Before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, there was Harry Potter. The series of books and films, conjured by JK Rowling, which became a global phenomenon.
But this is 2016 – gone are Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, and in their place, Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander and a collection of American witches and No-Majs (Muggles, for us Brits).
Released in cinemas today, Fantastic Beasts fleshes out the years before the rise of Voldemort – a time when evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald loomed large and Harry’s parents weren’t even a twinkle in their parents’ eyes.
But that hasn’t stopped author-turned-screenwriter Rowling from popping in the odd callback for us Potterheads. Here are a list of Harry Potter references we spotted in Fantastic Beasts.
And – of course – it goes without saying, there be moderate spoilers ahead…
1. “Are you a seeker?”
It’s a question Newt is asked within moments of landing in New York when he comes across a woman delivering a lecture on quashing the wizarding community. “I’m more of a chaser, really,” comes the reply in a neat Quidditch throwback.
2. Hogwarts vs Ilvermorny
We don’t hear much mention of the American equivalent of Hogwarts in the first Fantastic Beasts film, bar the moment Ilvermorny is mentioned and Queenie (Alison Sudol) labels it the greatest wizarding school in the world. Newt – and the rest of us – disagree, of course. How could that title be held by anywhere but Hogwarts?
3. Merlin’s Beard!
It’s a phrase uttered by Newt in the film but it reminded us of that time Jim Broadbent was part of the furniture. You remember, when Dumbledore and Harry found Horace Slughorn disguised as a massive, stripy armchair? God, we miss the Harry Potter films.
4. Muggle or No-Maj?
We have a feeling this debate is going to rage on for a while. For us Brits, non-magical persons go by the name of Muggles, but in America they’re known as No-Majs. It’s a bit like the trainers/sneakers debate but a WHOLE lot more important. There’s a funny moment in the film to acknowledge the confusion where Newt struggles to understand what Tina (Katherine Waterston) means when she chastises him for doing magic in front of a “No-Maj”.
5. Newt’s scarf
Pay attention to Newt’s get-up in the closing scenes of Fantastic Beasts. You’ll notice he’s keeping nice and toasty with a scarf. But not just any old scarf… Despite getting expelled from Hogwarts, it’s clear Newt still carries a great deal of affection for his school because he still proudly wears the Hufflepuff colours around his neck.
6. Deathly Hallows necklace
When Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) gifts a necklace to Ezra Miller’s Credence, eagle-eyed viewers may recognise the familiar symbol it bears: the Deathly Hallows. The emblem signifying the elder wand, invisibility cloak and philosopher’s stone that witches and wizards – good and evil – have long sought. The necklace itself bears a striking similarity to the one worn by Xenophilius Lovegood when Harry, Ron and Hermione paid him a visit in the final book – but whether they’re the same item remains to be seen.
7. The Weasley Clock
Admit it, you’ve always wanted a Weasley clock. Sure, it makes bunking off school rather difficult but LOOK HOW COOL IT IS.
Well, if you thought that was a thing of wonder, just wait until you see the version at the heart of MACUSA – the American ministry of magic. Just imagine the Weasley clock on steroids.
Anyone who’s watched The Fantastic Beasts trailer knows full well that Dumbledore gets a good namecheck – and the scene in which he’s mentioned doesn’t disappoint. But what makes him “so fond” of Newt Scamander? The future Hogwarts headmaster remains as mysterious as ever.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is out in cinemas now