Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has arrived as the next adventure through the Wizarding World that began with the Harry Potter series. While the reviews have been a bit lacking, fans have raved about the movie, discussing how it sheds some new light on the backstory behind many beloved characters, especially in the case of Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald.
As a prequel to an established series, it goes without saying that The Crimes of Grindelwald has plenty of references and easter eggs to the Harry Potter series as well as its capitalizing on elements established in its predecessor, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The borders of Hogwarts blown away in this new franchise, there are plenty of interesting details, magic spells, and creatures that appear. Some things that happen in Harry Potter are even set up in this film.
Because the movie takes place in a world dripping with lore and backstory, there are tons of references hidden in it. It would be nearly impossible to notice them all just watching it for the first time, even for those who are real fans (though we’d wager that they probably caught most of them on a repeat viewing). There are so many details waiting to be noticed in the movie, so it’s time that we gave all of its best easter eggs a time in the spotlight.
Without further ado, we’re conjuring 25 easter eggs that only true fans caught in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
30 Nagini's Surprising Appearance As A Human
One of the more surprising new characters to join The Crimes of Grindelwald was Nagini. Harry Potter fans will recognize her as Lord Voldemort’s snake who served as one of the Horcruxes.
In this movie, she was a Maledictus, cursed to transform into a snake at certain times.
Eventually, her entire body will give into the curse, and she will permanently become a snake. It’s odd to think of Nagini as a person, and she was one of the more criticized elements of the film.
29 Thestrals Transport Grindelwald
At the beginning of the film, Grindelwald is being transferred from the New York Ministry of Magic to the British one. The prison transport is a carriage that is pulled by a group of Thestrals: black skeletal horses with wings. These creatures were previously seen in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The horses could only be seen by those who had experienced demise, and they would later serve as a way for the kids to get into the Ministry of Magic on short notice.
28 He Has An Unbreakable Vow
During their travels, Newt and Tina find a man who captures and imprisons them. After the two break out, they find the man in a daze and investigate his body for spells. Newt, seeing scars upon his body, remarks that it looks like the work of an unbreakable vow. This type of spell was present in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, where Severus Snape made an unbreakable vow with Bellatrix Lestrange that he would “carry out the deed” if Draco Malfoy failed.
27 The First Sign Of Fawkes, The Phoenix
The Crimes of Grindelwald is the first look we get at a younger version of Dumbledore. Dumbledore mentions to Newt about how Phoenixes are bound to appear to those in his family who are in great need, but he didn’t have one at his side.
Fans know that Dumbledore will eventually acquire a Phoenix in the form of Fawkes.
This beautiful bird was present in several movies in the Harry Potter franchise and even helped Harry defeat the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets.
26 Newt Has A Strange Boggart
Returning to Hogwarts was a treat for many viewers of The Crimes of Grindelwald. On top of that, we get to see Dumbledore teaching a class about how to fight a Boggart. This was a reflection of the iconic scene in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where Professor Lupin teaches Harry and his friends the same thing. Both end similarly, with a student having a fear that shocks the rest of the class. Newt’s fear was working in an office.
25 There Are A Ton Of Aurors
When we meet Tina once more in the film, we are told that she has now become an Auror for the Ministry of Magic. Likewise, Newt’s brother Theseus, is also an Auror. Aurors are similar to Death Eaters, but they work for the order of the magical world rather than disorder. Aurors were present in the Harry Potter series and had standout appearances in Order of the Phoenix and The Deathly Hallows. The film goes out of its way to show many Aurors in the world.
24 Young Grindelwald Is Back
The Crimes of Grindelwald starts to delve into the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
During that time, we get a brief look at both characters in their youth.
When Grindelwald is shown, some eagle-eyed fans will notice that it is the same appearance that young Grindelwald had during the flashback scenes in The Deathly Hallows. Grindelwald briefly appeared in that film in a prison where Voldemort inquired him about the location of the Elder Wand. Then, ironically enough, he lost his life.
23 Young Professor McGonagall?
Two moments in The Crimes of Grindelwald show a professor other than Dumbledore: Professor McGonagall. While it’s unclear if it’s the same one in the Harry Potter series or one of her ancestors, the nod is as clear as day. She has her usual role as an authoritative and orderly figure, and she carries herself much like her older counterpart. That said, if it is the real McGonagall, it does present some problems in the Harry Potter continuity, because The Crimes of Grindelwald takes place before McGonagall’s canonical birth.
