Is Grindelwald Himself a “Fantastic Beast”?

The final trailer for The Crimes of Grindelwald introduced us to the human Nagini, the woman who will one day be known as Voldemort’s loyal pet and Horcrux. As if that monumental revelation wasn’t stunning enough, J.K. Rowling‘s coy attempts to tease even more shocking moments might have revealed why she named her Harry Potter prequel franchise  Fantastic Beasts. It’s a theory that would explain why, when the world was threatened by a true monster, it needed to be saved by a magizoologist.

One thing Rowling definitively explained is that even though the human Nagini will become a snake she is not an Animagus like Sirius Black or Minerva McGonagall. An Animagus can morph into an animal at will, whereas Nagini is a Maledictus, which is a condition no one wants.

It’s a huge and meaningful distinction. An Animagus controls a magical ability; a Maledictus, an entirely new term for the franchise, is a woman afflicted with a magical curse.

That wasn’t the only question Rowling addressed. One thing fans have been debating is why Dumbledore, one of the most powerful wizards of all time, tells Newt in the trailers he can’t personally move on Grindelwald, that it “ has to be” Newt who fights against him.

We don’t really do “patient.” So what’s the reason? Based on Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s past, it likely has at least something to do with their personal relationship. But Dumbledore could turn to anyone for help; why ask a Hogwarts flunky to fight one of the most powerful Dark Wizards ever? Because Newt is not just any old wizard, he is an expert in a very specific field.

The answer to that one question would give away the whole franchise, hmm?

…Do you see it? The way these little clues all seem to fit together? Did J.K. Rowling reveal that Gellert Grindelwald is actually a “fantastic beast” himself, which is why Dumbledore specifically recruited a world-class magizoologist to fight him?

If Newt’s particular set of wizard skills are relevant to this fight, what else would he be fighting but a fantastic beast? But what kind of beast though? An Animagus is still a witch or wizard, and Aurors can fight werewolves like Fenrir Greyback, so it’s very unlikely Grindelwald is either of those. If only Rowling had just introduced us to a totally different way for a human to turn into a deadly creature…

That’s right, we think Grindelwald once suffered from the male equivalent of a Maledictus curse (Rowling specified Maledictuses are always women), one he used Dark Magic to not only cure, but control.

We know Nagini will one day align herself with a Dark Wizard. Could this be why she went down that path in the first place, because she turned to Grindelwald to save her from the very fate he avoided? Is this why she remained loyal to Voldemort, because her only hope to escape was the most powerful, sisnister Dark Magic?


If true, this would also partially explain why Grindelwald was enamored with an older Obscurial in the first film (which turned out to be Credence and not his sister). Grindelwald would already have firsthand experience about the power one can obtain by mastering an otherwise uncontrollable ability–having an Obscurial who survived adolescence and learned to use their Obscurus at will under his control would be an incredible ally.

We might already know what creature Grindelwald was destined to turn into as well, arguably the most dangerous of them all: a dragon. The trailers have featured Grindelwald conjuring up blue flames, which we have also seen in other shots form a :bum bum bum: dragon.

One of the most common questions viewers had after the first movie was how four more sequels would fit under the Fantastic Beasts moniker. Yes, Newt wrote the famous book of the same name, and the first movie involved many magical creatures, but it was clear the story was heading to a much more personal, human story. What would any of that have to do with a bunch of animals? If this theory proves true, that the franchise’s main villain Gellert Grindelwald is actually a dangerous, fantastic beast himself (whose true powers we probably still won’t fully understand after this film), it would explain a lot more than just that. No one will be asking why Dumbledore turned to Newt, why Grindelwald turned to Credence, or why Nagini turned to Voldemort.

And if we’re right, J.K. Rowling won’t have to worry about writing that essay. She just needed to give us the right clues to do it for her.

What do you think? Is Grindelwald an actual fantastic beast? Does he share the an affliction like Nagini’s? Is that why Dumbledore needed Newt to stop him? We want to hear all of your thoughts in the comments below on this theory.

Images: Warner Bros.

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