We’re looking back at the baddest witches and wizards in film history with Doctor Strange and Fantastic Beasts hitting theater.
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November is forming to be the magical month. Last weekend Marvel released their latest addition to their common universe, Doctor Strange, who is already in the spell of the box office.
Harry Potter will make its big-screen debut in a few weeks, spinoffing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Themwill, which already has Potter fans in high expectation. With so many magical and enchanting moviegoers, we thought it advisable to look back at all the sorcerers, wizards and warlocks who made their own mark on film history.
We take a look at the most powerful magical beings of all to grace movies for this list. They can be either a bullfighting witch, evil enchanting warlocks or anyone with a wall. We focus on the strongest rather than the weakest, however, and classify how powerful each magic is with the rest. As it is, Tim the Enchanter from Monty Python probably won’t look like you, and the Holy Grail cast no spells.
Saruman (The Lord of the Rings)
Christopher Lee had a knack for playing eccentricvillains in films. In addition to rounding up the list of Dracula’s best performance, the actor has played an eclectic range of baddies, including the evil wizard Saruman in The Lord of the Ringstrilogy. Saruman, once an ally of Gandalf, turns into a loyal servant of Sauron afterwards.
Peter Jackson decided to give Lee’s Saruman more screen time to act as a sort of substitute as Sauron never appears right in the book. He did good, because Lee’s evil sorcerer robs nearly every scene in which he is; his sinister gaze and icy attitude were only a match for his magic.
Saruman initially has a deeper knowledge of all magic and history than Gandalf himself, at least before his “rebirth.” His voice is so commanding and imposing that he can influence decisions and hearts of entire groups. While he eventually was defeated, he certainly proved to be the challenge to derail the Ring Fellowship.
The Blair Witch (The Blair Witch Project)
Known for catapulting the found genre of images into the mainstream, The Blair Witch Project has, through its inventiveness, become a staple in the horror movie genre. A true psychological terror, the movie has three friends lost in the forest, where legend has it that Blair Witch has the victims of unsuspecting victims. Although most of her powers and influence are left to the imagination, this witch is only terrifying for that reason.
The expected sequel this year gave us a little more background on Witch herself, indicating that she is even able to warp time in her maldized woods. Sure, in fact, you never see Blair Witch in the films, but isn’t this a real test? She can take suspicious victims, drive them mad, cut them all off without showing her face, if you ask us, it makes her quite intimidating.
Asa Vajda (Black Sunday)
Mario Bava’s Black Sunday remains one of the most effective pieces of Gothic horror today among all the black and white horror films. Released in 1960, Bava’s film maintains a positive critical reception for her bustle and especially for Asa Vajda’s version of Barbara Steele. Though Vajda is classified as a witch, her enchanting looks and her deadly looks could just as easily be a vampire.
At the beginning of the 17th century, Black Sunday begins with the execution of Princess Vajda after being accused of witchcraft. A contraction called Satan’s mask is attached to her face filled with peaks piercing her flesh (ouch). Before she dies, she curses her brother’s descendants who betrayed her. This old princess has the power of telekinesis, the ability to regenerate dead bodies and a thorough knowledge of the dark arts, so when Vajda finally comes back in the movie to take vengeance, it is both therapeutic and rather terrifying.
Although we point out The Sword in the Merlin Stone transformation, Nicol Williamson’s interpretation of the character might be the best onscreen yet to be seen. Williamson’s Merlin is the legendary magician in Arthur legend and emotionally complex as the world leader and interpreter in John Boormans fantasy, Excalibur, in 1981.
This Merlin is more crafty than the children’s version and is as fearless as it comes, as it can domesticate the dragons and many beasts. He is also wise over his years and has extensive knowledge of magic and history. His duels with Morgana are particularly striking because of the film’s ability to duplicate himself and defeat his opponent. You could say Williamson’s Merlin is so intimidating and powerful he could be a little terrible, but what a big wizard?
Sarah Bailey (The Craft)
Whereas no one is more devious than Nancy from The Craft in 1996, we finally had to give this slot to her rival witchcraft, Sarah Bailey. After moving with her family to Los Angeles to begin a new life, Sarah, aging sixteen, goes to a Catholic secondary school where she makes friends with a group of witchcraft social misfits. But Sarah has the strongest powers of a witch, and at the end of the movies, she learns to exploit those powers to unlock her potential.
