Hold on to your brooms! Whether you loved or hated The Crimes of Grindelwald, this movie has ushered in a return of the Harry Potter-style hype we haven’t seen since the books were released over a decade ago!
This article contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Now that The Crimes of Grindelwald has been released internationally, fans all over the world are weighing in on what they thought of the movie. Many fans, like myself, found the movie stunning, action-packed, exciting and flabbergasting.
But with every new Wizarding World entry comes the hoards of people who run to the internet to complain that it’s just not Harry Potter. Or, as fellow Hypable writer Selina put it, that it’s trying to be Harry Potter and it shouldn’t be.
Though the reaction to the latest movie has been mixed, the truth is the Harry Potter Wizarding World hype train is chugging along at full force. And we should embrace it.
For me, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them didn’t really spark the hype. Yes, the reveal of Grindelwald at the very end of the movie was exciting, but it didn’t have me running to my Harry Potter books to reference storylines and connections. All the new characters felt foreign and I definitely didn’t fall in love with any of them the way we all did with Harry, Ron and Hermione.
But that all changes with The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Returned are the days of pondering wizarding family trees. Of investigating birthdays and death days (more on McGonagall in a moment). Of referencing Harry Potter books about Deathly Hallows and Harry’s reference to Kendra Dumbledore looking “Native American.” Yes that happened in Deathly Hallows.
But the thing I am most excited about again, which I didn’t even remember I wanted until it happened? Hanging on to every one of J.K. Rowling’s words.
During the release of the Potter books, every interview Rowling did was a gold mine of information that had to be dissected and connected. Whole podcasts were born out of this very exercise (are you still listening to MuggleCast!?), and now, more than ever, that hype has returned with The Crimes of Grindelwald. Except unlike during the release of the Harry Potter books, we now have J.K. Rowling on Twitter! No need to set your DVR and wait for the Oprah interview, J.K. Rowling is throwing out hints from the comfort of her own Scottish castle! This is what we’ve all wished for from the very beginning!
The Crimes of Grindelwald delivered on many different aspects of why I love this universe. I loved seeing Nicolas Flamel in action. I loved seeing the Philosopher’s Stone sitting in his cabinet. I loved seeing the beautiful amber hues of Hogwarts, long before either Grindelwald or Voldemort had anything to do with it. I loved all the nuances and connections to the Potter world so much because for the most part they made sense with this story.
Remember the little glimpse of Quidditch that we saw at Hogwarts in this movie? That’s a glimpse on purpose. Because you love Quidditch. Remember? That was intentional. Feel all the feels when you see that happen!
I also greatly enjoyed sitting back and being told about a new Wizarding World story. Unlike the Potter movies, I really appreciate the fun and excitement in the years leading up to the release of these movies more because we truly don’t know what is going to happen. There is no book to reference first. This movie and this world has been created for the Harry Potter fans who want to know how Dumbledore got to be the renowned wizard he came to be. To me, that is a feeling of excitement I haven’t felt since a decade ago when the original books were being released.
Is The Crimes of Grindelwald perfect? Definitely not. Many critical super fans were quick to point out that the inclusion of McGonagall in one of the Hogwarts scenes made no sense as, according to canon, she was born in 1935. And why that point alone may not be big enough of a change to elicit riots, it does remove some of the trust that fans have with J.K. Rowling’s previous and forthcoming work in the Wizarding World.
If Rowling is willing to change this character’s timeline, what’s to stop her from changing everything else? Where does Rowling draw the line?
Casual fans won’t know McGonagall’s birthday, so the switch may be small enough and worth it for the payoff of eliciting gasps of excitement, which were certainly heard in my theater.
Nonetheless, The Crimes of Grindelwald pays off for certain subsets of Harry Potter fans, but doesn’t for others. And that’s okay. While some over-the-top fans will channel their inner bowtruckle and pick at the details of everything, casual and even most super fans of the series will sit back and enjoy the magic that J.K. Rowling is bringing back to life for us to enjoy all these years later.
I’m here for the long game that Rowling is playing. If you need me, I’ll be obsessing over every little line of dialogue to try and figure out what’s ahead.