After five long years since the legendary Harry Potter series came to an end, we’re finally back in magical territory, ladies and gentlemen, wizards and muggles. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was set some 65 years before Harry ever stepped foot inside Hogwarts but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any fun call-backs or key details linking to the beloved film series.
The prequel film is chock full of Easter eggs and references to J.K. Rowling’s wizarding movies. Itching to find out? Here are 20 Harry Potter connections in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them…
1. Hedwig’s Theme
It wasn’t difficult to spot or shall we say, listen out for this one. The classic Harry Potter theme tune was not only played during the opening of the movie but at some points throughout as well. If you’re as much of a Potterhead as I am, there’s no doubt you shed a few tears when hearing Hedwig’s theme…
2. 1926 and Lord Voldemort
Newt Scamander’s arrival in New York in 1926 had a lot of historical significance in the wizarding world but there’s another important event surrounding this date. Across seas and oceans, a villain was welcomed into the world. 1926 is the year that Tom Riddle, the one and only Lord Voldemort was born in London.
3. The Obscurus and Ariana Dumbledore
Here’s where things get real interesting. In Fantastic Beasts, we learn that the Obscurus is “an unstable, uncontrollable dark force that bursts out and attacks,” from the result of a young magical person trying to suppress their magic.
Let’s take it back to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Aberforth Dumbledore, Albus’ brother, explains what happened to their sister, Ariana who was bullied by Muggles for using magic:
“It destroyed her what they did, she was never right again. She wouldn’t use magic, but she couldn’t get rid of it. It turned inward and drove her mad, it exploded out of her when she couldn’t control it and at times she was strange and dangerous.”
I don’t know about you but that sure sounds like an Obscurus to me. That would explain why Grindlewood knows so much about them. He learned about the force during his relationship with Dumbledore and his encounter with Ariana. #Mindblown!
4. Harry Potter Spells
Any Potterhead would recognize wizard lingo! I was taken back down memory lane when I saw the spells “Alohamora”, “Obliviate” and “Lumos” being used by Scamander and co!
5. The Lunascope
You’d have to have the ears of a wolf to catch this great Harry Potter Easter egg. When Scamander needs information from Gnarlak the goblin, he offers him a Lunascope. “I’ve got five,” Gnarlak replies. These magical instruments used to read the moon are mentioned in Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. You might also have spotted one in Dumbledore’s office.
6. That Quidditch Joke
Scamader first arrives in New York and stumbles upon Mary Lou giving a lecture on repressing the wizarding community. “Are you a seeker of the truth?” she asks him. “I’m more of a chaser, really,” he replies. Seeker and Chaser are the two players on a Quidditch team. Only dedicated Harry Potter fans would have cracked a smile!
7. That Hufflepuff Easter Egg
If you didn’t know it already, Newt Scamander is a Hufflepuff. How do I know? If you were eagle-eyed, you would have spotted his Hufflepuff scarf in his suitcase!
8. That Hogwarts Shout-Out
I got all sentimental just hearing the word “Hogwarts”. In a conversation with Tina and Queenie, Newt argues that Hogwarts is the better wizarding school compared to the American equivalent, Ilvermony. Well, of course it is!
9. That Dumbledore Shout-Out
There’s absolutely no mention of Harry Potter in the Fantastic Beasts movie but at least there’s a small shout-out to the beloved Dumbledore. Percival Graves reveals he was the only teacher who argued against Newt’s expulsion from Hogwarts. “I wonder,” Graves says. “What makes Albus Dumbledore so fond of you?”
As mentioned above, it’s possible that Dumbledore’s sister had an Obscurus. Newt once removed it from a young girl in Sudan which might be why Dumbeldore was so intrigued by him.
10. The Pensieve
Fantastic Beasts may be set over 70 years before the events of Harry Potter, but clearly some things never change. When Tina is sentenced to die, she is almost lured into a giant Pensieve which shows her happiest memories. As you may recall, we learnt about the Pensieve in several of the Harry Potter movies, particularly when it came to Professor Snape’s memories.
11. Leta Lestrange
Apparently, Newt’s best friend at Hogwarts went by the name Leta Lestrange. Queenie read his mind revealing they had quite the friendship but it comes across as though there was a fall-out. Leta’s surname must be more than just a coincidence. If she is indeed related to the terrifying Lestrange family from the Harry Potter series, perhaps she turned to dark magic, causing a rift between herself and Newt.
Talking of reading minds. Queenie is clearly a natural Legilimens, meaning she can see into people’s thoughts. Guess who else was a skilled Legilimens? Lord Voldermort. Voldemort has used Legilimency to enter the minds of those he wished to interrogate – AKA Harry Potter.
13. Train Station Battle
No one can forget the importance of King’s Cross train station in the Harry Potter series. In Fantastic Beasts, much of the movie’s final battle scene takes place in New York’s City Hall Station. Could this have been a small Easter egg deliberately placed in the movie by J.K. Rowling? We’d like to think so! It may not have taken place in a London station but it still brought back some memories!
14. Murtlap Essence
Remember when Kowalski got attacked by that giant looking rat? This creature goes by the name, Murtlap. Does it ring a bell? Harry used Murtlap Essence in Order of the Pheonix to treat his hand after writing “I must not tell lies” onto it. Apparently, the animal’s anemones have healing powers!
15. The Niffler
Hearing the name of this particular fantastic beast probably called to mind a particular beloved character – Hagrid. Hagrid taught about Nifflers in his Care of Magical Creatures class, and Lee Jordan used them to wreck Umbridge’s office. These connections just keep getting better, don’t they?
16. Dougal the Demiguise
Dougal the Demiguise wasn’t just placed in the movie to add some humor. This particular fantastic beast has a huge connection to the Harry Potter movies. As you noticed, Demiguises can turn invisible. Guess what? Their fur is used to make Invisibility cloaks! OMG!
Here’s another call-back! Remember the giant rhino that escaped from Scamander’s briefcase? Well this creature called an Erupment was actually brought up in the Deathly Hallows when the famous trio visited Xenohilius Lovegood. An Erumpent horn explodes on his wall and Hermione even warns him about it – “There’s a description in ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’! Mr. Lovegood, you need to get rid of it straightaway, don’t you know it can explode at the slightest touch?” she says.
18. Deathly Hallows Necklace
Percival Graves gives a necklace to Credence Barebone telling him to touch it when he has information on the Obscurus. Of course, this wasn’t just any necklace. It was the Deathly Hallows one because as we know, the symbol of the Elder Wand, the Invisibility Cloak, and the Resurrection Stone eventually became known as Grindelwald’s mark.
Not only is the Dealthy Hallows symbol a fabulous callback to the Harry Potter movies but it also imposes an intriguing question – is it the same necklace Xenohilius Lovegood wore in the sixth film? If so, how did he get his hands on it?
19. Merlin’s Beard Shout-Out
Now this is what you call an awesome Easter egg but you have to be a serious Harry Potter fanatic to have recognized it. Remember when Horace Slughorn said “Merlin’s Beard” in the Half-Blood Prince? That very same phrase was uttered by Newt in Fantastic Beasts too!
20. Mad-Eye Moody’s Trunk
Newt Scader’s suitcase isn’t the only place you can you can hide in! Remember Mad-Eye Moody’s trunk from the Goblet of Fire? That too had a suspiciously spacious interior! The wizarding world really is a wonderful place…
Were you paying attention? Did you spot these hidden Easter eggs and wonderful references? I’m sure these Harry Potter connections in Fantastic Beasts have made you even more stoked for the upcoming sequels…
Christmas is almost here! Start shopping for that Potterhead in your life with these Harry Potter gifts!