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WMG / Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Diricawls are divided into magical and non-magical.
  • So only the muggle dodos went extinct.

Erumpents are sexually dimorphic
In the book, the Erumpent horn in Xenophilius Lovegood's collection is described as being thin, curved, and spiraled, like the horn of a unicorn. The Erumpent in the Fantastic Beasts movies, however, has a thick, conical horn more like that of a real-life rhinoceros. A case of the writers not reading the source material? Maybe. . . or maybe that's only what male Erumpent horns look like. The one in Newt's suitcase was a female. Perhaps females have the thick, rhinoceros-like horn, while males have the thin, spiral-shaped horn.

     Film — Pre-Release 

Lethifolds are going to be in this movie
The textbook did kinda imply that they may appear in the Harry Potter series but didn't. Also, Newt Scamander did include them in the textbook.
  • Jossed. Obscuri, which are prominently featured in the movie, are somewhat similar in behavior and appearance to Lethifolds, but are extremely powerful manifestations of negative energy rather than beasts.

There might be a recapture montage or a sequel hook at the end

H. P. Lovecraft will be mentioned, or make an appearance.
This is more or less the right time and place for him to be around somewhere.
  • Perhaps he will be part of the Anti-Magical Faction. It would fit as the real life Lovecraft was incredibly racist and xenophobic.
    • He also had an overbearing mother (named Suzie).... New theory: Credence Barebone is HP Lovecraft.
  • Jossed.

One of the witch hunters is a Squib.
He joined the witch hunters out of resentment towards his magical peers and relatives.
  • Probably jossed. It's been stated on Pottermore that most of the witch hunters are actually descended from wizard vigilantes who began to hate wizards once an actual government meant that there was no room for them anymore.
  • Subverted. Graves initially mistakes Credence for a Squib, but he's not.

The sequels will keep the "Fantastic Beasts and" title
The second will be Fantastic Beasts and How to Catch Them.The third will be Fantastic Beasts and How to Tame them.
  • Alternately, they could keep the "Fantastic" but vary the theme for each of the five films, a la "Fantastic Beings and How to Meet Them", "Fantastic Spirits and How to Calm Them", "Fantastic Objects and How to Craft Them", or "Fantastic Realms and How to Visit Them".
  • The naming convention has been confirmed, though the titles suggested here aren't.

The beasts won't escape until near the end of the movie
All of the trailers focus on Wizard Vs. Wizard action and not a single beast had been shown. And it would be an amazing Sequel Hook.
  • Jossed.

Rolf will appear at some point in the films
Perhaps Luna will ask him to tell her about his grandfather.

Ilvermorny will be important in the films, and several wizards and witches from the school will appear.
  • In the first film, both of the Goldstein sisters are Ilvermorny alumni. The only thing that comes of it is them taking a dig at Hogwarts when Newt claims it's the best wizarding school in the world.
    Queenie: Hogwash!

Who is Credence?
He reportedly becomes a "notable" character in the Harry Potter universe, which raises the question as to who he is.
  • He's an existing character who's in hiding for some reason and is posing as Mary Lou's adopted son (Mary Lou is under a Confundus Charm to make her think Credence is her son) to hide his true identity, reasoning no one would suspect the son of the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society would be a wizard. Or
  • His true name is Credence, but he will be "obliviated" at some point and make a new identity for himself becoming a character we know.

Credence is related to Colin Farrel's character
They look awfully similar in this photo. Ideas:
  • Credence was kidnapped from his family by the Bareboneses and his brother went into law enforcement in the vain hope of finding him. He's become "troubled" because memories of his life as a wizard child are returning.
    • Jossed
  • Credence is the agent's son he never knew about, or was unable to find until Newt & Co. run into the Bareboneses.
    • Jossed
  • One or both of them is/are The Mole, Credence for MACUSA and the other one for the Scourers. Credence is starting to crack/believe he really is a Scourer.
    • Credence is helping Graves, but he wasn't "pretending" to be a Scourer

Jacob Kowalsky is immune to Obliviations
It's the only reason I can think about why American Wizardkind would allow a muggle to collaborate with Scamander to retrieve the magical creatures. If he can No-Sell memory charms, the wizards would have only two options: to kill him to protect The Masquerade or treat him like a squib. It would also explain why he and Queenie seem to be close in the final trailer, since if a witch married a squib it wouldn't be against MACUSA's law.
  • Alternatively, Jacob is a witness and there's something he knows that Newt and co need before erasing his memory, possibly seeing someone (the true culprit for releasing Newt's creatures?)that they will later need him to identify. At the end of the film, Newt, having grown fond of Jacob, will only pretend to erase his memory.
    • First part confirmed, second part unclear.

This movie will give an explanation about how Scamander didn't write about American magical creatures
Namely, at the end he will be banned for eternity to enter the EEUU or write anything about it, with Tina and possibly Jacob and Queenie accompanying him in his exile.

The true identity of Percival Graves is...
Gellert Grindelwald. According to people attending screenings of footage from the film, the film opens with an attack on Grindelwald's hideout where we see Grindelwald from behind (now why would they hide his face?). A newspaper headline reveals Grindelwald has disappeared after this attack. In the trailers, Seraphina notes the events occurring are similar to Grindelwald's attacks and the trailers also confirm Graves will be the villain in this film. Graves is actually Grindelwald who has gone into hiding and is pretending to be an American wizard named Percival Graves (mass Confundus/Imperius spells has allowed him to act like he was always there). Grindelwald has in fact been plotting how to tip the volatile tensions in America between the magical and non-magical communities in his favour and Newt's creatures have given him a way to do so (mass sightings of beasts and attacks to start an all out war). This is further supported by the Deathly Hallows necklace appearing on Graves's character poster (Grindelwald adopted the symbol as his banner) and by Rowling confirming the films will build up to the final confrontation between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, pretty much confirming Grindelwald (and possibly Dumbledore) will appear in this film.
  • Check, check and double check!

If this movie is successful, Quidditch Through the Ages will be made into a movie next.
And it will be about the sheer madness that was the Quidditch world cup of 1492. And it will be glorious.

Wizarding America is actually a lot cooler than this movie makes it look. Too bad Newt doesn't remember any of it.
Many Americans have complained that, based on the trailers and worldbuilding notes on Pottermore, this take on Wizarding America seems rife with poorly researched generalizations and a lack of the same nuance that made the original seven books shine. The reason? While in the US, Newt Scamander left New York City for the countryside, where he encountered The Jersey Devil. The experience was so traumatic that Newt's mind blacked out nearly all memories of his visit to the US. Unfortunately, when he returned to the UK, the Ministry demanded a full report. Newt panicked and made up a story based on vague memories, assumptions, and occasionally offensive generalizations, which he submitted to the Ministry. Since he didn't remember most of his visit and wasn't keen to return, Newt soon came to believe his own story. As he was the expert and few British witches and wizards were interested in visiting the US, his wildly inaccurate vision of Wizarding America stuck. This explains why a country known for its widely varied regional cultures and slang seems to harbor only one homogeneous culture and a handful of universal slang terms. It also explains why "No-Maj" and "Dorcas" sound like slang terms no American would ever use; it's because they aren't things Americans say but rather what a confused British man thought Americans say.

