December 11-12, 2021
The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second instalment of the Fantastic Beasts prequel series. Despite being set in 1927, just one year after Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and 64 years before Harry Potter took his first steps into the hallowed halls of Hogwarts, Crimes will heavily tie into the events of Harry’s time, with Eddie Redmayne stating that there are many “jaw-dropping moments” for Potter fans.
We won’t be covering anything that isn’t already public knowledge, but if you’re worried about any potential spoilers, avert your eyes! Otherwise, let’s look at what we know about how Crimes will fit into the Harry Potter timeline!
Fans have often speculated about Voldemort’s closest companion and Horcrux, the snake Nagini, and we now know a whole lot more. During Crimes, Nagini, played by Claudia Kim (probably most recognisable as Dr. Cho from Avengers: Age of Ultron), is a witch who meets Credence Barebones while performing at the Circus Arcanus. She’s capable of transforming into a snake, but not because she’s an Animagus.
Nagini is actually a Malidictus, meaning she’s inflicted with a blood curse that will eventually cause her to permanently become the snake we’ve all grown to fear her as. The Malidictus curse only affects women, passed from mother to daughter, and there is no known cure. What we do know though, is that a person inflicted with the Malidictus curse is destined to be evil…
Crimes is set before Voldemort is even born, so it’s unclear of where Nagini’s allegiance will fall for now. Glimpses in the trailer show her standing with Newt Scamander and his crew, but whether she will Slyther-in to the dark side during Grindelwald’s time is yet to be seen.
We’ve only received a few glimpses of Gellert Grindelwald in the main Potter series, but as the title character of the movie, and played by Johnny Depp, you can bet we’re about to see a whole lot more of him. Grindelwald was the Dark Lord before Voldemort, known as the most powerful dark wizard at the time of Crimes. Like good ol’ He Who Shall Not Be Named, Grindelwald is obsessed with power, and wants wizards to come out of hiding and assert their superiority over the weak Muggles/No Mags.
Grindelwald also seeks possession of the three Deathly Hallows to further expand his power and gain mastery over death. He wields the Elder Wand, which he gained in his earlier years, though we know it will one day end up in the hands of Dumbledore. Speaking of whom…
Before he was Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore was its Professor of Transfiguration and looked a lot like Jude Law. He’s particularly important to the story as Dumbledore and Grindelwald were childhood friends, both growing up in Godric’s Hollow, (the place where Voldemort would eventually murder Harry’s parents) and remaining close despite going to different schools— Dumbledore attended Hogwarts and Grindelwald went to Durmstrang (Remember Viktor Krum?). Grindelwald would have a strong influence on him, to the point where Dumbledore was anti-Muggle as a young adult.
This influence was in part due to Dumbledore being in love with Grindelwald, a subject that Crimes director David Yates has most recently stated will be clear in the movie. It’s an important element to the complex relationship between the two, and its eventual breakdown, after a three-way duel between Albus, his brother Aberforth, and Grindelwald; ending with the inadvertent death of Ariana, the fourteen-year-old sister of Albus and Aberforth, in 1899. Since then, Grindelwald and Dumbledore have parted ways, and he’s become much more like the wizard we’ve known in his older years.
Of course, Newton Scamander is back, after all the current movie series is named after his book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Crimes is set the year his book is published, 1927, so Newt will probably be getting a bit more renown within the wizarding world for that, as well as nabbing Grindelwald the year before. His experience is presumably why Dumbledore tasks his former student with pursuing Grindelwald. Plus there’s the fact that Newt is just a straight-up good bloke.
And as Newt loves his beasts, we’ll be seeing plenty more old and new magical creatures, as he travels the globe on Grindelwald’s tail. Plus, it’s confirmed that he’ll run into some familiar names, such as Nicholas Flamel, creator of the Philosopher’s Stone, and Leta Lestrange (a distant in-law to Bellatrix) who you might be remember being name-dropped a few times in the first movie, and Newt’s brother Theseus, the war hero.
There’s sure to be plenty more Potterverse links within the movie, to Harry’s future, and the past we’ve yet to see, as The Crimes of Grindelwald takes the Fantastic Beasts series in a new direction on November 15.