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Jacob Kowalski: "Everyone knows Newt only kept me around because... hey, Newt, why did you keep me around?"
Newt Scamander: "Because I like you. Because you're my friend. And I'll never forget how you helped me, Jacob."
— Jacob and Newt Scamander, in 1926[src]

Jacob Kowalski (born c. 1900) was a Polish-born[2] American No-Maj, who lived at 435 Rivington Street[7] in New York during the 1920s.[8][9] Jacob fought in the First World War.[10] After returning home to the United States, he found work in a cannery, but dreamt of becoming a baker.[8][9][6] On 5 December 1926, he went to Steen National Bank to apply for a loan of $2300,[1] but was turned down.

While at the bank he met Newt Scamander, a British wizard who stopped in New York City on his travels to find and document magical beasts.[8][9][11][12] Through Newt he was exposed to the magical world, but had his memories wiped as was required by wizarding law.

Jacob would later go on to own a very successful bakery subconsciously inspired by his experiences with Newt Scamander's beasts and financed through silver from Occamy eggs provided by Scamander.

It was later discovered that the memory modification largely didn't work and Jacob ended up back together with Queenie Goldstein. Though the two were happy together, Queenie disagreed with Jacob's stance on his not wanting her to take a chance on him by breaking the law in marrying him. She bewitched him to make him want to be engaged to her, but the truth was revealed to him when they paid a visit to Newt Scamander.

Following an argument with Queenie, he left with Scamander on another adventure, ultimately reuniting with Queenie, who had fallen under the influence of the philosophy of Gellert Grindelwald. While Queenie felt that Grindelwald's aims would allow the two of them to be together, Jacob was repulsed by Grindelwald, and watched sadly as Queenie joined with the Dark Wizard, leaving him behind, devastated and initially wanting nothing more to do with the wizarding world.

The urgings of Eulalie Hicks, however, prompted Jacob to re-enter the conflict, joining Dumbledore's first army and playing a role in thwarting Gellert Grindelwald's campaign to become Supreme Mugwump, despite his No-Maj status. In the aftermath of the election, Jacob married Queenie, who had defected back to his and Newt's side.

Biography

Early life and family

Jacob was born around the year 1900 in Poland.[1][2] He emigrated to the United States when he was young.[2]

He had at least one brother.[13] He also had a grandfather who kept pigeons,[14] and a grandmother who passed on her recipe for pączki to him and instilled in him a love of baking.[15]

Military service and post-war life

Jacob fought in the First World War.[16][17] He served in France as part of the American Expeditionary Forces, and remained stationed there for six years, not realising the war had ended. He later found out that it ended[18] and returned to the United States in 1924.[17][19] His brother also fought in the war, but was killed at some point.[13]

Still being in Europe, he travelled to his home, Poland and gathered his relatives to a safe place and collected his family recipes from his grandmother and headed straight to United States of America on the first boat.[18]

The extended length of his military service left him able to find only a menial job at the Moreton Dale Canning Factory in his post-war life.[1][16][17] He thus applied for a loan on 5 December 1926 in the hope of getting the money he needed to realise his dream of opening a bakery.[1][17]

Mildred engagement ring

Jacob talking to Mildred before she broke up with him

By late 1926, he was engaged to Mildred, but the engagement ended, as Mildred decided to break up with Jacob after he failed to gain a loan from the bank.[20]

Global wizarding war

Meeting Newt Scamander

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Jacob and Newt at Steen National Bank

While visiting the Steen National Bank to secure a loan to set up his own bakery, Jacob met Newt Scamander when he arrived to find the Niffler that had escaped his suitcase. As Newt left suddenly to chase his Niffler, Jacob noticed that he accidentally left his Occamy egg behind. Before he could return it, Jacob was summoned to banker Gilbert Bingley's office. Jacob presented Bingley with his suitcase full of pastries, but Bingley questioned how Jacob would return the loan and pointed out that his proposed bakery would not produce the same revenue as a factory and thus rejected his application.

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Jacob and Newt watch as the egg hatches after leaving the bank

As he left the office, Jacob noticed that the egg was about to hatch and called out to Newt, who pulled the egg, and Jacob accidentally, with a Summoning Charm and Disapparated them onto the stairwell near the bank vault. Just as Newt recaptured his Niffler, Bingley arrived at the vault and, seeing the pilfered deposit boxes, mistakenly assumed that Jacob was trying to rob the bank, and sounded the alarm. Newt quickly placed a Full Body-Bind Curse on Bingley and Disapparated himself and Jacob to the outside of the bank just as the guards arrived. Subsequently, Newt tried to Obliviate Jacob, but the No-Maj unknowingly grabbed Newt's briefcase, hit him with it, and fled.

