Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first in what is shaping up to be a series of standalone Potterverse films. But just how does it fit in with the rest?
Who is Grindelwald?
Gellert Grindelwald is considered by many as one of the most dangerous Dark Wizards of all time. A past student at The Durmstrang Institute (Viktor Krum’s school), he was expelled and eventually came into contact with none other than the famous Albus Dumbledore, eventually joining the wizard on his quest for the Deathly Hallows.
Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth disagreed with Albus and Gellert’s quest for the Hallows; this culminated in a three-way duel between the wizards, resulting in the death of Dumbledore’s younger sister, Ariana. Grindelwald commissioned the build of the prison Nurmengard, where he would confine his various nemeses, and which would eventually become his very own prison after his defeat by Dumbledore in 1945. Nurmengard would also become Grindelwald’s final resting place, following his murder by the Dark Lord in his pursuit of the Elder Wand.
An Obscurial is any witch or wizard who, for fear of persecution for their abilities, has suppressed their magic to the point that they become a parasitical magical force, known as an Obscurus. When an Obscurial is in their Obscurus form, they can make physical contact with and impact on things in the real world, but are often invisible to those around them.
Thanks to the parasitical nature of their Obscuri, Obscurials typically don’t live past their 10th birthdays, as the force trapped inside them becomes too much for them to handle. However, it has been known that exceptionally powerful wizards can survive past this point.
Where to now?
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was originally a scholastic textbook Harry Potter used for his classes at Hogwarts, and has now been turned into a motion picture with four rumoured sequels.
Following the events of the first film – though nothing has been officially confirmed by MACUSA – the rest of the series is set to follow the story of Gellert Grindelwald and his quest to become the most powerful Dark Wizard the world has seen. It isn’t a coincidence, after all, that the 1926 setting of this film overlaps with the subtle beginnings of Grindelwald’s reign…