The Fate of One, The Future of All

I said in my earlier post that I think “the fate of one will change the future of all” is about Jacob. Here’s my theory.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about Grindelwald’s supporters:

https://hogwartspensieve.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/who-are-grindelwalds-supporters/

In that post, I said that, since most of Grindelwald’s supporters are apparently “unsuspecting of his true agenda”, there might be large numbers of ordinary, well-intentioned-but-misguided people among them, especially those who for one reason or another are forced to live double lives: wizards with muggle relatives, wizards married to muggles, squibs who grew up in the magical world but have no powers of their own, and so on. These people would not fit Grindelwald’s “pure-blood” ideal, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t mislead them and use them for his own purposes. Grindelwald seems to be less of a cold and cruel Voldemort type and more of a charismatic would-be dictator who draws people in with promises, lies, and ideas that look all right at first glance but turn unpleasant under further examination.

Of the main cast, I theorized that Queenie and Jacob would be most vulnerable to Grindelwald’s false promises, especially since the laws in America make it illegal for them to marry and for him to remember magic. They basically have three options. They can accept his memory wipe in the first movie as final, they can have a secret relationship but risk punishment (and his memory being wiped again) if they are ever found out, or they can move to a different country (Britain, for instance) where wizard/muggle relationships are accepted and muggles who marry wizards can be told the truth about the magical world. Wouldn’t anyone in that situation be tempted by a man who talks about bringing wizards out of hiding if he conceals the darker parts of his agenda?  The same synopsis that describes Grindelwald’s followers as ignorant to his true goals goes on to say, “Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family”, which certainly makes it sound as if someone from the main four will question their loyalties, and it would make all the sense in the world for it to be Queenie.

Queenie is a legilimens, but she does best with American English and has trouble reading British people’s minds. How much harder would it be for her to read the mind of Grindelwald, whose thoughts are probably not in English at all? She didn’t notice that he wasn’t really Percival Graves, so she very well might not notice if he’s lying to her about something else. He, of course, would know that she’s a legilimens, because it’s not as if she tries to hide it. Being a legilimens gives her a lot of insight that other people don’t have, but what happens if Grindelwald sets her up to meet with supporters of his who honestly believe they’re creating a better world and don’t know about the worst parts of his plans? In that case, it could be a weakness, because their thoughts would be honest and well-meaning and she would have no way of knowing whether they themselves had been deceived.

Why would Grindelwald want Queenie on his side? Well, she’s a powerful legilimens with direct access to one of Dumbledore’s most trusted allies. Maybe he wants to know what Dumbledore has told Newt, or what their plans are. In that case, she would still be with the other main characters even after her loyalties shift. It would be hard for someone so warm-hearted to betray her loved ones, and especially to remain a part of their group and deceive them about it while she does, but maybe she thinks they’ll all be better off in Grindelwald’s world. Maybe he promises their safety – and remember, she can’t read his mind to know if he’s telling the truth.

Even if all that happened, I don’t believe Queenie would turn to the dark side completely or permanently. I think it’s far more likely she would be tempted for a while, take a few steps down the wrong path, but then come back to the right side by the end of the movie. And what would be most likely to make her change her mind?

Probably if something happened to Jacob.

The new trailer has a voiceover that says, “Muggles are not lesser. Not disposable,” with shots of Jacob onscreen. It’s a man’s voice speaking, but the message is certainly something Queenie would agree with, and it’s clear that Grindelwald believes exactly the opposite. If Grindelwald did something to harm Jacob – if he treated him as “disposable” because he’s a muggle, if he’s hurt or put in danger because of what she helped Grindelwald to do – that would have to change her viewpoint. And if she then caught a glimpse into Grindelwald mind – because that combination of anger and love seems like it could fuel a some powerful magic – she’d be hit hard by what he’s really planning, but maybe it would give her insight into how to thwart him as well. If all that happened because Grindelwald treated Jacob as “lesser” or “disposable”, then … well … “the fate of one will change the future of all”.

