For the TV character, see TV:Quentin Coldwater.
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Quentin Makepeace Coldwater is a New York-based Magician and former king of Fillory. Upon his acceptance to Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, Quentin's life changed once he was introduced to magic and the dangers that follow.


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The Magicians

When the story begins, Quentin is living in Brooklyn and preparing for a Princeton alumni interview with his childhood friends, Julia and James. After he finds the would-be interviewer dead, a piece of paper moved by the wind lures him to a hidden portal that brings him to Brakebills, an elite college of magic in upstate New York. He passes an entrance exam, proves his magical prowess, and is then admitted to matriculate there with other studying magicians. He spends the remainder of his summer living in the Brakebills dorms before the school year starts, spending his days with Eliot, who he met when he first arrived on campus.

He studies with the Physical Kids (Eliot, Josh, Janet, and Alice) at Brakebills. During his stay at Brakebills South, he develops feelings for Alice while they are transformed into foxes. After returning to Brakebills, Alice and Quentin develop a romantic relationship. When they graduate from Brakebills, Alice and Quentin stay with Eliot, Josh, and Janet. At a party, Quentin cheats on Alice with Janet while drunk. The following morning they are visited by Penny. Penny tells them that Fillory is real and he knows how to go there. They visit Fillory and go to Ember's Tomb. At Ember's Tomb, they have an encounter with the Beast, Martin Chatwin. Alice kills the Beast but ends up turning into a niffin. Quentin goes back to the Earth and mourns Alice's death when Eliot, Janet, and Julia come to take him to Fillory.

The Magician King

Quentin becomes a King of Fillory while Eliot is the High King, and Janet and Julia Queens of Fillory. Quentin goes to the Outer Island to collect the tax. He is accompanied by Queen Julia, Bingle, and Benedict on the Muntjac. He learns about the fable of the Seven Golden Keys on the Outer Island and travels to After Island where rumors of a golden key exist. On After Island when he finds the golden key he turns it in the air and gets himself and Julia back on Earth. When on Earth Julia takes Quentin to the places where she learned magic. They find Josh who had refused to become King of Fillory. Josh also had the last magic button which would grant them to access to Fillory. Josh tells them that he sold it to a dragon. They recruit Poppy, a dragon expert. They dive into the resident river of the dragon. The dragon sends them back and gives them a clue to return to Fillory.

The Magician's Land


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In The Magicians, 17-year-old Quentin is tall and nerdy. He doesn't consider himself to be attractive, although this may be due to his low self-esteem.

At 22, Quentin goes to Fillory for the first time and battles The Beast, who disfigures him. He's left with a perfect-looking wood shoulder made by the centaurs in the Retreat. His hair turns "strangely white" as described by Plum in later books.


Quentin is a lifelong fan of the "Fillory and Further" book series and yearns to fill his life with the same adventures.

He suffers from clinical depression and checked himself into a hospital because of this (this is only hinted at in the books but shown in the show) and constantly feels like he is not good enough or will never find someone to understand him. He has very low self-esteem and in the first book is shown to be much of a loner, even with friends like Julia and James.

During his time at Brakebills, he found his group, the Physical Kids, and the love of his life, Alice Quinn. He becomes cocky and convinced himself that he is the hero of his story, but fails to realize that his happiness won't lay there. He slowly turns into an adventure-seeker and constantly needs excitement. He tends to act impulsively, not analyzing consequences such as when he cheats on Alice with Janet and Eliot, or when he accidentally sends himself and Julia to Earth while he is king of Fillory.

Quentin lacks emotional maturity, which causes him to fall in love very quickly in his younger years and prevents him from obtaining a discipline. However, he matures after his dethronement, achieving great status as a teacher, although he was not accepted by the Brakebills faculty due to his eccentric behavior.

As a teacher, his students regard him as a weird, innovative professor that has great knowledge over the magical arts but lacks efficient social skills.

Magic and Abilities


  • Magician: Quentin is a magician with sufficient knowledge to be considered a teacher. Often times he is seen executing different magical techniques, which he learned from time spent in Fillory and his quest with Julia, who showed him Hedge Witch spells. People tend to perceive his power differently. The Brakebills' faculty and his students see him as having a lot of potential, but Mayakovsky constantly degrades him. One example is when he tells Quentin that it would take a hundred Quentin's to be able to cast a spell but only fifty Plums. From an unbiased point of view, Quentin has cast powerful spells and only fails due to his laziness to learn or to adapt to the current circumstances. Some of his magical achievements include being able to fly unsupported, studying incorporate bonds and how to break them, and reversing a niffin back to a human (which no one has accomplished before).
    • Repair of small objects (aka Minor Mending): Due to emotional immaturity, he went years without knowing what his discipline was, but after returning to Brakebills to a teaching position, he was re-tested and discovered his discipline. This discipline is a strain of magic that mends objects of the size of a teacup, and considered part of Physical group. He may have more ease when repairing bigger objects than most magicians, but his discipline is still minor mending. Most magicians consider this one of those useless disciplines, but, although Quentin admits it's not impressive nor extremely powerful, he's contented with it and sees himself as "a fixer".


  • Gifted Intellect: Quentin is able to grasp the full comprehension of magical theory as taught at Brakebills. As is the standard for all Magicians, he possesses at least an Above Average level of intelligence that enables him to grasp the concept of magic and apply it in the physical world.
    • Multilingual: Quentin, as well as every other Magician, is able to speak and read in a multitude of languages, as it is a basic requirement for spell casting. Some of these languages are Old Arabic and Latin.


  • Quentin's Zodiac sign is Cancer[1]


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