Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) finds himself beset by enemies on all sides in spectacular-looking threequel Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
The latest enchanting chapter in the Harry Potter prequel series pits Dumbledore (Jude Law) against his ex-lover-turned-nemesis Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen). Meanwhile, Grindelwald is massing his forces for the impending war between pure-bloods and muggles.
Fortunately, our meek and mild magizoologist isn't heading into this particular battle alone. With the movie's release imminent, here are those sticking by Newt, as well as those fighting against him, and those whose side isn't immediately obvious...
Who are the good guys in Fantastic Beasts 3?
Played by Katherine Waterston
Aka Tina, Newt's closest ally whom he first met in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. An American witch, Tina is a half-blood who was expelled as an Auror from MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) after assaulting no-maj Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton).
Unbeknown to the authorities, Tina was investigating Mary-Lou's unsavoury witchcraft activities in the guise of the New Salem Philanthropic Society. Tina also played a key role in helping 'Obscurial' Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), Mary Lou's adopted son, to escape, allowing him to go to ground in Paris, which is where The Crimes of Grindelwald picked up. Tina now emerges as one of Newt's most important allies in the battle against Grindelwald.
Played by Dan Fogler
Jacob is a 'no-maj' – the American term for muggle that essentially delineates a non-wizard. He first came across Newt in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, being introduced to the magical menagerie inside his briefcase.
The first movie culminated in Jacob's memory being wiped by Newt, after which he left America to head back to England. Jacob then followed his dream of opening his own bakery – but there seemed to be a residual memory of witch Queenie Goldstein left in that noggin of his.
Content to remain in his New York bakery, muggle Jacob is recruited into the fold by witch Professor Eulalie 'Lally' Hicks (Jessica Williams). In the latest trailer for The Secrets of Dumbledore, we cut to the inside of a train (sadly, it doesn't appear to be the Hogwarts Express) where Jacob is given his first magic wand (he also drinks Gigglewater to delightful effect).
Played by Jude Law
You can't fail to have heard that Newt's former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher is back in The Crimes of Grindelwald. In his younger form, Dumbledore comes across as more of a dashing Errol Flynn type, one who harbours a great deal of affection towards his former pupil, whom he vouched for in the face of Newt's Hogwarts expulsion.
Given J.K. Rowling revealed Dumbledore as gay, and given his much-reported history with the villainous Grindelwald, we imagine there's much more to this character to be revealed. It may be that, in spite of Dumbledore's status as a valued ally, his feelings towards Grindelwald prevent him from moving against the dark wizard.
Given the title of the movie, we expect The Secrets of Dumbledore to largely pivot around the destiny of the revered Hogwarts headmaster. There's all manner of backstory to be teased out as we get closer to the heart of the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, and what this means for the future of mankind.
Played by Callum Turner
Newt's estranged brother, and in The Crimes of Grindelwald, it was initially unclear whether Theseus had his sibling's interests at heart. We were presented with contradictory messages about Theseus – at one stage, Newt and Tina are seen escaping him via a magic spell, whereas during a pivotal battle with Grindelwald, the two brothers appear to be working side by side.
Combine this with the fact Theseus has taken up with Leta Lestrange, for whom Newt still carries the torch, and it's not clear if Theseus is a straight-up good or bad guy. However, the climax of The Crimes of Grindelwald show that Theseus is more than ready to support Newt in the upcoming battle between Grindelwald's pure-bloods and the unsuspecting muggles.
Played by Richard Coyle
Albus Dumbledore's brother is a key part of the tapestry that connects to the wider Harry Potter universe. (He was played as an older man in the Potter movies by Belfast Oscar nominee Ciaran Hinds.) The triangular and tragic battle between the Dumbledore brothers, their sister Ariana and Grindelwald has informed the ideological position of the characters in The Secrets of Dumbledore. We get a quick glimpse of Aberforth in the latest trailer for the movie, and he's revealed to be a pub owner with a somewhat dismissive attitude towards being Albus' sibling.
Played by Jessica Williams
Eulalie is the Charms Professor at the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in North America. In early September 1927, Nicolas Flamel had a conversation with Eulalie Hicks via his magical book. She urged him to help Newton Scamander and told Flamel that "they all believed in him".
Played by Fiona Glascott
How does one explain McGonagall's presence in this movie, given that she didn't start teaching until the 1950s? Regardless, we can't wait to see Fiona Glascott reprise the role of the acidic yet wise Hogwarts teacher. She first played the role in The Crimes of Grindewald, and here she has "disturbing news" to share with Dumbledore about his dark wizard nemesis. We wonder what that could be...
Who are the bad guys in Fantastic Beasts 3?
Played by Mads Mikkelsen
The titular big bad, Grindelwald wants to stir up a war between magicians and muggles. Possessed of seductive rhetoric and a charismatic personality, Grindelwald has drawn parallels with real-life politicians and leaders who carefully entrap people in their schemes.
He first emerged in a surprise twist at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts, after MACUSA security chief Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) was revealed to be Grindelwald in disguise. At the outset of the sequel, Grindelwald escapes prison to rally more people to his cause, although we're still curious as to how his relationship with Dumbledore will factor into Fantastic Beasts 3.
We know that Ariana Dumbledore was killed in the conflict between Albus Dumbledore, his brother Aberforth and Grindelwald. The dark wizard used to be Albus Dumbledore's lover, and the trailer for The Secrets of Dumbledore implies that Grindelwald is keen for his old friend to join the side of the pure-bloods. We can't wait to see how this plays out.
Played by Alison Sudol
Tina's sister, witch Queenie is a 'legilimens' – meaning she can read people's minds and interpret their feelings. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, she put this skill to use on Newt (against his wishes), revealing the depth of his feelings towards former love interest Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz).
Queenie exposed the level of emotional pain lurking beneath Newt's shy exterior, although he wasn't happy about it, describing Lestrange as a "taker", whereas he needs "a giver". At the end of The Crimes of Grindelwald, Queenie switched sides and joined Grindelwald's army. In the trailer for The Secrets of Dumbledore, we get a glimpse of Queenie and her former beau Jacob preparing to battle each other, so this should be an intriguing sub-plot in the film.
Played by Maria Fernanda Cândido
Vicencia is a Brazilian witch who runs for President of the International Confederation of Wizards in the 1930s. In the trailer for The Secrets of Dumbledore, she appears to recognise some political potential by aligning herself with Grindelwald.
Whose loyalties are in doubt in Fantastic Beasts 2?
Played by Ezra Miller
Despite his damaging and destructive abilities as an 'Obscurial', Credence Barebone is more a victim of circumstance. Adopted by the malevolent Mary Lou Barebone, as we saw in the first Fantastic Beasts movie, he was revealed to be harbouring the dreaded obscurus parasite, which occurs when a wizard or witch is forced to suppress their powers.
In The Crimes of Grindelwald, the fugitive Credence is shown to be living in Paris. There he teams up with circus performer Nagini (Claudia Kim), a 'Maledictus' (human compelled to take the form of a beast) later to become Lord Voldemort's pet. It remains to be seen whether Credence will continue on his path as a somewhat tragic figure, or if he'll be drawn into Grindelwald's cause.
Tickets for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore go on sale on Friday 18th March. Don't forget to tweet us @Cineworld when you've secured your seat.