Fantastic Beasts the Crimes of Grindelwald

fantastic beasts the crimes of grindelwald

Title: Fantastic Beasts the Crimes of Grindelwald

Author: J.K. Rowling

Series: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, #2

Publisher: Little, Brown

Release Date: November 16th 2018


Three Stars

At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

This second original screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima, expands on earlier events that helped shaped the wizarding world, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of both the books and films.

– Blurb courtesy of

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“That’s all very well, Dumbledore, but, forgive me for asking, why can’t you go?”
“I can’t move against Grindelwald. It has to be you. Well, I don’t blame you, in your shoes I’d probably refuse too. It’s late. Good evening, Newt.”

After the events of New York Newt has been banned by the Ministry of Magic from travelling internationally. But when Credence resurfaces in Paris, searching for someone who can tell him where he came from, and when Grindelwald escapes from custody in New York Newt is recruited by Dumbledore to help stop his old friend.

I had high hopes for Fantastic Beasts the Crimes of Grindelwald. I loved the first film and while the reaction of the critics was mixed people I knew who’d seen it had loved it. However I ended up being really disappointed; the actions of some of the characters seemed to go against who they were in the first film and there was almost too much happening. Some of the twists came out of nowhere and were kind of robbed of their impact because the development surrounding them was weak.

“I say the Muggles are not lesser, but other. Not worthless, but of other value. Not disposable, but of a different disposition. Magic blooms only in rare souls. it is granted to those who live for higher things. Oh, and what a world we could make, for all of humanity.”

Together with Jacob Newt follows Tina through Paris as she tracks Credence. However as Credence searches for his family an old prophecy comes to light, and with it more people become determined to find the Obscurial, not all of them friendly. Meanwhile Grindelwald is gathering supporters, his seductive message drawing in the most unlikely people who are blinded to his true ambitions, people Newt trusts and loves.

The ending to this instalment in the Fantastic Beasts series was definitely explosive, and it leaves the overall story arc on a cliffhanger as the wizarding world is truly divided with good people having been manipulated by Grindelwald. However, the very last twist in this story ripped holes in the original Harry Potter series for me. Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts the Crimes of Grindelwald. Maybe Dumbledore did have another brother, but one Aberforth didn’t mention in Deathly Hallows even when he was talking to Harry about their younger sister? One who Rita Skeeter didn’t discover when she wrote Dumbledore’s tell-all biography? There was no hint of Credence in the original books and I find it too unbelievable now. End of spoilers.

…The Characters

“Do you know why I admire you, Newt? More, perhaps, than any man I know? You don’t seek power or popularity. You simply ask, is the thing right in itself? If it is, then I must do it, no matter the cost.”

Newt is determined to stay out of the war the Ministry of Magic is preparing to wage on Grindelwald, he doesn’t want to involve himself in their agenda but he is still determined to do what he believes is right which draws him to Paris anyways. The relationship Newt has with the other characters was my favourite part of this book. I loved seeing more interactions between him and Jacob, and although his relationship with Tina seems to have taken one step forward and ten back due to miscommunication between the two of them it’s clear they really care about one another.

“What d’you think I should say to her, if I see her?”
“Oh, well, it’s best not to plan these things. You know, you just say whatever comes to you in the moment.”
“She has eyes just like a salamander.”
“Don’t say that.”

Tina seems more very alone in this book, there’s tension between herself and Newt and herself and her sister Queenie and she seems set apart from them. She still wants to protect Credence like she tried to in the first book, and she seems like the only person who may be solely on his side. Jacob is still enchanted by magic, but in this story he sees a much darker side to it, sees the terror Grindelwald is inspiring. He’s loyal to those he loves, and no matter what he sees he’s determined to help Newt, to find and be with Queenie.

*Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts the Crimes of Grindelwald below*

We were introduced to plenty of new characters in this story, and unfortunately it’s these new characters where the development fell down the most for me. There was a lot of backlash when Nagini was announced as a character (I’m not going to go into that in this review) but it felt like she was barely a character in The Crimes of Grindelwald, her whole purpose seemed to be to stand at Credence’s side and look concerned. In fact, did she have any lines other than “Credence”?

“My brother’s marrying Leta, June the sixth. I’m supposed to be best man. Which is sort of mildly hilarious.”
“Does he think you’re here to win her back? Are you here to win her back?”
“No! I’m here to—”

Leta Lestrange was another character I felt was wasted in this instalment. Engaged to Newt’s brother it’s clear she has feelings for Newt, although I think she loved Theseus too, but at the end she sacrificed her life for them both to escape and just…why? Maybe it was to make amends for what she felt she did to her brother but at the end it seemed like her death’s sole purpose was to help Newt finally see reason and side with his brother against Grindelwald.

It was interesting seeing more of Grindelwald in this book, and as himself rather than masquerading as someone else. He seems to know exactly what to say to sway people to his side, to get them to believe in his vision of the future. However I find it hard to believe, no matter what he said, that Queenie would be of his supporters. I also find it hard to believe after how their relationship was portrayed in the first book that Tina wouldn’t notice her sister at Grindelwald’s gathering and go to her, to try and talk her out of whatever she was thinking.

*End of spoilers*

…The Setting

“Newt…what made those?”
“That is a Zouwu. It’s a Chinese creature. They are incredibly fast and incredibly powerful. They can travel a thousand miles in a day…and this one could take you from one part of Paris to the next in a single leap.”

I enjoyed seeing more of the magical world; while the original Harry Potter series was set solely in England the Fantastic Beasts stories seem to be travelling the world. In The Crimes of Grindelwald while we get small glimpses of New York and London the majority of the story is set in Paris. However, that said there were some locations I would have liked to see more of, mainly the Circus Arcanus (I have a weakness for circuses in books, especially magical ones) and the French version of the Ministry of Magic. I don’t think the development of either of those locations was rushed, just that we didn’t spend enough time there.

For a film and screenplay I was so excited for I was really let down by The Crimes of Grindelwald. It has its positives but I’d hoped for more from my favourite franchise and there were too many plot holes, too many wasted characters, and at the end of the day too much story crammed into too small a film for me to love this story as much as I did Fantastic Beasts

Here’s hoping the third instalment will be better again.

What did you think of Fantastic Beasts the Crimes of Grindelwald? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.


17 thoughts on “Fantastic Beasts the Crimes of Grindelwald

  1. I 200% agree with your review here and I was quite disappointed by this installment,too. I feel like the ending (keeping it vague for people reading comments to avoid spoilers) was too unbelievable, too and left me confused and I agree with Nagini as well, I wish she had gone through more development and had more attention towards her, too, because her character is so interesting, it deserved more, I think.
    Lovely review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it just didn’t live up to how epic the first film was did it? I loved Fantastic Beasts but The Crimes of Grindelwald tried to fit too much on one film (like that ending). I get they wanted to end it on a cliffhanger/epic twist reveal but it just felt rushed and unreal.
      Maybe there’ll be more for her in the next film, but after this one I feel like if they were going to do Nagini’s character justice it should have been in the first film she was introduced in.
      Thanks Marie. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t finished the HP series just yet, so this is a little hard to follow, but it’s kind of disappointing that it sounds like this wasn’t the best read and that it kinda interferes with the original HP storyline. I saw the first movie and enjoyed it well enough but I put off the second one for a while after all the questionable reviews. Eventually I’ll get around to it, but I think it won’t hurt to wait, especially after reading your review lol. But anyways, lovely review. So sorry both the film and book didn’t really live up to expectation :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost feel like you’d enjoy this movie more given you haven’t finished the original series. There are just so many plot holes it’s hard to relate The Crimes of Grindelwald to the original books. I’d still say see this film (or read the screenplay, or both) but maybe go in with low expectations. As it was I wish I’d paid more attention to some of the mixed reviews. :/
      Thanks Azia, and yeah I’m hoping the third one gets back on track and is good again. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I skimmed your review as to avoid spoilers, I’m sorry to hear it wasn’t the best. I know we’ve talked about it, but reading your review makes me want to read and see the film a little less, I’m NO way saying your review was bad, it was very good! … I just don’t want to be disappointed, you know :\ But at least I’m prepared to be disappointed 😛
    I know I’m still going to, I found a theatre that’s still showing it so I may try to go next week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t worry I completely get what you mean. I feel like if I’d have read more mixed reviews I would have been a little hesitant about this one too but as it was all my friends who saw it had loved it so I thought I would too. I’d still say go and see the movie, maybe just go with slightly lowered expectations and you may find you enjoy it more than you’ll think. As it was I loved the first film and with this second I couldn’t look past the plot holes. :/
      I hope you get to see it, and I hope you enjoy it somewhat too. Either way you’ll have to let me know what you do think when you’ve seen it. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, okay good! 🙂 That’s true, the lower the expectations, the better it may be!

        I thought I would be able too… I read it wrong and it’s not playing in a theatre in my province anymore, I mixed it up 😦 Why do places have to have similar names? Anyways, when I do see it I will let you know! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I think a lot of people were disappointed with this movie, and felt it didn’t keep true to the Harry Potter world and backstory… I mean, I’m still going to watch the movie (when I get round to it), but I’m expecting to be annoyed by it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah I’d still say watch the movie. I’ve still pre-ordered the DVD and I’ll watch again myself. I think if you go in with low hopes you may be pleasantly surprised; one of my friends who wasn’t a massive fan of the first film loved this second one. Personally I just couldn’t enjoy it as much because I was so aware of the plot holes and problematic areas.


      1. See… I know that’s going to bother me… I had a problem with it pretty much from the trailer, so I read your review and thought “yep sounds about right…” I think you’re right – best to go in with low expectations!

        Liked by 1 person

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