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Film / Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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"I can't move against Grindelwald. It has to be you."
"Mr Scamander. The wizarding and non-wizarding worlds have been at peace for over a century. Grindelwald wants to see that peace destroyed and for certain members of our community his message is very seductive. Many purebloods believe it is their birthright to rule not only our world but the non-magic world as well."
Arnold Guzman

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the second film in the Fantastic Beasts series and the tenth film overall in J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World. It is directed once again by David Yates. Rowling herself returned to write the screenplay.

The cast includes Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, David Sakurai, Carmen Ejogo, Dan Fogler, Ingvar Sigurdsson, William Nadylam, Kevin Guthrie, Derek Riddell, Brontis Jodorowsky, and Poppy Corby-Tuech, among others. The film was released on November 16, 2018.

The story is set in 1927 and takes place primarily in Paris, with scenes in London and the rest of the U.K. as well as New York City. At the end of the first film, the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, after committing (under the guise of MACUSA Director of Magical Security Percival Graves) a devastating terrorist attack upon the City of New York using a young Credence Barebone's Obscurus, was captured by MACUSA with the help of Magizoologist Newt Scamander. But, making good on the threat he made, Grindelwald now has escaped custody and has set about gathering followers to his cause, most of whom are unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards and witches up to rule over all non-magical beings.


In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student and protégé, Newt Scamander. Newt agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly dark, dangerous, and divided wizarding world.

An extended cut was released with the film's digital release on February 15, 2019.

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2, Trailer 3.


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear:
    • A young Newt feared being stuck in a boring office job with no freedom.
    • Leta watched as the life boat her baby half-brother was on capsized and he drowned as a result. She spent her life hating herself for a mistake she made in her childhood.
    • Someone you love joins a cult or a terrorist organization because they have been manipulated into thinking it's for a good cause, and there is nothing you can do to save them from themselves. The look on Jacob's face when Queenie joins Grindelwald says it all.
    • Queenie gets stranded in the middle of the street in Paris and suffers Power Incontinence with her Legilimency due to her stress. Then a strange woman approaches her and takes her to her house. The woman avoids answering when Queenie asks her name. Then the woman prevents Queenie from leaving and insists that she has to greet the house's host first. To Queenie's shock, the "host" is revealed to be Grindelwald, the most wanted fugitive and terrorist.
    • In order to try to convince the pureblooded wizards to believe in his evil philosophy that Wizards need to control Muggles for their own good, Grindelwald shows the pureblooded wizards the future, which in this case is World War II.
  • All There in the Script: The identity of the woman who was taking Credence to America (his aunt) isn’t ever confirmed in the movie itself but is in the script.
  • Ambiguous Ending: At the very end of the film, Grindelwald tells Credence his supposed real name, Aurelius Dumbledore and says his “brother” is trying to kill him. However, something doesn’t quite add up and there’s reason to believe it’s anywhere between an exaggeration (using “brother” liberally to mean another relative) to complete BS (spoilers). note  All that’s proven is that he isn’t Corvus V.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Since Corvus Lestrange is dead, it's unclear whether or not Yusuf is still bound by his Unbreakable Vow; canonically, breaking the vow is fatal, but there's no word as yet about what happens if the Vow cannot be fulfilled regardless of intent.
  • Amnesia Missed a Spot: As Jacob says, the rain seeded by the Swooping Evil venom only erased his bad memories of the wizarding world. Thing is, most of his memories about the wizarding world are good, and Queenie is more than happy to fill in the blanks.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Jacob to Queenie when she joins Grindelwald. Also, Leta before she tries to kill Grindelwald. Interestingly, she's looking at both Newt and Theseus when she says it, making it unclear which of them she means.
  • Anomalous Art: The entrance to Montmarte (the Parisian equivalent of Diagon Alley) is guarded in plain sight by a bronze statue depicting a woman sitting on a pedestal. When a witch or wizard approaches it, the statue will move its leg and dress away from the pedestal it was set on, opening the passage.
  • Arc Symbol: In the announcement teaser, the symbol of the Deathly Hallows briefly forms in the smoke. It shows up again in the second trailer and several of the film's posters.
  • Art Nouveau: The designs of the French Ministry of Magic are pure Art Nouveau, which indicates it might have been built or renovated in the 1900s.
  • Artifact Title: Fantastic Beasts is clearly a Prequel series tackling the Predecessor Villain of the Harry Potter books and films, even though it does include fantastic beasts (there are less of them this time around, and they're less centre stage). Although it has been revealed that the Maledictus is Nagini, who qualifies as a "fantastic beast".
  • Artistic Licence – History: Although the term "Indonesia" has existed since 1850, the territory of the modern-day country was still commonly known as the Dutch East Indies in 1927.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: By the end of the film, Grindelwald has accomplished all of his goals: he has converted Credence to his cause, as well as large numbers of purebloods who will spread the word to others, and he successfully goaded the Aurors into killing one of the attendees of his rally, painting the Ministries as the aggressors and his followers as martyrs.
  • Badass Teacher: As usual, Dumbledore. Everyone is aware that if anyone is going to beat Grindelwald one on one, it's him.
