J.K. Rowling Explains The Importance Of Fantastic Beasts’ Grindelwald


After his brief cameo at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Johnny Depp will make his full debut as Gellert Grindelwald in the upcoming sequel that bears his name, The Crimes of Grindelwald. It’s not the first time the character will make his mark, though, as the dark wizard played a supporting role in The Deathly Hallows movies, where Jamie Campbell Bower portrayed the younger Grindelwald.

But what makes the character such a big deal? Well, creator and screenwriter of Crimes, J.K. Rowling explained to EW that references to him in the Harry Potter canon stretch as far back as you can go – to the first novel in the series. As for how he affects the characters we’re more familiar with, Rowling believes knowing Grindelwald is key to understanding how Dumbledore became the wise and wonderful Hogwarts headmaster. 

“The first mention of Grindelwald is in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, so he has been part of the canon from the beginning. He was a very famous dark wizard whom Dumbledore defeated in 1945, a wizard who once owned the Elder Wand (as Voldemort did later). Although he remained rather mysterious in the Potter books, I had a very clear understanding of who Grindelwald was and what his story had been. Grindelwald is essential to an understanding of how Dumbledore became Dumbledore.”

Speaking of Albus, Rowling went on to add how much she enjoyed writing for the younger iteration of the wizard in Crimes, as played by Jude Law, as she has no qualms about admitting that he’s her favorite out of all the characters she created for the Harry Potter books.

“It is no secret that Dumbledore is my favorite character in the Potter stories, so it was an absolute joy to have an opportunity to write dialogue for him again. He’s a fascinating character on so many levels.”

Fans will know that Rowling has revealed in the past that Dumbledore was once in love with Grindelwald when they were close friends as teens. While this apparently won’t be stated outright in the sequel, director David Yates believes that their complicated romantic history will still be obvious by the way the characters are portrayed.

And we’ll get to see what he means by that when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters on November 16th.

About the author


Christian Bone

Christian Bone is a Staff Writer/Editor at We Got This Covered and has been cluttering up the internet with his thoughts on movies and TV for a full decade, ever since graduating with a Creative Writing degree from the University of Winchester. He can usually be found writing about anything Marvel or DC. And yet, if you asked him, he'd probably say his favorite superhero film is 'The Incredibles'.