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WMG / Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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    Pre-release theories 

Grindelwald has a Horcrux
It would explain his odd appearance, especially how pale he is. It would also explain why he wasn’t given the death penalty after Dumbledore defeated him. If he wasn’t arrogant enough to make his horcrux something obvious like Voldemort, they might not have been able to find it to destroy it. That means that it would have been safer to imprison him and wait until somebody found it, or to wait for Grindelwald to feel regret, then to kill him, because one of his followers could have resurrected him.
Newt will go to Beauxbatons
A carriage pulled by Pegasuses (Pegasi?) is seen in the trailer. This vehicle was known to belong to Beauxbatons in the HP books and films.
  • Those are Thestrals, they appeared in Order of the Phoenix (book and film). That being said, a large part of the movie will be set in France so there's a chance to at least hear of Beauxbatons.

Queenie found a way to give his memories back to Jacob
Both appear in the film, and she might love him enough to defy the American laws of magic (or simply decides to leave America altogether with him).
  • Confirmed. Since the Swooping Evil's poison only removes bad memories, and most of Jacob's memories were pleasant, Queenie only had to fill in some of the details.

Newt's Patronus will be plot-important because it cements his relationship with Tina.
Rowling has stated that telling us Newt's Patronus would be a spoiler so it's obviously going to be plot-important. We also know the following: A) Leta Lestrange, an old friend of Newt's, will be in the film, B) Tina and Newt both have difficulty with people and emotions and C) that it is possible for your Patronus to say something about your romantic partner (James and Lily's matching stag and doe, Snape's own doe for his beloved but lost Lily and Tonks' Patronus turning from a jackrabbit to a wolf when she fell in love with Lupin). Now let's look at Tina for some signs. Her full name "Propentina" comes from "propentine", meaning "porcupine". This actually also fits Newt's personality, a calm and relatively gentle person who is still prickly and doesn't do well in company. As for how this plays out, Tina spends most of the movie thinking Newt is in love with Leta, who is his school friend, decently wealthy at this point in time and British. However, at the climax, Newt must cast his Patronus and instead of an animal that the movie has associated with Leta, Newt casts a gleaming silver porcupine, making Tina realize that she's the girl he wants.
  • Jossed.

Credence is in a romantic relationship with Claudia Kim's character.
As the two have been seen in a wizarding freakshow, the two may have bonded over their differences that cause their society to hate them: Credence with his Obscuius powers, and Claudia Kim's character with her blood curse.
  • The two of them are portrayed as fairly close, but there's no hints of anything romantic. And in the end, Credence leaves her to side with Grindelwald.

There will be a major character death.
As this film has been described as Darker and Edgier than the preceding film before it, the stakes could be raised by Grindelwald possibly killing someone. And J. K. Rowling did this in the last four Harry Potter books. Candidates include:
  • Theseus Scamander. He was fighting Grindelwald along with Newt in the final minutes of the first trailer.
  • Credence. Grindelwald could see his Obscurius powers as dangerous in the wrong hands.
  • Seraphina Picquery. This could completely cripple the MACUSA, creating untold chaos.
    • It was revealed on Pottermore that Picquery lives at least long enough to be MACUSA president in 1928. If MACUSA presidency is like US presidency, she served two full terms. (Though it was just tradition and not law until 1951.)
  • Jacob Kowalski. He is a No-Maj, after all, and could have a target on his head.
    • Confirmed. Leta Lestrange is killed by Grindelwald during the climax of the film.

Modesty will return.
Her fate was left ambiguous in the first film, so the sequel can hopefully elaborate on that.
  • Jossed.

The film will have the first ever stinger in the "Wizarding World" film series.
Hey, all the other film franchises have begun doing it, so why not this film?
  • Technically, Chamber of Secrets has a post-credits joke featuring Gilderoy Lockhart's post-amnesia book Who Am I?, so it wouldn't be the first, though it could be the first one with plot relevance.
  • Jossed.

An Action Prologue will occur, where it details how Grindelwald escapes from being led to prison: freed by people who believe in Grindelwald's ideologies.
It would be a hell of a way to kick off the movie, and show just how far-reaching Grindelwald's villainous popularity is for his supporters.
  • Confirmed. Grindelwald escapes by swapping appearances with Abernathy, the MACUSA employee from the first film who's revealed to be on his side.

Dumbledore's sexuality will be made clear.
J.K. Rowling has been vocal in her support of social justice but she has also been criticized for only making Dumbledore gay through Word of Gay and not making this fact explicit in the books themselves. She may want to rectify this situation by making it unambiguously clear in this film that Dumbledore was romantically attracted to Grindelwald.
  • The second trailer shows Dumbledore looking in the Mirror of Erised and seeing Grindelwald, so maybe.
  • It's still not entirely explicit. When Dumbledore is told that he and Grindelwald were "as close as brothers", he replies that they were closer than that, and the flashback scene with Dumbledore and Grindelwald making the Blood Oath is full of Homoerotic Subtext, but we're still not told directly that they were a couple.

Viktor Krum's grandfather will appear.
Krum mentions that his grandfather was murdered by Grindelwald or his supporters, so would make sense for him to be a character in this film or one of its sequels.
  • Jossed.

The film will have the longest runtime in the "Wizarding World" film series.
The current record-holder is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, clocking at 161 minutes.
  • Jossed. The movie's runtime clocks in at about 133 minutes, making it second-shortest after the first Fantastic Beasts film, which was just a minute shorter.

