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The Magic Comes Back
aka: The Magic Came Back

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"One day the magic will come back, all of it. Everyone will be just like they were. The shadows will part and the skies will open wide. When he rises, everyone will see."
Sandal Feddic, Dragon Age II

The past was an exciting time to live in: Magic was real, mythological creatures roamed the Earth, and humans lived side by side with elves, dwarves, hobbits and the rest. Such a shame that it didn't last and we're stuck with plain, old boring mundane life.

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But wait, reports are coming in that something strange is happening all over the planet: Mysterious creatures thought only to exist in storybooks have been sighted in isolated areas and their numbers are increasing with each passing day. Some humans are starting to exhibit fantastical powers that science can't explain. Strange, yet familiar humanoid beings have been seen going about their daily lives in the middle of human cities.

What's going on? Why, the exact opposite of The Magic Goes Away. Maybe it completely disappeared at one point or maybe it didn't exist at all. Regardless of the past situation, however, magic is back and, as a result, can often pave the way for an Urban Fantasy setting.

If magic and science are inherently opposed then certain areas of civilization may revert to a more primitive form as a result of magic nullifying technology or from clashes between the existing "science" civilization and developing magic. On the other hand, if they are not, then magitek and Post Modern Magic are likely to develop instead, leading to civilization to a more advanced form.

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Sometimes technological prowess will directly lead to Magic from Technology. This can be accompanied at times by The Dragons Come Back, but is not required on either end.

This trope seems to be about evenly split between ending and beginnings. As such there may be unmarked spoilers. The presence of names on this list may in and of themselves constitute spoilers.

See also Nothing Is the Same Anymore.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Berserk, the appearance of the fifth Godhand member, Femto, and his rebirth as Griffith cause a chain reaction that slowly draws the supernatural world into the human world. The final and permanent change occurs during the climax of the battle with Emperor Ganishka when the two worlds suddenly become one. Cue astonished reactions from two lumberjacks as they then witness a herd of unicorns stampeding away from a hydra.
  • Ga-Rei: By the end, humans live alongside all manners of undead spirits. The main characters simply shrug when faced with this new reality, saying that "humanity can and will learn to live in this new world".
  • In Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden, tt's more of a justified trope. After Jax came back from the inter-dimensional portal, somehow the magic starts leaking into her world, causing magical things to happen like a dragon flying through the city of New York.
  • Sunday Without God has this as a major plot point. The day human beings stopped dying and giving birth is also the day people's wishes started coming true, for good and bad, and it seems most of the supernatural happenings in the series are the result of said wishes.
  • Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou combines this with a Just Before The Cosy Catastrophe setting. It's the twilight of humanity, and as cities slowly shrink, roads gradually fall into disrepair, and the human population dwindles, magical creatures and mystical phenomena are quietly coming back to the world — in a gradual and completely non-threatening way, of course, as befits the atmosphere of this work.
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    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: When the dimension of Alara was broken into five pieces, each piece could only access three of the five forms of magic, with no two pieces accessing the same three forms of magic — for example, the shard of Bant lacked access to fire and emotion magic and to necromancy. Much of the story deals with the five shards of Alara coming together, and the huge problems the reemergence of unknown forms of magic and the mindsets behind its practitioners are causing it.

