'Fantastic Beasts' Is Fawkes the Phoenix's Origin Story

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Before he took up residence in Dumbledore’s office at Hogwarts or aided Harry Potter in the Chamber of Secrets, the most famous phoenix in the Wizarding World may have been in Newt Scamander’s suitcase in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

In the trailer for Fantastic Beasts, we get a brief glimpse Jacob (a Muggle or “No-Maj” who gets pulled unwittingly into Newt’s story) holding a hatching egg. Based on the egg’s size, color, and unique characteristics, it’s probably a phoenix egg. Thanks to some new pages from the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, we now know that phoenix eggs are glossy, are typically either green or blue, and “require no incubation, but may not hatch for several years.”

In the trailer, it’s difficult to tell exactly what shade the egg is, but a pale blue or green certainly fits the bill, and it’s definitely glossy. We can also see some light speckling on the egg, which matches the phoenix illustration from the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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It’s very important to note that the egg has changed slightly between different versions of the trailer. In the Comic-Con trailer, the egg is a bit shinier and pointier, but in the most recent trailer, it has a light blue-ish hue and the distinct speckling. Could the egg have been changed to match the “correct” appearance of a phoenix egg?

Based on all of the egg information in the Fantastic Beasts book and what we’ve seen of eggs in the Wizarding World, this egg is too big to be a dragon egg, too small to be a basilisk egg, and too opaque to be a hippocampus egg. Though theres no way to rule out the possibility of it being a hippogriff or chimaera egg, the phoenix is the best explanation.

The egg's too small to be a dragon egg, as evidenced by the Hungarian Horntail egg above. Though it may be closer in size to the egg of a Peruvian Vipertooth, it doesn't appear to have the correct, distinctive shape.

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If it is a phoenix, it’d likely be one of the two domesticated phoenixes we know of in the Wizarding World: Fawkes and Sparky, the mascot of New Zealand Quidditch team the Moutohora Macaws. Of the two, Fawkes is the most logical explanation. It would mean that Fantastic Beasts is part of Fawkes’s origin story and that he may be one of many connections between Fantastic Beasts and the Harry Potter films. It means that he was likely a gift from Newt to Dumbledore who, while brilliant, was not an expert in magical creatures, nor did he seem to have the time to train a phoenix. Instead, it was likely Newt who acted as Fawkes’s trainer before giving him to Dumbledore.

The most recent trailer shows the egg looking slightly different, but still the correct size, light shade, and general shape to  be a phoenix egg. The fact that it hatches without incubation is the real defining factor, though.

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The timeline matches up (as Fawkes would have to be old enough to give a feather for both Voldemort and Harry’s wands, which checks out if he was hatched in the ‘20s), the size is plausible, the color seems correct, the shape matches the illustration, and given what we know about how phoenix eggs hatch — as well as the training they require — it makes perfect sense that the egg from the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trailer is a phoenix egg and that the film may treat us to the Fawkes origin story we’ve been missing for decades.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrives in theaters November 18.

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