7 Reasons 'Harry Potter' Fans Will Love 'The Magicians' & All Things Brakebills
It's corny as Azkaban to say that there's magic in the air, but it really is a great time to be a Harry Potter fan right now. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them comes out this year, the new Albus Severus-centric play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens in London this summer. Plus, the new SyFy series The Magicians is perfect for Harry Potter fans, whether you're looking for a way to pass the time, or for something new and juicy to dive into.
The series is based on the first of Lev Grossman's three novels about Quentin Coldwater and the adventures he encounters after enrolling in a magical school in New York called Brakebills. Sound familiar already? You have no idea. The initial New York Times review of The Magicians novel said that the story "could crudely be labeled a Harry Potter for adults" — which is accurate, because I think a lot of the references are intentional homages to Hogwarts and all of its alumni that we love, but The Magicians is also its own world, and just as rich, so simply calling it Harry Potter for grown-ups would be a disservice. Plus, never trust anybody who says Harry Potter is only for kids.
Intrigued? Here are seven more reasons to further tempt Potter fans over to Team Magicians.
Lev Grossman Is "One Of Us"
First of all, his daughter's name is Lily. He is also a self-professed writer of and advocate for fanfiction , including Harry Potter fic, as he told Vulture. He also wrote a piece on Harry Potter fanfiction tor Time in 2011. He gets it.
It's About A Wizarding School
Bare bones, the whole "magical world going unnoticed in our world" vibe will be familiar to Harry Potter fans. Quentin is a "chosen one" of sorts, and maybe one of many. The first scene in the pilot episode of the SyFy series will even remind me you Dumbledore and McGonagall's first meeting in Sorcerer's Stone. They have their own magical sport. There are even some scars and striped ties involved. Bonus shoutout to X-Men, the school is in Upstate New York.
It's Also About A Fan
Not only is this about a fictional magical world, but they also travel to a fictional magical world called Fillory (which bares a striking resemblance to Narnia) that the protagonist is a fan of too. Like, imagine if Hermione Granger loved Game of Thrones, proved that Westeros was real, and they all went there (hopefully to put an end to everyone's constant suffering) on an adventure. Or, to be even more topical, it's like how Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens grew up with the legend of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, and now gets to live it.
The Houses Make More Sense
Full disclosure, Pottermore sorted me into Slytherin — but I know that when I was 11 years old, that hat would have shuffled me off into Ravenclaw. At the end of the Harry Potter series, even Dumbledore admits that they sort too soon. At Brakebrills, not only do you have more agency over which house you get (it's more like choosing a major) but you also aren't a sixth-grader and you have time to decide. So, everyone frustrated by their Hogwarts house results can invest in this new system.
There's Way More Diversity
While Harry Potter is a story about fighting against bigotry, most of its central characters that young fans relate to are white and straight — especially in the Harry Potter film adaptation. The Magicians will give you the racial and LGBT diversity/representation that is often lacking in fantasy series in general. It also deals with mental illness in an honest way, which is particularly excellent.
It's Grown Up, Just Like Us
In the television adaptation, Brakebrills is like a graduate school. This is perfect for a good chunk of Harry Potter fans who literally grew up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione and are now in their mid-20s. We can now, as adult Harry Potter fans, still fantasize about getting that owl post, thanks to Lev Grossman and The Magicians.
Images: Carole Segal/SyFy; Giphy (7)