Today, I just want to draw your attention to this video:
I haven’t felt this strongly about a character since … well, since reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (shoutout to sweet, poetry-loving, song-writing wolf-boy Sam) – so much so that I am compelled to write this post.
Newt Scamander is the protagonist I never realised I needed. But I am absolutely in love with him. I daresay I love him even more than any of the characters in the Harry Potter series (Luna Lovegood and Cedric Diggory come pretty close though).
I really believe that Newt Scamander is, in his charmingly innocent and pure-hearted way, the antithesis of toxic masculinity. His key traits are compassion, empathy, and gentleness. And those are such under-appreciated traits in this day and age.
Newt is a Hufflepuff through and through – kind, honest, and fair (he adamantly refuses to take a side). I mean, okay so he also dresses really well and is pretty easy on the eyes, but those aside, his personality is what makes him so attractive and easily a character you want to root for.
In the media, men are lauded for being stoic and rational and brave. There’s a lot of bravado and chest-thumping involved, and the hero of the story typically carry those traits.
But Newt’s not quite the hero. He’s quite an antihero, actually. All he wants is to protect his beloved magical creatures and educate his fellow wizards about them. He’s not the most law-abiding person, nor does he care to be part of any establishment. He’s super awkward around people (ha, relatable) and is quite content to be wrapped up in his own little world (again, relatable).
Plus, his budding romance with the auror Tina Goldstein is JUST ADORABLE. Put two socially awkward people around each other who gradually realise how similar they are in many ways and you’ve got a sizzling slow-burn romance to look forward to over the next few movies.
Even his friendship with no-maj (aka Muggle) Jacob Kowalski feels so pure. Newt is so accepting and inviting towards Jacob, even showing him his creatures and teaching him how to care for them, despite the “backwards” law in 1920s New York that states magical folk are not allowed to befriend non-magical ones.
Eddie Redmayne is the PERFECT Newt. I can’t think of anyone who would play him as exquisitely as him. From the slope of his shoulder to the gentle way he talks, the softness of his gaze, his characteristic walk, the way he avoids eye contact with people, and all the other minute mannerisms, Eddie nailed the character.
J.K. Rowling said that she had been taken by the character of Newt for a while, and he’s a character that she is fiercely protective of – which is why, thank goodness, she has declared that he will remain the protagonist of the Fantastic Beasts series despite lacklustre reception towards him from some critics.
All I can say is, if you think a loving crafted character like Newt is weak and undeserving of protagonist status just because he’s “too nice” and “boring”, then you’re missing out on a character with so much more depth and heart than you realise.
tl;dr NEWT SCAMANDER IS AWESOME AND WILL LEAD THE HUFFLEPUFF REVOLUTION KTHXBYE