    Comic Books 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the comics, the magic returns in the ninth season. However, the rules of magic have changed significantly, resulting in some changes. For example, a new breed of vampires has emerged that are immune to daylight.
  • First Strike: At the climax, it turns out one of the villains is trying to make this happen with some serious vengeance, on a galactic scale. Said villain turns out to be Merklynn, the ancient wizard of Visionaries, whose efforts set up the sequel comic series, Transformers vs. Visionaries.
  • Gold Digger: A Return of Magic was foretold by Ancient Gina.
  • Promethea has this happen at the very end. After getting quite a lot of buildup as some kind of apocalyptic, world-ending scenario it turns out that very little changes. People start researching into various kinds of mysticism while discarding the cheap, gimmicky knickknacks that the series had been festooned with. Sometimes the end of the world just means the start of a new one.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has this as a major theme, with Harry as the first demigod in centuries. Additionally, there are more and more magic users — powerful magic users — being born, and gods and other powerful beings (particularly Asgardians), openly acting on Earth once more. However, this is Played With: the magic was always there, just no longer believed in, and the boom in powerful magic users has as much to do with demographic growth anything else. That said, deeper and older magics are described as re-emerging, and the Celestials had banished the gods of Earth from meddling in human affairs until humanity could stand up on its own (which since it's giving "a signal to all the realms that the Earth is ready for a higher form of war", it's now believed that it can). Additionally, other supernatural beings had gone into retreat following the industrial age, but are now noted to be coming back in a big way. This is all considered to be a rather mixed blessing, with Professor McGonagall observing that while a new age of heroes seems to be emerging, where you get heroes, monsters are rarely that far behind.
  • Fledglings: The start of the story proper is caused by Pleo's hatching, the first legendary born in centuries if not millennia, though no other legendaries have been seen as of yet.
  • A Man of Iron: The initial premise is that Tony Stark discovers sunstone, a mineral with magical properties, and (after a traumatic incident) decides to use its power to create the Iron Man armour and become a superhero. As the series goes on, more fantastical elements appear such as dragons, gods and the Others.
  • The Oversaturated World has this happen in the Equestria Girls universe. Sort of. Human magic had always existed, it was just hidden behind a powerful Perception Filter up until Sunset changed things.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: With Twilight finally passing on and passing the torch off to Xvital, coupled with the power of the Rainbow of Harmony being released against the Nightmare, the magic of the land is finally allowed to return, helping to undo a thousand years of damage.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has a non-magical example. Some of the titular bloodlines seem to have vanished since ancient times, and they're only awakening in the present time for unknown reasons. This seems to be the case with the Fisher clan, whose founder Utsubotto was a Victreebel Bloodliner but after marrying his powers did not manifest in his descendants, until Jeanette Fisher was born, much to her parents' joy.
  • The Pony POV Series has the present being the end result of this happening. The Golden Age (the G2 Series) of Pony civilization had magic fade out and into legend. All three tribes didn't even know the others existed. However, Patch rediscovered Paradise Estate and ended up triggering this. Unfortunately, this all resulted in a Class 2 Apocalypse and while the magic stayed, civilization collapsed.
  • In Purple Days, Joff discovers that the trigger for the return of magic to Planetos isn't the birth of Daenerys' dragons - rather, it's the passing of the Red Comet. Unfortunately, it's a mere side effect, since the comet's main purpose is to transmit the awakening signal for the White Walkers and the Others.
  • Queen of All Oni: In the later chapters, it's revealed that the events of the story are the last links in a chain of events leading up to this taking place. In this universe natural magic is created by the battles between Dark forces and Light, but over the centuries the Dark forces were sealed away one by one, and a massive enchantment was made to ensure they stay sealed. As a result, the Light forces had to leave the Earth to maintain the Balance Between Good and Evil, and so The Magic Goes Away, and technology rose to replace it. Now, however, that enchantment is falling apart because the Chosen One who maintains it was murdered, and the next in line, Jade, is now unable, resulting in things like Shendu being released, starting the war up again, and returning magical forces and beings into the world.
  • In Robb Returns, the Maesters discover that, indeed, this is happening.
  • The Westerosi combines this trope with a novel subversion of Doing In the Wizard, in that it's the shipwrecked Starfleet Ranger who takes the old folktales seriously while the medieval scholars and aristocrats are a lot more skeptical... But Jade Hasegawa is a firm believer in Arthur C. Clarke's famous adage about sufficiently advanced technology, and Agatha Heterodyne's less famous one about Sufficiently Analysed Magic.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Incredibles: During the prologue, the Supers are all forced to go into hiding when the government can no longer afford to deal with their collateral damage. Several decades later during the climax a bystander exclaims "The Supers are back!". Incredibles 2 dives into this further, showing not only that bringing them back after such a long absence won't be easy but also that some people aren't too excited to see them return...
  • Wizards has humanity being wiped out in a nuclear war. Over time, mystical races such as faeries and gnomes awaken from their long slumber and return to the world, bringing magic along with them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Bagdad Cafe: Invoked alongside The Magic Goes Away. When Jasmin is forced to return to Germany, her magic show goes away, and Bagdad becomes a wasteland once again. When she returns, the magic show returns — as does human spirit in the area.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Asgardians once visited Earth, and taught Humans language and culture. After the war with Jotunheim they withdrew, and memories of them faded into myths and legend. And then Thor happened...
  • Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders: Merlin travels forward to modern day to bring magic back to the world.
  • Star Wars: Part of the plot of the sequel trilogy involves this happening, as made evident by the first movie's title - The Force Awakens. After over thirty years of force users being practically extinct thanks to Order 66 and the overthrowing of the Empire, there's a sudden massive reawakening in the Force. Problem is, the Jedi aren't all that came back...
  • In Suicide Squad (2016), the Enchantress suggests that the emergence of metahumans in recent years is an early sign of such a change.

    Literature 
  • Brandon Sanderson:
    • Elantris: Ten years before the start of the story, the god-like power of the Elantrians disappeared, rendering their glowing city a slime-covered ruin and the Elantrians themselves as tortured wretches trapped halfway between life and death. At the end, Raoden discovers the problem (the entire city of Elantris was actually a magic amplifier using Geometric Magic based on the shape of the country; when a massive earthquake created a huge chasm and changed the shape of the country, the shape of the city produced an entirely different effect) and fixed it. Although there were multiple other magic systems on the planet that still worked fine during this time.
    • The Stormlight Archive: This is one of the things explored. According to Sanderson, this is partly as a reaction to so many epic fantasies he read in his youth being about the inevitable loss of magic and wonder. In Stormlight, the world is rapidly becoming a lot more fantastical as things that people thought were gone return.

