Syfy had a huge presence at San Diego Comic-Con this year, which meant that we got to see a lot from one of our favorite shows, The Magicians. Here’s everything we learned about them at this year’s Comic-Con.
The Magicians is honestly one of the best Syfy shows ever made and they came out in full force at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. From cosplay karaoke to a hysterical panel moderated by Chris Hardwick, here are a few of our favorite moments from the fan-filled weekend.
When Chris Hardwick walked out on stage to moderate The Magicians panel we knew were in for an entertaining hour. Sure enough, that hour zoomed by and we were not disappointed!
Cast members Jason Ralph, Stella Maeve, Olivia Dudley, Summer Bishil, Hale Appleman, Arjun Gupta and show creators Sera Gamble and John McNamera were all on hand to promote the third season of The Magicians as well as talk about some of last season’s most intense moments.
- Unpopular opinion time: We agree with Stella when it comes Julia’s decision to not kill Reynard. When asked about what she thought of Julia’s decision Stella said, “I think that decision [to not kill Reynard] shows empathy and compassion. You can’t forget but you can forgive, and I think that makes her a better person.”
With Julia’s shade having been removed and with everything she’s been through, being a better person is definitely the right choice!
- One of our favorite moments was when Hardwick asked Gamble and McNamera how a show like this came to exist. It’s raunchy, violent and crude but completely fantastical and utterly delightful all at the same time.
And according to McNamera, Syfy never even made them go through all the hoops that is show creating. “Syfy flatout said, ‘We just want to do this show. We’re not going to put it in development, we want to lead in genre.'”
When discussing The Magicians and what you can expect from a show like this, Gamble said it best. “As long as it’s grounded in these characters and it’s emotionally true for them and built on the world Lev Grossman handed to us, there is no genre that The Magicians isn’t. Expect musical numbers, expect anything.”
- Speaking of musical numbers, each cast member talked about what song or artist they’d like to perform if the show were to get another musical episode.
Jason: “‘Part of your World’,” he joked. Yes. Definitely, please!
Stella: “Something from West Wide Story!”
Olivia: “Something metal.” Nymph Alice playin rock? Yeah, we can see that.
Hale: “Frank Sinatra or Bowie/glam rock!” Yes, we agree!
Summer: “Anything from Grease.”
Arjun: “Rap… or something totally opposite, like Bette Midler.” And as soon as the worst left his mouth, instant regret. “Wait, why did I say that?!”
Really, all we want is Penny singing some Bette Midler now.
- Near the end of the panel we got to see some behind-the-scenes footage of the cast and crew working on season 3. They revealed that this season will see the introduction of the Muntjuc. A living ship that will prove to be very important to our Magicians.
- And finally, the best part of the panel is when two fans, dress as fairies, came and asked which fellow magician they would sacrifice to the fairies.
At first it began all noble-y with Jason saying he’d sacrifice himself, but Arjun called him out. Then after Jason said he’d sacrifice Penny everyone else started ganging up on Penny, until eventually the majority went for Penny, while Hale said that he would sacrifice both Penny and Quentin.
Cosplay Karaoke: It’s a fan thing
One of the most clever activations at Comic-Con this year was the double-decker bus decked out in Syfy promo gear (pun totally intended). The Syfy Bus would travel around downtown San Diego and it was equipped with a full karaoke set up — you can pick whatever song you wanted!
Some of the cast of The Magicians came onto the bus to do some karaoke and surprised a few fans in the process! Arjun Gupta, Summer Bishil and Hale Appleman all sang wonderfully, and Gupta even serenaded a lucky fan as it took us through Comic-Con.
Unfortunately, just like the magic in Fillory and on Earth, the videos have disappeared, but take a look at how much fun the cast had!
We went along for the ride and every cast member sang, even Summer Bishil who was definitely shying away from the limelight that morning. But thanks to Hale, she joined in and it was such a fun performance!
‘The Magicians’ press roundtables
And finally to round out our coverage of The Magicians at SDCC, we’ve gathered a couple of our favorite quotes from when we interviewed the cast and creators after the panel.
‘How does the absence of magic affect these characters?’
We asked everyone how their characters would adjust to not having magic in their lives, and it was interesting to hear their responses. According to Sera Gamble, “not everyone reacts the same. Some thrive, and some struggle.”
Our favorite response came from Stella and Jason. When asked how the disappearance of magic affects Julia’s life (before she got it back) she replied, “Jason hit on this earlier, but it’s so much bigger than just them. It’s now global, right? It’s the whole world.
“It’s a problem that affects everyone. Magic doesn’t exist anymore. It’s beyond just their comprehension, it becomes a greater issue.”
And then Jason added on to that, and blew us all away. “Well I think it’s so interesting, right. We laid easter eggs [these past couple of seasons] that all the great inventors of our time were magicians. So if their inventions were run by magic, or at least created by magic in their infancy, what happens when magic just goes away?
“Nicholas Tesla was one of these people, so does electricity stop working? Do planes fall out of the sky? Does the gravitational force of the moon stop working? Did the seasons shift? Are the tides not working? It’s a global energy crisis, and it’s bigger than anything they’ve ever dealt with before and their responsibility to that is extraordinary.”
Will we see the Gods that Quentin ticked off?
At the end of last season it was made clear that Ember and Umber had parents, Gods that were definitely pissed at Quentin for killing their kids. They’re responsible for shutting off magic, and we had to ask: Will we see them?
In fantasy and fiction involving Gods, it’s a common theme that the Gods themselves were too divine to be seen by the human eye. We brought this up to Sera Gamble and co-creator John McNamera and asked if this is something The Magicians will follow, or if we might actually meet them as humans.
“Well, they are very mysterious on the show, the old Gods. The parents of Umber and Ember, and Our Lady Underground. We don’t know very much about them, the characters on the show.
“The Magicians isn’t the kind of show that would climb that ladder too fast, like we’re not interested in the epic battle of the Heavens. We’re interested in the Quentin Coldwater and his friends. And we think it’s interesting that he doesn’t know how to reach them. It’s hard enough to dial up a local God, so the old Gods are, at least for a time, really, really hard to pin down in any way for our characters.”
Will Alice help bring magic back?
Finally, we asked Olivia Dunne, who plays Alice, if Alice will play a large role in getting magic back because of her experience as a Nyphen.
“Well look,” she started. “She got a taste of the most powerful magic. A Nyphen is pure magic, and you don’t know how long she was in Nyphen world. She was trapped in Quentin, but there’s a version of her who I like to think is in ‘Nyphenland’ as I like to call it, and time is different there. She could’ve been there a hundred years learning a million things, which we did learn that she did learn a lot.
“So I think, Alice will play a very large role in getting magic back. I hope, I don’t know because we’ve only got two scripts. But she’s a very determined and strong woman and even though there’s no magic I wouldn’t trust her to not know how to get it back.”