Originally Posted by Onyx
It is a good message of the Magician that looks can be decieving and that trust should not be given too quickly.
This is a very challenging idea for me, as the story makes me draw the opposite conclusion.
To me, it is inviting trust, rather than warning against deceit. This magician is difficult to trust, because at first, he seems cruel and he appears to delight in the displeasure of others after the tricks he plays. But in the end we see he meant well and actually has saved the storyteller's postion with the king.
So my interpretation of the message would be to not distrust people or events who seem to cause you harm, because there might be a valuable reward (or lesson) in the end of the process.
Interesting to see how the same story can be interpreted in opposite ways (probably both valid) by different people.