As the temporary High King Josh advised: “Hakuna Matata.” It means no worries, especially since we’ve been guaranteed The Magicians season 3. Since we have so much of Lev Grossman’s astonishing trilogy still unexplored, we’re taking a look at some of the book moments we’d love to see in the upcoming season!
With perhaps the most iconic book moment coming to fruition this season — hell, let’s be honest, Niffin Alice killing The Beast (happening in the end of the first novel) was an explosive moment in only the third episode — we were treated to additional Easter eggs like Quentin’s wooden shoulder, Abagail the Sloth, Benedict the royal mapmaker, and an Ancient One (or as Eliot refers to: f*cking Trogdor) enticing book fans to crave even more of Grossman’s original text.
First things first, as Penny said this season, a sexual assaulting trickster God is everyone’s problem. Even though Julia spared his life for Our Lady Underground (in last night’s shocking new episode), we can still suspect this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Reynard the Fox.
‘The Magicians’ season 3 book-to-TV wishlist
5) A Fox Pelt
After Reynard’s horrific actions against Julia and Free Trader Beowulf (FTB), it was pretty unanimous among fans that he deserved a gruesome end. In the books, former FTB member Asmodeus (Kady on the show) vows to go “fox hunting” (The Magician’s Land, Page 189) with a God-killing knife akin to the one we’ve seen this season on The Magicians. Though the death happens off-page, it’s satisfying in its own right that Julia has finally been avenged and The Trickster destroyed.
As we learned last night, there are consequences to killing a God. After being forced to kill John (Reynard’s son) for his power, Kady was understandably outraged when Julia spared Reynard for Our Lady Underground (aka Persephone — Reynard’s mother). A seemingly irreparable crack fractured Julia and Kady’s relationship then and could indefinitely separate our favorite Best Bitches. Will that fracture be enough to send Kady out on her own to slay Reynard and honor John’s sacrifice?
4) The Keys!
One of the greatest plots of Grossman’s second novel is the larger-than-life quest Quentin embarks on. His mission: to sail to the end of the world, and on that journey, locate the seven golden keys that will restore magic.
In the books, it’s discovered that the gods hadn’t intended magic to be used outside themselves and Fillory was the loophole that allowed magicians access. Now the old gods have returned to shut off magic but a backdoor in the Neitherlands promises further access. The seven golden keys will unlock said door and return magic to the magicians.
The keys are a symbol woven throughout The Magicians and can be seen above on the Brakebills crest. With Our Lady Underground revealed to be Persephone and bearing warning of crossing the gods, can we expect this storyline in season 3?
3) The Muntjac
Before embarking on his great quest, Quentin settles for a smaller one and ventures with Julia to the Outer Islands to collect back taxes (mentioned this season in episode 5). He invests in making a grand ship to sail on with his crew, including Benedict the mapmaker and Abagail the Sloth.
The Muntjac is the beginning of Quentin accepting responsibility as a King of Fillory and launches him into a character arc of maturation and magical mastery. With the Outer Islands already being mentioned, will we see him set sail next season? If he gets there, he’ll no doubt get the fable of the Seven Keys beginning one of the key (pun intended) stories of The Magicians.
2) White-haired Q
What signifies the profound effect of Alice’s sacrifice on Quentin is the metamorphic change of his hair. When he awakes in the centaur hospital in Fillory after their battle with The Beast, Quentin is staggered to see his hair has changed from brown to white.
It’s also crucial to Quentin’s acceptance of adulthood, and from that point on, he has a newfound respect for responsibility. The theme of adulthood is the heart of The Magicians, and Quentin’s physical change has been a beloved symbol of the books we’d love to see Jason Ralph (Quentin) adapt on-screen.
1) The Magician King
The moment when Quentin becomes a master magician is his single-most victory of the second novel.
While collecting the back taxes from the Outer Islands, Quentin discovers his real quest and embarks to find the keys. He also uncovers a key on the island and becomes his true self in pursuit by storming the castle it resides in.
Striding into the castle Quentin felt so full of power it was almost painful. It was bursting out of him. He didn’t know where it was coming from – his chest felt huge, its contents under maximum pressure. He was a walking bomb. Five men stood in the hall behind the broken door, pointing swords and spears at him, and a shout of wind rushed out of Quentin’s hands and blew them backward. He blinded them with a flash of light and then threw them bodily down the great hall. It was just so obvious.
He was discovering, in a way for the first time, what it felt like to truly be a Magician King. (The Magician King, Page 262)
Aside from mastering his power, Quentin’s true victory comes from shedding his old self and using all the pain he’s kept trapped inside toward something productive. Since we know magic comes from pain, it makes sense that it’s here (after Alice’s death) that he exudes power.
In the first episode of season 2, the four magicians are all given titles along with their crowns (Eliot the Spectacular, Margo the Destroyer, Alice the Wise, and Quentin the Moderately Socially Maladjusted). Quentin gets his as a joke from Margo, but what if it’s actually a placeholder title until he becomes The Magician King?
We know showrunners Sera Gamble and John McNamara are huge fans of the novels, as are the cast and crew, so expect to see even more of Lev Grossman’s novels next year!
The season finale of The Magicians airs Wednesday 4/19 at 9pm EST on Syfy!