The name "Magnus" means "great" in Latin, being where we get the term "magnification". 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.
- In the 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.
- In the graphic novel Wolverine: Rahne of Terra, the alternate world counterpart of Magneto is an evil wizard named Magnus. note
- Ley/Ray Magnus from The Slayers, a great mage of the past.
- Magnus Red'kin, a minor character from Monday Begins on Saturday, a bumbling enchanter and inventor of invisible pants.
- In The Mortal Instruments, Magnus Bane is the High Warlock of Brooklyn.
- Orkneyinga Saga ("The History of the Earls of Orkney") has Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney. After his death, officially considered martyrdom, numerous miracles were ascribed to him. These usually took the form of people being miraculously healed after praying at his grave. note
- The vampire Magnus in The Vampire Chronicles was an alchemist as a human.
- The titular character of the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series is a demigod.
- In 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.
- Distinctly averted by Magnus Burnsides in The Adventure Zone: Balance, 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.
- Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Sons Legion in Warhammer 40K, is an extremely powerful sorcerer, especially since he turned to Chaos and worshipping Tzeentch the god of magic.
- Saga's father Magnus from Dreamfall Chapters 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.
- Gavin Magnus, the immortal wizard who rules Bracada, in Heroes of Might and Magic III. Bracada is represented by the Tower faction, which has the most magically-oriented heroes and buildings in the game.
- Magnus, the God of Magic in The Elder Scrolls. He's also acknowledged by those who don't worship him, and even indirectly responsible for the use of magic among mortals.
- In the Warcraft universe, Medivh, one of the most powerful magi in the series, is referred to as Magnus on several occasions.
- In Gauntlet III, Magnus is the wizard who brought peace to the land of Capra, and whom the protagonists have to rescue.
- Inverted in Kid Icarus: Uprising. Magnus is the game's only Badass Normal, fighting magical monsters with nothing but his colossal strength and man-sized sword.
- Inverted in Mega Man Zero 4 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.
- Kingdom Rush has the Hero Unit Magnus Spellbane who's a powerful mage and represents the Mage Tower upgrade path.