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Wizard Beard

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A beard, usually white, extending a good ways down, is part of the standard appearance of a Wizard Classic. The length of a beard roughly indicates his ability as a wizard, as a really long beard can often indicate someone who is beyond a "natural" lifespan.

See also Robe and Wizard Hat, and Rapunzel Hair. Compare and Contrast Beard of Barbarism, Beard of Evil (some evil wizards have this instead of a Wizard Beard.)



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    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: Xiao Haha has a long, white-colored beard and not only uses magic like your average wizard, but he's also written an entire book about it.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • Shazam: Shazam!
  • The Ancient One, mentor of Doctor Strange, has a long beard, albeit a neat one. His colleague the Aged Genghis (who is quite insane) has an odd version which is either a forked beard or a very large mustache.
  • Asterix: Druid Panoramix/Getafix sports a long white beard. He's responsible for making the magic potion that makes the village invincible.
  • Suthaze, the Evil Sorcerer in SnarfQuest, has a long white beard that reaches most of the way down his vhest and is tied into two ponytails.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: While Shaggy is actually a leprechaun he wears what is essentially a Robe and Wizard Hat, has powerful magic and has a long white beard that has gotten stuck in things when he doesn't remember to tuck it into his belt.

     Fan Works 
  • There are a number of these on wizards in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, most notably on Shaamforouz.
  • Empath, although more of a powerful telepath than a wizard, has a very long beard as Great-Grandfather Smurf in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Days Of Future Smurfed".
  • Papa Smurf himself grows one in the latter years of his life in Hero: The Guardian Smurf.

    Folk Lore 
  • Most depictions of Merlin, natch.
  • Many deities have such beards. These include Zeus/Jupiter, Saturn/Kronos, Odin and even some depictions of capital G God. See Grandpa God.
    • Note that the modern depiction of Wizards with these beards, which can be traced to Tolkien, was directly inspired by Odin's traditional portrayals as the Gray Wanderer.
  • Santa Claus.
  • Melchior from the Magi.
  • Hermes Trismegistos, the founder of Alchemy
  • Hiram Abif, the founder of Freemasonry

  • The Big Bad of the Taiwanese film, Return Of The Kung Fu Dragon, is an Evil Wizard whose beard reaches his kneecaps! Naturally, he had a protege whose job is to carry his beard for him in every scene. It's also glaringly obvious that the beard is his weak spot, exploited by the heroes in the final battle.