When Jacob returned to his apartment without a bank loan, his fiance Mildred left him.[20] Shortly afterwards, Jacob placed the case down on his bed only to hear something protesting inside. As Jacob approached it, the lid opened and several magical creatures escaped, including a murtlap that attacked and bit Jacob. Following escaped billywigs, Newt and Tina Goldstein arrived at Jacob's apartment, finding it half destroyed and Jacob unwell due to a reaction to the Murtlap bite. Newt repaired Jacob's apartment to its original state, and Tina agreed to take Jacob with them to her place.

Retrieving the creatures

"I ain't got the brains to make this up."
— Jacob regarding the complexity of the inside of Newt's case[src]
Fantastic-beasts-jacob creatures

Jacob interacting with the creatures in Newt's case

At Tina's house, Jacob met Queenie Goldstein who made them dinner and strudel. He and Queenie instantly connected with each other. In the evening, he watched Newt walk down into his suitcase and followed him after Newt invited him in. He met Newt's collection of creatures and heard about how Newt hoped to care for them as they were rejected by the wizarding world. Jacob wandered through various landscapes as Newt did a headcount of each creature to see which he needed to find. Jacob found an Obscurus which Newt described as a dark entity and advised Jacob not to touch it. They decided they needed to retrieve the missing Erumpent first and left the suitcase.

Fantastic-beasts-newt jacob niffler

Newt and Jacob successfully retrieve the Niffler

However, Newt soon found out that his Niffler had escaped again. As they passed by a jewellery store, Newt spotted his Niffler inside. While Newt furiously attempted to capture the Niffler, Jacob noticed that a latch on Newt's suitcase had popped off and by the time he sealed it, Newt and the Niffler fell through the store's glass window. Subsequently, they were confronted by a squad of policemen, who were puzzled by the sight of the Niffler. Jacob then directed their attention to a lion wandering right by them, giving him and Newt the opportunity to Disapparate away.

Jacob Tina Newt MACUSA

Jacob, Tina and Newt being arrested

Passing an ostrich in Central Park, they soon discovered the cause of the loose animals: the Erumpent had broke into the Central Park Zoo, setting many of the animals free, in its search to mate with the zoo's hippopotamus. Newt provided Jacob with a helmet and vest to protect himself from the Erumpent and left the No-Maj to hold a vial of Erumpent musk while he performed a mating dance to lure the creature back into his suitcase. Unfortunately, Jacob accidentally spilled musk on himself when he was hit by a fish thrown by an escaped seal, prompting the Erumpent to chase him out of the zoo and into the frozen park pond before Newt managed to contain the Erumpent. However, when they got in the suitcase, Tina, who had followed them, locked them in and took them to headquarters of the Magical Congress of the United States of America, where they, including Tina, were arrested by Seraphina Picquery and Percival Graves.

Fantastic-beasts-Queenie jacob escape

Queenie helping Jacob escape a MACUSA Obliviator

As he was being escorted by Sam, an Obliviator, to have his memory erased, Jacob was saved by Queenie, who managed to blackmail Sam. Subsequently, they tried to break into Graves' office to retrieve Newt's suitcase, along with his and Tina's wands; Queenie unsuccessfully tried to use an Unlocking Charm, forcing Jacob to kick down the door. They subsequently ran into Newt and Tina, who had managed to escape execution. Queenie then had everyone hide in the suitcase so she could smuggle them out of MACUSA.

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Jacob and Queenie in the Blind Pig

They journeyed to a wizarding speakeasy, The Blind Pig, where the friends met Gnarlak, a goblin gangster, to find information about Newt's escaped Demiguise named Dougal. While trying to get a drink at the bar, the bartender house-elf asked if Jacob has never seen a house-elf; Jacob blithely retorts that of course he has, his uncle is a house-elf. After discovering that Gnarlak had turned them in to MACUSA for the reward money, Jacob punched him in the face so Newt could retrieve his bowtruckle Pickett. They were forced to apparate away as a group of MACUSA agents mounted a raid.

