The Magicians characters have had to step up and save the world a lot, but who is the most heroic of the bunch? Here they are ranked by heroism.
There are a lot of hallmarks of a hero. They do the right thing, even when it’s the hardest thing they can do. Heroes are willing to make huge personal sacrifices for the greater good, even if that sacrifice is their own life. They work hard and make bad decisions so others don’t have to. The Magicians certainly has its fair share of heroes.
All of the main characters in the book-inspired television series have worked together to help save the world on more than one occasion. They’ve all done heroic things, but some characters are certainly more heroic than others.
Marina is probably most fans’ favorite antagonist. She’s not exactly a bad guy out to destroy the heroes. Instead, she’s just selfish. That’s why she ranks as the least heroic in the series.
Marina would much rather save her own skin than she would save anyone else’s. Even when the fate of the world is at stake, Marina chooses to perform a heist to boost her own prestige. She does tend to come through when Julia or Kady ask her for help, but the rest of the world isn’t typically her problem.
The original Penny might have acted like he wanted nothing to do with heroics, but he was always ready to step into the line of fire. Penny-23, however, is tired of having to play hero, which is why he ranks so far down on the list.
He’s tired of being part of a group of people who always have to be the ones saving the world. As he points out to Julia in season five, they should have the chance to sit back and just breathe, taking time to be with the people they care about, instead of having to rush from one crisis to another. It’s not that he’s someone who won’t do the right thing when the time comes, but he’s someone who is ready to be done with the entire heroic lifestyle, and that’s certainly something the audience can respect.
Alice, despite her penchant for working alone at different points in the series, is a team player. She’s definitely someone who will do the research and create the spells needed to save the day. Alice is also incredibly powerful, but not quite as heroic as the people she spends most of her time with.
Many points in the story see Alice looking out for herself and her friends first, not the greater good. When she hurt Quentin, her desire to help him save the day stemmed from her desire to reconnect with him, not actually help save the day. There’s nothing wrong with doing the right things for selfish reasons, but it doesn’t entirely fit the heroic bill.
When the audience is first introduced to Josh, they might not have seen him as particularly heroic. He is, after all, the go-to guy for party food laced with magical properties. Josh is more at home partying with Bacchus than he is on a hero’s quest – at first.
Over the course of the series, Josh has definitely evolved into someone who can hang with the heroes. He might not always want to put himself on the line, but ultimately, he’s willing to do it to save the day. Josh is the guy giving the rest of the heroes the support they need, often in the form of magical mind-altering substances.
Eliot’s arguably lower ranking might not sit well with some fans, but there’s certainly a reason for it. While, like Josh, he’s evolved over the course of the series, many of Eliot’s bravest moments come as a result of his own personal struggles.
Eliot is most definitely one of the bravest people in the show. He’s steadily been dealing with his own issues of intimacy and abandonment as the story has progressed. Eliot isn’t, however, someone who can do the bad things necessary when they conflict with his own feelings. That’s what he has his friends for.
Raised as a hedge witch who resented a lot of organized magic, Kady isn’t exactly a hero when the series begins. She began her story stealing books from Brakebills for Marina before falling in love with Penny and making friends.
It’s those relationships that start to help Kady see the bigger picture. The more Kady starts to care about other people, the more heroic she becomes. Kady is now someone who will take off on her own to pursue a lead that might change the whole world. At the same time, however, she doesn’t isolate herself. She’s the first to suggest cooperative magic to help save the day.
Initially, more comic relief because she was the outsider in a group of magicians, Fen has become an integral part of the story. She even took over the role of High King of Fillory temporarily to allow Margo to track down a way to save Eliot.
Fen has frequently put herself in danger in the name of helping Fillory. Not only does she marry Eliot, giving up the rest of her life to be his queen, but she also becomes the person looking out for all of Fillory when Eliot and Margo can’t. In the final season of the series, Fen also realizes that being a hero means doing things you don’t want to do for the greater good — and she’s willing to do that.
Since she appeared to be poised to be the series mean girl when The Magicians opened, it might come as a surprise to some fans that Margo is one of the most heroic people in the series.
Margo has consistently made larger and larger strides to be the person everyone can rely on. She purposely orchestrates a coup (to overthrow herself) to place Fen in charge of Fillory and go on a quest to save Eliot’s life. Margo also agrees to find a way to take out the next king of Fillory herself so that Eliot won’t have to hurt someone he cares about. She’s the one willing to make herself the bad guy to unite her friends in a common goal if it means saving the world.
The show’s original hero, Quentin never encounters a problem he can walk away from. He is very much the stereotypical hero, wanting to do the most good with the least amount of casualties. He’s also the first to be willing to sacrifice himself so that everyone else can live.
Quentin only narrowly misses the top spot because he doesn’t seem to understand when someone doesn’t subscribe to his particular brand of heroics. Though Quentin often leads group brainstorming sessions, when someone disagrees with him or tries a different approach without him, he gets judgmental instead of taking a “whatever works” approach. That’s part of the reason there’s one person who is more heroic than him.
Julia has a lot of selfish tendencies, especially earlier in the series, but like everyone else, she’s experienced a whole lot of growth in five seasons. She learned the hard way that magic comes from pain, but Julia is more than willing to put herself through whatever pain is necessary if it means saving the world – any world.
Julia doesn’t let the impossible stop her. She gives up the power of being a goddess to save everyone. Julia is determined to save the world again when she learns of an impending apocalypse. While she can be as judgmental as Quentin, she’s willing to hear out every possibility before judging other people’s plans. She’s even willing to sacrifice her happiness in a relationship if it means she can help more people. Julia believes that people have a responsibility to do good when they know something bad is going to happen, and her embracing that responsibility wholeheartedly is what lands her the top spot.