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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. p0kem0n4life / Oct 22 2013 11:15 am

    are there any clues as to if we face her on planet shadow web i would like it if we did face her there.

    • William Xu / Dec 10 2013 12:05 am

      believe me, Id call her spider woman, the wife of spiderman

  2. Sydney Thundersong / Oct 22 2013 12:06 pm

    Awesome! I love hearing more about the background of these two. And I can’t wait to see who the next villain will be. I was thinking, maybe a pair of Storm brothers? They could be focused on the three elemental Titans, or something…
    Another great post, KI!

  3. greatkernal / Oct 22 2013 12:30 pm

    I always felt bad that we destroyed Malistaire. I wish his wife would have never died. Thank about it, if his wife never would have never died would any of this ever had happened?

  4. Anonymous / Oct 22 2013 12:36 pm

    I was hoping you would explain how morganthe knew about malistaire and how she was able to summon him.

    • Autumn / Oct 22 2013 1:53 pm

      I agree how did she now and summon the undying malistare

      • Wolf MoonRider / Mar 11 2014 9:14 pm

        Late reply, but I was thinking the same thing. Maybe that would be a spoiler for Khrysalis Pt. 2? (I hope???????)

    • alina / Jan 6 2014 7:29 pm

      wait morganthe summoned malistaire!?!? oh my god

  5. Anonymous / Oct 22 2013 1:47 pm

    This is awesome i knew you guys used the word malice for malistare’s name 🙂

    • Anonymous / Dec 8 2013 9:37 am

      That is cool and I use it too

  6. Autumn / Oct 22 2013 1:49 pm

    I love the idea of making epicly hard bosses and the background of these to is really really really interesting but … who’s the next villain?!

  7. Matthew Sunrider / Oct 22 2013 2:00 pm

    WHO WILL IT BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Sniper Rose / Oct 22 2013 2:45 pm

    Morganthe isn’t all that bad. She just wants to try new types of magic so I hereby will join her since every other wizard in the SPIRAL is wrong! I support Morganthe because she just was curious. Nothing around about that but she should’ve followed Merle’s advice to not use it but she just wanted to try it out. I don’t want to fight her because there’s a better way to do it. We could just ask Merle to give Morganthe a second chance and that he was WRONG! Then Merle says “Oh, so you found out I’m Morganthe’s father!”. King Artouris suddenly teleports to where Merle is and says “I TRUSTED YOU! YOU LIAR! I KNEW YOU WERE EVIL! I shall summon the undead souls from DRAGONSPYRE to destroy you then we can see how things can run without you! You shall leave now or be slain! Your choice,”.
    NOW YOU DECIDED HOW THE EPIC BATTLE ENDS! This should be in the next world if you didn’t get to this spot yet.

    • Anonymous / Oct 25 2013 11:42 am

      I applaud to you, good sir lol

    • Anonymous / Dec 8 2013 10:26 am

      wow that adds a little twist to the game! so what your saying is that Morganthe is Merle Ambrose’s daughter? I can’t wait to see all the villains that are up coming this is so exciting!! There should be like a couple students of Ambrose’s from the past that come back and kidnap him!! Then add a whole another questing thing for us to find who took him and we end up having to fight these bad students to get him back! 🙂 just adding some suggesting some ideas. like to start it off it could be we get a quest to go to talk to him and we see he’s not there and we find his staff laying on the ground or something. Hope you read this I love playing this game! 😀

      • alina / Jan 6 2014 7:39 pm

        or morganthe putted a potion on him to make mere ambrose a villan then you have to defeat a boss with 34,3812 health its a dragon and when you defeat you take its venom defeat mere ambrose witch has 98,1234567 health then give him the potion then mere is better and not a villan then morganthe ports away and mere thanks you for doing that after and then……. you get a hydra mount a robe with 500 health max 90 mana max and a hat that has all resist and all damage and all critical blocking and shoes have 700 health max and 500 mana max and a wand that has everything and the rarest pet in wizard101…………… dragon pet rarest pets no way to get them but from the quest i told you. XD

    • david nighthunter / Dec 8 2013 8:54 pm

      woah pretty intense lol

      • alina / Jan 6 2014 5:10 pm

        Yea i know i hope they add wolves for next villan that will be awesome you know well i like wolves and i am so so so good at drawing wolves oh ya use google always it helps fined everything its so you can search some pictures about wolves its really easy to fined. XD

  9. Jesse Ortegon / Oct 22 2013 3:15 pm

    there should be more villans!!

