Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, commonly referred to simply as Fantastic Beasts, is the first part in an upcoming trilogy of Harry Potter spin-off movies. What makes the film so special and much more than a cash-in is the fact that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay herself, in what represents her first screenwriting credit. While Fantastic Beasts takes place 70 years before the events of the Harry Potter series, both series take place in the same fictional (and magical) universe. Ideally, Fantastic Beasts will be able to answer the following 10 questions, providing more knowledge and insight into the Harry Potter canon.
10. Who Was The Head of Hufflepuff House?
There’s shockingly little that’s been documented about Hogwarts’ Hufflepuff House, the House that favors morally just and loyal students. The Harry Potter series rarely references any notable Hufflepuffs to have previously attended the school, and that leaves a gaping hole in the knowledge of Hogwarts for fans. One question that could potentially be answered during Fantastic Beasts is who the head of Hufflepuff House was at the time that lead character Newt Scamander attended Hogwarts. Throughout the Harry Potter series, professor of Herbology Pomona Sprout represents the head of Hufflepuff house. Newt would have attended Hogwarts likely two generations prior to Sprout’s appointment so there would still be a blank in the timeline, but if Fantastic Beasts can shed some light on notable Hufflepuffs, it will be a tremendous success for Harry Potter fans.
9. Is It A Coincidence That The Movie Takes Place In The Same Year Voldemort Was Born?
This may be an overanalysis, but it seems awfully suspicious that Fantastic Beasts is set to take place in 1926, the same year that Tom Marvolo Riddle was born. Riddle would of course go on to become Lord Voldemort, the most powerful and frightening dark wizard of all-time. It seems far-fetched that there is a connection here, but it’s certainly odd that the film is set in the exact same year as Riddle’s birth. While this may not prove to be significant at all, it would be remiss to immediately discard this news as fan fiction.
Was there a catastrophic or seismic event that led to Riddle’s birth or is the year a mere coincidence? Newt Scamander’s adventures will hopefully settle any lingering mysteries there. Voldemort’s birth is the result of Merope Gaunt casting a love spell on the Muggle Tom Riddle Sr. Fantastic Beasts fits the timeline to discover a little more about the Gaunt family, and if there is a cameo from any of the involved parties, Harry Potter fans will surely shriek in disbelief and delight.
8. Is There An American Hogwarts Equivalent?
The castle halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry welcome students from across Great Britain. The school, located in Scotland, primarily takes students that hail from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. It is the premier British school for young witches and wizards and has a strong reputation. Throughout the early Harry Potter novels, many readers assumed Hogwarts was the only school of its kind. However, in The Goblet of Fire, Hermione reveals that there are several other competing schools located in various countries around the world. This made complete sense and widened the scope of the Harry Potter universe by making it clear that there is magic across the globe.
Fantastic Beasts will take place in North America; therefore, it’s widely expected that we’ll see a Hogwarts equivalent in North America. Comparing the North American school to Hogwarts will be a fun task, as another school has never actually been physically seen, and only briefly described by visiting characters during the fourth novel. Will this school be separated into houses like Hogwarts and will it be anywhere near as dangerous? An American Hogwarts is at the top of the desired discoveries for Fantastic Beasts.
7. Will the Peverells Be Involved?
One of the bigger unanswered mysteries in the Harry Potter series is precisely who gave James Potter his invisibility cloak. The cloak was supposedly passed down from his family line until it reached Harry, but an interesting discovery was made during the seventh and final volume of the series, The Deathly Hallows. The fairy tale “The Tale of the Three Brothers” focused on the Peverell brothers, who each possessed one of the Deathly Hallows. Ignotus Peverell received the cloak of invisibility, suggesting that Harry is related to the Peverells. During the seventh book, Hermione reveals that “The Peverell family became extinct in the male line,” meaning they could still have descendants, albeit with a different name.
6. How Strained Were Muggle-Wizard Relationships?
The film’s synopsis implies that plenty of Newt Scamander’s beasts will be escaping his custody during his visit to New York. While Newt describes the beasts as “fantastic,” the reality is that these are incredibly dangerous beasts that must be captured immediately. The interesting tidbit regarding magical beasts wreaking havoc in the Big Apple is the potential violation of the Statute of Secrecy that governs the International Confederation of Wizards. Wizards live in secrecy from non-magical people, AKA muggles, and these dangerous beasts stand to greatly threaten that secrecy. This leads to questions regarding Muggle and wizard relationships during 1926, which is the time frame for Fantastic Beasts.
