As The Magicians season 3 nears its premiere, fans are eager to know more about the new adventures in store for the students of Brakebills, and executive producer and showrunner Sera Gamble was more than happy to tease some enticing details during a recent set visit during filming in October. After touring the beautiful interior of the Muntjac, the magical boat on which much of the magicians’ journey will take place this season, we were able to glean the following highlights of the coming season.
Here’s what we learned from showrunner Sera Gamble…
Besides the Muntjac, readers of the novels should know: the bear is coming.
SERA: “I realized as someone who is often a fan of shows like this that it would be kind of fun for people who had read the books because we’re sort of secretly speaking to you as we’re telling a story that everyone can enjoy whether or not you’ve read the books. Like there’s going to be a bear on the show this season, and we know that people who have read the books have been waiting for a bear.”
Benedict the cartographer returns!
“I never want to assume that we’ll be lucky enough to have another season. I always focus on the season that we’re in, so when we introduced Benedict into the story, I was really just focused on making sure that story was amazing and that introduction of the character really worked. But yes, it was sort of in our back pocket that if we got to the boat, we’d need to put Benedict on the boat, and as we got to the quest story, we would want Benedict to be a part of that.”
When gods take magic away, perhaps other gods can help bring it back.
“Because it’s the old gods who turned magic off, and they did it because we killed one of their children, who was a local god in Fillory, it sort of stands to reason that Quentin would say, ‘Well, maybe we should find another god and see if he or she can put in a good word.’ It also of course stands to reason that Julia would say, ‘I’m not so sure you want to do that.’ But there are more gods in the mix this season as well.”
Eliot and Margo are no longer the sole rulers of Fillory.
“Eliot and Margo are basically puppet rulers. They see the Faerie Queen; most people don’t see the fairies… so people don’t understand why Eliot and Margo would say, ‘The perfectly good field of spinach you have planted? Dig it up and put inedible mushrooms there.’ So the unrest among the populace is growing… Margot and Eliot are acting completely fucking crazy.”
Not everyone knows the real reason behind magic being gone.
“People in Fillory are by and large aware of the fact that Ember was killed… On Earth, there are a lot of rumors. You meet a magician in episode 1 who has a completely wrong-headed idea as to why magic has died, and it gives you this idea that, oh, of course, most people don’t know who Quentin Coldwater is… they don’t even know Fillory is real! So how would they know that killing Ember is what stopped magic?”
Some familiar guest stars will be returning.
“Candis Cayne is returning as the Faerie Queen, and that’s a big role this season; she’s a big antagonist for our characters. Marlee Matlin is returning as Harriet who runs the FuzzBeaters. There’s a lot going on this season with the Library… Mageina Tovah, who plays the head librarian, is a character who returns a lot, and you find out this season why Harriet really hates the Library so much, and it goes much beyond just the suppression of information.”
From what Gamble was able to share, there are a lot of changes coming for The Magicians season 3, but don’t worry; much of the show’s dark edge and trademark humor will still be a part of the season’s overall appeal. “In your darkest, deepest moments where the stakes are the highest, the most things are funny because most things that come your way are mostly trivial and ridiculous, and gallows humor is an integral part of The Magicians,” she says.
Gamble reminds us, however, that’s it’s not all black comedy in The Magicians. “We do dark and graphic stuff all the time,” she says, “but if nothing else we always will try and get a little dick joke in there somewhere.” Whatever the style of humor, The Magicians season 3 returns to Syfy on January 10, 2018 at 9pm ET.