Ranking the characters of The Magicians

The SyFy series The Magicians returns this Wednesday for its much anticipated season two and there’s a lot of rumblings that it’s even better than its impressive debut season. We were already won over but we’re even more excited to see our favorite characters return for more adventures in the dark and twisted Fillory, a place that is much different in real life than the fictional version that Quentin grew up reading about. Before the premier myself and fellow writers Leaf and Katie ranked the characters from our least favorite to the number one stand out. We did this by a point system and while yes, unfortunately someone had to be in last place, we’re hard pressed to name any one character who is actually our least favorite. Take a look below at our rankings and let us know in the comments below who would be in your number one position!

And beware-spoilers for season one lie ahead.

7. Alice

All Alice wanted to do was find out what happened to her brother. She found out that he died trying to be a hero, but unfortunately there was nothing she could do to save his spirit. With the mystery solved the only thing left to do was for her to continue to study magic. She’s naturally gifted at it, but more importantly she admitted that she holds herself back to try and fit in, so hopefully this season she’ll stop holding back and really upgrade her magic, especially if they’re going to take out Martin. Also, let’s not forget that she’s be imbued with the power of a god as well and is now a master magician. One intriguing aspect of this season will be to see how she deals with Quentin since he cheated on her. Will the bigger threat(s) negate her anger, or will she still have resentment towards him? – Leaf Miranda 

6. Kady


Poor Kady spent most of the season under the thumb of the hedge witch Marina, forced to work in order to help pay off her mother’s debt. She spent most of the season at Marina’s beck and call, stealing items from Brakebills–a plot which took up the majority of her screentime this season. Her situation has only gotten worse: her mother died, killed by a spell and she was forced to break up with Penny once her role as Marina’s lackey was discovered. Now that Kady’s rejoined the main Brakebills gang, has found a good friend in Julia, and picked up some battle magic tricks of her own, it’ll be interesting to see what she does in season 2, now that she’s acting under her own agenda. – Katie Gill

5. Penny

Carole Segal/Syfy

At the start of season one Penny didn’t instantly come across as an interesting, three dimensional character and more like an aggressive foil to Quentin’s more introverted personality. However, as the season progressed his sardonic attitude and more cynical look at magic took on a greater point of view, especially as his motives to help out the rest of the group became more muddled. His sincere respect and appreciation for Alice and his continued sibling like annoyance with Quentin gave the group a greater depth, allowing the audience to recognize just how odd it was that these people with their differing personalities came together. Penny being a traveler (one who, spoiler, looses his hands at the end of season one) who was constantly having the drown out the Beasts voice in his head only made his continued growth into a sacrificing hero all the more intriguing. – Allyson Johnson 


4. Quentin

Carole Segal/Syfy

Quentin started off this season leaving his ordinary life for a new life that seemed like a dream come true (magic is real! Fillory, the fictional world that he’s been obsessing over ever since a child is also real!) that over the course of a season grew worse and worse, spiraling into a nightmare (not only does magic exist, but magical beings that want to kill you also exist! His idol, Christopher Pluver, author of the Fillory books was a really awful person and Fillory itself isn’t this picture perfect fairy tale world). Quentin’s gone through an emotional roller coaster of maturity this season, as he accepts the harsh truths and limitations about magic as well as the fact that he just might not be the chosen one. – Katie Gill

3. Margo

Carole Segal/Syfy

In large part, Summer Bishil is the reason why Margot has become such an instant break out character. Appearing in less episodes than the rest of the cast, she could have easily fallen by the wayside. However, two relationships made her a standout and for very different reasons. Of course there’s her dynamic with platonic soul mate Elliot which brings out her off the cuff, too cool for everyone around her attitude, and her often gleeful response to breaking the rules. However, the more interesting version of the character is the one brought out when she’s around Quentin and her softer, more genuine side comes out. It’s with him that we learn she too used to love the Fillory books and it’s through him that she admits to her lack of belief in magic, wishing she could have that same sense of hope that her friend so sincerely possesses. Her quips made us take notice, but it was the abundance of heart that she possessed that helped us grow attached. – Allyson Johnson 


2. Julia

Julia has been through a lot in season one. She got rejected from Brakebills, lost her boyfriend, got kicked out Marina’s coven, and raped by Renard the Fox, but still persevered, and that’s what makes her a great character. No matter what the world throws at Julia she manages to pick herself up and keep on going. Not only that but Julia is willing to accept her own mistakes. She felt bad that she might’ve gotten Quentin trapped in the spell she put on him. She gave up magic after Hannah’s death, and went into rehab giving up magic for a short while. Now imbued with the power of a god, Martin by her side, and a heart full of revenge, it’ll be interesting to see where this path takes her this season. – Leaf Miranda 

1. Elliot

Carole Segal/Syfy

This should come as little surprise to anyone who watches the show, but Elliot and, by extension Hale Appleman, became the official MVP of season one. While he wasn’t the clear hero of the show, his storyline was just as moving, if not more so. Emotionally guarded and casually flippant about being so with a self-destructive streak (not to mention clear addiction) few characters were as ill-equipped to become High King of Fillory at the end of the season, and yet there he was. This primes him for an even greater story arc in season two where he’ll be forcibly isolated from the rest of his friends, in a world where time passes differently and unable to leave. Already an undisputed scene stealer, we can’t wait to see what Appleman brings to the table this year, be it through his humor or the twinges of darkness that lurk underneath his perfectly fashioned exterior. – Allyson Johnson 

The Magicians returns Wednesday, January 25th on SyFy. 


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