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(This may contain some minor spoilers for the three books in the Magicians Trilogy).
In lieu of Lev Grossman recently completing his Magicians Trilogy, and being a big fan of that trilogy I’ve decided to compile a short list of my favorite quotes from each of the books.
If you’ve got a favorite quote or quotes from the series share it with us in the comments section below.
The Magicians Quotes
“For just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there’s nothing else. It’s here, and you’d better decide to enjoy it or you’re going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever.” -The Magicians
“I have a little theory that I’d like to air here, if I may. What is it that you think makes you magicians?” More silence. Fogg was well into rhetorical-question territory now anyway. He spoke more softly. “Is it because you are intelligent? Is it because you are brave and good? Is is because you’re special? Maybe. Who knows. But I’ll tell you something: I think you’re magicians because you’re unhappy. A magician is strong because he feels pain. He feels the difference between what the world is and what he would make of it. Or what did you think that stuff in your chest was? A magician is strong because he hurts more than others. His wound is his strength. Most people carry that pain around inside them their whole lives, until they kill the pain by other means, or until it kills them. But you, my friends, you found another way: a way to use the pain. To burn it as fuel, for light and warmth. You have learned to break the world that has tried to break you.”– Fogg – The Magicians
“Most people are blind to magic. They move thru a blank and empty world. They’re bored with their lives and there’s nothing they can do about it. They’re eaten alive by longing and they’re dead before they die.” -The Magicians
“Are you kidding? That guy was a mystery wrapped in an enigma and crudely stapled to a ticking fucking time bomb. He was either going to hit somebody or start a blog.” -The Magicians
“It felt fantastic. Quentin couldn’t imagine stopping. He couldn’t believe how strong he was, how many wing beats he had stored up in his chest muscles. He just couldn’t contain himself. He had to talk about it. “Honk!” he yelled. “Honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk!” His classmates agreed. – Goose Quentin – The Magicians
“So you have to promise me Quentin. Let’s never get like this, with these stupid hobbies nobody cares about. Just doing pointless things all day and hating each other and waiting to die.” – Alice – The Magicians
“I got my heart’s desire, he thought, and there my troubles began.” – Quentin – The Magicians
“You can’t just decide to be happy.” “No, you can’t. But you can sure as hell decide to be miserable. Is that what you want? Do you want to be the asshole who went to Fillory and was miserable there? Even in Fillory? Because that’s who you are right now.” – Alice – The Magicians
“Being brave was easy when you would rather die than give up.” – Quentin – The Magicians
The Magician King’s Quotes
“This is by way of telling you something about the way sloths live. It is different from the way humans live, and even from the way other animals live. We spend our lives in between worlds, you might say. We suspend ourselves between the earth and the sky, touching neither. Our minds hover between the sleeping world and the waking. In a sense we live on the borderline between life and death.” – Abigail the Sloth – The Magician King
“That was the thing about the world: it wasn’t that things were harder than you thought they were going to be, it was that they were hard in ways that you didn’t expect.” – The Magician King
“You didn’t get the quest you wanted, you got the one you could do.” – The Magician King
“This isn’t how it ends!” Quentin said. “I am the hero of this god damned story, Ember! Remember? And the hero gets the reward!” “No Quentin,” the ram said. “The hero pays the price.” – Quentin and Ember – The Magician King
“He had finished his quest, and it had cost him everything and everyone he’d done it for. The equation balanced perfectly: all cancelled out. And without his crown, or his throne, or Fillory, or even his friends, he had no idea who he was. But something had changed inside him too. He didn’t understand it yet, but he felt it. Somehow, even though he’d lost everything, he felt more like a king now than he ever did when he was one. Not like a toy king. He felt real.” – Quentin – The Magician King
“Quentin had an obsolete sailing ship that had been raised from the dead. He had a psychotically effective swordsman and an enigmatic witch-queen. It wasn’t the Fellowship of the Ring, but then again he wasn’t trying to save the world from Sauron, he was trying to perform a tax audit on a bunch of hick islanders…” – Quentin – The Magician King
“She had never expected anything special to just happen to her. Her plan for life was to get out there and make special things happen, which was a much more sensible plan from a probability point of view.” – Julia – The Magician King
The Magician’s Land Quotes
“If he never risked anything more – he reasoned – he could never lose anything more. He could never hurt anybody else. But it hadn’t lasted. It wouldn’t do. Never risking anything meant never having or doing or being anything either. Life is risk, it turned out.” – Quentin – The Magician’s Land
“Drinks were a lot like books, really: it didn’t matter where you were, the contents of a vodka tonic were always more or less the same, and you could count on them to take you away to somewhere better or at least make your present arrangements seem more manageable.” – The Magician’s Land
“I can still remember the view from the lobby: the line of palm trees through the glass doors, the sunset highlights on the wobbly linoleum tiles, the smell of the varnish on the wooden benches. I’ll never forget it. I’d look at the shadows and think, definitely he’ll have come by the time the shadow of the window frame hits that corner of the bench, but the he wouldn’t come, and I’d pick a new spot. I was realizing for the first time what a small part of my parents’ world I was. They were everything to me, but I wasn’t everything to them.” – Janet – The Magician’s Land
“The world was fucking awful. It was a wretched, desolate place, a desert of meaninglessness, a heartless wasteland, where horrific things happened all the time for no reason and nothing good lasted for long. He’d been right about the world, but he was wrong about himself. The world was a desert, but he was a magician, and to be a magician was to be a secret spring – a moving oasis. He wasn’t desolate, and he wasn’t empty. He was full of emotion, full of feelings, bursting with them, and when it came down to it, that’s what being a magician was. They weren’t ordinary feelings – they weren’t the tame, domesticated kind. Magic was wild feelings, the kind that escaped out of you and into the world and changed things. There was a lot of skill to it, and a lot of learning, and a lot of work, but that was where the power began: the power to enchant the world.” – Quentin – The Magician’s Land
“In books there’s always somebody standing by ready to say hey, the world’s in danger, evil’s on the rise, but if you’re really quick and take this ring and put it in that volcano over there everything will be fine. But in real life that guy never turns up. He’s never there. He’s busy handing out advice in the next universe over. In our world no one ever knows what to do, and everyone’s just as clueless and full of crap as everyone else, and you have to figure it all out by yourself. And even after you’ve figured it out and done it, you’ll never know whether you were right or wrong. You’ll never know if you put the ring in the right volcano, or if things might have gone better if you hadn’t. There’s no answers in the back of the book.” – Quentin – The Magician’s Land
“She was starting to suspect that facing up to the nightmare of the past is what gives you the power to build your future.” – Plum – The Magician’s Land
“They would be on their own this time – the kings, the queens, the people, the animals, the spirits, the monsters. They’d have to decide what was right and just and fair for themselves.” – Quentin – The Magician’s Land