Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Harry Potter books
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic beasts.JPG
Author J. K. Rowling
Genre Fantasy
Publishers Bloomsbury (UK) (Canada 2010-present)
Arthur A. Levine/
Scholastic (US)
Raincoast (Canada 1998-2010)
Released 2001
Sales £509,473[1]
Pages 42

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a 2001 book written by British author J. K. Rowling about the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. It purports to be Harry Potter's copy of the textbook of the same name mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (published as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the US), the first novel of the Harry Potter series.

In a 2001 interview with publisher Scholastic, Rowling stated that she chose the subject of magical creatures because it was a fun topic for which she had already developed a lot of information in earlier books. Rowling's name does not appear on the cover of the book, the work being credited under the pseudonym "Newt Scamander".

The book benefits the charity Comic Relief. Over 80% of the cover price of each book sold goes directly to poor children in various places around the world. According to Comic Relief, sales from this book and its companion Quidditch Through the Ages have raised over £17 million.[2]

On 12 September 2013, Warner Bros. and Rowling announced they will be producing a film inspired by the book, being the first in a new trilogy. Rowling herself will be the screenwriter. She came up with a plan for a movie after Warner Bros. suggested the idea. The story will feature Newt Scamander as a main character and will be set in New York, 70 years before Harry's story starts.[3]


Fantastic Beasts purports to be a reproduction of a textbook owned by Harry Potter and written by magizoologist Newt Scamander, a fictional character in the Harry Potter series. In the series, Magizoology is the study of magical creatures.

Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, provides the Foreword and explains the purpose of the special edition of this book (the Comic Relief charity). At the end, he tells the reader, "...The amusing creatures described hereafter are fictional and cannot hurt you." He repeats the Hogwarts motto: "Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus", Latin for "Never tickle a sleeping dragon".

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them contains the history of Magizoology and describes 75 magical species found around the world. Scamander says that he collected most of the information found in the book through observations made over years of travel and across five continents. He notes that the first edition was commissioned in 1918 by Mr Augustus Worme of Obscurus Books. However, it was not published until 1927. It is now in its 52nd edition.

In the Harry Potter universe, the book is a required textbook for first-year Hogwarts students, having been an approved textbook since its first publication. It is not clear why students need it in their first year, as students do not take Care of Magical Creatures until their third year. However, it may be used as an encyclopedia of Dark creatures studied in Defence Against the Dark Arts classes. In his foreword to the book, Albus Dumbledore notes that it serves as an excellent reference for Wizarding households in addition to its use at Hogwarts.

The book features doodles and comments added by Ron Weasley. The comments would appear to have been written around the time of the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. These doodles add some extra information for fans of the series; for example the "Acromantula" entry has a comment confirming that Hogwarts is located in Scotland.

Integrated in the design, the cover of the book appears to have been clawed by some sort of animal.

About Newt Scamander[edit]

Newton Artemis Fido "Newt" Scamander is the fictional author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, born in 1897. According to the "About the Author" section of the book, Scamander became a magizoologist because of his own interest in fabulous beasts and the encouragement of his mother, an enthusiastic Hippogriff breeder. In Hogwarts, he was sorted to Hufflepuff.

After graduating from Hogwarts, Scamander joined the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. His career included a brief stint in the Office of House-elf Relocation, a transfer to the Beast Division, the creation of the Werewolf Register in 1947, the 1965 passage of the Ban on Experimental Breeding, and many research trips for the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau. His contributions to Magizoology earned him an Order of Merlin, Second Class in 1979.

Now retired, he lives in Dorset with his wife Porpentina and their pet Kneazles: Hoppy, Milly and Mauler. He has a grandson named Rolf, who married Luna Lovegood some time after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

In the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Newt Scamander's name appeared on the Marauder's Map. Why he was at Hogwarts was not addressed.

