Raistlin Majere

Raistlin Majere is the anti-hero turned villain from the Dragonlance series of fantasy books.


Raistlin is either an archetypal antihero or tragic hero. He is a Wizard of High Sorcery, bearing the Red Robes of Neutrality, marking him as a worshiper of the Red Moon, Lunitari. In the five years in which the future Heroes of the Lance go their separate ways, Raistlin, after taking the test in the Tower of Wayreth, has changed. He has acquired golden skin, which offers him strong protection against magical attack, and is cursed by Par-Salian, the head of the Mages Conclave on Krynn, with hourglass eyes, which cause him to see Time as it affects everything. His body is wrecked and he becomes even more sickly and physically weak than before. In Raistlin’s vision, everything wither and die before him; though longer lived races, such as Elves, are said to only appear to age slightly, while the Irda do not age to him at all. Physically far weaker than his twin brother Caramon, a strong and skilled warrior and swordsman, Raistlin makes up for this deficiency with his skills in the magic, the height of which never ceases to shock his companions throughout the first quest, as more and more of his great power become apparent.

A torn individual, Raistlin exhibits a strong superiority complex (as far as his power in magic and his intelligence were concerned), and knows nothing of true loyalty (despite his lack of loyalty, Raistlin usually keep his promises and pays his debts). He only follows Tanis Half-Elven, the unofficial leader of the companions, because he feels that doing so will ultimately benefit him. He is also extremely condescending and vituperative, so he resents his lack of physical strength and often relies on his twin brother for support. This generates feelings of resentment and jealousy more than feelings of affection and gratitude. To be exact, Raistlin harbors a secret hate for his twin’s physical power, and for the attention and comradeship it seems to earn him, which Raistlin’s own appearance and secretive nature denies him. Also of note, in SoulForge Raistlin develops a short-lived affection for a local town girl. He, already envious of his brothers popularity, stumbles upon his brother having sexual relations with the woman to whom his affections had been directed.

These factors ultimately culminate in Raistlin’s turn to evil, donning the Black Robes of evil wizards (those who worshipped the Black Moon, Nuitari), and, through a deadly deal he made in his youth with an ancient and legendary Archmage of terrible power, Fistandantilus, eventually rises to become the most powerful mortal in Krynn, who will one day seek to become a god himself.

However, the Archmage Raistlin does bear a soft spot for others who are treated poorly because of weaknesses that are not their fault, such as gully dwarves. He identifies with such people, and is thus quick to help them as he is quick to help himself. There are also rare instances when Raistlin feels genuine regret that he cannot return to the times of his childhood, when he was capable of feeling love. This is somewhat of a regular occurrence throughout the saga, and to a large degree adds to his relative depth. It could be said that Raistlin's magic is a compensation for the things that he feels he can never have. He nurses his magic, because it gives him a sense of satisfaction, a sense of self-worth, that he the frail, weak, ridiculed, detested brother has something to which he and he alone can claim superiority. To maintain this sense of self-satisfaction however, he must attain greater and greater levels of mastery in his art in order to feel at peace with himself.