Fantastic Beasts: 20 Weirdest Things About Grindelwald’s Forms

Gellert Grindelwald has taken many forms during his appearances in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies.

Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Fantastic Beasts

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the latest entry in the Wizarding World cinematic universe, and focuses on a time long before The Boy Who Lived. Before there was Harry and before there was Voldemort, there was Gellert Grindelwald.

Considered by many to be the most powerful and evil sorcerer in history, Grindelwald stood for many of the same ideals that Voldemort did. In his crusade for "the greater good," Grindelwald moved forward with a path of violence and bloodshed while trying to achieve supremacy over others. His belief that wizard-kind was superior to Muggles and No-Majs led to many violent crimes during his reign. While ultimately not successful in his plight, his dangerous schemes are legendary in the wizarding world.

With a rich backstory that involves Albus Dumbledore and the Deathly Hallows, Grindelwald's influence on magic history cannot be understated. The film series looks to explore Grindelwald's rise to power, and his eventual fall in to life imprisonment for his crimes. While there is much to tell about his crimes, it is important that fans know the man behind the legend. There any many characteristics about Grindelwald himself which have made him legendary, and also incredibly powerful. There are spells he is able to cast which other wizards can only dream about. He has powers that are hidden, and things about him that would surprise many fans. Despite how evil he is, there is one thing that cannot be denied - Gellert Grindelwald is a legendary wizard.

Here are the 20 Weirdest Things About Grindelwald’s Form.

20 Pale Skin Similar To Voldemort's

It seems that pale skin is a pre-requisite to be a villain in the Harry Potter universe. There are numerous similarities between Grindelwald and He Who Must Not Be Named. Their ideals and outlook on muggles are identical, and to say that they have evil tendencies would be an understatement. However, the most staggering similarities are their physical characteristics, most notably their pale skin.

While Voldemort's appearance can be attributed to the creation of horcruxes, Grindelwald is seems to just be a pale individual. Regardless of the reasoning, their fairness only adds to their mystique. Their pale skin gives them a very evil look, akin to Count Dracula. It is no coincidence that two of the most evil wizards in magic history share so many things in common. However despite their similarities, they only interact once (that fans know about).

19 He Looks Much Older Than His Age

Grindelwald and Dumbledore's lives run parallel to one another because of the time they spent in Godric's Hollow together. The boys grew very close together due to how similar they are in age and intelligence. However, by the time 1926 rolls around during the Crimes of Grindelwald, their appearances are much different.

Despite only being in his early 40s during this time period, Grindelwald certainly looks much older. His white-haired appearance makes him look in his mid-fifties. While this appears to be an artistic choice, he is also being played by the 55-year-old Johnny Depp. Regardless of whether his appearance matches his age, it does not change how menacing Grindelwald looks.

18 His Soul Is Broken

Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald Young Grindelwald

When describing Voldemort's horcruxes in Harry Potter, Professor Slughorn says that Voldemort needed to break his soul apart to do so. According to Slughorn, the only way to break a soul is "by an act of evil – the supreme act of evil." By his definition, taking a life "rips the soul apart". With this definition, it would seem that Grindelwald also has a very fractured soul.

Since the Fantastic Beasts franchise will explore more about Grindelwald's past as a student of Durmstrang, it will also dive in to the crimes he has committed. While the specifics are not entirely known, he was removed from the school for harming students. Considering that he will stop at nothing to accomplish his goals, taking a life is not outside of his repertoire.

17 Heterochromia

The old adage goes that "eyes are the windows to the soul". What does it mean when each eye is telling a very different story? Grindelwald's appearance was a real surprise to longtime Harry Potter fans, as he had only been seen briefly before. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance in The Deathly Hallows, Grindelwald looked like a fragile, imprisoned, elderly man. However, his twist reveal at the end of Fantastic Beasts left fans reeling. While this new film gives a much better look at the villain, fans were instantly drawn to his eyes.

It seems that Grindelwald has Heterochromia, which is a difference in coloration of the iris. While this is very common in different breeds of dogs and cats, it is rarely seen in humans. However, it is a very striking part of his appearance. While very beautiful in one sense, it is also very haunting to look at.

16 Johnny Depp Was Involved In Makeup Design

Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts

Johnny Depp has been no stranger to eccentric roles throughout his career. In fact, he has built his movie career around playing characters who do not have conventional appearances. From Edward Scissorhands to Captain Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka, each of Depp's characters have appeared very different on screen.

One of the most important things to Depp when joining the Fantastic Beasts film was that he was able to give input on Grindelwald's look. Depp was allowed plenty of say in crafting his look, and jumped in with both feet. Depp's vision on Grindelwald's appearance was that he has both darkness and light to him, which was the inspiration for his different colored eyes: “He’s twins in one body. So a gamy eye is more like the other side of him — a brain for each eye, and he’s somewhere in the middle.”

15 He can be Summoned By the Deathly Hallows Necklace

The similarities between Grindelwald and The Dark Lord continue to surmount. In this case, it is possible that Voldemort borrowed a calling card from Grindelwald himself. While Voldemort's Death Eaters were able to summon him by pressing their wand to the "Dark Mark" tattoo on their forearms, Grindelwald took a different approach.

