Welcome back to Magicians Monday, fellow Fillorians! If you eat, sleep and breathe The Magicians like I do, then this is the column for you. Each week, we’ll delve deeper into our favorite show about magic. Be sure to keep a glass of wine handy and your spell-casting fingers at the ready. We’ll be reveling in all things The Magicians until the season four premiere on January 23rd!
Now, this week I’ve decided to explore what it truly means to be a magician – in the context of the world created by Sera Gamble and author Lev Grossman, of course. Would you gain acceptance into Brakebills University if magic were real? Let’s put on our imagination caps and pretend that the mythology of The Magicians is grounded in reality. Below, I’ve compiled a list of 10 signs to watch for – signs that indicate whether you’re a magician or not. If you’re not, you can still live vicariously through Quentin Coldwater and his friends. No shame in that.
1. You have a vivid imagination
When you were little, did you conjure up fictional worlds for you and your friends to conquer? Did you have an imaginary friend? Now, as an adult, have you retained that childlike wonderment? If you still have an imaginary friend…I have some questions. Regardless, a magician must have the capacity to imagine. Otherwise, your spells will go all wonky. Who wants to cast wonky spells? Not I! Also, possessing a vivid imagination goes hand in hand with having an open mind. Being able to accept the unseen as fact. Coming to terms with the notion of Fillory. In short: imagine away, Fillorians.
2. You like to drink, and attend the occasional party…or ten
Now, why do magicians have a fondness for alcohol? I suppose the answer is the same for artists. To me, magicians on The Magicians are akin to creative folk – they feel a lot. They suffer a lot for their art. Thus, they may resort to drinking…a lot. Exhibit A: Eliot Waugh. If you are a social butterfly and tend to darken the doorstep of many a house party, you may be a magician. Well, only if there’s a wellspring of pain lurking beneath your exterior. For most of us, that’s certainly the case. So, please drink in moderation, and be sure to snag one of Eliot’s signature cocktails at the Physical Kids’ weekly ragers.
3. You’ve suffered turmoil aplenty
If you’ll recall, in Season 1 of The Magicians Margo tells Quentin that magic is derived from pain. You can’t be an incessant ray of sunshine and expect to perfectly execute the Rhinemann Ultra. There must be trauma! Turmoil! Think emo kids from the mid 2000s (i.e. me). If you haven’t suffered at some point in your life, forget about being a magician. Casting spells is like free therapy in a way – you can channel your pain into crafting beautiful magic. Yay for free things!
4. You have a thirst for knowledge
Remember when Dean Fogg told Julia she was a Knowledge student during one of the failed 39 timelines? Magicians have an immense thirst for it, a desire to gobble up all the wisdom of their craft. They’re perfectionists in a way – like Alice Quinn. Magicians love to study. They adore learning new spells and discovering the ins and outs of the magical world around them. Soaking up the wisdom of the magicians that came before them is just a few of their favorite things. So, if you like to learn, you may be a magician.
5. You’ve had your fair share of depressive episodes
Okay, so this one ties in with the turmoil bit, but have you met Quentin Coldwater? Eliot Waugh? Alice Quinn? Julia Wicker? In fact, every single character on The Magicians displays symptoms of depression. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Many people struggle with depression, and there’s still a pervasive stigma surrounding mental health. We could all stand to be more open about it. My point is, these characters are already grappling with trauma from their lives on top of their daily battles with depression and anxiety. Magic is like that soothing salve for the mind – maybe not a permanent fix, but it helps with one’s struggle to gain control of their depression. Like an exercise in kicking those nasty inner voices to the curb.
6. You possess an aptitude for fixing things
Now, if you’re known as the fixer upper of your circle, you may be a magician. Magicians are always fixing things, whether it’s doing a little recon for a botched spell or mending a broken bracelet. Even in The Magicians book trilogy, Quentin’s discipline was literally that – mending things. He had an aptitude for fixing broken objects. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can utilize magic to fix severed relationships or raise dead loved ones. However, that broken Ikea table? Consider it fixed. If you are a natural mender, you may be a magician.
7. Your mind is open to the impossible
This also goes hand in hand with Number 1. Having an open mind means you’ve the capacity for accepting the existence of multiple universes. You can waltz right into Fillory and believe what you’re seeing. The White Lady? You know she’s real. You don’t doubt it, even if you can’t seem to catch her. Now, you possess a rare ability to see what isn’t there, to know that sometimes you can’t take things at face value. Not to mention, an open mind sure helps when channeling your energy into spells that require an exorbitant amount of it. Open=good.
8. You’re just a tad bit strange
Were you a bit of a loner in high school? One of the artsy kids, or a band geek? Of the goth or emo persuasion, perhaps? A cheerleader with a weird sense of humor? If you’re considered “weird” by societal standards, you may be a magician. Magicians are lovable misfits, those that sort of teeter on the outermost rung of the social ladder. They’re not quite sure where they fit in. However, once you join other magicians at Brakebills, you’ll have found your people. Your kindred spirits. You can all revel in your collective strangeness together!
9. You have a sense of adventure
Do you desire some adventure to spice up the mundane that is your life? Long to travel to other realms and interact with magical creatures? How about becoming royalty in a fantastical world? You might be a magician if your sense of adventure is a finely tuned instrument in and of itself. Perhaps you give Indiana Jones a run for his money! Exhibit A: Quentin and his cohorts. They’re constantly going on adventures and thrilling quests – you know, saving the world over and over again from certain destruction. If you feel you’d fit right in with our magician protagonists, then you may be adept at magic.
10. You passed that blasted Brakebills entrance exam
Yes, that one. The real indicator of a magically adept human. You know, the one that incessantly changes questions as you read them, shifting everything around on the page. Like a strange little party trick. Perhaps trickster god Reynard is behind the mechanics of the entrance exam? Ember and Umber forbid. Anyway, if you passed, you’re in. You’re a bona fide magician. Get ready for some learning, Brakebills-sian (Brakebills-er? I’ll work on it), because it’s coming your way tenfold.
That’s all I wrote, Fillorians. Now, you don’t necessarily have to possess all of the aforementioned signs, but it sure helps when deciphering the magically gifted from the plain ol’ Muggles. Practice magic responsibly, folks. You don’t want to accidentally switch it off by killing a god, like a certain magician we know (ahem, Quentin).
Be sure to stick around, Fillorians, as we continue chugging along on The Magicians train! Next week for Magicians Monday, I’ll begin sorting our magical main cast of The Magicians into Hogwarts houses. Just imagine – if Quentin and his friends attended Hogwarts instead of Brakebills, where would the Sorting Hat place them? You’ll just have to tune in next week to find out! So, don’t forget that glass of wine, your best b***h and your wittiest of one-liners. I solemnly swear Mondays will be magical. Here’s to no longer dreading the start of the week, Fillorians.
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