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Odin the Wanderer
An image of Odin the Wanderer, with large hat, flowing beard, cloak and staff.
An illustration of Albus Dumbledore, a character from the Harry Potter series

A wizard, magician, sorcerer or sorceress is a fictional or mythical person who uses magic. This ability to use magic may be due to innate ability, training, or both. Wizards are often depicted as having a special connection to supernatural beings, such as gods or fairies, or as such supernatural beings themselves.

Merlin from the Arthurian legends is one of the most well-known wizard characters.

Wizards have been portrayed as both evil and good. Dumbledore (from the Harry Potter series) and Gandalf (from Tolkien's Middle Earth) are fictional examples of "good" wizards. Voldemort and Saruman are corresponding examples of "evil" wizards.

Appearance[change | change source]

Wizards are often depicted as old men with long, flowing beards, and wearing a large-brimmed hat, a thick cloak and holding a staff. This may be due to descriptions of Odin the Wanderer, a god from Norse mythology who often disguised himself thus, in order to pass through the lands of men unnoticed.

Wizards, when they are named thus, are almost always portrayed as male, but some fictional or mythical female characters seem to play the same role, sometimes as a foil character to a male wizard or other character. Notable examples include Morgan le Fay from Arthurian legends, and Circe from Greek mythology.

Nowadays, the term "wizard" is also used for someone whose accomplishments are due to unusual skill or creativity. Thomas Edison, the noted American inventor, was nicknamed "the Wizard of Menlo Park."

Related pages[change | change source]