22 Nicolas Flamel Makes An Appearance
While Newt is traveling Paris illegally, he is given the location of a safe house by Dumbledore. Once he and Jacob travel there, the latter meets an elderly fellow by the name of Nicolas Flamel. Many fans will recognize him as the man who created the Sorcerer’s Stone. It was also easy to see what the consequences of using the stone were. Flamel was extremely frail, having bones break just by shaking someone’s hand. An interesting moment in the movie, though, was when Flamel proved that he was still a powerful wizard.
21 Using Some Polyjuice Potion
A nice nod to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One came when Newt and Tina wanted to get into the French Ministry of Magic.
It was there that Newt decided to use Polyjuice Potion to disguise himself as his brother, Theseus.
Not taking much of the potion, it wasn’t long before his identity was discovered, and his brother hunted him down. It wasn’t nearly as effective as Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s infiltration of the British Ministry of Magic to snatch the locket from Umbridge.
20 The (Strange) Lestrange Family Tree
Leta Lestrange was one of the new characters introduced in The Crimes of Grindelwald. Having a big role to play in the film, we eventually get a bit of her backstory as she reveals her family tree. Marked with flowers and subtle names, fans will remember that this tree was also present at Sirius Black’s house in Order of the Phoenix. Recall that he was cousins with Bellatrix Lestrange, who is distantly related to Leta, with around two generations between the two.
19 Portkeys Are Back
Once Newt discovers where to find Tina, he and Jacob have to find a way out of the country without the Ministry of Magic catching on to them. Newt travels to a distant place where an old man stands with a bucket. After paying him off, Newt and Jacob hop in the bucket, which takes them to Paris. This bucket was a portkey, which fans will remember from The Goblet of Fire. It was a portkey that caused Harry and Cedric to end up in the graveyard where Voldemort was resurrected.
18 The Mirror Of Erised
The Mirror of Erised was a unique part of The Sorcerer’s Stone. It showed anyone what they most desired. For Harry is the sight of his parents with him. By the end of the film, the mirror was removed from Hogwarts. The Crimes of Grindelwald shows this mirror once more, with Dumbledore gazing into it. Instead of seeing some nice socks, he sees his relationship with Grindelwald restored, and the two seeing eye to eye once more. It also shows their blood pact.
17 Return To Defense Against The Dark Arts
When we see Dumbledore teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, particularly the Boggart lesson, you’ll find that the students are lined up in the same way that Professor Lupin lines his up in The Prisoner of Azkaban. Furthermore, the room is exactly the same as it was in the Harry Potter series, complete with a lone desk in the middle of the room and a staircase in the back that led to the professor’s office. Nice to see Hogwarts hasn’t changed in several decades.
16 Dumbledore Disappearing
Unable to move against Grindelwald, Dumbledore meets with Newt to try and convince him to join the fight. While they have an exchange of words, it isn’t long before Dumbledore reasons that he has to leave. He disappears before Newt can say anything and leaves behind a small piece of information. This is extremely similar to how he would speak to Harry in The Half-Blood Prince. Dumbledore would often whisk him away and disappear without giving the boy enough information.
15 Dumbledore's Dueling Club
When the Ministry of Magic goes to visit Dumbledore at Hogwarts, the professor is in the middle of teaching a class.
Fans will recognize the setup is similar to the one found in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Teaching his students how to duel, he gives a few key lessons as well as some neat spells (which garner a few laughs from his students). The scene is a reminder of the duel between both Snape and Lockhart as well as Harry and Malfoy.
14 The Whomping Willow
Not only do we get to see a younger Dumbledore in The Crimes of Grindelwald, but we also get to see a younger Newt Scamander, who was a student at Hogwarts. When he meets Leta at the school, the two share an interesting bond. Later on, he takes her to a strange tree where he shows her some neat insects. The tree is the very same Whomping Willow, which causes many problems in the Harry Potter series. It was concealed a tunnel that led to the Shrieking Shack while also destroying the Weasleys’ flying car.
13 For The Greater Good
It’s interesting to see how a psychopathic wizard like Gellert Grindelwald could gather many followers like Lord Voldemort. During his speech in the film, he uses the phrase “for the greater good.” The irony with this statement is that it would later be used by Elphias Doge in his obituary for Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. Grindelwald was actually taught the phrase by Dumbledore when they were friends, though it took to extremes that would nearly tear the Wizarding World apart.
12 Ariana Dumbledore
Leta Lestrange clearly had a bad time at Hogwarts, never fitting in, and tormenting herself over the loss of a brother.
When Dumbledore talked to her, she accused him of not knowing what it felt like to lose someone like that.
He then reveals that he lost his sister and that he didn’t love her as much as he should’ve. This is a reference to the three-way duel between Albus, Aberforth, and Grindelwald that resulted in the passing of his sister, Ariana. She didn’t appear until The Deathly Hallows.