  • Bald of Evil: One of Grindelwald’s henchmen, named Macduff, is a bald man who murders a Muggle couple in their home.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Throughout the film, Grindelwald is manipulating events for the sole purpose of driving the very powerful but emotionally lost Credence into his arms. Grindelwald wins.
    • The events of the first Fantastic Beasts film are implied to be set in motion by Dumbledore. Suspecting Grindelwald was in the U.S., Dumbledore happened to lead Newt to the Thunderbird, which he knew Newt would try to return to its home (Arizona). Doing that, Newt went to New York, which ultimately led to Grindelwald being found and captured there by MACUSA.
      • The extended edition outright confirms it was a deliberate gambit. As Dumbledore tells Newt, Grindelwald had a vision of an Obscurial killing the man he fears most, i.e. Dumbledore, and has been searching for it ever since. Dumbledore sent Newt to New York in the hopes he would find the Obscurial before Grindelwald — of course, neither side counted on the trigger-happy Aurors being the Spanner in the Works.
  • Battle Couple: Newt and Tina are showing signs of this, particularly after he clears up the misunderstanding regarding his engagement.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Previously given mentions in the books but never seen, this film introduces Nicolas Flamel, the famous 12th century French scribe and manuscript seller who was purported to be an alchemist after his death. In the Harry Potter universe, he is an alchemist, and Alchemy Is Magic.
  • Belly-Scraping Flight: In a rare deliberate example, Grindelwald steers the flying prisoner-transport vehicle low enough to dunk the coach in the sea, filling the interior with water and half-drowning the occupants.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family:
    • The Scamander brothers, despite being very close. As a schoolboy Newt had unrequited feelings for Leta Lestrange, which ended with Newt taking the heat for something Leta did and being expelled from Hogwarts as a result. Now as an adult Leta is engaged to Newt's older brother Theseus.
    • Leta, who was a little girl at the time, exchanged her constantly crying baby brother for a baby in the neighboring room. Credence was the exchanged baby, while the real Corvus died.
    • Also, Leta's mother was already married and had a son, Yusuf Kama. Leta's father used the Imperius curse to make her come with him, and then she died giving birth to Leta. This drove Yusuf's father to madness, and he made Yusuf swear to kill the person closest to Lestrange's heart. Yusuf thought to kill Leta, his own half sister, for a while before realizing that her father never loved her, and switched to wanting to kill Corvus, who was loved by his father.
    • Adding from the previous series, it turns out the Dumbledores are even more screwed up than once thought. In addition to the family drama of Albus and Aberforth and the death of Ariana, Grindelwald claims that Credence is actually Aurelius Dumbledore by birth, making him a long lost relative of Albus's. It is yet to be revealed if this is true, or just more manipulation by Grindelwald.
    • Queenie joins Grindelwald and thereby alienates not only her sister but also her erstwhile fiancé.
  • Blood Brothers: A crucial MacGuffin in the film is Grindelwald's phylactery, which contains the magical Blood Oath that he and Dumbledore swore to never fight each other. Which is why Dumbledore must rely on proxies like Newt to oppose Grindelwald (and vice versa). Newt's Niffler manages to steal it from Grindelwald during the rally, setting the stage for their future duel in 1945.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: By the end of the film, the close-knit group that formed in New York is broken, with Queenie's defection to Grindelwald.
  • But Not Too Gay: The film studiously dances around the specifics of the past relationship between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald. While J.K. Rowling made a Word of Gay statement in 2007 that the two were lovers when they were young men, people unfamiliar with the Real Life controversy would likely assume that they were just Blood Brothers in-universe.
  • Call-Forward:
  • The Cameo: Former Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams as Professor Eulalie "Lally" Hicks of Ilvermorny, she's the witch who communicates with Flamel in his magic book on Dumbledore's behalf.
  • Cardboard Prison: The Ministry's attempts to contain Grindelwald prove to be less than effective; mainly because one of their trusted employees was actually on his side.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Zouwu is described as being able to travel enormous distances in a single leap. Later it carries Newt and company from the French Ministry of Magic to the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise in a single leap, just in time for the climax.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: When Grindelwald begins spreading black cloths over the buildings in Paris, Newt is shown standing next to a red headed witch. This same witch is killed by an Auror during Grindelwald’s rally as an example to trick other witches and wizards that the Ministries are the aggressors.
  • Child by Rape: Leta, whose mother was under the Imperius curse when she was conceived and therefore couldn't consent.
  • Childhood Friends: Newt and Leta.

  • Continuity Nod: Nicholas Flamel appears in person in this movie, and there's a scene of the Philosopher Stone exactly as it appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone inside the locker at his home in Paris.