     Film — Post-Release 

President Picquery will be revealed in the sequels to actually be a secret supporter and cooperator of Grindelwald
In the scene where Grindelwald is captured, she reacts strangely subdued to it, and the following dialogue seems so unnatural:
Grindelwald: Do you think you can hold me?
Picquery: [In a "shrugging-it-off" tone of voice, but with a very tense face] We'll do our best, Mr. Grindelwald.
Her answer seems so strangely insecure. note  It might be a foreshadowing that she and Grindelwald had actually already made a deal that if he'd be captured she'd let him escape (or at least, they were co-working together), and Grindelwald's line was to remind her of that.
  • Grindelwald's reputation precedes him. Also, he fended off at least 2 auror teams' worth of spell fire on his own immediately prior to this, and was only captured by Newt blindsiding him. Also, I don't get the feeling that Picquery, despite her job, is comfortable with lying, especially not to an opponent who is undoubtedly more confident in the inevitability of his escape than she is of her ability to prevent such.

Grindelwald has a horcrux.
When Grindelwald is revealed at the end of the film, he's seen as having heterochromia iridum (one eye a sickly green rimmed with red, the other Johnny Depp's natural brown). Given that having a horcrux is known to physically corrupt a wizard (with Voldemort's freakish appearance the end result of having more of the damned things than any wizard before him), having such an unnatural coloration could be a subtle foreshadowing. Grindelwald's eyes are literally the window to his soul.
  • Alternately (and less WMG), it could merely be the result of spell damage from the fight between himself, Albus, and Aberforth.

The Swooping Evil will go extinct at some point during the franchise.
This will explain why we've never seen it before.

Ariana Dumbledore was also an Obscurial.
Her Obscurus was formed not after repeated small traumas, but after several large ones: the attack by the Muggle boys; accidentally killing her mother; and finally revealing itself during the duel between Albus, Aberforth and Grindelwald.
  • Alternatively, it formed after the attack with muggle boys and manifested at various different points as she tried to repress her magic.
  • This may have been why Grindelwald reacted so badly after seeing Credence essentially gunned down by MACUSA.
  • She didn't repress her magic, so no.
  • Erm, yes she did, that was her entire backstory. Indeed, this barely seems to qualify as a WMG; revealing that Obscurials exist seems to be confirmation that this is what happened to Ariana—the Potter franchise does have a liking of introducing concepts long before attaching a name or specifics to it.
  • Indeed. Here's the quote from Aberforth in Deathly Hallows, after describing her attack by three Muggles: "'It destroyed her, what they did: she was never right again. She wouldn't use magic, but she couldn't get rid of it: it turned inwards and drove her mad, it exploded out of her when she couldn't control it, and at times she was strange and dangerous. But mostly she was sweet, and scared, and harmless.'" The only flaw in this theory is that she survived at least until the age of fourteen - so surely Graves/Grindelwald would have known that they aren't always under the age of ten. Maybe he looked into them after the incident where Ariana was killed and then heard the stories about them only being small children. Maybe he just never paid attention to details like her age, considering how caught up he was plotting the revolution with Albus.
    • Maybe there's no actual thing that would kill them on their age, possibly they only 'Only live until 10' because as they get older, they come into their magic and become more and more dangerous, and more and more obvious So they subsequently get killed while an Obscurial. They only 'live until 10' in the same way a T-Rex roaming a city has a short lifespan, because the government is going to show up and do something about that.
    • In fact, this neatly explains how Ariana lived so long. Perhaps Albus figured out some magic to keep her under control. It can't be something simple, or wizards would have already figured it out, but Albus was pretty smart, even as a teenager. Or Grindelwald figured how to keep her alive out, considering that he was planning on using an Obscurial. So in Fantastic Beasts he already knew how to keep one alive and under his control.
  • I mean she didn't pretend to be a Muggle. In addition to the age, there was no mention of a dark, parasitic entity attached to her. But the similarity in the case makes me wonder if Rowling realized it or not.
    • She seems different from the standard Obscurial in that she wasn't forced to live as a Muggle, rather she forced herself to repress her magic after the trauma that came after using it. And yes, there is no mention of a parasitic entity, but that's really par for the course in this universe. We heard a lot of talk about Azkaban and its guards in the second and third books, but absolutely nothing that would prepare us for dementors when they finally turned up on-page. Same basic concept.
  • Also, a close look at Deathly Hallows will tell you that the duel broke out between Albus, Aberforth, and Grindelwald after an argument over the fate of Ariana. Grindelwald wanted to take Ariana with him, which would seem very suspicious if she's not an Obscurial. He may not have known about it before, but he left Godric's Hollow looking for an Obscurial to replace Ariana. During the interrogation, asked about the Sudanese obscurial in Newt's case, and he obviously sought very hard after Credence. He also asked about Dumbledore when he was still relatively anonymous, perhaps because Dumbledore may have been the only person to know about Grindelwald's obscurial interests. It's unclear how balanced Obscurials and the Deathly Hallows are in his mind, but it's pretty telling that Grindelwald as Graves temporarily stopped using the Elder Wand in an effort to win over the obscurial in New York.
    • It is entirely possible that Aberforth simplified. Maybe the duel wasn't over the 'fate' of Ariana per se, it was over the fact that Grindelwald (And Albus was going along with) was intending to travel the world using her as a weapon.
    • Incidentally, as a weird 'Hey, Dumbledore was retroactively lying to us' fact, it seems that the Invisiblity Cloak wouldn't have helped Ariana at all. (That didn't make a lot of sense to start with!) If DD was looking for a Deathly Hallows to help her, it would have been the Elder Wand. And TT bets that Grindelwald was kicking himself for not having it on him.
    • Considering one of the legendary properties of the cloak was that you could hide even from death, Dumbledore may have believed it would protect Ariana both from attackers and from herself. Plus, Credence was killed for endangering the masquerade — it's likely that was a risk for other Obscurials too.

Obscuri have a relationship to Dementors
Their somewhat similar looks, association with darkness and negative emotions and (each in different ways) consuming the souls of those they feed upon probably isn't mere coincidence. This is, after all, the Potterverse. Perhaps an Obscurus, under the right circumstances, grows into a Dementor?
  • Obscuri are too rare for that. We know that Dementors just grow in extremely vile places like Azkaban.

