New ‘Crimes of Grindelwald’ Trailer Raises Questions of Beastly Proportions!

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Mar 15, 2018

Posted by: Dawn Johnson | Comments

BigNews, Fandom, Fans, Fantastic Beasts, Fantastic Beasts Movie, Films, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling, Law, Movies, News, Opinion, Trailers

The first official trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald released yesterday and hit us like a powerful Stunning Charm, sending shockwaves throughout the wizarding fandom. It included long-awaited glimpses of our favorite characters returned to action; newly-cast characters taking their place in the story; old and new scenes of import, such as the Hogwarts grounds and castle and the suspected French Ministry of Magic; and hints at many exciting and mysterious plot developments!

Leaky covered the significant highlights in a must-read shot-by-shot breakdown of the trailer, but we can’t help revisiting some of the biggest questions raised by the all-too-brief promotional for the upcoming film.

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1) Apparition 101

We were quick to cry foul (using the words of Hermione, of course) when the trailer showed Torquil Travers, leading a special delegation from the Ministry of Magic, apparating inside the grounds of Hogwarts:

Some fans argued this posed no problem since the film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince depicted Albus Dumbledore apparating into the Hogwarts castle, but this alone cannot be used to prove any theories. As fans are well aware, many alterations were made to both the characters and plot lines in the course of adapting the movies, and so the canon debate continues.

In fact, Rowling herself stated this was an impossibility via Pottermore–and yet, she penned the script! This brings her Fantastic Beasts screenplay within canon even though the entry comes through the medium of film. So how do we reconcile that which appears to have no obvious explanation? Is it possible that Travers leads a group of aurors with special dispensation or “government clearance” to circumvent existing magical enchantments?

In Chapter 18 of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Birthday Surprises),Twycross warns students prior to their Apparition exam preparations: 

“As you may know, it is usually impossible to Apparate or Disparate within Hogwarts. The Headmaster has lifted this enchantment, purely within the Great Hall, for one hour, so as to enable you to practise.”

The explanation could be as simple as the Headmaster at the time (presumedly Armando Dippet) arranging to lift the restrictions on the bridge, knowing that the Ministry wished to question Dumbledore. 

If we want to delve into the capabilities of the Ministry, Leaky previously speculated over a rumored cast list found on Reddit which referenced a “Counter-Terrorism Operative/Department of Mysteries Worker.” If these operatives function like Britain’s famed MI6 or America’s CIA, could they be magically enabled to break through Anti-Apparition Charms for national security purposes? They seem especially concerned over Newt Scamander’s whereabouts and, given his last adventure and the precarious status of his traveling papers, they could wonder at the true nature of his “research.”

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2) Why Are the Ministry Interested in Newt Scamander? 

This level of access to previously protected locations could pose a problem for the wizarding world at large, since Travers is poised as the lead investigator. Based on our knowledge of the Harry Potter series, we know Travers’ descendants align themselves with Voldemort as Death Eaters, and it is logical to assume that devotion to pureblood preservation was passed down though the generations. This means Travers may be secretively loyal to Grindelwald, subverting the Ministry’s efforts to locate the dark wizard, feeding him sensitive information and, perhaps, even using his clearance to gain access to significant government targets.

The cast list review went into great detail noting victim after victim of terrorist attacks: “Circus Audience Member/Terrorist Attack Victim,” an “U.K. Citizen/Attack Victim,” a “London Citizen/Attack Victim,” a “Parisian Passerby/Terrorist Attack Victim,” and a “Ballroom Girl/Parisian Sex Worker/Attack Victim,” as well as “Hospital Patient,” “Screaming Woman,” “Screaming Crowd Member,” “Dead Girl,” “Dead Boy,” “Injured Man,” “Disfigured Child,” “Gravedigger,” “Grave Mourner.”

Whatever the reason for this break from our previous understanding of the wizarding world and knowledge of established canon, J.K. Rowling undoubtedly has a good reason, and it will likely factor heavily in the plot! 