The ending...
It could be either of the following:
  • A marriage proposal between Jacob and Queenie. Would be a neat Call-Back to the first film's ending, where Queenie entered Jacob's bakery, and latter began to recognize her.
  • Alternatively, Leta's and Theseus's marriage, showing how the latter has succumbed to her manipulations.
  • A Bittersweet Ending, where the seeds of war being planted between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, and a final shot showing Grindelwald's army walking as a crowd.
  • A complete Downer Ending, with the good guys broken and demoralized by their defeat to Grindelwald.
  • The polar opposite of the aforementioned point, where the good guys win, Grindelwald has a We Will Meet Again tirade, and Newt and Tina show the first signs of a romantic relationship.
  • A cliffhanger where the heroes are in danger of being obliterated by one of Grindelwald's powerful spells.
    • In the end, it's a mix between the third and fourth options: Grindelwald kills Leta and recruits Credence and Queenie to his cause, but the heroes also recover the blood pact keeping Dumbledore from acting against him, with the hope that they can destroy it in order for him to join the fight.

Newt's Riddikulus spell
The new trailer shows that Newt's Bogart is being tied to a desk job. What will a Riddikulus spell do to it?
  • Several bowtruckles will crawl out of the woodwork.
  • It will turn into a monster that frightens everyone but Newt, who thinks it's adorable.
  • It will turn into a strange desk/animal hybrid that no one's ever seen before.
    • The last one confirmed! It turns into a dragon-like beast made out of desk parts.

Newt's relationship with Tina will be sealed when he encounters a Bogart.
Newt will run afoul of a Bogart that, to his shock and horror, takes on the form of Tina's dead body. It will trigger a flashback to his first encounter with a Bogart when his biggest fear was being tied to a boring desk job. In the flashback, Dumbledore will not want to reveal his Bogart (the corpse of Ariana) but will tell the students that adult wizards and witches tend to have complex fears that can't be dispelled easily with the Riddikulus charm. Adult Newt will understand that Tina now means everything to him and a quiet life with her while writing books about his adventures is actually starting to feel very attractive.
  • Possibly while reeling in shock at the sight of the Boggart, Jakob will try to help, mistakenly believing Boggarts don't affect Muggles. The Boggart will turn into Queenie briefly before disappearing into thin air. The one thing Jakob would fear even more than Queenie's death would be losing his memory of her.
  • Jossed.

Young Voldemort will appear.
He was stated to be of the age to be at Hogwarts during The Blitz, so his birth and formative years were in the 20's/30's. A good oppurtunity for Tom to make a cameo appearance.
  • Given he would be a year old if even that by this point, then the odds of him appearing in this film are nil.
  • Jossed.

Dumbledore is using the Mirror of Erised as a test of his character.
Dumbledore feels that he can't face off personally against Grindelwald until he's sure that he's no longer carrying a torch for him. Otherwise, he might be able to tempt Dumbledore into joining his side. Dumbledore will not face Grindelwald until he looks in the mirror and sees anything but Grindelwald at his side; be that Grindelwald dead, Ariana alive or a nice pair of socks.
  • Jossed. The scene where Dumbledore looks into the mirror is him reminiscing about when he was still on Grindelwald's side, and serves as foreshadowing of the blood pact that keeps them from fighting each other.

The Snake Girl/Maledictus is Nagini or at least somehow related to her.
Otherwise, why all the secrecy? It also explains why Nagini isn't anything like any real snake species. In real life, venomous snakes don't get very big. Large, thick snakes like Nagini tend to be constrictors rather than vipers.
  • Confirmed!
  • Whoever called this deserves a pat on the back. Also, J.K. deserves a round of applause for the latest Chekhov's Gun being Nagini's name of all things.

Nagini will have a Face–Heel Turn at the end of the film.
Possibly making her allegiance with Voldemort in the future easier to swallow.
  • Jossed. In the final scene Nagini returns to Hogwarts along with the other good guys.

Dumbledore is an Advertised Extra, and won't directly confront Grindelwald at all in the film.
Dumbledore himself says to Newt that "[he] can't move against Grindelwald", as "it has to be [Newt]". And we know that Dumbledore will inevitably defeat Grindelwald and gain ownership of the Elder Wand in 1945. Hence, he may only be in the film in a few scenes at most, whether it's giving advice to Newt on how to stop Grindelwald, or using the Mirror of Erised and seeing his and Grindelwald's younger selves, like in the trailer.
  • Confirmed.

Grindelwald will use World War I as anti-Muggle propaganda.
World War I was the most destructive war in history at the time. Grindelwald will use this to show that Muggles are so destructive that they need to be conquered or exteminated. He will also persuade wizards to join him by showing how Muggle technology is developing to a point where they can put up a fight against wizards (we briefly see a flashback to Muggle fighter planes in one trailer).
  • Close. He actually uses prophetic visions of the Second World War and the use of atomic bombs to prove that muggles are too barbaric to rule themselves.