Queenie's legilimency allowed Jacob to either regain or maintain his memories.
Maybe she was able to restore his memories, somehow. I don't know.
  • She could have grabbed some of his memories under the guise of that kiss. We know wizards can remove and store memories, and while we've never seen any of them do it without a wand or keep those memories in their own head, we've never seen the sort of natural legilimens that Queenie is either.
    • Right, that's what I'm thinking…

Newt found a loophole when erasing Jacob's memories
. He outright states that if you dilute the venom used the right way, it only removes bad memories. This way, Newt followed the letter of the law but left Jacob open to being a Magical Ally since among the memories he would be left with would be a lovely young lady who cooks like a dream, her charming sister and the man who made his dream come true...all of whom are magical. Given credence by the fact that Jacob is making pastries that look like magical beasts and the fact that he seems to remember the erasing process given the way he touches his neck while smiling at the visiting Queenie.
  • That could mean Senator Shaw's brother might also remember that night, considering how excited he was about Mary Lou's cause and how much he was disliked by the Senator and his father.
  • Considering the venom did its job on Jacob anyway, this doesn't seem likely. What IS possible, though, is that the Murtlap's bite prevented the venom from working- check out the scene with Queenie at the end again. He rubs the bite mark when he seems to recognise her. Then consider who wrote the script. It's unlikely that's a coincidence, combined with Newt outright naming the things his bite cure will do for Jacob.

[[WMG: Jacob and Queenie will eventually leave for Europe because they want to be together. However, they have Jewish surnames so taking inspiration from Queenie’s name, they change it to Prince. They have at least one child, a daughter who they called Eileen. Somewhere in between this and Eileen’s marriage, Jacob and Queenie will die. Eileen will eventually marry Tobias Snape and has a child, Severus Snape. So Snape is Queenie and Jacob’s grandson.

That "notable" character Credence becomes? He is reborn as Tom Marvolo Riddle.
At the end, a wisp of him survives. Also, this film is set around Christmas, 1926 (as evidenced by the Macy's display). Voldemort was born on December 31, 1926. Perhaps the wisp managed to find its way to a pregnant Merope Gaunt, who, having used a Love Potion to attract Tom Riddle, Sr, was like a flame to the wisp's moth.
  • A deleted scene shows a reconstituted Credence boarding Newt's ship, and he's supposed to appear in the next film.
    • The wisp in question could have found its way to Merope as it could have been disconnected from Credence and reattaching was deemed too much trouble by it, leading it to seek easier prey, which a baby who is the result of a Love Potion would qualify as.
  • This theory may be supported by the Deathly Hallows encounter where Voldemort meets and kills Grindelwald. Grindelwald has said that he's been expecting Voldemort. Although it's possible, I doubt that Grindelwald's jailors keep him too informed about the outside world. Thus, Grindelwald would have had to know Tom Riddle by 1945 or before, and well enough to know that he would come to Nurmengard in search of the Elder Wand. This movie could be the start of their encounters.
  • I think Voldemort sees Grindlewald after he's resurrected, and by that time Voldemort's pretty famous. With regards to the date, a newspaper at the end says it's "the wettest November on record" so it's possible the film takes place around the same period as the release date, late November/possibly early December. As for Macy's, I don't know what they did in 1926 but in 2016 they put up their Christmas decorations in mid-October so Credence's wisp, assuming it's the same as Voldemort's "spare bits of soul", would have to attach itself to someone/thing and survive for a month. As for Credence being reborn as Voldemort, this could explain Voldemort's "diluted" motivation compared to Grindelwald's: Grindelwald, who was always an exceptional wizard, wanted wizards to be superior to muggles and live openly without fear of persecution (basically he's Magneto). Voldemort just wants power and going from an abused boy to a "rejected" squib(?) to an abandoned orphan to, from a Slytherin's POV, secretly the second-lowest type of wizard to being rejected by Dumbledore and Hogwarts would definitely make him a bit power-hungry. There's also Credence/Voldemort's issues with intimacy: If he learned the significance of being conceived with a love potion he'd probably see the fetus' lack of love as a bonus — no one would ever manipulate his feelings like Graves/Grindelwald (and probably Mary Lou, though Word of God stated he and his siblings feared her more than they loved her) ever again, but maybe he could manipulate others.
    • His hatred of muggles and Muggle Borns might be because he had a No-Maj mother who abused him horribly, so he associates all of them and anyone born to them with the idea that they are all horrible

Jacob is Vernon and Marge's father.
During World War II, he'll go to England and meet a woman who looks like Marge and is played by Pam Ferris.
  • Then wouldn't Vernon, Marge, Petunia, and Dudley all have been surnamed Kowalski?
  • Alternatively, Jacob will have a daughter who becomes the mother of Marge and Vernon. If Jacob's daughter is born around 1930 and Vernon is born around 1950, the timeline still adds up.
  • The idea that Jacob, who would have gone to wizard school and marry a witch if he could and saw first-hand what happens when you abuse and oppress a young wizard (before he was obliviated), being the ancestor of Vernon who is so ruthlessly anti-abnormal that he tried to beat the magic out of his own nephew and made it impossible for any magical children to be born of his line is just too tragic.

Jacob and Queenie are the ancestors of one of Lily Evans' parents.
Jacob managed to see Lily after her powers kicked in and his delight at her being magical played into Petunia's jealousy as she took it as favoritism. Queenie took ill somehow and died before Petunia was born so she never met the girls.

If not for his death, Richard Griffiths would have played Jacob.

Grindelwald will have much more screentime in the next movies.
He has to appear a lot to justify hiring Johnny Depp to play the character.
  • Isn't this a Foregone Conclusion? Didn't someone say that the pentology was supposed to end with Grindelwald's defeat?

Queenie and Jacob marry and have children.
Pottermore reveals an American Chaser named Quentin Kowalski, possibly a descendant.

Queenie and Jacob's love story (and perhaps it ends sadly) is the eventual impetus that begins changing MACUSA's laws about wizard-Muggle interaction.

Wizards have a better way to travel between continents
Probably international portkeys. So why is Newt using extremely slow Muggle transportation? Because, as we see, that means he can just walk extreme dangerous and completely illegal-in-America animals though Muggle customs. That appears to be a very serious oversight on MACUSA's part, even if they probably told him he needed to report in upon arrival when he applied for his wand permit.
  • The way Newt being British is treated like a rare sight would seem to imply otherwise. Though, at the end of the movie, we see what seems like an emergency magic-ONU meeting, so maybe such travel methods do exist, but are too rare/expensive for a run-of-the-mill wizard, or magical tourism is strongly discouraged in the US.
  • Word of God is that Apparition across intercontinental distances is far too dangerous for wizards who aren't exceptionally skilled and already familiar with the terrain, to pull off. Besides, some of the creatures in the case wouldn't have survived Side-Along Apparition.
  • Confirmed. They have better ways, and those better ways are better monitored.

