What Quarter Life Crisis Struck Millennials Can Learn from Newt Scamander

Green coat, shy outlook, and his never-ending love for beasts, Newt Scamander (and the very dashing Eddie Redmayne) has won all of our hearts right from the very start of the Fantastic Beasts series. The question is very simple: Can anyone not admire Newt? Not at all.

While the second movie in the Fantastic Beasts series might not have been that great, there’s still hope to believe that the upcoming stories will be better connected and hopefully everything that left us wary now will make sense. And more importantly we will get to see more of Newt Scamander in action.

Accio Spoilers! You have been warned.

Apart from being the very loyal and hardworking Hufflepuff, Newt is a wonderful character in the making.

‘Newt, you’re next,’ says Albus Dumbledore as he stands with his students in the Defense Against The Dark Arts Class. The Boggart suddenly turns into a table filled with piles of paper.
‘That’s an unusual one. What Mr. Scamander fears above everything else is….,’ says Dumbledore.
‘Having to work in an office, Sir,’ Newt immediately answers, a little shaken and confused. The entire class bursts into giggles.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say, a lot of us millennials are like Newt. We fear the cubical and fear the bondage that comes with it. And perhaps we can all, especially us confused, quarter life struck ones learn a few things from the delightfully honest, hilarious and heartwarming Newt Scamander.

Daring to say No
There’s a scene in the second movie when Newt is placed in front of a few officials and his brother Theseus. Apparently it’s his fifth time in that seat. Newt is being offered to work with his brother in an ‘Office’, and he immediately declines and walks away. The price is that his international travel ban continues. And yet, Newt declines. He know’s that’s not what he wants. Well, maybe his complicated status with Leta Lestrange also contributes to it, but either ways, it takes a lot of courage to decline an offer like that. Perhaps we need that to, from time to time.

Appreciating his true self
Okay, Newt is awkward. We all know that, especially when Tina’s around. Not so much of a romantic. But who cares? He’s funny, he is an intelligent wizard, and in the words of Albus Dumbledore, he does not seek power. Newt does what is right because it’s right. And I’ve had the vibes after watching the two movies that Newt does indeed appreciate his true self. He might not be as classy as his brother, he might not have a great job with an office, but he’s okay with it. And that’s already so lovable. (He does end up complimenting Tina with the ‘Eyes like Salamander’ phrase.) Hopefully we can learn to be a little more appreciative of what we have instead of dwelling into comparisons.

Respecting his Dream
‘Newt was expelled from Hogwarts’, says my sister as we sit down to talk about the second movie.
‘But how did he survive then? Financially?’ I ask. A very 20 something year old question at the moment. (Maybe quarter life crisis exists in the magical world too!)
‘He was a researcher! He wrote books,’ exclaims my sister. 
‘But who would buy a book written by an expelled student?’ I ask.
‘It’s probably like engineers working for Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg,’ she says. 

Newt loves his beasts and he follows his passion of knowing and caring for them. And in following his dreams he becomes the best-selling author of Fantastic Beasts, the very title of the series. While Newt did follow his dream, I find it more important that he respected it. He doesn’t think its weird or less than the other fancy jobs wizards and witches take up. We often forget that about our own dreams. Whether we follow it or not is another story, but we should all respect it.

‘You never met a monster you couldn’t love,’ says Leta of Newt.

It’d be a delight to watch Newt’s character develop in the movies further. Since Fantastic Beasts hovers around adult characters, hopefully we’ll see some complex real life decisions to be made and the self discovery process of growing out of ones own shells.

Till then, let this very lovable character remind us that we’ll always be surrounded by great friends, like Jacob, and mentors like Dumbledore, and let Newt remind us of being ourselves!

Severus-Lily: Was It Only Romantic Love?

I know it is not true, because J.K. Rowling herself told us so, and still I couldn’t stop myself from exploring the angle of platonic friendship in two beloved Harry Potter characters, Severus Snape and Lily Evans. Severus’s complex nature and the final manifestation twisted everything. Severus loved Lily too much to let her go even after she passed away. Some say he was obsessed with her and couldn’t move on, and some other love him dearly for the sacrifices he made. It was all ‘L-O-V-E’.

Of course it was love, but what kind of love? Love remains a central theme in the Harry Potter series. It is the ultimate weapon that destroys Lord Voldemort. Lily’s love for Harry, Harry’s friendship with Ron and Hermione, Dobby’s loyalty to Harry. All the characters on the good side manifest love, including the Malfoy’s despite standing with the Dark Lord. So many different kinds of love have been explored in the series, with one of the major highlights being Severus and Lily.

The question isn’t as much as ‘Were these two characters just friends?’, as much as ‘Would it justify everything if they were just friends?’ Simply saying, would Severus do everything he did if Lily were just a friend?

Here’s a small poll I did on facebook to know what my Harry-Potter-Loving-Friends think. Seems like I might not be alone about the different angle in Severus-Lily’s relationship.

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Family is a strong theme running right from the first page of the first book. Sacrifices have been made for families and by families throughout the series. By the end we see that scarifies have been made for romantic love too, by Severus for Lily. Carrying a mountain for family and for romantic love has been an ongoing theme in literature for thousand of years. But sacrifices have also been made by friends, well wishes and everyone who stood on the good side. We have Tonks and Lupin who died leaving their new born son, Harry’s DA friends-Neville, Ginny, Luna, Seamus, Dean who fought because it was right. Everyone risked their lives. And that is why I wonder if Severus would do what he did, even if Lily were just a friend he deeply cared about.

Never in the books is it explicitly mentioned that Severus loved Lily in a romantic way. Sure there are a lot of metaphors the famous one being the ‘Always’ dialogue between Severus and Dumbledore, but then again aren’t metaphors suppose to mean more than what can be seen?

Severus was loyal to the Dark Lord and spills the prophesy made by Trelawney only to realize that the Dark Lord would now kill Harry, who was Lily’s son. Anyone could have felt the shock, Lily doesn’t have to be his love interest for the shock to run down his veins. The guilt of putting your dear friend in danger (and eventually having her murdered) might take toll on anyone. So Severus’s actions could have been his own path to redemption. There’s no saying it wasn’t love, but there are so many other possibilities, other emotions, other kinds of love, which often run under the shadows of romantic love and family love.

There’s so much more. Wouldn’t you agree?