Note: Contains major spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
As the second instalment in a five-part story, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald features plenty of setup for the next film in JK Rowling’s new Wizarding World series (some might say too much).
The film is gearing up for a major war between Grindelwald’s magical-supremacist followers and the pro-muggle (or at least muggle-indifferent) authorities. Here are five ways Crimes of Grindelwald sets the scene for the third Fantastic Beasts movie and beyond.
1. Grindelwald’s revolution
We know that a magical conflict with Grindelwald and his followers is on the horizon, their goal being the overturning of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy and the eventual subjugation of the muggle world (Grindelwald’s suggestion that wizards and muggle be treated as ‘separate but equal’ has some unsettling historical parallels).
As we see, Grindelwald is adept at using rhetoric as much as force to further his plans for world domination. The next movie will likely deal with the auror who accidentally but stupidly killed one of Grindelwald’s followers at his rally in Paris. The dark wizard took full advantage of the death, sending out his followers to spread the word of the ‘unprovoked attack’ by the magical authorities.
2. The truth about Credence
Credence Barebone stands revealed not as Corvus Lestrange (as the film’s red herring tried to convince us) but the heretofore-unknown Aurelius Dumbledore, the beloved Hogwarts headmaster’s long-lost relative (who follows the naming convention of the siblings Albus, Aberforth and Ariana).
Gellert Grindelwald is apparently hoping to prey on Credence/Aurelius’ sense of abandonment by turning him (and his Obscurial powers) against Albus, who Grindelwald can’t move against directly (more on that later).
But is this really the truth about Credence? We only have the manipulative Grindelwald’s word and a convenient phoenix to go on. Either way, a confrontation between Dumbledore and Credence looks to be on the horizon.
3. Dumbledore’s Unbreakable Vow
The reason that Dumbledore was unable to get involved directly in Crimes of Grindelwald was not, for once, that Dumbledore doesn’t want to get involved, but that he swore a blood pact – apparently a variant of the Unbreakable Vow spell – with Grindelwald that they would never fight each other.
However, Newt (with some help from our old pal the Niffler) came into possession of the brooch-like artefact that symbolises their blood pact. It is now in Dumbledore’s possession, and the last we hear he is going to attempt to break the magical vow so that he help more actively in the oncoming conflict.
4. Queenie’s betrayal
We didn’t see that one coming. Tina Goldstein’s Legilimens sister has sided with Grindelwald, with the promise that he will change the world and removes the obstacles to her marrying her no-maj boyfriend Jacob Kowalski.
How long until she realises her boss is the kind of guy who goes in for a bit of casual infanticide in pursuit of his goals? We’re afraid she will probably have an ugly confrontation with Tina and her friends before we get to that point.
5. Newt picks a side
“I don’t do sides,” Newt tells his brother Theseus Scamander early on in Crimes of Grindelwald as he turns down the offer to become an auror in return for the lifting of his travel ban.
But by the end of the film, with Grindelwald having stolen Queenie away, killed Leta Lestrange and nearly destroyed all of Paris, Newt declares that he has picked his side and will fight the dark wizard alongside his brother. This will no doubt lead to a change in his behaviour and motivations for the rest of the series, although we hope he doesn’t lose his good-natured outlook altogether.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is out now.
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