Why Newt Would Not Have Liked Hagrid
Would Rubeus Hagrid and Newt Scamander have bonded over their shared fascination with magical creatures? There are remarkable resemblances between them – both were outsiders at Hogwarts, both were unceremoniously expelled from the school, and both thought that the wider wizarding community misunderstood the beauty of magical creatures. Since many of us grew up with Harry Potter, it’s a lot of fun to draw connections between Potter and Fantastic Beasts. While a lot of fans would love to see Newt interact with a young Hagrid in Fantastic Beasts, I don’t think the two would have seen eye to eye on their approach to the treatment of creatures in the wizarding world. Moreover, I think that Newt would have been dismayed by many of Hagrid’s escapades with magical creatures throughout Harry Potter.
Since we were first introduced to Newt in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, fans have theorized that Newt could have been the traveler “from a distant land” (CoS 15) that gave Aragog to Hagrid. However, this seems highly unlikely. Despite screaming that his creatures are not dangerous when his case of magical beasts are confiscated by MACUSA, Newt definitely has a lot more sense than Hagrid when it comes to dangerous beasts. In his compendium of magical creatures, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt categorized Acromantulas as XXXXX, meaning that they are “impossible to train or domesticate.” Also, “Acromantula eggs are defined as Class A Non-Tradeable Goods by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, meaning that severe penalties are attached to their importation or sale.” So I think Newt would have been outraged if he ever found out about Hagrid owning Aragog.
Speaking of Class A Non-Tradeable Goods, Newt would not have been impressed at all with Hagrid’s brief stint at raising Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback (incidentally, for a self-proclaimed dragon lover, Hagrid failed to recognize that Norbert, or Norberta, was a female dragon). Dragons are “among the most difficult” beasts to hide and pose a great risk to the exposure of the wizarding world. According to Ron Weasley, “the Ministry of Magic has a job hushing them up” (SS 14), having to place Memory Charms on Muggles who have sighted dragons. As the head of the Beast Division in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures at the Ministry of Magic, Newt would have already have had enough on his plate without having to worry about people like Hagrid trying to illegally domesticate dragons.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them states that Norweigan Ridgebacks are “nowadays one of the rarer dragon breeds.” It’s clear from the first Fantastic Beasts film that Newt takes the conservation of endangered species incredibly seriously. When Jacob first enters Newt’s case and comes into contact with his Graphorns, Newt says, “They’re the last breeding pair in existence. If I hadn’t managed to rescue them, that could have been the end of Graphorns – forever.” Newt would have been disappointed that Hagrid, who claims to love magical creatures, would selfishly attempt to keep an endangered beast as a pet. Furthermore, the “About the Author” section from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them states that Newt’s proudest achievement was the Ban on Experimental Breeding in 1965. So I think Newt would have had a few choice words to say to Hagrid if he ever found out that he was breeding Blast-Ended Skrewts.
Ultimately, Newt and Hagrid both have different attitudes toward magical creatures. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the scene in which we are first shown Newt interacting with Frank the Thunderbird encapsulates everything about his character. It’s the first time in the film we see Newt in his own element. Newt rescued Frank, who was being trafficked in Egypt. While Newt has selflessly devoted his life to the protection and conservation of magical creatures, Hagrid seems to care more about keeping dangerous beasts as pets for his own selfish reasons.