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My Thoughts on the New Crimes of Grindelwald Trailer

The Fate of One / The Future of All

This is the tagline for the new poster, and it also shows up in the trailer, so it has to be important. I think it’s about Jacob.

Think about it. Grindelwald’s whole campaign is based on a hatred of muggles, and Jacob is the only muggle in the main cast. He’s been brought back into the wizarding world after having his memory erased at the end of the first movie, and he’s in love with Queenie, a relationship that’s forbidden under America’s strict secrecy laws. Then, just after the words “The Fate of One” and “The Future of All” appear onscreen, we hear, “Muggles are not lesser. Not disposable,” and at the same time we see Jacob.

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And then Queenie crying, looking like she’s trying very hard either to listen for someone’s thoughts or not to hear them.

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That has to be significant, right?

Dumbledore

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Dumbledore seems to be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, not Transfiguration. Newt’s greatest fear as a student was having to work in an office. Based on his “About the Author” page in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the book), he actually did spend two years working in the Office for House Elf Relocation as a young man before he began working with magical beasts.

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This appears as Dumbledore is telling Newt, “I cannot stand against Grindelwald. It has to be you.” Presumably this is the Mirror of Erised, meaning that his deepest desire at this point in his life is to reconcile with Grindelwald. He certainly realizes at this point that Grindelwald is not a good person and that he has to oppose him, but he’s still doing so through other people, such as Newt, and not by fighting Grindelwald himself. I believe J.K. Rowling has previously said that when Dumbledore looks in the mirror, he would see his family reunited, so this Dumbledore is not yet the one we know from the Harry Potter books. If he still misses Grindelwald more than his dead sister and estranged brother, he’s still obviously very conflicted – which makes sense, because this is a five movie series and presumably the famous Dumbledore vs. Grindelwald showdown is in the final one.

Grindelwald

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Here’s Grindelwald making a speech to a huge crowd of his followers. According to Deathly Hallows, Grindelwald avoided Britain because of Dumbledore and was never powerful there, so presumably this is taking place in France, where most of the movie will be set.

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There was a carriage pulled by thestrals in one of the other trailers, and I speculated it was Dumbledore or Newt riding it, since Hogwarts was supposed to have the only tame herd of thestrals in Great Britain. Turns out it’s Grindelwald in the carriage, which raises the question of how he got his hands on a group of Hogwarts thestrals, and why he would go to the trouble to do so.

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Here’s a close-up of the Elder Wand, which belongs to Grindelwald at this point in the story – unless of course they decide to address the fact that Newt disarmed him in the first movie, meaning technically the Elder Wand should be Newt’s now.

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Here’s Grindelwald dueling with Newt and … is that Theseus Scamander? It will be interesting to see what kind of role he plays in all this. It looks like he and Newt are on the same side here, but I have a gut feeling he may not be entirely trustworthy.

Credence

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Credence and the Maledictus appear together multiple times in the trailer. They’re also paired together in most of the posters and promotional materials, so they will probably have a big impact on each other’s stories. How could they not, when he’s an obscurial and she’s under some kind of uncontrollable transformation curse?

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Here they are on the rooftop, and it looks like Credence is getting rid of the obscurus. I believe this was in a previous trailer, too – but I have to think it can’t possibly be so easy. No one has ever stopped being an obscurial, no obscurial has ever survived as long as Credence, and it almost destroyed him in the previous movie, but now he’s able to just push it away? I would guess it comes back to haunt him in some way. Especially given this:

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We catch a glimpse of him, someone (Newt?) shouts out his name, and then we see a building exploding, which looks a lot like the obscurus breaking loose in the first movie. Now, this could take place earlier in the movie than the other scene, but if getting rid of the obscurus is the end of a movie-long character arc, it’s hardly the sort of thing that would make it into the trailers. Especially since it’s something that has never been done before.

