Wednesday 28th Sept 2016
The final Fantastic Beasts trailer gives us new magical creatures, wizarding world revelations, and the true scope of the tension between wizards and No-Majs. Fancy a watch?
It’s definitely not an understatement to say that there’s a lot of eye-opening new moments in the latest trailer from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Take a look for yourself:
This latest foray into Newt Scamander’s adventure introduces us to even more magical creatures, more destruction across New York and, perhaps most importantly, a deeper insight into just how segregated the worlds of the magical and the non-magical really were in 1920s North America.
There’s major hostility in the air, and we’re beginning to see clearer definitions between good and evil. Here are some of the huge themes we’ve spotted emerging, and a few special moments that also caught our eye…
The Harry Potter books introduce us to many spells as Harry grows up. In Fantastic Beasts, however, we’re in the more adult wizarding world and it looks like there are some examples of magic we’ve never seen Harry and his classmates use.
One fun moment shows Newt, Tina and Queenie magically change their outfits. If only Ron had known that spell for the Yule Ball...
But did you spot the new creature debuts? We’re pretty sure we spotted a Graphorn (with a little, baby Graphorn!) and the rhino-esque creature we see reminds us very much of the majestic Erumpent. What about that spiked creature that has a strange blowfish-style defence technique? We suspect it might be a Nundu...
The No-Maj and wizarding worlds collide
We’re seeing certain clues to the paranoia that wizarding North America experienced during this era. Just look at the grand device in MACUSA’s lobby that tells its employees of their ‘magical exposure threat level.’
Then there’s the No-Maj community themselves. We finally hear No-Maj Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton) speak for the first time, and from the way she says ‘Witches live among us’ we don’t think she’s okay with that.
It’s not just the No-Majs who are feeling hostile. We find Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) looking morosely at a poster which appears to say ‘…America from witches. Join our army.’
On closer inspection, we think that’s most likely ‘Save America from witches.’ We also see the phrase, ‘the new Salemers.’ We know that the Second Salemers are a fanatical organisation intent on exposing witchcraft in America, with Mary Lou at the helm.
It’s safe to assume the organisation’s name comes from the Salem Witch Trials, a dark time in early North American history for witches and wizards who travelled to the New World. We’ve seen these hostile attitudes towards Muggles before in the Harry Potter stories, but Fantastic Beasts looks set to cut into the matter with even sharper tools.
The Jazz Age
But despite the apparent conflicts in the wizarding world, the trailer also celebrates the gorgeousness of the 1920s era. From the opening shot of the lit-up sign ‘Squires’, to the smoky innards of The Blind Pig speakeasy, we get a closer look at some of the exquisite details of New York’s roaring decade.
Just check out Colleen Atwood’s incredibly dedicated costume design on some of Tina’s dresses. Or the typography of the posters spread across town. There are even goblins dressed like mobsters. FYI, that’s a rather important goblin we hear waxing lyrical about Newt’s unfortunate predicament. His name is Gnarlak, voiced by Ron Perlman.
A new revolution?
Here we see Percival Graves looking at the ‘Second Salemers’ poster with their leader’s son, Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). Considering we know his adopted mother is a No-Maj, not to mention involved in the Second Salemers, why is Percival talking about ‘living in the shadows for too long’ to Credence? !
MACUSA’s formidable Seraphina Picquery mentions a very familiar name indeed: Grindelwald was active in wizarding Europe during the 1920s. According to Seraphina, the events occurring in Fantastic Beasts could be ‘related’ to Grindelwald’s anti-Muggle attacks, and ‘this could mean war’.
For those who’ve not been reading their Chocolate Frog cards recently, the Dark wizard Grindelwald could almost be seen as the Voldemort of his day. He vowed to put an end to the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy and create a new world order where wizards ruled over Muggles. His reign of terror was put to an end during a momentous duel between him and former childhood friend, Albus Dumbledore. Remember that guy?
We have to wonder how Grindelwald’s actions in Europe affect this story. After all, the relationship between Muggles and wizards wasn’t perfect in Europe either, but America had actual laws prohibiting interaction between wizards and No-Majs. In fact, Grindelwald’s attitudes seem far more suited to America. Surely he’s not thinking of making a little trip across the Pond?
Love and friendship
But it’s not all doom and gloom. The trailer also gives us the friendship between Newt and Jacob. Newt clearly has no trouble befriending a No-Maj, and we get our first look inside Newt’s case through Jacob’s enthralled eyes. Oh and Newt’s case turns out to actually be a magical paradise where all his beasts can live in their own, ideal habitats.
We also see relationships forming between the four leads. There’s a lot of telling face-touching moments between Newt and Tina and Jacob and Queenie respectively. And considering the era, whatever’s going on between Queenie and the No-Maj Jacob is definitely a big deal.
A good man gone bad?
And finally, there is Percival Graves, who dips in and out of the trailer saying rather ominous things such as, ‘I refuse to bow down any longer.’ Bow down to whom?
We know that Graves is an Auror, and President Picquery’s right hand man. Colin Farrell described him at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 as being rather like an FBI agent. Yet it sounds like the life of secrecy has left him disenchanted.
With New York in turmoil, huge protective spells consuming the city, and beasts running rampant, Percival doesn’t look best pleased about any of it. How will he react to this chaos?
Somehow, we have a feeling this all goes way deeper than the contents of Newt Scamander’s suitcase. And we can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is released 18 November.