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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald's Ending & Twists Explained

WARNING: Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald transforms the popular prequel series – and the larger world of Harry Potter – forever.  The second entry in this five-film franchise works hard set up its successive stories and, in doing so, the film tells a complex tale that contains huge ramifications for the wider Wizarding World.

Through the course of The Crimes of Grindelwald, tensions grow between the young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). The latter has resumed his quest to dominate the magical and non-magical worlds, but he still fears the powerful Hogwarts professor that refuses to openly oppose him. Caught up in their Machiavellian schemes are Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Tina and Queenie Goldstein (Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and a host of Newt’s beloved creatures.

Related: Why Fans Are (Already) Mad At Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald's reviews have been mixed, with many critics discussing the overabundance of plots and the large amount of exposition contained within. Yet this focus on world-building doesn’t detract from several shocking revelations which are sure to have Harry Potter enthusiasts gasping aloud. Indeed, there is quite a lot to unpack from The Crimes of  Grindelwald, which sets up a new and unexpected status-quo for the saga.

What Happens At The End of Fantastic Beasts 2?

Following Grindelwald’s daring escape from MACUSA, Newt, Jacob, Tina and Queenie reunite in Paris and begin searching for Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), who has survived the events in New York and has taken refuge in a circus. But they are not the only ones searching for the young Obscurial. The collective Ministries of Magic wish to eliminate the threat that he poses. Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam) seeks retribution against Credence, believing him to be the son of an infamous member of the Lestrange family. And Gellert Grindelwald craves Credence’s power, and longs for it to be directed at the only threat to his reign of terror: Albus Dumbledore.

Each group pursues their own line of inquiry. Yet when all parties arrive at Grindelwald’s hidden rally of followers in the Lestrange's tomb, it becomes clear that he has manipulated them and that they’ve walked into a trap. The over-zealousness of the various Law Enforcement Squads play into Grindelwald’s plot, and the situation swiftly escalates. The congregation soon leaves to gather even more witches and wizards to Grindelwald’s cause, but their leader gives Newt and company a persuasive ultimatum: join him or die.

Related: Fantastic Beasts 2 Easter Eggs & Connections

Credence and Queenie chose to go with Grindelwald, while Leta Lestrange dies to allow the rest to escape, with Nicolas Flamel leading the heroes in stopping Grindelwald. Everything ends very open-ended, with Newt and Albus reuniting at Hogwarts just Grindelwald discloses a jaw-dropping revelation about Credence Barebone’s real family, the Dumbledores!

Why Queenie Goes With Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them depicted 1920s America as a particularly tense time for the magical and non-magical communities. No-Maj’s are forbidden from discovering anything about the wizarding world, and strict segregation is maintained by the American Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Despite this, Queenie and Jacob fell in love during their adventures with Newt. They managed to continue their relationship even after Jacob’s memory was modified by Frank the Thunderbird in the first film’s climax, although Jacob has begun to fear what reprisals Queenie would face if they were discovered.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald displays Queenies increasingly desperate attempts to stay with Jacob. She puts him under a spell to make him more compliant, takes them abroad and pushes for the two of them to get married. When Newt breaks the spell and Jacob criticizes her extreme approach, Queenie departs to find Tina in France. In Paris, however, she stumbles across Grindelwald, who tempts her with the promise of a life free from MACUSA’s interference.

As such, Queenie joins Grindelwald, believing that his triumph against the Statute of Secrecy will allow her to marry Jacob. It’s an ironic turn of events, since Grindelwald’s contempt for muggles remains barely concealed. Jacob recognizes this and refuses to go with her, forcing an even larger rift between the star-crossed couple.

Related: Fantastic Beasts 2's McGonagall Retcon May Be Explained By Queenie

Why Leta Lestrange Dies

Due to her father’s dark reputation as a rapist, Leta Lestrange stands apart from the rest of the wizarding world. This is further compounded by the guilt she feels for inadvertently killing her half-brother Corvus. This occurred during their exiled journey to America, where Corvus was set to live with Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton). After becoming tired of his crying, Leta switched Corvus with another baby when their nanny wasn’t looking, but Corvus – and the mother of their replacement baby – drowned after their ship sunk.

Leta reveals the tragic tale to Newt and his friends shortly before they infiltrate Grindelwald’s meeting. Yet their foe soon springs his trap and begins persuading the film’s primary cast to his cause. Moreover, immediately after Queenie and Credence enter Grindelwald’s magical circle and disparate, the renegade wizard begins appealing to her resentment and her alienation from wizard-kind. Leta appears to join with Grindelwald, before she swiftly turns on him, presumably to make amends for her past mistakes. Sadly, Leta is consumed by Grindelwald’s enchanted fiery ring, but in doing so she buys Newt and company time to evade the dark wizard’s flaming wrath.

Page 2: Dumbledore & Grindelwald's Past, Blood Pact & Future

Key Release Dates
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018
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