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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 times 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 and 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 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 
  • Dreamfall Chapters: Saga's father Magnus is a regular human from Scotland who, nonetheless, managed to build a house at the nexus of all universes and timelines of the multiverse, and has outfitted it with all kinds of magical protections and wards when he discovered that Saga has inherited her mother's Dimensional Traveler powers.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Magnus, the God of Magic. He's also acknowledged by those who don't worship him, and even indirectly responsible for the use of magic among mortals.
  • Gauntlet III: The Final Quest: Magnus is the wizard who brought peace to the land of Capra, and whom the protagonists have to rescue.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic III: Gavin Magnus, the immortal wizard who rules Bracada. Bracada is represented by the Tower faction, which has the most magically-oriented heroes and buildings in the game.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: Inverted. Magnus is the game's only Badass Normal, fighting magical monsters with nothing but his colossal strength and man-sized sword.
  • Kingdom Rush has the Hero Unit Magnus Spellbane who's a powerful mage and represents the Mage Tower upgrade path.
  • Mega Man Zero 4: Inverted with Mino Magnus. Out of all the eight Einherjar, he's The Brute in the form of a physical-attacking minotaur with a huge battleaxe, and the Magnus in his name is based on his magnetism powers.
  • Warcraft: Medivh, one of the most powerful magi in the series, is referred to as Magnus on several occasions. His mom had this Gender Flipped, being referred to with the title "Magna".

    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).