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Who is Newt Scamander? A recap of the Fantastic Beasts hero

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Everyone's favourite magizoologist Newt Scamander is back on our screens this November in sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

No idea what a magizoologist is? Do you need to brush up on your Newt knowledge? In anticipation of the J.K. Rowling sequel, here's everything you need to know.

Who is Newt Scamander?

Born in 1897, Newt's full name is Newton Artemis Fido Scamander. Created by author J.K. Rowling, Newt is a magizoologist – essentially a magical version of David Attenborough. He collects and catalogues all manner of wondrous creatures – some charming, some deadly – within his briefcase, after being encouraged in the profession by his mother, a Hippogriff breeder.

All of this is revealed in the 'About the Author' section of his celebrated book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a textbook studied by Hogwarts students within the Harry Potter series, which of course takes place before the events of the Fantastic Beasts movies.


Did he study at Hogwarts?

Yes he did, and was sorted into Hufflepuff. But, as the first Fantastic Beasts movie indicated, he was expelled from the magical school after an unspecified incident involving a beast. However, teacher (and eventual headteacher) Albus Dumbledore came to his defence – even though this wasn't enough to stop Newt from leaving the school.


Where have I seen his name before?

Eagle-eyed viewers may well have spotted his name on the Marauder's Map in 2004's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – a full nine years before distributor Warner Bros announced plans for a Fantastic Beasts series.


What happened in New York?

As per the events of the first Fantastic Beasts, Newt arrives in the Big Apple in 1927, bringing his magical briefcase of creatures with him. However, when the beasties escape to wreak havoc, Newt falls foul of MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), chiefly security officer Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), who believes him to be conspiring with dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).

Ultimately, with help from witch Tina (Katherine Waterston), no-maj/muggle Jacob (Dan Fogler) and other allies, Newt assists in the capture of Grindelwald, who has disguised himself as Graves all along. Newt then departs the big city and leaves Tina behind... or so he thinks...


What happens next?

At the outset of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the titular villain has escaped, and hopes to ignite a war between wizards and muggles. It falls to Newt and his former mentor Albus Dumbledore (played as a younger man by Jude Law) to stop him. This entails a reunion with Tina, Jacob and more familiar faces – but there's one hovering in the background who causes Newt a fair amount of anguish...

Will we be meeting young Newt?

Yes we will be meeting the younger Newt Scamander as part of the movie's Hogwarts flashback sequences. In the trailer, we see him under the tutelage of young Dumbledore in an apparent Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson. He's played by screen newcomer Joshua Shea.


Who is Leta Lestrange?

You may remember in Fantastic Beasts that telepathic witch Queenie (Alison Sudol) spots a picture of Leta, describing her as "a taker, not a giver" and offers our first clue as to the heartbreak in Newt's past. At the end of the movie, when he and Tina part ways, she alludes to the spectre of Leta in Newt's life. He then replies "people change", maybe implying that he's going to make amends.

The Crimes of Grindelwald fills in the gaps: Leta was his Hogwarts sweetheart, who, in his absence, has gone on to marry Newt's older brother Theseus (Callum Turner), with whom he has a strained relationship. In the movie, Leta is portrayed by X-Men: First Class actress Zoe Kravitz, who claims she isn't a bad character but "misunderstood".


When are we reunited with Newt?

Note it down: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is released on 16th November.