Demiguise jumping on Jacob Kowalski

Demiguise jumping on Jacob Kowalski in Ginzberg Delaunay

Following up on information gained from Gnarlak, they found the Demiguise at the Ginzberg Delaunay department store. Following it led to a hatched Occamy that was not accounted for, which had expanded itself to fill the entire storeroom. Queenie then hit a Christmas ornament with her foot and caused the Occamy to stress out and move around. Jacob helped to shrink the Occamy by luring it into a teapot with a cockroach.

After returning the beasts to Newt's case, Jacob went with the group to investigate the Obscurus that was demolishing the city. Although Queenie wanted Jacob to stay out of the way, he insisted on helping and through her Legilimency skill, she saw the conflicts he endured during the First World War.

Jacob under obliviation rain

Jacob standing in the obliviation rain after saying goodbye

Following a battle against Graves, Seraphina stated that Jacob's memory needed to be erased and gave Newt, Tina, and Queenie a moment to say goodbye to him. Jacob then stepped into the Obliviating rain, with Queenie giving him one last kiss under an umbrella spell from her wand before leaving him standing there alone and confused.

Returning home

"I was never supposed to know any of this."
— Jacob right before his memories are wiped[src]
Jacob in his bakery FBF

Jacob in his bakery

Jacob returned to his job at the Moreton Dale Canning Factory. One day, he bumped into a passerby. Upon trying to lift his now extremely heavy suitcase, he found silver Occamy eggshells provided anonymously by Newt as collateral for a bank loan. By March 1927, Jacob had opened his bakery, Kowalski Quality Baked Goods.[21] He baked various pastries and confections in the form of fantastic creatures, unconsciously modelling them after the beasts he encountered on his adventures with Newt. He was unaware of their origins, claiming that they came to him in dreams. The whimsical treats proved extremely popular and his bakery did a brisk business.

One day, Queenie visited the shop, possibly sparking Jacob's memories of his time with her.

False engagement and trip to London

Surgito

Newt breaking the love charm that Queenie put on Jacob

Shortly after, Jacob was bewitched by Queenie and taken by her to Great Britain to get married, as the British Ministry of Magic allowed marriage with non-magical partners. They made their way to 9 Sherringford Square in London, where Newt was living to tell him of the news. Jacob told Newt that he had mostly good and average memories of what happened in New York and Queenie filled him in on what he did forget. Newt quickly realised that Jacob was under a love charm and broke it. Jacob was shocked and Queenie left the apartment in sadness.

Newt informed him that he was in London, much to his shock. He caught up with Queenie and said that he loved her, but he knew that she would be arrested if they get married. His reluctance, and almost calling her crazy caused her to Disapparate, leaving him alone on the street. Devastated, he went back inside Newt's apartment to his friend packing after he found letter from Tina to Queenie. He realised that Tina was in Paris to search for Credence, who survived the battle in New York. He also promised Jacob that he would help him find Queenie, whom he guessed had travelled to France to find Tina.

Visit to Paris

Portkey Dartmoor

Jacob and Newt using the Portkey

Next day Jacob travelled with Newt to Dartmoor, where Scamander gave fifty galleons to a Portkey tout and they both left England via Portkey. In Place Cachée Newt located the feather from the hat of a mysterious man and enchanted it to locate the man. Jacob and Newt followed the feather and it brought them to the café, where the French wizard introduced himself to them as Yusuf Kama. Kama took them to the Parisian sewers, where in his hideout he had imprisoned Tina. He also did the same with Newt and Jacob and said that he will release them, when Credence Barebone will be dead. Unfortunately, Kama unexpectedly fainted, so Newt released Pickett to unlock the lock in the gate freeing himself, Tina and Jacob. Coming to the unconscious wizard they heard a powerful Zouwu's roar coming from above their heads.

Travelling to Flamel's house

Jacob with unconscious Yusuf

Jacob with unconscious Kama

They pulled Kama out to the Alexander III Bridge, where Newt caught the beast into his suitcase. Kowalski holding unconscious Kama, seized along with Goldstein, Scamander's hand, thanks to which they apparated on Rue de Montmorency to Nicolas Flamel's house, the "safe house" address which Albus Dumbledore had given Newt.

Jacob and Flamel watching crystal ball

Jacob with Flamel watching future events in crystal ball

Newt pursued angry Tina, so Jacob stayed at Flamel's house to watch over Yusuf, especially after Scamander used tweezers to pull a water dragon parasite from Kama's eye. Jacob met Nicolas Flamel there and mistook him for a ghost, due to alchemist's age. Flamel's crystal ball informed him and Nicolas that Gellert Grindelwald called a rally for his followers at the Lestrange Mausoleum on Père-Lachaise cemetery, and that Queenie was going there. The ball also showed Credence heading to the Mausoleum when Jacob noticed that Kama had escaped, so he went to the cemetery despite Flamel's strong protests.

