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October 22, 2013 / KingsIsle Entertainment

The Villains of Wizard101

Today by blog reader request, we have a little bit more background on the villains of Wizard101!  Alhazred and King Artorius, our Wizard101 writers, have shared some insight into the makings of Malistaire and Morganthe.

In the earliest story development of Wizard101, it was important that the villain be memorable. The name was easy: “malice” + “stare” = “evil eye.” If you notice, Malistaire’s robe is covered with evil eyes.  Visually, he’s a dead-ringer for his brother Cyrus, emphasizing his evil-ness, but he also evokes classic villainy, with his dark robe, black eyes and fingernails, and sinister facial hair. His personality is similar to his brother’s, but even less friendly.

However, looks aren’t everything!

Making a memorable villain meant that Malistaire could not be completely unsympathetic or evil. He had to have a tragic aspect, and a motive that made sense. So Malistaire has tragedy to spare. He lost his wife Sylvia to a horrible disease. Their marriage was the combination of life and death, a perfect cycle, but with her gone, all he had was his sorrow, which drove him mad.


Unlike most stereotypical villains, Malistaire’s plan doesn’t involve getting revenge on those who did him wrong or causing mayhem to spread the pain around. Instead, he is single-handedly focused on recovering a magical book and awakening a power that will aid him in restoring his wife to the world of the living once more. The other professors at Ravenwood, Sherlock Bones, the Emperor of MooShu, and the player Wizard are all just obstacles to Malistaire’s end-goal. If he could get what he wants without dealing with any of them, he would.

Ultimately, if Malistaire could have anything in the Spiral, it would be to reunite with his wife again, as if nothing had happened.

That’s not such a terrible thing to ask for, is it?

If you agree, then we did our job right.

Morganthe, on the other hand, came from a desire to shake things up a bit. We wanted a new villain for our next big story arc. She had to be more ruthless, with a bigger goal in mind, but just as memorable as Malistaire. But since the stakes had to be higher than just incidentally risking destroying the Spiral to bring someone back from the dead, this time Morganthe’s threat had to be more deliberate.

However, she comes from a similar place as Malistaire, someone who has lost and feels wronged. Once she was a promising student of Merle Ambrose’s back in Avalon, and she followed Ambrose to be his first student in Ravenwood. However, she was never content to learn at the slow pace he dictated. She knew she was smart enough and clever enough to handle the most dangerous types of magic, despite Merle Ambrose’s warnings and restrictions. But she was wrong—she made a tragic mistake and nearly destroyed Wizard City, and thus Merle Ambrose and the other professors were forced to take away her magic and expel her from Ravenwood.


Like Faust, Morganthe sought knowledge that was denied to her, and went over the line when she was thwarted. From there, her ambitions have grown so vast she wishes to force the whole Spiral to bend to her whims, to prove that she was right all along.

Her name, Morganthe, comes from a few places. It has its roots in Welsh and Old English, evoking King Arthur’s half-sister Morgan le Fay.  A “morganatic” marriage is a marriage of political convenience in which the child inherits nothing, which also seemed to make thematic sense, as Morganthe feels like she is denied her true heritage… that is deserved to her.

From the beginning, even before finalizing her name, we wanted her to be the queen of the Shadow Web, and with that, it only made sense to give her a shadow/spider theme. On a more real-world note, Morganthe is a dead-ringer for the actress who voices her, which always helps when writing dialogue.

So that’s a look behind the Wizard101 curtain.

Speaking of curtains, Morganthe’s storyline will sometime draw to a close and the Spiral will survive her diabolical plan (we hope!). After that, the player Wizard will encounter new worlds and even new realms of magic.

Somewhere, though… will be a villain.

Who will it be?

Alhazred and King Artorius
Wizard101 Creative Designers


Leave a Comment
  1. Anonymous / Jan 7 2014 3:03 pm

    I think it would be cool if they took a boss from pirate101 and put a stonger version it would be epic if they made polairis, theres a mission that tells you about it in valincia

