In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, these lines are shared after Newt unknowingly stumbles upon a Second Salemers’ rally:
NEWT: Oh…I was just—passing…
MARY LOU: Are you a seeker? A seeker after truth?
NEWT: I’m more of a chaser, really.
~ pp. 12 – 13
First off, I loved this play on words by Jo that pulls in Quidditch positions. Did Newt ever play Quidditch? I’m not sure. I couldn’t find any information that he did or didn’t during his time in Hufflepuff House. But when the founder of the Second Salemers confronted him about being a “seeker of truth”, Newt pointedly replied he was a “chaser” of truth.
What’s the diff? Why not just say, “Sure I am” and move on?
I have theories and, of course, they also relate back to biblical matters.
**Cracks fingers and sets to typing**
In Matthew 7 and Luke 11, Jesus teaches his followers to ask, seek, and knock. Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. I’m not an expert in Biblical studies or interpretation, but I think Jesus is telling those listening to him that if they want to know God and to find God and to discover Truth, God won’t run away from them. God is eagerly waiting to show the truth to anyone who is willing to seek or chase after it.
I think what Newt may be saying when he responds that he is a Chaser is:
- Mary Lou is preaching a “truth” but it is not the “truth” Newt is seeking. It is a false truth, of which there are many. Being a Chaser, Newt has developed a more discerning eye for false versus real truths.
- Newt is doing far more than just seeking, he is also asking and knocking and breaking down walls in his quest for Truth. Making him a Chaser of Truth.
- He very well may have also been a Chaser in Quidditch and is just messing with an ignorant and hateful No-Maj (Muggle).
What we can learn from all of this:
- Be a Chaser of Truth. Ask, Seek, and Knock. Don’t wait for Truth to come strutting up to you on a silver platter. There are way too many Mary Lou’s out there trying to teach the latest “truth” that really isn’t “truth” at all. It is fear mongering, propaganda, truth with an agenda, etc. Learn to discern from Truth and “truth.”
- Chasing Truth is active. Get out there and break down walls (metaphorically) in your quest. Don’t accept anything at face value. Jesus didn’t even ask that of his followers. He gave them a multitude of signs and teachings and fulfilled prophecies. Contrary to some teachings, Jesus didn’t ask for blind belief. He warned about blindness (and the blind following the blind to destruction). Rather, he asked his followers to listen and understand. To seek, ask, and knock. To discern between false teachings and real teachings.
- Quidditch is a fun game even for Muggles (No-Maj’s) to play. 😉
So, in Newt’s words, he is not so much a Seeker as he is a Chaser.