Nagini's origin story is designed specifically to retcon her into a Tragic Villain.
I mean, the fact that we know exactly how she meets her end and how necessary said end was to defeat Voldemort almost seventy years later already has a whiff of this. The Reveal that she began life as a cursed human witch already hints at this. Given what's shown of her in the previews, you've got to wonder if she was really ever truly evil to begin with, or perhaps if one of the following is possible:
  • Her morality, or what sentience she had left after becoming a snake permanently, was twisted by the negative energy of having a a fragment of Voldemort's soul inside her. Keep in mind the awful mood swings Harry himself endured as (unknowingly) a Horcrux after Voldemort awakened as well as the amplifying effect the locket in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows had on the Trio's negative emotions. Now stretch that over decades and take away the human's capacity to have a conscience.
  • Let's also keep in mind that this retcons Nagini into being much older than we originally would have thought. Assuming she's of age when we first see her in The Crimes of Grindelwald, by the end of the original series she would have lived to be at least in her mid-eightiesnote  Did she retain her human life span after the curse turned her? What if the soul fragment inside her by the end of the series is the only thing keeping her alive?

Newt will encounter a random stranger during The Crimes of Grindelwald surnamed Delacour who will be an ancestor of Fleur/Gabrielle from the original series.
The Delacour family, of course, is from France, a detail that hardcore HP fans (and even some that weren't so hardcore) will be sure to remember. And the first movie was by design full of subtle passing nods to the HP books - a trend that will probably continue through this series.
  • Jossed.

Credence and Leta will end up on opposite sides.
The Reveal that the two are unknowingly half-siblings seems like a built-in reason for Credence to go dark, but that seems almost too predictable. Also, let's remember, Credence has been manipulated by a Dark wizard (this one, in fact, although he's not likely to realize that until some point later) before. He may be Older and Wiser now, and probably wary of people that want to use him as a weapon. He may turn in a later movie if he does - or he could serve as the morally grey character that picks one side or the other at a crucial moment.

Alternatively, Leta, whom everyone is assuming is going to go Dark if she hasn't already based on the fragments of her backstory with Newt, may swerve the audience and flip at a crucial moment instead with her brother being the one to succumb to the darkness. Although said Heel–Face Turn may involve a HeroicSacrifice on her part.

  • Confirmed. By the end of the movie, Credence has joined Grindelwald's forces, while Leta dies trying to kill Grindelwald. They are not siblings however.

    Post-release theories 
Grindelwald has allies in the wizarding media
There is no logical reason whatsoever for anyone to make a connection between the supposedly dead Corvus Lestrange and an obscurial rampaging in NYC. The most logical reason for the stories to have started popping up in the wizard tabloids is that Grindelwald had an ally plant it there.

Aberforth Dumbledore will be cast in a future movie.
He's already been established as being the keeper of the Dumbledore family's dirty laundry, so to speak, so he would seem to be best positioned to explain just where in the blue hell Aurelius came from.
  • Also, maybe the camera cut during the ending was designed to trick us and the 'brother' of Credence/Aurelius to whom Grindelwald refers to as wanting to kill him isn't actually Albus, it's Aberforth. Even with the blood pact he and Albus made, Albus is probably very hesitant to want to kill Grindelwald for a number of reasons. Abeforth, on the other hand... think about it: The last time Aberforth and Grindelwald met, Aberforth got Cruciated by Grindelwald and lost his sister. Aberforth was known to have a Hair-Trigger Temper in his younger days, and can also hold a grudge. It's probably safe to assume, also, that Aberforth (who didn't much like Grindelwald from the beginning because of his influence on Albus) did not make a blood pact with Grindelwald. So where Albus would be reluctant even at best, Aberforth would almost certainly try to kill Grindelwald on sight, and Grindelwald, knowing the whole family, would almost certainly be aware of that. Perhaps film 3 debuts Aberforth as an Anti-Hero or possibly something even darker.
  • Richard Coyle has all but been confirmed to be cast as Aberforth for the third one.

Grindelwald lied to Credence about his true identity
Grindelwald lied to him so much in the first film and the boy is so desperate for an identity that it wouldn't take much for him to fall for whatever lies Grindelwald told him. That and the fact it would be impossible for there to be a lost Dumbledore sibling; Albus' father Percival was sent to Azkaban for attacking the muggles that traumatized Ariana and Kendra died from one of her outbursts. That and Credence would've been born decades after Aberforth and Albus became adults; so the timing's off.
  • The screenplay says that the ship sailed in 1901, and if Credence was about a year old, he would have been born in 1900, or even sometime in 1899, right before Kendra died. The whole "Ariana killed her in a fit of rage" may be a cover story for her having died in childbirth and there was some secret about Aurelius's identity that had to be kept and he was therefore sent away.
    • Or maybe it was the news that Kendra had produced another child that set off Ariana's uncontrolled outburst of rage, if the bitter and mentally-damaged girl reacted to the news by assuming her mother was trying to replace her with an undamaged child.
  • The way Grindelwald acted between the movies lend credence (no pun intended) for this theory as well. In the first one, he showed more interest in the Obscurus's power than Credence's personally. Here after 6 months's arrest, he suddenly knew that Credence's a Dumbledore? even when Dumbledore himself never did? The only logical explanation is that he has been looking for a weapon to kill Dumbledore and spent 6 months concocting the scheme to lure Credence to his side and turn him against Dumbledore.
    • The extended cut reveals that many years ago Grindelwald had a vision of an Obscurial killing the man he fears most — Dumbledore. So Grindelwald's been looking an Obscurus to kill Dumbledore for decades.
    • Does that mean that Snape was an Obscurial?
    • No, Severus Snape would not have formed an obscurus. If a wizard attempts to suppress their magic, then it wells up into a writhing ball of negative energy. Snape was practicing magic almost all the time at Hogwarts, and, as far as I know, his parents weren't abusive enough to warrant him to suppress his magic.
    • Depending on what Grindelwald's vision is based on, he may have really foreseen Severus Snape, and only misinterpreted the vision as being of an Obscurial. Perhaps Grindelwald perceived and read too much into Snape's dark and sinister appearance and antisocial behavior. With Grindelwald not knowing that Albus Dumbledore died voluntarily, Grindelwald might have assumed the killer must have had tremendous magical power to be able to commit such a murder. Without the content and context of the vision, it's hard to say.
  • Credence could just be from another Dumbledore branch. While we know of Dumbledore's immediate family we don't know much further then that.
    • But Grindelwald tells Credence that his own brother was the one who betrayed him. The implication there is that he's talking about Albus, who he wants Credence to kill.
    • It's possible that Credence really is a Dumbledore, and Grindelwald is only lying about which branch he comes from. That is, Grindelwald claims he's a brother of Albus and Aberforth, when he's actually a cousin.
    • Grindelwald uses the terms "brother" and "sister" quite liberally throughout the film in a metaphorical way.
    • Dumbledore mentions an aunt in who's a witch Beedle the Bard. His mother was muggleborn and since there's examples of muggleborn characters with wizard siblings (like Colin and Dennis) and ones with muggle siblings (Lily and Petunia, Hermione's sister who got cut because she wasn't at Hogwarts), we'll be safe and say she was his dad's sister. He mentions she was never married but he never necessarily said she never had kids. His dad might have had other siblings we don't know about either. A cousin seems more likely to me if they're really related.

