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- If the whole book in its Muggle-published form is supposed to be an artifact from the Potterverse, does that mean Dumbledore wrote the introduction years after his supposed death?
- Maybe this is another facet of his Will. He writes the commentary well before hand, then writes in his Will ďin the event of my death, it is my request that these books should find their way to the muggle populationĒ
- Which of course leads to the question: how does Dumbledore - in his will or in person - have the right to publish an exact copy of Harry Potter's personal property?
- Dumbledore, break the law? Surely not.
- Maybe it was Harry's idea?
- Dumbledore's intro specifically states Harry agreed to it.
- Is the commentary not simply in the original book? Seems quite logical that the textbook would include some of the history behind the classification of magical creatures. Dumbledore was a highly intelligent and decorated wizard. Not out of the realm of possibility that he leant commentary to a textbook. I think the book is meant to be the one that Harry actually used in class. Essentially Harry's copy has been duplicated and sold to muggles.
- The foreword by Dumbledore specifically mentions the whole idea of copying the book and selling it to Muggles. My theory is that Dumbledore was probably somehow involved in bringing the first book out to Muggles (note that Philosopher's Stone was released only a few days before his death) and the project was continued in his memory, including consultations with his portrait, who probably dictated the foreword. He didn't let on to the Muggle audience that he was dead because the sixth book wasn't out yet and he didn't want to spoil things.
- Fantastic Beasts was first published between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, which is the Doylist explanation for why it doesn't include info from the latter. I always figured that Dumbledore took Harry aside at some point during Goblet, probably before the climax and Voldemort's return (after which they all had more important things on their mind, and Harry's public reputation was back in the toilet), in order to ask him for permission to publish his copy. He wrote the intro at that time and published it in that form, notwithstanding any subsequent events.
- Are we just going to totally gloss over the fact that the Wizarding publishing house that published Newt's book is Obscurus Books? In a series written by a person who has only ever had one coincidence in her massive book series (that being Mark Evans, whose common last name is the same as Lily's maiden name)? We are? Okay, let's.
- Why do the graffities in the book reference the events up to the fourth book, but not afterwards? Harry and Ron gave up Care of Magical Creatures in their sixth year, but in their fifth they still should have used the book.
- It's possible that, that's when their copy was copied.
- Or they were a little more mature in their fifth year - maybe one of Umbridge's Educational Decrees banned writing in books.
- Umbridge making a reasonable rule? Surely not.
- Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Dolores was a sociopath par excellence but on some level a lot of her comments were correct. Lying is wrong, after all.
- Then why is the entire regarding population doing it all day every day to almost everyone who isn't them?
- In Real Life this book was released between Goblet and Order (not to take away the validity of the above headscratchers, just pointing it out to anyone who doesn't know)
- They don't seem to study Dark creatures in their fifth year (or at least under Umbridge) or in 6th year either. So they probably stopped using it for class and therefore no longer had the opportunity to write in it.
- And it might be that this book only gives a general overlook of the creatures. When starting Care of Magical Creatures class, they're assigned a different book - so it's possible they just stopped using this one.
- That's true. In fact, Hagrid SPECIFICALLY has a different book used in one year. The "Monster book of Monsters".
Newt and Hogwarts
- Dude was kicked out of Hogwarts for "endangering human lives". Hogwarts. The school that has a house entirely dedicated to turning out what are for all intents and purposes wizard nazis literally since its founding. Just how dangerous was his research that even Hogwarts was like "Nah, we don't want none of that"?
- Because that's not generalizing at all. First off, it's not the school's fault if some of its students grow up to be pureblood supremacists or Death Eaters, and they don't just come from one house - need I remind you of Peter Pettigrew, for example? As Dumbledore says, "It is our choices, far more than our abilities, that show what we are." Most of the Slytherins we saw during Harry's time at school were just a bunch of schoolyard bullies who were descended from former Death Eaters (apart from Slughorn), and many of them were able to put their parents' backgrounds aside and fight for the school. It's even been mentioned that by the time Draco is there to send his son to Hogwarts - he's sending his son to a school that he formerly belittled and mocked at every opportunity - he's apparently matured enough to be on civil terms with Harry, and realized the mistakes he made when he was young to the point where he ensured Scorpius wouldn't turn out like him.
- The bit about Draco is confirmed in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
- Not to mention Hagrid was previously expelled from Hogwarts after a very long string of incidents that could be called dangerous as well, such as keeping werewolf cubs under his bed and numerous other moments like that. Scamander may have done something like that, but whatever caused his expulsion wasn't serious enough to have him lose his wand like Hagrid did.
- Going off of this, Hagrid probably lost his wand because one of his mistakes (supposedly) ended up killing another student, but he wasn't sent to Azkaban because it was labeled as an accident and he hadn't meant to hurt anybody. Fred, George, and Newt Scamander may have performed similar dangerous experiment and were promptly expelled from the school, but those experiments hadn't injured anyone, so they kept their wands and escaped without punishment. (Also, the three of them were old enough to legally use magic outside of school, which probably contributed, as well - Hagrid was still underage, so his wand being snapped makes a lot more sense.)
- Presumably Dumbledore's predecessor as the headmaster was a lot more of a stickler for expelling people than Albus turned out to be.
- Because the Wizard Nazis are smart enough not to, as the saying goes, "shit where they eat?" They also don't blow up school buildings. Note that when Fred and George Weasley did the 'explosions' thing? They were promptly expelled.
- Um, no they weren't. The twins left of their own accord because they weren't going to put up with Umbridge's crap anymore. The "explosions" (also known as fireworks) were a deliberate celebration of chaos to stick in to her one more time before they left for good.
- Or, alternately, they punished Newt as much they could under Hogwarts rules, but what he did wasn't technically illegal and wand snapping can only be done by the government, not the school...and then the Ministry, learning of this, promptly made it illegal to keep dangerous pets while at Hogwarts, so Hagrid gets actual legal penalties in addition to being expelled.
- Or, even more alternately, half-giants are only allowed within Wizarding society by the grace of the Ministry of Magic, so can be kicked out at will.
- That is also a very good explanation. Half-Giants are a persecuted minority is logic (sad but logic) that the government is harsher with them even with the same offense.
- Why is it that whenever there's a headscratcher like this, people always have to go with the most cynical option? Hagrid's actions (supposedly) got another student killed, so according to the Ministry, they had pretty good cause to expel him, and they aren't about to let him keep his wand when he's not old enough to perform magic outside of school. (Nevermind that it was fixed eventually, anyway.)
- Did Grindelwald pull a Kill and Replace on an actual Auror named Percival Graves Barty Crouch-style (minus the kill obviously), or was it just a fake identity he assumed?
- Actually, I was wrong - Percival Graves was indeed a real person as confirmed by the wiki - this instead leaves to the Fridge Horror that This did not look like a Polyjuice potion... meaning he probably did pull a Kill and Replace. The real question would then be Wouldn't anyone have noticed something was wrong, especially the local empath?, but I think that Fridge Brilliance - Graves kept a distance from her, Grindelwald knew to do so as well, and probably had techniques such as Occlumency to keep himself from being "read" as a fake.
- If Grindelwald had disguised himself as Graves with Polyjuice Potion, then it must have been a feat on the order of Alastor Moody's impersonation for an entire school year. Given how Crouch Jr./Moody attracted some attention for his hip flask, and how it requires drinking the potion every hour, and more must be continuously made and a stock must be kept on hand at all times since it requires one month to brew - thus preventing Grindelwald from killing the real Graves - this is an extremely tall order even if it can be done. But since Graves is a high-ranked Auror as compared to a Hogwarts teacher who might have a lot of alone time during which he could hide all the evidence more easily, I doubt even someone of Grindelwald's skill and capability could pull this off for long. Granted, it's unknown for how long this impersonation had been active.
- Considering that Grindelwald was able to prevent Voldemort himself from reading his mind after he'd been in prison for fifty odd years, I'm pretty sure he'd have no problems masking any thoughts from Queenie
- Also Queenie said she had difficulty reading British minds. It wouldn't be hard to believe she would also have difficulty with other European minds and depending on the theory, Grindelwald was either from Germany, Eastern Europe, or Scandinavia.
