Wizard (Oz)

From Academic Kids

The Wizard of Oz (or simply The Wizard) is a character in the fictional Land of Oz created by American author L. Frank Baum and further popularized by the classic 1939 movie. In these works, he is the ruler of Oz and resides in the Emerald City.

The classic books

In The Oz Books by L. Frank Baum (and, subsequently, other writers), the Wizard was born "Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs." To shorten this name, he used only his initials (O.Z.P.I.N.H.E.A.D.), but since they spell out the word "pinhead", he shortened his name further and called himself "Oz".

The character is introduced in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but leaves Oz at the end of the novel. The rightful hereditary ruler of Oz, Princess Ozma, takes back the throne after The Wizard's departure. The Wizard returns in the novel Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz to live in Oz permanently. He becomes an apprentice to Glinda, the most powerful magic-worker in Oz. Ozma decrees that, besides herself, only The Wizard and Glinda are allowed to use magic.

The 1939 movie

In the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, The Wizard's character is similar to that found in the earlier books: a bumbling "humbug." He was played by actor Frank Morgan. The same actor also played several other roles in the movie including a mysterious traveling fortune teller that Dorothy meets back home in Kansas.

Modern works

In author Gregory Maguire's Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (a revisionist novel based on the inhabitants of Oz) and in the Broadway musical Wicked (based on Maguire's novel), The Wizard is a tyrannical ruler who uses deceit and trickery to hide his own shortcomings. Unlike in earlier works, The Wizard is clearly meant to be the villain of the story.



The land | The characters (including Dorothy and The Wizard)
The books | The authors (Baum | Thompson | McGraw | Volkov) | The illustrators (Denslow | Neill)
The film adaptations (The Wizard of Oz | The Wiz | Return to Oz)
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