The Crimes of Grindelwald


Ayden Bird, Journalist

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” premiered on November 16thbringing about the long-anticipated sequel to Harry Potter prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. The film promised to expand the Potter-verse even further, introducing new characters and sharing backstories for beloved favorites. While a magical film for its own worth, Crimes of Grindelwald also acts as a sort of referendum on screenwriter and author J.K. Rowling’s expansion of the canon originally closed over 10 years ago with the release of the Deathly Hallows novel.  

Rowling has been under scrutiny for several years mainly due to her retconning– adding or changing details of her works after publication- via Twitter and other sources. Some of her controversies include changing the race of Hermione Granger and claiming that Albus Dumbledore was gay, despite it never being mentioned.   

Many fans approached the film hopeful that Dumbledore’s identity would be explicitly mentioned, as his relationship with dark wizard Gilbert Grindelwald was a main focus of the film. They were left disappointed with only a vague inference of the relationship.  

The film continued this infamous retconning, revealing unknown family members and even drastically changing the universe’s timeline. However, not all was lost. If one is able to look over the faults of the film, they can appreciate a deep-dive into the lore of a beloved franchise, lore that we never expected to experience firsthand. Although uncalled for and a bit out of place, there was still something rewarding about seeing beloved characters again. Many aspects of the film also appeared to be very timely, from the politics of Grindelwald to the fear among wizards. 

Despite questionable additions and frustrating omissions, the film was satisfying and acts as the second chapter to a planned five-film series, earning it a rating of 8/10.