- It's a reasonable assumption that Grindelwald was skilled at Occlumency, even at this early stage of his terrorist career. It's probably considered as crucial a skill for ambitious Dark Arts practitioners as the Unforgivable Curses.
- So wait a moment, just how did Newt know to cast a revealing spell on Percival Graves? Did I miss something like him maybe saying something that only Grindelwald would say during a previous scene when the two interacted? Such as when he sentences them to death.
- "Graves" was able to fend off several dozen Aurors at once. That's not something an ordinary wizard can do, even one high up in government.
- Fair. It still seems a little strange of a conclusion to make (Sure, he didn't suspect that he was really Grindelwald until after he was revealed), but it does seem a little broad of a conclusion to take that Graves is an imposter just because he appears to be able to perform such a feat. Unless it was stated that only Grindelwald and Dumbledore could even think of doing that earlier on?
- Graves was ranting on just before then about how the statute of secrecy was useless and outdated and needed to be dismantled which, as we learned earlier in the movie while he was interrogating Newt, is a viewpoint commonly held by Grindelwald sympathizers. Add that to the fact that he was also clearly attempting to recruit/use Credence ó which, as Newt was asking earlier, isn't what you should be doing with an Obscurial when you should be saving them instead ó and it probably wasn't hard for him to put together that this guy was not Graves.
- The first sign Graves gave off as to his real goals was when he offhandedly remarked that the Obscurial with no host was "useless", and Newt definitely picked up on that oddity on the spot. From then on, I imagine he was just going on a hunch that Graves might be someone else in disguise, but not necessarily Grindelwald.
- Newt's suspicions about Graves in fact start in the interrogation. When Graves asks "So the Obscurus is useless without the host?", Newt is horrified and asks Graves what on earth he'd even want to use an Obscurus for. Graves them seems to have realised he's slipped up and immediately changes the subject which sparks Newt's suspicions further. When the group meet with Gnarlak, Newt asks Gnarlak about Graves and his background. Gnarlak's expression confirms to Newt there's something there to confirm his suspicions, as the script specifies that Gnarlak's expression indicates "there is much he could say, but he'd rather die than say it". All this plays on Newt's suspicions that Graves might not be who he seems to be. Add in Graves's actions in the climax and it's more than enough for Newt to think "Maybe this guy isn't who he appears to be... what if he's someone else?".
- "this guy not Graves" but why? Newt has never met the real Graves. He has no basis for saying this is a different person. It would have been more logical to just assume the real Graves has become a Grindelwald sympathizer then that he has been replaced. It's not as if government workers are above that.
- It might not have been "this man isn't Graves" so much as "something about this guy is 'off'". Perhaps the Revelio charm would also expose magical influence, and Newt simply had suspicions of something odd.
- There's also the matter that Graves has the Deathly Hallows symbol sticking out of his pocket during his interrogation of Newt. It's not beyond reason for Newt to have spotted that, and at least come to the conclusion that—as it's unlikely a high-level Auror could have made it this far and been a Grindewald supporter—that this man might just be an imposter.
- There's also the fact that supporting material has revealed that the real Percival Graves is a friend and correspondent of Newt's older brother Theseus. If Theseus and Newt are close, Newt might be going off his elder brother's description of his friend, or the fact that Theseus is unlikely to approve of, let alone actually like someone of Grindlewald's beliefs.
- You see? That's what is frustrating about this movie. They had oppertunities to connect the characters in meaningful ways but either don't or don't say it in the movie. If it's not in the movie then it does not help the audience.
- Revelio is a kind of truth spell, like how Obliviate and Confundus are memory spells. It's the easiest and fastest truth magic they can do on the spot, since most truth magic are potions, so it makes sense to try it first, just in case. Sometimes, simple is the best option.
- And don't forget, Newt himself has only just eluded captivity and a Kangaroo Court execution by the Aurors. He needed to ensure that Graves would truthfully reveal what was going on, else the other Aurors might have arrested him and Tina on the spot.
Ending and the wand
- So a massive plot hole is on the way with how this film ended. Grindelwald is of course defeated at the end of the film by Newt, but given the timeline of the series, he is also already in possession of the Elder Wand at this point. His defeat at the hands of Newt means the Elder Wand's loyalty passes to him and thus it can't continue down the normal path of Dumbledore and Draco to Harry. We know the Elder Wand is Harry's in the end as Harry uses it both to defeat Voldemort and repair his wand. It could also very well have passed on to Tina as she magics Grindelwald's wand away in case the Swooping Evil is considered the victorious force from before, but Tina taking his wand would account for the same defeat. Either way, J.K is going to have to be very careful how she handles it moving forward.
- We don't know the exact mechanics of how the Elder Wand changes owners, but this is the first time we've seen it peacefully taken during an arrest rather than taking it during battle, magically disarming, or winning it through killing the other person.
- Yes. When a person is arrested, at the end of that, or at the end of their sentence if convicted, their property is returned to them when they are released. Obviously, Graves won't, but she didn't know that when she disarmed him. He was just arrested for ranting like a madman and acting like he was about to go out and tell Muggles what was going on, so Tina was fully expecting that he would get his wand back. Maybe after a few years in jail, but eventually. To win a wand you probably have to intend to deprive someone of that wand permanently when you take it.
- Nothing suggests or proves that the wand Grindelwald was using was the Elder Wand. In fact his consistent use of wandless magic up until the climax would imply he knew better than to use a wand which did not owe allegiance to him (Graves' wand), hence why he didn't use it until the end. And if he had been using the Elder Wand, the incredible power it contained would have given away his true nature even faster than the display he made against the Aurors. So the implication is that he had the Elder Wand hidden away somewhere, used wandless magic whenever he could, and only used Graves' wand when forced to at the climax—and it was this wand he was disarmed of, not the Elder Wand. So no conflict with canon.
- Additionally Wand permits that are required in America and make it so that every wizard must first register to be legally eligible to carry a wand, with the punishment of not having one being imprisonment, prosecution or wand confiscation. So Grindelwald showing up with a legendary wand would have obviously tipped off some of the other wizards.
- You don't need to be using the Elder Wand to lose its allegiance. Draco never even touches the Elder Wand but he loses it to Harry when Harry forcefully rips his wand out of his hands. Lord Voldemort even uses the Elder Wand for the last third of the book despite never having its loyalty. Having the Elder Wand and having its allegiance are two separate things. He does have the Elder Wands stored somewhere for safe keeping or to keep up the ruse of him being Graves (more likely) but Newt definitively defeats him as stated even in the published screenplay. It's the same situation as Draco passing along to Harry. He may not have lost the Elder Wand physically but his defeat ensures it passes to Newt now.
- This isn't a plot hole any more than 'If Grindelwald was arrested in America in 1926, how's he wrecking Europe in the 1940s?' is a plot hole. Newt or Tina probably do indeed have the allegiance of the Elder Wand at this point, even if they're never going to put their hands on it. Presumable something is going to happen in a later movie to change that.
- As to the Elder Wand question, we don't have confirmation Grindelwald even has it yet. Could be his first action once he breaks out of jail in New York. Also note, When Harry earned the Wand he disarmed Draco wand to wand, disarming spell IIRC. Newt didn't disarm Grindelwald using his magic or a wand, he used the Swooping Evil to smack him around and bind him. Which was IMHO the only reason why they won, as Grindelwald was well on his way to blowing everybody away, to either kill the President or escape.
- At least in the movies, if not also in the books, Grindelwald was much younger when he stole the Elder Wand from Gregorovitch.
- The answer most likely lies in the fact that he wasn't actually beaten, par-say. No one hit him with a spell, no one stole his wand, Newt literally just bound his hands with the Swooping Evil. Chances are, the answer is that wasn't a feat of power enough that the Elder Wand would switch allegiance.
- The thing is, Draco wasn't magically overpowered by Harry - he just had his not-the-Elder Wand taken from him in a scuffle, and that caused the Elder Wand's allegiance to switch. The Elder Wand seems to be far more fickle than the average wand when it comes to picking a new master, so it could just be that it decided that Grindelwald was still its master despite being defeated.
- Draco had his wand forcibly taken from him, he was overpowered. Grindelwald had his hands bound, which may not count as overpowering Or, alternatively, the wand Grindwald didn't owe any allegiance to Grindelwald (hence why he relied on wandless magic so much) so that Tina taking the wand didn't count, since it wasn't his wand.
