SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them! It's meant to be read once you've seen the movie or at the very least, read J.K. Rowling's screenplay book.
What does Grindelwald say to Newt at the end of Fantastic Beasts?
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them proved to be more or less self-contained in terms of its plot, though we already know there's more to this story, and with four more movies expected to fill out this budding series, that's good news for fans. One of the more mysterious moments in the film is near the end, not long after Newt manages to restrain Percival Graves, and then reveal him to be none other than the infamous Gellert Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp. After scoffing at the idea that MACUSA could keep him imprisoned, Grindelwald turns to Newt and speaks a curious phrase:
It was such an odd bit of wording that I wasn't even sure I heard it right at the screening, but I've since confirmed it in the screenplay book. And I still don't know what to make of it. But I'm inclined to think that it means something.
Does it have something to do with the Deathly Hallows?
In addition to his desire to overthrow the International Statue of Secrecy, Gellert Grindelwald is known to be a seeker of the Deathly Hallows. It's an interest he and Dumbledore share, and we saw the symbol in Fantastic Beasts, when Graves gave Credence the Deathly Hallows pendant, which is known to be Grindelwald's mark. On the surface, it seems like an obvious guess that the comment about dying "just a little" could have something to do with the Hallows, which are all about conquering death, however based on what we know of Grindelwald, I'm not sure he's all that obsessed with death. Not in the way Voldemort was, anyway. Based on what little we know about Grindelwald from the Harry Potter books, his interest in the Hallows is more to do with their power than a determination for immortality.
Is it a message for Dumbledore?
This theory seems a bit more likely, when factoring in Grindelwald and Dumbledore's history. We also know that Grindelwald knows Newt is close with Dumbledore. Or he has a general idea that the two are friends. We're also working with the assumption that Dumbledore and Grindelwald haven't spoken since Dumbledore's sister was killed, years prior. Grindelwald may have seen an opportunity to say something to his old friend, through Newt. It won't be surprising at all if Newt ends up passing these words to Dumbledore, and perhaps we'll see some spark of recognition from the Hogwarts professor in response.
Is it a warning of things to come?
When Graves was talking Credence earlier in the film, he speaks of having visions. Now, he could've just been making that up as a way to get close to Credence and manipulate him, giving Credence the sense that there's some great, prophesied future for the two of them, that must be realized. But maybe Grindelwald does actually have visions. If that's the case, perhaps his comment has something to do with something he's seen in his and Newt's future.
Is it some kind of anagram or riddle?
I can't get beyond the weirdness of the phrasing. Maybe I'm looking too closely at it, but what does it mean? Will we die, just a little? We who? And who's dying just a little? Grindelwald wouldn't be the first dark wizard to shuffle up some letters to conceal a deeper meaning (Ahem Tom Marvolo Riddle). If there's something to unscramble from those letters, it seems likely that the internet will figure it out in due time. I'll throw out a few suggestions. The words Lied, Die, duel, duelist and jewel are among some of the words you can pull out of that phrase. Of course, names and magical phrases could factor in and make the challenge of unlocking this potential Riddle all the trickier. For what it's worth, you can get "Leta" from that phrase.
Or is he just a weird guy who says weird things?
Well, it's possible. Maybe Grindelwald just wanted to say something morbid-sounding and clever to Newt on his way out. Maybe he just wanted to get a reaction, because Newt comes off as kind of timid. I think we need to at least consider that we might be reading too much into the phrase. But at the same time, it seems unlikely that one of the few lines Grindelwald has after being revealed to be himself in the film would be something so cryptic for no good reason. And let's face it, cryptic usually means something when it comes to J.K. Rowling's stories, so I'm inclined to think those words will be referenced again at some point.
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