One of the most unique aspects of magicians, the series based on Lev Grossman’s novels, was that its main character was not the most important. The series was about a group of graduate students who attended a prestigious Yale-like school of magicians called Brakebills that began when goofy super-nerd Quentin Coldwater discovered he had magic. magicians is very similar to Harry Potter in that there is an “average” boy who feels lonely until he discovers a hidden world full of magic.
However, although Quentin is the Harry of the story, he is by no means the chosen one. Much like Harry, his power and heroism stems from his courage and innocence, which leaves his best friend Julia Wicker as the Hermony of this storyline. In the world of magiciansJulia is an intelligent genius who presents herself as a force of nature among her friends.
At some point in the series, Julia becomes a goddess, but that’s not why she’s the most powerful magician. His obsessive desire for knowledge allows him to learn spells faster than most. This, coupled with its relentless energy, makes it an incredibly powerful magical source. She was literally vibrating with power at the start of the series, as Hannah, Kady’s mother, explains. Upon meeting her, Hannah claims she could feel “it” coming out of her – the “it” being magical, radiating from her body and soul like a radiance.
At the beginning of magicians, Julia and Quentin are both magical, but only one can go to Brakebills. Julia is cast out and her memory is erased, forcing her to dig through the wall in her mind to rediscover the truth. She struggles from the very beginning and pretty much lives a rough life with a group of magical outlaws called Hedge Witches until she reunites with Quentin. She spends most of the first two seasons alienated from everyone, but still manages to find her way. There are even times when she becomes a minor antagonist, showing just how much of a threat she can be when something stands in her way.
It can be argued that Alice Quinn is the most powerful magician as many characters in the show seem to act like her, but she is far too constrained to achieve proper power. Her self-doubt and anxiety trap her in a mental prison, and unlike Julia, who simply absorbs knowledge without difficulty, she spends much more time studying to do something well.
In some of the alternate timelines that take place in magicians, Julia is revealed to be a Brakebills student at the top of her class with a discipline in Knowledge, the same as Dean Fogg, specializing in Meta-Composition. In a flashback to one of these timelines, Julia is able to see how the spell works and rework it halfway through, essentially creating a new spell. It’s something none of the other magicians have ever been able to do and she does it without much effort, proving that in any scenario she stands above the rest.
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