ByJonathan Carlin, writer at
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Jonathan Carlin

How cool are Patronuses?! They're like zodiac signs, except less fictional. J.K. Rowling recently said that knowing Newt's Patronus would be a spoiler. However, in light of Fantastic Beasts, I ask the question: What is Newt's Patronus? If you'd prefer to watch this mind-blowing theory unfold, you can check out the video below. If videos aren't your thing, continue on to read the full theory.

Patronus 101

According to Pottermore, the most common types of Patronuses are cats, dogs and horses; this is because of humans' longstanding affinity for these animals. As such, it is more likely that a given person has forged a special connection with one. However, just having a connection with an animal is not all that may influence your Patronus. Instead, according to 18th century charms researcher Catullus Spangle, a Patronus represents the characteristics that are hidden and unknown, yet an innate part of your personality.

“Patronuses are the awakened secret self that lies dormant until needed, but which must now be brought to light” — Catullus Spangle

Easily the most famous Patronus is Harry’s Stag a.k.a Prongs, the form his father took when transformed into an animal (and also his Patronus). According to Spangle, this would suggest that Harry’s secret self is one very similar to his father, or is the kind of person he wants to be. In order for Harry’s Patronus to take on a corporeal form, he needs to summon the inner strength he once attributed to his father and believed not to possess himself. Even just before he casts Prongs for the first time, Harry believes that somehow his dad is going to show up and help him.

Arguably the other most famous Patronus is the Silver Doe, cast by Snape. This time, rather than revealing Snape’s secret self, it simply reveals his biggest secret: That he has never stopped loving Lilly, whose Patronus was also a doe. This brand of Patronus — one that is reflective of who you love — seems to be fairly common. For example, Tonks’s turns from a jack rabbit into a wolf after she falls in love with Lupin, a werewolf (Lupin's is also a wolf).

[Credit: Warner Bros.]
[Credit: Warner Bros.]

Hermione's Patronus is an otter, which is a member of the weasel family. (Get it? Like Ron WEASLEY!) Ron's Patronus is a Jack Russell Terrier, which may not seem connected at all until you learn Jack Russells were bred to sniff out animals like rats, badgers, foxes and otters. (Fun fact: J.K. Rowling owns a Jack Russell Terrier, and her favorite animal is an otter. Although, her Patronus is actually a Pine Marten.)

[Credit: Warner Bros.]
[Credit: Warner Bros.]

Love is not the only thing that can influence your Patronus. In rare cases, the Patronus could also be your favorite animal. Spangle says this is an indicator of obsession or eccentricity, and such wizards are unable to hide their "secret" or "essential" self in real life. Fittingly, the eccentric Dumbledore matches this description, as his favorite animal is the Phoenix and so is his Patronus.

[Credit: Warner Bros.]
[Credit: Warner Bros.]

Prickled By Love

This brings us back to Newt. He, too, is pretty eccentric, but I doubt he would ever say one particular creature was his favorite (maybe the bowtruckle?). However, that seems like a pretty unintimidating Patronus (and how would that be spoiler-y)?

We do know that he eventually goes on to own several kneazles, which are easily confused with common cats, and cats are some of the most common Patronuses, but let's face it: The movie is called Fantastic Beasts. Newt isn't going to have the most common beast available as a Patronus. If only there was an obvious animal Newt would have...Newt?

Yeah, it absolutely won't be that obvious. But! Names. Names in Harry Potter so often have to do with the character of the character themselves. For example, Lillies are flowers of death and Petunias represent anger and resentment. Of course, those don't actually have anything to do with Patronuses, but Sirius is the constellation name for Canis Major, or the dog star, and his Patronus is a dog. Furthermore, Remus the wereWOLF was pretty clearly named after Romulus and Remus, the two brothers who founded Rome and were raised by wolves. As I mentioned earlier, his Patronus is a wolf.

However, if we already decided that we don't think it's going to be a newt (and the closest thing to Scamander is a salamander) and we already decided we don't think it's going to be a newt, then what do we have left? Out of the entire animal kingdom, we have ruled out newts and cats, which leaves, well, still a lot. We do know that Newt has a potential love interest, even if we've only seen a glimmer of it, with none other than Tina Goldstein.

[Credit: Warner Bros.]
[Credit: Warner Bros.]

Maybe Newt's Patronus — like Ron, Hermione, James, Lilly, Snape and Tonks's — will have something to do with her. Personally, I really like this idea because we also know that Newt has a second possible love interest in Leta Lestrange.

Also, neither he nor Tina is great with people, meaning they are bad at communicating feelings, especially to each other. While they end Fantastic Beasts clearly having feelings for one another, neither is explicit about it. I can easily see a scenario where Tina thinks Newt prefers Leta over her until Newt's Patronus is revealed, thus proving he really loves her — but what would it be?

Well, Tina is not actually her full name. Her full name is Porpentina, which is derived from the archaic word "Porpentine," which is a form of the word porcupine. Boom! Newt's Patronus will be a porcupine!

I love it because it's incredibly unusual without actually being one of the fantastic beasts, which I don't think Newt could ever actually choose. It also represents that idea of the hidden identity, just like how Harry doesn't believe he is powerful enough to cast his first Patronus, instead believing it had to be his father. Similarly, Newt doesn't believe he is good with people and doesn't seem to like them back much either. Not to mention the only other human he truly had a connection with (Leta) hurt him.

I think the one thing that could make him a more powerful wizard than he already is, is feeling like he has the love and support of another human. In conclusion, it's a name-based, relationship-driven fulfillment of his secret self Patronus — it hits ALL the stops.

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Let me know down in the comments.


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