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This fall, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is giving the Wizarding World a new protagonist through Newt Scamander, who was getting into magical shenanigans over five decades before Harry Potter was born. While the movie's trailers have properly established how Newt takes care of dangerous beasts within his TARDIS-like suitcase, barely anything has been revealed about his past yet. While we won't know his full story for a while, the movie's main star, Eddie Redmayne, has revealed that Newt has a tragic backstory that's affected how he interacts with those around him.
When asked by EW whether Fantastic Beasts will feature any romance, Redmayne explained how because of some vague event, he's more comfortable being by himself and with his beasts rather than engaging with other humans. He said:
Newt's been damaged by human beings, and at the beginning of the film, he's someone that's pretty content in his own company and the company of the beasts. He enjoys his solitude, and he's also spent a year out in the field. So he really hasn't had to deal with people. And when he arrives in New York, there are more people than he's ever imagined.
Because of his anti-social nature, that will make any romance between Newt Scamander and Katherine Waterston's Tina Goldstein (an outsider herself) difficult, as there will be a "great antagonism" between the two of them at first. Harry Potter fans who read the original Fantastic Beasts text know that Newt and Tina eventually end up together, but it remains to be seen how that will happen. Eddie Redmayne also noted that there will also be some romance in the air between Alison Sudol's Queenie Goldstein and Dan Fogler's Jacob Kowalski.
While it's hard to get a read on Newt Scamander over a few Fantastic Beasts previews, he has come across as socially awkward at times. Now that Redmayne has pulled back the curtain a little bit, we now know that he's like this due to unfortunate experiences. The only hint of we've gotten of Newt's past is when Colin Farrell's character, Percival Graves, mentions in the teaser trailer how Newt was kicked out of Hogwarts for "endangering human life with a beast," though Albus Dumbledore argued against his expulsion. Unfortunately, Redmayne wouldn't detail exactly what went down due to his (faux) fear of the "Warner Bros troops" shooting him. It stands to reason that whatever went down at the British Wizarding School deeply affected him, but it's also possible that certain events from his childhood are responsible for his suffering. Perhaps the events of this first movie will help heal some of these wounds, allowing him to move past them in upcoming sequels.
We'll learn about Newt Scamander's past when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is released on November 18.