Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them spoilers ahead! But if you haven't seen or read the movie by this point and still clicked to read this article, we imagine you're ok with that...
The introduction of Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts opens up a whole can of flobberworms for Harry Potter fans. While the notorious dark wizard is known mostly by reputation in the Harry Potter books, the recent spinoff gives us an eyeful of Dumbledore's former friend, and fans understandably have questions, two of which J.K. Rowling recently answered.
The first relates to what Grindelwald (as Percival Graves) says about having a vision of a child with great power. Is Grindelwald a seer, or was he just lying when he started talking about having visions? From what J.K. Rowling says, sounds like it's both.
We're going to take this to mean that when GrindelGraves was talking to Credence, he wasn't being totally honest about the things he saw, but that he apparently does have seeing abilities. That's a curious bit of info about Grindelwald, given his dark intentions.
Harry Potter fans are familiar enough with divination through the occasional-seer, Sybill Trelawney and the Hogwarts subject she taught. Though Divination Class was always kind of a joke in the books, Trelawney's prophesy proved to be an integral part of the plot of the series, so we probably shouldn't take this new piece of information about Grindelwald lightly. It's too soon to start speculating on just how big a part Grindelwald's abilities as a seer will have in the Fantastic Beasts films, but at the very least, we know that seeing can be a pretty crucial power.
Moving on to the other thing J.K. Rowling revealed about Grindelwald, apparently, he didn't use polyjuice potion to pose as Percival Graves during the events of Fantastic Beasts. The author answered a series of questions on her newly updated website, one of which related to how Newt was able to expose Percival Graves as Gellert Grindelwald...
Why did 'revelio' undo the effects of Polyjuice Potion?
It didn't. Grindelwald's Transfiguration surpasses that of most wizards, so he used a spell, not a potion, to take on the appearance of Percival Graves.
Polyjuice Potion seemed like a pretty safe bet to explain how Grindelwald was able to pose as Graves, especially factoring in the numerous times it's been used for shenanigans in the Harry Potter stories, but it turns out Grindelwald doesn't need a potion to masquerade as another person. That's pretty unnerving to think about, though it's not entirely surprising, considering he's known to be very powerful.
It may also be worth pointing out Rowling's choice of wording in that answer. She says his transfiguration surpasses "that of most wizards." Albus Dumbledore not only served as a columnist for Transfiguration Today, but he also preceded Minerva McGonigall as Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts, so odds are, he had to be especially skilled in that area in order to obtain and hold that post for so many years. And let's face it, as it relates to his abilities, Dumbledore probably doesn't often fit into the category of "most wizards." Still, I wonder if he's who Rowling had in mind when she qualified that statement a bit in discussing Grindelwald's skill.
Moving on, that leaves us with the unanswered question of what became of Percival Graves. The fact that Grindelwald was able to pose as the auror for so long without requiring use of his hair or whatever for the potion could mean that Grindelwald didn't need to keep Graves alive, in which case that might be bad news for Graves. The fact that it doesn't sound like Colin Farrell will be returning for the sequel doesn't bode well for the character either.
Until J.K. Rowling says otherwise, I'm going to assume Graves is locked in a trunk somewhere, and that the fine folks over at MACUSA will track him down. Then again, none of them even noticed they had a fake Graves in their midst, so maybe not...
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