The FANTASTIC BEASTS films are new stories, but also prequels to the Harry Potter films and books. So there are many connections between the adventures of Newt Scamander and those of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Some will unfold in the years to come, but several are already known.
A few of the ties are subtle. Newt, for example, is fond of Leta Lestrange, who is a relative of the infamous Bellatrix, played by Helena Bonham Carter in the films. Others are likely to be much more important. The Deathly Hallows are probably the most significant example — we know these three magic objects will play a big role in the current series, as indicated by the smoky symbol of the Hallows in posters and trailers for the movie, such as the above.
With FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD opening on November, we could all use a refresher on the history of these objects.
The Hallows In History
According to wizarding legend, three brothers once encountered the personification of Death. Each one tricked Death into giving them a powerful item, then used it in attempts to evade Death’s power. The three items were the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility. Legend says that anyone who possesses all three will be the true master of death.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows revealed that young Albus Dumbledore was obsessed with the idea of the Deathly Hallows. Dumbledore got caught up in Gellert Grindelwald’s insane plans involving the legend of the items. They scoured history to find traces of the Deathly Hallows, which they swiftly realized were actual historical artifacts.
Three Dark Objects
The Elder Wand (above, in Grindelwald’s grip) was the easiest to track. Believed to be the most powerful wand ever created, it had been sought after by the most ruthless and dangerous wizards in history. These witches and wizards believed that possession of the Elder Wand would make them unbeatable in battle. Ironically, its mystique seems overstated; although terrible deeds were done with the wand, its bearer always met an untimely end when another, even more cruel and vicious sorcerer came looking for it.
Grindelwald claimed the symbol of the Deathly Hallows as his own. In the end, it was as closely identified with him as the Dark Mark would be with Voldemort. That’s why it’s in the trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. And Grindelwald was at least partly successful in acquiring the Deathly Hallows. He obtained the Elder Wand, presumably killing the wizard who bore it before him. The trailer for Fantastic Beasts 2 shows Grindelwald using the Elder Wand, to potentially deadly effect.
The Untold Story
We know where the Hallows end up at the end of Harry Potter’s story. But what about decades earlier, at the time of Fantastic Beasts? The only one of the Hallows likely to be in the film is the Elder Wand. As we know from the Harry Potter books and films, both the Cloak of Invisibility and the Resurrection Stone were passed down through family lines. The Potters owned the Cloak, which is how it found its way to James and finally to Harry.
The Resurrection Stone was tied to the Gaunt family. In 1943, it was stolen from Marvolo Gaunt by Tom Riddle, the man destined to become Lord Voldemort. The Stone’s true power would only be revealed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Harry became the first known wizard in history to wield all three of the Hallows. He thus becomes the true master of death, as he faced his end unflinching, willing to sacrifice everything for his friends.
We’ll learn a lot more about the power and story of the Elder Wand, and perhaps of the other Hallows, in the newest chapter of the Wizarding World saga.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD opens on November 16.