Warning: Spoilers up ahead!
Yes, the wait for J. K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is over and finally, fans have been given the green light to discover and marvel at a brand new continent filled with never-before-seen monsters — all meticulously brought to life by the talented herd of concept artists who have been slaving away behind-the-scenes over the last couple of years.
However, whether or not you've already had to chance to peek at the movie, one thing's for certain — there are so many creatures emerging from Newt Scamander's rattling briefcase that it's quite difficult to keep up sometimes.
Because of this, why not take a moment to peruse the guide below so you know all the beasts popping up in the first installment of the #FantasticBeasts franchise, encompassing everything from the pilfering Niffler to the elusive Demiguise. Enjoy!
The Occamy resembles a cross between a dragon and a bird and is hatched from eggs that are made of silver, and are therefore very valuable. As a result, the territorial, serpentine creature is very protective of them and can be very aggressive to anyone who approaches it too closely.
A native of the Far East and India, this bird is "choranaptyxic" — this means that it grows or shrinks in order to fit into the space of its surroundings. Naturally, as you can imagine, this makes things rather problematic when the aggressive beast escapes onto the streets of New York.
Another interesting fact to note may be that the word "Occamy" is phonetically very similar to the Japanese word "ookami," translating into "great god."
We first caught a glimpse of the Thunderbird in one of the trailers for Fantastic Beasts, but upon watching the movie we finally learned of its true star power. Closely related to the phoenix, the creature features heavily in the mythology of certain North American indigenous people and actually serves as the emblem of one of the four houses of the American wizarding school Ilvermorny.
Although the characteristics of the Thunderbird vary, it is usually described as very large with the power to sense danger and generate huge thunderstorms. Its tail feathers are also used by Shikoba Wolfe for the creation of wands particularly valued in Transfiguration.
In the movie, Newt develops a good relationship with the giant creature, hoping to return it to the desert of Arizona, which it calls home.
The Niffler is a peculiar little creature and was actually first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where Hagrid introduced them to his fourth year students to aid them in finding gold buried on the school grounds.
A treasure hunter by nature, it is attracted to shiny things like gold and jewelry. Having said that though, they aren't averse to the odd belt buckle or fake tooth, which they store in their belly pouches that extend as if by way of an Undetectable Extension Charm. Because of this instinct to hoard anything sparkly they can set their sights on, they don't make good house pets and can actually become a bit of a nuisance, like in this TV spot:
The rodent-like creatures have a long nose and are usually a dark colour with fluffy fur. Found in England, Nifflers live in very deep burrows and are gentle Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them creatures. Speaking of the inspiration behind the creature, director David Yates has said:
"There are some tips to the honey badger in the way it moves."
The Billywig is native to Australia, an insect that is so fast it is seldom seen by Muggle folk and wizards. Unlike many creatures of its kind though, the wings are actually attached to its head (resembling a helicopter) and rotate to make it spin as it flies.
Don't be fooled though — the Billywig has a sharp sting, found at the bottom of the body, that makes the victim first giddy and then levitate for days as an allergic reaction. Because of this, scores of wizards and witches are found to provoke these tiny creatures in order to get stung and to discover this elevating experience.
Additionally, the Billywig sting ingredient is said to be in the Fizzing Whizzbees, a sweet that makes the consumer float a few inches off the ground after consumption.
The Demiguise is a little creature that looks like an orangutan or a sloth with huge, black eyes.
It's particular charm lies in the fact that it can turn invisible (it's long, silver hair is spun into Invisibility Cloaks and is very valuable), and it also has precognitive sight. Because of this, wizards and witches can only capture it by doing something very unpredictable.
Despite the fact that the Bowtruckle somewhat resembles Groot from Guardians Of The Galaxy, it is a totally different kind of creature. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the tiny tree-dwellers are super hard to spot due to their small size and are perfectly camouflaged into their forest surroundings.