      To summarize briefly: thousands of years ago, the Almighty aids the Ten Heralds in leading humanity and the Knights Radiant in the wars against the Voidbringers, called Desolations. Almost 4000 years ago, the Heralds declared the war won and the Desolations over. Two thousand years after that, the Knights Radiant abandoned their post and disappeared from the world. Humanity continued on, believing the knights gone and the war won until it comes to light that the Heralds lied, abandoning one of their members to escape their burden. The Voidbringer's god Odium killed the Almighty, and the Voidbringers break free from their prison. The ancient orders of Knights Radiant are being refounded and are sorely needed as the Final Desolation is upon humanity. In fact, the reason why the magic went away is because the original Radiants learned their powers had destroyed their previous world and abandoned their oaths and magic to save the current one. The magic is now returning because the the spren who were responsible for the magical bonds that created the Knights Radiant sensed the oncoming Desolation and chose to risk creating new bonds in order to protect the world.
  • The Connor Grey series has this as a backstory. Faerieland suffered some sort of calamity, so all The Fair Folk had to settle on Earth. Now they're coexisting uneasily with humans, and much magic is being done.
  • Discworld: Although magic is still around, it's a pale shadow of what it once was and comes with so many disadvantages that it can never be functional. The plot of Sourcery is about the old wild magic of the Sourcerers coming back, and why wizards gave it up in the first place.
  • Dragaera: Sorcery stopped working during the 250-year Interregnum while the Imperial Orb, an artifact that processed raw Chaos into the stuff of sorcery for the Dragaeran Empire, was held in safekeeping by the Gods. When the rightful empress Zerika IV returns to claim the Orb, sorcery comes back online considerably more powerful than it was before, thanks to the Gods making some improvements during the downtime.
  • The Emberverse has this as a result of the Change that wipes out all tech above a medieval level. In the first trilogy, set during the first decade after the Change it's somewhat dubious but becomes quite explicit in later books set a quarter century after the Change. After Rudi acquires the Sword of the Lady it seems to takes another leap forward.
  • The Empire Of The East trilogy by Fred Saberhagen, and, by extension, in his Book of Swords and Books of Lost Swords series, invert this, as Technology Comes Back instead. All three series are set in the far future of the Earth, after the United States, as a last resort to avoid the destruction of the world in an imminent (as in the missiles were being launched at that moment) nuclear war, activated a device designed to alter the laws of physics within the vicinity of the planet Earth so as to make nuclear fission so unlikely as to make the chain reactions which power nuclear bombs impossible. It worked a little too well, as changing the laws of nature also caused almost all advanced technology to cease functioning, causing the collapse of technological civilization, and also unleashed the powers of magic, causing the rise of a civilization based on magic. At the end of the Empire trilogy, however, the Great Change was partially reversed, allowing advanced technology to function once again. The magic, however, does not go away.
  • Green-Sky Trilogy: The psionically gifted humans have been losing their abilities at younger and younger ages, but after some meddling kids blow the lid off their False Utopia and the iron-fisted rule of the Ol-Zhaan priests and the repressive aspects of society are dismantled, things start vastly improving in that area.
  • In The Grimnoir Chronicles, magic appears due to the arrival of some kind of Cosmic Being, which seeds people with magical power, lets it grow as they use it, and harvests it when they die.
  • H. P. Lovecraft uses this as a common theme in his works, particularly the Cthulhu Mythos. It's never a good thing.
    The Necronomicon: Nor is it to be thought that man is either the oldest or the last of earth's masters, or that the common bulk of life and substance walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be... Man rules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again.
  • Kate Daniels sees this happening slowly. Tech is slowly losing to magic, which drives as a major driver for social and cultural change.
  • The Laundry Files uses a particularly dark variant of this with CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, the Laundry code name for when the stars are right. During CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, magic - which works through computation and the focus of belief - should become much more easy to perform. Unfortunately, this means that the summoning of gribbly horrors from beyond space time should not only become easier, in many cases, in may be accidental.
  • Though the Augurs in The Licanius Trilogy were exterminated several years before the story, more keep being reborn (to a hard limit of 13), and they've come of age in time to shake things up again for main plot.
  • The Lord Darcy stories take place in an Alternate History where a chance scientific breakthrough lead to the codification of magic around 1300, the practice of which inevitably spread to every corner of the world.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Mana from Heaven, by Roger Zelazny, is a kind of epilogue to the shared universe as a whole. While most stories in the series deal with disappearance of magic due to the exhaustion of mana in the times of Atlantis, Mana from Heaven is about few present-day magicians who learned to live in a magic-barren world and use its resources sparingly, allowing them to replenish. Then meteor showers start to bring more mana to Earth, promising to eventually raise its amount back to Atlantean levels.
  • Manifestation: The central premise of the plot is the return of magical powers to modern times.
  • Monster: At the beginning, magic is slowly declining as humans lose their ability to comprehend it. However, when Lotus is killed, the Cosmic Keystone she was feeding off is free to balance the universe again, allowing magic to return: not only do magicians become more powerful than ever before, but Muggles become capable of witnessing magic without any form of Weirdness Censor.
  • Quantum Gravity's humans believe this happened. The other races insist that they could and were sneaking into the human world to generally make mischief, it's just that they weren't being obvious about it before. It's a little difficult to tell which is true, since anyone who says such a thing just admitted they like messing with people.
  • Realm of the Elderlings: The second half of the Rain Wilds series focuses on the return of the elf-like Elderlings and their magic into the world, and the series itself is kicked off by the return of the dragons.
  • In The Riddle Master Trilogy, by Patricia A. McKillip, the world itself was always deeply magical and this never changed, but actual wizards had vanished centuries ago, leaving behind mysterious riddles. They return during the course of the trilogy and the most powerful, Ghisteslwchlohm, never went anywhere- he just hid his true identity to impersonate the High One.
  • In Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is disgusted but not totally shocked to learn that the Home Office projections were wrong and that the magic has indeed been coming back since about the mid-sixties.
  • In Science and Sorcery by Christopher Nuttall, magic disappeared because the mana which fueled it was depleted. With millennia passed, during which time magic and magical creatures have largely faded into myth, its regenerated to the point that it returns. Modern people now have to wrestle with the reemergence of not only magic powers but also creatures such as werewolves. Worse, however, is the fact that some evil sorcerers were put in stasis long ago and with the mana returned one has awoken. She now reaches out to a teenage boy whose magic has just blossomed, manipulating him into helping them break free. A golem is revived who was created by one of the good mages that had imprisoned them to stop this with help from a police officer in the US.
  • In The Shadow Speaker, which takes place in 2070, strange magical events have started occurring on Earth following a nuclear and biological war, and people have begun to be born with strange powers.
  • Shannara: The knowledge of magic is slowly coming back. It only took several false starts, several almost apocalypses, and one actual apocalypse.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, magic is considered a folk tale by most of the people of Westeros, and no provable sorcery has been practiced in years. Then, at the end of the first book, Daenerys uses the principles of Blood Magic to hatch fossilized dragon eggs, and with the return of the dragons comes a boost in the general level of magic, which is especially noticeable for pyromancers and red priests. Well, it's either that, or a background boost of magic and/or other factors allowed for dragons to be successfully hatched by the right individual of a specific bloodline which then feeds back into more magic becoming more widely available. Too much knowledge has been lost for anybody to definitively know how this cycle(?) works.
    • This also comes in conjunction with another set of myths that prove themselves less than fantastical: the Others and the Children of the Forest come back (if they ever really left, that is). And, they have always been linked with the more magical tales. This is not portrayed as a particularly good thing. In fact, the whole magical package is outright stated to be a slippery hilted, guardless, double-edged knife to actually use (see the effects it's possibly had on the Targaryens as an example). Magic may be morally neutral in itself, but it's not going to make life easier by coming back.