  • Continuity Snarl: A flashback from Leta's school days, i. e. the 1910s, shows a cameo of Professor McGonagall, who’s never been given a canonical birth year but had been implied to be much younger than Dumbledore. The film's screenplay and a deleted scene make it worse, as they confirm that it is Minerva McGonagall and not someone else with the same surname.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Credence's Obscurus is the result of this. It wouldn't exist if:
    • Credence wasn't sent to America on the same ship as the Lestrange children;
    • Corvus wasn't crying so loudly that his sister swapped him for Credence;
    • the ship wasn't wrecked; and
    • the Lestranges had checked up on him every now and then instead of leaving him in an abusive household that turned out to believe magic was evil.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Inverted in that this film is a prequel. But Grindelwald behaves in a completely different fashion than Voldemort later would. Grindelwald relies heavily on persuasion to woo his followers, converses with them in a civilized fashion and only seems to (openly) punish those who are disloyal. Voldemort will be a classic Bad Boss who bullies even his closest followers. Also, Grindelwald is very stylish and creative in his use of magic, and tends to do more things himself, whereas Voldemort favoured blunt displays of power on the rare occasions he actually did his own dirty work.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Paris and by extension, the French Wizarding world are portrayed as this, albeit subtly. Paris's equivalent of Diagon Alley is gorgeous, however the entertainment is a freak show where fantastic creatures are treated horribly. More subtly is the fact that Corvus Lestrange IV either did not face or managed to avoid any legal punishment for using the Imperius Curse while the same crime would have landed him in Azkaban should it be committed in Britain.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Memorable scenes from the film are depicted in multicoloured smoke, created by Grindelwald's blood pact phylactery. Juxtaposed halves shots for the main characters occur during the actors' names, to highlight relationships both romantic and antagonistic.
  • Cue the Rain: Done twice and befalls the same couple.
    • Queenie storms off during an argument and leaves Jacob on the street outside Newt's house. As if on cue, the street is suddenly drenched with rain.
    • Queenie sees Newt and Jacob in Paris and tries to follow them. When she loses them, the street is suddenly drenched with a downpour.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Grindelwald may have achieved all his objectives in this movie (see The Bad Guy Wins), but there are a couple bright spots: The blood pact phylactery preventing Dumbledore and Grindelwald from fighting each other is now in Dumbledore's hands thanks to Newt's niffler, and he will eventually find a way to destroy it since he canonically wins his legendary duel with Grindelwald. Newt and Tina resolve the misunderstanding that led to their falling-out as well.
  • Darker and Edgier: The film is a lot darker and more violent than the previous instalment, and is easily one of the darkest films in the series as a whole. It revolves around trying to stop Grindelwald, who's basically a wizard fascist leader, and involves multiple onscreen deaths in the plot.
  • Dark Reprise: The opening features a darker, epic version of Hedwig's Theme, the main theme of the Harry Potter series.
  • Dark Secret: Leta blames herself for the death of her little brother Corvus. When he was a baby and she a little girl, they travelled to America on a ship. Corvus kept crying the whole time, so Leta, being just a little girl herself, exchanged him for the quietly sleeping baby next door so she could get some sleep. Directly afterward the ship sunk however. The exchanged baby survived with Leta, while the real Corvus drowned.
  • Death by Childbirth: Both of Corvus Lestrange IV's wives supposedly died in childbirth. This is highly-suspicious considering that wizarding magic has been shown to be able to heal most natural injuries quite easily. But then Corvus was both an extreme misogynist and quite possibly a full-on sociopath.
  • Death of a Child: One with a Muggle French child in the beginning, and in the backstory the true Corvus Lestrange.
  • Demoted to Extra: President Picquery, since most of the film is set in Europe. She only appears in the beginning, overseeing the preparation for Grindelwald's transfer.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Dumbledore is unable to move against Grindelwald himself due to the two of them taking a blood oath to never fight each other, and chooses to act through Newt and his allies instead.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Leta dies, leaving Theseus alone weeks before their planned wedding. And while not losing her per se, Queenie's defection creates a wall in her and Jacob's relationship, since they are on opposing sides now.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Grindelwald's slogan, "For the Greater Good", is a catchy slogan used by a leader with fascist leanings, similar to many other historic regimes.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Leta is bullied at school. In return, she curses the bullies.
  • Don't Create a Martyr: Dumbledore tells Theseus to not rise to Grindelwald’s provocations of violence at the rally because that’s what he wants. Theseus, for his part, does try to take his advice but things end up not working out as planned.
  • Downer Ending: Grindelwald has successfully recruited Credence to his army and slandered the ministries in the eyes of the wizarding world, Queenie defects to his side, Leta is dead and Paris is nearly destroyed by Grindelwald's spell. The sole silver lining of the film is that Newt's niffler manages to retrieve the blood oath phylactery that prevents Dumbledore and Grindelwald from directly fighting each other and then Newt relays it to Dumbledore for an attempt at destroying it.
  • Evil Redhead: Grindelwald has a red headed henchwoman named Carrow, who personally executes a little boy simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He also has another Mook named Krafft who has red hair with corresponding beard
  • Exact Words: During his search for Credence, Grindelwald tells his inner circle of followers that Credence is the only entity alive that can kill Dumbledore. In part this is because of his incredible power as an adult Obscurial that he believes he can use to his own ends, but also because Grindelwald and Dumbledore swore a magical blood oath not to fight each other when they were younger, meaning he couldn't face him directly even if he chose to.
  • Eye Scream: There is a part in which Yusuf has a very long worm removed from his eye. Subverted in that he keeps his eye.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Abernathy, Tina's Auror supervisor, was persuaded to change sides by Grindelwald sometime before the events of the film and assists in his breakout during transfer to another prison.
    • Queenie joins Grindelwald in the end.
    • Credence has always been a wild card, but in the end, he joins Grindelwald as well.
    • Leta subverts this. It looks as though she might join Grindelwald too, but she's actually trying to kill him.
