After seven 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. The Fantastic Beasts saga 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 relating to the beloved film series.
The prequel films are chock full of Easter eggs and references to J.K. Rowling’s wizarding movies. Itching to find out? Here are 30 Harry Potter connections in the Fantastic Beasts series!
Scroll down for the Crimes of Grindelwald!
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 first 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.
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.
12. Train Station Battle
No one can forget the importance of King’s Cross train station in the Harry Potter series. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, 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!
13. 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!
14. 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?
15. 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 way the movie relates to Harry Potter! 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.
17. 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 Deathly 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?
18. 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 Where to Find Them, too!
19. 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…
Fantastic Bests: The Crimes of Grindelwald
20. Young Dumbledore
He may not have had his signature white long beard or half-moon specs, but the legendary Dumbledore did indeed make an appearance in Fantastic Beasts 2, as a much younger but still as wise professor at Hogwarts. Dumbledore plays a lead role in the sequel to help send Newt on his quest to bring down Grindelwald, who as all Potterheads know, was Albus’ long-time companion before their relationship turned sour.
21. Grindelwald’s Plot
Speaking of which, all Potter-fans will remember this dark wizard who allegedly famously fought against Dumbledore, years before the events of Harry Potter. Although we only saw him briefly in Deathly Hallows Part I, when Voldemort was on the hunt for the Elder Wand, Grindelwald played a major part as the main villain in Fantastic Beasts 2. Alongside following his journey to cause chaos around the globe, we also learned a little about his history with Dumbledore and how much of a close relationship they once had.
22. Returning to Hogwarts
One of the highlights of this popular movie was returning to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Students in their uniforms, the candle-lit Great Hall, the Whomping Willow, a Quidditch match in the background and even familiar names, like “McLaggen”, who could indeed be an ancestor of Cormac McLaggen, a fellow Gryffindor student of Harry’s.
23. Young Professor McGonagall
Whether or not Professor McGonagall in Fantastic Beasts 2 was the actual Minerva McGonagall, we don’t know. We may have seen a younger version of the beloved teacher at the Hogwarts school grounds but fans have pointed out that Minerva’s birth date was October 1935, eight years after the Crimes of Grindelwald. It may not have been her, but perhaps another member of her family, who also took a liking to teaching.
24. A Class on Boggarts
We may associate Boggarts with Professor Lupin, but long before his time, it was Dumbledore who taught this class at Hogwarts. It was pretty awesome seeing the shape-shifting creature in the sequel and even better seeing Albus teach the ins and outs of the “Riddikulus” spell.
25. The Mirror of Erised
Remember when Dumbledore told Harry that he saw “thick, woolen socks” in the Mirror of Erised? J.K. Rowling later confirmed that this was a lie, and in fact, he saw his dead sister, Ariana, and the rest of his family when looking into this magical mirror. According to the Crimes of Grindelwald, turns out, there’s more to this lie than we thought. When Dumbledore looks at the mirror, he sees Grindelwald, hinting that the villain was once his deepest desire, hence clarifying the rumored theory that Dumbledore is gay.
26. Nagini’s Backstory
Who’d ever thought we’d get a backstory of Nagini, Lord Voldemort’s beloved pet snake? In Fantastic Beasts 2, we met a Maledictus named Nagini, who proves her ability to morph into a large snake. It only makes sense that she turns out to be the Dark Lord’s Horcrux in years to come but how that happens, we’re still unsure, as this movie showed her to be against any dark forces, even when her friend Credence teams up with Grindelwald.
27. Leta Lestrange
Crimes of Grindelwald taught us a little bit more about the Lestrange family, particularly Leta, who is engaged to Newt’s brother, Theseus. At the end of the film, we saw her sacrifice herself to save Newt and co from Grindelwald, so any theories that she was the direct ancestor of Bellatrix were debunked. The least we know, is that she’s definitely part of the Lestrange family tree.
28. Nicholas Flamel & The Philosopher’s Stone
Oh, what a joy it was to catch a glimpse of the Philosopher’s Stone after all these years. Nicholas Flamel, the creator of the infamous stone finally makes his onscreen debut in this movie to help Newt and friends defeat Grindelwald. What was more exciting however, was the brief glimpse of the Philosopher’s Stone in his cupboard, just sitting there, glistening and glimmering in all its redness.
29. Fawkes the Phoenix?
Early on in the film, Albus tells Newt that phoenixes always come to any Dumbledore family member who’s in need. Although the magical creature didn’t make its way to Dumbledore in Crimes of Grindelwald, it did however go to Credence, AKA Aurelius Dumbledore. Was this phoenix, Fawks? Are we going to learn more about Fawkes’ past in the movies to come?
30. Portkeys Return
Portkeys made an epic return in Crimes of Grindelwald when Newt and Jacob fled the country to go to France. In this movie, the Portkey took the form of a bucket, but as Potter fans will recall, Harry used a variety of items including an old boot and the Triwizard Cup!
Were you paying attention? Did you spot these hidden Easter eggs and wonderful references? I’m sure these Harry Potter connections in the Fantastic Beasts saga have made you even more stoked for the upcoming sequels…
Want more from the Potter-universe? Check out this mind-blowing list of Harry Potter movie Easter Eggs!