Judging by their behavior in the Harry Potter film series, every member of Slytherin is a dick. Draco Malfoy — the house’s most visible member — gets a half-assed redemption arc, and every Slytherin bails on fighting by their classmates’ sides in the Battle of Hogwarts. Not even one stayed to help. Merlin’s pants, J.K. Rowling. You really didn’t allow them any good qualities.
In the years following the Potter series, one of Harry Potter’s most prevalent criticisms is the presence of a house in which every student is evil. That seems like the least realistic aspect of a world of magic.
If Harry Potter was Mean Girls, the entirety of Slytherin would be Gretchen Weiners, while the rest of the school is Glen Coco. But, at last, Harry Potter’s five-film spin-off franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, might turn Slytherin’s shady rep around. It’s all in the impending Hogwarts-era flashbacks.
Pottermore recently announced that the Fantastic Beasts follow-up films are casting young teen versions of Newt Scamander and Leta Lestrange. This means that the story will feature flashbacks to their Hogwarts days. Leta, played by Zoe Kravitz, only appeared in the first film briefly, in photograph form. But as a Lestrange, she was likely a Slytherin.
While teasing the second film and Leta’s increased role, director David Yates previously said that “Newt is still absolutely in love with Leta” and that she’s “complicated, a little damaged, and confused.”
Although the first Fantastic Beasts film did not go into much detail about Newt’s Hogwarts days, he was a Hufflepuff. Newt and Leta were so close that when he was expelled, he took the fall for her wrongdoing. Tender, curious, creature-loving Newt would hardly be in love with someone who is evil.
All of this makes Leta sound a far cry from her maniacal descendent, Bellatrix Lestrange. Sure, in Fantastic Beasts Queenie Goldstein told Newt that Leta was a “taker,” where he needed a “giver.” But that doesn’t mean she’s the kind of person who wouldn’t help defeat Voldemort.
Zoe Kravitz has described their relationship as “complicated,” which suggests nuance. It means the black and white portrayal of Slytherin as “the evil house” with evil students could be a thing of he past.
Thanks to Newt’s status as an underappreciated ‘Puff, shortly before the first Fantastic Beasts film hit theaters, J.K. Rowling tweeted that it was “the dawn of the Age of Hufflepuff.”
Move over, second-most unpopular house, because now the dawn of the age of Slytherin is here.
The second Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 16, 2018.Photos via Warner bros, Getty/ Warner Bros