Leta Lestrange

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Leta Lestrange says, “You are too good, Newt. You never met a monster you couldn’t love”. Within the trailer, it’s followed by the sequence above with Credence, which brings to mind Newt’s attempt to save him in the first movie. He approaches dangerous people and dangerous creatures in much the same way: with caution, compassion, and a desire to help and understand. Leta looks and sounds upset when she’s saying it, and I can’t help wondering if she’s talking about herself. Maybe she’s gotten involved with Grindelwald and he’s trying to convince her it’s not too late to change her mind, or something along those lines. The way it’s said makes me feel sure it’s not just a comment on his suitcase full of magical creatures, some of which definitely could be described as monsters.

Magical Beasts

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What on earth are these creatures? The only catlike magical creatures listed in Fantastic Beasts are the kneazle and the wampus. A kneazle is supposed to be small (presumably the size of a housecat) with “flecked, speckled or spotted fur, outsize ears, and a tail like a lion’s”, so these clearly don’t fit the bill. A wampus looks like a mountain lion or cougar, “can walk on its hind legs”, and has distinctive yellow eyes, so these don’t look like it either. And yet they’re clearly not ordinary cats. What could they possibly be?

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I’d guess this one is a kelpie. According to Fantastic Beasts, they are aquatic shapeshifters and usually appear in the form of a horse. However, they can take on any form they want. Of all the aquatic creatures in the wizarding world, it seems more likely to be a kelpie than anything else.

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I’m totally at a loss here. At first I thought it might be a clabbert, which is “in appearance something like a cross between a monkey and a frog”, but the clabbert is hairless and small enough to live in trees. It looks a little like the illustration of a quintaped in Fantastic Beasts, but I can’t tell if it has five legs. Anyway, quintapeds live only on one small island north of Scotland, and they sound far too dangerous for even Newt to keep in his suitcase.

Understanding Literary Concepts Through Harry Potter: Foil Characters

Theme. Symbolism. Conflict. Plot structure. Mood and style. These terms are worth knowing, but they’re not always easy to understand – and I say that as someone who absolutely lived for English class from about eighth grade onwards. When you’re already struggling to understand the antiquated language of your very first Shakespeare play, the last thing you want to do is decide which characters are flat characters or round characters, because what does that even mean and how do I apply it? But when it comes down to it, these concepts don’t have to be difficult or confusing. They’re a natural and universal part of storytelling.

I have a vivid memory of one of my old English teachers doing a lesson on foil characters. At first, I remember being confused, but then he gave an example that I knew so well, the pieces suddenly fell into place. I felt as if I’d always known what foil characters were; I just didn’t know what they were called. The example he gave was Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy.

Just before winter break last year, it all came full circle. I taught a lesson on foil characters. I used an example from a book that the sixth graders were reading, but after I’d explained the concept, I asked them if they could think of any other characters they thought might be foils. For a moment, there was silence, but then a boy raised his hand and hesitantly offered that very same example. It was as if, just like for my younger self, they suddenly saw the pieces fall into place. All of a sudden, all the hands in the room were up. They had examples to give, questions to ask, aha! moments to share – and just like that, a new, intimidating concept didn’t seem quite so scary.

That gave me the idea for a blog series, and it seems only fitting that I should start with foil characters.


Foil characters draw the reader’s attention to each other’s traits by being the opposite. They are often similar at first glance, but their differences are more important than their similarities. Harry and Malfoy are pretty much a textbook example of foil characters. On the surface, they have a lot in common. They are both Hogwarts students, the same age and gender, and play the same position on their House Quidditch teams. However, beyond these surface-level similarities, they are polar opposites.