3) Letters From Paris & The Goldstein’s Apartment

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After the apparition shocker, the other scenes almost bombarded the senses, following one another in rapid succession, and many other interesting details would have been easy to miss without the ability to watch again (and again and again). So on revisiting the trailer, we have to wonder why Newt repairs the post card from Paris. Why was it torn in pieces at all?

He appears to be inside the Goldsteins’ apartment, which looks to be relatively unchanged since the first film. The question is, why would Newt send a postcard from Paris and then head to New York–and why would Tina or Queenie tear it apart? It’s possible that Dumbledore sends Newt to Paris on a scouting mission, at which time Newt might quickly realize he’ll need the particular assistance of his old friends in order to track Grindelwald. Perhaps Newt sends the communique early on in this journey and follows shortly behind it to reveal more in person.

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But why the harsh treatment of the postcard? Maybe Newt has been too busy with his newfound success upon the publication of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to stay in touch as promised, and Tina has not taken kindly to the slight–unintentional though it may be. It’s also very possible that Tina is none too pleased that Newt now works with a capable and winsome assistant, Bunty. If this is the case, Newt may have to do a bit of groveling to persuade the sisters to join him on his quest.

There’s also the possibility that the postcard isn’t from Newt at all. After all, why would he need to repair the postcard to take a look, if he was the one who sent it? More on this one later. 

4) Does Grindelwald Possess a Prophecy? 

The next intriguing scene showed Grindelwald before a gathering of wizards, presumably, the growing ranks of his supporters. He stands in the center of a stone dais alongside Vinda Rosier, who appears to be holding something mysterious.

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Leaky suggested that Rosier might be holding a prophecy, which would be a huge driving factor in the story. If Grindelwald’s plans for the domination of wizard-kind hinge on his understanding of a prophecy, as Voldemort’s did, then all of his actions will in some way revolve around it.

Though the object in Rosier’s hands looks larger than the ball recovered from the Department of Mysteries in the film Order of the Phoenix, it’s possible this prophecy did not reside there but in the inner sanctum of the French Ministry of Magic. This may be one reason Grindelwald goes to Paris–and the reason Newt must follow him there. What might such a prophecy reveal? For one, it could hint at the significance of Credence Barebone. 

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5) Credence Lestrange? 

As previously suspected by Leaky, it appears Credence has been hiding out in the wizarding circus, now identified as the Circus Arcanus. We know from Fantastic Beasts that Grindelwald is supremely interested in harnessing the dark power of obscurials. A prophecy revealing that Credence plays a larger role in the success of Grindelwald’s campaign than even he first expected could renew efforts to track him down, possibly with the assistance of Leta Lestrange.

Now that the trailer revealed Credence’s true identity as Leta’s half-brother by father Corvus Lestrange, the origins of Credence’s innate power have been explained. Such a connection was predicted by Leaky, and this heritage would not only make him a high-profile ally, beyond his value as an Obscurus, but a sister from an ancient wizarding bloodline would also be an attractive recruiter.

The revelation of the Lestrange family tree and the connection to the Gaunts–spy the faint top right entry in the genealogical record!–may also hint at a return to the Hallows.

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6) Return of The Deathly Hallows

The Hallows were an obsession of Grindelwald and Dumbledore in their youth, and we previously theorized that Grindelwald may continue his search for these powerful magical objects in order to further cement his power. With the resurrection stone, invisibility cloak and Elder Wand eventually in hand, procured from the oldest of wizarding families, he would appear to be invincible, and with the added support of their descendants, he might actually be so. Add to that a prophecy–and who could stop him?

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7) “It has to be you” 

Dumbledore tells Newt, “I can’t move against Grindelwald. It has to be you.” Heavy words and an even heavier burden to bear. But why?

The accepted explanation for Dumbledore’s delay in facing Grindelwald, garnered from the few details of their backstory as revealed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, has been that Dumbledore wouldn’t confront his old friend due to inner conflict. Perhaps due to a lingering infatuation with Grindelwald or due to the bitter memories of their mutual part in the death of Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana.