Considering his affinity for The Deathly Hallows, Grindelwald adopted it as his insignia. Not only was it his "mark" that he left behind, but he supplied each of his followers - known as his Acolytes - with a necklace of the symbol. In order for them to contact him, they needed to clutch the necklace and say his name. Grindelwald used a symbol of legendary items as his own calling card to show just how much he thinks of himself.

14 Human Transfiguration

Colin Farrell as Percival Graves in Fantastic Beasts

All Harry Potter fans know that the main method of impersonating another person is to use Polyjuice Potion. First introduced to fans by Hermione Granger during an attempt to infiltrate the Slytherin Common Room in Chamber of Secrets, it has been used in a variety of methods. However, there is only one known case of a wizard not needing Polyjuice Potion to imitate someone.

Grindelwald impersonates MACUSA's Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Percival Graves. Furthermore, no one even suspected that he was doing so right under their noses. While Polyyuice Potion's effects quickly wear off and do not alter the user's voice, Grindelwald's spell was seamless. No one around him suspected that he was an imposter, which allowed him to complete his schemes without being detected.

13 Skilled In Wandless And Non-verbal Magic

Not enough can be said about how powerful Grindelwald's sorcery is. While many have been quick to call Albus Dumbledore the greatest wizard known to man, Grindelwald should be considered in that conversation. Many wizards have been seen conducting spells without speaking a word. In fact, many of the Harry Potter duels are fought without speaking a spell. While Hogwarts does teach non-verbal spells, it is a very advanced technique that not everyone can master. However, Grindelwald is seen able to complete this task with ease, even when impersonating as Percival Graves.

Furthermore, Grindelwald is also seen completing an even greater feat - casting a spell without a wand. Even some of the most advanced wizards in the Harry Potter universe are not seen as able to do this.

12 Severe Malnutrition While Imprisoned at Nurmengard

While the Fantastic Beasts franchise is currently focusing on the rise of Grindelwald, Harry Potter fans already know about his fall. Upon Grindelwald's eventual capture, he is imprisoned in a manner befitting his infamy. However, his crimes warranted a different punishment than other criminals. Standard wizarding criminals are imprisoned in Azkaban, but Grindelwald was given a sentence of solitary confinement in a prison of his own.

Grindelwald was imprisoned in Nurmengard, which ironically was a structure he used for his own victims. While here, he was kept under strict watch and spent the days since his capture locked away in a small cell. When Voldemort visits him to obtain information, Grindelwald is a shell of his former self. His once bright skin is weathered, and he looks malnourished and emaciated. Perhaps he finally got what he deserved.

11 He's Incredibly Intelligent

Fantastic Beasts Grindelwald Johnny Depp

Someone does not become the greatest Dark wizard in the world without having a high measure of intelligence. Despite being incredibly evil, Grindelwald does have the ability to out-think his opponents. A master strategist in his own right, Grindelwald always appears to be one step ahead of those after him, which is why he has been able to evade capture for so long. His plan of unearthing Obscurals in Fantastic Beasts was so well thought out that no one suspected Grindelwald was behind it.

Grindelwald's intelligence should not be underestimated, but outsmarting him would be very difficult. Normally a supervillain will either be incredibly strong or incredibly intelligent, but rarely do they possess both qualities. However, Grindelwald has both the magical capabilities and the smarts, which make him very dangerous.

10 He's A Master Duelist

Since the franchise is currently being set for up for five films, there is plenty of time to build up to a crescendo. While the latest film focuses on Grindelwald's escapades, Dumbledore is currently only shown battling him from the sidelines. Instead of facing his compatriot head-on, Dumbledore employs Newt Scamander to bring him to justice. While there are numerous theories as to why Dumbledore does not seek him out himself, it is a deliberate tactic by the filmmakers.

The rest of the film franchise is building up to the most climactic duel in Potter history. It is well-known that Dumbledore eventually faces off against Grindelwald in what wizard history calls the most epic battle of all time. This is in no small part to Grindelwald's dueling ability, which allowed him to go toe-to-toe with Dumbledore.

9 He's Been Played By 4 Actors

Jamie Campbell Bower as Young Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter

The Harry Potter universe has been lucky in the sense that there have been very few casting changes throughout their films. With the exception of the Dumbledore being played by Michael Gambon following Richard Harris' passing, all of the principal roles stayed the same throughout all the films. However, considering that Grindelwald had a small role in the original series, there was a lot of fluctuation in actors.

In Grindelwald's brief appearances he was portrayed by three different actors - first by both young Jamie Campbell Bower and older Michael Byrne during appearances in The Deathly Hallows. In Fantastic Beasts, Colin Farrell secretly played him for most of the film, in the guise of Percival Graves, until the Johnny Depp reveal near the end of the film.

8 He Was A Seer

The ability to see the future is not one that is given to every witch and wizard. It is a special gift that only certain people get to use. Despite having seemingly every other talent in his repertoire, Grindelwald is also a Seer. While other Harry Potter characters like Professor Trelawney have the ability to see future events, she uses her powers for good reasons. Grindelwald, on the other hand, uses his abilities only for personal gain.

