Newt Scamander charmed his way into our Potter-loving hearts with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but was there something we might have missed about the frequently befuddled Hufflepuff? According to one reddit user who identifies as "someone with Aspergers," Newt himself may be dealing with the same disorder.
In a long post, user jadedthrowaway12345 gives specific examples of Newt displaying Asperger's symptoms, and explains how he might be more than just eccentric.
• Noting how Newt fails to pick up on cues and lacks social skills, the author writes, "He kills almost every conversation at the dinner scene because of his one-note answers. Also, when Jacob first meets him and asks what he's doing at the bank, he says 'same as you', in an attempt to immediately remove himself from the convo even though it's a rude, nonsensical response."
• The only way to get Newt to open up? Get him talking about his favorite subject: animals. But beware. As the author points out, "one-sided conversations are common" with Asperger's Syndrome. "This is the biggest red flag for me as he becomes a different person whenever he is around his animals. Suddenly he is confident and talkative, even his posture is different. He is also very blunt by telling a government worker that their laws are crap, or both conversations with Jacob, the 'People like you, don't they?' one and in the end when he tells Jacob 'Because I like you, because you're my friend'".
• Newt seems to have trouble making eye contact, or if he does, he favors a hard stare.
• He reacts inappropriately to situations like being arrested, and displays unusual facial expressions.
Yeah this all sounds like Newt all right. So far, J.K. Rowling hasn't weighed in on the theory, but keep in mind Eddie Redmayne had more leeway to define his character than maybe other Potterverse actors have had in the past. (On account of Newt being mostly unknown to audiences before the movie.) So there's a chance this is just Redmayne's interpretation of what was on the page.
Whether the theory is true or not, it's awesome to see fans finding something personally meaningful in the Potterverse.