Episode 194: Fantastic Beasts – On The Move

This week on Alohomora! we are dipping our toes into the world of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. Hosts Kat and Alison are joined by Lizzie from MuggleNet’s Fantastic Beasts podcast, SpeakBeasty, and fan guest Teyanna as they explore the 42 pages of creatures collected in the first of the Hogwarts Library texts. Grab your traveling kettle and join us, won’t you?

On Episode 194 we discuss…

→ Defacing a book
→ About the Author
→ 13-year-olds jokes
→ Newt the Weirdo
→ What is a Beast?
→ Magical Laws and Muggle-Sighting Restrictions
→ Fwoopers and Phoenix and Kappas, oh my!
→ The Lethifold, The Plimpy and The Quintaped.

For more on Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them you should check out our sister podcast @SpeakBeasty

To listen to the show, simply click the player below or direct download the episode. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes. For more information about the podcast and to find out how to be on the show, check out our Be On The Show! page.

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Header image provided by Kuabci on DeviantArt!

  • CourtneyH2o

    When I was very little, my mom stopped checking my pockets before doing laundry in fear of what she’d find. I put rolly polly bugs, grasshoppers, lizards, lady bugs, anything small, in my pockets to take home. I wouldn’t dissect them, I would jar them to observe their movements. Once I started school, this habit stopped. I guess it was frowned upon for little girls to like bugs and creepy crawlies. I remember having to sit in “time out” for trying to share a small lizard with the girl that sat next to me in kindergarten, which is when my fascination with small creatures came to an abrupt ending.

  • I spent some time researching the whole carved potato thing & didn’t find anything that fit that. But there were a few things about putting a ring in mashed potatoes to predict who would be the next to marry. Also at one point in time potatoes were carved instead of pumpkins for Halloween. My favorite however was actually about apple bobbing. If you bite an apple on the first try you will experience true love but if it takes more than once you will be fickle in realationships. And a girl that places an apple she gets from apple bobbing under her pillow that night will dream of her future husband.

    • The potato reminds me of a Halloween food used in a fortune-telling game.

      “Bairín breac contained a pea, a stick, a rag, a coin and a ring. Each item, when received in the slice, was supposed to mean to the person concerned: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the rag, would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune; and the ring, would be wed within the year.”
      – Wikipedia

      Would’ve typed that myself but I’m learning a new keyboard layout. It feels like I’m having a stroke.

      • I’m about 90% certain that’s where that came from. I’ve heard of several variations in some the items (those also varied but the coin & ring never did) are even baked into cakes.

  • That inside cover is also in the British Edition.

  • I disagree with Teyanna. The werewolf registry seems like something for monsters like Fenrir Greyback. I’m sure the identity of other wizards (Like Lupin, and maybe Bill, if he’s on there) would be protected, and the ban on experimental breeding is obviously for the best. Imagine more skrewts. Not very Xenophilic, are they? Want a blend of, say, lethifolds and Dementors? Wouldn’t that be terrific?

  • To come up with a new wizard-hidden beast, we’d need to find an animal that
    – Went extinct within the last 100 years
    – Has something supernatural/paranormal/generally magical about them

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Yes, I see it as him studying the creatures to learn about them, not just for the fun of it. Sure kids have been stomping on ants and pulling wings off of flies for centuries, but I don’t think that is what this is.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    How Gringotts works has been one of the question that occurs more often throughout the books. This one mention of Griphook tells us that he must be one of the goblins who are responsible for the exchanges of muggle and wizard currency. I guess that gives us a clue what the Death Eaters wanted him to do when he refused and left in DH.

    My idea about nature studies 100 years ago may be inaccurate, but I think of butterfly collections and specimen of foreign animals killed, prepared and arranged for exhibition. Horclumps are creatures, but Scamander compares them to funghi, I bet they are interesting to study and although I don’t like it when creatures are hurt, science involves looking at stuff and finding out how it works. And young Newt is certainly not a child harming animals for fun like Tom Riddle Jr., he’s a fledgeling magizoologist and that context changes how I regrad his horclump experiments.