11 Snake Tongue
This is more of a symbolism than anything else. At the beginning of The Crimes of Grindelwald, it’s revealed that Grindelwald’s tongue was cut out because of how persuasive he was. He later regenerates his tongue, but it comes out as a forked snake tongue instead. This is likely a reference to Grindelwald’s methods. While he might have enticing words for many wizards, he still has bad intentions at heart. He just knows how to say what people want to hear.
10 The Elder Wand
This is something you might not notice unless you were paying attention to it. There are several shots where Grindelwald is conjuring powerful spells. All the while, the camera briefly shows his wand in frame. The wand has the same design as Dumbledore’s wand in the Harry Potter films, which points to it being the Elder Wand of legend. Grindelwald was one of the most dangerous wizards who ever wielded the Elder Wand, but as we know, Dumbledore later disarms him and becomes its master.
9 Leta And Newt’s Engagement
Tina, despite sharing a connection with Newt in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, doesn’t want anything to do with him in The Crimes of Grindelwald. The reason for this is that papers were printed about Leta and Newt being engaged when she was actually engaged to his brother. This is a reference to the last movie, where Newt hints at the fact that he and Leta were romantically involved in the past. This was later affirmed by the flashback scenes with the two at Hogwarts.
8 The Ministry Of Magic
After Grindelwald escapes custody in the first sequence of the film, the movie opens with Newt at the Ministry of Magic. Not only are the black walls the same as they are in the Harry Potter series, but Newt’s encounter with the Aurors is reminiscent of how Harry dealt with them. The Ministry felt corrupt and blind to the problems in the Wizarding World. Looking at situations in a very black and white perspective, Newt found himself unable to side with them, much like Harry.
7 Sending Him To Azkaban
When Dumbledore first comes to Newt and asks him to hunt down Grindelwald, Newt denies it. He says that if he goes anywhere out of the country that the Ministry would surely throw him into Azkaban.
Not exactly a deep reference, Azkaban refers to the high-security magical prison.
It was the place where many of Voldemort’s Death Eaters were held, as well as Sirius Black in The Prisoner of Azkaban. Hagrid would also spend some time there in The Chamber of Secrets for being framed.
6 The Sorcerer’s Stone Shows Up
While Nicolas Flamel played a supporting role in The Crimes of Grindelwald, the references to The Sorcerer’s Stone didn’t end with just him. One shot sees him opening a cabinet and grabbing an important object.
However, there is one other object in that cabinet: a bright red stone.
Most fans will immediately recognize that as the very same Sorcerer’s Stone that was hidden at Hogwarts in the film. The stone was hidden in such a way that only people who didn’t want to use it could find it.
5 Is That A Kappa?
There are a lot of different creatures in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and some are references to the Harry Potter franchise while others are references to mythology. There is a water-based animal in the film that Newt calls a Kappa, which can be extremely dangerous. This is based on the Kappa from Japanese mythology that can take people underwater. They are typically represented as part human and part turtle, having both shells on their backs and dishes of water on their heads.
4 Putting Light On The Deluminator
When Dumbledore arrives in Europe to talk to Newt, he has to do so in secrecy, as the Ministry of Magic is watching his every move. To get a few words in, Dumbledore whips out a device that takes the light away. This is the Deluminator of the Harry Potter series. Dumbledore first used in The Sorcerer's Stone to hide his arrival with the infant Harry. It was later given to Ron Weasley, who used it to find his way back to his friends in The Deathly Hallows Part One.
3 It's Ridikulus
When we see Dumbledore teaching a class about how to go up against a Boggart, he is using all of the same strategies that Lupin used in The Prisoner of Azkaban. He even taught his students to use the "Ridikulus" spell that would turn the haunting form into something much funnier. When Newt used it on the office that the Boggart transformed into, it turned into a silly-looking dragon, which would foreshadow how Newt loved all kinds of magical creatures.
2 The Use Of Unforgivable Curses
In the Harry Potter series, we learned of three unforgivable curses that each had serious consequences on both the user and the victim. The Crimes of Grindelwald brings back two of those curses: the ending curse and the Imperius curse. Grindelwald's followers used the former on an unsuspecting family, mirroring Voldemort's encounter with Harry Potter. The latter was used by Leta Lestrange's father to force a woman to marry him. This curse would be used by Harry while breaking into Gringotts.
1 House Elves Do The Work
There is a lot of background detail in The Crimes of Grindelwald, particularly with the various Ministries of Magic.
There are a few shots which showcase House Elves working for them, cleaning windows and walls.
A House Elf also worked with the circus and helped it pack its items away. House Elves were a major part of Harry Potter, with Dobby and Kreacher being chief members of their race. Hermione, in the books, also started a movement to try and free all House Elves of work.