Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them finally hits theaters nationwide this weekend and Potter-heads are anxiously waiting to see the Harry Potter spin-off and if it lives up to the hype. I saw the movie almost two weeks ago at the worldwide premiere in New York City, but I am excited to check the movie out again this weekend and better yet, see how fans react to the movie.
Overall, I thought Fantastic Beasts was a pretty solid film, despite its minor flaws here and there. The movie dons a great cast that have a very rich chemistry and Newt Scamander is for sure an intriguing protagonist. Even though this movie still had a "magical" feel to it similar to the Harry Potter movies, it had its own unique feel separating it from the main franchise.
Fantastic Beasts may not feature Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and the rest of the Hogwarts crew, the movie does a good job fitting in the Potter-verse as it had references and Easter eggs sprinkled throughout. Since there were so many Easter eggs, let's go through every one that we caught worth mentioning.
There are a ton of different beasts throughout the movie. While none of these creatures were physically seen on-screen in any of the Harry Potter movies, some of them were referenced there or in other Harry Potter media. The most notable of all the beasts would have to be awarded to the creature who stole the show: The Niffler.
If you've had the opportunity to see the movie for yourself (which I hope you have considering this article contains massive spoilers), you could agree that the Niffler is the best creature we saw in the whole film as he was very comical and had a unique personality to him.
This is not the first time we have heard of the treasure-seeking creature as he is mentioned by Ron Weasley and how he really would like one as a pet in the Harry Potter series — which is understandable seeing how adorable they really are. Also, in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire novel, Hagrid brings in some Nifflers for his Care of Magical Creatures class.
In the movies, the Niffler makes a small yet destructive appearance in Order of the Pheonix when Lee Jordan sneaks one into Professor Umbridge's office to wreak havoc — which after watching this movie, we know Niffler's are very skilled at doing.
Hogwarts And Ilvermorny
One of the best Easter eggs in the movie was the name drop of the two wizarding schools Hogwarts and Ilvermorny. You can actually watch a clip (featured above) that shows a part of the scene where the two schools gt mentioned. Kowalski asks Queenie if there is a wizarding school in America and she tells him about Ilvermorny and how it's the best wizarding school of all. Newt sarcastically replies that Hogwarts is the best wizarding school, which leads Queenie to say:
Not only was this one of the more comical moments from the movie that also set up the chemistry between Newt and Queenie, it was one of the bigger name-drops. While many fans speculated we would actually get to visit Ilvermorny in Fantastic Beasts, it was only paid lip service. However, don't lose hope yet: There are still four more movies to discover the American wizarding school.
Hogwarts was also name-dropped when it is revealed that Newt was expelled from the school as a result of a magical creature harming another student. This should be touched upon in more detail in the upcoming installments of the franchise.
That Quidditch Joke
Quidditch is one of the wizarding world's favorite sports to play and watch. The game and its positions get a fun, little joke made about by Newt in the film. In the movie, when Newt ran into the anti-magic activist Mary Lou Barebone at her Second Salemers group rally in the streets, she asked our new favorite protagonist "Are you a seeker? A seeker after truth?" he awkwardly responds: "I'm more of a chaser, really."
This is obviously referring to the seeker and chaser positions in the game of Quidditch. Even though this could just be another quirky comment by Newt, it could also reveal that he played Quidditch and was indeed a chaser back in his days at Hogwarts. This isn't the only Easter egg that potentially reveals more information of Newt's life at Hogwarts.
Newt Shows His Hogwarts House By His Hufflepuff Apparel
The Hufflepuff house generates a lot of un-needed hate from the Harry Potter community. So much so that Eddie Redmayne created a parody PSA announcement announcing that he is a "proud Hufflepuff." While this may be a joke, his character in the movie really is a Hufflepuff and is referenced in it.
In the beginning of the film when Newt is showing the customs officer his luggage, it is shown that he still carries around his Hufflepuff scarf around with him. Clearly, Newt is very proud of his house, even if he was expelled from Hogwarts- no shame in that!
