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Regular towers for mages are just so old-hat.

"Do you ever wonder why the mages built their tower at Lake Calenhad? Do they have an aversion to practicality or something?"
Alistair, Dragon Age: Origins

Wizards often seem to live in towers. Not all of them, certainly, but enough for the tendency to be noticed.

Sometimes these towers are no larger than is needed for a single individual, while other times, they house an entire community of magicians, and may possibly serve as a Wizarding School or the headquarters of The Magocracy. Many of these towers are solitary, free-standing structures, often in the wilderness and built on top of mountain peaks for extra height, in order to provide their residents with isolation in which to conduct their studies. At other times they're tacked on to some larger building; if the wizard is a Court Mage, for instance, their residence will often be at the tip of a castle's tallest tower.

It is not uncommon for entry to these towers to be esoteric in nature, keeping the average Muggle from accessing it; anything from having its entry in the top, to having the only entrance magically warded, to having No Entrance at all and requiring magic to enter, though these esoteric entrances also serve to keep those without ability to exit in, making for effective prisons.

May originate from the fact that many traditions link magic with astronomy or astrology, making the top of a tower a commonsense place for a mage to hang out. A high tower also conveys a sense of isolation from "normal" people, which the magician can use to study in peace, much the same way that monasteries are often on mountaintops. In another sense, high towers are ancient symbols of arrogance and hubris.

A subtrope of The Tower, obviously. A tower owned by a wizard of evil-ish disposition will likely double as an Evil Tower of Ominousness. Up at the top is where one will find the owner's Wizard Workshop, whose contents may be visible from the outside in the form of telescopes and other, less obviously identifable objects poking out through the windows.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Sorcerer Stabber Orphen has the Wizarding School known as the Tower of Fangs, where the titular character and many others learned their magic.
  • Witch Hat Atelier: The Towers of Books is a tower that houses a large amount of books holding pretty much all knowledge there is to know about magic. The tower can only be accessed by witches that concluded the third of the 5 tests. Both Agate and Coco aim to get there, but while Agate wants to become a librarian, Coco wants to find a way to undo the magic that was cast on her mother.

    Comic Books 

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • The Apprentice, the Student, and the Charlatan: Starswirl the Bearded, the greatest wizard to ever live, had one at the very northern edge of Everfree Forest when he took residence. In present day, it's long fallen to ruin.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • One appears in chapter 43 of Ghosts of the Past, which as one character puts it, looks like "a palette swapped Isengard". It's on an island in the middle of the Hogwarts Lake, after the island was transformed into a volcano by an Earth magic-wielding dragon that was out to turn it into a super-volcano and destory the world, then its insides were transmuted into a mixture of vibranium and mithril ore by Doctor Strange (using the Philosopher's Stone, which he'd nicked) to slow the production of lava (as both materials take a lot more energy to melt). Doctor Strange then put the destroyed landscape in a time bubble, where a millennium passed overnight, and used a piece of Atlantean techno-magic that would use the surrounding materials to build an Ancient City-Ship from Stargate Atlantis. Since he'd tweaked it, however, the result is a huge white tower jutting out from the now neutralised volcano, with structures running underground and into the mountainside - it's intentionally designed to serve as a mine/processing point for vibranium and mithril, potentially a powerful defensive structure (considering that it's Made of Indestructium), and above all, as a magical university. Needless to say, most of the cast is absolutely gobsmacked.
    • In chapter 58 of Ghosts of the Past, at the end of the Mirror Image arc, Reynolds a.k.a. the Void creates one out of the remains of Belle Reve Sanitarium, in a rather impressive piece of transfiguration. Harry identifies this as a territory marker, especially since Reynolds keeps trying to fix it after Harry almost absent-mindedly slices off the top forty feet of it. Being unable to manage even that, combined with Harry completely ignoring him while he's doing that just cements how much of a Big Bad Wannabe he is.
  • In Hyperemesis Gravidarum by A.A. Pessimal, Ponder Stibbons realises something fundamental about being a Wizard on the Discworld. That thing about the Wizard's High Tower is a lot more personal than that. Ponder realises that his High Tower consists of, in order, his pregnant wife, his unborn child, and the family home that's just been invaded by a bunch of murderous thugs. For just long enough, Ponder becomes an old-time Wizard and dispenses fireballs and other lethal spells with wild primal abandon.
  • Divine Jealousy and The Voice of Reason: The same Heartspire as in Lost Cities below appears during a flashback, when its mages were still good, though secretive, before their society would become irredeemably corrupt and be destroyed by the Princesses.
  • The Freeport Venture: Sunset Shimmer ends up building one made of obsidian to live in in Freeport, partly because it's traditional, partly because it means she has to buy less land. (The obsidian was not practical - especially getting plumbing run through it - but she felt matching the exterior of the closest building Freeport had to a city hall sent the right message she was there 'officially'. Making it not look like an Evil Tower was less important at the time.)
  • The Great Alicorn Hunt: Unicorns are susceptible to "Rincewind Arcology Syndrome", citing the examples already listed for the source material and even Rarity's Carousel Boutique (bedroom in the cupola). The going theory is that their ancestors got tired of the other tribes sneaking up behind them and popping paper bags while they were trying to study the workings of the universe.
  • The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World: There are seven of them in a circle at the center of the city of Daarthayu, each a different color and each housing one of the city's ruling wizards. If you stand and look at them, you'll get a feeling that indicates the specialty of each wizard. The one that the four enter is filled with several floors of Arabian Nights-type luxury, with the wizard and his workshop at the very top.
  • Lost Cities: This trope is brought to its extreme in the first chapter with the Heartspire, a unicorn-built and ruled tower so large an entire city was built inside it, with quite a bit of room to spare. Of course, it's not the good kind of wizards who lived there...
  • A Moon and World Apart: Discussed in chapter 22, when Sunset explains the origins of unicorns' preference for heights — it makes it harder for others to sneak up on them and distract them while they're studying the workings of the universe.
  • The Palaververse: The End of the Day and Terra Incognita mention that Starswirl, a highly renowed mage, has a tower.
  • A Song of Ice and Fires That Weren't All My fault has Dresden create one on an island; when Maggie asks why he didn't do something like that back on Earth, he explains that there isn't really much free land on Earth where you can do that sort of geographic rearrangement, then notes that some older wizards — like Simon Pietrovitch, the Senior Council Member killed at his base at Archangel in Summer Knight — had made examples of their own back when land was more freely available.
  • Warriors of the World: Played with in the case of the Geffen Tower. It's too dangerous to live in; it was built over the entrance to an old underground city inhabited by monsters and restless dead in order to maintain the protection spells around the entrance and prevent monsters from invading Geffen. While it earths magical surges in the atmosphere like a magical lightning rod, only one wizard can be found on the top floor and he only works there.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Flight of Dragons: Each magician lives in one which reflects his elements and personality, leading to Solarius, the Blue Wizard of Sea and Space, living in a weirdly coral-like tower that stretches from the crashing waves to high into the air .
  • Howl's Moving Castle: In the Miyazaki adaption, Howl's moving castle is basically a tower on legs. Also, castles are associated with towers.
  • The Lion King (1994): Rafiki fills the role of Court Mage for Mufasa and later for Simba, and he lives in a natural tower: a tall, isolated tree.
  • Spirited Away: Yubaba is a witch and her office/residence is on the top floor of the bathhouse.
  • The Sword in the Stone: When Merlin moves into the castle, he's given a room at the top of a cold, leaky, run-down tower by Sir Ector. He's not thrilled.
  • Wizards: Avatar gets a rather ramshackle one. Because of the weird animation style, it appears to be crooked.