Credence was sent away to America before he showed his first signs of magic. That's why nobody in Wizarding Britain had a record on him until after the New York incident.
  • Keep in mind that it's established that even in 1995, during which one could assume Wizarding Britain was marginally more educated than at the beginning of that century, the Ministry did not keep records of Squibs. This implies that the Ministry only collected birth records of children after they exhibited signs of magic, not at birth. For most wizards, this typically happens in early childhood, but for many it takes until toddler/preschool age, not infancy. In fact, most wizarding experts wouldn't even make a determination that a child was a Squib until (s)he didn't show any signs of magic at age six or seven. Maybe he's an actual Dumbledore relative and maybe he isn't, but what we do know is that the baby Leta switched out for her brother that survived and made it to America as a result eventually was adopted by Mary Lou Barebone, renamed Credence and raised as a Muggle. For that matter, given that he went from a British wizard family and was then adopted by an American Muggle family in 1901 after coming across on a boat that sank and probably lost whatever records Credence had to his name, how likely is it that the assumed birth year of 1901 is even correct? It's likely that the only people that know Credence's birth date are dead.
  • Assuming the Aurelius thing is a lie (and I think it is), Credence's birth family thinks he and his aunt drowned in the shipwreck. That's why there's no record of him. His actual parents and any siblings could very well be alive.

The particular creature that makes an appearance at The Reveal at the movie's ending is one we've seen before... or rather, will see later.note 
  • Because, honestly, how many of those are flying around? Would also provide some backstory as to how Dumbledore came into possession of one as a familiar by the time HP rolls around. Probably as a Tragic Keepsake of sorts after this whole thing is over.
  • It reborned at Grindelwald's command. The poor thing probably was Imperiused.
  • Or it wasn't even a phoenix. Grindelwald might have transfigurated the chick into a flaming red bird, because how's a closeted muggleborn who's only learned of magic recently even able to tell a real phoenix from a fake?

RMS Titanic is the ship that Leta, the real Corvus Lestange and Credence were on.
  • The film takes place in the late 1920s and the Titanic sank on 1911 on her maiden voyage to New York. Given their ages and there doesn't seem to be any other famous ships that sunk on their way to New York around that time, the idea isn't too far fetched.
    • Jossed courtesy of the screenplay which states that this trip takes place in 1901. And that wouldn't work in any case since we know Newt was born in 1897, and Leta wouldn't be that much younger. The screenplay gives her birth as 1896/7

The blood oath is what killed Ariana.
  • Albus and Grindelwald swore an blood oath against ever fighting each other, which necessarily took place when they were on good terms, therefore before the three-way duel between them and Abeforth... Which means the oath was fully functional during that same duel. Granted we know next to nothing about what happened then, and even the people involved aren't sure whose curse killed Ariana, but if the oath did protect in some way Grindelwald from Albus' attacks (and viceversa), then a ricocheting spell might have hit her instead of the intended target. Thus, it is very possible that Albus himself was the one to cast it, only to see in horror how it bounced off his former friend (lover?) and fatally struck his sister.

The woman in the ship carrying baby Credence was a muggle.
  • Small detail, but this is the only logical reason why they let him drown. Either Grindelwald was lying to Credence about his identity, and he's just a muggleborn who repressed his powers into an obscurial, making that woman his real muggle mother; or he was telling the truth, and for some unknown reason baby Aurelius Dumbledore was going to the US in a muggle ship with a woman who could not prevent "him" from drowning (namely, she did not have any magical means to easily save him). The thrid and highly unlikely option is that this woman was in a state of secrecy even greater than the Lestranges travelling just next to her, and she couldn't use magic under any circumstance, not even to save the life of the baby she was supposed to protect.
    • For what it's worth, the screenplay identifies her as Credence's aunt. If she couldn't use magic, that means either she was a Squib or Credence is a Muggle-born/half-blood, which might lend credence to the notion that Grindelwald is lying to him about being a Dumbledore.

