With the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, we knew we’d be one step closer to the ultimate duel between Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore. We expected to be introduced to new characters in J.K. Rowling’s sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but now that we’ve seen the film and had time to think about Leta Lestrange, Theseus Scamander, Nagini, and that return trip to Hogwarts, we find ourselves with more questions than answers about what’s going on during this time in the wizarding world!
This movie is only the second of five that will tell this part of Harry Potter history, but we want the many questions that emerged from The Crimes of Grindelwald to be answered sooner rather than later. Some of these questions are small, and others are major plot points that left us starring at the credits at the end of the film wondering, “Wait… what?” with our fellow moviegoers.
Here are nine questions we have after watching The Crimes of Grindelwald that we hope are answered before the fifth and final Fantastic Beasts film.
**SPOILER WARNING: This story contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.**
What is a blood pact?
The Crimes of Grindelwald introduced us to the idea that a magical blood pact can be made between two people. We get a glimpse of how this occurs in the Mirror of Erised when Dumbledore is gazing into it; for a moment, we see Dumbledore and Grindelwald making the pact. The pact apparently was a promise that they would never fight each other, and the blood from it was held in a special vial. At the end of the film, the vial holding their blood is taken from Grindelwald by Newt Scamander’s Niffler. Newt gives it to Dumbledore, who plans to try breaking it.
This is the very first time we’re hearing of a blood pact. The closest thing to it is the Unbreakable Vow, which is a promise that must be kept lest those who swore it die. We saw Severus Snape and Narcissa Malfoy make one in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Unlike the Unbreakable Vow, though, it seems a blood pact might be breakable — even if Dumbledore doesn’t know how for sure.
If it’s enough to make Dumbledore not able to confront Grindelwald and vice versa, it must be very powerful. What does it mean if you don’t honor the pact? We know Grindelwald, Dumbledore, and Aberforth Dumbledore fought before, which is how Ariana Dumbledore died. Was there some consequence Grindelwald and Dumbledore felt when they tried to face each other then? We need more details about this blood pact, especially since it seems to be playing such a pivotal role in this story now.
What makes Nagini work with Voldemort after not wanting to work with Grindelwald?
When Credence Barebone is leaning toward joining Grindelwald, Nagini tries to stop him. She basically tells him that Grindelwald doesn’t like people like them, yet Credence’s need for answers drives him to go with the dark wizard anyway. It’s interesting that Nagini recognizes what Grindelwald really is here. He hates muggles and half-bloods and only believes in a "pure" wizarding world that would not treat those who are different well.
Nagini wants no part of this, so how does she end up working with someone like Voldemort years later when he shares many of those beliefs? Does she change her mind about Grindelwald in later films? Does she lose herself when she fully becomes a snake? Or does something else happen that makes her team up with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?
After a surprising, controversial introduction in a trailer, Nagini was not in this film enough for us to learn more about her and give us a hint at this answer. Hopefully, that changes soon!
Is that phoenix Fawkes?
In this film, Dumbledore conveniently states for the first time that a phoenix will appear to a Dumbledore in need. When Grindelwald is telling Credence he’s a Dumbledore, the small bird Credence has had with him throughout the film is revealed to be a phoenix.
Is this phoenix Fawkes, the bird we know will eventually be with Dumbledore at Hogwarts?
After all, if Grindelwald is lying and Dumbledore is in trouble, the bird may switch sides to help the Hogwarts professor. Or are we going to see Fawkes arrive when Dumbledore is in need in a later movie? In that case, might there be an epic phoenix showdown between Fawkes and Credence's phoenix when all our characters come together? Who knew we’d also possibly be getting some Fawkes backstory in this series?
Who was Tycho Dodonus?
We know prophecies are made often enough in the wizarding world that they need a physical place to store them. So what's one more added to the mix?
In Crimes of Grindelwald, everyone seems to be interested suddenly in the prophecies of one Tycho Dodonus, who we’ve never heard of before now. Who was this wizard who published a book that everyone is suddenly familiar with?
