Six Burning Questions I Have About “The Crimes of Grindelwald”
My reaction when I woke up to the Fantastic Beasts news this morning can best be represented by Dean Thomas.
Of course, once I overcame my initial shock and excitement, several burning questions immediately came to mind and took over my thoughts like an Occamy in an attic. Rest assured, I will be dwelling on nothing else for the next year.
1. What are “the crimes of Grindelwald”?
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is intriguing, if a little disappointing. Unlike the titles of the Potter series, it seems quite straightforward and carries very little mystery with it. Obviously, Grindelwald has committed many crimes, and obviously, this movie will most likely detail what exactly they were. But could “the Crimes of Grindelwald” include not only crimes against the wizarding world but also more personal crimes against a certain former friend (or significant other) turned enemy? Who killed Ariana Dumbledore?
2. What is Dumbledore up to?
Judging by a statement in the press release, young Dumbledore seems to be withholding vital information from Newt until the last moment. It is highly likely that Dumbledore has not divulged his past with Grindelwald to anyone in this photograph. Perhaps it is this detail that tests Newt’s loyalty to Dumbledore. But could Dumbledore be hiding something else?
Notably absent from this photo is Nicolas Flamel, renowned alchemist and creator of the Sorcerer’s Stone. While Grindelwald seeks out the Hallows as a means to immortality, could Dumbledore be going after the Sorcerer’s Stone for the same ends?
3. Being or beast?
Credence the Obscurial and Claudia Kim’s Maledictus seem to share a similar, isolating experience of turning into an uncontrollable “monster.” According to the introduction in my copy of Fantastic Beasts, the criteria for distinguishing a being from a beast has always been heavily debated. Are Credence and the Maledictus beings or beasts? Are we about to find ourselves right in the middle of that debate? Rowling has already explored this territory through the werewolf Remus Lupin, and I for one am thrilled at the prospect of diving deeper into this question.
4. Is this love?
How many couples can you count in that picture? Is there anything left of whatever love existed between Dumbledore and Grindelwald? Queenie and Jacob, whose relationship would fly in the face of Grindelwald’s ideals, sit closest to him and look at him suspiciously. Could this be foreshadowing a possible tragic fate for my favorite ship at Grindelwald’s hands? I sincerely hope not. Newt and Tina have a bit of an odd dynamic going on, only looking at each other when the other one is looking away. Is this a budding romance we see, or a one-sided crush? And from whom is Tina apparently protecting Newt’s case?
By far the most interesting couple in the picture is Theseus and Leta, who are apparently engaged. They are either very clearly in love or – perhaps on Leta’s part since she once loved Newt – very convincingly pretending. But Newt has Tina in his life now, so how much drama should we be expecting between them?
5. What are you thinking, Grindelwald?
According to the press release, most of Grindelwald’s followers do not know his true agenda. Perhaps he is advocating through his American followers for the repeal of Rappaport’s Law, which enforces total segregation of wizard and No-Maj populations, or through his British followers for a repeal of the Statute of Secrecy. It would be easy for Grindelwald to recruit unwitting people of influence to this seemingly practical and righteous cause while hiding his true goal. Repealing those laws would be a logical first step toward domination over Muggles.
6. Hallows, not Horcruxes?
The Deathly Hallows figure prominently in this series – and in the title if you look closely – just as Horcruxes did in the Potter books. Are Grindelwald and Dumbledore attempting to find the other two? We know the Stone currently resides in the Gaunt shack and is most likely unattainable. The Cloak, however, presumably belongs to Henry “Harry” Potter, who retired from the Wizengamot in 1921. Henry Potter was best known as an outspoken advocate for Muggle rights and for wizarding involvement in World War I. With Grindelwald on the rise and a second World War on the horizon, will we see Henry Potter and his Invisibility Cloak soon?
What other questions do you want to know the answer to?