But Jude Law’s delivery of that insistent line feels less like won’t and more like–can’t. While it’s always possible this is another masterful chess move on Dumbledore’s part, saying and doing what he must in order to achieve the outcome he thinks best, what if this is a truly earnest, and honest, appeal?

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What if a prophecy exists, and it names Dumbledore rather than Credence? Or both?! What if, like Rowling’s ingeniously-planned arc through the Harry Potter series, acting on a prophecy sets the path in motion to fulfilling it?

The prophecy regarding Harry said that Voldemort would mark the chosen one as his equal. Voldemort did so by targeting Harry’s family that fateful night in Godric’s Hollow and that, in effect, transferred powers that made Harry his “equal,” both in legend and in many shared abilities. They also guaranteed that Voldemort could act undeterred by any but Harry–and the final victory or defeat would come by a confrontation between them alone.

Is it possible that, in the same way, Dumbledore knows acting now will set in motion events he is not yet ready for, events for which dire, world-changing consequences hang in the balance? If this is the case, then he may actually need Newt to intercede and take the lead where he cannot–not until the time is right.

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8) Brothers in Combat

Finally, Newt and Theseus are shown in a graveyard, and they seem to be fighting against an impending threat. Perhaps Dumbledore, knowing Grindelwald’s intentions as intimately as he does, sent them to track down the legacy of the Hallows and they are caught off guard by cohorts of Grindelwald’s on the same mission.

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Or, if not, maybe they are conjuring a spell that requires their combined powers, a spell that reveals significant information–and in so doing, what if they then track down more than information? What if they actually manage to unearth a magical object in the cemetery, maybe even something Grindelwald desperately wants, leveling the playing field once again. Otherwise, they would appear to be seriously outmatched by Grindelwald at this point, but with three films still to come after this one, the story is far from over–and Grindelwald’s rise far from assured.

After all, Dumbledore is not one to be under-estimated and, as we pointed out in our trailer coverage, he is a shrewd strategist. Newt, too, has proved himself a worthy combatant and, with his war-hero brother, Theseus, at his side, Grindelwald must not assume anything is certain.

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But Theseus’ presence alongside his brother raises one final question–if he is working with Newt and Dumbledore rather than Travers, and yet is engaged to Leta Lestrange, where does that leave the status of their allegiance? Is it to each other or to their respective families? Is Theseus truly loyal to Dumbledore or is it an elaborate act, concealing his work as a covert operative, moving against them on Grindelwald’s behalf? Or is Leta the one acting as a double agent, much as Severus Snape would later do. As Leaky wondered well over a year ago, will Leta be the one upon whom their victory hinges–in the end?

Along similar lines, comes our next point:

9) Where’s Queenie? 

Queenie doesn’t feature much at all in this trailer, and our earlier suggestion that the ripped up postcard in the Goldstein’s apartment may not be from Newt after all might be the reason why. At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, we see Queenie approach Jacob in his bakery, and Jacob’s running around with Newt in the Crimes of Grindelwald trailer, so appears to have his memories back.

Did Queenie escape to Paris? How might she tie into the Grindelwald storyline? We know that this film will show loyalties being tested, and a previous image of the cast shows Queenie staring at Grindelwald, possibly managing to bypass his powers as an Occlumens and take a glimpse at his mind. This, of course, is something Voldemort never managed to do, and Queenie also failed to see into Grindelwald’s mind previously when he was masquerading as Graves:

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Could Queenie be enticed by Grindelwald’s desire to end the International Statute of Secrecy? Or could she try to play the long game to thwart him?

It will be a thrilling battle, to be sure, and the possibilities in this trailer alone are breath-taking! We can’t wait to see what future footage reveals about Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, but for now, let us know what you think of our theories. Did you pick up any details we missed? Watch the trailer again below:





The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.