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

 

 

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Thoughts on the Circus Arcanus

The Circus Arcanus is – at least according to the Harry Potter Wiki – a circus run by wizards, not by muggles. I’m not 100% sure how we know that, but the new poster that mentions a Kappa certainly seems to reinforce the idea. While Kappas are a part of Japanese folklore, they actually exist in the world of Harry Potter and are one of the creatures mentioned in Fantastic Beasts (the book). According to Newt Scamander, Kappas are dangerous creatures (rated XXXX), so it’s hard to believe that muggles would have been able to capture one.

If the Circus Arcanus is run by wizards, who are its primary visitors – muggles or wizards? If muggles, then the magic displayed there is probably normal by wizard standards. A witch dancing with a snake coiled around her might be perfectly safe, the kappa is of course a magical creature, and the hypnotist? Well, there’s always the Imperius Curse. The only problem with that idea is that they’d be breaking the law – not just if the hypnotist is using an unforgivable curse, but also by violating the Statute of Secrecy. So it’s more likely that the Circus Arcanus performs for wizard audiences and that the magic used there is strange even by their standards, or that the creatures are rare ones they are unlikely to have encountered before.

Wouldn’t it be interesting, though, if most of it was all smoke and mirrors? I mean, what’s more likely: a humanoid amphibian that devours its own tail or an illusion created to make it look like that’s what’s happening? Another creature, the Abarimon (mentioned in the new flyer), is a real group of people from mythology, and along with having their feet on backwards, they were physically unable to live anywhere but their own native homeland. Of all the possible creatures to include, why the one that couldn’t possibly be part of the circus without completely getting rid of one of its defining features? Unless, of course, that’s a clue that there’s no Abarimon at all, just a witch or wizard using human transfiguration to appear as one.

I know the predominant theory is that “enchanting snake girl” = the Maledictus = Nagini, but what if her trick is more than just turning into a snake? Animagi are rare, but not freak-show-worthy, and a cursed transformation into a snake would likely look no different. Parseltongue, on the other hand, is almost unheard-of except in Slytherin’s descendants. Not only is it something the circus-goers would never have seen before, it’s something a little scary and disturbing, a talent usually viewed with suspicion as opposed to the respect shown to animagi. And, of course, she could be both, if the reason she can talk to snakes is because she’s transforming into one.

One final thought about the Circus Arcanus: doesn’t it seem strange that it’s following Newt Scamander around? First it was in New York, now in Paris, at exactly the same time as him. Of course, there’s no real reason a circus would be following him, unless it wanted to get its hands on some of his creatures. That’s a possibility worth considering, but n the other hand, it might have nothing to do with Newt at all. It might be that the circus is in fact following Grindelwald.

Think about it. A circus can travel anywhere and not attract suspicion, because traveling is what they do. If they’re on Dumbledore’s side, maybe they’re keeping tabs on Grindelwald and reporting back. However, I think it’s more likely they’re working for Grindelwald. The circus has a creepy vibe, and for a group of “freaks” who have a hard time concealing their magic or illusionists who enjoy using their talents in bizarre and eye-catching ways, it’s easy to see why his ideas might seem appealing. Get rid of the statute of secrecy, put the muggles in their place, and never hide again. In that case, maybe they’re subtly helping him gain supporters in the places they visit. Since it seems Credence has joined the circus – but clearly wasn’t thrilled with Grindelwald the last time they met – that could set up for a very interesting conflict.

Cirque Arcanus Flyer Translation

In the promotional pictures for a new Crimes of Grindlewald tie-in product (link), there’s a flyer for the Circus Arcanus written entirely in French. Here’s the original image and my translation:

circus arcanus

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with sous-êtres. Its literal meaning would be “sub-beings” or “below-beings”, but neither of those sound natural in English, and if it’s an idiom, I wasn’t able to find it. The other place where I’m uncertain is the small text above the heading – small size and bold lettering make it hard to read, but I think that’s what it says.

I have so many new thoughts about the Circus Arcanus, so I’ll probably post another update later today or tomorrow.

Credence Lestrange?

One Fantastic Beasts theory I’ve seen going around is that Credence Barebone and Leta Lestrange are half-siblings. Apparently there’s a family tree from one of the trailers and it looks like they’re related? Just recently, the part of Leta’s mother was cast, and she was described as “Corvus Lestrange’s first wife”, so it’s definitely a possibility. I would like to know how a child from a British family of wizards ended up with a magic-hating group in America, but hey, it’s not impossible.

