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"The career of necromancer is an excellent choice for evil-doers who are not a 'people person'. Though some might say there is not much point to turning the earth into one gigantic graveyard, these people are fools and will never understand anyway. Good career entry points for becoming a necromancer include occultists, dabblers in voodoo, grave diggers, morticians, possessed eight-year-old girls, and inheritors of scary books wrapped in human flesh."
Neil Zawacki, How to be a Villain

A practitioner of a specific kind of Whatevermancy, Necromancers are the masters of the art of death. Necromancy, the magic of Interrogating the Dead, has been practiced since at least Ancient Greece, where it was known as Necromantia, and probably earlier.

In typical media they're the epitome of the Evil Sorcerer, showing none of the respect Due to the Dead, using The Dark Arts to create an army of skeletons, zombies, undead animals and undead monsters (or any kind of Undead being) to ravage the countryside or enslave souls of the damned for their own evil and twisted purposes. Any villain that practices necromancy is guaranteed to fall hard onto the far side of the evil scale, and any hero who dares to dabble in it can kiss his position on the good side goodbye.

However, necromancy didn't always have the evil connotations that it has in media today. The word necromancy comes from the words nekros (dead) and manteia (prophecy), meaning that necromancers are more likely to summon spirits for divination than armies of rotting zombies. It was widely practiced across the world until the Renaissance when it was equated with demonology and got its bad reputation.

This means that sometimes necromancers are seen in a more sympathetic light, using their powers to commune with the dead, heal others, or use their power over souls for good ends. Most stories involving naive and inexperienced necromancers include the Aesop of how you should respect the cycle of life and death. In other cases, it involves the phrase "Be Careful What You Wish For" when those necromancers try to bring back a loved one. As it usually results in the resurrection going wrong and forcing them to re-kill said loved one.

But since that's not nearly as interesting as zombies, the idea of a necromancer unleashing waves of zombies still persists. Of course, that doesn't stop them from unleashing the hordes on the bad guys instead!

Commonly overlaps with Necromantic; either someone attempts necromancy in order to bring back their loved one, or this was the start of their descent into evil. Sometimes a character will approach a necromancer for their help in bringing back their beloved (which never ends well).

It's not unheard of for a necromancer to be one of The Undead themselves, often a lich. Even if they aren't liches or other forms of undead themselves, they are likely to have unlocked other ways of prolonging their own lives to unnatural lengths. Furthermore, they may become partially undead.

Since necromancers are typically seen animating not only still-fleshy corpses as zombies but also completely skeletal remains, Fridge Logic may raise the question of why there exists an arbitrary point past which a body is too decomposed to reanimate. After all, if the necromancer's magic can both hold together the bones of a skeleton despite the absence of ligaments and provide it with motor functions despite the absence of muscles, why then does the skeleton suddenly cease to function anyway when those same bones get pulverized by the knight's warhammer? Following this, one might wonder if a necromancer could animate the ashes from an urn, or that hamburger you ate yesterday currently inside your small intesitne.

In another case of Fridge Logic, many writers have recently begun to question whether this form of magic would even be inherently evil in the first place. Depending on the specifics of the setting, it shouldn't logically be any different from repurposing some old worn out shirt that someone else has discarded, for example.

Only metaphorically related to Thread Necromancer, where one resurrects dead forum threads.

See also Animate Dead, Tested on Humans and The Necrocracy. If the necromancer is juxtaposed with a healing or nature-controlling character, see Life/Death Juxtaposition. See also Fossil Revival.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Rades Spirito in Black Clover. His Wraith Magic lets him reanimate dead individuals by putting his mana in their corpses, putting them under his complete control. If they were mages, the zombies can use their own magic.
  • In Bleach, this is the main offensive power that Sternritter Giselle Gewelle has. By injecting her blood into other Quincys, she can take control of them when they're dead, turning them into literal, mindless zombies. This is what she did to her teammate Bambietta, even when she was alive and begging her not to do it while lying on the ground helpless.
  • In Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, Charles zi Britannia's Geass, "The Dead Rise", allows him to raise the dead to fight for him, creating soldiers that are virtually unkillable unless he dies, at which point, they die too. He raised some of the best soldiers from the dead in order to claim the throne, including the current Knights of the Round.
  • Emperor Muge Zorbados, Big Bad of the Super Robot series, Dancougar
  • D.Gray-Man has the infamous Cross Marian, who uses Grave of Maria—the body of a deceased woman with the power of an Exorcist. She only listens to Cross. Using magic, he can summon her coffin at will and release her. It is often theorized, by many in fanon, that she was possibly a lover of Cross' when she was alive, but nothing has been stated as of yet.
  • Keyes, the Black Archbishop of Tartaros in Fairy Tail, is this. He's polite, speaks in fancy, almost poetic phrases, and is responsible for controlling traitor Councilman Crawford's corpse to remotely activate the 2000 Face bombs crucial to the guild's plans. On a more personal level for the heroes though, he's the one responsible for bringing back Gray's dad, Silver, as an end result of experiments involving just how well he can revive someone. Silver hates him because of it.
  • Kairi Sisigou of Fate/Apocrypha is a bit of an unconventional example. Instead of raising corpses to fight for him, he simply uses body parts. He fights using heart-seeking bullets made from human fingers and frag grenades made of human hearts packed with teeth and nails that rot flesh. Despite his morbid use of magic, he's actually a pretty decent guy.
  • One of Kenshiro's creepier one-shot foes from the Fist of the North Star anime was an evil priest-looking guy by the name of Zaria who could hypnotize people into "zombies" via Nanto Ansho Ken and ultimately revives a group of his mooks that Kenshiro had just given the Your Head A-Splode treatment to. Naturally, Kenshiro considers this level of disrespect for the dead unforgivable.
  • The Big Bad of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) uses forbidden Human Transmutation and could be seen as a necromancer.
  • The protagonist of Ghost Talker's Daydream works part-time as a necromancer. It mostly involves fighting ghosts, so there is no "evil sorcerer" part there. Yet for some reason, she considers her main job as a dominatrix way more respectable.
  • The most powerful Newtypes of Gundam's Universal Century can perform a limited and relatively benign form of necromancy, communicating with and (in extreme circumstances) drawing power from the spirits of the dead. In fact, since it requires a great deal of human empathy, it's pretty much exclusively limited to heroic Newtypes.
  • Doll from ˝ Prince is a spell caster class called necromancer; she doesn't really summon zombies, she summons flaming spell monsters which generally act as meat shields for her team. However, if she's really motivated, she can summon a freaking undead dragon; however, since it generally scares her, she's only done this twice so far.
  • In Hyper Police, necromancery is occasionally used by police investigators, by means of channeling spirits. To question any found corpses whether they were murdered.
  • Inuyasha: The Oni witch Urasue could use burial earth and ashes of people to make clay puppets which she then animates by moving the souls of the dead inside of them. This way, she revives Kikyo as a revenant who costantly needs to replenish her soul reserve to stay alive. Later in the show, Kagura showcases the power of making dead bodies move around and talk with her fan. At one point she even kills a bunch of weaker monsters to use their corpses as minions, with the advantage that the can keep them moving even when shredded to pieces.
  • Inuyasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler: So'unga has the power to raise the dead at will and can, at full power, open up a gate to Hell to let the souls of the damned out.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Enya Geil from Stardust Crusaders has the Stand, Justice, a mist that can enter decayed corpses through the holes in their body to raise them as zombies.
    • Sports Maxx from Stone Ocean has the Stand, Limp Bizkit, which can raise the dead in the form of invisible zombies, including Sports Maxx himself.
  • A sci-fi example appears in Lupin III in a two-parter: Doctor Frank (as in, Frank N. Stein) is a genius chemist and a master of hypnosis who can use a special serum to hypnotyze corpses and make them move and talk even after death. The doctor himself is a living corpse who needs to hypnotyze himself every now and then to recharge the effect and can even animate mutilated body parts for mundane tasks (such as using a pair of disembodied hands to cut up the food for him while he dines). Lupin tricks him by pretending to be affected by his serum and shooting out the lights of the room as Frank's hypnosis is about to run off, so that he can't see himself in the mirror for the self hypnosis.
  • Meiou (Dark/Underworld King) Ixpellia from the Lyrical Nanoha franchise. The Ancient Belka king who ruled over the Garea empire and had the ability to raise an army of Mariage out of a battlefield of corpses. She's actually a nice little girl being forced to do things she doesn't want, but having an army of cyborg zombies that invades and burns down neighboring countries gave her a rather bad reputation.
  • There are three in Naruto Orochimaru, the Second Hokage, and Kabuto. All use the Impure World Resurrection technique, which involves using a Human Sacrifice to resurrect somebody else in an indestructible golem-like body.
  • The somewhat recent manga Necromancer features one as the main character.
  • Gecko Moria from One Piece is one. He can steal peoples shadows and use them to animate corpses he has prepared. The resulting zombie will have the memories and power set of the shadow's owner but the physical power of the corpse itself.
    • One of his crew members is Perona, who can create and command ghosts. Downplayed in that, rather than being souls of the dead, seems to be just holographic constructs.
  • Nasu Veronica from Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, he manipulates both corpses and flies.
    • There is also a minor Spectre named Necromancer Byaku, but he has no actual power of corpse manipulation, and is the one who got temporarily resurrected instead.
  • The main character Chihiro from Sankarea is a zombie aficionado and a wannabe necromancer. Things get complicated when he actually succeeds in necromancy, bringing his cat, as well as the eponymous girl, Back from the Dead.
  • Faust VIII from Shaman King. He's the descendant of the original Dr. Faustus who made a Deal with the Devil and Faust learned about being a shaman and necromancy from his books. He did it to resurrect his wife from the dead so he's got the Necromantic thing going on as well. Finally, his basic fighting technique is to summon tons and tons of skeletons. Not to mention he's about the most evil character we see until Big Bad shows up. Faust makes a Heel–Face Turn after that though.

    Comic Books 
  • Age of the Wolf: Sister Sigrid is a sapient Wolf Woman who is shown being able to resurrect werewolf corpses to lay a trap for the heroine.
  • Thomas Edison in Atomic Robo. Later Undead Edison.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: Haazheel Thorn has control over the living dead, raising them as part of his army. He can also gift his servants with a straightforward resurrection if they've fallen in battle, but you better damn hope he considers you useful enough to bother.
  • During Brightest Day, Aquaman could animate and control the corpses of sea creatures as a side effect of his death and resurrection. As the main page for the comic states, "Summoning a zombie kraken may be the most awesome thing he's ever done."
  • The Goon: The Goon's archenemy, the Nameless Man, uses massive zombie hordes to do his bidding. He also appears to have knowledge of communicating with spirits.
  • Judge Dredd: Necromancers have shown up on occasion.
    • In the Judge Child Quest, Dredd came across Murd the Oppressor, an alien tyrant-sorcerer who could resurrect the dead and was the keeper of Sagbelly, a giant sacred toad. He actually succeeded in killing Dredd, only to revive him.
    • The Sisters of Death are the source of the Dark Judges' zombified state after they befriended the young Judge Death.
    • Judge Death himself also has some power over the dead, forcibly zombifying both Chief Judge Silver to continue tormenting and humiliating him and a Cursed Earth resident named Malachi to wipe the radlands clean of life.
    • The villain from Judgment Day, Sabbat the Necromagus, animated an army of zombies to launch a global Zombie Apocalypse. His backstory shows that he was Murd's best student.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): The Duke of Deception can reanimate Nazi soldiers and attack with dark souls which seem to emanate from the Baetylus. After Diana gets her lasso of truth on him he learns that the spirits have more power over his actions and thoughts than he has over them, and he's been duped into the role he's playing though he was okay with it until he learns the death he's been trying to avenge did not occur.
  • Shadow Man: Master Darque has the ability to manipulate, morph and bind souls into grotesque soul eaters. His magic was mainly necrotic but he became a disciple of the Universal Center of Learning and Knowledge called Lyceum. When he learned everything he could from his masters he graduated by killing everyone in Lyceum.
  • In Tragg and the Sky Gods #9, the Dark Gods resurrect the dead sorcerer Ostellon and grant him the power to bestow life upon, and command, the bones of the dead.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Volume 1: Circe raises Artemis—the Amazon Champion prior to Diana—from the dead as a skeletal figure bent on revenge for her people abandoning her to die alone in the outside world without a proper burial.
    • Hades has a degree of control over the dead in the underworld, and can use their souls to attack the living though he normally lets them be so long as they remain in their proper district. In Wonder Woman (2011) he uses souls to build everything in Hades, every brick and stone is a human soul entirely under his control.

