Elias Bouchard is the Head of the Magnus Institute. He has held the position since 1996 when he took over after James Wright.

Elias earned a third class honours degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Christ Church (Oxford). He was also apparently a "bit of a pothead" in his younger days.

Description[edit | edit source]

The only descriptions given of Elias are Nikola Orsinov describing him as a "grinning little freak" and Elias himself saying he "only has two eyes."

In MAG 79 John comments that the pipe he's been carrying is useless for defence, as he's getting tired just by holding it. Elias could be physically stronger (and have a build to match), since he had no problem with it in MAG 80.

In the season 3 Q&A Jonny Sims also describes Elias as "middle aged."

ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!
This article covers events up to episode 160 and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.


Elias Bouchard is a servant of Beholding, and the head of the Magnus Institute. Initially he presents as sceptical of Jonathan Sims's supernatural claims regarding Jane Prentiss and her abilities. Later it is revealed that he is an avatar of the Beholding, and possesses several powers of his own.

He states that he is trying to help Jonathan grow his abilities, but he is ultimately loyal to the Institute. He killed both Gertrude Robinson and Jurgen Leitner as he considered them both threats to the Institute.

Elias has used his Beholding abilities to traumatize his employees, including implanting disturbing knowledge about their parents into the minds of both Melanie[1] and Martin.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

The current Elias Bouchard holds the consciousness of Jonah Magnus, founder of the Magnus Institute. Jonah has been 'bodyhopping' to both stay alive and remain Head of the Institute by replacing the stolen body's eyes with his own. In 1973 he changed from Richard Mendelson to James Wright, and in 1996 he possessed Elias Bouchard, who was then suddenly promoted to Head. It's currently unknown if the original consciousnesses of Elias Bouchard can be restored.

Elias claims to have been working as a filing clerk at the Institute in 1972[3] and John says that Elias joined the institute in 1991.[4] This was seen as an contradiction in the timeline until the reveal of Elias' true identity.

Gertrude became suspicious of Elias‘ promotion but didn't act until decades later, when she planned to burn the Institute down and destroy the original body of Jonah Magnus, which resides in the Panopticon. It took her the better part of a decade to navigate the tunnels to find the centre. She hoped Elias would be distracted with the Dark's ritual, but Elias killed her while she was still spreading fire accelerant.

After Gertrude, Elias promoted Jonathan Sims to head Archivist, grooming him to develop his powers and eventually initiate the mass ritual. During seasons 1 and 2 Elias kept John in the dark, slowly feeding him relevant information. Jurgen Leitner's appearance in MAG 80 threatened to ruin his plans if Leitner gave John too much information, and so he was eliminated through means of brutal pipe murder.

When John was wanted for Leitner's murder and hiding at Georgie Barker's house, Elias continued sending him relevant statements, this time about how to stop the Unknowing, the ritual of the Stranger. Elias had hoped that by showing him where to start, John would find answers on his own and develop the powers and skills he needed to survive the Unknowing.

After being confronted by Daisy, Basira and John about Gertrude and Leitner's murders, Elias revealed to them and an audience of Martin, Tim and Melanie that he had killed them to protect the Institute. He also threatened to tell the police of Daisy's past murders[5] if she tried to kill him, which would land Basira in trouble as well. Daisy stood down, and Elias had Basira sign a contract of employment as 'collateral,' revealing that he was tied to the Institute, and if he were to be killed, everyone working there would share the same fate.[6]

After escaping from Nikola in MAG 101 John scolds Elias for not rescuing him. Elias reveals he wasn't able to see where John had been taken. He tells John he can't spend his time helping him develop his powers and explaining things to him "like a child," and that John must find out information on his own to grow his abilities.[7]

In MAG 120 Elias chronicles John's coma dreams. He commends John's progress as the Archivist, and hopes he can continue growing. Martin brings an officer to arrest Elias. He spends MAG 121 to MAG 157 in prison, occasionally advising Basira. Martin comes to visit him once in MAG 138 to ask a few questions.