  • Family Portrait of Characterization: Corvus Lestrange IV kept his family tree in a telling way — he only recorded the men, while the women were only portrayed as flowers. Fittingly, the only person he appeared to ever love was his son.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The crux of Grindelwald's argument for wizard supremacy is that they are superior to Muggles. Dumbledore disagrees.
    • Nagini is subjected to this because she is a Maledictus—she'll eventually be doomed to become a snake forever. In the wizard social hierarchy she's considered less human than a werewolf is. She's forced to eke out a miserable existence in the Circus Arcanus under an abusive ringmaster, being gawked at by other wizards until Credence frees her.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Newt again, this time with a Kelpie and a Zouyu.
  • Foil: Queenie and Jacob's relationship, in which Queenie used mind magic (a magic spell having the same effect as a love potion) on Jacob to get him to marry her because, while he loves her, he's reluctant to marry her as it is illegal in America, to Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle Sr. who never loved his wife and left her when she stopped giving him the love potion.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Carrying over from the first film, Dumbledore, Grindelwald, and Newt will survive, since their exploits later down the timeline are known.
    • Grindelwald will escape from MACUSA's custody. Warner Bros. doesn't even consider it a Spoiler, referencing the event directly in its official plot summary very early after the film's initial announcement.
    • Jacob will regain his memories of the wizarding world.
    • Nagini will also survive and be unable to escape her fate of turning into a snake permanently.
    • It was established way back in Philosopher's Stone that Grindelwald won't be defeated until 1945 so we know the heroes have no chance of ending his crusade in this film.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Abernathy gives Grindelwald's wand to the European Aurors just before they leave, except it's not the Elder Wand, clueing the audience that Grindelwald might not be secure as they think. Then when they leave Abernathy flashes out the Elder Wand ...
    • Being forced to love a person. Queenie uses a love enchantment on Jacob; even if the two sincerely love each other, the action is still shown in a negative light and she gets called on this multiple times. Then much later, Yusuf reveals that Leta was the product of forced marriage: her father had cast an Imperius Curse on their mother so she would be with him.
      • Even before being called out for using a love enchantment on Jacob, Queenie's revelation that she and Tina aren't on speaking terms foreshadows the breaking of the fellowship from the first movie.
      • The aforementioned love enchantment incident also shows that she is willing to go extremes to marry Jacob. At the end, we're shown that this extends to joining Grindelwald's Army, thanks to a dose of More Than Mind Control.
    • In Dumbledore's first scene, it is revealed that owning a loyal phoenix is not just his quirk. According to a legend, apparently all Dumbledores have a natural inclination to own one (although not all choose to do so, since Aberforth doesn't). At the end of the film, Credence reclaiming his birthright as a Dumbledore is accompanied by the transformation of his pet bird, which is shown to be a phoenix.
    • Both Dumbledore and Grindelwald claim that they can't fight each other. On the surface, it sounds like the two men are refusing to fight an old friend. As it turns out, they literally can't; they swore a magical blood oath as young men to never fight, and Dumbledore intends to break this pact at the end to finally confront Grindelwald.
    • Near the beginning, during a conversation with Newt, Dumbledore casually casts a spell that covers the surrounding London skyline in fog. This foreshadows that wizards at the level of Dumbledore and Grindelwald can cast city-spanning spells. Indeed, Grindelwald does much the same at the climax, only with fire from Protego Diabolica instead of fog, and almost destroys all of Paris.
  • The Freak Show: Nagini is first seen in a travelling freak show along with other outcasts and creatures considered odd even by the wizarding world before she escapes with Credence.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Flamel checks his cupboard, one can get a brief glimpse at The Philosopher’s Stone.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Newt has a certain way with magical animals that allows him to befriend them very quickly.
  • Gayngst: Dumbledore was in love with Grindelwald when they were young and his broken ties with Grindelwald is a clear source of sadness for him. His encounter with the Mirror of Erised implies that he might still be in love with Grindelwald, despite being under no illusions about what his beloved has become.
  • Gay Paree: Most of the film is set in 1920s Paris.
  • Given Name Reveal: Double subverted with Credence. The audience is initially set up to believe that he is Corvus Lestrange, but Leta reveals later that the real Corvus is dead. At the end of the film, Grindelwald reveals Credence's true name to him: Aurelius Dumbledore.
  • Hate Sink: Corvus Lestrange IV lusted after Laurena, the wife of Mustafa Kama and put her under the Imperius Curse, attacking her son Yusef when he tried to stop him. Corvus raped Laurena for months before she died giving birth to a girl, who Corvus showed no love for as she could not continue his line. Corvus brushed off Laurena’s death and subsequently took another wife (whom he didn't truly love either) who bore him a son. Knowing that Yusef would target his son, Corvus sent both his children to America despite knowing the person he sent them to would be abusive. In short, Corvus Lestrange committed a particularly heinous crime for the Wizarding World and managed to avoid the consequences.
  • Heir Club for Men:
    • The French branch of the Lestrange Family in general and Leta's father in particular, are incredibly sexist and only consider sons as worthy of love or carrying out the legacy. Even their official magical family tree doesn't feature pictures or names of the girls, only flowers where they should be.
      • This is hammered home when even the Black Family include the women on their tree, pictures and names and all! When Sirius Black's incredibly fucked up family are less sexist than you, you know you're doing something wrong!
