Tuesday Villain – The All-Powerful Sorcerer/Sorceress

The word sorcerer apparently really trips my brain up for some reason, which is a bit embarrassing really since my genre of choice is fantasy. I’m also far more tired than is conducive to writing a blog post, so I better get my ass moving or this will conclude abruptly with a bunch of garbled nonsense from my face slamming against the keyboard. This post is technically late, and I wish I had an excuse. Instead, I was watching videos of Markiplier getting scared out of his mind while playing Five Nights At Freddy’s. Whoops?

All-powerful magic users are a prevalent part of popular culture. They’ve been a big deal for a long time, and they can be sagely advisers just as easily as they can be agents of profound evil. As a former practitioner of the dark arts, via my Warlock in World of Warcraft, I feel it’s my responsibility to weigh in on the dark and light sides of sorcerers and sorceresses, both of the good and bad variety. Tonight’s, of course, is all about the villainous ones.

The Sorcerer is often portrayed as a cunning, manipulative, and highly resourceful character, often working in the shadows to avoid suspicions until the time is right. To this end, they often have loyal subordinates and vast networks of easily-controlled minions, human or otherwise, to help in their evil schemes.

Like many types of villain, the Sorcerer craves more and more power. It’s not enough to be the greatest magic-user in their locale. No. They seem to crave the next step, and then the step beyond that. Why be the most powerful in the kingdom when there’s the whole world? The universe? And so on and so on. The problem, however, is that such power isn’t always willing to be controlled. Or perhaps the magic in question is beyond the sorcerer’s control?

For the purposes of this post, I’m broadening the scope of things to include antagonists, by the way. With that in mind, the Sorcerer can be working to learn how to better control their magic so as to better serve the world around them. In doing so, they could end up doing more harm than good. If anything, it’s entirely possible that these magics and forces the Sorcerer is trying to control will become his or her undoing. With that, and the sudden feeling of sleepiness I’m experiencing, it’s time for some examples.

Kefka (Final Fantasy VI) –

For those unfamiliar with Kefka, this guy is a special kind of crazy. Responsible for all of the real evil in Final Fantasy VI, Kefka eventually obtains god-like status in terms of power and completely screws up the entire world. He is, without a doubt, the most loathsome example I can think of for this particular subset of villain, as he goes about his murderous rampage towards world domination with a certain child-like glee that only an evil clown can really bring to the proverbial table. Ultimately, heroes bring down this power-mad, sorcerous clown, ending his reign of god-like terror. He was a special kind of wants-to-watch-everything-burn villain, and plenty of people love him for that.

Elsa (Frozen) –

Yes, that Elsa. The one who helped a million billion children forever lodge the lyrics to “Let It Go” in every functioning brain in the world. She’s less of a villain than an antagonist, and the bigger problem here is she spent so long trying to hold in her powers that when she finally decided to own her status as a sorceress of sorts…well, things back-fired magnificently. Elsa eventually triumphed over her out-of-control ice-powers, of course, because family and friendship and goofy snowmen fix everything.

Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty; Maleficent) –

Maleficent is a force of raw, spite-filled evil. I refuse to buy into her being a tragic character, a la Maleficent. No. Absolutely not. The other fairies brought good tidings and nice gifts to Princess Aurora (who, in my sleepy state, I almost called Cinderella; whoops) for her birthday. Maleficent, on the other hand, shows up with a damn curse. This is a woman who can turn into a giant, green-flame-breathing dragon. Admittedly, that last bit should have been something she researched a little better because any time a villain turns into a giant snake or dragon, they usually bite the dust pretty hard shortly thereafter.

Honorable Mention: Kel’Thuzad (World of Warcraft) –

Kel’Thuzad will get more attention in the Lich-related post, of course, but he began as a Mage, and then an Archmage, of impressive power. However, it was this impressive power coupled with a lust for ever-greater power that made him so easily swayed by the Lich King. He eventually went on to become a key player in The Cult of the Damned, and for his antics he ends up dead. However, being associated with great and awe-inspiring evil like the Lich King has benefits like being revived as a Lich, and so Kel’Thuzad is more of an evil Sorcerer success story than anything else. Bonus points because he has a cat named Mr. Biggelsworth.

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