    • Also deconstructed because the author goes into detail about how that people can't handle magic being back. It's causing major political upheavals (the assassination of Renly Baratheon via shadow demon, for one), as well as social ones (the return of dragons is leading to increased religious fundamentalism among followers of the Red God). Those who receive visions sometimes go insane or become alcoholics. Daenerys is struggling to control her dragons. Bran Stark commits heinous acts with his powers but doesn't understand what he's doing or why it's wrong because he's just a child. And most concerning, the Night's Watch is completely unprepared for dealing with the Others and their wight army.
  • In The Stand, after a virus wipes out most of humanity, supernatural events start occurring with increasing frequency: everyone starts having psychic dreams, Randall Flagg goes from a vaguely mystical vagrant to a full-fledged Humanoid Abomination, and at least a few divine miracles occur. Magic and civilization are treated as opposing forces in the book; early, uncivilized peoples experienced magic more often, and, now that civilization's crumbling, magic is on the rebound.
  • Swordspoint: The first two books in the series have no magic, although some of the related short stories have minor fantasy elements (like the appearance of St. Vier's ghost in The Death of the Duke). Then, in The Fall of the Kings, it's revealed that in the setting's distant past, before the monarchy was overthrown, the country was ruled by a series of kings and their wizard lovers, though the existence of real magic has been covered up by Internal Retcon. One of the main characters is a descendant of the ancient kings (and heavily implied to be the Rightful Heir), and the other is a scholar obsessed with the wizards (who successfully performs magic before the end of the book). Different from most examples in that this does not lead to a worldwide renaissance of magic; it might have, except the scholar gets murdered the first time he does magic in public.
  • That Hideous Strength: Something rather like this is the undercurrent of the story. By the end, major elements from Celtic — and, to a lesser extent, Greek — mythology are running around parts of 20th-Century England; per Lewisian reckoning, these are benevolent, quasi-divine entities aligned with Heaven and mistaken for deities by pagans in times past. The overall effect is similar to what one would expect of the reincarnation of King Arthur, which it sorta is.
  • In Tim Lebbon's Dusk and Dawn, magic is coming back. In the Noreela world that Dusk and Dawn are set on, magic is a natural force and semi-sentient. The problem is that evil wizards have been constantly tapping into it and trying to conquer the world. They end up tapping out magic, until centuries later magic finally feels that the world is ready for its return and it sends out an avatar to revive magic around the world. Unfortunately this triggers a race between those who would safeguard the magic, those who would use it for corrupt ends and those who would it destroy its return (the ones who would destroy it have other supernatural means of doing things). Without magic, Noreela is a shadow of itself and is settling into a slow death spiral.
  • Tortall Universe: While magic exists, the world used to be filled with with magical creatures called Immortals — things like dragons, unicorns, centaurs, and more unconventional creatures like spidrens and storm-wings. Because many of these creatures were so dangerous, human mages locked them away in another realm for hundreds of years... but then they came back.
  • Trail of Lightning: After the Great Water, the Energy Wars and the collapse of civilization came a return of magic to North America, especially the return of the ancient myths and legends of the Native Americans.
  • The Treasure Of The Kapitana, by Vladimir Vasilyev, explores a world 800 years After the End of our civilization. It's the new Middle Ages, with the Vestigial Empire of Albion formally still in control of much of the world. However, in the now-shallow waters of the Euxine (Black) Sea, a different kind of sailing is prevalent. Large, Wooden Ships and Iron Men-type ships can no longer sail lest they get stuck on underwater sand banks. Small sail-powered ships are used instead with people known as shtarkhs taking the place of maritime pilots to navigate the treacherous waters. Instead of knowledge of the waters, the shtarkhs are able to commune with the forces of nature through their companions, mysterious large cats known as cassats. They use this ability to manipulate winds and waters to safely guide a vessel. The Euxine Sea is also the only place where the local version of the Flying Dutchman can be seen. The end of the novel claims that, thanks to the actions of the main characters, magic has been released from its container, where it was placed long ago. In fact, it's claimed that the catastrophe that destroyed the old world is the direct result of magic being removed (screwing up the natural order), and that the cassats came to this world in order to correct this.
  • Unsong: Apollo 8's collision with the crystal sphere surrounding the Earth broke reality bad enough that the archangel Uriel had to move in personally to fix it. The Names of God can now work miracles, the Devil is now real, and the placebo effect is a workable form of magic. At the same time, however, the old laws of physics no longer work consistently, meaning much of what humanity has built is no longer functional.
  • In The Wizard Of4th Street, by Simon Hawke, magic was once a driving force in the world, based around those descended from a long-lived magical race. But some went mad with power and had to be locked away. Cut to 20 Minutes into the Future: after Merlin comes Back from the Dead and those of magical bloodlines are found and trained as new wizards, the world becomes a better place, and magic-powered technology replaces the old polluting resource-hogs of today. But it still has its problems, especially when some of the more troublesome immortals are revived by the sudden increase in magic.
  • In The Wheel of Time series, as it progresses, a number of magical Talents that were lost start reappearing. Even some abilities that never existed like Healing stilling have been discovered. This is only a partial example, because magic never went away entirely.
  • Winter Of Magics Return and its sequel by Pamela Service are YA novels about a reawakened Merlin in an After the End setting where magic is starting to replace technology again.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: As in the source material, A Song of Ice and Fire, most people believe that magic is long gone from the world. Aside from the White Walkers and dragon eggs, there is not much of a hint of the supernatural. Then when the dragons hatch, more and more signs of magic begin appearing. The warlock Pyat Pree even tells Daenerys "When your dragons were born, our magic was born again."
  • Legends of Tomorrow: Season four comes after the defeat of Mallus, Big Bad of the previous season, opens up a prison releasing magic creatures throughout history. Magic itself already existed in the world, but not at as great a scale.
  • The Librarians 2014: While magic isn't completely gone, as indicated by the three preceding TV films, the events of the pilot bring back a lot of it. Apparently, it was trapped in the Excalibur. Putting the sword back into the stone released it into the world and killed the sword. This explains the sudden appearance of so many magical artifacts. The season 1 finale shows several parallel worlds, where more magic was released, resulting in a Crapsack World (Stone's world has wars all over the world, Cassandra's world is dominated by dragons, and Ezekiel's has a Zombie Apocalypse).
  • Merlin (1998): While this miniseries has an overwhelmingly The Magic Goes Away ending, the coda allows him to reunite with Nimue and use "one last bit of magic" to restore their youth and get a new chance at living their lives together, in a rather dramatic sequence after many decades of magic being gone from the world. Although after that it is gone for good, yeah.
  • Merlin (2008): Heavily implied. The series makes frequent mentions to the Great Purge, the wiping out of most of the Old Religion and all but one of the dragons. The magic-users of that time clearly weren't very good, as the High Priestesses, the best of the best, were taken down by Muggle knights. As the series goes on, a lot of magic that Merlin and other mages use is described as "ancient", and powerful magic-users become more common.
  • Once Upon a Time: Our world is stated to be "the one without magic". And in the first season, when the town was under a curse, magic was in very short supply. The curse gets broken, however, and the magic comes roaring back with a vengeance. Unfortunately, magic not only has horrible price tags attached, it is also stated to be something akin to drugs; highly addictive and highly corrupting. And making matters even worse? The two most powerful mages in town are Rumplestitskin and Regina (Snow White's stepmother).
  • In Supernatural, the angels are again walking the earth after having been missing for 20000 years because of the events leading up to the Apocalypse.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • For Wiccans and other practicioners of magic, this was what happened in Real Life when the practice of Wicca and religious Witchcraft became public around the 50s.
  • The famous "Occult Renaissance" happening between mid 19th century and early 20th century with the creation of the different Occult schools like the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Theosophical Society and the Ordo Templi Orientis, among others, all over Europe and The Americas, is for many Esotericists this in real life, as the Occult knowledge was allegedly hidden due to persecution during the Dark Ages turning only accessible again once society became more secular. Ronald Hutton's monumental Triumph of the Moon documents both this and the aforementioned modern Wicca, the history and origins, and how they intersect and affect one another.
  • Among certain groups of Christians such as Pentecostals and Charismatics, there is a "latter rain" (Joel 2:23) outpouring of the Holy Spirit that is supposed to take place before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, as they consider the first major outpouring of the Spirit to be the "former rain".