Featured beasts[edit]

The following beasts are listed in this book:


Scholastic Editions
Paperback: ISBN 0-439-29501-7
Hardcover Box Set: ISBN 0-439-32162-X (Includes Fantastic Beasts... and Quidditch Through the Ages)
Paperback Box Set: ISBN 0-439-28403-1
Bloomsbury Edition
Paperback: ISBN 0-7475-5466-8
Sagebrush Rebound Edition
School & Library Edition: ISBN 0-613-32541-9


Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly graded the book with an "A" and wrote "With its richly detailed history lessons and witty debate parsing the differences between being and beast, plus a compendium of 85 magical creatures that's chockablock with Rowling's trademark wordplay (Glumbumble is a standout), Beasts adds a vital new dimension to the Potter mythology."[4]

Film adaptation[edit]

Warner Bros. announced on 12 September 2013 that J. K. Rowling would be making her screenwriting debut with the first of a planned series of films based upon Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, part of an expanded creative partnership with Rowling. Rowling stated that the new film franchise, which will focus on the life of Newt Scamander, will neither be a direct prequel nor sequel to the Harry Potter series, though will be set in the same world as the book series. The first film will be set seventy years prior to the Potter films, in 1920s New York.[5] David Heyman, who produced all the Harry Potter movies, will come back to work again with the series.[6] The film will be released on 18 November 2016.[7]

In October 2013, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe stated he would likely not be a part of the film.[8] According to Rowling, after Warner Bros. came wanting an adaptation, she wrote a rough draft of the script in 12 days. She said, "It wasn't a great draft but it did show the shape of how it might look. So that is how it all started."[9] As of May 2014, no director or cast member has been confirmed.[10]

In July 2014, Warner Bros. announced that the film is set to shoot at the Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in the U.K.[11] In August 2014, David Yates was in talks to direct the film.[12] In October 2014, the studio announced the film as "at least" a trilogy with the second installment on 16 November 2018 and the third installment on 20 November 2020. Yates was also confirmed to direct the first installment of the series.[13][14]

On 7 October 2014, Rowling alluded to the various projects she's working on via her Twitter account and later tweeted an anagram that teased one of those works. The anagram read, "Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense!", and Rowling later confirmed, after much speculation, that the tweet referred to the script for the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film. She also confirmed the solution of the anagram in another tweet: "Newt only meant to stay in New York for a few hours. Circumstances ensured that he remained... for the length of a movie, anyway."[15]

On 20 January 2015, Heyman confirmed that Yates and Steve Kloves had been working with Rowling on the screenplay.[16] Steve Kloves previously wrote the screenplays for seven of the eight Harry Potter films. Philippe Rousselot will be the director of photography.[17] In march 2014, it was reported that English actor Matt Smith was being eyed for the main role.


  1. ^ Horn, Caroline (14 April 2009). "Harry Potter titles repackaged". The Bookseller. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "News". Comic Relief. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (12 September 2013). "Warner Bros, J.K. Rowling Team For New 'Harry Potter'-Inspired Film Series". Deadline. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Jensen, Jeff (23 March 2001). "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Quidditch Through the Ages". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Nancy Tartagloine (12 September 2013). "Warner Bros, J.K. Rowling Team For New 'Harry Potter'-Inspired Film Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "'Harry Potter' producer David Heyman officially on board to produce 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them'". Page to Premiere. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "New J.K. Rowling Movie Gets Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Abramovitch, Seth (10 October 2013). "Will Daniel Radcliffe Be Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling's New 'Fantastic Beasts'?". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  9. ^ "J.K. Rowling wrote the 'Fantastic Beasts' rough draft in twelve days, wants to be an extra in drag". Hypable. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  10. ^ Denham, Jess (31 March 2014). "JK Rowling's Harry Potter spin-off to be made into film trilogy". The Independent (London). 
  11. ^ Mallary, Hayley (3 July 2014). "Filmimg Location for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them' Announced". Page To Premier. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  12. ^ "David Yates In Talks For ‘Harry Potter’ Spin-Off ‘Fantastic Beasts’". 
  13. ^ "WB names David Yates ‘Fantastic Beasts’ director". Hypable. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  14. ^ David Lieberman (15 October 2014). "Warner Bros’ Kevin Tsujihara Outlines Major Film & TV Push Amid Cost Cuts: Time Warner Investor Day". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  15. ^ Mazza, Ed. "J.K. Rowling's Twitter Riddle Might Have Something To Do With 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' (UPDATE)". [[The Huffington Post ]]. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "X-Men’s Jane Goldman Joining Fables Film Writing Team, Updates on Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts". The Mary Sue. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "Below-the-Line Bookings, Signings and News". Variety. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Newt Scamander. Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. New York, NY: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2001. Print. ISBN 0-439-32160-3

External links[edit]