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The Magicians wrapped for its fourth season in a way no one was expecting. And if you have no idea what we're talking about, you best watch Season 4 Episode 13 before reading on. [WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE SEASON 4 FINALE BELOW!]
So now you know: Quentin Coldwater is dead -- which is not only a heart-wrenching turn of events for our characters, but also sad news for fans who have adored Jason Ralph's performance for the past four years. WHYYYYYYYYYY?!?
We'll tell you why. Executive Producers John McNamara, Sera Gamble, and Henry Alonso Myers shared a statement which shared this insight into their shocking decision:
The Magicians has always been a fantastical show about real life -- with a generous dose of magic to keep it all feeling less like bitter medicine and more like raiding a weirdly delicious pantry at 2am (probably while a bit drunk).
That has been our approach to Season 4, knowing that we want to explore the most confounding, harsh and messy aspects of adulthood in our story. At the top of that list: facing your own mortality, and experiencing the death of someone you love.
Before we began this season, we entered into a creative conversation that included the writers, executive producer and director Chris Fisher, Lev Grossman, our partners at UCP and SYFY, and Jason Ralph. The choice for Jason to leave the show was arrived at mutually, with much respect for the story, fans of the show, and a shared sense of deliberate, essential creative risk.
We want The Magicians to visit strange and fascinating new places, and we know we can't get there by treading the same garden path others have before us. So, we did the thing you're not supposed to do -- we killed the character who's supposed to be "safe." In real life, none of us are safe. When we first met Quentin Coldwater, he was in a mental hospital, contending with painful questions of life and death.
This season, we saw the rare opportunity to complete his arc, bringing him to a real understanding of the incalculable value of his own life. Quentin, and we, got to see the truth: there is no such thing as a Minor Mending. The smallest action can ripple out in powerful ways we may never fully know.
Following the finale, Jason Ralph took to his Instagram account to share some parting words:
Thank you all for going on this journey with me. Playing Quentin Coldwater was truly an honor and I had a blast doing it. I am continually touched by all of your support and love for this character, this story, and my little piece in it.
Quentin's story is not one about giving up. It's the journey of a character who discovers his worth and his place in the world. His death is an opportunity to celebrate that journey and maybe take some of that hard earned wisdom into our own lives. Thanks to the cast and crew, the creators, and our stunning fans. Looking forward to watching season 5. Thank you so much.
And thank you, Jason, for giving us such a memorable and amazing performance!
Season 4 of The Magicians is now streaming on SYFY.com and the SYFY App.