The Magicians S2 E1: Knight of Crowns

Oh, hey fellow Brakebills students. . . Where did we leave off?

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  • Eliot and Margo are now the High King and High Queen of Fillory. Alice and Quentin are King and Queen as well. (Four rulers seems like a mess to me, but, you know, it’s drawing off the Narnia mythology here.) Oh, and Eliot married that chick Fen to get the magic knife to kill the Beast so . . . maybe Fen will be the tie-breaker?
  • Quentin and Alice are donezo because Quentin drunkcidentally slept with Eliot and Margo. Alice purposefully slept with Penny afterwards to get back at Quentin.
  • Speaking of Penny, the Beast cut off his hands! The promo pictures show him variously with hands and without, so going into this episode I have no idea what to expect. Penny with no hands is canon, but we’ll have to see what’s up.
  • Kady’s back, if the preview pics are to be believed. Julia is off-script forging alliances with the Beast to get back at Reynard for killing all her friends and assaulting her.
  • Dean Fogg is back at it in the promo pictures but still blind, apparently.

So let’s see what’s afoot in Fillory this year!

This week, the plot revolves around getting crowns on heads and hands on Penny. Everyone quickly learns that you shouldn’t double-cross people from a magical kingdom and that said magical kingdom has been long-neglected.


  • A long-dead knight challenges the gang to a test for their crowns. He throws out 90s pop-culture quiz questions, but Eliot wins the day by reenacting Patrick Swayze’s immortal soliloquy from Dirty Dancing. Everyone knows that Wings was Tim Daly’s best sitcom, but Swayze trumps all.
  • Quentin demands that they make a ceremony of the crownings, and everyone gets “official” titles:eliot complaints magicians tweet
    • High King Eliot the Spectacular (crowned by Quentin)
    • High Queen Margo the Destroyer (crowned by Eliot)
    • Queen Alice the Wise (crowned by Eliot)
    • King Quentin the Moderately Socially Maladjusted (crowned and titled by Margo, of course)
  • Somehow, in their strange quest to ally themselves with one another, Julia and Martin Chatwin end up at a McDonald’s Playplace. In the ball pit. Given the horrible Christopher Plover issues that Martin has, his penchant for staring longingly at the happy children is seriously creepy.
  • Margo and Penny have a side adventure where they find a magical spring that will restore Penny’s hands to him. Unfortunately, they refuse to pay the going price for magic of that size and Penny ends up hexed by the water hole watcher. This has dark implications—sure, it’s funny this time, but if the gang can’t figure out how Fillory works, they’re going to keep running afoul of its peculiar customs.

In the end, Eliot can’t leave Fillory to hit Brakebills for some answers to their battle magic needs. He consoles himself with the idea that he doesn’t hate Fen, his new wife, and that Fillory desperately needs someone to invent champagne (so he can be known as the Champagne King!). We’re terribly off-script from the books here; Penny’s supposed to be off-screen, Julia is meant to be Queen of Fillory instead of Alice, and Margo is still not Janet. Also, having Julia ally herself with the Beast is an incredibly gutsy move. But last season’s wild sense of adventure and possibility is still present, although the story has grown much darker. In the words of King Quentin the Moderately Socially Maladjusted: “Royalty, bitches.”




About the Author:

Erin Downey Howerton is a public librarian in Kansas. Follow her on Twitter at @hybridlib.

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