‘The Magicians’ Showrunners on That Series Finale, Happy Endings, and If This Is Really the End


Be aware: This interview incorporates full spoilers for the collection finale of The Magicians.

The Magicians is over. With the airing of the Season 5 finale, “Fillory and Additional,” 5 years of insanely cool magic, stunning twists, emotional breakdowns, and sure, f-bombs galore has come to an finish. It wasn’t precisely purported to go this manner. If it had been as much as The Magicians showrunners Sera Gamble, John McNamara, and Henry Alonso Myers, the present would have continued. However Syfy noticed it in another way, and in the midst of manufacturing on Season 5, phrase got here down that this is able to in all probability be the present’s ultimate season.

However actually, if the collection needed to exit unexpectedly, I couldn’t consider a greater or extra becoming finale. The collection got here full circle because it introduced The Beast again into the fold for one ultimate antagonistic showdown, and as soon as once more the titular magicians—Julia (Stella Maeve), Alice (Oliva Taylor Dudley), Eliot (Hale Appleman), Margo (Summer time Bishil), Penny (Arjun Gupta), Kady (Jade Tailor), Josh (Trevor Einhorn), and Fen (Brittany Curran)—needed to pull collectively and defeat the odds to save lots of the world(s). Once more.

There was a way of finality to this explicit journey, nonetheless. Fillory as we all know it’s gone, with Alice, Margo, Fen, and Josh actually laying the groundwork for a whole new world. Fittingly sufficient, Margo is topped Excessive King Margo, the Creator. Alice finds self-acceptance—flaws and all. Penny and Julia are mother and father to a new child magician. Eliot might have lastly discovered wholesome companionship with Charlton. Issues appeared… okay? For as soon as? And for a present that’s unafraid to dig into the harsh realities of day-to-day life—melancholy, psychological sickness, poisonous relationships, and so on.—it was good to have the ability to say goodbye to those characters figuring out that, after 5 years of ups and downs, they’re gonna be okay.

That was a aware choice on the a part of the showrunners, who had been gracious sufficient to reply some burning questions I had about the Magicians collection finale over e-mail. Gamble, McNamara, and Myers revealed when, precisely, they knew this season finale was going to need to work as a collection finale as effectively, and talked about the choice to wrap up this story in a approach that felt true to the present but additionally satisfying to followers. Additionally they dug into specifics, like bringing The Beast again and why they determined to not deliver Jason Ralph again for one ultimate look as Quentin Coldwater following the character’s demise at the finish of Season 4. And sadly, they defined why this actually is the finish of the highway for the present—they exhausted all doable choices to proceed on at one other community.

I’ve been a fan of this present because it first aired. I used to be obsessive about Lev Grossman’s books off of which the present relies, and delighted in watching this Syfy collection actually develop into its personal as the seasons progressed. The Magicians was at all times unafraid of being daring. Of being bizarre. Of being fucking formidable. And for that we ought to be grateful. It’s uncommon as of late that any present makes it previous the first season not to mention the pilot, however for this collection to run for 5 seasons and nonetheless have gasoline in the tank? That’s a minor miracle.

It’s a testomony the producers, the writers, and after all the forged that The Magicians was as persistently good (and loopy) because it was, and I believe we will confidently say we’ll in all probability by no means see a present like this once more.


Photograph by: James Dittiger/SYFY

Beneath, see what Sera Gamble, John McNamara, and Henry Alonso Myers needed to say about The Magicians collection finale and bringing this collection to an finish.

How quickly did you discover out Season 5 can be the present’s final earlier than penning this ultimate episode, and how did that have an effect on the crafting of this episode?

SERA GAMBLE: We knew all season that the present was on the bubble, simply because we had been conscious of the TV panorama and the lifespan of comparable reveals.  We fought exhausting for one more season, however in the meantime we needed to write a season finale, and we knew it might effectively want to face as the collection finale. So we set the aim of crafting an episode that didn’t essentially wrap up each plot level however did present a way of a full arc for every of our characters. They’re every so multifaceted, we couldn’t presumably sum them up fully in a single episode, however we picked an necessary battle or two and highlighted how they’ve modified over the lifetime of the collection.

