“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Roundup: Muggle vs. No-Maj
Things are settling down now in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them world after the big reveals of the last couple of weeks. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, and even in this week alone, we’ve learned more about the sets, as well as Ron Perlman’s character.
One of the more unexpected things revealed about the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film was the fact that American wizards had coined their own term for a Muggle. The word, “No-Maj,” literally meaning “No Magic,” is apparently the term that American wizards were using to refer to those without magic in the 1920s.
In shifting the franchise away from the U.K., author J.K. Rowling — who also wrote the movie’s screenplay — is poised to introduce several new words into the Potterverse lexicon, and the most significant might be what Stateside wizards say instead of Muggle: ‘No-Maj’ (pronounced ‘no madge,’ as in ‘no magic’).
Among the reveal of Eddie Redmayne’s costume, set pictures, plot details, and character information was this little piece of information, which sent fans into a frenzy, as we wondered why it was necessary to have a new term for Muggles when their British classification has become a part of our everyday vocabulary.
The term has divided fans, but don’t worry – Daniel Radcliffe, who is currently on the promotional trail for Victor Frankenstein, was on hand to calm everyone down and share his opinions in a recent interview.
I have no strong opinions about this. We have different words in England, so it makes perfect sense that there should be a different word for it in America.
Because no one has pronounced it on film yet, no one [really] knows how to say it.
Daniel’s co-star in Victor Frankenstein, James McAvoy, also chimed in, joking that
You have no strong feelings about this? It doesn’t keep you up at night? I’m outraged! I’d be more excited to see what wizards from America and wizards from the U.K. [fight about], like coriander versus cilantro.
Eddie Redmayne did his best, however, to reassure fans that the term “Muggle” would still be very present in the film.
Yeah, but they haven’t changed the word ‘[M]uggle.’ This is the important thing[:] the word ‘[M]uggle’ has not been changed; the word ‘[M]uggle’ still exists. It’s just different nationalities. The word ‘[M]uggle’ will definitely be in Fantastic Beasts; I can put it that way.
We suppose we’ll just have to wait to see how it is used in the film itself.
Eddie also spoke about his disappointment not to be cast in the Harry Potter films – of course then, he didn’t know how things would turn out years later…
There was a whole period where every actor in the world in England was getting the opportunity to be in this film, particularly ones with red hair. It was a bit like, Wait a second, I don’t even get an audition? But then it was certainly worth the wait.
In other news, Samantha Morton, who is playing Mary Lou, revealed earlier in the week during an interview on BBC Radio 2 that she was still filming Fantastic Beasts. You can catch up with the interview here.
That’s it for this week’s roundup. With just over a year to go until the film’s release, we hope it won’t be long until we learn more about the film!
For all your Fantastic Beasts news, head over here, where you can find out everything you need to know about the upcoming film.
What are your opinions on the No-Maj debate? Let us know in the comments!