The Dark Lord Has No 'Fantastic Beasts' Cameo

Dust off your wand and tack up your Victor Krum poster, because J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World is finally back at the movies. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them comes out on Nov. 18 and it's the expansion pack Harry Potter fans have been waiting for. The movie is based on a short Harry Potter supplement by Rowling, but Fantastic Beasts makes a narrative out of the field journals of magizoologist New Scamander (Eddie Redmayne.) Wands and wizards and strange creatures will definitely be carried over from the Harry Potter universe. Fans might be wondering a certain villain could be crossing over too. But Voldemort is not in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, so you can stop scanning the skies for the Dark Mark.

Recently announced as a five-movie series, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them will be marking new territory for the Potter franchise. It won't be a Harry Potter retread — at least in plot and character. At there's a very simple reason why: Fantastic Beasts is set 70-ish years before the second rise of Voldemort. The events of this first film take place in 1926. The Death Eaters and their leader won't have colluded yet, though there are always people who let fear and intolerance decide how they treat people who are different from them.

Now, it's a source of huge fan controversy, but you'll be hearing the term "No-Maj" more than you'll hear the word "muggle" in Fantastic Beasts. The movie is set in New York City, and Rowling blew readers' minds (not in the good way) with the revelation that American wizards have a clunkier name for non-wizard types. Still, the line is drawn. And He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named rose to power on the idea that wizards are the far superior beings and that blood lines should be pure. So though Fantastic Beasts predates Voldemort, some characters will display the same prejudices.

Perhaps not by coincidence, Newt Scamander comes to New York and loses the contents of his briefcase the very same year that Tom Marvolo Riddle is born. According to Harry Potter lore, Riddle's birthdate is Dec. 31, 1926. You know his sad family history already: Riddle is the half-blood son of a rich and arrogant muggle and the lovesick witch who used a love potion to catch his eye and was later abandoned. He's also a direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin, one of the founders of Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry and — let's face it — a huge racist.

You won't see Voldemort in Fantastic Beasts or even hear any mention of him. But it's interesting that the film is set right at the moment where he's brought into the world. I've heard a lot of friends and seen a lot of posts on social media that use Harry Potter quotes and references to make sense of what's happening in the real world at this moment. Voldemort amassed followers by exploiting their fears. The animosity was already brewing socially when Voldemort came on the scene. So though Fantastic Beasts will introduce new antagonists like Colin Farrell's Percival Graves, the climate that created Lord Voldemort will be apparent too.

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