In the years since J.K. Rowling finished writing her Harry Potter books and Warner Bros. finished adapting them to film, fans have worried whether it marked the end of the Wizarding World. Luckily, it’s continued to thrive thanks to new stories and info released regularly on Rowling’s website Pottermore. On top of that, she’s written a new play following up the story of Harry and Ginny, and one of her charity books has been given new life. Originally written as a limited edition one-shot for a good cause in 2001, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is now being used by WB and Rowling as the basis for a new series of films.
The first one premiered last year, telling the story of magizoologist Newt Scamander and teasing the legendary fued between Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald. We know that latter bit will be the focus of the franchise moving forward, as Newt’s story will take a backseat. Still, he will be featured, as Newt’s relationship with Zoe Kravitz’s Leta Lestrange looks to be a key part of the series. Meanwhile, the success of the film has led to the original Fantastic Beasts book being updated and reprinted. It arrived today, and though it doesn’t change many things, it does add a number of new beasts seen in the movie. Even more exciting, it reveals more of Newt’s history.
Thanks to a new About the Author section that Hypable has the story on, we learn that Rita Skeeter has long theorized that Newt may have spent his whole life acting as a spy for Dumbledore. The theory goes that Newt left Hogwarts, rather than being expelled or graduating, and went on to infiltrate the Magical Congress of the United States of America under the guise of a magizoologist, in order to seek out Grindelwald. While there’s certainly evidence for this theory, Newt has remained tight-lipped on the subject.
“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.”
If you’re familiar with Newt’s long and storied history, you know it’s full of twists and turns, and a few run-ins with Dumbledore and Grindelwald. The subject of Newt’s time at Hogwarts has also continually been debated. All of these bits of lore add an interesting wrinkle to Newt’s story and are sure to play into the upcoming films. Rowling is currently writing the Fantastic Beasts 2 script, and word is that the movie sequel begins shooting this August.
There’s always been a question about how Newt’s endearing yet light-hearted story could span a planned five films, but the decision to shift focus to Dumbledore and Grindelwald has long felt like a strange one. If all three characters are more tied together than we previously believed, and Newt is some sort of magical secret agent, that could certainly explain how the two stories will connect. With the movie set to premiere next year, the other big question is who will play a young Dumbledore? Hopefully, we’ll know quite soon.
The updated edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, along with the audio book narrated by Eddie Redmayne, is available now from retailers.