    The creature that scares me the most is the nundu. The description is vage and short and leaves space for a lot of questions: How many are there? Did Newt ever see one? If it takes 100 witches and wizards to take out a nundu, how is it done? Does a nundu eat humans? Does it kill them like a leopard would do or does it wait until they have died from the diseases that it’s breath brings? Nightmare stuff.

    I smiled about the remarks that the ghost were upset because people kept forgetting about their wishes. And it took me three rereads to get the joke about “Dodgy Dirk”.

    Also, the translator chose to translate “Newt” into “Lurch” (meaning any kind of amphibian creature), and everyone who is my age and older will be reminded of the yellow-and-black fire salamander comic character called “Lurchi” that was invented by a shoe seller…

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    My problem with the Werewolf Registry is that it could be quite helpful to werewolves, but it doesn’t seem fullfill that potential. Given that the Wolfsbane potion is so difficult to come by, why wouldn’t the Ministry seek to provide it just like any other government service? In this way, the Registry would just function as a means through which the Ministry would know who to deliver the potion to each month. You would think, given the dangers werewolves pose, that the Ministry would view this as mutually beneficial. Paying a couple potions masters to keep up a stock of Wolfsbane doesn’t seem like a huge price in exchange for the benefits to public safety. Someone like Lupin probably wouldn’t mind registering if the purpose of doing so was so that he could have access to Wolfsbane and limit the threat his transformations pose to himself and others. If this branch of the government wanted to, it could actually do a lot to help werewolves through job placement services, identity protection, and even as a place to report discrimination, etc. Sure there are those like Greyback who wouldn’t comply, but he is also murderous scum as a wizard in general, werewolf status aside. On the whole though, if the government actually sought to aid werewolves then it seems everyone would be better off, and people like Lupin, who is a good man who just happens to be cursed with a monster, could still be fully functioning members of society rather than outcasts.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      I’m all on your side, wolfsbane potion should be accessible for all werewolves, for free. Nobody since Lyall Lupin has been able to get Greyback captured and locked up, the ministry is has been preoccupied with everything else and has proven itself useless in protecting both the magical and the nonmagical population.

  • If anybody was interested, I’ve started a series on the creatures of Fantastic Beasts. We are 3 episodes in and have studied Nifflers, Fwoopers, and Hippogriffs!


  • Sherlock the Griffyndor


    “To strengthen an already existing relationship, carve your initials and the initials of the person you love into the potato and bury it in your yard…”

  • Florish&Blotts Shopgirl

    I’m behind in my podcasts, so this comment may be too late. But it’s a topic that I love. Some time in the podcast curiosity was expressed at why Gryffindor’s sigil is a lion instead of a griffin, just as an eagle is the sigil for Ravenclaw instead of a raven. I’ve recently reread The Hidden Key to Harry Potter by John Granger (the Hogwarts Professor), and he ingeniously explores Rowling’s reasons behind those choices. In short, she does so for symbolism reasons, both alchemical and Christian. In his book, Granger focuses on the meaning behind Gryffindor. Gryffindor gets two Christ/alchemical symbols associated with its name, two for the price of one, because Harry’s placement within that House foreshadows his journey and the book’s larger meaning/themes.

    Gryffindor = griffin d’or (golden griffin)

    The griffin, as one part lion, one part eagle, is master of earth and sky and therefore a symbol of Christ. Meanwhile the golden color extends the symbol into alchemy territory—best explained by Professor Granger. The lion (with house colors red and gold) continues the Christ (think Aslan of Narnia and king of the animals) and alchemical (red and gold, Sulphur and the Elixir of Life) symbolism.

    Then I think the house sigil is a lion because it pairs very nicely with Slytherin’s snake in classic rivalry. The image of a fight between lion and snake appears frequently in art (again, for both religious and alchemical reasons). Also, I’ve only read this one book by Granger so far, so I’m going off script but my thoughts are highly inspired by his words when I say I think the griffin is not the house sigil because its symbolic meanings are reserved for those characters who prove to be “true Gryffindors.” Only the characters who complete the character development and alchemical transformations from red Sulphur/lion to the golden griffin are able to wield the Sword of Gryffindor (another Christian symbol).