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The Magocracy

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"Ministry of Magic?" bellowed Uncle Vernon. "People like you in government? Oh, this explains everything, everything, no wonder the country's going to the dogs."

A society ruled by wizards. Wizards, plural, that is — a king or queen who just happens to be a spellcaster (such as the Benevolent Mage Ruler) doesn't count, nor does the traditional tower-dwelling Sorcerous Overlord. This is a relatively normal society (for a given value of "normal") that is governed by a magic-using oligarchy. Sometimes there is a Muggle figurehead on the throne, but clearly power lies with the spellcasters.

Every now and again you'll have a wizard race being the nobility with some manner of Wizarding ruler at the top, however.

Can be good, bad, or indifferent. Sometimes overlaps with Mage Species; if everyone can cast spells, the Magocracy is usually depicted as good or indifferent. If the wizards rule over a population of Muggles, on the other hand, they are more likely to be evil. A Magocracy can also overlap with a Magical Society, although it's quite possible to have a Magocracy which is more loosely organised than that. If Religion is Magic, it may overlap with The Theocracy. A Magocratic society may also be a Proud Scholar Race when mystical learning and arcane knowledge are valued as much as or more than raw sorcerous power. The most sinister versions will have the society consist of undead wizards and double as The Necrocracy. If the society is hidden from muggles, it's a Wainscot Society.

If the laws of magic require intense study and not just talent, a natural limitation may be sharing time between magic improvement and actual ruling. Then immortal wizards break this limit, having centuries to both accumulate knowledge and entrench themselves in power bit by bit.

Related to Rank Scales with Asskicking (more likely ass-fireballing). If there's not just a handful of magic-users but the whole society is influenced, it's likely to develop lots of Magitek. If the ruler maintains their power through magic but this is not part of the official political system, see Sorcerous Overlord. For mages who are part of the government but hold only subordinate or advisory positions, see Court Mage. For a smaller-scale version of this, when a mage has only one or a few ordinary humans in their custody, see Muggle in Mage Custody.

Contrast Anti-Magical Faction and Muggle Power.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk: The Kushan Empire is governed by an Emperor who has turned himself into an Apostle as Emperor and his right-hand man Daiba is an Evil Sorceror. Both make use of foul magic to control their armies.
  • Nasuverse: In ancient times this was played straight with the likes of King Solomon and Queen Himiko but, come the modern day, when a more formal structure fitting this trope has been established, the political and mystical powers of mages have been severely diminished due to Generational Magic Decline. This is viewed neutrally or even positively in the setting's various stories as mages typically exhibit amoral or even sociopathic mindsets, barely considering the moral ramifications of experimenting on ordinary people to further their own knowledge or goals.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi's magical world is like this, and being a pocket universe that was created by a mage, it's rather to be expected. The real world, though, is more Harry Potter-style "mages in charge of governing themselves and keeping themselves secret, nothing more". They get a little influence by posing as unreasonably talented mercenaries and NGOs, but nothing beyond lobbying and combat work.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: The Time-Space Administration Bureau looks to fall into this mold at first, but there are subtle hints of a subversion in the form of Amy Linetta, who never demonstrates magical ability but is in a position of fairly high responsibility aboard the local Cool Ship. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS makes the subversion much more blatant, with numerous non-magically-able TSAB personnel featuring. These include an apparent Muggle commanding a battalion of mages and Regius Graz, head of the Ground Forces branch, is explicitly a Muggle who got his start with the Bureau as a good trainer. The TSAB appears to actually be very egalitarian, allowing those who can lead to lead regardless of whether they measure up in magical combat.
  • The Familiar of Zero: Magical power and nobility are (officially) inseparable; in fact, mages are called Nobles. Of course, that attitude becomes inconvenient when a noble is, say, cast out from their family or the child of two mages is born without magic.
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-: Implied to be the case in Valeria, and possibly the case in Celes. In the former case, people are expressly worried that the twin princes will eventually have enough power to usurp the throne from the current emperor, who is himself incredibly powerful. In the latter case, it's clear that the king is very powerful by the standards of his country, but it's hard to say if that has much to do with his position as king; he still has a court mage.
  • Fairy Tail: The Albareth Empire was formed when a single mage Black Mage Zeref now currently as Emperor Spriggan forcefully united the western continent's 730 Light and Dark magic guilds, overthrowing that continent's equivalent to the Magic Council and previous governments in the process. It's heavily implied that non-magic users are second-class citizens, if not outright slaves.
  • Black Clover: The Clover Kingdom is ruled by the king from the royal Kira family. The kingdom's legal authority is the Magic Parliament, which is a group of royals and nobles. The kingdom's military are the Magic Knights, comprised of chosen mages divided into squads with captains who all follow the Wizard King, the strongest Magic Knight who has more influence than the unpopular king. The society of the kingdom itself is dominated by nobility, who are all born with great magical power and look down on commoners and peasants as a result.
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!: Downplayed a little bit by the Kingdom of Sorcier as the country is effectively ruled by a magic-wielding noble class. However, unlike most other examples, noble houses are defined as "bloodlines that are on record to produce magic users", as Randomly Gifted often decides whether a particular noble can wield magic or not, just that higher-ranked nobles tend to have higher probabilities of producing magic-users. Nobles who happen to be Muggle Born of Mages can keep their titles and fiefs, but their route for advancement is limited. On the other hand, magic-users coming from pure commoner blood are extremely rare—in the area of one person per decade.

    Comic Books 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In the comic arc Imbalance, Liling believes benders should rule over non-benders. She and her daughters were made refugees by the Fire Nation's conquest of the Earth Kingdom, which she blames squarely on the fact that the Earth King is a non-bender.
  • Fables: The Adversary's Empire is a highly organized magocratic bureaucracy. Interestingly, the leadership is well aware that Muggles Do It Better but actively suppresses post-medieval technology because technological power is much more difficult to concentrate in the hands of a ruling elite than magical power.
  • The Dungeonverse has Cochonville, a city inhabited by magicians who fled Antipolis in the Dungeon: The Early Years era after their attempt at seizing power. Their laws are enforced by manavore and wizards of different magic disciplines and specialized themselves in selling magical objects and services to passersby. During Dungeon Twilight they were under siege by the Great Khan for years but thanks to their magic were still able to resist as some magicians can use functional autocannibalism and others turn piss into water.