Elias escapes from prison in MAG 158 and meets Martin and Peter Lukas in the center of the tunnels. He reveals that he is Jonah Magnus, and that it's his body in the Panopticon. After Martin refuses to kill him, it's revealed that Elias made a bet with Peter. If Martin didn't kill Elias, then Peter would let John in the Lonely, the pocket dimension of the Entity with the same name.

A few weeks after John and Martin return from the Lonely, Elias sends John a statement of his time as Jonah Magnus up until the present. He talks of his failed attempt at the Watcher's Crown, and how he eventually learned that individual rituals always fail because the Fears cannot be separated. He prepared a mass ritual that would use the Archivist to bring all the Fears into the world at once. The Archivist had to be marked by every Entity and John's encounter with the Lonely was the final mark.

After the Change, Elias is in the Panopticon at the "center" of the nightmare domains. However, John is unable to see into the tower to determine what is happening there beyond this, and as such his current status and activities are unknown.

Known Powers[edit | edit source]

  • Limited Omniscience - Elias has noted his ability to see and know anything he puts his mind to, but it requires concentration. He was not able to locate Jonathan when he was taken by The Stranger,[8] and was unaware of Basira's actions while he was talking with Melanie.
  • Memory Insertion - Elias can put any information he wants into another person's mind. It is implied that this information must be true, and he is not capable of "removing" information.[7][9]
  • Limited Technopathy - Elias was able to doctor the CCTV footage of the security cameras inside of the Institute to give himself an alibi during the murder of Gertrude Robinson.
  • Incarnation - Elias describes himself as the "heart" of the Magnus Institute, and that if he were to die, everyone who serves the Institute would die along with him.[6] Later he specifies those that are tied strongly to another Entity would probably be 'insulated' enough to avoid dying. Elias speculates John would also be strong enough to 'weather' the effects.[10]
  • Bodyhopping - Elias can take over the body of another person to extend his life. Implied to happen when he transfers his eyes to the new body. If his original body were to be harmed however, Elias has stated it would harm both himself and those connected to him through the Magnus Institute.[10]
  • Watcher's Call - Elias can call his Archivist to him, allowing the Archivist to easily find and navigate to him. Unclear whether this will work on anyone or just the Archivist, as it's only been used on John.[10]

Episode Appearances[edit | edit source]

Bold marks episodes where Elias has read the statement.

Episode Appearances

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Elias' D&D class would be cleric.[11]
  • Elias drinks his coffee black.[12]
  • Elias tends to pick employees who won't be noticed if they've gone missing - John is an orphan, Martin has an absent father and a mother who hates him, Tim has a dead brother and no mentioned parents, etc.
    • Melanie comments in MAG 102 that crimes committed in the Archive tend to go unnoticed.
  • Ben Meredith, the voice actor for Elias, has once gotten into character by saying "John, do better," in a disappointed tone.[13] (He's also read Toto's Africa in an Elias voice - it's worth the listen.)
  • Prior to MAG 158, it had been a popular theory that Elias was Jonah Magnus. The evidence being Nikola Orsinov asking "Can I call you Elias?"[14] "It's Elias now, is it?" and the statement Elias reads in MAG 92 about Jonah Magnus and the subsequent comments he makes.
    • In was also theorized that there was an original Elias Bouchard, as the description of him before becoming Head of the Institute didn't match the image of current Elias. Fans pointed to Maxwell Rayner's bodyhopping' as a possibility.
  • Jonny Sims was surprised at how big of a fanbase Elias got and how sexy people found him, something he blames entirely on Ben Meredith's performance.[15]
  • Ben Meredith and Alasdair Stuart, voice actor of Peter Lukas, are both amused by the fandom shipping their characters together and have occasionally created non-canonical sound bites for the ship.[16]

References[edit | edit source]

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