    Tabletop Games 
  • Alternity: In the Dark Matter campaign setting, the level of supernatural activity on Earth is directly linked to the amount of dark matter in the universe, which is likened to a tide pool. The rising tide of dark matter, however, is not a good thing. Not only are many supernatural beings extremely dangerous, but previous risings of the tide have resulted in mass extinction events, as noted in the Mayan calendar.
  • d20 Modern: Urban Arcana uses a similar idea as Dark Matter. Here, the tide is actually the Shadow Plane and the supernatural forces are the monsters of Dungeons & Dragons. There's no Apocalypse looming ahead, though.
  • Deadlands: Magic returns when a Sealed Evil Legion In A Can is released, leading to such things as walking dead, mad scientists, and all sorts of inhuman monsters.
  • Dragonlance: The first campaign arc, and the corresponding novels, involve the restoration of divine magic to Krynn.
  • Rifts: Magic had lain dormant ever since an experiment performed by the ancient Atlanteans nearly depleted the Earth's Ley Lines. Then, at the end of the 21st Century, a nuclear war causes the simultaneous deaths of billions of humans. The sudden flood of magical energy caused by so many deaths floods the ley lines, causing a magical chain reaction that raised the Earth's magical higher than it had ever been before, and opened up Rifts from all corners of the multiverse.
  • GURPS Technomancer: The Trinity nuclear bomb tests and Oppenheimer's famous words, "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds" (which he didn't actually say) completes an ancient ritual and returns magic to the world, which humanity promptly fuses with technology to produce all kinds of strange ramifications. (Although, In-Universe, "returns" is an assumption; there's no proof Earth used to have magic and then it went away, although there's enough circumstantial evidence that most people believe it.)
  • In Shadowrun, magic returns after centuries of dormancy, which causes elves and dwarves to be born of human parents while other humans change into orcs and trolls, animals mutate into new and often strange forms and spirits return into the world. Most people believe the Awakening to have been a one-and-done event, but it's implied to be far more like the kick-start to a long gradient of rising magic — in the setting's background lore, magic rises and falls in cycles measured in millennia, and the world of Shadowrun is only at the start of one rising cycle. A second rise in magic came with the passing of Halley's Comet in 2061, causing further mutations among humanity and plant and animal life and allowing more powerful spirits into the world, and it's implied that there's more likely to come in the future.
  • Warhammer 40,000: This happened in the backstory according to one story of Emperor's creation. Back in the stone age, humans had warp users called shamans, but as they were preyed on by daemons, they eventually merged their souls into one being for protection, effectively ending human involvement in warpcraft... until shortly before the beginning of Age of Strife, over twenty thousand years later, it begun to manifest again as psykers started to be born. This is noted as being one of the things leading to downfall of the old human civillization, so Not A Good Thing.

