All hail High King Eliot the Spectacular, High Queen Margo the Destroyer, Queen Alice the Wise and King Quentin the Moderately Socially Maladjusted. Those are some pretty epic titles.
When “The Magicians” left off with its Season 1 finale seemingly killing all our heroes, we were pretty freaked that Season 2 would be doom and gloom. Luckily for us, Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) and her god powers make her a little harder to kill at the moment, and she managed to restore everyone back to normal… Almost. Poor Penny (Arjun Gupta) still has a problem with his formerly severed hands.
Their mission to kill the Beast (Charles Mesure) remains unchanged, but Quentin (Jason Ralph) and his friends also have the added responsibility of ruling an entire kingdom, now that they’ve been crowned rulers of Fillory. We talked to the cast about this huge new burden Quentin, Alice, Eliot (Hale Appleman) and Margo (Summer Bishil) have to bear, and what it will mean for their friendships and for Fillory in Season 2.
As High King, Eliot probably has the biggest responsibility on his shoulders, but we’ll see him give it his best go in the coming episodes.
“He’s really, really trying to be a good king,” Appleman says. “A king that the people will like and respect. As frivolous and whimsical as he can be, I do think at the end of the day, Eliot is trying. He’s not equipped for this. He’s trying to put his best foot forward, but he’s not sure which foot that is.”
Where Eliot leads, Margo typically follows — with her signature flare and take-charge attitude. High Queen Margo will be a force to be reckoned with, that’s for sure. Eliot hit the nail on the head when he said he’s always known her to be a true queen at heart, and throughout the season Margo will prove worthy of that title, even if Eliot doesn’t always agree with her idea of running the kingdom.
“Their relationship was sort of functioning as a co-dependent partnership in all sorts of ways,” Appleman teases. “In terms of ruling a kingdom, it gets more complicated. They wouldn’t necessarily sign all the same documents or make the same judgment calls, and that becomes clearer and clearer as the season progresses.”
Surprisingly, it sounds like Quentin will not be trying to put that best foot forward, since he’ll have a hard time reconciling his childhood dream of traveling to Fillory with the reality of what this magical land actually is: Terrifying and dangerous.
“By the time [he becomes king], he’s already in a sense of mourning about the Fillory that he longed for it to be, and it turns out it isn’t,” Jason Ralph says of Quentin’s journey this year. “He spends a lot of the season trying to ignore those responsibilities. What does it even mean to be a king of a fantasy world that doesn’t need you?”
Existential crises and crushed childhood dreams aside, Quentin will step up when it comes to his friends. It sounds like his friendship with Eliot will not only survive this added royal responsibility, it will flourish because of it. Thank Ember and Umber!
“It turns out Eliot is attached to this world now,” Ralph says. “This whole time he can’t leave, and he needs Quentin. If there is any obligation left to this place, it’s because of his friendships with these people.”
Meanwhile, Julia (Stella Maeve) will be dealing with the Beast, and her potentially dangerous deal with him. Killing Reynard the Fox has become her own personal vendetta, and with the Beast on her side and the moonstone blade in her hand, we’re kind of liking her odds.
Unfortunately, nothing is ever simple with the Beast or magical gods, so Julia should probably watch her back and get a few more allies on her side now that she’s stuck between them. Here’s hoping that Quentin will stick by her side, even if they’re working with opposing goals at the moment.
“[Quentin] is understanding of the trauma Julia has suffered,” Maeve says of Julia and Quentin’s new controversy. “I’d like to think that these characters possess a lot of empathy and understanding. You don’t forget things, but you can forgive. I think that they’re able to move forward, knowing this information… I also don’t think it was intentional for Julia. I don’t think in her mind this was specifically to hurt these people.”
Ultimately, we hope the Brakebills kids will be able to forgive her for her choice, because it won’t be without consequences for all of them; magical quests and missions of revenge never are.
“The Magicians” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.