    Fan Works 
  • The Discworld of A.A. Pessimal seeks to stick closely to the spirit of the place, whilst exploring dimensions such as the political interplay between its nation-states. At the current point on its timeline, nationalism is stirring within the fractured states and regions that arose with the collapse of Rodinia. One socially prominent Rodinian in Ankh-Morpork is Lady Olga Romanoff, who commands the City Air Watch and is in direct descent from the last of the Tsars. Olga is absolutely horrified to hear her name proposed as a national leader. The reasons for this are many. Her commanding officer is Sam Vimes and she knows his views on restored monarchies. She works for Lord Vetinari, who expressly does not want a New Rodinia of any sort. She is also a Witch. And she was trained, at least part of the way, by Granny Weatherwax (mayhersoulhavemercyontheGods). Above all, she knows Granny's views on Witches getting involved in politics and especially rulership. It's no consolation that a very prominent advocate of a renewed Union of Soviets is also a Witch. And Irena Politeka knows a General Secretary who is also a witch could well invoke an even worse Magocracy on Rodinia.
  • Equestria Divided: House Moon and Star is a group of unicorn supremacists whose army is composed mostly of mages, magic knights and constructs, and they take orders from Archmagister Twilight Sparkle
  • The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World: The city of Daarthayu is ruled by a council of wizards. How this works is not explored, though the four have an unpleasant encounter with one of the wizards.
  • Child of the Storm has the canonical examples of the White Council and the various Ministries of Magic, though they only rule magical people — indeed, the White Council is structured to limit the possibility of this as much as possible, and their main focus is preventing various other supernatural powers from doing this as much as possible. They don't always have that much luck, with both the Red and White Courts of Vampires having serious influence (in the former case, until Strange wipes them out in chapter 52 of the sequel), and Victor von Doom rising to power in Latveria and extending his power across a chaotic Eastern Europe. However, they've been opposed by organisations such as SHIELD and MI13, and since The Masquerade is steadily falling apart, Muggle Power is starting to come to the fore, with magical governments in the US having been brought to heel by SHIELD, and MI13 doing the same to the British Minister of Magic during the series.
  • Lost Cities: The Heartspire was a tower-city ruled by powerful unicorn wizards, who revelled in their immense power and mastery over nature and disdained ponies incapable of spellcasting.
  • Zero no Tsukaima: Saito the Onmyoji: Outright defied in the backstory. Abe no Seimei forbade Onmyoji from holding noble titles or political office, and moreover from using their magic to influence affairs of state.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Flight of Dragons: Envisioned by the green wizard Carolinus, as he sees humanity moving away from magic and nature, and toward mechanics and physics. Carolinus proposes creating an enclave where wizards, magic, and fantasy beings can exist, separate and undetectable by humans. The yellow and blue wizards concur, but red wizard Ommadon refuses to go along with this "fools' paradise," vowing to keep humanity under the thrall of magic, through fear and force.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Dungeons & Dragons movie features a corrupt Magocracy, Izmer, though the Empress wishes to give Muggles rights. Despite their corruption and their oppression of the Muggles, they're not the villains: one of their members, Profion, intends to dispose of them right alongside the Empress when he seizes control.
  • The Last Witch Hunter: Witch society has a ruling council tasked to preserve The Masquerade and the truce with humanity by punishing practitioners of Black Magic.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Empire in the trilogy, and various other Sith states in the Expanded Universe. In the Expanded Universe, it's implied that the Emperor was shooting for being the immortal god-emperor of a magotheocratic empire. The Galactic Republic, on the other hand, is a republic, with the Jedi Council playing an advisory and military role — though note that in Revenge of the Sith, Darth Sidious uses fear of a Jedi coup to force through his own takeover of the state.
    • In most stories, the Jedi are essentially an N.G.O. Superpower. Whether and to what extent they are actually answerable to the Republic (or it to them) is essentially Depending on the Writer.
    • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, we get to see the ancient predecessor to Palpatine's Empire. It controlled half the known galaxy, was run by many Sith, including a Dark Council, and a 1000+-year-old Man Behind The Man Chessmaster Sith Emperor.
    • In the distant history of the Republic, there were periods in which the Jedi Order did run it, either de facto or, for a time, with a long string of Jedi Masters as Chancellor. The Jedi eventually deemed this inappropriate and ceased to involve themselves in the Senate's affairs.