- The most obvious solution to this problem is that Grindelwald will fight and defeat Newt Scamander in one of the future films, in order to regain the allegiance of the Elder Wand. That would give him a good reason to go after him specifically after he escapes.
- Or one could argue that it was the Swooping Evil that actually incapacitated Grindelwald, not Newt or any other wizard. A holder of the Elder Wand who's defeated by a Beast (or a Muggle for that matter) probably doesn't forfeit mastery of it, because the one who defeats them can't use a wand at all.
- Well, Voldemort used Nagini to kill Snape, thinking that it would switch the wand's allegiance to him. While Newt and everybody else thought they defeated Grindelwald, did Grindelwald see himself defeated? We do know that he eventually escapes and starts terrorizing the world. If he didn't consider himself permanently defeated/disarmed, the Elder Wand's allegiance may not pass to Newt.
- Have all of you forgotten the original tale of the Elder Wand? You don't need to overpower the owner, you don't have to fight fair, and you don't even need magic. You could slit his throat in his sleep and you'd still gain the wand's allegiance.
- Maybe Graves willingly surrendered his wand himself? Harry's pseudo-death in Deathly Hallows tell us that the Deathstick sees the difference between willing surrender and a true defeat; after he was caught by the Swooping Evil (which wouldn't count as a defeat since the wand only answers to wizards), Graves may've released his grip on his wand before Tina Summoned it, to at least ensure he wouldn't lose the Elder Wand's allegiance once he escaped.
Pure Blood America
- So there is a law in America that witches and wizards are not allowed to mix with No Mag, not even make friends with them in a normal capacity that doesn't require them to reveal their nature. So does this mean that every single wizard in the US is a Pure Blood and that Muggle Borns just don't exist in the US? Because we see a lot of witches and wizards in the movie and the books (set in the 90's) make it clear that Pure Bloods are actually dying out.
- Of course there are No-Maj-borns in the US. The real question is: how are they and their families dealt by the MACUSA?
- Probably child abduction and Obliviation of friends and family.
- This brings up a rather odd Potterverse-wide plot hole as well: why are there so many half-bloods, anyway? It's pretty clear that in both Britain and the U.S., the magical community physically and socially segregates itself from Muggles due to The Masquerade, and severely punishes those who reveal the existence of wizards. Newt treats America's wizard-Muggle segregation as ridiculous, but this really only seems like a common-sense protective measure (especially given the events of the movie) as well as a codification of what already exists. So how exactly do wizards go about interbreeding into the Muggle world that they know so little about and can't really take part in?
- Muggleborns are the answer to that. When one appears, in Britain at least, their whole immediate family gets in on the secret, and becomes "part" of the magical world alongside the newfound wizard/witch. We see this a bit with Harry's family, but since they're absolutely negligent towards him, they don't mingle with the wizarding world, but I can imagine, for instance, Hermione's parents going with her to the Diagon Alley for the first few times. Petunia, being Lily's sister, would equally have a shot at meeting and marrying a wizard at some point, had her not adopted her strong anti-magic stance.
- Or, alternatively, the word half-blood just refers to anyone with less than pure wizard ancestry who is not a Muggle-born. Harry is considered one, and his mother was a witch, after all. Furthermore, in rural areas, segregation may not be as extreme as it seems to be in the cities. I'm thinking particularly of towns like Godric's Hollow, which have a mixed wizard-Muggle population. Logically, even wizards need to buy food, and sometimes talk to their neighbours. The reason the British wizarding community of the books is so closed off is that they are not even one generation removed from a particularly nasty war and are in an upswing of extreme social conservatism, leading to increased distance from the Muggle community for their own and the Muggles' protection that still hasn't had time to fully wear off.
- Also notice that they are not allow to marry, not to not have sex. Itís possible that one night stands and sexual encounters still happen between wizards and nomajs. What happens with the product of that, is another story.
- No, the movie specifically states no interaction at all. Not just no marrying, but no talking either.
- The movie never establishes "no talking" which would be ludicrous to expect that, and would call to much the attention (having a group of people avoiding to speak with everyone else is something odd to pass). In any case should be remembered that the US is a country of immigrants. Different waves of migrants from other places like Europe may have magical ancestry and half-bloods. Even the original English settlers, so the existence of half-blood and muggleborn wizards is easy to explain as a lot of people living in the US may have one or two generations of people not living in the US in their past that could mix without problem.
- The magical population in the U.S. probably grows much the same way that the country's population in general grew — through immigration. If you look at the MACUSA suits closely, you will notice that they are quite multiracial during an era which was otherwise heavily segregated. Assuming that there are wizarding immigrants coming from other countries, it would actually be much easier to sustain their population growth even without breeding with No-Maj's. In contrast, the old-time aristocratic pureblood families of the U.K. were suffering fertility decline due to inbreeding since they did not have a large influx of witches and wizards from elsewhere.
- Interestingly, Tina's ID card lists her status as "half-blood", although it is possible that her parents were immigrants.
- Because MACUSA entirely prohibits relationships between wizarding people and No-Maj's, muggleborns might counter-intuitively be more highly-prized in America than they are in Britain. They increase the available pool of potential spouses in an otherwise closed society. Since intermarriage with No-Maj's is outright illegal, the closest equivalent to such "mixed" marriages would be between those of wizarding ancestry and muggleborns. Following the loosest definition of "pureblood" (all four grandparents being magical), America probably has a higher percentage of nominal "purebloods" than the U.K., although hardcore blood purity types would disagree.
- Is there no Auror desk sergeant or something? When Tina tries to bring Newt in for releasing magical creatures, she's told to stop bothering them. No one follows up, no one takes custody of Newt, and she's not told where to take him. It's like ignoring that a bank robber was caught because every cop in the city if focused on a serial killer. They wouldn't even know he existed without her.
- This was mentioned under Lawful Stupid on the main page. For starters, she decides to bring her right to the president. this itself is kind of a stupid thing already since she was demoted and on top of that was disrespecting her post. (And on top of the fact that nobody was willing to listen to her then tells her off for waiting over 24 hours to tell them that she knew about Newt when She was flat out TOLD OFF when she DID try to inform them of Newt DURING said 24 hours!
- It's entirely possible that President Seraphina Picquery was just throwing Tina under the bus to save her own skin. Picquery's in the middle of getting chewed out for not keeping the magical world secret enough and Tina barges in with "hey, the guy you let go yesterday actually let a horde of magical creatures loose." She knows full well that this was her and MACUSA's screw-up, but getting humiliated in front of the international wizarding world isn't her style, so she blames it on Tina and hustles them out of the room before anyone starts asking questions or Tina can start answering them.
- Well, fair's fair, I don't think she was trying to take him directly to the president the first time she caught Newt - she was simply taking him down to what she specified as 'major investigations', because that's what it was. It was simply Tina's misfortune that the President happened to be there, in a meeting with Graves, something Tina couldn't have known and didn't expect. The second time, the No-Maj awareness level has risen to a state of emergency, and Tina believes she has the culprit with her, and knows that if she goes to Graves, technically the correct authority, she will get shut down again due to the first mix-up with the case.
- It's very possible that only active Aurors, or at least ones of a certain status, are allowed in the office she went to. She certainly acted like she was active on a case the whole time. There's probably somewhere she could have gone to report Newt's crime, but instead she acted like an investigative agent, despite no longer being one.
- You guys all seem to be forgetting that Mr. Graves came down to the Wand Permit Office to see Tina in the very next scene about Newt's crime, but didn't do anything to follow up on it since she didn't have any proof. (Since the suitcase was filled with pastries - this was where Newt found out that he and Jacob had swapped luggage.)
- No matter what, ignoring the fact she did try to report this, I'm completely confused as to what crime she would have even committed anyway. (Let's be charitable and assume that the execution was purely Graves, and they were supposed to just be arrested.)
- It sorta seemed the crime was 'Walking into a meeting of the ICW', but, uh, guys, that one is on you. Lock the door, or post some guards. Don't let people walk into, you know, the Magical UN floor.
- Or was Tina, as a government employee (Not even active law enforcement.), legally required to report any suspicions of Magical Beasts in America? That's an amazing level of mandatory reporting, well above what it is in the Muggle world. Was mandatory reporting even a concept 100 years ago?