    Fan Works 
  • The Dark Witch and the Necromancer: Harry became one in order to combat Voldemort and his Death Eaters, but summoned animated skeletons rather than creating zombies of any variety. He summoned a dinosaur skeleton during an attack on the Hogwarts Express.
  • Subverted by Dungeon Keeper Ami, who initially studies necromancy because it includes spells for repairing bodies, which she can use to heal herself. She later pulls some Loophole Abuse on a necromantic withering spell to grow crops at a greatly accelerated rate; the spell works by causing the target to age rapidly, so if she can actually provide everything the plants need, they can survive and thrive, and she draws necromantic runes outside hospitals to kill harmful viruses. The world is full of more traditional necromancers raising undead armies, but she doesn't stand for that; she eradicates the undead wherever she can. Especially since ghosts are literally tortured souls, it's how they're produced, so she considers freeing them to be a duty. The dark god Crowned Death, who is the usual deity for necromancers, is not pleased.
  • Finally Home: Hitomi Kira, Toyotomi Hideyoshi's daughter, has the ability to bring up undead soldiers to her whim.
  • Fly or Fall: Nakisha is the Fairy of Spirits and as such has this power, but is one of the good guys.
  • Great Minds Think Alike: The third future villain to appear, Rigor Mortis, is a necromancer clad in a tattered black robe and wielding a skull-tipped staff made out of femurs, who turned herself into a lich after being killed in a confrontation with Twilight.
  • Hero Chat: Years before the story, a Necromancer named Specter attempted to take over the world with a Zombie Apocalypse. Despite being a clear-and-cut supervillain, he was an excellent father to his daughter Lillian Lallivant, AKA Rose's mother, who remains away from him due to moral differences. His powers were inherited by his granddaughter Rose, who uses them to calm down ghosts.
  • Hinterlands is about a group of bounty hunters chasing down a necromancer, Amanita, after she destroyed a town. During the fic, she murders a hermit who gave her shelter for the night and raises a dead bear to attack her pursuers. She's also a case of Bad Powers, Good People following a Heel Realization. One of the "bounty hunters" is her master, a lich trying to retrieve her Soul Jar after Amanita stole it and lying to the others.
  • Irreversible Damage: After Manny dies, Greg finds his mother and aunt casually discussing using necromancy to contact the dead. Later, Susan uses a necromantic ritual to return Manny to life.
  • Keepers of the Elements: Queen Tiana and Marcus both have this as their power, but they're both good guys.
  • The Long Eventide: Brandywine has the ability to summon "echoes" of once-living creatures which take the form of spectral animals. The power is an extremely rare form of earth pony magic, and it's noted as overwhelming and potentially dangerous for the user. She can also summon echoes of sapients, but that there's not much left of who the target was in that case.
  • The Moonstone Cup: Griffins will, if they feel you're a great opponent, call upon YOUR dead ancestors to help defeat you. It's a sign of great respect among griffins.
  • Queens of Mewni: Hekatia the Necromancer (natch), who studied necromancy due to her fascination with death. While officially it's only rumored that she brought her mother back from the dead for one last goodbye and raised a zombie army to fight monsters, it's pretty much implied that those rumors are true. A love of the dark arts would be something she passes on to her daughter Eclipsa.
  • Split Second (My Little Pony): (Twilight) Sparkle has necromancy as her special talent.
  • There's More Magic Out There: In Chapter 38, the Mystery Gang runs into animated deer corpses while rescuing Sabrina, which have been haunting the fae territory. Alix describes necromancy as a twisted and disgusting form of magic, and anything brought to life with it will be without a soul. Chapter 43 reveals that the Necromancer's ultimate goal is to bring back his father, so he can kill him himself and be free of his torment.
  • With This Ring: Paul can't use magic himself, but he has connections with people who can, and he's very much in favour of giving people the opportunity to speak with deceased loved ones, to the point of arguing with the Silver City over it. Bringing a necromancer to Mars results in discovering that their Fantastic Racism is all based on a lie; their revered ancestor Karmang, founder of their society, was not red but white.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • William Dobbs from Dead & Buried is an excellent example of this, what with him making a town entirely populated by zombies of his own creation, who he views as his children and his works of art, as well as a very unhealthy interest in the dead.
  • In both Excalibur and Dragonslayer, the wizards (Merlin & Ulrich respectively) are called necromancers at some point. As neither film involves undead hordes and feature more traditional wizards, it is clear the older meaning is being invoked.
  • Madam Kung Sun, the villainess of Finger of Doom, can inflict the most painful of deaths on her challengers thanks to mastering the titular skill, before having her victims revived as her zombie swordsmen. She even uses this tactic on the main hero, forcing him to fight his two sworn brothers, whom she killed and raised as her own zombie bodyguards.
  • The Mummy Trilogy: Imhotep indulges in this the most, raising his undead priest buddies to battle the heroes and ultimately seeking to resurrect his lover Anak-su-namun from the grave, but even the good guys get a chance to raise and/or control the dead: Jonathan hijacks said undead priests to even the odds in the first movie, Alex resurrects his mother no muss no fuss in the second one, and the third movie's climax has Zi Yuan resurrect every corpse buried under the Great Wall of China to Hold the Line against the Dragon Emperor's Terracotta Army.
  • Mythica: The magic that Marek and her enemies use is consistently described as necromancy, but it gets powered by sucking the life energy from the living too, not just dealing with the dead. She is the heroine, so it's not inherently evil, though the risk of addiction or corruption make it a dicey business for her.
  • Phantasm: The Tall Man uses his advanced technology to resurrect the dead as his minions.
  • The Possession of Michael King has a classic version, a funeral director who conducts rituals to speak with the dead at night.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: Sofina and her master Szass Tam are two Red Wizards of Thay, notorious evil sorcerers. Tam is a lith (a type of the undead who uses a Soul Jar for living beyond their physical death-it's also implied Sofina is too). Their plan is to turn many people into undead soldiers who Tam can use in conquering lands beyond Thay as well using a powerful spell, which he'd already used in their country. Also, a spell is used by the heroes to question dead barbarians in seeking a powerful magical artifact, something encompassed by the original meaning of "necromancy".


By Author:

By Work:

