There is a line in Fantastic Beasts – The Crimes of Grindelwald that I really like. It highlights part of Newt Scamander’s character that I believe would dramatically change the world if we could all adopt it.
Ready? The line is delivered by a young Albus Dumbledore (played by Jude Law). He says “Do you know why I admire you, Newt? Because you don’t seek power, you simply ask if a thing is right.” Boom.
In a world where power is everything (both in the muggle and the magical world, apparently) motives are often being driven by what a person can get. It seems like the goal is always to look after oneself, to boost credibility, or get something out of people. But Newt is different. He knows how to act sacrificially and put the needs of others before himself.
A great example is how he looks after the fantastic beasts inside of his magical suitcase. The very essence of his character is selflessness and kindness. He is not swayed by the allure of success and power. When given the chance to abandon his morals for status and security, Newt chooses to be loyal to his friends and animals.
On the other hand, let’s look at the character of Queenie. She’s too easily pushed about by the opinions of others. She wants the world the way she wants it, and will betray her friends (spoiler alert) if she thinks it’s necessary. What does this tell me? Sweet just isn’t enough. If you aren’t set on your own personal values, you’ll be too easily swayed – often hurting the ones you love most.
What struck me in this film was how the characters who had major fallout in the wizarding community were the ones that chose selfish motives over people. A fitting parallel for our less magical society? Definitely.
Perhaps if more people in the movie, and more people in real life, chose Newt’s outlook the world would be a better place. For wizards, witches and muggles…
All images © Warner Bros