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Magnus Means Mage

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The word magnus means "great" in Latin, being where we get the terms "magnification", "magnitude", and similar words relating to large size or figurative greatness. For example, Pompey the Great was called Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. However, in fantasyland, it seems to mean "great mage." Most of the time you see a character named Magnus in a fantasy work, he is a mage, wizard, or something like that. It probably doesn't help that magus, the actual Latin word for "mage," is just one Rouge Angles of Satin away.

Magnus can also be an Awesome McCoolname, further justifying at least some of its uses. In Scandinavia, it's actually a fairly normal name.

Subtrope of Steven Ulysses Perhero.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Magnus the Sorcerer was born in the 6th century A.D. in the time of King Arthur and became the apprentice of Morgan Le Fay. He later served as the mentor of Jessica Drew, the first Spider-Woman.
    • Wolverine Rahne Of Terra: The alternate world counterpart of Magneto is an evil wizard named Magnus. note 

    Film — Animation 
  • Vampire Hunter D: In the 1985 film, the vampire lord Big Bad is named Magnus Lee. He has an assortment of vampire powers.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Supernatural: Cuthbert Sinclair uses the alias "Magnus". When Sam and Dean manage to locate Sinclair, he is very adept at using spells and has a huge trove of the occult and the supernatural.

  • The Adventure Zone: Balance: Inverted by Magnus Burnsides, who is far more of a physical fighter and the only member of the party to have absolutely no magical skill or spellcasting ability whatsoever. Although he did have enough skill during the Stolen Century to channel one-seventh of the Light of Creation into the Temporal Chalice through artificery, making this a Zig-Zagged Trope.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer: Magnus the Pious is a downplayed example; he established the Colleges of Magic in the Empire even though he wasn't a wizard himself.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Sons Legion, is an extremely powerful sorcerer, especially since he turned to Chaos and worshipping Tzeentch the god of magic.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Despite Transformers being a strictly sci-fi toyline, there are a number of characters with "Magnus" in their names:

    Real Life 
  • Albertus Magnus (the Great Albert) was a very prolific writer on Renaissance sciences, and has since been closely linked to alchemy (sometimes credited as having successfully created a Philosopher's Stone).