Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
Warning: Spoilers ahead for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
J.K. Rowling’s new “Harry Potter” spinoff movie made its way into theatres on November 17, and fans around the world were introduced to a whole new set of characters in the wizarding world.
“Fantastic Beasts” follows the story of magizoologist Newt Scamander as he navigates New York City. He eventually learns that an Obscurial — Rowling’s newest Dark Magic creation — is terrorizing the city. Newt gets caught up in a dramatic showdown between the Obscurial, the American wizard government MACUSA, and the evil wizard Grindelwald.
But even after the two hours of exposition on New York’s magical community, Grindelwald’s rise to power, and Obscurials, we walked away with lots of questions.
First on our list: How did Grindelwald impersonate Graves?
The end of the movie revealed that Percival Graves (played by Colin Farrell) was really Grindelwald in disguise. But the other Aurors at MACUSA treated Graves as if they had known him for quite sometime. He was high up in the ranks, and had regular meetings with President Picquery.
So, if we assume that Graves was a real wizard, was Grindelwald simply using Polyjuice potion? That’s what Barty Crouch Jr. did to impersonate Mad Eye Moody in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” so the method tracks with Rowling’s previous writing.
We think this sounds easier than the alternative, which is that Grindelwald not only disguised himself through other means, but took the time to magically convince everyone at MACUSA he was a real person.
If it was Polyjuice, then where is the real Graves?
The Polyjuice answer would mean that Graves’s body is still out there somewhere. Will we see the real Graves in future movies? We enjoyed Farrell’s portrayal of a shrewd Auror with Dark Magic sympathies, so it’d be great to see him again.
Grindelwald is taken into custody by MACUSA. How will he get out?
We know there are four more “Fantastic Beasts” movies in the works, and Grindelwald will be the main villain throughout the series. Which means his easy capture at the end of this first instalment must be thwarted soon. Does he have allies planted inside MACUSA?
Was he actually not trying too hard to escape, and being captured was all part of his larger plan? We’re eager to see what trickery he has up his sleeve.
Did Credence survive? Was the Obscurial really destroyed?
Upon our first viewing, we assumed Credence was killed by the Aurors at the end of his big showdown with Graves/Grindelwald. But then we noticed a suspicious line in the published screenplay, and a producer of the movie cast even more doubt on Credence’s permanent departure from the series.
If Credence may still appear in future movies, how did he survive? Will Newt help him, or will Credence go down a path towards Dark magic?
What happened to the Deathly Hallows Grindelwald gave to Credence?
The necklace Grindelwald gave Credence Barebone had the ability to notify Grindelwald when the wearer touched the Deathly Hallows symbol. Did it survive the big fight? Does Newt have it now? Or, if he’s still alive, did Credence keep it?
Speaking of Credence, what happened to Modesty?
Modesty — the kind of creepy girl who was Credence’s fellow adoptee — was teased throughout the movie as if she was also an Obscurial. But then Credence’s big reveal happened, leaving Modesty terrified and hiding in her destroyed former home.
Will she return to the series? Or is she just a homeless orphan living in New York City now? Is there any chance that she did have magical powers, too?
What’s up with Newt’s brother, the war hero?
When Newt was brought to MACUSA by Tina, several of the witches and wizards in the room seemed to recognise the surname Scamander. But they quickly realised Newt was the younger brother of the famous Scamander they knew, a man who was some kind of war hero.
This seems like a super-specific detail of Newt’s family history to bring up, so we’re assuming it isn’t the last we’ll hear of this world-renowned older brother.
How did that Swooping Evil rain potion work? Are all the wizards also obliviated? How did it obliviate people who were indoors?
At the end of the movie, Newt used Frank the Thunderbird to distribute diluted extract from his Swooping Evil all across New York City. Earlier in the movie Newt said the extract would help people forget bad things — similar to the way the “obliviate” spell works.
Frank did this by presumably mixing the Swooping Evil liquid in with the rain, so anyone touched by the rain automatically had their memory modified.
But did that impact the wizards who were standing in the rain, too? And how did it work on the No-Majs who weren’t outside? The whole sequence left us unconvinced that things were going to go back to normal so easily.
Who is Leta Lestrange, and what happened between her and Newt?
An important scene between Queenie and Newt revealed that his ex-best friend (and probable girlfriend) at Hogwarts was a woman named Leta Lestrange. We know the Lestrange family from the “Harry Potter” series as a pretty evil legacy of wizards. So what was Newt’s relationship with her all about, since he seems like such a good-natured Hufflepuff?
Queenie used Legilimens to reveal that Newt’s relationship with Leta was “real close,” and that the mention of her name was clearly causing him some emotional pain.
Was Leta the student whose life was endangered by a magical beast, causing Newt to be expelled?
We think it’s possible that Leta is connected to Newt’s troublesome past at Hogwarts. When Newt was being interrogated by Graves, the auror reveals that Newt was accused of endangering the life of another student with a magical beast. Maybe she was the student who was nearly killed, and that’s why their relationship ended?
We hope more of Newt’s past is revealed in the future movies either way, since his character was charming, but a little underdeveloped in this first “Fantastic Beasts” movie.
Is Queenie going to reintroduce Jacob to the magical world?
Last but not least, we’re dying to know if Jacob will become part of the gang again in future movies. The ending seemed to indicate he was remembering Queenie, since he touched his neck where the Murtlap bit him and he smiled. Plus we know there’s some memories hidden in Jacob’s subconscious because his pastries are all designed to look like the magical creatures Newt showed him.
Jacob’s reactions and scenes with the witches and wizards were some the best moments in “Fantastic Beasts,” and it would be a shame if he stayed ignorant to the magical world.
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