Potter fans know that by the 1990s, the Minister of Magic was cordial with the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Cornelius Fudge and later Rufus Scrimgeour would inform the Prime Minister on a need-to-know basis when events in the magical community would affect Muggles. Were these same relationships in place during 1926 and how visible are wizards to the Muggle government of the time? These dynamics will surely be answered in due time but for now, they remain a downright mystery.
5. Which Beast Is Referenced To Be More Dangerous Than Any Human?
During the Fantastic Beats trailer, the character played by Colin Farrell (confirmed to be the high-ranking Auror Percival Graves) exclaims that “no human can do what this thing’s capable of.” If magical beasts have been let loose on the Muggle population, it seems at least one of them is incredibly dangerous. One of the biggest questions audiences have leading up to the movie is what beast has Percival Graves so distraught. There are many lethal beasts in the book, such as an Acromantula, a Basilisk, and dragons. The thought of these beasts loose in the open world is terrifying, as previous encounters with them have always been in the contained Hogwarts grounds.
4. Why Does Albus Dumbledore Love Newt Scamander so much?
There aren’t many Harry Potter characters over a century old, meaning there likely isn’t going to be much direct crossover between the two series. However, one character certainly old enough to make an appearance during Fantastic Beasts is Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore was born in 1881, which would make him 45-years-old at the time Fantastic Beasts is set. Dumbledore would eventually become the headmaster of Hogwarts, a role he occupied for the majority of Harry’s studies, but Dumbledore was previously the school’s Transfiguration professor, which is the position he held at the time Fantastic Beasts takes place.
Because the timeline fits, it’s been rumored that Dumbledore makes an appearance. Additionally, the first trailer released for the film all but confirms Dumbledore will be involved, as his name is even mentioned in the voice over. But that trailer leaves a brand new question: why does Dumbledore trust Newt Scamander? We know Dumbledore is a great judge of character but what was it about Scamander that Dumbledore felt was so special when nobody else trusted him?
3. Why Did Newt Scamander Get Expelled?
During the trailer for Fantastic Beasts, it’s revealed that Newt Scamander, the future author of the textbook ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,’ was expelled from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy “for endangering human life with a beast.” The meaning of this is intentionally unclear, and we simply need to know more about the subject. It’s very rare for a student to be expelled from Hogwarts, with the only other documented case during the Harry Potter timeline being Rubeus Hagrid. Hagrid was framed by a young Voldemort and accused of opening The Chamber of Secrets, but maintained residence at Hogwarts as the school’s gamekeeper. Clearly, there are many parallels between Newt Scamander and Hagrid, as the two both seem to adore the company of dangerous beasts that society seems terrified to be around. We can’t wait to discover more, as an expulsion is a rare occurrence at Hogwarts.
2. Why Does the 2001 Novel Say That Newt Scamander Graduated?
Further discussion of the trailer leads back to the 2001 published textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which the film is based upon. The book is “written” by Newt Scamander and mimics a textbook used by Harry during the Harry Potter series. The interesting portion is that the book, which is official Harry Potter canon, contains the section “About The Author” where it’s written that Newt Scamander graduated from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, the trailer for the film includes a voice over stating that Newt was expelled from Hogwarts, and that Dumbledore argued strongly against his expulsion. The conflicting continuity here is confusing, but it’s highly unlikely that the masterful J.K. Rowling made an error. Surely, there is a reason for the differences here, as either Scamander was later eligible to return to the school with his expulsion revoked or the textbook is intentionally misleading. Regardless, this is a mystery that has Harry Potter fans confounded, and hopefully the situation can be answered early on during the film series.
1. Where Was Gellert Grindelwald At This Time?
Other than Albus Dumbledore, the only other semi-prominent character from the Harry Potter series that is surely active and alive at the time of Fantastic Beasts is the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Grindelwald was born in 1882, which would imply that he is at the height of his power throughout Fantastic Beasts. Is Grindelwald the big villain of the series, replacing Voldemort as the main antagonist? Or is he simply a minor character? Regardless, many mysteries surrounding Grindelwald are sure to be uncovered, as it’s a near-certainty that the dark wizard will play some role during the film.
As chronicled during the Harry Potter series, Grindelwald wreaked havoc on the world and since the film takes place during 1926, it is highly unlikely the film will be able to avoid mentioning him. Fans of the series would also love to uncover more information regarding the strained relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore. Following their fight, which led to the death of Ariana Dumbledore in 1899, the relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore was virtually non-existent. Fantastic Beasts provides the perfect opportunity to delve further into this relationship and explore how the loss of Arianna scarred Albus Dumbledore.