Thoughts on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Continuing sharing my thoughts on the Harry Potter books with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!
[My copy is from the 2001 release, for Comic Relief.]

  1. The doodles in the opening pages are everything. Hangman; Hermione scolding Ron for buying Dungbombs instead of a new book; all the different handwriting styles; everything.
  2. Another foreword from Albus Dumbledore! Interestingly stating that the wizarding publishing house is called Obscurus…
  3. How much of the Fantastic Beasts movie story did J. K. know at this point? So many years before the film ever became a thing?
  4. Newt delivers a brief history on magical creatures and their organisation, and it just makes me want to read A History of Magic and Hogwarts: A History. All of the wizarding books, please.
  5. If I ever found myself in Diagon Alley, the first place I’d be heading to would be Flourish and Blotts.
  6. Augureys confuse me so, so much. This book states that they’re ‘thin and mournful-looking’ birds who give a ‘throbbing cry’ when it’s about to rain; Funko Pop gave them adorable little smiles and majestic tails; and Cursed Child went right ahead and made them… Delphi? There’s a lot I don’t understand—or do understand and directly dispute—about Cursed Child, and this is one of those things. Will the real Augurey please stand up?
  7. (And please have a Silencing Charm already put on it, because I live in England, which is built on rain.)
  8. Newt notes the rumour that Billywig stings are used in Fizzing Whizzbee sweets—and I just think that’s a stroke of genius, when you think of how many insects are used to make Muggle sweets. (Seriously. Google it. You’ll never think of them the same.)
  9. Gross on both counts, though.
  10. I appreciate the low-preaching about the Diricawl, too—how Muggles once knew it as the Dodo bird and have been allowed to believe they hunted it to extinction. That should be a lesson learned.
  11. There’s something really amusing about the line, ‘Males frequently explode each other’ in the Erumpent description. I just really like the turn of phrase.
  12. It’s also noted that Hippogriff taming should only be attempted by experts—and Ron asks whether or not Hagrid’s read the book. But I’m not sure that’s the question; the question is, does Dumbledore care? Because Hagrid’s predecessor got away with a lot of questionable shit, too—and for that matter, there’s also Divination teachers predicting their students’ deaths, and Potions masters poisoning students’ toads. So… Hagrid bringing Hippogriffs into his students’ lives is hardly the most questionable Hogwarts teacher action. Just saying.
  13. The Kneazle! Where we all realised how Crookshanks got so smart.
  14. And the Leprechauns, where Ron laments his lack of amusement at their scattering of disappearing gold. Poor Ron.
  15. I don’t think I paid any attention to the Mooncalf entry until the Fantastic Beasts film—when I realised they are adorable.
  16. Happened with a lot of magical creatures, actually.
  17. Including our next entry: the Niffler!
  18. I know they’re destructive little nightmares, but I want one.
  19. I’ve raised a puppy. How hard could a Niffler be?
  20. How different, for that matter? Adorable little workers of chaos who like to wreck your shit and are too cute to get mad at. I see no difference.
  21. ‘Pixie: Ministry of Magic Classification XXX but xxxxxxx if you’re Lockhart’. I love Ron.
  22. Here’s an uncomfortable entry: the Puffskein. Not because of anything in this book, but because it jogged my memory of Fred and George selling Pygmy Puffs–living, breathing animals–in their joke shop. Wtf?
  23. But an entry that always amused me: the Runespoor, a three-headed snake whose right head is often missing, as the other two heads ‘band together to bite it off’. Say what you will about horoscopes, but I am a dual-sided Gemini through and through, and that snake is relatable.
  24. And my two favourite doodles of the book: Ron’s doodle of ‘Gregory Goyle’ above the ‘Troll’ entry—and Harry’s addition to the ‘Werewolf’ entry, ‘Werewolf s aren’t all bad’. Eternal truth.

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