Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, set to be released on November 18, 2016, represents J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut. The film will be the first installment of a trilogy and will act as a spin-off and prequel to the Harry Potter series, taking place 70 years prior to the events of the original series. The Harry Potter universe is filled with an extraordinary amount of magical creatures. Many of these fantastic beasts are extremely dangerous but are also a marvel to gaze at. The following 10 creatures are the beasts that audiences should be most excited to see turn up in Fantastic Beasts.
One of the few beasts officially confirmed by the trailer to be making an appearance in the film, Nifflers are already familiar to fans of the Harry Potter series, but remain intriguing and underdeveloped. These rodent-like creatures coated in black fur are notorious treasure hunters, as Nifflers seek out shiny objects at all costs. With their long snout and fluffy appearance, Nifflers appear rather adorable. However, as fans of the series surely know, Nifflers can still be quite dangerous. In The Order of The Phoenix, a Niffler nearly bites Dolores Umbridge’s fingers off while attempting to reach the rings she’s wearing. Nifflers are known to be affectionate to their owners, making them a very useful pet to have. It’s surprising that audiences haven’t gotten the chance to know a Niffler on a personal level until this point, but that seems set to change. The Niffler, which is native to Britain, may prove invaluable to Newt Scamander throughout his quest.
Mokes are tricky lizards with the ability to shrink and enlarge themselves at will. Despite being capable of reaching ten inches in length, Mokes will often shrink down to invisible proportions, making them difficult for Muggles to spot. The public’s lack of detection of Mokes is what makes these lizards so dangerous. Mokes can shrink down and hide in purses, attacking unsuspecting victims and making it virtually impossible to find them afterwards. The hide of a Moke, called Mokeskin, is a highly-prized material commonly used to make purses and money-bags. A Mokeskin purse will shrink at the approach of a stranger, eliminating the possibility of theft. Harry Potter fans have heard a lot regarding Mokes and Mokeskin, yet these fantastic beasts have yet to make a physical appearance and have only been mentioned in passing. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them represents the perfect opportunity to shine a light on the Moke and see just how dangerous they can be, or if their danger is overblown.
When in beast form, there are very few living things that match the danger that werewolves represent. Werewolves are unable to choose whether or not to transform and are incapable of remembering who they are or who their friends are upon transformation. This makes them one of the most dangerous threats in the world, which of course has led to the humans who carry the lycanthropy infection being ostracized from society. Audiences can’t get enough of the werewolf and any new appearance in the Harry Potter universe is always welcome.
A giant mammal similar to a leopard or a cheetah, Nundus move silently as they stalk their prey but are capable of reaching incredibly fast speeds. A native of East Africa, the Nundu has been underrepresented throughout the Harry Potter series and it’s time for this incredibly rare beast to make an appearance. One aspect that makes a Nundu such a dangerous threat is how difficult they are to subdue. A tough Nundu is capable of repelling common stunning spells, meaning that taking down a Nundu typically requires the cooperation of multiple wizards working together. In fact, there are documented cases of Nundus being defeated by no less than one hundred wizards working together. The power required to stun a Nundu has reached mythical proportions. Ideally, Fantastic Beasts will finally shed some light on the mysterious mammal and audiences will discover just how large a group is actually required to subdue a Nundu.
A Lethifold, also known as a Living Shroud, is a mysterious and highly dangerous magical creature. Lethifolds are aggressive and violent, and have thus been classified by The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures as a level 5 threat. This highest level of classification is reserved for the most dangerous magical creatures; the ones that are known wizard killers and are impossible to train. While the majority of class-5 creatures are very well known, Lethifolds tend to fly under the radar due to their rarity. These lethal beasts resemble a black cloak and move around by gliding along surfaces. They attack their prey at night when their target is asleep, suffocating and digesting them. Thankfully, Lethifolds are a very rare species, but since they’re such dangerous creatures, an appearance in Fantastic Beasts would definitely not feel out of place.