Albus doesn't know Aurelius is alive.
  • Assuming that Aurelius Dumbledore is really Credance true identity, and that he really is the youngest of the Dumbledore siblings, Albus can't possibly know a thing about him: Aurelius supposedly drowned in the shipwreck, and the only person in the whole world that knew the truth (Leta) revealed the truth to the few people in the Lestrange pantheon: Credence, Yusuf, Newt, Tina and Kowalski. Credence might have mentioned it to Grindelwald, and the put two and two together, but unless Newt tells it to Dumbledore, he'll just remain in the dark.

Alternatively, Albus doesn't even know Aurelius exists.
  • In Albus and Leta's conversation, she angstly snaps that he has no idea what is like to lose a brother... and he calmly explains about his sister, even though he lived exactly the same situation Leta was refering to (losing a baby brother). Why did Dumbledore go for Ariana's death rather than Aurelius? Because he doesn't even know about him at all. Either his mother kept that pregnancy secret, or his father had a secret son, whatever the case Albus never knew he had a fourth sibling that (presumably) died as a baby.

Credence really is related to Albus Dumbledore... He is his own son with Grindelwald.
  • Dumbledore and Grindelwald did share a genuine romance, and at one point wished to start a family together. Being the arrogant young men we know they were, they used their unparalleled magic powers to bend reality to the point of being able to concive a child toghether (in fact, these kind of experiments might have been the ones that threw Grindelwald out of Durmenstrang). The gestation might have been in a magical jar, or elswhere; but before its birth, the duel and the ensuing crumble of their relationship took place, and baby Aureius was "born" after Grindelwald had left the picture. Knowing Grindelwald might have some sinister plans for the boy, Albus made it look like the experiment failed and hide their secret son away in America with some muggle foster family... and was devastated when the ship sank and the baby died. When Grindelwald finds him many years later, he does some research into the boy's family lineage to gain his trust, and discover he's a "Dumbledore"; and then assumes it must be another sibling.
    • Although... Maybe Grindelwald can also be aware of this. After all, he has no reasons to trust Albus's words of the experiment failing after their falling out, presuming they even had contact at all, and would probably have sought to find out what happened exactly, even if it seemed that the child died. After all, while Dumbledore may have believed the ship had sank at one point, it was clear that he later learned it was Corvus who drowned, so Grindelwald naturally also knew of this. Only three months after he had escaped from MACUSA, he already somehow knew Credence was a Dumbledore, which makes it likely he's already aware of the Obscurial being a Dumbledore even before he went to MACUSA, and that can be explained because as Credence is also Albus's son, he does have the blood of the Dumbledore family. What if from the beginning Grindelwald had already been looking for Credence ever since he started his crusade? After all, Grindelwald was a man who didn't fear death and only sought to advance his cause to the future so what better solution would be than to have a child of his own by his side as an heir? Credence already has the power to survive being an Obscurial for so long, so that kind of power likely can be attributed to being the magical love-child of two of the world's most powerful wizards, and Grindelwald knows that Credence is bound to have the power to make him worthy of being his heir. When he saw that vision, it just made the search even more important than ever, as if he's already so powerful without the Obscurus, with it, he's bound to have the potential to become a real game-changing individual.
      • We've also seen Grindelwald treat Credence once he knows for sure he was the Obscurial as if he was a son... Maybe it wasn't faked... Perhaps Grindelwald knows that Credence is his son, and is just displaying the affection a father normally would, regardless of his intentions for the boy. The name Aurelius also means The Golden One... Maybe Grindelwald even decided that name himself.
    • Not to mention that Albus seems particularly interested in rescuing Credence and getting him to the right side... What if Albus also knew that Credence is his son? What if he found out that Grindelwald had learned that their child survived or that the other father of Credence was never even fooled in the first place? What if being aware of the loveless background of Credence made him seek to find a way to make amends with his own child by having Newt bring Credence to him? We've also seen Dumbledore describe how to save Credence from his Obscurus by giving him love and acceptance, so he obviously must have searched for a way to save Credence and having his own son being the Obscurial may well have motivated him to go that way.

It's no coincidence two magical babies were across the hall from each other.
  • The magical community is a relatively small one, and most of the old families know each other. Both families had reason to hide their baby boy, so they got together and arranged to travel in adjacent cabins on the ship for mutual protection. Planning together would also explain why both families were using non-magic/low-magic caregivers. When the ship started to go down, either they were separated in the confusion, or they chose to take separate lifeboats to make it less likely they'd all perish.
    • Unlikely, since Corvus Lestrange sent their children in the most absolute secrecy; hence the muggle means of transport and the servant with a very low magic profile. It would be extremely out of carachter (and rather foolish) of him to just trust another random wizarding family.
      • Who said they were random? He could have known them very well, and either they were like-minded misogynistic Muggle-haters, or they were of a different mindset but had his respect and he knew they would protect an innocent child. There may even have been some sort of blackmail and/or mind magic involved (Confundus to make them forget ordering a servant to help, Imperius to make them give the orders, etc).
  • Or, perhaps large ocean-crossing vessels have designated Magical sections, of which the Muggles are unaware. Nothing so conspicuous as having large staterooms in the steerage section, but even poor Magical families would tend to want to stick close to those of their own culture in stressful times. Any Magical travelers would be assigned to a certain hallway or cluster of rooms, with a Magical area for each class of the ship.
  • In the screenplay, the women clearly know each other, on a first-name basis, so this one is looking confirmed.
    • They may have just gotten to know each other while onboard, given the cramped quarters and long journey.

