Abhay Rana aka Nemo

Writing on books - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a curious book:

  • The in-universe book is written by Newt Scamander and was published in 1927.
  • The first edition of the companion book was published in 2001. This is apparently the 52nd in-universe edition with a foreword from Dumbledore and was released to the muggle world for charity.
  • The 2001 edition pretends to be Harry’s copy of the book as of the end of Harry’s 4th year at Hogwarts. As such it includes hand-written comments from the trio. (Yes, Hermione writes on books!)

However, with the release of the film of the same name in 2016 - a new edition was released with lots of changes:

  1. 6 new beasts that made an appearance in the film were added to the book1:
    • Hidebehind
    • Hodag
    • Horned Serpent
    • Snallygaster
    • Thunderbird
    • Wampus cat
  2. The hand-lettering was removed.
  3. Dumbledore’s foreword is removed from the book, in favor of a in-universe foreword from Newt Scamander.
  4. “About the Author” section changes Newt’s background. He no longer graduates from Hogwarts, just “leaves” it, as portrayed in the film.

All of these changes are meant to fix the inconsistencies in the book with the canon, however that also makes the book much less charming. I got myself a copy of the Hogwarts Library boxset a few years ago, which includes the newer edition of the book (Bloomsbury) - that means no witty comments from Ron.

Since it didn’t have the hand-lettering, I took it upon myself to fix that mistake. Thankfully, lists of all the comments in 2001 edition are available on the internet. The trickiest part was the “this book belongs to” page, which is missing from the newer edition. I ended up creating a faux-library card for that instead.

Here is what it looks like:

  • Ron plays hangman and loses.
  • Hermione writes on books!

Thanks to Bhavya for helping with the troll illustration.

  1. I didn’t like the new additions, they sound less like a textbook and more like a transcript of what happened in the film. 

Published on November 29, 2020 in harry potter