Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Fandom
Name: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Abbreviation(s): FBAWTFT
Creator: J.K. Rowling (Screenwriter), David Yates (Director)
Date(s): November 10, 2016
Medium: Film
Country of Origin:
External Links: Fantastic Beasts (film series) at Harry Potter Wikia
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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, a film series taking place in the extended Harry Potter universe. It is set in 1920s New York and revolves around the adventures of Newt Scamander, celebrated magizoologist and author of the textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which features in the main Harry Potter book series. The film's setting also spans the initial rise to power of the dark wizard Grindelwald, who is the main antagonist of the series.

The Fantastic Beasts films have been generally well-received by fans, despite some controversy over the casting of Grindelwald, and elements of J.K. Rowling’s world-building of the North American magical world, which were perceived to be racially insensitive. Fanworks, headcanons, meta and shipping revolving around the Fantastic Beasts universe all sprang up following the release of the first film.

Fan Reception of the Film

Newt's Hogwarts House

Fans who consider themselves members of Hufflepuff house were delighted at the announcement of a series with a well-rounded Hufflepuff main character, showcasing the values of their house, which was very much sidelined in the main series.

The actor playing Newt Scamander, Eddie Redmayne, made a “public service announcement” video with MTV in honour of the upcoming premiere of Fantastic Beasts, in which he declared himself a “proud Hufflepuff” and pointed to other notable excellent Hufflepuffs, including Cedric Diggory and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.[1]

Some fan thoughts on Newt's house:

"Why Newt is so important reason #528492

For years the fandom has portrayed Hufflepuffs as extroverts and good with people and Newt simply doesn’t fit this stereotype. The virtues Hufflepuff exemplifies are hard working and loyalty not extroversion and friendliness. While these traits can go together they don’t always. So please don’t assume all Hufflepuffs are extroverts because some of us, like Newt, aren’t."[2]
“...It’s as if by elevating Newt to be the central hero of the Fantastic Beasts film, Rowling has made him into a character that cannot be shrugged off. As I mentioned, Newt is awkward, he is gangly, and he interacts better with creatures than humans, but it all works. Newt Scamander embodies human flaws and the very best that can live inside someone. He has an unwavering moral compass. He wants peace between humans and beasts. He wants a gentler and kinder world. Being placed in the forefront of this film franchise, Newt Scamander becomes a realistic symbol of Hufflepuff House. He is flawed on the outside but pure and just on the inside. His values don’t seem unattainable like Cedric’s, and his eccentricities don’t define him like Tonks’ pink hair often does. He is a whole person, and we see all sides, making him the Hufflepuff we have been waiting for.” [3]

“I just love that we have an entire movie to explain the age old question:

“What the hell is a Hufflepuff?”

Well. They protect, fiercely. They’re loyal, even to the point of staying for a painful dinner because he’d kind of sort of implied that he would. They make friends quickly. They jump in wherever they’re needed, (Or wanted) and their reaction to someone trying to use a hurting child for their own gain is outrage, eyes flashing and wand a blurred motion in combative magic. They are not above physically luring a powerful creature back to safety using nothing more than a mating dance (and a bit of cunning) and they have no problem straight up lying to a mark for information because their loyalty, again, is fierce and eternal.

Hufflepuffs are hardworking, friendly, and loyal.

And, yes.

Hufflepuffs are particularly good finders.”[4]

Fandom

Spoiler Warning: This article may contain spoilers. If this bothers you, proceed with caution.

Terminology

  • Original Percival Graves: This term refers to the fan characterisation of Percival Graves as a character separate from the Grindelwald impersonation that we see in the movies. While this character does not appear in the movies, fans have formed their own headcanons about what he might be like, and he often appears in fanworks, either pre-Grindelwald, post-Grindelwald, or in AU fanworks where he is never impersonated.
  • Grindelgraves: The fan term for Grindelwald-as-Graves, i.e. Grindelwald's impersonation of Percival Graves. Sometimes written Grindel!Graves. (Not to be confused with the pairing Grindelwald/Graves).

Notable Fanworks

J.K. Rowling Features kirikawa_juu’s Fanart on Twitter

On 22nd November 2016, the day that the first Fantastic Beasts film was released in Japan, a Japanese artist named kirikawa_juu posted an anime-style digital painting to Twitter. The fanart, entitled “Hero, change” (主人公、交代) featured Harry Potter walking away with his back to the viewer, “tagging in” Newt Scamander, the protagonist of the next series of Harry Potter films.[5]

Two days later, Twitter user thatarabicwitch drew the piece to the attention of J.K. Rowling, tweeting, “i'm in love with this pic, are you?” The tweet contained a link to the image but no attribution.

Rowling herself replied just three minutes later, eager to find out who the artist was.[6] thatarabicwitch replied that they didn’t know, as they had discovered it on the social networking site We Heart It.

Fans immediately rallied to hunt for the artist, and multiple links were posted to kirikawa_juu’s original Tweet as well as to the artwork on pixiv.[7] [8] Rowling then tweeted again to verify that she was being given the correct name: “I'm being told the painting is by @kirikawa_juu, is that correct?”[9]

kirikawa_juu then replied to the tweet: “I'm kirikawa ,Thank you for seeing my picture. It can't get any better than this! I will be your biggest fan forever...!!! 😭”[10] Rowling responded: “Thank you for that beautiful painting. It really moved me! They're two characters that mean so much to me.”[11]

Rowling then posted the fanwork in a new tweet, complete with attribution, and Pinned it to the top of her Twitter feed.[12]

The next day, kirikawa_juu posted a Tweet with a message of thanks to the Harry Potter fandom.[13] Translated, it reads:

“I actually spoke to my sister about this, and told her that the warmth from the ‘Harry Potter’ cluster of fans is out of the ordinary.

I never thought that drawing this picture would bring such happiness and create so many replies from people I’ve never spoken to. Truly, thank you.”

(Translation taken from RocketNews24)

Fanfiction

Fanart

Fanvids

References

  1. Newt Scamander Defends Hufflepuff Pride, Inverse. Published November 15, 2016 (Accessed December 23, 2017).
  2. Why Newt is so important reason #528492 by hufflepuffinthetardis221b, Tumblr. Posted November 26, 2016 (Accessed December 23, 2017).
  3. Newt Scamander: The Hufflepuff We Need by Amy, The Daily Prophet Blogitorials, Mugglenet. Posted December 1, 2016 (Accessed December 23, 2017).
  4. Tumblr post by citizen-of-the-fandom, Tumblr. Posted November 25, 2016 (Accessed December 23, 2017).
  5. Tweet by kirikawa_juu, Twitter. Posted November 22, 2016 (Accessed December 26, 2017).
  6. Tweet by jk_rowling, Twitter. Posted November 24, 2016 (Accessed December 26, 2017).
  7. Tweet by aikajellybean, Twitter. Posted November 24, 2016 (Accessed December 26, 2017).
  8. Tweet by DulcimerKJ, Twitter. Posted November 24, 2016 (Accessed December 26, 2017).
  9. Tweet by jk_rowling, Twitter. Posted November 24, 2016 (Accessed December 26, 2017).
  10. Tweet by kirikawa_juu, Twitter. Posted November 24, 2016 (Accessed December 26, 2017).
  11. Tweet by jk_rowling, Twitter. Posted November 24, 2016 (Accessed December 26, 2017).
  12. Tweet by jk_rowling, Twitter. Posted November 24, 2016 (Accessed December 26, 2017).
  13. Tweet by kirikawa_juu, Twitter. Posted November 25, 2016 (Accessed December 26, 2017).