  • Anita Blake is a licensed necromancer who often uses her powers to interrogate the dead (when she isn't busy sexing them up for one contrived reason or another).
  • Sorcerer-Captain Emorc apparently spent some time studying necromancy; which comes in handy when he needs to create An Army of the Dead.
  • Awaken Online: The player Jason gains this as a specialized class of Dark Mana magic user where he can summon Zombies and Specialized Zombies. He can also summon customize skeletons, even using the game mechanic to create armor and weapons. Summoning the dead isn't his only option; one of his powers is Corpse Explosion with his favorite tactic being to load them with armor and weapons to turn into shrapnel and set them off in a crowd of enemies.
  • The Bone Witch: The titular Bone Witches, also known as Dark Asha (Asha being Always Female elemental mages). They can bring most people, animals, and monsters back from the dead, and also have Mind Control powers. They're feared and distrusted by most people (with some reason, as a Bone Witch who uses her powers for evil can be an incredibly destructive force), but are tolerated due to their skill at controlling and killing Daeva, the resident Hybrid Monsters.
  • Cannon Fodder has a necromancer named Doris. She seems to be an all right person, but on the other hand, we don't see her practice her necromantic powers.
  • H. P. Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward features a group of immortal necromancers, most notably the titular protagonist's ancestor, Joseph Curwen. They can resurrect the dead temporarily by converting their bones or ashes into mystical "saltes" through alchemy, and speaking an incantation, and torture them for esoteric knowledge lost from the world of the living. It's implied that their ultimate goal is to resurrect undead legions to take over the world under their command.
  • The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness: Eostra the Eagle Owl Mage, the head of the Soul Eaters, is this. She's said to have always been obsessed with the secrets of the dead. As soon as she became her clan's mage, she performed a forbidden ritual and brought back to life a deceased boy. Soon after this, all the other Eagle Owls died out of sickness. At the climax of Ghost Hunter, Eostra summons the spirits of all her deceased Soul Eaters, bound to her through their hairs she possesses. When the hairs are burned, the summoned spirits return to afterlife.
  • Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer features the main protagonist as a necromancer, and the big bad is an evil necromancer. They can manipulate the soul, bring people back for a while, and the most powerful can create vampire/zombie servants.
  • Chronicles of the Necromancer features a good necromancer as its main character.
  • Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian:
    • In the story "The People of the Black Circle", the king of Vendhiya is murdered by necromancy.
    • In "The Devil in Iron", Khosatral Khel revives his city with it,
      But folk who have tasted of death are only partly alive. In the dark corners of their souls and minds, death still lurks unconquered. By night the people of Dagon moved and loved, hated and feasted, and remembered the fall of Dagon and their own slaughter only as a dim dream; they moved in an enchanted mist of illusion, feeling the strangeness of their existence but not inquiring the reasons therefor. With the coming of day, they sank into deep sleep, to be roused again only by the coming of night, which is akin to death.
  • Necromancy is a branch of the sorcerous Craft in Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence. It has a wide range of applications, from raising zombies for cheap labor to restructuring dead gods like failing corporations. Craft practitioners themselves don't usually regard necromancy as inherently evil, but not everyone in the world shares that view.
  • Chloe Saunders from the Darkest Powers trilogy. In fact, she is almost certainly the most powerful necromancer in existence, and possibly the most powerful necromancer to ever exist. In a necromancer's case, though, having a lot of power is not always a good thing. Most necromancers eventually go insane later in life, and the trend seems to be that the more powerful they are, the faster it happens.
    • In a world with sorcerers, witches, werewolves, half-demons, vampires, and all other sorts of supernatural creatures running around, necromancers really got the short end of the stick: They can talk to ghosts (who usually harass them), which makes them look schizophrenic since a necromancer can't tell a ghost from a living person; and they can raise the dead (but only one at a time, involving a complicated ritual, as well as practice and skill, and a willingness to shove a soul back into its rotting corpse). Fun times!
    • Chloe's problem with zombies is actually reversed because of her insane amounts of power. Rather than needing a ritual and other things, she accidentally raises the dead in her sleep. Seeing as how she's a genuinely good person (and the protagonist, to boot), she was horrified to find out that she could do something like that, and sleeping anywhere where there might be corpses of any species is a big no-no for her.
  • Necromancy is an aspect of Sartan magic in The Death Gate Cycle, but is forbidden because for every person brought back to life, another somewhere dies untimely. The Sartan of Abarrach, however, were desperate enough to disregard this, and became a whole culture of necromancers.
  • Averted in the novels based on Diablo (see Video Games).
    • Legacy of Blood has Kara Nightshadow as a heroine, and she is genuinely one of the good guys. She often has to explain to other characters how her use of death magic doesn't conflict with her apparent alignment.
    • The Kingdom of Shadow and Moon of the Spider feature Zayl and his "companion" Humbart. Humbart is a spirit bound to a skull. Nothing else, just a skull. He can see, hear, and talk, but that is about it. Zayl makes it a point to keep Humbart hidden when he's around anyone else, lest they think he's evil.
    • The Sin War trilogy even briefly explains the origins of the Necromancers. There are 3 worlds in the Diablo multiverse, which are basically Heaven, Hell, and Sanctuary (Earth). Heaven is at war with Hell, and both sides think they could win by "recruiting" the mortals of Sanctuary. Necromancers want Sanctuary to stay neutral/not involved. They would like to kick ALL Angels and Demons out of Sanctuary, but, lacking the ability to do so, they wind up fighting against whichever side is winning. Usually Demons/evil has a stronger influence, so the Necromancers are on the side of the Angels/good.
      • Well, Angels aren't really good in this setting. Most of them despise humanity and want to wipe them out, and they probably would if they ever defeated the demons, so keeping the fight between Heaven and Hell going is in humanity's best interests.
      • In fact, Diablo III's expansion was about exactly this.
  • Rabbit from Juni Taisen: Zodiac War can control the corpses of anyone he kills, turning them into his undead servants. He can also commit suicide and zombify himself as a last resort.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Making Money has the Department of Postmortem Communications, which is absolutely not Necromancy because Necromancy is a bad form of magic and is done by evil wizards, and since the wizards in Postmortem Communications aren't evil wizards, it's not Necromancy! Just ignore their raising of the dead. And all the skull decorations (they're fake, except for the talking one). And the fading "NECR" on their door.
    • Note that they use the classical definition of contacting spirits to ask about the future, which is apparently evil. Contacting them to ask about the present or past, on the other hand, is okay.
    • This is continued in Unseen Academicals where the head of the Dept. of Postmortem Communications, Dr Hix, is allowed to get away with, and is perhaps even encouraged to commit, minor acts of evil as part of his job, so long as they are within University Statutes. He's also the designated Token Evil Teammate, required to do or say the things that are morally questionable yet necessary like knocking his boss unconscious to break the hold of a possessing artifact.
    • There are apparently evil necromancers elsewhere in the world; part of his job is to enforce the University's monopoly. With fireballs.
  • Divine Blood has a branch of psychic ability referred to as "Death Seers". Death Seers are naturally able to see and speak to ghosts, see how and in what way people have encountered or interacted with death and also see ways to slow down or advance the rate at which someone dies. Of the two shown, one is a demi-Goddess trained by humans and the other is a Demoness with a well known name. The demi-Goddess is absolutely shocked to learn that the Demon hasn't learned practically anything about how to use her death seer powers and is afraid of ghosts to boot.
  • The Necromancer in Dragaera is the world's preeminent practitioner: an undead demon on loan from the gods, who themselves are vocally impressed by her power. For her part, she calls death "sometimes inconvenient" and reanimates the occasional army for the Dragaeran Empire, but prefers to spend her downtime practicing her painting.
  • In the universe of The Dresden Files, necromancy on human remains is absolutely forbidden by the laws of the White Council. Of course, there are many illegal necromancers, and they've been shown to create zombies, control ghosts, and consume the spirits of the dead to increase their power. Harry himself ends up exploiting a loophole in the laws on necromancy — the law only says human remains, after all — to create a zombie T. rex. (Usually not done because of the way Necromancy works. Two things feed into the potential power of a reanimated body; age and psychological complexity. Sue may have been pretty dumb, but she was possibly the oldest corpse in the city.)
    • The magic can also be used to forcibly prevent someone from dying long enough for their body to be repaired. One necromancer uses this to try to sell Harry a Dark Is Not Evil take on the whole business, which is left a bit ambiguous, as the necromancer in question joined the dark side for altruistic reasons. And not vague, Social Darwinist-esque motivations either. She saved a man's life for no benefit, a fact which Harry notes with dismay.
    • The more traditional sort of necromancer also shows up, called an "ectomancer", who can summon and speak with ghosts, but can't outright command them. The ghosts like this sort a lot better.
    • Also, Ghost Story gave fans an answer to a question left over from the TV series: "Just how powerful is the ghost of a necromancer?" The answer? The ghost of a knowledgeable, experienced and skilled necromancer (as opposed to the ghost of someone newly dead) is downright terrifying. It turns out that Harry wasn't kidding when, in a previous book, he described necromancers as equal in power to faerie queens, demon lords and archangels.
    • One famous necromancer, when the entire White Council and all their allies finally killed him, managed to come back. And not just once, but seven times before they finally put him down for good.
  • In Amanda Downum's The Drowning City and The Bone Palace, the protagonist, Isyllt Iskaldur, is a necromancer. She is not portrayed as evil, although she is sometimes treated as such by others. Her abilities do not appear to include summoning zombie armies, but do include dealing with ghosts, whether communicating, capturing or banishing, as well as raising the dead temporarily, experiencing the final memories of the dead, aging and corroding non-living things rapidly, invoking cold, and related things.
  • Elemental Masters: In Unnatural Issue, Earth Master Richard Whitestone turns to necromancy after his wife succumbs to Death by Childbirth, which kickstarts the main plot of the book.
  • The Elenium: The Ruby Knight reveals that Tynian and to a lesser degree, Sephrenia are necromancers in the classical sense, though Tynian is better at it due to being stronger, considering that wresting the dead from the beyond is a strenuous activity. A major portion of their quest required summoning the spirits of those who fought in the war five hundred years ago to ask them where the Bhelliom is. This also backfires on them when Tynian accidently raises something that they didn't intend.
  • In Andre Norton's Forerunner Foray, Ziantha thinks their taking over the dead bodies, forced by the artifact, is like this. Zuha agrees, promptly accusing her of witchcraft.
  • Forest Kingdom: In book 2 (Blood and Honor), Prince Dominic has been animating dead people as his servants, including Robert Argent, who's supposedly in league with Prince Viktor, turns out to be an undead servant of Prince Dominic due to being held on the very point of death via a fatal wound that Dominic delivered, yet holds at bay, with his own sorcery.
  • Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi is a rare Chinese example featuring the main character Wei Wuxian having the ability to raise and control corpses by playing his flute. He is also able to create sentient zombies to do his bidding i.e. his "Ghost General" Wen Ning. Because of this, he is often touted as the "Founder of Diabolism".
  • A remarkable benign example appears in Gulliver's Travels. The Necromancer shows Gulliver the spirits of lots of dead people, so he can interview them and learn about the past (and eat food made by a great dead chef).
  • The Harda Horda anthology has two vastly different examples, both more or less seen as benign:
    • The whole point of Where the Shadows Have Gone, set in your generic fantasy world, is to take all the related cliches on a ride. Noah, the main character, is a mild-mannered, nerdy guy that isn't evil in the slightest, while his job is more or less that of a medium and an exorcist for hire, sending the poor, tormented souls stuck on the material plane to the afterlife. His trade is pretty rare (and thus profitable) profession due to a heavy social stigma, since people in-universe either apply all the standard cliches to his line of work, or, much to Noah's annoyance, the emerging gothic romance genre instead created a cliche of a bad boy wizard that just needs to find love thanks to his kidnapped bride. The story also deals with the fact that for all the harmless nature of necromancy when done by professionals, it also has the unfortunate tendency to cause With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, especially when one is untrained with how to deal with all the occult and spiritual stuff - all of which seems to be the basis for the social bias towards necromancers.
    • Spiritlessness is an Urban Fantasy set in the contemporary modern world, where Marek's speciality is treated like any other form of magic - he simply talks with spirits and can animate dead bodies for a while, without harming anything or anyone. However, he goes into the deep end after first his newborn daughter dies and then his wife eventually successfully commits suicide - the story is him trying to bring her back from the dead in a permanent manner, which is a social taboo in-universe, along with a Dangerous Forbidden Technique involving a very literal Deal with the Devil.
  • Subverted in Harry Potter. It's possible to reanimate a person's corpse into an Inferi, but Necromancy is considered virtually useless because the body has no soul (in keeping with Dumbledore's statement in the first book that "No spell can raise the dead") and thus no will or intelligence. They do, unfortunately, work rather well if you have a large number of them guarding an artifact, as Harry finds out...Given that wizards seem to have more success enchanting inanimate objects with certain amounts of animation and intelligence if they want assistants, this is about the first setting where necromancy is Awesome, but Impractical. The use of the Inferi as guards despite their impracticality is actually symbolic of their creator's own fear of death. He's terrified of dying and he believes everyone else is too, so he figures walking corpses would be the ultimate deterrent. The resurrection stone from the the Fairy Tale The Tale of the Three Brothers was long believed to do this In-Universe (Dumbledore says this is why his old "friend" Grindelwald wanted it) but it in reality, all it does is summon a dead person's spirit for a few minutes).
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, Sauron was called "the Necromancer" (though in this case it probably referred primarily to his controlling the spirits of the dead, not their corpses and is himself a supernatural entity that transcends life and death anyway). Given Tolkien's influence on the fantasy genre, this could be the Trope Maker.
    • In one known case in the annals of the history of the Third Age, Sauron manages to indirectly gain control over the corpses of the dead by utilising the Barrow-Wights. According to the supplementary materials they are evil spirits (not the souls of the original deceased) sent by the Witch-King of Angmar, Sauron's Dragon, to possess the bodies of dead kings to torment their former subjects.
  • Eucliwood Hellscythe of Is This A Zombie? is a sympathetic necromancer. Her magic allows her to heal, kill, and create zombies (in this case, immortal, self-aware undead).
  • Johannes Cabal the Necromancer and the sequel are about a necromancer who sold his soul to Satan to get the skill. In-universe it's not really viewed positively, and the character jokes about his favorite wanted posters of himself. It's hinted in the first book, confirmed in the second, that he's the second type mentioned above: a necromancer because he wishes he could bring someone back.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars: In The Chessman of Mars, Tara is accused of being "one of those horrid Corphals that by commanding the spirits of the wicked dead gains evil mastery over the living"—which could only be killed by Royal Blood.
  • Mad Crossbones in the Kingdom's Disdain series raises up skeletons, or "bone boys", to run errands and pull his chariot.
  • The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor: As a result of an epic quest arc being succesfully completed, high level mage characters are allowed to evolve their class to become Necromancers. This VRMMORPG would not otherwise allow users to become this class if the quest had failed.
  • The Empire of The Locked Tomb series is built around necromancy, with the royal scions of all eight Houses being powerful necromancers with different areas of specialization, ranging from bone constructs to spirit channeling to soul siphoning.
  • Towards the end of The Malloreon by David Eddings, we learn that among the many forms of magic practiced by the Dals was necromancy. Much like the older meaning of the word, the necromancer we see summons back the spirit of the recently dead to answer questions.
  • Matthew Swift: Necromancers in A Madness of Angels tend to try their hand at immortality by swallowing papers with the traits they wish they had in a golem-esque way. They die for real as soon as the paper is taken out, but in the meantime, they live exactly to the constraints of the paper (meaning if you forget to, say, write down that you still want to see colors or actually feel things, your undead life won't be very pleasant).
  • William Frost of Mercy Thompson is a powerful, old vampire out to take control of the vampire nations and the Big Bad of the novel Frost Burned. Frost is also a powerful necromancer who enslaves the souls of the dead, holding them on earth in horrific pain with the inability to move on.
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: Enoch O'Connor—it's his peculiarity. Sort of. He can re-animate the dead, but he can also animate little clay dolls, and other things that were never alive to begin with.
    Enoch: That's what I can do—take the life of one thing and give it to another, either clay like this or something that used to be alive but ain't anymore.
  • Necromancy is an aspect of Black Magic in Mithgar, and mostly follows the more traditional sort, as a necromancer's primary abilities are used in summoning and compelling dead spirits, usually to force information out of them. One necromancer, Baron Stoke (also one of the series' viler villains), did learn to create a zombie army, but died before he could use it or pass the knowledge on.
  • The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth is a series of short stories about a mousy museum curator who, in the inaugural story (Bringing Helena Back) makes a foray into the field of necromancy. He regrets it, especially since one of the results is that he becomes an apparently lifelong Magnetic Medium.
  • Brian Lumley's Necroscope series gives us both sides of this. Those that talk to the willing dead are called Necroscopes, the evil bastards who torture the dead are Necromancers. There are no crossovers between the two.
  • The Obsidian & Blood Trilogy stars Acatl, the High Priest of the Dead in Tenochitlian, the capital of the Aztec Triple Alliance. He has certain powers related to the Underworld, and can sense when someone has crossed over. He uses these powers to solve mysteries.
  • Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series features several necromancers as villains — and the Abhorsens, who have similar powers but use them to fight necromancers and other undead threats.
  • Powerful undeads in Overlord (2012) are generally capable of summoning lesser undead. Ainz Ooal Gown is an Overlord, so he is able to summon low, medium, and high tier undead. Back in the game, these are only temporary summons which will vanish after a certain amount of time. Much to his surprise, when he tries to create a Death Knight after killing a man in the New World, it raises the corpse as a Death Knight that does not vanish. However, there are certain limits: Ainz is unable to create higher-tier undead which don't vanish using human corpses. To do so, he needs a stronger 'base material' so to speak - the corpse of stronger beings will allow the permanent creation of stronger undead.
  • This is one aspect of Excision (flesh magic) in The Paper Magician. Excisioners can use their power over flesh to animate corpses or parts of corpses, human or animal.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm Queen of the Dead: Avery Special is the world's only known living necromancer at the start of the book, although later in the book, thanks to possession by her long-dead great-great-grandmother and former Queen of the Dead, she accidentally unleashes Francis, an undead necromancer, upon the world.
  • Quarters: Kars, a Bard, is able to raise the recently dead with his Song, who are effectively zombies forced to obey him afterward.
  • The Reluctant King: Many wizards practice necromancy, though here that just means control over spirits with magic (as the original term denoted). It's portrayed neutrally, though necromancy remains dangerous (as the spirits don't like this one bit, so any missteps can be a hazard to the wizard or anyone else nearby).
  • Schooled in Magic: In the books' universe, this involves magically draining people of mana through human sacrifices, which gives necromancers great power. This also drives them insane over time however.
  • The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: Major antagonist Dr. John Dee is shown to be a necromancer when he raises an army of zombies from the local cemetery.
  • Subverted in Septimus Heap: DomDaniel is referred to as a necromancer, but none of his abilities match the epithet.
  • Katia of Shaman Blues is a necromancer—though the formal name is "death warden"—although rather than raise the dead, she spends most of her working hours putting them back in their graves.
  • In Shaman of the Undead, necromancy is generally considered to be one of The Dark Arts, but WON hires some of them so that they can interrogate people who are already dead, such as murder victims. Still, necromancers are rather disliked among wizards.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: Guardians have the ability to call up spirits of the dead from the Otherworld on people's behalf. Doing so requires having something personal of theirs, and it can be difficult to reach some. Not all spirits are able to be called either, with some just never making it there. This doubles as pyromancy, since the spirits appear in the flames of a fire.
  • In the Skulduggery Pleasant series, Necromancy is one of the main branches of adept magic, and is one of the few magical disciplines that is organised into a religious order. The Necromancy Order plays the major role as the Big Bad throughout books 4-6, culminating in the arrival of the messianic 'Death Bringer', a sorcerer so powerful that they could halt the flow of life and death and do away with the concept of death. These necromancers are also capable of shadow magic and manipulation, and this is their main combat weapon. Despite this, most necromancers are not bad or evil, but they simply believe that the arrival of the Death Bringer will save the world. Valkyrie Cain, the protagonist, uses necromancy along with elemental magic, though she doesn't subscribe to their beliefs.
  • The Spirit Ring: Much of the most powerful magic in Lois McMaster Bujold's historical fantasy novel involves harnessing the souls of the dead (willingly or unwillingly), from the creation of the spirit rings of the title (which often although not necessarily involves enslaving the soul of a dead human being—including the enslavement of the soul of a murdered infant) to the creation of a Living Statue with the willing cooperation of the spirit which is animating it.
  • Star Wars Legends: In Galaxy of Fear: City of the Dead:
    • Doctor Evazam is doing this WITH SCIENCE! He develops a serum which makes the dead reanimate perfectly, and tweaks it to create legions of strong, obedient zombie soldiers. Fresher dead, better preserved, retain some of their faculties; the freshest, like the twelve-year-old boy he killed for this purpose, can remember and speak. They obey only him, and since he injects himself before a bounty hunter kills him, he reanimates the freshest of them all, without losing any of his mind as far as he can tell.
    • The same book has a quick recounting of the legend of Sycorax, a witch who lived on Necropolis years ago who claimed she could raise the dead. The Necropolitans then killed her son and challenged her to raise him... instead, she cursed them before dying herself, saying that if they did not pay their Due to the Dead, they would regret it. Present-day Necropolitans believe Sycorax could raise the dead, and that if she was called on, she might help.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: Necromancy involves summoning a spirit or raising a corpse to ask them questions (more in keeping with the original concept). This is usually something that can only be done once, plus dead people are very Literal-Minded, so care is needed in asking questions.
  • A partial aspect of Rose Hathaway's shadow-kissed powers in Vampire Academy. She can summon ghosts, though it takes a lot of effort and gives her a splitting headache.
  • Uprooted: Sarkan uses an incantation from a necromantic Spell Book to reanimate thousands of dead soldiers in a desperate battle. The book and spell are viscerally horrible, but it's a case of Dark Is Not Evil; the zombie troops simply grab living soldiers in a bear hug to take them out of the fight.
  • The Wandering Inn: One of the side characters, Pisces, is a necromancer, though unlike the usual ones, he isn't terrifying at all. He is rarely taken serious by the other characters, as he tends to speak like a snob, which is rarely a well regarded characteristic. Not that this is the standard for all necromancers. One particualr one, Az'kerash, strikes terror into the people, as he once in the past unleashed his legions of the undead on the continent, killing millions in the process.
  • Wise Phuul: Raising the dead is a universal ability in the Viiminian Empire, and the undead ('liches') are used as slave labour. Our protagonist, one Teltö Phuul, is a low-level Necromancer who starts out monitoring the corpses at the local library.
  • The Witch of Knightcharm: The Medina twins both specialize in this type of magic, and even both about using it to kill and resurrect an escaped tiger.
  • The Witchlands: Weaverwitches can Cleave, turning other witches into Technically Living Zombies bound to them. It's also implied that they can resurrect the recently dead, though those are also bound to the Weaverwitch's will and are prone to Came Back Wrong.
  • Necromancy is naturally an important part of The Witch Watch, given that the start involves the protagonist being raised from the dead by mistake.
  • Worlds of Shadow: Shadow raises corpses to use as zombie servants/soldiers who are called "fetches".
  • The Zombie Master in Piers Anthony's Xanth series may qualify as a necromancer as his power is raising the dead, ie: creating Zombies. This does not make him popular but he is in fact a regular sweetheart and gets the girl (okay after a few hundred years spent undead but still..)

