‘Fantastic Beasts’ Predictions

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Image Source: Warner Bros.

Note: This post definitely contains some spoilers from the first Fantastic Beasts movie and, potentially, some spoilers from the remaining films. I have no insider knowledge to guarantee that any of the predictions will come true, but if they do, well, you heard it here first.

So what’s to come in the next movies?

Newt publishes his book, and based on the ending of the first movie, he plans to return to America to deliver a copy to Tina. Instead, he encounters her in Europe (Paris, apparently) as Tina, reinstated as an auror, pursues an escaped Grindelwald. So Tina and Newt’s romance will bud slowly as they embark on another adventure.

I imagine Newt being a much humbler celebrity than, say, Gilderoy Lockhart, so once Newt’s book is published and he’s forced to deal with fame (with scores of adoring fans fawning over him, including one particularly aggressive fan who embraces him just as Tina reappears in his life—gosh, I really hope they don’t do that, unless that fan turns out to be Leta Lestrange), scenes could bring to mind similar scenes from Chamber of Secrets, but with an obviously different outcome.

Speaking of Leta Lestrange, director David Yates has revealed that Leta Lestrange will return in future movies and that Newt is still in love with her. I’m predicting that Tina and Newt won’t fall in love and marry until at least the third movie.

According to the article, Leta is “quite complicated, a little damaged, and confused… she’s kind of tragic figure in a way.” Confused? That sounds like a euphemism for she’s fallen in love with Gellert Grindelwald. Movie two will find Newt reconnecting with her, getting drawn into her life as he tries to rescue her (although she is a powerful witch not in need of rescuing), and feeling betrayed as she chooses Grindelwald instead of him. He will still feel drawn to her, but it will be Tina, Queenie (whose words, that Leta is a taker, will resonate), and Jake who help him let Leta go. Not love for Tina but friendship. The love will come later, after Newt realizes that 1) while he may have been friends with a younger Leta, he shares nothing with adult Leta and 2) nostalgia is no basis for a relationship. That and his creatures will sense the darkness in her and will help him accept her true nature.

While Newt will suffer for his lost love, a bigger betrayal for Newt to suffer through would be an animal that chooses Leta over him. I’m not sure that J.K. Rowling would introduce a creature that is inherently evil or if that is a quality saved for humans. If it does happen that one animal chooses Leta, it will only be one particular animal and not the entire breed. But the most heartbreaking moment of all five movies will be when he has to put down an animal. It will test Newt, almost destroy him. And there, and then, Tina’s love will help him recover.

At some point, I foresee a visit to Ilvermorny, perhaps linked to Grindelwald’s recruitment efforts. Or later as Tina and Newt argue about which school their child(ren) will attend. And as the Harry Potter wiki reveals that they settle in Dorset, England, and their grandson Rolf (also a magizoologist) eventually marries Luna Lovegood in 2015, clearly they settle in Europe. But as we don’t encounter Rolf at Hogwarts, either he attends a different school or he’s old enough that he didn’t make himself known to Harry. After all, as he himself is the grandson of a famous wizard, he simply didn’t feel as awestruck as to attach himself to Harry. But, given Newt’s great wizarding talents and given Newt’s encounters with Gellert Grindelwald, had Rolf been at Hogwarts at the same time as Harry and Luna, I have no doubt that Rolf would have joined Dumbledore’s Army and fought in the Battle of Hogwarts. Which leads me to believe he had either graduated by then or went elsewhere.

Now, back to Fantastic Beasts predictions. Because as we know that ultimately Dumbledore takes down Grindelwald in 1945, here we encounter his rise, which will continue for about twenty years before his demise in the historic duel that ends with Grindelwald ending up in Nurmengard, the prison built by Grindelwald to hold his enemies. Which means that at some point, not sure exactly when, Grindelwald must return to Europe to build Nuremgard. As of 1926, however, Grindelwald has fled Europe, and he likely spends some time building his magical arsenal, and amassing allies, throughout North America. In fact, given the state of magical secrecy and other political views in 1920s America, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the formation of a precursor of Death Eaters appearing in the second movie, beginning with Grindelwald’s escape.

Side note: the fact that Percival Graves’s behavior as Grindelwald was so hard to distinguish from his natural state shows the fine line between right and wrong. And this, too, points to a political climate that is rife with dissent. According to the Harry Potter wiki, Tina is a half-blood. And as MACUSA deemed interacting with no-majs illegal, Tina’s parents either defied the law or hid the fact (I imagine MACUSA wouldn’t have hired Tina had they realized she was a half-blood if they’re so strict about these matters). Perhaps it is this discovery that drives Tina to leave America and eventually settle in Europe. I see Queenie, meanwhile, staying in America with Jacob, and using her legilimency skills to help loosen the restrictions between wizards and no-majs.

I was hoping to see Colin Farrell reprise his role as Percival Graves, angry and full of vengeance at having been captured by Grindelwald and targeted for the polyjuice potion. But then J.K. Rowling revealed on her website that Grindelwald actually transfigured into Graves, so Graves is undoubtedly dead. Of all the performances in the film, I found Colin Farrell’s to be the most impressive. On second viewing, he was whom I felt most compelled to watch (perhaps wanting to reassess his creepy, predatory relationship with Credence Barebone, and get a sense for his behavior such that nobody could tell it wasn’t actually Graves). Throughout, his high rank within MACUSA explained the freedom of his movements (although even the demoted Tina managed to slip out of the office at times, indicating a level of freedom for the employees at MACUSA).

