The Wizarding World is finally back and Harry Potter fans will have plenty to be happy about.
The first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came out on Friday and is filled with small and big references Potter fans will love. The plot follows magizoologist Newt Scamander’s New York adventures when he scrambles to find the magical creatures that accidentally escaped from his deceivingly large brief case.
Littered with Potter references thanks to the screenplay written by J.K Rowling, the film is set to please even the biggest Potter fans. Read on to see which themes made the cut! (Warning: spoilers ahead!)
Raise a wand for Hedwig
The first thing moviegoers will hear in Fantastic Beasts is sure to fill any Potter lover with the best kind of nostalgia. Though it later breaks off into a variation that has a more chilling tone, the first few bars of the main theme are borrowed from “Hedwig’s Theme” — the theme that played in all eight Harry Potter movies. Composed by the legendary John Williams, the familiar sounding melody starts the first Potter spinoff on the right foot.
The Return of Dumbledore!
Though only mentioned briefly by Colin Farrell‘s Percival Graves once Eddie Redmayne‘s Newt gets into some trouble, the beloved former Hogwarts headmaster is set to make a bigger return in the next movie. “You’ll see Dumbledore as a younger man and a quite troubled man because he wasn’t always the sage,” Rowling warned about the bearded wizard’s appearance in the next film at a Fantastic Beasts press conference. “He was always very clever and we’ll see what I believe is the formative period of his life.”
Gellert Grindelwald is causing chaos — and is played by a familiar face
Back before Voldemort started his reign as the darkest and most terrifying wizard, the Wizarding World was thrown into chaos by Gellert Grindelwald and his band of followers — and it seems like he’s set to be this story’s main villain. Though introduced in the opening of the film, fans won’t get to catch a glimpse of Grindelwald until the very end where Johnny Depp is revealed to be playing the dark wizard. And like his childhood buddy Dumbledore, Grindelwald is set to play a much bigger role in the next movie.
“He’s obviously a cameo in this film but going forward will be more important. Watching Johnny create a character is really quite remarkable, it’s fascinating. It’s great as a writer to work with people like that,” Rowling told PEOPLE at the film’s New York City premiere.
The Lestrange family connection
Another familiar name that will catch the attention of devout fans is the mention of Leda Lestrange — an ancestor of the family that bred Voldemort’s most loyal follower Bellatrix and her sister Narcissa Malfoy. Though it’s still unclear how exactly Leda relates to the Lestrange sisters fans grew to hate then love then hate again, the movie reveals that their predecessor was a close friend of Newt’s when they were both students at Hogwarts before they had some sort of falling out. The heartbroken Newt still carries a picture of Leda — played by Zoë Kravitz — in his magical briefcase.
Mentions of everyone’s favorite wizarding school of witchcraft and wizardry abound throughout the film with the first reference being a Hufflepuff scarf found in Newt’s case after he flips it to “Muggle Worthy” setting. The main character is even seen wearing the scarf in the scene where he says a — hopefully temporary! — goodbye to Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson), a sight that will finally give followers of the most ignored Hogwarts house the validation they deserve. The school is also mentioned earlier in the movie when Newt, Tina and her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) argue about which wizard school is better: the familiar British one or Ilvermorny, the American version.
Nifflers, Bowtruckles and Doxies, oh my!
Fans of the Harry Potter books will surely be happy with the selection of magical beasts that fill Newt’s suitcase — starting with the adorable Niffler. First introduced in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire book through Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class, the fluffy platypus-looking creature will steal every moviegoer’s heart with its hilarious escapades as it tries to collect every shiny thing that catches its attention.
Also making an appearance after first introduced in the books but not movies are bowtruckles — the stick-like insect eaters that are mentioned in the fifth Potter book when Harry has to draw the tree-dwelling creatures for a class. Doxies are also introduced in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when the Weasley twins pocket a few of the fairy-looking creatures while cleaning out Sirius Black’s house in order to use their venom in their next Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes creation.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is now in theaters. Get tickets here.