Many High Fantasy stories occupy themselves with battles between good and evil. The “light side” of magic is cleanly differentiated from the “dark side.” Dark magicians usually use their power to control, manipulate, and twist nature and people and gain yet more power. They often are surrounded by death or work in shadow. Light magicians agree to use their power to help others and straighten out the damage done by the dark side if necessary. There is often one or two dark magicians and several light ones in a story.

Certain types of magic, such as necromancy and alchemy, are usually associated with the darkness or evil, but most types of magic can be used for either good or evil. Words such as “sorcerer” are usually associated with evil, while “witch” can designate an evil magic-user or an ordinary one depending on the story.

Light vs. Dark in fictionEdit

There are so many stories about this battle that they cannot all be named, but here are a few of the most famous:

  • The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling contains both ordinary and dark wizards. Voldemort is called the Dark Lord.
  • The movie Star Wars makes a sharp difference between the light and dark side. The Jedi are trained to be on the light side but can “fall” or “turn” by pursuing more power. There are only two choices in the movies, but other stories about the Star Wars universe allow a gray area between the two sides.
  • In the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien, there is one dark magician, Sauron, with immense destructive power. No plants or animals live around his stronghold except for the ones that he created.
  • In the Dragonlance chronicles, there are three designations for wizards: good, neutral, and evil. There must be a balance between these sides for the world to function properly.