Grindelwald's Paris rally

Jacob reacting to the war bomb

Jacob reacting to the war bomb

In the mausoleum Jacob was discovered by Yusuf. Kama ordered him to be quiet, because he was hunting Credence. When Credence and Nagini arrived, Kama wanted to kill Credence, but he was interrupted by Newt, Tina, and Leta Lestrange. Jacob witnessed Leta's story about how the Dark wizard Corvus Lestrange put Kama's mother, Laurena, under the Imperius Curse, and married her. She subquently gave birth to a girl named Leta. Jacob also witnessed the story of how Yusuf made the Unbreakable Vow with his father, Mustafa, to kill the person Corvus loved the most; how Corvus married his second cousin, Clarisse Tremblay, who gave birth to his son, who was supposed to be Credence Barebone, and how Leta proved that Credence wasn't Corvus because she switched the babies on the ship, while admitting to unintentionally killing Corvus.

Queenie leaving Jacob for Grindelwald

Queenie leaving Jacob heartbroken at the rally

Jacob attended Grindelwald's rally, which took place in the mausoleum. When Aurors under command of Theseus Scamander infiltrated the rally and one witch was killed, Grindelwald sent his followers to spread the word and began the fight by conjuring a circle of black flames around himself to divide friend from foe. Despite having seen a horrifying vision of the future Second World War, and being promised that Grindelwald would help prevent it from ever happening, Queenie urging Jacob to join Grindelwald and walk with her. Jacob tearfully refused Queenie, denouncing her new alliance and stood heartbroken. When Grindelwald attacked both Scamander brothers, Leta sacrificed herself to give Jacob and others time to escape. Tina seized Jacob and disapparated outside the mausoleum with him. As Queenie goes with Grindelwald, Jacob witnessed Newt Scamander saving Paris from the Protego Diabolica spell and followed him to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, joining in the alliance against Grindelwald.

After Paris

After Queenie left Jacob and went over to Grindelwald's side, he was left distraught and lost, with no direction.[22] He briefly sought assistance from a therapist, but was ridiculed when he relayed that he had been interacting with magical witches and wizards.

Eulalie Hicks and Jacob Kowalski sit on a bench in New York

Eulalie and Jacob sit on a bench in New York

One night, while standing in his bakery, Jacob imagined seeing Queenie there. Moments later, across the street, he saw Eulalie Hicks reading a book and men seemingly harassing her. Kowalski left the bakery to help her, but Lally knocked out one the attackers with the Full Body-Bind Curse. It turned out the gang leader was Hicks' cousin Stanley, who owed her a favour. Jacob was furious, saying he was fed up with wizards, but Hicks eventually convinced him that since Queenie was on Grindelwald's side, they would need Jacob's help. The book Lally was reading opened and it turned out to be a Portkey.

Getting a wand

Jacob gets the wand from Newt

Jacob gets the wand from Newt

Lally and Jacob were late for the Great Wizarding Express, so they used a Portkey to get onto it. In the train they met Newt Scamander, Theseus Scamander, Yusuf Kama and Bunty Broadacre. It turned out that Albus Dumbledore had gifted Newt with items that Scamander had given to each of them. Jacob got a wand from Snakewood with no core, so it had no power.[4] After arriving in Berlin, Yusuf and Bunty separated from the group, while Jacob, Newt, Theseus and Lally went to the German Ministry of Magic. There was going to be an event organised by the International Confederation of Wizards. Theseus, however, was kidnapped by Grindelwald's henchmen. Jacob, along with Newt and Lally, was trying to find out where Theseus had been taken. He suddenly spotted Helmut, Grindelwald's acolyte, who had ordered the kidnapping of Theseus. The man, however, was gone.

Later, Jacob, Newt, and Lally met with Dumbledore, who commissioned Jacob and Lally to go to the Candidates' Dinner, as he suspected an assassination attempt might take place there.

