Hogwarts Legacy looks cool, but there’s no way those spiders can be Aragog’s brood, right? There are several theories for how they got there.
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The upcoming Hogwarts Legacy is easily the most anticipated game of the year, topping sales charts well before its release in February. Even those who aren’t big Harry Potter fans are drawn by the open-world exploration and Dark Souls-like gameplay showcased in the trailers, so the recently released cinematic trailer has only increased the hype.
This cinematic trailer has also raised a question, however. Hogwarts Legacy takes place at Hogwarts in the 1890s, according to the game’s blurbs. Why, then, is it showing students battling Acromantula in the Forbidden Forest?
What Is an Acromantula?
For context, Acromantula are the giant spiders in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, identified by name in the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. They act as a lesser antagonist in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, seen in the Forbidden Forest when Harry and Ron are hunting for answers about the Chamber. In the book and movie, Aragog explains to the protagonists that he and his children are in the Forbidden Forest because of Hagrid. When Tom Riddle tried to frame Hagrid for opening the Chamber of Secrets and Aragog for being the monster within, Hagrid helped Aragog escape to the Forbidden Forest and later brought him another Acromantula to be his mate, thus allowing for the rumored Acromantula nest mentioned in the Fantastic Beasts book.
The issue comes when examining the timeline. The Harry Potter books take place in the ’90s, and in Chamber of Secrets, the Chamber was mentioned as being opened 50 years ago. This would put Aragog meeting Hagrid and being introduced to the Forbidden Forest as happening sometime in the 1940s — a good 50 years after the events of Hogwarts Legacy. Aragog can’t have originated from the Forbidden Forest because he “came to Hagrid in the pocket of a traveler,” and Acromantula are listed on the wiki as originating from Southeast Asia. So how did these spiders arrive in the Forbidden Forest well before they were supposed to? Well… maybe a wizard did it.
Possible Explanations for the Acromantula in Hogwarts Legacy
The most straightforward explanation would be that these anachronistic Acromantula are here simply for the recognition and coolness factor — the game’s players will likely be very familiar with the movies, and everybody remembers the scene with the giant spiders, ergo the game should have giant spiders as a potential mob. There are, however, a few other workable explanations. For example, the Acromantula could be here because an antagonist brought them to Hogwarts to cause trouble. Fans saw in the Fantastic Beasts films that it is possible to incongruously transport large magical creatures in something as small as a briefcase, so it stands to reason that a nest of Acromantula could be smuggled onto school grounds.
There’s also the concept that it might not even be taking place at Hogwarts — this could be a late-game stage that takes players off-grounds and to some other locale. Or it could be some multiplayer stage where players battle against waves of mobs. The Deluxe Edition comes with access to the Dark Arts Battle Arena, and while Acromantula are not necessarily dark creatures, with a danger rating of XXXXX according to the Fantastic Beasts book, they would definitely be something a dark wizard would set on their foes. It’s definitely a puzzler and hopefully one that will be answered Feb. 10 when the game comes out — and even sooner for those who purchase the Deluxe Edition.
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