One thing I’ve said before is that it looks like Fantastic Beasts will be about what happens when the magical and muggle worlds collide. With Rappaport’s Law preventing wizard/muggle marriages and even friendships, the Second Salem group looking to start a witch hunt, and of course the basic premise of magical creatures loose in New York City, that seems fairly obvious.
Oh, and there’s Grindelwald. I didn’t make the connection before, but Grindelwald’s rise to power – mentioned in one of the trailers – was all about muggle vs. wizard conflict. He believed that wizards’ powers gave them the right to rule over muggles, and that taking control would be “for the greater good” – or at least, that’s the justification he gave to Dumbledore. Whereas the Death Eaters believed in excluding muggles and muggle-borns, something that was dependent on staying hidden, Grindelwald’s agenda could only have been fulfilled by revealing their existence. Stepping out of the shadows, so to speak.
Wait a moment. Where have I heard that before?
In the most recent Fantastic Beasts trailer, two men are standing in an alleyway, looking at a wall plastered with Second Salem flyers, and one tells the other, “We’ve been living in the shadows for too long”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the two men are Percival Graves, a MACUSA auror, and Credence Barebone, from the New Salem Philanthropic Society – an odd couple of people to be having that sort of conversation. Who is “we”?
But what if … Credence Barebone, who is supposed to be important somehow, is in fact a wizard? It must be hard to be a muggle-born wizard under Rappaport’s Law, and even harder if your family is devoted to wiping out magic. Someone in that position might hide their powers and lash out even harder against witches and wizards, or might be vulnerable to manipulation by someone like Grindelwald, who thought wizards should take control.
Surely he had followers, or else he never would have gotten where he did. In a setting like 1920’s Wizarding America, where tensions between wizards and muggles apparently are already high, it’s not hard to imagine that some people would have thought he had the right idea.
And with that in mind, with five movies to go, it would be a lot more interesting to see Grindelwald’s rise and fall than to watch Newt Scamander chase magical creatures around different muggle cities. I hope that’s the direction the series will take.