demons that he's hoping can give him world domination.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Saruman from The Lord of the Rings. He's actually The Mole, attempting to subvert the White Council of good wizards and sages while simultaneously making deals with the Dark Lord Sauron. In fact, he thinks that he can be the Dark Lord himself. Gandalf even points out that Saruman had turned Orthanc into a Poor-man's Barad-dûr.
    • In The Hobbit, we're led to believe that the vile Necromancer is an Evil Sorcerer. In The Lord of the Rings, it's revealed that it's actually Sauron himself.
    • Though he's actually a Physical God, Sauron is called a sorcerer in The Silmarillion as well, probably due to the largely mystical/spiritual nature of his particular power set. The Nazgûl all are also called sorcerers, though it's unclear whether they had their powers before getting their rings.
  • The frequent Big Bad in Belyanin's Tsar Gorokh's Detective Agency is Koschei the Deathless, a Lich-like figure who rules the "unclean" forces. He appears to be a master of the dark arts but rarely uses magic openly, preferring to brew potions and act through his subordinates. Being a Magnificent Bastard helps. There's also the fact that he can't enter the city of Lukoshkino (the setting of the series) thanks to Father Kondratiy's daily prayers. The one time he does, the Father is out-of-town, and the protagonists are nearly killed by Koschei himself and only survive by random chance. He does have two Weaksauce Weaknesses: the fear of a rooster call (heralding the sunrise) and the fact that salt burns his flesh like acid.
  • Avshar the wizard-prince of Yezd from The Videssos Cycle is an exceptionally powerful sorcerer and Magic Knight and the Dragon-in-Chief of the empire he allegedly serves. He's a vicious sadist who worships Skotos and is feared by allies and enemies alike, and always conceals his face behind a veil because he's Really 700 Years Old and suffers from Age Without Youth. Near the end of the series, he graduates to Sorcerous Overlord when he overthrows his "master", Khagan Wulghash, and takes over as overlord of the Yezda empire. It ultimately takes getting Dragged Off to Hell to stop him.
  • Villains by Necessity: Valerie is a sorceress from an Always Chaotic Evil species. She's a cannibal like the rest, and enjoys hurting or killing people. This is the main use of her magic.
  • The Wheel of Time:
  • Parodied in Which Witch?, where Arriman is a very dark, very evil sorcerer, but his evil acts are more of a Poke the Poodle. It's a children's book, so he obviously can't be too evil. Played a bit straighter with one of the witches, who is more powerful than Arriman himself, and wears a necklace made out of the teeth of her deceased husbands. (Of one, they never found a body, but a bald werewolf with milky blue eyes appeared after he went missing ...)
  • The Witch of Knightcharm is set in an evil Wizarding School whose entire point is to turn out evil magicians. The protagonist is a good magician who infiltrated the school in order to undermine it within (after screwing up and failing to stop it the first time she fought them) and then having to resist the school's efforts to turn her evil as she fights to complete her mission.
  • The Witchlands: Esme is an insanely powerful witch who can turn other witches into Slave Mooks and helps the Big Bad conquer the eponymous continent.
  • Worlds of Shadow: Shadow solely uses magic to create monsters, raise the dead as zombie servants/soldiers, murder people and control their minds.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Turok and Rumina from The Adventures of Sinbad. Turok is an evil sorcerer that is featured in the first two episodes, and the season one finale. Rumina is the daughter of Turok and the main villain of the first season. She loves Sinbad, but hates him for murdering her father. Rumina is an expert in black magic, which is easy to learn compared to white magic. Rumina is also obsessed with killing Maeve, something she never manages to accomplish. In the planned third season, Rumina would have made her return, and it was to be revealed she and Bryn were sisters.
  • Angel: Cyrus Vail from The Circle of the Black Thorn, a frail, elderly, incredibly powerful warlock.
  • Pacha Camac in Blood Ties (2007) is an Incan priest who has himself mummified so that he can be resurrected in the future. After that, he starts sucking the life force out of the people around him. He wants to make himself even more powerful and immortal by sucking the life out of a vampire (how's that for irony?).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Mayor Richard Wilkins III and Ethan Rayne.
    • And there are several hints that Giles used to be one as well. Ethan frequently remarks that he never got even close to his old friend in both power and depravity.
    • In Season 8 of Buffy (which crosses over with Fray) it is revealed that Willow will eventually become a female version in the distant future. She is unaware of this, though she tries to stay away from black magic to prevent this.
    • The Master is one, though his magical abilities are more pronounced in supplementary material than the actual series.
  • Vern and Omen in Dark Oracle. Subverted by Doyle; he's creepy and neurotic, and it is repeatedly suggested that he is the real cause of all the twins' problems. He remains one of the good guys until the end though, becoming a semi-Mentor to the main cast.
    • Blaze and Violet are borderline cases. They definitely have magic of some sort, and ally with Omen and Vern at various points, but their magic is rarely shown.
  • Doctor Who: The Master is basically the Science Fantasy equivalent — the Delgado Master summoned demons, the Simm Master arranged for his own resurrection in a scene straight out of Harry Potter, and the Gomez Mistress created an army of zombie Cybermen driven by the minds / souls of the dead. Contrast with the Doctor, who's been explicitly compared to Merlin or a general "good wizard".
  • Maldis from Farscape. A malevolent, powerful supernatural being who had reached a non-corporeal form and possessed considerable spiritual powers, Maldis gained strength from the life forces of others' pain and death and as a result used his abilities to encourage negative emotions such as fear, anger, hate, and pain in his victims.
