‘Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ was originally a companion novella written by J.K. Rowling for her renowned ‘Harry Potter’ series. Newt Scamander has begun his collection of uncommon magical animals, and Albus Dumbledore is still a young teacher at Hogwarts in the first film, which released in 2016.
“The Crimes of Grindelwald” begins with a familiar cast, but a very different scenario, which raises the question of why Newt Scamander and his magical creatures are even involved in the story.
The ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise has sparked renewed interest in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, taking fans back in time to explore historical aspects of the magical universe. One of the most anticipated releases within this series is ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore.’
Naturally, fans have questions. Do you need to watch anything before this installment? Is it a prequel to Harry Potter? How does Grindelwald compare to Voldemort? Let’s dive into these intriguing topics.
Magical Creatures: The Crimes of Grindelwald In this Sagging Franchise, there is Little Magic Left.
Third of a projected five-film series, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” opens in theatres on April 15th, 2017.
If you haven’t seen the first two films, you might want to refresh your memory. We’ve got a whole summary of “Fantastic Beasts” for you right here.
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When Newt First Came to Town in New York City in the 1920s
Starting in America, Newt Scamandar (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in New York by ship and barely manages to get past customs with his magical briefcase when his Niffler, who has a nose for and eye for bright objects, tries to flee.
Newt unintentionally trades briefcases with a muggle, a cannery worker named Jacob Kowalski, while searching for the creature (Dan Fogler).
At a bank, Jacob, who dreams of becoming a baker, is applying for a loan in order to open his own bakery. Several of the fantastical creatures in Newt’s briefcase escape when Jacob opens it when he gets it back home.
Once Jacob and Newt are back together and up to speed, they team up to track down the magical menagerie before they cause more damage to a New York City already plagued by an unknown destructive force. There’s a reason Newt is in New York City: to learn more about wild animals with magical powers.
The New Salem Philanthropic Society, led by Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton), is against witches and wizards because of their deadly powers.
As a No-Maj, Barebone is tasked with caring for orphaned children, naming them after characteristics like Confidence and Chastity, which he believes are universally recognised. The niffler escapes from Newt’s case during one of Mary Lou’s talks.
Tina is introduced to Newt.
Niffler escapee Newt is arrested by American auror Tina Goldstein, who has disrupted the No-Maj community by arresting him for his actions.
In an attempt to revert her recent demotion, Tina takes Newt to the Magical Congress of the United States of America (the Ministry of Magic in Britain), but when she opens the suitcase and it contains Jacob’s baked goods, the Congress frees Newt.
Queenie is a Mind-Reader Who can See into the Minds of Others.
Several magical creatures have escaped and caused havoc in Jacob’s apartment, which Tina and Newt track down using the stolen luggage.
Tina and her sister Queenie (Allison Sudol), a supernatural telepath, take Jacob and Newt to their apartment before embarking on the search for all the loose animals.
Queenie and Jacob are attracted to each other, but marriage between magical and non-magical people is illegal in the United States, where the line between the two is drawn.
The Creature Library
Newt takes Jacob to the Goldstein sisters’ apartment in his magical bag, which is filled with habitat after habitat, each customised to the needs of a unique critter.
The Obscurus, a parasite that can form inside magically talented children whose skills are suppressed or never fully expressed, is one of the animals that sticks out to Jacob. Jacob learned that persons infected with these parasites rarely live past the age of ten from Newt, who took the organism from the dead body of a young girl.
As soon as Tina hands the suitcase over to Congress, Newt is arrested because they believe one of his magical creatures is responsible for the death of Senator Henry Shaw and the subsequent chaos and destruction it caused in the city.
Do I Need to Watch Anything Before ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore’?
For those who are uninitiated in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise, watching the previous films would be a good starting point. The storylines of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ directly precede ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore’ and offer essential background information.
Moreover, these films introduce key characters and plot elements that will likely be crucial in the new release. So, for a fuller understanding and a richer viewing experience, watching the preceding films is advisable.
Is ‘Secrets of Dumbledore’ a Prequel to ‘Harry Potter’?
In a broader sense, yes, ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore’ is part of the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise, which serves as a prequel to the ‘Harry Potter’ series. The events in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ take place decades before Harry Potter is born, and they provide insight into the historical, political, and social backdrop of the Wizarding World.
While you won’t see young Harry, Ron, or Hermione, you will encounter a younger Albus Dumbledore and learn more about the wizarding lore that sets the stage for the original series.
Grindelwald vs. Voldemort: Who’s More Powerful?
The comparison between Gellert Grindelwald and Lord Voldemort is a topic of much debate among fans. Both are extraordinarily powerful dark wizards, but they differ in ideology, methods, and even their types of malevolence.
- Ideology: Grindelwald sought to establish a new order that would put wizards at the helm of the world “for the greater good,” whereas Voldemort was driven by a deeply-rooted, purist ideology.
- Methods: Grindelwald was more of a strategist and manipulator, while Voldemort was ruthless and direct.
- Power: In terms of magical prowess, both are nearly unmatched, but the general consensus leans toward Voldemort as the more powerful dark wizard, particularly because he pushed the boundaries of magic in ways Grindelwald did not—like creating Horcruxes.
Is Grindelwald Lord Voldemort?
Gellert Grindelwald and Lord Voldemort are distinct characters in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. They are not the same person but rather represent different eras and challenges in the magical community.
Grindelwald’s reign of terror takes place in the early-to-mid 20th century, while Voldemort’s ascendance occurs decades later. Though they share the title of “dark wizard,” they are unique in their ambitions, timelines, and confrontations with Albus Dumbledore.
Is this the End of the Story?
Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), a fugitive dark wizard, has been accused by Percival Graves (Colin Farrel), a junior director of magical security, of scheming with Newt to kill Tina and Newt in secret.
Graves also intends to wipe Jacob’s mind clean of all memories of his time spent in the magical world. Rescued by Queenie, Jacob retrieved the case and escaped.
Credence and Percival are Partners in Crime.
After meeting Mary Lou’s adopted son Credence (Ezra Miller), who has been abused by Mary Lou when he doesn’t behave, Percival gives Credence the chance to be free of Mary Lou in exchange for finding an obscurus, which Percival believes is to blame for all of New York City’s hysteria.
Mary Lou suspects a wand found under his adopted sister Modesty’s bed belongs to Credence, but it turns out to be hers, as she claims. When Chastity (Jenn Murray), Mary Lou’s eldest daughter, threatens to punish Modesty, the obscurus rages and murders both her and Chastity.
‘The Secrets of Dumbledore’ is a must-watch for ‘Harry Potter’ fans, but it’s advisable to view the previous ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies for a more thorough understanding. While the film serves as a prequel to the ‘Harry Potter’ series, it stands on its own, offering deep dives into previously unexplored territories of the Wizarding World.
The ongoing debate comparing Grindelwald and Voldemort continues to engage fans, but what’s clear is that both dark wizards offer different yet equally intriguing facets of the magical universe.
As separate characters with distinct storylines, Grindelwald and Voldemort each provide their own set of challenges, ideologies, and dangers to the world they inhabit.