Study Guide

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them M.O.M. Classifications

By J.K. Rowling

M.O.M. Classifications

Solve For XXXX

Imagine you're a wizard…which, if you're anything like us, you do on a semi-daily basis. (You know you've said "Accio, phone" before. Admit it.)

So you're a wizard, and you run into a weird-looking magical creature in the forests of Cameroon.

The first question that's on your mind probably isn't What is this strange and beautiful creature and how can I learn more about it?

It's probably How likely is it that this thing is gonna kill me?

Fear not. That's why the Ministry of Magic came up with its M.O.M. Classification system. Each and every fantastic beast in Mr. Scamander's book gets its own rating. The scale is as follows:

XXXXX: Known wizard killer / impossible to train or domesticate
XXXX: Dangerous / requires specialist knowledge / skilled wizard may handle
XXX: Competent wizard should cope
XX: Harmless / may be domesticated
X: Boring
(8.3-7)

As you can see the scale starts with the most lethal of magical creatures (you're definitely going to want to back away slowly if you see these guys) and goes down to the most yawn-provoking (we're looking at you, Flobberworms).

As you're reading this book, you find out pretty quickly that almost every single beast can harm or your property you in some way. Even a peaceful little Bowtruckle claw at your eyes if you mess with it. And a Nundu can wipe out an entire village just by breathing on it. (Mouthwash is your friend, Nundus.)

So, why in the name of Merlin's beard does the Ministry allow these creatures to stay alive? Mr. Scamander explains it this way:

Why do we continue, as a community and as individuals, to attempt to protect and conceal magical beasts, even those that are savage and untameable? The answer is, of course: to ensure that future generations of witches and wizards enjoy their strange beauty and powers as we have been privileged to do. (7.1)

That's right. Just because a creature is dangerous or untamable doesn't mean they give up the right to live.

Mr. Scamander believes that witches and wizards have a duty to preserve these species so that their children and their children's children can continue to enjoy them and learn for them.

We plan on learning from the Acromantula from a (big) distance, but we get what he means.