Little by little, the Fantastic Beasts movies are filling in important backstory in the Harry Potter mythology. We learned a few key details of the early days of the wizarding world in the first Fantastic Beasts movie. But with vital characters like Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) finally showing up, we expect even more storylines to develop... including the current location of the Elder Wand.
The Elder Wand is believed to be the most powerful wand in existence. It has a long and deadly history, and has changed hands multiple times (according to the story told by Garrick Ollivander in the Harry Potter films). It is the first of the Deathly Hallows, and it has deep connections to death. And according to this photo, in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the wand is in the hands of Gellert Grindelwald himself.
According to the timeline of the Elder Wand -- what we know if it, anyway -- it makes sense that Gellert Grindelwald would have the powerful tool at this phase. The wand's story is told in the "Tale of the Three Brothers," and traces its path through the murderous relationship between Antioch, Cadmus and Ignotus Peverell, who were all cheated by Death in a battle of wits. Over the years, Harry Potter fans have mapped out the lineage of the Elder Wand, noting that it has been in the hands of everyone from Emeric the Evil to Hereward. And eventually, it landed in the possession of Grindelwald.
The studio teased the wand in a Facebook post right before the cast image landed.
The wand on the left is the Elder Wand, which we see in Johnny Depp's hand in the cast shot. The wand on the right is Albus Dumbledore's. And damn, these two wands are going to be used in an EPIC confrontation... eventually.
Dumbledore is known to have acquired the wand from Grindelwald when the two wizards faced off in 1945. It stayed in Dumbledore's possession until it found its new owner, Draco Malfoy, who never actually took possession of the wand. Dumbledore was buried with it, and it was later stolen by Lord Voldemort. The final owner of the wand would be Harry Potter himself.
Today, we learned that the second movie in this franchise will be called Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. It will be in theaters on November 16, 2018. And we're not finished yet. Tomorrow, we're expecting yet another reveal from the wizarding world (possibly a trailer?) as fans get ready for the next massive step in this amazing series. Keep it locked here for that update, and head here to find out what else is opening in 2018.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.