When disguised as Graves, he uses his divination powers to manipulate Credence in to listening to him. While Rowling herself did reveal that Grindelwald was lying about his vision, she did confirm that he is a Seer. Such a dangerous power in the hands of a mad man is certainly a recipe for disaster.

7 Public Speaking Ability

Despite having such an evil outlook on the world, Grindelwald amassed a great deal of loyalists. The real question is - how was he able to do that?

Just like Voldemort after him, Grindelwald is able to encapsulate crowds through his ability for public speaking. Even though his ideals are immoral, his ability to speak well captures an audience. His ability to address a crowd of people and intelligently give them information makes him spell-binding. By conveying his ideals passionately and without malice, it makes his point of view seem appealing. It takes a special person to be able to bewitch the mind with only words, and Grindelwald had that ability perfected.

6 He can cast Bolts Of Lightning From His Wand

The more powerful a wizard is, the more they are able to hurt their foes in a variety of ways. While simple spells like Expelliarmus and Stupify are taught in Defense Against The Dark Arts classrooms, there are much more powerful spells to harm an enemy.

While defending himself against Newt Scamander, Grindelwald emits a very simple yet effective spell from his wand. Without even speaking an incantation, he casts a bolt of lightning to strike Newt, which causes him considerable pain. Which other wizard was able to cast a lightning bolt from his wand? None other than Voldemort. With so many enemies across the world, Grindelwald has learned to defend himself in quick but effective ways. It may not be flashy, but it certainly gets the job done.

5 He Can Heal Wounds Without A Wand

Even though Grindelwald is considered the most evil wizard of all time, he does have the ability to do good. Unlike Madam Pomfrey of Hogwarts who requires potions to heal students, Grindelwald is able to do things much quicker. As evidenced by him healing cuts on Credence's arm, he is able to heal wounds using only his wand. The only time that Harry Potter fans saw this being attempted was with Gilderoy Lockhart, and that did not turn out well.

Considering that there are hospitals dedicated to helping wounded wizards, this is quite the feat. Despite the fact that Grindelwald does much more damage than good during his lifetime, he does possess this ability. If only he had been on the light side, he could have been a great asset to the Order of the Phoenix.

4 He's one of a few characters who appear in both Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts

Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Dumbledore Grindelwald

Within the entire Harry Potter universe, there have been two distinct stories told. One about The Boy Who Lived and now one about the Crimes of Grindelwald. Even though both take place in the same world, they take place in very different time periods. Due to that, there are very few character crossovers. However, given his significance in the wizarding world (and his age), Grindelwald makes an appearance in both stories.

Along with Albus Dumbledore and Nagini (and potentially McGonagall), he is one of the few characters who has appeared in both series. While there is still a lot of time and movies to move through, so more characters could make surprise appearances, there are very few options.

3 He's Able To Resist Voldemort's Legilimens

Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Fantastic Beasts

Fans who are not familiar with Grindelwald likely consider Voldemort to be the most powerful wizard in history. The feats of sorcery that he is known for have made him infamous, and there are very few wizards who are able to overpower him. His occlumency skills in particular have made many wizards cower in fear of him entering their mind. Voldemort delighted in reading his foe's thoughts in order to get the better of them.

While Voldemort's abilities are right to be feared, Grindelwald should not be underestimated, as he has a stronger mind than Voldemort. When Voldemort tries to interrogate Grindelwald for information, Grindelwald laughs in his face as he tries to penetrate his mind. This direct act of defiance shows exactly how powerful he is. If anyone ever thought Voldemort was more powerful, they should think twice.

2 He's Able To Use Disillusionment Charm

Harry Potter comes in to contact with his cloak of invisibility during his first year at Hogwarts. This enchanted cloak stays with him through all of his adventures, and is eventually revealed as one of the Deathly Hallows. While a cloak that can render the user invisible and cannot be detected by magic is a great asset, Grindelwald is a cut above what Harry has.

In a show of incredibly complicated sorcery, Grindelwald has been known to cast a disillusionment charm. While other advanced wizards like Dumbledore and Voldemort can Apparate with ease, being able to become invisible is an entirely different skill. Among all of the other Harry Potter characters, Grindelwald is the only known wizard who can cast this charm. If Grindelwald had displayed this kind of aptitude while in school, he would have been the top of his class!

1 He Accepted his mortality in the end

Old Grindelwald in Harry Potter

Despite looking to master mortality, Grindelwald eventually gave up his fight. After being imprisoned in Nurmengard for his crimes, he finally came to terms with his mortality. While not directly shown in his film appearance, Voldemort does do away with him permanently after getting the information out of him.

It stands to reason that a wizard of his caliber would have been able to resist mortality, but it seems that he accepted his fate. After committing so many crimes and causing so much pain, Grindelwald finally gave up. Despite his ending, one thing cross many fans minds - how epic would a battle have been between Grindelwald and Voldemort? Who would have come out on top?


Are there any other crazy things about Grindelwald's body in Fantastic Beasts? Let us know about them in the comments!

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