Throughout documented human history, peoples’ minds have always been captured by characters who manipulate magic for good or evil. Although there have been many debates about why magic settings appeal to readers more than mundane real world environments, there’s arguing against the fact that people really love their enchanted characters. To celebrate this fact, we’re counting down the top 4 magical characters from famous works of fiction.

1. Harry Potter

The titular teenage wizard from one of the most famous works of young adult fiction ever published, this wand bearing boy captured the world’s hearts and minds with his realistic candor and down to earth nature. Readers last saw him as the Minister of Magic in the final installment of the Harry Potter series, although he will appear in in upcoming musical.

2. Puck

This playful trickster from a Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the most unforgettable characters that Shakespeare introduced to the world. His lighthearted nature has inspired trickster characters in many subsequent works of fiction.

3. Gandalf

Gandalf made an indelible mark upon readers when he fought the Balrog to their respective deaths in the Fellowship of the Ring, only to return later in a more dominant form. He has been praised as one of the first characters in the wise old wizard tradition, a trope that continues to be present in modern fantasy.

4. Eragon

Finally, Eragon was the main character from the popular Inheritance story cycle. A human magic user who ended the story as an elf, this character is best remembered for his bravery and his dragon companion, Saphira.

Magic continues to be a prominent component in many modern fantasy novels. It’s a big reason these books continue to inspire readers, encouraging people to imagine beautiful worlds and fantastical beasts of their very own.