Fantastic Beasts: “Just A Smidge”


  1. I didn’t think I had anything to say about this, really.

    It’s been speculated that this film may have been forced on Ms. Rowling in a battle of copyright, and hence of ownership of her own property. If that’s the case then it tells something very perilous about the state of both arts and the artist in this century.

    What gave me pause was something a relative of mine said once about her trip to DC back in 14. She visited Monticello and a few other landmarks and houses. She said the tour guide pointed out to her various symbols in the architecture and elsewhere that had specifically “Hermetic” connotations. In other words, some of the Founding Fathers had a knowledge of Renaissance Platonism.

    As it turns out, Thomas Jefferson actually is regarded as having knowledge of Hermetic thought:

    And Ben Franklin seemed familiar with the knowledge of a certain famous “Stone”:

    Together, all of this got me wondering. Would Ms. Rowling know about the American history of Alchemy?

    Another question, even supposing it was the lawyers at Warner Bros. that brought her to pen this script, is that any reason to suppose that she would just toss it off as if it were nothing and just “coast on autopilot” as it were? Or would she, as a professional, believe she owed it to the public, but perhaps more important “to her stories” that she keep things ordered as she left them, including the knowledge of alchemy embedded in the Wizarding World? Just because this adventure is set Stateside and doesn’t Harry or the Gang, would mean the rules and symbolism have changed, or would she apply the same rules in her Hogwarts books to a script set in that same world and featuring the same background, however different the locale was?

    I think the most likely answer (hopefully?) is that even if like Orson Welles she’s participating “under duress”, her loyalty to her created universe will mean she will give it the same kind of effort (assuming executive meddling doesn’t interfere) that most Potter fans have come to expect.

    It’s just a wild guess, of course, but it’s something worth noting.

  2. Just remembered!

    I wouldn’t have connected any of this without this handy trailer analysis from the “Den of Geek” website.

    It was there mention of the American Magical Congress that reminded me of the symbols a relative of mine saw while touring DC.

    Again, just food for thought.

  3. For anyone interested,

    It turns out the latest trailer, just one more “smidge”, has been released for “Fantastic Beasts”.

    The trailer can be seen (with a lot of useful background info) here:

    This trailer does raise some interesting questions. For instance:

    What’s the significance, if any, of Newt being expelled from Hogwarts, despite some pretty staunch support from Dumbledore?

    What’s the significance of Newt’s belonging to Hufflepuff?

    I’m afraid I don’t know the answers to either question, but it is still some interesting food for thought. Anyway, here it is for what it’s worth.

    “Thought you ought to know.”

  4. Louise Freeman says

    I wondered the same thing re the expulsion. It looks like he got to keep his wand.

    Other than that, it sounds like Newt was in a situation similar to Hagrid. I wonder if that is why the Ministry was agreeable to Hagrid staying on as Gamekeeper— they knew what happened last time they kicked a Fantastic Beasts aficionado out into the world against Dumbledore’s advice!.

  5. Dr. Freeman,

    I know, right?!

    Another question it occurred (finally) to ask is what, if anything this will have to do with the story in the film?

    I could be very wrong about this, but I think it might be a more important overall plot point. I don’t know what comes next, yet apparently Ms. JK says this will be a trilogy.

    It may be that the overall arch is about how Newt got back into the good graces of the world-wide wizarding society.

    Another question this trailer raises is what is the significance of Hogwarts to America, seeing as how one of there most famous/disgraced alumni left quite an impact there?

  6. Some more interesting news, this time from the Author herself.

    Snitchseeker details a discussion JKR has on Newt’s expulsion from Hogwarts:

    Can’t say she gives away much, but for what it’s worth.

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