  • In Scott Lynch's short story A Year and a Day in Old Theradane, the eponymous city-state is ruled by wizards in the Parliament of Strife. They spend most of their time getting into magical battles with each other which make life really hard for the citizens. One character with a small amount of magical talent mentions that members of the Parliament have youth spells that stop them from aging which allows them to take centuries to perfect their craft which in turn makes them powerful enough to be in Parliament.
  • Patricia C. Wrede's books Mairelon the Magician and Magician's Ward are set in a world where magic does exist, and Wizards are so influential that the government and society bow to them. Specifically, British Parliament had to move out of its building because the Wizards already worked in it, and Wizards are automatically considered social equals of any level in society. It's never implied that the King of Britain is a wizard, but the Russian royalty certainly is.
  • Harry Potter:
    • There are a number of magical governments around the world, but The Ministry of Magic gets the most attention since it maintains control in the U.K., though it only rules over other magic-users. Muggles are explicitly outside their jurisdiction, and the Minister of Magic consults with the U.K.'s Prime Minister on matters which affect both — albeit in an infuriatingly high-handed fashion.
    • However, Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindewald once wanted the other kind of Magocracy: wizards ruling over Muggles. So does Voldemort, hence the conflict in the series.
  • Discworld:
    • The wizards of Unseen University set up a magical dictatorship in Sourcery. The results are not pretty. No one seems surprised, as any point in history where wizards have been in power has not ended well. In fact, it very nearly ends History. The only reason it seems to not happen anymore is a social paradigm shift — brought about by the current Archchancellor being unkillable, and because Lord Vetinari is clear that Wizards will never be in a position of power ever again — rather than by recent wizards being any nicer (although they seem to have collectively realized that harmless academic squabbling and enjoying huge dinners are far more pleasant and relaxing ways to spend their time than the old days of murdering each other for power and prestige).
    • Granny Weatherwax would be absolutely horrified by any suggestion that Lancre is a Magocracy since she knows better than anyone that magic isn't for ruling. Lancre is definitely ruled by King Verence II. And the witches will let him know if he's doing it wrong. Okay, King Verence is married to Queen Magrat, who is a Witch and who has been known to take control in a real emergency. But that sort of thing is understood.
    • Similarly, the witches themselves are no Magocracy because they don't have leaders. Among the leaders that they don't have, Granny Weatherwax is the most respected. It is even said once that the witches have no leader because she wouldn't allow it.
  • Impractical Magic: Istima, the Six Court Academy, is both a wildly powerful Magic School and a city-state unto itself. Though all the leaders are mages, and powerful, the trope is subverted. At some point, wizards become so powerful that having a job, needing to afford food, and the approval of regular mortals means nothing to them. As such they stop teaching and abandon their important influential jobs to take the best parts of the Big Labyrinthine Building and slowly fade into history as they do incomprehensible things. No one is sure if they died, become gods, teleported away, are on multi-millennia astral projection trips, or if there are higher levels of the school. They just know that it's dangerous, booby-trapped, and anytime orders come down from a high tower that it must be obeyed.
  • In The Dresden Files, the White Council is composed of the most powerful one percent of magic users and nominally rules the magical human community. In reality, however, it mostly sticks to enforcing the Seven Laws of Magic on its fellow practitioners — you break one and, unless a Council Member agrees to take you on as an apprentice and the Senior Council agrees to it, you'll be tried, found guilty and executed in the space of an hour. And these are the good guys. — and, ironically, being a large and threatening presence to deter the other supernatural powers from trying to turn the world into this. Despite this, there's still a lot of politicking and a complex interplay between factions. A single Warden, a member of the combat arm/police force of the Council, is posted in each major city around the world, their remit being to help out local, weaker practitioners, make sure they behave and stamp on any monsters that get ideas. Due to their comparative power and Inspector Javert tendencies, the Wardens tend to be seen as something between an avenging angel and the grim reaper by your average practitioner. That and the fact that one of the weakest members of the Senior Council once dropped a satellite on someone's house, no one other than one of the other pre-eminent powers, like the Red Court of Vampires, wants to piss them off.
    • The Red Court approximate this, with far more overt political influence in their heartlands of Central and South America (when Dresden obliterates them in the 12th book, about a dozen governments collapse overnight), while the White Court (who pretty much live for scheming and intrigue, to the point where it's a fundamental part of their culture) has the power to get a US Navy helicopter sent into a foreign country for an extraction at a moment's notice.
      • It should be noted, however, that the White Council's Laws of Magic are meant above all to restrict power, so that no wizard can become too powerful. It's explained that should they try to achieve power, they either have to do it the Muggle way or break one of the Laws. If they tried to meddle in Muggle politics, it would inevitably lead to civil war and the collapse of the Council. Therefore, they must remain neutral, at least as a body, when it comes to things like Muggle wars and politics.
  • In the Codex Alera, the other series by Jim Butcher, station is based on the strength of your furies, marking the society as magocratic even though everyone can wield furies except Tavi.
    • From the same series, the Canim Ritualists want to turn their society into this, but are having really bad luck at it so far largely as a result of getting stabbed in the back by the Vord.
  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy:
    • Present-day England is ruled by a highly corrupt version, with demon-summoning magicians ruling "commoners" through a mix of propaganda and old-fashioned intimidation.
    • And not just England, either: most of the major powers in history, including Rome and the Holy Roman Empire, have been ruled by magicians. Rarely have they been any better than the modern-day English regime, resulting in the Muggle common folk tending to rise up in revolution once a sufficient number of them develop innate immunity to magic due to its overuse by the ruling caste. A new, rising empire promptly supplants the old one, and the cycle starts all over again. The ending implies that the cycle is finally going to be broken, though whether this truly happens is left very much up in the air.
  • A pair of novels by Lawrence Watt-Evans, The Cyborg and the Sorcerers and The Wizard and the War Machine, are set on an After the End planet that has many mages who rule all their countries. Yet each nation's government is different; some good, some bad, some outright incompetent.
  • Another Watt-Evans book, A Young Man Without Magic, uses this trope in a fantasy setting. Children found to have magical talent are automatically elevated to the nobility, and it's a capital crime for anyone else to practice magic. The non-magician emperor is more or less a figurehead. The government is mostly functional but corrupt; sorcerers have so much power that they can get away with openly using spells powered by human sacrifice.
  • Though they seem mostly unconcerned with Muggle affairs unless someone offers them money or messes with one of their own, the Bondsmagi of Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastard series are theorized by some characters to actually run the world in secret. The author has implied that the Bondsmagi are happy to let the Muggles run their own lives... unless something pops up which threatens their own power, at which point they step in.
    • While not ruling the world, they do rule the city of Karthain. There is an official muggle power, and even elections every five years... which the mages influence and use as a playing field to settle political disputes by proxy since their own regulations strictly forbid them from directly antagonizing one another. That the Muggle ruler is a figurehead and that the Bondsmagi are the true power in Karthain isn't exactly common knowledge, but it isn't a big secret either.
  • In Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series, the so-called Final Empire was founded as a magocracy, with the Lord Ruler bestowing allomantic powers on his most trusted servants, and these becoming the highest nobility of the new society. After a thousand years, the titular Mistborn sorcerers are spread fairly thin, with most nobles having weaker Misting powers or none at all. However, illegal interbreeding between classes has resulted in the power cropping up among the slave race here and there.
  • There are passing references to a nation called "The Witchocracy" in China Miéville's Bas-Lag series, but it hasn't been explored in any great detail.
  • The Land of Oz is this. It's a benevolent dictatorship ruled over by Glinda the Good and Princess Ozma, a fairy. They and the Wizard of Oz are the only ones allowed to do magic in the sequels (to prevent wicked witches from ever rising again), but despite this the plot of pretty much every book starts with someone breaking this law.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Tar Valon is governed by the Aes Sedai. Also, the Aes Sedai (especially the Blue Ajah) tend to meddle in the political affairs of the rest of the world, and many rulers willingly keep the counsel of an Aes Sedai advisor.
    • Also there is a largely unseen land called Shara, which is only mentioned in passing. However, in The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time, he mentions that it is secretly a Magocracy with puppet Muggle rulers. In seven-year cycles, each is killed then replaced by another monarch (for unknown reasons).
    • Meanwhile, Seanchan on the other side of the world is a complete inversion, where all the magic-users are enslaved by the Muggle rulers. Though part of the reason they developed such a hatred of magic users and got to where they are is that when they first got there that half of the world was ruled by magic-users who fought among themselves for power. And perhaps a Double Subversion, since not only the Empire is explicitly founded on the power of chained magic-users that are always at the rulers' disposal, but their handlers also in fact, are all latent magic users. They just choose to ignore this or don't understand the fact.
  • The Empire of Ottovar in David Weber's War God series. 10,000 years of peace and prosperity founded by the greatest Wizards of all time. The Elves are actually a by-product of their work, taking hereditary warlocks and changing how they use the magical field to give up magic. The Empire was ruled by the emperor as well as the Council of Ottovar who prevented the misuse of magic and researched. Of course part of the backstory of the series is those 10,000 years ended rather badly and there's exactly one wizard left who isn't evil. Suddenly having a Magocracy is a bit of a problem when there aren't any left...
  • Most countries in Doctrine of Labyrinths seem to be run this way, ranging from more or less benevolent to downright oppressive. Melusine in particular is jointly ruled by an annemer (nonwizard) Lord Protector and the Curia, a council of the most influential wizards.
  • Inverted in Warbreaker—while most people in power in Hallandren are also skilled Awakeners, this is because they have used their wealth to buy the Breath needed to fuel the magic. In other words, the magic is like a fancy car or house in our world—not a source of influence, but a definite sign of it. Of course, ultimate power in Hallandren lies in the Court of Gods, who are mostly figureheads, and their priests (though said priests are often powerful Awakeners themselves).
  • The elves in the Tinker Series by Wen Spencer have a strict caste system. At the top are the Doma, who, due to a genetic quirk, are capable of using magic from a distance. Violently subverted in the fact that the Sekasha, the Doma's personal guards and most elite warrior caste, have the right and duty to kill anyone, especially any Doma, who acts contrary to the good of the society/in a dishonorable fashion. They don't study magic beyond what they need to make it work.
  • Katherine Kurtz's Deryni series features a number of Deryni royal families — in fact, most royal families seem to have some Deryni blood. The Kingdom of Torenth is apparently a magocracy and the Muggle population doesn't seem to have a problem with it. On the other hand, the Kingdom of Gwynedd is a former magocracy and the Muggles had a huge problem with it.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover may also qualify as a magocracy seeing as it's ruled by a caste of psi-gifted aristocrats who practice a sort of Magitek in Towers.
  • Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series features the Blood, powerful magic-users who effectively rule over the world, including the non-Blood (called landens). The Territory Queens, supported by their Courts (mostly male), control kingdom-sized areas, with the smaller areas (provinces, cities, villages, etc.) being controlled by less powerful Queens who answer to the Territory Queens. The quality of governance ranges from enlightened to vile corruption.
  • The Obsidian Trilogy: Armethalieh has nobles, merchants, and commoners, but unless you are a Mage, you're pretty much nothing. The Mages hold all of the high governmental positions, and most of the low ones, too.
  • Juliet McKenna's Einarinn series features the city of Hadrumal, which is inhabited only by wizards. It is a kind of magic Athenian democracy, with a vote on an important issue decided not by the number of votes, but by the total magic power of those voting on each side.
