2016 has been a pretty awesome year for us Harry Potter fans. We’ve gotten a brand-new book (well, script, and its play form!), tons of fresh canon information, and a whole new sorting ceremony on Pottermore, and soon we’ll have a new film in the Harry Potter universe hitting theaters for the first time in over five years.
Say it with me: YAS.
And because seemingly no 2016 week is complete without new HP info, now we have a sneak peek into some of the creatures that will be featured in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them‘s film version, based on the 2001 companion novel of the same name by queen J.K. Rowling herself.
These little guys actually make an appearance in the original septology, in one of Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures classes. They are cuddly versions of a metal detector — specifically, they go after the shiny/sparkly stuff. And they look like a cross between a mole and a platypus. Aw.
The best part? Their look was totally influenced by the honey badger, according to the film’s visual effects supervisor Christian Manz.
“We saw some great footage of a honey badger raiding somebody’s house with a completely insatiable desire to find food and nothing would get in its way,” Manz told Entertainment Weekly.
Bowtruckles actually make an appearance in multiple Harry Potter canon novels and video games. They’re shy little twig-like creatures (think Baby Groot) that guard wand-wood trees. So basically, what they lack in size they make up for in importance. Without wand-wood trees, there would be no wands, and no magic, which would mean NO HARRY POTTER AT ALL. So thanks, Bowtruckles!
(Plus, a very specific Bowtruckle named Pickett is apparently Eddie Redmayne’s fave creature in the film, so we love them by default.)
Those of us who have been sorted into an Ilvermorny house know about Thunderbird, which — aside from being a creature — is one of the four houses at the American wizarding school. It’s J.K. Rowling’s house (and mine, yay).
The Thunderbird is a “Flying beast that can sense danger, and create storms as it flies,” according to Pottermore. “Its tail feathers were used by Shikoba Wolfe to create powerful wands, particularly good for Transfiguration” — so basically the American phoenix.
And EW has some new info about the Thunderbird, such as the fact that it’s native to Arizona and “Its multiple powerful wings shimmer with cloud-and sun-like patterns.” PRETTY.
Pottermore states that the Swooping Evil — another creature that makes its canon debut in this film — is “A large, butterfly-like creature that emerges from a small object, possibly a cocoon.”
“It can be dangerous, as it is capable of sucking out brains, but, conversely, if properly diluted, its venom can be quite useful to erase bad memories,” reports EW.
Eesh. Remind us never to go near the Swooping Evil (just in case its name wasn’t warning enough).
Unlike the Swooping Evil, this little fuzzball sounds like it could actually be a good pet.
“The Demiguise is a primate-like creature that resembles a silver-haired orangutan with large, doleful black eyes,” EW says. “It has the remarkable ability to become invisible at will, and has precognitive sight, so the only way to catch it is to do something completely unpredictable.”
The Occamy is a “Plumed, two-legged winged creature with a serpentine body, that is fiercely protective of its eggs.” We would be too, if our eggs were made of silver, as the FBAWTFT book notes of the Occamy.
Occamys (Occamies?) are native to the Far East and India, and look scary as hell — as EW states, it can grow or shrink based on its environment and it looks like “a cross between a dragon and a bird.” No thanks, y’all. Nightmares for days.
The Australia-indigenous Billywig is an insect hater’s nightmare: “A small, vivid sapphire-blue insect with wings on its head which allow it to spin as it flies. Its sting causes giddiness and levitation and, when dried, can be used in several potions.”
According to the FBAWTFT book, its dried stings are also said to be used in Fizzing Whizzbees, a candy mentioned several times throughout the original series. The more you know!
WE. CAN’T. WAIT. November 18th can’t come fast enough, so in the meantime, we’ll just watch the newest trailer and read the FBAWTFT book over and over again in preparation.