“Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” Season 1 Episode 1 “The Friends of English Magic” aired last Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. on BBC One. In this episode, Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan), together with his assistant, Childermass (Enzo Cilenti), went to London in order to offer his services as a magician in order to help in the Napoleonic Wars. While there, he learns of a strange prophecy about the restoration of magic in England, and about the return of a legend, and makes a dangerous pact in order to perform an impossible feat to establish his credibility. Meanwhile, in the country, the prophecy is recited to a younger man who discovered that he was a magician. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode began in Yorkshire. Mr. Segundus (Edward Hogg) went to a meeting of the society of magicians in Yorkshire. He asked why magic is no longer done, but just studied. Afterwards, Mr. Honeyfoot (Brian Peittfer) then accompanied him to the abbey of Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan). He seemed to always manage to get the books reserved by Mr. Segundus at the bookshop. There, they discovered that Mr. Norrell was a practical magician and had an extensive library.
However, as the leader of the society refused to believe so, he challenged Mr. Norrell to prove that he was a magician. He did it by making the stones and statues in Yorkminster move and talk, which made Segundus hopeful about the revival of magic in England.
Meanwhile, after church service in the countryside, Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) asked Arabella (Charlotte Riley) to marry him, but she refused to do so while he had no job at all. He then went over to his father. He refused to give him a job as he felt that his son was weak. However, the next day, he discovered that his father had died of the cold, which made him the manager of his father’s estate-Cumberland.
In London, as Norrell and Childermass traveled via carriage to their new house in Hanover Square, they saw Vinculus (Paul Kaye), a street magician, who looked at them.
Norrell then paid a visit to Britain’s Secretary of War, Sir Walter Pole (Samuel West), who couldn’t understand how practical magic could help them in the war. Because of this, Norrell hoped to go home to Yorkshire, but Childermass insisted that he attend a party as powerful men did so.
After secluding himself in a library, he met Drawlight (Vincent Franklin) and Lascalles (John Heffernan). Drawlight then tried to announce his presence to the packed room so that he could perform a trick or two. Norrell managed to escape out the back entrance. He was confronted by Vinculus, who told him that he had a book written by the Raven King and that he was there to tell him about his destiny.
He was then told that there would be two magicians in England, one who was “fearfulness” and the other “arrogance.” He then said that “the first shall fear me, the second will long to behold me. The first shall bury his heart in the dark wood beneath the snow, and the second shall see his dearest possession in his enemy’s hands.” He was then told that they would both fail, and that “the nameless slave will be a king in a strange land,” and told him that the Raven King would return.
The next day, Childermass was sent with two spells to banish Vinculus from London, but instead told Vinculus’ fortune, that he was going to wander, and deliver a message to the “knight of wands,” who will go through an ordeal. Vinculus then rearranged Childermass’ tarot cards, which revealed a king with a raven getting bigger and bigger.
Meanwhile, in Norrell’s study,while he was packing up to go home, Drawlight convinced him that if he revived Emma Wintertowne (Alice Englert), Sir Walter Pole’s late fiancé, then he would be able to prove himself to high society and to the politicians.
Vinculus then woke up in the countryside. He saw Strange, his “knight of wands”, who was on a horse, and carrying a large branch, looking exactly like the figure in the cards. He was then told that he was a magician that that he and the other one would fail. Vinculus said that “the first shall be governed by thieves and murderers; the second shall conspire at his own destruction.” He then sold him the two spells he took from Childermass and told Strange that he had been chosen long ago.
Later, at dinner with Arabella and her brother, he told Arabella that he would be a magician, and cast the spell that allowed him to see what his enemy was doing. He then saw Norrell reading a book.
Later that night, Norrell, in London, went to Emma’s room, and upon chanting the spell, saw The Gentleman with the Thistle-Down Hair (Marc Warren), a member of the Fae. He made a deal that in exchange for reviving Emma, he would take half of her life, and that he would take something from her, but Norrell would never see him again.
Emma then danced with Walter, and it was revealed that a little bit of her finger had been taken.
And that was all for the recap on “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” Season 1 Episode 1 “The Friends of English Magic”. For more news, updates and recaps on “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” and other television shows, keep on following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch another episode of “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” next Sunday at 9:00 p.m. on BBC One.
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