At some point during the series, Newt Scamander will give way as the protagonist to someone else.
The pentalogy is apparently going to cover about twenty years from 1926 to 1945... so assuming the next four movies are released across the next... five real-life years or so, Eddie Redmayne (currently 34, and playing a character that could almost pass for a late teenager despite being 29) may look a touch young to be playing a wizard who, by 1945, would be almost fifty years old. (Scamander was born in 1897) While wizards tend to have long lifespans, there's no indication that they physically age more slowly. Also, Newt and Tina likely get married and have their child(ren) during this span of time.
  • Or they just use makeup to add a few years to Mr Redmayne's face if they think he looks too young.

Theseusnote  will make an appearance in a future film.
Newt returns to Britain at the end of this first one, so it stands to reason that at least one movie - possibly even the next one - may be set in Britain itself. It's obviously a given that Grindelwald will escape capture and return to Europe. Dark wizards in and around Britain means we'll likely see British Aurors. Also, at some point, the films will delve more deeply into Newt's past. So seeing Newt's Auror older brother show up seems like a pretty safe bet.
  • Theseus is described as a "war hero" so he might turn up again when WW2 breaks out.
    • This is actually very likely, given that Grindelwald was implied to have more than a coincidental connection with the events of World War II.
    • This appears to be confirmed, as several articles have popped up in recent months saying that he will appear in the second film.

A young Rubeus Hagrid will cameo at some point in the series.
He's born a couple of years after Riddle in 1928, so he'd fit the timeline. Perhaps a chance meeting with Newt at some point in the 1930s is what awakens his lifelong interest in magical creatures.

Queenie and Jacob are the maternal grandparents of Luna Lovegood.
Queenie and Luna are very similar personality-wise. They went to Europe where muggles and witches are able to get married.
  • That may be a little bit squicky though, considering Luna canonically marries Rolf Scamander, Newt and Tina's grandson.
    • For "us", perhaps. They would share one common set of great-grandparents (Tina and Queenie's parents), which would make them second cousins. Given that it's already been stated that most wizarding families are closely interrelated with others in wizarding Britain, second cousins marrying may not be nearly as much a big deal in the Potterverse. This is supported somewhat by Book 6, where the Trio theorize at one point that Tonks may have been in love with Sirius, and don't bat an eyelash at the fact that the two are first cousins once removed.

Obscurials are an allegory for gay conversion therapy.
Continuation of the well-documented parallels. Both involve suppressing an "alternate lifestyle" in an abusive and neglectful environment.

Similarly, Obscurials are also an allegory for the results of "faith healing".
Given the nature of the Obscurus as basically "magic cancer", it's fairly easy to see the parallels between an Obscurial's plight and cases of young children dying of treatable diseases due to deeply religious parents denying them much-needed medical care.

Queenie will become a baker.
When we first meet her, she is shown to create a delicious looking strudel with a wave of her wand. Given the obvious romance between her and Jacob, and the fact that he's a baker, it makes obvious sense that she'd lend her skills to him out of love.
  • If you look closely on the window of Jacob's new bakery at the end, that she visits, there is a "Help Wanted" sign...

Swooping Evil's Venom is used to clean the brain of memories so that it tastes better.
They are stated to eat brains and the venom must have some use to them. It is possible that too many memories or too many bad memories may make a brain less desirable, so their venom can cleanse out the organ before they feast.

Madame Maxime or her parents will appear in the second movie.
The sequel is confirmed to take place in France. Madame Maxime is one of the most prominent French characters in the book, and while her age isn't clarified, if she's about the same age as Hagrid then she is born around the time that movie would take place. Plus, a forbidden romance between her parents, a wizard/witch and a giant, would make an interesting subplot.

The reason Credence survived for so long.
It's not because he was unusually powerful - one can hardly imagine a personal power that would make such a difference. It's a reason very much in tune with the theme of the main books - there was someone he loved and had to protect.
  • It might be his adopted sister Modesty that he loves - the two seem to share a bond.
  • It's also possible that not even knowing helped. Keep in mind he wanted "Graves" to give him magic. It's possible that not even knowing he was a wizard with magic allowed him to survive for so long. Unlike, say, that girl in Sudan, he wasn't actively suppressing his magic, but subconsciously suppressing it.
  • Perhaps his "mother" had been feeding him a herb that can surpess magical power, so it took longer for his magic to build up to critical mass. This could also explain the Ariana Dumbledore WMG further up on the page.

Creating an Obscurial was part of the original Scourers' long-term plan to expose the magical world that they didn't share with their descendants
"Some of you may die, but that's a risk [we're] willing to take." Assuming Mary Lou is a typical Scourer it's amazing there hasn't been an Obscurial in such a long time, especially since it doesn't appear she was mistreating her "abnormal" children on purpose to create one (it's more likely she was focused on Credence to ensure he wouldn't rebel as he got taller and stronger than her).

The film is more than just a "prequel" / spinoff
It's actually a spinoff that, while set in the same universe, is also set in an Alternate Continuity. While Fantastic Beasts was a book originally, it was a supplement to the Harry Potter series itself that didn't really have a plot, whereas this movie's plot is an original story that wasn't based on any existing book(s). Also, while similar, the movie is meant to have its own production values, which given everything that's occurred in the movie, makes room for the possibility of a (self) deconstructionnote  of the Harry Potter universe, among other things in future "Newt Scamander" (or whatever) movies. It's about 8 to 9 decades between this movie and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's / Sorcerer's Stone. Anything can happen during that time. What's to say Harry, Ron, Hermione, etc, ever go on to exist at all in this continuity? What's to say anything that happened in this movie actually happened in the Harry Potter movies at all?
  • This may supported by Newt's backstory change and how this story already serves as a bit of a mix between the books and their film adaptations. In the original book this is "based" on it was said he graduated Hogwarts, but in the movie it mentioned he was expelled not unlike what happened to Hagrid. There was also a case in the movies where a painting of Newt from later in life can be seen in the Headmaster's Office, even though according to the Pottermore timeline he's still alive in 2015, and those portraits are limited to dead former headmasters of Hogwarts. The question would be if the Alternate Continuity in this case would drift enough to be incompatible with either the book or movie's respective continuities, or it could be seen as the "cause" for why the movies turned out differently.

