When it comes to France's wizarding society in the world Harry Potter, the extent of our knowledge ends with the school of Beauxbatons, its student Fleur Delacour, its headmistress Madame Maxime, and their primary mode of transportation, a carriage carried by Abraxan Horses. Aside from peripheral exposition in Goblet of Fire, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows, fans of J.K. Rowling's magical series know almost nothing about French wizards and witches. That's about to change with the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald next November.
Earlier this week, producer David Heyman revealed that most of the sequel's events would take place in Paris in addition to New York and London. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, director David Yates dished further on France's magical world, offering up the French word for muggle, which is — are you ready for it? — “Non–magique.” Simple, elegant, and incapable of being uttered without using a catchy French accent.
The great thing about these movies is that we are able to explore magical communities in different countries, which all have their own customs, laws, and lingos. In the last movie, we learned that the American phrase for a non-magical person was "No-Maj" and that wizarding laws in the U.S. prohibit wizards from befriending and marrying them. According to Yates, France's wizarding world is more lax about cohabiting with Non–magiques.
He said that Paris' wizarding is "quite glamorous, it’s quite beautiful. There’s a community that lives alongside the muggle community, it’s much freer than in New York, where there’s segregation." He also added that both Paris and England are "not so hung up about the differences" between wizards and Muggles. "Magical people can freely move into non-magical communities as long as they’re discreet about their talents.”
What draws our characters to Paris? Could it be that Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) wants to recruit dark wizards there like relatives of the Lestranges (Rodolphus and Rabastan) who would become Voldemort's Death Eaters? Could be. Let's just hope Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) can stop him in time. As the French say, “Qui vivra verra" — in other words, we'll just have to wait and see.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens on Nov. 16, 2018.