Harry Potter connections in Fantastic Beasts 3

This April sees the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, the continuation of the magical Harry Potter prequel series.

Although the events of Fantastic Beasts take place a good 70 years before those of the Potter movies, The Secrets of Dumbledore is set to forge some important connections between the two franchises.

We've cast a spell and rounded up several of them…


1. Albus Dumbledore

Let's start with the most obvious one – the return of the most famous Hogwarts teacher of them all. However, given The Secrets of Dumbledore takes place in the past, this isn't the greying, bearded headmaster we came to know in Harry Potter.

Instead, we're reunited with the younger Dumbledore, played by a dashing Jude Law, who reconnects with his former Hogwarts pupil Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to help bring down dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).

But given Dumbledore claims not to be able to move against his former friend turned enemy, is the former's position about to be compromised by their much-reported romantic relationship? It remains to be seen.

2. Hogwarts

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them may have alluded to Hogwarts, the fabled boarding school where Harry, Ron and Hermione took a stand against Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).

Sequel The Crimes of Grindelwald foregrounded the school, filling us in on the relationship between Scamander and Dumbledore. This became evident in a Defence Against the Dark Arts scene as the former's greatest fear manifested in the form of an office job.

We already know that Dumbledore vouched for Newt and fought against his expulsion from Hogwarts (following an as-yet-undisclosed incident with a beast), and The Secrets of Dumbledore again places the famous school front and centre.



3. Professor McGonagall

Maggie Smith's formidable yet kindly Hogwarts Transfiguration teacher was one of the pillars of the Harry Potter movies.

She's set to turn up again, albeit her younger self, as played by actress Fiona Glascott – but how? After all, McGonagall was born in 1935 and The Secrets of Dumbledore is set in just before that – fingers crossed that the filmmakers will be using their own form of magic to undo this particular continuity error…

4. Grindelwald

The villainous dark wizard, now played by Mads Mikkelsen, wants to stir up war between magicians and muggles, and is the primary antagonist of the Fantastic Beasts series.

But let's not forget Grindelwald actually appeared in the Harry Potter movies: in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) seeks out the older Grindelwald (played by Michael Byrne) to learn the location of the Elder Wand (Grindelwald is seen possessing this same wand in the Fantastic Beasts sequel). In the same Harry Potter movie, we also meet a younger incarnation of the character played by Jamie Campbell-Bower.

Combine all this with the much-discussed history between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, and you have some of the most explicit connections between the two franchises so far.


5. James Newton Howard's score

Enveloping audiences in a sense of magic is veteran composer James Newton Howard, whose shimmering and sumptuous score for Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them introduced some beautiful new themes into the J.K. Rowling universe.

Given the links between Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter, Howard also subtly cites John Williams' pivotal Hedwig's theme over the opening logos and eagle-eared listeners have already spotted some (unintentional) echoes of other Potter scores. This includes a seeming reprise of 'In Noctem' from Nicholas Hooper's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince…

6. Flamel

Don't recall the name? Well, Nicolas Flamel is the figure who created the Philosopher's Stone, the same artifact that formed the backbone of the first Harry Potter novel and movie.

In The Crimes of Grindelwald, no-maj Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) meets Flamel (Brontis Jodorowsky) who reveals that he is "an alchemist and therefore immortal".

Flamel was in fact a real-life 15th-century alchemist – according to texts revealed two centuries after his death, he had succeeded in the alchemical arts of creating the Philosopher's Stone, which had the ability to turn metals into gold.

Will Flamel be a recurring presence as the Fantastic Beasts films move forward closer towards the events of Harry Potter? Watch this space...


Tickets for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore go on sale on Friday 18th March and the movie opens on 8th April.