Was there an alternate ending to the season you had been constructing in the direction of that you just jettisoned if you discovered it wanted to doubtlessly work as a collection finale? If so, what was it?

GAMBLE: It’s extra that we shot sure scenes figuring out they felt like collection finale scenes. We knew that if we needed to, we may lower and trim in submit to make ’em a bit extra… effectively, brutal. Extra cliffhanger-ish. However the model you’re seeing is the full Series Finale model. Every thing stayed in.

If the present had gone on to Season 6, what would that story have been? The creation of a brand new Fillory?

GAMBLE: We had a plan, however since that is the finish of this model of the story, I believe it’s proper handy it now to followers of the present to dream up no matter they envision. We actually evoke their subsequent set of issues in the finale– a part of the level of our present is that life goes on, quests emerge, new crises clamor in.  Only a few weeks in the past I used to be in a very totally different place in my life with completely totally different stresses– I couldn’t have predicted I’d be answering your questions whereas self-isolated throughout a world pandemic.  However then one other a part of the level of our present is that the way you do in battle has all the pieces to do with the soldier standing subsequent to you, whether or not on the similar floor or worlds away.. The finale tells you fairly rattling explicitly that after a lifetime of every feeling fairly alone, our characters are actually there for one another.  They may not at all times agree and even like one another, however they’ll danger their lives to save lots of one another, at all times. Past that, you get to spin out no matter tales you wish to inform your self!


Photograph by: James Dittiger/SYFY

How lengthy have you ever recognized you would possibly wish to deliver The Beast again into the fold, and how did that call come about?

JOHN MCNAMARA: Actually, I believe it was bandied about the writers’ room all season, as we had been going to introduce or re-introduce all of the residing Chatwins.  So it appeared pure to have The Beast be the one pulling the strings for a ultimate time, betraying everybody he’s ever encountered.  Additionally, we love the actor who performs him, Charles Mesure, and thought he deserved a ultimate bow.

Did you ever have any concepts or plans to deliver Quentin again? 

MCNAMARA: No. I’ll have felt the strongest about this, although nobody ever introduced it up critically. Right here was my reasoning. On most TV reveals and in plenty of films, books and performs, the demise of a protagonist is a trick.  A solution to shock and unsettle an viewers.  But it surely normally does neither as a result of the viewers is well-accustomed to the trope: it’s a pretend out.  She or he didn’t die for some myriad of plot contrivances, or did however was miraculously introduced again and so on.  We did a model ourselves in killing Penny 40 and sending him to the Underworld.  However then — cleverly no less than — introduced in Penny 23 from one other time line.  However we did adhere strictly to some painful truths: Penny 40 is actually lifeless; Kady loves Penny 40 and not Penny 23 and vice versa.  So we received to see actual emotional agony from all the characters who liked Penny 40.  This was, in a approach, a litmus take a look at.  May you kill a significant character for actual, perpetually and have it not throw the showcase course?

In killling Quentin, we knew the dangers had been better, for quite a lot of causes. Jason Ralph, a beautiful actor, had requested to go away the present at the finish of Season 4 and we reluctantly agreed. So there’d be no Quentin 23 popping into Season 5. Quentin was additionally a personality who was in love with each Alice and Eliot, so he represented the LGBTQ group in a giant approach. And he’d suffered from severe, generally suicidal melancholy, so we would have liked to take heed to that as effectively.  However what we needed to cope with as artists was the notion that demise cuts throughout all gender, racial, sexual, psychological psychological, political, monetary strains. Nobody in the actual world is a protected class when it comes to dying.  Take a look at the world at the moment, March 31, 2020, with each sentient being on the planet concurrently sharing the similar fears of mortality for the similar causes, not certainly one of us immune or sure of our fates. That is our actuality.  And although this actuality is the most stark when it comes to confronting life’s fragility, that actuality has been and at all times will probably be there. Life is about demise — not avoiding it however coping with it.