  • In The Seventh Tower, the Chosen are a society of mages dominated by the most powerful magic users and those who have the best Spiritshadows though it turns out they're actually being ruled behind the scenes by Sharrakor, the most powerful Spiritshadow, who is quite free-willed. Those who don't have magic are called Underfolk and are a servant caste little better than slaves. From the same books, the Icecarls don't have a central government per se, but the closest thing to it would be the Crones, who are somewhere between priestesses, shamans, and mages.
  • In The Riftwar Cycle, the Tsurani Great Ones were above the law, literally able to give any order to just about anyone, with the only people able to override them being the Emperor or a larger group of Great Ones countermanding the previous order. Despite this, they did not actually run the government, though many dabbled in politics. Their status as being above the law ended when Mara of the Acoma demanded that they either run the government themselves (after providing evidence to the entire Empire that they could be outmaneuvered) or stop interfering with the people who were. They ultimately declined to turn the Empire into a Magocracy because they had a hard enough time just governing themselves.
  • Antaris in the Chanters of Tremaris series is ruled by the Chanters of Ice, in stark contrast to the rest of Tremaris, where chanters are widely downtrodden and persecuted. Antaris is also a Matriarchy, as it is difficult-to-impossible for men to sing the high Chantments of Ice. It is furthermore The Theocracy, as the magicians who run it are all priestesses of the goddess Taris.
  • New Aztectlan, "Hex City", in Gemma Files's The Hexslinger Series: the town is founded by a reincarnated Mayan goddess as a place where magicians, or "hexes", can actually live together and practice magic openly without wanting to vampirize each others' power to the point of death (as is true for magicians everywhere else in the world, in the series). Unfortunately, this freedom and opportunity come at the price of swearing an oath of fealty to the goddess which allows her to kill you or drain you dry at her whim, in addition to making you subject to intermittent human sacrifice. There are also a fair number of non-magical "smallfolk" in the city as well, and their lot is rather less pleasant.
  • A.L. Phillips's The Quest of the Unaligned is a partial example. While the nobles are nobles because of their magic, and the unaligned form the royal house because they have even more magic, peasants who happen to be born with magic are still looked down on by the nobles. On the other hand, peasant mages are still greatly respected by other peasants, to the degree that a mage is considered more important than the village headman.
  • In The Magicians by Lev Grossman, a Magician's Court that punishes magical criminals is mentioned a few times.
  • In Skulduggery Pleasant each country has a Sanctuary. A magical government that rules sorcerers. They each have a council of elders that's led by a Grand Mage. The Irish Sanctuary has an Elaborate Underground Base hidden beneath a waxwork museum in Dublin.
  • While not technically wizards, the Psy Lords of Takis are exactly that in Wild Cards: a group of people ruling a world through their mastery of supernatural powers.
  • In The Broken Crescent the Monarch is the official ruler of the Kingdom of Man, but the College of Man is a law unto themselves, who control access to almost all resources through their magic and can overrule the Monarch at will.
  • The Empire of Mel'in in Diamond Sword, Wooden Sword is formally an imperial monarchy, but in fact, the Emperor is a puppet of the magical Orders of the Rainbow who actually call the shots.
  • The Elric Saga: While Melnibone is nominally ruled by the Emperor, in practice it can be seen as this, especially after Elric takes a powder, as the various Dragon Lords vie amongst each other for power and their own sadistic entertainment. A more literal example would be Pan Tang (also called the Sorcerer's Isle), which appears to be ruled by a council of wizards.
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko and Nick Perumov's Wrong Time for Dragons, a large chunk of the living half of the Middle World is controlled by the four Elemental Clans. Most of the people living in the Clan lands are Muggles, who are ruled by mages. The rule is quite benevolent, and the mages use their Elemental Powers to ensure prosperity for their territories (e.g. the Water mages ensure that drought never strikes their farmlands, while the Earth mages ensure that their lands stay fertile and their mines productive). Each Clan is led by a council of first-rank mages, presided over by the clan leader, usually the most experienced and powerful of all. There was a more tyrannical version in this world's past, back when the Winged Masters ruled over all.
  • In the Towers Trilogy, magical energy functions as both currency and power. Those who produce the most magic are the most wealthy and powerful citizens of their home Towers — with the exception of the Radiants, who are imprisoned and used as living batteries.
  • Piers Anthony's Xanth is a culture where every single person has one unique magical ability. The criteria for serving as King (or Queen) of Xanth include having a "Magician-caliber" ability.
  • The Elminster Series: Elminister's native city-state Athalantar becomes one after his uncle hires a number of mages to secure the throne, who then take over with him becoming a puppet monarch. Elminster is motivated to overthrow the "magelords" after one of them destroys his hometown to remove his self-exiled father as a potential threat to the throne.
  • Halruaa from Counselors and Kings (a Forgotten Realms novel) is a region ruled by powerful wizards.
  • Sword of Truth:
    • Aidandril is a city ruled by the Mother Confessor, a woman whose touch can make anyone fall so in love with them they'll do whatever they desire.
    • D'Hara has been ruled by the House of Rahl for centuries, with all of them being powerful wizards. It's said the Rahls will only accept an heir with the gift, something insured by their magic (though it has the side effect of also creating the Pristinely Ungifted, people who not only can't do it but are immune to most magic).
    • The city where the Palace of the Prophets is, Tanimura, plus Halsband Island around it, appears to be ruled by the resident Sisters of the Light, headed by the Prelate.
    • The Imperial Order is run by two magic users, Emperor Jagang and Brother Narev, despite their professed hatred for magic and those with it.
  • The Hominum Empire in The Summoner Trilogy is this in all but name; in its foundation, battlemages were the leaders of the armies and were rewarded for their service by being granted nobility and various court positions. Nowadays all royalty and nobility in the empire have a magical bloodline, which they make strict efforts to keep among their families so as to not lose their positions over the commoners, and the only way to advance up the social ladder is by having magical talent.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: The water lords essentially rule Sileria in part due to their control over its water supplies. Even the official rulers have to give them tribute or they'll cut it off. Once the Valdani leave, their goal is absolute rule of the island.
  • The Viiminian Empire in Wise Phuul is ruled by a council of elite Necromancers.
  • The Crimson Shadow: Not only King Greensparrow but all his dukes are evil wizards.
  • In the Craft Sequence, human societies are governed either by gods and their priests or by practitioners of the secular magic called Craft. Since "magic" and "law & economics" are more or less interchangeable concepts in this world, this state of affairs is perhaps inevitable.
  • The alfar of The Laundry Files are an extremely evil version, who are incapable of conceptualizing a society that isn't ruled by a single sorcerer of indomitable power, with literally everybody else either being a tamed, subordinate mage or a slave. Conquest is performed by slaying a sorcerer and adding the geas network controlling their civilization to your own. This would've posed a real problem for their Earth invasion plan, which hinged on our civilization working the exact same way, if only their invasion had an actual chance of succeeding in the first place.
  • Vaskandar from Melissa Caruso's Swords and Fire trilogy is ruled by its "Witch Lords," a loose alliance of seventeen powerful mages who each wield absolute authority over their individual fiefdoms (the Conclave, the assembly of all the Witch Lords, deals with matters affecting Vaskandar as a whole, but a Witch Lord's right to control the internal workings of their domain as they see fit is considered sacrosanct). The country also has a Fantastic Caste System, with non-Witch Lord mages who are powerful enough to manifest a mage mark being treated as high nobility, non-marked mages still receiving some respect, and muggles being regarded in most domains as slightly better than dirt. It's eventually revealed that a Witch Lord's power derives from their magical bond with their territory, which is what makes them nearly immortal and so much stronger than other mages. This is also why Vaskandar is so aggressively expansionist — more land gives the Witch Lords the chance to expand their powers, and/or allows for the raising of new Witch Lords over conquered territory.
  • In the Dread Empire novels, the titular empire, Shinsan, is both a magocracy and a militocracy. At the very top is the monarch (a title jointly held by the twin Princes Thaumaturge as the series opens) who is always an extremely powerful sorcerer; immediately below them are the Military Mage class called the Tervola. Full-fledged Tervola serve as generals, provincial governors, and pretty much every other high-level position, while Tervola Aspirants fill out the lower officer and bureaucratic ranks. Muggles pretty much don't get to be anything but commoners, though someone who develops magical abilities is automatically elevated in status and may have a chance to join the Tervola (though making full Tervola when you're not from a traditionally Tervola family is hard — not impossible, but hard).
  • The Whipper Kingdom in Trash of the Count's Family was one of these. Mages were the ruling class, and those who can't use magic were heavily discriminated against. A civil war ends it.
  • The Reluctant King: Vorko and his compatriots had planned to establish one across the states of Novaria after he purges the wizards opposing him. Karadur, who had been his friend, is appalled and stops this. Supposedly, it would have been to spread magic for everyone's benefit. He would have been in charge of course and indicates he'll only really have people who he'd chosen to use magic.
  • Wizard of Yurt: In the East, wizards also rule, unlike within the Western kingdoms.
  • The Arts of Dark and Light:
    • The Witchkings effectively made their empire a state ruled by mages, since their magic was a racial trait, carried by the ruling overcaste. They also had lesser, baseline human wizards (who were not Witchkings proper, although sometimes mistaken for such by others) serving them as officers and officials.
    • Downplayed with Savondir. Their empire is a hereditary monarchy (under a non-magical dynasty), but their magical corps (basically a State Sec, including a Praetorian Guard) is nonetheless extremely powerful in their society, much like the Party in a more modern totalitarian state.
  • The Courtship of Princess Leia: Dathomir is wholly ruled by different Witch clans using the Force (they believe that it's magic), with muggles (or men generally, as only female Witches exist) as their slaves or servants.
  • Bazil Broketail: The Masters of Padmasa, five evil wizards, rule their empire and seek to conquer the entire world. Argonath nominally has muggle rulers, but the Cunfshon witches exert strong (often unofficial) influence (such as by assassinating monarchs and heirs who prove to be troublesome). They rule the Cunfshon Isles openly and officially too.
  • Guardians of the Flame: The wizards of Pandathaway are really its rulers behind the scenes. Officially, their guild head Lucius is just one of its ruling council members.
  • Ghost Roads: The routewitches are ruled by a King or Queen who lives on the former highway called the Ocean Lady, which is also a Genius Loci and their goddess. They don't hold themselves apart from the rest of the world, but it's rare for anyone except ghosts and routewitches to visit the Queen's court. The monarch can't leave their court without giving up their immortality, and since routewitches draw power from distance traveled, all of them are compelled to pay tribute of some small amount of power to them.
  • Reign of the Seven Spellblades: The government of the Union is not discussed in detail but is strongly implied to be this. Mages sit so firmly at the top of the class system that non-magic expectant mothers sometimes ask mages for a spell that could make their child a Mage Born of Muggles for the socioeconomic advantages (according to the protagonists, no such spell exists). Demihumans are firmly second-class citizens, and that's if they're lucky: only a few species even legally get civil rights, although there's an ongoing movement to reform this.
  • The Steerswoman: Downplayed. In the Inner Lands, wizards don't have any formal political power and mostly keep to themselves, but whenever one of them starts giving orders, people know better than to defy them. This ranges from forcing people to work for them for no pay up to conscripting entire armies to fight their periodic, inexplicable wars between each other. In exchange, they may provide services such as predicting the weather and keeping dangerous animals at bay, according to each wizard's whims. Rowan hears an Outskirter derisively call Inner Landers nothing more than wizards' goats (the Outskirters being a goat-herding culture without wizards), and finds she can't really deny the comparison.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Daenerys' court is a version. Daenerys is only so powerful because she possesses three of this world's equivalent of magical weapons of mass destruction.
  • Legend of the Seeker: Before being invaded by D'Hara, the ultimate authority in the Midlands belonged to the Confessors, women with the magical power to tell whether people are telling the truth or enslave them with a touch. The royal family of D'Hara has inherent magical power, but for centuries didn't learn how to use it because they can't help being corrupted by it. When Zedd taught the king how to use magic, Zedd's father was outraged because "no man should have the earthly power of the throne and the power of magic". He was proven right.