One of the wizarding world’s most dangerous creatures is undoubtedly the imposing Manticore. A Manticore has a human head, a lion’s body, and a scorpion’s tail and stinger. This fearsome trio of attributes is made all the more terrifying by the fact that a Manticore’s skin repels all known charms. This makes it frustratingly difficult to subdue a Manticore with magic, as the enchantments will simply bounce off and prove to be ineffective. The sting of a Manticore causes instant death, making them one of the most dangerous fantastic beasts that audiences should be excited to see. During the Harry Potter series, Rubeus Hagrid successfully managed to breed Manticores with fire crabs in order to create his own terrifying hybrid beast, the Blast-Ended Skrewts. While audiences have seen how terrifying these Blast-Ended Skrewts can be, the original Manticore would be an excellent throwback to include in J.K. Rowling’s latest offering.
4. Swooping Evil
Not much is known about Swooping Evils so far aside from what is seen in the theatrical trailer for Fantastic Beasts. Surprisingly, these creatures were not included in the 2001 textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on which the film draws inspiration from. Swooping Evils were introduced on the website “Pottermore,” the official Harry Potter website managed by J.K. Rowling. These blue-winged magical creatures appear to be very unique; Swooping Evils apparently take the form of a ball until they are thrown in the air. Once in the air, the flying creature emerges from its cocoon, liberated and potentially very dangerous. As the title of the film suggests, there are certain to be many new magical creatures set to be introduced to audiences for the first time. The Swooping Evil is the first confirmed new beast to arrive on the scene, and due to its daunting name, one has to wonder why Newt Scamander felt compelled to carry one around in his suitcase.
There are few creatures that can match the sheer awe of a flying dragon. Dragons are incapable of being domesticated, as these creatures cannot be tamed. With their ability to fly and breathe fire through their nostrils, these winged reptiles are easily one of the most difficult creatures to conceal in the wizarding world. Witnessing a dragon trampling through Muggle towns in America is a scene the Fantastic Beasts trilogy needs to provide. The imposing dragons provide the perfect opportunity for impressive special effects and thrilling chases. There are many breeds of dragons known to the wizarding community, and while they range in terms of viciousness, they would all provide absolute terror if they were unleashed on the public.
One of the most dangerous magical creatures in existence is the Acromantula, a giant spider with a particular fondness for human flesh. Eight-eyed, eight-legged, hairy and gigantic, these massive spiders are one beast you do not want to encounter. Not only can their pincers crush anything in sight, their fangs are also highly venomous. The most famous Acromantula in the Harry Potter series was named Aragog. He was raised by Rubeus Hagrid and was the cause of Hagrid’s expulsion from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hagrid attempted to raise an Acromantula in a cardboard box within the school’s dungeons until the beast was eventually released and set to live deep within the Forbidden Forest that surrounds Hogwarts. Hagrid is the only man documented to have encountered an Acromantula that displayed traits of genuine affection. Harry’s meeting with Aragog went far worse and the Acromantula’s dangerous tendencies were evident. If someone is able to control an Acromantula, such as Hagrid was capable of doing, this magical creature has the potential to be a devastating weapon. However, it’s far more likely that Hagrid was the major exception and an Acromantula can’t be controlled.
Potentially the only creature more devastating than the terrifying Acromantula is the fabled King of Serpents himself, the Basilisk. This giant serpent lay dormant within the Chamber of Secrets for years, awaiting the heir of Slytherin to arrive and wreak havoc on Hogwarts. Tom Riddle, later known as Lord Voldemort, was able to command Slytherin’s Basilisk to attack the school and later, his memories were able to lead to another attack. These Basilisk attacks should not be taken lightly, as the beast is the most dangerous magical creature in existence. Firstly, a Basilisk can kill on sight. Staring into a Basilisk’s eyes leads to an instant death and even indirect sight (such as through a reflection) leads to petrification. Basilisks then naturally have venomous powers and the long serpent is dangerous enough due to its sheer size. Basilisks are impressive foes that would translate perfectly to the big screen. The only appearance of a Basilisk during the Harry Potter films arrived during The Chamber of Secrets, one of the weaker film adaptations in the series. A Basilisk using today’s visual technology, while presented directly with the aid of J.K. Rowling’s vision, would truly be a sight to behold.