    • Anonymous / Oct 31 2013 11:29 am

      I agree with that idea man

    • Mason / Dec 8 2013 8:21 pm

      I agree with the idea too!

    • alina / Jan 6 2014 7:41 pm

      more villans! oh boy

  10. Daniel sunsword / Oct 22 2013 4:31 pm

    i’m working on the boss to unlock avalon i wish you guys make him easyer to defeat him please i’ve been trying to defeat him for likes 5 days and i died please make him easyer i hav nothing to do

  11. Jack Dragonshield / Oct 22 2013 4:32 pm

    What a wonderful post! Nice to know the background of the Villians; you guys do a great job at Setting up the perfect evil villains, gotta give you props for that.
    Now you made me even more excited for the new world, I can hardly contain myself 😉

    Also, lol, this: “He lost his wife Sylvia to a horrible disease”
    By Horrible Disease, I think you mean the Common Cold 😛
    Malistaire will always be my favorite Antagonist, and am so glad he is back.
    I hope we don’t have to defeat him for good though, in the next world.
    I’d miss him too much.

    ~Jack Dragonshield
    Wizard since ’09, Pet Derby Enthusiast..

  12. Autumn Wild Heart / Oct 22 2013 5:20 pm

    Malistaire and Morganthe are both great villians. I agree though, would like to know how they know each other, what the history is there. How does Ambrose tie them together, if at all? I am very anxious to find out what the new world will be and accompanying villians…. but for now, I am thrilled exploring the dungeons and creatures of Aquila!! Thank you so much Kings Isle for your creativity and hard work. We all love “the precious”…. spiral you have created for us to play in.

    • Anonymous / Oct 24 2013 12:20 am

      Thank you kingsisle they are really good villains Malistaire is much better than Morganthe

  13. Devin Nightspear / Oct 22 2013 5:59 pm

    I was thinking you should do a giant made of shadows or something. If you do a person, maybe they should have had a bad childhood??? I dunno.

  14. Creative Conjurer / Oct 22 2013 8:34 pm

    Reblogged this on The Creative Conjurer and commented:
    I had to reblog this because the way KingsIsle combined story-telling and artwork is just perfect. It’s a good read, even if you don’t play the game (I suggest it, though ;))

  15. Anonymous / Oct 22 2013 10:06 pm


    • lachy vb / Nov 23 2013 9:38 pm

      same here!!!

  16. Steve / Oct 22 2013 10:21 pm

    My personal favorite for a back story was Medusa from the myth wizard. I thought it was great that there was a back story to how she became that creature when she started out as one of the teachers. I would like to see her back story played out from the beginning where she looked how ever it was that she looked and also to know who the teachers were that had cursed her into her present form. It seems a shame to not play that out and the wizards can also be part of it in some way. She makes me think of Falmea but in a more evil way. If possible I would like to see the creators of wizard 101 to at least think about it and keep us posted. Student of Merle Ambros and the spiral.

  17. David DeathFlame / Oct 23 2013 12:58 am

    Not sure if this is the right game to do this since this is advertised to kids, but I have always wanted to somehow join Malistaire. My first character was a death and will always be my favorite school. Maybe in a new world or even a Halloween special you have to go back in time and help Malistaire actually free the dragon titan and the titan army to stop the next big villain from using the titan for a greater evil. I know it is too much to ask for one person, but I just wanted KI to know that someone likes being the bad guy in games. It could even be your next game when people are starting to want a third game from you.

  18. Suri MoonTalon / Oct 23 2013 8:25 am

    Fantastic! I love knowing more about the background of characters, especially the villains. My daughter and I (she introduced me to Wizard101!) have discussed both these characters a great deal, especially Malistaire. Among other things, we want to know (1) did someone curse Malistaire’s wife? I mean, really, the greatest Life Master of her generation, dying from a COMMON COLD?? Sounds mighty suspicious to us! We want MORE on this!! 😀 Also, (2) Since Malistaire stole Bartleby’s Eye of History, and we defeat Malistaire at the end of Dragonspyre (love the double meaning to the name!), what happened to Bartleby’s Eye?? Do we ever get it back for him? I LOVE having such a compelling story and multi-faceted characters that we come up with questions and wonder “What else is here?” That, to my mind, is one of the most telling indicators of a great staff working on a game they truly love. Kudos, KingsIsle! P.S.–I’m still fighting my way out of Avalon. lol

  19. dylan greencaster / Oct 23 2013 3:15 pm

    i want a malistare kid in the game

    • Anonymous / Nov 12 2013 6:02 am

      I want cool new wizard spells

      • Elijah / Dec 8 2013 4:23 pm

        like new storm spells

      • Anonymous / Dec 8 2013 9:18 pm

        i like storm the best cause they seem to be the most powerful. and yes they should create more storm spells.

