It’s been two years since Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them roared into theaters. The film’s broad strokes are easy to remember: British wizard loses a bunch of magical creatures in New York City, a disguised Grindelwald searches for a powerful young wizard, Ezra Miller pulls off an impossible haircut. But as it’s just the first entry in a five-part series, knowing the small details will be just as important to enjoy the entire story. So before you see The Crimes of Grindelwald, here is everything you need to remember from the first Fantastic Beasts.
Here’s a quick tutorial on Obscurial and Obscurus…
An Obscurial is a young witch or wizard who has suppressed their magic; the stress and abuse (either physical or psychological) of doing so results in the creation of a magical parasite, which is known as an Obscurus. When an Obscurial reaches their breaking point under emotional duress, the deadly and destructive Obscurus is released as a type of sentient wind/flying, ink-like substance.
…and what makes Credence so special
Obscurials almost always die in childhood, but the 18-year-old Credence was not killed by his Obscurus. He also appears to be able to partially control his power, like when he broke down a series of brick walls to let Percival Graves know he is the Obscurial he’d been hunting for. This makes Credence arguably the single most powerful wizard in the world and a threat to everyone, both magical beings and No-Majs.Bonus reading: Did Fantastic Beasts Explain Ariana Dumbledoreâ€™s Condition?
The real reason for Newt’s trip to America
Newt says the “real reason” for his trip (which was illegal because magical creatures are banned in America) was to return Frank the Thunderbird to the “wilds of Arizona” after Newt rescued him from traffickers in Egypt. Him getting involved with Tina, Jacob, Queenie, and the hunt for the mysterious Obscurus was not part of his original plan, though he had experience working with an Obscurial he failed to saveâ€”a young Sudanese girl.
Tina’s past as a disgraced former Auror
Tina Goldstein starts the movie as a joke within MACUSA. She was demoted from her job as an Auror when she attacked Credence’s abusive, witch-hating stepmom in front of a bunch of other No-Majs. It caused quite a scandal, since American wizards have a strict rule about total isolationism. She was the only person to ever show Credence kindness and concern, which, later in the movie, we see she considers a good memory.After helping to save the day and capture Grindelwald, Tina gained her old Auror job back at the end of the movie.
Newt’s book had not yet been published
Newt’s famous magical creatures book, which gives the film its title, had not yet been published, so he wasn’t a famous author yet. The manuscript was completed, and he asked Tina if he could deliver her a copy in person during their final scene together where they did NOT kiss.
Tina and Queenie’s boss
Like any bureaucracy, MACUSA has its share of self-important middle managers, like Mr. Kevin Abernathy, who seemed to be as charmed by Queenie as he was disgusted with Tina.
Credence’s violent tendencies
An Obscurus might burst forth from an Obscurial, but Credence had enough control even when he seemingly lost it that he targeted people who mistreated him. He killed Senator Henry Shaw Junior after Shaw called him a “freak” earlier in the day, and he also killed his stepmother in a fit of rage.
Grindelwald had an Obscurus vision
The entire reason Grindelwald came to America and assumed Percival Graves’ identity was to find an Obscurial, which seemingly no one else knew about. He saw the Obscurial in a vision, but it wasn’t perfect. He couldn’t tell if it was a boy or girl; all he “knew” was the child was no older than ten, and he saw it close to Credence.
Queenie reads minds without permission
Queenie Goldstein is Legilimens, a magical being who can read minds to extract feelings and memories. She does this even when people ask her not to, though based on her own comments it might not be possible for her to stop using her power entirely.
Newt’s brother Theseus was a war hero
When Newt emerges from his suitcase in front of a major world meeting of wizard leaders at MACUSA, someone asks if this Scamander is “the famous war hero.” Theseus fought bravely in WWI even though magical beings were not supposed to get involved. Theseus is now the head Auror at the Ministry of Magic.
Newt was expelled from Hogwarts (against the wishes of Dumbledore)
After an “accident” where a fellow student was hurt by a magical being, Newt was expelled from Hogwarts. Professor Albus Dumbledore argued on his behalf to no avail. When asked why Dumbledore thinks so highly of him, Newt says he has no idea.
Grindelwald’s reign of terror had already begun
When “Percival Graves” interrogates Newt he falsely accuses Newt of trying to start a war with Muggles, which is what Grindelwald actually wants. Newt references Grindelwald’s infamous slogan about the “greater good” to say he’s not one of the Dark Wizard’s “fanatics.” Grindelwald was already a notorious, dangerous figure.
Credence’s real mother was “an unnatural, wicked woman”
Credence’s stepmom seems to know enough about his real mother that she implicitly calls her a witch. Almost nothing else is known about Credence’s heritage beyond Grindelwald telling him he has magical ancestry.
Newt kept a photo of Leta in his case
Newt and Leta Lestrange, only seen in a picture he keeps in his suitcase workshop, were close at Hogwarts. Newt doesn’t want to talk about Leta, but Queenie, after reading his mind, calls Leta a “taker,” not a “giver.” Tina also asks about Leta’s photo at the end of the movie, but Newt tells her they haven’t been close for a long time.
Newt is a Hufflepuff
This actually isn’t important, but it makes the Hufflepuff people go wild.
A captured Obscurus is “useless” with the host
While trying to save the young Sudanese girl, Newt managed to remove her Obscurus before she died. He keeps it locked up, but he assures Tina it couldn’t harm anyone in this state. “Graves” refers to it as “useless,” which confuses Newt.
The movie has a very dark execution scene
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them gets very dark when “Graves” sentences Newt and Tina to death after a two-minute interview. They are immediately left to a magical chamber where Tina pleads with her executioner, whom she knows, not to do this. The method involves placing Tina’s good memories into a type of liquid that makes the damned embrace their death. The entire sequence is incredibly dark and terrifying.
Queenie finds Jacob at his bakery
Despite the strict law about wizard and No-Maj fraternization, Tina comes to Jacob’s bakery at the end of the film. Even though he had been Obliviated, all of his baked goods are in the shape of magical creatures, and upon seeing Queenie he touches his neck where he had been bitten by one of Newt’s animals. He seems to have retained some memories, even if he doesn’t know it. And Queenie obviously isn’t ready to let him go.
Grindelwald’s final words
After Newt reveals Graves has been Grindelwald all along, the Dark Wizard only says two things as himself. He asks MACUSA president Picquery if she really thinks they can hold him. Then, as he is escorted out of the train station he stops in front of Newt and says, “Will we die just a little?”What did he mean? We don’t know, but we’re sure it will be important.Did we miss anything? Is there something else we should remember from the first movie? Tell us what it is in the comments below.
Images: Warner Bros.