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.
- 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
- The Founders Trilogy: Crasedes Magnus is an immortal godlike being with magical powers that far surpass those of other characters.
- Monday Begins on Saturday: Magnus Red'kin, a minor character, is a bumbling enchanter and inventor of invisible pants.
- The Mortal Instruments: Magnus Bane is the High Warlock of Brooklyn.
- Slayers: Ley/Ray Magnus was a great mage of the past.
- The Vampire Chronicles: The vampire Magnus was an alchemist as a human.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the unofficial expansion mod, Stardew Valley Expanded, the Wizard's (who in the original game was known only as "M. Rasmodius") first name is revealed to be Magnus.
- 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".
- Despite Transformers being a strictly sci-fi toyline, there are a number of characters with "Magnus" in their names: