The in-universe publisher of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is called Obscurus Books, as shown on the title page. It's also referred to in the foreword by Albus Dumbledore.

“For the first time in the history of the noble publishing house of Obscurus, one of its titles is to be made available to Muggles.” - Albus Dumbledore, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Then it's named again in the introduction by Newt Scamander.

“The first edition of Fantastic Beasts was commissioned back in 1918 by Mr. Augustus Worme of Obscurus Books, who was kind enough to ask me whether I would consider writing an authoritative compendium of magical creatures for his publishing house.” - Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

In the "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" movie, something called an Obscurus has a big role in the events that take place.

An Obscurus is a dangerous dark force created by a child who knowingly represses their magic, which causes destruction and chaos then eventually leads to its host dying.

It's too big of a coincidence for the name of the Obscurus being the same as the publisher of the original textbook to not be intentional, and considering that the movie and textbook are so strongly interconnected, presumably there must also be a reason for the publisher being named after the Obscurus seen in the movie.

Why, in-universe, would a publisher choose to be named after a force like the Obscurus?

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    I too think it's a bit too much of a coincidence (well-spotted, by the way, I didn't notice it) and that's why I'm sure this will be answered at some point in the forthcoming movies. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm not sure there's enough information to predict whatever is going to be revealed in the future – Au101 Jun 27 '17 at 3:12
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    @Au101 Thanks! :) I'm glad you think it'll be answered sometime! I wasn't able to find any information about the reasons behind the publisher being named Obscurus, but I decided to ask it in case anyone has better information than I found. I don't know if the information exists yet but thought it'd be worth asking in case it does. – Mal Jun 27 '17 at 3:36
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because of our future works policy. – ibid Jun 27 '17 at 7:02
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    @ibid How is that about a future work if both the film and the book are out? Aren't they? – Gallifreyan Jun 27 '17 at 8:27
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    There are an additional 4 movies coming out for the Fantastic Beasts series, the second of which is due in 2018. Considering there's a good chance of this being answered in one of those movies, probably the last one where he'll end up writing the book at the end and have it published by the publisher mentioned in the question or something, I think the "Future Works" policy does apply here. – DisturbedNeo Jun 27 '17 at 8:55

It's a reminder of the importance of magical education.

This is just a theory with no proof (AKA speculation). But I'll give it a shot. We know Obscuruses (Obscuri?) are caused by repressed magic. And we know Obscurus is primarily a school textbook publisher (or at least the only title we know of, Fantastic Beasts, is a textbook, as it is in Harry's booklist in Sorcerers Stone and the 2001 edition shows Harry and co's doodlings). Thus, if I were to open a publishing house that publishes school textbooks and the whole basis of the school is to make sure that magic is not suppressed, Obscurus Books ain't that bad of a name, no?

(Don't forget that in 1918, there hadn't been a Obscurus in centuries according to MACUSA, so the term Obscurus probably lost its frightening connotation (similar to the words 'devil'and 'demon' nowadays) and was merely suggestive of the results of a non-magical education to a wizard.)

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    Nice answer! :) That makes a lot of sense, thanks! :) The connection between textbooks for magical education and the Obscurus is a good reason why it could be named Obscurus Books, and I agree that since an Obscurus would be a very rare thing when they chose their name, so the name probably wouldn't be all that scary to most wizards. – Mal Sep 11 '17 at 20:05


As you may or may not know, Jk Rowling was big into anagrams, releasing the fact there was going to be a FBAWTFT series with an anagram on Twitter. If you enter MR. AUGUSTUS WORME, which is the head of this publishing house, one thing you can get is Use Arum Mugwort. This might not make sense at first, but let me break it down. Arum is a type of lily, and if we know anything about lilies, it is that they are commonly used in potions, for example asphodel, another kind of lily, is used in the draught of living death. Mugwort is something that in medieval times were believed to cure illness. And was used along with wormwood. Wormwood is another ingredient in the drought of living death. This leads us to believe Mugwort is another potion ingredient. This leads us to the name of the publishing company, Obscurus Books. As you may or may not know, Dumbledore was believed to be the one that sent Newt Scamander to America, but the problem with this is in the passage above, Newt said Wormwood sent him to America. Also, in the first trailer released for Crimes Of Grindelwald, you see two stacks of eight books each on Dumbledores desk, one of the stacks are all green, the other are all red. Now for a minute, you might be thinking, "Oh, well he could have just gotten the book to read, or helped choose a color for the book!" Well, if he was reading it, he would only have one, and if it was a color thing, he would only have two. Now let's move on to why Dumbledore would help. If you can remember the 6th and 7th books in the original Harry Potter series, there is info there. In the 7th book, Dumbledore and his brother, Aberforth, explain their sister, Ariana, to the reader. Dumbledore and Aberforth bring up that the sister was indeed magic and not a squib, as many believe, and Aberforth said she was attacked. She was attacked due to her inability to recreate a trick for a couple muggle boys, and it traumatized her so she tried suppressing her powers, causing an obscurus to form. Dumbledore feels bad for this and this is what he was referencing it when he was drinking the draught of despair in the cave in Half-Blood. Now this would explain why he wanted to publish Newt's Book, to help spread the Cure for Obscurus. He also had Newt get an obscurus for them to study which we see in Newt's Case in Fantastic Beasts. After they found the cure, and Dumbledore had the fake name Mr. Augustus Worme made, hoping wizards would decode it, and added obscurus books as the company to tell the world what the instructions helped cure.

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    Welcome to SciFi.SE! I recommend a) providing a link to Seamus Gorman's video, and b) breaking this up into paragraphs so it's easier to read. – F1Krazy Jan 24 '19 at 19:24
  • Actually, it's more like a conspiracy theory than a theory; BUT - due to the fact A: that JKR has used anagrams, and B: She likes lily (hi Mrs. Potter) and C: She likes obscure plantnames and has not shied away from that in the past; it has a shot of being true. So, enjoy an upvote. – TheAsh Aug 13 '19 at 19:37

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