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‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindlewald’ Continues A Wizarding World Tradition of Subverting Expectations

Reactions to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindlewald have been mixed, but one thing is certain- the film is not predictable.

Warning: Some SPOILERS for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald has hit theatres, leaving both fans and critics conflicted.

The performances in the film have been praised, and many still find it an enjoyable watch. However, some critics have accused the film of being too packed with sub-plots.

Fans of J.K Rowling’s world have noticed at least one major continuity error. How can Professor McGonagall be teaching at Hogwarts in 1927 when she wasn’t born until 1936?

Despite these issues, the film has one major point in it’s favour. It is far from predictable.

Fantastic Beasts 2 continues a grand Wizarding World tradition of defying fan’s expectation.

Albus Dumbledore always has a reason for his actions- or lack there of.

Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore. 

Throughout the Harry Potter series, fans are conditioned to trust Albus Dumbledore. 

This trust is put to the test in the final book/film, which explores some of the character’s darker side. It is revealed that Dumbledore has supposedly been protecting Harry just so he can die by Voldemort’s hand at the appropriate moment. Even then, Harry’s faith proved not to be misplaced, as it is implied Dumbledore knew the ultimate choice to live or die was Harry’s.

In Fantastic Beasts 2, Newt, and later the Ministry, question Dumbledore’s reluctance to face Grindlewald. In fact, his apparent refusal to fight gets him into a bit of trouble around the film’s mid point.

As always with Dumbledore, he has valid reasons. Far from refusing to fight Grindlewald, he truly, physically cannot, which is a plot point sure to factor into the next film.

Do Not Judge a character by their family, or Hogwarts House

Fantastic Beasts
Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange.

“There’s not a Wizard who went bad that wasn’t in Slytherin.”

With one quote, Ron Weasley set up fans to distrust any character in Slytherin House. For most of the series, he is proven right. Draco Malfoy seems to defect to the side of Voldemort at the first opportunity, and Severus Snape apparently murders Dumbledore.

Then, in the final book, most of what we know about these characters is blown out of the water. Malfoy is a very troubled boy, and Snape was secretly working to protect Harry for the entire series.

The Fantastic Beasts movies pull off a similar story with Leta Lestrange.

Immediately, the name Lestrange leads fans to expect the worst, as the only Lestrange we get to know deeply in Harry Potter is the insane Bellatrix. The first film appears to support these early assumptions. Leta appears only in a photograph, and is revealed to be at least partially responsible for Newt’s expulsion from Hogwarts.

When she was officially named as a Slytherin, many fans began to expect betrayal from her in Fantastic Beasts 2.

Instead, Crimes of Grindlewald takes a very different path with Leta’s character. She is a troubled soul, with dark secrets in her past, but Leta is far from evil. 

Instead, like Severus Snape, Leta Lestrange proves that some Slytherins can be as brave as a Gryffindor.

An epic Red Herring

Fantastic Beasts
Ezra Miller as Credence.

J.K Rowling became well known for pulling quite a few major plot twists in the Harry Potter novels. 

One of the best of these takes place in the third novel, The Prisoner of Azkaban. For most of the book, readers are lead to believe that the villain is Sirius Black, a maniac escaped from Azkaban. The real villain is eventually revealed to be Peter Pettigrew, the man Black supposedly murdered, and Sirius is actually there to help Harry.

In Crimes of Grindlewald, you can expect similar twists and turns, and whilst Fantastic Beasts may have some work to do to fix the problems of its second instalment, it still has the makings of a great film series, honouring the legacy of J.K Rowling’s world.

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