Credence's identity
  • Since Dumbledore and Grindelwald swore an oath not to fight, Grindelwald might not have been referring to Albus Dumbledore when he told Credence "Your brother is trying to kill me." Instead, he might be referring to Newt, so Credence is the illegitimate son of Newt's father and Dumbledore's mother.
    • Given he's told he is a Dumbledore and not a Scamander, it would more likely be Dumbledore's father and Credence's mother. Perhaps Percival Dumbledore didn't die in Azkaban as early as we've assumed.

Credence is Aberforth's son
  • At this point, we're fairly sure that Dumbledore's parents are either dead or in Azkaban, and Ariana is definitely dead, but we know nothing about what Aberforth got up to after Ariana's death beyond that he eventually ended up as the owner of the Hog's Head. With so much unknown about his history, is it that implausible to assume that after Ariana's death, Aberforth went on a grieving drunken bender (or the wizarding equivalent) that resulted in him conceiving a child he still doesn't know about?
    • As for why Grindlewald claimed that Credence was Dumbledore's brother rather than identify him as Dumbledore's nephew... well, it gives Credence less reason to look for other relatives and more reason to resent the Dumbledores; he might assume that they'd lose track of a son, but it's less easy to believe that they were genuinely ignorant of a brother.
    • Confirmed mostly; Credence is confirmed to be a son fathered with a girl he fell for a the same time that Albus and Grindelwald met and fell in love, who was sent away.

Credence isn't a Dumbledore but a Potter
Another "Grindelwald lied" theory.
  • Credence is a white guy with dark hair.
  • He could be either Fleamont (Harry's grandfather) or Henry (Harry's great-grandfather). There is little established biographical information about either and the timeline vaguely fits (and the presence of Prof. McGonagall at Hogwarts shows Rowling doesn't really care about the previously established timeline).
  • This would also explain why the phoenix (possibly Fawkes) came to him. Both the Dumbledores and the Potters have connections to phoenixes. Harry had a phoenix feather wand core that came from Fawkes.
    • All of this is either incorrect, or grasping a straws. Just because Credence is a white male with dark hair does not automatically make him a Potter - there are many white males with dark hair; are they also secretly Potters too? No, of course they aren't. Phoenixes attach themselves to one owner their whole lives, and when that owner dies, they find their own paths, not new masters - so I highly doubt the phoenix at the end of the film is Fawkes. Also, Fleamont is already established to be alive and well-aware of his identity in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, since a newspaper in the beginning mentions him and how his hair potion was wooing American witches. Credence also cannot be Henry Potter because Credence is established to have been born around 1901 - Henry was born before 1892, because Fleamont is alive in 1926, and therefore is of age by then. Henry and Fleamont are also both British wizards - Credence is American. Finally, Henry was a member of the Wizengamot from 1913 to 1921, when Credence was in America and under the "care" of Mary Lou Barebone. I know you said McGonagall's presence shows Rowling isn't caring about her previously established canon, but that's just one character who was most likely shoehorned in for fanservice, and doesn't mean every character will have their previous personal-continuity retconned by a writer who has said herself that maths is far from her strong suit.

One of the main criticisms of this film is that it's not really a complete story unto itself, but more setup for later films. Could the intent be that this series is being written for binge watching?
  • I rewatched this not too long ago and got the same impression. It seems like a $200 million episode of a tv show, not a movie.

Harry is descended from the Dumbledores and/ or Credence.
Fawkes came to him in Chamber of Secrets because his bloodline is tied to phoenixes. If it turns out that Credence isn't a Dumbledore, he still had a tie to phoenixes that Harry can inherit (assuming that bird really is one). Word of God has stated that Credence will go on to become someone important in the HP universe; why not the maternal grandfather of the boy who defeated the greatest Dark Wizard in history?
  • Incredibly unlikely, as that would make Petunia a Squib and Lily a half-blood, despite them being a Muggle and Muggle-born, respectively. And where is it ever stated that Harry’s bloodline is tied to phoenixes? Fawkes came to Harry in the Chamber because of the immense loyalty Harry had for Dumbledore - this is explained in the book and film.
  • Also adds an extra layer that isn't entirely necessary. Remember, Fawkes is already very important in the story of the conflict between Voldemort and Dumbledore. Fawkes is identified as the phoenix that gave the tail feather cores for both Harry and Voldemort's wands, which serves as part of the unique bond between those two wands and their owners that prompts Voldemort to seek the Elder Wand at the end as a way to get around that issue.

Bunty is going to be trouble.
Rowling has displayed a taste for putting in details that seem unimportant that become important later. Bunty clearly has a crush on Newt, though he seems oblivious. When she sees him paling around with Tina, she's going to become jealous and desperate. It would be very easy for her to slip a love potion in his tea one day.

Bunty plays the role of an assistant but is actually a Ministry-assigned handler. Or at the very least, Newt thinks she might be.
For the most part, Newt seems to have been competent enough in his researching work up until the events of the first movie to not have a need for an assistant in taking care of his menagerie. He also seems to have been on some sort of probation in the interim between the two films. The Ministry may have assigned him Bunty, ostensibly as an assistant, but in practice to keep an eye on him and his creatures and make sure no accidents happen and he doesn't step out of line. (And we know via Theseus that the Ministry is watching Newt, so there's that.)