  • The Gamer's Alliance: The Magicracy of Alent is a city ruled by the Council of Mages and where most citizens are accomplished wizards of their own right who have rallied under Alent's banner for the common cause of advancing research on magic.
  • The Gungan Council has the Sith Council and its many worlds being governed only by Sith, both publicly and in the shadows.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Castle Falkenstein: The Freemasons are a sorcerous order and they run the United States. Officially. It's actually written into the Constitution that the President has to be a member, which means he has to take orders from the Grand Master on pain of death.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Nations ruled by wizards are very common in the various settings:
    • Dark Sun: The cities of Athas (except Tyr, depending on the timeline) are ruled by tyrannical Sorcerer Kings.
    • Forgotten Realms:
      • Netheril was full of Magitek, inhumanly arrogant, but mostly non-evil (if not good) Archwizards with magical longevity ruled over Muggles — until their abuses of magic provoked turning the entire region into a barren desert and rose to stealing the power from the goddess of magic, killing her, them and damaging the world's magic circuit.
      • Thay and Luskannote  are evil magocracies. They got better later when pro-trade attitudes won.
      • Sshamath is a city-state as nice as possible for evil drow.
      • The kingdom of Halruaa in the southern Realms is a good Magocracy, where all citizens benefit from wizardry and Magitek, happy people celebrate holy days, the law protects, and... Nightmare Fuel quietly gurgles behind the scene.
      • Rashemen is the good counterpart of Thay, where a caste of women spellcasters called Witches hold religious and spiritual authority, and as such, their word is law.
    • Mystara has the Principalities of Glantri, a smaller Magocracy with a capital like Venice, diverse subdomains like Switzerland, and great hostility to clerics. Glantri and Alphatia both have magic-users outranking non-magicians, though Alphatia honors clerics as well as arcane magicians. Both Glantri and Alphatia have their faults. The former is scornful of divine casters and not all that bad on Muggles; the latter is respectful of divine casters and condescending-to-malicious to Muggles, depending on where you are. Herath also qualifies as a Magocracy if you don't require that the ruling mages be humanoids.
    • Scarred Lands has the city of Hollowfaust, which is ruled by necromancers descended from a cabal who ended up accidentally taking in refugees whilst they were exploring the ruins of a city destroyed by a volcanic eruption. It defies the expectations by actually being a pretty nice place to live. Yes, the necromancer guilds are unequivocally in charge and they do make rules to facilitate that fact, such as legally taking possession of any corpse in the city, and there is a Secret Police run by a lichified necromancer who was one of the original founders, but it's really not that bad. The general level of wealth is higher than anywhere else in the setting, disease is a rarity thanks to the efforts of the necromancers, the general level of health is higher, the city is generally safe, and the Secret Police only cares whether or not you're plotting against the city and officially couldn't care less what you do in your private life, making there be very few non-obvious crimes. And for the record, this is a setting where one of the gods officially preaches homophobia.
    • The Tippyverse is a hypothetical setting that came into being when the implications of the large-scale, long-distance teleportation were considered. The premise is based on the use of the 9th-level spell teleportation circle, which allows for quick and efficient trade between cities, safe travel that does not risk being attacked by monsters, and devastating military strikes. This leads to the centralisation of population in major cities, and the all but abandonment of other areas (as it was deemed impossible to effectively defend settlements against mass strikes from enemy nations using teleportation magic). To solve the problems of providing the necessary food and water, magical create food and water traps were created to feed the populations of these cities. Other magical traps (such as wish traps that create 25,000gp every time they are activated) are created to smooth the running of these cities. High-level wizards have control, as they're the ones with the capability to create these items, and have enough power to ensure they stay at the top.
  • Exalted: The Realm and the First Age Solar Deliberative are oligarchic (though the Realm is theoretically a monarchy) states ruled by human beings given the powers of the gods.
  • GURPS has this on its list of government types, as a subset of meritocracy.
    • Banestorm: Yrth has the nation of Abydos, which is ruled by necromancers, liches, and the undead. The populace doesn't mind, as the rather ... odd sect of Christianity that the locals follow makes raising the dead a holy act.
    • GURPS Technomancer has the Magiocracy of Surinam, which is a small South American country conquered by a mercenary-mage in 1982, and now ruled by his necromancer widow with the covert support of the setting's main magical Mega-Corp.
  • Spears of the Dawn: The kingdom of Lokossa is ruled by its greatest sorcerer, and being discovered to have magical potential means instant adoption into the nobility for a commoner. They also practice widespread Human Sacrifice to empower their magic-users.
  • Tech Infantry, has, almost regardless of the style of government among various human factions, either Mages or Vampires as the outright rulers or the shadowy powers behind the throne. Pretty much all of the endless series of Civil Wars that the Earth Federation goes through are really power struggles among different factions of Mages and Vampires over who gets to be the power behind the throne this decade, with ordinary humans caught in the middle or used as cannon fodder by both sides.
  • Traveller: The Zhodani Consulate is the soft sci-fi version. Nobles and Intendents have Psychic Powers, allowing them to maintain the most effective police state in human history.
  • Warhammer:
    • The Chaos Dwarfs are ruled by their evil sorcerers.
    • The Lizardmen are led by the ancient Slann mage-priests, although they spend most of their time pondering magical secrets and leave the day-to-day running to the Skinks.
    • Saphery, one of the High elf Inner Kingdoms, corners the "elves as magical sophisticates" archetype and is governed by the Council of Archmages. High Loremaster Teclis is Prince of this realm.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Occasionally, some societies are led by powerful psykers. This is normally a bad idea since psykers' powers make them vulnerable to Demonic Possession and Warp corruption, so these societies either find methods to mitigate this issue or implode.
    • Prospero, home planet of the fallen Primarch Magnus the Red, and its replacement, the Planet of the Sorcerers, which is located in a permanent Negative Space Wedgie. Prospero's psykers were immune to Warp problems due to magical crystals from a cavern under the city, but they were still duped by daemons into some very poor choices.
    • While most Eldar Craftworlds are led by an Autarch, a civic leader who has experienced multiple life paths and professions, Ulthwé is largely led by its Seer Council, a gathering of its most powerful and experienced psykers who use their ability to predict the future to steer the Craftworld's course and inform its policy and decisions. In their case, they maintain stability thanks partly to the Eldar having stabler and more developed powers than human psykers and partly to centuries of training and iron discipline.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Mage: The Ascension has the Technocratic Union, though they're in denial and see their power as coming from sufficiently advanced technology. The Order of Hermes (playing magic straight) held this role centuries ago and would like to return to it.
    • Mage: The Awakening has the Seers of the Throne, who, while not absolute rulers of the world, have a great deal of power amongst world governments and other organisations, as well as being organised in a bureaucracy. The Silver Ladder has the goal of ousting the Seers and replacing their rule with a meritocratic Gnostocracy. The Daksha legacy is a rather disquieting philosophy that melds this with the Master Race, adding in Gender Bender and Hermaphrodite for some extra creepiness.
    • Genius: The Transgression has two major Magocracies: Lemuria, a group of mostly Chaotic Evil mad scientists who think they rule the world, and The Peerage, a group of mostly Chaotic Good mad scientists who make sure they don't. Interestingly, Lemuria and the aforementioned Seers of the Throne are physically unable to recognize each other.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The "Endymion" archetype is based in a magical kingdom called "Endymion" ruled by a powerful Wizard King named "Endymion" (don't worry. It's exactly as confusing as it sounds). In Endymion (the country), access to Magic is tightly controlled, but those who are chosen by the state to wield magic are set for life. At one point Endymion (the country) declared war against the "Prophecy" archetype because Endymion (the man) felt the Prophecies' belief that Magic should be accessible to the masses is dangerous. To be fair he wasn't exactly wrong. In an effort to drive back the invading Endymion Soldiers, "Fool of Prophecy" (the Prophecy archetype is themed after Tarot Cards) selected a spellbook from Prophecy's vast library at random and ended up becoming the embodiment of the Death Arcana "Reaper of Prophecy", which lead to massive casualties on both sides.

