Presenting OTP Tuesday! Each Tuesday I will introduce you to a new One True Pairing! Tune in each week to find out which fictional couple you need to agonize/squee over next. This week’s OTP: Newtina.
Who Are Newtina?
Newtina refers to the pairing of Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein from the new Harry Potter-inspired films, the Fantastic Beasts saga. They first appeared in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Newt Scamander is ostensibly the protagonist of the Fantastic Beasts movies, though the newer movies are packing in more and more characters. Given that we have only seen Newt in one movie so far, there’s a lot that’s still up in the air with his character. What we do know, however, points towards an interesting and inherently likable character.
Newt comes from a prominent wizarding family. His brother was a war hero in World War I. Newt, on the other hand, is a bit of a disgrace. He was ejected from Hogwarts for nebulous but likely unjust reasons. Since then he’s been seen as a bit of a nut, especially given his proclivity for magical creatures.
At this point in history, magical creatures were unknown and feared. In America they were even outlawed. Newt, however, sees beauty in these creatures and dedicates his life to studying and protecting them. He is even writing a book to spread information about the true nature of magical creatures.
Newt’s work takes him to New York, where he is hoping to catch a ride to the American Southwest to release a Thunderbird he rehabilitated. However, he soon finds himself in over his head when a muggle accidentally takes his suitcase full of creatures. This leads to Newt tangling with magical law enforcement and a struggle to save New York from a nefarious plot.
In the end, Newt is able to save all his creatures and the city thanks to the help of the friends he made in New York and his magical creatures. This leads to some recognition that Newt isn’t as crazy as people think, and sets him up to save the day once more in the next film.
While Newt is the cheerfully lawbreaking interloper in Fantastic Beasts, Tina Goldstein is a dedicated law enforcement officer who tries to keep him from wreaking havoc in the city. But of course, things are a little more complicated than that.
See, Tina used to be an auror, a magical police officer. However, her compassion and antagonism toward an abusive mother led to her being disciplined and removed from active duty. However, Tina’s gung-ho spirit means that she is continually trying to save the world in her own way, with or without the approval of her bosses – though she desperately craves that approval as well.
So when Tina runs across a foreign wizard causing trouble – nearly exposing the magical community to a non-magical person – she gets up in Newt’s business. This leads to Tina tagging along with Newt as he tries to recover his creatures, so that she can ensure he doesn’t get into more trouble. Except, along the way, she warms up to Newt and his mission.
Things go south first, though. Tina is nearly put to death because her supervisors see her as an accomplice to Newt, and it is only with his help and the help of her sister Queenie that they are able to escape. They then work together to save the city. Tina is finally given the respect she deserves when she helps uncover the fact that her boss was a criminal in disguise, and New York is saved.
By the end of the movie, Newt heads back to England to continue his work but wants to stay in touch with Tina. They formed a bond, and there’s a clear interest on both sides. Only the sequels will show where this relationship goes.
Why Is Newtina OTP?
I struggled with whether or not to write about Newtina, and if I did, when to do so. While I definitely loved the first Fantastic Beasts movie, the years since then have definitely soured my enthusiasm a little. The fact that J. K. Rowling is rarely in the news for anything positive anymore, the definite and justified accusations of racial insensitivity and the inclusion of Johnny Depp in the films made me hesitate.
But when it comes down to it, the Newtina pairing is easily one of my favorite things in the entire Harry Potter fandom. It really made the first Fantastic Beasts film. Whether or not The Crimes of Grindelwald ruins that remains to be seen, but for the moment, I’m going to enjoy Newtina and the beauty it provided to the movie and my own personal fandom.
One of my favorite things about the new movies is the new house system at the American School of Magic. While these are incredibly problematic for the way they borrow from Native American culture and reflect a general insensitivity/misunderstanding on Rowling’s part, I have to say I’m a sucker for sorting quizzes.
So I, naturally, sorted myself right away and found out I was a Thunderbird. You can imagine my delight, then, when it was revealed that Tina is also a Thunderbird. Given how much I loved Tina’s feisty character, I was pleased. Pairing her off with Newt, a Hufflepuff, made for an excellent dynamic in the movie.
Hufflepuffs didn’t get a whole lot of representation in the Harry Potter series, so to have a new movie series where the protagonist is a Hufflepuff is more than welcome. Hufflepuffs are kind, loyal, and dedicated to hard work and fairness. It’s a wonderful character set that is finally getting some good development in Newt, who is loyal to a fault and pure kindness incarnate.
