Maybe I missed something, but how did Quentin and the 3 others travel to Fillory between The Magicians and The Magician King books. I'm now reading The Magician King and Quentin and Julia don't know how to return to Fillory after using the key, so how did they return to it before ? As far as I know, they didn't have the button or Penny.

If it's explained later in the book, and I haven't read it yet, sorry for asking this question.

2 Answers 2


The Magician King eventually explains how Quentin and the others return to Fillory at the end of The Magicians. It is possible to work out some of the answer from just the first novel.

In The Magicians the Brakebill's crew gets to Fillory by using one of the original magic buttons given to the Chatwins. During the chaos at Ember's Tomb we are reminded that they need the button to return:

"Penny's got the button." It was amazing that Elliot could still be so practical after everything that had happened.

Quentin returns home separately from the rest of the crew, a chance meeting with Anais fills in the relevant gaps:

Amazingly, Penny had survived, she told him, or at least he had for awhile. The centaurs were unable to reconstruct his hands, and without them he could no longer cast spells.

When they reached the Neitherlands Penny walked away from the rest of the party, as if he were searching for something.

The group reached the Neitherlands with the magic button, and they needed the button to continue to our world. Without hands, Penny could not cast spells, so he would also be unable to operate the button. From that we can conclude that someone else in the group has the button. It would be logical at this point to guess that either Janet or Elliot had the button to use for the return trip to Fillory.

We are given more information in The Magician King The following text may contain minor spoilers.

We eventually learn that Josh has the button. Josh initially returns to Fillory: "With Quentin, Elliot, Janet and Julia safely installed on the thrones of Fillory, Josh had taken the button and embarked on an exploration of the Neitherlands."

  • Thanks for the info. I must have missed (or forgotten) the button line. I marked this as the answer. (I thought I commented before, must it seems to be lost)
    – Marc
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 18:22
  • @Marc Moderators will sometimes remove "thanks" comments. Upvoting is the accepted show of appreciation.
    – TGnat
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 18:26
  • @Marc Please see Is it acceptable to post "Thank you" comments. We can all see that you have marked this as the correct answer so there's no need to explicitly declare it in the comments. If you want to thank someone, Upvote their answer, mark it as correct answer or even start a bounty. Leave the comments space for comments that contribute to the subject, ask for clarification or criticize the the answer.
    – Aegon
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 9:28

I know I’m late to this but Josh had the button. He took them to Fillory and then went on his fountain riding adventure and back to earth where he bought the palazzo. It’s very briefly mentioned when they first meet him again when they’re stuck on earth and they talk about the last time they’d seen each other. So he must have basically dropped them off in Fillory

  • Hi, welcome to the site. You could improve this answer by editing it to include one or more relevant quotes. See TGnat's answer for reference. Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 6:45

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