- I suspect that the legal requirement to report applies solely to potential breaches of the Statute of Secrecy where the fault lies with a witch or wizard. Openly casting Side-Along-Apparition, with a No-Maj, who's holding a clearly magical artifact, definitely qualifies. That plus the failure of the wizard to properly Obliviate the No-Maj in question clinches it for her.
- Or is the crime...her investigating her suspicions when not an Auror? How is that illegal? Maybe a firing offense, sure, but an actual crime? She doesn't appear to have committed any criminal act during it. (Well, she broke into a department store, but they didn't know that!)
- If this is referring to the reason she was sentenced to execution Graves charges her with aiding and abetting Newt, whom he charges with releasing an Obscurus in New York with malicious intent to cause havoc and trigger another war. The fact that apparently a single high-ranking Auror can just sentence wizards in this way is a whole other headscratcher (no trial and no-one bats an eye?).
- Major Spoiler ahead: Graves is Grindlewald. There is zero reason why he would let our protagonists come within shouting distance of his ostensible boss, procedure be damned. As such, Picquery would have been told something along the lines of "unfortunately, he died trying to release an Obscurus from his case as an escape attempt" once he could speak without fear of contradiction. That interrogation was a formality to decide what excuse Grindlewald could use to get rid of a catastrophic nuisance. Also the executioner lackeys were probably Imperiused (No reason to risk the lackeys refusing to cooperate otherwise).
- The question isn't why she was sentenced to death. That is obvious. The question is why was she even arrested? What actual crime had she committed? 'Failure, by a non-Auror, to report knowledge of a Magical Beast'? (Ignoring the fact she tried.) Or was it 'Walking though an unlocked door into a meeting of the ICW'? Which of those two things are criminal offenses, and how?
- Suffice it to say that by the end of the film, Newt and Tina have enough evidence of MACUSA's mismanagement to get Picquery, specifically, fired. She's damn lucky that all they want from her is that Tina gets her old job back.
Missing beasts from the book
- There are several fantastic beasts in the movie - most notably the Thunderbird and the Swooping Evil - that aren't mentioned in the book the film's based on. If, in-universe, that book was written by Newt, how come he forgot to include these species?
- Easy: They're in another volume of the book. It happens all the time. A publisher says they don't have space and ask the writer to cut something, and that they can put it in a later volume.
- It could also be that Newt, due to his slightly misanthropic attitude, didn't include them because he fears wizards hunting them down for whatever reason, and he doesn't want to lead them right to the creatures.
- Even more alternatively, a number of creatures such as Murtlaps, which are known to exist by the wizarding world, are not included in the Muggle text of the book, simply because it's a heavily abridged version of a much longer and more involved original.
- Or were common enough knowledge that Newt didn't particularly feel a need to include them in a book about "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them". It'd be like including a dog in a book about "exotic creatures".
- Then why bother including the Puffskein and Kneazel, which are common wizarding pets around the world?
- It's possible that the things that weren't included lack Ministry of Magic classifications or do not have the qualification of Beast (such as the Obscurus, which might be considered a Spirit or just Dark Magic, considering the word itself actually appears in the book as the name of the Wizarding publishing house). It may also be, as suggested above, partially an Abridged version, because some animals, like the bicorn, were not included despite being mentioned in Chamber of Secrets.
- Or most likely of all, Newt (being Newt) got so distracted by caring for, researching, and/or rescuing all sorts of creatures that he fell behind on his writing, and had to throw together his final manuscript in haste, incomplete though it was, rather than miss his publisher's deadline.
- In the updated version of the book released in 2017, the Foreword by the Author states "At President Picquery's request, I made no mention of the more important American magical creatures in the first edition of Fantastic Beasts, because she wished to deter wizarding sightseers."
- How far back did the Thunderbird's memory-wipe go, and is it calibrated? Because some people saw not only Newt's magical creatures, but also the prior murders and destruction caused by Credence/Obscurus. Is Jon Voight's character going to remember that his son was murdered, or how?
- It's hard to say for sure, because they were vague on what it actually did. Is it just a natural form of the Memory Charm, or something else? Newt first says that the venom might be used to "remove bad memories," so maybe that's all it does. All the bad memories of the last few days get wiped clean. People would be confused, to be sure, but not completely lost. This would also explain Jacob's Wistful Amnesia: While he spent most of the movie terrified, he was also loving the magic itself. So that would explain why he got to keep some vague memories, even if most of it was gone. So, yes, that means Henry Shaw Sr. wouldn't know how his son died. Maybe everyone will assume he just disappeared.
- You forget that there's not just memory-erasing spells, but memory altering. Who's to say that the effects of the venom do not more closely match Confounding a person (altering their memories) than Obliviating them (erasing memories)?
Thunderbird and other wizards
- Did every wizard in the area not immediately on the scene or indoors just get their memory wiped too? Oops.
- This is hinted at when Newt is treating Jacob's bite. He says that Muggles have different physiology than wizards, suggesting that the venom might affect them differently. It's possible that wizards are straight-up immune or highly resistant to the Swooping Evil venom.
- Also, possibly, it was meant to remove "bad" memories, and to Wizards, there is nothing "bad" about what happened. Stressful, troubling, and dangerous, yes, but not tipping the scale to be "bad".
- Or, alternatively, the wizards just lose a few days and either get healed by wizard doctors or people tell them what happened. A few wizards missing some memories is a small price to pay for preventing a war.
- Indeed, considering how badly Grindelwald played the U.S. wizarding authorities for chumps and they'd failed to contain the situation themselves, having most civilian wizarding-folk forget about the whole business might be considered a feature by MACUSA officials, not a bug.
Thunderbird and newspapers
- How did the rain not only change people's memories, but also the very newspapers and photographs taken? Is it that flexible?
- I think the newspapers were changed by the same aurors that reconstructed the whole city, not as an effect of the rain.
Thunderbird and indoor Muggles
- How did the rain erase the indoor Muggles' memories, but Jacob needed to step outside into the rain in order to be obliviated? Even if we assume it only works on Muggles, which is never stated, it certainly should have worked on him before going outside, or else not worked on the other Muggles.
- It's shown that the some of the Muggles that were inside to be either showering or drinking water, presumably the implication is that the obliviation is getting into the New York water supply, and that by the end of the day every muggle in New York will come in contact with the potion.
- However, that's not how the New York City water supply works. Water is brought in from reservoirs in upstate New York via a series of tunnels and aqueducts which have been in place since the turn of the twentieth century. So unless the Thunderbird caused a massive storm for the entire tri-state area stretching into the Catskills, it wouldn't be able to actually enter the NYC water supply.
- Maybe the water supply works differently in the Harry Potter universe (more likely though, they just didn't do the research). In any case, it's also possible that along with repairing all the damaged buildings, the wizards might have simply manually Obliviated anyone who the potion somehow missed, which would still be a lot easier than doing it to the whole city would have been.
- Also keep in mind that is magical water, so magically entering to the water supply is not a stretch.
- They also showed a water tower atop a building being reconstructed by the Aurors. This could have been a tacit nod to how the Obliviating water could get into peoples' apartments: it seeped into the elevated tanks used to generate water pressure in tall buildings.
- It's possible that the venom got into the houses and water supply due to a property in the venom that allowed it to seep through concrete and glass and quickly permeate the water system.
- In some traditions the Thunderbird has a direct line to The Great Spirit itself. Tainting all the water under it's clouds with swooping evil venom isn't anywhere as major as, say, turning the world's longest river which passes through multiple countries and empires into blood, and there is precedent in this setting for magic producing downgraded versions of famous miracles.
- At the end of the movie, the newspapers say it's the "rainiest summer ever in NYC", or something like that, as a consequence of the Thunderbird conjuring the mind-wiping storm. That's fine, except... the whole movie until now clearly took place during winter. Central park has frozen lakes, there are Santa decorations in Macy's... One could argue the end takes place at the start of spring, but summer? How long does that storm last?
- I'm reasonably certain that the headline was "Rainiest November ever in NYC".
- OP here. That makes a ton more sense. The people making the subtitles must have changed it to summer, for no good reason...
- So, whatever happened to that blue flying-insect thing that appears during the first half of the film then completely disappears in the second half? Is it one of Newt's lost creatures? If it is, does Newt ever get it back?
