Fans should brace themselves for the finale of The Magicians' second season this Wednesday. "In true Magicians fashion, things will move at a break-neck speed," actor Hale Appleman promises over the phone. In addition to the inevitable season cliffhanger, the actor also drops some hints at what can be expected in the finale and beyond now that Syfy's The Magicians has officially been renewed for a third season. Appleman swears he doesn't know too much about what the higher-ups have in store for Season 3 (which is set to premiere in 2018), but his input is just enough to keep fans guessing.
By now, fans of Lev Grossman's novels (in which the show is adapted from), know there have been deviations and chronological reordering from the original franchise. While Season 1 included material from Grossman's The Magicians (2009) and The Magician King (2011), Season 2 continued to dive into the second novel and Eliot's (Appleman) arc of being crowned King of Fillory. Although executive producer John McNamara explained Season 2 would purposefully stray from the books, Appleman suggests the show may find it's way back to the original source material. Will Season 3 tackle Grossman's final book The Magician's Land (2014)? It's possible.
Appleman hints that the introduction of a new kingdom in the end of Season 2 will be a "set up" for next season, and he teases that fans will begin seeing its interactions with the Fillory world. "I’ve heard rumors about what the thrust of the next season will be and where it will take place," the 31-year-old says. According to the actor, book fans may be able to predict where the story's headed:
In the meantime, Appleman has his own thoughts about what Eliot's future as king and his relationships will look like. First is his complicated relationship with Margo (Summer Bishil). "I think he and Margo are potentially on thin ice... they will always find each other again," he says regarding their conflict over Margo's secret deal with the Fairies. "I don’t know if in the next season they need some time apart or if they find some way to reconcile in a way that fuses them together even more strongly." He's also ready to see his character sustain a romantic relationship that lasts longer than an episode or two (considering his future husband King Idri was turned into a rat). "I know that fans and I were hoping for a nice love interest for him. He deserves one."
Fans love Eliot and Margo's dynamic and quick-witted sharpness, however Appleman predicts they'll will see deeper layers of the characters next season. "I’d like to see Margo and Eliot explore the depths together," he says, "Some more rooted, grounded, dramatic material that connects to who they are and their history of friendship." He's also ready to see Eliot's serious side and a "more emotionally-resonant and sustained Eliot storyline that leaves whimsy at the door."
And as king, Eliot is just getting started. "I see it as a time in which he’s sort of really extending into his power and his responsibility [and] his duties as a king," he says. Should fans trust the fate of Fillory in Eliot's hands? Yes and no. "I really do think his heart is in the right place, I just think he has to wave through a lot of emotional bullsh*t to get there, since he hasn’t really sorted out who he is and all of the little grips that make up how he ticks," he says.
But one step at a time. Eliot and Quentin (Jason Ralph) need to save Fillory and magic before the craziness of Season 3 ensues.