  • Game of Thrones: Melisandre boasts magical abilities, although it's handled in a subtle, non-flashy way. Melisandre herself mentions that most of her more flamboyant displays of power are actually clever fakes, used to impress the impressionable. The limits of her true powers are unknown.
  • Legend of the Seeker has Darken Rahl, the Big Bad of the first season, who has some magical abilities, not that we see many of those. The one we see several times is his ability to do an Offscreen Teleportation during sword battles to stab the opponent in the back. He also has many sorcerers serving him, including a Wizard of the First Order named Giller. The Bad Future season finale also features Nicholas Rahl, the son of Darken Rahl and Kahlan Amnell, combining his parents abilities to become an even worse tyrant than his father. It's stated that the entire Rahl bloodline is full of examples of this trope. In fact, Darken's father Panis is actually a relatively mild example (especially compared to his son), whose main on-screen villainy comes from a Bed Trick (to produce Richard to rival Darken) and killing Zedd's father (which he may or may not have deserved for trying to kill baby Darken).
  • Kreel in The Legend of William Tell. Kreel, a dark magician, raises Xax to overthrow the King and Queen and take control of the country.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Sauron is described as "a cruel and cunning sorcerer" in Galadriel's prologue speech.
  • Rumplestiltskin from Once Upon a Time, who is also known as 'The Dark One'.
    • Briefly Emma and later Hook as they too become dark ones.
    • Season 6 had Jafar as an arc villain and season 7 featured Dr. Facilier. They're both just as evil as their original Disney counterparts, unlike some of the other famous villains who were redeemed or nerfed.
  • Riverdale's Season 6 Big Bad Percival Pickens practices dark magic and conjures spells to manipulate the town. He can also mind-control people with his voice to further corrupt them in his plans.
  • Robin of Sherwood had two successive ones as recurring villains. Notable for avoiding Suspiciously Similar Substitute and making them very different characters in terms of personality, background, and magical style.
    • Baron de Belleme, an icy Satanist Norman aristocrat with Hermetic powers and a tendency to brainwash people, who actively used magic to fight his enemies and sought the limelight at every opportunity.
    • Gulnar, a deranged, giggly, disheveled, Welsh pagan shaman, who preferred to raise undead or magical creatures to use as his mooks, liked to hide in the background of events, and tended to "flight" rather than "fight" reactions when things started to go wrong.
  • Stranger Things Season 4 Big Bad has Vecna christened after Lich of Dungeons & Dragons who is a Humanoid Abomination who “curses” troubled teens as a Freddy Krueger-esque monstrous Dream Walker. In actuality he is Henry Creel a human mutant with Psychic Powers, who was used a progenitor in Department of Energy to develop more psychic children such as Eleven, although by the time Eleven has banished him to Upside Down due to his Beware the Superman behaviour he isn’t remotely human anymore and is closest equivalent to an actual evil sorcerer within the relatively realistic Stranger Things universe.
  • Andre Linoge in the Stephen King miniseries Storm of the Century is either one of these, or an actual devil.

  • From the Albums of Gloryhammer, we have Zargothrax the Dark Sorcerer of Auchtermuchty. On the album Tales from the Kingdom of Fife, he invades Dundee with an Army of Undead Unicorns and traps the beautiful princess Iona McDougall in ice. On the second album, Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards, his actions cause the Earth to be destroyed. On the third, Legends from Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex, Zargothrax is mentioned as having corrupted the Knights of Crail and turned their Grand Master, Proletius, from one of Angus' closest allies into a willing servant of Evil.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Morgan le Fey is portrayed this way in most versions of Arthurian Legend.
  • In the Malian Epic Of Sundiata, the historical king of Sosso, Soumaoro Kanté, was portrayed as an evil sorcerer king who oppresses his people and takes advantage of the fall of the Ghana Empire to conquer his neighbors before being defeated and overthrown by an alliance of states lead by the Mandinka prince Sundiata Keita. Sundiata would then go on to form the Kingdom of Mali.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu: Almost all magic users will turn into this, spend the rest of their lives eating bugs in an insane asylum, or else die so horribly that seeing their remains could cause Sanity loss on the Sanity Meter. The "or" in the proceeding sentence is not an exclusive or, and you can bet the head of a cult will fit this trope well. Magic Is Evil here.
  • CthulhuTech is the marriage of Real Robot Genre mecha anime, The Guyver, and Call of Cthulhu. Needless to say, twisted sorcerers are a dime a dozen.
  • Dungeons & Dragons loves this trope. By campaign setting:
    • Dragonlance: As mentioned above, Raistlin and Fistandantilus.
      • And Dalamar, Maladar, Galan Dracos, most Renegades, and the Order of the Black Robes (though the latter are admittedly often Affably Evil Anti Villains or Anti Heroes, as most are more self-serving and amoral).
    • Forgotten Realms: Halaster Blackcloak, Manshoon(s), the ruling council of the city of Shade, Szass Tam and the rest of the Red Wizards of Thay. And these are just the most notable/infamous. There's probably hundreds of 'em.
    • Greyhawk: Vecna (who eventually ascends to godhood), Rary the Traitor, the infamous Acererak.
      • There is also Iggwilv the Witch Queen, who is considered to be the greatest expert on demons who ever lived. One of her sons is the child of a powerful demon lord and accended to divinity. Even though she's hundreds of years old, she looks not a day older than 40 at most.
    • Mystara: Bargle the Infamous.
    • Ravenloft: Azalin Rex, a Tragic Villain example.
