Are The Fillory Books From 'The Magicians' Real? These Novels Play A Big Role in SyFy's Series
Many fantasy novels, both for children and adults, have built magical worlds that readers wished were real. Everything from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to The Chronicles of Narnia. In recent years, Lev Grossman's The Magicians has joined these ranks, and the story is now making its way to television in SyFy's new series, also called The Magicians. But, Grossman's book features a little twist on the typical magical world — The Magicians exists in a universe that has its own books centered around a magical world. So, are the Fillory books from The Magicians real in our world?
Unfortunately no, they are not. The Fillory and Further series was written by the fictional author Christopher Plover (though that hasn't stopped fans from creating a GoodReads profile for him). The series follows a group of children in the Chatwin family who travel to the magical world of Fillory and go on many adventures throughout the fictional novels. However, although you can't read the Fillory and Further series yourself, they do play a hugely important role in The Magicians book — so much so that the main character, Quentin (to be played on SyFy's series by Jason Ralph), who is a massive fan of Plover's books, details the plot of the four published novels in the series as well as the unpublished manuscript of the fifth installment.
There are many parallels between Fillory and Narnia, which makes sense since Fillory and Further was created by Grossman as a "response" to C.S. Lewis and his world within The Chronicles of Narnia . Of course, the biggest difference between Narnia and Fillory is that, within the context of The Magicians, Fillory turns out to be real. But, according to an interview Grossman did with Flavorwire, there are other ways that Fillory is different than Narnia:
The funny thing is, Lewis was notoriously sloppy as a world-builder. He liked to drag in whatever was handy — nymphs, fauns, wizards, Father Christmas, whatever — without much regard to internal consistency. For Christ’s sake, Mrs. Beaver has a sewing machine! It drove Tolkien crazy. Part of the joke of The Magicians is that I’m taking a Narnia-style fantasy world and forcing it to behave consistently. It turns out that you have to bend it and distort it and break it to make it fit.
So, although The Magicians plays on other fantasy novels — seriously, the first chunk of the book is very similar to Harry Potter — the Fillory aspect draws much more inspiration from Narnia, which is important to remember when Quentin and his friends travel there on an exploratory quest.
Since Quentin was such a huge fan of the Fillory books as a child (and perhaps too long into his adulthood if you were to ask his fellow magicians) his knowledge of Plover's works helps him and his friends navigate the fictional world. What would you do if somehow you were able to travel to the world within your favorite fantasy novel? Well, The Magicians explores that exact question.
Images: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Syfy; Giphy