    Films — Live Action 

  • Merlin, of Arthurian Legend, is sometimes given one. Stories which have him living in someone's castle tend to put him in one of its towers, for example. In some stories, his eventual fate is to be imprisoned in an invisible tower, though there are certainly other versions (a cave is probably more common).
  • Older Than Print with Odin's tower of Hlidskjalf in Norse Mythology.

  • The Afterward: The Mage Keep, an entire city which houses mages, includes several towers.
  • Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: The titular tower houses Oxford's Royal Institute of Translation, the main school of magic in the book. The actual magic of silver-work takes place at the top floor for safety reasons; much of the rest is given over to the study of The Power of Language that drives it. The entire building is heavily enchanted and Bigger on the Inside.
  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy: In The Ring Of Solomon, Solomon gives each of his magicians their own tower in his palace.
  • The Belgariad: Each of Aldur's disciples has their own tower. It's a deliberate and conscious emulation of their patron god Aldur, though the specific styles vary reflecting aspects of the individual sorcerer's personality. Belkira and Beltira have a bridge linking theirs while the hunchbacked Beldin has a delicate and airy looking tower. Belgarath lampshades it while infiltrating a villain's tower by saying that every sorcerer he's met seems to build one — this particular one is upside down and hangs from the edge of a mountain, apparently just because it can.
  • City of No End: Sci-fi example — research into and reproduction of advanced ancient technologies is practiced in Fibre Tower, a massive Star Scraper Arcology which is so tall that the upper levels have not even been charted. The scientists of this tower call themselves Sorcerers and once used to trick commoners into worshipping them before this was forbidden by the Church of Ascension. Characters still call their works "magic" or "spells" but it is clearly established to be Sufficiently Advanced Technology at play.
  • Darkover: The Towers are the homes and workplaces of psychic professionals. The Towers are originally developed due to the pragmatic needs of matrix work, but this leads to them developing a separate culture from the rest of the Comyn, which later develops into ritualized laws of their own until Jeff Kerwin and Cleindori Aillard finally force Arilinn Tower to go back to basics.
  • Discworld:
    • The centerpiece of Unseen University is the super-tall Tower of Art, which is supposed to be the oldest part of it.
    • In Sourcery, the existence of a Sourcerer causes the Background Magic Field to run unusually high, which does funny things to wizards' minds. They are instinctively compelled to build themselves a tower from which to engage in Wizard Duels with anyone who challenges their magical superiority. When a full-scale disc-wide magical war does indeed break out, the two sides have ensconced themselves in recently built towers, directing magical attacks in the same way that you'd direct a nuclear war. Even Rincewind, who is barely a wizard at all, instinctively tries to build his own tower while sleepwalking, piling rocks on top of each other.
    • In The Last Continent, there's another magic university tower. This one doesn't look much, but is Taller From The Top.
    • Possibly during the events of Sourcery, or maybe at an even earlier time, an unknown wizard built a now-abandoned tower about halfway between Ankh-Morpork and Sto Lat. According to the Smoking Gnu in Going Postal, it was considered for use as a clacks tower, but there was still some old magic hanging about, and anyone staying there too long went mad. Moist and the Gnu use it to spoof the next clacks tower along in the finale.
  • Dragonlance: The wizard's Conclave is based out of five different Towers of High Sorcery scattered across the continent, each surrounded by an enchanted grove of trees meant to keep out intruders. All five have vastly different and unique designs and layouts, with apartments and laboratories for wizards in residence, vast libraries, cataloged collections of magical artifacts, and other facilities. Even graveyards are present for mages who want to be buried within the Towers. In addition to being the homes and workplaces of the Conclave wizards, the Towers also serve as a magical Cosmic Keystone, keeping magic stable and predictable. When two of the Towers were destroyed during the Kingpriest's inquisition, the surrounding areas were devastated for miles around, and if all five were gone, the entire continent would be swept with uncontrolled wild magic. The towers were deliberately destroyed to make a show of what releasing that much magic could do. It was a threat to get the rest of the towers left alone, and it worked.
  • The Dresden Files: One line in Grave Peril mentions that most European wizards live in towers.
  • the Earthsea: The Master Namer of Roke, Kurremkarmerruk, lives in a tower some way from the School.
  • Eccentric Circles, by Rebecca Lickiss: The wizard Larkingtower lives in one. After reality has been rewritten, Blendingstone lives there — and has for years.
  • Elcenia: This is an established cultural system on Barashi, where a tower means "a kama lives here and is available to provide magical aid". Rhysel recreates her tower on Elcenia, but is slightly disheartened by the fact that, in this world, it's just a tall building that she happens to live in.
  • Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Telemain the magician has his own rinky-dink version. Book 4 (Talking to Dragons), which is the first book to really feature it, reveals that he also surrounds it with a wall of fire to keep out unwanted visitors.
  • Everworld: After Loki sends Galahad's people running, they take refuge in the ruins of an ancient tower. It turns out to be Merlin's tower, and when Loki's forces show up, Merlin casts a spell that causes it to rebuild itself, trapping most of the bad guys outside.
  • The First Law: The House of the Maker is a mage tower (though unoccupied in the present day) and shining example of Bizarrchitecture. Specifically, the fact that they make it all the way to the top without actually climbing a set of stairs makes Handicapped Badass Glokta, who normally treats stairs as his worst enemy, start freaking out.
  • Harry Potter: Generally averted, as most wizards live in houses (ranging from normal, perfectly non-magic ones to weirder ones like the Weasley household that's made of rooms stacked haphazardly on top of each other, but houses nonetheless). The one exception are the Lovegoods, who actually DO live in a tower (which Ron describes as looking like a giant chess rook), although even that is treated as something very unusual, even for wizards (like pretty much everything else the Lovegoods do). At Hogwarts, the dorms for Gryffindor and Ravenclaw are actually located in towers, although this is averted with the other two houses, which are instead in the basement levels of the castle (the Hufflepuff dorms being in the cellar, and the Slytherin ones in the dungeons).
  • The Hero and the Crown: The bad mage has a very very very tall tower. The good one has a one story longhouse/mansion.
  • Impractical Magic: Istima, the Six Court Academy, is a Magic School. Part of scholarships, status, and work studies include lodging on the school grounds. One of the many subtle status/power indicators at Istima is to be given lodgings in the towers. The higher the better.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: In The Black Gryphon, it's implied that Urtho, the Big Good Mage of Silence, has owned several towers in his career, as he reminisces fondly about his first one. His current incarnation, as portrayed in the chapter 6 illustration, is an elaborate and flowing creation with several interconnected spires.
  • The Iron Teeth: Archmagus Rastilio Fer Grehmar's office is situated at the top of the tallest tower of The Endless Heavens Guild.
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • The Royal Mage of Ataidar works in a tower set within the royal palace grounds but free-standing. A significant amount of it is made of Orichalcum to insulate it against outside magic, to keep ill-fated experiments from harming anyone else, and just to prove that Ataidar can afford to do so.
