In the series we have many characters exceeding 100 years old, and mages who are even older than 200 years and yet appear to remain young/middle-aged.

How long do these human mages live for?

  • There's also the blurring bit as a number of those characters have other circumstances that could be causing their longevity. Exposure to an azath house, Raraku, etc. I think Tattersail is one of the few we see who is just old with nothing we know of complicating that. She is well over 100 but i don't recall any firm age on her or how other mages might age.
    – sevvack
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 19:25
  • @sevvack not to mention they make candles that simply burning them and breathing them in gives your centuries >.< lol
    – Himarm
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 19:37

2 Answers 2


This is explained later in the books but I don't recall the source at the moment.

The average span of a normal human life is analogous to real life. Yet, people (humans or not) who have been touched by magic (through any means, Warrens, Houses of the Azath, gods etc.) seem to have an increased life span.

So, human mages seem to live at least for 2-3 centuries.

  • 2
    Given all those wars, the average life shouldn't be too long, even for most mages. Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 15:52
  • 1
    @CodesInChaos I was actually one step way from mention this very fact on my answer. At first, it seems a bit OP for anyone to be affiliated with magic. Yet, this will probably result in a shorter lifespan and a horrific death. This is why you don't see normal human in the Malazan world envying mages :P
    – Aventinus
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 16:12

Mages (and powerful people) have access to magic, specific High Denul rituals. Whoever can practice it, or afford it can extend their life. I believe this is explained either in later books like Toll the Hounds or in Esselmonts books, I'm unsure.

  • Yes, but how long do they live? Can you elaborate? Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 8:46
  • It is never clearly defined. One can guess that it varies from mage to mage, depending of the ritual investment, some mages are regular humans who attained powers (Kellanved rulled for at least 100 years, and he did not come to that position young, etc). If you follow through you'll notice that nothing in Malazan world is set in stone, there are hardly any rules.
    – spery
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 9:37

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