Grindelwald, in the Potterverse, isn't just a wizard analogue to Hitler. He literally is Hitler.
Knowing that he operated for a time under the guise of another is a bit of a game changer, and opens up a number of possibilities.
  • What if he found in Hitler an easy role to play? Their backstories are amazingly similar to the point where he could tell a generalized version of Hitler's backstory and be talking about himself - and not be completely untruthful.
    • Both were born in the 1880s.
    • Both were not native to the lands they mostly operated. (Hitler was from Austria)
    • Both were imprisoned in the 1920s as political revolutionaries
    • Both regimes ended in 1945, and both persons were never in public after that - Hitler because of his death, Grindelwald because he was imprisoned. Better theory yet: Grindelwald was captured in the Wizarding world first, and because of that he couldn't uphold his Hitler identity in the Muggle world anymore, and that was why Hitler committed suicide (the fact that Hitler's reign was crumbling at that time already, was just a side-fact). Fridge Brilliance: Thus it was ultimately the Wizarding world, and not the Muggle world, that defeated Hitler.
  • We already know he wanted to subjugate the Muggle world. What if his plan to do so came to included taking the form of a major European Muggle leader?
  • Based on their Goldstein surname, there's been a theory bandied about that Tina and Queenie, who did much to foil his plans in America and got him thrown in prison, may have Jewish heritage. Make of that what you will.
  • It's also possible Grindelwald used his similar backstory to bond with Hitler the same way he did with Dumbledore and get the occult-loving Nazis attention with promises of entry into the magical world like Credence, turning them (and possibly the rest of the Axis powers) into his pawns: Hitler/Axis controls the muggles and Grindelwald controls Hitler/Axis. There's also the fact that Hitler learned how to master an audience from a magician and the rumor he was heard ranting at an unseen person (a portrait, perhaps?).
    • I don't think even Grindelwald could handle directing simultaneous global wars on separate levels of reality, though I'm sure he probably thought he could. By the time Dumbledore finally confronts him he's cracking up because now he's losing two simultaneous global wars and having a major identity crisis.
    • Well, Hitler did make some stupid decisions during the war.
    • "But Mein Hexen Fuhrer, Russia in winter is im—" "We have magic, nothing is impossible!"
  • Hitler's regime was also fiercely homophobic, while there were allegations of Hitler himself being gay or bisexual. Dumbledore, Grindelwald's childhood friend, was gay and in love with Grindelwald according to Word of God, before the two had a fallout because of Ariana's death. It's not confirmed whether Grindelwald knew about Dumbledore's feelings and reciprocated them or not, but maybe Hitler's homophobic politics is explained by Grindelwald's hatred for Dumbledore.
    • I think Word of God confirmed Grindelwald was just manipulating Dumbledore and regardless of what feelings he was using he never saw him as anything but a tool. If one of my "tools" not only rebelled but caused the destruction of an even more useful "tool" (Ariana, assuming she was also an Obscurial) I'd be pissed too.
      • He dies to protect Dumbledore's grave and lies to Voldemort, and proceeds to tell him about how there's "so much he doesn't understand". Even if he didn't love Dumbledore in the same way, it's pretty clear that he at least liked the guy.
  • One thing that doesn't match is — as far as I know — Grindelwald doesn't want to exterminate muggles, he wants wizards to rule over them as nobility. Then again the movies' portrayal of him appears to be going in a different direction then the books, especially considering his interest in what one reviewer called "the magical equivalent of an atomic bomb".
    • Keep in mind, though, what we know of Grindelwald's aims from the original HP series was as a young man in his late teens. By the time of the FB series, he's in his early-mid forties. And often, as seen with many real-life instances (and in the HP series, for that matter), it doesn't take much for someone with some already bigoted views to go from benevolent would-be ruler to not-so-benevolent would-be ruler to "screw it, this group I want to rule isn't cooperating so my new world's better off without them." It's also possible he became so drunk with power that he forgot what he set out to do in the first place. In a span of nearly twenty-five years, a myriad of things could have happened. And certainly a few did, like one of his eyes changing color and bad haircuts. Heck, what's to say that the Ariana incident isn't the very thing that pushed him from Well-Intentioned Extremist to Omnicidal Maniac? There's certainly indicators that he's gone off the deep end a bit. (And, actually you could argue his casting was a slight telegraph, as the actor in question already has a reputation for playing characters that are eccentric if not full-on insane.)
  • There's a number of things wrong with this. First, it's being entirely in poor taste considering that victims of the Holocaust are still very much alive today and probably wouldn't appreciate their suffering being attributed to a magic source. It also diminishes the very real human beings that died to stop Hitler. Furthermore, it's implied that he finds redemption of a sort at the end of Deathly Hallows, and if Grindelwald were literally Hitler, what sort of message would that send? Unfortunate Implications (and there are MANY) aside, Grindelwald was also winning his war until Dumbledore stopped him in 1945. Finally, we already had a direct Hitler analogue in Voldemort.

Grindelwald was disabled by the Swooping Evil because he's already the master of the Elder Wand
From a production perspective, at least. His mastering the Elder Wand already makes sense if his campaign in Europe is already underway, but if Newt/an auror had disarmed him the Elder Wand would then have changed owner, messing up the sequence of events that brought it into Harry's possession and creating a plot hole. If the wand only changes allegiance when the owner is disarmed by a wizard, though, this detail preserves the plot.
  • However, Voldemort believed that the Elder Wand would change allegiance to him if his snake killed Snape, whom he believed was the master of the wand at the moment. Assuming he was right (and his plan was foiled only because he didn't know Draco was the master of the wand), how would Voldemort using his snake and Newt using the Swooping Evil be any different?
    • Possibly because Nagini was a Horcrux, so technically part of Voldemort himself was killing Snape. (And, for what it's worth, they may have covered their butts on this front in the film by having Voldemort strike the first blow before sending in Nagini for the killshot). The Swooping Evil was certainly not controlled by Newt to that degree.
    • Harry physically disarming Draco and becoming master of the Elder Wand was a plot point in the books. More likely, Grindelwald was using the original Graves' wand when he was disarmed, and/or he gains ownership of the Elder Wand after the events of the film when he returns to Europe.
      • The book and film portrayals both seem to imply he gained possession of the wand as a young mannote  and in fact used it to further his rise to power. Although the part of him using Graves' wand while disguised as him in America is probably very accurate.

Modesty is a Squib.
That was indeed a real wand she had under her bed, and she is descended from witches and wizards — but because she's a Squib, the wand was useless to her. This is also why she didn't become an Obscurial, because she had no magic to suppress.

Alternatively, Modesty was a witch, just not the Obscurial

The evidence is there that Modesty may have been magic herself, and not just because of Mary Lou's tendency to specifically "take in" the children of those she suspected to be magic.