    • Dengel built his final lair on top of a mountain, within a fort, and at the top of a tower. He bobbytrapped the way up to further ensure his privacy.
  • The Lay of Paul Twister: A lot of powerful wizards have their own Wizards' Tower, to the point where it's considered a bit surprising when April doesn't have one. There's also a tower at Stark Academy, which functions as a research center. Exactly what purpose the towers serve is never quite explained.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • The tower Orthanc in Isengard during its occupation by Saruman.
    • Barad-dûr and Minas Morgul, occupied by Sauron and the Witch-King respectively, might also be considered examples. Though Sauron is actually a Demon Lord that sometimes uses spells, and the Witch-King is an Undead Magic Knight more than a pure Sorcerer or Lich. Saruman is still the best example.
    • Played straight by Sauron before he revealed his true identity after being slain by Isildur. He was known as The Necromancer, an evil sorcerer, and lived in the tower-fortress of Dol Guldur on the edge of Mirkwood. The White Council eventually drove him out of Mirkwood, but had delayed long enough for him to restore himself in Mordor. He began re-raising his old tower, Barad-dûr, less than a decade later.
    • Actually, considering how many characters in the history of the Tolkienverse had some magic-like abilities, and that elves just LOVED towers and high places... point randomly at any map of Arda ever made and there's bound to be a tower that once contained some magical device/wizard/extra-wise man or elf. Granted, only a handful of them could be called "wizard", for various reasons.
  • Matthew Swift: Referenced in A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin, where the villain's organization that's trying to monopolize all the magic in London is called the Tower.
  • Old Kingdom: It's not the standard for Charter Mages, but Master Kargrin in the prequel Clariel lives and teaches in a tower that used to be part of the old city wall. Its defensibility suits him, and the tower itself mirrors the Charter Mages' status as an ancient protective institution that's sliding into neglect.
  • The Promethean Age: In Whiskey and Water, Jane Andraste has taken the skyscraper headquarters of the Promethean order as her tower.
  • Protector of the Small has an understated example with The Needle, an extremely tall spire on the Palace grounds. It's used for magical workings and its construction is geared towards that, but as Kel is a nonmagical page, it's mostly an object for her fear of heights.
  • The Reluctant King: The Goblin Tower in Metouro, though originally the headquarters for its government, has become one by the books' time, with the wizards from the Forces of Progress meeting there.
  • The Riddle Master Trilogy, by Patricia A. McKillip, has a tower with a spiral staircase that cannot be climbed unless the wizard invites you in — otherwise the top remains just as high above you no matter how high you think you've climbed.
  • The Rift War Cycle: In the first book, the Court Mage Kulgan has a tower in the duke's castle. Once Pug becomes his apprentice, he moves into the tower.
  • Rivers of London:
  • Septimus Heap: The Wizard Tower is a classic example of these.
  • In The Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold, a sufficiently evolved malice will develop a compulsion to build towers — possibly an effect of their being caused? created? by wizard magic gone wrong in the distant past.
  • In Sorcerer Conjurer Wizard Witch, the Wizard of London lives at the Tower of London, where he tends to the famous ravens and protects the mystical "shadow world" that keeps the city from collapsing.
  • Spellster: All of the spellster trainees are housed and instructed in a huge tower, being raised there from birth. Only those chosen to serve with the army ever leave.
  • Swan's Braid & Other Tales of Terizan: In "Sometimes, Just Because" the wizard Terizan is tasked with robbing lives in a tower. It turns out once there were two more wizard towers, but both were destroyed during a mysterious storm.
  • Tales of the Sundered Lands: The Wizard's Union is in a big old tower on a mountain. The protagonist, who dislikes wizards, lampshades it.
  • Third Time Lucky: And Other Stories of the Most Powerful Wizard in the World: Magdelene is a wizard and does have a tower, though it's part of her house rather than solely where she lives. She trains Joah as her apprentice inside. It's bigger than it first appears on entering, as Joah observes. Depending on the house's current structure, it often changes location.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: Nearly all towers are owned by Wizards. They are located in Waste Areas, standing alone, round, without doors, few windows and built from entirely smooth stones which make climbing them very difficult. A powerful spell, along with a guardian Demon, will protect it against intruders. Black towers are owned by evil Wizards, blue, white or red by Good and neutral ones. The evil ones cause a blight in the surrounding area for miles around, so their presence can be detected long before they're seen. At least once on a Tour, one will need to be broken into. Often an Amulet or Talisman is used to open it. However, Tourists may have to force entry from the roof. They are Bigger on the Inside, with many spells harrying any intruders that have made it in. One central spell which controls all this can stop the rest, and in most cases be disabled simply through hacking it with swords. A final confrontation against the demon follows, and (if Evil) the Wizard too. If Good or neutral, the Wizard will be in apparently enchanted sleep which takes days to wake up from.
  • The Tower and the Fox: The original wizards' college consisted of a white stone tower surrounded by smaller buildings. By the time Kip and friends enroll the tower is all that's left, with tents in place of the outlying structures.
  • Towers Trilogy: The titular Towers are skyscrapers which float in the sky via magic. Only citizens who are rich in magic are permitted to live in them, with the poor forced to live in the ruined Lower City on the ground below.
  • Trash of the Count's Family: There's one located in the Whipper Kingdom. It's the center of Magitek development on the continent, as well as a center for gathering mages. After the Whipper Kingdom's civil war, which drives away all the mages, Cale buys the tower and destroys it, with the goal of building a new tower in the Roan Kingdom.
  • Tress of the Emerald Sea: The Sorceress' tower is built on an island in a monster-infested Alien Sea, walled with Anti-Magic, and contains incredibly advanced Magitek inside. It's the spaceship she used to travel to the planet, and she leaves in it when defeated.
  • Uprooted mainly takes place in the tower belonging to a wizard named the Dragon, who occupies it alone except for a girl he claims as a servant-apprentice every ten years. It was left over from the Precursors.
  • Villains by Necessity: Archmage Mizzamir lives in the Castle of Diamond Magic, a crystal palace, his office being inside its tower.
  • Wars of Light and Shadow: Many of these are left over from previous Ages, built by the Paravians and often used by the current magic users for their research.
  • The Wheel of Time has the Aes Sedai based in the White Tower. Later, the Asha'man proclaim their own base as the Black Tower, because they want to cement their image as the Spear Counterpart to the Aes Sedai. Their plans to actually build a tower are superseded by the need to keep the world from ending, so the Black Tower never physically appears within the series.
  • Wicked: Elphaba moves into a tower of Kiamo Ko. It's around this time that she starts to get referred to as a witch.
  • Stregobor from The Witcher took up residence in an impregnable tower that he never leaves because Renfri intends to kill him. His illusion magic essentially makes the interior a holodeck which he can remake however he wants. He implies he has regular sex with illusionary women.
  • Wizard of Yurt: Daimbert's predecessor had lived in a tower of the castle, but he's given a normal room. He thinks this is less becoming for a wizard.
  • The Worm Ouroboros: The Iron Tower of Carcë, where King Gorice goes to study black magic and summon the forces of Hell.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Emerald City: Even though she isn't legally allowed to do magic anymore, Glinda's residence in the North is still a tall white tower.

