The Tales of the Seven Keys
EP 301 01 Julia and Quentin
Original Air date January 10, 2018
Written by Sera Gamble
Directed by Chris Fisher
Episode Navigation
Preceded by
We Have Brought You Little Cakes
Followed by
Heroes and Morons

The Tales of the Seven Keys is the first episode of Season 3 of The Magicians. It is also the twenty-seventh episode overall.


Quentin tries to find someone who can bring magic back; Julia explores her small, but significant gift; Eliot and Margo struggle under the hostile fairy occupation; Kady searches for a way to heal Penny.[1]


Penny and Kady

Penny is doing collection of overdue books, which sometimes takes him to strange places. When he can he Travels to New York, where Kady works at a diner. When he gets back to the Library, the Librarian scolds him for taking so long, because when he's away from the Library, time progresses, and he gets sicker, and nothing progresses while in the Library.

Kady visits Harriet, and Harriet has a book that might help Penny, but you need magic for it. Harriet says she's sure other magicians saw this lack of magic coming, and made preparations.


In Fillory, Tick Pickwick explains to Eliot and Margo that they have no money. (We notice Fen holding a block of wood as if it was a baby.) There is now a third throne, where the Fairy Queen sits, although only Margo can see her. She orders Margo to collect for her all of a certain earthworm that lives around the castle, but Margo says she is busy keeping the country from starving.

Margo tells some of the palace guard to go collect earthworms, but the Fairy Queen steps in and says the task was given to Margo alone, she must do it or lose her hands. Rafe tells Eliot that there's a corridor in the palace, and "some species" are allergic to the material the corridor is made of; the hint is that "some species" means fairies. Eliot and Margo meet there, and wonder what they can do about the fairies, but also wonder how it is the fairies know what they are planning.

In the forest near the palace, Eliot and Margo have a hilarious exchange, using coded language based on Earth TV. (The decoded meanings in brackets were shown as subtitles.)

* Eliot: You watched Battlestar, right?
* Margo: Yeah.
* Eliot: Remember Grace Park in Season One?
* Margo: Of Course.
* Eliot: Why?
* Margo: Duh, because she was actually-- (he cuts her off)
* Eliot: You're Grace Park.... You're Grace Park, Margo.
* Margo: Oh! I'm Grace Park!  [I'm an unwitting sleeper agent!]
* Eliot: Someone is XOXO Gossip Girling our shit. [Someone hidden in plain sight is spying on us.]
* Eliot: Remember James Marsden in X -Men. [You know that mutant with the eye thing?] Your Marsden is XOXO'ing us full on that great song by the Police. [Your eyeball is enabling the Fairy Queen to see us.]

They go on with this coded language, and wonder, what would Quentin do? He'd consult the books.

Eliot is in the forest with a bow and arrow, with Tick Pickwick. Eliot explains that they have a fairy problem, and there is a Fillory book that suggests that this forest contains the wish-granting White Lady. Eliot plans to shoot her, and wish for her to take the fairies away.

Eliot is addressed by a mysterious voice, who isn't the White Lady, but the Great Cock of the Darkling Woods. Eliot asks him to grant a wish about the fairies, but the Cock isn't into wishes, his sister does that. But the Cock offers Eliot an epic Quest, and it could lead to restoring magic. Eliot says he's more likely to mess things up, but the Cock says Eliot has friends: "the one-eyed conquerer, the traveler, the warrior, the fool, the god-touched, the lover of tomatoes, and ... the torture artist." Go, find the book with no author, a tale for children, there is the key or keys, you will find it in a place called ... "Public Library", in a certain town in New Jersey.

Eliot gets back to the palace, and he's been noticing lots of bunny rabbits around. (He had also noticed the Fairy Queen whispering something to a bunny, and the bunny disappearing.) He asks Rafe about the bunnies, and Rafe says that they travel between worlds. Eliot asks if they are loyal to the Fairy Queen, but Rafe says they are not.

(At this point, Eliot sends a message to Quentin, described later, and Quentin sends Eliot a response.)

Eliot and Rafe are surrounded by a bunch of bunnies, all of whom are muttering about "a quest!" "seven keys!". (Fen is also holding a bunny, and saying to it, "Father and I are so proud of you.") Eliot reads a note from Quentin, saying the first key is in Fillory, some place called After Island, it's an island beyond our borders. Fen says they need a boat that she knows of.


At Brakebills, Dean Fogg is visited by Irene McAllister, who is on the Brakebills board of trustees. The trustees are panicked, many of their companies failed when magic died, and they want the school to find magic again. Dean Fogg says the school is a school, but Irene says the board will shut down Brakebills if they don't get something quickly.

At the Cottage, Quentin and Julia discuss the old gods, and propose working their way through lesser gods to get to the old gods. Josh intrudes to say that he could help: the god Bacchus is still around, he's often seen at parties, Josh could get them in. They go to a wild party, and Bacchus is the host; Josh he knows and invites in, Josh is a great drinker, drugger, and party-player, but to Quentin and Julia he says "come back when you're fun."

Outside the party, Quentin and Julia are drinking, and remember a silly song and dance they did in 10th grade; they start doing it, and it's wild enough to get them in.

Quentin acts hip with Bacchus, and they drink shots, just enough for Quentin to hold Bacchus' attention and say he wants to get a word in with Bacchus' parents. Bacchus, rather drunkenly, tells Quentin that he once heard a crazy story about a secret backdoor to magic.

At the Cottage in Brakebills, Quentin wakes up, and a bunny appears on a table. It speaks: "Need help. Love Eliot."

Julia and Quentin are at a New Jersey library, and Julia has found a book: "The Tale of the Seven Keys", with no author, but with a magical vibe coming from it. Quentin glances through it, and sees that most of the pages are blank, all but the first chapter. This must be the Quest.

Outside a diner, a vampire is sucking blood from Alice, until she says enough. Alice asks the vampire what the Lamprey wants with her. He says she'll need an early warning device, and shows her something we can't see, that she should keep on her person at all times.


In "The Flying Forest", Quentin came across the White Lady, described in the books as one of the Seven Questing Creatures, who grant wishes when caught. He shot her with an arrow, which forced her to grant three wishes. Eliot looks like he hoped to find her.

It seems Tick and the other courtiers and the guards have never been seeing fairies, only Margo and Eliot and Fen. Even though in "We Have Brought You Little Cakes", we learned that Josh and Margo know the fairy realm is really the same place, that didn't make the fairy realm visible to mortals who aren't "in" the fairy realm, except sometimes.

The Cock listed Eliot's friends, and the consensus on their names are Margo ("the one-eyed conqueror"), Penny ("the traveler"), Kady ("the warrior"), Quentin ("the fool"), Julia ("the god-touched"), Josh ("the lover of tomatoes", as Josh is a Nature-specialty magician), and Alice ("the torture artist", Alice tortured a girl (giant reptile) in "Word as Bond", while possessing Quentin's body, and may have done worse as a niffin).



Guest Starring