    • Eberron gives us Erandis Vol, an undead half-elf/half-dragon sorceress who founded a cult dedicated to her worship. She is a Dark Messiah who was supposed to bring an end to an ancient war between elves and dragons. It worked, but not the way intended: both races considered her an abomination and joined forces to destroy her family. Vol's mother turned her into a lich, allowing her to survive and seek her revenge.
    • Planescape gave us a few, including Alhison Nilesia, the cruel mistress of the wretched Prison of Sigil, Lothar the Master of Bones, Komosahl Trevant, Alluvius Ruskin, and even a few demons and devils that had taken up wizardry, such as A'kin and Shemeshka. Every Night Hag counts as well, being a race of giant soul-stealing crone witches.
      • Subverted with Factol Skall, who is technically a neutral evil lich, though he is only evil to the extent that his philosophy is that life is irrelevant. He does not kill, but persuades others to accept true death as a release from the woes of life.
      • And of course there are the many, many diabolic powers such as Orcus and Asmodeus, the various gods who can certainly fall into this role, and so on.
    • Acererak the lich takes the "evil" part to absurd levels. His list of transgressions against humanity includes constructing multiple dungeons solely to gather victims to torture, enslaving civilizations, nurturing a god that could destroy the world, gathering the souls of all creatures on an entire planet for that purpose, trapping the soul of a 10-year old in an undead construct, and being so gruesome that he traumatized an eldritch abomination.
  • Exalted, being a fairly high-magic setting, has a couple. The Perfect of Paragon isn't that bad a guy in some ways, but he rules using a magical artifact called the Staff of Peace and Order that lets him have people swear magically backed oaths on it, kill them if they break the oath, and hijack their senses and even bodies at will (he also has some pretty impressive powers of his own, but the Staff blows them out of the water). Raksi, Queen of Fangs, is a baby-eating shapeshifter who, despite being more powerful than all but a few hundred other people could ever hope for, is obsessed with the power that will remain forever out of her reach. (Ability to access magic is limited by in-universe character tiers; she's not at the top tier, and so can't get to the best magic.) Both of them rule their chosen city-states with iron fists, although the Perfect's people are generally happier with their government than Raksi's.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Warhammer: The setting has no shortage of these whatsoever — generally, any and all necromancers and Chaos, dark elf or vampire sorcerers can be counted on to be unscrupulous, malicious and power-hungry maniacs with no compunction about performing horrific arcane experiments, raising armies of undead and gibbering abominations, and generally making life miserable for everyone else.
    • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: While all members of the Arcanite Cults have some level of arcane skill, the Magisters of the Cult's leadership are the true masters of The Dark Arts who will stop at nothing to lead their Cult to victory and gain favour with their profane god. Having sold their souls to Tzeentch, the Chaos God of Sorcery, magical energy saturates their bodies allowing the Magister to draw upon the raw power of Chaos to power their spells.
    • Warhammer 40,000: Lots of people, since all the factions are mostly evil, and most of them use sorcery to some extent. Chaos Space Marine sorcerers are the most glaring example, being seven foot tall genetically engineered warriors in power armour, AND having the protection of evil gods, and they hate everybody and want unlimited power. However, they pay a price, suffering ever-increasing madness and horrible mutations such as extra limbs, heads, eyes inside their mouths, etc.
  • Feng Shui: The 69 AD juncture is ruled by the Eaters of the Lotus, a sinister cabal of evil eunuch sorcerers and their human and demonic servants. The Four Monarchs, banished to the Netherworld, are another example, except for the smartest one of the lot who's not so bad anymore for someone who ruled 1/4th of the world for centuries with absolute power. The best part about the price they pay? They either don't care or they think it's awesome.
  • Godforsaken: Some wizards and sorcerers are tempted by dark magic, damning their souls and corrupting their flesh as they delve into forbidden lore.
  • Mage: The Ascension plays with this trope. The main adversary of most Player Characters, the Technocratic Union, use Magitek, and are corrupt but generally not evil. They conflict with the Traditions (who, it must be stated, are absolutely not without bad eggs of their own) mostly over worldview, turning the conflict into one of Grey-and-Gray Morality where it's Romanticism Versus Enlightenment tragically fighting it out. But then the Nephandi, mages who have sworn themselves into the service of one Eldritch Abomination or another, are this trope personified.
    • It is also certainly possible for a Tremere or Giovanni in Vampire: The Masquerade to be a vampiric version of this trope. The Baali are this by way of demon-worship, and the Devil-Tigers can play this trope by way of Asian myths of hungry ghosts if built correctly.
    • Changeling: The Dreaming fae can mix this trope with the Fair Folk in some forms.
    • The Sorcerer sourcebook detailed many ways to play this trope out without being a full Mage from Mage: The Ascension, though Sorcerers were not inherently evil.
  • Mage: The Awakening offers the Seers of the Throne, a group of mages seeking to enforce their masters' control over reality while advancing themselves in the process, and the Scelesti, mages who seek to give reality over to the Abyss, which embodies everything antithetical to existence.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Lim-Dûl, the Necromancer, whose hordes of undead and demons plagued the continent of Terisiare during the Ice Age; Lim-Dûl is later revealed to be another Evil Sorcerer, Mairsil the Pretender, whose soul had been trapped and possessed an innocent man years later.
    • Lim-Dûl was followed shortly after by Heidar of Rimewind, a mad ice wizard who wanted to return the world to a second Ice Age.
    • Lord Dralnu, the Lich-Lord of Urborg, a zombie wizard with whom the forces of good were forced to ally against the invading Phyrexians.
    • Memnarch, an evil artificial being with powerful magical abilities.