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel refers to necromancers on occasion, and features Los Angeles necromancer Magnus Hainsley as a minor villain in the last season. As expected from a series that constantly subverts fantasy and horror tropes, Magnus turns out to be a short, bald fast-talker who seems more like a car salesman than a sorcerer. He does prove to be a powerful enemy, though, given that he has "power over the dead" and the heroes confronting him are a vampire and a ghost (or close enough to a ghost for his purposes).
  • In Babylon 5, the Brakiri species have a religion based around ancestor worship. One of their most sacred festivals is a "Day of the Dead", on which people are visited by the spirits of the dead who were important to them. The central characters allow the Brakiri to celebrate it on the space station, only to discover that "the dead return" really does happen, and it isn't just the Brakiri that it happens to.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Amy creates an army of zombies to attack the Slayer Organization.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The White Walkers reanimate those they kill as undead wights.
    • The Night King takes things much further than regular White Walkers by raising hundreds or even thousands of wights at once and at a distance, and being able to raise any corpse in his vicinity that hasn't been burned.
    • Thoros of Myr has resurrected Beric Dondarrion six times, although he sees it as a Healing Hands type power.
  • Legacies: The ALMIGHTY Necromancer is a Frankenstein-like man who uses magic to raise the dead as Revenant Zombies under his control wether they realize it or not and can speak to the dead. Necromancy in The Vampire Diaries universe is apparently named after him and separate from normal magic since witches can't be consumed and Ret-Gone by Malivore.
  • Ned, the main character of Pushing Daisies. The soul gets revived along with the person in his instance, so no zombies. In fact, one of the first things he says in the series is an objection to those he revives being called undead, when they're merely "alive again".
    • There are, however, plenty of gruesome cases where it's probably a blessing that he sticks to his guideline of keeping them alive for only one minute (otherwise something else dies); at any rate, even the better cases aren't quite normal afterward, as while they can be killed again (and thus permanently), they nonetheless stop aging.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: Here necromancy is the magic used to reanimate the dead for use as remote spies or retrieving information from them. "Necros" like Scylla specialize in this.

