If you were one of the millions who saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this weekend, don’t be worried if you feel confused. It’s all part of JK Rowling’s plan.
The spin-off series Fantastic Beasts wanted to establish its new characters and settings for both new and old Harry Potter fans. The movie doesn’t have the decided bonus that its predecessors had since Fantastic Beasts lacks a predetermined novelization - so everything fans saw was new. So, naturally, some Potterheads left theaters feeling like someone used a Confundus Charm on them.
For those of you wondering how the movie’s shocking end and easter eggs will play into future films, ComicBook.com has you covered. We’re breaking down how Fantastic Beasts might move forward now that its first installment has apparated into theaters.
So, spoilers below; There’s no guarantee these secrets can be obliviated from your mind should you continue!
Grindelwald & Dumbeldore
Hands down, the biggest surprise of Fantastic Beasts comes at the end when fans learn that auror Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) is not who they believe. The rogue wizard turns out to be none other than a transfigured Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), and Newt Scamander is all-too happy to reveal the dark wizard’s identity with a charm.
Brought to his knees, Grindelwald mocks the president of MACUSA about her ability to keep him imprisoned, and she says she will do her best. Obviously, fans know that promise will fall through; Grindelwald has only been kept in one prison successfully, and it was one of his own creation.
The ending saw Grindelwald tell Newt they would soon meet again, but the Magizoologist seems nonplussed by the threat. However, a bit of fear might be needed. Harry Potter lore designates Grindelwald as the darkest wizard of all-time, so take everything you know about Lord Voldemort’s reign and multiply it by ten to get this wizard’s rule.
Fans have already been told that Grindelwald will become increasingly important in the next Fantastic Beasts films, so audiences should keep an eye on the wizard as he prepares a full-on wizarding world war.
Oh, Creedence. You deserved so much more than what you got in Fantastic Beasts. The young man was involved with the New Salem Philanthropic Society, an American organization who lobbied for the destruction of magical communities. However, it turned out that Creedence was a wizard despite Grindelwald thinking the boy was a mere squib - and he was too powerful for his own good.
Living under the abusive watch of his adoptive mother, Creedence repressed his magical gifts until he created an unbelievably powerful being known as an Obscurus. The being, which is a mass of uncontrollable destructive magic, went on a rampage that destroyed much of New York City. And, unsurprisingly, Grindelwald wanted to use it for his revolutionary war.
In the film, Newt tries to save Creedence, but MACUSA orders to have the boy killed in order to contain the Obscurus threat. However, it doesn’t look like their plans worked out. After the fight ends, audiences watch as Newt sees a remnant of Creedence’s Obscurus float away from the scene, and the being can only exist if its host is alive. Producer David Heyman also confirmed they filmed a scene where Newt left New York City with Creedence in tow, so Potterheads should expect to see the troubled character return.
In fact, fans might expect to see Obscurials return in a big way, and it won’t be solely because of Creedence. The dangerous creatures seem to have caught Grindelwald’s eye, and it is likely because he first encountered one when he was a teenager.
For Harry Potter fans, you may know where this is going already. When Grindelwald was a teenager, he was sent to live with his relative Bathilda Bagshot in Godric’s Hollow where he met a young Albus Dumbledore. The two become close friends, but their relationship ended abruptly after a three-way duel between the duo and Dumbledore’s older brother killed their sister Ariana.
However, there might be more to that fight than fans currently know. In Harry Potter, Ariana was described as an introverted witch who kept her magic tightly locked away, but it would sometimes burst forth in violent fits. That description is textbook for an Obscurus, so Grindelwald would have seen the being’s power when he was still formulating revolutionary ideas about overthrowing the muggle world - and the Dumbledore all suffered from it.
Given their close relationship, some fans may wonder whether Dumbledore will make an appearance in Fantastic Beasts. The answer is yes; He will play a key role in the franchise moving forward.
In Fantastic Beasts, fans were teased with an overt Dumbledore reference when Graves/Grindelwald asks Newt what the older wizard sees in him. After all, it was Dumbledore who fought against Newt’s expulsion from Hogwarts, and it seems as if Grindelwald is more jealous than curious about his old friend’s interest.
At his core, Grindelwald is a self-centered man who is interested in furthering his personal agendas - and he’s not afraid to claim ownership of people. When he was younger, the wizard used Dumbledore as almost a play-thing to sharpen his own intellect, and Grindelwald gladly manipulated the other’s romantic feelings towards him as a show of power.
In Harry Potter, fans learned that it’s Dumbledore who defeats Grindelwald after 3-hour duel wherein the professor wins the fabled Elder Wand from his former friend. That battle takes place in 1945, and Rowling has said the Fantastic Beasts films will cover events up to that point, so prepare to see young Dumbledore go all-out on Grindelwald by the fifth film.
One of the most intriguing elements of Fantastic Beasts came with its introduction of Leta Lestrange. The character never appears in person, but moviegoers were shown a picture of her that Newt keeps frame in his magical suitcase.
If you think that lady’s name sounds familiar, then that’s because it is. The surname Lestrange belongs to a group of infamously dark, pureblood wizards who supported Lord Voldemort during Harry Potter’s time. Sirius Black was related to the clan, and his cousin Bellatrix fawned over the dark wizard with fanatic obsession (and even bore his illegitimate child).
In Fantastic Beasts, we learn that Newt and Leta were good friends at Hogwarts but have since lost touch. More than likely, their fallout was spurred by Leta’s family and her interest in the dark arts. It was hinted that Leta was actually the person behind the creature incident which led to Newt’s expulsion, but the hero took the blame because he liked her.
LINKS: Fantastic Beasts Official Review / Fantasic Beats' Harry Potter Connections / Where the Franchise Goes Next / Fantastic Beasts Timeline / Johnny Depp Rumored to Cameo / There Will be 5 Fantastic Beasts Films / Will we see the Dumbledore/Grindelwald Love Affair? / Who is Newt Scamander?
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is now in theaters. It is 133 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for some fantasy action violence.