Warning: Spoilers may lie ahead!
On November 18, 2016, we will be travelling back in time to New York during the Roaring Twenties, where we will finally be introduced to a new wizarding society on the other side of the pond.
Indeed, the release of Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them is looming closer and closer, bringing a dazzling array of magical creatures and explosive events before our very eyes.
Yet, how much do we actually know about the #FantasticBeasts characters that will bring J. K. Rowling's greatly-anticipated screenplay to life? Although many of the actors appearing in the wizarding extravaganza may be familiar to us, most of the roles that they will be playing are not. Check them out below:
1. Newt Scamander
Actor: Eddie Redmayne
Who is he? The entire premise of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them centers around the character of Newt Scamander, a British employee of the Ministry of Magic and a "Magizoologist" who studies creatures —hence the trip to New York with a briefcase full of beasts.
Looking back to his past, Newt's mother was a hippogriff breeder — an obvious reason why he became so entangled with the study of magical creatures in the first place. He began Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1908, being sorted into Hufflepuff, but was later expelled for endangering someone's life with a beast. At the time, Albus Dumbledore is said to have argued strongly against the expulsion.
- 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them': How Newt Scamander Kept His Wand
- J.K. Rowling Explains Why Albus Dumbledore Was So Fond Of Newt Scamander And It's So Simple!
Needless to say though, the authorities did not listen. Yet, promptly after getting expelled from the school, Newt joined the Ministry of Magic, working for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Later, he transferred to the Beast Division where he earned a slew of promotions in quick succession.
In 1918, Newt was commissioned to write the first edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In preparation, he spend years journeying to all corners of the globe inspecting its various magical creatures and learning about their abilities.
Finally published in 1927, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them became a best-selling textbook at Hogwarts, by which time the events of the movie adaptation had already occurred.
2. Percival Graves
Actor: Colin Farrell
Who is he? Percival Graves is another Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them character and is the Director of Magical Security at MACUSA. He works under Madam Seraphina Picquery, an American witch who serves as the President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America.
In the movie, Colin Farrell's character is ordered to track down Newt after his creatures escape from his expanding briefcase. Here he is interrogating Scamander in a Fantastic Beasts clip
Over the last month or so though, there's been even more focus on Percival Graves, following speculation that he is in fact Gellert Grindelwald.
- Major 'Fantastic Beasts' Theory: Is The Harry Potter Easter Egg In The New Trailer Hiding A Huge Twist?
3. Mary Lou Barebone
Actress: Samantha Morton
Who is she? A No-Maj, Samantha Morton's character Mary Lou is a formidable character. Although we don't know much about her past in 1920s New York just yet, we do know that she is the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society (otherwise known as the "Second Salemers"). This extremist group seeks to reveal and obliterate wizards and witches and generally campaigns against all magic.
A strict figure, she imparts a similar kind of discipline on her three children, one of them which is Credence.
4. Credence Barebone
Actor: Ezra Miller
Who is he? The adopted son of NSPS's Mary Lou, Ezra Miller is described as being troubled.
Shy and antisocial, Credence struggles to deal with his mother's strict rules and he is easily manipulated. Because of this vulnerable trait, he is also the prime focus of Percival Graves, who appears to bear some kind of influence over him in Fantastic Beasts.
- First Look At Ezra Miller's 'Fantastic Beasts' Role: Is Credence Barebone Actually An Important Harry Potter Character?
5. Henry Shaw, Sr.
Actor: Jon Voight
Who is he? Another Non-Maj, Henry Shaw Senior is a US Senator in J. K. Rowling's wizarding world. The character is portrayed by Jon Voight and from the Fantastic Beasts trailers, we know he was present at his son's rally in New York, which was infiltrated by members of the NSPS.
Actor: Ron Perlman
Who is he? Ron Perlman's Gnarlack is a goblin gangster that runs the magical speakeasy/nightclub called The Blind Pig in Harlem.
7. Propentina "Tina" Goldstein
Actress: Katherine Waterston
Who is she? Born in the USA in 1901, Propentina "Tina" Goldstein lost both of her parents at a very young age, learning to survive independently with her sister Queenie from the very start. Both attended Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Following graduation, Tina worked for MACUSA as an Auror. Yet, when she came head-to-head with some of her superiors, she was sadly demoted to the lowly position of federal wand permit officer — a menial position well below her abilities.
