A new JKR story set in the Wizarding World? Excuse us while the fandom turns up on high, and we get our prediction caps back on.
An American Story?
The announcement explained Scamander’s story takes place in New York City. Do we think he’ll stay with an Empire State of Mind or perhaps head up the East Coast to hang out with the Salem Witches’ Institute? You may remember the one and only glimpse we got of American Wizardry at the Quidditch World Cup in Goblet of Fire. My prediction? We won’t be seeing much of Europe at first in order to disconnect Scamander from the story we already know and love.
And what about the Wizarding workforce? In the Potter books, the majority of the careers we saw had to do with the Ministry. I’m willing to bet this new story set in America will give us insight into a brand new Wizarding culture complete with new careers and maybe even a new currency.
Will we see the Great Gatsby? If this story is set 70 years before Harry, we’re looking at the 1920s – prohibition, jazz, and some serious economic hierarchy. Will this bleed over into our Wizarding World?
Prejudice has always been a theme in Jo’s writing. When we meet Harry, the word Mudblood is thrown around fairly often, but there is a clear right vs. wrong. We’ve got Muggle activists and lovers (Arthur <3) and even a Muggle Studies class. It wasn’t always this way, I’m sure. Moving backwards in time means also moving backwards in social issues and justice. Let’s also not forget the insane prejudice against Half Breeds such as Centaurs, Giants and Goblins. Think that will come into play? I absolutely do.
Who is Newt Scamander?
In the “About the Author” section of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Scamander got his start at the encouragement of his mother, a hippogriff breeder. Will we see the birth of Buckbeak?! Or Buckbeaks original home before he went off to Hogwarts?
For a while Scamander worked for the Ministry, in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. There he worked with House-elf Relocation. Are we going to catch a glimpse of Hokey being placed with Hepzibah Smith? How long do House-elves live anyways. Is 70 years too soon to see Dobby again? Be still my heart. Could we see Dobby again?
Scamander created the Werewolf Register in 1947. While that is too early to see our favorite Werewolf Remus Lupin, it is not too early to see our least favorite, Fenrir Greyback.
Get this. Are you ready? Newt Scamander worked with the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau. I smell a connection to Dumbledore. If you remember, Dumbledore is known for his discovery of the 12 uses of Dragon Blood. Although Ivor Dillonsby claimed he had already discovered 8 of them and Dumbledore “borrowed” his notes. Perhaps we’ll meet Ivor instead?
The most notable connection Scamander has to our favorite School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? He was headmaster. Having the job in the early 20th century, he falls between Phineas Black and Armando Dippet. Newts portrait is visible in the movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in a scene that takes place in December of 1992, which means Newt dies sometime in either 1991 or 1992. Harry’s first years at Hogwarts – I open at the close.
The Things That Will Absolutely Blow Us Away
I wouldn’t be surprised if we run into a Nicolas Flamel and his wife. We never got to meet him in Sorcerer’s Stone but he was an essential part to the very first mystery Harry and the gang solved. And besides, wizards that are 665 years old have a knack of turning up in these type of stories.
I’ve already mentioned Dumbledore once. He’s got a connection to Scamander somehow, since he wrote the Forward to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. My second prediction? Fawkes. Really the only history we have of Fawkes is the two feathers he gave to make wands sometime around 1938. You all know which wands I’m talking about.
Scamander gives Phoenixes a rating of XXXX in his book. He writes, “The phoenix gains a XXXX rating not because it is aggressive, but because very few wizards have ever succeeded in domesticating it.” Fawkes is only one of two domesticate phoenixes. The other? Sparky, the team mascot for New Zealand Quidditch team, The Mouthoroa Macaws. Could this also be a connection to Quidditch Throughout the Ages, the next logical step in adapting Harry’s textbooks to the big screen? Personally, I’m hoping for Hogwarts, A History.