Why Newt Scamander is NOT a cinnamon roll and why he’s flawed:
First of all, I am NOT saying that I hate Newt at all – I LOVE Newt, I LOVE Eddie and I’ve loved watching Eddie act since I saw him in “The Theory of Everything”. I think Eddie is fantastic, and I do love Newt’s character.
HAVING SAID THAT, this rant is more to do with the fandom than anything else – as in, me being pissed off with the fandom because of their “Newt is a precious cinnamon roll/Newt is too good for this world/Newt is perfect/Newt needs protecting” mentality. This isn’t all of the fandom, of course, but it’s a fair few and I’ve found myself getting gradually more and more infuriated over the past few months about it. This shouldn’t be regarded as hate, more as a retort/insight as to why I disagree with this silly mentality.
Let me start off by saying: Newt Scamander is VERY flawed. There, I said it.
Newt is NOT perfect. He’s awkward, has little to no regard for other humans, and is pretty untrustworthy to be honest. How? I present to you, an extract from the screenplay:
So, you got your wand permit? All foreigners have to have them in New York.
I made a postal application weeks ago
Small but think: if he’s lying about a postal application, chances are he’s lying about a lot more important stuff too. Either way, she was going to write him up. He had very little to gain from lying. I would also like to add that he’s breaking yet another law (even if it’s silly, it’s still breaking a law).
The thing that we, the audience, have to understand about Newt is that we like him because we know he’s a protagonist – we know he’s Eddie, we know the kind of person he is even before we watch the film. But if you look at it from an inside perspective – i.e. someone who lives in the universe of the film – he’s shady as fuck. He not only didn’t bother with a wand permit application, he also smuggled beasts into the country illegally (he had full knowledge of what he was doing, don’t deny it), apparated with a No-Maj, then didn’t obliviate that No-Maj, accidentally set a Niffler loose in a bank and basically decided “hey, fuck the law, I’d rather expose wizards than lose my Niffler/miss the egg hatching” when he apparated with Jacob. Standing on the steps of the bank, talking to an abusive woman/leader of the NSPS, he probably looked even more suspicious (especially seeing as she openly called him “friend” – which, to be honest, doesn’t really mean a lot but just imagine you’re there and that happens…you’d probably be a bit iffy about it).
How else is Newt untrustworthy in the first half of the film? He lies to Tina about why he’s in New York in the first place and he then blackmails Jacob into sneaking away from the girls’ apartment even though they gave them food and hot cocoa. You know when Newt says “you do realize that once they see you’ve stopped sweating, they’ll obliviate you in a heartbeat”? It’s sly blackmail. He knows that Jacob doesn’t want his memory wiped, he knows that Jacob is enjoying this new world that he’s been exposed to, and Newt is using that to his advantage. The choice in front of Jacob he’s setting out is: “Help me find my creatures and remain in this wonderful world…or, you know, stay here and have your memory wiped”.
I’m not denying the friendship between Newt and Jacob – their friendship is wonderful. But at this point, they aren’t exactly friends really, even if they’re starting to head that way. Newt was perfectly happy to attempt to sneak out of the apartment on his own before Queenie called him out – part of the reason he’s probably bringing Jacob is because he knows that Jacob will say something otherwise. I mean, Jacob is a good guy – he didn’t want to leave because he knew it would be rude to just leave the girls after all they had done for them. I’m not saying that Newt isn’t a good guy, I’m just…well.
Newt also has a total disregard for other humans/safety; “yep, let me throw a Swooping Evil in a No-Maj’s face for a joke”. Total dick move, even if he thought he knew what he was doing. “No-Maj is lying on the floor bleeding – nah, he’s fine, where’s the creatures?”. “Let me bring a No-Maj on a hunt to find potentially dangerous creatures”.
Actual thing in the screenplay when Jacob has been bitten by a Murtlap:
“With TINA’S back turned, NEWT makes towards the door”
What makes Newt turn back?
“TINA emits a guttural scream as the Murtlap comes scuttling out (…) NEWT spins, catching the creature by the tail”.
Newt wasn’t concerned at all for Jacob – “oh, it’s not serious”. Yeah, maybe not to a wizard but to a No-Maj whose physiology is different? Potentially extremely dangerous.
But, yeah, no - Newt is absolutely perfect of course so we’ll forget about it. (sarcasm)
He isn’t just awkward either, okay? He had no problem dragging Jacob down into the case, nor when it came to pushing Tina’s hair back at the docks. Every time I see a fic where he stutters out “I-I-I-I l-lo-love you”, I puke in my mouth a bit. That is so OOC and silly. When it’s humans he knows and likes (loves, in Tina’s case, fight me), he’s more confident and assured – so please stop saying that he’s awkward and will forever be so awkward that he cannot have human friends/love interests.
Newt has great qualities, of course, I’m not denying that…but please stop writing him/saying he’s perfect…or that he’s “too good for this world”/”too pure”/”too innocent”. He’s really not. He’s flawed, as all the best characters should be, and if you love his character then you should also be able to say “he’s got flaws and that’s okay”.
With this image of him being “perfect”, there comes my next pet-peeve: Tina hate.
I have legit seen people say that Newt is “too good/perfect” for Tina. I can’t even begin to sum up the stupidity of that idea; shipping aside, they’re both flawed characters in their own ways and that’s totally fine. I feel that some of the Tina-hate stems from either jealousy or the idea that Newt is too perfect; it’s like “oh, my OC is perfect because she’s just like Newt”. Please, no. Don’t.
Tina-hate also seems to stem from the fact that she “turned Newt in”. The usual rant goes here: a) it was her job, b) he’s pretty shady, c) you’d all complain if she put a guy she barely knew over getting her career back on track….etc. etc. Suddenly, because Tina DID HER JOB and it happened to involve arresting Newt, that makes her the fandom’s number one enemy.
Tina isn’t the only one I’ve seen receive hate: I legit saw someone say that they hated Queenie for “forcing Newt to get with Tina” and I just…? Since fucking when? How does “you need a giver” translate as “you have no choice but to marry my sister and live in Dorset with her”?
As I said, this fandom is so obsessed with the idea of “precious cinnamon roll Newt is too good too pure he needs protection”. He’s NOT this. Please stop making him like this. He’s a flawed man, he makes mistakes, as do we all, he’s far from perfect.
As I said before, I love Newt, he’s a great character, but the way that the fandom categorizes him as “a perfect sexy wonderful cinnamon roll who is too good for this world” is actually vomit-inducing and makes me start wanting to hate him – it genuinely puts me off being in the fandom when they push the idea that a character is too flawless, and Newt isn’t flawless which is why he’s a great character.
This rant made little to no sense really and I’m now off to write fanfics.