There were some strange decisions made with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, especially when it comes to the continuity of the Harry Potter world. However, when looking at the entire franchise as a whole, it is interesting to see more of the relationship between Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore, which until this point, was just told in exposition in the Harry Potter books and movies. However, while the full story of the two great wizards' relationship is yet to fully unfold, much more was discovered between the two men's past from their close friendship as young men to their intense rivalry as powerful leaders.
The new movie shows why Dumbledore has no interest in fighting his former friend, but there's more than one reason at the end of the day. With this new movie showing Grindelwald up close and personal for the first time, there are also some striking revelations that prove that there isn't a lot of differences between the greatest hero in the world of wizards and its most dangerous villain of the time. Every villain is a hero in their own story and every hero is that person's true villain, something that Crimes of Grindelwald shows in striking clarity.
With a few more movies to go before the eventual duel between the two wizards occurs, here are 20 Weird Revelations About Dumbledore And Grindelwald's Relationship.
20 THE PACT
When Dumbledore sent Newt Scamander to New York City in the first Fantastic Beasts movie, it was under the pretense of capturing a beast, but it was actually to look for Credence and figure out what Grindelwald was up to. Dumbledore then used Newt again in the second movie to find Credence and try to save him from Grindelwald.
By this time, Newt was tired of the games and wanted to know why Dumbledore wouldn't go after Grindelwald himself. That is when he saw the clues and realized the truth: Dumbledore and Grindelwald were close friends when they were younger and they made a blood pact that swore they would never fight each other. This is why Dumbledore needed Newt to do his work and why Grindelwald needed Credence to fight Dumbledore in the future.
19 CLOSER THAN BROTHERS
There was a funny line in the movie, although it was probably meant to be meaningful, when Dumbledore admitted that he and Grindelwald were not like brothers, but instead they were “closer than brothers.” Originally, there was supposed to be more to it than this as both wizards were reportedly closer in their younger days.
However, for one reason or another, it was reported by Vanity Fair that the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald would not be revealed “explicitly.” This meant that the film was going to play around with the idea, first with the “closer than brothers” line, then with the blood pact, and finally with Dumbledore seeing Grindelwald in the mirror. As he told Harry Potter in The Philosopher's Stone, it always shows the “most desperate desires of one's heart.”
18 ONLY DUMBLEDORE CAN BEAT HIM
When the Aurors came to visit Dumbledore at Hogwarts, they were there to demand that he join them to battle Grindelwald. It was clear there was no love lost between the Aurors and Dumbledore and when the wizard refused to help them, they reacted swiftly by binding his hands and then banning him from teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. Binding his hands would also inform them of when he would cast spells.
The anger from the Ministry of Magic was due to the fact that Albus Dumbledore was the only wizard powerful enough to beat Grindelwald, and later in the movie, Newt tells Dumbledore the same thing as they walk in to discuss their options against the Dark Wizard and that pesky blood pact.
17 DUMBLEDORE IS TWO YEARS OLDER
There is still a lot to learn about the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, but there is one thing that is certain, this is not the Dumbledore that fans grew to love in the Harry Potter movies. Even in his present state, he is unsure and unable to cope with what his friend had become. On top of that, it is also easy to see why Dumbledore ended up here.
Dumbledore was approximately two years older than Grindelwald when the two young men met. Grindelwald was expelled from Durmstrang Institute and then became friends with Dumbledore following that. It was during that time that Albus had become influenced and swayed by Grindelwald's charm.
16 DEATHLY HALLOWS
When Dumbledore and Grindelwald first met, they had a few goals in common. On top of that, both men were searching for the same thing when they connected: the Deathly Hallows. As fans of the original Harry Potter books know, the Deathly Hallows were three legendary objects that, when combined, made the wizard who possessed them all-powerful.
These items were the Elder Wand, which made the wizard holding it unbeatable, the Resurrection Stone, which could summon the spirits of the undead, and the Cloak of Invisibility, which is self-explanatory. The two men knew that if they could get these three items, they could rise up and put an end to the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, although the two men had differing reasons for this goal.
15 BOTH WANTED TO OVERTURN THE MINISTRY
Grindelwald and Dumbledore shared a very interesting and slightly surprising goal. They both wanted to put together the Deathly Hallows in order to overthrow the Ministry of Magic. Now, this makes plenty of sense for Grindelwald, who wanted to rule the world (both magical and muggles) and knew that overthrowing the Ministry of Magic would put him one step closer to that goal.
However, it might surprise some fans to know that Dumbledore also wanted to overthrow the Ministry as a young man. Unlike Grindelwald, Dumbledore did not want to rule, but instead, wanted to create a benevolent order presided by wizards and witches that would not harm anyone, which makes sense after seeing how intensely the Ministry was run at the time.
