The final trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has arrived, and it highlights just how far the Harry Potter connections are being stretched. The Crimes of Grindelwald is set to be the second of five Fantastic Beasts movies, taking us back to the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling's creation, but in a different time setting. Eddie Redmayne once again stars and Magizoologist Newt Scamander, but instead of chasing weird and wonderful creatures across New York, this time he's helping Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to bring down the dark wizard Grindelwald.
Gellert Grindelwald is a well known name to Harry Potter fans. He plays an important part of Dumbledore's backstory, with the relationship between the pair coming to an end in an infamous duel. Dumbledore emerged triumphant, and gained possession of the Elder wand which he then kept until his death.
With each passing trailer, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald reveals more and more connections to Harry Potter. While some connections are fun, there are now so many that it's starting to feel like Fantastic Beasts is using the original franchise as a crutch - at the expense of its own story.
- This Page: Fantastic Beasts 2's Many Harry Potter Connections
- Page 2: Fantastic Beasts Is Making The Wizarding World Smaller
Fantastic Beasts 2 Is Six Contrivances Piled On Top Of Each Other
When writing Harry Potter, Rowling clearly thought out and created a very detailed wizarding world. Not only did she create characters that will endure forever, she also thought of minute details, from shop names to intricate family trees. We knew, for example, that Newt Scamander wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was studied by Harry, Ron and Hermione during their time at Hogwarts. We also knew that Newt's grandson, Rolf, eventually married Luna Lovegood.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was, we all assumed, a movie charting how Newt came to write his book, but it was actually about the beginnings of Grindelwald's rise to power. It later became clear that Newt's purpose throughout the arc of five movies was to help Dumbledore defeat Grindelwald. The final trailer once again highlights the importance of it needing to be Newt who moves against him, but why? The answer lies in the mirror of Erised; it's strongly hinted that Dumbledore has too emotional a connection to the dark wizard and therefore is unable to outwit him. But why would Dumbledore enlist the help of an ex-student, and one who was expelled?
Newt won't be acting alone in The Crimes of Grindelwald. He's got help from Tina (who goes onto become his wife), and another well known Harry Potter character, Nicolas Flamel, the creator of the Philosophers stone. Why is he thrown into the mix? Well, Grindelwald was obsessed with tracking down all the deathly hallows so that he could live for eternity, while Flamel created something to give eternal life, so that might have something to do with it. Newt will also be working alongside Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz), a distant relative of Rodolphus Lestrange who eventually married the notorious Bellatrix. They'll be going up against Credence, who is an obscurus just like Dumbledore's sister was, and the Maledictus, who is actually Nagini, Dumbledore's snake. Still with us?
Why Everything Being Connected Worked For Harry Potter (But Not Newt)
Harry Potter was the titular character of Rowling's eight book (and seven movie) franchise. Right from the very start, he was set up as the main protagonist, and it made perfect sense that he would be so deeply connected to so many characters. We knew about the prophecy, and it was quickly established that he shared a deep rooted connection with Voldemort. When it was revealed how and why Snape had always protected him, that too made sense. Because he was the 'chosen one' and the only one who could defeat the most powerful dark wizard of all time, it also made sense why Dumbledore would share such a connection with Harry Potter.
It doesn't make sense for everything in Newt's world to connect though, because essentially Fantastic Beasts is no longer Newt's story. It's the story of how Dumbledore and Grindelwald came to have their epic duel, and Newt is arguably already superfluous to the actual story being told. He was a great character to introduce this aspect of the wizarding world, and it was fun to see his fantastic beasts in the first movie, but Newt's place in Harry Potter history has always been as an author of a textbook, nothing more. At no point has it been mentioned that he was instrumental in bringing about the fall of Grindelwald.
Rowling claims she's been sitting on the secret of Maledictus being Nagini for 20 years, but has she really? Sure, she created an incredibly detailed world for Harry Potter, but did she really think so much about the origins of Voldemort's snake that she created an entire backstory that saw her meeting an obscurus in a circus which just happened to connect to Newt Scamander, who also just happened to be chasing Grindelwald across Paris to help his former teacher, who would go on to become Harry Potter's headteacher? The endless connections, while fun to figure out, are exhausting. It's not Newt who should (or needs to be) connected to every aspect of Harry Potter canon, because Fantastic Beasts is Dumbledore's story, and he is connection enough.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018