One piece of evidence, is that the belt being ripped from Mary Lou's hand couldn't have been done by Credence, as Obscurial's cannot do normal magic like that since they've suppressed it, and the only other person who could've perhaps done it is Modesty herself.

Her having that wand, likely one of her parents', even if it was hidden could also be taken as an indication that she used it didn't suppress her magic like Credence did as otherwise she would likely have just broken or gotten rid of it. Hence why she never became an Obscurial like her adoptive brother.

  • Or she was never forced to suppress it because all her accidental magic got blamed on Credence.

The Masquerade will be threatened again in a future movie - this time by Grindelwald somehow restoring the memories of the New York No-Majs.
The Bertha Jorkins thread was Adapted Out of the movies, but it's already canon that memory modification can be broken under the right conditions. Also, it's heavily implied that the method used to modify the memories of the New York No-Majs has a wider and faster reach than Memory Charms, but isn't as complete. This is supported by Newt's assertion that the venom/potion he was researching only removed "bad" memories - as well as Jacob subconsciously remembering things about his adventure with Newt & co. at the end But even in the case of Memory Charms, the process can be broken forcibly (by torture) or restored by a sufficiently skilled wizard (Hermione found her parents in Australia after the war and reversed the charm). If someone got a hold of the right No-Maj - let's say, perhaps, Jacob himself? - removed the charm and got him talking about the Obscurial incident, it would potentially spell major trouble for American wizards' secrecy. But that would be exactly what Grindelwald is going for.
  • It seems doubtful that Jacob would be much of a threat to The Masquerade. The dead senator's brother, on the other hand...
  • Seeing as, by the time the novels happen (the 1990s), The Masquerade is still securely in place, this is unlikely.

Giygas is an Obscurus
An Obscurus is a red and black Eldritch Abomination. Sound familiar?
  • Alternatively, an Obscurus/an Obscurial's transformation is the magical equivalent of.... whatever caused Giygas' psionics-based powers to turn him into that red abomination.

The last movie featuring Newt will have a stinger showing Luna with Newt's grandson Rolf
If it takes over a decade to get there it'll be fine — they have kids late in life so it can be them sending the twins off to Hogwarts.

Murtlap bites have positive magical properties.
I mean, their tentacles do- they relieve pain when strained and pickled, and can enhance your resistance to jinxes when eaten. Why can't their bites be magical too? Jacob rubs his bite when he sees Queenie and seems to recall her. This is also the simplest solution to why Jacob seems to remember. His bite is referred to even after the symptoms are cured, and Newt even specified what the things he gave Jacob to help with the bite do. And-AND- the bite marks are still there, which is odd considering how easy and fast it is for wizards to get rid of cut and bite marks. Considering Rowling wrote the script, this can't all mean nothing. It's possible the venom or saliva stopped the Swooping Evil's venom from totally doing its job.

Jacob will move to the UK to marry Queenie during/after the Great Depression
Someone posted under Fridge Horror that the Great Depression is likely to impact Jacob's bakery. This could prompt him to move to the UK (where his friend Newt is from) to marry Queenie.
  • Great depression aside, Newt states that American wizards "aren't supposed to (even) befriend muggles". Even visiting Jacob in his bakery would probably get stern looks from other US magic users. In the UK, conversely, Jacob and Queenie are not only allowed to get married, Jacob is legally allowed to be in on the masquerade once he's formally recognized as her spouse.

The reason some fantastic beasts in the film are not in the book Newt published is because they lack Ministry of Magic classifications.
It's possible that some, like the Swooping Evil and the Thunderbird, simply lacked MoM classifications due to lack of knowledge and study, and thus were blocked from inclusion. All the other ones in the book have the classification. The Obscurus was likely excluded due to the fact that it may be considered a Being, since it IS a human (but this is unlikely, as Werewolves are still classified as Beasts). It's also possible that the Obscurus is considered neither Being nor Beast, nor is it considered a Spirit (the third division of classification), but is considered to be a kind of Dark Magic, like a Horcrux, or else it shares classification with Dementors, which are also not in the Fantastic Beasts book, even though they were in the main series by that point. Though that's not to say the Obscurus is not mentioned at all- it is. It's the name of the publishing house that Newt selected to publish his book. Make of it what you will.

Love is stronger even than Obliviate.
Love has been mentioned before as the strongest kind of magic and the hardest to understand. Harry was protected from the Killing Curse by his mother's love. The effects of Amortentia are never permanent. Love has been shown to affect the shape of a Patronus. Perhaps memories of love are too strong to be Obliviated. All Jacob needed was to see Queenie once more and everything came flooding back.

Harry almost became an Obscurial.
While the Dursleys made no attempt to hide their contempt for Harry and weren't the nicest of foster parents, they weren't at Mary Lou's level. Dumbledore probably warned Petunia about the possibility of Harry becoming an Obscurial. She and Vernon probably had the misguided notion that if they just ignored Harry's magic it would just go away. A combination of Lily's love and Voldemort's soul kept the worst from happening. (Although it didn't stop Aunt Marge from getting blown up.)
  • Not to mention, if memory serves from Harry's point of view at the start of the first book, he was just convinced that strange things happened around him, not really that he actually caused them- he had no explanation how for example the wig of the teacher was turned blue or how his hair grew back overnight or how the fugly sweater of Dudley's shrank until it would have maybe fit a chihuahua but certainly not Harry, all he knew that it wasn't his doing. Meaning he was convinced that he had no way of stopping it so he didn't even subconsciously try to suppress the magic he had no idea he had. This despite the idea that the Dursley treated these incidents as being caused by Harry (except the sweater, that one got blamed on a washing program too hot for the fabric fortunately), because it did not compute in Harry's mind how it could be his fault and he probably just chalked it up to his relatives being pointlessly and needlessly cruel as they were wont to do.
  • Rowling says Harry didn’t become an Obscurial because he didn’t know he was a wizard. Assuming Ariana Dumbledore was one too, it makes sense that Albus never tried to make contact with Harry as a kid. If he knew the Dursleys were doing this to beat out the magic, he’d be like Creedence.

