Who Is Grindelwald?: What You Need to Know Before You See ‘Fantastic Beasts’

     November 18, 2016

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With Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling weaves a new tale in the Harry Potter universe about magizoologist Newt Scamander and his adventures in 1920s New York City. The basic plot line is simple: during this tumultuous time for wizarding kind in America, some of Newt’s creatures escape and threaten to expose magic to the mortal world. But there’s a more nefarious threat at play, one that may have something to do with one of the most powerful dark wizards of this world.

The name Gellert Grindelwald has been popping up all over the film’s marketing materials: MACUSA President Picquery referenced Grindelwald attacks in the trailers, and Rowling herself discussed the character in a featurette. “They’re talking about the first time a wizard rose and threatened the world order,” she said. During the international fan event for the film, Fantastic Beasts director David Yates also said Grindelwald is “going to become a much more prominent part of the stories going forward. Any more than that, I really couldn’t say.”

Rowling announced four more Fantastic Beasts sequels are on the way, so it seems like we won’t be hearing the last of this wizard anytime soon (Johnny Depp will play the character throughout the franchise). And with the first film’s release impending, we dove into the Harry Potter books and movies to learn more about the villain who preceded Lord Voldemort.

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