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Leta buys the Scamander brothers time to escape the Lestrange Cemetery by attracting Grindelwald's attention, and her breaking of his skull artifact distracts him enough that his Protego Diabolica doesn't prevent them from Disapparating like it did the other Aurors.
  • History Repeats: In a retroactive example, a set report confirms that some of Grindelwald's followers have familiar surnames like Carrow and Rosier, whose descendants became Death Eaters.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: The movie never explicitly says Dumbledore and Grindelwald's past relationship was romantic, though hints at it. Dumbledore says they were "closer than brothers" and later sees Grindelwald in the Mirror of Erised, which shows the viewer their greatest desire.
  • Hotter and Sexier: This film contains a lot of adult romantic pairings, and the creatives have repeatedly called the film "romantic" and even "erotic". This is also the first film to hint at Dumbledore's complicated relationship with Grindelwald being more than simply friendship, since he says they were "closer than brothers". The design of the characters (silk dresses revealing cleavage, sharp suits, stilettos, leather, sparkly leggings) is also a tad more suggestive than usual.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Grindelwald's most powerful argument during his rally is not the appeal to the purebloods' Fantastic Racism, but instead showing them true images of the future: the unspeakable horrors of World War II and the unleashing of Nuclear Weapons. It's so convincing that even Jacob is horrified. Of course, Grindelwald quickly proves himself to be little better; unleashing a powerful, hellish Protego Diabolica curse that he uses to murder the Aurors who refuse to join him and leaving the inferno to consume Paris without so much as blinking, though only after his followers have left to spread the word of his supposedly higher calling so as not to betray his true intentions.
  • Hypocrite:
    • During his rally one of Grindelwald's main arguments was that Muggles could not be trusted to rule themselves because they would soon unleash atomic bombs upon the world. After all the audience has left and he has dealt with the Aurors, Grindelwald himself triggers a Fantastic Nuke spell powerful enough to destroy all of Paris unless contained.
    • Grindelwald also tries to paint himself as the non-aggressive side, compare to the Ministry, despite the fact that he and his army murder a Muggle family in cold blood, just cause they needed a house to stay in while in Paris.
    • Also during his rally, Grindelwald acts as if the Ministry are the evil murderers and not his followers, but one of his followers tries to attack the Aurors who enter, and said Auror fires back in self-defence. Grindelwald even paints her as a victim of the "evil of the Ministry", when the follower in question was told not to harm them, yet did so anyway.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Bunty, Newt's assistant who cares for the beasts at his home while he's away, has an unrequited crush on him.
  • Ignored Expert: Dumbledore warned Travers not to use violence against any of the people attending Grindelwald's rally, because that's exactly what Grindelwald wants. Theseus tries to follow this advice, but the other Aurors don't listen.
  • Incoming Ham: When Jacob and Queenie show up at Newt's place.
    Jacob: Heeeeyyyyyy, Newt! Get over here, you maniac! [hugs Newt]
  • Ironic Echo: Before storming off from Newt's house, Queenie states that Jacob considers her crazy for forcing him to marry her with a love enchantment. Queenie is a Legilimens, but since Jacob denies it, it's unclear if he thought so. Then comes the climax. Just before Queenie leaves to join Grindelwald (once again, because she wants to marry him), Jacob personally says that she really is crazy.
  • Karma Houdini: Corvus Lestrange IV (Leta's father) seems to have faced no legal repercussions for using the Imperius curse to compel a woman to abandon her family, marry him, and bear his child, effectively kidnapping and raping her, and doing it by way of a curse that is otherwise a one-way ticket to Azkaban.
  • Kick the Dog: Grindelwald throws his loyal pet Chupacabra to its death because it is "too needy."
  • Kill It with Fire: Grindelwald does this to a lot of Aurors and nearly all of Paris in the finale, along with using it to separate his true followers from those whose loyalty might waver.
  • Kudzu Plot: One of the main criticisms of the film. There are too many subplots running around simultaneously for the audience to follow and for some, the inclusion of the deleted scenes just made things even more convoluted. According to Filmento, it is implied that this was due to was having J. K. Rowling write the movie's screenplay like a book. The result was many important details being left to a non-existent narration, leaving viewers lost. The film’s runtime of 2 hours and 15 minutes is rather truncated for a big blockbuster franchise (who are about 15 minutes longer than that these days) and was mandated by WB. There’s reason to believe that the film was originally longer and therefore probably more coherent than the theatrical cut note  and the mandate came late in the process. See the trivia page for details.
  • Last of Her Kind: Leta Lestrange is the last remaining member of the French branch of the Lestrange family. Since her brother Corvus really did die in infancy, with Leta's death, her branch of the family becomes extinct. Similarly, Yusuf Kama says he's the last male from his family.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Leta casts a Stunning spell at a Matagot right when Newt says they don't attack unless threatened.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Yusuf Kama and Leta Lestrange are maternal half-siblings. Credence's birth name is Aurelius Dumbledore, though the specifics of his relationship with the others remains unknown.
  • Loophole Abuse: Yusuf is charged by his father with an Unbreakable Vow to kill Corvus IV's greatest love. He thought, at first, it would be Leta, his half-sister. Turns out to be her other half-brother, Credence, from a different mother.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Newt formerly had a crush on Leta Lestrange, who is now engaged to his brother Theseus. He also has Unresolved Sexual Tension with Tina and is the object of an unrequited crush from his assistant Bunty.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Queenie joins Grindelwald because he promises her a society that allows her to marry Jacob (never mind that No-Majs like Jacob would be persecuted under his rule).