  • Dumbledore of Harry Potter has such a beard. Played for laughs in Goblet of Fire. Dumbledore draws an "Age Line" around the goblet to prevent any underage students entering themselves for the Triwizard Tournament. Anyone who tries, even if they've magically aged themselves up, is knocked backwards... and finds that they've suddenly grown an enormous beard (yes, this includes women). When the Weasley twins try it, Dumbledore compliments them on the quality of their beards.
  • Merlin is normally shown with such. In The Sword in the Stone, his beard keeps getting tangled up or caught in doors. Oddly, medieval portrayals of Merlin do not give him the beard — that came later. Merlin was only shown in early works as a youth, and in later works — like Mallory — he's a shapeshifter who takes the shape of a child, a woman, and old man, but never reveals his true form.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Gandalf, Saruman, and Círdan have such beards. Círdan is interesting because he is one of the few elves to have facial hair, and although technically not a wizard, has pretty close ties to them.
  • Phenomena: Sha-ra has this, Sherpa might have it, while no hair is ever seen on Tarkan.
  • Dragon Queen: the old man has a long white beard.
  • Where's Waldo? has a recurring character called Wizard Whitebeard.
  • Some older depictions of Elminster of Shadowdale in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms setting. Newer pictures give him a short beard.
  • Played with in the Discworld novels with Rincewind, who has a scraggly beard but is not one of nature's beard-wearers, and Ponder Stibbons, who is not able to grow one at all. They are the exceptions in a sea of proud, beardy wizards.
    • Cohen however, has a barbarian beard. It has been described as making his loincloth superfluous as far as decency was concerned.
    • Prehumous Professor of Morbid Bibliography, Professor Pelc (as opposed to the Posthumous Professor of the same. Think about it) wears a false long beard because it is expected of wizards and remains one of the few naturally, by choice unshaven wizards to be seen.
    • Professor Hix of The Department Of Post-Mortem Communications has a goatee, as is expected of his position.
    • Cutwell in Mort also lacked a beard; the narration explained that there are fashions in wizardry like everything else, and Cutwell was out of step with the one that said you had to look like an elderly alderman.
  • In Old Man Khottabych by Lazar Lagin, the titular genie's beard becomes a plot point because he can only cast magic by expending a hair from it. Meaning that if, by any misfortune, he loses his beard (or simply gets it wet), he's Brought Down to Normal. Except for one case when he was prepared for it and cast a spell to temporarily do magic with Badass Finger Snaps.
  • Lampshaded and averted in the Young Wizards series. It's pointed out that the most skilled wizards don't get the opportunity to grow long beards, since being a thorn in the side of the Big Bad tends to lead to a short life-span.
  • Sword of Truth:
    • Averted/parodied in the first book where First Wizard Zedd has no beard. Midway through the first book, Richard calls him out on this, saying that wizards are supposed to have beards, and everyone knows that. Zedd plays along, and magically grows out a long white beard... then immediately shaves it off, saying he doesn't wear a beard because they're itchy. He can't just remove it himself, because he only has Additive magic.
    • Later, it's a plot point that Richard can both grow and remove his own beard — signifying that he can use both Additive and Subtractive magic.
  • Both Fizban from Dragonlance and his Expy Zifnab from The Death Gate Cycle have these.
  • Enforced in Diana Wynne Jones' Dark Lord of Derkholm. Mr. Chesney's regulations state that every wizard leading a Pilgrim Party must wear a long beard in order to appear ancient and wise, no matter how old they really are. For this reason, women aren't allowed to be party wizards, one of the many, many complaints the locals have about the whole affair.
  • C. S. Lewis loved this trope. In The Chronicles of Narnia, Coriakin, Ramandu, old Caspian, Father Time, Father Christmas, and the Hermit of the Southern March are all described as having very long white beards. (Of course, most of them are not actual wizards).
  • Lampshaded in The Last Unicorn. When Schmendrick announces himself as a wizard he is more than once met with doubt because people expect a real wizard to have a beard. Later they meet the powerful wizard Mabruk who has the stereotypical long beard.
  • Played with in The Belgariad, where this is, like the Robe and Wizard Hat, is a point of minor contention. All the sorcerers in the series have short beards or none at all, save Ctuchik, whose ragged whiskers fit his general "decrepit corpse" look. The idea of them all having long beards is met with scorn.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire. Grand Maester Pycelle (the maesters are Fantasy Counterpart Culture scientists rather than practitioners of magic, though some also study it) has a long white beard which gives himself an air of wisdom. Unfortunately after Tyrion Lannister has Shagga forcibly shave it off during an interrogation, he loses this implied authority, just looking like a sickly old man.
  • Second Apocalypse: Drusas Achamian is a sorcerer of rank in the School of the Mandate and sports a long beard with five white streaks in it. However, his beard is pretty standard, given that most cultures outside of the Nansur Empire cultivate beards.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Merlin on Merlin (2008) usually averts this trope, since he's a youth in the series. But it is put into play when he uses the aging spell to turn himself into "Dragoon" and the beard is definitely there. His future self also sports one.
