J.K. Rowling slowly waded us into the wizarding world with Harry Potter, adding more and more characters gradually. As Harry learned more about the extraordinary world, we were right there with him. This is exactly the opposite of what Fantastic Beasts did. For better or worse, Rowling just threw fans in the deep end and dove into her new story, adding characters left and right. Of course, most of these characters are sneakily connected to Harry Potter characters as well. Magic is already a little confusing, but even muggle Jacob Kowalski is going to be very overwhelmed by all of these new faces. Unless you spend your days reading Fantastic Beasts theories, it might get a little confusing. Old characters are getting reintroduced by new actors who are playing their younger selves. Some of new characters are also slyly the ancestors of not-yet-born, future Death Eaters. We’re here to refresh your memory and make your Crimes of Grindelwald viewing experience more enjoyable with this crib sheet.
13. Newt Scamander
Newt (Eddie Redmayne) was the main protagonist in the first movie Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. This magizoologist came over to America with his case full of magical creatures, so he could release Frank, the Thunderbird, into the wilds of Arizona. Instead, he accidentally unleashed them all over New York City and got himself into trouble with the Magical Congress of the United States (MACUSA). He and his friends came across an Obscurial, a wizard who had developed a dark parasitic magical force. Despite their best efforts, they couldn’t save him. MACUSA presumedly killed him. After auror Percival Graves went on a rant about why wizards should live out in the open, the young Scamander realized that he might be someone else. He revealed Graves’s true identity: Gellert Grindelwald.
In Crimes of Grindelwald, Scamander is asked to go to Paris to track down the somehow-still-alive Credence and face Grindelwald if need be. This is extraordinarily difficult task is put on his shoulders by his former Hogwarts professor Albus Dumbledore. Scamander was expelled from Hogwarts, and Dumbledore argued against it, so Scamander kind of owes Dumbledore one. But this is certainly a big one.
Pickett is most definitely the best fantastic beast in the first movie. This bowtruckle might just be a foot high, but he has more attitude in his littlest limb than most people do in their entire bodies. He is Scamander’s best friend and prefers to spend his days in Newt’s jacket pocket. We know that this little dude is not going to want to sit this new adventure out.
This little buddy stole the show in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. If you remember one of Hagrid’s more tamer Hogwarts lessons, Nifflers are black platypus-esque creatures that are addicted to shiny objects. Newt’s Niffler very memorably robbed a jewelry store and basically outsmarted two grown men. In Crimes of Grindelwald, there are now baby Nifflers who are bound to be adorable and up to no good. Eddie Redmayne’s daughter dressed up as a Niffler last New Year’s Eve, according to USA Today. He essentially called it method-acting, because he had to chase his toddler around and keep her from causing havoc.
10. Theseus Scamander
We don’t know a whole lot about Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner) yet. He is Newt’s older, more traditionally successful brother an an auror. In the first Fantastic Beasts movie, it’s mentioned that Theseus is a famous war hero. To put it lightly, Newt and Theseus don’t seem to be the best of pals. In a trailer, Tina stuns and handcuffs Theseus to a chair. Newt gleefully responds to that act with “I think that might have been the best moment of my life.” Theseus is engaged to Leta Lestrange, Newt’s Hogwarts love interest, so clearly that’s also part of his dislike. Regardless of the bad blood between them, it looks like Theseus is very eager to fight against Grindelwald and his dark forces. He even tells Newt that he’s going to have to pick a side even though Newt says he doesn’t “do sides.”
Fans got a glimpse of Leta (Zoë Kravitz) in a portrait Newt still carries with him in his magical suitcase. Otherwise though, Leta is completely mysterious. In the first movie, it was clear that she was a bad influence on Newt. She’s currently engaged to his brother, Theseus. We don’t know if Leta is on Grindelwald’s side or not, but it’s implied in a trailer that she’s been carrying a dark secret and comes from one of “Sacred 28” pureblood families.
8. Tina Goldstein
When we first met Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), she had just been demoted from her auror job at MACUSA. She had gotten a little heated with the most horrible muggle since Harry Potter’s Aunt Marge, Mary Lou Barebone. She had seen Barebone beat her adopted son, Credence, and Tina defended him. Tina got tied up into Newt Scamander’s madness after his magical creatures were loosed on New York City. She tried her best to save Credence from MACUSA and Grindelwald, but failed (as far as she knows). At the end of Fantastic Beasts, it seems like she was on the cusp of a romance with young Scamander. We doubt there will be much time for love though as Goldstein accompanies Scamander on his mission to stop Grindelwald from finding Credence in Paris.