  • Love Makes You Evil: Or at least side with it in Queenie's case.
  • Love Makes You Stupid: Dumbledore is extremely reluctant to face Grindelwald himself because of his old feelings for him. Then it's revealed as a subversion, since it's not that he doesn't want to, but he actually can't fight him himself due to them taking a blood pact to never fight each other.
  • Love Potion: It's revealed that Queenie has used a love enchantment on Jacob; not to make him love her, as he already does, but to convince him to marry her, which he has refused to do since it's illegal in the United States for a witch or wizard to marry a No-Maj and he doesn't want her to get into trouble for his sake.
  • MacGuffin: A couple of them pop up in the film.
    • The Lestrange family tree, stolen from the French Ministry by Abernathy and Rosier, and placed in the Lestrange family crypt. It proves that Credence is not the lost Corvus Lestrange V (and lures the heroes to the tomb exactly as Grindelwald wants), but otherwise does not reveal who Credence really is.
    • Grindelwald's phylactery, which contains drops of blood from Grindelwald and Dumbledore as part of their Blood Oath never to fight one another. So long as it exists, Dumbledore cannot personally oppose Grindelwald. The problem is that it may take a while for Dumbledore to figure out how it can be destroyed and thus recovering it is not an immediate solution to the impending wizarding war.
  • Magic Fire: Protego Diabolica is an assumed variation of the Shielding Charm cast by Grindelwald that creates black flames that burns the caster's enemies while leaving their allies unharmed.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: They're not married yet, but the relationship between the witch Queenie and the muggle Jacob is forbidden by law. Which is the main reason she joins with Grindelwald in the end.
  • Missing Mom: Leta's mother died giving birth to her. She was also Yusuf Kama's mother, so he has this too.
  • More Than Mind Control: Grindelwald's main MO, as Picquery notes, is that he is very good at getting into somebody's good graces, to the point that he had to be silenced so the Aurors tasked to guard him in New York wouldn't succumb to his sweet talks. One turns out to have succumbed anyway, leading to his breakout. Throughout the movie, it's made painfully clear that most of his followers follow him because they are promised the things they desire the most. By the end, even Queenie has been swayed to serve him.
  • Mundane Solution: Newt discovers that Yusuf has a magical parasite floating around in his eye. What spell does Newt use to remove it? The "pull-it-out-with-a-pair-of-tweezers" spell.
  • New Era Speech: Grindelwald's speech in the secret amphitheater at the Père Lachaise cemetery is basically this, kickstarting his grand project of wizard supremacy over the Muggle world and rallying numerous wizards and witches to his cause, helped by his vision of the bleak future Muggles are heading to.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The reason Queenie joins Grindelwald is because Tina refuses to support her relationship with Jacob.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: The ship that was boarded by Leta, Corvus, and their servant Irma sunk in 1901. There are quite a few of shipwrecks at the time, but they avoided to mention which one in the film.
  • Nonindicative Title: The subtitle, "The Crimes of Grindelwald" give the audience the impression the film's focus will be on Grindelwald's Reign of Terror. In truth, the main focus of the film is Credence and the various factions hunt him down for their own reasons - the wizarding governments of the world consider him too dangerous to live and all the aurors in the world are looking him with orders to kill on sight, Dumbledore, Newt, and Tina believe he can be redeemed and want to save him, while Grindelwald wants him as Living Weapon for his cause. In the end, Grindelwald is the winner.
  • Not Quite Dead: As confirmed by Word of God shortly after the release of the first Fantastic Beasts, Credence Barebone didn't die at the end of the first film, as the audience was made to believe.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jacob's quietly horrified reaction when Grindelwald shows what is to come: World War II.
    "Not another war..."
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Dumbledore's desire, as seen in the Mirror of Erised, gained a whole different meaning after the reveal of the Blood Curse pendant.
  • Only Friend: Newt and Leta towards each other during their Hogwarts years.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: A dark variant when Grindelwald creates a circle of magical fire that can only be traversed by his true followers. One minion who doubts Grindelwald tries to pass through and is burned to ashes.
  • Personal Horror: Leta is dealing with this after swapping her brother for a baby that wasn't crying so she could get some sleep. The ship sunk directly afterwards and she continued to clutch the quiet baby while watching her brother end up in another lifeboat, which capsized. Her brother drowned as the quiet baby's caretaker plunged into the icy water trying to save him, with the very young Leta, frozen in horror, never saying a word.
  • Playing Gertrude: Callum Turner plays Newt Scamander's older brother Theseus. Eddie Redmayne (who plays Newt) is eight years older than Turner.
  • Playing the Victim Card: Grindelwald consistently portrays all wizards and witches, but followers of his especially, as victims of Muggle persecution. However, most Muggles no longer even know they exist, and so aren't persecuting anyone. He, meanwhile, murders some Muggles simply to take their house, and implies Muggles will be slaves under his rule. When the Aurors come, he tells his followers not to resist in a manner that is sure to goad someone into attacking instead, and paints a follower who is killed (after going for her wand to make a first strike against the Aurors) as a victim of the Auror who killed her (in self-defence), while ruthlessly killing the rest of the Aurors himself and attempting to destroy all of Paris later.
