Study Guide

The Alchemyst Fate and Free Will

By Michael Scott

Fate and Free Will

Do you believe in destiny? If you're not sure, that's cool—neither are the characters in The Alchemyst. While it makes sense that Sophie and Josh would ponder their fates and whether they'll have any power over them, it's shocking to learn that even all these awesome supernatural beings aren't too sure about the future and their role in it. Even gods and goddesses are a little fuzzy about the prophecy and whether or not they'll be able to change it. It seems pretty safe to say that the destinies of the characters in the novel are bound up not only with ancient spells, but also with the actions they take in the present. Which brings us to our Big Question: which is more powerful in The Alchemyst—fate or free will?

Questions About Fate and Free Will

  1. Which characters believe in free will, and which characters believe in fate? Why do you think they believe what they believe?
  2. Does the ability to see the future, even multiple futures, mean that free will does not exist? How do you think the Witch of Endor would answer that question? 
  3. Do you agree with Nicholas Flamel when he says that we are "prisoners of circumstance"?

Chew on This

The characters in this novel are prisoners of circumstance. They have no control over what happens, and they'll just have to go along for the ride.

Destiny? Hogwash. The characters in this novel make choices that affect their futures, and that's the plain old truth.