  2. Anonymous / Jan 8 2014 4:25 pm

    i cannot wait to get to them

  3. Anonymous / May 7 2014 6:16 pm

    So many ideas pouring in… definitely a sign of a great creative universe(or is Spiral the correct term?) and there are only two things I’d like to say. The chances someone important up top will see this, like this, maybe even implement part of this are small, but I’ll say them anyway:
    Firstly, more background. You only release new stuff like every half year or something so you’d have plenty of time to correct/edit any mistakes, but there should be more information to weave everything together. Mostly I’m thinking child backgrounds, more complex connections between important characters of the game. Maybe have some of the more dignified characters more down-to-Earth, like the Lady of the Lake has a grudge or something, or Zenzen Seven-Star has a maliciously powerful desire for revenge. A more far-fetched idea would be to start making references between the two games to each other, and fill in references for worlds like Polaris, or the Mirage the desert-cat in Wysteria referred to. They could be minor-ish worlds like GH, but I’d like to see Wysteria expanded. There’s lots of potential for KI’s unique brand of humor, and maybe some level 100 dungeons.
    Secondly, more complex spells. Probably the most complex spell I’ve seen in the whole game are the Shadow spells, but they’re like function tanks, like this do this, don’t like this do this, x makes y, etc. Make spells with multiple criteria or producing different effects over different rounds.
    Anyways, love the game and keep it up!
    -KI Fan

    • BOSS! / Jul 21 2014 9:23 pm

      whoa dude too deep

  4. slendersaber / May 10 2014 10:08 am

    why do they call it the spiral if it doesn’t even look like a coiling spiral a spiral looks like a coil chain!!!!!

    • BOSS! / Jul 21 2014 9:24 pm

      just go with it 🙂

  5. slendersaber / May 10 2014 10:12 am

    but i still like the game! keep it up and also if you could make the key thing in the sand or dirt where ever it is can you make it i little easier like this much ( ) see not so much

  6. abigail craig / May 23 2014 4:41 pm

    only problem i have with ending of morganthe arc is well the shadow magic. seems to me you focused so much on the villian your forgot that whole hero aspect. you have your hero taking on the shadow (evil, darkness) to destroy the queen of shadow. what you dont realize is you telling your wizards only way for good to overcome evil is by joining it. by taking it as a part of oneself. and if you wish i would love to see an alt path through khrysalis (and any other world that shadow magic plays into story) that of the path of light. i even can give you the initial ideas at least for the morphs if you want.

  7. AutumnMcBonnie / May 24 2014 8:33 pm

    Haha! Both of those people are evil. But foolish and ridiculous.

  8. C Huff / May 29 2014 3:05 pm

    It is probably Old Cob who will be the new villan in the game…

    • BOSS! / Jul 21 2014 9:20 pm

      ding ding ding! i think they will have light type no clue what it ail do though but the idea seems awesome 😀

  9. emerald wizards / Jun 16 2014 12:22 am

    i think most enemies as boys but i know were talking about villans but i think most as boys to

  10. toni / Jun 19 2014 12:32 pm

    a lot of villans are mostly boys so I say boy XD

  11. Seth Mooncaster / Jul 15 2014 6:33 pm

    I’m pretty sure Old Cob is the new villain

    • BOSS! / Jul 21 2014 9:21 pm

      ding ding ding!

  12. Anonymous / Jul 16 2014 3:44 pm

    so is there a new world?

    • BOSS! / Jul 21 2014 9:22 pm

      ding ding ding getting tired of that 😛 polaris mirage i think empolyia? i think!

    • BOSS! / Jul 21 2014 9:26 pm

      basically yes

  13. normalguy / Jul 18 2014 10:57 pm

    I would like to suggest a new attacking spell, a storm spell that deals 900-1100 to all the enemies and gives 45 smoke screen and gives a stun block to user,the spell needs nine pips and you can call it if you want “cosmos” lord of the clouds. I hope you like my idea and I hope to see it in the game 😀 see yah.

  14. cool kid / Nov 17 2014 5:48 pm

    i feel bad for malistare. it is so sad. i havent progressed that far into the game, so would anyone who defeated him tell me did his wife come back? thanks

    • Anonymous / Nov 30 2014 5:18 pm

      He joins his wife. . .

    • Taylor / Dec 9 2015 2:19 am

      No cause you kill him and he’s defeated then you move on but I’d like to think once he died he joined her in spirit

  15. wizard101 / Mar 6 2016 11:36 am

    I really like this game.It is very interesting.Please make more changes.

  16. anonforever12 / Aug 21 2016 2:41 am

    Just expand Wysteria,

  17. Jack Detrinidad / Oct 11 2016 9:29 am

    Lets have bartelby and grandmother raven along with the entirety of Rockwood be the next villains. Arc 4. The Arcanum vs r avenwood. All the way from merle to penny dreadful. You should make light magic. We gave shadow magic why not. 7pip one shadow for every school. And how bout for balance a balance damage spell I have to put converts whenever I use the 6 pip one shadow. Ain’t fair. Hope this was really helpful. Jack Fireblade

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