    Video Games 
  • Choice of Magics: You can revolutionize society using the magic of the ancients, leaving people to quickly begin learning it themselves. Depending on the ending you might have to get rid of it again.
  • Chronicles Of Elyria: The plot is kicked off by the awakening of an Antepyrovian - an inhabitant of the magic-filled Old Elyria, before it was split after a cataclysm.
  • City of Heroes: Played with in the last Signature Story Arc released, Pandora's Box. The arc reveals that Marcus Cole and Stefan Richter, after they drank from the Well of Furies, discovered Pandora's Box and opened it. Doing so released all the creativity of mankind that had been stored up over the past thousand years, ushering in the new age of superpowers that would follow. The catch is — the magic never really went away in the first place. Everywhere in the backstory of City of Heroes, in every century, you'll find superpowered people influencing history. What opening Pandora's Box did was make the presence of superpowered beings even stronger than before.
  • Demon's Souls: The awakening of the Old One marks the return of the long-forgotten Soul Arts, allowing magic to be cast and miracles of God to be invoked again.
  • The Diablo series gives us Sanctuary, a world created by renegade angels and demons fleeing the Eternal Conflict, the universe-spanning war between Heaven and Hell. The renegades' offspring, called nephalem, had the potential to be more powerful than their angelic and demonic sires. To prevent this, the leader of the angels attuned a powerful artifact, the Worldstone, to drain away the nephalems' power. Fast forward a few thousand years, the nephalems' descendants, humanity, live with recurring sieges by demonic forces from Hell and blatant disregard from Heaven, until a demon lord manages to corrupt the Worldstone with the intent of converting the whole of Sanctuary into another part of Hell. An archangel, the only of his kind to come to humanity's aid, shatters the Worldstone at the end of the conflict to prevent the same. Because of this, years later the powers of the nephalem begin to return, just in time for the next attack from Hell...
  • Dragon Age II: The page quote is from a world where Functional Magic is widely acknowledged (and feared for various reasons up to Beware the Superman and Demonic Possession) and seems quite out of context, except that the person in question can do things other dwarves can't, as Dwarves are the only known race in the setting that can't produce mages. There are also hints that the history of his people (and of humans and elves as well) is incorrect on some level, leading to much Wild Mass Guessing about what Sandal means.
    • Throughout the series we see more and more mystical elements coming back. Dragons were thought to be extinct, yet they reappeared at the beginning of the current age, giving it its name. Old magical arts like shapeshifting or Arcane Warriors can be rediscovered by the Wardens. If the Player Character let Morrigan go through with her ritual one of the Old Gods is reborn free from the taint.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition: The Trespasser DLC reveals what the above quote is in reference to. Solas, AKA The Dread Wolf Fen'harel plans to bring down the Veil separating the Fade from the real world in order to bring back the golden age of the Elves and restore their immortality... at the cost of killing every other race.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VI begins with a narration stating how the War of the Magi devastated the world and brought about the end of magic... but in truth, the magic wasn't gone, it was merely sealed away. Now a power hungry Empire has rediscovered it and is using it as a weapon of conquest. It doesn't last long, however. In the end, upon the destruction of the Three Goddesses of Magic, The Magic Goes Away again, this time permanently.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 reveals that a small portion of ordinary humans (the protagonist Serah included) has suddenly gained magical powers in the aftermath of the Fall, when the majority of them migrated down to Gran Pulse. In Final Fantasy XIII, magic was restricted to the l'Cie servants of fal'Cie, and while Serah in particular was a l'Cie once, it is implied she has lost whatever meager powers she had upon de-crystallizing and gained them again the natural way, so to speak. The Datalog also confirms that by Noel's time (700 AF), everyone has magic (considering that there's only a tiny amount of people around by then, it's not that surprising).
  • Golden Sun revolves around a deliberate attempt to bring back the magic, with the first game following those who think magic is too dangerous to restore, and the second following those who think it must be brought back. The heroes of the second game are right. Magic was a basic part of nature, and without its influence rising tides are slowly submerging the land. In addition, magic was the foundation of most of the technology in the setting, and without it, technology stagnated—as one character observes, no extant civilization has built or could build anything as impressive as the ancient ruins you spend most of the series trekking through. The third installment of the series takes place a generation later, and while the peoples of Weyard are diversifying, rediscovering, and rebuilding, things like warfare and superweapons are also being (re-)developed all over again, with a strong hint that the faction against Alchemy's return had a point.
  • Guild Wars: The world of Tyria fluctuates between states of low and high magic. Between the original Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2, magic became so common that now almost everyone in the world has some kind of innate magical abilities, though they're not necessarily trained. Unfortunately, it attracted the attention of the Elder Dragons, which awaken to consume magic in Tyria (along with most of its inhabitants) and reduce it to a low-magic state. They are the main antagonists of Guild Wars 2.
  • Guilty Gear: Part of the Back Story; the discovery of magic (a technology sourced from the discovery of an "unlimited energy equation") spurs the creation of many kinds of technology to utilize it. One of these are the Gears, living creatures altered or created by magic to be living weapons. The Gears going rogue and their subsequent rampage bring about both armageddon and the reintroduction of Functional Magic to society.
  • King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame: Arthur pulling the sword from the stone causes the Sidhe to come back and magic to return, among other things, throwing Britain into chaos.
  • Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader is all about this trope. About ten thousand years ago a spell was cast to eliminate all magic and fantastic beasts. Then during the crusades of Richard the Lionhearted a counterspell was cast (somehow, no magic remember?) after the execution of 3000 arab prisoners, releasing all manner of nasties into the world.
  • The Longest Journey: The Big Bad's goal is to re-join the worlds of Stark (the world of science, i.e. our Earth) and Arcadia (the medieval world of magic), which have been split up for millennia due to the dangers of mixing science and magic. In the beginning of the game, strange, magical things start happening to the people of Stark. Also, the fact that all advanced technology failed in-between The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey implies that it was an unwitting product of magic seeping into Stark.
  • NieR has a rather dark take on this. The magic introduced into the world via Caim, Angelus and the Mother Grotesquerie crossing over from the Drakengard universe literally causes The End of the World as We Know It. The result is the incurable White Chlorination Syndrome and the Legion. By the time the game actually starts, humanity as we know it is entirely extinct.
  • The Secret World: Played with. The magic has always been there, it's just that it has recently become a lot harder to hide it from the world. What is on the rise are the number of Bees, entities which give humans access to magical powers.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei I, the Demon Mother Echidna explains to the Hero how all manner of supernatural creatures roamed freely across the primitive Earth... until "the Hebrew God" conquered them and cast them down into darkness to rule alone. Of course, humans are incapable of using magic, only so-called "demons" can, and so the rule of God went unopposed for millennia. After the End of our world, 20 Minutes into the Future due to nuclear annihilation, Gaia's children have returned and brought magic back with them, and they're not going to give up so easily this time.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon: As part of the backstory, when the dragons left the Forgotten Realms, the magic went with them. Over the next thousand years it began slowly disappearing from the world, meaning things like the magic portals everyone used to get around stopped working. Then the Sorceress kidnaps a clutch of dragon-eggs, causing Spyro to go after them. As more and more eggs hatch, magic starts returning.
  • Zork: Grand Inquisitor: Bringing magic back is your goal. It has already started to return before you get involved, as evidenced by Dalboz's journal entries and your working spellbook, but you still need to reunite the MacGuffins to complete the process.

