'The Magicians' Season 2 Will Deal With Julia's Trauma Head-On, Producer Sera Gamble Promises
Still recovering from the mind-blowing season finale of Syfy's The Magicians? I'm already emotionally distraught at the fact that I'll have to wait until 2017 for The Magicians Season 2 to premiere and reveal how the showdown with The Beast plays out. Sure, I've read Lev Grossman's books that the series is based on, so I have a pretty good idea of what's coming next, but that doesn't mean the TV show won't throw in some twists to catch even the most devoted reader off-guard. In an effort to get all the information I could about Season 2, I spoke with writer and producer Sera Gamble about what The Magicians will have in store when it returns.
First things first: while Season 2 will contain many of the plot points of Grossman's second novel, The Magician King, it's not going to be a straightforward adaption (although you've probably guessed that, since we've already seen most of Julia's story from that book). "We've pulled threads from The Magician King into Season 1 of the TV show," Gamble says. "What we have discovered in making the show is that sometimes remixing the book sort of chronologically helps us to better maintain the spirit of the books ... We have found that the best way to make The Magicians TV show is really to treat them as two separate mediums and figure out how to have the two talking about the same stuff and moving the characters through the same kind of stories."
Gamble also explains that the writers have only very recently started working on the second season, so nothing is set in stone just yet. Unfortunately, she can't confirm who will (or won't) live through the encounter with The Beast that'll be picked up when The Magicians returns, so we still don't know whether the series' survivors will be the same as they are in the novels.
While the battle with The Beast left ended the season on quite a cliffhanger, arguably the most shocking moment of the finale was when we learned what actually happened when Julia attempted to summon Our Lady Underground, and that Reynard the fox god raped her. "When I read the books for the first time I was sort of shocked by it," Gamble says of the novel's version of the scene. "I had been reading about ... all of these classical myths and it never really hit home what was actually happening to the characters in these stories in an adult, real way, and what the blowback might have been. It's always sort of told whimsically, from the point of view of the god, so to me, it's compelling and really fascinating and smart of Lev [Grossman] to deconstruct so many tropes."
This focus on how the assault affects Julia will carry over onto The Magicians, and Gamble says viewers will see her deal with many of the issues real rape survivors face. "It should never happen, but it does happen and it's something I believe we should talk about and we should face," Gamble says. "There's so much fear, shame, and silence around it. To me, as a writer, I think it's something that people at times can stay really, really quiet about or are afraid to even talk about, but it affects people and it's a brutal reality of our world. We never shied away from that. We wanted to make sure there was nothing cartoonish, funny, or throw-away about the way we approached it. We kept ourselves very accountable to the details of it, and we tried to keep in mind that if we're going to stare this in the eye, then we have to do that in a sober way."
Though it may be tackling some extremely difficult, emotional issues, Season 2 of The Magicians is clearly in good hands. The events of the finale will undoubtedly change the series — and all of its characters — in a huge way, and I'm confident that it will return a more gripping series than ever.
Images: Carole Segal/Syfy, Syfy