    • Virot Maglan, the Cabal Patriarch, who runs a sorcerous mafia.
    • The Big Bad Nicol Bolas is an Evil Sorcerer Dragon. He is the oldest and the last of the Elder Dragons in a setting where dragons become more powerful and dangerous with age. While he was originally represented in-game as an "ordinary" legend type creature card (with a special ability that has him Mind Rape the opponent instead of dealing damage), he is now a planeswalker. As in a Physical God.
  • Pathfinder loves this trope oh-so-much. Nex, Geb, Tar-Barphon, Karzoug and six other Runelords, Adivion Adrissant, The Splatter Man, Arazni, Areelu Vorlesh, Vordakai, and dozens more are in the setting. It's rare for an adventure not to have at least one, even if they aren't the primary antagonist.
  • Spirit of the Century:
    • The supplement Spirit of the Season brings magic more fully into the game, and naturally has a couple of magical villains, including Salomon Mizrahi, a evil kabbalist who is convinced he is a Tzadikim Nistarim, one of the 36 Righteous People whose existence supports that of the world. Interestingly, he's actually better at Science! than he is at magic, making him particularly dangerous.
    • His mentor (and general Big Bad of SotC) Dr. Methusala may be considered to fall under this trope with his mastery of the 10 equations and ability to radically alter reality, and blur the line between science and magic (then again, SotC treats magic as being answerable to science, just not till it's properly studied).
  • Unknown Armies plays with this trope. Magic is not inherently evil, but it draws peoples whose values are so alien to normal that they can't really be expected to uphold normal human ethics. As a consequence, this trope shows up, but much less than you expect from a modern horror game. When one adept gets power from subverting their sexuality to a porn star, another from having money (not using it, just having it), and a third from collecting (but not studying) old books, you can't expect these people to be terribly sane, can you?

  • Comus in John Milton's Comus, with a fondness for Forced Transformation.
  • The Enchanter (who exists only in Don Quixote's mind) in Man of La Mancha.
  • Klingsor from Richard Wagner's Parsifal. An evil magician, he has sworn to destroy the Knights of the Grail, who have rejected him. He wanted to join them, but knowing that his sinful and lustful way of life would exclude him, he castrated himself all to no avail.
  • Elphaba in Wicked is treated as this by the citizens of Oz, but we find out in the show that she is Not Evil, Just Misunderstood. Madame Morrible would be a more clear-cut example, using her sorcery to gain more political power for herself throughout Oz. She even summons a twister to murder Elphaba's sister so Elphaba would be grief-stricken and thus vulnerable for attack.
  • Advertising posters for stage magicians in the 19th-early 20th centuries like Harry Kellar and Howard Thurston often showed them as consorting with demons to play up on the "magic as a Deal with the Devil" angle.

    Theme Parks 

  • One of the earliest LEGO minifigures was actually called Evil Wizard.
    • They've followed up with the Evil Wizard of the Castle 2007 theme, the Evil Dragon Wizard in the 2013 revival, and the Evil Wizard in the LEGO Minifigures theme.
  • Playmobil features some of these. In their "Dragon Land" theme, there's an evil sorcerer who lives in a tower, and the "Fi?ures" theme features a green traditional wizard who has the evil style of eyes and colors matching those of the evil soldiers in the "Dragon Land" theme.

    Video Games 
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery: Keethrax, the Black Druid; Nonnak the necromancer; Yulgash, the Master Summoner; Nuurag Vaarn, the Chaos Archmage; Gaab'Bay, the old crone. Oh, and if you live long enough to see them all, you'll also meet liches, necromancers, dark sages, black wizards, chaos wizards, the skeletal king, a variety of wyrms (which can cast spells), and possibly an evil god. Also, depending on your choices, you.
  • Aoi Shiro: Ba Rouryuu, the Big Bad. If no one stops him, a tsunami of unbelievable magnitude will hit all of Japan in no time.
  • Baldur's Gate:
  • Battle Realms: The Lotus Clan is ruled by a cabal of immortal Warlocks. In-game the Warlock (which consist of lesser members of the cabal) is one of their higher-tier units and the leaders of the cabal are their hero units.
  • Castle in the Darkness: The Dark Sorcerer is the Big Bad, being a mastermind behind the monster attacks on the kingdom of Alexandria and the disappearance of King Elmore II. As it turns out, he is Elmore II, possessed by the Demon King and forced to do his bidding. In the Golden Ending, the hero is able to purify him of his darkness and put an end to the Demon King's threat.
  • Cirque De Zale: Dimos, the Big Bad, uses his magic to terrorize the land and capture and enslave its citizens.
  • Dark Souls: Seath the Scaleless is a dragon credited with inventing sorcery. He's an insane wreck in the present after vainly trying to solve the mystery of the scales of immortality that every dragon but him possessed.
  • Devil May Cry has a few of these who use demonic Black Magic to ice skate up hill and try become a God of Evil in the demon world.
    • Devil May Cry 2: Arius, one of the main antagonists, is a great sorcerer whose magic allows to fight a powerful Half-Human Hybrid Lightning Bruiser like Dante and summon great monsters, teleport and create magical barriers. Although similar to the Saruman and Sauron example, he's still just one strong wizard trying be a god and gets overshadowed by the true antagonist Argosax, a Demon Lord who rivaled Mundus and Dante's father Sparda.
    • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening: Arkham is another human sorcerer who desired to have the power of a demon so sacrificed his loving wife Kalina Ann in ritual to become a demon, but messed up and only gained a Monster Clown Superpowered Evil Side Jester. He spends the rest of the game, attempting to gain the power of Sparda and is even able to fight and overpower both half-demon boys Dante and Vergil as well as his own Action Girl daughter Lady whose blood he uses to open the demon world. Similar to Arius however, he soon becomes a secondary threat to real Big Bad (in this case Vergil) by the end since he can’t properly utilise the power of Force Edge and eventually devolves into a gooey monster before getting his ass kicked out of the demon world by Dante and Vergil.
    • Devil May Cry 4: Agnus is a Science Wizard example having studied the demon world and using Yamato was able to be a Mook Maker and is able to open the Hell Gate. He’s also powerful enough to fight Dante and Nero despite his feigned Dirty Coward behaviour.
    • Zigzagged with Vergil himself. Despite having vast demonic power like the usual evil sorcerer able to imbue his demonic power into objects to augment them, generate barriers, teleport and cut through reality itself. He generally Fights Like a Normal compared to others listed here with his Katana Yamato and more often just uses his demonic powers to create a Storm of Blades. Ironically his good half V from Devil May Cry 5 is more like the standard wizard whilst his Superpowered Evil Side Urzien is pretty much a God of Evil.
  • Dragon Age: The Tevinter Magisters, which is much more pronounced in Dragon Age II. In fact, according to the lore the Tevinter Imperium was responsible for creating the Darkspawn after using magic to try and reach the equivalent of heaven, only for it to go horribly horribly wrong. They're still around, mostly seen as slavers or maniacal and powerhungry blood mages. Dragon Age: Origins makes it seem like they're little more than a Vestigial Empire. The sequel reveals that, while they've suffered from the rebellion in the Southern lands (e.g. Ferelden, Orlais) and the never-ending war with the Qunari, the Imperium is still strong and has large holdings in the North. They're also slowly recovering and may threaten the Southern kingdoms in the future.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest: Dragonlord's initial form presents himself as a sorcerer, though he also is generally portrayed as getting physical.
    • Dragon Quest II: Hargon, the primary antagonist, is a corrupt wizard bent on world destruction.
    • Dragon Quest III: Baramos is plenty nasty, as well as the most magically-inclined of the game's major antagonists in combat.
    • Dragon Quest IV: Aamon is a terrible sorcerer who intends to wipe all humans out.
    • Dragon Quest V:
      • King Korol is a powerful wizard who leads the evil Order of Zugzwang.
      • Ladja is fond of using his powerful fire spells to beating and torturing children or burning their parents to ashes gleefully.
    • Dragon Quest VIII: Although a vengeful magician, Dhoulmagus didn't have much magic until he picked up the staff, then he really got rolling.
    • Dragon Quest XI: Mordegon He first appears as such. Once he gains the Sword of Light and takes the Luminary's power, he transforms into the new bulky form befitting a demon lord in this series.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Elder Scrolls: Arena: The Big Bad Jagar Tharn acted as an Evil Chancellor to Emperor Uriel Septim VII. Tharn trapped him within a pocket realm of Oblivion and usurped his position for 10 years. Naturally, it is up to the Player Character to stop him and restore the rightful emperor.
    • Mannimarco, the King of Worms, who appears in Daggerfall, Oblivion, and Online. Cold, cruel, and ruthless, the powerful necromancer had been reigning terror in Tamriel since the 2nd Era and has been a constant threat to the Mages Guild before being "killed" in the 3rd Era. He was the "world's first of the undying liches", a step taken toward his desired goal of becoming a god. As a result of one of Daggerfall's Multiple Endings, which were all canonically merged as the "Warp in the West" event, he as a separate being (the God of Worms), lives on as a divine entity (but is considered distinct from the Mannimarco who is killed in Oblivion.)
    • In Morrowind, Dunmeri Great House Telvanni is a Magocracy that specifically appeals to Evil Sorcerer types. Might Makes Right is an official policy within the House, and Klingon Promotion is an official means of advancement. Strangely enough, not very many of its upper echelon members seem to be outright evil, though all are at least somewhat morally corrupt and several are completely insane.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
      • Arondil the Necromancer is a perverted creep who was exiled from Dawnstar because he became a Stalker with a Crush to the village's milkmaids. He went into hiding in some nearby ruins to perform his practices in secret, and when one of the adventurous girls went exploring in the ruins he killed her and raised her as a thrall to sleep with her. Now he sends undead draugr to capture Dawnstar's women and bring them back to Yngvild to create his own undead harem. If you ever go into Yngvild, please do waste him.
      • The Big Bad of the Dragonborn DLC, Lord Miraak, is an extremely powerful magical Dragon Priest and is the first Dragonborn himself able to give the player a taste of their own Super-Scream medicine. The irony of him of being a sorcerer is that he's actually a Nord, a race that mostly Does Not Like Magic on principle. Although as explained by the lore, ancient Nords like Miraak (especially their Atmorans ancestors) used magic all the time, it just fell out of practise by Nords in the modern times where the games take place.
  • Faria: The Big Bad is a nameless Wizard who was formerly a Sealed Evil in a Can. This Wizard has two horns and a scarlet body, though he otherwise doesn't look much like a Big Red Devil. He magically disguises himself to obtain the King's scrolls that were used to subdue him long ago, and uses them to turn into a dragon. His evil magic is also responsible for transforming all men in the player character's kingdom into women.
  • Fear & Hunger:
  • Final Fantasy: This is a recurring villain archetype in the series:
    • Final Fantasy IV: Golbez, who also doubles as a Tin Tyrant. In the sequel, he goes the other way, picking up a BFS and becoming a Big Damn Hero.
