Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was originally released in 2001. Once believed a small addition to the Harry Potter mythology, JK Rowling’s decision to turn the book into a five-part film series has made it much more significant.
This week saw the release of an updated edition of the original Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them. The new addition includes six new beasts not included in the original edition, a foreword from in-universe author Newt Scamander, and a small but potentially significant change to Scamander’s “About the Author” Profile.
A large portion of the new foreword is dedicated to Newt Scamander trying to dispel rumors circulating about him that originate from a book written by notorious wizarding world journalist Rita Skeeter. According to Skeeter’s book “Man or Monster? The TRUTH about Newt Scamander, Newt was never actually a magizoologist. Instead, that “job” was just a cover for Newt to infiltrate the Magical Congress of the United States of America on the behalf of Albus Dumbledore. Here’s an excerpt (via Hypable):
“In her recent biography, Man or Monster? The TRUTH About Newt Scamander, Rita Skeeter states that I was never a Magizoologist but a Dumbledore spy who used Magizoology as a ‘cover’ to infiltrate the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) in 1926.
This, as anyone who lived through the 1920s will know, is an absurd claim. No undercover wizard would have chosen to pose as a Magizoologist at that period. An interest in magical beasts was considered dangerous and suspect, and taking a case full of such creatures into a major city was, in retrospect, a serious mistake.”
This seems like it could be foreshadowing things to come in future Fantastic Beasts movies, or perhaps it's just meant to increase Scamander’s apparent stature and level of fame in the wizarding world by giving him a scandalous biography on par with The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, so as to match his newfound importance to the Harry Potter franchise.
Scamander also implies that he had a quite close relationship with Dumbledore, one that may have been as sacred to him as Harry’s way:
“It is true that I was the first person ever to capture Gellert Grindelwald and also true that Albus Dumbledore was something more than a schoolteacher to me. More than this I cannot say without fear of breaching the Official Magical Secrets Act or, more importantly, the confidences that Dumbledore, most private of men, placed in me.”
Lastly, the “About the Author” section has been changed to say that Newt “left” Hogwarts rather than that he “graduated.” This retcons and apparent continuity error between the book and the film, which is states that Newt was expelled from Hogwarts.
The new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find offers some interesting new hints about Newt and Dumbledore’s relationship, but leaves plenty to the imagination. Scamander states in the book that he’s left some parts out of his story because he’s waiting for certain other documents to come to light. Those “documents’ are probably somehow related to the events that occur in the next four Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movies.
Since we know that Dumbledore will be in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2, and that we’re building towards the epic wizard duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, it seems certain that more details about Newt and Dumbledore’s relationship will come to light.
What did you think of the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Let us know by giving the movie your own rating below.