Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) finds himself beset by enemies on all sides in spectacular sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Released this Friday, J.K. Rowling presents the next enchanting chapter in her Harry Potter prequel series, as Newt confronts warmongering dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).
Fortunately, our meek and and mild wizard isn't heading into this particular battle alone. With the movie's release imminent, here are those sticking by Newt, as well as those fighting against him, and those whose side isn't immediately obvious...
Who are the good guys in Fantastic Beasts 2?
Played by Katherine Waterston
Aka Tina, Newt's closest ally whom he first met in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. An American witch, Tina is a half-blood who was expelled as an Auror from MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) after assaulting no-maj Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton).
Unbeknown to the authorities, Tina was investigating Mary-Lou's unsavoury witchcraft activities in the guise of the New Salem Philanthropic Society. Tina also played a key role in helping 'Obscurial' Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), Mary Lou's adopted son, to escape, allowing him to go to ground in Paris, which is where The Crimes of Grindelwald picks up. Tina now emerges as one of Newt's most important allies in the battle against Grindelwald.
Played by Dan Fogler
Jacob is a 'no-maj' – the American term for muggle that essentially delineates a non-wizard. He first came across Newt in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, being introduced to the magical menagerie inside his briefcase.
The first movie culminated in Jacob's memory being wiped by Newt, after which he left America to head back to England. Jacob then followed his dream of opening his own bakery – but there seemed to be a residual memory of witch Queenie Goldstein left in that noggin of his. Speaking of which...
Played by Alison Sudol
Tina's sister, witch Queenie is a 'legilimens' – meaning she can read people's minds and interpret their feelings. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, she put this skill to use on Newt (against his wishes), revealing the depth of his feelings towards former love interest Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz).
Queenie exposed the level of emotional pain lurking beneath Newt's shy exterior, although he wasn't happy about it, describing Lestrange as a "taker", whereas he needs "a giver". It remains to be seen how much her abilities will be put to use in The Crimes of Grindelwald, not to mention whether her attraction to Jacob Kowalski will flourish.
Played by Jude Law
You can't fail to have heard that Newt's former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher is back in The Crimes of Grindelwald. In his younger form, Dumbledore comes across as more of a dashing Errol Flynn type, one who harbours a great deal of affection towards his former pupil, whom he vouched for in the face of Newt's Hogwarts expulsion.
Given J.K. Rowling revealed Dumbledore as gay, and given his much-reported history with the villainous Grindelwald, we imagine there's much more to this character to be revealed. It may be that, in spite of Dumbledore's status as a valued ally, his feelings towards Grindelwald prevent him from moving against the dark wizard.
Who are the bad guys in Fantastic Beasts 2?
Played by Johnny Depp
The titular big bad, Grindelwald wants to stir up a war between magicians and muggles. Possessed of a seductive rhetoric and a charismatic personality, Grindelwald has drawn parallels with real-life politicians and leaders who carefully entrap people in their schemes.
He first emerged in a surprise twist at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts, after MACUSA security chief Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) was revealed to be Grindelwald in disguise. At the outset of the sequel, Grindelwald escapes prison to rally more people to his cause, although we're still curious as to how his relationship with Dumbledore will factor in...
Whose loyalties are in doubt in Fantastic Beasts 2?
Played by Ezra Miller
Despite his damaging and destructive abilities as an 'Obscurial', Credence Barebone is more a victim of circumstance. Adopted by the malevolent Mary Lou Barebone, as we saw in the first Fantastic Beasts movie, he was revealed to be harbouring the dreaded obscurus parasite, which occurs when a wizard or witch is forced to suppress their powers.
In The Crimes of Grindelwald, the fugitive Credence is shown to be living in Paris. There he teams up with circus performer Nagini (Claudia Kim), a 'Maledictus' (human compelled to take the form of a beast) later to become Lord Voldemort's pet. It remains to be seen whether Credence will continue on his path as a somewhat tragic figure, or if he'll be drawn into Grindelwald's cause.
Played by Claudia Kim
As mentioned, there's more to Nagini than we first thought. Familiar as the killer snake from the Harry Potter movies, Nagini is revealed to have something of a tragic past, as her human appearance eventually gives way to the permanent form of an animal.
Will Nagini therefore be less of a villain, and more someone whose loyalties waver between good or bad? We all know how she ended up in the Potter franchise, but that's not to say she was bad from the outset.
Played by Callum Turner
Newt's estranged brother, and yet we're unsure as to whether he has his sibling's interests at heart. In the trailer, we're presented with contradictory messages about Theseus – at one stage, Newt and Tina are seen escaping him via a magic spell, whereas during a pivotal battle with Grindelwald, the two brothers appear to be working side by side.
Combine this with the fact Theseus has taken up with Leta Lestrange, for whom Newt still carries the torch, and it's not clear if Theseus is a straight-up good or bad guy.
Played by Zoe Kravitz
We don't know a great deal about this important face from Newt's past, suffice to say she shares a family connection with the deranged Bellatrix (Helena Bonham Carter), who later emerges in the Potter movies.
Actress Zoe Kravitz insists that Leta is more a misunderstood figure than someone truly bad, but there's no denying she hurt Newt in the past. Will she emerge as an important ally in the fight against Grindelwald?
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