Photograph by: Dean Buscher/SYFY

If we had been going to kill certainly one of our main characters, we felt it needed to really feel completely actual. No tips. No twists. No magical resurrections (effectively, none that would final, anyway, and so make the ache of Q’s loss even extra acute) . It needed to mirror the expertise of true, simple, irreparable grief.  As a result of I’ve maintained from the begin my attraction to The Magicians was at all times singular: it’s a fantasy about actuality. And if a personality’s demise is reversed to appease some followers’ grief and we deliver Q again to appease these few who howled at our cruelty, effectively, that was by no means going to occur for one easy purpose: that isn’t The Magicians. And it by no means was. All of the DNA for this world view of mortality has been baked in since the first episode. Sure, a couple of followers felt so damage they needed to cease watching the present and that’s okay and comprehensible. However I’d contend it’s additionally the purpose that the collection’ finish feels so powerfully emotional. You won’t have appreciated all the pieces we did in the making of it however to the better of our skills, we by no means lied to you about its view of life, demise and past.

Julia and Penny’s child gives a extremely emotional story for this episode. How did Stella’s real-life being pregnant have an effect on Julia’s storyline this season? Did you may have a unique story in thoughts for her and Penny?

MCNAMARA: Stella advised us she was pregnant pretty early in the season so we hadn’t but charted a course for her character in any element but.  I’ve confronted this case earlier than.  You’ve got 2 selections: shoot round the being pregnant and don’t write it into the present or lean into it and see the place it takes you.  We’ve at all times stated we like to write down ourselves into corners we don’t know the right way to get out of.  Now a nook was handed to us.  And a lovely life-affirming one at that.  I don’t suppose we might have had Julia get pregnant had Stella not been.  However I’m awfully glad it went the approach it did.  Each for Stella, the new mom of a wonderful new child, and Julia, a personality who has grown painfully however radiantly over the years.  Her story isn’t over.  However that is the new chapter she and Penny 23 deserve.

Everybody actually will get a cheerful ending right here. Was that at all times the plan for this finale, or was {that a} consequence of wanting to ensure the collection finale didn’t go away viewers hanging?

HENRY ALSONSO MYERS: We’ve been speaking for five years about giving individuals a cheerful ending. Each season we are likely to upend the desk and decide up the items in the subsequent season — that normally signifies that issues are sort of messed-up for everybody, so there’s extra story to inform. However as followers of tv we had been desirous to not do the similar factor yearly. Since we weren’t totally certain about the destiny of the present once we wrote the finale, we opted to attempt to shut out all our character tales, whereas conserving a bunch plot threads going. Our characters’ journeys in consequence will really feel extra full, despite the fact that, [SPOILER ALERT] all the pieces is messed-up and they’re scattered throughout the universe.


Photograph by: Eric Milner/SYFY

Is there a significant storyline or character you at all times needed to deal with in the present however by no means received round to?

MYERS: Probably not. Most of the stuff from the books we’ve no less than gotten to hat-tip. We’d have appreciated to do Margo’s flight round Fillory, watching the apocalypse, but it surely simply wasn’t doable on our price range and schedule. We additionally wished we’d discovered a solution to do the magic carpet from the e book three heist sequence, however alas there wasn’t a approach for us to do it and have it look good on our price range — and it additionally would have robbed us of the nice Santa Claus escape. All the similar, only a few regrets about what we did get to do, which is most of it. May have at all times used extra dragons, although.

Is there hope in any respect for a Season 6 elsewhere, or is that this actually actually the finish of the highway for The Magicians?

MYERS: I might like to say there there’s hope, as a result of there’s at all times hope in the world, however we explored as many choices as we may earlier than we lastly accepted that we wouldn’t have the ability to proceed.  In the present TV setting many reveals by no means make it to five years.  We did, and we had been capable of inform an entire story, in the approach that we needed to inform it.  We’ll at all times be thankful for that.

The Magicians has now accomplished its run on Syfy. Previous episodes can be found on Netflix.


Photograph by: Eric Milner/SYFY


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