Jacob is going to die in a future film
While Queenie has gone to the dark side out of the hopes that the future that Grindelwald is trying to usher in will give her the freedom she desires, she isn't cruel. And she does truly love Jacob. And Rowling has always shown a tendency towards Love Redeems. Which means that Queenie might come back to the hero side if Grindelwald or his followers cross the line in her sight (or in their minds, where she can hear). But it might take something big and earth-shattering to really shake her out of the cult mindset. And we know that Jacob and the others won't give up on her without a fight. So I'm afraid that Jacob being killed trying to reach her will be the event that truly opens her eyes to Grindelwald's true vision.
  • Probably Jossed as there's a Quentin Kowalski on the US Quidditch team in 2014.

Leta may have faked her death
- or even had it faked on her behalf.You look at the way that plot thread ended and... it didn't, really. Also, JKR has pulled this in-universe several times. An important character in Harry Potter, for example, was thought dead in-universe for twelve years before coming back in Books 3 and 4 to be fairly important. In fact, until casting for Crimes dropped and we saw his actor had been cast again, Credence appeared to be a goner. Suffice it to say, he appears now to be fairly important.

This may become a Running Gag ....
In both of the last films, the funniest scene has involved Newt trying to convince a creature to get into his magical suitcase. Each of the next films will probably have a similar scene where Newt has to do something a little goofy in order to get a rampaging beast to calm down and get in his suitcase. It will be a different beast and different action each time so it will stay funny. Maybe the final one will have a twist...the beast does something to trick Newt into getting into his own suitcase.

Queenie is actually going undercover when she "defects" to Grindelwald
It is quite possible she knew what Grindelwald was thinking. So, maybe what if she was planning to pretend to deflect, and possibly spy on Grindelwald. Remember: She's a mindreader, and probably figured out what Grindelwald was doing, and planned on destroying his forces on the inside.
  • How did she step through the fire in this case? The spell burns anyone who isn't totally loyal.
    • She magically brainwashed herself into being loyal to him (spells to delete and edit memories do exist in canon) and left a trigger that'd automatically undo the brainwashing after she passed the loyalty test.

The magic circus wasn't for wizards
Women turning into snakes, fireworks coming out of wands and other such things are fairly normal in the wizarding world and hardly something wizards would pay to see. Instead the show is catering to muggle tourists who managed to slip through the masquerade illegally. Invitation only, muggles can only get in if another member invites them in. There is the possibility of a whole underground market, selling potions, oddities and other such things to muggles for a large fee.
  • Possibly supported by the chaos during Credence and Nagini's breakout. Tina seemed to be the only one who apparated out of the tent or used magic against the escaped beasts. Most of the crowd just seemed to be running around panicking and did not have wands drawn, as most wizards and witches would instinctively do in such a situation.
    • Women turning into snakes are not "normal" for wizards and witches; you're missing the point of the show. The Circus Arcanus is a place where magical "underbeings" are displayed for the population, as they have a magical affliction of sorts that renders them disabled and therefore odd to the wizarding community. "Fireworks out of wands" is not one of the acts, it's a side-trick to entertain passerby. If you were paying attention, you'd know that Nagini's ability to become a snake is not an ability, it's an unstoppable blood disease that will eventually turn her into a snake forever. So this theory is unsupported and overly-convoluted.

The Mcgonagall shown in the movie is not Minerva
The woman named Mcgonagall in the film is not the stern lady we see in harry potter due to Minerva not even being born yet during this film's timeline. The Mcgonagall here is Minerva's mother Isobel Ross who was already married to Robert Mcgonagall hence her name. Minerva looked up to her mother and ended up taking up her role as professor after she graduated in 1954 and retired from the ministry of magic in 1956-7 which is the earliest time she would actually be teaching (aka she'd be in her mid 20s).
  • The script calls her Minerva, so it can’t be her mother.
    • I have 2 responses to this fact. Firstly, to my memory she is only referred to by her surname out loud, script only details are subject to change in the future. Secondly, it is possible that if not her mother, then this Mcgonagall could be an unmentioned aunt who, if they stick to the name on the script, could be the Potter-era Mcgonagall's namesake.
    • Except Minerva was named after her maternal great-grandmother, the McGonagall side of the family is all Muggle, and Robert did not know about magic - so that rules out the possibility of having a Muggle-born sister named Minerva that Harry’s Head of House was named after. Also, there is a deleted scene - that makes it into the extended cut - where Dumbledore calls her Minerva.
  • It could be an Author's Saving Throw. McGonagall became headmistress of Hogwarts after the end of the Harry Potter series, but her tenure in the position was very brief compared to Dumbledore's. At the time, J.K. had said it was because she was "getting on" in age, which made no sense given her canonical age in the books. This could be an attempt to Retcon that by making McGonagall much older in the Fantastic Beasts series.
  • The 1935 date has never been canon. It's an assumption that stuck. It's an inconsistency for sure but my guess would be that someone (either Rowling and the Davids or WB) wanted a second familiar face at Hogwarts and she was just the most logical person to use. Also, she says she's been teaching for 39 years in Ooo TP, not 39 years consecutively. She could have left and come back. Once again, it's an inconsistency but not a technical retcon.