  • Ciel ~The Last Autumn Story~: Enforced by the government, as Mages (basically magic users far more powerful than average) are put in towers and kept under watch to keep them under control.

  • Rainbow: In "Stargazer", a wizard telepathically enslaves hundreds of people to build him a huge tower in the middle of the desert so that he, the wizard, may leap from the top and fly. It doesn't work.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica:
    • Mages have all kinds of Home Base, but one of their most prized sites is the Tower of Bonisagus in Durenmar Covenant, where the Order of Hermes Magical Society was founded. As a bonus, it houses the greatest Magical Library in the world.
    • A mage can create an eighty-foot-tall tower with advanced Ritual Magic. It's a single, seamless, elaborately decorated piece of stone, and therefore both solidly defensible and a good way to show off.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • DA1 Adventures in Blackmoor: The powerful mage Robert of Dives lives in a lonely tower.
    • The spell Galder's tower from Fifth Edition conjures up a small (10x10x20–80 feet) tower for a day, after which it vanishes. If one conjures a tower in the same spot every day for a year, it becomes permanent.
    • Forgotten Realms:
      • The land of Faerûn is riddled with these, functional or otherwise. With time, some of the abandoned towers became taverns; some are so thickly warded that they stay empty in the middle of a town for a few centuries. Some consist only of a few upper levels remaining in their proper place.
      • Elminster the Sage has a tower in Shadowdale. A slightly-modified abandoned windmill, really.
      • The craziest is Host Tower of the Arcane—the home of Arcane Brotherhood in Luskan. The building hosts a little magical academy—complete with kitchens, laboratories and all. It branches like a candelabra: the central spire and four side spires at the cardinal directions.
      • The Vorpal Tower, called so because "some force cleanly sliced away nearly a third of the entire structure diagonally across its top two floors".
      • The metropolis of Waterdeep has Blackstaff Tower, home of the eponymous archmage and his successors. Although it looks like an unassuming three-storey structure from outside, it's at least a dozen storeys Bigger on the Inside, is linked to a Portal Network, hosts a magnificent Magical Library, and is warded by potent Protective Charms.
    • In older editions, building a mage tower is the default Role-Playing Endgame scenario for the Magic-User Character Class.
    • Mordain the Fleshweaver in Eberron has a tower in Droaam. It may well be alive, Mordain might have merged his essence with it as part of the reason killing him just doesn't work; none of the locals in Droaam, not even medusas or ogres, particularly want to find out.
  • Gods of the Fall:
    • Nulumriel inhabits the zenith of the Tower of Reconciliation. Magic is how she reaches her high abode, but other ways exist.
    • The Tower of Verecocho is all that remains of a grand temple built by the god of magic, who used to walk its many corridors, helping priests and sorcerers.
    • Bibliomancers out of Corso inhabit Stormlook, a tower inscribed with glowing runes to keep out the curses and ravers generated by the Eye of Elanehtar.
  • Godforsaken: According to legend, the city of Vothe originated as a pair of towers built by two sorcerers, twin siblings, in which to reside. They were originally built far apart, but the link between their owners caused them to drift together over time. In the modern day, despite having been built over and modified by centuries of habitation, the city still resembles a pair of hodgepodge, rambling towers standing side by side.
  • GURPS:
    • Banestorm: Octavius of Tyrvo has a carefully detailed tower. Further, the kingdom of Caithness is predominantly low-mana (weak in magical energy), but there are occasional spots of normal- or high-mana, often only a few dozen feet across. The local wizards, naturally, maximize the useful living space by building towers on them.
    • GURPS Technomancer: Chili Wizard, the first fast food franchise to take advantage of industrial enchantment to mass produce magical cookware, is noted for its distinctive tower-shaped buildings.
  • Invisible Sun: The Hall of Records where the summoners of the Order of Goetia reside has five towers, one of them a clock tower, each decorated with carvings and statuary of leering demons, noble angels, and other spiritual beings.
  • Mage: The Awakening:
    • This is lampshaded, with suggestions for modern alternatives like buying a penthouse condominium for a Sanctum. Justified in that high places are more likely to become Hallows and provide natural Mana sources, which gives them a lot of strategic value to mages.
    • Mage: The Ascension: No such justification exists here, where nodes can form anywhere of significance. Therefore the Order of Hermes splatbook questions whether the tendency of wizards to isolate themselves from the general populace in towers might not be a serious problem that keeps causing their downfall.
  • Numenera: While the Aulifex refers to himself as a sorcerer, his powers actually come from his tower, a numenera device whose secrets he has unlocked.
  • Warhammer:
    • The most powerful and favoured followers of Tzeentch, the Chaos God of Magic, often reside in the arcane Silver Towers of Tzeentch. These daemonic floating fortifications are also home to covens of Thrall-wizards and are held aloft by the power of its sorcerous residents and the energies of enslaved daemons.
    • Warhammer 40,000: Due to their Power Incontinence, many Ork Weirdboyz live in high towers on the edges of Ork settlements. These towers are typically insulated with copper in order to ground excess Waaagh! energy and vary widely in form from a simple pole that the Weirdboy is chained to the top of, to rugged huts on copper stilts that can be mounted on battlewagons or gargants and driven into battle.
    • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: The Collegiate Arcane — the primary order of human wizards in the Order faction — is based in the Towers of the Eight Winds in Azyrheim, eight magically floating spires that drift above the city's surface, where wizards study and experiment with each wind.
    • Warhammer Fantasy has many examples at all levels of grandeur and sophistication.
      • The White Tower of Hoeth in the kingdom of Saphery, where the greatest mages of the High Elves study and perfect their craft, is several miles high and home to the greatest collection of magical artefacts and lore in the known world, as well as a vast community of mages, loremasters, scholars and academics. It is guarded by powerful spell walls, illusions and sorcery, and if those fail it is also home to an order of supremely capable warrior-ascetics who are themselves seekers of arcane knowledge.
      • Elspeth von Draken, the leader of the Amethyst Order and the most powerful user of the Wind of Death in the Empire, resides in a tall, black tower on the edges of Nuln that she rarely leaves, and according to rumor keeps a second such tower in the Grey Mountains.
      • In general, wizards who make use of the Wind of Heavens — one of the seven colored Winds of Magic — tend to build such towers both to have a better view of the stars, as their discipline typically makes heavy use of astrology, and to be closer to the Wind itself, as the Winds tend to gather in areas that resonate with their nature and the Wind of Heavens thus blows strongest high in the sky. The imperial Blue College's keep, for example, is adorned with a large number of branching towers topped with glass domes, which its residents wizards fiercely compete for, as a result of a mania of tower-building in the recent past. Necrarch vampires, the bloodline most deeply steeped in arcane lore, likewise tend to reside in lonely towers both for the unobstructed view of the stars and as a consequence of their literal god complexes.
      • Later editions of the game include rules for wizards' towers as battlefield features in their main rulebooks and the Storm of Magic rules supplement. A wizard installed in a tower is assumed to know all of his Lore's spells thanks to ransacking its library; tower variants can additionally provide armories of magic weapons ready for looting, swarms of familiars, invisible servants or poltergeists that will attack all trespassers, magic mirrors that will randomly transform your soldiers, or a churning portal that instantly kills anyone who enters the building. There are also several official model kits for these terrain pieces, such as Witchfate Tor, Skullvane Manse and the ruined tower of Dreadstone Blight.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Wonders:
    • Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne: These serve a dual purpose . Wizards who sit in a tower will have their domain (spell range) extended, and can cast adjacent to allied heroes. Even more importantly, if a wizard dies, he or she will be resurrected at a tower on their next turn. And if there's no tower to resurrect at...
    • Age of Wonders 3: The Wizard Tower Ruins is a treasure site that used to be the Wizard Kings' center of operations before their banishment to the Shadow Realm. Although it is guarded by powerful magical creatures, it grants a great reward to whoever clears the Tower, like a mythical spell, ranging from a powerful battlefield spell, a summon spell that summons rare and powerful monsters, or True Resurrection, and the Mystical City Upgrade Arcane Catalyst, which grants summoned units within the city's domain an extra rank and the Supercharged ability that spawns a Lesser spirit when the unit dies.
    • Age of Wonders 4: The capital city of a faction houses a massive Wizard's Tower, which provides a special path of city upgrades. The Wizard's Tower is your main source of Imperium income and can be equipped with Tower Cells (for storing captured heroes), a Tower Crypt (for storing fallen heroes) and a Room of Return (allowing the faction leader to immediately teleport home at any time). It also provides the city with increased vision range at each level, with the ultimate upgrade giving the city True Sight.
  • "The Bard's Tale Trilogy" The final dungeon in the first game is a five level tower, inhabited by the evil wizard Mangar. Opposite him in the far corner of the city is the tower of the good wizard Kylerean, though you're only on a single level. Bard's Tale 2 has Dargoth's Tower, while Bard's Tale 3 has multiple, from Valarian's Tower in Arboria, to the Grey, White, and Black Towers in Gelidia, and Cyanis' Tower in Lucencia.
  • Bloons Tower Defense: The Mage Spire is a Specialty Building that looks like a tower and increases your Monkey Apprentices' abilities slightly when active.
  • Bug Fables has the Wizard's Tower in the southwest of the Far Grasslands. It's a tall tower inhabited by a tarantula wizard who hates having company. Both the ground level and top floors have bubbling cauldrons, books float around the spiral staircase, and there is a library full of ancient tomes in the basement.
  • Desktop Dungeons: Wizards and other mage-type classes reside in the Mage Tower, which actually hovers a few feet above ground, so only mages and the occasional birds can get inside.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Ferelden Circle of Magi is based in a tower located in the middle of a large lake. At one point, when he considers all the stairs he's about to face climbing to get to the bottom of the tower, First Enchanter Irving grumbles about the inconvenience that this trope causes the older mages (including him) and curses whoever's bright idea it was that decided to enforce it.
    • Lampshaded by Morrigan, who wonders what it is with the Circle mages and large phallic symbols.