- To answer at least one of your questions, that insect is a billywig. They're a type of magical insect native to Australia, whose stings cause levitation. So, it's most definitely one of Newt's creatures.
- Thank you for the info. So it's a case of What Happened to the Mouse?, then, since it's never shown that Newt got it back by the end of the film.
- In which case, Newt was not actually successful in re-obtaining all of his magical creatures like he said.
- It could be that the Billywig is only a class-3x magical beast, and unobtrusive enough that Newt didn't notice it had gotten loose. All the other creatures bar the Niffler are class-4x or higher, and capable of causing major damage.
- If a billywig's lifespan is anything like a normal insect's, it'll be dead in a few months anyway. It's also described as being very hard for Muggles to notice. Provided it was the only escapee so the species can't start breeding in NYC, that's one fantastic beast whose potential threat will fix itself.
- Billywigs are native to Australia, no danger of them being in NYC. Newt DID notice it, it flew right in his eyes, but he probably plum forgot about it since they're only classified as a Class XXX because of what happens if you're stung repeatedly or have an allergy. He likely has many of them in his zoo. The stings are harmless enough that Australian kids provoke the Billywig into stinging them to get, well, high.
Lock on suitcase
- Newt was shown to be able to repair an entire building with the Reparo spell.... So why hasn't he fixed the lock on his suitcase?
- The lock isn't actually broken. His creatures are just intelligent enough to get it open. He could get a better lock, but then people would ask why he has a giant lock on a supposedly innocent suitcase.
- If his creatures can basically open the suitcase any time they want to, how is it that their jailbreak is seemingly the first time this has ever happened, or is this a regular occurrence for Newt? If it is a regular occurrence, how often, and how can he possibly manage to cope with it every time unscathed when this incident of escape results in not only a wild goose chase but mayhem and destruction? How does he even know that he hasn't lost any creatures unawares, sometime during the night while he's asleep? Are there NO magical safeguards that a guy capable of fooling U.S. customs with a "Muggle Worthy" alternate compartment could use to keep the thing locked? And if it's really as simple as a non-magical rope restraint, then WHY did he not think of that before?
- For the same reason Queenie keeps trying to magic the door open, but Jacob just kicks it down?
- Thereís no indication the creatures can open it every time they want, on the contrary, the span of time between attempts indicates the opposite, that it takes them some effort to do so.
- Newt usually catches them in the act of trying to break out. One day he got careless and the events of the film happened.
- Reparo isn't reliable when applied to magical objects, which is why fixing things like broken wands or damaged Vanishing Cabinets requires time, expertise, and/or the Elder Wand. It also has nasty side effects on living creatures, which is why it can't be used for first aid. Newt probably didn't want to risk using reparo on his suitcase, because he couldn't be sure it wouldn't inadvertently harm the creatures inside.
Misuse of Queenie
- So Queenie's an in-the-blood Legilimens — a natural empath/telepath. What role does MACUSA find for this rare asset? Why, sticking her in the basement of the building and essentially making her a glorified secretary/coffee fetcher. It could be argued that Queenie is content where she is and doesn't aspire to anything more, but she's clearly not happy in her job, jinxing the toilets in her spare time. For that matter, why didn't Grindelwald try to recruit her?
- Is it obvious that she's a Legilimens? It seems like she doesn't make a big deal about it at work (she uses it for blackmail, but gives no indication of how she acquired the information) and she seems happy about the fact that she has a minor job and it's her sister who's the career woman. Perhaps she's happy with a less stressful life and everyone else just doesn't realize how powerful she is.
- Queenie seems to enjoy the whole Obfuscating Stupidity concept. She plays herself off as just the blonde, happy-go-lucky secretary, but seems to be a fairly competent witch when she wants to be. As we see during the rescue of Newt and Tina, when her whole demeanor turns on its head. Perhaps she jinxes the toilets solely for her own fun?
- Yes, Queenie's powers could make her extremely useful to the government ... but using her that way would also make Queenie, herself, subject to serious scrutiny as a potential security risk. If she opted not to make the sort of non-disclosure pledges that would be necessary to allow her to work among MACUSA's interrogators or spies - pledges, which might well include an Unbreakable Vow or two - or was simply judged too scatterbrained to be trusted with whatever information her Legilimens power might glean, then shuffling her into a humble secretarial position may have been the best option: it keeps her where the state can keep an eye on her, yet safely away from higher-ranking authorities with heads full of government secrets.
- Legilimency can still be learned as a skill, although most wizarding schools only teach it on a need-to-know basis. Thus Queenie is unusual in that she has it as a natural ability, but she is not a unique resource. MACUSA probably prefers to employ formally-trained Legilimens in job functions such as the Aurors. Queenie shows no interest in pursuing that kind of job.
American Squibs and No-Maj-borns
- I'll admit I haven't read all the books but I have checked the Harry Potter wiki and other such research so anyone wish to correct please do so. So No-Majs and Wizards in America won't interact with each other either friendly or romantically until 1965 with the repeal of Rappaport's Law. What exactly does MACUSA do if a child of two magical parents is born without magic like a squib? Do they send the to adoption services or dump them on the street? Or the other way around with wizard kid being born to No-Majs? Are they kidnapped and their very existent is wiped from his or her No-Maj parents' and siblings' mind? Is there an adoption service for them too? This sounds incredibly problematic and traumatizing from both kids' end. You don't display any sort of magic at a certain age than you're on your own and the good and/or bad memories you had with your family are wipe because your not magical and if you were loved by them, well then they can never see you again. If you have magic you can never see your No-Maj parents again. How is this suppose to work?
- If the Americans have access to something like the list of magically-born children Hogwarts keeps to keep track of potential students, it may be that there's a way of registering all Muggle-born births with MACUSA. Then it's a fairly simple matter to go to the parents, Obliviate them to make them think they miscarried/had a stillbirth, and abduct the child before it's old enough to really remember them. Possibly the reverse happens with squibs when they don't show up on said list as having magic, or else they are allowed to live on the fringes of magical society as second-class citizens. It's unpleasant, but it makes sense with what we've seen of the 1920s wizarding world.
- As any lawyer can tell you, you also have to interpret the spirit of the law, not only what the letter of the law says. Rappaport's Law is there to keep the Masquerade, the main función of the law is to avoid that normal humans know the existence of wizards, with Squibs that danger does not exists, it will be to take what the law says too literally. Squibs are, for legal purposes, wizards, just a disable wizard, in a similar way of having a person that canít walk in a family of athletes. Squibs are probably handle as just wizards with a disability.
Now, muggleborns are more tricky. IIRC the Ministry (in the UK) discovers the existence of a magical child when they produce magic for the first time. Disregarding the fact that wizards from wizards families are registered immediately, with muggleborns, is generally after they are around five when they are discovered as wizards, sometimes later in life, that is when they have their first unwanted expressions of magic (to judge by in-universe cases like Lily Potter and Tom Riddle). So here are only two possibilities, whether the kid is taken from the parents and they are obliviate (very cruel indeed but likely given the authoritarian that the US government is presented, at the time at least) or the parents are giving a especial status for a while and their mind is obliviate once the kid reaches 18 after which such kid canít have relationship with them, except maybe for the basic. Now, the lawyer in this troper speaking again; remember the law says apparently that is illegal to have spouse or friend that is not a wizard, it doesnít says anything AFAIK about family relationships, this could be a legal loophole.
Finally, is possible that muggleborns are not that common in the USA due to their segregation laws precisely.
- Whatever the system for dealing with Muggleborns, it's very likely to be faulty, and miss a lot of kids. That would explain why Grindelwald chose the U.S. to infiltrate, rather than some other wizarding nation: he knew that there was a good chance of finding an Obscurial there, who'd been overlooked by MACUSA's search methods and suppressed his or her powers.
- Wizards and witches born into a No-Maj family aren't much of a security risk, since they don't know until they're 11 that they're actually magical, and even British wizarding children tend not to befriend No-Majs, at least from what we're shown. As long as the family didn't let on that their child was a witch/wizard, I can't imagine any more measures than that would need to be taken. (Especially outright kidnapping the child - that's just ridiculous. Who's going to raise it? Why would they do something like that?)