    • Final Fantasy V: Exdeath is first made to be one of these when the player doesn't know him very well. Then, he's hinted to be a Humanoid Abomination. Finally, he's revealed to be... an evil tree.
    • Final Fantasy VII: Sephiroth, much like his nemesis Cloud, is a Magic Knight thanks to Magic Materia, being able (as seen in the flashback battle on the road to Nibelheim) use Earth Materia on a massive dragon before killing it with a single stroke with his sword Masamune. When you fight him at the end of FFVII, Remake and optionally during Kingdom Hearts he will bust out massively powerful spells as well as slash you up close in the latter two games.
    • Final Fantasy VIII:
      • Sorceress Ultimecia is very much an evil sorceress. Her goal is to compress time so that all creation would be centered around her, thus making her a goddess to reshape reality as she sees fit.
      • Adel is also one as well. We don't get to know much about her and in the fight against her, she says nothing. But you do find out small bits of info about her.
    • Final Fantasy IX: Kuja. Evil Sorcerer, Agent Peacock, The Starscream and the eventual Big Bad.
  • Fire Emblem: Several antagonists, such as Gharnef, Nergal and Validar. Some may overlap with Sinister Minister.
  • Gems of War: Karakoth is lousy with them. They have towers all over the place, and use them as bases for excavating ancient ruins full of things better left undisturbed. The Warlock's flavor text even lampshades some of the nature of the Evil Sorcerer.
    "If you're wise, powerful, and enjoy inflicting pain on the helpless, you're either a dentist, or a Warlock."
  • Heroes of Might and Magic IV: At one point in his campaign, Gauldoth Half-Dead lampshades the tendency for necromancers to become the evil Take Over the World overreaching villain. That said, it's not that common an affliction: over the course of the six games taking place on Enroth, a grand total of one character (Sandro) fitting this description shows up, and he survives the ordeal and aims for more modest goals after that.
  • Kingdom Hearts being a Square / Disney crossover, it's no surprise that plenty show up. Besides the traditional Disney examples (Maleficent, Ursula, Jafar), the overall Big Bad is an evil Magic Knight. "Ansem" / his Heartless incarnation leans most heavily on the magic side, relying on it and his Guardian to attack.
  • King's Quest: Most of the Society of the Black Cloak.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: It's suggested that falling victim to this trope was the underlying cause of Revan's fall to the dark side. In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Atris embodies it, and in somewhat more rounded fashion, Darth Traya does as well.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The primary Big Bad Ganon has taken on many forms, but one trait they all share is an aptitude for powerful magic, which is revealed in Ocarina of Time (his chronologically first appearance) to be the result of him being raised by two Gerudo witches.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: Agahnim is a powerful wizard who used his magic to win the trust of Hyrule's king before seizing the entire kingdom for himself, though he may just be an alter ego of Ganon, depending on the version and the translation.
    • Vaati, the Big Bad of the Four Swords trilogy (at least until Four Swords Adventures gets Hijacked by Ganon), has the title of Wind Mage, having received his initial powers thanks to stealing the Mage's Cap from his teacher and using its power to make himself a powerful sorcerer.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages: The Big Bad is the Sorceress of Shadows, Veran. The people pulling the strings behind both Oracle games are the witches Twinrova (the same ones who raised Ganon).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Zant, the primary antagonist, has incredibly powerful dark magic gained from his deal with Ganon, who proceeds to once again hijack the game after Zant's defeat.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: Yuga, a sorcerer from Lorule who seeks the power of Hyrule's Triforce and can turn people into literal paintings. He even manages to successfully fuse with Ganon while ceding little of his original personality.
    • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity: Astor is a hooded man working with the Yiga Clan to resurrect Calamity Ganon. He is able to directly manipulate Ganon's Malice and uses it to shoot fireball-like projectiles and produce shadowy Doppelgangers of the Champions among other things.
  • Lucifer Ring: Bair, the game's main villain, is an evil warlock who wants to revive a powerful demon to Take Over the World.
  • Lure of the Temptress: The eponymous temptress, Selena, is an evil sorceress.
  • Lusternia: The Nihilist Priesthood is a whole church full of Evil Sorcerers. They worship extradimensional Demon Lords, practice necromancy and wage a veritable war against the Three Fates (since the Nihilists regard predestination as slavery, and undead immortality as the path to freedom from it).
  • Madoushi Lulba: The titular antagonist is an eons-old undead wizard who seeks to throw the world into darkness, and is a deadly master of fire magic.
  • Mortal Kombat: Shang Tsung and Quan Chi embody this trope very well. Shao Kahn and Shinnok pull this off as well, while also overlapping with God of Evil. There’s also Ermac who is always somewhere between Elite Mook and The Dragon being Made of Magic and judging by hierarchy among the villains is likely the most powerful under Shao Kahn himself. Justified since being a Soul Jar made up of Edenian souls Long-Dead Badass King Jerrod (Kitana’s father) is inside Ermac.
  • Nekro: This would be you, an Affably Evil sort of man with a legitimate grievance against the King, and quite willing to voice your grievances with the assistance of The Legions of Hell.
  • Neverwinter Nights: A number of examples, set in the Forgotten Realms tabletop setting:
    • Shadows of Undrentide: J'Nah is a wicked elven sorceress hired to sack the village of Hilltop and assassinate the player's mentor, the wizard Drogan. J'Nah is revealed to be a half-demon daemonfey as well, while her shadowy employer turns out to be Heurodis, a far more powerful and mage who once apprenticed under one of the few survivors of the ancient empire of Netheril, and who now seeks to reclaim its lost glory so that she can Take Over the World.