    Video Games 
  • Dawn of War: The Blood Ravens' Chapter Master is also the chapter's Chief Librarian, the designation used to refer to its most senior psyker. However, after Dawn of War III, this tradition is broken, as the new Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos is not a psyker at all.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Blackberry's goal in reviving the ancient wizard Diamond Mine is to create rulership of mages over the world and humanity, led by the ancient and powerful Diamond Mine himself. Zophy and his companions oppose her believing that he would be a Sorcerous Overlord. Given that his followers in ancient times had sealed him inside a diamond, they might be onto something. In Attack of Darkforce, she misses out on the window to fully revive Diamond Mine and instead performs a ritual to become the second generation Diamond Mine — Diamond Black. It remains to be seen whether she becomes the Benevolent Mage Ruler she imagines or a Sorcerous Overlord for Zophy to bring down. The wizards of her old hometown of the Hidden Elf Village Ispares, meanwhile, are supportive of her attempts to either revive Diamond Mine or claim his power: as Manuela puts it, it can be useful for the wizards if their childhood friend enforces magic rulership.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy IV has the Epopts of Troia, a group of white magicians and diviners. Mysidia is also this, although it's more theocracy than a typical government.
    • Final Fantasy VI has a variation of this; in a world where magic is dying, only the highest-ranking officers in the Gestahlian Empire are trained in Magitek technology, using leftover magic harvested from the world's Espers. And then there's just Kefka.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, Galbadia becomes a type of magocracy once Edea puts a lightning bolt through the president's chest and assumes command. There's also Esthar, which was ruled by the sorceress Adel, who was so cruel that the people revolted and she was sealed up in space.
    • In Final Fantasy XI, the Federation of Windurst has such a government. It is led by the mystic Star Sybil, with five ministries headed by powerful mages.
  • Dalaran in Warcraft. It was the smallest of the human kingdoms, but rather influential. That is, until the Scourge and Burning Legion ravaged it.
    • Now after years of renovations it's back and has moved (quite literally) to Northrend as the new central city in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. It is the first city in World of Warcraft to float in midair. Players of the mage class get an automatic head start with the city's faction, the Kirin Tor, being at Friendly level right out of the gatenote .
    • Warcraft is pretty much full of Magocracies. Another example would be the Blood Elven kingdom, Quel'Thalas, where the 'Magisters' are seen in almost every position of authority. Though that may be because every Thalassian is capable of, at least, very basic magic — to which they are literally addicted. If you want to stretch it, the Night Elves of Darnassus are ruled by nature-wielding druids and divine magic-wielding priestesses.
      • The original Night Elf kingdom was ruled by Queen Azshara, a powerful sorceress, and a group of sorcerers known as the Highborne. It was their reckless experiments with magic that resulted in the original demon invasion and the Great Sundering. Some of those Highborne would make a Heel–Face Turn and temporarily join La Résistance before sailing off for the Eastern continent and forming the kingdom of Quel'Thalas, also an example. The remains of these High Elves would become the Blood Elves.
  • The Academy/Tower faction in the Heroes of Might and Magic series.
    • Deyja, the Kingdom of the Necromancers on Antagarich in its first appearance seemed to be a Necrocracy, but later turned out to be closer to this trope, as at least two modern-day kings of Deyja that took over with support from the necromantic ranks were quite living, but still mages. The general impression is that Deyja is a magocracy with feudal trappings transitioning towards being the "magocracy of undead wizards" type of necrocracy but not quite there yet.
    • The Sorceresses and Warlocks were implicitly this in the first Heroes since they were mage-ruled (as indicated by the name of the factions) and fought over the throne of Enroth. The second game downplayed it by having them all be subsidiary to the Kingdom of Enroth (note the point in the trope description on how having king who just happens to be a mage doesn't count — one or both of the contenders for the throne might have been mages, but it wasn't part of their claim to the throne).
    • The stand-alone mission pack Heroes Chronicles partly takes place before the founding of the Kingdom of Erathia and has the Bracadan mages ruling over the barbarian clans. The player, in the form of the barbarian Tarnum, must unify the clans and overthrow the mages. The collapse of Bracaduun (Bracada is the name of the smaller successor state. Mostly magocratic, as well, though the same immortal mage ruled it throughout its entire existence) led directly to Erathia's establishment, as the first King Gryphonheart was a Knight of Bracaduun before Tarnum broke Bracaduun.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The regions controlled by Great House Telvanni in Morrowind fall under this. The Councilors tend to be millennia old Evil Sorcerers who've risen to the top via Might Makes Right and Klingon Promotion.
    • The Psijic Order is one on their home island of Artaeum. They are governed by a magical council led by the Ritemaster (or Loremaster in some sources). The oldest monastic group in Tamriel, the Psijic Order is a secretive Magical Society founded during the ancient times by an Aldmeri (Precursors to the modern races of Mer) sect who rejected the transition to Aedra worship from ancestor worship, known to them as the "Old Way" or "Elder Way." Their order is highly selective and they practice Sufficiently Analyzed Magic which allows them to perform feats (make their island disappear, freeze time, astral project, etc.) that no other group in Tamriel can match (save for the extinct Dwemer).
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Tevinter Imperium is an ancient Magocracy based on Rome and Byzantium, with the Tevinter equivalent of the Roman Senate chosen from the Circle of Magi with the Grand Enchanter (Leader of the Circle) becoming The Archon (Tevinter equivalent of Emperor) after the death of the previous Archon. We have yet to actually visit it and it's a Vestigial Empire by now, but its atrocities are the main reason mages get a bad rap in Thedas. Their first act was to declare war on the elves, obliterate most of their culture, and enslave them (along with anyone else they don't like). Then they tried to break into Heaven — or rather, the Golden City at the heart of the Fade, said to be the home the Maker made for his children. What happened next is unclear, but the city turned black, and the Darkspawn taint was created, starting a vicious cycle that has persisted for centuries.
    • The Legacy DLC for the second game reveals that the first darkspawn were actually corrupted Magister Lords. However, it's implied that the city was never golden to begin with, and was already "corrupt" when they got there...
    • Tevinter ex-slave Fenris also points out that Tevinter isn't friendly to most Magi either. Only a few Magisters enjoy any power and privilege — the rest are little better than slaves. "The magisters do not hesitate to collar their own kind."
    • Tevinter is described as a Vestigial Empire in the first game, but the second game reveals more about it, and the Imperium is actually still quite strong, just not in the Southern part of Thedas, which they don't really much care about anyway. Besides, their hands are pretty full with the Qunari's constant attempts to invade.
    • The third game, with potential Tevinter companion Dorian and a few other secondary Tevinter characters and the game's Big Bad gives some more exposition on it from the point of view of people who lived there. Dorian truly loves (most of) his people and his country, but despises the corruption, the abuses of power, the sense of entitlement the ruling mages have about themselves, and that there's justified hatred of the nation by others. Various missions and messages that come up during the game reveal he's not alone in believing that. He also explains that Tevinter's government isn't too different from other nations. Power still mostly remains in old noble bloodlines. The main difference is that they all just happen to be mages. The idea that mages rule Tevinter, when the reality is that noble families of mages rule it, is meant to give false hope to commoners that their families' lot in life could improve if they sire a mage. But 99 times out of 100, they'll just end up glorified desk clerks, which may be a step up from being a mud-farming peasant, but they'd still be far from calling the shots.
  • Though Ganon is typically shown in The Legend of Zelda to be a Sorcerous Overlord ruling by himself over mindless monsters and conquered Hylians, he occasionally has a cadre of high-ranking sorcerers at his side — The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's Twinrova, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games' Onox and Veran, among others. The Royal Family of Hyrule is also occasionally portrayed as one due to their inherited Royalty Super Power, particularly in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild where the women of the royal line must train to awaken their powers.
  • The Shapers of the Geneforge series. They pretty much rule the world with an iron fist; they come down very hard on anyone who tries to learn Shaping (using essence to create and alter new forms of life) without their permission, or any beings created by Shaping that are less than fully subservient. Even "conventional" mages generally find their studies hampered by the Shapers and their restrictions on magic. Unsurprisingly, more than a few Muggles and intelligent creations have Turned Against Their Masters.
    • The Shapers have good cause to be repressive, however. Unrestricted Shaping can lead to catastrophe in dozens of different ways: disease, ecosystem destruction, rogue creations breeding, and individual Shapers going mad with power to name a few.
    • Also note that it's pretty much a toss-up whether they're a magocracy or a society of Emperor Scientists, depending on whether they're using Magitek or Magic from Technology.
  • Dark Souls has the city-state of Vinheim, which is run by the Wizarding School called the Dragon College. You don't get to personally go through, but you do meet several characters from the area.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic features an Empire ruled by the Sith Emperor, who tends to leave running the place to his Dark Council these days. That Dark Council being made up entirely of Sith Lords. Those who cannot use the Force find their opportunities to advance in the Empire rather limited and their lives ruled by the whims of the Sith.
  • In the lore of League of Legends, virtually all nations in history are said to have been ruled, either openly or covertly, by magicians, specifically summoners, who would use their magic to empower their own armies while devastating the enemy's. When this wanton use of magic started threatening the very integrity of the world itself, they then got together to form the titular League to serve as an arbiter for all future conflicts, so that they can be resolved without such destructive wars; the League now seems to want to play this role to the entire continent of Valoran (where the game notionally takes place and from where most of the playable champions originate), though not everyone is happy with this.
    • Now averted, with summoners having been Retconned out of existence. However, the game still has an example: it's said that Noxus, the Social Darwinist state that constitutes one of Valoran's two superpowers, was a Magocracy in all but name when the royalty still ruled, with the Black Rose, a cabal of power-hungry magicians, wielding the real power. Boram Darkwill's coup put an end to this, apparently at least, transforming the city into an Asskicking Leads to Leadership military dictatorship (though Darkwill himself is implied to have been something of a Sorcerous Overlord). Now that LeBlanc, the Black Rose's leader, has reappeared and seems to be quite chummy with Swain, a former Black Rose member who's usurped Darkwill's position, however, Noxus may be heading back towards Magocracy.
  • All factions, except Neutral faction, in Warlock: Master of the Arcane.
  • Timespinner's Vilete was a rather fascist example of this, treating non-magical citizens as disposable and almost sub-human.
  • Shows up multiple times in the Lunar series of games:
    • In Lunar: The Silver Star and its remakes, Vane is a magical city on a floating island designed to guard the Goddess Tower, which it slowly circles. It is inhabited and ruled entirely by mages and is the home of the Magic Guild, who are responsible for the research and instruction of magic across the world. Indeed, to even access the city hopefuls have to prove their magical ability by fighting their way through the Vane underground, which is filled with monsters resistant to physical attacks and weak to magic.
    • In the sequel Lunar: Eternal Blue, Vane still exists but it remains landbound, after being blasted out of the sky by the Grindery in the previous game 1000 years earlier. Since the previous game, the Magic Guild has largely disbanded and Vane is populated by both magical and non-magical inhabitants. Lemina, one of the game's heroes, is a descendent of the ruling family of Vane and seeks to restore it to its former glory. It's a goal she (sort-of) shares with the Evil Sorcerer Borgan, who establishes Neo-Vane, an artificial version of the original Vane that, like its namesake once did, only allows people with the ability to use magic to enter the city. However, unlike the original, anyone who does not possess any magical aptitude is instead enslaved and sent to the Zaback mines. After witnessing the atrocities of Borgan and Neo-Vane, Lemina abandons her plan to return Vane to what it once was.