Of course, Sarah has the power to invoke certain events. She has some form of telekinesis and is able to carry out powerful hexes like a spell of love. Whereas bully Nancy is Sarah’s dominant witch, Sarah is blessed by more power than she can imagine by her film climax, calling upon the “Higher Power.” She can remove the powers of her other members, and in finally becomes the trustworthy and wise witch she was always intended to be.
Lo Pan (Big Trouble in Little China)
Lo-Pan is a legendary Chinese warlord who means business. White-haired, decrepit and limited to a wheelchair at the beginning of the film, a ten-foot-long height who can shoot lasers in the third act. The ancient sorcerer is the big trouble of John Carpenter’s Little China cult classic Big Trouble and is as deadly as he is funny to watch.
Lo-Pan, played by actor James Hong, has an impressive powers stack, including a mixture of martial arts, reinforced by the fact that it can shoot lightning pistons and laser beams. Lo-ability Pan’s to never give up is likely to be most threatening. It took him hundreds of years to find a suitable bride, and while Kurt Russel and friends finally thwarted him, we have to admire his ability to try on and on.
The White Witch (The Chronicles of Narnia)
White Witch of The Chronicles of Narniamovies is ruthless, calculating and just crispy. It definitely left its mark on cinematic sorcerers. Perfectly played by Tilda Swinton, this ice-cold witch is known as the one that froze Narnia during the Hundred Years of Winter (andGame of Thronesthought they had it bad).
Her mean streak is further marked in the Battle of Beruna, where she says she doesn’t take prisoners, simply because she isn’t interested in taking anyone alive; it’s cold now.
This sorceress is also awarded because the actress Swinton performs her as psychopathically and maliciously more than her counterpart, invoking the serious mean streak by being excessively violent and cruel. This self-proclaimed King can turn her enemies into statues, stir nearly everything out of the fine air and even put a sword in hand to fight, making it a triple or even fourfold threat to anyone who opposes her.
Queen Ravenna (Snow White And The Huntsman)
The kingdom of Tabor is cruel, tyrannical, Queen Ravenna (also known as “The Evil Queen” or “The Queen”). In 2012, Snow White and the Huntsman, besides being a complete evil matriarch, she is also a dangerously powerful wizard and the thorn on the side of Snow White.
The once-minded “fairest one” is the envy of the beauty of Snow White, and is determined to kill White and consume her heart that would endow the sorceress with eternal youth.
Along with consuming whole (gross) human hearts, Ravenna also has a multitude of dark powers, and she keeps her sleeves hidden. The Evil Queen has many ability, including manipulation of life and death, regeneration, superhuman strength, mental control, invisibility, and the power to change into what she wants.
In addition, Ravenna has the ability to conjure a dark dark black substance, which can be a soldier or a liquid that is both lethal and disgusting.
Grand High Witch (The Witches)
It is difficult to imagine a witch so cruel, evil and physically revolting in a children’s film. Look at the above picture and try to explain how this turned into a child’s film; Grand High Witch (played by Anjelica Huston) from the 1990s The Witches has a frightening factor of 100 out of 10. On the surface it looks like a vampire with a glamorous red-lipstick, but it’s a whole different story behind closed doors.
Her real appearance, which she hides with fake skin and wig, is just like her personality, totally nauseating. This deviant sorceress is the head of a global pact of witches who are sweeping about killing children (remember, it’s a kid’s film), because they don’t especially like how they smell.
The Grand High Witch is capable of turning kids into smaller animals for faster killing and can easily burn their foes into a crisp carbon with the eyes of their laser beam. This is truly a witch made of children’s nightmares.
Like many other entries on this list, Bavmorda from the film Willow is a sorceress Queen made even more deadly through her selfish journey. At a young age Bavmorda married Tir Asleen’s crown prince to murder only her new husband and her in-laws in order to start building a ruble over her own empire. By using public executions, purges, trials and an endless battle she keeps her new subjects in a constant state of fear.
In addition to its tyrannical drive, Bavmorda is a powerful user of dark magic that enables her to control her enemies. She is capable of animating immovable objects and transforming any number of her enemies into animals.
