Jurgen Leitner is a recurring character that has been described as a portly man with blond hair that was beginning to grey (MAG 35). He is best known for his library of occult books, all of which are identifiable via the interior bookplate that reads "From The Library of Jurgen Leitner".

ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.


Jurgen Leitner was a Norwegian-born recluse, well-known in literary, and specifically rare book collecting, circles in the 1990s. Upon discovering the existence of the supernatural, he set about collecting books in an attempt to protect the world from their effects. It was rumoured that he would custom bind known books or pay authors to write for him.


He went into hiding after the destruction of his library in 1994 and eventually came to reside in the Millbank Prison tunnels beneath The Magnus Institute.

History[edit | edit source]

1985 - Jurgen Leitner rents an office in Pall Mall, just above a series of passages designed by Robert Smirke. He continues renting these offices until 1994. (MAG 35)

1987 - Jurgen Leitner asks for Harold Silvana and Rachel Turley to dig a hole beneath 100 Pall Mall. When asked to confirm that he has the owner of the building's permission, Leitner becomes aggressive, and they do not do the job. (MAG 35)

1993 - Jurgen Leitner visits Pinhole Books. (MAG 62)

1994 - Library of Jurgen Leitner destroyed. Jurgen Leitner drops from public view. (MAG 4)

At some point after disappearance - Jurgen Leitner begins living in the tunnels that used to be Millbank Prison, designed by Robert Smirke, and part of which are underneath The Magnus Institute.

November, 2010 - Jurgen Leitner meets Gertrude Robinson and they begin working together in secret.

2014 - Jurgen Leitner gets beaten up by Gerard Keay.

February, 2017 - Jurgen Leitner saves Jonathan Sims from the NotThem and gives a statement. He is beaten to death by Elias Bouchard. (MAG 80) He is then buried in a plot paid for by the Magnus Institute under the pseudonym "George Icarus".

Late 2017 - The Circus robs his grave and takes his skin for use in The Unknowing.

The Library of Jurgen Leitner[edit | edit source]

The library was destroyed in 1994. (MAG 4) Its design was drawn from the writings and architecture of Robert Smirke, with sections uniquely designed to hold their "prisoners". Leitner later described all "defences" as pointing inward, making breaking in from the outside almost trivial. (MAG 80)

It was known for having books on demonology or the arcane. At its height, the library contained 978 books (MAG 80).

Known books[edit | edit source]

For the full list of books mentioned in the series, see List of books.

Possible books[edit | edit source]

  • The Tale of a Field Hospital - though it once possessed a library sticker, it was mostly torn off. (MAG 68)
  • Dig - there was a label at the front, but the book had been wet and the ink on it had run. (MAG 88)
  • 蜘蛛が食べている (kumo ga tabete iru) - the statement-giver who finds the book makes a threatening reference to the previous owner of the book, whom Martin assumes to be Leitner. (MAG 110)
  • Tecton multicamera recorder manual - the statement-giver mentions that someone had put their name in the front of the manual. (MAG 148)
  • An old paperback book - capable of driving an entire village to slaughter each other by any means necessary. It is covered in blood and the cover is unreadable, inside, every single page is blank. (MAG 125)
  • Old crumbling book with no library markings - All the pages appear blank but Elias sees them with faces on them in his dreams. Allan tells Elias that something without eyes "saw him" though the pages and seemed to have hunted him down, killed him, and stolen his eyes after reading it. (MAG 193)


Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Leitner is voiced by writer Jonathan Sims's real-life father.
  • The fake last name used for him "Icarus" is most likely a reference to how he fell to ruin due to his belief that he could control his library like Icarus flying too close to the sun.
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