    • The "Circle Tower" predates the Circle of Magi and was built as the ancient fortress known as the Kinloch Hold. It's mentioned that such towers are commonly used because they can double as Mage prisons and are built to withstand just about anything. Ferleden's other tower, the one actually built by (evil) mages, is now a general prison.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition: You can add one to Skyhold as a cosmetic upgrade (the alternative being a Templar tower). In a minor example, two of your mage companions (and the rebel mage leader, should you side with her) all move into one of Skyhold's towers once you get there.
  • DragonFable: Warlic and Cysero share one. Warlic's half is as you might expect, Cysero's half... not so much.
  • Dragon's Crown: The Mage's Tower stage was once a sanctuary of wisdom and a symbol of higher learning. However, Morneon forces have captured the tower, and depending on the route taken, you either descend into lava caves beneath the tower or ascend to the highest point via Flying Carpet to do battle with the enemy.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Anyone who learns necromancy is inexplicably compelled to use zombie slaves to build an enormous tower where they sit and write books.
  • Elden Ring: Small towers called Rises can be found throughout the Lands Between, filled with wizardly doodads and usually sealed by magic (forcing you to solve a puzzle before getting in). Caria Manor, seat of the Carian royal family, has no fewer than three in its backyard.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: The Telvanni wizards usually live in giant magically grown mushroom towers. These towers generally lack stairs to the upper levels where the wizards themselves live, as they simply use levitation magic to get where they want to go. (And anyone who can't use magic probably isn't worth talking to.) Dotting the more isolated areas of Vvardenfell are the ancient Velothi Towers. Most have been taken over by rogue sorcerers and necromancers, though a few have been repurposed into Telvanni outposts.
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion:
      • The Arch-Mage of the Arcane University resides in a tower in the centre of the campus grounds. The lowest level is open to the public, while the upper levels are accessible only through teleportation.
      • The "Wizard's Tower" DLC gives the player Frostcrag Spire, allegedly inherited from a deceased relative. It's a remote mountain tower with a Magical Library; Spell Construction, Item Crafting, and Summoning resources; and a robust Alchemy lab.
      • The modding community has a fascination with towers, and often holds the official DLC tower in very little regard. Result: dozens of mods that add mage towers all over the place.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
      • Calcelmo, a wizard and expert on the extinct Dwemer, lives in a tower in Markarth guarded by restored Dwemer traps.
      • The College of Winterhold's tallest structure towers above the rest of the campus, and is prominently featured in its fast travel icon.
      • The Hearthfire DLC lets the player character become a Determined Homesteader, and wizard's towers are some of the optional add-ons to one's homestead.
      • The Dragonborn DLC reintroduces the Telvanni tower: Master Neloth makes a reappearance from Morrowind bringing the iconic mushroom tower with him. Since castable levitation spells aren't in Skyrim, the tower instead handles it for you (the centre of the tower is a pillar of magical energy that floats you up when you enter from the bottom and safely down when you enter from the top).
  • Emerald City Confidential: Glinda's tower and Magical Library are in disrepair after her death.
  • The End Times: Vermintide:
    • In the first game, "The Wizard's Tower" requires the heroes to climb the tower of the Grey Wizard Cristoph Engel to renegotiate the terms for the wards that he's been castingt to keep their base hidden. The tower has no obvious entrances from ground level — Engel prefers cleverly hidden entrances over obvious ones — and inside consists at first of a series of libraries and staircases. As the heroes climb up its reaches, it becomes a tangled mess of Bizarchitecture, culminating in an external passage that appears to cross through a wasteland entirely unlike the cityscape around the tower proper before the wizard's sanctum is reached. Saltzpyre and Bardin, who mistrust magic, spend most of the time here grumbling in increasing irritation at the tower's refusal to comply with basic decency, directions, and masonry.
    • Vermintide II: "A Treacherous Adventure" has the heroes attack a wizard in their tower. It's an Eldritch Location full of traps, rogue magic, illusory (or not?) chunks of other landscapes, and remnants of magical experimentation, including an alchemy lab, astronomy tower, and library. It was Oleysa's, but has been stolen by an enemy necromancer.
  • Exile: The Tower of Magi. Further, in Avernum, nearly every powerful mage not found in the Tower of Magi either holed up in some deep cave or has a personal tower. Although most towers have only one level, very wide and flat.
  • Final Fantasy V: Fork Tower sorta counts. As its name suggests, it has two sides — one side devoted to physical combat, and one devoted to magic.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic: The wizard/mage unit-production building in all incarnations of the games (that have an associated town for there to be a wizard/mage unit-production building. I and VI don't) is some sort of tower. The third installation even had the wizard city type called "Tower". When we get to visit Bracada (the Wizards' country on Antagarich, the continent that Heroes III takes place on) in Might and Magic VII, the region we see turns out to be full of towers, to the point that the only two buildings in the Bracada Desert that aren't towers is the Stable and the School of Sorcery (well, unless one counts 'floating really high above' as 'in', in which case there is an entire city without towers as well).
  • Highborn: You can capture towers to be able to control the Wizard living in it. There's also a tower where the Wizard's Council meets. They're rather afraid to come out because of the dragon trying to eat them, so Enzo has to go up to the tower himself to talk to them. He grumbles about having to do it a second time in the second chapter.
