Syfy’s The Magicians is exactly what it sounds like: magic, but if the people who were blessed with it are exactly as shitty as you and me. Hogwarts, but with fucking; Narnia, but without anyone prowling in to save the day. The Magicians, despite it’s otherworldly locales, outrageous creatures and devastatingly beautiful spell work, is an accurate portrayal of how people respond to gaining, and losing power. Now, as the series is gearing up for a second season, it’s looking like it’ll one-up the sex, mystery, and magic of the first season in a big way. Inverse caught up with the stars of the show while they were while filming Season 2 on location to get a sneak peak of what’s to come for the Brakebills crew.

1. Quentin’s about to become a real boy.

While shooting in Vancouver over the summer, Jason Ralph said of protagonist Quentin, “What’s exciting is, it’s a season about stripping away. Season 1 was a lot about Quentin trying to put things on himself. To make himself more complete, and saying, ‘If only I had that, then I would be the kind of person I want to be.’ Now, he’s kind of forced to ask himself the question, ‘What now?’” Ralph continued, “He’s forced to look inward to see what he truly wants and what he truly cares about. So it’s about stripping away all of the excess bullshit.”

2. Alice and Quentin’s relationship doesn’t seem like it’ll be repaired anytime soon.

As for Quentin’s partner in crime, Alice, actress Olivia Dudley said, “Alice is the hardest to talk about, in terms of spoilers. She makes a very big shift in Season 2, and everyone is in a downward spiral. They’re not gonna get out of it anytime soon.” And specifically in regards to Alice’s relationship with Quentin, “In Season 2, we’ve gotten to keep exploring that. Things werent going to get fixed anytime soon with the relationship, but I think in this season were all on such epic journeys that dealing with it has been a difficult thing.”

3. Julia’s still a white hat, despite the fact that she teamed up with the Beast.

In the first season finale, Julia had teamed up with the Beast to stop a trickster god she accidentally summoned whose MO is heart-eating with a gruesome side of torture and rape. Stella Maeve says, “I don’t think she’s intentionally [teaming up with The Beast] to spite anyone. It’s her way of trying to save everyone while putting herself on the line and utilizing him as a tool.” Maeve added, “In the episode we’re about to start shooting, 2.08, you’ll get to see something that happens to Julia that the Beast went through that [has an] undercurrent of is she gonna go that way? Is she not? Ultimately, she’s not the villain.”

4. Nothing, not even the loss of his hands, will keep Penny from being an ass.

Speaking of the Beast, no one suffered a worse fate at the end of last season than Penny, who went from ten fingers to zero in a flash. On where we’ll find the character this year, actor Arjun Gupta says, “It’s the big question for Penny. How does he cope with [losing his hands]?” He added, “I don’t think Penny’s ever going to be less of a pain in the ass. That’s just fun, but [losing his hands] is the big storyline through the season. It has ramifications throughout. It entirely changes the path of his life, and he has to make some very strong choices.”

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5. Eliot’s not adjusting well to being High King of Fillory.

But of course, there’s the matter of some students that arent even in Brakebills this season, like Eliot, who now finds himself the king of mystical/legendary other world, Fillory. On his feelings about the unexpected promotion, actor Hale Appleman says, “You could says every part of [Eliot], on some level, wants to return to the life he knew, and that’s a huge internal conflict for him as he’s in this massive position that he has no idea how to handle. Trying to relive your past is an element that plays into the first few episodes of the season.”

Appleman went on to add, regarding Eliot’s feelings on being forced into hetero monogamy, “It’s not his style. It doesn’t represent him in his full state. It’s a huge challenge for him to be monogamous and tied down to one specific place. He’s someone that enjoys his freedom. On top of that, the demands of actually being a king just get ridiculous.”

6. New team-ups are headed our way in Season 2.

Overall, Season 2 of The Magicians is promising to set up some serious stakes for our ragtag group of magical college students. Whether or not they can survive is something we’ll have to wait to see, but the journey is sure to be something special. But perhaps the most exciting thing of all is the promise of more interaction between this group, specifically, more unusual team-ups. As Summer Bishil, better known as Margo, puts it, “We’ve all had a chance to work with each other more. You’ll see different pairings happen. So, that’s cool.”

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The Magicians returns January 25 on Syfy.

Photos via Syfy