***SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT KEEP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN FANTASTIC BEASTS & WHERE TO FIND THEM***
Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has finally arrived in cinemas, opening up a whole new world of magic and mystery for us to dissect and theorise about.
The film has left us with more questions about the wizarding world than ever before, so here are just a selection of them…
1. What happened to the real Percival Graves?
The Director of Magical Security and the head of MACUSA’s Department of Magical Law Enforcement wasn’t just Grindelwad in disguise, was he? Surely a man in such a position of power must have existed?
That’s what everyone is wondering when it comes to Colin Farrell’s Graves. We know that a Gondolphus Graves was one of MACUSA’s original 12 aurors, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his ancestors working high up in America’s answer to the Ministry of Magic.
There’s absolutely no way Grindelwald would have had time to be in two places at once for long enough to build a magical career on both sides of the Atlantic, so surely he must have done a Barty Crouch, locking Graves away somewhere and stealing his identity?
Or could Grindelwald have disposed of the real Percival and stepped into his dark-haired shoes? Based on how good Colin Farrell is, we hope its the former and that’s not the last we’ve seen of Graves.
2. Who were Credence Barebone’s parents?
Not long before the aurors pull their wands on Credence Barebone, both Newt and Grindelwald/Graves say he must be a mightily powerful wizard to have survived the effects of the Obscurus well into his teenage years. Newt comments that the last Obscurial he met was 8 years old – Credence is clearly well past that age.
So that begs the question – who are his real parents? Were they exceptionally powerful wizards, too?
3. Is Credence gone for good?
He seemed to disappear in an explosion of light when the aurors turned their wands on him, but Newt spotted the tiniest sliver of what looked like his Obscurial form slithering away from the site of his destruction.
Could Credence do something similar to Voldemort and return to corporeal form in later films?
David Yates did tell The Leaky Cauldron that he would become a “pivotal” character as the franchise moves forward.“Going forward, in the next script, Modesty is not in the next story. Credence, we follow Credence further. He becomes quite pivotal actually, Credence is quite crucial.”
4. Why didn’t Harry Potter develop an Obscurus?
Newt reveals that an Obscurus (named after the Potter publishing house that gave us Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them) is created when a child is forced to suppress their magic. Their attempts to keep it in create an uncontrollable mass of dark power, that ultimately takes over their bodies.
Harry was forced to suppress his magic, wasn’t he? In that cupboard under the stairs? Well, no. Harry didn’t know he was a wizard so he didn’t have to suppress anything – he just let it happen.
Credence, meanwhile, was forced to keep his power in by his adoptive mother, Mary Lou, who seems to have known exactly who his mother was – and what kind of power she had.
5. Why haven’t we met an Obscurus before now?
Newt says they’re very rare, so chances are we quite simply didn’t stand much chance of coming across one. He had to travel to Sudan to find the one in his suitcase.
6. Hold on, was Ariana Dumbledore an Obscurus?
Good question. The story of Dumbledore’s sister is a very tragic one. We know she was attacked by Muggles as a young child, and that her father was subsequently imprisoned for retaliating. Ariana was said to have never been the same again.
To quote Albus Dumbledore:
It destroyed her, what they did: She was never right again. She wouldn’t use magic, but she couldn’t get rid of it; it turned inward and drove her mad, it exploded out of her when she couldn’t control it, and at times she was strange and dangerous. But mostly she was sweet and scared and harmless.
Hmmm, now, is it just us or does that sound a little bit like Credence Barebone? A generally sweet, beaten down boy, whose magic has turned inward and explodes out of him when he’s feeling particularly angry or upset…
But wait, there’s more.
We know that when she was 14, Ariana lost control while her brother Aberforth – the only person who could calm her – wasn’t at home. Whatever happened in the house at Godric’s Hollow that day resulted in an explosion that killed Ariana, Albus and Aberforth’s mother, Kendra.
*cough* Credence exploded and killed his ‘mother’, Mary Lou. *cough*
Now, Ariana was killed not long after that, in a three way duel between Albus, Aberforth and Grindelwald, who’d been spending a lot of time with the Dumbledores. Is that how Gellert came to learn about the power of an Obscurus?
And could it explain his desire to find another one? Perhaps he’d seen just what Ariana could do…
Sure, Newt said they usually died before reaching the age of 10, but if Credence could survive because he was a powerful wizard perhaps Ariana, a Dumbledore through and through, could too.
7. Who is Leta Lestrange? And is she related to Bellatrix?
We first meet Leta Lestrange when Queenie reads Newt’s mind and discovers that something happened between them at Hogwarts.
We know the pair were very close friends, but that Leta was more of a “taker” than a giver.
Of course, Bellatrix Lestrange will be the first person who springs to mind when you hear Leta’s name and most people will wonder how the two might be related. Well, Bellatrix was originally a Black before she married into the Lestrange family.
Bellatrix’s husband, Rodolphus, was a descendant of Radolphus Lestrange, a former Minister of Magic (from 1835 to 1841), who tried to shut down the Department of Mysteries and is said to have retired from the job due to ill health.
Newt was born in 1897 and, if he was friends with Leta at school, chances are she was born around the same time. Could she have been Radolphus’s granddaughter or related to him in another way? We quite simply don’t know, but we have a feeling we’re going to find out in later films.
All we do know is that something happened between them at Hogwarts, and it’s still haunting and hurting the magizoologist.
8. Who is Newt’s war hero brother, Theseus Scamander?
You may have heard mention of another Scamander brother when Newt appeared before Seraphina Picquery and the delegates from the international wizarding community at the MACUSA headquarters.
That brother is Theseus Scamander, who Colin Farrell has said is a very powerful auror.
Could we see more of the other Scamander brother in future films? And what role will he have to play? His brother’s friend – or his foe?
9. What happened to that Deathly Hallows necklace?
Graves gave Credence a trinket with the Deathly Hallows symbol, telling him to touch it and he’d come calling. Now we know Credence was wearing it at the time of his ‘death’, but there’s no sign of it in the immediate aftermath.
Could the necklace be the one Xenophilius Lovegood? Well, if the films are anything to go by, probably not. His is far shinier and doesn’t seem to summon Grindelwald. Then again, the dark wizard was probably dead by the time Harry and co got to talking about the symbol.
10. Did Jacob’s memory return?
Obliviating the No-Maj (we feel filthy saying anything other than Muggle) seemed to be Madame Picquery’s priority, and we know that Jacob genuinely seemed to have forgotten Newt, Tina and Queenie – but the memories of the Fantastic Beasts didn’t fully leave his mind. His bakery is evidence of that.
And when he came face to face with Queenie in his bakery, the loveable Muggle gave something of a knowing smile. Does that mean he’s remembered everything? Or was he just attracted to her all over again?
11. What did Grindelwald’s final words to Newt mean?
“Will we all die a little”, Gellert Grindelwald asked Newt as he was taken away. But what did he mean by that?
Was he arguing that wizards died a little more inside each time they suppressed themselves?
Or was there a greater meaning to his menacingly mad words?
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in UK cinemas now