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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Things You Should Know About This Potter-Spin Off

Time for some magic once again.


Updated:November 17, 2016, 1:54 PM IST
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Things You Should Know About This Potter-Spin Off
A still from the film Fantastic Beasts and How To Find Them.

The time has arrived for the Potterheads to explore a whole new era of magic with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The spin-off of the extremely popular Harry Potter franchise, this film is based upon a book Harry Potter read in Hogwarts. The story revolves around Newt Scamander, an English wizard who’s been traveling the world, collecting magical creatures for conservation in his seemingly ordinary suitcase. An eccentric Hufflepuff, Scamander is actually drafting the tome ( a large book ) that will decades later be a Hogwarts requirement.

Now let’s start from the very beginning. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them started out as the name of a textbook, mentioned in passing during Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Four years later, Fantastic Beasts was published in the real world written by JK Rowling but credited to fictional author and "magizoologist" Newt Scamander, whose portrait hangs in Dumbledore's study.

Authored by Scamander in 1927, the book describes 85 magical species found around the wizarding world as documented over his years of journey around the globe. During his time at the Ministry of Magic's Beast Division, Scamander introduced several key pieces of magical legislation including the 1947 Werewolf Registry and the 1965 ban on experimental breeding of magical creatures.

And what wizard genius is complete without a chocolate frog card? Well, Scamander’s chocolate frog card aptly describes his unanimous presence in the beast world. The card reads, “Regarded as the world authority on magical creatures, Newt Scamander is the author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which has been an approved textbook at Hogwarts since its publication in 1927 and can be found in most wizarding households”.

Now let’s move on to the much awaited film which marks the debut of JK Rowling as a screenplay writer. The film has been set several decades prior to the first Harry Potter book, in 1926 New York, and follows Scamander's early adventures. Rowling has already announced it to be a five film series charting the mystical world of America and Europe before Harry.

The film sees Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrive in New York City, who by accident releases the monsters from his case to terrorise Manhattan, and spark a simmering conflict between the Maj (Wizards) and No-Maj (Muggles in America) populations.


While the wizards fight to get the mayhem under control and juggle wizarding world politics, Scamander takes the human Jacob Kowalski on an amazing journey into America's magical world.

Now how can a film be complete without a antagonist. Percival Graves, Director of Magical Security at MACUSA and Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, will be the pricking soul in the film. Played by Colin Farrell he’s certainly no fan of No-Majs and going by the official poster has some connection with Deathly Hallows!

fantastic-beasts-1Image: Warner Bros

Apart from the good and dark wizardry, Fantastic Beast will also show the America School of wizardry. While nothing much has been described about it in the film, Rowling has shed some light upon it.

The American school is called Ilvermorny and the four houses are Thunderbird, Horned Serpent, Pukwudgie, and Wampus.


Now will the films feature any cameos by our beloved Hogwarts inmates? Well, not really. Since it's set 70 years before Philosopher's Stone, it's fairly unlikely that any Potter characters will feature in Fantastic Beasts, but we do know that a young Dumbledore will appear as well as Grindelwald too, played by Johnny Depp. He cameos in the first but will be back in a more significant role in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Part 2.

As a muggle, this is more or less everything you should know before entering the theater to experience a magical journey into Rowling’s world. And for all the Potterheads, as a new era of adventure begins, it’s time to hop on and live the wizarding history!

| Edited by: Shomini Sen
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