7. Queenie Goldstein
Queenie (Alison Sudol) came to her sister Tina Goldstein and Scamander’s rescue when they were nearly executed by Percival Graves aka Grindelwald. This young witch was largely underestimated because of her bombshell beauty, which she used to her advantage. This accomplished legilimens (mind-reader) can seek out and find out anyone’s deepest secrets. She fell in love with a non-magic person (No-Maj) named Jacob Kowalski. This is illegal in America. No-Majs aren’t allowed to marry witches or wizards. Even though Kowalski’s memory was erased of the wizarding world at the end of Fantastic Beasts, he seemed to remember Queenie when she walked into his bakery. We’re not quite sure what Queenie has been up to since, but we’re sure that her dangerous relationship with Kowalski will come up.
6. Jacob Kowalski
Lovable No-Maj, Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) got drawn into the wizarding world by accident last movie when he switched briefcases with Scamander. Kowalski, former soldier and aspiring bakery owner, got a crash-course in magic. He also fell head over heels for Queenie Goldstein. He did get to open his bakery at the end of the first film, because Scamander placed a silver egg, which was basically seed money, in Kowalski’s briefcase. From the trailers for Crimes of Grindelwald, it seems like Kowalski has remembered the wizarding world, because he has reunited with Scamander in Europe and has his first Portkey experience.
5. Albus Dumbledore
The Dumbledore you remember has a long, gray beard and half-moon glasses and is a kind, powerful grandfatherly figure. This is not Harry Potter’s Dumbledore. He’s nearly 70 years younger in The Crimes of Grindelwald… and he’s kinda hot? Jude Law takes up Dumbledore’s mantle in this film. Dumbledore isn’t yet the Headmaster of Hogwarts. He’s still a professor. From the trailer, it seems like he’s the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, though Potter fans remember that he originally taught Transfiguration. Hopefully J.K. Rowling clears that up for us. Dumbledore is very aware that Grindelwald is gaining power. Dumbledore and Grindelwald had a very close relationship and most likely a romance when they were teenagers. It’s implied from the trailers that his feelings are keeping Dumbledore from facing his former friend head on, so he sends former pupil Newt Scamander in his stead. These Fantastic Beasts films are supposed to lead up to Dumbledore’s very famous 1945 duel with Grindelwald in which he defeats the dark wizard.
4. Nicolas Flamel
Harry Potter fans will remember ol’ Nicolas Flamel from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Although the famous inventor of the Elixir of Life didn’t appear in the book or movie, he was lurking in between the lines. In Crimes of Grindelwald, we’ll finally be able to see his face. Flamel is played by Brontis Jodorowsky. Flamel was one of Dumbledore’s close friends, so there’s doubt he will be of some help against Grindelwald.
3. Gellert Grindelwald
We’ve got a whole dossier dedicated to this infamous dark wizard and his crimes (that we know about so far). The short story is though that Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) studied at Durmstrang Academy somewhere in Eastern Europe and then later became friends with Albus Dumbledore. The two became quite close and they began to dabble in some unsavory theories. The friends believed that muggles should bow down to wizards. One day, it all came to a violent end when Dumbledore and Grindelwald dueled for the first time, and somewhere in the fray Dumbledore’s sister Ariana—who you might remember from Deathly Hallows)—died. Grindelwald is estranged from Dumbledore and is gathering dark forces to make the ideology he used to share with Dumbledore a reality.
2. Credence Barebone
In the first Fantastic Beasts film, we met poor Credence (Ezra Miller) in New York City when he was living under his adopted mother’s roof. This cruel tyrant, Mary Lou Barebone, beat the children she adopted and forced them to hand out pamphlets for the Second Salemers, an anti-witchcraft organization.He worked for Percival Graves aka Grindelwald to try to find the Obscurial, but it was him all along. Because Credence was forced to keep his powers hidden, he became an Obscurial. Most Obscurials die before the age of seven or eight, but Credence was powerful that he was able to use his Obscurus as a deadly force. Credence murdered Mary Lou and destroyed half of New York City, temporarily outing wizards to No-Majs. At the very end of the first film, it appeared as if Credence was killed by MACUSA aurors. Scamander saw a small piece of Credence’s Obscurus float away, however. We all had a feeling he wasn’t gone for good.
In the trailers for Crimes of Grindelwald, Credence is revealed to be very much alive. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to be living very well. He’s one of the “freaks” in Circus Arcanus in Paris, France. It seems as like Scamander and Grindelwald are once again after Credence, but we aren’t quite sure why this time. There is some good news for this wizard though, he made a friend in another circus performer named Nagini.
Wait, wasn’t Nagini the name of Voldemort’s snake? Yes. This is that Nagini (Claudia Kim). Apparently, Nagini was a woman before she became one of Voldemort’s serpent companion. Rowling revealed on Twitter that Nagini is a Maledictus. She was born with a blood-curse that will eventually cause her to turn into a serpent for good. For now, she can transform in and out of her snake form at Circus Arcanus. That’s all we know, though. Her character is otherwise shrouded in mystery.