- Maybe that's the origin of the myth that witches steal children! But yeah, in reality I'm pretty sure there are other much more practical ways to keep the secrecy than kidnaping kids from No-Maj families which not only would raise a lot of questions but also would require a lot of resources including raising them.
- So... what happened with the senator's murder subplot? How do you cover up the death of a US Senator whose father is a media magnate? Even if we assume that all photos the reporters were taking during the climax were destroyed, someones going to be on this case.
- I imagine this whole subplot was setting up ground for the sequels. If Jacob has enough lingering memories to dream about the beasts, maybe the younger Shaw will also retain some subconscious memories, and be able to convince his father about witchcraft this time around.
- Alternatively, they don't need to cover up his death at all. There's no particular evidence of murder, and no-one remembers anything to make them suspect that this death wasn't just a particularly horrifying freak accident.
- From the immediate lead-up, and the damage that had happened, it could be explained as the result of a freak electrical mishap, leading to either a fire or explosion of some sort.
MACUSA's execution methods
- The execution via death pool feels needlessly convoluted. A spell like Avada kedavra would be much more efficient: instant, painless death. Why bother keeping a special room with killer goo and a flying chair and procedure that involves extracting personís happy memories to make them willingly step into their death? Aside from the fact thatís convenient for the plot.
- There's a reason the Avada Kedavra is called one of the Unforgivable Curses, using them for execution is probably seen as being akin to all sorts of violations of human rights in our society. They're also notoriously difficult to cast, requiring either a legitimate desire to cause pain and death for their own sakes (even being absurdly angry at the target is not enough for that), traits that are more easily achieved by complete psycopaths.
- The Avada Kedavra curse literally rips off pieces of your soul when you use it. There's a reason why it's the only one of the Unforgivable curses that none of the good guys have ever used. Dark magic in general requires you to go to a very disturbing place in order to use it properly. So, they opted for something else, and as for why the potion? It's humane. The condemned spend their last moments in a reverie of their happiest moments, so they don't fear what's coming. The potion's probably painless too.
- I would like to point out that, canonically, any murder splits a person's soul. It's the act itself that causes the split, not the spell used.
- Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it heavily implied in the books that Voldemort himself invented the Unforgivable Curses? It's possible they didn't have Avada Kedavra at their disposal yet.
- Given that all three Unforgivables were first outlawed in Britain in 1717, there is no feasible way Voldemort could have created them. More likely, the issue is the requirement for emotional investment in the spell, which would be difficult for an executioner who sees however many criminals each month.
- Oh, and on account of it being a painless death. It seems so, as it happens too fast for the body to react, but the one person to take the full effects of the curse head-on and survive (the person being Voldemort himself) describes it as causing an insane amount of pain. This may or may not be known by the wizarding world at large.
- Since murder in the Potterverse splits one's soul they may use the pool as a means of protecting the executioner. If they directly killed everyone that came through their soul would be reduced to a tiny fraction after time. By using the pool as a third party the executioner's soul stays whole. If the chair is enchanted to lower itself when the accused is sitting in it all the executioner really does is provide them with happy memories for the last moments of their life and does nothing to directly cause their death. They act more like a psychopomp than executioner this way and their souls stay intact.
- An interesting idea, but it seems fairly clear from the book's explanations that there's a difference, magically speaking, between simple homicide (which may be self-defense, involuntary manslaughter, etc.) and murder—especially when Snape asks about the state of his soul, and Dumbledore replies that it's really up to Snape to determine whether Mercy Killing Dumbledore to spare him pain is enough to imperil Snape's soul. An executioner killing criminals because it's his job isn't murdering in his own mind no matter the method, no more than Harry Stunning Death Eaters off their brooms in self-defense is at the beginning of Deathly Hallows. In my opinion, Graves/Grindelwald would have split his soul (again) by killing Newt and Tina, even though he uses the pool, because it is murder.
- A related idea to the "is it murder v. is it just an execution" thing: think about executions in real life. Lethal injections are expensive and time-consuming: you need a doctor to insert I Vs, a bunch of expensive chemicals, and the whole thing takes several minutes, if not an hour or two. Three people shooting the condemned in the back of the head, Boondock Saints-style, is undoubtably quick and any pain is sure to be briefly felt. But we don't do that because, for one thing, it's too personal and messy, and it's considered more humane to do lethal injection. A death potion, with the condemned spending their last minutes experiencing a happy memory, is probably the Wizarding equivalent of a lethal injection.
- Something to note is that according to the Harry Potter books, Unforgivable Curses require you to want to do the thing to the person. You won't get their fully effect if you don't really want to do it. To use it for executions, they'd have to find an executor that would want to kill everyone they put in front of them.
MACUSA has no due process?
- After interrogating Newt and Tina, Graves sentences them to death on his sole authority and after one interview without a trial or any sort of investigation. The sentence is also carried out instantly, without any sort of appeal. Even worse, his two assistants are clearly quite practiced with Graves' procedure, and the existence of a state-provided execution squad doesn't even seem to be a secret: Tina knows at least one of them by name. How on earth did Graves not only get the power of being a totally unsupervised judge, jury, and executioner, but also have such volume of cases that he was assigned assistants and an execution chamber? How many people did Graves murder with MACUSA's tacit approval?
- Going off how unnaturally calm the assistants are about doing this to a colleague they know by name, even by the standards of people who do this for a living, it's possible they are under the Imperius curse, and that Graves simply planned to say that Newt and Tina either escaped (thus allowing him to continue using them as scapegoats without any risk of their endangering his plans), or died attempting to escape. As for the existence of a state-funded execution squad...well, America has the death penalty, which might arguably be a bit more merciful than imprisonment in Azkaban. It could just be that Graves co-opted the people who usually carry out executions of people who have committed capital crimes and received proper trials.
- While the Imperius angle does explain away the assistants (though I'm annoyed this was never made clear), the explanation does seem to have a flaw or two in explaining Graves' plan. Graves/Grindlewald was intent on killing Newt and Tina, that much is certain. However, if there *was* a procedure for MACUSA executions, Graves was most certainly flouting it: even at its worst times, America has never made an official practice of drumhead-trial-to-execution in a matter of minutes on flimsy evidence and no oversight. So essentially, Graves is extra-judicially executing two suspects, but via the ordinary execution method. If he was going to claim they tried to escape, he could have Avada Kedavra'ed them right on the spot as soon as they were alone. Them actually escaping is also implausible, as somehow two wandless suspects managed to overpower an exceedingly strong wizard and escape without a trace from a building crawling with Aurors. The only explanation he would have for MACUSA afterwards would be that he tried the suspects and found them guilty, and then executed them all on his own authority. Assuming he doesn't legally have that terrifying level of delegated power, he'd essentially be ruining his own cover.
- Considering he's close to finding the Obscurus, and MACUSA has just blatantly refused to acknowledge that such a thing even exists, does he even need the Graves identity at this point? In the beginning, certainly, it was probably the best position from which to find out about the most likely people to produce an Obscurus and make sure MACUSA didn't become suspicious, but given that he has narrowed things down to the Barebone children at this point and knows MACUSA don't suspect a thing, he might have decided that it was worth the risk to get rid of the threat to his plans. Possibly this was how he planned to dispose of the real Graves too, as if he were to be found after Grindlewald had made his escape, he would be suitably disgraced and thus his claims of what had happened to him might be dismissed as the ravings of a guilty man using all means to escape his sentence. Or, if Graves is already dead, he can just leave the corpse lying around somewhere and leave the city quietly with no-one suspecting Grindlewald had anything to do with it.
- Ok, but if he's done with the Graves persona, why the whole song-and-dance routine of sentencing them to death Bond Villain-style after getting the info he needed about the Obscurus? The only two remaining impediments to his plan are standing there, unarmed, with only his Imperiused puppets as witnesses. It's not like he's squeamish or doesn't like getting his hands dirty; he rubs out six Aurors at the start of the movie without a second thought. Two quick Avada Kedavras with a "they resisted" explanation and he's home free.
- By the same logic, maybe he just got sloppy? Grindlewald is very close to winning here - the only reason he didn't get exactly what he wanted and get out of dodge was his own miscalculation in dismissing Credence as a Squib. As such, he isn't expecting to be around long enough for it to matter. He's been posing as Graves with no-one noticing for at least a couple of months, maybe anything up to a year, maybe he just got complacent about no-one asking questions because no-one has suspected anything so far.
