Attention boys and girls, the wizarding world is giving us a brand new hero: Newt Scamander. The protagonist of Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes center stage in the newest film by J.K. Rowling, and it's safe to say he's very different from the boy who lived. Magizoologist Newt Scamander is one of the most revered wizards of the world. Order of Merlin, Second Class, Newt wrote the textbook on magical creatures (literally). He also never graduated from Hogwarts. Newt, who started at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1908, was expelled before he could complete his education. Details of Newt's expulsion have been kept pretty quiet, perhaps in part due to his post-education success, but why was Newt expelled from Hogwarts?
The character was first mentioned in the Harry Potter series as the author of the magical creatures book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them . And, as some particularly thorough fans have pointed out, on his author page in that book, it states that Newt is a graduate of Hogwarts (he was a Hufflepuff). However, in one of the first trailers for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it's obvious that this is not the case. "Kicked out of Hogwarts for endangering human life," Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) is heard telling Newt in the trailer.
So, why did Newt get expelled from Hogwarts? Well, it's not totally clear. Here's what we do know: Newt was expelled for "endangering human life," but Dumbledore, then the Transfiguration Professor, advocated to let him continue his education. "Dumbledore was a young teacher at the time Newt was expelled. He wasn't able to revoke expulsions," JK Rowling wrote on Twitter when asked about Newt's expulsion. So, we know that he was expelled, but that Dumbledore didn't believe he was a real threat to students' wellbeing. What's the real story?
Many fans have different theories about Newt's Hogwarts expulsion. But, given his fondness for magical creatures and Hogwarts' previous experience kicking out students for their handling of magical creatures (Hagrid), most believe that his expulsion likely had to do with some dangerous magical creature. Perhaps he got a bit too enthusiastic with his love of dangerous creatures and one hurt a student. Or maybe he snuck out into the Forbidden Forest to explore magical creatures and put himself in danger instead. The exact reason why might never be explained, at least not in the first Fantastic Beasts movie, but, one never knows.
It's worth noting that, even though we don't know exactly why Newt was expelled from Hogwarts, we do know that it was relatively late in his Hogwarts career. His wand was not taken from him, as Hagrid's was, and based on the Fantastic Beasts trailer, he clearly has a good grasp on magic. He can even apparate, which wizards aren't allowed to do until they are 17. (Granted, there are ways around this age requirement.) Assuming Newt learned apparition legally, it means he was likely expelled during his final year at Hogwarts.
Before we get all riled up about Newt Scamander not graduating, let's remember another famous wizard who did not finish his seven years at Hogwarts: Harry Potter. There are worse things in life than being like Harry.
Images: Warner Bros. Pictures; Giphy