  • The Judas Priest song "Necromancer" is all about one of these.
  • The title character of The Insane Clown Posse's The Great Milenko.
  • Rush's "The Necromancer", which is based on the character of the same name from The Hobbit (who turned out to be Sauron).
  • "Necromancer" by Van der Graaf Generator is all about a benevolent (you guessed it) Necromancer.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • The Old Testament comes down pretty hard on divination in general, including necromancy, and exhorts the Israelites not to put their faith in sorcerers. However, it's because those practices are associated with alien gods (not that kind) and Human Sacrifice… not because they don't work. At one point (in 1 Samuel 28), a necromancer conjures the spirit of Samuel, a dead prophet, to ask some questions. While Samuel does show up, he's not real happy about it and basically just tells Saul that God is done with him.
    • In the Book of Ezekiel, God Himself commands Ezekiel to resurrect a whole army of skeletons, which were the people of Israel, to reclaim their homes. Unlike any typical skeletal army, they were fully resurrected into living beingsnote , subverting the typical expectation of this trope.
    • On a smaller scale, the prophets Elijah and Elisha would noticeably raise a few people (marking them as genuine prophets). In the New Testament, Jesus himself (and then later, Saints Peter and Paul, by his example) will do the same.
  • Of all the people, you would not expect Odysseus to be one. In some versions of the tale, he ritually cuts open a path to the Underworld and calls forth some ghosts, such as his mother, Achilles, and Agamemnon, as well as Tiresias, a prophet whom Odyssey needed to consult to learn how to appease Poseidon. This was a rite in Ancient Greece known as Nekyia, which was summoning the dead to speak to them, the original meaning of Necromancy. He made sure to close the path once there were signs of risks, since it was technically a way out for the dead that Cerberus did not guard.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Anathema: The Balance creates shrouds (the player characters) from the spirits of dead humans.
  • The Dark Eye has necromancy as a playable profession — unloved by the priests of Boron, the god of the dead, and most white mages, but not necessarily evil. Most still are, due to the fact, that the only mage academies really into necromancy are black.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a long history with necromancy, to the extent that one of the eight schools into which all spells are categorized by default is necromancy. Playing a necromancer has varied notably over the editions, however.
    • Playing a wizard specializing in necromancy, or "Necromancer", first became an option in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition; whilst the ability to animate corpses as skeletons or zombies had appeared much earlier, and NPC classes for the archetype had appeared in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition ruleset in the pages of Dragon #76 and Polyhedron #28, this was the first edition to place it into player's hands. Mechanically, the Necromancer was no different to any of the other Specialist Wizards in the player's handbook; it had some minor spellcasting bonuses with its favored school, and in return gave up access to all spells and magic items of its "opposition" school; Illusion. Clerical necromancers also became fully defined in this edition, with he fundamental principle being that wizardly necromancers have more offensive spells, but clerical necromancers are better able to battle the undead and could, depending on the cleric, also subjugate "free-roaming" undead instead of having to create their own.
      • 2nd edition also saw the release of a sourcebook called "The Complete Necromancer's Handbook", which provided a large array of new optional mechanics and lore for both wizardly and clerical necromancers. This book officially divided necromancy into three schools; White Necromancy for healing and banishing the undead; Gray Necromancy for animating the dead; and Black Necromancy for inflicting death and disease.
      • Variants of the necromancer archetype also appeared in settings for 2nd edition. Dark Sun featured the Athasian Necromancer, who drew their magical energy from The Gray rather than depleting the planet of its already exhausted life-force, ironically making them less evil. Ravenloft featured the Arcanist; a wizard specialized in dark and unwholesome lore, giving them the combined abilities of a Diviner and Necromancer, plus the cleric's ability to Turn and Command Undead, at the cost of almost all offensive spells and the fact that Ravenloft was a setting where neither school was practical.
    • Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition largely maintained the set-up from its predecessor, although necromancers could now choose which school they sacrificed rather than automatically losing access to illusions. A new class was added in this edition; the Dread Necromancer. These uber-specialists lost almost all access to non-necromancy spells, but had class features that made them far more adept at using them, including getting a free transformation into a lich over the course of the class.
      • Pathfinder largely imitates 3rd edition, with the exception that necromancy specialist wizards gain the Turn/Command Undead class feature as well as clerics.
      • A 3rd edition sourcebook for Ravenloft, "Van Richten's Guide to the Walking Dead", features a new Charisma skill called "Reign Undead", which allows the user to train normally mindless undead to be capable of more complicated tasks.
    • Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition largely removed necromancy as anything more than a thematic construct for wizards, due to its drastically altered spellcasting system and deliberate shift away from letting players have hordes of summoned, conjured or animated minions.
    • Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition reinvented the 3rd edition Necromancer. Now, the necromancer gained class features that allowed them to better withstand the attacks of the undead and even became the exclusive possessor of the Command Undead class feature. Whilslt clerics retained their Turn Undead special attack, "necromancer clerics" were reduced to two archetypes; the Death Domain Cleric, who specializes in killing things, and the Grave Domain Cleric, who is specialized in defeating the undead.
      • In 5e, it is possible to play as Necromancer as a Druid and even a Paladin. The Druid of the Spore Subclass has access to Animate Dead as well as the ability to use a reaction to quickly raise a single dead body by stuffing it with magical Cordyceps. Oathbreaker Paladins additionally have access to Animate Dead and can use a daily ability to try to take control of an already existing undead creature for 24 hours.
    • Much like the Conjurer, the Necromancer is traditionally a rather unpopular PC class in Dungeon masters of 2nd and 3rd edition, due to the Game-Breaker potential of the class's most iconic spell, Animate Dead — especially if the character has specialization feats to back it up. After the party defeats an encounter, the caster uses one spell and gets some or all of the monsters as his permanent lackeys to throw at the next encounter, but with added health, immunities, and damage resistance now. This led to drastic mechanical changes in 4th and 5th edition precisely to remove this problem.
  • Exalted: Necromancy is to Sorcery as the Underworld is to Creation; a deadened reflective parody, requiring a different set of initiation Charms to access and being a form of Mutually Exclusive Magic—see that page for more details. Whereas Sorcery is derived from Creation's living Essence, Necromancy is derived from the necrotic, decayed Essence of the Underworld — and ultimately, the Void.
  • GURPS:
    • The Necromantic College of magic. The highest-level Healing spell, Resurrection, requires its casters to know some necromancy, including Summon Spirit.
    • The GURPS fantasy world of Yrth has the Kingdom of Abydos, where the art of Necromancy is considered holy. Everyone who is anyone of any importance is either a necromancer or undead. And labor, being zombie-based, is cheap but smelly.
  • Ironclaw: Necromancy is banned because the spirits summoned to perform such spells have a chance of doing things like reanimating random corpses or possessing people. Archvillainess Lady Amalsand Jakoba, widow of High King Don Rinaldi (whom she may have killed), is a necromancer, and her son Vaslov is rumored to be studying it as well as White Magic. It's worth noting that although inherently dangerous, it's not inherently evil — but evil people are obviously more likely to use it because they don't care about the danger it poses to others.
  • Kaisers Gate: There are multiple nations using Necromancy during the Great War. The Mayans, the city-state of New Orleans, and others use it to great effect; in the far East, a different school using Eastern magic operates in support of warlords; while the Entente powers do have some, the Russian peoples' backlash against a battlefield use of zombie caused the Czar to pull the troops out, leaving the conflict and allowing Rasputin to destroy the revolutionary groups by avoiding the spark that led to the Revolution in reality. The particular discipline is kept in reserve by the French.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Some creatures (normally Black, and with standard job-based creature types such as Cleric, Wizard or Shaman) are called necromancers; it's a magical specialization. Most necromancers have abilities related to getting something useful from the death of creatures, which clearly distinguishes them from the Demon-summoning nutcases (the other main group of human and almost human users of Black magic) and from Zombie lords that are themselves an undead Zombie and make other zombies more powerful or useful. Notable in-universe examples include:
    • The planeswalker Liliana Vess specializes in raising the living dead, and her cards usually involve the ability to generate zombies in-game. One of her most notable accomplishments is turning the river Luxor into blood and then raising every dead animal within it as an unliving horde.
    • Gisa Cecani is one of Innistrad's most gifted ghoulcallers, dark wizards who specialize in raising zombies. She greatly prefers the company of the dead to that of the living, and after the destruction of Thraben installs herself there as the queen of a city of the undead.
    • Lim-Dûl the Necromancer was an ancient Dominaria wizard who gained powerful necromantic powers through deals with dark entities, and his armies of the walking dead terrorized Terisiare and Shandalar during the closing days of the Ice Age.
  • Malifaux: The Resurrectionists, whose knowledge comes indirectly from a Sealed Evil in a Can called the Grave Spirit.
  • OrbisAerdenReignOfTheAccursed: Two of the Godspawn bloodlines have different takes on Necromancy for their specialized powers. The Udernah have an inherent connection to the Aetherworld, giving them the ability to summon and command spirits of the dead (and also manipulate the flow of time). The Faustahd have control over dead matter itself. Most often used to create powerful Frankenstein-esque flesh golems.
  • Paleomythic: A prehistoric, Stone-Age version called the Bone Chanter. In a setting that's so Low Fantasy that hexing someone to make them clumsier in a fight is a major magical ability, the Bone Chanter's ability to revive cadavers and use them as servants (though the more a Bone Chanter controls, the more likely the undead will rebel) makes the Bone Chanter possibly the most powerfu user of magic, and certainly the most feared.
  • Res Arcana: One of the mages is the Necromancer, who passively provides one Death essence per round and can spend 2 Life to get you 3 more Death essences, suitable for paying for death-related stuff like the Crypt or Catacombs of the Dead. The original illustration is a woman holding a skull from which a Sickly Green Glow comes, and the Gender Flip version is a man with creepy grey skin holding two mysterious items.
  • The Sixth Gun: This is available as a player character professional edge in the RPG adaptation. It allows the casting of zombie at the Novice level, as well as making the casting cheaper per zombie (more power can be paid to increase the duration).
  • Talisman: The Necromancer player character has the ability to enslave defeated enemy spirits (which include ghosts, mummies, demons, and most other types of undead) instead of killing them. Enslaved enemy spirits add their craft to the Necromancer's in psychic combat, and while each spirit can only be used once before being discarded there is no limit to how many the player can amass during the game.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Warhammer:
      • The setting makes a difference between those that use the Lore of Death (more classical necromancy, communicating with the dead and one of the eight Winds of Magic) and those that use necromancy (animating the dead, a form of dark magic based on a twisted and perverted form of the Lore of Death). Necromancers and vampires use this second form of necromancy to animate armies of undead followers, while wizards from the Empire and the elven nations use the Lore of Death to, among other things, battle the resulting undead hordes.
      • Necromancy in the Warhammer World began with Nagash, the first and greatest necromancer who was originally a high priest of the Nehekharan Mortuary Cult and Omnicidal Maniac who attempted to raise all the dead of the world as his servants.
      • The liche-priests are another kind of necromancer who summon the spirits of fallen warriors into their own skeletal remains to continue serving their kings as in life. The Old World Necromancy used by necromancers and vampires is actually a bastardisation (some might say a refinement) of the traditional necromantic practices of the Liche Priests, pioneered by the Great Necromancer Nagash for his own nefarious ends. As such the underlying magical principles are the pretty much the same, but manifested in culturally distinct ways.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • Eldar Spiritseers are explicitly compared in-universe to necromancers. Although they don't animate corpses, Spiritseers are psykers able to commune with the spirits in the Infinity Circuit, and guide the departed souls as they take to the battlefield as Wraithguard or Wraithlords. The Eldar still regard the practice as abhorrent, but Necessarily Evil given these desperate times.
      • Necrons, being zombie robots, can do this, but only with their own troops. Few things or more disheartening to the enemy than finally killing one of the damn things and seeing them get back up.
      • Dark Eldar Haemonculi can bring people back from the dead (and not as undead: as their actual selves), it's one of the reasons slavery in Commorragh is so horrible a fate, as you can't even escape it through suicide. The process breaks down if used excessively, inducing Came Back Wrong in people who die a lot (or in the case of Urien Rakarth, look forward to getting killed and resurrected to see what new additions their body will have).
    • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: The Great Necromancer Nagash returns as the God of the Dead and ruler of the Realm of Shyish. The necromantic abilities of Nagash and his Deathlord followers, as well as the lesser Deathmages and Soulblight vampires, are greater than ever with their ultimate goal being to raise the populations of all eight Mortal Realms into undeath.
  • The World of Darkness: Used many, many times in various gamelines:
    • Vampire: The Masquerade has the Giovanni clan, a Mafia family of vampires with a long history of necromantic practices. The corpses serve multiple purposes, one of them being that, since the Giovanni bite causes a lot of pain, they provide a more reliable means of blood than feeding on live humans. There're also a few bloodlines who have necromantic powers: the Harbingers of Skulls, who all look like walking corpses and seek revenge on the Giovanni, the Samedi, who all look like rotting corpses and have Hollywood Voodoo associations, the Impundulu, an African bloodline who can only feed from one family, and the flesh-eating Nagaraja.
    • Vampire: The Requiem brings the Giovanni back as the Sangiovanni bloodline. Out with the Mafia ties, in with the necrophilia. It also adds two other necromantic bloodlines; the Burakumin, a Japanese Nosferatu strain with Eastern-themed necromantic powers called Getsumei, and the Apollinaire, who have a Hollywood Voodoo motif.
    • Mage: The Awakening has the Moros path, sometimes called the Necromancers. They have an innate understanding of the ways of Death and Matter; doesn't necessarily mean they're bad people, though.
    • Geist: The Sin-Eaters has the Necromancer Archetype; however, it's less about raising the dead and more about understanding the mysteries of death and the Underworld. Though, as the titular Sin-Eaters have death-themed powers (making them all necromancers in a way), there are of course rituals to raise zombies.
    • In Mage: The Ascension, the Euthanatoi have experience with most uses of death-aspected magic — communicating with ghosts, binding, warding, and compelling ghosts, and merging the states of life and death, among others. A number of Hollow Ones also work with ghosts, and have developed several spells to help their allies out.
    • In Princess: The Hopeful, the Court of Tears has unmatched affinity for magic dealing with ghosts and the Underworld. Notably, this is one of the few spheres of Tears magic that is not a Belief Compromise to use, and there are even Radiants who study Tears magic exclusively for its ghost-related Charms (and take a solemn oath not to use any of the other powers Tears grants). This is also much closer to the classical portrayal of Necromancy than the modern use of the term, being more concerned with communicating with ghosts, preserving benign ghosts, or banishing malignant ones than with calling up zombie armies or killing people.
  • Weird Wars: World War Two has the historical Japanese Unit 731 harbour a small group which uses Eastern magic to summon the dead and bind them to remains, even capable of attaching undead brains to the controls of vehicles and aircraft. When offered to the military they refuse violently due to their sense of honour, but at the GM's discretion they may end up resorting to this madness as the situation gets more desperate towards the end of the war. Imperial Japan and National Socialist Germany, despite Allied fears to the contrary, do NOT share their knowledge of such dark magic as Eastern necromancy and Nazi blood magic, which indicates their intentions toward each other after conquering the world.

