Is there a logical (in a fantasy world) reason for wizards to grow more powerful as they age? Is it merely because they train, or do they change to get more power?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Mołot, Hohmannfan, TrEs-2b, Vincent, Thucydides Sep 5 '16 at 0:31

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Depends on the fantasy world. in some it's training. In some it's getting closer to the "other side" (death). In some using magic changes your body, more and more each year. And so on, and so on... Any specific problem for the world you are building? $\endgroup$ – Mołot Sep 4 '16 at 21:32
  • $\begingroup$ I am just seeing how in common pieces of literature the wizards' gain power. $\endgroup$ – C Anderson Sep 4 '16 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ How they gain power is a different question. Is that what you meant to ask? $\endgroup$ – Lord Dust Sep 4 '16 at 22:12
  • $\begingroup$ Because wizards are nerds and warriors are jocks. Compare the average ages of mvp's to Noble prize winers. You get the same story. $\endgroup$ – candied_orange Sep 4 '16 at 23:40

Well you have different options.

1) Wizards train more and get better with there powers. This happens in real life, look at a 25 year old versus a 6 year old, in virtually any discipline the 25 year old will win. This plateaus off in real life due to negative effects of aging countering the gains through practise. For wizards age is less of an issue so they continue to gain power.

2) If magic can be done through amulets or talismans older wizards have had time to accumulate more of these so they are more powerful.

3) If magic is cast from inner energy older wizards might have more inner energy due to them losing there physical energy.

  • $\begingroup$ There are many more and you can always invent your own explanation. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Sep 4 '16 at 21:35

For most myths, the apparent age of a powerful wizard is a trope, intended to illustrate that the wizard is wise and exchanged their interest in bodily power for the more potent powers of the mind. It can often also communicate a lack of interest in bodily pleasures as well. Use of the trope means that age and power aren't necessarily correlated, but age instead serves as a sort of visual shorthand concerning the wizard's character. See Tolkien's Gandalf for instance. Created to appear aged, Gandalf allowed the trope to operate both in- and out-of-story.

Less often, age and power are correlated, but the causality could fun either way. Power might be the result of a lifetime of study, or extremes of power may have allowed the wizard to age prematurely or beyond their normal lifespan.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.