We don’t know a whole lot about the Fantastic Beasts-era Lestranges yet, but their descendants are pure evil. Queenie immediately recognizes the name when she hears it in Newt’s thoughts and mentions their reputation for dark magic. Leta, a former friend of Newt’s, has been described as “complicated” and “misunderstood”, but even she is probably a Grindelwald supporter and certainly a murky, morally ambiguous type. I think, if Credence comes from the Lestrange family, it’s safe to assume that Mary Lou was actually right about his mother being a “wicked woman”.

It’s strongly implied in Fantastic Beasts that Mary Lou knew Credence’s mother. Given the strict laws meant to keep magic hidden in America, it could very well be that Credence’s parents are the only actual wizards/witches she’s encountered. While of course it doesn’t in any way justify child abuse, it’s easy to understand how someone who had history with the Lestranges, but had never met a good witch or wizard, might have a low opinion of magic-users.

And what about Credence now? Would the Lestranges accept a family member who was raised by muggles? Somehow I doubt it. Would they, like Grindelwald, want to use him as a weapon? I suspect so, especially since Leta seems to be working for Grindelwald.

Would Credence want anything to do with a family that really is every horrible thing he was taught to see magic as? I’d like to think no, but then again, he seemed so desperate to belong and be accepted that, with the right manipulation, he might.

One of the fascinating things about Credence is that he’s at the same time one of the most pitiful and sympathetic Harry Potter characters, and one of the most dangerous. He’s a lonely child desperate for affection and fiercely protective of others, but at the same time, he’s so desperate and so full of pent-up anguish that he’s vulnerable to being manipulated by those with less sympathetic intentions. And, of course, at his worst, he’s literally an uncontrollable dark cloud of anger and despair, destroying everything it comes in contact with. It’s really almost impossible to predict what he’ll do in future movies, because being conflicted and easily misled is one of his defining traits.

Who are Grindelwald’s Supporters?

I just finished reading a Pottermore article that included this synopsis of The Crimes of Grindelwald:

We don’t want to give too much away, of course, but here is a snapshot of what is in store. At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

Read the full article here: https://www.pottermore.com/news/fantastic-beasts-the-crimes-of-grindelwald-screenplay-to-be-published-later-this-year

Most of this is nothing new, but I was very interested to see one detail in particular: most of Grindelwald’s followers do not know about his true agenda. That raises the question of what, exactly, they think he’s doing.

To be fair, most of the Death Eaters didn’t know Voldemort’s true agenda, either. They did not know the full extent of his attempts at immortality, which he kept carefully secret, and Dumbledore made it clear that Voldemort did not trust or confide in his followers. However, they did know he hated muggles and muggle-born wizards, and they knew about his plans to take over the magical world. They were there because they agreed and wanted those things, too.

Grindelwald seems to have a very similar agenda (even the pure-blood obsession, it seems like, although that has only been mentioned in promos for the upcoming movie and was not explored in Deathly Hallows or Fantastic Beasts). And, like Voldemort, he has an even deeper agenda that involves mastering death and making himself invincible. The difference is that, according to Pottermore, Grindelwald is even more secretive about his true goals. So, who exactly are Grindelwald’s followers?

There’s almost certainly in inner circle that knows his true goals – at least the world domination part if not the Deathly Hallows part. But there are many others who his surface-level message might appeal to. Depending on just how vague Grindelwald is being about his agenda, many different groups might see him as a positive force for change, from to pure-bloods who believe they’re superior, to muggle-borns and squibs who feel frustrated living double lives, to anyone who has trouble blending in. I would not be surprised if he has a very large American following, given the ultra-strict Rappaport’s Law, which bans even casual friendship between wizards and muggles. His actions so far seem to be mostly focused on terrorist-style attacks and violent attempts to reveal the magical world, so I would guess that his followers are mostly driven by anger and frustration. The one thing they have in common might be that they’re sick of the status quo.

The synopsis makes it sound like Grindelwald is actively recruiting in the upcoming movie. This could just be in a general, off-screen sense; Voldemort was theoretically recruiting in books 5-6, but the only character to join the Death Eaters was Draco Malfoy. However, I wonder if Grindelwald will try to recruit any of the main cast. Here are my thoughts:

  • Newt is already working with Dumbledore and knows too much about Grindelwald to join him. Tina is an auror for MACUSA, seems to believe in Rappaport’s Law, and would have no reason to support him. They’re probably out.
  • Grindelwald has already tried to recruit Credence once and may try again.
  • Leta Lestrange is probably already working for him. Theseus Scamander is working against him, but they’re engaged. There’s definitely some potential for an interesting storyline there.
  • Queenie and Jacob are in love, but were forced apart in the last movie. Under Rappaport’s Law, they will never be allowed to get married, and he will never be allowed to even remember her. They just might become desperate enough to see Grindelwald as an appealing alternative. The synopsis goes on to say: “Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family”. Is there a reason it was so important to mention that Queenie has trouble reading minds that don’t think in American English?
  • There’s a new character called the Maledictus, who is under some kind of a curse. A lot of people have been speculating that she’s enchanted to turn into a snake, and might become Nagini. If she can’t control her transformations, a curse like that would be very hard to hide and make it impossible for her to blend in in the muggle world. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her working for Grindelwald, if the theories are true.

