A magical guide is a character who is magical in some way and appears to help the hero when he or she needs it. Magical guides usually fill the following criteria:
- They appear when the hero needs help.
- They are usually deceased and thus act as Spirit Advisors.
- They are usually related to the character, such as a parent, sibling or mentor.
- They have powers of their own and usually grant the hero new powers or restore lost powers.
- They provide advice or comfort to the hero.
- They may save the hero's life.
Compare Spirit Advisor.
Anime & Manga
- Queen Serenity from Sailor Moon fits this perfectly; she is the deceased mother of the titular hero, she restored all of the Sailor Senshi's memories of the past, and she grants Usagi/Serena new powers in the 2nd season.
Films — Animation
- Kubo and the Two Strings features Monkey, a monkey doll that was brought to life by Kubo's mother, who guides the titular character on his quest.
Films — Live-Action
- Star Wars:
- In A New Hope, Obi-wan Kenobi is such a guide and teacher to Luke Skywalker. The novelization strongly implies that Kenobi did something to help awaken Luke's Force powers during the training aboard the Millenium Falcon, en route to Alderaan.
- In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda takes over this role - and again, the novelization strongly implies that Yoda is actively awakening new powers in Luke.
- Death of an Adept, from the Adept series by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris, provides a villainous example: the evil Baron Soulis has a demonic companion named Robin Redcap, who boosts Soulis' magic powers in much the same way that a Familiar does.
- In the Familiar Tales series by Alma T.C. Boykin, most Familiars have this as one of their duties. A Familiar is sent to a person when it's needed, and not before. The Familiar guides and assists his or her mage in working magic; they boost the mage's strength and endurance; they provide advice (both magical and mundane) when it's needed; and they keep the mage's feet firmly on the path of Right.
- Dobby tries to be this for Harry in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but all his attempts to guide Harry involve injuring him or getting him expelled from school.
- Heralds of Valdemar: This is one of the several roles that Companions play for their Heralds, especially the ones with strong Gifts. A Companion can boost his or her Herald's Gifts, whether those Gifts are in 'real' magic or mind-magic. They also provide both advice and comfort: a Herald always knows, without doubt or question, that they are never alone; there will always be at least one entity that loves them.
- Played for laughs in The Last Continent; Rincewind is periodically aided/annoyed by a divine being generally known as Scrappy, which can take multiple forms and interferes in his adventure in order to guide him to the fruition of his quest. Even though this is the last thing Rincewind wants.
- Gandalf of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit guides the heroes through their journeys with little direct interaction. As a Maiar, he's best left to leave the war to the Dwarves and Hobbits while he deals with the more demonic threats, like the Balrog.
- Cassiopeia to Momo - she's a friend/familiar of the protagonist's Mentor and uses a thematically-appropriate power to guide her safely through the city full of baddies. She also cheers Momo up in her own snarky way.
- The owl Kaepora Gaebora in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and its sequel Majora's Mask shows up periodically to give background and direction, although he's so long-winded that players tend to skip his dialogue. To a lesser extent, there are statues (usually owl- or at least bird-shaped) throughout the Zelda games giving hints on difficult puzzles or bosses.
- Dungeons & Dragons (1983): The Dungeon Master is this to the kids. He brings them into the Realm for purposes of his own, and provides them with their magic weapons. He appears at random to guide them through the Realm, and gives them help when they need it (usually in the form of cryptic advice). In one episode Presto loses his wizard's hat; in the episode's tag, Dungeon Master returns it.