Grindelwald’s Vision Adds Shady Undertones To The Fantastic Beasts Series
Fans haven’t only questioned the suitability of Grindelwald’s vision in the Fantastic Beasts series, but what it implies for the saga’s existing story as well. Thanks to the vaporous allusion to the Holocaust, Grindelwald’s quest is not just about installing wizards over muggles. The dark wizard and his fanatics are (seemingly) trying to prevent a genocide.
On the one hand, it’s a clever move by Rowling. Characters feel authentic if they are given relatable intentions such as this, since it’s likely that many viewers would attempt to prevent the Holocaust themselves if it were within their power. But this is where that blurring between fact and fiction comes into play. Indeed, by positing that there is validity in Grindelwald’s claims, it suggests that he has heroic intentions. Moreover, as it was with Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Ocean Master in Aquaman, various viewers have asserted that Grindelwald is no longer the villain of his respective movie either; he was right as well.
Yet with his grooming of Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) and his murder of a No-Maj family whose house he coveted, there’s no question that Gellert Grindelwald is the villain of the Fantastic Beasts series. Certainly, in a discussion with Vinda Rosier (Poppy Corby-Tuech) near the start of the movie, Grindelwald is secretly contemplating a muggle genocide. The idea of a heroic Grindelwald is obviously forgetful of how the dark wizard, and his fellow film antagonists, are very willing to slaughter thousands to achieve their goals. Nevertheless, its hard to argue against The Crimes of Grindelwald’s meanings and metaphors are particularly muddled, specifically in relation to its principal cast of characters. Fans have critiqued Queenie Goldstein’s (Alison Sudol) abrupt change between Fantastic Beasts 1 and 2 and bemoaned her choice to side with Grindelwald after he has unveiled his predictions of the future.
It’s a fact of history that Adolf Hitler convinced many vulnerable groups and individuals that he would be their champion, when the opposite was true. Moreover, The Crimes of Grindelwald sees Queenie not joining to uphold wizarding supremacy, but so she can love Jacob (Dan Fogler) free from current government control. Yet it's rather insensitive when we consider that Queenie is a witch of Jewish heritage who aligns with a dictator figure after witnessing images Nazi death camps. Certainly, it’s also somewhat disconcerting to note that, if Grindelwald is fighting to prevent the Holocaust, Newt and his friends are effectively sealing the terrible fate of thousands of people by confronting him.
Fantastic Beasts 3 Can Give Grindelwald’s Vision A Much Needed Context
Thanks to Grindelwald’s vision, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is filled with contradictory and morally dubious subtexts. However, many of these can be rectified in its forthcoming sequel, Fantastic Beasts 3. Based on The Crimes of Grindelwald, it would seem that Dumbledore’s mortal foe evoked glimpses of the future as a form of propaganda. Grindelwald’s real life counterpart, Adolf Hitler, used fabrications and misconstrued facts to sway Germans to the Nazi cause.
This seems the likeliest reason, given Grindelwald’s similar gifts as a manipulator of the general public. Indeed, Dumbledore – who has spied on Grindelwald for some time – warns Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner) that suppressing the revolutionary's rally will only play into his hands. Dumbledore’s fears are confirmed when the Ministry’s heavy-handed tactics ignite anti-Ministry (and anti-muggle) hysteria and bolster the dark wizard’s ranks of supporters.
If the rest of the Fantastic Beasts series unveils closer ties between Grindelwald and the Nazis, then Rowling may have already provided a resolution to these thorny issues. The Crimes of Grindelwald’s climatic scenes confirmed that, that along with his prodigious skills as a duelist, Grindelwald is also clairvoyant. Unlike Sybil Trelawney (Emma Thompson) Grindelwald exhibits a greater control over his foresight and used his gifts to lie and control Credence in the first Fantastic Beasts movie. Yet if the history of Harry Potter is anything to go by, it seems that Grindelwald’s stock in divination will be his downfall.
In the Wizarding World, Rowling detailed prophecies as an erratic and imprecise form of magic, even for seers themselves. For example, Trelawney could not remember even making her most important Voldemort-related predictions. Plus, they can be serious consequences for those who use and set too much store by them. After all, Lord Voldemort tried to expedite and prevent predictions that he was part of, but he inadvertently worsened his fate.
At this stage, it is unclear just how Grindelwald knows about the future of World War II – or what part the wizarding world will play in the conflict – but it seems almost certain that Grindelwald’s predictions will affect him and the saga’s heroes in a big way. In response to queries over the Aurelius Dumbledore twist, Rowling has promised that Fantastic Beasts 3 will answer the many questions left over from the latest movie. As such, whether Grindelwald’s vision was a ploy – or a manifesto of his aims – we can only hope that Rowling will provide delicacy and context to the saga, so that Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’s most controversial moment can be reappraised.