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Literature: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a book mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone which was later Defictionalized as a real book written by J. K. Rowling... ahem... Newt Scamander, whose grandson married Luna Lovegood. The book was published in 2001.

The book is, of course, a guide to the magical beasts which exist in the Potter Verse. It is supposedly a copy of the edition owned by Harry Potter, complete with lots of amusing graffiti written in it by Harry and Ron, and a bit from Hermione.

A companion piece to Quidditch Through the Ages.

A Live-Action Adaptation Spin-Off film series entered production in 2013, following the adventures of Newt Scamander seventy years before Harry set foot in Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling is writing the screenplay of the first film.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All There in the Manual: This is the manual.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy:
    • Dodos never went extinct. They're actually magical birds called diricawls and are capable of teleportation.
    • The Loch Ness Monster is actually a shapeshifter, and hides whenever Muggles try to look for it.
    • Some rhinos are actually erumpents, whose horns explode upon touch.
    • Some Jack Russel Terriers are actually Crups, which usually have two tails but often have the second tail clipped so they can blend in.
  • Brown Note: Fwooper song, if listened to too much; eyes of a Basilisk.
  • Cassandra Did It: Augureys are feared because their cries are said to cause death. In reality, they're just predicting rain.
  • Character Filibuster: Ron and Hermoine get into a large argument... via notes... on one of the first pages of Harry's books. Harry tells them both to shut up.
    • An entry right next to trolls has a drawing of one of Malfoy's goons, courtesy of Ron.
    My name is Gregory Goyle and I smell
  • Comically Missing the Point: Hermione points out that Ron could have used the money he wasted on Dungbombs to buy a new book for himself. He replies with "Dungbombs rule."
  • Continuity Nod: In the entry for the hippogriff, there's a brief line stating that they can be tamed, though this should only be attempted by experts. Harry's remark? "Has Hagrid read this?"
    • The entry for the Kappa, a Japanese creature that Snape claimed was more commonly found in Mongolia during Prisoner of Azkaban. "Snape hasn't read this either."
    • The entry of the Hungarian Horntail describes it as the most dangerous dragon breed of all: Harry noted "You're not kidding".
  • Cool Horse: Winged horses.
  • Dark Is Evil: Any beast or being classified as a "Dark Creature" falls under this. Dark Creatures (or "Demons" as they are classified) consists of anything that is capable of magic and uses said magic for the sake of malicious intent rather than survival. Dementors, werewolves, and boggarts are all considered Dark Creatures whereas chimeras, manticores, and dragons are not. This is because a dragon will only attack a wizard (or Muggle) to defend itself or for food while a werewolf will attack to turn another human into a werewolf or out of murderous intent.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Have you read Harry and Ron's commentary? There's also the arguments Ron and Hermione get into.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The creation of the Quintapeds. Summary: The heads of two Feuding Families engage in a duel and one of them gets killed. The dead man's family responds by transforming all members of the other family into five-legged monsters. Said monsters proceed to kill everyone.
  • Direct Line to the Author: The process of book creation appears to have involved a ladder, a magic crowbar, and a photocopier.
  • Dumb Dodo Bird: The diricawl, certainly a weird one though. See Beethoven Was an Alien Spy and Teleporters and Transporters.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Many creatures first appeared here before being mentioned in the books. Even Thestrals are included, albeit as a minor reference under "Winged Horse".
    • Then there's the erumpent, a rhinoceros-like creature that has an exploding horn. In Deathly Hallows Xenophilius Lovegood has one's horn on his wall (thinking it belongs to a Crumple-Horned Snorkack) and his accidentally blowing it up helps the trio escape.
  • Exact Words: Early definitions of "Beings" were done with human centrism in mind, leading to definitions like "creatures who walk on two legs" or "who speak the human language." This would leave out obvious beings like centaurs and merfolk, but accidentally include a lot of creatures, such as trolls, augureys, fwoopers, or vampires. Havoc ensues. The definition that stuck was "Any creature that can understand the laws of the Wizarding World", which helped tighten the list to just sentients.
  • Feuding Families: The McCliverts and the MacBoons (the former, possibly, transformed the latter into five-legged, hairy monsters; the latter proceeded to eat them).
  • Fictional Document
  • Foreshadowing: The Demiguise is mentioned as a huge, gorilla-like creature whose silky hair is used to create invisibility cloaks. These cloaks are said to wear out over time. Harry's cloak has been around for years and is still fully functional, becoming an important plot point in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • Footnote Fever: Not just from the author, but from Hermione, Ron, Harry, and various others. If it's from the gang, expect it to be arguing, nitpicking, or Harry telling Hermione and Ron to stop arguing.
  • Heli Critter: The Billywig.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In one of Ron and Hermione's written arguments:
    Hermione: Why don't you buy a new one [book] then?
    Ron: Write in your own book Hermione.
  • Kicked Upstairs: "Sent to the Centaur Office" is a euphemism for being fired in the Ministry of Magic, as centaurs are so isolationist that the office doesn't actually do anything.
  • Muggle Power: Some extreme factions favor classifying muggles as "beasts".
  • Multiple Head Case: Runespoors.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: The Crup, which resembles a Jack Russel apart from its forked tail. They normally have the ends clipped in order to preserve The Masquerade.
  • Never Sleep Again: The Lethifold kills its victims in their sleep.
  • Not the Nessie: There is one, but it's part of a larger species, and is a shapeshifter - it turns into something else whenever muggles look around for it.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The book obviously depicts every single species of dragons in the Potterverse. Most seem for some reason to be European (even the South American and Australasian species), with only one species based on Chinese dragons, and even so being more akin to European forms as it breathes fire and is malevolent (although all of them are more animalistic than anything, harkening back to the pre-Tolkien versions of the myths).
  • Our Griffins Are Different: Classical griffins and hippogriffs (note that hippogriffs were a part of mythology, but mostly as a figuratively unlikely creature, since horses and griffins were enemies).
  • The Phoenix: Of course.
  • The Punishment: See Feuding Families above.
  • Red Herring
    • The Nundu is described as the most dangerous beast in the world. You would guess that Harry has to fight one later in the series. He doesn't. Then again, it lives in Africa, where Harry really didn't have any reason to go...
    • Ditto with the Lethifold, which requires a Patronus Charm to repel. Around the time this book came out, we'd only seen Patronuses used on Dementors. Yet no one encounters a Lethifold in-series.
      • All of these are probably due specifically to the remote location of the beast, Nundus being East African and Lethifolds being tropical, though.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Diricawls and phoenixes can do this (in a puff of feathers and burst of flames, respectively).
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Erumpent horns contain explosive fluid. Their numbers aren't very large because of this, as they still have the rhino instinct to charge at poor bastards.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A serious issue, given the wizarding world's partially-human hybrid creatures and talking animals of various levels of intelligence.
  • Your Vampires Suck: A footnote addresses Muggle notions about fairies, and how wrong they are.

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alternative title(s): Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
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