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?

  • Mathilde Machuel


    • Christian Hansard

      I second that.

    • Andrew Desmier

      Most likely dead. That was the first conclusion that came to mind when I saw FB. Im pretty sure that was confirmed by Heyman too.

  • Jane Bloggs

    Tina & Newt is definitely not one-sided (or at least it’s not in the long-run) JKR stablished newt & Porpen(tina) as married way back in 2001; and i doubt she’ll change her mind on them being endgame couple now.

    if Anything i think IF there’s something going on between Credence & Claudia Kim’s character, I imagine that one would be the ‘one sided’ love since by this promo she looks at him longingly/clinging & he doesn’t.

    • Iain Walker

      I’d have read her posture as being more protective than “clinging” (if anyone’s doing any clinging in the photo, it’s probably Leta). My provisional guess would be that the relationship of Claudia Kim’s character to Credence is going to be more one of a mentor.

      On the other hand, this is just a promo photo, and Credence and Kim’s character could simply be placed together for compositional reasons. Not everything is necessarily meant to be a clue, after all.

      • Declan

        They both are in the circus as freaks together. So I think they pair up

        • Iain Walker

          Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. It is possible for two people to be in a circus together and not be a couple …

      • Jane Bloggs

        you’re right that was a poor choice of words.
        i hope you’re right and it’s a more mentor-like relationship.

  • Iain Walker

    Re Grindelwald’s cunning plan:

    Oddly enough, I can see a campaign against Rappaport’s Law and the Statute of Secrecy playing particularly well with Muggle-borns. For someone with a foot in both worlds, being forced to keep them separate – or to have to choose one over the other – is (potentially) quite a strong source of discontent. Lacking the long cultural memories of persecution, one can see them reasoning that the witch trials were centuries ago, and so there’s no longer any reason to remain in hiding.

    It is possible, therefore, that Grindelwald may have disproportionate numbers of Muggle-borns amongst his followers, attracted to what (to them) seems like a progressive agenda. However, we seem to have some confirmation from the press release that Grindelwald subscribes to pureblood supremacy as well as magical supremacy – something that wasn’t clear before. It would make sense that he’d keep that part of his agenda under wraps if he’s also trying to play on latent Muggle-born discontent.

    On the other hand, Grindelwald’s current tactics are implied to rely heavily on terrorist attacks designed to expose the magical world to Muggle eyes, and since Muggles are likely to be the main victims of these attacks, this looks less likely to play well to a Muggle-born constituency. So maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree here.

    Oh, and what happen to auburn-haired Dumbledore?

    • Richa Venkatraman

      I was thinking a little along those lines! I can definitely see him appealing to progressives in an attempt to get the first half of his agenda out there, especially since the tactic of staging an attack to expose wizardkind was foiled in the first movie. It sounds to me as though he’s taking a subtler track here. And yes, where is auburn-haired Dumbledore?