They both play Seeker, which means they are often opponents on the Quidditch pitch. They are in rival houses, with Harry having consciously chosen Gryffindor over Slytherin. Harry has two close friends, while Malfoy has two lackeys to do his bidding. He seems to have no true affection for Crabbe and Goyle and certainly doesn’t see them as his equals. Even in their appearance they are opposites, Harry with his messy hair and hand-me-down clothes, Malfoy with his slick, polished look and traditional wizard’s robes (or, in the movies, fancy suits).

Both were born into the roles that they play in the war. Harry is the Chosen One of the prophecy, the only one who can defeat Voldemort. He is targeted from a young age, his parents are killed, and he’s fighting Voldemort from the moment the dark wizard re-enters his life. Draco, on the other hand, is a Malfoy. He grows up idolizing Voldemort and wishing he would return, and he’s eager at first to join the Death Eaters, although he becomes disillusioned as the war goes on. Neither of them has much choice in the side that they choose, but it would be a mistake to say they don’t make choices. Harry chooses to fight on many occasions when it would be easier to run or hide, while Draco often chooses not to make a choice at all.

At the beginning of the series, Harry is an outsider to the magical world and spends much of his time as a passive observer, figuring things out as we do. He reacts to whatever the conflict of the book is, but he doesn’t see himself as a hero and tries to live a normal life. Voldemort’s return in Goblet of Fire is the turning point, when Harry realizes that a war is coming and he will have to be ready for it. He spends Order of the Phoenix training Dumbledore’s Army and attempting to convince the world that Voldemort is back, while he spends Half-Blood Prince learning Voldemort’s secret weaknesses and investigating Malfoy, who he’s convinced has joined the Death Eaters. By Deathly Hallows, he is no longer an observer or a reactive character. He is a hero on a quest and a soldier in a war.

Malfoy, on the other hand, starts off the series as an active antagonist. While Voldemort has always been the ultimate evil, it was Malfoy’s schemes, taunts, and bullying that Harry had to deal with on a daily basis. Yet as the series goes on, Malfoy becomes more of a nuisance than a real threat. His role in Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix is greatly diminished, he’s not all that successful as a Death Eater, and he’s totally unaware that he’s the master of the Elder Wand until after the fact. Just as Harry starts to become an active hero with a clearly-defined goal, Malfoy goes from being an enemy to an annoyance to little more than a pawn in other people’s schemes.

In Half-Blood Prince in particular, they are on parallel and yet opposite journeys. Both are taking a more direct role in the war, and both have been chosen to do what others on their side consider impossible: killing the leader of the opposing side. They both spend the year working to accomplish this, keeping it secret from all but a select few trusted people. However, while Dumbledore really does want to help Harry succeed and spends the year teaching him about Voldemort’s greatest weakness, it’s strongly implied that Voldemort chose Draco to punish his family for his father’s failure to retrieve the prophecy. He doesn’t care whether he succeeds and doesn’t expect him to.

In a way, you could say they were both chosen by Voldemort. The prophecy could have referred to either Harry or Neville, but Voldemort chose to attack the infant Harry and therefore handpicked the boy who would grow up to defeat him. Voldemort’s choices make a physical mark on both boys: while Draco is given the Dark Mark, branding him as Voldemort’s servant, Harry’s lightning scar is the fulfilment of the line in the prophecy that claims “The Dark Lord shall mark him as his equal”.

It comes down to a lot more than their positions on the Quidditch team or the fact that they are members of rival Houses. In fact, you could say that Harry represents Dumbledore and the Order among his peers, while Malfoy represents Voldemort and the Death Eaters. This larger-scale conflict at first plays out via Quidditch games and school rivalry, and as the kids get older, they themselves become part of the war they’ve already chosen sides in. Although by the end of the series, the rivalry between Harry and Draco is far from the most important battle being fought, it still symbolically represents the war in microcosm. It’s not a coincidence that Harry, having fought with Draco and taken his wand during the battle at Malfoy Manor, is then easily able to win his duel against Voldemort and therefore the war as a whole. Yes, there’s the Elder Wand explanation, but what it comes down to is that, symbolically, he’s already won.

