Y’all, there’s a lot that happens in Fantastic Beasts that we need to talk about. There are quite a few ~big moments~ that we need to discuss now in the months and years ahead. Let’s get started
J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts herself, and despite it being her first time writing a movie, the witch’s work doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s bound to get the fandom excited about all things Harry Potter again.
‘Fantastic Beasts’ spoilers ahead!
Let’s recap and discuss five of the biggest Fantastic Beasts spoilers and shockers.
#1: Newt may’ve had romantic interests in a Lestrange
Newt is somehow involved with a woman named Leta Lestrange. We and Queenie see a picture of her sitting in one of Newt’s workshops towards the end of the movie. As Queenie reminds Newt, the Lestrange family is… not the best family to get tied up with. But for whatever reason, Newt did, and the character is being played by actress Zoe Kravitz (Divergent).
The question is: How is he tied up with her? Is she a romantic interest? Are they good friends? Did the romance or the friendship go sour? Obviously something about it is bothering Newt, and I’m sure we’re going to get answers about it in future Fantastic Beasts films.
With the Lestrange family in the picture, there are now three iconic families from Harry Potter appearing in the Fantastic Beasts series: The Dumbledores, the Lestranges, and Grindelwald. Could Leta be on team Grindelwald in the long run? AHH.
For what it’s worth: A search of Harry Potter canon reveals no Leta in the Lestrange family tree. So this is a character Rowling has kept under wraps until now.
#2: Newt and Tina were sentenced to death
MACUSA is a pretty dark place. They have no problem sentencing witches and wizards to death for exposing the magical world to No-Majs (even though the exposure is quite easy to fix if you’ve got some potion and a Thunderbird who can make it rain).
The death room was really cool — it reminded me of something out of Divergent, with how sterile and simple the room was. Memories were extracted from one’s mind like they were being placed in a pensive, and these memories (happy ones, it seems) would be presented to you to draw you into death.
Still, a death sentence? It seems really harsh. It seems like a punishment that’ll eventually be tossed once Wizard/Muggle relations improve. We imagine Newt, Tina, Queenie, and Jacob will be trying to fix that issue.
#3: The Obscurus — A Definition
Rowling introduced an element of magic we hadn’t heard of before: The Obscurus.
What do we know about the Obscurus and the Obscurial? It was a bit difficult to follow in the movie because a lot of information was being thrown at us for the first time. Unlike a book, you can’t go back a page and re-read. Luckily, we have official information… thanks to a book.
According to an official Fantastic Beasts companion book that I found at Target, here’s the Obscurus definition: “during the witch hunts in centuries past, young witches and wizards sometimes tried to suppress their magic to avoid persecution. The unused energy created an unstable, uncontrollable, dark force inside the child. Like a parasite, it would drain the child’s power and ultimately their life force.”
The Obscurus can kill the young witch or wizard. It “consumes so much energy that the host child typically doesn’t live to be more than ten years old.”
As we see in the movie, Newt knows the Obscurials are out there, and unlike MACUSA, he knows one when he sees one. According to the aforementioned book, Newt “encountered one recently in Sudan, Africa. He found a young girl who had been shut away by her tribe because she showed signs of magic. The Obscurus was taking her over, depleting her strength, and killing her. Newt was able to separate the Obscurus from the child just before she died. He trapped it inside a shimmering black box and put it inside his case so he could study it. Newt insists that without the host child, this Obscurus is harmless.”
We’re not sure how it gets separated from their bodies, but we do know it’s possible. When the Obscurus is still with the host it can fly around and wreak havoc, as we saw several times in Beasts with Credence’s.
The Obscurus can be eliminated, but there’s still a question as to what happens to the host’s body. Sure, Credence looked like he died, but did he really?
The definition of Obscurus makes us think the magic may tie in to Ariana Dumbledore’s story in future Fantastic Beasts films, if J.K. Rowling decides to take us backwards for a bit to show us Albus and Grindelwald’s earlier days as friends. Remember, Ariana “was attacked by Muggle boys who saw her practising magic, which left her traumatised to the point of rendering her magical abilities uncontrollable.” Ariana could very well be Grindelwald’s first encounter with an Obscurus, which might lead the villain to find another — like the one within Credence.
In fact, there are a few parallels between Ariana and Credence: They were both thought to be squibs. Both killed their Mothers with an outburst of magic. Both were “defeated/killed” during a duel.
#4: Jacob’s mind got wiped despite being the coolest Muggle ever
This was so. Not. Fair. Jacob was the Harry/Ron/Hermione of Fantastic Beasts — he was the kid who was discovering the Wizarding World for the first time. It was such a blast watching him experience the magic.
Given his tight relationship with his new wizard friends, you would’ve thought Newt, Tina, and Queenie would’ve spared him from having to lose so many new things that he loved. In fairness, they did hook him up with what he needed to get a loan for a bakery. What’s more, post-memory loss, Jacob still recognizes Queenie when she enters his bakery. And many of his baked goods were inspired by beasts. Obviously Jacob is going to somehow get back in the mix with the other three, and it doesn’t look like his memory was completely wiped, so we can’t wait to see how that plays out.
Still, I’m sad that they did wipe his memory after all. He deserved a pass.
#5: Graves is Grindelwald
This is the biggest shocker of the movie, and one that is sure to cause gasps in movie theaters around the world. Yes, Graves (Colin Farrell) is actually Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) under cover. It all makes sense in hindsight: At the beginning of the movie we saw headlines revealing that Grindelwald had gone missing, and later we found out that Graves had been over in Europe for a period of time. Meanwhile, Graves was in possession of a Deathly Hallows necklace and used it as a phone, like Death Eaters did with the Dark Mark.
We should note the parallels between this twist and the one in the first Potter book: Both stories found the arch enemy hiding in someone else’s body. Kinda cool, right?
But how did Grindelwald hold the Graves transformation for so long? Was he slurping down Polyjuice Potion for a really long time? Is he using some really advanced form of magic? Hopefully @JK_Rowling will answer this for us in the near future and has a good explanation, because Newt’s successful use of “Revelio” was way too convenient.
Fun fact: At least one test screening of Fantastic Beasts earlier this year did not include Depp’s reveal at the end of the movie. Attendees just saw Colin Farrell’s Graves saying the same lines Depp does. It makes sense that they would shoot it this way — they may not have had Depp on set the same day Farrell was filming.
Thanks to Brittany and Cullen for their help with this article.
Note: This article previously spelled Leta’s name “Leda,” but the script book confirms it’s Leta.