Awesome: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

  • England's first use of strategic magic in centuries: Norrell shapes basic illusions of water and light into the forms of intimidating warships, then places them outside every major port under French control. This intimidates the French into staying inside the ports for a week, giving England unchallenged usage to gather and place, ferry goods and maneuver.
  • The death of the gentleman with thistle-down hair by Stephen Black.
  • The entirety of Strange's career with the British Army, once Wellington realizes the tactical value of an on-site magician.
    • Strange creating temporary Roman-style roads for the English armies, a simple and imaginative but very effective use of magic, bypassing one of the main hindrances of field armies. By simply observing the army and talking to the common soldiers, Strange demonstrated his usefulness to the often unimpressed Wellington.
    • Strange causing hands made of earth to burst from the mud at Waterloo, pulling down the cavalry.
    • Without even realising the significance, Strange shortened the war and ensured Waterloo occurred by creating a basic labyrinth spell for a French general, delaying him from a crucial battle.
    • The entirety of Brussels is temporarily teleported to the American plains.
    • A captured English commander is replaced with a golem doppelganger, deceiving the French until days later, when the captor accidentally breaks off an arm.
  • The gentleman with thistle-down hair cursing Strange, partly because it's so strange and you're not sure what really happened.
  • Strange in the final act, displaying immense raw power. Of course, he doesn't even begin to hold a candle to the Raven King.
  • Strange sending a huge flock of crows past the gentleman with thistle-down hair to restore magic back to England.
  • The Raven King's cameo in Chapter 67, after the reader has been waiting patiently for his appearance for the entirety of the novel. In minutes, he brings Vinculus back to life, stops Childermass's bullet, heals Childermass's face and wipes his memory of their encounter. Finally he changes Vinculus' tattoos to show his own book of magic to ease the re-emergence of magic.
  • It wasn't particularly plot-relevant, but who didn't want to cheer when Frank pushed Drawlight into the canal?
  • The relevation that the Raven King possibly orchestrated the events of the book centuries ago.
  • Strange outwitting the gentleman and figuring out a way to perceive faeries by temporarily removing his own sanity.
  • Vinuculus facing the gentleman and his own death with cool dignity.

In the BBC series

  • The BBC's portrayal of the book's iconic magical scenes, such as the Miracle of York and Horse Sand. They're all strikingly impressive considering their budget, with Horse Sand being especially praised.
  • Jeremy Johns taking a cannonball to save Strange.
  • The soldiers' reaction after Strange leaves the mill where he raised the dead Neapolitans, taking off their hats to him and all but saluting. It's at that moment when Strange realises that he's got the respect he's been craving all his life, not just the mild approval of Wellington and the rare approval of Norell, but real respect.
  • When Childermass comes to get answers from Lady Pole about just what Norrell did to her, Segundus gives him a You Shall Not Pass speech and Honeyfoot comes charging out of the house pointing a blunderbuss. Childermass is intimidated into backing off, at least temporarily. It's particularly impressive considering that even unarmed and without resorting to magic Childermass is probably more than capable of snapping the pair in half and they know it. It immediately becomes a Crowning Moment of Funny when Honeyfoot reveals he couldn't find anything to load the gun with apart from walnuts, and a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming as Lady Pole has witnessed the entire incident from her room and realises they are genuine, if slightly misguided, in wanting to help and protect her.
    • Segundus and Honeyfoot get a surprising number of Crowning Moment of Awesome , considering that they're secondary characters and that neither are as skilled in magic, as physically powerful or as forceful in personality as the likes of Strange, Norrell or Childermass. Despite this, they consistently rise to the occasion, managing to face off Childermass, and deducing that Lady Pole's 'ravings' are related to faeries, thereby working out a way for her to reveal what's happening to her in generalities.
  • Strange escaping from prison by disappearing into a puddle onto the King's Road. It fulfills the show's version of the prophecy concerning a door in the rain.
  • Strange in general in episode six, once he intentionally drives himself mad to gain knowledge. He catches the gentleman with the thistledown hair off-guard by seeing through his invisibility, then figures out that he was the fairy to raise Lady Pole from the dead and forces him to give up Lady Pole's finger. Then he invades Lost Hope and forcing the gentleman to drive himself to exhaustion to get rid of him. Then, he goes Laughing Mad and starts throwing magic around on such a scale that Norrell admits that he might not be able to stop him. He then sets in motion a plan that, if all had gone as intended, neatly freed Lady Pole and Arabella from the Gentleman, leaving them in the hands of Flora Greysteel. Finally Strange down the barriers that kept magic out of England. Not bad for a lunatic.
    • In Episode Seven, it's revealed that he terrified Drawlight so much that the cowardly Drawlight is willing to face the immediate wrath of an armed Lascelles rather than go against Strange's orders, something that cost Drawlight his life.
  • Norrell develops an unaccustomed assertiveness in episode six: he threatens Drawlight into doing his bidding, rounds on Lord Liverpool and tells him that he warned the government that Strange had to be tamed, he warned them of the consequences and they refused to listen, then snaps at Lascelles when the latter mocks the existence of fairies.
  • In episode seven, after a confrontation, Norrell and Strange team up and, despite both slowly dying thanks to the Gentleman's black tower, successfully summon the Raven King, before accidentally dumping all of English magic into Stephen Black. Once this happens, Norrell uses rain to slip them into Lost-Hope, then Strange manages to return Arabella's memory via a kiss and send her to safety through a mirror portal he created on the spot.
    • Stephen and Lady Pole finally get their moment to shine, the former taking the role of the Nameless Slave of the prophecy and using all English magic, killing the Gentleman and proclaiming that he will no longer call any man master, while the latter verbally tears several strips off the Gentleman and gently but firmly informs her husband that she's leaving for the continent to help Arabella.
    • And one for the Raven King, who after being summoned, regards Strange and Norrell for a moment, then disappears, freezing Childermass with a wave of his hand, changing the writing on Vinculus' body, resurrecting him, then finally healing Childermass' cut cheek, before disappearing again. Vinculus also implies that everything was by his design, saying that Strange and Norrell have only ever been part of the Raven King's designs, that they are spells spun by him.