‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ spoilers: Who’s good, who’s evil, who’s dead
The trailer for "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" is here.
Why can't Dumbledore fight Grindelwald? Is Leta Lestrange evil? And just who is Credence Barebone?
“Harry Potter” fans rejoiced at the arrival of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” launching a new prequel series starring Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, a hangdog Brit who’s a bit of a horse whisperer for all manner of magical creatures.
The sequel, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” hits theaters on Nov. 16 with new characters and new additions to the Potterverse. And since the new movies aren’t based on published material, fans have had two years to speculate about what was going to happen next.
Well, speculate no further. Here are all the major spoilers Warner Bros. has been trying to keep secret.
Grindelwald has one over on Dumbledore
Newt the protagonist, but for “Harry Potter” fans, the main attraction of the prequel series is the backstory of a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) facing off against his onetime blood brother, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).
Turns out that’s quite literal. We knew from teasers that Dumbledore says he “can’t move against” his frenemy; the reason is a “blood pact” that amounts to a magically enforced non-aggression treaty. So, as he will send in the pawns, led by Newt, whom he sends to Paris to track down Grindelwald after he escapes from the Americans.
Anyone hoping for the film to directly address the two wizards’ implied romantic relationship will be disappointed.
Yes, Nagini used to be human
Early news that “Crimes of Grindelwand” would include a Maledictus, someone afflicted with a “blood curse” that will eventually turn them permanently into a beast, sparked fan speculation that the character, played by Claudia Kim, would eventually turn into Nagini, Voldemort’s giant-snake familiar and Horcrux. Good guess, and not really a spoiler, since Kim’s character was later officially listed as Nagini. We meet her at a traveling freak show in Paris called the Circus Aracanus, where she teams up with Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller).
The Lestrange family isn’t all evil
New characters include Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz), Newt’s old Hogwarts flame, now engaged to his brother, Theseus (Callum Turner), an Auror, or dark-wizard hunter. There’s not much of a love triangle, but even though her last name makes her immediately suspect, Leta fights for the right side in the end – and becomes the only major character to die.
... But Queenie goes bad
Queenie (Alison Sudol), the brass-mouthed sister of Auror and (Newt’s love interest) Tina Goldstein (Katerine Waterston), is in love with the “No-Maj” Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), who has retained some of his memories despite Newt’s forget-about-it potion in film one. And this love makes her vulnerable to Grindelwald’s rhetoric about a new order in the Wizarding World (“to live openly, to love freely …), because American wizards are barred from marrying Muggles. Aw, Queenie, you were so much fun when you were just an endearing bumbler with telepathic powers …
Who is Credence?
The Lestrange saga gets stranger with the arrival of Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam), a French-African wizard who is hunting for Credence and finds him at the circus.
If you recall from the first movie, Credence was the mysterious young man harboring an Obscurus, dark magical parasite so powerful it usually kills its host in childhood.
Kama is convinced Credence is actually Corvus Lestrange V — his half-brother. Turns out Leta and Yusuf have the same mother, an African witch who was kidnapped by Corvus IV and forced to marry him using the Imperius curse.
But, in a bit of a head-scratcher of a twist, Leta reveals that she had switched her brother with another baby while voyaging to America, and the real Corvus Lestrange drowned in the ocean. So, who is Credence? In the final scenes Grindelwald reveals, with magical proof, that he is actually a long lost Dumbledore named Aurelius.
The first “Fantastic Beasts” introduced a menagerie of magical critters, from the gold-sniffing, platypus-like Nifflers to the hideous ocean rats called Murtlaps. The sequel, alas, is less focused on Newt’s private zoo, but it does have time to add to the monster manual:
The Zouwu is a giant critter from China with a leonine face and a long, sinuous body that looks like a pink feather boa. It might remind you a little of the Luck Dragon in “The Neverending Story.” How Newt “captures” the beast is a hoot, and keep an eye on the thing’s muzzle when it goes into combat mode (magic sparks!). Aside from the familiar Niffler and Bowtruckle (miniature stick man), it’s the only beast that plays a significant role in the plot, doing battle with a pack of magical panthers that look like something out of cartoon, with big alien eyes.
Just for show really, the Kelpie is another big, rideable creature, a sort of sea serpent camouflaged in seaweed. Borrowed from Japan folklore, the Kappa is a scary-cool water demon (if you’re a sushi eater, cucumber rolls, or kappa maki, are this monster’s namesake.) There’s also a giant moose-like thing with a mouth that opens waaaay wider than it should and, in the animated-machinery department, a spindly metal spider with a cloth airbag that serves as a sort of Rumba at the Ministry of Magic.
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