The inclusion of Leta Lestrange is going to cause a Continuity Snarl of some kind that will cause fans of the book series to tear their hair out.
They wanted to invoke the Lestrange name because, obviously, the first person anyone's going to think about is Bellatrix. But here's the issue - in the 'proper canon' of the books, Bellatrix was literally a Lestrange In Name Only. She wed Rodolphus and took his name in a marriage that, if it wasn't an outright Arranged Marriage, was definitely a marriage of convenience. Rodolphus, both in books and movies, was little more than a background character. And Leta, if she were to marry, would in all likelihood take the surname of her husband, and any children she might have would have the father's surname as well. So the writer(s)' attempt to make a tie-in to the original series doesn't actually have much of anything to tie to, which is bound to cause issues.
  • Considering Rowling wrote the script and is generally pretty good with her own family trees, that seems unlikely. More likely Leta will a non-ancestral relative (great-aunt or similar) of Rodolphus and/or marry into the Black family to become an ancestor of Bellatrix, because purebloods love inbreeding. Or, she may have a Heel–Face Turn and end up marrying a Weasley!
    • Confirmed, she's an illegitimate child
  • According to Rowling, America doesn't have the same kind of blood purity culture that Britain does. Intermarriage with Muggleborns is encouraged even as marrying actual Muggles is strictly prohibited. So the more loudly pureblood supremacist families of Europe are probably somewhat infamous in America. Especially if they are prone to denouncing Americans as "Mudbloods" at international wizarding gatherings. This would parallel Muggle social trends, such as the often contemptuous attitude that "old money" families (especially titled aristocrats) commonly expressed towards the "nouveau riche". It's worth noting that America's wizarding school, Ilvermorny, was founded by a runaway descendant of the Gaunt family who went on to marry a No-Maj. This would probably not be something overlooked by families that take Slytherin's teachings seriously. Even though she does not love Newt, Leta may not take kindly to him "replacing" her with Tina.

Newt Scamander's overarching role as protagonist is going to make heavy use of the Been There, Shaped History trope.
Given how we know Grindelwald gets defeated, there's perhaps a limit to what Newt can do to impact the events of this prequel series unless there are retcons, or unless Dumbledore got credit for something Newt did (both possibilities). What can happen, however, is that Newt, perhaps inadvertently, interacts with people that become significant to the plot of the HP saga either directly themselves or through (grand)children or people they influence later. A possible example: Newt, in trying to tame a rampaging creature in Britain, has to defend a vulnerable Muggle orphanage from said rampaging creature, and also saves the life of another wizard man (possibly showed up to help, got in over his head) in the process. The orphanage that nearly gets destroyed is Wool's Orphanage, where the young Tom Riddle spent his childhood. The wizard he saves is Fleamont Potter, who is James Potter's father, and Harry's paternal grandfather. So in short, orphanage gets pulverized -> dead children and matron(s) -> no Tom Riddle -> no Voldemort. Fleamont dies as a young man (he fathered James as an older fellow, probably in his fifties) -> no James -> no Harry. It's through small moments like this (that may even be ancillary to the plot of the Fantastic franchise) that Newt becomes important to the greater universe because a different action by him in the past would have drastically altered the life path of someone classic HP fans know and love (or Love to Hate) - or even prevented said person from being born/existing altogether.

Grindelwald was far more dangerous than Voldemort ever was, much smarter and wiser, stronger and more skilled with magic, and Voldemort taking the top spot on a list of the most dangerous dark wizards of all time is just to cover up some really terrifying feats Grindelwald did
Think about it. Not only did Dumbledore describe Grindelwald as being very nearly equal to him in terms of brilliance, which already marks him as being on another level even compared to Voldemort considering how he was so easily beaten down by Albus in his older days while Grindelwald gave Albus in his prime a real fight for his life, but Grindelwald also terrorized the whole world while Voldemort only managed to ever terrorize Britain. Not to mention Dumbledore never felt the need to confront Voldemort directly but he specifically stated he had to with Grindelwald. And recently we just heard that records about the war with Grindelwald had been kept top-secret? Man…. That's surely suspicious…. What if the ICW found Grindelwald to be so terrifyingly effective that when Voldemort came out, they were more than willing to take advantage of his far greater evil, which in this case actually makes him much less cleverer than Grindelwald, and declare him as being worse than Grindelwald? What if Grindelwald had dealt so much damage to the ICW that they dare not reveal it to the public in fear that many more people may be inspired by him?
  • Note that the third film depicts Grindelwald running for SUPREME MUGWUMP. Although he clearly failed, what if the very fact that he nearly succeeded in becoming one coupled with all the horrifying things he did made the ICW so terrified of the idea of another Grindelwald emerging that they decided to cover his reign of terror as much as they could?

Newt is halfblood.
He seems to have a particularly strong opinion on America's laws on interaction with muggles and that you "can't even marry them". Could make sense that he might be the product of one such union?

The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them manuscript Newt carries around throughout the film is something far more detailed and far more interesting than the book we're familiar with.
It has to be. It's strongly implied that it's intended to be an authoritative compendium of fantastic beasts and Newt tells Tina that it'll tell her everything she'd need to know about taking care of the creatures in his case. Yet the book released under Scamander's name by Rowling only contains brief snippets of information about each creature and British Ministry of Magic rankings of dangerousness. It doesn't even mention, for example, that the occamy grows or shrinks to fit available space. Of course, the real-world explanation for that is that this idea was invented for the film, but the point remains that no book giving any sort of detailed information regarding magical creatures would leave out this important fact.
  • Confirmed, essentially, by this announcement, which reveals that an updated version of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book will be coming out in March, which "will include a foreword by Rowling writing as Magizoologist Newt Scamander, new artwork and a batch of new beasts."
  • No need to confirm it that way. We definitely know the book we currently have is abridged, and this was obvious from the day it was released- Dumbledore's forward mentions something that isn't actually addressed in the book despite citing the curing Puffskeins of drinking toilet water as a reason people pick up the book. In fact, this tendency isn't even mentioned in the Puffskein entry. Plus, creatures that definitely existed in the series at the time the book was written were not in it, such as Boggarts (mentioned in the third book, which came well before the Beasts book was published two years later).
    • Boggarts' level of intelligence is unclear, so it's possible that they qualify as "Beings" rather than "Beasts".

Queenie was actually one of many wizards and witches who visit Jacob's bakery - under orders to protect him and to help his business succeed
as an indirect reward.The rules state that Jacob has to have his memories wiped in order to preserve the masquerade - even though it seemed as if Picquery didn't exactly want to. But because Grindelwald is aware of Jacob, this makes him a potential risk down the line, this means that some person(s) will have to make sure to make sure that Jacob won't breach their statute of secrecy unintentionally and that Grindelwald or his followers won't come after him again as revenge for MACUSA. They probably do this to several No-Maj's who have had to be obliviated, just that Jacob is special due to him being able to have helped out so much. And of course, given his skill at baking, it's a good way to help field agents continue the masquerade! Having a wizard keep track of certain No-maj/muggles isn't entirely foreign to the Potterverse (Kingsley Shacklebolt served as one to the muggle prime minister as their secretary).
  • This might even help mitigate or even erase the Fridge Horror mentioned about the Great Depression possibly hurting or even destroying Jacob's business since there's no evidence that No-Maj business is closely tied enough to magical business to cause them to both suffer that disaster so wizards and witches will frequent Jacob's business to help him get by until the No-Majs finally pull themselves out of the hole the Great Depression created.

