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Credit: Warner Bros.

A deep dive into the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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Mar 13, 2018, 1:30 PM EDT

The first official trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald focuses less on Newt Scamander and friends than anyone potentially expected. Between a single shot of Johnny Depp's Gellert Grindelwald and more young Albus Dumbledore than we expected, Crimes of Grindelwald is really starting to look like a Harry Potter history lesson. But just how much will the series fill in the gaps in Harry Potter lore?


J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts films seem to be set on following Eddie Redmayne's Newt Scamander — but, let's be honest, Jude Law's young Albus Dumbledore is the real stand out in The Crimes of Grindelwald. The first official trailer is less than two minutes in length, but yung (sic) Dumbledore is here to steal the show.

Crimes of Grindelwald takes place in a pre-Headmaster Dumbledore era, back when he was the Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the trailer, we see a gang of Ministry of Magic-looking wizards approach Hogwarts to find Dumbledore in his office. They confront the good professor about Newt, who they say is headed to Paris by order of Dumbledore himself.

It's here that we get a shot of Dumbledore's Deluminator stealing the light from three street lamps before he ducks into a phone booth. Unless Dumbledore gave the Deluminator (which he invented) to someone else long before he gifted it to Ron Weasley in the final book in the Harry Potter series, then that was Dumbledore in the trailer, potentially getting up to no good.

Harry Potter deluminator

Credit: Warner Bros.

Back to Hogwarts, the Ministry agents find a bemused Dumbledore in his office (which is definitely the future Defense Against the Dark Arts office, Classroom 3C). He tells them that Newt isn't especially good at following orders. And isn't that convenient for Dumbledore?

“I can't move against Grindelwald,” Dumbledore says near the end of the trailer. “It has to be you.”


Credit: Warner Bros.

This will not be the end of Grindelwald

Dumbledore famously gained his reputation as being one of the most powerful wizards in history by defeating Grindelwald in a duel, taking him on in 1945 after years of avoiding his former best friend and crush. Their duel became legendary and resulted in Dumbledore gaining control of the Elder Wand.

The only clues that the Elder Wand (or any of the Deathly Hallows) are involved in the film are the shapes (triangle, circle, and line) swirling in the clouds and ultimately banding together in the title card at the end of the trailer. Supposedly, Grindelwald already has the Elder Wand in his possession; we've seen him holding it in promotional photos for the film.

Crimes of Grindelwald is expected to take place in 1927, just a few months after Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. So, unless Rowling and her team have really broken from canon, Grindelwald's reign won't come to an end within this film. In fact, he might gain more power than ever in Crimes of Grindelwald.

There's no clear date on when, exactly, Grindelwald stole the Elder Wand from Mykew Gregorovitch. All we know is that he stole the wand sometime between breaking ties with Dumbledore in 1899 and dueling him in 1945. We saw a brief flash of Grindelwald stealing the wand from Gregorovitch in the original Harry Potter films, but other than that we've never seen Grindelwald onscreen with the wand.

Crimes of Grindelwald

Credit: Warner Bros.

The Scamander brothers

Two wands we do see a lot of, though, belong to the Scamander brothers, Newt (Redmayne) and Theseus (Callum Turner). Theseus, Newt's holier-than-thou older brother, an Auror with the Ministry of Magic and the golden child of Scamander family, supposedly has a less-than-cordial relationship with Newt. But the trailer portrays the two of them working together to cast one hell of a powerful spell — a Battle of Hogwarts-level powerful spell.

It makes sense that the Ministry, Newt, and Dumbledore might set aside their differences by the end of the film to protect the Wizarding world and the human world alike from Grindelwald's evil plans. Given that Grindelwald is the second-most powerful dark wizard in history (right behind Lord Voldemort himself), the Ministry is going to need all the help it can get.

Credence Barebones, Crimes of Grindelwald

Credit: Warner Bros.

Credence and friends

Some of that help might come in the form of Credence Barebones (Ezra Miller) and his new friends at the circus. We see several shots of the circus in the trailer as it shows off some of the show's fantastical performers and beasts. We even see Credence and Claudia Kim's unnamed, blood-cursed character sitting on the roof of a Parisian building. Credence's Obscurus seems to be a bit more tame and there's a hint that he might even be able to control it better. If that's the case, then Credence is going to be a huge asset.

The question is where Credence's loyalties lie. Sure, Grindelwald (disguised as Percival Graves) spent most of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them emotionally manipulating Credence and trying to get the young, confused wizard on his side. And Crimes of Grindelwald might see Credence run right back to the dark wizard. A better option, though, seems to be Credence teaming up with Newt and Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), who were endlessly kind and compassionate toward Credence in the first film.

Other mysteries

Two shots in the trailer raise a lot of questions. Both are of unknown locations but they inspire two very different vibes.

Crimes of Grindelwald

Credit: Warner Bros.

The first is a Ministry-looking space topped by a beautifully decorated glass roof etched with various magical creatures. The creatures, which range from dragons to the murlaps we were first introduced to in the first Fantastic Beasts, hint that this might be the main offices for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures in London. If so, then Newt — and the Parisian circus — might want to be careful.

Crimes of Grindelwald

Credit: Warner Bros.

The second location worth wondering about is more mysterious. We see a man (Dumbledore, maybe) in a coat and hat standing in front of a magically-lit wall filled with incoherent scribbles. This might be Credence or Grindelwald's hideaways. The only thing we can really be certain of is that this is a sewer.

Thestrals, Crimes of Grindelwald

Credit: Warner Bros.

Let's not forget the Thestrals

Who doesn't love a good Thestral-drawn flying carriage?

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens on November 16.