In "The Magicians", Quentin is back on Earth after having caught The Questing Beast. We learn (on page 377) that he feels that ...

... The spells involved in retrieving cash from an ATM were child's play now.

But in "The Magician King" (page 107) he relies on Julia to extract money from an ATM

Julia showed [Quentin] how to extract cash without a card from an ATM [...].

Quentin should have been easily able to cast this spell himself, so why did he need Julia to extract cash from the ATM in "The Magician King"? Is there a good explanation somewhere?

  • Yes, although I think it can be improved upon. Hold on a sec
    – Valorum
    Oct 31, 2015 at 22:22
  • @Richard, thanks for the editing, it is indeed better (I'm not a native English speaker).
    – Olivier
    Oct 31, 2015 at 22:30
  • Playing devil's advocate, could she be showing him how to access an ATM without a credit card (e.g. when his prior knowledge was limited to messing with a legitimate card transaction)?
    – Valorum
    Oct 31, 2015 at 22:42
  • I though about it but it make little sense : 1. No element says that he needed a credit card in the first place and 2. He is pretty good at casting spell at the end of "The Magician" (credit card or not should make no difference... He could maybe create a fake credit card anyway)
    – Olivier
    Oct 31, 2015 at 22:48
  • Perhaps they had different methods, and Julia's was more effective?
    – Zoredache
    Nov 19, 2015 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


He doesn't.

Given the context, it's not clear that he exactly relies on her. It's more like

he has trouble getting used to being back on Earth, while Julia is kicking ass: Stealing a car, driving with Van Halen at max volume et cetera.

So while Quentin is struggeling to get back on his feet, Julia is already creating solutions, including getting money - which Quentin knew in theory, but in practice, his mind was elsewhere.

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