Are there other examples of foil characters in Harry Potter? Certainly. Dudley is another foil to Harry, spoiled where Harry is neglected, greedy and selfish where Harry is generous and selfless, and – to an even greater extent than Malfoy – irrelevant and no longer threatening by the final books in the series. Hermione and Luna are foils to each other: one is the “brightest witch of her age”, but a Gryffindor who ultimately values courage and friendship more than knowledge, while the other is a Ravenclaw who is more perceptive, open-minded, and individualistic than book smart. The two often clash and disagree as if they were designed to be opposites, which they probably were. And then, of course, there’s the contrast between the two werewolves: the kindly, civilized Professor Lupin, who sees his condition as a curse, and the brutal Fenrir Greyback, who fully embraces it. However, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy are probably the most intricate example of foil characters, with not just a few surface-level similarities to highlight opposite personalities, but contrasting plotlines and character journeys centering around a personal feud in which they are not just school rivals but symbols of opposite sides in the story’s main conflict.

Hogwarts Mystery Dueling Club

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The Hogwarts Mystery dueling club opened up for me yesterday, and I really can’t complain, because I did manage to win eight duels with three tickets and get all the prizes. Not that they were especially good prizes, certainly not ones I’d have paid gems for if they had been in the clothing store, although I do like the pants. But the whole dueling club system seems like a letdown, in more ways than one.

Let’s start with the obvious: you’re not really playing against other players. You’re playing against a computer using the face of another player. Lots of people online have commented on this, but even if it wasn’t the common consensus, I’d have figured it out when my phone lost its signal halfway through a duel and let me continue right where I left off when I got connected again, about five minutes later. I don’t really mind the computerized opponent, in theory, but it seems deceptive to use real players’ characters and stats and try to market it as more interactive than it really is.

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But more importantly, the computer doesn’t play like a real person. One duel I won by choosing “sneaky” attacks over and over and over, because my opponent kept choosing “defensive” over and over and over. Another swapped between “aggressive” and “sneaky” on every move, so I just kept swapping between “aggressive” and “defensive” once I figured out the pattern. But others followed no pattern at all and seemed to pick the winning move far more often than a 33% chance would indicate. My first instinct when I thought I was dueling other players was to try to outthink my opponent by figuring out what move they would expect me to make. But a computer program that picks random moves rather than using some kind of strategy or even an identifiable pattern makes it purely a game of chance.

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The duels I won the most easily were the ones against opponents with lower attribute levels than me, and the ones I lost were all against opponents with the same attribute levels. That makes sense. It doesn’t make sense, though, that in an equally balanced duel, where my opponent was also year 4 and also had level 19 courage/empathy/knowledge, they would be able to cut my health points in half with a single spell, while I was barely able to chip away at theirs, little by little, with the most powerful spells I’ve learned. I don’t want to sound like a sore loser, but some of the duels almost seemed to be rigged.

Which wouldn’t matter as much, if dueling were free, or even if dueling tickets were cheaper. If we could pay for dueling club in coins, the way we already do for duels that are part of the storyline, or if the dueling club tickets cost more like 20 or 30 gems, that would be reasonable. But three tickets – three chances to duel – cost 120 gems, which is almost as many as you get for winning the house cup and more than most clothing items in the store.

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If dueling was free (or even much less expensive), I’d keep doing it even after I won the prizes, for the energy points you earn when you win a duel and for something else to do when I can’t progress in the storyline. In fact, that’s how I lost my last ticket. But for 120 gems, it’s not worth it. Maybe if there’s another dueling club event, they’ll give everyone new tickets for it. If not, well, I refuse to spend real money on “free” mobile games, and I have better things to spend my hard-earned gems on.

In other news, gems are on sale right now: 575 gems for $4.99. Coincidence? I think not.

