by Daley Wilhelm When it was announced that there would be another Harry Potter movie, fans everywhere were ecstatic. Would it be the Marauder-era prequel Potterheads have demanded? A series following the escapades of Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s kids? As it turned out, the new trilogy was none of the aforementioned. Rather, we’d be getting three movies based on a magazine-sized book: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them is a textbook all Hogwarts first years are required to buy. It briefly details magical animals one might run into in the Wizarding World, such as acromantulas, doxies or jobberknolls. In actuality, the short book was written and illustrated by J.K. Rowling to benefit the Comic Relief charity in 2001 alongside another “Hogwart’s Library” book Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Wisp. It’s yet to be seen if we’ll get a movie series out of the latter book, but as for Fantastic Beasts, the first film comes out this Friday November 18. The first film explores the life of Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne. In the Harry Potter lore, Artemis Fido “Newt” Scamander is an awkward magizoologist travelling the globe in order to write a comprehensive textbook on the fantastic beasts of the world and where one might find them. Scamander was born in 1897 and was introduced to magical creatures at a young age, his mother being a hippogriff breeder. When he later attended Hogwarts and was sorted into Hufflepuff, he continued this interest much to his own detriment and the apparent danger to those around him: he was expelled from Hogwarts for “endangering human life” with a beast. After his expulsion, he worked in the Ministry of Magic first in the “tedious” Office for House-Elf Relocation, and later in the Beast Division. Because of his obsessive knowledge of creatures and critters, he was quickly promoted and caught the eye of Obscurus Books who convinced him to quit his job and explore the world, writing the first draft of the book the Wizarding World would come to know and love. The film picks up in December of 1926 after he finishes his research throughout the world’s jungles and stops off in America’s urban jungle: New York City. Here, his suitcase--enchanted with an Undetectable Extension Charm and filled with various monsters from his travels--is accidentally opened, causing mayhem and increasing the already dangerously high tensions between the magic and non-magical communities.
I solemnly swear there are spoilers past this point.
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