14 THE GREATER GOOD
The Greater Good was a term used by both Dumbledore and Grindelwald, but with differing meanings. It all started in a letter that Dumbledore wrote to Grindelwald. According to Dumbledore, the two should seize control of the Ministry of Magic for the Greater Good of all people (magical and muggle) and only use force when necessary without going over the line.
Sadly, Grindelwald took Dumbledore's words and used them for his purposes, which was the for “The Greater Good” foundation to be used to start the 1940's global Wizarding War. He even engraved it over the prison he built at Nurmengard, where he locked away anyone who opposed him in his efforts. While Grindelwald used the phrase, Dumbledore never rejected the ideas behind it, as he would show later in life.
13 MASTER OF AFTERLIFE
When Dumbledore and Grindelwald tried to find all three of the Deathly Hallows, they had one major goal in mind: they wanted to possess all three so that they could take on the role as the Master of Death. Many years after the fall of Grindelwald, Dumbledore told Harry Potter that the Dark Wizard believed that possessing all three of the Deathly Hallows would make a man invincible.
No one ever knows if that is true, though, as no one has possessed all three at the same time, although Dumbledore and Potter both possessed all three at one time or another. When it came to Dumbledore and Grindelwald, however, owning the three would give them all the power needed to take over the Wizarding World and accomplish their ultimate goals.
12 BROTHERLY LOVE
While Dumbledore lamented that he and Grindelwald were “closer than brothers,” the fact remains that the future Headmaster of Hogwarts had a real brother as well. Fans met Aberforth Dumbledore in the pages of the original Harry Potter books as well as in the movies. However, Aberforth played a large role in both the rise of Grindelwald and the life-long depression that Dumbledore faced.
Aberforth disapproved of everything about Grindelwald and made it clear to his brother that this wizard was dangerous and was coming between Albus and his family. When Grindelwald and Albus chose to take his younger sister Ariana with them, Aberforth stepped in to stop them. Grindelwald then cast the Cruciatus Curse on Aberforth and the three wizards began a fight that ended in tragedy.
11 A SISTER'S UNFORTUNATE FATE
When Aberforth attempted to stop Albus and Grindelwald from leaving their plan to enslave Muggles and taking Ariana with them, a giant duel broke out. The three wizards were involved in a massive battle after Grindelwald cast the Cruciatus Curse at Alberforth. However, the battle ended tragically when Ariana fell, losing her life to a curse by one of the three wizards.
None of the men knew who cast the spell that caused Ariana to lose her life, but it caused a chain reaction. Grindelwald immediately fled, leaving the country to avoid capture and the two brothers lived with regret for their part in the battle. Dumbledore then went on to refocus his attention on helping students and training young wizards rather than trying to take over the world.
10 CATALYST FOR A REVOLUTION
It was the passing of Ariana that ended up sending Dumbledore to become a great wizard and a leader who helped people with his version of the term “The Greater Good.” In turn, the passing also caused Grindelwald to flee the country and begin his rise to power and try to become the new ruler over wizards and Muggles alike.
After Grindelwald fled the country, he ended up seeking out Mykew Gregorovitch and taking the Elder Wand from him. Now, with Dumbledore out of the picture and his main ally an enemy, Grindelwald chose to use his meaning of "The Greater Good" to avenge the passing of Ariana by finally starting the revolutionary uprising that he and Dumbledore had planned together. This started one of the most destructive wizarding wars in history.
9 THE GREATEST DUEL
The entire Fantastic Beasts franchise might be built around Newt and his friends, but it is all leading to the duel between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald, considered by many to be the greatest wizarding duel of all-time. While this is still a few movies away, it happens before Dumbledore becomes the Headmaster of Hogwarts and after Grindelwald has splintered the magical community in his war against the Ministry of Magic.
As Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald showed, many Aurors in the Ministry of Magic already believed that Dumbledore was the only wizard powerful enough to battle Grindelwald. It wasn't until Grindelwald had become too dark to ever turn back that Dumbledore finally faced him and defeated the Dark Wizard to earn the allegiance of the Elder Wand.
8 STILL A LEVEL OF RESPECT
Interestingly, there seemed to be a level of respect between Dumbledore and Grindelwald even after they fought for the first time. When Dumbledore refused to go after Grindelwald, there were many reasons for the decision, but part of it was that he had still felt something from their earlier relationship. He also knew that Grindelwald was powerful and that he was the only man who could eventually defeat him.
On the other hand, Grindelwald knew that Dumbledore was his match, a major reason why he sought out Credence in order to bring him as a weapon to battle Dumbledore. Later in their lives, Grindelwald actually refused to help Voldemort, possibly showing that he had learned his lesson or that he still owed Dumbledore the respect that Voldemort never cared to offer.
