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If you’re a Harry Potter fan who came of age in the early 2000s, you may remember that J.K. Rowling partnered with Comic Relief for the publication of two illustrated Hogwarts textbooks: Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
The latter — written by world-renowned magical zoologist Newt Scamander — chronicles all the marvelous creatures (big and small, deadly and benign) found throughout the Wizarding World via a breezy encyclopedic format. When the incredibly lucrative Potter films ended for good in 2011, Warner Bros. decided to keep the magical train a-rollin’ by green-lighting a new film franchise based on Fantastic Beasts, with an emphasis placed on the early adventures of Mr. Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne).
While the overall narrative is mostly centered around the struggle to defeat the dark wizard known as Gellert Grindelwald, these movies do live up to their titles with a menagerie of fantastical creatures — from Bowtruckles and Nifflers to Zouwus and Occamys to Erumpents and Murtlaps. It’s a genuine thrill (and almost like a Wizarding World version of Pokémon Snap) to see these uniquely-designed critters come to life on the big screen after reading about them for decades in the Potter novels and supplementary materials.
But there are still plenty of whimsical beasties we have yet to glimpse with our own eyes. Now that the third chapter in the Fantastic Beasts film franchise — officially subtitled The Secrets of Dumbledore — is only a week away from hitting theaters across the globe, we here at SYFY WIRE decided to compile a short list of creatures we'd love to see in the new film.
Whether they're contained in Newt's suitcase or roaming somewhere out in the wild doesn't matter to us. Let the magical safari begin!
The manticore — a being with the head of a human, the body of a lion, and the stinging tail of a scorpion — is the only beast on our wishlist that is confirmed to appear in The Secrets of Dumbledore. Manticores have been mentioned at least twice throughout the Potter series — once in Prisoner of Azkaban (when Harry and the gang attempt to get Buckbeak the hippogriff out of a certain death sentence) and again in Goblet of Fire (when Rita Skeeter reveals the origin of Hagrid's Blast-Ended Skrewts).
The Ministry of Magic designates them with a rating of five X's, a rare category assigned to magical creatures considered to be both very lethal and impossible to train. It'll be interesting to see how Newt calls upon his knowledge to outsmart these cold-blooded killers. Based on the trailers, Newt and his brother, Theseus (Callum Turner), are forced to blend in with a group of freshly-hatched manticores, but the charade isn't enough to save them when mommy gets wind of their presence.
Hinkypunks would make for a fine addition to the Fantastic Beasts canon, given their reputation for leading travelers astray and into treacherous bogs with a lantern-like appendage attached to their hands. This being was first introduced in Prisoner of Azkaban, described by the text as "a little one-legged creature who looked as though he were made of wisps of smoke, rather frail and harmless looking." These creatures are anything but harmless, and could pose a serious threat to our heroes on their globe-trotting adventure.
3. Golden Snidget
We’ve seen Quidditch played a million times...what we haven’t seen is the creature that inspired the design of the hard-to-catch Golden Snitch (once caught, it ends the game while awarding the Seeker's team an additional 150 points). Essentially the hummingbird of the Wizarding World, Golden Snidgets were once hunted for sport on broomsticks prior to the advent of Quidditch.
When the sport became popular, however, the bird was used in matches until the species was declared endangered. Luckily, Bowman Wright (a native of Godric's Hollow where both Harry and Dumbledore lived as children) was able to solve this issue when he forged the first-ever Golden Snitch. While the trailers have promised a brief nod to Quidditch played at Hogwarts, it’d be more fun to see Newt geeking out over a rarely-witnessed Snidget with the same enthusiasm Harry has shown for the Snitch.
The story of the Quintaped’s origins — as laid out in the Fantastic Beasts charity textbook mentioned above — is pretty messed up. As the legend goes, these many-legged and hair-covered creatures were the result of a feud between two wizarding families — the MacBoons and the McCliverts — on the isolated Isle of Drear off the coast of Scotland.
Following a duel that resulted in the death of Dugald McClivert, the remaining family members got their revenge by turning the MacBoons into horrific creatures, which is why the Quintaped is sometimes referred to as the “Hairy MacBoon.” None of that story is confirmed, of course, but what we do know is that Quintapeds have a voracious appetite for human flesh.
Just hear us out on this one. Yes, we know Flobberworms are probably the most boring creatures in the magical world. Based on all the Care of Magical Creatures classes depicted in the books, these invertebrates thrive when left to their own devices. Feed them too much lettuce, and they die. Yeah, not exactly the most thrilling visual for a big-budget thrill ride, right? Well, wouldn't it be cool if the Fantastic Beasts franchise to subvert fan expectations by showing that Flobberworms are incredibly useful animals when utilized in the proper way?
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore opens in theaters everywhere Friday, April 15. If you'd like to catch up on the story thus far, the first two movies are currently streaming on Peacock.