The following comes from Den of Geek UK.
Warning: contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Grimes of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has now been unleashed on the world, and it’s fair to say that certain elements both large and small will have fans scratching their heads as they exit the cinema. What began as a sweet Hufflepuff movie about magical creatures has now become a sprawling epic set to take us around the world (next stop: Rio!), and Rowling dropped a revelation or two in this second instalment that again reframes what we thought we knew.
Here’s a little look at what the events of The Crimes of Grindelwald might mean for the next film, and parts four and five after that.
Newt, Tina, Queenie and Jacob
Starting with the core four, Newt and Theseus are grieving at the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald after Leta Lestrange sacrificed herself in order to allow her fiance and school friend to escape from the rally. This is an emotional thread that will likely carry over to the next film, especially for Theseus, and we can assume from their final words to one another that both are very much going to stay white hats for the remainder of the series.
The same goes for Tina, but unfortunately not for Queenie. It was inevitable that one member of the first film’s hero roster would switch sides to Grindelwald’s cause, and the set-up of her wanting to be able to marry Jacob freely carries through the thread of prejudice that Rowling introduced in the first Fantastic Beasts movie (and the Harry Potter series).
Queenie is incredibly useful because of her abilities, and we see Grindelwald utilise these when he asks about Credence’s fear of him.
We also know as an audience that Grindelwald has no intention of uniting Muggles and Wizards, and the turn strongly implies that Queenie won’t make it out of the series alive. Jacob, meanwhile, must play a role in the upcoming fight without any magical abilities at all. His fan-favourite status protects him for now, but perhaps we’ll see both of them go out in a blaze of glory later in the series.
Credence and Nagini
Seperated by Credence’s single-minded desire to discover his true identity, Nagini is now on Team Dumbledore and doomed to at some point fall into the hands of Voldemort as a Horcrux. The revelation that she is a Maledictus means that the time between those two outcomes is one fans are extremely curious about, and Rowling’s job is to make us understand how one character can become the other.
A lot of fans have also mentioned the likelihood that Dumbledore was never aware of Nagini’s true identity, since he never mentioned it when discussing the Horcruxes with Harry. Then again, there’s a lot of things that Dumbledore failed to mention, so I wouldn’t bet against them crossing paths.
Speaking of things Dumbledore never talked about, Credence’s story is much better-defined after the film’s conclusion, as we learn that he is in fact a long-lost Dumbledore and presumably destined to help Grindelwald battle against his old friend.
A lot of his role, on a practical level, will be about keeping the two magical titans away from each other until movie five, given that established canon has them meeting only when it comes time to fight. Credence, then, is now a character who is inextricably linked to both characters, and can serve as the stand-in for the rivalry.
Dumbledore and Grindelwald
Which brings us to the main attraction of The Crimes Of Grindelwald – Albus Dumbledore. In terms of big revelations, aside from the final one there’s not much in this film that book fans hadn’t already compiled from information across the series, Rowling’s words after the fact and their own headcanon.
At this time Dumbledore is still full of shame and regret over his relationship with Grindelwald and, blood vow or no blood vow, he was scared to face him directly in case the truth of his sister Ariana’s death be revealed. The existence of Credence throws this on its head, but the emotional stakes presumably remain the same.
We get only a glimpse of their true relationship in this film, so the question remains whether anything more will be spelled out in future movies for audience members who aren’t familiar with all of the extra-textual information revealed about the pair since Deathly Hallows was released. It seems unlikely we won’t, after fan reaction was less-than favourable when faced with the possibility that the romantic element would be excised completely.
As for what Grindelwald might get up to in the next film, we still need to see him establish his own prison, Nurmengard, which will house his detractors until after his defeat.
Second World War?
While Grindelwald’s rise to power is not referred to by the wizarding community as a war in the same way that Voldemort’s first and second reigns are, his activity does directly match up with the real-world Second World War. Rowling has always been clear that Grindelwald is a magical stand-in for Hitler during this time, so now it’s time for that to be seen on screen.
That potentially means getting to see the ways in which witches and wizards interacted with muggles in times of incredible crisis, as we’ve already touched upon their involvement in the First World War. In the first Fantastic Beasts, Jacob reveals that he served in France and Newt responds by saying he had also been present working with dragons on the Eastern Front.
In this film, Grindelwald’s strategy for gaining support at the rally is to show them images of another global war – one that will be taking place during at least some of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Jacob, the only muggle present, reacts in horror to the image.
The centring of the Dumbledores suggests one thing – we might finally get a clear on-screen glimpse of Aberforth and his legendary goats. Perhaps not his goats, but Dumbledore’s brother is almost a lock now that this new wrinkle in the family tree has been revealed, whether that be in flashback or present-day.
Speaking of flashbacks, ever since the film was announced fans have been clambouring for a proper exploration of what happened on the night of Ariana’s death, as well as a clarification of whether she was indeed an Obscurus. If nothing else the mention of her by Dumbledore when speaking with Leta shows, if we had any doubt, that Rowling has plans to explore this thread in one way or another.
One confirmed casting for Fantastic Beasts 3 is Jessica Williams as Eulalie Hicks, briefly glimpsed in this film but set to have a much larger role in part three. Nothing is known about her except that she is a professor at Ilvermorny during the 1920s, confirming that we will revisit America.
What comes next?
Speculation aside, the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald sets up the central mission of at least the next film – find a loophole in the blood vow Dumbledore made with Grindelwald when they were teenagers, which is now in the good guys’ possession thanks to the Niffler.
There will also undoubtedly be lots more beasts in part three, even if they take a back seat to the pressing concern of Grindelwald’s rise to world domination, and we can bet that the dual human/beast roles of characters like Nagini and Credence will put them in the middle of the conflict.
Then again, perhaps the real Fantastic Beasts were the enemies we made along the way.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is out in theaters today. You can read our review here.