  • Kingdom Hearts: The aptly-named Mysterious Tower, home of Yen Sid. It's located on a piece of turf floating in the middle of nowhere (though you can reach it via ghost train from Twilight Town), and contains a lot of floating staircases and portals.
  • Kingdom of Loathing: The Naughty Sorceress lives at the top of a tower, which you have to fight through to get to her. Next to it is the ruins of Fernswarthy's tower, which was likewise an example before he died and is still home to bizarre creatures birthed by his magical experiments.
  • Lost Odyssey: Justified, as long, cylindrical objects are the ideal shape for conducting magic energy, hence also the use of Magic Staffs. A large portion of the game revolves around the construction of a major public works project known as Grandstaff, a Magic Staff the size of a building capable of casting Fantastic Nuke-level spells.
  • Majesty: The Wizards' Guild building is a nest of towers, and wizards are also able to build ancillary "Wizards' Towers" which allows the player to cast spells within a certain distance of the tower. More towers leads to a greater area where spells can be cast. They can also be temporarily enchanted, which allows them to automaticaly shoot energy bolts at enemies. In The Northern Expansion there is the Sorcereor's Abode, which is also a tower that allows the player to cast a different set of magic spells.
  • Might and Magic: Several through the series. In Might and Magic 4: Clouds of Xeen, you have the Tower of High Sorcery, Witches Tower, and Darzog's Tower. M&M 5 darkside of Xeen has Ellinger's Tower in the first town. Might and Magic 7: For Blood and Honor has a city of mostly towers in Bracada, home of the Wizards. Averted in the first three games, as well as 6, where the resident major spell casters reside in castles and a mansion.
  • NetHack:
    • The Wizard of Yendor lives in a tower in Gehennom.
    • The wizard role's quest starts in "the Lonely Tower", home of quest leader Neferet the Green.
  • Nox: Most wizards live in and around Castle Galava, which was built around the giant, multilevel tower used by the wizards to perform all sorts of magical research (in fact, every floor of the tower specializes in different magics). If you play as a Wizard, the Castle and its tower serve as your home base — but if you play as a Warrior, you have to fight your way up through every level to obtain the Heart of Nox hidden on the top floor.
  • Ragnarok Online: Geffen Tower, where mages change into wizards. Interestingly, it sits on top of a dungeon, which is accessible in the tower basement.
  • RuneScape: The Wizards' Tower. There is also an evil Wizards tower, and the Mage's guild is set in an even bigger tower, at least until an update replaced the original Wizard's Tower with a far bigger and more elaborate version. There's even a wizard living in a tower out in the middle of nowhere. The Mage's guild even contains portals that let you teleport to any of the previously mentioned towers.
  • Sengoku Basara 4: Kyogoku Maria's stage involves an Arabian-architectural structure overlooking a lake and she's a Kung-Fu Sorceress fighting with her sashes.
  • Stardew Valley : The Wizard, also known as M. Rasmodius, lives a the Wizard's Tower to the far west of Cindersap Forest.
  • The Sims Medieval: The Wizard sim lives in a tower. It's three stories high, but that still makes it the tallest building in the kingdom.
  • Teslagrad is set in an abandoned one of these. Getting through the traps and decay form most of the gameplay.
  • Thief: The Dark Project: The Mage Towers in Thief Gold are a large castle complex with four towers at the corners, and a central tower higher than the rest. Only mages of specific orders are permitted into the towers above the ground floor, and only a handful of individuals have access to the central tower.
  • Vampires Dawn: Abraxas' Tower might count in the first game. He certainly has a wide variety of magic available and one level of the tower even has magic darkness spread out that not even this game's Vampires' special vision can overcome. Played completely straight in the sequel, with some witch residing in a tower.
  • Warcraft:
    • Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness: The Mage Tower is the training/upgrade building for Human spellcaster units. It's replaced by the more esoteric Arcane Sanctum in Warcraft III, which has a shorter stone base under a sort of arcane orrery. The Warcraft III expansion The Frozen Throne adds a different sort of mage tower, as part of the Tower Defense arsenal.
    • World of Warcraft uses some of the same building designs from its precursor games, so whenever there's a group of mages somewhere, odds are good that they'll be in a tower.
      • The mages' tower in the human capital city of Stormwind is a noteworthy example since its design is unique, with a twisting, freestanding ramp leading up to its top level. There's only one mage in the tower itself, however, the rest of the spellcasters are found in a room accessed through a portal in the tower or a mage's Teleport and Portal spells. No one's sure where that room is in relation to the rest of the tower.
      • Karazhan is an ominous tower in the middle of Deadwind Pass, an Eldritch Location that's the nexus of all the world's magical ley lines. The place had a sinister reputation even before Medivh, its last occupant, fell victim to Demonic Possession and helped the Orcish Horde invade Azeroth. It was the site of a mission in the original Warcraft and served as a memorable raid instance in World of Warcraft's Burning Crusade expansion. Karazhan is a place where time and space get twisted, and there's said to be an "inverted" tower extending into the earth beneath it.
      • Dalaran, befitting a human nation of mages, has its capital city chock-full of towers. With the absolute biggest one belonging to the Kirin Tor, the nation's high council.