- Alternatively, this is the American counterpart to Barty Crouch Sr's 'extreme measures' brought in to combat Voldemort in the 70s and early 80s, which allowed for killing rather than capture of suspected Death Eaters. While the implication there is of a kill in combat, this is fifty years earlier and times have changed. (This is true even in the Muggle world, as it was a lot quicker and easier to execute people back in the 1920s than it is today, even in countries which still have the death penalty.) It's also entirely possible that this too was introduced by Grindlewald in the guise of Graves (who seems to be the American equivalent of the head of magical law enforcement, which might explain his absurd levels of power), in order to make it easier for him to silence anyone who might suspect something amiss with his cover/interfere with his search for the Obscurus.
- Or he could have forged whatever official work sets someone up for death. He's the head of law enforcement, if he says someone's been tried and found guilty, you'd probably believe him.
- Remember that the Death Cell potion doesn't just kill, it disintegrates the condemned. Grindle-Graves wasn't just eliminating his enemies, he was destroying evidence. Had the execution proceeded as planned, he'd probably have Confounded the executioners into thinking Newt had escaped with Tina's help, sicced the Aurors on the "escaped fugitives" to divert their attention, and gone on to capture his new pet Obscurial uninterrupted.
Gnarlack's perception of Graves
- When Newt questions Gnarlack about Graves, Gnarlack gets suddenly dismissive and seems uncomfortable to talk about it - for someone so greedy and unscrupulous, why wouldn't he try to squeeze a little more valuables out of Newt in exchange for more information? So what is it about Graves that intimidates Gnarlack so much?:
Could it be that Polyjuice Potion (or whatever magic Grindelwald used to impersonate Graves) can't fool non-human magical creatures, so Gnarlack knows that lately Grindelwald has been impersonating Graves, and he wouldn't dare betray Grindelwald to Newt out of fear for this well known to be powerfull and evil wizard? (On the other hand, if Gnarlack had known about the disguise he could also have betrayed Grindelwald!Graves to the authorities, as there must be a price on his head in America as well, and betraying him to the government itself is more secure than betraying him to some random strange wanted Englishman.)
Alternatively, if Gnarlack is fooled by the disguise, that says a lot about Real!Graves character: he must have been a big bastard and powerful wizard, to intimidate Gnarlack like that...
Or any other explanations?
- It's possible Gnarlack isn't afraid of Grimes at all, he's just stalling until the Aurors can come arrest Newt so he can get his reward.
- The wizarding government of America doesn't bat an eye at summary executions (even of their own employees) and was perfectly willing to kill a troubled child they believed was under ten years of age. Why would they even bother trying to imprison Grindlewald, especially when he mocks the idea that they can hold him right to their faces?
- Because, repressive as MACUSA may be, they hold the Statute of Secrecy almost sacred, and Grindlewald wants to bring it crashing down around their ears? Also, given that said summary execution was ordered by Graves, who is Grindlewald himself, and the two attendants were almost unnaturally calm throughout the whole thing, this can be read as an indication of the Imperius Curse having been used on them. It's entirely possible that Graves intended to simply have the two of them killed, and then claim they had escaped, as the American wizards' mode of execution doesn't seem to leave a body, allowing him to continue using them as scapegoats while preventing them from interfering with his plans.
- It seems more typical of their MO to simply execute him right there on the train platform or at least take him straight back to headquarters and dunk him in the death pool, not to make plans for his long-term incarceration as they appear to be doing.
- The guy used Polyjuice to impersonate their top Auror. Polyjuice only works if the person being impersonated is still alive. They may simply want to try and find out where the original Graves is before they kill Grindlewald.
- Capturing him alive may also provide a way for MACUSA to save face before the other wizarding nations, who'd been extremely angry at the American wizards' failure to keep the Obscurus's rampage under control. Parading the terrorist who'd so easily slipped through the European wizarding governments' fingers through an elaborate show-trial, and/or inviting the magical media to watch as they hand him over for extradition, could go a long way to restore their reputation. (Particularly if they downplay how he'd impersonated one of their own.)
- Grindelwald had been involved in terrorist activity on European soil before crossing over to America - being forced to kill him while in the heat of battle is one thing, but once they've gotten him captured and subdued without a casualty, they probably have an obligation to alert the magical communities of Europe that he's been apprehended so they can take part in deciding his punishment. It's basically the difference between, say, Osama Bin Laden's death and the Nuremberg trials, for example. (Also, it was Graves himself who'd issued the death penalty upon Newt and Tina, with the implication that he had the aides who were to carry it out under the Imperius Curse - I sincerely doubt that the death penalty is used nearly so often as that scene would imply.)
- Okay, so at the end they decide to wipe the memory of everyone in New York by basically dumping a potion on everyone. What about everyone who was indoors at the time they did it, though? Did I miss something?
- That was already asked, but yes, the movie shows people under the influence of the potion while been affected by water showering or drinking it, so it went to the water supply.
- But if it got into the water supply, doesn't that mean muggles will be randomly getting memory losses for the next several days?
- No, because is a specific spell to forget one specific thing, not for forgetting things at random.
- But it's not a spell, and there's no indication it's tuned for anything specific. It's a potion Newt had from days or weeks in advance, and thrown into the sky by a thunderbird.
- Still, there's no in-universe specific potion for randomly forgetting stuffs, only for forgetting specific stuffs.
The Final Battle
- This seems to be a Villain Ball thing, but why exactly does Gravesellwald stop in what appears to be a pursuit of Credence to randomly torture Newt? All it does is send Credence into a panic (which anyone with a brain could figure out would happen, knowing his history), and more importantly it slows him down. Why torture Newt? I mean, if he wanted him out of the way, just stun him or petrify him, it's two seconds of spellwork and he's able to talk Credence down himself. Notice that Credence immediately attacks Grindelgraves after he loses control of his magic again, possibly because he empathizes with Newt's pain or is just frightened by it, so it's hardly a winning play there.
- It seemed like Grindelwald was fully aware that Newt was a danger to his end goal; after all, Newt had just proven himself able to talk an Obscurus back into human form and calm them enough to begin to approach, and previously had demonstrated impressive skill and ingenuity in handling all the dangerous situations he'd found himself in. He was likely also furious that Newt was ruining all his plans to get Credence under control. In that situation, immediate murder possibly wouldn't be the first thing on his mind - he'd just want to keep Newt down so he couldn't fight back, and kick the crap out of him just to hammer home how utterly enraged he was at Newt's interference.
- Possibly he'd intended to torture Newt into submission, then demand that the magizoologist (who's already admitted to having studied Obscuri) tell him how to catch Credence alive. Capturing dangerous exotic creatures is Newt's specialty, after all, and Grindlegraves' own methods had already proved ineffective.
- I know you can't actually accio most living things, but why didn't Newt summon the treasures that the Niffler had in its pouch?
- It could possibly hurt the creature, something Newt would never do. We know that inside the Niffler's pouch, its bigger than what it appears to be. There's no telling what and how much stuff he has in there. To just summon it all out could potentially damage him by the metal scraping against his insides as it flies out or the friction causing damage in general.
- But Newt did Summon the Niffler, so how is it that you can't Summon a living creature?
- I got the impression that he was summoning the treasures in the pouch, which resulted in the Niffler getting summoned. Did he say "accio niffler," or just "accio"?
- No living creature can be Summoned. Newt must have been Summoning the contents of the Niffler's pouch.
Credence and his Obscurus
- Does the fact that the Obscurus left Credence at the end of the film mean that Credence now really is a Squib?
- No, Credence is dead. The Obscurus never left him. If it did leave him, it probably wouldn't have left him as a Squib, but there are some questions about the mechanics of the Obscurus and magical power that are unclear on that front.
- Word of God says Credence is alive and well, so that theory makes no sense.
- He wouldn't be a Squib anyway, even if losing the Obscurus made him have no magic. A Squib is a Muggle born to a Witch and Wizard (not to one magical parent and one No-Maj, or possibly even to a Pureblood and a half-blood by the sounds of it, but to two Purebloods). If Credence lost his magical ability somehow, he's a special case. He'd have no magic, but he wouldn't totally be considered a Muggle since he had magic, nor a Squib since, again, he had magic and neither of his birth parents that we know of were magical.
