As mesmerizing as the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films have been so far, they certainly haven't yet lived up to the rest of the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Newt Scamander may be the hero we all need and don't deserve with his positive masculinity and refusal to be violent, but the wit and wisdom found in J.K. Rowling's previous works often fall aside to action, adventure and, in the second film, strangely out-of-character arcs.
Still, there are some nuggets of inspiration within the movies that are worthy of framing and displaying on the wall, even from American wizards on the other side of the pond.
10 "We've Lived In The Shadows Too Long."
Technically Grindelwald isn't American, but his alias "Graves" is, and when he makes this chilling remark, it's meant to be a threat. However, it's also true, and many violent, terrible regimes bent on genocide often begin with this simple truth, rooted in righting a wrong. In this case, it's the fact that wizards have to hide from Muggles who would want them burned as witches. Newt Scamander can even bear witness to how wrong it is that they can't marry one another.
Graves' methods are frightening and wrong, but his words here do ring true about a problem that does need addressing.
9 "I'm The Only One Like Me."
Jacob Kowalski is one of the best characters to emerge from the Fantastic Beasts series, and his response to Queenie about being the only No-Maj like himself is endearing and adorable. Later, he says that it wasn't true, but isn't it? Mr. Rogers would argue that it's true for every person, which sort of makes it untrue, but it's a lovely sentiment, and Jacob is a rather wholesome little bean whom we wish could just live among the witches and wizards who adore him so much.
Newt kept him around simply because he liked Jacob — his new friend, after all. Jacob is most definitely the only one like him, but also one of many examples why MACUSA needs to let wizards and Muggles marry.
8 "People Are Easiest To Read When They're Hurting."
Queenie Goldstein may be a Legilimens, which makes her able to read thoughts effortlessly, but she's also rather wise in an intuitive way — not counting her heinous actions in the second film. She says that "people are easiest to read when they're hurting," which is quite true for everyone. People respond to pain differently, from hiding to licking their wounds to lashing out like an injured animal, and it can often say a lot about us.
Of course, our reactions aren't the only things that speak volumes; the pain itself often loosens or sharpens one's guard, which can also affect how easily readable we are.
7 "Try Not To Need Investigating For A Bit."
When Tina Goldstein reluctantly bids Newt Scamander adieu, he fondly says that he can't think of anyone he'd rather have investigating him than her. It's a sweet sentiment, but given his proclivity for getting himself into trouble, Tina advises him, "Try not to need investigating for a bit."
It's a simple line but it's sage advice, especially since, when under investigation, Newt tends to also get into life-threatening situations. Even though he's been able to also get himself out of trouble, and it's often for a good cause, Tina knows it would be best for him if he could carry out his work with more discretion.
6 "My Uncle's A House-Elf."
Jacob is full of wit and wonder, especially when he doesn't mean to be. He stammers when seeing a house-elf for the first time, "I love house-elves. My uncle's a house-elf." He has no idea how ridiculous his statement is, but it's actually inspiring beneath the surface, since it would mean intermarriage between house-elves and Muggles.
Obviously most house-elves wouldn't want to do that — and muggles likely wouldn't, either — but marriage between a No-Maj and a witch is a big plot point in this series. Upon meeting a house-elf, Jacob doesn't think twice about the possibility of being related to one, which only highlights his open-mindedness and suitability to marry a witch.
5 "You Need A Giver."
Don't we all? When Queenie Goldstein reads Newt's mind about his history with Leta Lestrange, she can immediately tell that Leta, who moved on to Newt's own brother, is a "taker." She tells Newt, "You need a giver," which is good advice for anyone in any relationship.
Both of Queenie's comments — about being a giver and about reading people while they're in pain — come into play in the second film when she behaves out of character, holding Jacob against his will and ultimately following Grindelwald. The law certainly needs to be changed, but via genocide? Why she doesn't just move to England with Jacob where they can be married is beyond most fans.
4 "Most Guys Think What You Was Thinking."
When Queenie admits that she knows what Jacob was thinking about her when they meet, she seems like a bit of an airhead at first, saying, "Oh, don't worry, honey. Most guys think what you was thinking the first time they see me." But as we get to know Queenie, she makes it clear that no matter how beautiful she is — and in Rowling's script, she's described as the most beautiful girl to ever don witches' robes — she's down-to-earth and doesn't take offense.
Jacob is obviously embarrassed when he knows she can read his mind, and Queenie teaches us that what we think and what we say are two different things, and whether or not to say what we think is an important choice to make.
3 "A World Where Wizards Are Able To Love Freely."
One of the most inspirational lines in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is voiced by Grindelwald himself, and it's too bad that his intent doesn't match his words: "I wish you were working with me now towards a world where we wizards are free to live openly, and to love freely." The words alone are what everyone should be working toward, but not via Grindelwald's own means.
He also goes to voice his goals for wizard freedom, saying, "We say we only want freedom. Freedom to be ourselves," and "Only here shall you know freedom, only here shall you know yourself." Had Grindelwald acted differently on his views, he could have been a hero.
2 "I Want To Know Who I Am."
Who hasn't asked themselves this question? Credence's insistence in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the question that most humans have at some point during their lives — if not throughout their entire lives. Whether or not Credence is, in fact, Aurelius Dumbledore or not may have fans rioting in protest, but most of them are still rooting for Credence to truly discover who he is and to somehow save himself from the fate common to an Obscurus — and not just because Ezra Miller has a lot of fans.
We want to know just who Credence is, too, and this is the question fans hope to have answered by the next film.
1 "I Want To Be A Wizard."
Get in line, Kowalski. When Jacob, adrift in a sea of wonder as he learns all about the magical world, declares that he wants to be a wizard, every Muggle watching the film joined in — many not for the first time. J.K. Rowling's world is an incredible one that just about every reader has wanted to join in on permanently, with most of us wondering just where our own Hogwarts letters got lost. Surely the owl is on its way?
What Jacob doesn't understand is that he is a wizard of sorts. He's won Queenie's heart, he's a friend to Newt Scamander, who normally doesn't make friends easily, and he's someone willing to fight, win or lose, for those he loves, which makes the American No-Maj just as magical as the rest of them.