The Cock Barrens is the sixth episode of the second season of The Magicians. It is also the nineteenth episode overall.


Quentin attends Alice's memorial while Eliot and Margo deal with a diplomatic negotiation that escalates to dangerous proportions. Julia discovers a surprising truth about the woman who banished Reynard forty years earlier.[1]



Penny arrives in Fillory and asks where the moss is that Professor Mayakovsky needs. Eliot sends him to the royal mapmaker.

An embassy arrives from Loria, Fillory's neighbor to the north, led by Prince Ess. He complains that they depend on the Wellspring just as Fillory does, and they have the same hardships, so they propose a 50-50 split of the Wellspring, and marriage between Prince Ess and Margo. Margo rejects the proposal, and Prince Ess has his wizard cast a spell. The palace disappears, Prince Ess says "Welcome to Loria". Outside the window is now a dismal landscape, not Fillory.

Penny and the royal mapmaker, outside the palace, also see the palace vanish.

Margo is still against the treaty, but is willing to talk to Ess. The talk proceeds to seduction, to which both are eager. While they are sleeping together, Margo dreams, and Penny steps into her dream to ask where she is. She explains that they are in Loria, an area called "The Cock Barrens."

That's on the map; Penny Travels there and comes back: he didn't find any palace there. He walks to the hole where the palace used to be, vanishes... and appears in the castle. It turns out the castle never moved, there was an illusion to make it look like it was somewhere else.

Margo calls everyone to the throne room, and announces she will marry Ess, only on the condition that he give her a tour of Loria, right now. Ess refuses that condition, Margo casts a spell, and the illusion disappears. Margo then declares war on Loria.

(At some time, Fen told Eliot about her relationship with Bayler. Eliot is grumpy about it, but accepts that Fen really wants them to succeed as husband and wife.)


Quentin starts in Fillory, trying a ritual to attract Alice's Niffin; it's uncertain whether he means to box her or talk with her. He gives up, and goes to the house of Alice's parents, where he finds a somber memorial for her going on (much different from the orgy he saw there last). He gets a glimpse of Alice, he follows her instructions to get into her father's locked study. While searching for anything interesting, she points him to a book with Egyptian symbols.

Alice's father, Daniel Quinn, comes in, and understands a bit more: Alice's niffin hasn't been showing herself to her parents as it would only upset them, but she led Quentin to that book for a reason. She had called Daniel months ago for advice on banishing some ghost children in England, and he had gotten that book for her. Daniel says Alice's soul is not at rest, but the Egyptians mastered the ways of getting souls to rest, that's what's in the book.

The Quinn's have constructed in their back yard a pyramidical structure, a skeletal structure like backyard swings, about 8 feet high. Daniel says there is a ritual she needs, which involves saying a spell to a mirror as it's suspended near the top of the structure. It needs to be done by a blood relative, but Daniel is afraid of heights, but he gets part way through the ritual, then falls off the ladder and breaks his leg.

Alice's mother Stephanie wants the ritual to get done, so she does it herself. It involves saying truths to the mirror, and it takes some doing for Quentin to guide Stephanie into saying real truths that are relevant from Alice's point of view. Once done, Stephanie leaves, and Alice's niffin appears for Quentin.

Alice explains that the summonings all worked, she's always been there, but it's not like he thinks. He thinks his Cacodemon killed her. She says the cacodemon perceived that she was stronger than it, so it stuck her inside Quentin's now-empty demon trap. So they're stuck with each other.

Julia and Kady

Julia and Kady are looking for signs of powerful magic that might have been done 40 years ago to banish Reynard. They find a pattern of strange weather on a day in 1976, near Hoboken. They go there, to what seems to have been the epicenter, and find a sigil with blood. They take blood samples and do a spell to locate the blood's owner.

The locator spell leads to a house in California. Julia goes there and finds a woman, Dana, who knocks Julia unconscious and binds her in her basement. Dana explains that she had also tried to summon Our Lady, had also been visited by Reynard, raped, and gotten pregnant. She had the baby, no abortion would work, and giving birth to him raised the power to banish Reynard. Dana intends the same for Julia: to stay there in her basement until the baby is born. Also in the basement is a chained magical beast, a Haxenpaxen; Dana says it emanates magic, so they're magically invisible near it.

(Dana mentions that her baby is now grown, safe, doesn't know who he really is, but is a good, influential man.)

Kady uses magic to break into Dana's house, uses physical strength to subdue Dana and rescue Julia. They leave, taking the Haxenpaxen with them.

When she wakes up, Dana quickly raises the wards on the house, but Reynard appears for her.

(Kady is still taking methadone, and says it's for the heroin she's not taking.)

(Kady gets a call from a friend of her Mom, who knows someone who can help Julia.)


In Consequences of Advanced Spellcasting, Alice had made a niffin-box, an enchanted box that can capture a niffin. Quentin used it to capture the niffin of Charlie, her brother. Presumably Quentin has made another one.

In Hotel Spa Potions, Quentin, Alice, Penny, and Margo had all had "demon traps" tattooed to their backs, into which Dean Fogg had installed Cacodemons to fight for them. In Divine Elimination, Alice, Penny, and Margo had all released their cacodemons to fight first, then at the end Quentin released his to attack niffin-Alice. So Quentin's trap was empty when his cacodemon stuck niffin-Alice into it.

In The Writing Room" Quentin, Alice, and Eliot had gone to England to search the home of Christopher Plover for a possible way to get to Fillory. Among other things, they found the house was haunted with the ghosts of several children, some of them the Chatwins, all of whom had suffered neglect and abuse, and were constantly re-living their abuse. Alice had wanted to free them from their misery, but they knew of no way to do so. It looks as if she then asked her father if something could be done, resulting in the Egyptian book her father obtained.



Guest Starring



  • Tom Amandes and Kacey Rohl both appeared on Arrow in a recurring role.