Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second movie in a five-part series, and naturally it sets up a lot of major plot beats for Fantastic Beasts 3. Although the movies remain centered around Newt Scamander and his friends, the overarching thrust of the narrative is clear; this is the story of the rise and fall of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. It's possible Fantastic Beasts 3 will skip forward in time a few years. Certainly that's going to happen sooner or later; after all, both Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts 2 have been set in the 1920s, but this franchise needs to reach 1945 by the end of Fantastic Beasts 5.
Although Grindelwald attempts to present himself in a sympathetic light, deploying his silver tongue to effortlessly manipulate Queenie Goldstein, he's presented as a straightforward villain. When Grindelwald and his followers arrive in Paris, they choose a house as their base and slaughter the Muggle inhabitants without any qualms; they even murder a toddler. By Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald's ending, Grindelwald has achieved everything he wanted, essentially igniting a war between his followers and the rest of the wizarding world. It's reasonable to assume he's going to return to Germany and continue to build his power base there, but the global reach of Grindelwald's message shouldn't be underestimated. At the very beginning of Fantastic Beasts 2, when MACUSA attempts to transfer Grindelwald to Europe, audiences learn that America's wizard jails are packed with his followers.
According to director David Yates, each Fantastic Beasts movie will be set in another city. Given Grindelwald is strongly associated with the rise of Nazism, it's entirely possible Fantastic Beasts 3 will be in Berlin, and will reveal the nature of the relationship between Grindelwald and Adolf Hitler himself. Whatever Rowling's plans may be for the future, though, here are all the major plot beats and character arcs set up for Fantastic Beasts 3.
- This Page: Credence & Albus Dumbledore
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Exploring Credence's Backstory
The Fantastic Beasts movies are very much the story of Credence Barebone. The first movie asked a simple question; "What is Credence?" The second followed it up with another, "Who is Credence?" In a recent interview, Ezra Miller suggested that he expects Fantastic Beasts 3 to ask another key question; "Why is Credence?" J.K. Rowling knows full well that she's stirred up a hornet's nest of fan speculation by rewriting (and arguably improving) Harry Potter canon and revealing that Credence is actually Aurelius Dumbledore. It's safe to assume that Fantastic Beasts 3 will explain the circumstances of Credence's birth, and why he wound up being sent on a ship to New York. Presumably it will also resolve a few other mysteries; does Albus Dumbledore know who Credence really is? Did Grindelwald have any idea he was looking for a Dumbledore when he headed to New York in the first Fantastic Beasts movie? And if not, how did he learn the truth?
It's important to remember that Grindelwald recruited Credence for a reason. He believes that Credence will be a powerful weapon against Albus Dumbledore, the one wizard he cannot defeat. A master manipulator, Grindelwald will tell as many lies and half-truths as possible to get Credence on his side - as proved at the end of Fantastic Beasts 2, when he claimed that Albus Dumbledore wants his sibling dead. Viewers already know the truth, that Albus has been deliberately sending a man filled with compassion in an attempt to save him from Grindelwald's influence. Meanwhile, it's interesting to note that the maledictus Nagini - Credence's one friend - did not choose to side with Grindelwald in the end. Nagini's relationship with Credence could potentially divide Credence's loyalties, and give Albus a chance to rescue his brother. Although Nagini only played a minor role in Fantastic Beasts 2, she's sure to be far more important to the plot going forwards.
The Blood Pact Restricts Dumbledore
It seems Albus Dumbledore has been working against Gellert Grindelwald for quite some time; he was the one who manipulated Newt Scamander into going to New York in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, conveniently equipped with all the creatures he needed to capture Grindelwald and Obliviate an entire city's worth of No-Majs. But the Blood Pact has restricted Dumbledore from acting openly, preventing him going one-on-one against Grindelwald in a Wizard's Duel. No doubt Grindelwald was happy to leave the Blood Pact in place, content to work around its limitations. Dumbledore, however, will want to break the bond between the two old friends. But that process is going to take time; after all, it's an established fact in Harry Potter lore that Albus Dumbledore won't defeat Grindelwald in battle until 1945. So it's safe to assume that the Blood Pact will continue to limit Dumbledore's influence in the war for at least the next film.
Still, hopefully Fantastic Beasts 3 will at least explain how the Blood Pact works. It's a brand new idea in J.K. Rowling's canon, and at the moment it's unclear how comfortably it sits with the established story. If the Blood Pact was forged while Dumbledore and Grindelwald were still close friends, how could the two get caught up in the three-way Wizard's Duel that killed Albus's sister Ariana? Or was it created afterwards, with a grief-stricken Albus manipulated into agreeing to a hasty Blood Pact before Grindelwald finally left Godric's Hollow?
Dumbledore's Group - The Order Of The Phoenix?
Albus Dumbledore has always been a secretive man. By the time of Fantastic Beasts, he's already built up a reputation for having a network of agents who he works with under the radar. The film introduced one key member of that group, the French alchemist Nicolas Flamel; in one key scene, Flamel opened a rolodex with a Phoenix insignia emblazoned upon it, and used it to discuss matters with a witch. Given the close association between the Dumbledores and the Phoenix, it's safe to say this rolodex is how Dumbledore's agents and allies communicate with one another. The insignia suggests they're a proto-Order of the Phoenix; they may even already operate under that name.
The witch Flamel spoke to is Professor Eulalie "Lally" Hicks, a Professor at Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the United States. While viewers only see a hint of Professor Hicks in Fantastic Beasts 2, over on Twitter Rowling has stated that "her true glory is revealed in FB3." That may hint that Fantastic Beasts 3 returns to America; given the Stock Market Crash of 1929 caused the Great Depression and enabled the rise of Nazism in Germany, is it possible that Grindelwald will return to the US to wreak havoc, and that the plot will even explore Ilvermorny?
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- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018