The newest entry in the Wizarding World Fantastic Beasts film franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore released earlier this month. The Harry Potter spinoff directed by David Yates was met with mixed reviews and the film has been embroiled in numerous controversies, which include the J.K. Rowling controversy and her comments about the trans community, a reference to a gay relationship being removed for Chinese audiences, Johnny Depp being recast with Mads Mikkelson after allegations from his ex-wife Amber Heard tarnished his image and star Ezra Miller being arrested for disorderly conduct.
In fact, while the series was originally set to be five movies, whether or not the films will make it to number five seems to be currently up in the air. With that being said, the franchise so far has continued to consistently set up its next film at the end of the previous one. For example in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the end of the film revealed that Percival Graves, played by Colin Farrell, was really Gellert Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp, in disguise and was arrested setting up the events of the next film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Then at the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Grindelwald convinced Credence Barebone to join him in his war against the muggles by revealing his true identity, Aurelius Dumbledore, which sets up the events of the new film Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. So how exactly does this new film end, and how does it set up the next Fantastic Beasts?
Warning: Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore to follow.
The plot of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore follows Albus Dumbledore, played by Jude Law, as he gathers a team of wizards led by Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, and the muggle, Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler, to fight against the forces of Gellert Grindelwald, now played by Mads Mikkelsen.
Introducing Richard Coyle to the franchise as Aberforth Dumbledore, Albus Dumbledore’s brother, the film finally answers the question of Credence Barebone’s parentage. This film actually manages to fix some of the problems with the ending of The Crimes of Grindelwald, as hardcore Harry Potter fans knew that Credence could not be Dumbledore’s brother as was inferred by the film. Instead, in The Secrets of Dumbledore, it was revealed that Credence was the son of Aberforth Dumbledore, making Albus Dumbledore Credence’s uncle. It was revealed that Abeforth had been in love with a girl from Godric’s Hollow and that her parents had sent her away after she fell pregnant with Credence.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore ends in a few ways that are detrimental to the plot of the next film. Firstly, throughout the film Credence gets sicker and sicker as the Obscurus struggles inside him and threatens to tear him apart. This could impact the next entry in the franchise in two different ways. Because of Ezra Miller’s controversial behavior, if they choose to they could simply kill his character Credence early in the next film, as his storyline seems finished, going along with his father and uncle at the end of the film.
However, it could also go another way in the next Fantastic Beasts film by having the characters try and find a remedy for Credence’s condition, curing him and allowing him to join the fight. This could be possible as Dumbledore has experience with an Obscurus as his sister Ariana was an Obscurial and Newt is an expert on the subject having captured one in his case. Either way, the character is probably going to meet his end in the series as there needs to be a reason that he is not in Harry Potter.
The most obvious setup for the next Fantastic Beasts film is the fact that at the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Grindelwald makes his escape after the vial of blood which contained the blood pact Albus Dumbledore and Grindelwald made, is destroyed. The terms of the blood pact were that neither Dumbledore nor Grindelwald could attack one another. They made this pact when they were younger, in love, and both after the Deathly Hallows. After Dumbledore’s sister Ariana died from a stray curse in a duel between Grindelwald and the Dumbledore brothers, Albus had a change of heart and no longer pursued the Deathly Hallows.
But when Grindelwald wreaked havoc in Europe with his followers, Albus could not do anything about it without the blood pact taking effect and likely killing him. That is why he tasked Newt Scamander with going to New York and Europe in the Fantastic Beasts films in an attempt to stop Grindelwald without stopping him himself. However, hardcore Harry Potter fans are aware that the wizard credited with ultimately defeating Grindelwald in an epic duel is Albus Dumbledore.
At the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Grindelwald attempts to kill Credence, and Dumbledore casts a spell to defend him. The two spells connect and the result is the blood vial breaking apart, releasing them from their blood pact. The two immediately partake in a well-needed albeit short fight, before the rest of the Wizarding World surrounds Grindelwald and he apparates away to live another day. The two spells connecting were reminiscent of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry Potter and Voldemort’s wands connected to produce Priori Incantatem, which occurred because the two had wands of the same core.
So presumably because the blood pact was broken and Grindelwald escaped, the next Fantastic Beasts film will finally give us Albus Dumbledore in his prime, participating in some great and epic duels, ultimately defeating Grindelwald and imprisoning him in the castle he uses as a base of operations. There is a strong chance that the next film features battles akin to some of the larger battles in Harry Potter, like The Battle of Hogwarts, most likely featuring the wizards who made up the first three films.
The very end of the film takes place at a wedding. After spending most of the second and third films apart, Jacob and Queenie Goldstein, played by Alison Sudol, reconnect as he pulls her away from Grindelwald’s followers. They then happily get married in Jacob’s bakery. Most of the characters appear at the relatively small wedding, with Tina Goldstein, played by Katherine Waterston, coming back after being weirdly absent for most of the film as she had been promoted to the Head of the Department of Aurors in the Magical Congress of the United States of America. Queenie coming back to Dumbledore’s side might be important to the plot of the next film as she is an accomplished Legilimens, and can read people’s minds.
Newt and Tina reuniting at the end of the film is important because Tina’s absence in the film was quite odd as the first two films set up their relationship quite heavily. Secrets of Dumbledore also introduced somewhat of a love triangle as Newt’s assistant, Bunty Broadacre, played by Victoria Yeates, exhibited feelings for him throughout the film. This could set up an interesting situation for the three characters in the next film, however, this was essentially the side plot of the second film, so hopefully, they avoid that.
Her appearance at the end surely marks her involvement in the fourth Fantastic Beasts film, where the MACUSA might end up being more heavily involved in the plot of the fourth film, as Grindelwald is likely to ramp up his violence. He would ramp up his efforts to subjugate the muggles because his attempts to do it legitimately, by getting witches and wizards to accept him as the head of the International Confederation of Wizards, failed.
Grindelwald failed in his quest to become the head of the International Confederation of Wizards in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. He failed to do so because a creature called a Qilin needed to bow in front of the right candidate. Earlier in the film, Grindelwald had reanimated the precognitive creature and therefore was able to compel it to bow. Newt had salvaged a twin Qilin from their mother before Grindelwald’s followers, including Credence, had executed her. When the true Qilin was let loose to bow before the witch or wizard that was pure of heart, the Qilin bowed in front of Dumbledore, foreshadowing his eventual appointment as the head of the International Confederation of Wizards, although that might not occur in the next film.
Lastly, there seemed to be some chemistry between the new witch introduced in The Secrets of Dumbledore, Eulalie ‘Lally’ Hicks, played by Jessica Williams, and Newt’s brother, Theseus Scamander, played by Callum Turner. Even though he was engaged to marry Leta Lestrange in the previous film, it did seem that the end of The Secrets of Dumbledore may have been setting up a relationship between the two characters. It wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen in these movies, as so far each one has had a heavy element of romance in them.
The ending of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore has seemingly set up the next film in a multitude of ways, fixing some of the problems that people had with the franchise. Whether or not Fantastic Beasts will be given the opportunity to rise from the ashes of these three films for a better fourth one is yet to be seen. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is in theatres now.