7 BOTH MEN WERE CHARISMATIC
Despite the fact that Grindelwald was a Dark Wizard and a true villain, while Dumbledore was an honorable wizard who tried to really achieve the Greater Good, they had way too many similarities. It was proof that two men could be the same, with one using his skills for good and the other using it for wickedness: two sides of the same coin.
When it comes to Dumbledore and Grindelwald, both men were extremely charismatic. Grindelwald proved how charismatic he was when he charmed Dumbledore into almost following through with their plan to overthrow the Wizarding World and how he charmed many other wizards into joining his cause. Meanwhile, Dumbledore was equally charming, so much so that Dumbledore's Army rose up with students pledging their allegiance to him over the actual Ministry of Magic.
6 BOTH MEN FELL TO VOLDEMORT
In what has to be a bitter irony, the two strongest wizards in the world fell to the same man. Gellert Grindelwald was considered the most powerful Dark Wizard in history, that is, until Voldemort showed up and became more powerful than Grindelwald had ever dreamed of being. The two even met in the original Harry Potter series when Voldemort wanted to know where the Elder Wand was and then took the life of Grindelwald when he refused to tell him.
Everyone knows that the end of Dumbledore came at his own behest, but it was also in a diabolical plan set up by Lord Voldemort. The fact that Voldemort succeeded in ending the life of the strongest wizard in history was only offset by the fact that Dumbledore twisted the plans to backfire on Voldemort when he finally faced Harry Potter.
5 THEIR GOALS WERE THE SAME
Despite the fact that Grindelwald was someone who wanted to take control of the world and keep Muggles under his thumb, it was very similar to what Dumbledore originally wanted as well. Both men wanted to bring down the Ministry of Magic, who ruled with an iron fist and brought destruction to anyone who disagreed with their point of view.
With that said, even after Dumbledore beat Grindelwald, he still seemed to have a complete distrust and lack of faith in the Ministry of Magic and wanted more than anything to protect people, not harm them. Look no further than The Order of the Phoenix to see that Dumbledore was never as aggressive as Grindelwald, but was willing to do whatever it took to achieve his goals.
4 DUMBLEDORE HAD A SECRET FEAR
There is more than one reason behind Dumbledore not wanting to fight Grindelwald. One reason is that the two men shared a relationship that was “closer than brothers” at one time when they were younger. Another reason is that the two had a blood pact that prevented it. But, there is one other reason that Dumbledore is hesitant to battle Grindelwald.
When Aberforth stood in the way of Dumbledore's and Grindelwald's attempts to take their younger sister with them, a duel broke out. Ariana lost her life when a curse accidentally struck her without anyone knowing who cast it. Dumbledore said that he did not want to face Grindelwald because he worried that his old friend knew who was responsible and Dumbledore believed it might have been him.
3 GRINDELWALD WAS LESS SKILLFUL
The Aurors showed up at Hogwarts and tried to convince Dumbledore to join them in their hunt for Grindelwald. They told him how dangerous Grindelwald was and how he was building an army that they might be unable to stop, however, Dumbledore was not willing to join the battle at the time. When he let them know his decision, the Aurors told Dumbledore that he was the only wizard who could beat Grindelwald.
When the two finally battled, it was Dumbledore that won in what some consider to be the greatest duel in wizarding history. When telling the story in later years, Dumbledore explained that the two were equal in power, and while Grindelwald might be stronger, Dumbledore was more skillful, which led to his eventual victory.
2 SHORT RELATIONSHIP
It seems really hard to believe, considering how close the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald was, that while the two were closer than brothers, possibly more involved, and close enough to make a blood pact with each other, this was actually more akin to a fling.
The friendship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald only lasted a grand total of two months. In those two months, the two young men planned on finding the Deathly Hallows and bringing down the Ministry of Magic. And out of those two months, the greatest villain of his era and the greatest wizard of all-time found their calling and set upon the path to their fate.
1 BOTH MANIPULATED YOUNGER WIZARDS
Although Grindelwald was sinister and Dumbledore was noble, they shared one very disturbing trait: both men manipulated younger wizards to do their bidding, often putting the youngsters' lives in danger to achieve their goals. With Grindelwald, it was clear with Credence, who he was setting up to take the fall in the battle with Dumbledore.
With Dumbledore, his goals were set into motion when he allowed Harry Potter to face hardship his entire life, throwing him into the path of danger and peril with only his own idea of the Greater Good in mind. Dumbledore was hard on Potter to the extent that he used him to achieve his goals. Now, fans can see that he did the same to Newt Scamander. As a result, both men played dangerous games and used younger wizards as their pawns.
Do you know any other Dumbledore and Grindelwald revelations? Let us know in the comments!