A Hogwarts Mystery Theory

I’m beginning to think that Jacob, the older brother from Hogwarts Mystery, is in Azkaban.

All the clues were pointing to him being trapped somewhere in the Cursed Vaults, but I just talked to Madam Rosmerta, and she said she witnessed him being dragged away by aurors. That makes it sound more like he was arrested.

He was expelled from Hogwarts, which doesn’t necessarily mean he’s in prison. Newt Scamander and Hagrid were both expelled. However, they both had Dumbledore on their side, and neither of them were accused of being Death Eaters. I seriously doubt that Jacob actually was a Death Eater, but the possibility has been mentioned several times, so it has to be important.

It seems like every Slytherin student at Hogwarts has parents in Azkaban. Merula definitely does, and I’ve heard that Barnaby does as well, although I’ve just met him and haven’t learned that yet in the game. Possibly Felix, too, since – as I’ve mentioned before – the age difference is too small for Evan Rosier, who is dead, to be his father. Ismelda talks about bringing back the Dark Lord the first time you meet her, so if her parents aren’t Death Eaters, I’ll be very surprised – but whether they’re in Azkaban or not is a different story.

None of that is necessarily related to Jacob, but at the same time, it’s a lot of emphasis on Azkaban and the Death Eaters for a story that takes place in a time when Voldemort was supposedly gone. We also know from what Sirius tells Harry that the trials held after the first war were not conducted fairly and not everyone got a trial at all, leaving the possibility that Jacob was innocent, but was sent to prison anyway. He might have looked suspicious because of his involvement with the Cursed Vaults, which Ismelda is already hoping will be able to bring back Voldemort.

If he was sent to Azkaban, what about the clues that he’s at Hogwarts right now, trapped in the Cursed Vaults? It’s possible he escaped from Azkaban and returned to the school, but it’s also possible those hints are a false trail laid by Merula, who has already asked the main character to tell her if they find any more of the vaults and may be trying to give them incentive to keep looking. For all her bragging, she must have noticed we always find the next vault before her – maybe she’s trying to ride on our coat tails.

Rosier Family Tree

Between Vinda Rosier from Crimes of Grindelwald and Felix from Hogwarts Mystery, the new material in the Wizarding world is making me think we need an official Rosier family tree. But, for lack of an official one, I’m going to do my best to work it out.

Let’s start with the youngest known family member and work backwards. Felix Rosier is about 2 years older than Bill Weasley, meaning he was born in 1968 or 69.  If this bit of dialogue in Hogwarts Mystery is to be believed, his father was “a top Death Eater”.

The past tense makes me think they meant for Evan Rosier, who is dead by this point, to be his father, but that doesn’t actually work.  Evan Rosier was one of Snape’s peers, and Snape was born in 1960, giving them an age difference of only 8 or 9 years. They could be brothers or cousins, but not father and son. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume they’re brothers and that the past tense is because Voldemort is no longer around. (Alternatively, both died during the war).

There are a few other notable members of the family. One is Druella Rosier, who married Cygnus Black. Another was one of Tom Riddle’s school peers who went on to become one of Voldemort’s first followers. To be near Tom Riddle’s age, he would have had to be born in the late 1920’s, around the time of the first Fantastic Beasts movie. I think it makes a lot of sense for the new character of Vinda Rosier in Crimes of Grindelwald to be his mother, although she could also be an aunt. Druella’s age is not given, but her husband was born in 1938; if she is near his age, she could be either a much younger sister or a cousin to the Rosier who was at school with Tom Riddle.

That character could easily be Evan and Felix’s father. He would have been in his mid-30’s when Evan was born and in his early 40’s when Felix was born if that’s the case. He could also be Felix’s grandfather if both he and his son had children in their early 20’s, although in that case Felix and Evan would probably be cousins, rather than brothers. And, of course, it’s also possible that he’s the father of one and the uncle of the other.

Or, in other words …

rosier family tree