Now streaming on Netflix, The Magicians is a series that centers on magic, much like the Harry Potter series does. Still, the magic used in The Magicians is way cooler and more powerful (it seems) than the magic we see used in the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
The Magicians Is Based On A Book Trilogy
Lev Grossman wrote the series based on the book trilogy of the same name. When he began writing The Magicians, Grossman made no mystery of the fact that he definitely had the world J.K. Rowling had created rolling around in his creative mind. Unsurprisingly, many hail The Magicians as “a Harry Potter for grownups.”
Let’s discuss some of the similarities between the two series, starting with the magic used in The Magicians versus the magic used in the Harry Potter movies.
In The Magicians Anyone Can Perform Magic
First and foremost, the ability to perform magic in Harry Potter is something you’re born into. You’re either born a Muggle (people who can’t do magic) or a Wizard/Witch. In The Magicians, anyone can do magic. You do have to suffer through a long list of life traumas and be wrecked mentally and emotionally to receive the gift of magic, but anyone can “get” or learn to perform magic.
No Wand, No Problem
Another element of the magic in the two series to consider is the way in which it is practiced. In Harry Potter, spells are cast with a wand, and some direct word-to-effect results. For instance, you say a specific phrase in Latin, point the wand wherever you intend to direct the spell, and voila.
In The Magicians, utilizing your magic leads to a complex series of hand movements carefully and intentionally choreographed to achieve a desired outcome. If the caster has merely one finger out of place during the ritual, the whole spell can be shifted or ruined entirely. You can create a brand new spell by simply changing one hand movement.
College Brings A New Set Of Problems
Other similarities between the two series include the fact that they both revolve around hidden magic schools, and both series follow a budding magician learning to hone his skills.
The Magicians is a “college” type of school. In contrast, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is aimed towards a younger pupil, Harry Potter, who discovers he was born into a powerful lineage of wizards. At the same time, a spell led Quentin Coldwater to Brakebills (the magic school). He took the entrance exam, and off he went.
Brakebills Has Less Funding
Finally, the quality of education in the two magic series is quite the contrast. Hogwarts in the Harry Potter franchise seems to have well-vetted professors and teachers trained in a wide range of magical subjects and rich knowledge to offer their students. The school seems well-managed and quite orderly.
However, The Magicians (Brakebills) school is much less distinguished and organized. There are some entire fields of knowledge left untaught in the curriculum. Dean Fogg even explains at one point that the school didn’t have the money to get a Wu’dong on staff, and he pretty much forces Penny into working for the school. On top of all that, everyone who attends Brakebills has to sign a waiver stating that studying magic is likely to kill you. No big deal, right?
Experience The World Of The Magicians For Yourself
Regardless, you can dig into the differences on your own by watching all five seasons of The Magicians while it is streaming on Netflix with a commercial-free subscription to the channel. The review aggregate, Rotten Tomatoes, gives the show an overall rating of 91 percent approval on the Tomatometer, so even the critics think it’s worth a watch.