Long before Lord Voldemort terrorised the wizarding world, there was Grindelwald: a Dark wizard bent on wizarding domination, all for the sake of the greater good. This is his story…
- Grindelwald’s childhood
Grindelwald was born around 1883, but his place of birth is a mystery. As a young wizard he attended Durmstrang - a European wizarding school with a reputation for Dark magic.
The school expelled Grindelwald for twisted experiments and near-fatal attacks on his fellow students. He was only 16.
2. The Deathly Hallows
Even as a student Grindelwald was obsessed with power, in particular the Deathly Hallows – the three most powerful objects in the wizarding world. The symbol of the Hallows is a triangular mark that depicts the Elder Wand, Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility, later owned by Harry Potter.
It is said that to possess all three would make one the Master of Death. Grindelwald carved this symbol into a wall at Durmstrang, and it became something of a calling card.
3. Godric’s Hollow
Underterred by his Durmstrang expulsion, the young Grindelwald headed to Godric’s Hollow in England, where he stayed in the home of his great aunt, History of Magic author Bathilda Bagshot. The village was once the home of Ignotus Peverell, one of the three brothers who first owned the Deathly Hallows. It was also home to the Dumbledore family.
Albus Dumbledore graduated from Hogwarts that summer, full of ambition but raw from many family tragedies. The death of his mother left Albus as the head of the family, but he felt trapped.
4. Dumbledore and Grindelwald
Dumbledore saw in Grindelwald an equal and the two became inseparable, sharing an obsession with the Deathly Hallows. When Grindelwald told Albus about his plans for wizard dominance over Muggles – a plan he claimed was ‘for the greater good’ – Albus began to get a little too fascinated by Grindelwald’s way of thinking.
The friendship quickly caused tension within Albus’s family. With both parents gone, Albus was responsible for his troubled sister, Ariana, and his brother, Aberforth. Albus’s intense friendship with Grindelwald and fascination with the Deathly Hallows drove Aberforth to act.
A dramatic three-way duel between Aberforth, Grindelwald and Albus ended in tragedy when Ariana was killed in the crossfire. Albus and Grindelwald’s friendship was over. Grindelwald fled, and Aberforth broke Albus’s nose at their sister’s graveside.
5. The Elder Wand
On his travels across Europe, Grindelwald gathered followers and tracked down the Elder Wand. Grindelwald stole it from wandmaker Gregorovitch, and continued to follow his dreams of seizing power ‘for the greater good’. Interestingly, he avoided Britain, perhaps out of fear of Dumbledore.
6. Grindelwald and Credence
Years later, Grindelwald stole the identity of MACUSA Auror Percival Graves. Under this guise, he met another impressionable young man: Credence Barebone. Upon discovering Credence was an Obscurial – a repressed wizard bursting with an uncontrollable dangerous magical energy – Grindelwald tried to use him to expose the North American wizarding community, and create a weapon against Dumbledore.
With the help of Magizoologist Newt Scamander, Grindelwald was caught by MACUSA. Still intent on overthrowing the Statute of Secrecy, rules that encouraged wizards to hide from the non-magical community, Grindelwald didn’t let being arrested stop his twisted quest.