Best friends Quentin and Julia are recruited for an entrance exam to Brakebills University, a secret institution for magical pedagogy.
Quentin faces expulsion for his involvement in an otherworldly attack on Brakebills; Julia delves deeper into underground magic and tries to prove herself to the Hedge Witches.
Quentin and Julia have an unexpected and volatile reunion; Penny is overwhelmed by his own psychic abilities; Alice is determined to find out the truth behind her brother's disappearance.
Quentin panics when he wakes up in a mental hospital; upset over her fight with Quentin, Julia commits herself to learning more powerful spells.
The students each deal with a personal matter that keeps them from focusing on the upcoming Welter's Tournament.
The first-year students are put through The Trials, a series of unconventional tests that must be passed to stay at Brakebills.
An uncompromising professor at Brakebills South pushes the students' boundaries; Julia must decide whether she's ready to accept help.
Penny is violently attacked by someone thought to be a friend; Quentin tries to find a connection to The Beast; Julia considers giving up magic for good.
Quentin, Alice, Eliot, and Penny travel to England in search of a missing magic button; Julia searches for real meaning in her magic.
Penny travels to the world of The Neitherlands, and Quentin and Alice work together to save him; Julia joins an eclectic group of magicians.
Quentin and the others learn battle magic and prepare for a showdown in Fillory; Julia and Kady take on a mission with the Free Traders.
The students wake up with foggy memories and regret after a night of drinking; Penny reminds everyone that their lives depend on getting to The Neitherlands.