he trailer starts by panning over a pretty Scottish hillside, which immediately feels familiar to those returning to the franchise after watching the Harry Potter films. As it pans further over the river, we see a large castle that made many viewers’ hearts skip a beat. Hogwarts has been off screen for seven years so to see it now, so unexpectedly, brings a tear to people that considered it home.
Hogwarts’ familiar silhouette is backlit by the sky, looking majestic, a stark difference to how it was left after the War in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It only featured in the trailer for three seconds but the building definitely makes an impact in that time.
The scene changes and we see the back of a young Professor Dumbledore walking down a corridor. What we later find out to be Newt’s voice is over it saying “I’m scared, Professor Dumbledore,” to which he replies “Everyone is scared of something.”
We see that this quote is in the context of a Defense Against the Dark Arts class on the spell Ridikulus, which many will remember from the Prisoner of Azkaban. I have a feeling, however, the quote will be a theme throughout the whole film. Dumbledore’s teaching method for the spell is very similar to Lupin’s, with the boggart in the wardrobe and each student lining up to face it.
The inside of Hogwarts feels familiar and homelike, even though this scene is set many years before the Harry Potter era. To put it into context, Luna Lovegood marries Newt’s grandson (JK Rowling, webchat, July 30th). Even the uniforms are very similar to the ones we’re familiar with, which gives it a timeless quality.
In this part of the trailer we find out that Newt’s biggest fear is not a monster, but a desk job which, in my opinion, fits his character perfectly. The other students laugh at him which calls back to his status as an outcast, previously mentioned in the first film. When he casts the Ridikulus spell, we’re taken to the WB logo and the Wizarding World logo.
With the Wizarding World logo, I really love the way the book opens and the pages are wands, with the elder wand in the middle. The next few scenes are overlaid with Grindlewald’s speech. “Magic blooms, only in rare souls. Still, we must skulk in the shadows. But the old ways serve us no longer.” This shows Grindlewald’s intentions, as well as the quote “Grindlewald had a vision that he would rise to dominance over the Wizarding World,” heard later in the trailer. In the next cut, we are reintroduced to Tina and see what appears to be a circus using magic to encase people in bubbles. At the part where Grindlewald says “skulk in the shadows” we see Credence, who survived, looking at posters advertising the circus’ attractions.
The next familiar item from the Harry Potter era we see next is Dumbledore’s deluminator, turning off gas streetlights. This reminds us of the first time it is introduced in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, turning off streetlights before Harry arrives at Little Winging, Privet Drive. We see what appears to be MACUSA Aurors with a stunned white-haired person, possibly Grindlewald, running through a network of cages, supposedly a prison, with unsettled people in them. This poses a lot of questions that the film will hopefully answer, such as how Grindelwald manages to escape.
Next, we finally see adult Newt, along with his bowtruckle, with a picture of the Eiffel Tower, supporting the December issue of Empire magazine's statement that the film's events will unfold in Paris. The speech syncs up “the old ways serve us no longer” with the video in a scene where Grindlewald is stood on a stage surrounded by people. These may be his new followers. After his speech, we see the return of Queenie and an Obscurial, most likely Credence.
There’s next a montage with new and returning faces, including Credence looking downcast with the Maledictus (portrayed by Claudia Kim). We see a new creature, which some people theorize as being Kneazles, but they don’t fit the description in the Fantastic Beasts textbook, “small cat-like creature with flecked, speckled or spotted fur, outsize ears and a tail like a lion’s”. In the trailer, they are large, black cats with gnarled claws, a skeletal face and oversized, pupil-less eyes.
We next see a montage of Newt around Paris, looking for something or someone. A disembodied glove points him towards a building, perhaps a charm or a new object. We then see Dumbledore in front of a mirror. It is theorized by fans to be the mirror of Erised, which appeared in the Philosopher’s Stone showing the person’s greatest desires. The frame does look similar to its previous onscreen appearance but without seeing the inscription along the top, we can’t be sure.
The appearence of Grindlewald here, either as Dumbledore's greatest desire or in his mind’s eye depending on whether it is the Mirror of Erised or not, and the quote “I can’t move against Grindelwald” suggest that they have some sort of prior relationship. JK Rowling has said that Dumbledore sees his family reunited and whole in the Mirror of Erised (JK Rowling, Webchat), but she also suggested the image can change with the person’s life.
Dumbledore instructs Newt that he needs to take down Grindlewald for him. Hopefully, the film will shed some light on why Newt, in particular, was chosen for this task. Newt himself seems a little annoyed at having been chosen or by the lack of guidance by Dumbledore, going by his retort of “oh, come on!”. We then see Leta Lestrange, a new female character, played by Zoe Kravitz (known for portraying Cristina in Divergent).
A photograph of her was seen in A Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Newt talked about their close, but currently dissolved, relationship. It will certainly be interesting to find out about the status of their relationship in this film. It is known that Leta is in fact engaged to Newt’s brother, Theseus (Pottermore). Theseus is in the film, portrayed by Callum Turner. Since it was hinted that Newt felt romantically towards Leta, the dynamic between the three of them will be interesting to see.
In the next few scenes, we see the return of the Niffler, and, to many people’s delight, Jacob. His appearance is coupled with the quote “Muggles are not lesser” by Newt. Since he had his memories removed it will be interesting to see how they were reunited. Perhaps Jacob managed to set up a bakery in Paris? There is also a new, large, furry creature that looks a little like the shape of a Chinese dragon, and a large bird.
Leta then says, “you’ve never met a monster you couldn’t love” and after this is a clip of Newt yelling Credence’s name, suggesting that Credence is being classed as the monster, though some fans have theorized that Leta is referring to herself. This may be due to her experiments with a Jarvey, a large ferret capable of human speech, endangering a student (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Magical Movie Handbook).
Grindelwald is then seen flying over the city in a Thestral drawn carriage. We're introduced to the creatures in the Order of the Phoenix after Luna reveals that only those who have witnessed death can see them. This suggests that Grindelwald had an encounter with death since he chose Thestrals to pull his carriage. He may have stolen the carriage but he’d most likely still have to see the Thestrals. This is backed up by the recalling of Ariana Dumbledore’s accidental death, which Grindelwald was involved in, by Dumbledore in Deathly Hallows.
Many fans were excited to see that Grindelwald has the Elder Wand. This means he had the wand in his possession for quite a while before Dumbledore takes it from him. Grindelwald then appears to cast the Deathly Hallows symbol in the air, much like Voldemort with the Dark Mark. Only then does the iconic Harry Potter music play and the name of the film is revealed. After this we see Jacob talking to a very pale old man. He introduces himself as Nicolas Flamell, a name that will be familiar to anyone who has read or seen the Philosopher’s Stone. Going by what Jacob says, Flamell appears to be around 375.
Flamell has a French accent so whether they use the alchemist for something to do with finding Grindlewald or simply run into him is yet to be seen. He very well might be the whole reason they end up in Paris in the first place. This would suggest Voldemort may not have been the first wizard to try to harness immortality.
The whole trailer both answered and posed more questions about the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film and left everyone very excited to see both young and adult Newt on screen. It is also very exciting that we finally get to see more of Dumbledore, which will hopefully shed some light on his mysterious life, only hinted on in Deathly Hallows.
The film comes out on the 16th of November and I, for one, cannot wait.