A magician, also known as a enchanter/enchantress, mage, magic-user, sorcerer/sorceress, spell-caster, warlock, witch, or wizard, is someone who uses or practices magic derived from supernatural, occult, or arcane sources. :54 Magicians are common figures in works of fantasy, such as fantasy literature and role-playing games, and enjoy a rich history in mythology, legends, fiction, and folklore. Character archetypes In medieval chivalric romance, the wizard often appears as a wise old man and acts as a mentor, with Merlin from the King Arthur stories being a prime example. :195 Wizards such as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter are also featured as mentors, and Merlin remains prominent as both an educative force and mentor in modern works of Arthuriana. :637 Other magicians, such as Saruman from The Lord of the Rings or Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter, can appear as hostile villains. :193 Villainous sorcerers were so crucial to pulp fantasy that the genre in which they appeared was dubbed 'sword and sorcery'. :885Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea explored the question of how wizards learned their art, introducing to modern fantasy the role of the wizard as protagonist. This theme has been further developed in modern fantasy, often leading to wizards as heroes on their own quests. Such heroes may have their own mentor, a wizard as well. :637Wizards can be cast similarly to the absent-minded professor: being foolish and prone to misconjuring. They can also be capable of great magic, both good or evil. :140141 Even comical wizards are often capable of great feats, such as those of Miracle Max in The Princess Bride, although he is a washed-up wizard fired by the villain, he saves the dying hero. = Appearance =Wizards are often depicted as old, white-haired, and with long white beards majestic enough to occasionally host lurking woodland creatures. This depiction predates the modern fantasy genre, being derived from the traditional image of wizards such as Merlin. The famous magicians who noticeably entered popular culture are Mickey Mouse, the cartoon mascot of The Walt Disney Company, and Yen Sid from the Walt Disney Pictures film Fantasia. In the Dragonlance campaign setting of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, wizards show their moral alignment by their robes. Terry Pratchett described robes as a magician's way of establishing to those they meet that they are capable of practicing magic. = Limits =To introduce conflict, writers of fantasy fiction often place limits on the magical abilities of wizards to prevent them from solving problems too easily. :616 In Larry Niven's The Magic Goes Away, once an area's mana is exhausted, no one can use magic. :942 A common limit invented by Jack Vance in his The Dying Earth series, and later popularized in role-playing games is that a wizard can only cast a specific number of spells in a day. :385Magic can also require various sacrifices or the use of certain materials, such as gemstones, blood, or a live sacrifice.
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