    • Hordes of the Underdark: In something of a cameo appearance, the first chapter sees the player descend into the dungeon of Undermountain, personal playground of the mad archmage Halaster Blackcloak, a nigh-endless, ever-shifting maze stocked with monsters and traps. After freeing the mage from his drow captors, Halaster "rewards" them by placing a Geas on them that compels them to slay the newly risen Valsharess (queen or empress) of the drow, playing no further role in the story.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2:
    • In the main campaign, much of the plot is driven by Black Garius of the Arcane Brotherhood in Luskan, Neverwinter's historical rival. Big Bad Wannabe Garius and his minions seek to undermine Neverwinter to make it easy prey for Luskan conquest. After the Knight-Captain foils these plans, Garius and his inner circle seek out their true master, the King of Shadows, who transforms them into Shadow Reavers, powerful liches bound to his command — and it is in this form in which Garius is finally fought and killed.
    • Mask of the Betrayer: The Knight-Captain is drawn into the political machinations of the Red Wizards of Thay. While party member Safiya makes the point that not all Red Wizards are evil, one of the main villains is Araman, a fellow red wizard who kills Safiya's mother in a coup to take over the academy at Thaymount, sends Safiya's own students and fellow faculty members to kill her, and is bound by his oath to the death god Myrkul to ensure that the Spirit Eater curse is never broken, even if that means killing the Knight-Captain to ensure it moves on.
  • Nobody Saves the World: Astrolabus is hyped up as a potential threat, due to cursing Marty Joe, Randy suspecting that he's responsible for Nostramagus vanishing, and Octavia being unable to contact him since The Calamity appeared. It turns out to all be Red Herrings and he's been trying to help Nostramagus, who is his brother.
  • Paper Sorcerer: Yoy play as this trope, attempting to escape your magical book prison with your Evil Minions.
  • Pillars of Dust: Almorigga is an evil wizard who overran the country of Alluriga with monsters, killed the goddess Naev, and cursed a village's residents to turn into dogs.
  • In Planescape: Torment, Amnesiac Hero "The Nameless One" was an Immortal Genius with a complete mastery of magic alongside a myriad of other skills, but also at times a heartless monster who betrayed everyone close to him like his apprentice Ignus, who he taught magic to before turning him into a flaming Humanoid Abomination.
  • Simon the Sorcerer has Sordid, the Big Bad of the series.
  • The Sims 2: A "Witch/Wizard" character can become this by studying "dark" magic. (Though the "evil" spells tend to fall into the Poke the Poodle territory. Comical mischief more than anything else.)
  • Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All the Girls has the Big Bad and Evil Sorcerer turn out to be the protagonist's abusive stepfather.
  • Spyro the Dragon: With the exception of the very first one, Gnasty Gnorc, all villains in the series tend to be powerful, malicious, and power-hungry sorcerers.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic lets you play out both styles of Sith mentioned in the Star Wars movies example above: the in-your-face lightsaber-wielding Sith Warriors and the evil sorcerer Sith Inquisitors. In fact, playing a Dark Sided Sith Inquisitor basically lets you experience Emperor Palpatine's rise to power. That said, a Dark Sided Jedi Consular — the Republic counterpart class to the Inquisitor — also qualifies, since both classes rely more on manipulation and, for the lack of better term, "magical" use of the Force.
  • Super Danganronpa Another 2: Mikado Sannoji, the SHSL Wizard. His first major action is setting someone on fire.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Many villains. Foremost being Kamek, but to an extent King Boo and Bowser himself (the original NES game had him using Black Magic to take over). As well as quite a few RPG villains that have traces of this (Fawful, Grodus and Smithy are Technopath variants, The Shadow Queen in Paper Mario 2 is this kind of thing played straight).
  • The Tower of Druaga: Druaga.
  • Warcraft: Several. Examples include Kel'thuzad, Medivh (after being possessed by Sargeras), prince Kael'thas (after joining forces with the Legion), and archmage Arugal. The playable warlock class has this vibe going on, too.
  • Wizards & Warriors: Malkil was considered one of the greatest wizards in the land, such that Merlin was one of his students. However, the aging Malkil has gone mad and has started using his magic for evil. As a result, Malkil has captured the princess and holds her prisoner in Castle Iron Spire, deep within the forests of Elrond.
  • Wizardry : Werdna. Five years before the events of the game unfold, he managed to steal a powerful amulet from Trebor the Overlord. Using the amulet's powers, he created a maze of ten levels beneath Trebor's castle. He then hid in the lowest level, guarded by the monsters in the maze.
  • World of Mana:
    • Final Fantasy Adventure: Julius. Hero discovers that the Heroine is under Julius' mind control and has opened the entrance to the Mana Tree. Julius reveals he is the last survivor of the Vandole Empire, the empire who attempted to control the Mana Tree years ago, and handily defeats the Hero.
    • Secret of Mana: The Emperor and his subordinates are being manipulated by Thanatos, an ancient sorcerer who hopes to create a "new, peaceful world". Due to his own body's deterioration, Thanatos is in need of a suitable body to possess.

  • Crimson Knights: The Brotherhood of the Snake is an entire secret society of these. Also, fighting Black Magic users is the second part of Crimson Knights' profession alongside monster-slaying.
  • Wanda, the croakamancer from Erfworld.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Xykon, the Big Bad, is a literal sorcerer; a spellcaster who was born with his powers rather than learning magic through study.
    • Vaarsuvius becoems one for a while, thanks to an obsession with ultimate power, and briefly goes off the deep end after splicing the souls of three damned wizards to their own in exchange for power.