    Web Comics 
  • Code Name: Hunter: The basis of the story. In a subversion, there are places where the magic was never sealed away, such as Australia. It later turns out that magic was only sealed away in England, and then because one king had the church make a seal for it, which was destroyed in World War II. Everywhere else it just went underground.
  • Corner Alley 13: Fantasy races are rediscovered.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the way the magic system works has changed several times over the centuries. When the Will of Magic is convinced that keeping up The Masquerade is infeasible, it makes minor changes to the current system to adjust to The Unmasqued World which involve allowing old systems to be accessed again with the right know-how. As a result, some previously nonfunctional magical artifacts made using old systems become functional again. After the Dewitchery Diamond is destroyed, the magical energy released activates some of these and causes at least one flawed nonfunctional item of more recent origin to start working.
  • Sins: It never actually went away, but The World Tree of the Spirit World has been dead for thousands of years, having had the life sucked out of it by the many demons that call it home. In the beginning of Sins Revenant, the surge of energy released by the destruction of the Human Realm causes it to start reviving. However, a number of dangerous, ancient demons begin to awaken with it.
  • In The Phoenix Requiem, magic was provided by the spirits, who were imprisoned 700 years ago. They seem to be coming back. The catch: it is revealed that they are the bad guys.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: While not the main premise, the new existence of magical powers becomes a major part of the story relatively quickly.
  • In Supernormal Step, Fiona's native universe is equivalent to our own and starts out largely non-magical, with most people not believing such a thing exists. According to one of The Men in Black it once was very real and still is to a degree, but it is now tucked away. This is later revealed to be due to the efforts of a Reality Warper witch, who separated everything magical away from the main universe and into a separate pocket dimension to prevent it from going out of control and causing The End of the World as We Know It. However, when Fiona and her companions finally return home from the Supernormal pocket dimension via a newly made portal, their presence starts pulling wild and uncontrolled magic from the Supernormalverse into her world, causing Reality Is Out to Lunch and putting existence itself at stake. The Big Bad eventually manages to overload the spell that separated the two worlds to begin with, resulting in a Merged Reality that brings magic back completely. In the end, Fiona realizes that Magic Is Evil and gets rid of it.
  • Yosh! had in its backstory the world suddenly regaining a large amount of magic and people changing into semihuman forms when the first of 5 seals keeping magic away from the world is broken. When the second seal is broken, more magic returns, magical creatures reappear, and a sunken island rises - into the sky.
  • Zebra Girl: The human world is in the early stages of this (though it never went completely away, it was much rarer and low-profile before); especially noticeable in the Magi-Net arc, which deals with the resurgence of magically-empowered humans rediscovering sorcery, and the Subfusc arc, where we see throngs of supernatural beings returning to Earth.

