When I first heard the news back in September that J.K. Rowling had been persuaded to revive the Harry Potter movie magic (and once I had debunked the possibility of it just being another rumor), I was stunned. With nothing but the epilogue post-Deathly Hallows to help calm my inquisitive mind, I had accepted that what I knew of the wizarding world was all that I would know and that my exploration of this enchanting place that seemed like a second home to me had come to an end outside of obsessing over every single J.K. Rowling interview I could hunt down on YouTube. Alongside what seemed like everyone who had heard the news by the next day, I was nothing short of elated; the magic that had become stagnant was now coming back around, bringing with it a new and exciting story to discover.
After the initial wave of what we’ll call intensity had passed, I started to think about what this would really mean for my understanding of the Potter series. Would I really learn anything? Wasn’t Fantastic Beasts just a small, 54-page guide to the magical beasts found in the wizarding world? How would this be applicable to my already-existing knowledge of Harry Potter, if at all? What the heck is an Acromantula?!
Once my brain decided to give it a rest, I thought about what I’d want to learn and what I’d hoped to learn instead. I knew I wouldn’t be able to expect certain things; after all, I had done exuberant amounts of research and had sadly come to the answer that there would be no overlap with the Potter universe—Fantastic Beasts was no prequel or sequel. Below is what I came up with:
1. The Ministry of Magic
The Ministry of Magic was, at one point in the Potter series, portrayed as regulatory governance that supported wizarding supremacy ideals (we all remember “Magic is Might” from Deathly Hallows, I’m sure). Since Fantastic Beasts takes place prior to the Potter series, I’d personally love to see the grounds with which the Ministry had been built upon and how far it’d come. I think the opportunity to understand how the MoM has changed over the years and has adapted to changing times would be interesting and a great way to learn what wizarding society had been like, pre-Potter. It would also be interesting to see how magic was regulated in comparison to during Potter since it seems to be such a difficult and complex thing to control.
2. International magic
Just as communication is considered universal, it can only be assumed that magic is, too. And although we’ve seen a glimpse of that in the form of educational institutions outside of Hogwarts (e.g., Durmstrang Institute, Beauxbatons Academy of Magic) we really don’t see too much more of an international presence with regard to magic. Would there be different spells used in different cultures? What would be the same?
3. Interaction with Muggles
It is said that the Fantastic Beasts movie is going to be initially set in New York, which to me means one thing—Muggles. I hope to see J.K. Rowling touch on what the relationship between wizards and Muggles are during that point in time, and I’d love to compare that to the later years and note the differences, if any. Aside from Arabella Fig, Harry, and Hermione, we really don’t get much of a look at wizards (or people of magical knowledge) who are matriculated into Muggle society and the ways they deal with keeping the two separate.
4. LUNA LOVEGOOD!
Yep, I said it. Luna Lovegood. I suppose I should have technically named this “Rolf Scamander,” but knowing the two are married in the ever-after is pretty exciting with regard to this film. If the story takes place 70 years prior to the Potter series (roughly 1920?), and Newt was born in 1897, he’d be about 23 years old at the time. Now it isn’t said anywhere (that I can find) what year Rolf is born in, but if the story takes place over a few years time span, we may catch sight of a baby Rolf Scamander! How’s that for detective?
Let us know what you think J.K. Rowling should further develop in the films in the comments below!