  • Blindsprings The world was ruled by people born with magic and is ruled by people who learnt magic. The latter claim that their rule is more democratic, but they heavily discriminate against the former kind of mage, and overall, things do not look like a happy democracy in which everyone can take part.
  • Code Name: Hunter has the Astorian Royal Court. Theoretically, only hounds of noble birth can wield magic. Winnifred manages to subvert this by having been born a peasant with the ability to wield magic, though she was adopted by a noble house as their society assumes that all peasants with magic are illegitimate children of nobles.
  • Dominic Deegan: The few werewolf spellcasters ("spellwolves") are either born to noble houses or have their families elevated to nobility. The human kingdom Callan is ruled by a former archmage who was elected after the hereditary king and queen were assassinated by him, and it seems that many of the aristocracy are mages as well.
  • In El Goonish Shive, in the society that the griffins come from, the royal bloodlines of humans have the strongest magic of all the humans thus they are ruled by the strongest magic users.
  • In MeatShield, the elves have a magocracy. It mentions that the equivalent title to "princess" translates literally to "she to whom we must show proper respect or her father will blast us into our component atoms".
  • morphE takes place in the Mage: The Awakening universe and follows their political structure. Some extra content on their Tumblr page has revealed that Amical is a member of the Silver Ladder organization and the Guardians of the Veil tolerate his activities for reasons that are in everyone's best interests.
  • Read the description at the top of the page. That's basically the world of True Magic, with a caste of Jerkass mages in charge who have made "harassing peasants" the National pastime. Although, there is the occasional good noble...