Candidates' Dinner

Jacob points a wand at Grindelwald-

Jacob points a wand at Grindelwald

Jacob and Lally went to dinner at German Ministry. Grindelwald soon arrived with his entourage, including Yusuf and Queenie. Jacob was calling for Queenie, but she didn't even look at him. Kowalski drank a glass of something stronger, ran into Grindelwald, and took out his wand. At the same time, Lally noticed that someone brought a drink to Vicência Santos. Jacob approached Grindelwald and ordered him to let Queenie go. Grindelwald, however, casted a spell on Jacob under the table, which made it look as if Kowalski had attacked him. Hicks saved Vicência's life because she broke a glass, the drink spilled on the wall and burned in it. Grindelwald made Jacob a murderer, telling everyone that he attacked him, and this was precisely the reason why the wizards had to unite against Muggles. Jacob and Lally used the Portkey book again to save themselves.

At Hogwarts

Jacob Kowalski is sitting in the Great Hall with two Gryffindor girls and one Ravenclaw

Jacob Kowalski is sitting in the Great Hall

Jacob and Lally waited in the Great Hall. While at Hogwarts, Jacob sat down at the Ravenclaw table and ate with some students. A student tried to grab his wand but he had to describe that it was very dangerous and it shouldn't be touched by anyone.[4] Suddenly, Jacob saw Newt and Theseus who had just entered the Great Hall. Kowalski said how nice the children were and that a bunch of Slytherin students had given him sweets - as it turned out, they were Cockroach Clusters.

The walk of the Qilin

Take-my-hand-jacob-kowalski

Jacob Kowalski using the Qilin Ceremony Portkey in the Room of Requirement

Jacob, along with Newt, Theseus, and Lally went to Hogwarts. In the Room of Requirement, Dumbledore was waiting there with Bunty. They were to be transported to the ceremony in Bhutan by the Qilin Ceremony Portkey, which was in the centre of the room. There were also five suitcases, one of which contained a Qilin. The remaining suitcases contained enchanted books, Bludgers, or Jacob's pastries. In case of trouble, they were to drop the suitcases, and the enchanted items would attack Grindelwald's henchmen.

Jacob Kowalski and Queenie Goldstein talk in Bhutan

Jacob and Queenie speaking in Bhutan

After reaching Bhutan, he separated from Albus. On the way, he saved Newt from two of Grindelwald's henchmen by hitting them with the suitcase. He also met Queenie, who he wanted to persuade to return, but she insisted that it was too late for that. Moments later, they were covered by Grindelwald's acolytes who are commanded by Vinda Rosier and led to the ceremony.

Jacob is tortured

Jacob being tortured by Grindelwald

During the ceremony, the reanimated Qilin bowed to Grindelwald, making him the new Supreme Mugwump. Jacob was dragged into the middle by Grindelwald as an example. After Rosier takes from him the wand Dumbledore had given to him and hands it to her master, Grindelwald said that Jacob was a Muggle who dared to fall in love with a witch. Something like that, according to Grindelwald, stained the magic blood and could not be allowed to, so he cast the Cruciatus Curse on Jacob.[23] The curse was stopped by Santos swiftly, however, leaving Jacob panting in Queenie's arms as she tearfully comforts him. When Newt pulled a second Qilin out of the suitcase brought by Bunty, Grindelwald's lie was revealed. The real Qilin bowed to Vicência, and there was a fight between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, which resulted in the latter escaping after he was confronted by the dozens present (bar his own followers of course), Jacob standing beside Queenie as she joins the confronters.

Marrying Queenie

Jacob and Queenie's wedding SOD

Jacob and Queenie's wedding

Soon after, Jacob's wedding to Queenie took place at Kowalski's bakery in New York. Their wedding was attended by several friends, including Newt (who Jacob, because of their friendship, asks to be his best man), Theseus, Lally, Bunty and Tina, who has recently been busy in work roles, but had travelled to New York to attend the wedding as her sister's maid-of-honor. They stood in front of a wedding officiant with their friends behind them and took their vows, Jacob becoming husband to Queenie.

Meanwhile, Albus Dumbledore watched them and their wedding from outside the store, before leaving the street.

Physical description

When he was a man in his mid- to late-twenties, he was of average height for a man of his time and had a stocky build. He had dark brown curly hair that was usually kept brushed and a matching moustache. He had dark brown eyes.[5]

Personality and traits

Jacob was extremely warm, welcoming, compassionate, and friendly, with Newt Scamander noting that people tend to like Jacob, and with Jacob claiming that he wishes to become a baker to make people happy, despising having to work in a canning factory, due to that job being joyless. Hence, Jacob managed to swiftly befriend Queenie Goldstein, the somewhat socially awkward Newt Scamander, the somewhat prim Tina Goldstein, and later even the most famous alchemist in history, Nicolas Flamel.

