The Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald San Diego Comic-Con 2018 trailer concluded with a very special, unexpected guest: Nicolas Flamel.
No-Maj (a.k.a. Muggle) Jacbo Kowalski meets a very, very old man and shakes his hand, nearly breaking it.
“Are you a ghost?” Jacob asks.
“No. I’m alive. But an alchemist and therefore immortal. Nicolas Flamel.”
Cool! Who is Nicolas Flamel? In short, Flamel is a fairly important piece of the Harry Potter canon who until this moment has never appeared in the flesh.
Grab a time-turner and head back with us to 1997. The first Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, has just come out in the U.K. It will soon arrive in the U.S. under the name Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (because Scholastic knows Americans think Sorcerers are more rad than Philosophers).
Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!
Understandably one of the biggest mysteries of that first book is what is the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone? And who is the Philosopher/Sorcerer who created it? As Harry discovers from the back of his Dumbledore chocolate frog card, Nicolas Flamel created the Sorcerer’s Stone. Then with the help of some Hermione Granger book reading they discover that the Stone is a magical artifact that can produce the elixir of life, prolonging the life of whoever drinks it indefinitely.
Nicolas Flamel was actually a real-life figure. He was a successful French scribe in the 15 century. According to texts two centuries after his death, he had succeeded in the alchemical arts of creating the Philosopher’s Stone and turning metals into gold.
In the context of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a broken-down Voldemort seeks the stone to extend his life. After he is defeated, Dumbledore informs Harry that he and Flamel have come to the decision to destroy the Stone. That means that despite technically lending his name to the very first Harry Potter book’s title, Flamel not only doesn’t appear in it or any other book in the series but also dies “offscreen” sometime after Harry’s first year.
Fantastic Beats being a prequel series though allows for all sorts of long-dead characters to return and the Comic-Con trailer confirms that Flamel (who is played by Brontis Jodorowsky) will be making his official Potter debut. What could he be up to? Well, Dumbledore has set Newt Scamander on a very important mission. Dumbledore also maintains a close relationship with Flamel. Surely a powerful alchemist will have some kind of tool to help Newt take down his era’s most powerful dark wizard.