Before we dive in, we just want to let you know there are a couple of spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – so proceed with caution!
Nifflers are adorable. Everything about them is cute and squishy – from their tiny paws to their little snouts. Adult Nifflers are delightful, but the babies take it to a whole new level. When we meet them in The Crimes of Grindelwald, they are little balls of mischievous fluff that you just want to snuggle. Even though they had escaped from their home in Newt’s basement to cause chaos upstairs, we imagine he couldn’t stay mad at them for very long… we know we couldn’t.
Nifflers love all things shiny (who can really blame them) and are excellent at spotting anything potentially valuable. When we meet them for the very first time in Goblet of Fire, it is in one of Hagrid’s better Care of Magical Creatures lessons. Each student takes a Niffler and sends them digging for the gold coins Hagrid has hidden. They are so efficient Ron even queries whether he could have one for a pet. Though we wouldn’t recommend it – as nothing gets in the way of their search for treasure and they can be rather destructive. We’re not sure the furnishings in The Burrow could take it.
It’s all well and good collecting any sparkly thing you see – but where do you keep your loot? If you are a Niffler, you keep it in your amazing little pouch of course. When Newt catches his one taking a turn as a bank robber, we get a glimpse at just how handy it is. It never seems to end! When Newt turns him upside down and gives him a good shake so much falls out – far more than you would think physically possible. Imagine just how useful that could be and all the things your Niffler could carry for you!
While it may not be intentional, there is no doubt that Nifflers are thoroughly entertaining. Who can forget the hilarious moment when someone managed to sneak one into Professor Umbridge’s office? Not only did it tear the room apart in its search for shiny things, but it even tried to take the rings from her fingers – a deeply satisfying moment for us all. Or what about the moment in Fantastic Beasts when Newt’s Niffler broke into a jewellery store and proceeded to cause (very cute) chaos? No matter the situation, you’re guaranteed to be amused if one of these furry little beasts are around, despite all the mess.
Nifflers do have a reputation for only caring about twinkly things – but that isn’t strictly true. They can sometimes be helpful. In fact, it was Newt’s Niffler who managed to steal the blood pact from Grindelwald despite getting injured in the process. The vial may have been a super shiny pendant – but we still believe he knew it was more important than ordinary treasure. So yes, they may be little kleptomaniacs, but there is definitely more to them than that. We believe that they can be loyal and useful – if they’ve not been distracted by anything sparkly that is.