Tom Riddle will make a cameo in a future film.
Perhaps we will see Dumbledore's angst over facing Grindelwald in their duel, while he is a teacher at Hogwarts, and we will briefly glimpse Tom doing who-knows-what. We might even see him getting somewhat influenced by Grindelwald's actions, either admiring his greatness, deriding his failed rule, or deciding ways his own path to power will be different.
  • Or at some point in a future film, there might be a moment where Dumbledore says he has some business to attend, and it's implied he's on his way to Wool's Orphanage.

Corvus Lestrange IV Murdered Leta's Mother
Death by Childbirth, seriously? We have been shown repeatedly that, in the wizarding world, magic can be used to easily heal nearly any injury or illness except for those caused by the dark arts or magical diseases. Given Corvus's personality, it seems more plausible that he simply used Avada Kedavra on Leta's mother the moment he realized that she had given birth to a daughter. It is explicitly stated that he did not love anyone until his son was born, and we already know that he had no problem with using the Imperious Curse to get what he wanted.
  • We haven't been repeatedly shown that magic can be used to easily circumvent severe physical damage and diseases - it's only ever stated that wizards and witches can heal most minor to moderate physical injuries easier and they are less likely to succumb to certain non-magical illnesses and diseases. Why do certain sections of the fandom think 'Avada Kedavra' is the only way someone in the wizarding world can die? If the script says she died by childbirth and the wizards and witches in the story believe it, I think it's more believable that she would've died in childbirth, people. Come on. Such a death involved complications with the giving of life, and would render physical damage to the body severe enough that it would be effective in killing a witch as much as a non-magical woman.
  • It's also possible that he could've saved her from complications from the birth but chose not to and murdered her by deliberate inaction.

Aberforth Dumbledore secretly broke his father out of prison.
We know from Goblet of Fire that it's possible to sneak someone out of Azkaban on the sly, provided you have the means to make it appear like they'd died there. We also know that Percival Dumbledore only allowed himself to be convicted because revealing why he'd attacked the Muggle boys would've exposed Ariana's Obscurial status. Once Ariana was dead, Aberforth knew his father had no reason to stay jailed, and his estrangement from Albus motivated him to free his only other surviving immediate family from unjust captivity. Like Crouch Sr. decades later, he brought in a ringer - a transfigured goat, probably; we know he practiced "inappropriate" magic on them, and turning a goat into the replica of a human sounds fairly "inappropriate" - to take Percival's place in Azkaban, and Polyjuice Potion so his father could walk back out with him. Percival went into hiding, met a woman, and (being nine years a widower) married her in a Muggle ceremony, thus producing Aurelius. As Aberforth still suspected Albus of harboring feelings for Grindelwald, Percival never told his oldest son that he was alive and free, or that Albus now had a baby half-brother.

If it isn't him Credence's Phoenix will fight Fawkes
It's been speculated above that the Phoenix that Grindelwald gives Credence is Fawkes. If this is not true then ultimately the real Fawkes will have to be introduced, possibly being found by Newt, and if so then it is possible during a great battle Fawkes and Credence's Phoenix will have an airborne fight.

Newt is more powerful than he first appears.
As mentioned on the Awesome page during the 'Wands to the Earth' scene Newt and Theseus were able to hold of the fire with one hand, as opposed to Tina and Yusuf, who need to support their wand arm with their other arm. While it could be nothing it could also suggest that they are both particularly powerful wizards. If true it could also explain why the ministry would be so eager to recruit Newt to the Aurors, and why they are worried about the idea that he could be a support Grindelwald.

Credence's Phoenix or Fawkes (if they are not one and the same)
is the one owned by Dumbledore's grandfatherIn the scene where he, effectively, briefs Newt on the situation in Paris, Dumbledore mentions that his Grandfather had a Phoenix that took flight when he died. It stands to reason that either this Phoenix is the one that Grindelwald presents to Credence at the end of the film or it is Fawkes (assuming of course that they are not one and the same).

Newt will discover a never before seen creature in the third installment.
The next movie has not yet been named but will take place in Brazil. Think of all the unusual species that could be hiding out in the rain forest. Newt's Wizard Card mentions him studying fire slugs. Perhaps in this journey to Brazil, he discovers them but doesn't have time to study them as long as he'd like. The caipora and/or curupira may also make an appearance.

It isn't Dumbledore that Grindelwald saw the Obscurus kill.
Dumbledore tells Newt that Grindelwald saw a vision of an Obscurus killing the man he feared most. It was Newt who replied, "You." We don't actually know that it was identifiable as Albus Dumbledore in the vision. They may all be making that assumption, even Grindelwald, but it could be anyone!
  • Credence himself, finally wising up and turning in Grindelwald, but losing emotional control so much that he loses control of the Obscurus and it tears him apart instead.
  • Theseus, becoming obsessed with revenge for killing the woman he loved and discovering a weakness Grindelwald has kept hidden.
  • Newt, with the vision being misleading and him not really being killed.
Please, add your suggestions!

Dumbledore won't ever actually break the Blood Oath, but he'll be able to fight Grindelwald anyway.
The Blood Pact can sense even the thought of betraying its strictures and act to punish Dumbledore for it. But what if Dumbledore comes to truly believe that it's in Grindelwald's best interests to be captured? He's not trying to fight the purpose of the Blood Pact, but to honor its deeper intent, to never act against each other. If the alternative to being captured by Dumbledore is to be killed, and Dumbledore truly, sincerely believes that, I think the Blood Pact would not be triggered, because Dumbledore's actions would be to save Grindelwald, not to fight him.