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, 2017 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.
    – Obsidia
    Jun 27, 2017 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, 2017 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? Jun 27, 2017 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. Jun 27, 2017 at 8:55

1 Answer 1


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.
    – Obsidia
    Sep 11, 2017 at 20:05

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