I have read all seven Harry Potter books, and The Cursed Child1, but I've only watched the first two movies.

Do I have to watch all eight movies in order to fully understand the significant plot points found in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

Is there anything that I'll miss by not having seen them?

1 Waste of money, that.

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    Fantastic Beasts is a prequel to Harry Potter. As long as you understand the Wizarding world in general, what happens in Harry Potter doesn't really matter to Fantastic Beasts. There are a few references made (Dumbledore, Hogwarts) but that is about it. Dec 31, 2016 at 18:05
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    But you read all books, there is nothing you won't understand. Movies only cut content, they didn't introduce anything new. Dec 31, 2016 at 18:16
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    Why are people voting to close as opinion-based? It seems pretty similar to this and this.
    – Adamant
    Dec 31, 2016 at 18:18
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    @Mithrandir The movie mentions Dumbledore and Grindelwald separately, but not what happened between them. Fantastic Beasts takes place 1926, whereas the famous duel was later in 1945. Also, the previous movies did not really explore that backstory either.
    – MikeQ
    Dec 31, 2016 at 18:32
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    "1 Waste of money, that." Well you're getting an upvote for that ;)
    – Au101
    Jan 1, 2017 at 3:37

2 Answers 2


Will you miss much if you don't see the movies? Not really. Will you miss much if you don't read the books? Most definitely. The main story line of this series of movies Rowling is writing is under the surface in Fantastic Beasts. Although it is a fun movie and it seems the plot was straight forward, that is clearly not the case if one has knowledge of the books in hand. This movie is setting up Grindelwald's back story and leading up to his fight with Dumbledore. That is the main purpose of this second series of movies. If you haven't seen the original Harry Potter movies you will be perfectly fine. As @gallifreian commented, the movies don't add anything of consequence to the plot.

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    Edited to clarify which movies were being referred too
    – Glorfindel
    Dec 31, 2016 at 22:19

Do I have to watch all eight movies in order to fully understand the significant plot points found in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'?

No. The Harry Potter films arguably followed the books for the most part, and none of the significant elements in Fantastic Beasts were based on the movie inventions. Just reading the seven novels should be enough, though you may also want to read the three tie-in writings that Rowling released online. (1, 2, 3)

Is there anything that I'll miss by not having seen them?

There are several visual elements that take reference from previous Harry Potter films, due to the fact that MinaLima is still doing the artwork and David Yates is still directing. None of these are important to the plot. The only parts I can think of which may particularly jarring to someone who hasn't seen the previous movies is that there is an unexplained instance of priori incantatem (which in the books only happens when wands have twin cores) and there is an instance of a person using magic to fly (which in the books is generally said to be impossible).

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    Doesn't Mr. Diggory do priori incantatem to Harry's wand (stolen by Winky) at the beginning of Goblet of Fire?
    – Oriol
    Jan 1, 2017 at 20:05
  • @Oriol - Maybe I used the wrong phrase? One is a spell and one is a phenomenon that happens when wizards duel with wand having twin cores.
    – ibid
    Jan 1, 2017 at 20:39
  • Huh, and I saw the whole movie and didn't notice the priori incantatem at all. When did that happen, exactly?
    – Wildcard
    Aug 9, 2017 at 3:39
  • @Wildcard When Tina and Grave duel. It was even in some of the trailers.
    – ibid
    Aug 9, 2017 at 8:17

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