- An obscurus is the result of magic someone is trying to suppress exploding outwards in defiance of being shut away. How exactly did anyone get the impression that Credence "lost" it. It's going to keep doing that as long as he's alive, and maybe they can get a few "samples" of the results when he dies. The bigger question is how exactly they're going to convince anyone he still lives when we saw him get blown to pieces(perhaps the obvious?)
- No, Credence is dead. The Obscurus never left him. If it did leave him, it probably wouldn't have left him as a Squib, but there are some questions about the mechanics of the Obscurus and magical power that are unclear on that front.
- If I understand correctly, Scourers are witches and wizards who sold out their fellows during the Salem Witch Trials for profit and then as a result of the trials, the Wizarding community went into hiding, at which point, the Scourers slipped into the Muggle community and taught their descendants to believe in and hate witches and wizards. Now, it's their own fault they had to go into hiding in the first place, so why do they blame real witches and wizards and how on earth do so many still believe in witches and wizards and did all their kids turn into Obscurials and/or Squibs and possible Muggle-borns later on?
- Perhaps a combination of Never My Fault and Believing Their Own Lies. It seems it wasn't just for profit that they sold out other magic users either, it was also to settle personal vendettas. In their minds selling out their own kind may have been justice and the backlash from other wizards an injustice.
- So why is it that "No-Maj" serves as an American stand-in for the British term "Muggle", but we evidently still borrow words like "Auror" and "Squib"? (As well as "Legilimens", now that I think about it? Even if Auror is an official job title and may be recognized globally, "Squib" only seems to be a colloquialism used to refer to a Muggle born into a wizarding family. Considering America is shown to have a different view toward No-Majs, why wouldn't they have come up with a different term?
- May be while "muggle" and "no-maj" are slang, squib is a medical term and therefore standard?
- "Muggle" is an Inherently Funny Word, in keeping with British wizarding culture's stereotyping of non-magical people as rather silly or inept. In America, people without magic are stereotyped as being imminent Torches and Pitchforks rather than amusing, so have a less goofy, more exclusionary ("no-maj" = "lacking something") slang name.
- Also notice that most American wizards and witches work harder to blend in than their British peers. Instead of Wizard Classic costumes they dress in attire that can pass for normal on the street. In a contradiction, despite their rigid segregation from No-Maj's, The Masquerade has caused them to assimilate more. Thus, the primary distinction between groups boils down to a very simple magical versus non-magical.
Jacob and Queenie
- How was Jacob able to pick up so quickly on the fact that Queenie could read minds when she met him? If I were a normal No-Maj who hadn't read a Harry Potter book and didn't know what a Legilimens was, my first assumption might be that she'd been following me around all day or something, which is still more possible than her being a mind-reader.
- Wasnt' people in the 30s/40s less skeptical and believe in the existence of psychics and things like that?
- This is set in the 1920's, when spiritualism and psychics were still very trendy. Plus, earlier that same day Jacob had experienced Newt dragging him across the room and then teleporting him around, watched Newt open a bank vault with ease, saw a magical platypus able to store huge amounts of treasure in its pouch, had his apartment shredded by an invisible beast and been bitten by a rather more visible one. At this point it would have required an insane amount of Arbitrary Skepticism to not believe that all kinds of magical phenomena were real.
Graves in Leather Pants
- On the main and YMMV pages, it says that it's "not clear" whether Graves was only using Credence as a pawn and that there may have been some fondness and affection he held for the boy. Where would anyone get this idea from? Graves slaps Credence across the face when he starts to ramble about his own problems, dumps him off and breaks his spirits by calling him a Squib once he thinks he's found the Obscurus, and only apologizes and goes back to being tender once he discovers that it's Credence, not Modesty. Not to mention who Graves himself turns out to be. This pretty much screams of someone with an ulterior motive trying to manipulate a younger person for their own ends, and who only expresses an interest in them if they can see a benefit for themselves.
Harry becoming an Obscurial
- Why didn't Harry Potter wind up becoming an Obscurial due to his childhood? The Dursleys behaved extremely negligently as his guardians and punished him further whenever he displayed signs of magic, even if there never seemed to be anything physical, Newt says that most Obscurials don't survive past the age of 10, and Harry didn't get his acceptance letter from Hogwarts until he was 11. Was he just powerful enough to survive longer with an Obscurus inside him like Credence was?
- For what I remember of the books and the movies, the Dursleys never punished Harry for displaying magic unwillingly, because they nor even know Harry does it. The closest thing I remember of Harry using magic unwillingly in public and around people was the Brazilian snake incident in the Zoo and even that is left unclear whether Vernon thinks Harry used magic or not. So, out of pure luck most of Harry's magical displays were made in private or alone to the point that the Dursleys didn't really knew if Harry was a wizard. Should be notice that they are outrage when the letter from Hogwarts comes as if they were not expecting it.
- The impression that the movie gave me about obscurials is that those happen when a magical child voluntarily represses his/hers magical powers, especially out of fear while living in a society that fears or despises witches. I can think in 1600s America or Europe for example, but no wonder they are already uncommon in the 1930s as most people would find some other explanation for any supernatural phenomena, and no wonder either that the last obscurial discovered by Newt was located in Africa, where to this very day people in some areas still believes in witches (and can have very bad consequences for someone suspected of being one). Harry on the other hand is a kid in the 80s/90s, the mainstream society does not believe in magic and any unusual phenomena in his life he probably rationalized as something else, he can't be repressing magic as he does not believe in it (to that point) nor the Dursleys are going to forbid him from using it as they want him to remain unaware of the existence of magic. That and as the above troper said, the Dursleys seem to be on the mentality of "Good, the kid is not a wizard as his parents" up until the letter arrives.
- J. K. Rowling answered this question on her website. Harry was simply (and successfully) kept ignorant of his magic, hence had no need to repress it.
Swooping Evil venom
- Before the tour of his suitcase, Newt tells Jacob that Swooping Evil venom could potentially be used to erase bad memories if properly diluted — thus, while I can see it affecting No-Majs whose only interactions with magic were particularly nasty ones, why would it have erased Jacob's memories? Not all of what he experienced was bad or harmful toward him, and it was clear come the ending that he'd enjoyed all that he'd come to learn.
- The end of the movie makes it clear that Jacob's memories of magical society weren't completely wiped.
- Isn't it a little weird that Newt's response to Graves's remark about the Obscurus would be "What on earth would you use it for?" I get what the line was supposed to mean in hindsight, but it came off sounding odd upon first hearing it considering Newt himself kept the Obscurus long past the point where he logically should have, purely for the purpose of studying it, meaning he saw at least some use for it.
- There's a subtle difference between having a use for something and using something. Studying the obscurus for science could be a good use for having one. The implication I personally got from Graves's use of the word use was similar to how one would use a tool.
- Newt clearly wants to save Obscurials from dying, not leave them as they are. Thus, for him, the Obscurus merits study in order to figure out how to help the host. It's like studying a disease in order to figure out how to cure it. The question is therefore rather like asking such a researcher what "use" there is for Smallpox.
- Exactly this. Basically, Newt talks about how he got an inert sample of smallpox to study, it's perfectly safe, and that it had killed the girl he got it from, and Graves is like 'Inert? So it's no use at all?' And Newt responds by asking WTF would you use smallpox for?
Stars and stripes
- I couldn't help but notice that the official seal of MACUSA (both the one found online and on Tina's ID card she shows to Newt) seems to have only 47 stars on it, even though Arizona was admitted as the 48th state in 1912, so there should be one more of them if that's what they go by in 1926, and even more considering there are 50 states today. Does the number of stars not correspond to this like it typically does, or is it possible that there are certain states the magical government chooses not to recognize?
- MACUSA is not affiliated with the U.S. government at all, unlike the British Ministry of Magic which at least maintains a loose connection with the muggle government. It could be that they have to decide to recognize any changes to the number of states versus territories and other possessions separately. Also, since not all states were undisputed, especially those that had formerly been possessions of Mexico, MACUSA may have to work out their own treaties and agreements with other wizarding governments years after muggles have changed their borders.
- Alternately, one of the states with a very low population may not have enough wizarding folk living in it to merit statehood by MACUSA's standards. States like Wyoming had less than 200,000 inhabitants back then.