Sadly, it seems like the people who are most vulnerable to Grindelwald’s influence are the ones who ultimately stand to lose the most if he succeeds. While Voldemort recruited mostly pure-blood wizards who agreed with his goals, Grindelwald is clearly good at marketing his movement to people who probably wouldn’t support him if they knew everything. It will be interesting to see to what extent the series chooses to explore this, because it’s one of the most significant contrasts between Grindelwald and Voldemort.

Thoughts on the Crimes of Grindelwald Trailer

One of the first things I noticed watching the new Crimes of Grindelwald trailer was how heavily Hogwarts and Dumbledore feature into it. The very first shots show the familiar castle from  distance, before going inside and introducing the younger Dumbledore. But even aside from the little glimpses of the school and future headmaster, traces of their presence appear throughout the trailer. For instance:

Screenshot (2444)

The Deluminator: this one was hard to get a screencap of, but the Deluminator was one-of-a-kind, invented by Dumbledore himself. It only occasionally appears in the Harry Potter books, up until Deathly Hallows, when it’s revealed that he left it to Ron in his will and that its powers go considerably beyond simply turning off the lights. Its first appearance, however, is in the very first chapter of Sorcerer’s Stone, when Dumbledore arrives at Privet Drive to drop off baby Harry. The scene in the trailer is highly reminiscent of the Sorcerer’s Stone movie, complete with lantern-shaped streetlights.

Screenshot (2456)

Thestrals: these skeletal flying horses are creepy, but they turn out to be gentle creatures. The Ministry of Magic gives them a XXXX rating, meaning that they are dangerous and should only be approached by an expert. However, Hogwarts has a herd of tamed thestrals that live in the Forbidden Forest and pull the school’s carriages. It’s highly likely that whoever is riding in that carriage got it – and the thestrals – from Hogwarts.

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This brief glance at Dumbledore and Newt caught my attention because it reminded me a little bit of this:

69b28238e84e61827960b937b7e840347620511d

The similarities are obvious. Both pairs have a sort of mentor/student relationship: Dumbledore was Newt’s teacher at Hogwarts and “Graves” presented himself as a mentor and protector for Credence. Their voices are soft, whispering, and what they are talking about is private. Grindelwald is asking Credence to find the obscurial, and Dumbledore is asking Newt to fight Grindelwald for him. They even show similar body language: standing close together, heads tilted toward each other, as if sharing a secret. But there’s one huge difference: Newt and Dumbledore are looking each other in the eye. That changes the whole dynamic. Not that Dumbledore was ever 100% open with anyone about everything he knew, but the shot of him with Newt implies a level of trust and respect for each other that is not present with Grindelwald and Credence.

Screenshot (2458)

Finally, there’s this. The sign of the Deathly Hallows. The obvious link here is with Grindelwald, but remember, Dumbledore was after the Hallows, too. However, aside from the wand, none of the Deathly Hallows should come into play at this point in the timeline. Only the Potters know about the cloak, while the ring is passed down from the Peverells to the Gaunts. Dumbledore does not find them until many years later, as an old man, and Grindelwald never achieves his goal of uniting the Hallows.

“Non-Magique”?

According to a recent interview, the French word for “muggle” in The Crimes of Grindelwald will be non-magique. [link]

As I’ve mentioned before, I speak French as a second language and have read the French translations of Harry Potter, so my first reaction was one of extreme confusion.

The American versions of Harry Potter mostly clarify things like jumper vs. sweater – cases where the words mean something different to Americans than to British readers. As cringe-worthy as “No-Maj” is, it could make sense. It does make sense for there to be some differences between the language British and American wizards use. And since there wasn’t a word already, if they wanted to go that route, they had to make one up. But the French translation of Harry Potter has a French equivalent for “muggle”: moldu.

I guess I just don’t see the logic in making up a totally new word when they already have a word that is:

  • Familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books in French
  • Consistent with what has already been done
  • The work of a professional translator and native French speaker
  • Not just a French translation of “non-magical”

It just seems like, with the Fantastic Beasts movies exploring more of the magical world, someone should be looking at those translations of the original series. Unless there’s something wrong with the words the translator came up with, why not use those?