Meet The Magical Creatures Of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
In the latest trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we finally get a good glimpse of some of the magical creatures wreaking havoc in Prohibition-era New York City and stirring up trouble for its No-Maj and wizard inhabitants. They may look cute and cuddly—and to magizoologist Newt Scamander, they surely are—but they’re still wild magical creatures who happen to be on the loose.
What could possibly go wrong?
Let’s take a look at all of the fantastic beasts we’ve spotted in the trailers so far. Some of these creatures—like the Niffler and the Bowtruckle—made their debuts in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, while others were mentioned in Mr. Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. And then there are the rare few, like the Thunderbird, that have never been seen by the Muggle eye—until now.
According to Mr. Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, this plumed, winged creature has a serpentine body and is fiercely protective of its eggs, “whose shells are made of the purest, softest silver.” (Bless the poor No-Maj who tries to steal one of her eggs.)
We’ve read about Thunderbirds in Rowling’s “History of Magic in North America.” These magical American birds are closely related to the phoenix and they can create storms as they fly (hence the name). Of course, Thunderbird is also one of the four great houses of the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Named by young Chadwick Boot, an intelligent yet often temperamental boy, Thunderbird House tends to favor adventurers.
Watch out: This little guy may be cute, but he can be vicious, especially if there’s any gold on your fingers. A Niffler is a treasure-hunting creature attracted to shiny things. You may remember him from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Lee Jordan let two loose in Professor Umbridge’s office, and they nearly gnawed her fingers off trying to collect her rings. “They have this wonderful love-hate relationship,” Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne told EW of Newt and his Niffler. “He’s incredibly aggravating and wonderful at [the] same time. He’s a complete nightmare, yet Newt gets off on his playfulness and single-mindedness.”
Per Pottermore, the Billywig is a small sapphire-blue insect with wings on its head “which allow it to spin as it flies.” Its sting has been known to cause giddiness and levitation. However, the dried stinger of a Billywig is used in several potions, and it’s even believed to be a major component of the popular wizarding candy Fizzing Whizzbees.
The Demiguise is a harmless, herbivorous creature that can make itself invisible when threatened. Only wizards trained in their capture can even see them—so Newt’s probably the only one who can put this little guy back in his magical case. Demiguise fur is highly sought-after because it can be woven into Invisibility cloaks.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Professor Grubbly-Plank, while filling in for Hagrid, gave a rousing lesson on Bowtruckles, or tree guardians. These hand-sized, stick-like creatures can be difficult to spot because they dwell in trees, but if you do come across one, be careful: Bowtruckles will violently defend their homes. In Fantastic Beasts, this particular (sassy) Bowtruckle lives in Newt’s pocket—and it looks like he can be quite a handful.
Despite its name, the Swooping Evil doesn’t look particularly, well, evil. Though little is known about this fantastic beast, we do know that it’s a rather large, butterfly-like creature that emerges from a small object (as seen in Newt’s hand).