12:00 pm EST, December 18, 2018

What exactly are Grindelwald’s crimes in ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’?

His number one crime is obviously breaking Dumbledore's heart.

By Katie Awad | Edited by Brandi Delhagen

Considering this Fantastic Beasts film is called ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald,’ you’d think there’d be more focus on Grindelwald’s crimes.

In both Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, we’re consistently told that Gellert Grindelwald is a powerful, dangerous wizard, but it’s never really explained why he’s so dangerous. There are no flashback sequences to show us what Grindelwald has done, nor any present-day scenes of him committing any illegal acts.

What are Grindelwald's crimes?

The first Fantastic Beasts film sprinkles indications of Grindelwald’s crimes through quick succession of newspaper clippings. The opening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them shows newspaper headlines saying that Grindelwald has perpetrated attacks across the world, that he’s struck “again” in Europe, and there are anti-wizard feelings on the rise. In addition, his wanted poster in the speakeasy says that he’s killed No-Majs in Europe.

According to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Grindelwald has only committed one crime, albeit repeatedly. The one illegal act we know for a fact that Grindelwald has done is ‘slaying No-Majs.’ Put all the headlines together, and it appears he’s killed No-Majs across the world, and twice in Europe.

During his time in hiding, Grindelwald ends up spending quite a bit of time in America looking for a child with ‘immense power’ he saw in a vision. While in America, Grindelwald seems to commit multiple crimes that aren’t addressed by the end of the first Fantastic Beasts, or at all in The Crimes of Grindelwald.

List of Grindelwald's crimes

Past criminal activities aside, we see Grindelwald commit multiple infractions in the present, during his time in the United States. For a start, he impersonates Percival Graves. Though that’s a gray area of illegality in the Wizarding World, what’s definitely not legal is what he does to Graves. We don’t know whether Grindelwald kept Graves hostage or killed him, but either way that’s a crime.

Grindelwald also contributed to the destruction of New York in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, due to the fight with Credence and his Obscurus. Infrastructure damage aside, Grindelwald has thusly broken the Statute of Secrecy. There was no hiding the Wizarding battle in the streets and subway, which posed a problem for President Picquery. How do you Obliviate an entire city? Of course Newt has a solution, but that’s not the point. Grindelwald helped expose the Wizarding World, which is in fact illegal.

Related: 62 questions Fantastic Beasts and its sequel did not answer

But none of these crimes are addressed in The Crimes of Grindelwald. The second Fantastic Beasts film doesn’t indicate he’s done anything wrong in America. He’s simply being held there until moving to Europe to answer for crimes he committed there.

Indeed, the film named after Grindelwald’s crimes doesn’t have much discussion on Grindelwald’s crimes. In the final confrontation underneath the Lestrange tomb, Theseus advises his fellow Aurors to not use force on the crowd, and that it isn’t illegal to listen to him. Surely though it’s illegal to aid a fugitive or interfere with an arrest? Grindelwald is a wanted man, and the Aurors are within their right to arrest him. Any witch or wizard who tries to help Grindelwald, and interfere with his arrest is committing some kind of crime, are they not?

Neither Fantastic Beasts film makes it specifically clear what Gellert Grindelwald’s crimes actually are, despite naming one of the films after it. But here are some illegal, and legal crimes of Grindelwald we think he should be punished for.

  1. Breaking Dumbledore’s heart
  2. Aging like THAT
  3. Ordering a hit on a baby
  4. Indirectly making Queenie leave Jacob
  5. That hair style
  6. Telling Credence he’s a Dumbledore, and shattering everything Harry Potter fans thought they knew, whether it’s true or not
  7. Presumably killing Graves and never giving us a chance to know the real Graves
  8. Not being Colin Farrell
  9. Trying to make smoking look cool with his skull-vape
  10. Subjecting people to second-hand smoke
  11. Thinking an optimal time to meet with Credence is right after his ‘mother’ is murdered; thinking an optimal place to meet with Credence is on a precarious rooftop with the Eiffel Tower in view
  12. Escaping prison in America while being transported to Europe
  13. Not realizing a paunchy Niffler was up his trousers
  14. Turning Credence against Dumbledore and the side of good
  15. Desecrating the Lestrange tomb by turning it into an amphitheatre rally
  16. Killing or capturing Leta
  17. Causing architecture and infrastructure damage in New York
  18. Subsequently breaking the Statue of Secrecy
  19. Underestimating Credence and thinking he was a Squib
  20. Animal cruelty: throwing a loving and loyal Chupacabra out the window to plummet to its death

What do you think is Grindelwald’s worst crime in Fantastic Beasts?

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