    Video Games 
  • The second expansion to Age of Wonders 3 introduces the Necromancer leader class which reads a bit like a trope check list. Undead minions that are weak to fire and spirit damage? Check. Ability to raise enemy corpses as cannon fodder? Check. Ability to turn your leader and hero's into undead? Check. Soul Jar that causes your leader to re-spawn the next turn rather than the three turn delay other leaders have to suffer? Check and mate. It is however kept from being a Game-Breaker due to the fact that undead cities are not affected by happiness bonuses to production giving Necromancers a weak economy, and that undead units don't heal under normal circumstances.
    • Interestingly also averts the "Necromancers are evil" bit. Necromancers start every game neutral like all leaders and its up to the player do decide how they are going to play. Its even possible to make a necromancer that specializes in Creation Magic. Having said that most spells with a good alignment specifically wont work on the undead, where as most of the spells that do are evil aligned. Also you HAVE to convert cities you obtain to undead to control them, which counts toward evil.
  • Wizards (and Sorceresses, their replacement in the sequel) in Ancient Empires. They can attack by throwing magic at the enemy, but this isn't their primary purpose (their attack is weaker than a Soldier's despite being more expensive). If they are next to a gravestone (a structure produced when a unit dies) they can raise a Skeleton from it, consuming the gravestone in the process.
  • In Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura there is the Necromantic Black and White, neither of which are inherently good or evil. Necromantic Black fits this trope to a T while Necromantic White resembles the older, now mostly-forgotten aspect of necromancy, giving the user Healing Hands and, when mastered, enabling them to bring the fallen Back from the Dead.
  • Dynos in Arc Rise Fantasia, although before his name is revealed he's called the "Deathchanter".
  • Necromancers are a staple of Artix Entertainment's fantasy games. Necromancer itself is a class in AdventureQuest, DragonFable, and AdventureQuest Worlds.
    • Specific necromancers include Zorbak, Kabroz, Vayle, Noxus and Obsidia.
    • Zorbak's robot in WarpForce, Zorboz, can reanimate machines and turn them undead.
  • In Battle for Wesnoth, necromancers are quite common, and are the reason for The Undead being a faction in themselves and a major, recurring threat to Wesnoth. The allure of immense power and potential immortality (via transformation into a Lich) draws in practitioners of the dark arts, and although the extreme strain of their training causes most of these 'Dark Adepts' to become extremely frail and weak physically, it does give them impressive magical firepower. The Adepts' higher-level promotions, the Dark Sorcerer, Necromancer, and Lich, often lead the Undead armies in battle, making them perhaps the most powerful individuals in the Wesnoth-verse note . However, they are Hated by All. Necromancers, both alive and undead, have been involved in so many wars and battles throughout the various campaigns, since before the creation of the titular kingdom to hundreds of years after it's fall, that they have become somewhat of a cliche in Wesnoth.
  • Bloons Tower Defense:
    • The Necromancer: Unpopped Army and Prince of Darkness upgrade introduced in Bloons TD 6 can create undead bloons from the pops in the Wizard Monkey's range to attack other bloons.
    • The Gravelord Lych boss can resurrect MOAB-class bloons as shells as one of its abilities.
  • In the Borderlands 2 DLC "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep", these are somewhat common enemies, and in the quest "My Dead Brother", Simon, a necromancer himself, gives the Vault Hunter the temporary ability to raise the dead. Also, one of Gaige's class mods is called "Necromancer".
  • The Necromancer is a playable hero class in Breach, capable of using the dead to fend off the army of mythological creatures threatening humanity.
  • Castlevania
    • Two Glyphs in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia allow you to summon zombies to fight for you, which is in turn taken from the Necromancer enemy in that game.
    • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon also has a Necromancer boss who sometimes summons skeletons.
    • Shaft takes this to bizarre levels in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood — he summons bosses from Castlevania in the main fight against him (not necessarily dead ones though), but in the next level you fight his ghost, who summons the skeleton of the first boss and an enemy in the second stage.
    • In the SNES port of Rondo of Blood, Shaft is replaced by an unrelated evil wizard named Ghost, who can summon skeletons, mudmen and flying gravestnes to his aid.
    • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and it's sequel has Zobek, one of the Lords of Shadow who leads an entire sect of necromancers.
  • Masterminds in City of Heroes had Necromancy as an option for their primary power set. Since Masterminds were originally a Villian archetype they originally followed the idea that necromancers were always evil. However later patches allowed for Heroic Masterminds, resulting in Necromancers who summoned zombies to fight for truth and justice.
  • The first sorceror Mini-Boss of The Crystal of Kings, who's identified in-game as "Necromancer". You fight him halfway through the third level, where he'll use his magic to summon skeletons of slain heroes on you.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, the Necromancers are bosses inhabiting the Ruins. They were a group of scholars in the employ of the Ancestor who he invited so he could learn the secrets of necromancy. Once he'd learned everything they knew, he killed them in their sleep and then practiced his newfound knowledge on their bodies. They were brought back as undead horrors but with all their knowledge intact, and then began to infest the Ruins of the old Estate, raising hordes of undead from the Estate's soldiers, servants, and nobility.
  • In Darksiders II, Necromancer is the name of the magic-focused skill tree, with the first skill being the ability to summon up a pack of ghouls to attack and distract enemies.
  • Destiny is riddled with variations on necromancy, both good and evil.
    • On the good side, there is the Traveler and the Guardians. The Traveler and its Light allow for Guardians to be resurrected by their Ghosts from the corpses or even the dusted remnants of a deceased person, creating a sort of lich-like superhuman warrior wielding the Light as a weapon, with little to no memory of their pasts. The other species and peoples of the Solar System make direct comparisons between the Guardians and the undead.
    • On the darker side, there is the Hive and the Darkness. The Hive are a sort of alien species of techno-zombies and techno-liches who are animated and grow through violence and death and wield a bizarre form of Magitek that allows them to manipulate life and death. The Hive Wizards are even able to control death, with the Deathsingers able to use tones and music to define mortality, and two sisters of the Hive were able to "hide their deaths in each other" so that the only way to kill them permanently was to ensure they both died at the same time. Curiously, though, "true" necromancy is considered taboo among the Hive, as the idea of bringing back to life a being that had already been truly killed was an affront to their religion; to engage in this sort of necromancy was to be stricken from all records of the Hive forever.
    • The Scorn, a faction introduced in the Forsaken expansion of Destiny 2, are a curious twist on this as well. Once members of the insect-like species known as the Fallen, the Scorn are the resurrected corpses of dead Fallen whose life-giving Ether gas is corrupted by the Darkness. The Darkness itself also seems to be able to inhabit and animate the bodies of the dead, and uses this to speak to its servants, although in this case it is described as "wearing the corpse like a suit."
  • Diablo II and an expansion of Diablo III have the Necromancer player character. He can raise skeletons, summon golems, revive the dead, dish out poison and element-less magic damage, debuff enemies with curses, and a favorite of many players: make enemy corpses explode. (Ironically, necromancers are described as the only non-divine magic-users whose abilities aren't inherently corruptive — they're devoted not to death, but to the cycle of life and death, and they oppose Hell because the demons have been trying to break the cycle.)
  • Majorita from Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is one of the Big Bad's most powerful Demon Generals, who kills and recycles their corpses to add to her undead army. Her power isn't actually necromancy. She can use her blood to control living beings as well - corpses are just more obedient.
  • In Dota 2, one jungle creep (the Dark Troll Summoner) is able to bring back any corpse as two tiny skeletons. Doom is able to steal this ability, which is very useful for farming jungle creeps.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In the first two games, necromancy is treated as a particularly foul aspect of Blood Magic, which is already feared and reviled: even blood mage protagonists (such as Merrill) shy away from raising the dead. The second game features a necromancer serial killer who turns out to be assembling the likeness of his dead wife out of his victims.
    • The third game, however, makes Necromancer a specialization by itself — it's Dorian's, in fact. Necromancy that isn't fueled by blood magic is considered creepy but not nearly as controversial; the nation of Nevarra even has its own government-sanctioned order of necromancers.
  • Like in the tabletop system it is based on, Drakensang and its sequel know of occasional neutral-to-good becromancers, even though most are evil. It's even possible to play as a (good and heroic) one, summoning undead as support in fights.
  • The fourth boss of Drancia is the Necromancer, a lich wearing a purplish robe. He's responsible for the summoning of the Skeleton mob in the third and fourth level, which he doesn't bring into the boss fight. He instead casts lightning bolts and fireballs at you. What makes it ironic is, of all the places he can choose, he decided that storing undeads in a volcano was a good idea.
  • Dual Blades/Slasher: The Power Battle: The Kazakh Shamaness Nagasapa is unique in that she is benevolent example. She works with the spirits of the deceased in order "to serve the good of every creature, acting as mother nature’s caretaker".
  • Supposedly necromancy in Duel Savior Destiny isn't evil and is in fact related to holy magic like healing, but in the end the only necromancer we see is Lobelia. Then again, it's possible that the perception of necromancy as evil exists in universe as well since at the very least Lobelia felt like she was being vilified for using when she was a hero.
  • The February 2012 update of Dwarf Fortress features them. They'll siege your fortress now and then if you're close enough to one of their towers. You most likely won't know it's them attacking, though; usually the only way to tell a Necromancer siege apart from a run-of-the-mill zombie siege is that the zombies resurrect as soon as they go down — somewhere close by is a necromancer in hiding, raising whatever gets cut down.
    • You can also become a necromancer in Adventure Mode- and it's the most wonderful kind of tremendously overpowered. The only prerequisite you need is the ability to read (chosen at character generation), and the survivability to track down a tome with a description containing the phrase "secrets of life and death". Read the book, instant necromancy. You no longer need to rest, eat, or drink, and you can, ten times per turn, at no cost, revive any corpse or dismembered body part that you can see, which will immediately get up and start attacking your enemies. they'll ether die again, in which case you can just revive them again, or manage to kill something or hack something off, which you can then revive, until you have a functioning zombie army to follow you around everywhere, wrecking everything.
    • As It happens, quite a few mainstream Roguelikes feature Necromancer as a class, notable among those being Slash'EM and Dungeon Crawl.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Necromancy is banned in most places throughout Tamriel in the series, with pretty good reason. Although it can be employed without any major consequences, the mere fact of raising a dead body is generally considered evil. The 3rd Cyrodillic Empire (under the Septim dynasty) didn't actually outlaw it, as long as the dead in question was a willing volunteer. (They considered the body and soul to be property that could be sold or willed to another after death.) Likewise, there are many who argue that necromancy can be useful and ethical.
    • In the series' backstory, the Order of the Black Worm was founded by Mannimarco, a legendary Altmer (High Elf) necromancer and the first lich ever created in Tamriel. They are infamous for their use of Black Soul Gems to capture the souls of sapient beings. Mannimarco himself plays a role in the main quest of Daggerfall and is the Big Bad Starscream in The Elder Scrolls Online.
    • The Sload, a race of "slugmen" native to the archipelago of Thras to the southwest of Tamriel, have a natural affinity toward necromancy. One of the most famous necromancers in Tamriellic history, N'Gasta, was a Sload. The Sload use their skills in necromancy to re-animate dead bodies to use as slave labor, as well as to "slaughter and revive" various forms of sea creature as pets, such as crabs and turtles.
    • A common trait in many vampire bloodlines is an aptitude for necromancy. Some vampire bloodlines even have the inherent ability to temporarily revive a corpse to fight on their side.
    • In Morrowind, the Tribunal Temple has banned necromancy and considers practicing it punishable by death, despite it being legal (with certain reasonable restrictions) elsewhere in the Empire. This is rooted in their religious beliefs which include significant ancestor worship.
    • In Oblivion, Mages Guild Archmage Hannibal Traven has banned the practice of necromancy within the Guild, driving many of its former legal practitioners to the aforementioned Order of the Black Worm. Mannimarco makes another appearance as the Big Bad of the overall Mages Guild questline.
    • Skyrim:
      • The Mages' Guild is long gone, and its regional equivalent, the College of Winterhold, is just fine with teaching necromancy. Necromancy is also better represented mechanically — where previously the player could at best hope to get a Summon Zombie spell, Skyrim allows you to zombify specific dead things, up to and including giants. Granted, there are only two College members who practice it openly; The Conjuration instructor who was kicked out of Morthal because of a Noodle Incident, and in general advises discretion. Another went mad and sacrificed dozens of his acolytes in order to corrupt Azura's Star and make himself immortal.
      • Besides them, one can often find loose bands of necromancers hiding out in caves and old Nordic ruins. One side quest involves a coven of necromancers attempting to raise and bind into servitude the spirit of Potema the Wolf Queen, and the standing stone of The Ritual allows the Dragonborn to raise all dead in the vicinity once per day. Another quest features a particularly sick Altmer necromancer who was run out of Dawnstar for his experiments and holed himself up in an old Nord burial crypt, and has started kidnapping and murdering Dawnstar's young girls and resurrecting them to use as sex slaves.
      • Since the Dawnguard DLC is centered around vampires, necromancy is a pretty central component of the story. Aside from the fact that your main companion during the DLC, Serana, is a vampire necromancer, a significant part of the questline involves traveling to the Soul Cairn, a realm of Oblivion created and ruled by the Ideal Masters, formerly mortal Energy Beings who traffic in souls and have a Horror Hunger for acquiring more. They are known to make deals with mortal necromancers, granting them power (or in the case of Serana's mother, Valerica, protection) in exchange for more souls. (Often including the souls of the dealmakers themselves.)
  • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth introduces the Necromancer class, the moveset of which primarily revolves around summoning and manipulating wraiths, whether to command them to attack or use them up for other abilities.
  • Everquest plays the "Necromancer = Evil Sorcerer" bit painfully straight. In the original, being a Necromancer automatically flagged your character as evil (getting them a Kill on Sight reaction from non-evil-aligned city guards), even if they were part of an otherwise Neutral or Good race. In EverQuest II, you literally cannot be a Necromancer unless you are evil. Only evil characters can start as one, and if a Necromancer performs the City Betrayal questline, they spontaneously stop being a Necromancer. (Conversely, if a Good Conjurer performs the questline, they spontaneously become a Necromancer)
  • Yates from Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark has the ability to reanimate slain enemy units as zombies that fight on his behalf. He’s one of the protagonists, and the holder of a Morally Ambiguous Doctorate. The secret Lich class can do the same thing.
  • A secret class in the Game Boy Advance version of Final Fantasy V. They are basically glorified Blue Mages who can't be healed by normal means, and are only available once the superboss is killed.
  • Fire Emblem has:
    • An endgame boss class in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. For the record, he ( Prince Lyon) didn't start out the game as evil, but began a slow descent into madness. Him being possessed by a demon didn't help at all either.
    • Similarly, the Summoner class (available only to Knoll and Shaman!Ewan) gets the Summon skill that lets them raise "phantom" minions to fight for them.
    • Old Hubba from Fire Emblem: Awakening is an eccentric old man who can summon the spirits of past heroes, such as Marth, Roy, and Ike.
  • FromSoftware
    • Dark Souls
      • The Catacomb Necromancers in Dark Souls tend to reanimate the skeletons in the Catacombs, they also hurl fireballs with their Skull Lantern, which is an important light source later on. You have to kill them or they'll keep reviving their undead soldiers.
      • Pinwheel (a weird six-armed, three-faced thing in a robe that is fairly good with magic) who is shown conducting magic experiments on corpses is a Necromancer boss who's located at the same area, it splits itself and fires light orb.
      • Gravelord Nito, First of the Dead, who is, more or less, Lordran's equivalent of The Grim Reaper, is the source of the Necromancy. He may also qualify as a Lich, though he is explicitly fully dead, not "undead".
      • You can become one by learning Gravelord Sword Dance miracle from Nito, which summons spectral swords from the ground, as well as Undead Rapport pyromany from Quelana, which allows you to befriend mindless hollows temporarily.
    • Dark Souls II
      • The Black Hollow Mage is an expy of the Catacomb Necromancers, instead of fireballs, they now utilize sorcery.
      • Royal Sorcerer Navlaan in Aldia's Keep is one, according to his spell's description, Navlaan practiced the forbidden art of resurrection before he was executed. He now possesses a sorcerer and the said person calls himself Navlaan since.
    • Bloodborne