She knows many complex characteristics, can fly people into the air and throw a well-targeted fireball with a snap of the handle. Nevertheless, Willow tricked all of that magic and she into being destroyed by her own potion, showing that no matter how powerful you are, your opponent shouldn’t be understated.
Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter Series)
Fantasy movies have a long history of big-bad wizards, but no one is greater or worse than Lord Voldemort, also called He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Certainly the Boy who-lived is the star of Harry Potter’s films, but how could Harry be without his disgusting arch-nemesis? Voldemort’s incarnation of pure evil is absolutely appalling for his unending dark arts and his murderous and psychopathic behaviour.
One look at the face of Voldemort is like looking into the eyes of evil itself, which is a snake part, a human part, and a creepy vampire part. This power-hungry wizard, formerly known as Tom Riddle, spent his entire life learning about the dark arts, thereby becoming one of Harry Potter’s most powerful and scared wizards.
He can read minds, fly without backing, swallow whole buildings with fire, and even talk to snakes. However, Voldemort lacked all his power in an enchanting department which eventually caused his downfall: his ability to love.
Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
While we love that character more sympathetic to Angelina Jolie, the classic version expressed by Eleanor Audley is not beating. The Mistress of Evil, the witch turned fairy, may be Disney’s darkest animated villain ever, and crazy to boot.
After the infant Princess Aurora was not invited to christen, Maleficent cursed to die before her seventeenth birthday’s sunset. This ruthlessness sets off the story in the classic lively disney venture, which does not stop Maleficent from taking revenge on the princess of the Kingdom.
Maleficent has at his disposal a whole army of ghuls, devils, and monsters, which is evil news for a knight in her shimmering arms. Although she has the power to make lightning, teleport and carry on a number of spells easily, Maleficent’s most dangerous feature can become a full dragon and you say it is not intimidating.
Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter Series)
The Harry Potteruniverse has the most powerful witches and wizards ever seen on the silver screen, but Albus Percival, Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, was the most powerful of all. This headmaster, with unlimited knowledge of spells and potions, and one of the greatest beards in the history of films, has cemented his place more than ever in wizardy legends.
Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort ever feared, and rightly so. His knowledge of magic and his alchemistic skills in working with Nicholas Flamel are incomparable. He’s an Occlumnism and Legilimency expert and can pick up almost anything from a sofa chair to a flaming fire wall.
In the event you forgot, also, Dumbledore was once the sweater of the most powerful wand: the Elder Wand, which in a magical duel was said to be unbeatable.
The Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz)
The down-list is the only Wicked Witch of the West of The Wizard of Oz from1939, the absolute archetype for witches of attitude. This green sorceress, who isn’t known for letting things go, has a few ruby slippers from Dorothy who crashed her house on Wicked Witch’s sister accidentally.
The witch of the west personifies every human evil and directs a whole army of flying monks to bid, which is far more vicious than it sounds. Her crystal ball allows her to look roughly anywhere else in Oz, and she can even manipulate spellings on victims a thousand miles away, not to mention that with her broomstick she can write hatred messages in the sky.
Although her sister has a more bubbled personality, this sorceress is almost without a cinema rival and as powerful as she is unstable.
Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings)
A wizard is never late, or early; he arrives exactly as he means to, and we can see that Gandalf arrives in no other place than our number slot at the border of our list. Not only does he win (Sorry Dumbledore) the award of Best Wizard beard, he is certainly one of the most iconic and powerful magical creatures to ever make a movie.
Originally called “Gandalf the Gray” this wizard returns from a deadly brush and reborn as “Gandalf the White:” it is much more powerful. Gandalf has almost unlimited powers with his new abilities. He can shape, predict future events before they occur, create lightning and fire by his personnel and produce some of the most mighty enchantments ever seen in the middle earth. He is one of Lord of the Rings’ cleverest characters and has a great deal of knowledge throughout the ages.
If this were not enough, Gandalf was also said to be immortal; even if his physical body can be destroyed, some of his life or consciousness remains untouched. Although the list contains other witches and wizards who could give Gandalf a run for his money, it is only too good to be able to give Gandalf the number one place.