While initially disturbed by magic, Jacob, unlike most No-Majes, quickly came to admire and love wizardry, and was excited to learn more about the Wizarding world during his adventures with Newt, Tina, and Queenie. Jacob seemed to adjust to extreme situations relatively quickly, as he wasn't mentally disturbed after almost getting killed by an Erumpent or contending with an Occamy, and quickly overcame his fear of Nicolas Flamel's gaunt appearance, politely claiming that the ancient alchemist looked young for his age.

Jacob seemed to have poor self-esteem, viewing himself as unintelligent, and thinking that there "are loads [like him]," but Queenie assured Jacob that he is unique, before their first kiss. Jacob's unique ability to accept other people is a testament to this, as the likes of Henry Shaw Jnr were openly hateful of those lesser than themselves, while Jacob was pleasant and friendly to his fellow men. Moreover, Jacob had a good sense of humour, remarking that Gnarlak reminded him of his foreman after punching the goblin in the face.

Jacob was also very selfless, with a strong sense of morality, and an incorruptible spirit, shown when he willingly stepped out into the rain for Obliviation, when he refused to endanger his beloved Queenie by marrying her, and when he wasn't swayed by Gellert Grindelwald's visions of a future Second World War (despite being horrified by them, as a veteran of the First World War), and tearfully refused to join his beloved Queenie among Grindelwald's forces. The incredible bravery and fortitude demonstrated by Jacob in Paris, as well as the loss Jacob suffered, seemingly earned him the admiration and sympathy of Theseus Scamander and Nicolas Flamel.

While he initially appeared timid and shy, Jacob is in fact, exceptionally brave, having served in the First World War, willingly braving many adventures at Newt Scamander's side, and even refusing to join Gellert Grindelwald's forces, despite the fearsome black fire threat as the alternative. Indeed, had Jacob been a wizard and attended Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he would have been Sorted into the house Wampus.[24]

Abilities and skills

  • Baking skills: Jacob was a talented baker, taking inspiration from his family recipes, and confidently claiming that his goods surpassed those of any doughnut machine. This was due to baking being his passion, as Jacob wished to make people happy with his baked goods. His Kowalski Quality Baked Goods quickly became extremely popular, with him baking various pastries and confections in the forms of fantastic creatures (unconsciously modelling them after the beasts he encountered on his adventures with Newt).
  • Love: Jacob was capable of feeling love. This was evident in his love for his girlfriend Queenie Goldstein, since he loved her enough to refuse legally endangering her with a marriage, and he swiftly forgave Queenie for enchanting him, understanding her reasoning. As a result, Jacob was incredibly devastated after Queenie joined with Gellert Grindelwald, as his morals made him unable to follow her there.
  • Willpower: Despite occasionally appearing timid and shy, Jacob actually had an impressive willpower, enough to brave difficult or dangerous situations, and overcome strong emotional attachments when necessary. Hence, Jacob served in the First World War, he agreed to help Newt accomplish the extremely dangerous task of re-capturing an Erumpent, he was not dissuaded when warned by Queenie Goldstein of how dangerous Credence's Obscurus was, he wiped his own memories in an act of selfless bravery, he refused to endanger Queenie by marrying her despite his love for the beautiful witch, and most notably, while Jacob was horrified by Gellert Grindelwald's visions of a future Second World War, and while he still loved Queenie, Jacob showed his incorruptible spirit and morals by resisting Grindelwald's persuasive speech and tearfully refusing to join his beloved girlfriend among Grindelwald's forces.
  • Handling magical creatures: Despite being a No-Maj, Jacob did a surprisingly competent job at helping Newt Scamander look after the many magical beasts inside his case.
  • Unarmed combat: As a trained soldier and a veteran of the Great War, Jacob was proficient in self-defence and physical combat, even after his time in the army and getting out of shape. He demonstrated his physical prowess when he knocked out the goblin gangster Gnarlak with a single punch to the face.[3] His ability to handle himself in a physical confrontation was later implicitly shown when Jacob saw Eulalie Hicks being seemingly harassed outside his bakery in 1932, and stepped outside to intervene. On this occasion, not only was he utterly unconcerned when they approached him in a threatening manner, even though there were three of them, all of whom had a height advantage and were in better trim, implying that Jacob knew how to employ his combat training so effectively that he could easily compensate for his weight gain and possibly even use it to his advantage in a physical confrontation. He was also able to knock two of Grindelwald's followers off their feet with a single swing of his suitcase when he saw them threaten Newt in Bhutan.[4]

Possessions

Jacob Kowalski with his wand

Jacob Kowalski with his wand

  • Wand: Jacob was given this wand from his friend Newt Scamander, who gained it from Albus Dumbledore, despite Jacob being a No-Maj and therefore incapable of magic.[4]
  • Suitcase: Jacob had this suitcase while living in New York and used it to carry his bakery goods.