    • alina / Jan 6 2014 5:00 pm

      good idea

  20. Abrahan / Oct 24 2013 12:17 am

    I honestly consider Morganthe the best out of the two. Sure Malistaire caused disasters here and there if anyone attempted to get in his way but his ultimate goal was to revive Sylvia and eventually moving on with his happy life. Or so I would guess.

    Morganthe on the other hand wasn’t the same. Merle was the wise pure teacher that at least as I’ve seen in the plot was respected by even the King of Avalon, Artorius. This didn’t fit for her and she wanted to have Merle’s position if not one greater and therefore stepped out of line and reached for that “Forbidden Fruit of Knowledge”. She might of learned things she wasn’t ready for, alongside the fact she nearly destroyed a word, followed by her magic taken away was enough for anyone let alone her lose-cannon personality.

    Angered and rejected from her dream she sprouted a new more malefic and cunning personality. Wanting revenge regardless of the costs she studied the weaknesses of multiple governments, wizards, and spells. She learned how to summon armies of dark creatures, make devious alliances, and manipulated whole civilizations. This goes so far that by her own doing alone a whole world that could’ve been saved, is crushed.

  21. Anonymous / Oct 25 2013 7:26 am

    Nice blog, I always wanted to know why these 2 tried to destroy the spiral.

    • Thoas Joyner / Nov 9 2013 8:22 am

      They were once good. But they wanted revenge on something

  22. Anonymous / Oct 25 2013 4:09 pm

    I think that there should be something like morganthe goes back in time and stops malistaires wife from dying and then you have to go back to the great spyre and stop her from raising the dragon titan to literally destroy everything

  23. si1verwing / Oct 25 2013 4:32 pm

    Really? Really. More background information on Malistaire, and it’s beautiful. Are you TRYING to make me cry?

  24. pure7777 / Oct 25 2013 11:37 pm

    I thought of a suggestion.
    Morganths wants powerful unknown magic, which she thinks Ambros should give her. There are three elemental and three spiritual spell groups. Three astral groups, and balance, a magic which is the center point of everything else.
    What if there was light and dark, which is what Morganth was after. Like yin and yang, for the two ultimate schools of magic. This is the magic Morganth was denied and what she is trying to gain.

    -just a suggestion of something I think could possibly be cool for the game.

    • Anonymous / Dec 28 2013 2:33 am

      Maybe a new magic called “River magic”. like the salmon going upstream (opposite direction of normality) there could be a shield or aura that turns damage into health. but the salmon must return, so half the healing goes to the damage caster. the symbol could be the native American symbol. the new island could be similar to “Cool Ranch”

      • Anonymous / Dec 30 2013 9:49 am

        the Native American symbol for “river” is what I meant

  25. bluesockwa the 3rd legend / Oct 26 2013 2:52 pm

    I think malistaires better!
    -Jack Red Walker level 2 ice

  26. Hayden / Oct 27 2013 12:37 pm

    Have you Wizard101 guys ever considered going BACK to worlds, like Pirate101 is? (example) Suppose you hear rumors that an old villain like Meowiarty is sneaking around Marleybone, seeking his revenge on the one who defeated him? Then you would go back and defeat him again? I mean like main storyline. Let me know what you guys think.

    Aedan Mooncloud, lvl 33 Magus Pyromancer

  27. Anonymous / Oct 27 2013 12:54 pm

    Amazing! Malistare doesn’t seem so bad. poor guy just experiencing heart break.

  28. Anonymous / Oct 27 2013 1:21 pm

    this seems so cool and i wanna see the next villian to try to take control of the titans

  29. Becky / Nov 7 2013 2:02 pm

    Quote: 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.
    :End Quote

    Totally agree and felt bad for Malistare. Kinda made me cry when I had to kill him T_T. Loved the story though! Loved it tons.

    Oh wow I can’t wait!!! Morganthe is a lovely name and I LOVE HER CLOTHES!! Her voice is perfect too. You guys outdid yourselves on her. She is my favorite villan by far! Hope you give her a happy ending too :(!
    As for a new evil person. Hmmm lol, having a hard time figuring what you guys are gonna use. You always come out with something to hold it’s own. By the way I do wish you guys would make another myth world with Zeus and that. I love myth related things. You got the dungeons and kinda a myth world with wysteria. Just need a different world with it all :3. Anyways, keep up the great work!