  • Plot Armor: When Grindelwald begins unleashing hellfire on the main characters and the Aurors who've come to stop him, the only people who appear to survive are the main characters and major allies introduced during the film.
  • Plot Hole: Grindelwald is shown to have mastery of the Elder Wand at the start of this film, and makes extensive use of it throughout. However, at the end of the previous film, while disguised as Percival Graves, he was restrained and disarmed by Newt and Tina, respectively. Curiously, neither of these acts appear to have caused the Elder Wand to switch allegiance from Grindelwald to either of them, despite other similar actions leading to such.
    • However, as it was never stated exactly when Grindelwald became master of the Elder Wand, it is possible that he somehow acquired mastery in between the two films. This is still unlikely, as the previous film has him be taken into MACUSA's custody with little chance of escape until the start of this film. It would also still contradict the continuity of the films themselves, as the first Deathly Hallows film depicts a much younger Grindelwald acquiring the wand by stunning Gregorovich.
  • Poor Communication Kills: This plays a big part in Newt and Tina’s personal conflict. Newt never really mentioned his brother’s relationship with Leta in his letters to her. Once Tina sees him in a tabloid magazine that Leta is engaged to him, she immediately cuts off writing to him. Once things are cleared up, they both admit that Newt should have brought that up, and Tina should have asked him sooner.
  • Proxy War: Turns out Dumbledore and Grindelwald are engaging in this. The blood pact that they created in their youth prevented direct confrontation.
  • Reality Ensues: Even if Newt did help catch Grindelwald in New York, as well as figure out it was an Obscurial and not a beast causing the trouble, his association with the chaos that happened there (only in small part by some of his own beasts getting loose) means that the Ministry has banned him from leaving the country; they try to bribe him into locating and killing Credence for them in exchange for travel papers but he refuses. When he decides to go to Paris anyway he has to use an illegal portkey to do it.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: Grindelwald won. The good guys are divided and lost some of their loved ones to Grindelwald's schemes, but Newt's Niffler manages to steal the Blood Oath necklace from Grindelwald without him noticing and Newt returns it to Albus Dumbledore. This means that if he can find a way to destroy it, he can finally act against Grindelwald personally.
  • Red Herring: Used much more extensively in this than any other piece of Harry Potter canon:
    • The prophecy that both Travers and Yusuf Kama are convinced refers to Credence turns out to be irrelevant to Corvus, as Corvus Lestrange really did die in infancy.
    • As mentioned under Sheep in Sheep's Clothing, Leta Lestrange was set up for a Face–Heel Turn that never happened.
    • The many clues pointing to Credence being Corvus Lestrange.
  • Redshirt Army: Any Auror who isn't named gets killed, and there are quite a lot of them.
  • Repulsive Ringmaster: Skender, the ringmaster of the Circus Arcanus, who has imprisoned Nagini as his star attraction.
  • The Reveal:
    • The extended edition reveals exactly why Grindelwald is so obsessed with Credence. Many years ago, Grindelwald had a vision of an Obscurial of killing the man he fears most — Dumbledore. So he spent decades looking for an Obscurus until his search led him to New York. Dumbledore sent Newt there, hoping he would find Credence before Grindelwald would.
    • Credence's identity is a double whammy: No, not Corvus Lestrange, Aurelius Dumbledore.
    • The reason that Dumbledore couldn't act against Grindelwald? They were bound by a blood oath to never fight each other.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Just before she dies, Leta turns around and says "I love you" to either Newt or Theseus, who are standing right next to each other. The audience will never know which of the two she was talking to.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The baby nifflers are intensely cute, and help to add some levity to a rather dark film.
  • Running Gag: Tina having the eyes of salamander. To Newt's surprise, when Tina figures out what he is going to say during a tender moment, she isn't the least bit offended by it.
  • Satellite Love Interest: For all the hype surrounding her, Nagini plays the part of Credence's love interest/emotional cushion and little else. Granted, her having a role other than the one the fanbase is used to is amazing in itself, and she does break the satellite part in the very end by not following Credence to join Grindelwald, instead remaining with the heroes (!).
  • Scenery Porn: There are beautiful roof views of both London and Paris, but the sceneries that really stand out are those of the French Ministry of Magic, which have Art Nouveau designs.
  • Sensory Overload: Queenie gets overwhelmed by the thoughts of the French speakers around her (since she can't understand them) while she's lost in Paris.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: Relative to the first Fantastic Beasts film, which was set in America. However, the majority of the franchise is set in Europe (England in particular).
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • The wizarding government in America is referred to as the "American Ministry of Magic", rather than the "Magical Congress of the United States" as in the previous movie.
