While many of us were still in school, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books were already a formative influence on our childhoods. Not only did they introduce the world to the magical creatures that we love (and some that we hate!), but they also expanded our view of what a book could be. It wasn’t simply a collection of words; it was an interactive story that changed with each reading. Rowling’s influence is even visible in the latest installment of the Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

A Love Story

Fantastic Beasts is set in the present day and follows the adventures of Newt Scamander (played by the gloriously named, Sjoerd Bloemen), a New York City-based Fantastic Beasts (FB for short) — a creature that specializes in unusual magical creatures. Scamander is traveling the world, looking for creatures that he can take back to America for study and, eventually, to be used in his laboratory. Along the way, he happens to stumble upon some incredibly rare and beautiful creatures, which he thinks will make excellent additions to his collection.

It’s no secret that Robert Pattinson and Scamander share a certain chemistry. Perhaps it’s because both of them come from a fantasy background or maybe it’s just the fact that they’re both famous movie stars. Whatever it may be, it’s more than evident that this is a relationship that was bound to happen (or at least, one that was greatly anticipated).

There are several instances in which Rowling alludes to the fact that these are two men bound to be together. She writes, “She found him interesting and attractive, and she liked the idea of being with a famous movie star. But that’s not what attracted her to Newt. She fell in love with him because he was kind to her. He was sweet and thoughtful, and he made her laugh.”

An Opportunity To See Hollywood From A Different Perspective

Even before Fantastic Beasts was released, there were already rumors that Warner Bros. was looking to take the film in a different direction, one that excluded Robert Pattinson. Although the project was still in pre-production at the time of writing, there were rumblings that, ultimately, the studio didn’t want to go ahead with it because they thought the film would be a box office flop without Pattinson in the lead.

Rowling doesn’t mince words either when describing her opinion of Hollywood and what she thinks of its inhabitants: “The people who live there are horrible, horrible, horrible,” she says. “They’re not nice. They’re vulgar, and they don’t care about anyone but themselves. That’s why I always liked living in New York. At least there was always someone nice around in case I got a complaint.”

It’s quite clear that Hollywood is the last place that Rowling wants to be. As despicable as the individuals there may be, there is also a lot about the place and what it offers that she finds appealing. It’s an opportunity for her to see Hollywood from a different perspective and, even if it’s only for a few pages at a time, it’s enough for her to feel a sense of satisfaction: “Well, that’s that then. I can go home now.”

Fantastic Beasts is, at its core, a story about witches and wizards in contemporary society. It’s an amusing and at times quite poignant look into what may (or may not) happen when a group of sorcerers and witches decide to pool their knowledge and power, putting an end to centuries of fear and prejudice.

The way that Rowling has crafted this story is exceptional. While the Harry Potter series is known for its humor, Fantastic Beasts is a genuinely heartwarming story about an unlikely couple whose unbreakable bond is forged in the face of incredible odds. It’s a story about love that conquers all, encapsulated in a phrase that may sound cliché but is, in fact, quite accurate. In the end, what redeems these two men and their love is the very thing that they fought against together: intolerance and fear.