Chancellor Agard
September 16, 2017 AT 11:00 AM EDT

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When magic’s away, the fairies are going to play.

When we last checked in with The Magicians, the situation was quite bleak. Sure, Quentin (Jason Ralph) and his friends were able to defeat the god Ember, but that victory was the definition of bittersweet because the creators of the universe retaliated against the humans by sending in their plumber to shut off magic across the entire universe. Unfortunately, the loss of magic has left Fillory open to an invasion from less than friendly forces.

EW can exclusively reveal that Candis Cayne will return as the Fairy Queen in season 3 (see the exclusive photo below), which finds magic-free Fillory under full but secret occupation by the fairies. In the new state of affairs, Eliot (Hale Appleman) and Margo (Summer Bishil) are the unwilling pawns of the Fairy Queen, who has her own dark vision for Fillory’s future and whose demands on Margo tend to be particularly baffling and hilariously humiliating — which is what you’d expect from this typically whimsical, mysterious, and at times sadistic species.

Eric Milner/ SYFY

However, Cayne isn’t the only familiar face returning. Rizwan Manji will reprise his role as Eliot’s long-suffering right-hand man Tick Pickwick this season in a storyline that finds them embroiled in both a secret fairy conspiracy and an even more secret quest to restore magic.

“We’re not just excited to have Candis and Rizwan back because they’re great actors, but also their characters are going to provide high-speed corkscrew twists,” says The Magicians executive producer John McNamara. “Nobody get comfortable.”

This echoes something Arjun Gupta, who plays Penny, told EW at San Diego Comic-Con in July. “Nothing’s getting cleaner at all. It’s all getting messier,” he said when he and the rest of the cast came by EW’s studio, with Appleman adding, “It seems like this season is settling into kind of a balanced place in the sense that we are all unified and attempting to restore magic together across worlds, many different worlds.”

The Magicians is expected to return in 2018.

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