MACUSA has field agent(s) who serve as employees or members of the No-Maj government for the same reason Kingsley Shacklebolt was assigned to pose as the Muggle Prime Minister's secretary
It's a good idea to know just what the No-Maj government is doing, even if marrying or getting into a relationship with them is against the law. Especially when Grindelwald was at large and even infiltrated the MACUSA government. Who's to say a dark wizard like Grindelwald couldn't Imperius the No-maj government to force them to turn their resources on MACUSA, or start their own primitive version of Operation Snow White?

Instead of being under compulsion or dead, Percival Graves is a willing collaborator
Seeing that we have yet to actually see the man, this is still somewhat likely. He could keep his respectable family and close friends appeased while Grindelwald (and possibly more of his operatives) infiltrates MACUSA. Now that Grindelwald got caught, he is likely laying low overseas until the whole thing blows over and he could contact the agents (and possibly Gindelwald in prison) on a later date.

Percival Graves will return as a major supporting character opposing Grindelwald, and will have his own tragic story line
In this scenario Graves was abducted and imprisoned by Grindelwald, but was rescued and now carries a serious grudge. He resigns his position at MACUSA in order to first recover, then returns as the leader of a new organisation dedicated to hunting the Dark Wizard and his followers. As the films progress they serve as a magical military support and pro-action group, being the first to secure true victories against Grindelwald and save others from him. Another idea is that Newts brother Theseus decides to join (giving Newt a personal stake) and possibly even Tina Goldstein as the war progresses. In this way they become the prototype version of the Order of the Phoenix.

However as time goes on and the Second World War ignites, they become increasingly brutal and as fanatical as the people they are fighting against. Possibly even to the point where they start using Grindelwalds own philosophy ("for the greater good") as justifications for their actions. We could even have a scene where Graves confronts Dumbledore over his inaction against his old friend. In the end Graves may become an tragic antagonist that has to be stopped because he has become just as dangerous as his supposed enemy.

Due to the events of the film... The real master of the Elder Wand is Newt Scamander, who possibly passes it down the line until it reaches Rolf or Lysander Scamander.
We see that the elder wand can pass ownership through being disarmed, and at the climax of the movie, we see the person we know to be the owner of the Elder Wand, Grindelwald, being disarmed by none other than Newt Scamander through the use of the Swooping Evil. Unless Newt gets disarmed again in the film series (which, admittedly, is likely since he's the protagonist), it's possible that the ownership of the Elder Wand passes down his line until it reaches Luna Lovegood's twin sons, Rolf and Lysander Scamander. The reason that Dumbledore was able to beat Grindelwald was not because he was so powerful that he could beat him even with that huge advantage, but because Grindelwald wasn't actually the master of the wand, a fact that he didn't realize, because he thought only killing someone could transfer ownership. Not only did Voldemort never get ownership of the Elder Wand, neither did Harry- he just beat Voldemort due to an extension of the "using his blood" thing.

  • Unless Grindelwald wasn't the proper owner yet; he initially stole the Elder Wand from Gregorovitch rather than defeating him in a duel, and we never saw them fight in that flashback. Maybe that will happen later, making Grindelwald become the true owner.
    • Does that mean that someone has to win its allegiance, then Grindelwald has to win it "back" to be its master?

Graves/Grindelwald was considering recruiting Newt depending on how he responded in the interrogation.
It wasn't just irony that he accused Newt of doing what he personally was plotting to do. Between that and asking about what (his own best friend) Albus Dumbledore saw in Newt, he was assessing whether the man was a potential follower. When that turned out not to be the case, it was win-win because Grindelwald could still use the fact that Newt had illegally smuggled magical beasts into New York as a distraction from his own plan. Also, the fact that Newt was so vehemently anti-Grindelwald is why he ordered an immediate execution rather than just sending them back to their cell.

Grindelwald was actually much more dangerous than Voldemort ever was, and the list Most Dangerous Dark Wizards of All Time was just a front made up by the ICW to hide just how much damage Grindelwald had done to the world.
Think about it. This was already hinted with Dumbledore's description of Grindelwald. He described them as very nearly equals, that the whole world was literately begging him to intervene, and that Grindelwald seemed unstoppable. Grindelwald also terrorized the whole world for 25 years, while Voldemort only terrorized Britain and the accumulation of the two wars with him only amounted to 14 years and Dumbledore never had to fight Voldemort directly. He even stated that he had considered doing so only because he cared for Harry. Compare that to how Dumbledore strongly feared fighting Grindelwald yet still HAD to and it's already obvious Grindelwald was much more successful and better.Then we heard that Newt was involved in the war with Grindelwald, yet the records of him helping and the war itself was suppressed deep by the Ministry. Even Skeeter admitted there weren't much information on his reign of terror so she voiced her suspicion about him being second only to Voldemort on the list. And while Skeeter was a natural liar, turns out she was actually right on this one, given the afromentioned reveal. So what if the ICW found Grindelwald to be so terrifyingly effective that when Voldemort came out, they were more than willing to take advantage of his far greater evil, which in this case actually makes him much less cleverer than Grindelwald, and declare him as being worse than Grindelwald? What if Grindelwald had dealt so much damage to the ICW that they dare not reveal it to the public in fear that many more people may be inspired by him?
  • Note that the third film depicts Grindelwald running for SUPREME MUGWUMP. Although he clearly failed, what if the very fact that he nearly succeeded in becoming one coupled with all the horrifying things he did made the ICW so terrified of the idea of another Grindelwald emerging that they decided to cover his reign of terror as much as they could?

Nagini's personality never really changed.
The reason she joined Voldemort was because of Credence. At some point he told her that he and his sisters were abused by their adoptive mother, and that this abuse caused him to become an Obscurial. Learning this instilled in her a hatred for Muggles in general, which she kept locked away while she was human. Upon her permanent transformation, this hatred came to the fore. Then she met Voldemort and learned of his anti-Muggle and Muggleborn crusade. This is what ultimately led her to join him.

Jacob is a Muggleborn.
As shown by Credence, The MACUSA seem to have no way of detecting magical ability, there is also the fact that they are very secretive in contrast to UK magic users. Jacob isn't affected as strongly by the mindwipe potion, and actually eases into the magical world very quickly, a good example of this is Harry Potter, once he learns of his wizarding heritage, he eases into the magical world, and says a few times, that it feels like home, being a muggleborn, Jacob would have no idea of his magic, and he seems to have had a decent upbringing, so unlike Harry or Credence, he had no risks of his magic going nuts, so he just fell through the cracks.