She meets Newt in 1926 in New York and eventually marries him, moving back to England where they have a child.
8. Queenie Goldstein
Actress: Alison Sudol
Who is she? As already mentioned, Queenie is Propentina's sister and possesses exceptional beauty and kind-heartedness.
Like Tina, after graduating from wizarding school, she worked menial jobs at MACUSA, including as a wand permit officer. She is also a very gifted "leglimens" who can read other people's minds,
9. Jacob Kowalski
Actor: Dan Fogler
Who is he? An American No-Maj, Dan Fogler's character in Fantastic Beasts doesn't boast a colorful a background as the other protagonists in the movie but this doesn't make him any less important.
Having fought in the First World War, he returned to New York to work in a factory in the '20s, although he always had big dreams of becoming a baker. In 1926, after breaking up with his girlfriend, he collides with Newt and is present when all of the magical creatures make their swift escape.
10. Seraphina Picquery
Actress: Carmen Ejogo
Who is she? Born in the city of Savannah around the turn of the century, Seraphina completed her education at the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where she was offered a place in all four houses. This honor is offered very rarely to students so she is kind of a big deal.
She chose the Horned Serpent as her school house and is also said to possess the Violetta Beauvais wand with a core which is often accused of having an affinity for Dark magic.
In 1920, Seraphina became the President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America. As well as issuing mandates such as allowing wizards to drink alcohol (don't forget, this is the Prohibition Era), she also is forced to deal with the mass escape of beasts from Newt's suitcase in 1926.
11. Modesty Barebone
Actress: Faith Wood-Blagrove
Who is she? At present, not much is known about Modesty other than she is a little girl who possesses the ability to look deep into other people and understand them. Finding ways to hide her disobedient behaviour from her mother, she often sings anti-witchcraft songs while playing hopscotch but rebels and throws away NSPS leaflets when she's not looking.
She is described as "haunted" character with "inner strength and stillness."
12. Gellert Grindelwald
Actor: Johnny Depp
Who is he? Gellert Grindelwald is often considered to be the most dangerous wizard of all time, second only to Voldemort.
Schooled at Durmstrang until he was expelled for conducting horrendous experiments on fellow students, he became friends with Albus Dumbledore while living with his great aunt Bathilda Bagshot in Godric's Hollow — many have speculated that their relationship swiftly led to infatuation and then romance. Together, they became determined to find the Deathly Hallows and to become the Masters of Death, setting their sights on creating a new wizarding world order that dominated Muggles. The partnership fell apart after a three-way duel went awry, leading to Dumbledore's sister Ariana's death.
After years of living abroad with the Elder Wand, Grindelwald was finally confronted by his old-friend Albus in 1945 and was defeated in a duel. He was later killed by Voldemort in 1998, after being imprisoned in his own fortress.
With the release of Fantastic Beasts just around the corner, #JohnnyDepp has been confirmed by David Yates to play the dark wizard.
13. Albus Dumbledore
Who is he? A stalwart of the #HarryPotter series, Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster at Hogwarts, as well as the founder and leader of the Order of the Phoenix. Considered to be one of the most powerful wizards of his time, up until his death at the hand of Severus Snape during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, he is also famous for his defeat of Gellert Grindelwald in 1945.
It has now been confirmed that the great wizard will be making an appearance in #FantasticBeasts2, where he will be returning as a younger version of himself. As it stands, it is still unknown who will be playing him — in the original franchise, Richard Harris stepped into the role for the first two films, following by Michael Gambon from 2002.
As for the Fantastic Beasts casting, director David Yates has been quoted as saying:
"In the second movie Dumbledore comes back. He's got a couple of good scenes with Newt … We're discussing who would play Dumbledore, any suggestions would be good."
- Fan Casting A Young Dumbledore: Which of These Seven Actors Should Play Him In The ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Series?
14. Leta Lestrange
Actress: Zoe Kravitz
The former love of Newt Scamander during their time at Hogwarts, much is suggested that their relationship fell apart after some kind of betrayal. Little else is known about Leta Lestrange, who owes her loyalty to the Lestrange family.
Who do you think will be your favorite Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them character?