Etymology

  • Jacob is derived from Late Latin Jacobus/Iacobus, from Greek Ἰάκωβος (Iakobos), from Hebrew יַעֲקֹב (Yaʿqob/Yaʿaqov/Yaʿăqōḇ). In the Abrahamic monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), Jacob, (in Christianity considered one of the Patriarchs) son of Isaac and Rebekah, was the third to have held a covenant with God, and was later named Israel (later the progenitor of the Twelve Tribes). His original name meant seizing by the/holder of the heel or supplanting/supplanter, which ties in with his pre-covenant life: in birth as having held his elder twin brother Esau's heel, as having persuaded Esau to give him the birthright of the eldest son, and as having his old almost-blind father bless him under the disguise of Esau. Jacob is also a cognate/reduced English form of the name James, the name of some of Jesus's disciples.
  • Jacob's role in Newt's life (from inadvertently switching cases to being Newt's friend/assistant in helping him catch the former's escaped beasts) is reflected from the name's original Hebrew root עקב (ʿqb) meaning to follow/be behind", but also to supplant/circumvent/assail/overreach or from the word for heel, עֲקֵב (ʿaqeb).
  • Kowalski is the 2nd most common surname in Poland (as well as in the USA), meaning "blacksmith's son" (root kowal blacksmith). Jan Kowalski is the Polish equivalent to John Smith.
    • Additionally, Smith is the most popular surname in America. This could be seen as symbolic of Jacob being the everyman, a character in literature and drama that is ordinary and that the audience is meant to easily identify with, and are often put into extraordinary circumstances.
  • Even though Jacob is no blacksmith, as his patronymic surname means, his preferred business is still connected with intense fire the fashioning of pastry products through the usage of fire using an oven over the forge
  • Contrary to the film's pronunciation of ko-Wal-ski as per the name, the proper pronunciation is ko-Val-ski. In Polish w is pronounced as in the English v sound (the English w sound corresponding to the letter ł). The butchering of the name's native pronunciation was common during the Great Migration period in the United States. For example, German names such as Van Ortman were shortened to simply, Ortman. This was a process known as Americanization.
  • Kowalski means, Son of Smith, this could be an implication that he is a descendant of Hepzibah Smith. Though Kowalski and Smith are very common surnames.

