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The Rules of Magic, According to the Greatest Fantasy Sagas of All Time

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Magic is mysterious and ancient, and its workings are often beyond the understanding of mere mortals. But that doesn’t mean that magic doesn’t have rules.

Now updated, with tons of corrections from the comments! Thanks to everybody who provided some tweaks to the accuracy of our chart.


Every fantasy saga has its own rules for magic, and its own explanations for how the magical arts work. Where does magic come from? Who can use magic, and how? Do regular muggles know magic exists? We dug through 50 or so of our favorite fantasy sagas, and compiled a complete list of the rules of magic in each of them.

Top image: “In Drogo’s Name,” Daenerys and Drogon, by Veronica V. Jones.

Here it is! Click here for the extra large version. Feel free to let us know in the comments if we made any errors. We’ll be posting an amended version tomorrow.


Research by MaryKate Jasper and Sophie Bushwick.