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Previously on Fantastic Beasts: everything you need to know before seeing The Crimes of Grindelwald


Don't forget to set your alarm for 16th November, because that's when the eagerly anticipated Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 'apparates' in Cineworld. We were (and still are) huge fans of the Harry Potter series, and J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts prequel series is shaping up to be just as enchanting.

If, for some reason, you missed the first film, or you simply need reminding as to what happened in it, here is everything you need to know before seeing The Crimes of Grindelwald.


Newt Scamander

Fantastic Beasts may very well be set within the same universe as the Harry Potter franchise, but it has nothing to do with the titular Boy Who Lived, mostly because this trilogy takes place in 1926, 70 years before Harry even set foot inside Hogwarts – also the year dark wizard Voldemort was born.

Instead, we spend our time with Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a neurotic and socially awkward writer and magizoologist (someone who studies magical creatures) who finds himself caught up in a war erupting between humans and wizards. And all through the simple mix-up of suitcases.

A former student of Hogwarts, who was expelled after an unspecified incident involving a beast, Newt arrives in New York with an enchanted briefcase full of magical creatures (something that's illegal to possess). However, Newt mistakes his case for one full of baked goods belonging to a 'No-Maj' (the American term for 'Muggle'). Magical hijinks ensue when some of the critters escape, meaning Newt has to hunt them down before the wizarding world is exposed.

Jacob: the 'No-Maj'

Whereas Harry had the ever-loyal Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger by his side, Newt quickly finds himself in the company of Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), an aspiring baker who gets wrapped up in Newt's adventures.

Jacob is, in many ways, the person we all wish we were: the No-Maj who gets to enter the wizarding world after he mistakenly grabs Newt's case. His involvement in Newt's antics isn't necessarily by choice – and he finds himself the butt of many jokes - but Jacob has the biggest heart you can imagine.

In a poignant turn of events, at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Jacob has his memory wiped. Although it seemed that this fan-favourite would be taking his leave from the series, a sly smile to the camera after he encounters one of his former accomplices at the very end of the film suggests that some friendships are more powerful than memory charms…

The Goldstein sisters

Newt is also accompanied on his quest by the Goldstein sisters: Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie (Alison Sudol).

Tina, an investigator for the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), just so happened to be present when one of Newt's mischievous companions ran riot, and initially takes Newt to face justice.

But after she discovers the escaped creatures are being used as a scapegoat by a questionable politician, she decides to join forces with him. During their time together, Newt and Tina form a close friendship, and although they bid farewell at the end of the film, they're due to reunite in The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Then there's Queenie, someone who's incredibly empathetic thanks to her gift of legilimency – a magical telepathy that lets her tune in to others' emotions. Queenie and Jacob immediately take a shine to each other, and it's these strong feelings that seem to jog Jacob's memory.

To Newt's chagrin, Queenie also latches on to his memories of former Hogwarts love interest Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz), whom he left behind in England, and whom Queenie describes as a "taker, not a giver".

Graves, Credence and the Obscurus

While Newt and company were off rounding up some fantastic beasts, we were introduced to Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), a troubled young man living with his younger sister Chastity (Jenn Murray) and abusive adopted mother Mary Lou (Samantha Morton).

He's tasked by Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), Director of Magical Security at MACUSA, to find an obscurus (a parasite that grows in young wizards who suppress their abilities) that he has seen in his visions.

Throughout the film, we're led to believe that Credence was born with no powers, and it's his sister who's the 'obscurial'. But through some clever misdirection, it's revealed that Credence possesses the magical powers, and Graves is actually dark wizard Grindelwald in disguise, who sends Credence on a rampage in order to instigate a war between wizards and non-wizards. 

Interestingly, it was implied that Credence was killed during a climatic battle, but the latest trailer for The Crimes of Grindelwald reveals he's very much alive. How did he survive and what role will he play?

Grindelwald revealed

After Newt apprehends Graves, he reveals him to be Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) disguised as the Director, attempting to use Graves's high-ranking position to achieve his manifesto of ruling over non-wizards for "the greater good".

Grindelwald is taken away, but we know we haven't seen the last of him – in the new film, the enraged villain escapes and escalates his coming war with human-kind. We can't wait to see Depp's baddie reveal more of his diabolical plans as the Fantastic Beasts universe darkens – particularly his relationship with one Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law)...

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is released in Cineworld on 16th November.

Want more? Click here for your essential guide to the Fantastic Beasts universe.

Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.