The little beasts can be found in England, southern Germany and the Scandinavian forest and primarily serves its purpose as a guardian for its home tree — usually one whose wood is used for making wands. The twigs on its body help dig out woodlice and despite the fact it's a shy, peaceful beast, it can also harm foes when in peril. An extract from the book-version of Fantastic Beasts says:
"The Bowtruckle, which eats insects, is a peaceable and intensely shy creature but if the tree in which it lives is threatened, it has been known to leap down upon the woodcutter or tree-surgeon attempting to harm its home and gouge at their eyes with its long, sharp fingers. An offering of woodlice will placate the Bowtruckle long enough to let a witch or wizard remove wand-wood from its tree."
Judging by Newt's relationship with little Pickett in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it's hands-down his favorite creature. In an interview, Eddie Redmayne has admitted:
"They’re wonderful at picking locks. There’s a specific Bowtruckle called Pickett who Newt loves. Pickett has attachment issues, and Newt lets him swing along in his top pocket.”
7. Swooping Evil
Previously unknown to J. K. Rowling's #HarryPotter books, the Swooping Evil is another creature that appears in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. A large magical beast with blue-and-green wings, it resembles a reptile but with the movements of a butterfly. When it is not flying, it lives in a small, spiny cocoon.
Arriving in Newt's briefcase, it is one of the more dangerous creatures that make an escape in Fantastic Beasts — it is able to suck out people's brains, which as I'm sure you'll agree, is not an ideal characteristic for a pet.
On the other hand though, it secretes a venom that can also be used to erase bad memories. You win some, you lose some.
The Erumpent is an enormous beast hailing from Africa which looks like a rhino. As it has a very thick hide, its exterior is capable of bouncing off most spells, making it very powerful and therefore, it should be treated with the upmost respect and caution. Some even claim that it is one possible corporeal form of the Patronus Charm.
Looking to the Erumpent's anatomy, the horn is particularly dangerous — as well as being able to easily pierce skin and metal, it also contains a lethal fluid which can make anything explode when it is injected. The liquid, along with its tail and horn, are often used in the creation of various potions.
Speaking about the creature, David Yates has touched on the influences behind this fluid sac:
"The thing that makes it slightly more fantastical is the explosive fluid sac on its head that illuminates and glows. There are insects in the real world and also underwater creatures that have a luminescent liquidy interior which was an inspiration. It’s horn is explosive in (Rowling’s) stories, so we worked that in."
In the movie, the Erumpent is in mating season, which is worrying because the males often blow themselves up during this time. Good luck, Jacob.
The Murtlap makes an appearance in Fantastic Beasts and is a pretty vile-looking creature, resembling a rat with a sea anemone attached to it (which can be pickled and eaten – mmm, delicious!)
Found on the coast of Great Britain, although it mainly eats crustaceans, it doesn't mind nibbling the odd human foot.
Having said that though, it's actually rather useful to wizarding folk and its essence is often used as a home remedy for cuts — you might even remember the time Hermione made Harry dip his injured hand into some Murtlap Essence after he was terrorized by Dolores Umbridge in detention.
Coming from East Africa, the Nundu is a huge mammal that's considered to be one of the most dangerous in the wizarding world — its toxic breath can wipe out entire communities alone. Extremely hard to control, it takes around 100 wizards and witches working together to subdue it. Comparatively, the dragons used in the Triwizard Tournament need approximately ten.
Looking over the Potterverse, there is only one instance of a wizard actually owning a Nundu and that is Eldon Elsrickle, who used the creature to protect his home and all the stolen treasures within it. He apparently kept the beast under control by casting a Stunning Spell on it daily.
One of the largest creatures we see in Fantastic Beasts, the Graphorn is a dangerous native of the mountains in Europe. The hump-backed beast sports a skin that is tougher than that of a dragon's and, like the Erumpent, can repel most spells.
Being on the verge of extinction, we learn in the movie that Newt has managed to capture the last pair of breeding Graphorns out there.
Known as the "dodo" to Muggles, the Diricawl is a fluffy, flightless bird that can disappear and reappear to escape danger. This is something that the non-magical folk don't know, instead choosing to believe that it's been merely hunted to extinction.
Which Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them creatures is your favorite?