The presence of wizards in literature is like the presence of gods, goddesses, and deities from Greek mythology in the literature of many languages, particularly in English literature. Similarly, fairy tales are as old as human civilization, and wizards have been the essential protagonists and antagonists in one or the other form. The wizards have been both heroes as well as villains. At times they have played the role of counselors and guides. Not only children and adolescents were attracted towards the magical charms of the sorcerers and magicians, but also the wizards have impacted the real world historically, socially, and politically. A daughter and niece of Reverend Samuel Paris fell ill in January, 1692, and the village doctor, William Griggs, diagnosed bewitchment as the cause of the sickness. This activated many anti-witchcraft segments of society and caused the tragic hanging of 19 men and women by the stoning to death of 1 man, the death of 7 prisoners, and the disabling of many others. The Special Witchcraft Court, known as the Oyer and Terminer Court, was headed by Chief Justice William Stoughton. The McCarthy Hearings of the 1950s resembled the Salem Witch Trials.
1. The Wizard Ged
Ged is a protagonist of A Wizard of Earthsea written by Ursula K.Le. Ged’s birth name was Duny, and he was born to a bronze smith on Gont Island. In his childhood he noted his aunt calling her goats by pronouncing some magic words. Copying her, he too started using these words indiscriminately. Noting his aptitude, his aunt taught him more about the power of these words, and by the age of 12, Ged was able to call animals by using these words. Sparrowhawks were found mostly around him so he was nicknamed Sparrowhawk after them. When he was 12, Kargs attacked his island. To protect it he used two spells. The first one enveloped the island in which a thick layer of fog and the enemy were unable to locate the islanders. The second spell created illusions which confused the Kargs. However, the use of these spells was at the cost of his health on account of an excessive consumption of energy during this act.
2. Raistlin Majere
Raistlin Majere is a fictional protagonist from the Dragonlance Legends created by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. Dragonlance Legends is a very popular and famous series of fictional books comprising three parts: Times of the Twins, War of the Twins, and Test of the Twins. Raistlin Majere was born to Rosamun Majere and Gilon Majere in Solace just shortly after the birth of his brother Cameron Majere. According to the midwife, he was too weak to survive, but his half-sister nursed him to good health and named him after a hero of the stories told to her by her father. Compared with his brother, he was weak but strong-willed. He defeated the Queen of Darkness during the War of Lance. Raislin performed his role in the return of the gods to Kyren, but he himself never returned to his native place Krynn.
3. Gandalf the Grey
Gandalf the Grey is a wizard character from a fantasy novel Hobbit written in 1937 by J.R.R.Tolkein, an English professor of Oxford University. The novel is considered to be the third best ever written. Gandalf’s initial appearance is as a wizard, but later on Gandalf appears as the chief of the Istari order after Saruman’s fall. He also appears as the head of Fellowship of the Ring. He is primarily known as Gandalf the Grey, but after returning from death, he is identified as Gandalf the White. Ian McKellen received a Screen Actors Guild Award and the Saturn Award for his performance as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings.
Allanon is a character from the four books of Terry Brooks which comprise the original Shannara Triology and the fourth book the The First King of Shanara. Allanon is a secretive type of character appearing only sparingly when needed. He knows more than required but tells only half-truths. He is a wizard who appears as a tall man. He has extended his life span by inducing a special type of sleep known as the ‘Druid Sleep.’ He often helped the Ohmsford family because they were descended from Jerie Shannara; therefore, they were authorized to use the sword of Shannara. Allanon was killed by Jachrya.
5. Dr. Strange
Dr. Strange is a wizard, a supreme sorcerer of the Marvel Comic Universe and Superheroes. The character appeared for the first time in Thrilling Books in 1940. Dr. Thomas Hugo Strange, better known as Dr. Strange, is an American scientist best known for his great discovery of distilling the invigorating atomic extract from the sun. Consumption of this extract empowers Dr. Strange with extraordinary capabilities and enables him to fly, to have superhuman strength, and to be indestructible. His girlfriend, Virginia Thomson, assisted Dr.Strange. To strengthen himself, Dr. Strange used magical artifacts like the Cloak of Levitation, Eye of Agamotto, the Book of Vishanti, and the Orb of Agamotto.
Pug is a wizard protagonist of Raymond E. Feist’s novel Riftwar Saga Magician. Pug is the magician of the fictional world Midkemia. He is a neglected orphan of anonymous parentage who had been left at a monastery near the coastal town of Crydee. Megar, the keeper of Crydee, adopts him. While collecting shellfish along with his friend, the son of Megar, he is caught in a storm and hurt. A boar attacks him, and he is saved by a franklin who finds him talented and receptive. He educates him in the theory of magic which he picks up very well but not so practically. He is extended an opportunity to ride alongside the princess who is saved by his spell when attacked. He is one of the longest-surviving wizards in the fictional world.
7. Elminster Aumar
Elminster Aumar is a famous wizard character from the novel Forgotten Realms written by Ed Greenwood. Other novels of The Elminster Series containing information about this character include; Elminster, The Making of a Mage, The Temptation of Elminster, Elminster in Hell, and Elminster Daughter. Elminster Aumar is also known as the Sage of Shadowdale. Elminster is a seasoned person with a grey beard and hawk-like nose. He keeps smoking a pipe which emits blue or green smoke. He is a powerful wizard and capable of changing his form into any gender or shape at his own will.
8. The Wizard Schmendrick
The Wizard Schmendrick is a character from Peter S. Beagle’s fantasy novel The Last Unicorn. With more than five million copies sold worldwide, the novel ranks #5 among the 33 All Time Best Fantasy Novels according to Locus. The story is about a group of human hunters who go to a forest for hunting but fail to find anything for days till they conclude the forest animals have been protected by the unicorn. Ultimately, they decide to leave the forest warning the unicorn that she was the last of her kind. The worried unicorn ventures to find out what happened to the other unicorns, and the Wizard Schmendrick helps her but is captured.Thereupon the unicorn helps to free him.
9. Harry Potter
Written by J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter novels include: Harry Potter Wizard, Ronald Weasley, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Hermione Granger. These novels have gained unparalleled fame, and they been the fastest sellers. As of June, 2011, more than 450 million copies have been sold, and it is at the top of the Best Selling Books Series in History. The story is concerned about Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort conflict. Lord Voldemort is a dark wizard and wants to become immortal and to enslave all the human beings. He wants to destroy whoever gets in his way. Harry Potter stands firm against him.
10. The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz is a storybook written by Lyman Frank Baum. The story is about Dorothy Gale, a girl from Kansas, who along with her friends visits the Emerald City which is the capital of the Land of Oz She seeks to see its wise ruler, The Wizard of Oz, who reluctantly grants them audience one by one. In every meeting he appears in a different form; like a ghost one time, and like a fairy or butterfly at other occasions. Finally, he grants them a collective audience and remains invisible to them this time.
Whereas the words ‘magician, witch, sorcerer, mage’ are similar, many other terms imply an element of negativity in them. The term ‘wizard’ is often used in a positive sense. A wizard is considered a universal problem solver. Many useful softwares are called wizards, and sometimes ‘wizard’ is used to mean a person of extraordinary skill or intellect. Wizardry in all its forms has been a great attraction for adolescents of all ages since the beginning of time.