  • Parodied hard in Wizards of Waverly Place where the senior Wizard of Wiztech has a fake beard that he surrenders to a wannabe dark wizard.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer: Wizards largely, but not universally, avert this trope. The most powerful wizards in the Warhammer world are either Elves (who are naturally beardless), Slann (giant frogs, so no body hair at all), daemons (mostly hairless, though it varies) or undead (and hence tend to lack not only hair but any skin to grow it from as well). The most thickly bearded race, Dwarfs, doesn't have any wizards at all. Of the remaining races with spellcasters Bretonnian wizards are all female, Skaven and Beastmen have animal heads rather than human facial features, and Ogre wizards tend to have little by way of facial hair, which leaves the human wizards of the Empire and Chaos Sorcerers as the sole candidates for Wizarding Beards. Even then beards are fashionable in the Empire in general, and most Imperial wizards tend to be no more fulsomely bearded than other Imperial citizens, with the usual exception of the wild and shamanic Amber Wizards and druidic nature-venerating Jade Wizards (but that's just as much a Beard of Barbarism). The most powerful wizard in the Empire, Balthasar Gelt, probably does not have a beard, and even if he does it is sufficiently small to conceal entirely behind the golden facemask he wears at all times. Notably, however, Imperial wizards who sport beards almost invariably have ones in colors matching their associated lore of magic — the pyromancers of the Bright College wear bright red and orange beards, for instance. In Mordheim, the model for the human wizard Nicodemus also depicts him with a flowing beard that reaches past his belt.
  • Pathfinder: Ezren, the iconic Wizard, has a more trimmed version of this. In the same setting, male Witches can learn a hex that lets them turn even the smallest patch of beard into one of these, or make an existing one super-long, as a side-effect of turning it into Prehensile Hair.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: In Mystara, the supplement Elves of Alfheim has an elf wizard NPC sporting a very long beard (Mystara's elves can grow facial hair) just because he heard of this trope amongst human wizards and found it cool.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy has the recurring summon Ramuh in that no matter what his size is, his beard is thick and goes down to his knees. One way the Warrior of Light in Final Fantasy XIV is this.
    "He's half man, half beard, and another half beard for good measure."
  • Athos (who is over 1000) of Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword has a beard almost as tall as he is (or taller; portrait, official art, and battle sprite differ on the exact length, but it is always past the waist). And Hector constantly lampshades it with his nickname for Athos, Graybeard.
  • In Little Big Adventure, to become a wizard, a (fake) long white beard is a necessary costume element along with the wizard robe and hat. Before being able to graduate, Twinsen must buy one off of a shady flying carpet salesman.
  • The archmagi (including Antonidas) in Warcraft. Velen, too, although he's less "wizard" than "ancient high priest."
  • Lezaford in Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
  • The Riftwar Cycle: The Great One (read: really powerful Tsurani magician) Makala has a long white beard, in spite of the books asserting emphatically that Great Ones do not wear beards, because in Tsurani culture, only slaves are anything but clean-shaven.
  • In the game Space Station 13, there's a gamemode in which a player is selected to be a Space Wizard and cause chaos on the station. He needs a few items to be able to cast spells. Those items? A Robe and Wizard Hat and a Beard.
  • Gammel Drask of GrimGrimoire.
  • Manannan in King's Quest III.
  • Alakazam from Pokémon.
  • In the Borderlands 2 campaign "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep", Claptrap takes the role of a mad, reclusive wizard. However, since he's a robot, he naturally has no beard until he tasks you with collecting the beards of dead dwarves and forging (yes, forging) one for him.
  • The male mage in Dragon Quest III is a hunched-over old man with a white beard, though it doesn't go much lower than his chest.
  • Dungeon Keeper 2: The enemy Wizard units have a Wizard Classic look with a long white beard, the better to contrast them with their warlock Evil Counterparts in the player's employ, who all have shaved heads and black goatees.
  • Gwonam from Link: The faces of evil have a long gray beard and have a few magic power like making scrolls appear out of nowhere.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Merklynn from Visionaries.
  • The Ice King in Adventure Time. And he can use it to fly.
  • Homnibus the good wizard in The Smurfs. Gargamel tried to use magic to grow one in an episode, believing he'd be more respected in the wizard community with a beard, but he didn't read the directions right, and the beard filled his entire house and extended itself all the way to the Smurf Village. Naturally, the Smurfs had to rescue him. Grandpa Smurf, who is technically a wizard from his experiences of traveling through the world, has a very long white beard.
  • Yen Sid, Mickey Mouse's magic teacher in both Fantasia and the Kingdom Hearts series.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Starswirl the Bearded, an ancient unicorn mage famous for mentoring both the Princesses and one of the founders of Equestria, inventing the amniomorphic spell and being one of the most powerful wizards to ever live, gained his name from his iconic snowy-white beard. Exactly how long this beard is depicted as has varied in the show — when Twilight Sparkle went for Nightmare Nightnote  as him, her fake beard went to the ground, and his depiction in a flashback in Rainbow Rocks gave an enormous beard large enough to fill the screen, but the comics show him with a much smaller beard. Once he appeares on-screen in "Shadow Play", he's shown with a full but much more sedate beard, paired with a mustache.
    • Sunburst has a long and somewhat scraggly goatee. Played with — the beard, alongside his messy and book-filled study and his star-spangled cape, helps reinforce the appearance in "The Crystalling" that he's a successful and powerful wizard. However, he isn't actually good at using magic and never became a wizard, although he is a very knowledgeable scholar of arcane lore.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Avatar Roku has a Gandalf-esque long white beard to emphasize his role as Aang's mentor.
  • Il était une fois...: Maestro, whose beard is clearly modelled after Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Sported by Twinkle-Stick, the tribal shaman of the Lizard Clan, in Fangbone!. In "Helmit of Durling", the reduced-intelligence Bill starts to believe that anyone with facial hair is Twinkle-Stick.
  • The Wizard from the 1933 Wizard of Oz short is depicted with having a long beard.

    Real Life 


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