Graves’ high rank, to me, shows more than anything else the power of Grindelwald. Mad Eye Moody was a recluse for many years before being polyjuiced by Barty Crouch Jr. in Goblet of Fire. Any unusual behavior or mannerisms inconsistent with Moody’s usual patterns would be dismissed or overlooked, attributed to his isolation or the events which had led him to retreat from the world. But it doesn’t seem any such thing is true of Graves. He was second in command at MACUSA. I’m curious where Graves and Grindelwald met, and how exactly Graves was overcome, but I doubt highly that the subsequent movies will do anything to answer that question.

We know from the original Harry Potter novels that the duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald occurred somewhere in Europe in 1945 and that Grindelwald ends up imprisoned at Nuremgard after the duel. I’m assuming that the fact that they choose to imprison him in Nuremgard and not transport him a far distance, it seems likely the duel occurs not far from Nuremberg. It seems likely that Grindelwald’s imprisonment at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts movie enables him to consider closely the flaws in the prison’s designs, flaws which he fixes when he decides to exact his revenge and build his own prison.

But as this five-movie series is about Newt Scamander, and it won’t be Newt that ultimately takes down Grindelwald, and the title of the series clearly points to a focus on the creatures, I’m guessing that the Grindelwald story will be secondary to the adventures of Newt and his Beasts. The quest for Grindelwald will likely be integral in reuniting Tina and Newt, and their seemingly disparate goals will likely intersect.

So after Hogwarts (pre-1926), Newt worked at the Ministry of Magic, then jumped at the chance to author the book and travel the world. In the Chamber of Secrets movie, there’s a picture of him in the Headmaster’s office, implying both that he was once the Headmaster of Hogwarts and that he had died. But since Pottermore later added a timeline saying he was still alive in 2015, it contradicts that claim. But it’s a nice thought that he might have settled down with a job as Hogwarts Headmaster. I dare say that in his time the post of Gamekeeper may have been established, as well as the Care of Magical Creatures course.

And while it’s not stated outright, I’d love to see a scene in one of the later films when Newt meets Hagrid.

Image Source: Pottermore.com

While Newt and Tina retire in Dorset (on the southern coast of England), Rubeus Hagrid grew up near the Forest of Dean, likely a great place to find some fantastic beasts back in the day. Looking at Hagrid’s history (on the Harry Potter wiki), Hagrid was born in 1928, and his giant mother left him and his father in 1931 when Hagrid was 3. Then, Hagrid’s father died in 1940, the same year that Hagrid started at Hogwarts.

Given his affinity for magical creatures from early on (his friendship with Aragog which led to his expulsion courtesy of Tom Riddle, a story we all know well), I can picture an even younger Rubeus Hagrid following with fascination the comings and goings of a friendly wizard exploring magical creatures in his neck of the woods. And given that Mr. Hagrid was open-minded enough to fall in love with and marry a giantess, I imagine he and Newt would have gotten along quite well, to the point that I can picture Newt stopping in to visit, or going so far as to stay with Mr. Hagrid during his expeditions. Perhaps the two had even been friends.

Timeline-wise, it’s not inconceivable to imagine that they both had children of similar ages, although I imagine that Newt and Tina likely don’t have a child until at least the 1930s, what with their trans-continental relationship and his busy career tracking magical creatures across the globe.

Yes, with the backdrop of some of the more serious issues occurring with the war in Europe and the rise of Gellert Grindelwald, I can see Newt and a young Hagrid bonding over shared concerns for magical beasts coming in harm’s way during the war(s), Hagrid finding them a useful distraction from his troubles until he starts at Hogwarts. In fact, I’m sure that with or without Hogwarts, Hagrid’s life would have been dedicated to the care of magical creatures, and I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to believe that Newt inspired that (and since he chose to assign a different textbook when he took over the Care of Magical Creatures class, I’m inferring that the influence was personal and less tied to the textbook). So while it likely won’t happen, I could see Hagrid’s childhood by the Forest of Dean played out in one of the later movies. I think the feels that folks would get revisiting the scene where Snape’s patronus led Harry to recover the sword of Gryffindor would totally make the whole movie worth it. Even if it’s just a minor part of the movie.

But while I doubt one of the Fantastic Beasts movies will be Hagrid’s story, I definitely foresee an appearance by him somewhere in the series. Maybe we’ll even meet Ogg (the gamekeeper when Molly and Arthur Weasley attended Hogwarts), who may well turn out to be a fascinating character in his own right, and, given the focus on magical creatures that this series promises, it wouldn’t be unheard of.

Then again, maybe Hogwarts Gamekeeper isn’t an exciting enough profession to explore too closely. However, while Charlie Weasley is too young to appear in these movies, Newt will likely visit Romania to study dragons. And Egypt. Because dragons are fantastic beasts. And Newt would surely know where to find them.

Finally, I know the timeline of the coming movies lines up with Grindelwald’s rise, but as we know that final conflict is with Dumbledore, while these are definitely Newt’s story, it seems unlikely that the climax of the series is that duel. Equally unlikely is rewriting real historical events, as that approach can risk turning off many fans (Anyone remember the JFK episode of Quantum Leap?). So I’m thinking, while Newt doesn’t actual conquer Grindelwald, he must play a significant role. Because there has to be a narrative decision to put this story in Newt’s point of view, a way to make him the hero of the tale. And I believe that the answer lies with Fawkes. The Harry Potter wiki states that he spent his early years as a wild phoenix, not owned by any other wizard, and that Dumbledore and Fawkes met before 1938. This falls within the time range of the movies, so don’t be surprised to see this question answered, nor to see Newt instrumental in the meeting.

There you have it. My first pass at prophecy. Yes, there are the real-world events to weave into the stories, and personally, I’d love to see Parvati and Padma Patil’s ancestors appear somewhere in these movies. But that is mere wishful thinking. Then again, so is the rest of this.

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