    Web Original 
  • The Descendants: The ramifications of this is an ongoing theme, where the return of Western style magic (Eastern magic seems to have survived) is allowing monsters from Faerie to cross over and people with natural powers to manifest. Interestingly, magic seems to have died from disuse rather than being sealed away.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-4002 reveales that everything the Foundation and the related groups have been dealing with boils down to the start of this trope; monsters and gods were once commonplace and humans used to have magical powers and live for around a thousand years until a Sumerian king named Etana made a Deal with the Devil and sacrificed all of it in order to have a son. The age of "normalcy" was said to end once the Black Moon howls, but the Overseer council intends to do whatever it can to delay or prevent it and preserve order.
  • In The Wanderer's Library story "The Last Magician of Moscow", this is implied to happen to Russian magic by the end of the story. Rather than the magic itself fading, the Russian magic tradition died out when most of its practitioners killed each other off in power struggles, but a new generation is beginning to rediscover the art and there's hope that they won't repeat their predecessors' mistakes.
  • Whateley Universe: while the Earth's recovery from The Sundering , which led to the destruction of the World Trees and the fall of Atlantis, was a gradual process taking thousands of years (or maybe millions, Depending on the Writer), at the start of the 20th century the process began to speed up, and by the early 21st century the world's Essence has been restored sufficiently for the Sidhe and other Faerie to begin reincarnating as human mutants in increasing numbers.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: While it took quite a while to be addressed in the show itself, Word of God says that the show takes place on our Earth, after some nuclear disaster wiped out humanity and magic slowly returned to the world of Ooo. This trope is played rather disturbingly as it's implied that it was both the war and the magic coming back that destroyed everything else- the magic released caused all sorts of bizarre, nonsensical warped monstrosities that eventually evolved into Ooo's inhabitants.
    • The two-parter "Finn the Human" and "Jake the Dog" is based around an alternate timeline created when the Lich was never created, which resulted in a lesser disaster where humanity survived but lost most technology and the magic never returned. For a while, at least.
    • One of the first signs of magic's return? An ancient golden crown, which whispers secrets of ice-and-snow into anyone who wears it, slowly transforming them...
  • American Dad!: Played for Laughs in an episode where a mysterious terrorist attacks power plants, laboratories and such. It turns out that said terrorist is an obsessive The Lord of the Rings fan who thinks that by resetting Earth to the middle ages, he will start an age of magic.
  • The Legend of Korra: At the end of Book 2, Korra decides to leave the spirit portals open, allowing the human and spirit worlds to relatively freely intermingle, like they did before Wan closed the portals ten thousand years ago. One side effect was non-benders all over the world spontaneously manifesting the near-extinct ability of Airbending.
  • In Thundarr the Barbarian a rogue planet's passing cracked the moon in half, destroyed civilization and somehow led to functional magic. Though a time-travelling episode showed magic working in The '80s, so it may be more of a case of rediscovering magic after the cataclysm.
  • Visionaries: Every 1,000 years or so, the three suns around the planet Prysmos come into alignment and allow magical energy to flow freely, causing an Age of Magic. When the suns fall out of alignment after another 1000 years or so, technology rises to take magic's place, causing an Age of Science, which ends in turn when the Age of Magic returns again, and the cycle continues. The series begins with the birth of a new Age of Magic, and people struggling to adjust as their former technology stops working as a result.
  • Winx Club: Making the people of Earth believe in magic again is part of the mission the titular Club has in season 4.

Alternative Title(s): The Magic Came Back

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