The second installment of the Fantastic Beasts series released last Friday alongside Bohemian Rhapsody and Boy Erased. Needless to say, it was a great week for Hollywood movies and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has emerged as a winner among the three well-received films. While Potterheads may have already watched the film over the weekend, there’s no reason for you to miss out on this magical marvel even if you are not acquainted with the Potterverse. You can simply enjoy the film for its engaging storyline, stunning visual effects, and the fantastic beasts that are the highlight of the film. So even if you haven’t read the Harry Potter books or watched the films, or missed out on the prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, here’s all you need to know before you book for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald:
1. It all starts with Grindelwald.
The Fantastic Beasts series is set years before the Harry Potter movies. Back at this time, the dark wizard was Grindelwald who like most bad guys, wished to rule the world. He set out gathering followers – witches and wizards only – who would support his cause to overpower the non-magical population (called Muggles or No-Maj). In the previous film, Grindelwald was captured by the MACUSA (American Magical Government) and sent to prison.
2. Dumbledore and Grindelwald may have had a thing.
If you have seen the Harry Potter movies, you know Dumbledore as the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This film shows a much younger Dumbledore who was the greatest wizard of his time but preferred to take up a teaching job at Hogwarts. Dumbledore’s greatest desire is to defeat Grindelwald, however, he cannot fight him himself. This is because much before the time that the movie is set in, Dumbledore and Grindelwald were fast friends with similar ambitions. It is also rumored that they were more than just friends and writer J.K. Rowling has not kept Dumbledore’s sexuality a secret. The full extent of Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s relationship might be explored in the next films of the series.
3. Newt Scamander is not just a weirdo with animals, he is goals!
So if this is all between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, where does our protagonist Newt Scamander come in? Newt was once Dumbledore’s student and was sent to the US by his professor to keep an eye on Grindelwald’s activities. Highly eccentric himself, Newt keeps a suitcase full of magical beasts as he is a magizoologist. He shares a great bond with these animals, who would otherwise be termed “dangerous” by the general public. It is Newt’s good nature and decent heart that makes Dumbledore trust him to fight Grindelwald on his behalf.
4. Leta Lestrange comes from a dark background.
If you have seen the Harry Potter films, the name Lestrange will be familiar to you because of Bellatrix Lestrange. In short, the family has had many dark wizards, Leta being one of the exceptions. Because of her history, she was not very well-liked in school and had only one friend – Newt Scamander – who is known to love monsters. As they grow up, Newt and Leta grow apart and now she is engaged to his brother Theseus Scamander. It is fairly evident that Newt and Leta might still have some lingering feelings towards each other.
5. Wizards and muggles are not really allowed to mingle.
Back till the early 20th century, wizards and muggles stayed away from each other for their own safety. They were not allowed to mingle, definitely not allowed to date, and muggles did not even know about the existence of the magical community. Thus, when Queenie (who is a witch) and Jacob (who is a no-maj) meet and fall in love, their relationship has to be hidden from the government.
6. Credence Barebone is the crux of the story.
All roads in Fantastic Beasts 2 lead to Paris, where Credence Barebone is apparently hiding. A young wizard, Credence was not allowed to practice magic by his no-maj foster mother. Thus, a dark monster grew inside him that almost destroyed all of New York City in the first film. Credence has a power that can be dangerous if not controlled and thus Grindelwald wants him on his side. The Ministry of Magic in Britain wants Credence dead as he is a liability but Dumbledore believes he can be saved. There’s also a mystery behind Credence’s past that makes him highly important.
7. Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein saved the day and might do it again.
In the last film, Newt goes to New York and meets Tina Goldstein, an American witch. They work against Grindelwald together and by the end of the movie, fall for each other. But Newt is sent back to Britain and Tina gets a job as an Auror (magical equivalent of a detective) in the MACUSA. In this film, they are seen back together in Paris, escaping the clutches of both the Ministry and Grindelwald, while trying to save Credence Barebone. Watch the movie to know whether they succeed in their mission.
So now that you have a fair idea of the Wizarding World, book your tickets for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald right away!