  30. morgrim deathsword yeah buddy / Nov 7 2013 6:21 pm

    malistare and cyrus drake are brothers OMG

  31. Anonymous / Nov 7 2013 9:31 pm

    There should be an ice Queen of low-ranking fire slaves/servants that do her biding and the wizard must stop her before the ice queen discovers Kroktopia and her plan isn’t original and wants to destroy the land and the wizard in her way

  32. Alicia / Nov 15 2013 10:50 pm


  33. tayler / Nov 19 2013 8:45 pm

    me too it would be sweet man

  34. ddddddd / Nov 28 2013 12:25 pm

    Morghanthe is COOL

  35. Anonymous / Nov 29 2013 5:27 pm

    I would like to have more background information on Malistaire. I find that he is a very interesting character and would like to know a little more about him (place of origin, family, family history etc.)

  36. Nathan / Nov 30 2013 12:01 am

    What if instead of one villan we had a triad of villan in the story arc. They could be Ice, Storm, and Fire. They would try to bring back the original or king titans.

    • Anonymous / Jan 6 2014 2:25 pm

      The same titans that started war upon each other and nearly destroyed everything?

  37. Anonymous / Dec 3 2013 4:32 pm

    i got two ideas for villans: sirono drakcopolas, and slasher. sirono is a demon while slasher is a great sword fighting guy… and… ambrose’s son….his real name is…. Samual ambrose

  38. elisabeth / Dec 8 2013 9:30 am

    i loved it:) =)

  39. Anonymous / Dec 8 2013 9:30 am

    i like morganthe she is beautiful i also like malistaire they really put great detail into both characters!

  40. cowan storm garden / Dec 8 2013 10:22 am

    Have you ever wondered if morganthe was malistares sister o. o

    • Anonymous / Dec 9 2013 7:03 am

      If morganthe was malistare’s sister, she would be cyrus’s sister too. O.o

  41. cowan storm garden / Dec 8 2013 10:25 am

    is jade oni a villian

    • Anonymous / Dec 28 2013 2:38 am

      no, just a balance helephant

  42. Matthew2908 / Dec 8 2013 12:07 pm

    i have liked Malastere since i was about eight when I knew about him but I need crowns to battle him and continue with the game. Morgantha is cool as well because she dose cool attack and here minions are cool too.

  43. destinyroseheart3 / Dec 8 2013 2:27 pm

    villains in wizard 101 are either easy to beat or difficult to beat, but its easier with treasure cards. i love how the villains are defeated easier with the spells of the opposite element. an example, my favorite, is fire and ice. its also interesting how the can resist certain elements. the one concept i love the most is the idea that the game has a storyline, and certain quests can lead to other quests. it always makes it easier to get experience.

  44. Anonymous / Dec 8 2013 8:51 pm

    how about if all the teachers in ravenwood revolt against wizard city except the wizard player’s main professor? pretty good huh?

  45. sportzrules / Dec 9 2013 11:23 pm

    Hi KingsIsle, I think you should make a battle where people from their own school verse a villian from the same school, example: An ice wizard verses an ice villian. Sorry, only ideas!

    • Alia Dreamfinder / Dec 11 2013 8:36 am

      They do that all the time!

  46. Anonymous / Dec 28 2013 2:22 am

    there was a person who wanted to know what link Malistaire and Morganthe had. perhaps merle could have a quest sending the wizard to her dorm and recover morganthe’s diary, merle reads it and from it learns that her full name is Morganthe Drake, Malisttaire’s daughter.

  47. Anonymous / Dec 28 2013 9:58 am

    wow. I wonder how hard is Malistare and morganthe

  48. Anonymous / Jan 6 2014 3:05 pm

    If there was one thing i’d want in the spiral for a new world would be a multi hit boss say a giant where you have to hit two spots rather than just one enemy and it would also be cool if you need to find the eye of history which was stolen from wizard city never to be recovered and then three elemental wizards are planning to use the eye to summon the titans and control them to do they’re bidding and recreate the spiral in they’re own image

  49. alina / Jan 6 2014 5:13 pm

    i think the next villan will be zombie wolves unicorn way will have wolves and triton avenue will have zombie wolves pretty smart XD


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