Will Fawkes Appear in “Fantastic Beasts” 2?
Pottermore recently released a plethora of new information regarding the cast and characters of the as-of-yet untitled sequel to 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Among the newly announced cast for the film is a former correspondent for The Daily Show, and massive self-proclaimed Harry Potter fan, Jessica Williams. What struck my attention regarding this was J.K. Rowling’s reply to Jessica on Twitter.
In ancient Egyptian mythology, the Bennu was a sacred bird that was revered by the people of Heliopolis, the sun city (Helio being the titan personification of the sun in ancient Greek mythology). The word Bennu was derived from the Egyptian word weben, which translates to “to rise.” Bennu itself translates to “palm tree” or “purple heron.” Egyptian depictions of the Bennu portrayed it as being heron-like in appearance.
The Egyptians believed that the Bennu was a self-created deity that rose from the flames of a holy tree that burned in the temple of the sun god, Ra. The Bennu was described as the ba of Ra (the personality aspect of Ra’s soul) and was linked to the inundation of the Nile. It was also associated with rejuvenation and resurrection through Osiris, a deity that represented the afterlife, death, life, and rebirth.
The ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote about the Bennu in the fifth century BC, and it is from Greek mythology that the word “phoenix” became synonymous with the self-resurrecting birds that we recognize in J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. “Phoenix” is derived from the word phoeno, which translates to “purple.” Furthermore, the ancient Greeks saw herons as supremely intelligent birds that served as messengers of the gods, so it’s telling that Rowling used an owl emoji in her tweet.
Does Rowling’s tweet imply that Dumbledore’s phoenix, Fawkes, will be making an appearance in the next Fantastic Beasts film? That would certainly be an interesting way to maintain the series’ focus on the beasts of the wizarding world. If so, what association will Jessica’s character have with Fawkes? Will the two perhaps assist Newt and Dumbledore as they embark on their hunt for Grindelwald?