JK Rowling’s Newt Scamander returns to cinema screens in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, a film that’s sure to cast its magic spell on the global box office and is already guaranteed at least three sequels.
And it’s probably a good thing that there’ll be three more films because the plot of The Crimes of Grindelwald leaves us with more questions than answers.
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Here are just a selection of the things we wondered as we left the cinema…
**SPOILER ALERT** – Obviously, we’re about to whine about the plot in detail so don’t say we didn’t warn you…
Why does Grindelwald get a pet beast in prison?
If you’re keeping the most powerful dark wizard in the world locked up and really don’t want him to escape, give him a baby Chupacabra. A small magical beast will surely knock all the malevolence out of him and bring out his paternal side.
Poor old Antonio. He never stood a chance.
If he’d already swapped with Abernathy (one of the Acolytes), why didn’t Grindelwald just walk out of prison?
Look, we love an exciting thestral chase sequence as much as the next TV and entertainment news website – but given that Grindelwald had ALREADY swapped with his henchman Abernathy, who was presumably allowed to leave the prison whenever he pleased, why not just walk off without raising an alarm?
Maybe Grindelwald just wanted to keep a promise to Abernathy to get him out, or maybe he just loves the high theatrics. Either way, not the most efficient escape.
What was the point of those spell-recording bracelets (called Admonitors) that were put on Dumbledore but never used?
Travers the auror basically got full access to Dumbledore’s magic browser history thanks to these fancy accessories – but then we never saw them hinder Albus in any way, and the aurors just took them off at the end of the film! If anything, they just gave Dumbledore some nice cufflinks for a few days.
Why did Credence join the circus? Did they even know he was an Obscurial?
Look, it’s nice that he was there to release Nagini – but why was Credence imprisoned in the Circus Arcanas with other magical beings in the first place? We know he’s an Obscurial, a rare being like the others there – but the ringmaster didn’t seem to, and he never used his destructive magic as part of an act there.
Instead, he just seemed to do odd jobs round the big top, even avoiding his abilities when trying to escape. Did the Circus just imprison this random young man as a slave?
What age is Professor McGonagall and how does she exist too early TWICE?
Minerva’s definitely been at the elixir of life or got her hands on a particularly powerful Time-Turner.
Not only is she a fully qualified professor in 1927 (about eight years before Potter fans believe she was even born), but she’s a fully grown woman in flashbacks set about 17 years earlier too. Has JK Rowling forgotten the Harry Potter canon she created – or has she got a clever plan up her sleeve?
What was the point of Leta Lestrange?
After being teased in the first film as a major part of Newt’s life, Leta turned up in this movie to mope around a bit, have some flashbacks and reveal some irrelevant background information, and then die.
Yeah, she ties into Credence’s quest a bit – but it turns out her life doesn’t really matter to the wider story at all. Surely there was more to explore with her, Newt and brother Theseus’ love triangle? No? Even the Niffler gets more character development.
And what was the point in that fatal final showdown of hers?
Leta pretends to join Grindelwald. Grindelwald starts to walk away. Leta casts a spell at Grindelwald. It doesn’t work. She dies instantly. What was the point of any of it?
Maybe she was trying to delay Grindelwald and save Theseus and Newt – but in the end they were still just standing there, and only left after she died. At best, her sacrifice made half a second’s difference, and if she’d just decided to leave with them when Grindelwald walked off, it seems unlikely any of them would have died anyway.
Wait, why did Queenie decide to become a magic Nazi?
Frankly, she turned to the dark side much more quickly than the slightly embarrassed alternate-universe Cedric Diggory did in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
And given that Queenie’s motive for starting to consider Grindelwald’s ideas was so she could try to marry Jacob, why still sign up to magic fascism once Jacob had shown his opposition to it? Was it just to spite him after he called her crazy?
Why didn’t Grindelwald, or anyone else, notice a big magic mole running around on stage and crawling over him?
Look, we love the Niffler. We relish every scene he’s in. We’re all signed up for the Niffler Cinematic Universe (or NCU) if JK Rowling decides to do more Potter spin-offs. And yes, it’s oddly fitting that he’s the one who ends up getting one over on Grindelwald by stealing the magic artefact (actually called a blood troth, fact fans) that has stopped he and Dumbledore from attacking each other – someone beneath Grindelwald’s notice getting one over on him.
But let’s get real – there’s no way the Niffler got on stage at the tomb at Père Lachaise during the climactic final scenes, burrowed into Grindelwald’s clothes and stole the blood troth without a massively powerful wizard, his hundreds of followers or anyone else noticing him. We’ve seen Nifflers work before, and they’re not always big on stealth.
And even beyond that, how did the Niffler manage to escape the deadly black fire attack that consumed so many trained aurors? Had he already nicked the blood troth? If so, how did he get beyond the sealed doors?
Forget Dumbledore – clearly, this Niffler is the only being with the raw power required to take down Grindelwald.
Why was Nagini even in this film?
There was a lot of controversy when it was revealed that Voldemort’s snake Nagini was returning for the new film, played by a young lady called Claudia Kim as a “maledictus,” aka someone cursed to turn into an animal forever one day.
You can read more about why casting her was controversial here – but to be honest, JK Rowling and the Potter team could have avoided any of the bother by just leaving her out of the film.
All she does is follow Credence around and look worried, and she must have about six lines in the finished movie. That’s barely more than when she was a mute snake in the original movie! And at least THAT Nagini had some sass about her…
Surely it would have made more sense to introduce her in a later film and actually give her something to do, or some character development? At the moment, she doesn’t even pass the Sexy Lamp Test…
How was Credence born?
He’s supposed to be a small baby in 1901, two years after Kendra Dumbledore was accidentally killed by her daughter and quite a while after Percival Dumbledore was sent to Azkaban, so it’s really quite implausible that he’s their son.
What gives? Is he half-sibling? A miracle baby? Or someone else’s son? It’d make for a VERY long episode of Who Do You Think You Are.
Unless JK Rowling has something like a Time-Turner in her future plans…
If the point of an Obscurus is that it’s a source of destructive, backed-up uncontrollable magic that ultimately consumes you, why can Credence suddenly channel all that energy through a wand?
We spent the majority of Fantastic Beasts talking about the inevitable death of Obscurial Credence Barebone and now we’re being told he’ll be fine because he’s got a wand and knows who he really is?
I mean, I love a good “defying the odds” twist as much as the next person but COME ON.
Why would Credence trust Grindelwald at all after what happened in the first film?
GG spent the entire first Fantastic Beasts movie lying to Credence while also in disguise, then threw him aside and said he was a useless squib. Surely that’d give you just a FEW trust issues when the same creepy dude sweeps in with some bold claims about being an unlikely Dumbledore brother…
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in UK cinemas now