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Why Newt Scamander and Harry Potter were different kinds of Chosen One

Sure, Newt and Harry were both brave, loyal and just – but how were they different from each other?

Newt Scamander puts his arm around Tina Goldstein as they shelter anxiously with their wands at the ready
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

To be the Chosen One, it seems that there are certain qualities you must possess. You must be courageous, honest and true. You must take on any and all responsibilities thrust upon you and thrive. Oh, and of course you have to save the world, preferably on your own, and try not to get too annoyed about it.

While Harry Potter and Newt Scamander, both the ‘Chosen One’ in their own right, have these qualities, they really couldn’t have been more different kinds of heroes. Here’s why...

Hufflepuff vs Gryffindor

The best way to sum up the fundamental differences between Harry and Newt is by looking at which Hogwarts house they belonged to.

Harry was in Gryffindor, which took students for qualities including bravery and daring. Gryffindors typically also had some less admirable traits, including recklessness and short tempers (any enraged Gryffindors reading this will only prove our point!). These were traits that, love him for it or not, Harry possessed in bundles: he was heroic and brave, yes, but let’s not forget his year of angst in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Sirius hugs Harry in Grimmauld Place.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

As a result, Harry’s reaction to being the Chosen One was somewhat mixed. Although he accepted his fate and rose to the occasion from his very first year at Hogwarts, he also tried to fight against it – particularly following the death of his godfather, Sirius Black, in which his own recklessness contributed to Sirius coming to his rescue at the Ministry, where he was killed.

‘I DON’T CARE!’ Harry yelled at them, snatching up a lunascope and throwing it into the fireplace. ‘I’VE HAD ENOUGH, I’VE SEEN ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON’T CARE ANY MORE –’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Meanwhile, Newt was a Hufflepuff, who are known to be hard workers, loyal and dedicated. He rarely grew angry in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but instead accepted his fate when he was arrested by Tina, and remained cool-headed after being given the death penalty (and fought his way out, of course). In fact, the only time we really saw Newt upset was when his suitcase was confiscated at MACUSA, putting the creatures he was so dedicated to caring for at risk.

Newt Scamander tries to escape the Death Cell at MACUSA
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

While Harry spent plenty of time in his own head and at odds with his fate, particularly when he found out he would have to kill Voldemort, it appeared that Newt would always do the Hufflepuff thing, and do whatever was right for those he cared about the most. Yep, a Gryffindor and a Hufflepuff indeed.

‘No – no – don’t hurt those creatures – please, you don't understand – nothing in there is dangerous, nothing!’
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

Fate vs Choice

Harry was prophesied to be the wizard that Voldemort would mark as his equal, and so his fate as the Chosen One was selected for him. Of course, he rose to the occasion and dealt with his destiny like a trooper, but the fact remains that if he hadn’t needed to do it, chances are that Harry would have spent his years at Hogwarts chilling with Ron and Hermione, training at Quidditch and barely getting by on his lessons (kind of like he did anyway, but without the permanent threat of death). In short, Harry didn’t choose his fate, it chose him – with a little help from Dumbledore, of course.

Voldemort grabbing Harry's face in the Deathly Hallows part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

On the other hand, Newt chose to be a protector and defender of the magical creatures he took care of. No one asked it of him; he did it willingly because of his passion for animals and his compassionate nature, and even risked his life several times by placing their needs above his own.

Newt looks at the Niffler
Newt Scamander and the Niffler in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Friendships

Newt always considered himself to be a loner, and it is made evident in the first film that his one close friendship at Hogwarts with Leta Lestrange ended due to rocky circumstances, though we have yet to find out exactly what happened. Apart from Leta, and before meeting Tina, Queenie and Jacob, it was clear that Newt struggled to build friendships with… well, anything that didn’t live in his suitcase.

Leta Lestrange in the trailer for Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald

QUEENIE: That was a real close friendship you had at school.
NEWT: Yes, well, neither of us really fitted in at school, so we —
QUEENIE: — became real close. For years.
... She was a taker. You need a giver.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

As for Harry, he was a loner before Hogwarts thanks to his bullying relatives, the Dursleys, and immediately made lifelong friends upon starting at the school. Since he was treated poorly all of his childhood by his family, it would have been easy for Harry to distance himself from others. Instead, he was a natural born leader who proved popular with his peers and always relied upon his friends, whether he knew it or not. Newt, however, always felt he had to do it alone (before travelling to NYC, of course).

Harry and McGonagall in Dumbledore's Office
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

They are not entirely unalike...

While Newt and Harry might have been very different people, we think they would have got along quite nicely if they were around at the same point. For starters, Harry and Newt both protected the underdog no matter what. For Newt, it was his magical creatures and at times Jacob, while Harry was Hagrid’s fiercest supporter whenever he got a little too ‘Hagrid’ about any of his creatures.

Newt and Jacob with the Bowtruckle
Newt and Jacob with the Bowtruckle.

The pair also had the support of Dumbledore, who was clearly an excellent judge of character to trust them both, despite the level of mischief they each got up to at Hogwarts. Although we’re not sure why Newt was expelled (yet), it’s clear that both he and Harry barely toed the line during their time at Hogwarts. We're actually still pretty surprised that Harry was never given the boot, to be honest!