As the latest extension of the Harry Potter franchise (now dubbed ‘The Wizarding World’) The Crimes of Grindelwald looks to focus a lot more on familiar characters and settings than the first Fantastic Beasts movie with the first teaser filled with a huge amount of Harry Potter easter eggs and references.
The first big reference to the wider franchise is of course Hogwarts, although it was mentioned in the first movie this is the first time we’ve seen the school outside of the actual Harry Potter films. As you’d expect the school looks pretty much exactly the same, showing the castle ages pretty well in the sixty (ish) years until Harry arrives.
What may be the biggest reveal to come out of this scene is how we see some Ministry officials apparating onto the Hogwarts grounds. Now as we know (thanks to Hermione’s regular reminders) people can’t apparate on to the schools grounds, and although this rule was altered a little for the the Half Blood Prince movie (which shows Dumbledore as an exception to the rule, where as in the book Harry and Dumbledore have to travel outside of the grounds to apparate) for the most part it stands as pretty well established Hogwarts lore.
A number of fans have since pointed out this apparent problem but the solution will no doubt come down to the fact that Dumbledore will enact this as a rule (through some powerful magic) when he becomes Headmaster of the school. It’ never actually been mentioned when the no apparating rule was enacted and so it’s perfectly possible it was a lot closer to the Harry Potter books (rather than a long standing rule) than we originally thought. I’d even go as far as expecting Jude Law’s younger Albus Dumbledore to make some sort of joke to the Ministry officials questioning him about stopping people being able to apparate to the school if he was ever headmaster.
Although Dumbledore himself is less of an easter egg or reference, it’s notable that we’re seeing him here (with his role looking to increase over the course of the film series). This younger version of Dumbledore looks to show us a number of things we didn’t know about the character, with the reason why he can’t get involved in the fight against Grindelwald (yet) perhaps being little more complicated than we were led to believe in the Harry Potter books (where he confessed he may of put off confronting Grindelwald due to his own feelings towards the Dark Wizard).
The two scenes we see Dumbledore in (which I expect are the only two scenes he will actually be in) show us that Dumbledore’s somewhat antagonistic relationship with the Ministry has pretty much always been the case, and that he clearly holds Newt in very high regard.
The Defence against the Dark Arts Classroom:
We already know that Dumbledore was the head Transfiguration teacher during his time at Hogwarts, and so it might seem strange that he looks to be set up in what we later know to be the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom during the Harry Potter movies.
We could argue that he might just happen to be in there when the Ministry officials arrive, but a number of the magical objects and trinkets that adorn the room look to be earlier versions of things we later see in his office, and so it must be where he works during this time period.
Although there are a few ways to explain Dumbledore being in this classroom, like how we see Quirrell teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts in a totally different classroom during Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, there is also the argument that we’re seeing Dumbledore in this office as purely an Easter Egg, as it’s probably the most recognisable classroom forma the original movies.
Dumbledore is known as the greatest Wizard of his age, excelling at almost every piece of magic he tried. His brilliance extended over into a number of fields, with one of those being a number of unique inventions, the most portent of which is his Deluminator. Described as looking a lot like a cigarette lighter, the Deluminator (when ignited) pulls the light from nearby sources and hides them, only to release them when the user reignited the device. We see it feature during the first book/film (at the beginning, and I half expect that scene to be mirrored at the opening of Crimes of Grindelwald), and of course Dumbledore leaves it Ron in his will, and it goes on to reunite Ron, Harry, and Hermione in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The Lestrange Connection to Credence:
The Lestrange family play a pretty important role throughout the Potter franchise, with the most obvious influence being Bellatrix Lestrange who proves herself to be Voldemort’s most loyal follower a number of times as well as totruting Neville’s parents into madness and killing Sirius Black. We also know that the Lestrange family is one of the ‘sacred twenty eight’ pureblood families and as such has been a prominent wizarding family for a long time.
In the first fantastic beasts we saw Zoë Kravitz make a brief cameo as Leta Lestrange (via a photograph), as someone who clearly has some sort of romantic past with Newt. We now know that she is engaged to Newt’s seemingly more successful and well known brother Theseus Scamander, but still holds some sort of control over Newt (who may still be in love with her).
In the Crimes of Grindelwald teaser we see a very brief shot of Leta Lestrange, but the more interesting thing we see from the Lestrange family is the scene where we see someone (possibly Newt) in the sewers looking at a wall covered in writing. When you look closely at the writing you can see what looks to be a family tree (or at least some pretty detailed notes) stemming from a ‘Corvus Lestrange’, and that on one side leads to Leta Lestrange, and on the other leads to ‘Credence Barebone’.
How exactly Credence’s status as a potential Lestrange plays into the wider plot of the Fantastic Beasts franchise is yet to be scene, but at the very least it leads to a pretty intriguing easter egg.
Another of the more obvious references is the appearance of the Thestrals. We first meet the winged horses in the fifth movie, and although there’s been some debate on why Harry didn’t see them earlier generally speaking they can only be seen by those who have seen death.
In the teaser trailer we get a quick shot of a carriage pulled by a number of thestrals through what looks to be a Parisian skyline.
The Deathly Hallows:
The deathly hallows played a huge role in the endgame of the hardy potter franchise, and it’s there that we learn that Harry’s invisibility cloak, the elder wand and the resurrection stone make up an extremely powerful trio of objects that is said to make the owner a master of death.
The story behind the hallows (known as ‘the three brothers’) goes into detail on the origins of the hallows, explaining that after three brothers outsmarted death, each was rewarded with a powerful magical object (later to be reared to as ‘hallows’). Although generally it seems this is dismissed as simply a story, a small faction of witches and wizards believe in the existence of the hallows – with the Peverell brothers often being cited as the three brothers in the story.
We find out in the final book/movies that the hallows do exist and that Voldemort is after the elder wand. We also learn that before him Grindelwald sought the wand (as well as the other hallows) and that in his youth (and along with Dumbledore) spent a lot of time tracking them down, until Grindelwald finally found the Elder Wand with the wand maker Grigorovich, who in turn eventually lost it to Dumbledore in their fated battle in 1945.
In the Crimes of Grindelwald teaser, we see a brief glimpse of the Hallows symbol after the trailer itself. This follows the equally brief shot of it in the first Fantastic Beasts movie where Grindelwald (posing as Graves) gives a necklace bearing the symbol to Credence. How big a role the hallows will have in the Fantastic Beasts movies is still unclear, as it appears Grindelwald already has the Elder Wand.
There is a lot of information packed into the Crimes of Grindelwald teaser, almost the perfect amount and I’m almost worried subsequent teasers and trailers might spoil too much, but the Easter Eggs and references to the wider Wizarding World and the Harry Potter franchise are among the highlights.