    Web Comics 
  • Wizard from Beach WZRD makes several attemps at building one on the beach she claims as her domain. First she tries erecting one from the sand with magic, but it collapses. Next she builds a miniature tower out of sand and makes it magically grow, but it backfires as she also enlarged the sandfleas. Eventually she just settles for the beachwatcher's high chair.
  • El Goonish Shive: Inverted. Most of the magic shenanigans in the series happen in Tedd's basement.
  • Erfworld is an RPG Mechanics 'Verse where mage towers are standard issue for cities. The bigger the tower, the more of a bonus any caster within the city will receive to their spellcasting.
  • Felicia, Sorceress of Katara has one just outside of the nearby town.
  • Our Little Adventure: Julie's group (sans Rocky) visit one where a powerful halfling Psion lives and works. The psion isn't a magician but has powerful Psychic Powers.
  • The Order of the Stick: The prequel book On The Origin of PCs has Vaarsuvius's mentor living in a literal ivory tower.
  • Tower of God: The Tower contains a lot of people. Probably more than currently live on earth. And the entire inner section of the Tower is devoted to people who have the innate capability to utilize Shinsu, which is about a hundred million.

    Web Original 
  • The Gamer's Alliance: The Magicracy of Alent has a lot of towers because the richest mages wish to erect such to display their power and knowledge of the arcane arts. Some people deridingly call them the Towers of Compensation.
  • Impractical Magic: Istima, the Six Court Academy, is a Magic School. Part of scholarships, status, and work studies include lodging on the school grounds. One of the many subtle status/power indicators at Istima is to be given lodgings in the towers. The higher the better.
  • The Lay of Paul Twister: A lot of powerful wizards have their own Wizards' Tower, to the point where it's considered a bit surprising when a powerful archmage doesn't have one. There's also a tower at Stark Academy, which functions as a research center. Exactly what purpose the towers serve is never quite explained.
  • Critical Role: In Campaign 2, The Archmage Yussa Errenis lives with his assistant in Tidepeak, a 450-foot-tall tower in the port city of Nicodranas. The tower has no doors or windows unless he wants one to appear, he prefers that his (rare) guests visit via Teleportation Circle, and it doesn't appear to follow the same rules of perspective as its surroundings.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: The Ice King, a powerful ice mage, lives in a hollowed-out mountain peak that's functionally identical to a tower.
  • Castlevania (2017): In season 3, the unnamed Evil Sorcerer that Isaac confronts in the season finale rules over a city from top of a tall tower. Isaac has to scale the tower, fighting off the sorcerer's enslaved minions along the way, to reach the sorcerer himself.
  • Hilda: Season 2 introduces the Witches Tower, which serves as the headquarters for all witches in Trolberg. In a unique twist on this trope however, the tower is build upside down, into the ground, beneath the Trolberg Library.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Before being sent out to Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle lived in a very ivory-esque iteration of such a tower. It's important to note that, much like the description in the trope, she didn't particularly see the importance of friends and felt studying was a much more useful use of her time. Canterlot's landscape is dotted with many such towers.
    • After moving to Ponyville, Twilight lives in a giant tree that also serves as the town library. (Only Rainbow Dash's house is higher, and that's only because it floats in the sky.) She still retains the belief that studying is very important, but isn't as isolated anymore.
    • Beginning with the Season 4 finale, Twilight lives in a crystal castle that is considerably taller than the library tree and, since she is now the Princess of Friendship, she uses it to host parties like Hearth's Warming Eve and political functions. At the start of Season 6, she even invites Starlight Glimmer to live with her and Spike.
    • The Crystal Empire's castle is probably the most enormous example yet, and it also seems to be able to "broadcast" the city-kingdom's Fisher Kingdom-esque power across the rest of Equestria. Unfortunately, Sorcerous Overlord King Sombra nearly manages to exploit the latter trait twice in order to Take Over the World, even managing to warp part of the interior into a borderline Eldritch Location of bizarre spatial effects for an elaborate security system.
  • Total Drama: Leonard, who 24/7 LARPs as a wizard, proposes in "So, Uh, This Is My Team?" that his team builds a wizard's tower as their shelter. The idea receives majority support and, with their limited resources and a lot of gathered rocks, the Wâneyihtam Maskwak get the tower set up. Chris, however, did not warn them there'd be a test if the shelter is moose-proof and a stampede makes short work of the tower.
  • Winx Club: The Cloudtower school for witches is a tall tower. It can change its own structure, and the presence of dark magic in it makes Cloudtower bad for fairies to stay in for a long time.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Wizards Tower, Ivory Tower


Mysterious Tower

Master Yen Sid's Mysterious Tower is a tower in a pocket dimension hidden in Twilight Town.

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Example of:

Main / MageTower

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