Wizards of Note
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
In my quest to create a new kind of wizard, I needed to research who the role models of the past were. I don’t have a definitive list, but I wanted to get the big ones and some unexpected ones. These are all wizards that influenced what I would do with my protagonist Alex Rune.
I think Merlin is the oldest and first wizard I can remember. I had an old book of King Arthur stories when I was a kid. Alas, of the many books I own, that one is lost to me. According to legend, he aged backward. I also remember he showed up as a boy and advised Unther Pendragon about a dragon under a foundation of a castle they were building. That was a long time ago, I should brush up on my Arthurian Legend.
The Wizard of Menlo Park
Thomas Edison has his name on a lot of patents, though we know he had inventors under him and took credit for their work. He also screwed over Nikola Tesla a few times. But he had good marketing and thus had a nice wizard title.
Serbian born, he was the real genius of electricity. Though he disagreed with Einstein’s theories on the subject.
This guy was the Ben Franklin before Ben Franklin, that is a man of many expertises. He’s considered the father of the scientific method. To add to the mystery, he may have dabbled in the occult and author some Rosicrucian papers.
A character in a series called The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher that I enjoy. Harry is a PI and Chicago’s only openly practicing wizard. He’s in the phone book. He’s wise-cracking and gets in a lot of trouble while fighting evil.
I almost lost track of this one, I was looking for an Indian name for a wizard and discovered this fakir. His story is impressive and I’m glad I hunted for wizards and such from other cultures.
Tangled Hair, son of West-Wind
I found a a story by Margaret Compton from 1907 that is allegedly a Native American story of a wizard. I’ll have to dig in later but I found it fascinating
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Two characters from a book who are England’s only Magicians. What caught my eye was their goal was to bring English Magic back, which was similar to my hero’s goal to bring magic to the world by inventing it.
I can’t make a list of wizards and miss Harry Potter. While I enjoyed HP as a reader, the issue I take with it, and really most wizards in fiction, is that Harry is born special. Not just for the Dark Mark from Voldemort, but the fact that he is born with the ability to do magic. So while it seems like a tale of poor kid makes good, it’s really that he’s more special than the rest of us and finally receives his birthright. Not Harry’s fault as a person, heck he’s a good guy, but we are all muggles and always will be.
I almost forgot my buddy Odin. Unlike the Greek/Roman gods, the Norse were more likely to be a friend to man, and Odin certainly did his part. He sacrificed himself to himself for the knowledge of the runes, which in turn he shared with man.
Babylon 5 is one of my favorite TV series, and they introduced the Technomages in one episode. The spin-off series that got killed featured Galen, and he got a trilogy of books that explained the Technomages. This is the inspiration for Alex Rune’s magic. Extra trivia, is around 2002/2003 a group of like-minded individuals actually formed and were sharing ideas on how to become a Technomage with technology old the day. It was pretty cool.
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