The Arch-Mage is the leader of the Mages Guild or The College of Winterhold. He or she is usually followed around by two apprentices, whom the Arch-Mage trains. The apprentices also help with research. The Arch-Mage of the Mages Guild is elected via majority vote by the Council of Mages.
- Deneth - Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold during The Great Collapse.
- Gauldur - Arch-Mage of the College during the First Era.
- Geirmund - Arch-Mage of Windhelm during the First Era; successor to Gauldur.
- Savos Aren - Arch-Mage of the College. - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
- Shalidor - Arch-Mage of the College during the First Era.
- Hannibal Traven - Arch-Mage of the Mages Guild in Cyrodil. - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
- Trebonius Artorius - Arch-Mage of the Mages Guild. - The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
- Vanus Galerion - Founder of the Mages Guild.
Oblivion's Hero of Kvatch may have become Arch-Mage after defeating Mannimarco and his minions, succeeding Hannibal Traven, who sealed his soul inside the Colossal Black Soul Gem to protect the Hero from Mannimarco's spells. Subsequently, Caranya fell to Necromancy and Irlav Jarol died while experimenting with an Ayleid relic, leaving no other apparent candidates for Arch-Mage within the Mages Guild.
Arch-Mage is pronounced two different ways by in-game persons. It can be pronounced with -ch (ex: the word "march") or the -ch pronounced as a -k (ex: the word "mark"); the latter pronunciation is used almost exclusively by Quaranir, as well as other members of the Psijic Order and Altmers like Nirya and Nelacar.