Will the Fantastic Beasts in “Crimes of Grindelwald” Be Dispensable Props?

The trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald revealed new intentions behind the films that chronicle Newt Scamander’s adventures. What once seemed like a simple franchise about fantastic beasts has now transformed into “wizarding world” films, proudly categorized as such with the majestic wand logo. The prospect of endless possibilities for cinematic epics is exciting. More Harry Potter? Yes, please! Always.



However, with the focus of the Fantastic Beasts films shifting to a far more dramatic storyline with Albus Dumbledore, Gellert Grindelwald, and the battle for “the greater good,” one has to wonder if the original premise of the franchise will drift into irrelevance. How will the beasts and Newt fit into this new world? The films seem to be replacing a whimsical magical creature story with a wizarding world war drama. Will the beasts feel forced in the midst of war, or will they find relevance?



J.K. Rowling may not have originally planned for the drastic change in tone. She already penned her original story – Newt struggling to control a swarm of mischief makers fleeing from his suitcase. Her ideas and writing have evolved over the past few years. I have no doubt I’ll love exploring the dynamic characters of Dumbledore and Grindelwald going forward. Grindelwald’s regime has intrigued me since the conversation between Harry Potter and Viktor Krum at the wedding in Deathly Hallows. 

Still, I hope the creatures remain a pivotal, active part of the plot without becoming props meeting the CGI quota. How will the traditionally Scottish kelpie revealed in the trailer help serve the story? Perhaps Newt will have a nice swim with the mysterious Loch Ness Monster lurking in Hogwarts’ lake. Despite the aesthetically pleasing seaweed, how will it help the war? Does Grindelwald have an underwater secret lair we have yet to discover? How will Newt aid Dumbledore without feeling contrived? An army of magical creatures might be crazy enough to work, but they do seem to be clashing with the darker thematic aspects of the story.



I’m sure Rowling will work her magic. I’m excited to see how Newt and his case find new ways to cause magical mayhem. Do you have any theories regarding the role of Newt’s nonhuman friends? Let us know in the comments!

Mikaela Martin

In the muggle world, I’m a high school English teacher and a passionate advocate of the positive force that is the Harry Potter series. I aspire to expose the next generation to the wizarding world and the wonders of literature; I truly believe the magic of Potter is a form of transfiguration–changing hearts, minds, and perspectives. But that information is old hat, of course, for us old DA lags.