Fantastic Beasts Theory: Grindelwald Doesn't Control The Elder Wand

Could Tina Goldstein be the true Master of the Elder Wand in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald? Legendary author J.K. Rowling has always delighted fans in throwing in curveballs that take viewers (and readers) by surprise. The trailers for the Fantastic Beasts sequel have left a lot of room for some pretty spectacular plot twists.

Only one thing is really certain: the Dark Wizard Grindelwald is destined to rise to power. According to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the young Grindelwald acquired the Elder Wand, and used it to launch a reign of terror that set all of Europe ablaze. Grindelwald's legend has always been closely tied to the Nazi regime, and he was ultimately be defeated by Albus Dumbledore in 1945.

Related: Fantastic Beasts Is Stretching Harry Potter Continuity To Breaking Point

The Fantastic Beasts film franchise is exploring the story of Gellert Grindelwald. He was introduced in the first film, the second is named after him, and the series will end in 1945. But the Fantastic Beasts series may have set up a plot twist that nobody is expecting.

Tina Took Control of Grindelwald's Wand in Fantastic Beasts

Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Grindelwald was the secret villain of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Seeking to gain access to an Obscurial in New York City, Grindelwald infiltrated MACUSA by assuming the identity of Percival Graves, the head of MACUSA's Department of Magical Law Enforcement. It was a smart move, giving him freedom to move through the city and allowing him to monitor MACUSA's own attempts to pursue him.

An Obscurial is a wizard who has grown up repressing their powers. Over the course of several years, the magical power builds up within the sorcerer and becomes a dark, parasitical force that ultimately explodes out of them. Obscurials tend to die before their 10th birthdays, but that's not always the case; as a result, Grindelwald failed to identify the Obscurial, Credence Barebone, who had lived to become a teenager. In the meantime, the dark wizard found his plans disrupted by Newt Scamander's arrival in New York. Newt's knowledge of Obscurials made him a particularly potent threat to Grindelwald.

Related: Fantastic Beasts 2 May Retcon Harry Potter To Fix Grindelwald Plot Hole

The climax of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them saw Credence apparently die at the hands of MACUSA's Aurors. Furious, Grindelwald revealed himself, and engaged the Aurors in battle. The wizard demonstrated tremendous skill and power, shielding himself from multiple attacks and striking the Aurors down. It was clear that Grindelwald would have emerged triumphant if not for the intervention of Newt and Tina. Newt had one of his creatures, the Swooping Evil, restrain him; Tina then Disarmed him, stripping Grindelwald of his wand. That may be the most important moment in the entire film, because it could change everything in the sequel.

Does Tina Control the Elder Wand?

According to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the young Grindelwald had discovered an ancient mystical artifact known as the Elder Wand. According to legend, the Elder Wand is one of three Deathly Hallows, and ownership of all three would make a wizard the Master of Death. The Elder Wand itself is the most powerful wand ever made; uniquely among wands, it has an "allegiance" to a master, and can only be claimed by another when that master is defeated. It's been pursued by the most powerful (and evil) wizards of all time, and the Elder Wand's bloody footprints can be traced throughout history. Grindelwald had been obsessed by it, and discovered it had been obtained by the European wand-maker Gregorovitch. He went into Gregorovitch's workroom, and stunned him. That made the teenage Grindelwald Master of the Elder Wand, as he had defeated its previous owner.

The Elder Wand is destined to play a major role in the future of the Harry Potter franchise. The Deathly Hallows established that Dumbledore will defeat Grindelwald in battle, and as a result he will becomes he next Master of the Elder Wand. Ownership will pass on to Draco Malfoy after the events of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, although nobody realizes it and he continues to use his old wand. In the end, Harry will knockout Draco during a skirmish and take Draco's old wand to replace his broken one; unknown to anybody at the time, that will mean Harry becomes the true Master of the Elder Wand. Voldemort will never able to actually use the mystic artifact to its full potential.

So what does this mean with regards to Tina disarming Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? It's true that Grindelwald wasn't using the Elder Wand at the time; he was presumably still using Graves's wand in order to maintain his cover, making his power and skill in the clash against the Aurors all the more remarkable. But Draco's example proves that doesn't matter. All that counts is the fact that Grindelwald has been defeated in battle. That means the Elder Wand should have passed on to its new master: Tina Goldstein.

Page 2 of 2: What Does This Mean for Fantastic Beasts 2?

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