    • Nale is this in a strictly literal sense— he's Evil and has levels in Sorceror — but he doesn't really fit the spirit of the trope, as Sorceror is not his only character class, meaning his magic is much weaker than that of the above characters and rarely gets used. It's not played up as much as his being Elan's brother and leader of the Linear Guild.
  • Princess Princess (2012): Claire can do magic, and only uses it to harm other people.
  • Rusty and Co.: Calamitus is a comically inept if still quite dangerous one. He may also be a lich, as he has stated that he has transcended the flesh and is not alive.
  • Tails of Lanschilandia: Kakralomino, the Big Bad, although with more of a focus on his Evil Overlord characteristics than his magic abilities.

    Web Original 
  • The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids:
    • The Dark Lords of Shenanig, a centuries-old dynasty of proudly evil sorcerers whose magic is powered by The Power of Hate. The line culminates in Emperor Steer, who is both the most powerful and the most unstable holder of the title in recorded history, much unlike his predecessor Lord Nefarious, a Noble Demon who was "a good ruler — albeit not a good man".
    • Mandragora, Pythe's Arch-Enemy, is an alchemist who went mad in his quest for ultimate enlightenment, and has also used other schools of magic to achieve his ends, including demon-summoning.
  • The first campaign of Critical Role has Lady Delilah Briarwood, a Lady of Black Magic with a focus on necromancy, Percy's nemesis.
  • How to Hero features a few of these. Generally as nameless archetypes such as "dark mages" or "evil wizards." Potentially your local village mystic might turn out to be one.
  • Mahu: In "Frozen Flame" there are stories of a great mage which devastated the continent, only to be defeated by the the father of prince Arius. Some of its minions still roam the land and are quite dangerous.

    Western Animation 
  • Aladdin: The Series: Mozenrath, Caliph Kapok and Khartoum.
    • Mozenrath is a power-hungry young sorcerer and is quite open and accepting about his own cruelty; in his first appearance, he talked about his sadistic, barbarous, and ruthless master Destane, who Mozenrath sarcastically referred to as being "like a father" to him. He is always accompanied by his flying eel familiar; Xerxes.
    • Caliph Kapok is the disembodied head of a wizard. His head is cold, calculating, and extremely malevolent. Without the compassion or emotions that come from his heart, he only thinks logically. His body is benevolent and (without his evil head) full of compassion, making it a beloved leader.
    • Khartoum is a supremely powerful, evil wizard imprisoned on the cover of a large magical book by his longtime enemies. His only hope of release is a magical gem called the Philosopher's Stone which contains the god-like energy and abilities of the cosmos itself. All he needs is someone greedy enough to create the stone and willingly release him from his prison.
  • Ben 10: Hex is a self-proclaimed "Master Magician" who desires to rule the world with his vast magic powers and lives in a large tower-like building.
  • Care Bears: No Heart is an evil sorcerer and shapeshifter who commands a lot of magic spells. His goal is to destroy both the Care Bears and all caring in the world from his home (since he rarely likes to go out), which rests atop a perpetual storm cloud, to make it easier for him to take over the world.
  • Dave the Barbarian: Malsquando, Princess Irmoplotz and Queen Zonthara.
    • Malsquando is a secondary antagonist and Oswidge's archrival.
    • Princess Irmaplotz is the evil sorceress princess of Hyrogoth that is trying to destroy Dave the Barbarian (or more likely she just wants to make Dave's life miserable).
    • Queen Zonthara is the ruler of Hyrogoth, and keeps on trying to teach her daughter Irmaplotz to be more evil.
  • The Dragon Prince: Viren's a master of Dark Magic, and is exactly as morally principled as you'd expect a master of Dark Magic to be.
  • Gargoyles: The Archmage. Demona, the primary Big Bad of the series, was formerly his apprentice and, although not as powerful (she makes up for it by being physically tougher and tech-savvy), she often uses magic in her plots.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: There are eight demon sorcerers who make up the Big Bad Duumvirate of the second season, with one of them, Shendu, acting as the primary antagonist for a good chunk of the show.
  • Little Wizards: Renvick is a powerful and malevolent magician who used his powers to take over a kingdom upon the death of its benevolent king through the sheer strength of his magic. His sorcery is so powerful that the rightful heir, Prince Dexter, turned to studying magic himself to be able to eventually oust the tyrant.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: King Sombra is a powerful and tyrannical unicorn wizard who used to rule the Crystal Empire with an iron fist (metaphorically speaking) as a Sorcerous Overlord; it's not exactly clear what he did during this period, but it was bad enough that his former slaves refuse to even think about his rule if they can.
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja: The Big Bad is a Sealed Evil in a Can simply called the Sorcerer, who uses his magic to make monsters out of people to fight The Hero.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: Shadow Weaver. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power keeps her evil and sorcerous, but also makes her an abusive parent just for added Hate Sink points.
  • The Smurfs: Gargamel is called an evil wizard but he comes across as more of a crazy hermit and down on his luck alchemist.
  • Uncle Grandpa has the Evil Wizard, an evil intergalactic wizard who looks surprisingly like Uncle Grandpa, and even sounds like him too. It isn't.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Both Big Bads — Prince Phobos is a Sorcerous Overlord, while Nerissa augments her innate Guardian powers with learned (or stolen) magic. In a series full of powerfully magical characters, they sit near the top.

Alternative Title(s): Evil Sorceror, Evil Sorceress, Evil Wizard



Frieren sealed the evil demon mage Qual because he proved too powerful to defeat.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SealedEvilInACan

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