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The Fable of the Seven Golden Keys is a children's story in Fillory. It is given to Quentin Coldwater by Eleanor on the Outer Island to help him with his quest.

Resume of the Fable

Seven Key

Book of The Tale of the Seven Key as shown in Season 3.

There was a witch, a man, and his daughter. The witch wanted the man's undevoted attention, but as he couldn't give it to her, she kidnapped his daughter and trapped her in a hovering castle, telling him that he had to find six golden keys to unlock the castle's door if he wanted to see his daughter again. The man spent years looking for them but could only find them by accident, and with each key he found, he opened another door, with each room being bigger than the last. When he found the sixth and final key, he went to the castle and unlocked the final door, only to find that his daughter was grown up. The girl didn't recognize him but thanked him by giving him a seventh key, which he never used.


TV and Book Differences  

In the show, the protagonist of this tale is a girl, who looks for seven keys to open a castle where her father was imprisoned, by an evil witch.


TV Tale's chapter[1]

Chapter 1: Read from the book, s03e02

Long ago, in a far-off kingdom, lived the daughter of a brave knight. The knight had always wanted a son to whom he might pass on his skills. So, while father and daughter loved one another, she often felt herself a disappointment to him. One day, a witch kidnapped the knight. The daughter pleaded with her to return him. The witch said no, but he could be rescued if the girl could complete a quest. “There are seven keys,” said the witch. “Find them, and

you can open your father’s prison the Castle at the End of the World.” The witch told the daughter the first key was to be found on an island beyond her kingdom, so she sailed past the Outer Islands. And while the voyage was treacherous, her destination was more so, for nothing was as it seemed on After Island.


Chapter 2: Quentin Coldwater and Julia Wicker, s03e04

The knight’s daughter, she found [the key] in a sentient cave that just kept asking her riddles and wouldn’t let her in until it deemed her worthy. Rupert Chatwin found the same cave in the first Fillory book, The World in the Walls while being chased by a belligerent cassowary. He finds this mountain of treasure, but only takes one item; a golden key, to bring to his friend that he met during the war. The key is then, brought on Earth. ===
Chapter 3: Quentin Coldwater and Eliot Waugh, s03e05  === Quentin: The Daughter’s training to become a knight, right? And it is sort of fascinating how it plays with the
classic trope of the hero’s journey.
Eliot: Where do we get the key?
Quentin: Right here, the mosaic, the puzzle. You use the tiles to create a design that reflects the beauty of all
life, and when you do, there’s a-a mystery prize: a so-called key to greater magic.
Eliot: (SIGHS) Don’t you love it when the metaphors turn out to be literal? Let’s go.
Quentin: El, it’s in Fillory.


Chapter 4: Poppy Kline, s03e06

Mid-voyage we wound up on this random island, just, like, covered in treasures. Places like this are so rare.
There are only two species of dragon that even build treasure nests. Anyway, this was in one of them with a
bunch of cool stuff. But the thing [about the key] that got me was I could feel something coming off it. [..]Thekey does have a power. It takes the darkest parts of you and makes a kind of well, you met it. It’s kind of, like, a depression monster? Looks like you, talks like you. But don’t worry, it can’t actually hurt you unless it gets in your head and convinces you to hurt yourself.


Chapter 5: Summary by the author[2] , s03e09

This chapter of the book unfolds a musical partition that, when played, sends the quest takers in a pocket universe where one of theirs has been trapped. As the quest takers are a group, one would inevitably feel left out. A demon called a Traumesser captures that person and gives them a world filled with their desires and fantasies. That person will stay there until the other notice and, through unity, bring him back to reality. When the quest takers join together against the pocket world, the Traumesser gives them the Unity key and leads them to the exit so the group can continue on their journey.


Chapter 6: Quentin Coldwater, s03e10

The book says that the Sixth Key is in the Throne Room at Whitespire. [..] So in this chapter, the daughter, she finally becomes the knight that she set out to be and right after she’s knighted, her shield catches a moonbeam and it reflects it back. The book says the moonlight has to hit three keystones to reveal the key. The moonlight will reveal the realm of the fairies atop Fillory that was built with the help of the seventh key. It is possible to see the realm by smoking a certain kind of drug that makes you see alternate dimensions.


Chapter 7: Summary by the author[2] , s03e11

The books only say that the sixth key is one that gives a vision of the future. In season 3 of The Magicians, it is retrieved after the seventh key, but it is considered the sixth.


Chapter 8: Read from the book, s03e12

The Knight remained imprisoned at the Castle at the End of the World. Not even a warrior as great as he could break the bonds placed on him by the Witch. He could not escape. But his daughter, now every bit the knight her father was, and more so, never gave up. She fought monsters, real and imagined, without as well as within. She had won all seven keys, and now she set sail for the Castle at the End of the World. She faces the door of the castle. In the door, there were seven keyholes. The door swallowed the keys whole and slowly opened. Up ahead, she saw her father, bound by seven chains. “Father,” she cried, “I’m here to save you.”She placed the keys into the locks, and when she turned the seventh… Note from the author:[2] The chapter is left unfinished but, from what happens at the end of the episode, after
turning the seventh key, a fountain starts pouring liquid magical energy, bringing back magic to Earth and
Fillory. It also most likely freed the father.

Sources

  1. The Magicians: Season Three. Created by Sera Gamble and John McNamara, NBCUniversal Television Distribution, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gilbert, Catherine, Further Than Fillory: An Unofficial Tabletop roleplaying game guide, Annexe 5: Tale of the Seven Keys, pp. 61-62, https://bit.ly/2y2K3A4