While we wait for news about the Harry Potter spinoff trilogy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them or glean the web for more online twitterings from J.K. Rowling, there’s a new book out for Potterheads to peruse. Harry Potter: The Creature Vault, from Warner Bros and Harper Collins, is a behind-the-scenes look at how all the magical wildlife from Hogwarts and beyond was brought to life. The book explores concept art, the creation process, and film stills of the final products. If you thought the movie versions of your favorite novel creatures were terrifying, wait ’til you see the concept art.
We’ve got a full gallery of Dementors, Grindylows, dragons, spiders, merpeople, and perhaps the most disturbing of all: Arnold the Pygmy Puff. (Just kidding. Pygmy Puffs are adorable.) Don’t worry, there are also friendly(ish) favorites like Buckbeak and Aragog, too.
That (horrifying) image of Nagini pouring out of Bathilda Bagshot’s rotting corpse is exactly how I pictured it when I first read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Despite reader complaints throughout the years, these images truly show how much of the books translated into movie magic. The effects in the Harry Potter film series obviously got better and better as the years progressed, but there’s something about these original pieces of concept art — unconstrained by effects, budgets, and physical limits — that really brings the book’s world to life.
Harry Potter: The Creature Vault is available online and in bookstores right meow.