"As tradition dictates, it falls upon the upper class to administer what is simply known as "The Trials." The Trials test you ability to think and act like a Magician. Pass, your journey begins. Fail, you flunk out. This is a test engineered to thin out the herd. Only those who should, survive."
Eliot Waugh[src]

The Trials is a series of exercises designed to determine who in their first year at Brakebills will be allowed to continue their education as a Magician.


Sloppy plotting
"That's just sloppy plotting."
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The Trails are designed each year by the Dean to test each student and determine who will continue their studies. The faculty is away at a retreat during this time, but keep a close eye on the students' progress for the duration of the Trials.

Starting the Trials

"Oh, buck up! This isn't Harvard. You actually have to put in effort!"
Eliot Waugh[src]

While reading a book on the sofa in the Physical Kids' Cottage, Quentin Coldwater was ambushed by Margo Hanson and blindfolded before being brought outside to Cottage with the rest of his class. After joining the others, Eliot Waugh announced that the Trials are designed to see who has what it takes to be a Magician, and that failure to complete the tests would result in flunking out of Brakebills.[1]

First Trial

"In 18th century England, a secret society known as The Brethren encrypted hundreds of spells to hide them from the church. You may open your blue books. Each team must decode and cast their spells by 9:00 A.M. Screw up, and it's back to page one"
Eliot Waugh[src]

In their first trial, each team is given a coded spell they must decipher and cast by 9:00 A.M. This test is meant to determine which team will do whatever it takes to succeed, even if it means cheating off of others. When Quentin suggested Penny use astral projection to copy Alice Quinn's work, Surendra, their teammate, stated that he wouldn't cheat to pass the test and opted to work by himself. When their method worked, Quentin and Penny turned to Surendra, but he had disappeared, having failed the first trial.[1]

Second Trial

To be added

Third Trial

To be added

Known Teams

Team Fishpunchers

Team Horny Chupracabras



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