Behind the scenes

LegoJkowalski

Jacob Kowalski as a LEGO character in LEGO Dimensions

JacobPOP

Jacob Kowalski as a POP! Vinyl

  • Jacob Kowalski is portrayed by Dan Fogler in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film series.[12] In an interview, Fogler stated his character speaks with a historical Brooklyn accent, similar to that of early 20th-century comedian Lou Costello.[25] He has likened the relationship between Jacob and Newt as being akin to that of Holmes and Watson, or Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.[26]
  • Dan Fogler was around 14 years older than his character when he first played Jacob in Fantastic Beasts and where to find them.
  • Since Jacob is identified as having been born around 1900 in (then-partitioned) Poland (Poles being the largest Slavic ethnic group in the USA, immigration dating back to the Colonial era predating the Pilgrims), Jacob and/or his family must have immigrated in the latter years of 1870-1914 (the largest immigration wave, which most present Polish Americans are descended from), and as Poland never existed as an independent sovereign state (from 1795-1918), the U.S. Immigration and Naturalisation Service classified Poles (including Jacob and/or family) into either Russian, German, or Austrian, depending on which partitioned territory the immigrant came from.
  • Jacob's connection with bread can be related to the 1870-1914 immigration wave, as immigrant Poles from this time period were called za chlebem (for bread) immigrants, because most were peasants in Poland who did not own land and lacked basic subsistence.
  • As Jacob mentioned participating in the Expeditionary Forces (1917-1919) in World War I, he would have been drafted through the amended Selective Service Act of 1917. Under the original Act enacted May 28 1917, all men aged between 21-31 were required to register for military service, and after Congress amended the Act in August 1918, the age range was widened to 18-45. Due to his birth date around 1900 most probably before August, Jacob must've been drafted after the 1918 amendment the 3rd registration held on September 12 1918, as he would've been ineligible underage under the original 1917 Act.
  • It is worth noting that World War I motivated Polish Americans such as Jacob to vigorously contribute and/or support the War, with large numbers volunteering for or being drafted into the United States Army, working in war-related industries, and buying war bonds a common theme was to fight for America, defeat the Germans (who were one of the participants in the partitions of Poland, and for the restoration of Poland as a unified, independent nation.
  • His late return indicates that he would likely have been a member of the U.S. Third Army, which was created by General Pershing at the end of 1918 to perform occupation duties. Third Army was created from the Third and Fourth Army Corps which both took part in major combat operations at the end of the War from September to November of 1918. Despite his apparent desire to minimise his war experiences, it is most likely that Jacob was a combat veteran, having taken part in either the Battle of Saint-Mihiel or the bloody Meuse-Argonne offensive.
  • Although Jacob was born in Poland and emigrated to America, by the time he was in his mid-twenties he spoke with a heavy Brooklyn accent. As such, he likely immigrated when he was young child.
  • Quentin Kowalski may be a descendant of Jacob and Queenie Goldstein, though this would breach Rappaport's Law. Queenie and Jacob would need to have left the United States of America to marry as to protect Queenie from prosecution. It is possible they returned in 1965 when Rappaport's Law was repealed, or that their children or grandchildren travelled to the United States of their own accord.
  • If Jacob had been a wizard and attended Ilvermorny, he would have been sorted into Wampus.[24]
  • While Dan Fogler was in his trailer on the grounds of Leavesden, he shot cameo video for one of his friends or a fan. He was wearing a t-shirt with a jacket over and a tuxedo under the t-shirt, showing that at some point in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Jacob will be wearing a tuxedo![27]
  • In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Jacob still has the Murtlap bites on his neck from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film).

Appearances

Wiki
The Harry Potter Wiki has 235 images related to Jacob Kowalski.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (see this image)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Magical Movie Handbook (see this image)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) - (see this image)
  6. 6.0 6.1 EW - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Character Posters
  7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) - (see this image)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 'Fantastic Beasts' Character Descriptions Revealed
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Everything we've learned about ‘Fantastic Beasts' this week" from Pottermore
  10. Behind-the-scenes video from the official Pottermore account on Twitter
  11. 'Fantastic Beasts' cast talk wands, creatures, Newt & his friends, Salem trials, more" from SnitchSeeker.com
  12. 12.0 12.1 "'Fantastic Beasts': 'Secret and Lies' Actor Dan Fogler Joins 'Harry Potter' Spinoff" at Variety.com
  13. 13.0 13.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) - Deleted scene on the DVD/Blu-ray release
  14. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 80
  15. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 11
  16. 16.0 16.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 50
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 9
  18. 18.0 18.1 Maura's question to Dan Fogler about Jacob's military time
  19. The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, page 22
  20. 20.0 20.1 The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, page 27
  21. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 123 - "EXT. JACOB’S BAKERY, LOWER EAST SIDE—THREE MONTHS LATER—DAY". The previous scene was 16 December, 10 days after Newt's arrival to New York.
  22. Episode 1167 - CNI Unplugged: DAN FOGLER!
  23. Fogler's Fiction Fest 2021 - DAY 2 - YouTube, Jan 17, 2021
  24. 24.0 24.1 J. K. Rowling on Twitter: "Wampus, of course."
  25. Video: Dan Fogler talks 'Fantastic Beasts' casting, NY accent, film's era in early 1920s - SnitchSeeker.com
  26. THE FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM CAST ON JOINING THE WORLD OF HARRY POTTER at IGN.com
  27. This is why everyone thinks Jacob is wearing a tux.
Dumbledore's first army
The Secrets of Dumbledore - Heroes
Leaders:
Newton Scamander (founder) | Albus Dumbledore (co-leader)
Members:
Bunty Broadacre | Eulalie Hicks | Jacob Kowalski | Pickett | Teddy | Theseus Scamander | Yusuf Kama
Allies:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Minerva McGonagall | Nicolas Flamel | Porpentina Goldstein | Queenie Goldstein
Headquarters:
Hog's Head Inn | Hogwarts Castle (briefly)
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