Compare that with Tina, a typical Thunderbird. Thunderbirds are probably the most reckless of the new houses, with their house said to favor adventurers. Tina clearly represents that, throwing caution to the wind when she teams up with Newt. She is dedicated to doing the right thing at any cost. Though she struggles at first to identify the right thing, she manages in the end.
The pairing works really well because they balance each other. Newt’s kindness gets him into trouble, but Tina is ready to bail him out. Tina’s unwavering dedication to justice needs Newt’s gentle guiding hand. They both want to make the world a better place, and together they have a much better shot at that.
That desire to make the world a better place drives both Newt and Tina, and watching them try and find the right way to do that is amazing. They are both such sweet characters that you want them to find a way to be happy, and if that happiness comes together, all the better.
Tina lost her job as an auror for the American magical government because of her big heart. She saw a virulently anti-magic woman, and instead of staying away, got involved. The woman had taken in several children and was mistreating them. Tina wouldn’t stand for it and intervened, but her actions threatened to expose the magical community, so she was disciplined for her good heart.
Newt is in a similar situation. His expulsion from Hogwarts is left unclear, but it’s implied that he took the blame for a friend’s actions and was disciplined in her place. He lost his potential to succeed in the wizarding world and the respect of his community for his friend. His big heart then lends itself to taking care of animals, who are less likely to hurt him.
These two kind people have been hurt by their kindness. Seeing them come together and recognize an equal in the other is heartwarming. Both Newt and Tina have so much love to give but are unsure of how to do so and unafraid of reaching out. They are both incredibly socially insecure (Newt is even autistic-coded) so seeing them open up is amazing.
Kind people are so undervalued. It seems like lately, all pop culture cares about is gritty “realism” and dark anti-heroes. Give me more people like Newtina. Give me the kind heroes. That’s what we want to see, and they deserve every happiness.
What’s Next For Newtina?
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald comes out this weekend. It’s the follow-up to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was initially a welcome follow-up to the Harry Potter franchise. Since then, however, things have gotten a little rocky in the fandom. The powers that be have made some poor decisions.
A lot of fans have been turned off of the franchise, after all, that’s happened. For me personally, I’m still unsure. I truly loved the first Fantastic Beasts movie. I adore Newt Scamander and loved the dynamic between him and Tina. There was even a great side ship in Queenie and Jacob Kowalski, the muggle that gets caught up in Newt’s shenanigans.
All that makes me interested in The Crimes of Grindelwald. I’m particularly interested in seeing what is next for Newtina. Fantastic Beasts left it pretty up in the air, with a definite connection there but nothing concrete. I want to see what happens next. We last left them on opposite sides of the ocean. Will they reunite? Will either of them make a move? What’s going to happen?
On the other hand, I really don’t know if I want to see The Crimes of Grindelwald. For one thing, the story looks a lot less interesting. For another, I really dislike Johnny Depp. I’m also a bit burned out on the fandom after all the negativity of the past year or so. Is it worth it?
To be honest, I probably will give in and see the film. If nothing else, I’m a dedicated, hardcore shipper at heart (as seen by my weekly OTP articles). I also don’t like the thought of leaving a story unfinished. I may not see it opening weekend, but Newtina is enough of a draw for me.
Is Newtina Canon?
No, or at least not yet. Newtina had some strong hints in Fantastic Beasts, but given that it’s the first movie in a five-movie series, it was doubtful that they would get together right off the bat. Romantic relationships often fall into a will-they-won’t-they dynamic when a story is stretched out, to preserve tension and interest.
So Newtina becoming canon in the first film was unlikely to happen. If they had become canon, the writers would have had to find some way to create drama a la typical ships (think Pepperony: they got together in Iron Man but had to face drama or else it wouldn’t be “interesting”).
Given a choice between immediately canon Newtina but added drama to keep things spicy or a drawn-out saga, I’d rather it be the latter. So I’m not particularly upset that Newtina didn’t become canon in the first film. I’d very much enjoy seeing the relationship evolve organically over the series, or at least as organically as it can in a world of magic and warfare.
Whether Newtina will become canon remains to be seen. It definitely seems like it’s headed that way, given the dynamic between the two in the first film. They were definitely into each other. But will they make the move?
(We also have the benefit of Fantastic Beasts happening nearly 70 years before Harry Potter. This gives us a little insight: yes, Newtina will become canon. Newt is the author of one of Harry’s textbooks and some information about him says that he lives with his wife, Porpentina, which is Tina’s full name. But the suspense of how they get together is what makes Fantastic Beasts good.)