Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” spin-off, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” is finally in theatres.
It’s the first of five planned movies, all written by Rowling herself. The first instalment takes place in the same magical universe as the “Harry Potter” series, but in 1926 New York instead of during the tail end of 20th century Britain.
Still, there are a lot of obvious connections to the “Harry Potter” books. Newt Scamander, the film’s chief protagonist, is the author of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” one of Harry’s first-year textbooks at Hogwarts, and Scamander’s future grandson also marries Luna Lovegood, as noted at the end of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
But there are also some smaller hidden moments or clues you may have missed. Here’s what we noticed:
A MACUSA worker pulls a silver wisp of Tina's memories out of her head, in a scene where Tina is sentenced to death.
She extracted a memory. It works in the same way Dumbledore and other characters extracted their memories for the Pensieve.
Percival Graves thinks Credence Barebone is a squib, which is a magician-born person who can't practice magic.
A few characters in 'Harry Potter' were squibs, like Argus Filch, the Hogwarts caretaker. Some people also thought Dumbledore's sister, Ariana, was a squib.
We learn about Obscurials, young wizards and witches who suppress their powers and dangerously lose control.
It sure sounds like it.
Ariana, Albus and Aberforth's little sister, always had a hazy backstory. Now, it's more clear: she might have become an Obscurial after she stopped practicing magic at a young age. Her magic 'turned inward and drove her mad,' in the words of Aberforth Dumbledore.
When he needs information from Gnarlak the goblin, Scamander offers him a Lunascope. 'I've got five,' Gnarlak responds.
Lunascopes are mentioned in 'Prisoner of Azkaban,' 'Goblet of Fire,' and 'Order of the Phoenix.' They're astronomy devices that make it easier to read the moon.
Mary Lou, the head of a group of No-Majs who want to root out wizardry, calls out to Scamander in a crowd and asks if he's a 'seeker after truth.'
'I'm more of a chaser, really,' Scamander responds. It's a Quidditch reference that goes over Mary Lou's head (Seeker and Chaser are two of the positions on a Quidditch team).
They're Hufflepuff colours. Newt Scamander went to Hogwarts and his scarf shows off his school pride.
Jacob Kowalski is a No-Maj who falls in with Scamander and the crew as they search for Scamander's escaped animals in New York. His initials look familiar...
Jacob's initials may be a nice nod to the 'Fantastic Beasts' creator, another muggle who is surrounded by her magical wizarding world.
When Jacob first heads to the bank to take out a loan for a bakery, his initial sketch of the bakery shows it referred to as J. Kowalski's.
Kowalski gets bitten by a Murtlap, which leaps out of Scamander's briefcase. It's kind of like a giant pink rat with a growth on its back.
Murtlap Essence, extracted from the animal's anemones, have healing properties. Harry treats his hand with it in 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' when Dolores Umbridge makes him write 'I must not tell lies' into his hand.
Umbridge also punished Lee Jordan, so Harry recommended Murtlap Essence for his own hand. Later in the book, Fred and George use Murtlap Essence to fix the side-effect boils from their Snackboxes. They got the recommendation from Lee.
Hagrid taught about Nifflers in his Care of Magical Creatures class, and Lee Jordan uses them to wreck Umbridge's office.
The most dangerous animal that escapes from Scamander's briefcase is the Erumpent. It looks like a giant rhino, its hide repels spells, and it can inject deadly fluid into objects with its horn, which makes them explode.
It also has a really small, cute mouth.
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione visit Xenohilius Lovegood in 'The Deathly Hallows,' there's an Erumpent horn mounted on the wall -- and it explodes.
Hermione notices 'an enormous, grey spiral horn, not unlike that of a unicorn, which had been mounted on the wall, protruding several feet into the room.' Xenophilius says it's the horn of a Crumple-Horned Snorkack, an animal that probably doesn't exist.
'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?' Hermione says.
When the Death Eaters crash into the Lovegood home a bit later, a stray spell hits the Erumpent horn and blows up the house.
Percival Graves gives Credence a necklace with a Deathly Hallows symbol on it. Back then, it was better known as Grindelwald's sign. But it looks familiar ...
Could it be his necklace or is this a different one?
He performs Legilimency without a wand, and interrogates other people's minds -- allies and enemies alike. He might have developed the skill over the years, or he was just born with it. His ancestor, Salazar Slytherin, was also famous for his Legilimency, and enchanted the Sorting Hat with that skill.
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