A lot of people seem sure his prophecy is related to Credence and belief in it seems to be spreading. Dodonus must be extremely well known for this to be the case. What other prophecies has he made? Have others been proven true?
Which McGonagall is at Hogwarts?
Are we really supposed to believe that’s the Minerva McGonagall we all know and love at Hogwarts?
Based on information mentioned in the Harry Potter books, it doesn’t make sense for it to be her — but as it’s been pointed out, her birth year hasn’t been established. Rowling could be making some tweaks, ret-conning her own work so that what we heard in her previous works was never meant to be completely true. It’s not clear though, and that just makes the reference feel forced and confusing. Could it be a relative Rowling has suddenly created or has Minerva really been at Hogwarts since the '20s?
This needs to be cleared up before the mysterious McGonagall walks on and off our screens again!
Why does Queenie think siding with Grindelwald will help her?
By the film’s conclusion, Queenie thinks the answer to her troubles is to join Grindelwald. The entire movie, her questionable actions are explained by her loving Jacob and wanting to be with him even if the American wizarding community doesn’t approve. That makes sense, but what doesn’t is why she thinks Grindelwald can help; his actions toward muggles and his beliefs about them and those who aren’t pure-blood should make it clear he would never approve of a real, loving marriage between Queenie and Jacob.
More importantly, can Grindelwald somehow resist Queenie's mind-reading abilities? How can she not realize what he really thinks? Despite Grindelwald supposedly being a master of convincing people to side with him, he never says anything in his big speech that is more convincing than his actions. Has Queenie just become so angry that she thinks if wizards are in charge she can force those around her to approve of her marriage and not care if she has to force Jacob into it too? Or has she forgotten that entirely after seeing Grindelwald’s war visions and now is just a sudden convert to the cause with no regard for her sister and friends being on the opposite side?
It’s a dark move for the character, one that's not entirely clear as to why it was made.
Why is it a big deal if Credence is Corvus Lestrange?
The Crimes of Grindelwald makes a lot of fuss over everyone thinking Credence is Leta’s little half-brother Corvus Lestrange. Of course, if a lost baby lived, that would be great for a family. However, it’s mentioned that he’s the last of this great pure-blood line. We know, though, that the Lestrange name lives on thanks to other parts of the family. Do wizards really make such a big deal when just one branch of a pure-blood family is at risk?
Leta would continue the bloodline even if she might change her last name after getting married. Sure, the Lestranges are misogynists, so they might not care about Leta, but it’s disappointing if the rest of the wizarding world is too.
Is there something we don’t know about this branch of the Lestrange family or the importance placed on such things by the wizarding world? Would they be disappearing from all of France and that’s a big deal? Or was this just to make everything seem, in theory, more high stakes than it actually was?
How can Credence be a Dumbledore? Why was he on a boat to America?
Our biggest question is about the reveal that Credence is Aurelius Dumbledore. That's what Grindelwald says, at least.
Without getting too bogged down in the details, with what we know about current Dumbledore family history, it gets complicated if this is true. How it could be true has already been explored (a lot), but we don’t want theories. We want answers! Rowling needs to answer this question in the next film so we’re not left questioning everything we know about Harry Potter lore.
Whether he's a Dumbledore or not, why was Credence on a boat to America and who was with him? Who was given responsibility to take this baby to another country? Were they trying to hide him? Get rid of him? We need answers ASAP!
How does Grindelwald know who Credence is?
If we decide that Grindelwald is not lying to Credence for a moment — even though he could be — we need to know how he found out Credence is a Dumbledore to begin with.
In the first film, he had no idea who Credence was, and then he was in prison. Did one of the guards do some digging on his orders and somehow find out what no one else seems to know? Did he learn this in the time after he escaped or at some other point during the film that we just didn't see?
Our heads are spinning with all these questions. If only “Accio answers” would work in our muggle world!
What questions do you have after watching The Crimes of Grindelwald? Tell us in the comments!