    • Minerva McGonagall cameos as a Hogwarts in the 1910s, even though most people had deduced her birth year as 1935 from Pottermore. Even if you accept this as a Retcon or don't consider Pottermore canon, in Order of the Phoenix McGonagall says that she's been teaching at Hogwarts for 39 years, meaning that in this movie she's a professor about thirty years too early.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Leta Lestrange is a nice person and very courteous to the heroes. Her Dark and Troubled Past, however, alerts the audience that she would somehow turn evil, not the least because the main Harry Potter series has taught us that someone who is a Slytherin shouldn't be trusted and the most well known character of the "Lestrange" name was Bellatrix, even though she only married into the family. And later Leta seems to do a Face–Heel Turn at the end, accepting Grindelwald's offer to defect, despite the Scamander brothers' plea. Then she lets her hand go and points a wand at him, showing exactly whom she sides with. In the aftermath, she dies a hero's death.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Yusuf Kama wants to kill Corvus Lestrange not because of anything he did, but because his father kidnapped Yusuf's mother and caused her death.
  • Splash of Colour: When Grindelwald is calling his followers and then at Grindelwald's rally, the witch the Auror kills has bright red hair. Downplayed, as the scenes aren't completely monochrome, just heavily grey and black.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers:
    • Jacob and Queenie are enamored with each other, but since the MACUSA maintains an absolute separation between wizards and No-Majs, they cannot marry. Queenie is so frustrated by this that she decides to join Grindelwald under a promise of a society where she can marry Jacob, which ends up creating a rift between them.
    • Theseus Scamander has to watch his wife-to-be Leta Lestrange sacrifices herself defending him from Grindelwald. This could also apply to Newt as well as he used to be in love with her, and Leta's Dying Declaration of Love is ambiguous to who she's referring to as she's looking at both Theseus and Newt at the same time.
  • Straight Gay: Dumbledore, who doesn't show any stereotypical gay traits.
  • Strange Secret Entrance: The secret entrance to the wizarding world of Paris is the pedestal of a statue (which happens to be a copy of The Pythia by Adèle d'Affry aka Marcello). The statue briefly animates itself to open the passage to wizards.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Cornered in the French Ministry, Newt, Tina, and Leta have no place to seek refuge from the Matagots except in Newt's case. Which is fine for protection, but leaves them stuck in an object anyone else can pick up and move around. Then Newt flies out on the back of the Zouwu he'd caught earlier, which delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle to the Matagots before transporting everyone to safety.
  • Tempting Fate: Jacob is very keen to find Tina and Queenie and get the group get together just like in New York. It doesn't turn out that way.
  • Time-Shifted Actor: Jude Law plays a young Albus Dumbledore in this film, while in the Harry Potter movies, which In-Universe take place decades later, the old Dumbledore was played by Richard Harris and Michael Gambon. Johnny Depp plays Grindelwald, who was portrayed by Jamie Campbell Bower and Michael Byrne (as "young, in a photograph" and "old", respectively) in the Harry Potter movies.
  • Underside Ride: At the start of the film, Grindelwald clings to the underside of the carriage that is supposed to be taking him to Europe to face punishment for his crimes.
  • Villain Has a Point: For all that Grindelwald is a horrible person some of his points (that both wizarding society and muggle society have been hurt by The Masquerade, that Wizards shouldn't have to hide what they are from the world) are legitimate to a degree (Dumbledore himself thinks the Statue of Secrecy is stupid and should be overturned.) And as anyone who knows anything about history can say, Grindelwald is 100% correct that another full-scale muggle war that will be even more destructive is coming.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: One of the main differences between Grindelwald and Voldemort. While the latter sought to rule the Wizarding World through terror, intimidation and brute force, Grindelwald always seeks to present the image of a reasonable, peace-seeking individual. This movie shows Grindelwald working towards this goal. During his rally he uses reasonable-sounding arguments and engineers the situation so that one of the Aurors ends up killing one of the attendees. All this to paint the wizarding governments as the violent, murderous aggressors. Notably, Grindelwald waits until the onlookers and his newly recruited followers have left before he shows his true colours and starts slaughtering the Aurors.
  • Villainy Discretion Shot: When the members of Grindelwald's inner circle murder a French family including their little child to take over their home, only the green flashes of the killing curse are shown.
  • Was Once a Man: It is revealed that Voldemort's pet snake Nagini was once a human witch — a Maledictus, born with a hereditary curse passed down through women, that will lead to her eventual permanent transformation into a snake.
  • Wham Line:
    • The first trailer had the Ministry of Magic questioning a professor at Hogwarts about why Newt decided to go to Paris. They then ask: "What do you have to say for yourself, Dumbledore?"
    • Credence addressing a beautiful woman as "Nagini", a name that Potter fans should be very familiar with.
    • Leta turns the potential reveal of Credence's identity on its head:
      Corvus Lestrange is already dead. I killed him!
    • And as a follow-up to the above, the very last lines of the film contained a reveal that no one saw coming:
      Grindelwald: It is your birthright, my boy. As is... the name I now restore to you. Aurelius... Aurelius Dumbledore.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The trailer reveal that Nagini is a transformed human.
    • A phoenix bursting to flame on Grindelwald's command and flying to Credence as proof of his identity as a Dumbledore.
  • Would Hurt a Child: One of Grindelwald's followers uses the Killing Curse on a small French boy.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Grindelwald portrays the Ministry as the aggressors when an Auror kills a witch at his rally. However, the fact that she caused her own death by going for her wand when faced with that Auror lets the audience know that Grindelwald is full of it.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In meeting Irma, Credence finds a maternal figure who actually cares about him. Grindelwald has her killed to manipulate Credence into turning to him for emotional support.

"Mr. Scamander, do you think Dumbledore will mourn for you?"

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