    Web Original 
  • In Season 1 of the Empires SMP, Crystal Cliffs is inhabited almost entirely by magic users, and led by Gem, who is a wizard.
  • Impractical Magic: Istima, the Six Court Academy, is both a wildly powerful Magic School and a city-state unto itself. Though all the leaders are mages, and powerful, the trope is subverted. At some point, wizards become so powerful that having a job, needing to afford food, and the approval of regular mortals means nothing to them. As such they stop teaching and abandon their important influential jobs to take the best parts of the Big Labyrinthine Building and slowly fade into history as they do incomprehensible things. No one is sure if they died, become gods, teleported away, are on multi-millennia astral projection trips, or if there are higher levels of the school. They just know that it's dangerous, booby-trapped, and anytime orders come down from a high tower that it must be obeyed.
  • The society in Mage Life is ruled by one of these.
  • In Mother of Learning, the old Alliance of Eldemar was ruled by the leading mage families; the situation after The Splinter War seems to be more complicated.

    Western Animation 
  • Played with in the various societies of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
    • In Ba Sing Se, the Earth King is not an earthbender, and the true power is held by an organization of powerful but extremely corrupt benders, the Dai Li.
    • In general a lot of the government/infrastructure jobs in the Earth Kingdom are held by benders, as they literally control the ground on which you stand. The Omashu mail system and the Ba Sing Se trains are controlled by benders, and they keep everything running smoothly. Of course, there is the "bully forces his way to the top because he's stronger" situation in the village from "Zuko Alone", as the leader of the thugs/soldiers appears to be the only earthbender in town.
    • The Fire Nation ruling class appears to consist of very powerful benders. The Firelord is considered the most powerful firebender, and he kind of has to be because if he isn't, someone else could challenge him to an Agni Kai and steal his throne. Azulon was specifically stated to be a prodigy, just like his granddaughter Azula; Sozin was apparently powerful enough to pose a threat to Avatar Roku (himself a Fire Nation noble), and Ozai is the most frighteningly skilled firebender shown.
      • Also, for a fascist dictatorship, controlling the populace with force would be important, so firebenders would naturally have authority over non-benders.
      • Originally the nation of fire was ruled by the Fire Sages, who performed administrative and religious duties, in an example of both magocracy and theocracy.
    • In the Northern Water Tribe, the benders don't necessarily run the city, but they are highly respected and appear to control infrastructure in ways similar to benders in the Earth Kingdom. As for the Southern Water Tribe, it's unclear how they viewed benders back in the day, as by the time the show starts there is only one left from extensive Fire Nation raids killing or capturing all the rest. This last waterbender, a pre-teen named Katara, doesn't seem to be shown any special deference or treated any differently than the other members of her tribe despite not only being a bender but also being the last Bender in the entire Southern Tribe.
    • Part of the reason the Air Nomads were such an egalitarian society was that they were all benders due to their high spirituality, so there was no ruling class.
  • In the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra, benders still retain a strong influence over society. Non-benders have become influential enough that they are starting to resent this — the Big Bad Amon is the leader of an organization opposed to benders. We later find out that the government of the United Republic is an oligarchic council made up of representatives from the five bending nations; North and South Water Tribe, Air Nomad, Fire Nation, and Earth Kingdom. The non-bending community has no representation, and even the Air nomads, which consist of about five people in the whole world, have more say in the government than the thousands upon thousands of non-benders. There's no rule that they have to be benders (Sokka, who is not a bender, was at one point a member of the council), it's more a consequence of the council trying to represent all the Elemental Nations the United Republic's citizens descended from, plus the usual societal advantages benders benefit from. By Book Two, Republic City's government has been replaced by a democratic republic with an elected president.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Equestria has some elements of this. It's ruled by an immortal princess of vast power, and the aristocracy is filled with unicorns. However, there are still plenty of earth ponies in prominent positions, the pegasi have sole responsibility for the weather, most unicorns can only do minor telekinesis and one other personal spell, and just what the aristocracy does all day is never addressed.
    • Pre-Equestrian pony society is a more clear example of this trope, with the three tribes having rigid, racially-enforced castes. The unicorns were rulers, the pegasi were military and controlled the weather, and the earth ponies provided food for all of them.
    • Technically, everypony is a mage of sorts. They just have different kinds of magic: Unicorns have the basic telekinesis and possibly other spells, pegasi have flight and weather manipulation, and earth ponies are figuratively and literally Closer to Earth. And for a good chunk of the populace, what they do for a living doesn't actually require any magic at all.
  • On Thundarr the Barbarian, there is a Council of Wizards, which is never depicted onscreen, but which the young wizard Artemus is very keen to impress. It is implied that there is at least some kind of loose government consisting of powerful wizards, although the overall system would appear to be feudal, with the wizards being akin to allied rulers at best, and ordinary humans as their serfs or slaves.
  • The Owl House: The Boiling Isles under Emperor Belos are essentially this. While nearly everyone in the isles has magical abilities, Belos' status as the most powerful witch alive as a foundation of his authority; and the exemption of the Emperor's Coven from the Power Limiter brands imposed on the rest of the covens nevertheless marries magical power with political status. Inhabitants of the isles also exhibit uncharitable attitudes towards non-magic users (or those who have lost their magic somehow) ranging from Condescending Compassion to outright supremacy. Overall, it is shown that life on the isles as a non-magic user is hard, unforgiving, and offers very limited options for one to make a future for themselves.
    • Over the course of the show, it is implied that Belos' goal is to invade the human realm to establish a Magocracy that rules over the non-magical humans, as well as the magic-using witches and demons. This makes The Reveal that Belos' goal was never to expand the Magocracy but to destroy it alongside all the witches and all the demons of the isles both all the more jarring and disturbing.

Magic is Might.

Alternative Title(s): Magocracy