      • The School of Mensis, a whole clan of Necromancers residing in Yahar'gul, attempt to communicate with the Great Ones via linking many eyes to a brain, channeling the dead with the Pthumerian Chime Maidens, merging Body of Bodies to create The One Reborn, and such. They succeeded, and indeed, Humans Are Cthulhu.
      • The aforementioned Chime Maidens were mad Pthumerian women, they bring back the dead from the ancient land of Pthumeru to haunt the city of Yharnam. They are also responsible for the summoning of The One Reborn.
      • The Witches of Henwick are one too, they are responsible for summoning Mad Ones from the Old Blood, and they even resurrect themselves.
      • Micolash, Host of the Nightmare is the leader of School of Mensis. He has an army of Skeleton Puppets, and he's the person who receives Insight from the Great One, Kos or some says Kosm on the first hand.
      • To a lesser extent, the Executioner, a brand of Healing Church Hunters is well known for weaponising the vengeful Vileblood spirits they once grind with Logarius Wheel and stored into the gloves as projectiles. You can study their art after helping Alfred finish his crusade.
  • Gekido: Kintaro's Revenge have the titular villain, Kintaro, who gains necromantic abilities after his pact with the darkness, which you found out when you're inexplicably attacked by zombies... and repeatedly runs into zombies, ghouls, and various undead-themed mooks while searching for Kintaro.
  • The first Golden Sun didn't have many references to necromancy, but The Lost Age has the Dark Mage class series, unlocked with an artifact in a small Bonus Dungeon under Kibombo (where it's normally kept for the local witch-doctors to use), which can summon zombies and inflict curses upon enemies, among other things. All of those spells are Venus-aligned for some odd reason, though inaccessible in default classes.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II:
  • Grim Dawn has a faction of necromancers in the Order of Death's Vigil. The necromancers are morally neutral and the Order was established to preserve and expand the knowledge of their founder For Science!, but with the advent of the Grim Dawn they are willing to join the war effort against the Aetherials. Playable Necromancers can summon undead minions, sap their enemy's Life Energy and rot their flesh, and charge their weapons with life-draining forces.
  • The magic taught by Opalneria Rain in GrimGrimoire. In this setting, the summoned undead are actually the most effective for fighting against demons due to them being composed of pure spirit (i.e., with no flesh that can be corrupted). Because of this, Opalneria Rain refers to necromancy as a form of holy magic, but aknowledges that because of the grim nature of it, it is often catagorized as The Dark Arts. This makes this both a straight example and an inversion of necromancy typically being a form of Black Magic.
  • A core profession in the MMO Guild Wars, which can animate fleshy minions from corpses, vampirize heath, and fling curses (and they often have to sacrifice a percentage of their health bar to do so). There's also the Ritualist class introduced in Factions, which are Necromancers of a sort dealing in binding the spirits of the dead rather than animating corpses. The game is heavily geared to dual-class, and unsurprisingly, these two work great in combination, whichever is primary.
    • Also worth noting is that neither are evil. They're both dark, certainly, but both PC and NPC Ritualists and Necromancers are most often unambiguously on the side of good. They serve Grenth, the god of death and cold, but Grenth isn't an evil god (though he can be a bit cruel when Wintersday, comes around). In fact, he basically punched out the old god of death, who was evil, and took over.
  • Guild Wars 2 has two different versions. The Necromancer profession is available in the core game, and is very similar to the profession from the original game. If you get the Heart of Thorns expansion, you can play as a Revenant; similar to the Ritualist class above, a Revenant channels different spirits' powers. For both, while Dark can be Evil it's certainly not required; there's villains who follow both professions, but one of the nicest NPCs in the core game is a Necromancer.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic III features the necromancy-themed faction as the protagonist for the fourth set of campaign maps, and the antagonist of the final campaign. Pop-up boxes featuring story snippets tell how the necromancers raze whole villages and then raise the bodies of adults as zombies or skeletons (a theme central to one campaign in the first expansion, and connected with most campaigns in the second). That said, necromancers are hardly the worst people that can be found, and at least some of them seem to keep some measure of ethical compass.
    • As a town, necromancers were introduced by Heroes II. They were aligned with Archibald, the... not so good... candidate for the throne of Enroth.
    • The associated RPGs go into more detail about necromancy in the setting. It is made clear that necromancy and the greater category of Dark Magic it falls under is not itself really evil, but that it has enough of a reputation and association with evil that most people that master it lie on that side of things — if nothing else by having to associate with such people to learn from them.
  • Raven from Jitsu Squad is a raven necromancer who can raise zombies and skeletons; his stage is set around a graveyard where the dead will arise to fight the players, trying to prevent them from reaching their master. When fought as a boss, Raven will repeatedly summon more skeletons and zombies to assist him until he's killed.
  • In Kult: Heretic Kingdoms, necromancy used to be common in the Heretic Kingdoms — enough so that Civil Necromancer was an official job. It was banned by the Theocrat (perhaps the one time he was on a side commonly associated with "good"), but nothing was done about the undead already created. As such, "undead slaver" is a valid occupation — you go to an abandoned mine or something, capture the Undead Laborers, break their conditioning, and sell them to people wanting cheap workers.
  • The first Legacy of Kain game, Blood Omen, features Mortanius the Necromancer as one of the main antagonists and most powerful member of the Circle of Nine. In something of an aversion, his powers are connected to the Pillars of Nosgoth, specifically the Pillar of Death, making them completely natural and no more evil than throwing a fireball. In fact, he's one of the most sympathetic characters in the series, setting the series in motion by bringing the main character back to life as a vampire as part of an elaborate Evil Plan.
  • Lollipop Chainsaw has its main antagonist, Swan. A psychotic teenage necromancer who was responsible for the zombie outbreak.
  • The freeware RPG Master of the Wind has several characters involved with necromancy and treats it as a complex, divisive issue in the world of Solest (the game's setting).
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man X6's Metal Shark Player was skilled at analyzing and controlling DNA. Eventually, Player's investigation led him to experiment in the recreation of Reploids using the DNA of retired Mavericks. As "DNA Resurrection" was deemed illegal by the government, he was hunted down and destroyed. Later, Gate (himself a working practitioner of the art, which makes this a case of a Necromancer being revived by another Necromancer) revived him as part of his team and sent him to oversee the recycling plant where Player used to work. Gameplay wise, Player is able to summon indestructible clones of past bosses (Sting Chameleon, Magna Centipede and Blast Hornet) to attack X/Zero.
    • Gate himself is a notable example as well, having presumably learned it from Metal Shark Player before his demise since he actually encouraged Player's work. When Gate went off the deep end from exposure to the Zero Virus, he put it to good use. The eight Nightmare Investigators were all Reploids (the majority of them created by Gate himself) who had died some time before the events of X6, most of whom were declared Maverick unjustly or killed in "accidents." Gate even brought Sigma back to life as a last resort to defeat X and Zero, but (un)fortunately Sigma Came Back Wrong due to not being completed and betrayed him first.
    • Mega Man Zero: Dr. Weil was a human scientist who unlocked the secrets of "DNA Resurrection" himself and used it extensively. In the third game, he revived Copy X to serve as his Puppet King, revived three bosses from the first game to fight Zero, revived the Eight Judges for the Boss Rush, later revived the Eight Einherjar of the fourth game for their Boss Rush, revived the Eight Judges again for one of his attacks during his boss fight, and as Model W of Mega Man ZX, revived the fallen Pseudoroids of both games for their respective Boss Rushes.
  • One of the nine Nazgûl in Middle-earth: Shadow of War has this power. After Talion kills said Nazgûl to let the poor soul move on, Celebrimbor betrays him, and Talion chooses to pick the aforementioned Nazgûl's ring to protect Middle-earth, knowing it will eventually corrupt him. This gives him the power to resurrect dead grunts, while dead captains require an upgrade. Undead captains become 100% loyal to Talion and immune to poison, but take extra damage from fire and cannot level up anymore.
  • Minecraft Dungeons: They appear as hostile mobs that summon undead. The are mainly present in the Desert Temple. Due to their undead nature, they also count as Liches.
  • Quan Chi from the Mortal Kombat series.
  • Mount & Blade is all about the player raising an army of medieval sellswords from villages and taverns to become a mercenary warlord, then a king's vassal and possibly even one day ruler of their own kingdom. In the Solid & Shade mod, the player is encouraged to play as one of these instead, quite literally digging through graveyards and crypts to raise a legion of morbid fiends and turn Calradia into a land of death.
  • Necromancer was an 1980s video game from Synapse Software, where you're the druid Illuminar battling the evil Tetragorn the Necromancer with the ultimate battle between the two happening in a cemetery.
  • A necromancer is the main protagonist of Necromancer Story, he can resurrect up to five dead enemies using these powers and turn them into Red Shirts. It turns out that the Alchemist turned into a necromancer after consuming the unfinished immortality potion.
  • Necromancy in Nexus Clash is usually the domain of the Lich, who turns the battlefield dead of the Nexus into its army of ghouls, skeletons and wights. However, necromancy is morally neutral in the Nexus, not evil, and the Lich is the dedicated summoner of the free-will-defending Transcended alignment. Both good and evil forces can be found fighting alongside the hordes of one or more Liches.
  • A whole army of Necromancers are the primary antagonists in Nox.
  • In Path of Exile, necromancy is the main form of summoning minions, with most minions being zombies, skeletons, ghosts, and other forms of undead. The Witch also has a necromancy specialization she can develop into that further strengthens her undead minions.
  • Peacemaker Series: Dark-aligned mages like Sanguine and Spidervenom have the ability to raise corpses as zombie servants. As demonstrated by Sanguine, it's possible to restore or suppress the personality of a zombie, with the latter being necessary to control them.
  • Marona from Phantom Brave is the most adorable little girl around, who can summon the spirits of the dead in the forms of Phantoms. Despite what Ivoire tells you, she's not evil. Interestingly, there is a mercenary later in the game who summons skeletons and zombies; it's not the same thing.
    • Nevertheless, in later Disgaea games, her mere presence can power up members of the party who are of The Undead.
    • In the fourth Disgaea game there is a DLC necromancer class who instantly revives any enemy she kills as a zombie.
    • In the fifth Disgaea game an elite necromancer zombifies entire worlds and her Limit Break is a plot point.
  • The MMO Rift also has Necromancers as one of the mage souls (classes). The backstory is that the soul comes from a heroic necromancer named Corthana. She had been kidnapped by the evil cult necromancers. She learned the magic of necromancy from them but was clever and took out all the parts that Regulos had snuck in to brainwash them into being his evil minions. When her paladin brother busts in to save her, she turns on the cultists, slaughters them with their own magic, and even tore out her own blood to heal her brother when he was injured. But as they fled, Regulos' high priest caught up with them and slew her brother, and in her rage she became an avatar of a lich and avenged him right then and there. By the time the game takes place in, her heroic deeds have redeemed the art of necromancy and the necromancer players are even praised for continuing her legacy (especially as Ascended necromancers seem to actually possess her knowledge and memories.)
    • Necromancers, if not evil, are unfortunately easily corrupted and quick to succumb to megalomanium, this is why the art is still frowned upon, even though it's not an outright horrible thing for someone to do.
  • Shin Megami Tensei games have the demon lord Nebiros, who's especially adept at this. His superboss battle in Devil Survivor 2 reflects this very well: he appears with a gaggle of demons, and will resurrect them with his Necromancy skill if they are defeated. If he is defeated himself, though, he will merely Body Surf to one of his flunkies' bodies, and physically warp him into the next Nebiros. Even worse, during the later superboss battle against Alice, he comes back with the same skill.
    • He also converts the entire populace of Roppongi into undead named Bodyconians and binds their souls so they won't leave Alice in Shin Megami Tensei I. Who, incidentally, is implied to have been the disastrous result of him and Belial granting an innocent girl a fragment of their magic, killing her and creating a Humanoid Abomination in her image.
  • It isn't mentioned by name, but in The Sims 2 (with the Apartment Life expansion pack), it's possible for level ten "Atrociously Evil" witches and warlocks to use magic to bring back a dead Sim as a zombie. Unlike using the Resurect-O-Nomotron career reward, where paying enough money to the Grim Reaper will have him restore the deceased Sim exactly as he or she was before dying, reviving a dead Sim by magic can only bring them back as a zombie.
  • Mz. Ruby from Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus can conjure ghosts and revive the dead, and was planning to create an army of ghosts to take over Mexico.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Sith Inquisitor has the rare ability to draw forth restless Force-Ghosts. This eventually culminates in them learning an ancient technique known as "Force-Walk", that allows them to bind said spirits into themselves, greatly augmenting their power.
  • Given the existence of Dry Bones Troopas and Bony Beetles (aka Dry Buzzies), Bowser qualifies as this. Given the existence of Dry Bowser, and his subsequent resurrection, Bowser Jr. takes after him.
  • Subverted in Tales of the Abyss. While he is known throughout the world as The Necromancer, Jade never re-animated corpses. He did invent a technology, called fomicry, that could create perfect copies of people, including the recently deceased. The replicas of his human test subjects retained no memories of their originals so Jade eventually gave up on fomicry as a means of raising the dead. It doesn't help his image that he used to collect the remains of dead soldiers to further his work.
    • In a way he's a Deconstruction of the Necromancer trope, examining exactly what a human being would have to be in order to raise the dead. Jade is basically a sociopath, and, at least at the start of the game, has a complete disregard for the sanctity of life. In his own words, he doesn't understand what it means for people to die — probably why he tried to resurrect his dead Professor. If death meant nothing to him, as it would to any Necromancer, he wouldn't realize the consequences of something as drastic as fomicry. The consequences of Jade's disregard for the natural order of things include basically the rest of the plot fomicry both creates the main character, who is a replica, and gives the Big Bad the means to complete his evil plan of destroying and resurrecting the entire planet.
  • Necromancers are a enemy-only class in TearRing Saga, as high-ranking members of the Church of Gerxel. However, they do not actually raise the dead in any form, opting to use offensive Black Magic instead.
  • Touhou
    • Orin is more of a neko-romancer, but she does have a lot of trappings of a necromancer, too: ordering spirits around and fighting with a troupe of "zombie" fairies (Touhou fairies are immortal, and these ones are just dressing up).
    • The series' real necromancer is Kaku Seiga who raised Miyako Yoshika as a Jiang Shi subordinate. Aside from that, Seiga also has a Spell Card titled "Evil Sign: Yang Xiaogui", which is a sorcery involving the resurrection of dead fetuses by having dead spirits possess the corpses. In the backstory she also taught Miko the secret of becoming a Shikaisen, a Hermit who's achived immortality by discarding their body and imbuing an object with their soul. In other words: Our Liches Are Different.
    • However, the first necromancer in the series is actually Yuyuko, a ghost who attempted to resurrect the body beneath a cherry blossom to regrow the tree, which turns out to be herself.
  • Necromancy figures heavily into Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, including a World of Warcraft playable race composed entirely of undead. The, well, Necromancer is the Undead faction's main caster unit in III.
    • And while the game has yet to bring in an actual Necromancer class, it does have the Death Knight, who gets death-themed powers and a ghoul pet.
    • Kel'thuzad is depicted as THE Necromancer of the setting. He was originally just an extremely powerful mage, but mastered all normal forms of magic so decided to push the boundaries and delve into necromancy. This led to him forming the Cult of the Damned, seeking immortality, and eventually gaining it as a lich. Since we didn't destroy his Soul Jar, he's STILL ALIVE, at least according to Word of God.
    • In the game's expanded universe, necromancy is usually portrayed as a naturally evil, corrupt, and tainted form of magic that withers the user and the land itself. The Lich King and the undead scourge practice a form of necromancy that is akin to rape, while the Forsaken, the playable undead race, practice necromancy with much more respect to the undead they raise.
  • Big Bad Wannabe and Hot Witch Daria from Warriors of Might and Magic and Necros from Crusaders of Might and Magic
  • The player character of West of Loathing can become this if you find and read the seven Nex-Mex Tomes scattered around the game. Nex-Mex skills do Spooky (read: a send-up of Shadow or Darkness) damage, either focused on one enemy or to all of them, steal health, and conjure three kinds of skeletal mooks (a brawler, a wizard, or a gunfighter). These skills come with drawbacks such as a haggard appearance, a body that's starting to shut down, and a morbid fascination with unwholesome things; leading to fun stuff like cataracts and old-people muscles that reduce Gun and Sword damage, white hair that reduces your Moxie (the game's version of Charisma, but pulls double-duty as Agility), and lowered money/item drops.
  • Roswell of Yggdra Union, although he's not evil. Nessiah is one of these as well.
  • Zombidle is an Idle Game about Bob the Necromancer and his legion of undead destroying the houses of innocents. They're the protagonists, and Bob increases his army of undead by buying more troops (aka DPS units in idle games).