Read up on Fantastic Beasts:
- Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Is A Breath Of Fresh Air: 5 Reasons Why It's Amazing
- What We Learned From The Fantastic Beasts Press Conference
- The Surprising Connection Between Newt Scamander From Fantastic Beasts And Harry Potter's Luna Lovegood
Since Fantastic Beasts is set 70 years before the Harry Potter story begins, the only significant character that would be alive at this time would be Albus Dumbledore. Of course, he is a younger man and is certainly not the head of Hogwarts. Our favorite bearded wizard did not make an appearance in this first installment, but he has been confirmed for the second film in the series. However, his presence is definitely felt as J.K. Rowling reminds the audience that Albus Dumbledore is alive and well.
Dumbledore's name was dropped a couple of times when referring to Newt's past. When Scamander is being interrogated by Percival Graves, he mentions how he was thrown out of Hogwarts for "endangering human life" and that Albus Dumbledore was a Hogwarts professor who campaigned against Newt's expulsion but ultimately was overruled. Graves was surprised that Dumbledore would actually fight on Newt's side and show a liking to him.
Most of us are aware that Dumbledore will have a heavy presence in the next upcoming movies as a "younger, troubled man." At the worldwide press conference I attended in New York, J.K. Rowling confirmed that Dumbledore would be openly gay and that the movies would showcase the relationship between him and Grindelwald and how it fell apart.
While Dumbledore doesn't make an appearance just yet, Grindelwald wastes no time already brewing trouble in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Grindelwald is a dark wizard who has very similar goals to Lord Voldemort, and in many ways is a precursor to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. It is also revealed that he and Dumbledore were close friends and potential lovers as young men as they searched for the Deathly Hallows together before Gellert journeys down a darker path.
In the beginning of the movie, it is teased that Grindelwald is causing chaos in Europe — which was a great start for the movie as fans were instantly shocked and excited. At the end of the movie, it is revealed that Grindelwald was disguising himself as Percival Graves and has infiltrated the Magical Congress of the USA (MACUSA). The American wizards locked him up, but we are all aware that he will escape and continue his reign of terror.
Muggle/No-Maj & A Squib Reference
In the Harry Potter series, the story really focused on the British wizarding world while in Fantastic Beasts, the movie shifts focus onto the American wizarding world. We noticed a ton of different changes in the cultures — one of the biggest how the wizards name humans who do not have magic.
Harry Potter fans are very familiar with the term "muggle" when referring to a person who is not conversant with magic. In this film, we learn the American wizards use the term "no-maj," which stands for "no-magic" as a replacement for the term "muggle." Why Rowling decided this is not clear, though it's most likely to differentiate the two cultures.
Also, we see Percival Graves mistake Credence for being a squib, which Harry Potter fans know is a non-magic user who is born into a magical family. One character in the Harry Potter series that was a squib was actually Argus Filch, the caretaker at Hogwarts.
The Deathly Hallows Necklace
In the film, we see Percival Graves hand off a necklace to Credence, which dons a very familiar symbol. Harry Potter fans know that this is the symbol of the Deathly Hallows, which represent the three magical objects that can allow a wizard to cheat death: The Resurrection Stone, the Invisibility Cloak, and the Elder Wand.
These objects would allow any wizard to reach immorality. Lord Voldemort tried to collect the horcruxes and get a hold of the Elder Wand to achieve immortality. This plan is also what Grindelwald has in mind so he can become the most powerful wizard on the planet. This shows us not only that Graves, who turned out to be Grindelwald in disguise, is up to no good but this also reveals a big part of his plan to power.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
The title of the movie confused a lot of Potter fans at first as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a book about beasts that Rowling wrote for charity years ago. The textbook was written by Newt himself and was actually used at Hogwarts by Harry Potter and his colleagues in the classroom.
Throughout the film, Newt discusses how he keeps a collection of notes and manuscripts of all the different magic creatures and beasts he has discovered and how to properly take care of them, since Newt has a big heart for all beasts alike.
At the end of the movie, Tina references Newt's textbook as "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," which is the title of the book when Newt publishes it later on — which we will probably get to see by the end of the franchise.
What did you guys think of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Which Easter egg was your favorite? Did you catch any I missed? Tell me below!