Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. This not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media, but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for young girls to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers galore for The Magicians. If you’re not caught up on this SyFy darling, you may want to steer clear of this article until your post-binge watch session. You’re in for some weird, wonky sh*t, my friends.
Alice Quinn (portrayed by Olivia Taylor Dudley) was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois to eccentric magician parents. She fostered a close bond with her older brother Charlie but didn’t have friends outside of him. Alice was a loner growing up, an introverted intellectual who never found her place among her peers. Charlie died while he was a student at Brakebills University and promptly morphed into a niffin. After graduating Princeton University with top honors and multiple degrees, she embarked on a quest to uncover the mystery surrounding Charlie’s inexplicable death. Alice was accepted into Brakebills despite not receiving an invitation to take the entrance exam. Her discipline was Phosphoromancy, an intricate and rare talent.
Meanwhile, Alice met Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) and his friends. Quentin aided Alice in her mission to delve deeper into Charlie’s death. The pair eventually fell in love. Alice died while battling The Beast aka Martin Chatwin, casting a complex spell called the Rhinemann Ultra. She also transformed into a niffin like her brother. Quentin, overcome with grief, set out on his own quest to revive her. He succeeded but, naturally, Alice suffered tremendous trauma from being a former niffin. Later, as our magicians fought tooth and nail to bring back magic in Season 3, Alice tag teamed with the Library to put the kibosh on their efforts.
However, instead of transferring magic to the Library as promised, Alice destroyed the one chance they had to “turn on” magic. She cited that nobody deserved to have it. Alice suffered the consequences via imprisonment within the Library’s walls in Season 4. She eventually escaped with the aid of Santa Claus. Yes, that one. She broke off all contact with Quentin and vowed to stay out of his way for good.
The Real Deal:
Now, Alice is complicated. Very, very complicated. She’s spent the majority of her time on The Magicians fighting her battles solo, oftentimes making decisions that ostracize her from everyone else. Alice is the very definition of what it means to be flawed, multifaceted and perpetually living in grey. However, she’s also an incredibly gifted magician. Magic seeps from her pores – it’s interwoven into the very fabric of her being. She has magical instincts that can’t be taught. Alice is also in a league of her own when it comes to natural intellect. She’s an inherently good person that’s made some poor decisions along the way. Alice Quinn is proof that bad decisions don’t necessarily make us bad, but are indicative of our humanity. It begs the ever elusive question: is anyone really good or evil? Alice tries to do what she thinks is best, and that’s all we can do.
Why She Matters:
Alright, why does she matter? Alice is aware of her shortcomings as well as the repercussions of her mistakes. Awareness is key, otherwise she’d be branded a psychopath. She also genuinely strives to remedy said mistakes, and isn’t afraid to apologize when the situation calls for it. We need accountability in today’s current social climate. Alice is a shining example of accountability in action. And, I don’t know about you, but I love flawed characters in my entertainment. Flawed is relatable, real and oh so raw. I can identify with flawed, just like everyone else on the planet. Alice struggles with forgiving herself which is, again, a relatable attribute.
Not to mention, Alice’s intellect should be heralded as a crowning achievement. Smart women are powerful women. Smart women are forces of nature. Men fear a woman who utilizes her brain, especially as a bastion of positive change. Alice’s intelligence and her innate magical abilities go hand in hand, really.
So, be like Alice. Be accountable for your actions. Be confident in your abilities. Use your intellect, even if it intimidates those around you. Learn to forgive yourself. Don’t let your decisions define who you are. Well, unless you’re a murderer. If that’s the case, you may want to reevaluate some things.