    Visual Novels 
  • "The Terminal", the cafe setting of Necrobarista, summons the deceased for one last chance to interact with the living before they're permanently cut off from the material world. The process is referred to as this, and the moral ramifications are discussed.
  • Trapped with Jester: It is strongly implied that Jester's presence is what gives the POV character life, as they are Dead to Begin With. If he gets bored and leaves, the protagonist's life slips away.

  • 8-Bit Theater: Black Mage Evilwizardington is skilled at necromancy. He reconstructed and redecorated the Temple of Fiends by willing it to change, as it was made from corpses.
  • Ashface's Daughter: Both the main character Anna Dreschner and her teacher the Master are this, the latter of whom is also a lich.
  • In the Furry Comic Bethellium, Necromancy is considered one of the three Dark Arts that work in opposition to the goodly magics the city was founded to study. The third story arc (ongoing as of this writing: 02/13/23) is about the city being under siege by a necromancer and their army of skeletons. They ("currently" haunting a thoroughly decayed corpse and muttering how it seems to take longer and longer to adapt to each new body) demonstrate their power by raising Elite Mooks in the form of skeletal champions created from the bones of both kindds of Pre Cursors: the proto-Funny Animals Zauphar and the extinct Humphar.
  • Charby the Vampirate: Hexavier is a zombie necromancer, building Remote Beast out of several dead dogs and raising a zombie cat.
  • Daughter of the Lilies: Drath are damned souls summoned at random from the netherworld and placed in the body of another creature. It's illegal to use people for it (because that makes them dangerously powerful), and if a corpse is used it's even more disgusting than usual.
  • Dominic Deegan: Jacob, Helixa]], and Rilian, the first Necromancer in history. On his airship trip Dominic meets a "good" necromancer, Brian, who claims that his job is more traditional speaking with the dead than animating corpses; in fact, the way he describes his job he appears to be a sort of Magitek mortician as much as anything else. Dominic, who has some fairly understandable issues with the profession given how much crap all three people on that list put him through, takes a certain amount of convincing. Brian, the "jolly necromancer", is actually Rilian in disguise, wearing his own skin — though said disguise was indeed how Rilian once used to be, before centuries of age took their toll.
  • Homestuck:
    • Aradia's psychic powers allow her to communicate with, call upon and control the spirits of the dead. This is most notable seen in a flashback where she summons the spirits of Vriska's many victims to haunt her.
    • Casey, of all people, became this after learning the dark arts from Rose, and raises an entire skeletal army in Act 6. Keep in mind, Casey is a child-age salamander.
  • Ingress Adventuring Company: Derik introduces himself by performing necromancy in front of the protagonist.
  • The Last Days of Foxhound: Ocelot refers to the Sorrow as a necromancer.

    Web Original 
  • Necromancy Quest. A Play-by-Post Game set in the Old Kingdom universe (see the Literature section), with the player character taking the role of Abhorsen.
  • The Questport Chronicles has a necromancer—a Cloud Cuckoolander who is infamous for resurrecting certain spirits accidentally.
  • Sebastian Hawkins from Over High Seas was taught how to raise undead spirits prior to the story, and uses his powers to send several undead pirates to attack the protagonists.
  • Mages in The Saints can use the Necromancy Path of Magic. Subverted in that it's more like Entropy and Chaos Magic, allowing a mage to disrupt the natural order of aging.
    • Sonia plays this straight in the prologue when she summons a small ghost to help with a robbery.
  • Fallout Is Dragons has a number of these. The most prominent is the player character Xencarn, a necromancer novice seeking to perfect his craft, but there's also Death and all the members of his gang and the seven undead dragons who are cursing the maw.
  • The main antagonists in the first book of Void Domain.
  • The Millenial King and his kingdom of Arran'ak were created when /tg/ discussed what a benevolent necromancer ruler might be like.
  • Necromancer: The titular necromancer is the main character, and in the true path he wipes out all life on his planet and becomes a death god. He's not the only necromancer either. Other notable examples of necromancers in the story include The Great Lich Lord who was defeated years before, Trelik, and Catalina. In Death Song, the necromancer is the antagonist.
  • Whateley Universe: The recurring Super Villain The Necromancer.
    • Played for laughs with Murphy, who doesn't want all these dead things following her around like lovesick puppies whenever she comes near a graveyard.
      "In fact, I’d be more than happy to trade away all my power and be a normal baseline for the rest of my life in exchange for never having a fucking corpse try to hug me ever again."
    • In Winter term 2007, there was a special topics course entitled, "Necromancy: Threat Or Menace ?"
  • Mahu: In "Frozen Flame" those who wield the powers of necromancy are not an uncommon sight. Indeed, while previously pursued and burnt for their powers, new laws and changes in the society of the different realms have seen these mages and their powers legalized. The only problems which happened afterwards were with worker unions, as undead workers do not care about pay or rest.
  • In SCP Foundation, SCP-1700 ("Debtshop") is the anomalous company of Fashion Sun Fabrics Limited. The three people who founded it discovered a way to make yellow scarves that cause anyone who dies while wearing them to come back to life as zombie-like creatures and go to work in one of their factories.

    Western Animation 
  • Aladdin: The Series has Mozenrath, definitely the "raise an army of zombies against the hero" type of Necromancer, though he has non-necromantic powers as well and isn't seen raising the zombies on-screen (or calling them zombies). It's possible he inherited some of the zombies, but he can create them as well, as shown by the zombie version of his mentor in his first episode. And at least part of him could be considered Undead.
  • Dr. Animo of the Ben 10 franchise has dabbled in a scientific version of this as his future self managed to revive a badly-mangled Vilgax and in Ben 10: Omniverse, he resurrected The Secret Saturdays's Big Bad, V.V. Argost.
  • The Horned King from The Black Cauldron is the Trope Codifier of this. In fact, he was the first animated necromancer ever existed. The Cauldron Born was his undead army, and he resurrected them to conquer the lifeless world.
  • In The Dragon Prince, this is one of the things Dark Magic can be used for. In the finale of Season 3, Claudia uses it to revive her father Viren, who Rayla had killed by throwing off a cliff.
  • El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera: Sartana of the Dead is an skeletal sorceress with a magic guitar that allows her to summon souls from the Land of the Dead. Her preferred mooks are usually skeleton bandits, though anyone can use her guitar to ressurect anything that's dead. Destroying her guitar will banish her and anything it's been used to revive back to the Land of the Dead, though Sartana's true nature prevents this from permanently defeating her.
  • Demona from Gargoyles knows at least one spell for summoning ghosts; she uses it in "Reawakening" during the creation of Coldstone.
  • Mighty Max: Skullmaster fits the bill rather well, his main power source being a legion of souls in his gem (souls given willingly) and he has a zombie army made of the bodies of those who gave up their souls.
    • There's an actual necromancer early in the series whom he fools into reawakening a dragon. He pulls a Heel–Face Turn after he realizes he's been tricked.
  • Samurai Jack has a oneshot demonic minion of Aku's called Demongo, who wears a vest of dozens of skulls on his chest; each skull is from a great warrior that Demongo slew, and serves as a repository for that warrior's soul (or "essence"); by touching the skull, Demongo can call that essence back into the world of flesh to fight for him. If the warrior gets killed, no worries; he just summons them back again. Add to that his ability to teleport away from danger, and he nearly beats Jack before Jack manages to break his control over his stolen souls.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars has Dakka, the oldest witch of the Nightsisters clan, who can raise an army of Nightsister zombies, if they're needed to protect their still living sisters.
  • Megatron from Transformers: Prime does this with robots.
    • Starscream tries at one point. Unsurprisingly, it meets with what can charitably be called limited success, in that it does produce a giant robot zombie, but fails to give Starscream any measure of control over it. Oops.
  • Dr. Byron Orpheus of The Venture Bros. is a professional necromancer. Though a Large Ham, he is (arguably) one of the nicest people in the series. He is quite polite when speaking with dead souls, and is horrified when he thinks that his attempted resurrection of Hank and Dean has instead resulted in bringing them back as zombies.
    • Although he does trap the souls of two "foul mouthed rednecks" in some dolls after they wouldn't stop calling him gay. One would think that he'd be used to it, judging by the way he looks and dresses.
    • Said rednecks were hassling him in the hopes of starting a fight. And he did try to warn them.
    • Rusty delved in necromancy as part of Ventura's "Venturestein" iniciative. The results left much to be desired. The man admitted he was more interested in seeing if he could do it and to "laugh in God's face", in his own words. He also realized the only practical use he could give to the newly resurrected was to sell them to the military as willing suicide bombers.
    • Dr. Orpheus also said to 21 that he chose to be a "Necromancer" simply because it wasn't made popular in a long time.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Necromancy



One of Zarok's specialties, and what got him banished from Gallowmere in the first place. He experimented on the dead, and when he returns to Gallowmere in MediEvil, he raises the dead in an attempt to take the kingdom.

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