So, you've stumbled upon the fantasy drama series The Magicians on Amazon and are itching to know more. Well, here's the lowdown.
The Magicians is like a trippy blend of Harry Potter and the Narnia books, but way edgier and most definitely only for the grownups in the room.
Quentin Coldwater, our leading man, discovers that magic isn't just a myth from children's books. It's real, and it's dark.
Enrolling at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy, he starts his wizarding education.
But, as we all know, learning magic isn't just about cute tricks.
Originally a SYFY original, with five seasons to stream and enough plots and twists to make your head spin, this is definitely a binge-fest of a show.
What Is The Magicians About?
Based on Lev Grossman's fantasy novel of the same name, The Magicians is packed with magic, spells and other realms but all with a totally modern twist.
It's actually quite tricky to describe the show, as it all sounds so far-fetched on paper. But I'll try my best…
The show is based on two best friends, Quentin and Julia, who spent their childhood obsessed with a series of fantasy books called Fillory and Further. But now older, Quentin finds himself recruited to a secretive magic academy called Brakebills University.
Julia doesn't make the cut so quickly their friendship starts to disintegrate especially as Quentin starts to really discover his abilities. As a result, two things happen.
Firstly Quentin (Jason Ralph) finds a new group of like-minded magicians who uncover a plot to destroy the secret college. And secondly, Julia (Stella Maeve), bitterly disappointed at being rejected by the academy, goes in search of magicians living in the real world.
However, the magic they read about as children is far more dangerous than they ever imagined. Quentin quickly learns that his magic skills need a lot more work which is where the other characters come into play.
So can Quentin Coldwater survive the magical world and the magical land called Fillory? Or will it all become too much as the twists, turns and enemies keep coming?
The Magicians Official Trailer
Is The Magicians Worth Watching
There is absolutely no disputing that Eliot and Margo are two of the best characters and they bring a lighter, funnier touch to an otherwise dark show. Sharp, witty and incredibly bitchy, these two really bring the show to life.
Hats off to Hale Appleman and Summer Bishil for doing such a great job! Then there is Quentin's love interest Alice and Arjun Gupta as Penny, the brooding cynic of the group.
Each has different magical skills so between them they have the ability to fight off most threats. And those threats keep coming.
Each episode has its own mini-story but The Magicians excels at arcing each season so that one bigger plotline builds until it is resolved. That then creates the arc for the next season and so on.
As the story of The Magicians unfolds, everything points to Fillory as the source of all magic in the world. But Fillory is on the verge of destruction so the magicians must work together to save it or face losing all of their magic forever. This is perfect for older fans of The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina or Grimm.
Now, no show is without its flaws. Some subplots might feel dragged, and not every episode is a home run. But when it shines, it shines bright. And trust me, there are plenty of those moments in The Magicians.
How Many Seasons Of The Magicians?
In total, there are five seasons of The Magicians.
The first season introduces us to Quentin Coldwater, a graduate student who discovers that magic is real when he's accepted to Brakebills University, an institution teaching magic.
There he learns about his magical potential, while his friend Julia, who isn't admitted to Brakebills, explores magic's darker and unsanctioned side.
The two ultimately learn that Fillory, the fantasy realm from their beloved books, is real. But it's not the whimsical wonderland they imagined; it has a dark underbelly and is under the threat of a malevolent being called The Beast.
Season 2 (2016-2017)
After a climactic confrontation with The Beast, the group heads to Fillory, where they assume roles as the realm's royalty. While Quentin, Alice, Eliot, and Margo manage the kingdom and its challenges, Julia pursues her quest for revenge against a god that wronged her.
The group also embarks on a mission to find a set of powerful keys that can harness immense magic. Political conspiracies, betrayals, and personal struggles, especially concerning Quentin's relationship with Alice, take centre stage.
Season 3 (2017-2018)
Magic is gone. That's right, it's disappeared from both Earth and Fillory, and our heroes embark on a quest to bring it back.
This season is heavily influenced by a quest narrative, with the group searching for the aforementioned keys, each of which tests their personal limits and morality.
Meanwhile, Julia discovers a spark of magic within her, setting her apart and hinting at a greater destiny. They eventually restore magic, but not without cost and consequence.
Season 4 (2018-2019)
Magic's back, but it's heavily rationed and controlled by the Library, an ancient organization that oversees all magical knowledge. The group battles the Library's oppressive control while dealing with personal issues.
Quentin and Eliot's complex relationship, Margo's leadership struggles in Fillory, and Julia's evolution into something greater than a magician are the main plot threads.
A new antagonist, the Monster, hunts the group, seeking to reclaim its lost memories and powers. The season concludes with heart-wrenching sacrifices.
Season 5 (2019-2020)
The group grapples with the aftermath of Season 4's events. Magic is now abundant, but it's causing chaos. As a potential apocalypse looms, the magicians work together to avert the end of all worlds.
Meanwhile, Fillory faces threats from within, and Eliot and Alice navigate the complexities of love and loss. The series wraps up with our heroes setting out on new paths, having grown from their experiences.
How Many Books In The Series?
The Lev Grossman series comprises three books.
The Magicians (2009)
Quentin Coldwater, a high school senior, discovers that the magical world he read about in childhood books is real.
The novel delves into Quentin's coming-of-age journey, exploring themes of fantasy vs. reality, happiness, and the challenges of adulthood.
The Magician King (2011)
This sequel sees Quentin as a king in Fillory. However, when a mundane quest turns into a mission to save the magical realm, Quentin and his friends embark on an adventurous journey.
The book also delves deeper into Julia's backstory, revealing her personal and painful journey into magic.
The Magician's Land (2014)
Quentin, now exiled from Fillory, returns to Brakebills College as a professor. But when a dire threat endangers Fillory's existence, Quentin and his allies, old and new, must rally to save it.
The book ties up the series, offering redemption, closure, and new beginnings for its characters.
Cast Of The Magicians TV Series
Jason Ralph as Quentin Coldwater, a graduate student who enrolls at Brakebills University to be trained as a magician.
Stella Maeve as Julia Wicker, Quentin's childhood friend who is recruited by hedge witches, a group of largely self-taught magicians.
Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice Quinn, a naturally gifted magician whose parents are magicians and who comes from a neglected home life.
Hale Appleman as Eliot Waugh, a student at Brakebills. A heavy drinker, he and Margo are inseparable.
Summer Bishil as Margo Hanson who is close friends with Eliot and is very charismatic.
Arjun Gupta as William “Penny” Adiyodi, Quentin's roommate and peer. He is a telepath and can travel between worlds.
Rick Worthy as Henry Fogg, the dean of Brakebills.
Jade Tailor as Kady Orloff-Diaz, a tough, rebellious Brakebills student who attracts Penny's attention in and out of the classroom.
Brittany Curran as Fen, Eliot's Fillorian wife.
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