The women of The Magicians rule, both literally as queens and figuratively as actors. With strong performances each week by Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice, Stella Maeve as Julia, Summer Bishil as Margo, Jade Tailor as Kady, and now Brittany Curran, who as Fen joins the cast as a series regular this year, those who play queens, the god-touched, and the warriors, spoke to us about their characters’ evolutions from the set of The Magicians season 3.
The battle to bring back magic that began in the season two finale continues, but just because spell-casting doesn’t work doesn’t mean all of the power is gone. Appropriately enough, the cast shared their insights from the set of the Muntjac, a magical boat that features prominently in The Magicians season 3. “This season the theme is about trying to get magic back,” explains Dudley, “but there are still things that are magical in our world. Fillory still exists; it’s still a magical place, and there are still creatures who have magic… We just don’t have magic in the way we did before.”
Dudley’s Alice, in fact, is at the mercy of those magical creatures she alienated during her time as a niffin last year. “It’s something that happens right away for Alice this season is the repercussions of what she did as a niffin,” Dudey says. “I like to think, in niffin world, time is very different. So even if she was gone for a week here, she was there for hundreds, thousands of years, and she had a lot of time to piss people off… This year we get to find out what some of this things were, and Alice is definitely running from some bad people at the beginning of the season.”
Likewise, Bishil as Margo is beholden to the still-magical influence of the Fairy Queen, with whom she made an ill-fated agreement last season, but the balance may shift in The Magicians season 3. “The power dynamic between the two women is interesting,” Bishil says. “[Margo] despises the Fairy Queen — she took her eye, she took her kingdom, she’s caused this separation between her and her best friend — but she’s also intrigued by her. She possesses a power that Margo is really intrigued by and wants to possess one day. She wants to learn from her as much as she wants to eliminate her.”
Learning is hard to come by in a world without magic, as Tailor’s character Kady discovers as she tries to help the magically irradiated Penny this season. “Penny is stricken with this horrible illness, and they don’t know how to stop it, and they don’t have magic,” Tailor explains. “So I think that is the thing that is on [Kady’s] mind, and it is putting her in a darker place. She’s scared of losing the only other thing that she cares about, which is Penny. And she’s already lost her mother; she’s already lost Julia; she’s already lost everything else.”
One character who is on the rebound, however, is Julia who, according to Maeve, is puzzled by the spark of magic that’s inside her but not as damaged as she once was. “She’s more at peace with herself and just with everything,” Maeve says. “I think with Julia this season, everything is done with an ease. It just sort of flows out of her, and none of it feels contrived or forced… In season one, she’s struggling and she wants magic and it’s this power struggle and this fight and frustration and anger, and then season two was just crazy. In season three there’s this innate ease and grace… and she’s a lot more grounded.”
And then there’s poor Fen, who is married to High King Eliot but has suffered from neglect and disinterest until now, and Curran’s status as a series regular speaks to the Fillory native’s new importance in season three. “How Fen comes into the new season is absolutely insane!” says Curran. “Take out magic, and it’s even more insane. And so I already feel displaced; I’ve already been kidnapped without any help, and now I’m brought in, and I don’t have my baby. I don’t know where my baby is, and now we have these scary, pale creatures controlling us — and no one knows!”
Between the fairies controlling the Fillory throne, the disappearance of magic everywhere, and the dire straits several characters are in, The Magicians season 3 is starting off with plenty of conflict, and the women of the show will no doubt be instrumental in setting things right. The fun begins on January 10, 2018 at 9/8c on Syfy.